Sunday, November 3, 2013

Of Polka Dots, Birthdays and Painted Nails 10/14/2013


Hope all is well with everyone! Haven't heard any bad news so I'm going to take that as good news :) I cant believe half of October is gone already. Conference, my birthday, both flew by!

My birthday in Atsubetsu was wonderful. One of my old investigators there got baptized 2 weeks ago and although I didn't get to see her, I did get to talk to her on the phone. So happy she got baptized! I also got to see an investigator that Nanjo Shimai and I found and shoveled snow for. She was as genki [happy and healthy] as 86 year-old grandmas get :) The shimai in the apartment and my companion for the day made my birthday special. I woke up to the alarm singing me happy birthday and they surprised me with cake for breakfast. It was delicious :) Plus there was a bag of mister donuts on the desk (my old desk :) ) when I got there. Definitely not the healthiest, but it was fun! That night we had dinner and a lesson with my favorite family there. They have had some family issues lately so things were a little different than they used to be, but it was really good to see the kids again. We had a really good kid lesson with them and that made me happy :) My companion for the day was Nanjo Shimai's 2nd bean [new junior companion], so my "little sister". It was cool to see how much she has grown since getting here (She is the one from Whidbey Island). When we got back from Sapporo, there was a box of chocolate and a card from the choros [elders] in our mailbox so that was nice of them. Plus a member made me cookies. And then today, we got pumpkin cream puffs. So basically, it was a great birthday. (Side note: I feel like a girl again with painted nails. Didn't realize how much I missed it. Mom, you have great taste in nail polish :) My comp even asked to use some, too!) 
Birthday box!
On to more exciting news. We had 2 non actives come to general conference!!!!!!!! They only stayed for one session but we were so happy! They haven't come in years but we invited them to watch conference and they did :) We may have a tiny teaching pool but we are working hard to reactivate the many NAs [non-actives]. We also visited a deaf sister. We had no idea she deaf was until we got there. It was had been POURING rain all day when we got there and she invited us in, dried off our wet clothes, and gave us milk and cookies. Her kindness truly made my week. We communicated through pen and paper and she taught us some sign language. I can now say God loves everyone, church, thank you, etc., in sign language. Basically, I really want to learn sign language now. She invited us back for dinner in a few weeks and we are stoked. She is going to teach us more sign language!  

We are trying to work more with members. As we slowly find out peoples names, we try to visit them as well. Just this past week, we visited a sister and asked if there were any NAs she wanted us to visit. We ended up making plans with her and today we went and visited 3 NA sisters together. We didn't get to talk to them for very long but it was a wonderful experience working with her and her husband. They are both very active, and the kyodai [brother] is a temple sealer. My testimony of the importance of working with members definitely grew stronger today. We are also trying to do more mogi lessons (Japanese practice). Things are different than we expected, but we are working hard :)  

I love dendo [missionary work] and I love this work. Conference was incredible and I feel ready to take on the next 6 months. Scary to think I only have one more general conference as a missionary. So sad! Anyways, Heavenly Father loves all of you more than you can all imagine! 1 Nephi 11:17
In between Conference Sessions
Thank you all for your love and support!


Sugihara Shimai

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