Tuesday, May 26, 2015

American Goodies‏

Konnichiwa Kazoku!

O-Genki desu ka? I sure hope so! 

This week... well this week we did a TON of finding. Basically we knocked on doors and talked to people on the street all week. It wasn't too exciting. 

Preaching the word to Anna.

This was the first week of my second transfer, and so far we have high hopes for what we can get done here in Nakagawa before this transfer ends. This is the last transfer for President Gustafuson and his wife, and then we will have a new Mission President next transfer. The transition will be really interesting. I'm just starting to feel comfortable with how things are now, and they are going to change soon!

This week we spent a lot of time on the computers doing online training for the iPads. We had to redo one of the courses for basic use of the iPad, how to control your time and stuff and how to avoid doing things we shouldn't be doing etc. And then we had to do training on the Area Book app! Anyone who didn't have iPads before I really am sorry! This iPad Area Book App looks really awesome. It keeps track of everything for you. All we have to do it keep it up to date and enter in the information. It automatically generates the progress record for us each week which is a real blessing because we spend so much time filling out papers and stuff for those meetings, but once we put in all the information in our area book we will be set! Also, we will have to enter in all of the information in our entire area book which will take a while, but I am actually really excited about it because we are hoping to come across records that haven't been looked at for a while, and maybe we can get some former investigators to investigate again. 

Found the U.S. Mail. . . . .? In Japan? Also, gotta love the "kekko box".

Probably the best thing that happened this week was the following:

Every Sunday morning we have a meeting with the Ward Mission leader. All bazillion of us missionaries and the Ward Mission Leaders. We sit down, we are chatting with a recent convert who is a ward missionary now, just having a gay ol' time, and the Mission Office Recorder comes in and he is carrying this giant bag. I thought it was kinda weird, but we shook hands and stuff and kept talking and then he says, "Raines Shimai." I was kinda like, oh no, what do I have to do? So I said, oh so tentatively, "Yes?" And he brings the bag over to me and says, "I don't know what is in this bag, I think there must be rocks or something, but it's for you." And he dumps it at my feet. At my slightly shocked delight I realize in an instant that this must be the good stuff. Oh yeah. A SUITCASE from home full of good old American things! My mind raced. Oh, what pleasure lies just under the zipper! Squirming all during the meeting, I set the bag behind my chair and dream of the delight that awaits. I had visions of sugar plums literally dancing in my head. I could almost smell the scent of American toothpaste, the idea of maybe some chips or something sent my way. Finally, the meeting ends. We have no time! I stash the bag in the Nursing Room and try to forget.... After church ends, the only thing in my mind is, "WHAT IS IN THAT THING?!" Yes, the time had come. The opening was here. I carefully undo the Velcro strap, rip open the zipper and a haze of familiar scents and colors filled my senses. AHhhhh. Yes. Finally. Toothpaste! Cookies! Chips! Galore! Journal! Chocolate! What could be more! Ah! Yes... It was exquisite. 

Anyways... yeah so we couldn't take it home because we had ridden in on bike, and I still haven't been able to take it home. I've had to take it hope in parts. I actually gave some of it to the sisters here in Fukuoka. Actually, last night we stayed at their apartment because we had to come yesterday and today and just thought it would be easier to just stay over for a night. Yes. So, basically, yeah.  We felt bad kinda being an inconvenience, so I gave them a box of Mac n Cheese and a thing of Pringles and one of the Kitkat bars, and I shared the chips a hoy cookies with them as well. I think I"m addicted to those things. It's so bad. I can just eat like a whole sleeve myself and feel no shame, no regret. Yeah. It's pathetic. Anyways, THANK YOU! You are a life saver! I loved it so much. Can you give me Ed's address? Or something? I would like to send him a Thank you note. It was very nice of him. President came up to me at church, and shook my hand and said, "Did you get your little package?" And just laughed, and then Sister Gustafuson laughed too and said she was really glad I got a package. They are both very kind people. 

(Mom's Note: These are some of the goodies we got to send to Raines Shimai. A co-work of Kenneth's was assigned to visit the Fukuoka Temple and he volunteered to take a package to her and drop it off at the mission office which just happens to be underneath the Temple. We asked her what she would like him to bring and she said American toothpaste. ha! We added a few more things! We filled a small/medium sized duffle bag. It was fun! Kenneth's co-worker was so GREAT about taking all this stuff. He has been a mission president before, so he knows how much it can mean to a missionary to get some comfort/junk food from home!)

This week we had a lot of first appointments, 3 I think, and all three of them dropped right there on their front door step. It was a little discouraging, but we are trying harder and harder to try and figure out what it is that Nakagawa needs at this time. We are working with the members a lot and trying to help the recent converts. Sometimes just helping the members and trying to build up the church where it stands is missionary work to me. I have had a lot of experiences this last week as well, that a lot of the work we are doing is just foundational work.There are so may people who aren't ready quite yet to hear the full message, but we have good experiences with them talking and I think sometimes just introducing them to the church is what we need to be doing at that time. We are trying really hard. We are working with a recent convert/less active and we set some goals with him to go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead, so that's really exciting! I hope it all works out and that he starts putting in the effort that it requires. 

I am so glad that Lillie had a good birthday! It looks like it was a lot of fun! Cooper! Happy Birthday buddy! I love you! Everyone give him hugs and kisses for me!

Well, I have nothing else to say about our week. We had some lessons with recent converts, and gave out a lot of Book of Mormons. Basically everything relates back to Napoleon Dynamite. Yeah. It really does. 

I'm sorry this week's letter is boring! This Saturday we get to go to the temple! YAY! I'm really excited! I can't wait to go and feel that love and peace. I'm trying really hard to learn Japanese still. Yeah. I know. What a shocker. I am not perfect at it yet. 

Also, I took like no pictures this week, so that's a bummer. I have like two I can send but they are on my iPad so I'll see if my internet will start working again. It hasn't been and that's been frustrating. Okay. Well, I LOVE YOU ALL!

Mom, thanks for the pictures of the yard! It looks so pretty! I love our house and the nice green grass! There is like NO grass here. No one has grass and if they do, it's weird, and it's like a strip of it somewhere random. Yes, I miss grass. I love you!!!!!!!

Love, Raines Shimai

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