Monday, July 8, 2013
Monday, July 8, 2013
On Monday, July 8, 2013 Sister Johnson wrote:
Hi!! This last Saturday, we had a barbecue with the zone and all the YSA (young, single adults)in the zone, and I swear, it was 110% humidity and the sun was shining so it was like 116 degrees. I got so burned and I have never been so sweaty in my life! Hopefully my body will adjust more to Japan as the weeks go on. I got to have real Japanese food! We had Japanese BBQ, which was amazing. Yakitori. Oishiiiiiii. :) Guess what I ate and loved? Cow tongue! It was delicious right off the grill! So good. So at the BBQ, I got to hang out with one of my friends, Elder Nation! He's from Texas, but his friend Stephanie went to CSU and actually, with the help of Olive and I, joined the church about two years ago now! Elder Nation came to see her in Fort Collins for her baptism, and I totally forgot he was serving in this mission until I got here! And we are in the same zone! How cool is that?! It was so much fun to talk to him and get to know him more. He goes home in February, I think. It was great to see him.
We eat so much rice here, every meal! Haha. And my two Japanese companions eat way more than I do at every meal, it's nuts. This week, the ward members brought us a TON of food! I don't think we have to go grocery shopping for at least two more weeks. They gave us 8 boxes of curry, about 25 tomatoes, about 16 curi (cucumbers), and then a million boxes of pasta and sauce and Oreos and all sorts of other things. Then yesterday, the Akatsuka family fed all seven of us and they taught me how to make giyoza from scratch! I have a lot of time to practice and perfect my stills, so look forward to deliciousness when I come home.
We have one American family in our ward! They are the Browne family. Browne Kyodai is in the military, and they are stationed here right now, but I like them a lot. They speak English with me at Church, which is a nice refresher. This Saturday night, they took us out to an American burger joint, which was pretty good. It feels like I haven't eaten anything besides American food here, which is disappointing. But, I still have 11 and a half transfers to try all the food I want! This week, my companions were eating Nato. Disgusting.
It seems like June really kicked my family's butts, and it's really incredible how much our faith has been tried. I'll be honest, this last week was really hard for me. I got sick first of all, which wasn't fun, and I was just feeling really discouraged because opening an area is really hard, and I was so upset that we couldn't find anyone to teach. I kept questioning myself and saying things like ``why the heck am I here? I can't speak Japanese and no one wants to listen to us. Why bother?`` Yesterday was fast Sunday, and boy am I thankful for the Savior and His atonement. I earnestly fasted and poured my heart out in prayer to Heavenly Father that we might find someone to teach this week, and that I would have the courage to open my mouth and that I would be blessed with the Gift of Tongues. I was sitting during the Sacrament reading Be Still My Soul, because I know it's my dad's favorite hymn, and I read the words ``leave to thy God to order and provide.`` So I said ``Okay, Heavenly Father. I believe. Help Thou mine unbelief.`` To which He responded, very clearly, ``Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Be it unto you as thy faith increases.`` I was overcome by the Spirit, and I felt a little bit of peace. Later in the afternoon, we were waiting outside of KFC (yes, the American KFC) to meet Akatsuka Shimai for dinner and we stopped a man and ended up talking to him for half an hour and he gave us his phone number and wants to meet with us!!!!!! Wow. What an incredible blessing and tender mercy of the Lord. He really is aware of me. For a little bit there, I wasn't sure. But, I know He is. I just have to remind myself. I am so grateful for the Spirit and for the enabling power of the Atonement. I am grateful that I know Jesus Christ and that as I learn more to trust in Him and in my Heavenly Parents, that I will be blessed. They are aware of me, no matter how alone I feel. Life is really hard. It really is. But, with the Savior, all things are possible. I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.
So, on a more upbeat note, guess what? I'm am English teacher here! Our weekly service is called Eikaiwa and it's a free English class open to the public! I teach a beginners class, and a beginners women's class! It is so much fun, and I have had to learn how to speak very simply. It's been great; we have some wonderful non-member students that come, some of which have expressed interested in the Church, so that's always wonderful.
I love my family and friends. I think about you and pray for you constantly!