So definitely had some surprises this week!! First was a package with a lovely little green camera....mother, how did you know I hadn't gotten around to fixing mine? :) THANK YOU. It is perfect. Proof I received it coming soon! Second surprise started with a phone call from the office couple..."Sister Wylie, are you expecting something?" "Um....no, why?" "There is this big box here for you, it's kind of heavy, from the flying pig?" ".........what??" "Yeah we might be able to bring it to you at the mission conference tomorrow, if we can fit it in with everything else." "That would be awesome...wow...totally am not expecting anything!" "Is it your birthday?" "No." "Well someone must love you!"
Bikuri shimashita!! Surprise!! Haha and what do you know it was a box of fabulous food from costco! Leave it to my mother to figure out that you can order your missionary COSTCO in Japan!! :D :D :D :D :D We are THOROUGHLY enjoying the contents. Thank you so so so much! I felt quite pleased carrying my bags back to Koiwa. I'm lucky the office Elders didn't consume them before I got there! Thank you thank you thank you for your sweetness and love that I can feel all the way over here in Tokyo! Thank you. :)
We had our last mission conference with President and Sister Albrecht this week. Since it was kind of a special occasion, they had all 180 missionaries come to one location. They fed us subways for lunch. Boom! It was a really fantastic and uplifting experience. I am going to miss them so much...very sad I don't get them for longer. They are so loving and good to their missionaries. Truly they have dedicated their lives to the missionaries these past few years. President and Sister Budge arrive this week....they share one meal with the Albrechts, and then they are on their own. Crazy how fast it switches over!! We are looking forward to meeting the Budges. They sound like awesome people.
This weekend was also stake conference. On Saturday night Tomura Shimai and I sang in the choir. Hymn #78. I didn't really know this hymn until I came here, but it is fantastic. Get some intense voices together in a choir and it is very powerful. Daddy have you ever done this one before? Anyway...Saturday night I prayed to be open to whatever message God needed me to hear. My brain was tired and the Japanese was difficult to follow, but my testimony was strengthened that the Spirit is the most important speaker. Though I didn't understand much of what the speakers said, the Lord was able to put into my mind and heart some needed inspiration that is a big blessing to me. I walked out of the conference spiritually fed. It proved to me that if we prepare ourselves, the Lord will speak to us...no matter the language or the words of the speakers. :) There is a principle I've been tapping into this week about humility. During times of struggle and growth, we have the beautiful opportunity to turn to the Lord. Humbling circumstances can actually be a tremendous blessing, because they bring us closer to our Maker in a way that nothing else could. Realizing this touched my heart. Sometimes, life is SO DIFFICULT. But through these difficult times, the Lord will walk with us. He will be our guide, our comfort, our friend. And though He may not take the challenge away, He loves us all the way through it, and promises it will be worth it in the end. I am still trying to figure this out...my thoughts are especially turned to the pioneers and the trials they went through. What a miserable experience many of them had to endure! And yet they didn't turn away from their God. They learned something about our God that far exceeds any words that can be told. How did they do it??
Something else that has been hitting my heart...God hears the prayers of mothers and fathers in behalf of their children. There have been several instances on my mission where I just know the blessings or tender mercy I am experiencing are coming because of the prayers of my sweet mother and father. I can feel it in my heart so strongly.
I got a wonderful email from my dear Aunt Luanne today! I am not sure if I can email extended family....I think it might be okay but I'm not sure! Anyway for now could you please tell her that I appreciated her message SO MUCH and just love her to pieces! She said such kind things that really lifted my spirits. Thank you so much! And thank her for reading my emails. Knowing I have support at home means so much to me. Thank you thank you thank you! It is especially fun thinking that she did this sister-missionary business not so long ago herself.
I love you all so much. I miss you like crazy. Thank you for everything. I can never say thank you enough!
Your missionary...Wylie Shimai