So, it snowed!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhhhh!!!!! It was a really crazy beginning of our week! Morning we had Zone Conference. And since our Zone is one of the biggest in the mission, some of the missionaries came and then stayed the night. We have the Shimai from Kitami come and stay with us. It was Nanjo Shimai, Kappeliela Shimai and Gibbs Shimai! In order to get here from Kitami they have to take 2 busses and so it usually takes them about 4 1/2 hours to get to Obihiro. So we had 6 shimai in our apartment night. It's really fun getting to catch up with everyone since we don't see them very often.
Zone Conference was the next morning from. It was a really long day! But it was good! President Evans (my Mission President) spoke to us about the importance of having the spirit when we teach. Then the Sister Training Leaders (Budge Shimai and Furue Shimai!!!) talked to us about this new program that we are going to try implement. It's called Family English Class, or something like that, basically we really want to focus more on teaching families. So it's a 6 week program where we can teach families English, but also teach them about the gospel. We haven't found anyone who's interested yet, but it's a cool idea. Then we had a Language workshop, where we talked about how we can better learn the language. Basically what I learned is that I need to be working harder and make sure I'm always learning more and not "standing still" in my learning Japanese. Last we had a workshop by the Zone leaders, Jones and Watanabe Choro. It was about finding people and getting used to talking to people where ever we go. It was really good. At the end of Zone Conference we have a testimony meeting, where we can get up and bear testimony of Jesus Christ and his gospel. President Evans picks people to share their testimonies. And can you guess who's name he said first?? Yep! Me! I was totally not expecting it! The good part is that we can bear our testimony in our native language so I got to speak English. :)
Anyway I was so nervous and I had no idea what to say, but I just got up and starting speaking. I don't get to teach or bear my testimony in English here so it was nice being able to express my real and deep feelings for once! I know my Japanese will be good enough to where eventually I can still give a heart-felt testimony in Japanese, butit was nice to do it in English. I really learned a lot and I have a lot of things I can work on to becoming a better missionary. I learned that I need to stay more focused and always remember that my purpose of being here in Japan is ultimately to help people come closer to Chirst.
The Sister's from Kitami leftmorning, but remember how I said that was the day it snowed, well here's the funny story. So their bus was at . And so they left around 9 and by about the snow was coming down pretty hard. It just came out of nowhere!!! So we put on all our winter gear and headed out. We had planned to meet a couple people and the snow was not going to stop us. It was cold and it made me nervous to ride my bike in the snow. But we persevered!! Then around we get a call saying that it was snowing so much that the Kitami missionaries couldn't go back to Kitami. So they had taken 1 bus (2 hours) but once they reached that bus stop they were informed that all the other buses going into Kitami were cancelled. So they all had to come back to Obihiro (2 hours) and spend the night with us. Then morning they finally were able to get on another bus (4 1/2 hours) and they finally made it back to Kitami! Pretty crazy start to the week. By morning all of the snow had melted. It was so weird and I am definitely not excited about the next 5 months of snow, but I'm going to try to make the best of it!!
Love you all!! Hope you are doing well!!
Bowling with the Obihiro Elders
Taking a rest after a long ride up a hill. When we biked to Memuro took us about 1 hour and 15 min. to get there and this pic is after we went up the huge hill right at the end.
Scenery of Hokkaido
When the Kitami Shimai came to stay with us before Zone Conference (one bedroom, one bath apartment!)