Hey friends and family! I'm doing great in Japan! The other night one of the sisters, Sister M. heard me talking in my sleep. I was speaking Japanese! If anyone else had told me a year ago that I'd be sleep talking in Japanese, I never would have believed them.
I'm still at the point where I'm very impressed to hear people speak Japanese, even when they're Japanese. Especially kids. I am so impressed by children who can speak Japanese! When a little two-year-old Japanese kid starts rattling off, I want to applaud them. Wow! You're fluent!
Also the other day I went to McDonald's and I was holding a spoon. The cashier wanted my spoon but when she reached out for it I shook her hand instead. I don't want to blame my calling for my awkwardness, I honestly think I was born this way.
We had an awesome miracle just yesterday. Loads of our investigators have dropped us lately, they just don't want to meet with us anymore. So we decided to visit a member. This member is SO COOL. For Christmas, she sent us a Christmas card and a gift card to McDonald's. Last week she gave us marshmallows for no good reason. This week, she gave us a pack of sixty Swiss hot cocoa mix, the kind with the marshmallows! So we wanted to visit her and "heart attack" her or tape a bunch of paper hearts on her door. But only once we took a train to the nearest station to her house did we realize that her house was too far from the station to walk and there were no buses. This sister suggested we visit a less active member instead. Without her address handy, we just started walking. We had no idea what direction she lived in, we had no WiFi, we just walked. The funny thing was, I didn't feel any stress at all as we walked, and this had been a stressful week. But we managed to find her house! It turned into a really cool lesson because she has a nonmember husband, and we showed her a video about Joseph Smith's first vision, and she liked it so much that she took my iPad and showed the video to her husband again. She is so nice! Her husband made us hot cocoa! It was an absolute miracle that we found her.
Alright that's my intro. By now you're probably wondering why you got an email on a Tuesday. My bad. In the Japan Tokyo Mission, we get to go to the Temple every transfer (six week period). We go to the Temple on our P days. But, they have to make it a special session so there are sufficient Temple workers that speak English for us. So, we go to the Temple on Tuesdays at 8:15 AM. So, on Temple P Days, our P days are on Tuesdays so that is why! Let me tell you about my schedule today.
The Temple is three hours away by car from my area. A member was willing to drive us today. That meant we had to wake up at 3:55 A.M.
The members picked us up at 4:40 A.M.
We got to the Temple at 7:30 A.M.
We ate a single muffin for breakfast in a park nearby.
We stayed around that area of the Temple until 3:00 P.M.
We took trains back to the station closest to our house at 5:30 P.M.
We had to ride our bikes back home which took another hour.
I ate a Krispy Kreme doughnut (It's Sister Howe's birthday) and some toast and now I'm here!
While we were at the Temple, our mission president gathered all of us new sister missionaries together, gave us new companions for a half an hour, and let us loose on the streets of Tokyo. Now this is REAL Tokyo. Just like I imagined it. Like New York. The streets are jam packed, faces from all sorts of places are looking back at you, and all you have to do is say hello.
I had a lot of fun doing missionary work in TOKYO Tokyo. Most everyone speaks English. But I didn't know that yet. My new companion, Sister Ellis was talking when I saw a mom with two kids across the street. I shouted to her in Japanese, and asked her if she spoke English. She looked confused, but I was relieved. "DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?" Then, before she even answered I yelled "How are you?" Before my companion realized it, I was crossing the street to talk to this woman. She had just moved in a week ago. We gave her a Book of Mormon. I met a ton of cool people, but I was most proud of this find.
On the way back though, on the train, I saw a girl about my age with a Minnie Mouse bag. At this point, I was far from Tokyo. This girl definitely only spoke Japanese. But I complimented her bag and asked her if she'd ever been to Disneyland and she had! She loved it! From there we talked about my calling as a missionary and how I couldn't go to Disneyland because God wanted me to focus on His work. She gave me her number you guys! In the countryside of Japan Sister Goldsberry convinced a Japanese person to share her phone number in Japanese. God is helping me out a ton! This girl is so prepared already!
There was this way cool thing that happened the other night. It's SO WINDY here. It drives me insane. For those of you who don't know, I have a mild fear of the wind. One night, it was ESPECIALLY bad and I could not sleep well. The wind whistled through minuscule cracks in the windows. Then, as if by command, one of the other sisters, Sister M. closed the outer shutters of the window, so I couldn't even hear the wind let alone feel it. I reached up in the dark, searching for her, delusional because of my lack of sleep and said "Thank you so much sister!" Days later, when I confessed of my fear and Sister M. responded, "Sister Goldsberry, the Lord loves you, He really loves you!" That night, Sister M. couldn't sleep either, but she had no childhood fear of the wind. She had a definite impression to shut the shutters, but she didn't dare because she knew it would wake everyone up. But she kept feeling that impression. She finally shut the shutters and fell right asleep.
I'm still playing the piano at functions! They still ask me to play even when I'm clunking away.
I love Japan. I'll see you all soon.