This blog is kept by Sister Brooke Lacey's family. The blog will include her emails and pictures as she serves her mission from January, 2015 until July, 2016. Updates will be posted each week after a new email is received. We hope you enjoy! (This is not an official site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
Monday, January 11, 2016
Traveling to Mito, Japan
Sister Lacey with her new companion Sister Oshima
Saying goodbye to Shinobu
Happy New Year! I realized I forgot to say that last week. It doesn't even really feel like a new year so sorry haha.
Ahhhh! Morgan is home!! That is so crazy! That's going to be me soon enough! I can already feel these last 7 months slipping right through my fingers. It terrifies me.
But, I'm in MITO!! I can already say I am in love with the area and the members. No to mention I probably have one of the nicest apartments in the mission lol. The weather is definitely a lot nicer here and people thought I was crazy yesterday for wearing a short sleeved shirt. I had a jacket but I took it off during church. Everyone kept saying, "samuikunai no?" (Are you not cold?) and I would say, "Niigata-ken kara kita dakara.." (I came from Niigata so therefore..) it was all pretty funny. But it was so hard to leave Sanjo though. I didn't realize how close I had gotten with everyone there but I know there is a lot for me to learn and do here in Mito. Before I tell more about the area I want to share a cool thing that happened.
I had the most powerful spiritual experience during transfer day. We have a new rule for the mission where each missionary is encouraged to travel by themselves to a new area so we don't all meet at the mission home and waste time. They just want us to get to our area as soon as possible. So once I and the other missionaries leaving Niigata arrived in Tokyo we were all supposed to separate and go to our different areas. I thought I'd be fine working the trains because I was "raised" using the trains in Tokyo when I was a bean chan but I was a little terrified to be alone. I hadn't been alone with out a companion for a year! When it was time for me to norikae (transfer) onto a different train I said a little prayer in my heart that all would be well and then I left the others. As soon as I was on my own I wasn't terrified at all. I've never felt a power come over me. It was almost as if I felt a shield around me. I hadn't felt that specific feeling before but I knew without a doubt I was feeling the companionship of the Holy Ghost. I felt so comforted and protected. I was by myself for a few hours traveling until I met Sister Oshima and it all worked out! We almost missed our train because we didn't have a specific spot where we were meeting but we miraculously saw each other and then ran on our train. I know Heavenly Father had a hand in that and that He protects His missionaries. And now I can say I can survive traveling in Tokyo haha.
Sister Oshima is amazing!! I'm sad I will only have one transfer with her because this is her last transfer but I'm so grateful I get to work with her. I am already learning so much. I haven't worked this hard in a long time. I'm not saying my previous companions haven't worked hard but mine and Sister Oshimas personalities work well and I'm stepping out of my comfort zone and working on my confidence. She is so awesome and we've been learning that we're happier when we are constantly working. Even though we're dead tired by the end of the day, I go to bed with a smile knowing we worked as hard as we could that day.
Mito ward is seriously amazing! Everyone welcomed me in nicely and a lot seem to have dendo fire. Sister Oshima and I are trying to learn basic Japanese Sign Language because there is a little girl in my ward with hearing problems and she seemed so happy when I told her my name in sign language. It's really fun! There are a good amount of less actives but I know, with the members help and guidance from God, we can bring them back. One of our members works at a community center thing and invited us to a gaijin party and we got a couple PIs! One actually was a previous investigator but I'm not sure from how long ago. We are going to try and contact her and see if she would like to learn again.
Yesterday, we had a few hours for streeting and housing and not going to lie I was a bit nervous because I hadn't streeted or housed for that long in some time but it was well worth it. Sister Oshima is straight and to the point and if people are not interested she moves on and doesn't seem to take things personally so that has been a huge example to me. We found a new investigator too! We knocked on the door and she said "dozo" telling us to come inside. She was surprised when it was us because she thought it was her granddaughter. But she kept saying "kawaii, kawaii" (cute) to both of us and turns out her granddaughters first name is the same as Oshima Shimais! She kept patting us on the cheeks and it was just really funny. We told her about or message and she said she is Buddhist but we said that's okay and we'd still like to teach her about it. She said we could come back anytime! I'm not entirely sure if she has complete interest in our message or just talking with us but we're going to give it a try!
There was also another obachan that we housed into and she was so nice and friendly. But we were sharing our message with her and she seemed to like it and we asked her if we could share more and she said no and that we should share it with younger people who have more life ahead of them. (She's 85). We told her all can hear our message but she said no. It made me sad but determined to find those who are looking or waiting for us to share the message of happiness with them.
This transfer I really want to be more bold and confident. I received a letter from Jason this week and he shared Moses 6:32-34 which went perfectly with my goals!
32 And the Lord said unto [Sister Lacey]: Go forth and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good.
33 Say unto this people: Choose ye this day, to serve the Lord God who made you.
34 Behold my Spirit is upon you, wherefore all thy words will I justify; and the mountains shall flee before you, and the rivers shall turn from their course; and thou shalt abide in me, and I in you; therefore walk with me.
I know that this is the Lords work and He is here right beside me. I'm so thankful for the opportunity I have to dendo in Mito. Everyone is right when they say your last 6 months fly by but like I've said before I'm going to do my absolute best to completely fulfill my purpose. Thank you for all of your love and support! Oh and I'm so happy I get to go to the temple again tomorrow!! I love you all! 愛しています！
P.s. I'm getting on later to respond to personal emails, love you all!