So this week we climbed lots of hills and they were steep hills too! Muroran is a city right on the southern coast of Hokkaido and so we have lots of hills all over the area. They were so long and so hard, but we were so determined to get to the top and it was a little dangerous because there's still snow and ice on the ground.
The most exciting part about the week is that I decided to take us to an area of Muroran that I've never been before. Since this area just opened for Shimai before I got here, we had been focusing a lot on the main part of town. But now that I have a new comp. and we've got time, we decided to go to the most southern part of the city right on the shore. It's only about a 20 min. train ride to this part of the city. It's the older part of Muroran so it has lots of older style buildings and lots of temples and shrines so that was interesting. But anyway the purpose in going down there was I wanted to meet 3 NAs (Not Active Members) that live down there.
Sadly our day started off a little discouraging. When we first got there the sun was out and it was warm, but after about 30 min. it started snowing really hard and it got really cold really fast. We started housing one area, and literally every single person shut the door on us. Usually people are pretty nice and will let us tell them who we are before they tell us 'no thank you', but this time as soon as we said that we were from America, they would shut the door. One lady started yelling at us to go away and get off her porch. It was so shocking and very out of the ordinary. And then we went to visit the 1st NA on our list and she told us that she was really busy and had no interest in the church anymore and so it would be better for us to leave and not come back because we would just be wasting our time. So by that point our hope was basically gone. I started feeling like we had just wasted our time by coming to this area.
But the story doesn't end there. We went housing at the very top of one these steep hills. And one of the first doors we knocked on there was an Obaachan (grandma) that answered the door. She had white hair and she was probably 85 years old. I really love talking to old grandmas which is good because we find a lot of them. :) So we told her who we were and she started asking us all sorts of questions as to why we were here in Japan and what we had been doing before we came. We were talking to her about 30 min. We told her a little bit about our message and about God, but she told us that she was old and would never change. But then she started to tell us about how much she admired us. She told us how it was rare to see young people be so dedicated to something and actually have something to believe in. She told us that she thought we were doing a good thing and told us 'Good Luck'. Then before we left she gave us some bananas and crackers. (Such a grandma thing to do right??) She was so sweet and totally lifted our spirits. The rest of the day went pretty well and we were able to meet some nice people.
Heavenly Father has to lead us up the biggest and tallest hill to find someone at the top to give us some hope. And it's the exact same way with life. We each have our own hills to climb and sometimes they might be covered in ice and you slip and fall down a little, but you keep going. You may not know what's at the top, but Heavenly Father knows. And he knows that you'll be happier once you get there. God truly knows each of us individually and he knows how to help us when we feel down. Each of us is his child and he will always be there to guide us up all of our hills.
Love you all!! Have a good week!
Overlooking Muroran from a tall apartment building