Ohiyo Gozaimaus Kazoku!
I didn't hear that Elder Perry passed away. That makes me really sad.
I don't have anything too spectacular to report. On Tuesday we had to come to the church for Missionary Leader Conference because Cox Shimai is the Sister Training Leader now, and I got to see Lowe Shimai! We did splits with the Fukuoka Shimai and it was a lot of fun. Basically all of the beans who had trainers who are STL's had to just go on splits here in Fukuoka for the day. It was a lot of fun, and it made me really happy to see some people from the MTC I haven't seen in a while.
The best thing that happened this last week was that I had the wonderful opportunity to go through a session here at the Fukuoka temple! It was really wonderful. The temple is such a beautiful place. I love the spirit that I feel when I go there, and there really is nothing like being able to go into the temple and to receive that peace and comfort that you are seeking. It was a really good experience and I felt really blessed to get to go. Not a lot of people/missionaries get to go to the temple, so I felt very special.
We still haven't had anyone to really teach, and it's getting a little hard. I want to be teaching! We have been doing a lot of finding things and it is good, but not quite as rewarding as being able to teach someone a lesson. We did teach a lesson to the Sakias this week and it went really well. We are hoping that they will keep progressing.
Probably one of the best things about being American is that I can get away with being awkward. The best is when you go up to someone and say who you are and put your hand out for them to shake it. It is just this whole new level of awkward that somehow breaks the ice. Haha it's awesome. There is something here called "gaijin power" and it's real. People are either very startled when we stop them or very curious. I am getting really good at stopping people on my bike too. You just ride until you get close enough, then you put your hand out and wave and greet them and usually they stop, and assume you need directions or something. Well, nah, I'm a missionary. But we do A LOT of street contacting. Margaret also asked how many doors I knock. I honestly don't know. If we are housing and trying to get about 30 contacts, that's probably like 60 doors we have to knock to get those contacts. Maybe more. I don't know but it's a lot. Sometimes we do whole complexes, sometimes a few blocks at a time, it just depends.
Probably the scariest thing that happened this week was we had to go into the grocery store and get a few things before we had nothing to eat, so we went it, got milk and a few things and low and behold a spider probably three-four inches big was next to the guy at the register. I'm panicking. I gestured to Cox Shimai and she starts panicking, but she is laughing at me because I'm so horrified, and I'm just sitting there and of course it starts moving towards this little girl and I had this urge to say, "It's going to eat your children! RuN!!" Of course I didn't but we got out of there very quickly. Haha. The spiders and bugs are getting to be quite......... interesting. I've gotten so many bug bites. I'm trying to use the repelant that I have more though so hopefully that will help.
I have been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be a missionary. I often feel like I'm not doing any good. I'm stopping people and talking with them, but I haven't been able to really help someone progress. Sometimes I feel like missionary work here in Japan especially is all about making sure that we are contacting people. It's important also to be teaching and bringing people closer to their Savior, but I often feel that sometimes just meeting the missionaries once, or just receiving the Book of Mormon for the first time, really is a step in peoples progression. There are so many things that you do as a missionary and you want to be doing the right things.
On P-Day we actually got to just stay home and do normal P-Day things, and it was really nice. We haven't had a P-Day for about two weeks now so, that was really needed. I wrote a ton of letters. So hopefully those will be coming soon. We have Lesson Mastery which is, basically, all alone I have to be able to teach a short medium and long length lesson for all 5 lessons. I have to do my first one today, The Restoration short, and I'm way nervous, so pray for me! I love you.
I hope you're doing well. I love you all!!
Keep me updated!
Love, Raines Shimai