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
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!