Monday, April 25, 2016

First few days in 呉 (Kure)!

Hello everyone! So I survived transfers and I'm now down in Kure with
my new companion. Quite a bit has happened since last pday but I'll
try not to make this email to long. So my last couple days in Saijo
were pretty sad. I spent most of the day packing and then they threw a
party to say bye to me and two other sisters who were transferring out
of the area. The party was a lot of fun and they gave me and the
sisters these bye bye books that has notes from everyone in the
Branch! It is really cool and it will be a good way to help me
remember all of them. I hope I can go visit Saijo again sometime later
in my mission or afterwards. They are all so loving and caring, it
really was a blessing to serve there for my first few months as a

On Thursday I went down to Kure and settled in and met my companion
Elder Ratzlaff! He is way awesome! He has been out a little over a
year and is kind of a quieter guy but probably the most optimistic and
positive person I've met on my mission so far. We've been getting
along really good and I'm sure this transfer will fly by just like the
last ones have. As far as the area goes it is really pretty! I haven't
had the chance to take any good pictures yet but I will soon. It
borders the ocean and is a fairly big city. But then there are also
huge great mountains right next to us. As weird as it sounds it kind
of reminds me of Jurassic park sometimes haha.

The members here are really cool and I met them for the first time on
Sunday. The Branch is still pretty small with about 15 or so members.
We do have two strong families in the branch though so that is really
awesome! Just my companion and I serve here so it will definitely be a
change from having 8 missionaries in one area. On Sunday I had to give
a talk which didn't go to bad and then they asked us to teach Sunday
school on the spot! As missionaries you can usually pull a lesson off
with little to no preparation but doing it in Japanese is a lot
harder. Through quite a few prayers said in sacrament meeting and
about 10 minutes of prep before church started we taught together and
it actually turned into a way good lesson! I'm thankful it turned out
so well.

This week we taught quite a few lessons but unfortunately had to drop
about 3 people due to them being not interested. It is always hard to
have to drop someone but we only have so much time as missionaries and
we need to focus on people that are really prepared to change and
accept the invitations we give. Yesterday we had a lesson in English
with a less active Philipino member and his roommates. It was so nice
to teach a lesson in English haha! But I really am glad I get this
chance to learn Japanese and it has improved a lot so far.

To end I'd like to share a funny, yet rather embarrassing story from
yesterday. So on the way to visit a member we were riding our bikes on
the sidewalk and a watch store (Rolex) caught my eye so I looked at it
as I biked by it. Then when I turned my head back I noticed this
concrete pole about 3 feet tall sticking out of the ground. In a panic
I slammed on my brakes and went flying over the handle bars with my
bike missing the pole but me barely hitting it. My companions stopped
and helped and I laughed it off and kept riding. Then later that day
we were crossing the street and I got distracted again, this time
looking at this elderly lady pass the street with this younger man.
Then before I had time to look in front again I hear this loud noise
followed by me going over my handlebars again! I ran into another
little pole sticking out of the ground! Embarrassed and laughing
because it's the second time that's happened in about 6 hours I get
back up as the man rushes to my aid. I assure him I'm okay and then
hop back on my bike to continue towards our lesson. I'm really
grateful that I wasn't hurt at all and I was able to walk away from
both without any trouble. I think it was a definitely a learning
experience to tell me to pay attention a little more as I bike haha.

But anyways that's about it for this week! Thank you all for your love
and support, it really does mean a lot. I hope everyone has a good
week! 愛してるよ

Love, シェリル長老

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