Hello from America! This is my final email. I’ve been back from Japan for a week now but, I wanted to send out one last email.
Here’s what my final week in Japan consisted of:
On Monday we received transfer calls. I was, to everyone’s great shock, transferring back to New York haha. Kubota shimai gets to stay in Kumagaya though. Yay! It is staying open! And I’m sure her and her new companion are going to see many, many miracles this transfer. Oh, I did write about Monday already…Ill add some pictures from the English Garden we went to with Takahashi San.
Tuesday was basically a run errands day. I had to get my suitcases sent off, sister Kubota wanted pieces from my bicycle so we asked the Elders to switch them over for us and then there was lots and lots of calling! We had to tell everyone about transfers and that Kumagaya sisters was staying open. Everyone was so happy.
That evening we went and visited the Kubotas one last time. Sister Kubota (not my companion) was really struggling with some concerns she had, actually we came with a little message planned and as we were sharing it I just felt like we needed to ask her what was wrong. It reminded me of almost a year and a half ago, where in the MTC, I felt the exact same thing during a lesson. So, I waited till my companion finished sharing her thought and then asked Sister Kubota what was wrong. She told us and so we had a special moment where we got to really teach to her needs. Well, kind of..there wasn’t an easy fix solution for her problem but we shared Helaman 5:12 with her and promised when she relies on Christ to help, he will and we can get through anything.
Here is Helaman 5:12 I love this scripture! I’ve used it a lot all through my mission. “And now, my sons, remember, remember that is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, ye and, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storms shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fail.” What an amazing promise “a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fail”. We arentt promised that all our problems will go away, or that Christ will take care of them for us. But, if we rely on Christ we are promised we shall not fail. Satan is going to send his whirlwinds. It doesn’t say if he does, or maybe he will but WHEN. And if we are prepared, and have built our foundation of Christ we cannot and will not fail.
Wednesday was transfer day!!I woke up at around 5:00 to finish packing and to get ready to go. Aroudn 8:00 we went to meet her new companion at the eki. Grabbed some of their things and headed back to apartment. Made a last minute trip to a corner store and then the Ishida family picked me and Sister Kubotas new companion’s old companion up and brought us to the eki. And then, we were off to the mission home. Naturally, we had a problem. Our train was cancelled..when does that ever happen?? Luckily we had help from a really sweet Japanese couple and then finally we made it, a little late to the mission home. And I was reunited with My Dopp shimai for our last few days in Japan. I love her so much!
That evening we tried to visit one of her friends from an old area, no luck. But, on our way back we got to talk to this really funny old lady. She kept saying she was gonna leave, oh and the whole reason she stopped us in the first place was because we were beautiful. My favorite moment was when she would tell us numbers. She would hold fingers up to go along with the numbers BUT her fingers never matched what she said. Sooo funny. Then we finally said good-bye to her and headed to dinner, got yummy hamburgers and then we headed off to eikaiwa in the city. That was fun too.
The next day we headed to oyumino!!! Dream come true. I was able to see all the wondereful sisters from Oyumino. If I ever where to live in Japan, that’s where I would live. They are a family, my family. I love them so much.
That evening we had our final dinner at the mission home, had the opportunity to share our testimonies with the other returning missionaries and then it was off to bed! The next day we had breakfast and then before I knew it I was on a plane heading back to America. We landed in Georgia. Talk about culture shock, everything was so big, and everyone was so loud and rude. I was reading to hop back on the next plane to Japan.
Some funny things Ive noticed/ experienced since coming home:
1. Everything here is either too sweet or too salty..blah!
2. The ceilings are much farther away from my head
3. Some things are just easier to eat with chopsticks
4. Everything is so loud!
5. When we were leaving the airport I had this frightening moment of “Daddy you are driving on the wrong side of the road!”
6. At church while in the bathroom someone walked in and I nodded to them..we don’t nod at people in America.
And LARGE has a whole new meaning in America!!
I ordered a large smoothie at the airport without even thinking what size it would end up being!
I can’t say it’s good to be home...I haven’t decided yet! But I can say that I am soo grateful for the last year and a half of my life. It was the farthest things from easy but I don’t think I would’ve learned or grown or changed in the ways I have if it had been. I love japan. I love their culture. I love the people. They are so busy trying to become westernized but I think we could learn a lot from them. They are kind and sweet and are willing to do just about anything for a stranger. They have a rich culture and beautiful beliefs. It became home and I am going to miss it so much. But, I’m very grateful for the time I did get there. I’m grateful that I was able to share what makes me happy and was able to watch it bring happiness to others. God is our heavenly father and he loves us. Each of us. It doesn’t matter who we are or where we are from. And I’ve been able to see and experience that for myself. The gospel is for each of us. Doesn’t matter who we are. And The gospel brings us happiness. Im happy because of it. And while I may not be a missionary any more I wont ever stop sharing what makes me happy.
I love you all! Thank you for following me on my year and a half adventure. Hope to see you soon!