Hello my Family!
This has been the strangest thing I think has ever happened in my life :)
Remember the night I got my mission call and Chelsea texted me and said...you are going to eat with chopsticks!...and i turned to mom and said...is that a real thing? or is that like the olden days in japan?....and mom said...court.you are going to a foreign country!
Well folks. I am in a foreign country.
Japan is exactly how Japan should be! And it is wonderful! Its crazy! I am in the Izumi area near Sendai. I have an absolutely wonderful companion...Kubota Shimai! She is so kind and such a good trainer!
Here are my first thoughts of Japan that i wrote in my journal: as I was walking off the plane after our 13 1/2 hour flight (it all kinda blurred together)...the first things were that the vehicles in the airport look just like the japanese cars in the movie Cars! Then i looked at the sky and saw the pink clouds in the sunset and it looked just like at home.
The Japanese culture is so interesting. Its going to take some getting used to. They are so kind and respectful...almost too much. I:m just a small town girl from Utah and i feel a little awkward! oh well, awkward is good.
So...when you go to a different country...everything is...different. The people are different, the language is different, the smells are different, the food is different. Surprise! The food is acutally a lot harder than I was thinking it would be. We eat rice at almost every meal. and yes we eat with chopsticks. Chopsticks and tofu are a difficult matter. I sleep on a futon! I love it!
The second night I was here at 2:30 in the morning this loud alarm and light started going off from my companions phone. There had been an earthquake in another city and it was an after shock warning. My companion pulled the chairs out from our table...but everything was okay and no aftershocks so we went back to sleep!
The weather is great! It actually hasnt rained yet. A little humid, but it feels good. We have a nice apartment with a running hot water and everything we need. Our toilet is just normal, but when we were in one of the japanese airports, me and Orr shimai went to the bathroom and there were lots of normal toilets and one squat toilet...i took the squat toilet! :) Things worked out okay.
We are in a really big ward (for Japan) and the members are so sweet! Yesterday, the new missionaries shared our testimonies in church and then me and my companion also taught sunday school about prayer.
My first evening with my companion...I found myself teaching English class in our church to a little group of Nihonjin! They just throw you right into the work!
Yesterday, Kubota shimai and I were headed home from church and we started talking to a man. We ended up going to a park and teaching him a little lesson and introduced him to the book of mormon. he was very grateful for it and we have a lesson with him on wednesday! it was an amazing experience and we are so excited! we have a total of 3 investigators right now!
I love you all so much! These first few days have been really overwhelming and sometimes i feel normal but sometimes its kind of like an out of body experience. Today i was practicing teaching about missionary work to my companion (just in english) and I was sharing my testimony and then started to tell her why missionary work is important...and i just started crying. This whole mission has been a hard experience, a lot weirder and harder than I thought. I:ve been wondering if I really know if this is all true. But I said to my companion....this is important, because this message is so important. (it doesn:t really sound profound) but I really felt the spirit in my heart...like...yes this message is SO important to me, and court your okay, you love this gospel and this message.
I learned one day in the scriptures that it is okay to believe in what you were taught to believe, just like the 2000 stripling warriors. it not like you have to start from square one and have a doubtful heart in order to become converted and know this is true. I have the gift to believe and our family grew up with the gospel and ive just always believed it! I want to KNOW know. But it takes time. And for now I know I believe. And there are some things I do know. I KNOW God is real. I know He is my Heavenly Father and I know He answers my prayers. I will never ever deny that
I love you my family! Forever and ever!
Love Kingu Shimai