Dear Family and Friends,
I hope you know that I love you all! It's chilly outside (except maybe in Tonga), so please be safe!
Recently we had been thinking that maybe we should let the elders do Sakaniwa Kyoudai's after baptism lessons, because Sakaniwa Shimai seemed to want that. She would ask us things like, "Didn't you say the elders were going to teach the ab lessons?" Well, last Sunday I told her, "We were thinking that from now on it might be better for the elders to do the ab lessons..." And then she said, "Really? No, I think the sisters should do it." ...okay. Sure. We were pretty confused, but on Saturday we went to the Sakaniwa home and taught the Plan of Salvation, and it was really good. It was such a comfortable atmosphere. Their home really is a special place now, and I love being there. We're looking forward to working with the Sakaniwa family more in the future, and we're especially looking forward to when Sakaniwa Kyoudai does baptisms in the Tokyo Temple for the first time!
Since most of our investigators disappeared in the last few weeks, we've found ourselves with a lot of finding time. We've practiced our streeting, our bike dendou, our housing... And we actually found someone while housing! Her name is Sekiguchi san, and she is way sweet! She accepted the Book of Mormon, and it wasn't awkward at all! She even went back into her apartment to get her phone so that we could become facebook friends! Every time people are so open like that, I think to myself, "What is happening right now?! Is this even happening?! What the?!" I love the tender mercies of the Lord!
The format of exchanges have changed (for those who don't know). It used to be that one STL (Sister Training Leader) would stay in her own area and one STL would go to another area, so there would be two sisters in each area, but now the rules have changed. The other companionship will always come to the STLs' area, so there will be four sisters in one area and none in the other. It's really interesting, and makes it so that the STLs don't have to worry about travel and meeting halfway or whatever, but a whole new set of problems come up. The first is the bike problem. We've already solved this by getting two extra bikes from Kasukabe and bringing them here, so now we have four bikes here in Koshigaya. The next problem is that now we need to have twice as much stuff to do. Another problem is that we only have two futon, aka only two beds. Most apartments have several, but Koshigaya just recently opened back up for sisters, so there are still only two futon. We've ordered more futon, but we had to cancel our planned exchange last week because they have not arrived. We received several package slips (saying that we missed a package delivery), and every time we got super excited. "The futon are here, the futon are here!" But every time we were disappointed. We still have yet to receive our futon, and we've decided that we don't have time to cancel any more exchanges. So, if our futon don't arrive by tomorrow, we'll be sleeping on the tatami mat. Woot. Our last problem is that we have to feed two extra mouths... We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. This whole exchange thing is starting to feel more like babysitting...
Lesson of the week: We had more than one lesson, but I just wanted to share a little about this one. One of our (only remaining) investigators, Imanari Yuka, came to game night on Friday, and I had the opportunity to talk with her about the Book of Mormon. She has a Book of Mormon and enjoys reading from it, but she has difficulty applying it. We talked about how Christ taught in parables, and we shared President Uchtdorf's talk “A Summer with Great Aunt Rose" and then we read 1 Nephi 1 together. We showed her a little bit how she could apply it to her life, and she got really excited. She said that now she feels like she can really apply the Book of Mormon to her life. It is always so uplifting being in lessons like that. I know that by reading the Book of Mormon from start to finish we can see all of the tender mercies of the Lord. We can see how He blessed and loved those people, and we can better see how He blesses and loves us. I love the Book of Mormon, and I know it is a true book.
I enjoyed watching the worldwide missionary broadcast this last week. It's a bummer that I was asleep while it was happening. But, I really felt the Spirit, and I am so excited to work harder at being a better missionary.
I love you all! Have a great week!
Love, Crandall Shimai