Monday, July 14, 2014

Live from Sanjo!

14 July 2014 Sanjo
Dear Everyone,

I love Sanjo! It's great. It's a beautiful place. I feel like I'm finally in Japan. If you go an hour one way you hit the ocean and then in every other direction you see mountains and hills and trees. It's gorgeous!

This past week has been crazy. So after transfer calls I began packing. What an affair that was! I'm glad it's over. Then we made phone calls - lots and lots. Everyone was really sad to hear I was leaving. I was sad to be leaving them. We spent the next couple of days visiting everyone. It was a very busy few days. I finally got to see Shimura San again. TWICE. It was such a blessing. I was so grateful for that. She was too!

She dressed Hubner shimai and I up in a yukata and took pictures. It was fun. I visited a lot of members too. I love them so much.

While leaving an area was hard, all the love I felt as I left was wonderful. It really makes you feel like you've done good.

Oh, in case anyone is wondering..I was not affected by the typhoon. I left Oyumino just in time!

Thursday morning it was raining, but one of the wonderful members brought us to the train station and Sister Hubner and I began our journey. Well, Sister Hubner's journey lasted about an hour, then I said goodbye to her and continued on to Tokyo with another sister who was also going up to Niigata.

We got to the mission home and after lunch we went to catch the bus we would be riding for five hours (yup you read that right). 

It was a beautiful bus ride! I felt like I was leaving Tokyo behind and heading into the real Japan. 

Up here in Niigata is how I pictured Japan I love it! We drove through mountains and over rivers. It had been raining so everything had fog hanging over it. I felt like I was driving into a movie!
Skabelund shimai and me

I met my companion, Sister Skabelund, at the train station. She is the cutest thing ever! 

Her mother is nihonjin and her father is American. And so that makes her... adorable. She has been out for 8 transfers..almost a year. She has really great nihongo and is so sweet and kind. I am so excited to be companions with her and I'm so excited to be up in Sanjo!

The rest of my week flew by! I can't believe it's another week already. So, I arrived Thursday, but the day was over by the time we made it back to the apartment (which I also love, wood floors and tatami mats in the bedroom!). 

Friday we had district meeting, I got to meet everyone else in my district. I think Jensen choro ed. note: from my MTC district) is about as excited as I am to be in the same district. It's really nice having a familiar face around. I like my district. There are some really awesome missionaries up here in Sanjo. After district meeting we weekly planned. I'm excited for this transfer. We have big goals and I really feel like Sister Skabelund and I can achieve them together (with help from Heavenly Father of course). 

After planning, we made dinner. Boy, there was not much in the apartment. We finally found some instant soup packets and then a few pieces of vegetable that could be added. I asked if we had anything else. Sister Skabelund said we had some potatoes. That'll work! She hands me the bag and starts laughing...they were baby potatoes!!, three baby potatoes. It was the saddest sight ever. But we got a really good laugh out of our ever-so-pathetic soup.

Saturday was my birthday! I thought transferring was the perfect escape but Jensen choro had made sure everyone knew it was my birthday. The elders had made a cake for me! And one of the members here, Yuki shimai, brought me a present. For lunch/ dinner we cooked with an investigator from Vietnam. We made all sorts of delicious food! It was fun!

That night we went to a neighboring town...I don't remember what it is called...Kamo? We took the train to go visit someone. She wasn't home, but when we returned to the train station there was a girl about our age sitting down waiting for the train. We went and sat down next to her. She stood up and staggered away. I was a little worried about her. She was walking ridiculously close to the edge of the platform. She lit a cigarette, smoked for a few minutes and came and sat back down. I really wanted to talk to her. So I did! 

We all talked for a few awkward moments and then the train came. She walked away and Sister Skabelund and I followed after was a little weird of us haha. I decided to sit down next to her and we continued talking (there were only two or three things I didn't understand!!!!)

We didn't talk about anything super important, but we gave her our number and I really, really, really want her to call. Or, I want to run into her again. Her eyes were so empty. It was so sad. I think she was already drunk, and she was meeting a friend to drink more. I'm pretty sure a boy too. She just seemed so lost; drowning in the world.

It just got me, I don't know how to explain it. But I've been thinking about her ever since. And I'm praying we will find her again. Sorry that isn't really a happy story...yet.

Sunday I got to meet all the members. They are quite a bunch! But I love them already. We got to teach the young women’s class. There are only two young women in our "group"(it isn't even big enough to be a branch!) and they are sisters. They are so nice. We talked about Christ and what He means to us, who He is and we watched a video. We could feel the spirit so strong! It was a really wonderful lesson.
I love it up here! I’m so happy and excited to be here! And excited for this transfer. Things are looking good.

I love you all!

Sister Molinari

Kobayashi family 

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