Well, I'm happy for Scott and McKenzie, they look real happy. Please send me more pics. I feel gypped! No one sent me a picture of the ring! Also, please send me a picture of the apparently "marsala" suit Scott picked out. Should I be frightened? Mom, thanks for telling me about Laura, I pray for her often. Do you know if she has gotten any of my letters? I have sent about three now. I sent her one last week for her birthday, so maybe she will get that. Lauren, your kids are cute as always! I loved the pictures of Juana and also of Lillie! So cute! She is getting really big and grown up! I love you all to pieces! I am sorry you found a giant spider on your bed at the hotel, Marg, but trust me, I see giant spiders every day. Also, giant bees and hornets and other weird things :) That is pretty horrible though. Isn't it funny that a spider can scare 4 adults into getting out of there "as fast as we could?" :) I love the pictures you sent! I want to see that place some time. I don't really remember the four corners either, so I'll have to go back again too.
Well, this week was good. On Thursday, Cox Shimai and I decided to try this really sketchy PI, because she had told us that she might be interested, that her husband was Christian, and he was from Costa Rica, and they pray every night, but she wasn't religious. Well, so we decided to go and try it out. We prayed really hard that we would be able to talk to someone in the house and that if anything that we could just set up a return appointment. Well, we went and we were both nervous because we really wanted to teach this family. We went up to the door, and it was the husband who answered. Let's just say talking with a person who isn't Nihonjin is way different than talking to someone who is. He was laid back and very kind and I wished so bad that I spoke Spanish! He speaks Japanese perfectly though, but I wished that I could speak to him in Spanish! We used what we knew, "Hasta Luego!" And that kind of stuff, but I literally couldn't remember some words in Spanish I know I've known at some point! AH! Japanese! It took me ten minutes to remember, "gracias" oh my. Well, so they aren't investigators yet, but we have an appointment with them this weekend and we really want to help them become investigators. I am really excited about it. That was a huge blessing. Actually, to be honest, and this is probably not a good missionary thing to do, but I was thinking about Nacho Libre during the whole contact trying to remember any Spanish from that, or just the Spanish accent to help me remember words :) HEHEHEHEHE Guilty pleasure.
Other than that we keep getting "kekko" which means basically like I'm fine without it. Well, we had interviews yesterday, (I passed, WHOOO! :)) and we were counseled to start finding different activities to do in Nakagawa. Nakagawa is a very special area. It is full of the young families that are ideal for teaching, and there are a lot of young people, and it's an awesome area and we are thinking we might have to do things differently than we normally would in another area. One thing we think we might start to do is having a childrens English class so we can get to know the moms, get a good word out for our church etc. And we have some other ideas... Acutally, as a slight favor, could you send me some good children's rhymes from the mother goose book? Over email is fine. Just the good ones? Maybe like 10-20 good ones? Is that too much to ask? We haven't officially started it, but we want to be prepared, so that would be awesome. Also, Lauren, if you have any good games that might be useful or any papers you could scan and send, would you do that for me? That would be wonderful. We are really excited to try it out. We have Eikaiwa (english class) right now in Fukuoka, but maybe starting up a smaller one in Nakagawa will be really useful. That is something that I can do too. I can teach English to small children :)
We also had junkai this week, or SPLITS. So, basically I am still really bad at Japanese, and the other sister, Nohagi Shimai is only on her first transfer, so of course we got put together. It was basically a whole day of not knowing what we were doing, but it was fun anyways. We got to know each other. I literally asked her every single question I knew to ask as far as how to get to know someone. It was an interesting experience. We had fun having them over though, so that was really good. I really love the Nihonjin sisters. They all work so hard and are all just such good examples of what it is to be Christlike. Then I'm like this American who like is always late so we are riding our bikes as fast as possible down little roads and up the busy streets, hahahahahahahahahhaha I love to be American though it's actually fun. Actually, on Sunday we went and visited a lady that Kawamura Shimai and Cox Shimai found on junkai and we set up an appointment with her, but she had like all of the neighborhood girls at her house and they were just like staring at us and asking questions. The chances of seeing gaijin in Nakagawa are slim, so sometimes children are really shocked. I also get a lot of grandmas who like to touch me. I had one the other day say, "You just look like a doll" and was like touching me. It was kinda scary. I don't know why people like to touch me. It's the same with dogs and cats. I'm the last person who wants to hold someones dog who I'm not sure how clean they are, or what not, I'm not a touchy person either, but they all like to come to me. Do I just smell like something that dogs, cats and grandmas all recognize? I don't get it. Oh yeah and this last week for district meeting we were talking about how we can all create success so we played with clay for a little bit and I made a masterpiece.
We had the opportunity to attend a member baptism for a family here in our ward. She is eight and really cute! The family actually lives here in Nakagawa and we talk with them a lot. It was a very sweet, short service, and it was fun to see how the church is growing. The gospel is really beginning to take root here and it's being passed down through the generations. I really love to be an eye witness to the miracles that are going on here in Japan.
On Sunday, a very sweet member we get to work with, gave the lesson in relief society about looking at our strengths and weaknesses and really trying to find ways to utilize our talents to help others and to recognize the good that we are. It was a really good lesson. She passed out a paper with questions that said, "What are my strengths and weaknesses? What can I do to improve? Who can help me? What resources do I have? How can I use the talents I do have?" It just made me take a step back and say, you know I'm not perfect, no one is perfect, but there are things about each of us that are unique, and we are all God's children. I feel more and more every day how important and precious each and every soul is to our Heavenly Father. I really can't explain the love I feel when I am telling someone that they are God's daughter, or God's son. I love it. It's real. This gospel is true. It's just good to always try to improve but to not beat our selves up over it. Take what we have to offer and make it even better, try a little harder, do all that we can. If we are doing our best every day, the Lord knows, and He loves us for trying our hardest. Thank you for the quote you sent me also, Mom, I need to always improve, and it was a great quote!
Well, as we try and figure out what it is that we need to do here in Nakagawa we are becoming more excited and hopeful for the prospects of this area. It's a small thriving area, and we love it to bits. I love it here. The people are all so genuine and kind. I really can't imagine a better place to have come first. It really is a blessing to serve. I sometimes wake up and think, when am I going to be able to sleep in, and I realize that wont happen until I come home, and I really just feel the strength from the Lord helping me a long. I know He helps us all every day to do what we need to get done. There are miracles around us every day, we just have to look! I love the talk that Bishop Causse gave from the last conference. Look it up if you have time! Don't lose sight of the miracles that are around every day!
Well, things are eventful at home, and I'm happy that they are. It's so fun for me to be able to hear the fun things you are doing. I sure love you all. I think of you often and pray for you, and hope everything is well. I can't wait to see more pictures from home of Scott and Kenzie and all you lovely peeps.
HAVE FUN WITHOUT ME.