Hey my beautiful fam!!!
How are you doing? :)
Wow the Lord attends this work! We got transfer calls this morning... but before that, we got a call on Saturday night with a surprising announcement. They are closing Tokushima for Sisters and only Elders will be here from here on out! There is a new "sisters" area opened that my companion is going to. Knowing we were leaving made yesterday a pretty emotional day! So, having that said, we both knew we were leaving but we didn't know where. This morning, I found out that I will be going to... AKASHI for the summer!!! Isn't that crazy? It's so fun because it's the place I got to kokan (exchange), and with the same companion! I loved that kokan so much, and I already love and look up to my new companion a ton. Her name is Ishiyama Shimai and she is Japanese! It was funny because the kokan was so short (1 day) and I learned so much. Akashi is a great place, and I feel really excited to get to work there.
It really is such a tender mercy. I know that it is where the Lord wants me. It's a little hard because we are handing off our investigators, I've started praying for the Elders a lot more ha ha. I bore my testimony in Church on Sunday and just cried! At the end of the meeting, Asuka San asked what we'd said last and I explained again we were leaving, and she started to cry a little bit which made me cry again, and I quickly beckoned the Elder that is staying here to come to talk with her. She finished the Book of Mormon and fasted with us yesterday. She is doing SO WELL. I am so excited for her. I know when she recognizes all that she is feeling and the growth she's had step by step, she will be even more prepared for this next step in her life. Take care of our friends Elders! ha ha. They will and the investigators will do great, because the Lord will take care of his Children--all of us.
So! We taught Asuka San a few times this week. It's crazy with all the things changing. Missions are amazing. I have felt the Lord in my life so much this week, especially when I was having hard times. He is so great and so close to us. We got to testify to a less active and I just cried as I bore my testimony about the Savior. It is amazing because He knows what His children need, and we get to be a part of it.
Asuka is in the blue dress...
I'm not going to lie... I'm a little nervous (and excited) for this new adventure in Akashi! Yesterday the Bishop called a totsuden (sudden?) meeting with the missionaries. When we walked out of his office, the ward was standing there and broke into singing "Called to Serve." One of the Elders is headed home... and we are being transferred - it was so incredible. The ward is so sweet and made us cards - they must have done it so fast because I'm pretty sure they found out at Church that we were leaving. I'll include the ward pic--this is our Tokushima ward!
...and we go out to find MacDonald's on our porch!!
This same awesome lady calls us last night to bring us these beautiful little cakes. (Yamamoto Shimai). We love her so much!! Her son just left on a mission. I love my ward so much.
I have another pretty amazing experience to tell you about. The cutest Matsumura Fufu invited us over on P-day... to wear kimonos. This could be a once on a mission experience. :)
It was so fun. I had no idea the detail it took to get them just right. She is SO CUTE. You would love her Mom! They are the funniest, sweetest little couple. They make these gourmet meals for katei no yube (family home evening) and the missionaries switch off going. They are so sweet. I'll send some pictures of her getting my kimono right and the final product! So sweet. We made a fun card for them and took them Matsumura Kyodai's favorite dessert. They are so sweet.
I love this life. Up and down but the Lord knows us, and I know that. He is so good to us. How I love you sweet people!
The Church is true. I will mail you from Akashi. The Lord is in this work and we are always on the brim of miracles. I know it is true.
mo hitotsu shasshin
PS. Also, since we are moving out of our apartment, I was doing some cleaning today. Sometimes you find all sorts of fun things cleaning out a sister missionary apartment... maybe I got carried away...
I found an old cookbook of Famous Mormon Recipes by Winnifred Jardine. I love this cook book!!! I got a little carried away thinking about the name and dressed up to be Winnifred Jardine with my cookbook.. oh P-day. :) love you!
Interesting info about our daughter's new city:
is a city located in southern Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan, on the Seto Inland Sea west of Kobe.
As of April 1, 2011, the city has an estimated population of 290,776, with 117,392 households, and a population density of 5,907.68 persons per km². The total area is 49.22 km².
- Tree Sweet Osmanthus
- Flower Chrysanthemums
Akashi was an important city during Japan's pre-modern period due to the presence of Akashi Castle, headquarters of the Akashi Domain. The city, in its current form, was founded on November 1, 1919.
Akashi is well known for Akashiyaki, a kind of takoyaki particular to the region. Small pieces of octopus (tako) are placed inside a ball-shaped mold containing a mixture of flour and eggs and this is then fried. Akashiyaki is often eaten by dipping in a thin soup.
Hiroshi Watanabe: This photograph titled "Flying Octopus, Akashi, Japan" was taken in a city named Akashi in the western part of Japan, west of Kobe. In its fishing port, octopuses are caught in the summer, and stretched and dried under the sun. When it is dried and hardened, the shape is retained and it looks like a kite. People shred it and bite into it for taste and flavor. It is a Japanese version of beef jerky in the US. It is interesting to know that octopus in Japanese is "tako" and the word also means "kite," although Kanji (Chinese character writing that Japanese use) for each are different. I doubt dried octopus was used as a kite, but they probably used the word as they look very similar.
Uonotana (Uo-no-Tana, 魚の棚, lit."fish-shelf") is a 350-meter shopping arcade brimming with fish dealers comprising the majority of more than 100 retailers. Fresh seafood landed at the Akashi Port and auctioned off around noontime can be purchased at the stores shortly past noon.
Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, also called “Pearl Bridge”, is located in Japan and considered as Japan’s finest engineering feat. Akashi Kaiko Bridge is the world’s longest suspension bridge in the world with a length of 3911 meters (12,831 ft). The Akashi Kaiko Bridge acts as a link between the city of Kobe and Iwaya by crossing the Akashi strait. The construction was finished in a span of 12 years which actually begin in the year 1986 and completed in the year 1998. Akashi Kaikyo Bridge plays an important role in providing three routes across the Inland sea.
Akashi Kaikyo Bridge uses one of the finest architecture and technology which consists of three spans. The Akashi Kaikyo Suspension Bridge is designed in such a manner where the earthquakes and harsh sea currents doesn’t damage the bridge. The Kobe earthquake on January 17, 1995 is the best example for this bridge’s efficiency.
Before the construction of the bridge, boats and ships (ferries) were used to carry passengers and vehicles across the Akashi strait. Akashi strait is an international waterway which is approximately 1500 meter wide shipping lane. Akashi strait waterway is also one of the dangerous waterways before the construction of Akashi Kaiko Bridge due to some severe storms. During the year 1955, a severe storm was experienced in which two ferries were sank resulting in the death of 168 people. As a result, the Japanese government planned to develop a suspension bridge to cross the strait. Originally, the plan was to construct a railway bridge along with a road bridge. But the construction was restricted to a road bridge only consisting of 6 lanes.
The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge was constructed in such an extent which also attracts tourism in Japan. Two amazing parks were built in the surroundings of Akashi Kaikyo Bridge for tourists. The two parks were named Maiko and Asagiri. The view from the park is a wonderful experience to the visitors as the view from there is absolutely magnificent. Both the parks can be reached by traveling through the coastal train line.