Winds of Change

Just like that my first transfer is over! The mission is split into 6 week long transfers, and after 6 weeks you either stay in the same area, are moved to a new area, or your companion 同僚 is moved to a new area. My trainer companion and I were positive we would be staying together and already had planned things to do together for weeks in advance, so didn’t even check our transfer calls until later in the day.

We checked, and lo and behold, she was getting moved to Tokorozawa, while I’d be staying in Yamate. We were shocked. And sad. And bordering on hysterical. I’ve learned so much from her, she is one of the smartest and hardest working people I’ve known and in these past 6 weeks I’ve truly come to love her. We’ve been through a lot
together, from hospital visits to 110 degree weather while biking up hills to teaching amazing lessons and seeing miracles as we’ve worked hard. I don’t know what I’ll do without her. We’ve been so successful together, and I’m afraid once she leaves, if we don’t see the same success in Yamate, it will feel like it’s my fault. I promise though, I’m not being to hard on myself. I’m telling myself this is a new opportunity for me to put to the test everything I’ve learned from her about Japan, Japanese, teaching, and just everyday life. My new trainer is just one transfer ahead of me, and is Japanese, so this will be quite the experience. Wish me (us) luck. I meet her this Thursday! I’m excited to stay in Yamate though, I’ve come to love this area and the people so much, and the hills are great.

Actually, speaking of hills. You all probably thought my trainer was training me to be a missionary. But actually, through what I call the Super G Training Program, I lost 10 pounds in 6 weeks! That’s right! You too, if you become a missionary for the LDS church, can lose 10 pounds in just 6 weeks.#blessings #hills #japanesefood

(Disclaimer: We are actually real missionaries and do not spend our days drinking protein shakes and cycling up hills all day, rather we are in the service of our fellow beings (Book of Mormon, Mosiah 2:17))

Besides that, I’ve seen so many miracles this week, through the people we’ve met and the lessons we’ve taught, we’ve truly been led by the spirit to know what to say and where to go. For example, we wanted to go visit an elderly woman who’s family had been struggling with some health issues but felt like we should wait a while. A week later we went, and though before she said she was busy, that day she let us into her home to share a message. I opened my mouth and didn’t know quite what I was going to say, but suddenly I just started speaking, and for once my Japanese seemed to flow fluently. I was able to share a message about how loved she is and that I knew that by relying on the teachings I knew she had learned, she could overcome any trial she faced. She started crying and by the end hugged us and thanked us and even gave us some origami as a present. Small things like this, just being able to serve people and let them know they are loved, make this missionary experience so amazing.

And last but not least, I was transported back in time this week to Sankeien Garden (三渓園) the last remaining piece of old Japan in Yokohama. Here are pictures plus other random pictures for your pleasure:

Gardens
Gorgeous.

Shark eating woman
This shark attacked a woman this week in a train station. It was tragic. That or my photography skills are just divine.

Election ad    Comp election ad
It’s election season in Japan!!!! This one is my favorite and I mean that in a very unpolitical sense.

Penguin
Yeah I can’t explain either, but the penguin gave me a free fan.

Bike repair
Had to do bike repair work in a skirt….

YW class
Us teaching our Young Women’s class at church. Made me miss my little sister!

Other things that happened:
I saw a huge firework 花火 show one night, and everyone was wearing a yakata (like a kimono) and I was jealous.

We went to dinner to a Chinese/Japanese family’s home, and their zone did IB (International Baccalaureate)! We talked about it and I relived the struggle with him. I also got to have a discussion with the husband about the agricultural technology he’s working on, and the food and water and energy nexus. It’s really interesting to hear the Japanese views on energy and GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) etc. The wife is amazing and so funny and made us the most amazing food! Her family is the best!


P.S. Web links provided by Kira’s mom for anyone who might be curious, like she is–Kira does not have the time/ability to dig for Google links and such…

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