Sunday, November 3, 2013

Opening a New Area 9/22/2013

Dear Family and Friends,

Konnichiwa!! Since I'm sure all of you are dying to know whether or not I transferred (or maybe its just mom and dad hehe), here it is. I transferred!! And for some reason Heavenly Father keeps trusting me with more and more responsibility because I'm opening a new area! We, Baker Shimai and I, are now in KUSHIRO! Basically Gibbs Shimai switched spots with Baker Shimai. Funny enough, Baker Shimai was with Nanjo Shimai, so now Gibbs Shimai is with her "grandma"! (Kind of confusing with mission lingo but...yeah!) Bastow Shimai stayed in Obihiro and there is now only a three- some there. (As a side note, 3 shimai who have been in an area at least 3 months transferring at the same time is chaos. (Chaos. But we survived and all transferred safely).

So Kushiro! Its about 6 hours from Sapporo by bus and more inaka [country] than Obihiro. It's also right on the ocean. It's also one of the coldest places during the winter in all of Hokkaido. Hurray for me! There haven't been shimai here for about 7 years and everyone is thrilled to have us. Our branch president is American so that's a new experience. Our dendo shunin [Mission Leader] is really funny and his family is really nice. They picked us up from the eki and made us dinner for our first night here. And ohhhhhh my goodness the apartment. This is the nicest place I have ever lived possibly my entire life! It's that nice. It's new and so so so clean. On the downside, other than the few things the honbu [mission home] prepared for us (like dishes, curtains, futons, basics, etc), we are building up the kitchen stock from scratch. It's crazy all the things you need that you don't realize until you don't have them!

The new apartment in Kushiro
On transfer day we had a sister training meeting/shimai taikai. So all the shimai came to the honbu [mission home]and oh my, with 43 of us there were so much chatter, laughter, and high pitched squeals. But it was so much fun! Even the part when I looked at the program/scheduled and discovered that I had been assigned to translate and no one had told me. Translating was surprisingly really fun when I had a little microphone and over half the room listening to me with headphones. It was hard to not be funny ;) Although, I did translate a few things wrong but oh well, no biggie! It was my first time!
Baker Shimai is from Utah and is 22. She is tall and extremely beautiful. We had a lovely welcome to Kushiro when an old man hit on her at the store. I have a feeling that's going to be happening more frequently than before.
We got to Kushiro on Friday night, so Saturday we had a completely wide open day with only housing. So off we went! Miraculously, we met a few wonderful people who listened and we invited a man to come to church. And then he actually came. That is the first time that has ever happened (I think). He had a great experience too! It was kind of funny because I had no idea what was going on or where anything was so I told the choros [elders] to help him out. He said we could come back and visit him and talk more about the gospel. He also said that he would read the Book of Mormon. Definitely already seeing miracles in Kushiro.

There are only 6 missionaries here including us. Things aren't going to be nearly so exciting, especially since our district meeting is over the phone (District Leader lives a few hours away). But that's okay, it will help us focus more. We received a few referrals from the choros and are planning on visiting members so we have definitely got things to keep us busy. Dendo life just keeps getting better and better :)

I think that's about it for news. Thank you for all of your love and support! I love being a missionary and serving the Lord!!


Sugihara Shimai

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