Monday, December 14, 2015

The Most Unmissionary-like Things that I've Done on My Mission that Made Me Feel Like a Missionary

The Most Unmissionary-like Things that I've Done on My Mission that
Made Me Feel Like a Missionary
Hello family! Brothers and sisters, MERRY CHRISTMAS. For me it's felt
like Christmas ever since Sister J. got here; she's the greatest
Christmas present I could ask for.
Wednesday marks A YEAR since Sister J. and I arrived in Japan. In
some ways, it's gone by so fast and in others it hasn't. I remember
horrendous days before I enjoyed knocking from door to door and
choking on my Japanese. Even though I've come to love housing and my
Japanese has improved tremendously, in my head, I'm still living those
rough days. I never really left Koga. I never really got the hang of
missionary life. Being with Sister J. has given us new
perspectives. This is Sister J. first transfer being a co-senior
companion. All of her companions have been much older than her in the
mission. We can see how much we've changed. We can exchange stories
from our mission experiences for days which makes us feel like this
year has been a lifetime. We both have a countdown looming over our
heads and it's going at the exact same pace which makes it all the
more noticeable.
With all the "experience" I've got, I'd like to write down a few when
I really felt like a missionary. In all of these moments I wasn't
doing anything near what I thought I would be before my mission. These
experiences though don't really give me "experience" because I still
down see myself as an experienced missionary. I would say they were
perfectly prepared random miracles I got to sit in and watch.
This week, with help from her seventeen-year-old daughter, I cleaned
the house of a recent convert while she was at work. What an intimate
experience that was! I knew that there was no one else in the world
who could do that for her, let alone WOULD. I knew I was meant for her
and she was meant for me. As we were on our way out, we bumped into
that daughter of hers.
"You really did it!" She squeaked.
If that house spiraled back into a disaster area tomorrow I wouldn't
even care because at least that recent convert would know that I was
her friend and I cared. Her daughter would know that she can trust
Mormon missionaries' word. We said we would and we did. Her face was
worth it. Heck, the way that house smelled afterward was worth it.
In our mission, our mission president suggested we offer tutoring
services. I barely survived my Calculus class myself so I kept to my
boundaries and began teaching kids to play the piano. So random! But
we were in the pinkest room I ever saw with an adorable Japanese girl
teaching her how to play "I Know that My Redeemer Lives." She whined
to us between practice that she actually hated pink and wanted a blue
room. We cooperated with her mom, not a member of our church but
definitely a member of our faith, and decorated it all with blue
curtains, sheets, pillows, rugs, and things while she was at school.
She came home from school grumpy, almost even more upset to see us
because she knew it meant sudden piano practice. This little girl, who
lives in the middle of nowhere, drudged up the stairs, saw her new
room, wheeled a circle and squealed:
"I knew she was my favorite missionary!"
To celebrate, she played they hymn we taught her by memory in her new
room. She wrapped me up in a hug tighter than any I have received from
any Japanese girl ever.
I remember once a member cancelling on a lesson because her husband's
relative was in the hospital. He wasn't a member, and had just been in
an accident. My companion suggested we write him an encouraging note
on the whiteboard of the church and take a picture that this member
could show to his relative. I thought it strange because we had never
met him before and I didn't know how he would take a picture of two
young foreigners. Maybe a week later, this member told us that he
adored the encouraging note, recovered fully, and wanted to meet the
missionaries. What a random, small thing that had such a large
influence!
The leader of Young Single Adults in the biggest Ward I ever served in
asked us to pitch in to make pot stickers for an event the next day.
Really, all the YSA of that Ward were supposed to come but they
cancelled and this guy knew he couldn't make all those pot stickers on
his own so he called the missionaries. We invited a friend we'd never
met before to join us. She was just a name and a phone number in our
records. But she came! We made pot stickers and laughed and showed her
the church. Now she has a baptismal date for Christmas Day. We made
pot stickers! That's it! So silly but so influential.

There are so many more moments just like these. I love being a
missionary! At the beginning of my mission I hated riding our bikes
out in the middle of nowhere because I would get anxiety. If anything
were to happen to us, I thought, no one would ever know because nobody
knows about this area except for us and God. Now, I love that feeling.
I'm riding out to the ends of the earth to see people that perhaps
nobody else would bother to meet. My friends are people that not
everyone will get a chance to meet. Fact is they live in the middle of
nowhere. Nobody but God knows who they are. Now that I do, I consider
myself pretty lucky. I love country side areas more than anything
else! I adore being the evidence of God's love to people who feel
forgotten, lost, and out of touch. I will ride my bike wherever for
however long just so I can learn the name of someone who lives twenty
four miles away from my temporary home and teach them the gospel. It's
the only time in my life I'll be able to. Of course I'll find diamonds
in the dusts of America but what an honor it is to do it in Japan. I
love you all and I'll see you soon,

Sister Goldsberry 



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