Wow, it hasn't been long enough for me to write you too much!
Yesterday was the best day ever!! Our investigator came to church even though she had said that was really too hard before! It was a huge miracle. We were not expecting her to come, and she just showed up! We were so happy! She stayed for the first two hours and then had to go home, but we were so happy that she finally came. We know she has a really strong desire to be baptized and we are trying our best to help her. She is really amazing and has so much faith. If I had the faith that some of these people do, I could move mountains. The other things that happened yesterday is that we have two new investigators! We were able to teach them first lessons and they both went really well. We are really excited to see them progress and fulfill their potential.
Yesterday in general (Sunday) was really great. I kept thinking of the scripture where Ammon says he is boasting in his God because of how wonderful the miracles that he has seen from God. It truly is like that. I feel so very much like that. Whenever something happens, we KNOW it is not our work, it has to be God. There is no way my bad Japanese has anything to do with these people having that strong desire to know God. It is such an amazing feeling to know that God is working through us to bring His children to the truth.
On Thanksgiving we had fake dinner. We actually hadn't even planned to have a dinner, but I bought a bunch of food and the elders ended up making everyone alfredo, so we had fake thanksgiving. Haha. It was really pitiful. But I forced everyone to set the table and put the table cloth down, etc. It was fun to just pretend, but in all honesty it really doesn't feel like the holiday season. Thanksgiving really sets it off, and they don't have that here, so it was kind of weird.
Yes, Mom, they do have Christmas here, but it is not nearly as big a deal as it is in America. I obviously don't know first hand yet, but I have heard that it is a holiday more for couples. Like a Valentines day kind of thing. So, we will see. I know that Christmas is a full day P-Day too, so that will be really nice! Hopefully we get to have some kind of break! :) Also, no, Mom I don't think there is a conference going on. That wouldn't be fun. I think they just want to make sure it all gets to our areas on time. We are WAY too spread out to have everyone come together. I have heard that our mission is one of the most expensive for travel because we have the islands at the end of our mission, also our area is just really big. So, yeah. I hope that is a satisfying answer :)
Okay, let me just be a baby for a second. It has gotten a lot more cold. But I can't even complain. It hasn't snowed, just rained. But when you're riding your bike through the rain and wind and it is like 40 degrees outside, it is cold! I don't know if I will be able to survive this winter. It is not even that bad but for some reason by body is on a "No Cold" strike. What the.. It was kind of chilly in our apartment the other day and I literally had this thought, "Oh, it feels like Moms house." I had my sweater on and my slippers and a blanket. It was weird. But anyways, today at least is sunny. When it is sunny outside it warms up a little bit but it has been really rainy the last few days. So today is a nice break. It looks beautiful outside.
We are going to an all you can eat restaurant today so I will have to let you know how that is ;) It will most likely be extremely delicious. We all have plans to stuff ourselves, so hopefully I don't get sick. My stomach has been kind of finicky lately. Not that that is new, but I have been having to be really careful about how much I eat and stuff or else I just get Dad syndrome and have to stay close to a toilet, or just suffer and hold it all in. I can't just knock on someones door, "We are from this church, can I use your toilet?" Luckily Japan is awesome and has little convenience stores EVERY WHERE. So that's nice. Better to stink up someone elses bathroom than your own. Its a daily struggle. Have I not told you I have had diarrheas since Easters?? But you know, the colder it gets the more you want to eat. So, hopefully my stomach will just deal with the fact that I am ravenous. Bahahaha.
The only other thing going on in my life is that I feel like my language has really plateaued. I don't really know what to do to keep improving. I feel like I have been trying new ways to speak but its like I know what I know and my head doesn't want anymore. Its kind of depressing. Grammar is the hardest. I can memorize words, sure, but memorizing grammar and then using it is another challenge all on its own. If anyone from anywhere doing anything has any suggestions please call 1-800-000-000-HELPSISTERRAINES
This is kind of a boring letter, sorry about that, but I hope you are all still happy and healthy. I pray for you! Hang in there, Christmas time is here! Hallelujah! I have been forcing my companion and I to only sing Christmas hymns when I get to pick. We will see how many times we can get through them all before that magic day finally hits :) Muaahahahaha.
I LOVE YOU Keep smiling.
Love, Raines Shimai
P.S. Margaret, brace yourself. Today, Monday, will be a depressing day. Going to back to school after Thanksgiving is the worst. Its okay. Just suffer through it and it will all work out. ;)