Date

July 27, 2015

Area

Higashi Osaka

Companion

Steere Shimai

Life is Good!

Among the collection of phrases my poor companion has to hear on a
regular basis (ex. "ii ne" "life is good"
"Icandoallthingsthroughchristwhichstrengthenethme") is one used on a
daily basis - "oh Japan."

There's lots of things that we see every day that just make me love
this place and these people so much, like grandmas with their crazy
colored hair riding their motorcycles around, people dressing up their
dogs in rain suits, radio taiso (an exercise routine that ~100 old
people and the sister missionaries take part in at the park at 6:30 am
every day).. Things like that just make me so fond of the people I
have been called to serve over.

Another experience this week made me just LOVE the rich culture of the
Japanese people- we had the opportunity to attend Tenjin Matsuri (one of the biggest festivals in Japan) with some of the ekaiwa students,
and wow- I don't think I'll ever experience anything like that again!
Imagine time square on New Years, but thrown in everyone wearing a
yukata (summer kimono- Japan is so ridiculously good looking) and
that's a matsuri! There were fireworks, food, and so. Many. People. It
took about 12 straight minutes of pushing through a crowd to cross a
bridge so we could get to a road where we could make our way back
home! It was crazy. I don't think I'll ever go to one again as a missionary, but it was something I'll never forget. I love Japan!

Other lessons learned this week-
1. sometimes things just happen and plans don't work out and weeks end
up being not as good as they should've been. I have to just get over it, and make the best of it. This week, lots of dumb, little things- popped tires, broken bike locks, leaving a phone in a member's car and then not being able to bike back because the tire you just fixed popped AGAIN- happened, and I found lots of improvement points when it comes to making the best of those situations. I get a little bit
negative. By the time Saturday came around, I was feeling pretty low.
That's where lesson #2 comes in:
2. Church is a place for us to come and be filled!
When Jesus institutes the sacrament among the nephites (3 nephi 18),
he gives the disciples and the multitudes the bread and the water, and they "partake and are filled." Recently in our mission, there has been an emphasis on helping others to Keep the Sabbath day holy, and come
to church so they can partake of the sacrament and "be filled."

As I think about my sabbath day experiences over the past few months,
I can definitely say that I have experienced the blessings that come
from 1. Worthily Partaking of the sacrament and 2. Spending the
sabbath day in the was it was designed- "this is a day appointed unto
you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most
High;"

By Saturday, I was feeling pretty drained. However, when we left church on Sunday to go out to work, there was a noticeable difference- not in the weather (still hot and humid) or in
the work necessarily (some people were home, some weren't)- i was
different. I had more energy, I was more focused, more positive,
better able to deal with setbacks, and better able to love and serve
the people we met and my Heavenly Father. The difference while
dendo-ing was like night and day! I was able to better understand what
being "filled" looks like I'm every day life.

When we are spiritually filled, the everyday challenges we face become
less of a burden. We are happier, more positive, and we are better
able to love and serve our friends and family members and those around
us. We have an opportunity every week to be filled and filled again!
Make taking the Sacrament/attending church a spiritually filling
experience, and then take that and share it with others! I promise you
will be able to feel the difference during the following week.:)

愛しています!

Today, I'm going to be annoying and send 1000 emails of pictures, whoops.
1. We had lots of bike problems this week. A member was kind enough to let us borrow her bike, and it had a handy umbrella holder that you will find every Osaka person using when it rains. Handy right?
2. My key wouldn't work for my lock, so my back tire was stuck. I was blessed with the opportunity to walk home holding my back tire up while my lovely companion caught it on film.




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