One day, we had a zone conference. Our zone is huge. Our area is huge. In order to get to this zone meeting, we had to ride our bikes fifty minutes to the train station and then take a train so we could walk twenty minutes to a church where the meeting was held. We would have to leave this meeting early so we could get to a teaching appointment on time. I don't know distances, I'm not sure how hard the wind was blowing, I don't know how much my bag weighs as it swings on my shoulder, I can't really tell how good of shape I'm in, but I know that this trip was HARD. I'm actually kind of glad that I can't tell you guys specifics because then you might see how much of a wimp I am. Just know that this trip was hard for ME. Little nineteen-year-old Sister Jenny struggled all along this road. We were both exhausted by the end of it, which was only 2:00 PM. We still had a whole day ahead of us! We had to skip lunch in order to get to this woman's house. This ordeal was on Friday, but on Sunday I was still sore. Everywhere. It's Monday today and I still have bruises on my shins. From what? I don't know. These bruises are for the Lord. I'm just lucky my suffering was short lived thanks to the icy hot my parents sent me before I left for Japan.
I've heard that missions are like fifty years of church service compacted into eighteen months. That's why there are so many ups and downs and no in between. For example one day we went to visit someone and they weren't home. I was putting on my helmet, kicking at some dirt, thinking about what a lousy missionary I was because I couldn't even keep an appointment when someone behind us shouted: "Eh?? Sister Missionaries??!" It was a woman who had attended an English class the week before and met the elders in my district. She suggested we all walk to her house together so that we could know where to meet her from now on. She led us into her house, introduced us to her husband, gave us hot water because we couldn't drink tea, and listened to us as we taught her that God is everyone's Heavenly Father. She already had a Book of Mormon. We're meeting with her again on Friday. I just think of that random instance and I'm happier. I'm reminded of Whose work this is. If we had been just two minutes early or late we wouldn't have seen her walking by that very spot. I know that she was prepared by God Himself. Nobody on this earth could convince me otherwise.
There's a returned missionary in this ward I'm serving in that is trying to learn more English so that he can get by when he goes to school at BYU in May. He's the greatest Whenever he walks by us sisters he bows down real low and waves his hand in front of his face, always pleading: "Excuse me! I'm sorry!" The other day my companion noted: "You're so polite, Brother Enta!" Followed by a Japanese translation when he didn't understand. "It's...tradition," he fumbled. "Japanese...manners...I'm Japanese!" he finally declared. The people of Provo will love him. Be good to him!
Here's something funny! Remember that zone meeting? So my companion and I got there right on time and we were greeted by two smiling elders. I smiled back and thought, "How nice are these elders?" After they shook our hands they kept right on smiling and gawking when one of them blurted out: "We saw you on a Mormon Message!" And then other one admitted: "We watched all of them." And thus, my reputation follows me. Now everyone in my zone knows about my cameos. I thought it would stay at the MTC and shrivel up into nothingness but no. Now, heaven forbid I ask a question that begins with "How" because it's finished, in someone else's voice as "do you raise a daughter?" Sometimes they wait until I finish my question and then reply: "Teach me that modesty is a protection." Hilarious.
I'm really loving Japan. Sometimes when the rain is rough or my bag is heavy Sister O. will ask: "Are you okay?" and I'll reply: "Am I okay? I'M FANTASTIC. YOU KNOW WHY? I'M A MISSIONARY IN JAPAN." Not a lot of people talk to us, but you can bet a lot of people stare at us. My favorite thing to do when I know people are staring is to 1. Smile back or 2. Do something incredible. Like pick up a piece of garbage. The Lord lets us see a lot of miracles, but I know there are some miracles happening in people's hearts that I can't see.
Sorry it's a shorter letter folks! But I love ya and I'll see ya soon!