We received transfer calls on Saturday morning. Sister Long is transferring one area over and whitewashing with a new missionary. Sister Lowry and I are staying in Kiryu...and getting a daughter/little sister!! Since the mission is splitting he's already picked our companions, so I even know her name. Sister Linquist from Springville, Utah! We will be 3 Americans wandering around our little Kiryu land!!! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
I was thinking that if Sister Long transferred I might get another trainee....but I was expecting her to be Japanese....so this is a big surprise!!! She is flying into Japan on Tuesday night, and we will go pick her up Wednesday morning! :D
I'm not sure what God is thinking...pray for me and my girls! Oh I hope I can just love them and watch the love of God for these people grow in their hearts and shine from their eyes! I also hope I can keep track of two fiery new missionaries....I was leading on the bikes the other day and going over a bridge, wind blowing in my hair and feeling pretty good about things. Then a voice from close behind me yells, 'Hey, Grandma! You okay up there???" HAH! I got called a GRANDMA!
This past week feels like it didn't even happen it went by so fast. Lowry Shimai was lucky...she had a mom AND a dad for a week! And next week she gets a little sister! We're a big happy family over here. :) Except dad transferred to Oyama a few hours ago...whoops. Yesterday Long Shimai was asked to bear testimony in Sacrament meeting, and as she was talking I was just sitting there shaking my head, wondering how in the world we've already been here together for two transfers, when it feels like just last Sunday we were bearing our first testimonies to the ward together. It still hasn't quite hit me yet that she is gone. We just came to Kiryu! How could she been gone already? Absolutely blows my mind. We're going to miss her here. Especially her kanji reading and cooking skills. ;) Oh Long Shimai! I'm not sure what they are thinking putting me in charge of everything here...but at least I'll have two young ones to keep me running. Seriously I thought I was pretty fast on a bike until I put Sister Lowry in front of me....Sister Long and I were huffing and puffing behind her all week! What am I going to do when there's two of them?? They'll leave me in the dust.
We have some exciting things going on here in Kiryu. See out here even though there are still lots of buildings, you can go 20 minutes walking without passing a single person to talk to. We've had to get a bit creative in order to make new friends. Our ward mission leader has been working hard for us and got us into a radio station, where a few weeks ago we began talking about doing some type of regular broadcast. Brother Yasuda (the WML) apparently went to high school with them all. A lady in the studio noticed us and told him to bring us back to talk to specifically her. She was fascinated with us and the church, and we are scheduled to have a live interview in a few weeks. You'll be able to look it up online. ;) Lowry Shimai was a bit worried about the Japanese, but the lady just told her she can speak English and I can translate.... 0.0 Not sure if they are going for educational or comical here, but at least we're getting noticed. Another person from the radio is getting us set up to do short English classes live on the radio to advertise our church English classes. They are going to bring in college students and we'll teach them on the air. Not quite sure what we've gotten ourselves into yet...we're making some history though!
On Wednesday Tomura Shimai (Jenna's trainer) came to Tokyo to go to the temple, and we also met up with Iida Shimai. They called me and I was able to talk to Tomura Shimai for the first time in almost 10 months. One of the first things she said was, "Oh...Wylie Shimai...you speak Japanese!" hahaha. Good! She is getting married this fall and then has plans to move to New York for her soon-to-be-husband's job. Good excuse for me to take a stroll up to NY? I think so! Anyway it was really fun talking to her again after so long. If she can she might come up for my last temple day next month.
There is much to be done here! I am so grateful that I get to stay. This is my home right now. Please keep praying for me and my girls! Sister Long and I are both still sister training leaders...but we're now working separately and have different sisters assigned to each of us. Since I will have two companions, I will occasionally leave them to work together in Kiryu while I go to another area and work alongside the shimai there. Should be an adventure!
Thank you so much for your love and prayers. I FEEL THEM SO STRONGLY HERE!