Konnichiwa Kazoku! Alrighty here we go, trying out this iPad email thing.
Well, definitely the best part of my whole week was getting to Skype! I loved seeing you and looking at your happy faces, and knowing you are all doing well. I really loved getting to talk to all of you, and hope that you had a good rest of your Mother's Day. This past week has been a weird blur. We had a lot of things come up that were a little discouraging. We had a Less Active we were working with who we ended up having to drop because of some issues, and we were really bummed out about it.
I got your package!
On Tuesday, we had Common Sense Dendo training, which is basically tips on how to be better missionaries when contacting. It was actually pretty good, and I learned a lot. They had good ideas about how to break people's barriers and help them to trust you, because we aren't trying to be scary at all, we really just want to help people in the small ways that we can. I learned how to stop people on the bikes better
and before it was too late for they just keep riding off, so thats a good
skill to have. On Wednesday, we had Zoo Dendo again which means we just kinda played games and talked to people and let them know who we are and invited a lot of people to the BYU Wind Symphony that is coming this weekend. Mom, people LOVED the photo booth things you sent me! We found a blank wall that we just set up some things on, and then if they wanted a prop they could hold it. I don't have a picture, but another Sister does, and when I get it from her, I'll send it to you. So, thank you so much! Wednesday was busy too because we taught a lesson to Haruka Chan, a recent convert, about commandments, and then right afterward we had Eikaiwa. So we had a busy day that day.
The photo booth.
I got desperate. Yes, this is ketchup and mayonnaise.
Thursday was weekly planning, so not too much happened that day, we tried to walk and contact and that was a nice change but the muscles you use for biking verses walking are slightly different so we were pretty tired afterwards :) Saturday we had another baptism! Another set of Elders had a baptism! It was so exciting! I love to see how happy people are after they are baptized, and to see how wonderful they feel. New converts are like babies to me, they still have a lot to learn, but they feel so happy and clean and innocent. It is a great blessing that we get to take the sacrament every week to feel that same forgiveness and hope. I have been studying a lot about the sacrament and why it is important to attend church, because that's the hardest part is getting people to church, but as I study it, I realize just how important church attendance really is. To have that chance to renew those baptismal covenants and start over every week really is a privilege and a blessing. I know in my life I have been able to utilize that forgiving power of the sacrament, and also the part of the Atonement that allows us to feel hope for something better. I just hope that I can help others to understand this meaning as well as I have come to find for myself. On Mothers Day, we had church and all that great stuff, but we actually went to visit someone in the hospital. It was a lady I had never met, and Cox Shimai had only met her once, but she had called and asked us to come visit her, so we did. We sang her some hymns and shared Ashley message with her and just talked with her a little bit. It was really interesting. The Japanese medical care is something else. Literally. It is way different than medical care in the States. Yesterday, was P-Day, and, like I said, Skyping was the best! You had great questions to ask me! I was really glad we got to have the time that we did. I felt very blessed. But, of course after that we did some retail therapy and went to the mall which was HUGE! It just grew and grew and we were astounded. We got kind of American pizza, and I got a new shirt, and I also bought "room pants" which are basically pants to just lounge around in. They are way comfy... Ah :)
This was my retail therapy. My "room" pants.
Well, that's all I have for this week. I sure love you all. Mom, thank you for your encouraging words. I I can feel your love all the way here in Japan. You are amazing and I love you. Please take care of yourselves, you have given me more courage and strength than you can imagine you have. I love you all, and Lillie, HAPPY 4TH BIRTHDAY!!! I hope you have a fun party!! I love you!! Raines Shimai