March 2, 2014 Week 58 “My First Native Companion!”

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Hello everyone!!!

First, a disclaimer. I sent a TON of replies to emails last week, but
my mailbox freaked out, and none of them made it. Including the family
email, which is why it was so late. So. I love you all. Sorry if it seems like I didn’t answer. You’ll probably have to email me again if you want a response. Sorry! 🙂

This week in Tsukuba…. Haha. Well, it was the last week of the
transfer!! Which means I should probably tell you all how transfer
calls went 🙂
My companion is leaving, but I will be staying here in Tsukuba with a
new companion. Her name is Sister H, and she is Japanese!!! My
first native companion. We will be Sister Training Leaders together.
That will be pretty fun. So we will basically be sister zone leaders
haha. I’m really looking forward to that. Hopefully it will help with
me learning Japanese a little bit faster.

Back to this week. On Tuesday after we went to the temple, we had the
chance to go meet a new friend of ours named Pho. She’s from China.
We knocked on her door a few days ago, and she was really willing to
meet with us and find out what we do as missionaries. Turns out Pho
is pretty darn awesome, and she has a ton of interest in the church
and in Christianity. She was way excited to get a copy of the Book of
Mormon, and then she told us that she is going back to Shanghai in
April. Wow. Not fair. We keep finding these awesome Chinese people who
go home to China super fast. I don’t know if you remember J, but
she’s still in China at the moment. Rats.

On Wednesday we met with our friend Mi. She’s a funny one. Definitely marches to her own drum. But that’s why we love her so much. She took us to go eat sushi. Yum. And we talked a little bit about he and her life. She doesn’t have a ton of interest in church stuff, but she’ll get there. We also had an appointment with Su.
We decided to teach her about faith. Since she really enjoys gardening, we shared the example of faith being like a little seed. We have to nurture it and take care of it in order to help it grow. After we talked about it with her, we read Alma 32 together out loud. She
really seemed to understand it. But every time we try and commit her
to do something she kind of laughs and shrugs it off. Still trying to
figure out exactly what she needs. I’m really hoping that when we teach her the Plan of Salvation in 2 weeks we’ll be able to make some headway with her.

And my personal favorite, Ami and her family. She came to the church
on Saturday with her little brother I. to play ping pong with us. I might add that I am improving in my Japanese and my ping pong skills. Took first place in the tournament this time thank you very much. After ping pong we went upstairs and watched the restoration movie with them. Probably a good thing that we watched it in Japanese with them. She definitely understands more Japanese than English. So we might need to switch back and forth with her on that. She liked speaking English with us, but when it comes to church terms I think
she would be better off in Japanese. On Sunday after church Ami’s
mom invited us over to make cinnamon rolls with them and we ate dinner with them as well. It’s called ugali. Apparently it’s what you eat in
Africa when family comes over. It kind of reminds me of the masa from
the inside of a tamale. You eat with your hands and made it into a
little spoon to eat stew with it. While we were eating dinner they all
said that since we had eaten ugali with them that we are officially their family. I love them all do much. They even gave us handmade bracelets from the Masai tribe in Africa. So sweet. And we had the chance to talk with the mom a lot about the church and out job as
missionaries. She knows so much about the gospel. She took an American religion class and had to do a project on one. And she chose
Mormonism. Cool right? She’s been to church a ton, but she basically
just studied it from a academic standpoint. But it sounds like she is
willing to learn more. Little by little 🙂 that family is awesome. Love them so much.

Before I forget!!! Funniest moment of my mission so far!!! My companion and I were walking in the park finding people to preach the good word to, and we saw a group of like 10 people taking pictures with professional cameras of this old guy. So we got a little closer to see if it was someone famous, but of course we have no clue because he’s Japanese. And then one guy turns around, looks at us, and then turns back around, and everyone with cameras starts turning towards
us. Uh oh. One of the guys came over and asked if we would model for
them. They are in a photography class at the university. So… We said
yes. Hahah. I’m not a model. It was funny, and awkward. They were
pretty professional. Had the little silver reflectors to get light on our a faces and everything. And then Japanese people walking by stop and look, and because we’re American I think they thought we were famous. So the people walking by started taking pictures as well. My five minutes of fame I guess.

Well, I can’t believe this transfer is over. I’m a transfer 9
missionary as of now. Sheesh. I’m the oldest sisters they have in the
mission. Sometimes I still feel like a newbie though 🙂 but that makes
it all the more adventure. And that much more fun. I love getting
emails from my friends that are just beginning their missions. It
really is so important what kind of experience you have as a new
missionary. That’s why I’m so thankful that I had such an amazing
trainer. She loved every second of her mission, and knew how to have
fun. And she taught me how to do the same thing. Being a missionary is
the most joyous thing in the world. Sure there are moments when you
feel like you’re trapped in liberty jail, but our prayers are always
answered. Sometimes the trial isn’t gone, but instead we are blessed
with strength to persevere, and comfort and patience to keep enduring just a little bit longer. I think that really is the lesson that I learned during this transfer in Tsukuba.

I’m so grateful for you all, and to be a member of the restored church
of Jesus Christ. I can’t even begin to describe how much I have learned and grown as my mission has gone on. It’s been life changing. For all of you that aren’t out here yet, think about it, and pray about it. These people need help. Japan needs help. My investigators
need help. And sometimes I need help. And that’s why the gospel is so
amazing. We can always find the strength and help we need when we have faith that it will come 🙂

I love you all. More than all the rice in Japan. 🍚❤️

Until next week!

Love,
Sister Hunsaker

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