What a joy it is to write you today and to receive your emails! Weeeeeeee! Sorry I don't think I mentioned last week that I was going to be having another Tuesday P-Day because of our temple visit. But! Here I am now. We visited the temple this morning and it was wonderful, of course. I got to see a lot of my friends from the MTC again and that always lifts my spirits. The inside of this temple actually looks a lot like Provo. They sure managed to get a lot of missionaries into the session room! After the temple we went to....SUBWAY! Pretty much made my day. They don't have footlongs, as far as I could tell, and the sandwiches seem a bit smaller then they are in America...but still delicious. I had a shrimp avocado on wheat. Thought you should know. Boom. I also learned that there are a TON of Americans in that area. They were all over the place. Apparently there are a lot of international offices in that area so a lot of foreigners live near by.
Okay time for some little facts about my life here in Tokyo. First of all...Tomura Shimai trivia! First of all, she has EVERYTHING you could possibly think of to use for missionary work. As Weight Shimai put so well yesterday at our district meeting, when you look at Tomura Shimai's desk, you'd think she'd lived there for ten years! Haha then during transfers everything suddenly explodes, and then miraculously ends up all in a suitcase. Then she goes to her new apartment and BOOM! You'd think she's lived THERE for ten years! I'm not joking when I tell you that she has a LAMINATOR...and a massage pillow....and a takoyaki maker (about the size of a waffle cooker)...and many more things I am discovering every day. Seriously. A laminator. She busted it out when we were making cards for Mother's day. Pretty much we are set. :)
So as I've mentioned before, riding a bike here in Tokyo is quite the adventure. Riding a bike in a skirt throws in a bit of ridiculousness. Giving Wylie Shimai the map and making her lead just drops us into the realm of insanity. Tomura Shimai has been quite determined to make me a master navigator of Tokyo. Her method? "Wylie Shimai, lead me please!" And then if I get another word out of her about our whereabouts the next few hours then it's a very lucky day. Haha. I have these fleeting moments where I feel I might be beginning to get the hang of the map...but then a few minutes later I realize we're supposed to be on a whole other page of the map. Lol. We have this big map book of Koiwa that is filled with Kanji. Though I am not always first to admit it, it is a blessing that she is being so diligent at helping me learn to navigate. I'm sure I will be very grateful later on when I can find my way around easily. :) Biking in this city is INSANE. There are so many people and traffic lights and random rules and tiny roads. It is great fun. Funny moment of the week...Tomura Shimai was trying to explain what she thinks I am like on a bike, but she couldn't figure out the word in English. So she pulled out her translator and typed it in and held it up for me to see....'wild boar'. LOL! I about fell out the window laughing and thinking 'Oh boy...what have I gotten myself into?'
Oh and mother you will be happy to know that Tomura Shimai has taken quite the concern in my posture. Yesterday it got to the point where she pulled out this elastic band posture-fixer thing and put it on me herself. It goes around both of your arms, with an elastic behind your back that pulls your shoulders together. You know I thought I was a pretty decent person before coming to Japan...generally polite...good manners....but goodness these people really push things up a notch! I was trying to tell the first vision to Tomura Shimai during language study and she kept fixing things like where I placed my feet and how I sat and how I was holding my chin and even stopping my head from tilting! Crazy. And she is slowly trying to break me of all kinds of little habits like clicking my tongue when I'm thinking (a sound I didn't even know I made) and sighing. I guess when Japanese people hear you sigh, they think you've lost your happiness. Haha. I thought of a good metaphor to describe how all this adjustment feels. It's like I am playing a new instrument that I'd never heard before coming to Japan, and I am constantly trying to get it in tune to notes I'm unfamiliar with, and playing it every day. It is uncomfortable and strange sometimes and can feel frustrating, but I know I am learning. One day I will master this. :)
Oh I have gotten some wonderful letters from the Ossofsky's and they made my day so I hope they know I appreciate them so much! I miss them!!
On a spiritual note...the Lord is here in Japan! One of our investigators, Ida Shimai from English class, came to church on Sunday. She is SO super genki (happy) and has been curious about the gospel and really interested in learning more about the sacrament. We gave her a church tour the Friday before she came. When we opened the baptismal font her eyes about popped out of her head she was so surprised! Didn't expect to find such a strange thing behind the wall in the relief society room. One of the Elders serving in our ward invited her to a baptismal service we have on Saturday for one of his investigators. She accepted. We have high hopes for her. She even prayed for the first time at the end of our church tour. She smiled through the whole thing. She accidentally prayed to 'Iesusama' Jesus, but the spirit was there and she is starting to get an idea of what we want her to learn.
I love you all SO MUCH I can hardly hold it in sometimes. Your letters mean THE WORLD to me, and even more your prayers and thoughts and support. We are running through the last week of this transfer and excited for next month! We have splits this Thursday and I'll be with Nisshigaki Shimai for 24 hours. She doesn't speak any English so prayers specifically for that day will be very appreciated! I am nervous but trying to move forward in faith.
So sorry I might not have time to respond individually but I LOVE YOU!