My these are strange times! Transfer calls came this morning, and guess what! I'm going to be a grandma!! :D My sweet little Sister Lowry is actually being transferred to a place in Saitama called Kasukabe, where she will whitewash in with a new missionary! There are Elder's there already but she will be opening up the area for sisters. Is that crazy or what? I am SO excited for her! You know only a number of months ago it was absolutely unheard of for a transfer 3 American missionary to whitewash with a trainee. These are exciting times! Sister Linquist will be taking care of Kiryu for me, along with Sister Stubbs from Australia who will be her follow-up trainer, and a brand new little sister! Kiryu will be staying a threesome. I LOVE Sister Stubbs and oh how happy and peaceful my heart became when I heard she would be coming here to take my place. I really feel like she is the perfect fit for our ward and investigators. God is watching over my little Kiryu!
In other news...we were on the radio again on Friday! This time at a big festival and wearing yukata's that the ward presented to us. I'm famous!! Haha okay no not really, but it was fun.
Something pretty awesome happened for my last Sunday in Kiryu...our new African friend came to church! And stayed for all 3 hours and even for the baptismal service afterwards for a girl in the ward. Also I was able to bear my testimony in Sacrament meeting...it was so interesting. Felt a lot different than I'd expected. But good. Actually...there was an earthquake during my talk. NOT kidding! That's just how we do things up here in Kiryu. :)
I wanted to share a parable that I talked about in my testimony yesterday. Sister Long actually shared this with me on the train back from Tokyo this last week.
There was a man who went out to a well behind his house every day for water. He had two buckets. One was shiny and strong. The other was rusty, a bit crooked and had some holes. Every morning he would take his buckets, walk to the well, fill them with water, and then return to his house. The nice shiny bucket always got all the water to the house. But by the time the rusty bucket was to the house, much of the water was gone, having leaked through the holes. Since this is a story, the buckets can talk. One day the rusty crooked bucket said to the man, "Look, I'm no good. I can't even get all the water to your house. I'm broken and full of holes. Look at your other bucket, he is strong and shiny and does a perfectly good job. You don't need me. Why don't you just throw me out?" The man looked down at his bucket patiently and simply asked, "Have you taken a good look at the path we walk on each day?" "No..." The bucket replied. "Well maybe you should take a look."
So the next day the bucket did look, and saw that all along the path from the well to the house, were beautiful flowers. The bucket was speechless. Once the bucket had seen the flowers, the man said, "I know you have some holes and that you're not perfectly shaped. So I went along before using you and planted seeds for you to water. And now look how beautiful my yard has become thanks to your leaky holes."
If God wanted perfect people to do his work, pretty sure he wouldn't have picked me. God is all knowing and even through our mistakes he can create something beautiful. We just have to remember that HE KNOWS. Although we may think our purpose is to 'get all the water to the house' perhaps he has something different in mind for us.
This story touched me so much and I had to share it. :)
Tomorrow, Tuesday, will be my last full day in Kiryu. Wednesday morning I'll be getting on a train to Tokyo and then going through the temple with Iida Shimai. Then we will go back to Koiwa together where I will stay the night. Thursday we go into the mission home! Sister Linquist and Sister Lowry will be looking after Kiryu until Thursday morning but will be coming to the mission home to get their new companions after that. I'm hoping to take a family picture with my grandkids! :D