I know what you're thinking: WHO THE HECK IS ELDER SHIBUTA?
But let me give you an update first and then I'll explain. The weather is great, the people still feed us nonstop, but Sister M. and I still managed to lose weight this week! Two weeks ago we had a conference with Elder Whiting, the president of our area, and he gave us a spiritual whopping. The butt of my soul is still bruised. I have Elder Whiting's shoe print on my back. We had Zone Conference, which is a special meeting with our mission president. He put us to work! We roleplayed over and over again! He gave me special permission to practice in Portuguese while everyone else practiced in Japanese. I am grateful for every bit of practice of Portuguese I have. Don't think that I don't need your prayers anymore, I need them more than ever! I need this gift of tongues! The fact that I'm more comfortable speaking Japanese than Portuguese is not cool. Help me. Pray for me. Pray for Oizumi. Pray that I don't mess up Oizumi.
Alright so there's that here's Elder Shibuta. He was one of the first elders to serve in Oizumi. He's Brazilian. Not super important. Who's important is Sister Hunsaker. Sister Hunsaker is famous in Oizumi. She is a blonde American. Before she served her mission in Tokyo, she studied a little bit of Spanish. She was called to Oizumi. Suddenly, this girl, who didn't even really speak Spanish was expected to learn Portuguese to top her already allegedly great Japanese. How random right? How hard? End of the story is that she learned Portuguese, became fluent, met Elder Shibuta here in Oizumi and now they're married.
Not the funniest story to hear as a missionary! It's a story that makes me blush and squirm and never want to look at an elder again. But I've learned a ton from it. Here this American, who never even dreamed to learn Portuguese, ended up marrying a Brazilian. Do you think she had different dreams for herself? Do you think she expected, when she received her mission call to Tokyo, Japan, to learn any other language other than Japanese, let alone to find her husband? I'll be the first to tell you: the last thing on sister missionaries' minds when they put in their papers is finding a husband. Sister Hunsaker went in an American, speaking conversational Spanish, and came out with a husband.
God's vision is so much more different than ours. We can make goals and and plans but everything can get turned on its head. God has so much in store for me. He has plans I've never even dreamed of. I've stayed up late pondering what in the world my "Elder Shibuta" could be. PLEASE DON'T GET ME WRONG. I AM NOT LOOKING TO GET MARRIED. But I wonder, what are the blessings that I am not expecting? How will I be blind sided like Sister Hunsaker. I sit here in Japan an American twenty-year-old girl who speaks Spanish, after nine months of pure struggle somehow managed to pick up some Japanese and now it is expected of me to learn Portuguese. What in the world are you up to Heavenly Father? What blessing can only come to pass once I've served my mission with all my heart, might, mind, and strength?
Today I went to be temple and I read this verse in the celestial room: Doctrine and Covenants Section 78 17 Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye are little children, and ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you; 18 And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours. There's no one (outside my mom perhaps) who is more excited for my future than I am!
Love you, see you soon!