Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Monday, August 4, 2014
On Monday, August 4 Sister Johnson wrote:
Hello friends and family!
Well, the rainy season is officially over here in Sendai and it is HOT HOT HOT! Wow. This week has been full of long sweaty days, red faces, and lots of cursing. Haha, not actually cursing, but things along the lines of "Holy CRAP! It's gotta be at least 200% humidity today, this is INSANE!" Yep, back to being constantly wet and sticky and sunburned. But, the funny part is that I am starting to tan for the first time since I was a little girl! I have a watch tan line, and a neck tan line. Also, the backs of my hands are super tan, but my fingers are white because of biking. Hilariousness. But I am enjoying it!
This coming week is a big one in Sendai; it's the Tanabata Festival! The festival is a celebration of shooting stars that happen in the summer, and the legend is that there is a male star and a female star, and that only once a year, during Tanabata, they can be united in the sky! So, there are giant tissue paper balls with streamers hanging from them ALL OVER the city, which represent the stars!! And the cool part is that they are all hanging from giant stocks of bamboo that people have hauled in and propped up. The festival starts tomorrow, and so there are thousands of people putting up decorations right now. I am excited because we are going to go to the firework show tomorrow with some members and we are going to be dressed up in yugata, which is kind of like a kimono but not as fancy!!! But I am so excited, and we will take lots of pictures.
This week was not very interesting, to be honest. Nothing really all that exciting happened. But! We did get to meet with my beloved Itosaka San again, which was so wonderful. We talked a lot about Adam and Eve. She has some pretty interesting beliefs about the Fall. We also talked a lot about Christ and about our Heavenly Parents. That was an awesome AWESOME discussion. I love when I can be open with people about that kind of thing. So it was so nice and refreshing to talk to someone about that. We also talked about love and how important it is to love EVERYONE. We talked a lot about how love affects the way you go about life. We also talked a lot about prayer, and she shared with us her first experience of getting an answer to her prayer. Itosaka San has so much faith in God and in the Savior. It has been so much fun to get to know her and talk to her about these things. We invited her to come to church this week, but she was busy. Someday, we will go with her.
One thing I absolutely love about being in Kamisugi is that there is more diversity here than anywhere else I have been in Japan! For the past few weeks at our English class, we have had people from Bangladesh, the Congo, Canada, Vietnam, and Nepal! It was so wonderful to be sitting and talking to these people, to listen to their stories and their backgrounds, to be getting to know them. I have realized in the past few weeks that I LOVE DIVERSITY more than I can ever say. I have decided that yes, I want to be a professor of music theory, but I also want to do something where I can be involved with people from all over the world on a regular basis. I LOVE PEOPLE so much, I can't even describe it, and I want to bring peace to the world. I really do believe it is possible. ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE!
I am going to be honest, the past couple of weeks for me here in Kamisugi have been a little bit rough. I feel like I have kind of lost sight of my purpose and I am feeling a little bit lost. It is a weird feeling, and I am not quite sure why it's here. But I am trying my best to rely on The Big People. They know how to help me, so I just need to trust in Them. But in the meantime, I could use some extra prayers from all of you on the home front. Thank you so much!
Well, I love you all so much. I want you to know that I know that my Savior is real. I know that He lives and that He loves every single one of us more than we will ever know. I also know that it is only through His power, the enabling power of His perfect Atonement, that we can overcome any sort of obstacle that comes our way. I really do believe that. I also hope that you can find strength in the Savior in your own way, too.