Sumo Wrestlers and Sister Staples

Dear family,

Today for P-day we went to a famous Sumo wrestling town in Tokyo
called Ryougoku. One of my best friends from my first area, who I used
to teach, Youchan wanted to meet one more time before I go back to
America so she took us here and showed us around a museum and took us
out to lunch. All the sumo wrestlers  were going there to practice so
we were all coming out of the train station at the same time. I felt
they were all celebrities. They all do their hair very nicely and are
dressed in obis, like a man's kimono.  The smaller are the beginners
you can tell.

Japan is making plans and preparing for the Olympics, woohoo! I saw
some of the pictures of maps of where they are trying to build in
Tokyo.  I don't know where they will put it all Tokyo is PACKED!  I
took some pics on the train to show what its like in Tokyo.  Trains
are very cozy.

 The sumo wrestlers are big, but I think they might be the same size
as many Americans. But since we are in Japan, everyone is so tiny
except for them.  I felt like I was their biggest fan chatting with
them and asking them what they carry in their sachels- very simple
answer-an extra pair of "pants" and water.  The best part was being
with  Youchan and Iyanachan. Youchan I met my first week in Japan.
She was going through a rough time when we first met, and I had just
arrived in Japan, and she helped me adjust and love my life here.
Also my trainer called the mission home to see if she could see me
before I left for America, so I was able to see Kai Shimai today too.
Shes working now as a teacher in Osaka and looks great!  It was a very
special day.

My favorite thing that I saw today in the museum was the models of the
town in the "Edo period" like in the 1600's I think.  Japanese people
are so intricate with how they design things.  The model towns all had
little miniature clay people in them that looked so real, and had
facial expressions.  There were binoculars to look through that I
couldn't put down, all around the exhibit and when you looked through
you really felt like you were there.  I loved it!

Oh, by the way, I have a new companion now, Sister Staples.  She is from
Salt Lake City and she just got here 5 days ago.  I said goodbye to
little Tan Shimai at the beginning of the week and now she is a trainer
in Tokyo!  I'm so proud of her!   She was really nervous to be on her
own, but I know she will be great!  I picked up Sister Staples from
the mission home on Thursday and we have been seeing a lot of miracles
together.  This transfer will be really different.  Utsunomiya has
been the biggest area in the mission for a long time, and we were one
of the only areas that didn't have Elders, just us two Sisters up
here.  So President Budge decided this transfer to send Elders up here
to help us and also to protect us. Yay!

My new companion is wonderful.  She looks like Kiera Knitley from
Pirates of the Caribbean, she is beautiful and has a very strong
testimony. Today I was able to bear my testimony to Youchan and tell
her how much Christ and Heavenly Father love her and know everything
she feels. I got a little sad thinking this is last time I will see
here in Japan for a little while,  and be able to teach her like this
in person.  But I feel grateful for all the special things we were
able to do together.  She said at the end, that she has a black heart,
and that if anything happened to her, please to look after her
daughter because we have "clear hearts". I felt so sad for her that
she is such an amazing woman, but she doesn't see her value.  Such
wonderful people.

This week we were biking and we biked by a woman in all black.  We
knew we had to turn around and talk to her.  So we did.  Her name was
Maria from Peru.  She was waiting for her bus.  We introduced
ourselves and she said shes not usually here in Utsunomiya but that
day she had come here and had just come from the Catholic church to
meet with a priest and try to get some advice on some things, but he
wasn't there so she was on her way home.  She asked what was different
between Mormons and Catholics, and I told her the two big things are
we have a prophet, and we have the Book of Mormon.  She thought this
was great and told us she wants something deeper then what the
Catholics have. We showed her a few pictures of Christ and told her
about what the Book of Mormon contained, that it was probably about
her ancestors and she was very interested and said she wanted to meet
again.  Before she got on her bus we quickly exchanged numbers.  Later
that night she sent us an email thanking us for meeting her and said,
"God is everything to me" and wants us to teach her again. It was a
wonderful experience.

This week we also had the opportunity to teach Yamazaki Kyoudai, who
has been investigating the church for a year now.  They recently
returned from Yamazaki Shimai's brother's wedding in the temple. We
started the lesson off asking about the feelings they felt in the
temple lobby and asked if they would like to go inside together
someday. Yamazaki Kyoudai said he would but he felt there is so much
preparation that needs to happen first. We told him that is exactly
right, that there IS alot of preparation, but pointed out to him that
he is on that road already by being a wonderful father and husband,
and also by taking the steps to attend church. We focused on prayer,
and asked him to look at Lilly and describe how he felt about her. For
the first time I felt like he got a little bit emotional and told us
how much he loved her, and how cute she is. We told him that that same
feeling is how God views him, that he yearns to be a part of his life.
He seemed really affected by this and we promised him he could receive
answers to his specific questions. I really feel his heart is
softening. Sister Staples and I prepared a lot for his lesson, talked
it over, and practiced several times to get the lesson just right.
Then when we went to their home, we really all felt the spirit, and I
know it is because we prepared that Heavenly Father was able to help

Last night we went to the Station and we decided to sing Hymns outside
of there  It reminded me of caroling. Sister Staples was so inspired
to bring an English copy of the Book of Mormon to give away. One
Japanese man dressed in very American clothes stopped in front of us
and said, "what are you singing" and we handed him a flyer. He just
kept asking us so many questions and then told us how impressed he was
that we were volunteering out here. He lives in New York and is
married to a Columbian woman. He said that Japanese people don't like
to disrupt harmony, or the way things are, but they need to change
their thinking. He told us that Japanese people need values, something
sturdy something that has been around for thousands of years-
something like the BIble.  He said that he has read the Bible and has
gone to a Protestant church in America and now he is going to a
Catholic Church because of his wife. He was so interested and we were
able to read the introduction to the Book of Mormon with him. We are
so excited to teach him, and we are meeting him again on Sunday. I
know Heavenly Father is working miracles over here and he is using us,
his imperfect servants to do it.  I always think that is the most
humbling part.  If Heavenly Father wanted he could get all this
missionary work done on his own, but if he did that, we wouldn't
benefit or grow.  It is sometimes a struggle, everyday we have to
renew our testimonies, but I know really really that Jesus is our
brother and Savior, and that the Book of Mormon is true and it is the
witness of the truth.  It is wonderful to be apart of it all.  Even
when I come home I promise to always be on the Lord's errand, it's the
happiest life.

Okay time is up.  I love you!

No comments: