Dear beloved and missed family across the pond....
Mt. Fuji san says hello.
He is peeking through my window.
Sister Soderborg also says hello. Though her name may lead otherwise, she is %100, bleeds red white and blue, native born, American!
This email is coming to you from my new desk in KOFU. Yamanashi prefecture. As awful as getting a transfer call was for me, my feelings were lightened by the news that I was being sent to Kofu; an area I've always wanted to come to. I heard the fruit is cheap here. :) A little about Kofu...it is a HUGE area because it is in the country. It took about three hours by train to get out here, but the scenery the whole was was absolutely gorgeous. Last night we went to a member's house and as we were on the porch I turned around and was thrilled to see Fuji san peeking over the mountains. The people out here are SO nice!! We were on a bus going to a member's house last night and we weren't sure of the stop, and the bus driver stopped and WAITED for us to call the member's and confirm the stop before continuing on! I couldn't believe it. A little concerned I turned around to see how the other people on the bus were handling the gaijin delay, and was relieved to find them all snoozing away, not caring or maybe not even aware of the situation. People are more relaxed out here away from the bustle of the city. Our apartment is on the third floor of a building that looks like a staircase. The church is across the street. It is such a cute town, and so different from being in the city. Sister Soderborg is from Heber and is HILARIOUS. We were actually in the MTC together for about three weeks. She came one transfer before me. It is so different being with a gaijin, but we're going to have a lot of fun this transfer.
When transfer calls came around the corner, I felt unmistakably how deeply Machida and its people have burrowed into my heart. Leaving was absolutely terrible. I did, however, have some sweet last moments with people there that I care so much for. I have a LONG list of addresses and people that I will keep in contact with the best I can. But now I have to put them all in the Lord's hands and move on to Kofu. They need my whole heart here too.
I came to Kofu right in time for SHOGATSU....New Years. The Japanese people take this holiday very seriously! Almost everyone is on break from work and will be spending the next week eating...and eating...and eating....and guess who's invited!! We have almost strait member visits scheduled every day for the rest of the week. We actually are told not to dendo during this week because people won't listen because it's SHOGATSU. So we are spending almost all our time with the beautiful members of Kofu.
So happy to be here. :) Machida will never leave my heart....but I suspect God is preparing room for the people in Kofu, too.
Will write more later this week when we actually have time for P-day!
I LOVE YOU.
Your Wylie Shimai