Wednesday, December 24, 2014

E-mail, 12/22/2014

My dear wonderful family!

Hello from Hachinohe! It is windy and cold here but thankfully the
 snow hasn't been sticking.

This week was very interesting with transfers and all of that. I
 didn't actually get to Hachinohe until Thursday night so I was still in Nagamachi for most of this week.

I don't really know my new area very well yet. It seems very nice from
 what I've seen so far, although I do dearly miss Nagamachi and all the wonderful people there. The temperature is colder and the wind is so strong! Hachinohe is known for its very strong wind and for its community of Deaf people so many of the missionaries learn Japanese sign language. Iwahashi shimai [Sister Iwahashi] is also a sister training leader. We travel and go on splits with the sisters in our zone (2 other companionship). I don't know any of them very well. There are about 20 sisters in our mission right now. We also do training at Zone Conference. My companion has been here for 1 transfer so fairly familiar with the area but still learning. My Japanese is fine, I think, haha.

Monday I was still in Nagamachi with Carr shimai [Sister Carr] so I finished packing
 and the shippers picked up by bags to take them to Hachinohe. Then we had lunch at a recent convert's house (Yokoyama kyodai [Brother Yokoyama]) and in the evening had a lesson with Sato-san (our investigator, Brother Sato's Mom). Felt such great love for her. We talked about the Book of Mormon and she talked about how grateful she is to be learning our message and how grateful she is that she started meeting the missionaries and we both started crying. I love her so much. So grateful. We sang as a bye-bye present to her and took pictures together. I hope we can keep in touch.

Tuesday we went to Ladies' Eikaiwa [English class] and then met Wong-san (PI [potential investigator]) at the
 mall and ate lunch with her. Study. Volunteer. Came home, last companion study with Carr shimai. So sad! 13 people slept in our apartment that night for transfers! Crazy! But it was warm. :D I called Bishop Ishizawa to say bye and he said thank you for writing all those thank you notes to me while you worked her (I had forgotten I'd done that). Wow, they meant a lot to him! I was so surprised, I completely forgot that I'd done that.

Since Holmstead shimai [Sister Homstead] (Carr shimai's new trainer) arrived Tuesday
 night, Wednesday morning Nishikawa shimai [Sister Nishikawa] and I became companions and did personal study and then made sure all the area information was updated together for companion and language study (translating lots of different things and such). Then we went and picked up Stice shimai [Sister Stice] ([my friend] from the MTC!) at Sendai station and became a trio and then ate lunch and then biked and dropped off notes for various people in the area. Then had Eikaiwa. It was so awesome to be there to be able to say goodbye to everybody! I wrote and handed out lots of meishi [business cards]. Abe-san, Cassie, Rei-chan, Brother Sato, Wong-san. They all said they'd miss me and that I should come back and visit. So wonderful to be able to be there to say goodbye. Building bridges. Planting seeds. I want to see them again. Brother Sato said to me thank you so much. We will miss you. But people are waiting for you in Hachinohe. Go find them! Maybe 1 or 2 or 3.

Thursday we 3 (me, Nishikawa shimai, and Stice shimai) went to the
 meeting for all the new District Leaders/Zone Leaders/Sister Training Leaders. We talked about Christ-like leadership and our responsibilities. Sister training leaders are responsible for the training and welfare of the female missionaries assigned to us and participate the in the Mission Leadership Council (once a month). That includes doing splits with the sister assigned to us, giving training in Zone Training Meeting, and calling/texting our sisters every night to make sure they're safe. We report to President Smith. It was a
really good meeting. After that we went and met our new companions at
 Sendai station. My new companion is Iwahashi shimai (Japanese, from Chiba). We bought lunch, got on a bus and rode 5 hours to Hachinohe. Yep, it's far!! By the time we got to Hachinohe it was dark and we walked home and ate dinner. The apartment here is so pretty and big!! I didn't take any pictures of it yet, sorry, but it is SO PRETTY! The genkan [entryway] is on the first floor but the rooms are on the second floor and there are 2 study rooms, a big kitchen, and a bedroom with bunkbeds--with actual beds! What?! And there's just the two of us! (The number of sisters is going down in our mission so all of the sisters[’] apartments are down to only 1 companionship). SO CRAZY!

Friday we had Ward coordination meeting. Then we had an activity
 planning meeting with the District. Then we did weekly planning. Iwahashi shimai is so good at it! So fast! Then we had "Fun Friday" (FHE [family home evening] kind of a feel--we did the musical number). Iwahashi shimai is so good at singing! And she plays a little piano.

Saturday we visited an LA [less-active member], planned Eikaiwa, did posting--and met a
 Buddhist missionary who dendoed [proselyted to] us. Really funny. Then we had Free Family English program with the Ashita family (2 daughters and mom) and taught about Jesus Christ. Then we had Eikaiwa and I taught kids class.

Sunday we sang with the Relief Society in a very normal sacrament meeting. It is so small compared to Nagamachi!! Came back and had lunch. Then visited a PI and had a lesson about the Atonement. Had dinner with the Ueyama couple. SO nice.

I don't know if it's due to the transfer or travel or newness or what
 but I am way tired! And having the traditional bike problems that come when I transfer to a new area. Haha, Bellows shimai [Sister Bellows] just the bike fixer-upper!

I love your insights on my blessing Mom!

I have been able to do the 12 days of Christmas! Very fun!

Well, my dear family, I love you. I am so grateful to be a missionary.
 I am so grateful for the wonderful people that I have been priviledged to meet and work with. And I am so grateful to be a missionary at this wonderful Christmastime! I love the words of 2 Nephi 19:6.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the
 government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

I know Jesus Christ, our Savior and great Redeemer, came to Earth as a
 babe just as each of us did. And like us he learned and grew. And for us he lived his life and gave his life--a life that no one could take from him, a life that he freely gave because of his love for us. Glory be to his name. I am so grateful for my Savior and to be able to celebrate his birth each Christmas. I love Jesus Christ and I love wearing his name every day.

I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Your missionary,

Bellows shimai :)

P.S. I'd love any ideas you have for teaching kids English!

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