Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year!

5 January 2015 Sakado
Happy new year everyone! Did you all make New Years goals and resolutions? I didn't. I've got lots of ideas but, because it still doesn't feel like Christmas happened I feel no real urgency to make any goals... But that really isn't a big deal. As a missionary you make goals, and adjust goals, and make more goals all the time. So' no worries...I’ve still got "stuff" to work on. 

This week there was basically no dendō! No one was interested! They were all busy because of sho gatsu or the New Year. We went housing, and called all our friends but everyone was "isogashii". Oh well, we had a really, really awesome week despite that. The members all invited us over and we formed lots of good and better relationships!

I seriously love Sakado and its members. This is a wonderful area. Sister Bettridge is lucky she got to be here as her first area. And I'm lucky I get to be her companion! Last night, we were finishing up weekly planning and we just ended up going on and on about how great one another is..are and we get a call from our district leader. I'm thinking why is he calling now we still have time before we need to call him...but we didn't! We had gone right through daily planning time! Haha oops! Luckily the day was already planned out! 

Last Monday we had a really great lesson with Takahashi San. I just love her! She wasn't too busy for us. She had a friend over and so we got to teach both of them. We ended up teaching the restoration. Sister Bettridge was amazing! She knew how to say so much. And at the end she bore her testimony for both of them and she had their complete attention. The lesson was great for many reasons but, it was really a good reminder that the gift of tongues is real. Sister Bettridge who has only been here for three weeks can say sooo much, every week she improves. I'm afraid I won't have anything to teach her next week! And I found myself being able to say all sorts of things I didn't know I could. It's wonderful. When Heavenly Father needs you to speak, as long as you open your mouth, he fills it. 

Tuesday we spent the whole day finding. With not much luck. Sister Bettridge really wanted to sing to someone. But, everyone told us they were too busy or not interested before I could even begin to ask if we could sing. Finally it was time to come home and right as we were leaving the neighborhood we met a lady who struck up a conversation with us because Sister Bettidge was carrying her flute case and this lady played flute too! We chatted for a while and were able to sing! We sang “I Am a Child of God” and the lady and her friend, who came and joined, loved it. We invited them to church! I'm not sure they were at all interested BUT Sister Bettridge got her wish! Heavenly Father is mindful of each and every one of us and grants us the righteous desires of our heart. It was a fun day. 

Keiko and us
Wednesday we spent most of the day cleaning. I love cleaning! In Japan you spend the days before the New Year cleaning. You get all the bad out before the New Year. So, because December 31st and January 1st are not productive dendō days we had a mission wide cleaning day and the next day was a mission wide read the Book of Mormon day. Our apartment is much cleaner now. I'm really enjoying it. We were also taken out to lunch by Keiko. She took us to a fancy buffet. Everything was healthy and delicious. It was great! We had a lot of fun. I really love Keiko. And I just have so much respect for her! I love how much she loves the kids she teaches. She is truly concerned for each of them and wants each of them individually to succeed. Just like heavenly father! Haha lesson idea!  

If you didn't like your fortune, you left it behind.
There were fortunes inside.
We went to bed at 10:30. It was quite the New Year's Eve haha. 

Thursday we didn't really do much Book of Mormon reading...maybe four hours total. We had a member take us out to a traditional Japanese lunch and a shrine afterwards. It was soo fun. Sister Bettridge might have eaten more 'traditional' Japanese food this last week than I have in quite a few transfers combined...or maybe I'm just used to it I need someone to announce when its traditional to be aware of it..maybe that one. I’m really grateful for sushi. If I had to eat as much cooked fish as we did raw fish this week, I would have been a happy camper. Cooking fish just brings the ocean taste out in them..blah! I think the raw fish might be growing on sister Bettridge...maybe..
Sea bugs
That evening we went over to another member’s house. We ate some crazy things! Most was ridiculously delicious. But then, Sister Itō came out with a plate full of bugs! Bugs from the ocean! They looked straight out of Jurassic park or Star Wars. And yes, I ate some. Just so I could send this picture home and say I ate it! It wasn't that bad, I liked it a lot better than shrimp for sure but I just couldn't get over what it looked liked to eat lots and lots.

Friday we had a mission conference. Everyone but the Niigata missionaries were there. Soooo fun. I got to see almost all of my companions. I love them all so much. And we watched “Meet the Mormons.” I loved it! If you haven't had a chance to see it you should go see it! It should be playing at the Hill Cumorah visitors center in Palmyra soon. I loved each of the characters. They each have such amazing, and some very normal, stories. I wrote down my favorite quote...but I forgot my notebook so..I can't share it. Sorry! 

Saturday we went to members houses too. Our dendō shuni, or ward mission leader, arranged for us to be fed for lunch and dinner. What a great guy! We had lots of fun. 

This week I started mixing up my he's and she's. Sister Bettridge finds it really funny. I sound like a nihonjin. And today, we went out with members for lunch and I couldn't translate someone back to English. I couldn't think of the word and the members thought that was really funny. Oh noooo, my English is going..

...oh well. 

Sister Bettridge and I were having a conversation about patience yesterday. And I told her how one of my transfers I prayed for patience almost every day. But it never felt like anything happened. It reminded her of a movie, in which was said "maybe when we pray for patience God just gives us more opportunities to be patient." There was my problem! Along with lessons on patience I’ve learned so much this year. I can't believe it's already over! I'm excited to see what this year brings. Maybe I'll make some New Years resolutions this week... I'm so grateful I get to be a missionary. It's been great. Even when it hasn't been, it's been great. 

I love you all! 

Sister Molinari