Wednesday, September 4, 2013
September 2, 2013
On Monday, September 2, 2013 Sister Johnson wrote:
The weeks are starting to go by faster, and for that, I am grateful! That means that I am finally starting to lose myself in Japan. I am growing to love it here more every day, especially as my ability to speak grows. My ward mission leader gave me a huge compliment a couple of weeks ago that totally made my day. His name is Kajihara Kyodai, and to be honest, his Japanese is IMPOSSIBLE to understand. So, I told him that as a joke, and we all laughed. Afterwards, he pulled me aside, and said, in Japanese, "Sister Johnson, I am amazed by how well you speak Japanese. I really think you are a genius, especially with language. You will be so good!" Needless to say, my heart soared. That was a great tender mercy from the Lord, one that was much needed and very timely. It's amazing how that happens--how, when in our greatest time of need, our Heavenly Parents send us something that lets us know They know. I absolutely love that, and I am so grateful that they are looking out for me.
This week, all of our teaching appointments fell through, but we were able to visit and build relationships with so many members! We have recently divided the Izumi area with the Elders (which was my idea, by the way), and it is amazing how effective it has been for visiting members! We have been able to visit and get to know so many people in the ward. One of the members we visited was Kumagai Kyodai. He's about 45ish and lives by himself in a small apartment. We went to visit and stood in the genkan. He proceeded to tell us the story of his conversion, and it was amazing the Spirit that was surrounding the four of us. It's times like that that I really love being a missionary. Seeing the beautiful change in people that only Christ can bring about is absolutely incredible, and it brings my soul so much joy.
This week's English class was especially fun! I love teaching English here. I am learning that I have a natural ability to teach and to connect with people, and Eikaiwa is one of the best places to use that gift. This week, we had 11 students in the class! That is huge! Usually we only have four or five! Also, President and Sister President Rasmussen surprised me by coming to my class! It was so much fun and the students were so enthusiastic as we learned about shapes and colors. I loved watching them all learn and stretch themselves in English. Afterwards, both President Rasmussens told me how great I am at teaching, and how usually they have some things to improve upon when they visit Eikaiwa classes, but they told me that my class was absolutely fantastic and to keep doing what I'm doing! Yay! That was great.
It's AMAZING how trustworthy Japanese people are! This week, I left my scriptures on the bus, and I was so devastated because I thought they were lost forever, like they would be in America. So there was lots of tears and sadness, and my companions thought I was crazy reacting that way. Long story short, everything people find on the bus makes it to the lost and found center in Sendai. Nobody steals things here, EVER. I was absolutely amazed as we made our way to the Sendai station to get my scriptures back, and everything was there, and it wasn't a big deal at all! I was so grateful for that. I was so sad to lose them, but Nihonjin are incredibly honest in their dealings with their fellow men.
I am grateful for the opportunity to serve here in Japan, even though the last five months of my life have been the hardest I've ever experienced. It's amazing the things that I have learned about myself and about my Savior, and I am grateful for the opportunity to commit myself to change. I'm still me. I still think the same way and have the same opinions, but I am slowly but surely becoming the woman my Heavenly Parents and Savior would have me be. They are always aware of me, and I can feel Their love all throughout my days. I am grateful for that.
This week, I was brave! I tried two new food things that I wasn't expecting to try! First, I tried umeboshi, which, according to my Japanese dictionary, is an apricot. But it does NOT taste like one! It's a bright fuschia color, and it's pickled, so it tastes like a pickle, but a really weird and sour and bitter bright pink pickle. It was so odd. But! I got it down and was glad! The next day, I ate a raw egg over rice with shoyu (soy sauce)! That was delicious! Nihonjin eat raw eggs almost every day, so I decided to try it. The texture was way weird (that frothy texture an egg gets when you scramble it), but it tasted good! Afterwards, I only got a LITTLE sick, so that's good. I have resolved to be brave every week and try one new thing! I hope that I can follow through with this! This week might be nato... I haven't decided yet. Scary! It's amazing how healthy Japanese food is! I think I've lost about 15 pounds here, at least. I am looking and feeling very good.
This transfer and training are almost over, just 14 more days, YAY! I can't wait. We'll see what happens... maybe I'll get shifted to the great cold north...
Well, there isn't much else to report. It's really hot here, and for the first time in my life, I have acne! It's from my helmet, and it really sucks. But, shoganai! (c'est la vie).
I love you Momma. Thank you for the letter about Grandma Duncan. I love that woman. I can feel her every time we go to visit Fukutsu Shimai, a little 88 year old woman in our ward. Grandma Duncan is always standing right beside her when I am there. They are great friends, those two. :)