|Is it me, or is Lucy looking really thin? Lucy, you look great! I bet it's all that healthy food you've been eating over there in Japan. Or probably...|
Well this week has been very eventful! I have a lot to say in not very much time but I'll try to fit it all in!
I have a lot of fun stories from this week.
Funny story: somehow this bright pink scarft made its way into my laundry....so all of my white clothes are dyed bright pink. Awesome huh? Not too much I can do about it being stranded on this tiny island, paha.
|Giant pig head in the meat market|
Last Wednesday the senior couple missionaries came from Okinawa and brought this newly married girl with them from the base because she was bored. We gave them a tour around Naha and this really cool street called Kokusaidori, which is a huge tourist attraction. They had heard about this meat market that they wanted to go to, and we had also never been so we went to check it out. It was the most awesome place ever!!! There were just pig heads and dead animals laying around everywhere. I attached a picture of us three with a giant pig head. We walked around the meat market for a while and then the cool part is that you can buy your meat or fish or whatever you want to eat, and then take it upstairs to the restaurants and they'll cook it up for you. We didnt buy anything but we went upstairs to eat and realized that our investigator Linseika (from Taiwan) works there! So it was really fun because she served us our food. Gopeipei also came with us so it was a really good day spending time with some of our investigators.
Last Tuesday all of the missionaries on Okinawa put on a concert in Urasoe for the members and anyone else who could come. We had a big turnout! Sister McIntyre and I did a song together, I did one alone, all of the Okinawa sisters did one together, and then we also did one with all of the missionaries. All of the Elders also did some really good numbers. We all practiced really hard to make the concert fun so I think everyone had a really good time.
|Playing baseball with some members|
Best faith strengthener story: When I was a brand new bean in my first couple weeks here in Naha I was streeting one day with my companions sister Hooker and McIntyre. We stopped to talk to this girl named Yoko and ended up being there for about 30 minutes teaching her, praying with her, and she seemed really legit, but then when we asked her if we could teach her more or get her number she totally rejected us and walked away. We were super bummed because we were so excited and thought we would for sure be able to meet her again. We kind of just gave up and started to ride our bikes away down the road in the opposite direction, when I thought, "There is no way I'm giving up that easy!" So I asked my companions if I could ride back and try one more time to get her number. We ended up going back and in my super awkward Japanese I said something like, "I'm sorry...but I really feel like we should be friends..so is it ok if we exchange numbers?" She had just moved to the area and had told us before that she didn't really know anyone, so i figured doing the whole "friend" approach might be better. She ended up giving us her number that second time asking and I just remember floating on a cloud the rest of the day, feeling good about thrusting in my sickle, even though it was awkward to stalk her down again. We didnt see very much fruits from that contact for about 3 months. We called her about once a week with no response, but I still felt like we really were supposed to meet her. Ok the best part of this story is that last Wednesday right before our weekly Eikaiwa (english class) guess who walked into the church!!!!??? You guessed it! That same girl we had hunted down three months earlier. She completely randomnly showed up for Eikaiwa, stayed the whole time, had a ton of fun, and then lingered for about an hour afterward talking to all of the missionaries. It was such a miracle!!! I was again floating on a cloud for the rest of the night. The Lord really does put people in our path for a reason, and we shouldn't ever ignore a prompting from the Holy Ghost telling us to do something, even if its hard! We never know what the Lord has in store for that person.
|Posing with some investigators|
On Saturday night we had Elder Yamashita from the Quorem of the 70 come do a special devotional for all of the members in the area. It was a really great devotional (even though I didnt understand a lot). He talked a lot about what it was like to get the call to be a General Authority, and how the process went. He skyped with Elder Oaks and had to describe each of his 6 children and their families individually, talk about his job, retirement, what he would do if his house burned down, and a lot of other questions that he wasn't prepared to answer. Then, there was silence for one month where he didn't hear anything. He said he didn't sleep for that whole month, and then he got a call from Elder Uchtdorf that he was being called to the 70. Anyway, it was really cool to hear him talk about it.
|The Elders singing at the conference|
The next day(Yesterday, fast sunday), he came to our first ward and took a little bit of time at the end of Fast and Testimony Meeting to talk a little more. Our investigator Natsumi-san came and I was so grateful she could hear his testimony and also meet him afterward. He shook her hand and said, "please continue studying," and walked away! Haha. It was just short and powerful.Something really amazing happened for me during that meeting. I was sitting there listening to Elder Yamashita talk about a testimony meeting he had with all of the General Authorities in April right before conference, when about 10 minutes into his talk I realized that I was just listening to him and understanding what he was saying!!!! That is the first time in my life that I haven't had to be concentrating super hard trying to translate everything really fast in my head and getting lost. It was so amazing!!! I know it was because I was fasting and feeling very humbled, that I was able to have that experience, even if it didnt last for very long, haha.
|A giant tree. They don't grow like this in America!|
Ok, last story. I saved the best for last because it is just so good. During that same fast and testimony meeting where Elder Yamashita spoke something totally hilarious happened that I just have to relate. I was sitting there next to McIntyre shimai waiting for the meeting to start, and I looked over at the door to see if Natsumi-san had arrived yet...when all of a sudden I saw the most unreal sight of my life. I saw the MOST ENORMOUS SPIDER I have ever seen in my entire life crawling around on the wall right above Elder Triffitt's head!!!!! I'm not kidding you-from where we were sitting I was judging it to be about the size of my hand or bigger. If you know anything about me, you'll know that I love spiders and will do almost anything to catch one...and I have never met anyone who is more scared of spiders than sister McIntyre, so you can imagine how excited I was when I turned to her and said, "Look at the wal behind me RIGHT NOW!" Hahahaha. Just thinking about her face right now makes me crack up. I really felt like I was in a movie or something because it didn't look real! It was so big! Anyway, for the rest of the meeting I felt really bad because i was trying so hard to be reverent and concentrate on fasting and listening to the testimonies, but every few seconds I was looking back at the wall looking for the spider. It eventually disappeared, and then after the meeting I went on a search for it. I got two brothers in the ward to look for it with me, and as we were searching suddenly sister McIntyre ran in yelling, "Sister Tingey, I found it !!!!!" It was just chilling in the room next door right above the door frame. The two brothers caught it and let it go outside, and actually upclose it wasn't as big as we thought...probably a little smaller than my hand, but definitely the biggest spider I've ever seen in real life.Ok that was my last story of the week.
I love you!!!! I am having such a great experience here and seeing so many miracles everyday. I am convinced that we can see the Lord's hand in every aspect of our lives if we are humble enough to recognize it. I am learning slowly that everything good that happens and all of my accomplishments are only because of Heavenly Father's help and guidance. Make sure to study the conference Liahona! It is filled with so much knowledge and guidance for each of us individually!!!!
Love, Sister Tingey