Saturday, September 5, 2015

Week 63: It really is a small world after all.

Aug 16, 2015
After ballet with some of our favorites.

 While we were at the K's house, they got a surprise visit from Tojo Shimai, a sister that went home a few transfers ago.

I saw Perry Shimai. :) I haven't seen her in forever! 

Transfers are always hard, but they are always fun. It was sad to say bye to MacKenzie Shimai, because we really have become best friends. 

Last picture with MacKenzie Shimai 

But, it's okay, because I know we will see each other again soon. My new companion is Itabashi Shimai. :) she is an 8th transfer missionary (I just started my 10th transfer), and is from Chiba Ken (Tokyo). When we first saw each other at transfer point, we only spoke in Japanese. We went to buy bus tickets, and then because we had almost 5 hours before our bus, we went and got some lunch. After lunch though, because we had lots of time left, we ended up going back to the transfer point with the other missionaries. It was there that we started speaking in English... And we have been really bad about speaking Japanese to each other ever since... I guess we are going to have to work on being better at SYLing (Speak Your Language). Itabashi Shimai is awesome though, and I am so excited to be her companion! 

After an activity with some of the YSA.

This week I learned that it really is a small world after all. Now that I am an older missionary (I am just as old as when my trainer trained me), I have seen a lot of missionaries go home. I have also gotten to know a lot of other missionaries. I first met Itabashi Shimai at the Christmas Taikai in December, right here in this same zone. My zone leaders I met in the MTC. My current district leader and I were both in the same district almost a year ago. I am currently serving in the same area that my trainer served in before she transferred to Tsuyama, where we met. And in November or December a year ago, I came on a kokan to Yonago where one of my previous sister training leaders served, and where I am now. And that same sister training leader was just one of the sisters that I got to work with this past transfer. MacKenzie Shimai and I met on Facebook before our missions and then in person at the MTC, and then we got to be companions last transfer. 

As I look back on my mission and every one that I have met, it really seems like things have come full circle. But it was even weirder yesterday night as we were following up with one of the sisters. She is a 2nd transfer misisonary, and was talking about how she is still having a hard time understanding everything, but always gets excited when she hears a word that she knows. Well, I was then reminded of an experience that I have shared time and time again over the course of my mission. A story about my second Sunday in Japan, when a member from another Ward spoke in church. And all I understood the whole time, was the word for cat. As I began to tell her that story, all of the sudden I had a thought. When I was serving in Tsuyama, a member from the stake had come, the one who talked about the cats, and how much his less active wife loves cats. There happens to be a member here in Yonago that has a less active wife, who just happens to love cats, and is in the same stake that I was in a year ago. Funny coincidence right? Just wait. It gets better. I remember being so confused and asking McLaughlin Shimai what he was talking about, because all I could understand was cat. McLaughlin Shimai, my trainer, who just happened to serve in Yonago, explained to me about his wife, and her love for cats, and she talked as if she knew who he was. As I was talking to the sister we were following up with last night, all the pieces seemed to be fitting together. I never would have guessed, a year ago today (when it happened) that I would meet him... And now I do service at his house, go out and eat with him and his wife, and we are even trying to help him bring back his less-active wife. The one who loves cats! What a small small world. I have truly learned over my life that Heavenly Father is the master planner. He also has a wonderful sense of humor. 

This week we got to meet with she really cool people. We got to meet with X, and teach her about some of the commandments and why we have commandments. Heavenly Father gives us commandments because He loves us. He loves us so much that He wants us to become like Him, and to return to live with Him again someday. Through keeping the commandments, we show our love to Him, and we also receive blessings. When we do what Heavenly Father asks us to do, He always blesses us. The greatest blessing of all though, is that through keeping the commandments, we can be with our families forever, even after we die. X understands this. She has such a strong desire to see her dad again, and because of that she is so willing to so all that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ asks of her. She is trying harder than ever. As we taught her, she committed herself to keeping the commandments, and to reading the Book of Mormon, she committed to try harder, and to trust in Heavenly Father more. I am so grateful for X, and I can't wait to see what this next week brings. :)
The primary needed us to be witnesses of Jesus Christ's miracles. :)

I love being a missionary, and I am so grateful for that opportunity that I have to be here. I have been able to meet and learn from so many amazing people, and I am so glad that I still have time left. Time really is flying, and weeks sometimes just feel like days, but it is far from over yet. Sometimes it is hard to be a missionary, but it is also so rewarding, and I have never been happier. 

I hope you all have an incredible week. I am so grateful for each and every one of you, and for all of your love and support. You are in my thoughts and prayers!

Sister Amanda K. Robertson
Japan Kobe Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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