Sunday, January 1, 2012

Week of volunteering(Nov 27)

Good Morning!

I hope you all had a fun Thanksgiving! I sure did. I feel like the most spoiled missionary of all time. We were able to adjust our schedule and make just enough time to spend a couple of hours in the mission home stuffing our faces with Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, etc. The only thing missing was cranberry sauce, which Elder Stratford suffered a lot over, haha. The best part about Thanksgiving, though was after eating all sitting around the living room and watching a little video that the Elders put together for President and sister Margetts. They made these really hilarious "I'm a Mormon" videos, talking about how they're balding and getting really old from working in the mission home, but that they love Pres and Sister Margetts so much. So incredibly hilarious, especially Elder Watanabe and Neki who spoke English the whole time and said the most random things ever. After that the Margett's Granddaughter, whose family came here for Thanksgiving, got up and did this 15 minute dance to a "Once there was a snowman" remix. If you haven't heard that you have to look it up! It uses all these famous songs and just inserts the words snowman in for all of the words. It was awesome! Then we all sat around laughing and listening to Sister Rogers (the senior missionary who works in the mission home) talk about her younger years being a "Christensen Sister" and dancing and performing all over the Salt Lake valley with her three sisters Tam, Pam, and Nan. I imagine it was something like Rosemary Clooney and that other lady in "White Christmas." Anyway, it was the best Thanksgiving away from home I could have asked for!

This week we also had two rare opportunities to do some real community service! First we were invited by a member who works at an old folks home to go help entertain the old people. We went and there were these two long tables full of super old Japanese Ojiisans and Obaasans just chillin out and they plopped me in the middle of one table and Sister Uchida in the other. Sister Uchida got all of the SUPER old grandpas who could barely speak so she just sat there talking about her family and life the whole time. I was lucky enough to be put with some chatty grandmas who didn't seem that old, even though they were all about 95. I don't know If I've mentioned this yet, but it seems like all Japanese people live until they're about 100 years old. We had a good time talking about their Grandkids and such. After that we helped them make some crafts that they could give as presents to their families, then before leaving we sang "Silent Night" into a karaoke microphone, haha. It was a way awesome experience, and they even invited us back for their Christmas activity next month! Yayyy.

The other service opportunity was handing out curry to the homeless in a park. A member is also in charge of that and apparently asks the missionaries every so often to come help out. The elders were in charge of dishing out rice out of this HUGE metal bin and then Uchida Shimai and I handed it to the people waiting in line. After that they would be dished some curry and salad. They were all so nice and each came back for thirds and fourths because they were so hungry :(. I was feeling pretty bad for them until after those four rounds of curry the staff whipped out about 10 giant boxes of the most delicious looking sushi I've ever seen and handed that out to each of them! Haha. I couldn't believe it. After that we made onigiri with the leftover rice and they all got a doggie bag of that. It was a pretty smooth operation and really fun.

I learned a lot during this week's district meeting from Stratford Choro. He called us that morning and asked us what our favorite thing in the whole world is besides the gospel; something that when we look at it our whole being fills with happiness. Obviously I said hairless rats. Uchida Shimai said caves. So we showed up to district meeting and Elder Stratford hands each of us a laminated collage of pictures of the thing we told him, hahhaha. You can probably tell from the picture I attached that I got a pretty big kick out of mine. He then had us turn to the person next to us and teach them for five minutes about that thing, what it is, why we love it so much, and commit them to do something. He emphasized how easy it is for us to rave on and on about something we really love, and that's the kind of feeling we need to have when teaching about the gospel. It was a really awesome lesson and really got my mind going about where my testimony is really strong in the gospel, and what aspects need strengthening so that I could show more joy and excitement when teaching those things. I don't know what it is but every one of my district leaders has been so inspiring and awesome! I'm so impressed with these 19 year old elders (most of the time), haha.

I love this gospel and I'm so grateful to be working in Fukuoka right now! I have been so blessed in every way! Thank you for your prayers, support and love! I can't wait to talk to you on Christmas!!!!!

Love, Tingey Shimai

Pictures: President Margetts cutting the turkey.
Sister Margetts super tired from making the huge feast
My delicious plate!!
The Whole group before everyone went out to work again!

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