Being here nine weeks, I really have come to love and care for the missionaries here. It's the worst! Because even if they're in my district, they could be going to another mission! Heaven forbid I make friends with a missionary who's not going to Japan (which I have)! It's frustrating that their presence will only be felt through emails after Monday. So, most likely, I will be writing shorter and shorter entries so I can have time to keep in contact with the friends I've made here. But I'm not sorry about it.
The friends in my zone that I knew for six weeks have now been in Japan for nearly two weeks! It's surreal. And they're still nice enough to write us! I've noticed several things as I've kept in contact with the missionaries in Japan.
1. When I get emails from missionaries in the Tokyo South mission, at the bottom it reads "Sent from my iPad" and I can't help but get excited.
2. All the missionaries in every mission in Japan but Tokyo and Tokyo South have Japanese companions. My buddies in Tokyo South have American companions. That is slightly distressing only because I want to force myself to only speak Japanese when I arrive. However it's a lot to ask of a Japanese missionary when I force them to listen to my broken Japanese.
3. The wards are SMALL. (Did ya catch that juxtaposition?) They aren't even wards, they're branches. There is a missionary I know in Kobe. There are twelve people in the branch he attends. There is a lot of work to do!
Even with my pathetic Japanese and half packed suitcases, I've really felt God's love this week. Just yesterday, I got a Christmas card from the Bezoski's and a letter from uncle Greg. My companion got a package that day too. On our way to the mail room, a missionary in a wheelchair stopped me. We had talked before, and he told me he served in the referrals center. He's been serving there for a little over a year. He asked my if I was in any Mormon Message videos. I laughed and told him yes. This has happened to me quite a few times. The MTC will play certain Mormon Messages in the gym, and for some reason they chose the one I got to be a part of. So a lot of missionaries have asked me about it. When they realize it was me in the video, the conversation usually takes a funny turn and missionaries start asking me for my autograph. But this time was different. This elder, in the most serious and genuine way says: "Thank you. You make my job a lot easier. I can just show investigators a video and they can feel the spirit. You inspire a lot of people." I paused. What? Me? How inspiring could I be in a little school girl's outfit? I had quite literally never given any thought to my influence. I wanted to deny it, say that I was only quoting a memorized talk given by an actual inspired person, but I wasn't about to start arguing with a missionary in a wheelchair. I just nodded and bowed a little and left. That made my whole week.
Let's end on something funny shall we? The other day, I was wearing a white sweater and a purple bow in my hair. We have some Japanese sister missionaries just down the hall from our classroom. They told me I looked like Daisy Duck! They pointed to my sweater and my bow, and my lips. Then commenced a duck face contest and it was glorious.
I love you all! See you soon!