So this week Katelyn sent an email and some pictures! I will post some of the email first and add the pictures after!
Answers to questions:
There are not ANY elders in UBE! It's just us four crazy shimai!!! Within my zone there are probably like 10 Elders. As the mission grows hopefully the president will send us some elders. This isn't uncommon though, our mission has SO MUCH land mass to cover, not every area is going to be able to have both elders and shimai-
We had interviews with the President this last week and he told us that he has THIRTY new missionaries coming next transfer and SIXTEEN OF THEM are SISTERS!!!!!! OHHH MYY GOOOSSSSHHHH!!! This means that I probably going to be TRAINING a brand new BEAN on my third or fourth transfer!!! Don't ask me how in the heck i am going to do that...the Lord will have to really help me out on that one!
Next, on our Pdays the four of us decide what meals we are going to eat everyday and then we go to the store on bikes and go buy everything. Our bikes have baskets on them so we just load the groceries up into that . Sister Eddy LOVES cooking so she hooks us up with great food every day. Our Schedule is the same everyday as far as when we eat goes...wake up 6:30, exercise, start rotating in the shower, while everyone eats breakfast, usually cereal, and then we start our personal study by 8am. We have companionship study at 9 and then we do our 12 week program form 11-12, from 12-1 we have lunch in the apartment and by 1 we should be out the door and on our way DENDOUing! (proselyting) we get back by 8:30 or 9, plan for the next day, make dinner and go to bed!
We eat a lot of Japanese food too, i don't know how to spell any of it so im not even going to try. But we ear rice, veggies, fish, chicken, and fruit. FRUIT IS SO EXPENSIVE here is crazy. So far all the food has been really good though. We went to a sushi restaurant on like the first week i was here and i tried a squid roll and it was so disgusting. Thats the only thing I haven't liked...pretty sure I was chewing on a slimy booger. AHHHH it was so gross!!
UPDATES ON THE LORDS WORK!
UM, where to begin?! We have one progressing investigator right now, Katsuno San, (everyone in Japan goes by their LAST name, older people basically refuse to tell you their names at all unless you really get to know them. And to make it polite you have to say 'San' at the end...its like an equivalent to Americans saying Mr. and Mrs.) But she came to church yesterday and she is loving it! Sister Buhler has given her all the church pamphlets and she has read every single one...she doesn't really understand any of it (haha...nobody in Japan does) but when we brought up baptism to her yesterday she started to cry and she said how she wants to have a "clean feeling" SO WE ARE ON THE RIGHT TRACK WOOO!!! She left for Tokyo this week, but she will be back this Saturday so she will be there for church! We are hoping to commit her to be baptized for July 6th.
Before I got to Japan Sister Buhler and Sister Eddy were out housing one day and found this family of four. They LOVE the missionaries...they don't really know our purpose as missionaries yet, so we are hoping that we can continue to be friends with them, but start introducing them to the gospel so we can start teaching them. We tried yesterday but they were not home. THEY HAVE THE CUTEST KIDS EVER!!! If i wasn't on a mission I would have stolen at least 100 Japanese babies by now. OH MY GOSH they are the cutest things I have ever seen!!!!
Yesterday Sister Buhler and I were out housing apartments and we were in a complex that had a ton of young families within it, which was sort of rare, i haven't seen that a lot since I have been here...but there were like 6 young kids playing outside when we pulled up to the complex on our bikes and they became our best friends! Japanese children, teenagers LOVE LOVE LOVE Americans!!! Sister Buhler and I started knocking all the doors and these little kids followed us to almost every single door HAHA. I took pictures of them, i'll send some if i can, it was great.
Within that area that we housed we met some really heart hardened people...we spent 20 minutes with one lady trying to explain the plan of salvation and she wasn't having it. It was really sad, we were feeling pretty drained from her...everyone was rejecting us all day yesterday. Those wonderful little kids brightened our day SO MUCH, but we were still feeling pretty down...i was at least.
We started biking to another complex and I was fed up with being rejected so I just yelled out to Sister Buhler "THE NEXT PERSON WE SEE JUST NEED TO TELL THEM STRAIGHT UP THAT GOD HAS RESTORED HIS CHURCH TO THE EARTH THROUGH A PROPHET NAMED JOSEPH SMITH, AND THAT THIS CHURCH IS TRUE!! YOU CAN KNOW IT THROUGH THE BOOK OF MORMON!" she was like "okay im gonna do it"!!!! So we stopped the next lady that we saw and this is exactly what happened..(i didn't say anything I just watched her do this, and it was amazing...)
Sister Buhler: "EXCUSE ME" We are Representatives of Jesus Christ..."
Middle aged woman: (as she starts to slowly walk away says) "Oh...no thank you..."
Sister Buhler: "NO WAIT! THIS MESSAGE IS REALLY IMPORTANT! The church of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth through a Prophet named Joseph Smith. In 1820 this young boy, he knelt down and prayed...in his own words this is what happened..."(she RECITED THE FIRST VISION RIGHT THEN AND THERE!) BAM!
The look on this ladies face was pure confusion...but pure astonishment at the same time. She has NO IDEA what she was talking about, BUT everything about her demeanor toward us changed. Its like she knew she just had heard truth but she had never felt the spirit before so its like she has no idea what had happened...we both testified of the message and sent her on her way. IT WAS SO COOL!!! She left and I turned to Sister Buhler and asked her if she has EVER in her life been that bold to someone on her mission and she said no! From that point on I was like GREAT WE HAVE A NEW FINDING APPROACH!!! Lets do this to every single person we see! It was seriously soooo powerful. When she recited the first vision...the spirit was SO STRONG.
Nobody in Japan believes in God. Its so sad. So, we have to start telling them a little MORE BOLDLY that he lives. We are going to do this though reciting the first vision to everyone we see...this sounds crazy because I guarantee that 99% of everyone we are going to do this to have never even heard of Jesus Christ...so when we tell them that his gospel has been restored they are probably going to think "SO WHAT" but i'm telling you there is nothing stronger than telling someone about the first vision. I AM SO CONFIDENT that as we start doing this, Heavenly Father is going to start putting PREPARED people in our paths who are PREPARED TO ACCEPT the gospel immediately even though they have no idea who God and Christ are...all they need is to hear it once though I really believe there are people out there that are that prepared!!!!
So after we scared the heck out of that old lady, haha, we went to another apartment complex and did it to another person...a 15 year old boy came to the door and Buhler shimai didn't even let him talk she just started declaring the gospel! IT WAS THE MOST AMAZING THING EVER!!! JUST AS she was about to give him the Book of Mormon and invite him to be baptized HIS MOM came out of nowhere form behind him and was like "we are already Christian...no thank you"! So let me back up a little...
When Sister Buhler first started testifying to this young boy he had a look on his face like we were crazy and then by the end of it he was ASTONISHED. We KNEW that if his mom would not have come out HE WOULD HAVE ACCEPTED THE BOOK!!!! We both saw it in his eyes! When his mom came out she said that she saw us the other day on our bikes and that she already has a Book of Mormon...and then she looked at Sister Buhler and was like " I have actually already talked to you before, do you remember me?" and Sister Buhler remembered talking to her a while ago and was like "OH YEAH! You said if we ever ran into each other again you would listen to our message!" And the lady was like, "yeah...no thank you though...im sorry..."and that was that. AHHH how frustrating! HEAVENLY FATHER DIRECTED US TO THAT HOUSE!!! And yet that mother still rejected us. The son would have accepted it, i am convinced...Satan is so aware of what we are doing.
But thats ok. He isn't going to win.
There are many other wonderful amazing miracles happening in UBE. I wish I could share them all but I'm running out of time. Maybe i'll start writing letters so I can update you all more on how great missions are!
I LOVE LIFE! I LOVE being a missionary! I can't wait to BOLDLY PROCLAIM IT THIS WEEK! Sister Buhler and I have make this weeks theme a FINDING week so we are going to work really hard and focus all our efforts on finding people!! I can't wait! Expect to hear about miracles next week! Give everyone my love!!!! LOVE YALL SO MUCH!!!
Love, Sharp Shimai