Akita is COLD! Riding my bike this morning I couldn`t feel my hands because I`d forgotten my gloves. Sister Iwahashi and I have been hearing that it`s supposed to snow today! It`s just like good old Rexburg, Idaho so nothing too new. I am actually kind of excited for the snow. I hear the snow here can get up to waste heigth. There will be lots of walking, and no riding bikes the next 3 months of snow. I don`t see any yet, so we`ll just have to wait and see.
I am loving being companions with Iwahashi shimai. She is the BEST! I really admire her and love her so much for the true missionary she is. We had many great things happen this past week. During personal study one morning I read in PMG chapter 9 “Former Investigators“ and felt that sister Iwahashi and I should look at former investigators in the Area Book. We both felt strongly about a 21 year old past investigator Ikegami san, who had taken the lessons for 2 years but stopped 4 months ago. I had heard things about Ikegami san from other missionaries, that he has no interst any more and shouldn`t waste our time with him. But sister Iwahashi and I both felt we needed to try to contact him. That day we planned to visit him but found out right before we were going to go to his apartment that he was at the Sasaki family`s house tutoring Takashi kun in science, brother and sister Sasaki`s son. Brother Sasaki told us we should go over there and meet him. When we got to the Sasaki`s, sister Sasaki welcomed us in and whispered that at the moment Ikegami san has pushed away missionaries so we shouldn`t pressure but just be friends. We agreed and as we walked in to meet Ikegami san we definitely could see he put up a little bit of a wall. But as we talked and laughed and got to know him more he started to open up. He then began to ask about us and we created a friendship. We had dinner at the Sasaki`s and before leaving shared a short message. When Ikegami san gave the closing prayer he said that it had been a long time since he`d seen the missionaries and he was grateful we`d come. Sister Iwahashi asked Ikegami san after the prayer if we could meet again to share a message and he said he was so busy but maybe the next week. We don`t know if he will contact us but I know that we were supposed to meet with him that day. I believe Ikegami san is scared to start lessons again but I know he felt the Spirit that night and longed to have it back in his life. I pray he will contact us.
All us missionaries in Akita have been so excited to get the results to see if we’re being transferred or staying in Akita! Last night we all got calls from President Rasmussen. Us sisters were in our apartment and the phone rang, we all screamed and listened intently as President went one by one with our new assignments. Sister Nakaima was so sure she’d be leaving and sister Kirby wanted to stay in Akita. They got the opposite. Sister Stevenson will be going way down south to Iwaki. Then President Rasmussen said, “Okay sister Butler you ready?” I had a feeling all week that I would be staying in Akita but I wasn’t prepared when President said, “Sister Butler you will be a trainer in Akita”. WHAAAAAT?! I was shocked! As soon as he said I was trainer this feeling of peace came over me and I probably would be really stressed right now, but I know the Lord gave me a reassuring feeling of peace. President Rasmussen told me he had just met my new beans dad yesterday and talked to him because the dad was on a business trip. President wouldn’t tell me my new beans name but hinted that she’s JAPANESE!!! I will be training a Japanese brand new companion and I just finished training TODAY! I have never heard of anyone training after being trained other than the other Japanese companions. I know the Lord will be with me the whole journey to guide me because there’s no way I can do this with out him. Sister Nakaima and Stevenson were both crying last night and sister Kirby was sad to leave. My friend sister Tuttle from MTC District will replace sister Kirby in our apartment and be sister Nakaima’s companion! I love sister Tuttle, she was the one I felt closest with at the MTC.
I woke up this morning to the sun shining, which has been a while, and I had the biggest feeling of peace that things are going to be really great with my new companion. I am praying for her that she will feel peace too. Things will be so different, me being a trainer. I wonder how our communication will be! I wonder if she knows any English at all. I feel so blessed to be with her, because I know she’ll help me learn Japanese even faster. I am still no where near good at the language, it’s really hard. But I feel this next 3 months training in Akita my Japanese will improve a lot.