I thought by now I would be able to tell you what is happening with transfers, but we still haven't gotten our call yet. We are really anxious to see what happens. I could transfer easily so that I can be with my "breaker." Or, because Kaicho is leaving this week we could just stay together for another transfer. Or I could stay and Cox Shimai could leave.... it all just depends, and we want to see what is going to happen. If we are staying, we just want to know so that we can start planning for next transfer!
Probably the most exciting thing that happened this week was that we had junkai again. (Splits). Because Cox Shimai is Sister Training Leader, we went on splits with the Shimaitachi in Fukuoka. They are Mills and Stevenson Shimai. Unfortunately, I am a terrible person and didn't get any pictures, so... gomen nasai. However, it was a really weird experience because doing missionary work in Fukuoka is WAY different than being in Nakagawa. Nakagawa is a little town with one main road, more country, and Fukuoka is a bustling town full of busy, fast paced working people, and it was just a different experience. I was with Mills Shimai for the day. She is a transfer 6, and she is always really great and kind to me. We did a lot of street contacting, and we also taught an English lesson to an older gentleman and his wife that she had already set up for us to go and do, so that was fun. We had a good time together. That was on Friday. We also tried "ukulele dendo" which is basically, if you are good at playing the ukulele, playing, and trying to attract people to you that way, but we both were very crappy at it, and that only lasted about ten minutes before we changed our minds. HA.
So, just like Joel and Ray were saying, there is no such thing as like an end on a loaf of bread. I haven't explained this to you I don't think. Also, you can only buy white bread. There is no other option. Just... just the good stuff. It's funny, Japanese people. Also, you can only buy a loaf of bread in a package of 6 slices, 5 slices, or 4 slices. Unless you buy from a bakery and then you can buy what you desire. But it's just all weirdness. I'm over it now, but when we first bought bread I was so confused. And the slices are all huge! Also, for some reason, Japan has a lot of REALLY good bakeries, and... I'm surprised I haven't gained any weight. Let's just put it that way.
This last week, one of the families here in Nakagawa took Cox Shimai and I to see the fierflies!! Apparently they are really rare to see, and you have to catch them at the right time, like, the night before you know a big storm is going to come in, and they took us down to the river and we saw them! They were SO CUTE. I wanted to get better pictures, but the only good one I managed to get unfortunately only shows one little light, but there were TONS of them. They were all over the place down there. And they were really easy to catch! They were so cute, and really, while we were looking at them, I just felt how wonderful God's creations are around me and how great and wonderful it is that we are alive, and that we have this chance to change and become better and to really enjoy life. What is the purpose of life if we aren't meant to learn, and to grow, and all of that learning and growing leads to happiness. I can feel myself changing every day. Hopefully for the better. I can feel my resolve changing, my desires are different than they used to be, and I can't wait to see who I can become. Really, life is such a wonderful gift! But yeah, the fireflies were a really fun treat!
My allergies are getting a little better. On Sunday, we went to church, and two of the elders, the Zone leaders came up to us and were like shaking our hands, yada, yada, and they both just looked at me, kinda stared for a second and finally one of them said. "Woah, what's wrong with your eyes?" From there I had to explain again that I have allergies. And the other elder goes, "Uh.. I have allergy medication at my apartment, do you want some? We can go get some for you." He was obviously concerned. I explained that I had eye drops and that hopefully I would be able to find something at the grocery store for it later, and it was kind of left at that. Well, right as we go into sacrament meeting, they come up to me, had me a box of allergy medication and were like, "I hope this helps!" and walked off. Haha it was pretty funny. They were concerned enough to go home and get me that medication. So two things learned. I looked terrible. Not one of my best moments. And two. Sometimes people do nice things even when you don't expect them to. It was good! And so far it has been helping! But I await your package with much desire mom! :)
We are still on the "finding" side of things in Nakagawa. We had a first lesson with a really sweet young mom, but she wouldn't set a return appointment, so we are really hoping we can get that set up with her in the future. Things just keep going on and on. There isn't a stop to the work. We try harder and harder every day. We really have that desire to teach and to help people come closer to Christ, and we aren't quite seeing the fruits of that labor yet, but we are willing to keep trying and doing better and working harder. I am trying my best to turn my focus outward. It is really easy to think about yourself. It is really easy to slip into the mindset that this is for me, this is what I'm doing, this is how I feel, but it really doesn't matter what I think or feel. What matters is that I'm in the place that the Lord wants me at the right time. It's really an interesting transition. Being a college age student, with everything going for you, you tend to be focused on "me" and this has been a real eye opener. I'm learning a lot of patience, unfortunately :) Patience never was one of my strong suits. But I'm holding on, and learning and doing my best to prepare for the day that we have the chance to really teach and help people to grow.
I hope you are all doing well. Is Jenny and Laura still at the house? How is Scott and McKenzie's plans? How is Lauren and the kids? I didn't get any pictures of them this week! When is Lauren going to have #3? Any plans for the 4th of July? Any plans for the rest of the summer? How is MARG. How is everyone?! Mom, how are you feeling? I hope you're doing alright. I pray for you every day.
I sure love you all. I hope you are all having a good summer and having a good time planning together and what not. I love you so much!
Love, Raines Shimai