Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Yamakasa Matsuri


can you tell how excited we were to get a picture with this guy?

We had the greatest week ever! Probably the best so far this
transfer!! We found three new investigators, one being a woman named
Tomoko san who is sooo prepared to receive the gospel! We stopped to
talk to her on the street last Tuesday, she came to Eikaiwa the next
day, came to the church on Friday for her English Class interview,
accepted hearing the lessons, camed again on Saturday so we could
teach her, and then we had another lesson with her yesterday! She's on
fire! She seems like she's had a really hard life so far and said that
until now she has always just believed only in herself and her ability
to make herself happy, but she finally recognizes that it's not enough
and she's ready to rely on Heavenly Father. It was so cool to hear
because I feel likee almost everyday we talk to people who say that
exact thing; "We experience success through our own efforts right? So
I just believe in and rely on myself. I don't need God. Only weak
people join Christianity, etc." It was so nice to meet one of those
people, AFTER having realized she was actually wrong and she does need
the healing power of the atonement of Christ.
Yamakasa Matsuri!
We also taught this 20 year old boy named Taguchi san, who is a
referral from a member. After Takabori Shimai told him the first
vision we paused for a second and asked him, "So how did you feel
hearing that?" and he said, "To be completely honest, the first thing
I thought was 'I want to ask, too!'" he then went on to say, "This is
really embarrassing, and I've never told anyone else this before...
but when I was little I went to a Christian church with my friend a
few times and the missionaries there taught me how to pray. It always
really stuck with me and every single night since then I always say a
prayer of thanks in my heart before I go to sleep..." We were so
amazed to see how Heavenly Father has been working with him for all
this time, and to see the spirit working in his member friend to
invite him to hear the lessons even though he had NO idea about that
secret he had! Isn't that awesome!?

Here's a fun story: When Takabori Shimai and I woke up on Tuesday
morning last week we didn't imagine we would be teaching the Plan of
Salvation to a bunch of people at a Buddhist funeral....haha! A
member's mom passed away suddenly on Monday night due to heart
problems. She was a woman who we had received as a referral a few
times from him in the past 6 months or so, so it was cool to see how
he had been prompted several times to reach out to her before her
death. Anyway, he called and asked us to attend the funeral and of
course we volunteered to come sing a hymn or do something to help. He
accepted our offer and we thought it was going to be just a small
gathering of his family for the service, but it ended up being a
full-on Buddhist ceremony with the chanting monk and everything! It
was suuuuper interesting. When it was our turn to get up at the end
they asked us to introduce ourselves. We were expecting the member who
sang with us to do it but she looked over at me and then suddenly I
was talking about how families can be together forever after death and
whatnot, haha. Also, there are special times and ways to bow during
the ceremony and Sister Takabori and I had no idea what was going on
so we kept messing up...haha. I hope we didn't offend anyone.

Japanese bums!
Yesterday we spent Pday being dressed up in Yukatas (summer kimonos)
by a ward member named Matsuura Shimai and taking a stroll in downtown
Fukuoka to see the decorations for a festival called Yamakasa! I still
haven't quite figured out what the festival is celebrating but I do
know that a bunch of men wearing sumo wrestler-type diaper bottoms and
not much else run around holding a giant wooden float looking thing.
The actual festival is on the 15th, which is a Sunday so we can"t
go...which is a real bummer because Sister Mueller was hear last
summer for it and said it was hilarious.

Sarah- is your sister Nikki secretly a model in Japan!?

Other things...
1. Recently during finding and lessons when someone mentions anything
about cats Sister Takabori has been saying, "Oh really!? Sister Tingey
loves cats!!!" The problem is that they usually get really excited and
happy and I don't have the heart to tell them its actually a lie. I'm
not sure what the deal is but apparently she gets a kick out of it.
2. Had an unfortunate incident during ward council meeting this Sunday
when it slipped that I won't be around next transfer. Apparently
everyone, including the bishop, was under the impression I had another
transfer left, so they were all saying things like, "Oh, but we don't
have to worry because I don't think either of the sisters will
transfer, right? What do you think?" ...and then I started to cry,
haha. The bad news is that my secret is out and I won't be able to
duck out quietly like I had hoped. The worse news is that I thought I
had gotten away with giving a musical number my last Sunday but now I
have to give a talk! Haha. I guess that's fair.

Well, this next week is looking to be promising and we're hoping to
have several baptism dates what with Tomoko and Taguchi San
progressing so well. Can't wait to see what lies ahead! Love you all
so much!

Love, Tingey Shimai

P.S. Remember how it was the 4th of July last week? Yeah, well we didn't, haha.

1 comment:

  1. Fun, I did not know Sister Tingey had a letter blog. I am a member of the Fujisaki Ward, and we have gotten to know Sister Tingey very well. She has been a great example to us of faith and hard work. I spent most of yesturday with the sisters and three other members of the ward, cleaning up some homes damaged in the recent flooding. The sisters were the hardest working of the bunch. We were all a sight at the end of the day, you can see a picture on Bishop Yuuri Miyake's facebook page. And if Sister Tingey reads this after you go home in a couple of days, congratulations on a great mission.
    Andrew and Jenifer Hall