I am so excited to tell you that God has sent me a MIRACLE in the form of a beautiful Japanese sister named Oseki Shimai!
I seriously get stressed with transfers and eventually felt numb over transfer weekend. Juliander Shimai and I were both sitting in Machida together waiting for our new companions. I had met and seen Sister Oseki before at conferences and she was also on of the sisters Tomura Shimai trained, but I really knew nothing about her. I always thought change was easy for me but yikes transfers stress me out! Haha. Well we made our way to Machida train station and all the time I was wondering how I was even going to find my new companion because Machida train station has two lines and gazillions of people flowing out of it at night, and I hadn't been able to coordinate a meeting spot with her beforehand. All I knew was she was supposed to come in around 5. Well proof that God is on our side, after only about 10 minutes of waiting, Oseki Shimai comes coasting towards us down the hallway with a big red suitcase bumbling at her side. In less then 5 minutes as we walked back to the bikes together, all my worries went POOF! and my heart settled.
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE OSEKI SHIMAI! I cannot even explain what a miracle she is to me! We seriously go together like pizza and cheese. She is absolutely adorable and such a sweetheart and has a can-do-anything attitude. We feel so comfortable and happy with each other. And she is so happy to be in Machida. She's been wanting to come here. I am so humbled God has blessed me with her! And our dendo style is SO similar...we've been talking about goals and things we want to do and 89 percent of the time we say, "What! I've been wanting to do the EXACT SAME THING!" Not even joking! And we jumped right into a busy schedule (thus the delayed Pday) and although it's only been a few days...seriously, I am so happy. And it's fun being the area senior. She has already been such a big help with the investigators she's met...and my worries have flown out the window. And she loves my cooking! Thank heavens. We are very excited for this transfer. :D
Oseki Shimai is 22 and this is her 10th transfer. (Can you believe I'm on 6?) She is from Nigata Japan, and comes from a family of 3. She is an only child. Her parents were both converts when they were young. Her mom teaches English in their home. Her English is great. :) I enjoy her company so much. Honto ni I don't know what I did to end up so happy but it is proof that God is here with me! And she wants to run in the mornings. Yokatta! Pictures coming soon. Another fun thing about Oseki Shimai is that she worked in Koiwa! It was her and her companion that found Sister Sachiko. :D Hopefully we can go visit her together!
We have a lot of things going on with our investigators and many exciting things coming up next month. I am so stoked for Christmas dendo!! If you have any good dendo ideas for Christmas, let me know! Machida is such a special place to me and I hope to stay here for a long time. We are especially praying for Satomi, Fukuhara san and her son and husband. It's amazing as a missionary how your heart gets so full you can hardly sit still and somehow as challenges and experiences weave in and out of your life, your heart changes and grows, and the love keeps growing. Love can sure hurt sometimes but wow it brings us the greatest joys. I believe it is in that love, when we find it, that we truly meet our Savior and our Maker.
Back to last week...I don't remember if I wrote about this already, but going to the temple with Iida Shimai was sure special. The Koiwa Elders and Sisters came too. It's the first time I've seen her since her own baptism, and wow what a miracle to see her enter the temple! I've actually been praying to gain a stronger testimony of the temple, and my prayers were answered. I was sitting on the bench in the font room, watching her do baptisms. About three times in, a powerful spirit flooded my whole being from head to toe and my heart about burst from the warmth and love I felt. And the Spirit confirmed strongly to me how REAL the temple is, and how the ordinances we do there are part of something much bigger then we can even begin to comprehend. What a miracle it is to be a part of this church!
This week to our afternoon kids eikaiwa class...6 moms came! New ones are coming every week. It is amazing how effective it has been so far. It is a fantastic opportunity for young, good families to be introduced to the church. There are also member families that are going to start coming. We are still doing a church message each time but will need to separate soon because it is too big of a group to teach at once, and maybe teach only those who are really interested separately. But still anyone can come to the eikaiwa. Crazy that this just started a month ago after meeting a mom on the street! We are praying to be led in the right direction and to find good families who are ready for the gospel. This brings me to a favor I need to ask...I need English children's books! Ones that are simple but with great pictures that will keep 3 and 4 year old's attention for more then 30 seconds! :) If people are thinking of sending something...this would really help me! Also ANY ideas for activities would be awesome. I'm grateful for my experience with kids, these little adorable Japanese darlings are sure full of life!
In writing this email and thinking over my life right now I feel SO blessed. God is so, so good. And he is real. And his mercy and love are real. Being a missionary has been anything but easy, in fact, it's been SO HARD! But I'll tell you what...blessings really do come after the trials!! And though sometimes day to day life can get tough or dark or when our weaknesses just never seem to fade...our life and all our experiences all have purpose and our woven together to help us learn and become, ultimately, happy. And the best people we can be.
Also I want to hear about Davin! Could you print me and send me his emails sometimes? Not every week but I am wondering how he's doing. :)