We were talking to a woman in the ward who's awesome. She's really great. She had us over for dinner and her husband made hand made pot stickers. Have you heard of such a thing?? The idea here is that she's nice. But just yesterday she was telling us about her worries. She told us she didn't think it was a good idea to reduce the sister missionaries in this Ward down to two. She went on and on about her worries and how if we wanted to teach her friends she would have to review every single lesson before we teach it. She pleaded with me to try even harder to learn Japanese because apparently studying it every day and living in Japan isn't enough. She must have talked to us for thirty minutes.
I was super hurt family! For the rest of the afternoon I sulked. It was easy to pity myself. I thought of all the work I'd put into my mission and thought what a waste it was because this woman still didn't take me seriously. Every missionary that's been in this area before me has gone home.
But then I remembered something. Our first day at the MTC, everyone kept saying: "You have just as much authority on the first day of your mission as your last." I was so glad I remembered that! A mission isn't something you earn. It's a calling. You have this title and this duty every single day until you don't. When the Lord calls, He qualifies. He qualifies people as soon as they're called, He doesn't wait a month and then decides that they're qualified. I AM a missionary. I won't become one once I'm fluent in Japanese. And let's get one thing straight: I'd be lying to you, myself, and God if I said that my Japanese wasn't pretty darn good. God has helped me so much, I can't believe how fast I'm learning this language. The fact that I understood this conversation is proof that I can and indeed do speak Japanese.
And then I got to thinking, who found me worthy to serve a mission? My Bishop or this Japanese sister? Who called me on this mission, God or this lady? I know that God wants me to serve Him here in Japan and that He has found me worthy and that He qualifies me every day. I also know that He loves this sister even though she hurt my feelings. I'll get over it.
I really love Japan, but I really miss things like dishwashers, dryers, and cars. Ovens too. I miss ovens.
We've seen a ton miracles. I'll share some short ones.
The other day we were walking into the train station and we saw a lady standing by herself. We said hey, asked her if she was Japanese and she said she wasn't, she was Philippine. We were like "Cool" and she than she said all in one breath:
"You know, my bus is here, I gotta go but here I'll give you my number and you can call me later."
I'm realizing now as I type this up that this doesn't seem like a big deal. But do you have any idea how hard it is to get people's numbers in Japan??! It's happened like three times and I've been here for a month. So we called her and had lunch at Denny's together. She's the greatest. We gave her a Book of Mormon in Tagalog and she kissed it when we gave it to her! I was in the middle of asking her "Will you read the introduction?" when she said "I'll read it! I'll read it all!" She told us that she told her son about us, who's in the Philippines, and he suggested: "You know mom, maybe they're sent from God." HECK YEAH WE ARE.
Then just this week we got a call from an unsaved number. This woman, also Philippine, (the Elders are starting whisperings of a Philippine branch now) demanded that we teach her daughter English and accompany herself and her daughter to church with her the following Sunday. We didn't do anything and we had a friend at church. Well, she ended up coming at the end, but she knows where it is now and she'll come next week! She also brought us Costco rolls. That was a miracle within itself.
I'm officially on Facebook! Everyone has gone through my profile. Just the other day, a new elder transferred into my area, and he mumbled to himself: "You know, I've been thinking about how to raise a daughter." If you don't get the joke, look through my Facebook profile, you can't miss it.
I'm sorry it's a short letter family! But I'm sending pictures! Love you all, see you soon.