Monday, June 3, 2013

Obihiro News 5/27/2013

Dear Family and Friends,

How is it almost June?! Where does the time go? Anyways, Obihiro is wonderful. The weather swings are hard to keep up with (today is 30 C!) but I'm happy its warming up. This week was crazy busy. We had sister exchanges so the sister training leaders came from Sapporo and stayed with us for 3 days. Six sisters in a two person apartment was interesting but it was so much fun. The sisters who came are on their last transfer so it was a good opportunity to learn from them. We also our musical fireside! Evans Shimai really does go all out. There were microphones, speakers, and since she makes CDs of the missionaries singing, there was someone recording the whole thing. It was a full house and it felt like a ballet recital. It was so much fun and was over way too quick but I loved it. I also got to see ward members from Atsubetsu! I was so happy since there were people I didnt get to say goodbye to. Plus I got to see my old district. The fireside was in Sapporo and so we had a 3.5 hour bus ride on saturday to get there. I had plans to study and write in my journal but I ended up sleeping most of the time ha. Since there was no way we could make it back that night, we spent the night in Atsubetsu! I was so happy to be able to catch up with my old companion. We woke up much too early the next morning and hopped on a train in order to make it back in time for church. Needless to say, I was really tired Sunday haha. 

We also had some shocking news. There was an emergency transfer, so our district leader is (ironically) transferring to Atsubetsu and one of the elders there coming here. We were all really disappointed but he will do great things there. 

We also had a Zone training meeting. Except that it was the zone leaders and just Obihiro district. But that was really fun and I learned a lot. I really am grateful for zone leaders and district leaders and all the time they put into serving. I always learn so much! Funny side note, the Finnish elder in my district knows the one Finnish person I know (I met him at BYU). I guess  they're from the same home ward in Finland. Small world!  

I was reading the conference Ensign this morning (I finally got it!!) and I loved the Priesthood session. As I was reading it, I felt like I should talk about member missionary work in my email home. Obihiro ward has something called 'Zion Dendo', where members volunteer and come to the church on a specified night, and they drive the missionaries around to visit non actives. Isnt that great? We did that the other night and although we got lost, it was a really good experience. I think they do it every other month, but isn't that a great idea? We missionaries really can't do much without the members help. Missionaries are such a small part of the ward; responsibility truly lies with the members to be member missionaries and to reach out to their friends and family. As President Uchtdorf said,  "As you lose your life in the service of others, you will grow and develop until you reach the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." How important it is to always serve! 

One last thing. In President Monson's talk he said, "I hope you appreciate the sacrifices which your parents so willingly make in order for you to serve. Their labors will sustain you, their faith encourage you, their prayers uphold you. A mission is a family affair. Though the expanse of continents or oceans may separate, hearts are as one." 

I truly agree with this. I wouldnt be on a mission without the help of people around me. So thank you, specifically Mom and γŠηˆΆγ•γ‚“。Your prayers truly do uphold me as does your support. 

Love you all!!! I'm happy and healthy and having so much fun serving :)

Sugihara Shimai

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