#45

12:10 PM

July 15, 2013

Dear all,

Guys, everything's okay. I'm a lot happier this week. Things are going up, and definitely not in very significant ways but man, any small change is great.

Also, I'm just throwing it out there, but Smith Shimai Dendo is Member Dendo. I'm not sure what results are stemming from it, but I don't know why I haven't been working with the members this closely my whole mission. It's what I'm good at. I'm good at connecting with people. I think I am making a difference in this branch. The miracle here isn't going to be a baptism, I don't think. But I KNOW that there is a miracle waiting with a change in the members attitude. I'm really encouraged by the small improvements that I'm seeing.

All that to say, we had a good week.

Member work is going well. We took a few hours out of one evening and made/wrote cards for all the members. (This is where Daiso (the dollar store, the store of my dreams) comes in handy. Oh, we need to make cards, we better buy a bunch of Toy Story stickers too! And lace tape! We got a little carried away, but it was fun). Side note, it still takes me a while to write in Japanese, though I've gotten faster. I think the members were all really excited. We've been seeing so much positive response. I also happened to be giving a talk in church (for the third time... Hofu has no one here) - and I spoke on gratitude. I expressed my deep gratitude for every member and for all of their help. 

This week we are making sure that we visit with every one of them. That meant tracking down a house we'd never been to in the Japan summer-sun. ...and getting lost. I've become a boss at map reading, but I just followed directions from our branch president so it was a lot harder. We were out in the middle of nowhere. And it took us, like, two hours to find it. I got really sunburned. We were basically directly under the sun for 8 hours straight. It's NBD. Forgive me, mom. We would ask random people for help with directions and they would all be like, ''Hey, did you know you're getting a little sunburned there? You should probably put some more clothes on!'' Because Japanese people are ridiculous and in order to avoid sun burn they just wear MORE clothes. I was all, ''Lady, if I could be wearing less clothing, I totally would.'' It was pretty funny, though. We went into a super market later - bright red faced. Normally, in Amurica, on a hot day like that you would see many others in a similar state. Not in Japan. Everyone's just white. And then there's us. The contrast is a drastic as an African American to a Japanese person. Except we're just bright red. Needless to say, everyone was starting at us and telling us where we could buy sun screen.

But we're just going around letting all of the members know that we love them, trying to get them involved in the work, and also letting them know that we're working hard. I feel pretty pumped. 
On that note, rainy season is over. It's just hot. Hot hot hot. We carry, like, 50 water bottles with us every day. And I'm a sweat wreck. You're welcome for that bit of information, but it's true. Remember when I wasn't a missionary and I was beautiful? Those days are long gone...

We also got to do a junkai (companion exchange) with some sisters including my good friend Sister Eddy whom I knew in the MTC. We had a really good time. But my bike was having problems. The day before the tire popped. I got it fixed. The next day, when we were going to go pick them up from the station, it was popped again. We got it fixed. We got to the station and it popped. Eddy and Olsen said they'd fix it for me. They got it fixed, rode it to a really far away place and it popped again. So basically my bike ruined everything. And, unfortunately the church, train station, and our apartment are all REALLY far away from each other. So we got to walk all over town and my feet were really tired. And my foot was actually pretty seriously bruised from it. Which was lame. But, well, whatever. It was an adventure. As always.

Also, right now, I am consumed with organizing all of our records. I'm, like, obsessed. I'm a girl with a vision. 

We had a game night with a bunch of members, investigators and missionaries of Yamaguchi District. It was super fun. However, on the way there, we rode in a hot hot hot hot hot car and I thought I was going to die die die die die. The girl driving kept turning on the AC for, like, 30 seconds only. I was literally about to pass out. Also, I'm not sure used to riding in cars anymore so I got a little car sick maybe. I'm giving you guys all the fun details this week.

Anyway. Things are good! I love you all beaucoup!

Love, 
Smith Shimai


Here are some gems of late.
1. Yamaguchi Zone. sooo manyyyy sisterssssss
2. Olsen and I with our squirt guns. It's our recent survival tool.
3. The greatest picture ever. This is how excited we are all the time.


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