Sunday, September 15, 2013

It's Cultural 9/1/2013

Dear Family and Friends,

Konnichiwa! Happy P-day! The weather here took a drastic turn. It was bipolar for a few days (sunny in the morning, pouring in the afternoon) and then it just got cold. Like, sleeping in a sweatshirt cold. It feels like fall has already come, which means winter is right around the corner. blah. But on the bright sound, 'Ruugetsu', an Obihiro sweet shop, now has caramel cream puffs! :) Obviously, we have our priorities straight haha. Speaking of which, we had a lovely cultural experience today. We went to the onsen!!!!! [Yes, that's the public bath.]  Kaicho [President] lets missionaries go occasionally so they can experience that part of Japanese culture. And all five of us were on board, so we went. For the first ten minutes the gaijin shimai were all giggling and embarrassed but after that it was fine. We all bonded ;) [Don't worry, public baths in Japan are now segregated.]
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This week we did a lot of memer dendo and finding. We did have a few lessons planned but we were stood up. For some reason our investigators were really hard to get a hold of and meet with this week. Although we did finally at least get to say hi to one and ran into another investigator at the store. It was actually pretty funny. Yesterday we stopped by a store to say hi to an inactive who works on Sunday and while we were talking  to her, we saw an investigator walk by. So we went to go find her and while we were, we ran into another inactive haha. And then we finally found our investigator and chatted with her. We all laughed about how productive our little 'stopping by to say hi' was and realized that the Spirit had been guiding us. 
 In addition to finding, we visited members and shared a clip (from the member missionary work broadcast) with them and talked about dendo [missionary work]. That was really fun and I felt like we added a little bit to their dendo fire. The members here are wonderful but like members elsewhere, aren't really sure how to dendo. So that's why we are here, to help them! I love working with members and am so grateful for them. Speaking of which, we got so much food from them this week. Because the city of Obihiro is inaka [in the country], there are a lot of farmers. Which means the members are generous with the missionaries. We got a box of potatoes, a huge watermelon, 2 bags of beans, a bag of carrots, and 3 huge bags of tomatoes. We are so blessed!!!! I love it.

I found a quote I really like today during personal study. Here it is: Sometimes courage is the quiet at the end of the day saying 'I will try again tomorrow'. (Mary Radbacher, I think). It brought comfort and helped me realize that thinking I will try again tomorrow isn't necessarily a sign of weakness. I'm grateful that I can start over and that I'm not expected to be perfect right away. My two companions are very patient with me and I'm so grateful for that. (Although, the other day I got us lost after going up a giant hill on our bikes, and they weren't too pleased about that haha). Either way, I'm trying to become a better person and while its a veryyyy slow process, I am changing. That's one of the reasons why I love this gospel so much, it really does help us become better people. I love being missionary and being able to take that message of hope and happiness to people. Thank you for all your love, support, and prayers, I'm very grateful!!! Love you!

Sugihara Shimai

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