August 18, 2013 – Life in Akita!

By Small and Simple Things are Great Things Brought To Pass

 
This past week was full of so many experiences. It’s still hot and humid, but Akita is always cloudy so it’s never a clear blue day, but I am loving the heat. Every other missionary isn’t too fond of sweating all the time, but I’m trying to enjoy it while it lasts before the freezing cold 3 foot snow winter comes!
    Sister Stevenson makes great Japanese meals and I’m trying to learn to make some Japanese food. I’m excited to learn so I’ll be able to cook. Japanese food is so yummy! My first Japanese restaurant experiences was unforgettable! Our whole Zone of missionaries, 14 of us, went to a Japanese buffet together. You take off your shoes and kneel on these mats sitting in front of just a foot-high table. There’s raw meat you pick and put in this big pan and you cook your own meat. It was super fun. I love my Zone of missionaries. The Zone leaders, Elder Akiyama and elder Hakaria are great Zone leaders. They all made me beat-box and want me to beat-box in the streets to get more people to come to our English classes every week. I don’t know about beat-boxing in the streets of Japan as a missionary. That seems intimidating haha and I don’t know if that sets a good image. They told me, “No you’re supposed to use your talents!” haha Elder Akiyama is the funniest Japanese guy! He’s 26 and a convert. He is so nice and always makes me laugh. We only meet with our Zone once a week for a meeting.
    There were many times through out this week that I would go up to someone to try and speak to them and as soon as I said, “I’m a missionary…” they would cut me off and walk away. I realized that I needed to show these people love first and not seem like a sales person. So I told sister Stevenson, “Okay let’s try to talk about Akita the city and tell them we just got here and what fun things there are to do here”. She agreed and we went down the streets of people shopping by the huge shopping malls and train station. People actually would stop and listen, but we wouldn’t focus on our message and then the conversation and end and we would walk away. It didn’t feel right to not mention we were missionaries of the Lord and had a special message. So Yesterday I had a determination I would try to boldly share my testimony and just trust my words would be guided and they would be able to feel the Spirit. We met one girl name Mika, and she was so kind! As I looked into her eyes and shared that I knew that God loves her and has a special purpose for her life she listened and smiled. I gave her a Book of Mormon and since she’s not from Akita, we parted our ways. I realize there’s many times I will never see the person again, but I don’t know the affects it could have on their life. I pray Mika will read the Book of Mormon and feel it’s true message.
    Our apartment is so small but it feels like were a little poor family and I love it! Since there’s four of us we’re always with each other in the apartment and cooking dinners for each other and eating together. I love feeling poor, because it helps me realize how blessed I am and think of all those in the world who have so little and yet can still be so happy. It reminds me of the story of Christ telling the woman at the well that, “whosoever shall come unto me shall never thirst”. The Lord’s message will fill our souls and we may not have a lot but we will be happy because we are full spiritually. I know that through prayer and reading the Book of Mormon every day, we can feel God’s love and understand our purpose in life more fully. We will be happy and desire to serve others. I know when we serve others we are truly happy. Christ served everyone around Him always. I desire to be more like Christ each day.
I am still trying to memorize all the members in the Akita Branch. They are all so sweet and kind.
I am so grateful for your prayers. I love you!
Love,
Tori
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