For starters today I would like to enlighten you on some good solid proof that I am hitting my year mark this week.
Number1# I lost my shaving razors. Guess where Soda Shimai found them a few days later? The freezer drawer.
Number2# I had finished cooking and had already turned off the stove, but kept hearing a sizzling noise. Confused I finally turned to the pan and found that I'd left the spatula in a way that the handle had then melted itself to my pan. Fooo.
Number3# I consider a bowl of warm rice mixed with nothing but canned tuna a delicious meal.
Number4# When people ask what I did the day before it takes me about five minutes of stumbling around my head before I admit that I don't remember.
Number5# I have dreams that our apartment has a heated toilet seat. (It doesn't)
Number6# There are eight devils (one more jumps on each transfer) sitting on me in the morning when I try to get up!
Okay now for some serious stuff! So we had zone meeting this week. For the first time in a while I actually have two American Zone leaders! Anyways, they are both in Machida and informed me that they just set a date with Yuu san. Remember that guy? The Philosopher? I am way excited. Maybe something has finally clicked in that incredible brain of his.
We had another miracle yesterday. In Kofu Sundays are always miracle days! So a few weeks ago we were doing area book dendo and I called this lady named Idonah. She is from the Philippeans and has lived in Japan for 7 years and is married to a Japanese man. She was so thrilled to receive the call from us, and was even more thrilled when we told her there was an LDS church building in Kofu. She promised to meet us there as soon as her work schedule would allow. She lives about 30 minutes away by train so we sent her an English and Tagalog Book of Mormon in the mail. I was able to talk to her a few more times over the next two weeks or so. Finally she got Sunday off and called to say she was coming to church. On Sunday morning while Soda Shimai taught eikaiwa, I hopped into a car with Sister Hosaka to pick up Idonah from the eki. On the way back to the church we were talking and suddenly, to our great surprise, it comes out that she was already baptized when she was 10 years old in the Philippeans! Here we were thinking we were bringing a golden investigator to the church, when she was really a long-lost member! So surprised, but so happy. Later in Relief Society we were in a circle sharing spiritual experiences, and tearfully she admits that since she came to Japan she's been praying for God to help her find the church. Unexpectedly one day she saw LDS missionaries at the train station passing out fliers. They exchanged numbers but nothing happened for 9 months until she finally got the call from us. We are now in the process of finding her records and getting her settled in as a member of Kofu ward. :) She is so excited to come back next week. What a huge blessing it was to watch a faithful sister finally find the fold again!! I can hardly believe sometimes that God is so good as to let me take part in such precious experiences.
I had one of those 'wow' moments today during personal study, where you look back and realize how much has happened in the past year. Something reminded me of something that was very life-changing for me at the MTC. In my deepest desires and hopes to become what the Lord wanted me to be, to be able to give myself and my will fully and completely over to him, he asked me to give him what I was most frightened of giving. That experience was very personal and a huge turning point in my quest to follow God. Looking back to that experience and the ones that came as I went onward into the mission field, I realize that there is something much bigger to all this then just a pile of memories. I am indeed very weak and very human. But my heart is so full because God has blessed me so much. He has strengthened me and preserved me and walked by me as I've faced some of the steepest mountains in my life. The interesting thing is that the steepest challenges for me did not come from outside circumstances, but were rather the monsters I had to chase out of my own closets. I guess I just want to testify that we are not alone. This life is not the end. And if we follow the Savior, our chance for progression will have no end. I am not the best missionary. I still struggle to make the right choice at times. I am still tired in the mornings and don't always talk to the person next to me on the train. I am not perfect. But somehow, that is okay right now. This is the 'becoming perfect' phase, right? So...on we go! As stated by Joseph Smith, '...on, on to the victory!'
Life goes on here in Kofu. :)
Oh!! I almost forgot!! So at this end of this transfer a handful of sisters are going home...which will leave us with 18 sister missionaries in Tokyo...and then guess how many are coming in??????................12!!!!!!!!!!!! Is the math making sense in your head? There will only be 6 of us NOT training next transfer! So since about my 4th transfer there have only been 1-0 sisters coming in and lots more going out. And now they are about to come in with a boom!! We are so excited and nervous and working hard to prepare ourselves for the burst that is coming over the course of the year! So exciting!