Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Answers to Prayers

Hello world and all who inhabit it.

This week was hard. As long as I've been in Chiba, we've been struggling to get a hold of someone who was baptized the week before I came here. Let me tell you a little bit about her.
So this area at I'm in was actually the first area of my MTC companion Sister J. I remember seeing her for the first time since we'd arrived in Japan and she was glowing. 

"We have a baptism this week and another investigator preparing for baptism in two weeks!" She told me. I asked her if there was anything I could pray for to help her and she said to pray for one of these investigators. So I did. I only knew her name but I remember kneeling on my futon in Koga praying so that this stranger would be baptized.

Well then my companion transferred out and I transferred in. The week before, that investigator I'd been praying out for so long was baptized. Now, she fell into my hands. Her well being was my responsibility! But we had one problem: She had no idea who I was and she was scared. Well imagine family! If I scare people back home in Utah, imagine what a 48 kg Japanese woman thinks of me. I don't know if she could have dreamed up a stranger, more foreign looking missionary. And the worst part was, this crazy looking sister missionary was looking to replace the angelic missionaries that found her! I don't know what it's like to be taught by missionaries, receive baptism, and then have both sisters transfer. I would imagine it's like going white water rafting. You're scared, waves of water called commandments like the Word of Wisdom and Tithing are slapping you in the face, you feel lonely but you know that the river guide at the head of the boat is a professional, has been doing this for years. Then, out of nowhere, this trusted river guide jumps overboard and on jumps a nineteen-year-old girl, fresh out of high school. She's bubbly and cute, but doesn't even speak your native language. I would have trust issues too! 

But the fact of the matter is that we really need to be meeting with this sister regularly. Everyone is on our case about continuing to teach her but whenever we ask she says she's busy.
And then, finally FINALLY after seven straight weeks of doing our best, she gave us the time of day. Well, not really. She told us when her day off was. We asked her when in the day, and she said she hadn't decided yet. The day before our vague appointment she texted us. In this text she demanded we pick a time because she was currently filling her day with things to do and wanted to know when she should work us in. Easy enough right? Just read the text Sister Goldsberry! Respond like lightning! But the thing is family, this text was in Japanese. I had to one be able to read it, two be able to understand it, three know how to respond and four be able to read my own answer back. I could have never imagined how difficult one simple little task-a task I've done a million times over-would be in Japanese. Well, I received this text, furrowed my brow, and set this daunting task aside, just for a little bit, when I shouldn't have. By the time I interpreted the text and sent her a reply, she had already filled her day and no longer had time for us. I called her, told her I understood, hung up the phone, and stared at it. I let my anger boil. It wasn't fair! I've only been speaking Japanese for nine months and felt like my Japanese was far out of reach from the responsibilities I had to accomplish. I was so angry. I thought about how much easier my mission would be if I'd served Spanish speaking or English speaking. I can read Spanish just fine! If I was serving in Kentucky this wouldn't have happened! I started to cry and my companion came over and tried to console me. It took all will power I had to not say out loud: I wish I wasn't in Japan.

I cried so hard that night my head hurt. Seven weeks of frustration and anger just rolled down my cheeks. I thought about how unfair it was, that I am here in Japan.

No matter how sad I felt, how low I felt, I could not deny that I was called of God. Yes, things that were my forte in English and Spanish are now my weaknesses in Japanese. No, it wasn't easy but it wasn't random either. I don't know why I'm in Japan, but I know God wants me here. I wish I could see the end; know all the reasons, but I don't. Everyone has their own idea, but nobody knows exactly why hard things happen. It's not logical. I don't think there will be a logical answer until I'm standing face to face with God. I don't know why. God sent me to Japan. I am a Japanese missionary. Why? Heaven knows. 

See you soon,

Sister Goldsberry

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