So yesterday we only took about half of a Pday so here I am again! :) I have wonderful, WONDERFUL news....Ida Shimai passed her baptismal interview!! :D :D :D Her baptism is scheduled for this Saturday at 2:30. I AM SO HAPPY FOR HER. What a miracle. Did I mention I met her my first night in Koiwa? It was her first time coming to Eikaiwa...and my first time teaching it. And now she will enter the waters of baptism. So so special. She is such an amazing spirit and I am so proud of how far she has come. Thank you so much for all the prayers on her behalf. Thank you thank you thank you. I love talking to people about my family. Ida Shimai always loved to hear about you, and was especially surprised when I told her you thought she looked like an angel.
Another happy note....Kanari san has a baptismal date. September 1st. We are very excited for her. I also just found out today that she was first found over a year ago by none other then Tomura Shimai and her trainer. At the time she wasn't progressing and eventually the missionaries had to let her go for a while. She was off and on for a few months until Derricott Shimai found her again and started working with her, and ever since she has been slowly progressing and has wanted to be baptized. Honestly she is very easy to teach. No hard questions, no deep delving into doctrines...she easily accepts the commitments and humbly tries to do her best. I am blessed to be able to work with her in this stage of her life. At the end of our last lesson (the one where I told her God cleaned the earth for us) we asked her to pray at the end. Surprisingly she was hesitant at first because she felt embarrassed and shy about her prayers. But with a little insistence she agreed. I wish I could write more beautifully how I felt when she prayed, but for now all I can say is...God was listening. I am not one to shed tears often during spiritual experiences, it's just not my way, but I couldn't hold back a few tears as I felt the spirit enter the room when she prayed.
So during my time in Japan I have slowly lost my fear of cooking with no recipes. I made the most amazing Nesquick chocolate cookies in our tiny microwave oven! And just recently I tried orange/craisin cake. I put in too much egg but it was a worthwhile effort. There is a lot more treat-baking and card-making in missionary work then I anticipated!
Last night we had a dinner appointment with Lieutenant Shimamura. Lieutenant was in the Japanese army for 32 years. Every month he has two of the elders and the sisters come over for dinner. He is such an interesting fellow. He has been coming to Eikaiwa and feeding the missionaries for over 30 years! BUT...he is not a member. He absolutely loves the church and the missionaries but declares that he can't become a latter-day saint right now. He just wants to be a 'supporter of the church.' He is turning 81 next month. Before going to his house he told us to be sure and bring our meshi (business card, all the missionaries have them). To my surprise, when we arrived he pulled out a big container absolutely full of meshi's! Haha I think collecting them must be his hobby. The very first missionary he ever met was Elder Baird....who is now a mission president in Nagoya! He has read the Book of Mormon 4 times. People like Lieutenant puzzle me but we have hopes that someday, perhaps sooner then later, his heart will change and he will be ready join the church.
So I love you all to pieces!!!!!!! By the way there is actually wildlife in Machida. We have a lizard I have named Larry that sits on the wall outside our apartment every night after dark. Sometimes he has a date. And we also have massive bugs flying around. Sister Takei absolutely despises them. I think they're pretty cool. I'm still waiting to see a gokiburi in our apartment, but no luck yet....
More to come soon! :)