Wednesday, November 16, 2016

7th Transfer? Nihon Week 36

It was another good and busy week for Alyssa.  She has sure grown to love her area and I know the thoughts of a possible transfer weighed heavily on her.  This is what she said to me about it:

I have no idea what will happen, so we will just have to see. The zone leaders bet that I would transfer, but if they could just come to the church already I would bug them and ask them again haha. I have mixed feelings. I love this ward with my whole heart and they have grown to love me and so many people were way sad when I told them I might transfer because they said that they wanted me to be here with them for Christmas and it like broke my heart and I went home and cried haha. I am just lucky that I stay in areas longer than most of the sisters of this mission, God just knows that my heart couldn't handle being ripped away from so many people that I love.
She truly has embraced these people and I can see the love that she has for them. 
Also, there are a lot of Christmas decorations going up in Japan.  So I asked her about that since Japan is predominately Non-Christian and this holiday is all about Christ.  This was her response:

As far as the Japanese and Christmas, for the most part they have like no is purely commercial and like people still work and have lives and even church members don't really do a ton. It is kind of the saddest thing ever and I am kind of nervous but I am sure it will also be good and just a great time to really focus on the most important part of the season anyways! I am so excited for the Christmas video to come out because there is a SUPER cool campaign that is going along with it and I would encourage you all to do it as well, and share the video and make it LIGHT the WORLD (hint hint) and get us a bunch of media referrals so we can baptize everyone haha. But when we get the video released, we can show it to everyone and their Japanese Inu Dog, so I am excited. 

And on to her group letter:

Minasan, Konnichiwa!

Well here we are looking at another transfer week already. I seriously
don't even know how this happens, I swear that I blink and that
another 6 weeks have passed! I honestly do not know what will happen
to me this transfer, I would say that my odds are about even on
whether or not I stay here in Shimogamo or transfer somewhere... I have
really mixed feelings about the whole thing and love this ward to
pieces and so I am not sure what to expect, but regardless the Lord
knows what is best for me and I will trust Him and go where He needs
me to go.

This week was so great and the hand of the Lord was so evident. Last
Monday after P day we decided to go house around a member after we
heart attacked them...we prayed around an area and Fujii Shimai felt
that we should stay close to the place where we prayed. So we go out
and work for like an hour and have no success and it is about time to
be heading back...then we decided to just ping pong the house directly
next to our bikes on a whim as the last one, and lo and behold, the
CLOSEST house has this older guy walk out and try and deny us but then
I kept trying to talk to him and it turns out he is fluent in English
and then realized we were Mormons and got excited because when he went
to America he home stayed with Mormons and had read the Book of Mormon
and thought they were great. He said he didn't want to convert or
anything (but what does he know, really) but he liked meeting us and
so we were welcome to pop back in at anytime. Totally going back to
visit him and so grateful for that prompting!

Tuesday we had the chance to go to Fushimi and have another kokkan
because why not! I had the chance to work with Nielsen Shimai and it
was super great but also bittersweet because she has been my STL for 6
transfers and we talk literally every week and I love her to pieces
and she is heading back to America this week. She has influenced my
mission for good in so many ways, and I am so grateful for her love
and craziness and example. She will be missed! But we worked hard and
met some cool new investigators and had a great time even thought it
was raining and SO COLD. Bah I do not want winter to come, but it was
all good!

Wednesday was just another good solid day of hard work (and it was
also FREEZING, shoutout Folkman Shimai for giving me leggings before
she left because otherwise I would have died haha), but the funniest
thing was of course Eikaiwa. My little grandpa student, self dubbed
Clinton Obama walks in all sad and defeated. I asked him what was
wrong, and he very sadly told me that he was depressed because Trump
had become the president of the United States. I had to stop from
bursting out laughing, because that was how I found out the new
president. My Eikaiwa student named Clinton Obama told me haha. It was
too funny, my class is hilarious and it was hard to keep them off the
political topic because we don't discuss that as missionaries. But
trust me, like everyone and their dog let me know the results of the

Thursday we got to visit with our friend Evalyn from Tasmania, help a
member put together a ward map for us, have a lesson and dinner with
Tanaka Chan (she feels the Spirit so strongly and yet will not come to
church and her agency makes me want to die) and I translated for two
foreigner families in the restaurant haha, but the best part of the
day was our last contact of the night! We were biking home and it was
cold and rainy and we didn't have a lot of time, but I saw this girl
on the bridge and I felt like we should stop her. We get talking to
her and then I have the most distinct impression that I need to talk
to her about college and my experience with applications and God's
hand in all of that and it was so random but I did and bore testimony
and at the very end, the girl (her name is Utako) just looks at me and
tells me that she is in the EXACT same lost decision and needed help.
I felt the Spirit so strong and it just moved me to tears as we
testified of a God that loves her and wants to help her. We exchanged
contact information to meet again (though it wont be for a while
because she is busy with tests and Japanese culture sometimes I
swear), but the next morning she texted us and told us that she had
received guidance and had been able to make a decision about college.
These are the moments people, that make a mission worth it 100 times

Friday we traveled to Katsura for district meeting which was good as
always, and sort of sad because one of our elders is dying this week,
so we took one last classy photo together in front of a Christmas
tree. It was also Pocky Day (11/11), so that was fun and we were able
to stop some people on the streets who had big pocky stick things
haha. The evening was great though because we had a dinner appointment
with a member family, and we walk in and find out that they had
invited their cousin to come and have dinner with us. This kid is a
college student and has tons of interest in Christ, and so we taught
him and the vibe was way good and he became a new investigator with
plans to meet again! Teaching in the home of a member family was the
best, please everyone just do member missionary work.

Saturday like all of our plans fell through and so we spent a
laaaaarge amount of time finding and housing and biking, but it was
okay because the Spirit helped us to be where we needed to be to meet
certain people. Sunday was amazing as always because it is the Sabbath
and we renewed our covenants and strengthened member relationships and
went to a way long ward council and then ended the night with a dinner
at the Mizoguchi family house. All in all, a solid week.

This week I have really been studying miracles, and I absolutely love
what is written in the Bible Dictionary. It says that miracles should
not be seen as things out of the ordinary, but rather as
manifestations of divine power, or evidence of Christ among the
children of men. I LOVE THAT. As we seek to have Christ in our lives,
as we strive to follow Him, miracles will be a natural occurrence in
our lives. And once we recognize one, we can most surely look for
others, because if we have the eyes to see, I promise that they are

Well everyone, I hope you all have a wonderful week. The church is
true, as always :) God lives and loves you and Christ is your Savior.
The Book of Mormon is the word of God. What more could I possibly say?
Have a great week and I will write you all next week from wherever I
am! Aishiteimasu!

Sister Pickering

P.S. For P Day we hiked this mountain that overlooks all of Kyoto and
the hike was beautiful in and of itself, but the final view was
amazing. Prepare for a picture overload. Sorry but at the same time
not really haha. Also we fail at jumping pictures, it is okay, we

Pocky Day

Missionary Apartment
Alyssa's Bed

Love the vending machine in the middle of nature.

Fall in Kyoto

Overlooking Kyoto

Excited about potatoes??

A sweet birthday video for her Dad!

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