|Sister Tingey and Sister McIntyre in some sort of bat cave|
My second transfer in the mission field has just begun! This week was really eventful and exciting. Last Pday we visited the Okinawa Peace Park. It was really fun learning all about he history of this Island. Now I understand better a lot of the weird cultural things I have noticed here. For example, everyone here is obsessed with spam. So random, right? Well the reason is that after WWII the U.S. occupied Okinawa for about 20 years and so now a lot of American foods that were really cheap back then are a huge part of their culture. So interesting!!! If you have time you should read up about it.
|Eating Spam. I wonder how the Okinawans live so long after adding this to their diet.|
We had a really cool experience earlier this week. Sister McIntyre and I planned this long bike ride to go visit an area we hadnt really been to. We were planning on visiting some members that lived there and do some finding, but we got totally lost and took a wrong turn and ended up accidentally leaving our area. When we realized we were in Shuri, we called our zone leaders and asked them for permission to leave our area..haha. But when we stopped to call them we looked up and saw a sign that said Shur-Jo which means Shur Castle. We have been trying to contact a referral since I got here who works at Shuri Castle, but she always dodges our calls and doesnt seem very interested. So when we saw that we were close to the Castle we took it as a sign from Heavenly Father that we should go there and look for her. We prayed and asked to find her and thanked Heavenly Father for leading us there. So we went to the castle and looked all around and it was later at night so it was already closed. We asked around and found out it was actually her day off so she hadnt even come to work that day. At first we were really bummed but we didn:t let it get us down too much. We decided just to head back home because it was getting late, but as we were walking out of the entrance the guard at the gate stopped us and asked us if we wanted him to take a picture of us in front of hte castle. I thought it was kind of weird because Japanese people usually dont just talk to you.
|Cool pic of Shuri Castle|
He took our picture and then proceeded to tell us this amazing story..... Thirty years ago he was studying the Bible a lot and he came accross the verse that said that Adam knew his wife. He was so confused and didn:t understand what that meant. He said he went to every Christian church he could find and nobody could answer his question. Then one day he saw the missionaries and knew they were Christian, so he stopped them and asked them and these two 19 year olds were able to answer his question right away. He was so blown away by them and their maturity that he took them out to lunch. But unfortunately both of those Elders were transferred out of Okinawa the next day and he was never in contact with the missionaries again....until we walked by him in Shuri Castle! He agreed to let us meet with him next week and bring the Elders along to teach him. I know that Heavenly Father guided us there that day, at that time, so that we could talk to that man and he could have another opportunity after thirty years to hear the restored gospel!
|Lucy in front of the Shuri Castle|
|Lucy holding a giant python. And what is that paper doll on her lap? haha.|
Last week I gave my first talk in the mission field in one of my wards. It was 10 min long and about missionary work. McIntyre shimai also gave one on Mothers day. Then yesterday in church the little man who assigns everyone the talks and prayers in sacrament meetting approached us and gave us both another talk assignment for in a couple of weeks. Giving a talk in sacrament meeting used to be the scariest thing I could ever imagine before my mission, but now I love it! It just goes to show that Heavenly Father really will make our weak points our strong points (Not that im really skilled at giving talks, but Im just not terrified anymore ;) ). But the funny part was that both of our topics are missionary work again and McIntyre shimais talk is 10 minutes and mine is 15! What!? Haha. She got a good laugh out of that.
|Don't know what Lucy is eating, but looks kind of like a dare. Slimy beans perhaps?|
Hmm... what else. We found the most giant snail of all time the other day. I was so excited because I love snails so I took a lot of pictures. It was feasting on a huge peace of moss or something in the middle of the sidewalk and I just heard this blood curtling scream from Sister McIntyre because she almost ran over it with our bike. We also found a cute turtle crawling around in the trash by the church the other day. People always ask what the hardest thing about being on a mission is for me...and I think I would only have two. The first is the rule that we cant hold babies, and the other is that we can:t have pets. Haha. I always want to bring home all of the creatures we see while were tracting but I have to resist.
Ok last story. I know I said that we went out finding in a typhoon a few weeks ago...but that typhoon was NOTHING compared to what happened on Saturday. We got a call from the senior missionary couple here telling us to fill our washing machine on our deck with water and go to the store immediately to get some non perishable food because there was a giant typhoon coming. I kind of snickered because the last time there was a `typhoon` it was just a little wind and rain and people were freaking out about it. Earlier that day we went housing and every single door we knocked the person said, `Typhoon nanode...isogashiidesu!` which roughly translates as `There:s a typhoon coming so Im busy!` I thougth it was so dumb! I was getting so mad and thought it was so silly that people wouldnt just open their door so that we could just share our message. It wasnt even raining hard or anything at that point. So anyway, we kept going and then suddeenly it picked up and our umbrellas starting getting out of control. Luckily we were meeting some members at the church to head to this Karate charity event so we headed to the church. The karate event was so awesome!!! It was put on by our ward mission leader Brother Kina. He is the #1 Karate master in all of Japan! And his son is #2 or something. It was a cool show. They fought each other and chopped some wood in half, and then there was a variety show afterward. Some of the musical numbers were hilarious...like one Brother in our ward and his wife...I recorded a video so maybe someday youll see it. Anyway, on the way home the wind was so strong I thought the car was going to blow off the road. There were giant tree branches flying through the air. All night we just heard banging noises and giant wind gusts. It was so loud. It sounded like we were in a tornado or hurricane. Yesterday morning we woke up and went outside to go to church, and there was mass destruction! the streets were covered in trash, shoes, tree branches, and all sorts of stuff. We spent about an hour and a half before church in our Sunday best cleaning up the church yard becaues it looked awful. The bishop was so cute. He was there with a little broom sweeping up the walkway when we got there.
|Hello Jim Tingey|
Alrighty, I think that is enough for this email. Bahhh I have so many stories I want to tell. I know I say that every week but I do! I love you all so much and Im so grateful for everything you do for me! Thank you for supporting me! I am so grateful to be in Japan at this time. Im having the time of my life and my testimony is growing more than ever. I love you!
Love, Tingey Shimai