Kobe, Japan

Monday, September 15, 2014

Week 58 - Goodbye Ootsu, Hello Niihama

Saying goodbye to Ootsu was harder than saying goodbye to you guys. But life is full of hellos and goodbyes, closing doors and opening new ones. I`ve learned the Lord blesses us with opportunities to level up, to grow every time a `goodbye` or `hello` is needed.
Had my last lesson with Chona. Her mom made us dinner and we ate with their family. I love these 2 and miss Chona so much.
Eikaiwa class
Bishop`s wife, Sister Hayashi (blue shirt on my right) and Sister Takeda came to our apartment to say bye. Sister Hayashi is like another mom to me. It was so hard to say bye when she said `I`ll miss my Hawaiian daughter, and my Japanese daughter is leaving on her mission in october...I don`t know what I`m going to do!`
I remember when I first met with Pres Welch and he said he wanted to see Japanese people smiling more and hugging more. I have tried to do my part in Ootsu!
Sister Hijioka, Less-Active but working on being active by next year, and her mom
Sister Tsuji (will be reactivated in October!)
An old investigator called us early on my last morning in Ootsu. She had just finished a triathalon and she said she wanted to say bye to me (she had been in Hawaii the last 2 weeks) so she brought me a candy lei and walked us up to the train. I love her! Sonae Lopez and family are the BEST!
Misato san, for our last lesson she told me she wanted to be baptized at the end of the year!
Yoshimi san; my Japanese Shinto grandma. She got me that white flower bracelet. She`s so funny!
Saying bye to Sister Hasegawa, she said we have a place to stay when we go back to visit Ootsu after the mish...
Sister Scheffler, me and Sister Aoki, she`s the Young Women`s pres. I`ll miss this funny lady!
Brother Okada and Brother Yoshizawa (Served in Australia with lots of Tongans, his English is perfect) - Ward Mission Leader and YM Pres - brought me some goodbye presents and a card form the ward YSA, they were awesome help in teaching and fellowshipping our investigators. I`ll miss Ootsu ward!
YES! Thanks daddy you`re the best! [Note from Mom: She asked her dad to translate Bro. Yoshizawa’s Tongan note, above.] I hope you two have a happy happy...what anniversary is it? 28th? [Note from Mom: 29th]  I love you. I`ll be thinking about you! xoxoxoxox
Yamaoka san and her friends! They had us over for dinner and lunch all the time. What wonderful ladies.
Yoshikawa san, she bought me these cute little animals that symbolize the years with the animal names? I don`t know how to explain it anyways, I will miss her so much!
I said goodbye to the mountains and beautiful Lake Biwa of Ootsu 
I LOVE YOU OOTSU! We had dinner at the lake for my last night in Ootsu, I will miss this view!
I got the whole wide...Ootsu Prince Hotel...in my hand!
and said hello to the ocean and the rice fields of Niihama!

Walking the streets of Ootsu you could talk to maybe 50 people in a matter of 10 minutes. 
I love Zeze! I will always be an Ootsu girl at heart! This is a tunnel we rode through almost every day. We came home from some awesome lessons through that tunnel!
Here, everyone drives cars and there`s not enough people to be walking streets. So I knock a lot of doors here in the country. But the quiet, the fresh air, and all the good that comes with country living are definitely some things I love! 
If we all had bikes like this...we could REALLY hasten the Lord`s work! hahaha
Also, I said goodbye to cute Scheffler shimai 
My favorite shimai!
and hello to my new companion Stevenson shimai. 
She is from Tokyo. Her dad is from Utah, he served a mission in Japan, then moved back here and married a Japanese woman, so Sister Stevenson has grown up here her whole life. 
My comp, Sister Stevenson, today at lunch...she`s cute right??
She doesn`t speak a lick of English...which threw me off because of her last name. But then I thought about my last name and how people used to give me weird looks in Hawaii when I said I was a Heimuli and they`d speak Tongan to me and I didn`t understand a word...so I get it. She`s SO cool though! We`ve had so much fun the past 3 days together...I can`t wait to see how great this transfer turns out. She`s only a 4th transfer but she acts like a 15th. She`s so amazing! She actually speaks Korean so that`ll come in handy when we finally meet a Korean here in Niihama.

Our branch is made up of about 30 people and everyone is so friendly! I don`t think they talk that fast. But there are some words they use here that they definitely don`t use in Kyoto area. Also, the spiders here are unbelievably huge and there`s enough rice fields around our apartment, that if there was a disaster, we would be totally fine....so no worries mom! I`ll send a bunch of pictures with more info. 
In Niihama, we played scripture Jeopardy with our investigator and new convert. This is all 6 of us missionaries!
I wanted to tell you how comforting it is to know the gospel is the same wherever you go. Whether it`s a ward of 300 or a branch of 30, we all are part of this same gospel. We`re all just trying to make it through our trials, and we`re all children of God. 
This is Brother Ryouta. He`s 18 and was baptized in March. He wants to be a missionary so he wears his badge around...he`s SO awesome. This past Sunday was his first time passing the sacrament (We only have 1 person pass because our congregation is so small, and church is only 2 hours long...crazy right??) Ryouta kyoudai is my favorite member!
I love Niihama and my companion already, and I pray the Lord can help me fulfill whatever duty brought me all the way from Kyoto to Shikoku. I love you all! Have a great week!


Sister Heimuli

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