Oh my goodness I never have enough time anymore. I try to read everyone's emails and then write back and write everyone. I think I'm just going to have to start writing one email and hopefully everyone reads that. Sorry!
Ok so to start off. This week was really good. I am constantly learning new things. And we are really busy all the time. We meet with investigators, less actives, we try to go finding, we do service and every once in while we eat. Just kidding we eat all of our meals. Really mom don't get concerned. Here in Little America we still get to eat things like peanut butter and Honey Bunches of Oats. It's great.
So as far as language goes I speak probably 70% English and 30% Japanese. It's hard. I'm really afraid my Japanese won't improve but I am working on speaking Japanese with Pinzon Shimai as much as possible. And apparently my Japanese isn't too bad for a bean/new missionary because everyone tells me my Japanese is good. The elders were pretty surprised when I bore my testimony last Sunday. And they heard me teaching a little bit of a lesson with a less active which we hadn't prepared for at all and they said it was good. So there's hope after all! I just have to keep studying and trying out new phrases.
So somebody asked about my living conditions. So to fill in I love in an apartment with 3 other sisters. There are 2 sister companionships for the Okinawa area. Us and the sister training leaders. Our apartment is actually really nice. It's not too old so everything is in good condition. There are 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, and a kitchen/eating area. It's nice and cozy and I really like it. We have a washer but we just hang our clothes to dry which sometimes takes a while because obviously the humidity here is crazy. I'm already kind of used to it though. You're just always wet. Whether it's from rain or sweat or both just depends on the day. Also you have to separate your trash here into like 3 different groups. I still don't understand it fully. Also they don't have garbage disposals. They just have nets that catch all the food in the sink and then you have to dump it. It's nasty. We sleep on futons. It's pretty comfortable, plus me and Pinzon Shimai have like 4 futon mattresses which is more than normal. Basically our apartment is the coolest.
We ride our bikes everywhere, except when we can convince a senior couple or a member to give us a ride to places. We are so lucky, we have 2 senior couples in our area. The Crosby's and the Lee's. The Crosby's are the best! They're from Florida and they are just the nicest couple! They are always willing to take us places and take us out to lunch sometimes. And Elder Lee put a basket on my bike this week! Yay! Now I can carry my own bag! I feel like my legs are getting stronger. Although here in Okinawa there aren't any major hills we have to go up so it's not like I'm dying. And can I just say the single most useful thing you bought me mom was those biking shorts. I wear them everyday under my skirt so that when my skirt blows up I don't really care because I have shorts on. Unfortunately, my first four days when I didn't have my big suitcase yet so I didn't have my biking shorts meant lots of people in Okinawa saw my "white biking shorts.'' Sorry about that.
So this week we had a lot of appointments fall through. So I'm learning even more about patience. I have to be patient with others and remember they have their agency. I just want to teach them and want them to understand why this is important but I can't do that. They have to want it. But it's okay. This week we will have lots of appointments and everyone will be able to meet with us!
But we still find things to do. We went to a less actives house and cleaned her house. She was sick for a long time so she wasn't able to do it. But she came to church last week and this week! It's really all thanks to her friend who is a member. She is the one who has been driving her to church and arranging for us to come clean her house. When ward members get involved it really does make a huge difference.
So yesterday we taught Karla again. We taught her the Plan of Salvation. She still has a lot of questions but that's a good thing. She is so open to hearing everything we have to say and says it sounds right. She's basically golden. We basically invited her to be baptized again and this time we gave her a calendar for this month and next month and asked her to pray and ask when she should be baptized. She said she would do it so hopefully we can set a baptismal date with her! The mission goal for this month is to have 2 investigators with baptismal dates. So we're praying that we can reach that goal!
As far as food goes I've tried a few things. I've tried Japanese curry. It's pretty good. I've also tried a lot of stir fry type things. They have a lot of little restaurant/shack places you can go to eat at for cheap. And it's usually really good. Although at one of those places is where I saw my first spider. It was pretty big. And I may have freaked out a little. But so did Pinzon Shimai. Luckily one of the elders was willing to kill it. Although they also said they weren't going to tell us it was there in the first place if we didn't notice. Never do that! If there is a spider please tell me!
On Saturday I also got to see my first Matsuri or festival. This week is Obon. I think that's how you spell it. It's about your dead ancestors coming back to visit. So one of our investigators took us to see a parade and dance with all these dancers and drummers. It's loud but it was really cool. I'll send pictures. Our investigator was also all dressed up in a kimono. Well a casual kimono which is called something else. Anyways she looked beautiful. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of her. But she took one so maybe I'll ask her for it. It was my first experience with Japanese culture and it was so fun! And it was all okay because we were there with an investigator. Two birds with one stone.
So I brought my camera this week so I'm going to send a lot of pictures that are from the MTC and some that are newer. And one of Pinzon Shimai and me so you can see what she looks like!
Thanks so much for my birthday packages! They came on Friday so I made a compromise with myself. I opened two of the presents and read some of the cards but not all of them. The rest I will do tomorrow. But I couldn't help it! I had to read some of it. Packages are important! Also Jill you are the best! Thank you so much for the candy and the nail polish. And that card was the best thing I've ever seen. Also the worst. I hid it so nobody else could see. They don't exactly know about my obsession with you know who.
Well that's all I have time for this week! Sorry if I didn't answer everyone's questions! I love you all and thanks for the birthday wishes! I can't believe I will be 23 tomorrow. Well technically it's 2 days for all of you. Anyways, the church is true! Read the Book of Mormon! It will answer all your problems I promise!
Me & Pinzon Shimai
Me & Pinzon Shimai - Our apartment
Drummers & Dancers - Matsuri (Festival)
Traditional Fan Dance