Well. I've been in Japan for about 4 days now. It's been quite the first week. We left the airport on Monday and got to Japan on Tuesday. The plane ride was extremely long. I sat next to the same elder for about 14 hours. Before the flight I hardly new the elder ,but after those 2ish days we became good friends. It was fun to get to meet someone new. We got to Japan at about 9:00 ,but we were late for our flight to Osaka and rushed to the flight. It took forever to get through customs. We kept trying to go through and one guy would say "no. Stop. Go back" (I think the only English he new was those few words). We had a guy kinda guiding us and we would tell us to go through and then the man wouldn't let us through. It went back and forth for about 10 minutes until the guy finally let us through. After we got through we ran to a shuttle. 2 of our elders where left in the airport and missed the flight. They had to stay in Tokyo for the night. It was so crazy. There was so much Japanese and all I knew was everyone was being polite. So I got to meet some of the members this week we have about 15-20ish active members our bishop. Something we have to focus on is the less actives. This week we visited the shibahads (80 year old couple who can barely move). We also visited katoaka shimai. She is recent convert ,but she doesn't want to come to church anymore because she thinks it's boring we are trying to think of ways to make church more interesting. We have to talk to here like she is 6 years old and it's kinda frustrating because a lot times she just does not want to listen to us. It's been rainy every day. It's not bad it just gets kinda cold when we bike really fast. My companion is Bean shimai. She is fantastic! I couldn't ask for a better companion! She's been out for about 8 months. She is very patient with me ,but she still tries to push me to learn more. I got to watch General conference twice which was super cool because I got to learn new things that I didn't know before.
We went to go visit some members with the elders and we Visited one sister and I learned that she served a mission in Osaka. She was very kind and very tiny. All the people here are so tiny! But anyways she said that she wanted to go visit here Friends and had us come along. We went over and met this 60 year old guy and his 2 daughters with their rowdy kids. They had us come inside and go into this tiny room. It smelled like incense and was kinda foggy. On one side of the room there was a picture of the man's wife and a small candle and some sticks. His wife had recently died and this is how they honor people after they die. We all had to honor the wife which meant we each lit a stick and placed it in another pot facing a certain way then we "prayed" to the wife (remember I don't speak very well and half the time I have. No idea what is going on) so we each did it. Japanese people kneel but when they kneel they sit on the feet we stayed and talked with them for like an hour and my legs went numb. When I went to stand up I almost fell over because both my legs were asleep the Daughters thought it was so funny!
Spiritual thought :
Elder Neil Anderson shared this thought I'm General conference:
"Although the Lord reassures us again and again that we “need not fear,” keeping a clear perspective and seeing beyond this world is not always easy when we are in the midst of trials."
I really liked it because sometimes it is hard to look past now and see what is down the road...We do not always know what's ahead however he does. He knows what lies ahead and he won't give us anything that we can't handle .
(I love you)