I think this really sums up what exchanges are like.
Sunday, September 28, 2014
It looks like it is time for your favorite time of the week- Clark Shimai blog time! Whooooo yeah party!
I hope everyone enjoyed the fall equinox. I am really really enjoying the weather here in Japan. It is finally not super hot and has become really really nice autumn like temperatures. Ahhhh.... Autumn. How pleasant.
We gotta go play volleyball with the ward, which was a blast. We discovered that Elder Graul from Sandy? is 4000% times more graceful than I am (he was a dancer) and that I should probably never participate in sports ever. Aka balls are terrifying always. But I do have the random craving to play tennis randomly. I think I've only played tennis once in my life.
This week included a lot of visiting people and lesson planning that ended up in no one ever being home ever/ slash ever one was busy cleaning their shrines or something. I can't be quite sure, as my Buddhist Japanese isn't quite up to par.
Thursday was particularly interesting, as I went forth with bold faith during a typhoon to visit people who I was sure would be home at that time, fully prepared to teach them and testify with all my heart of the truth of this marvelous message-- and then neither of them were home. I'm sure there is something I am suppose to learn from this.
Had exchanges with Sister Ellingson, which included visiting a cute old lady and her genius cats. Walked holes in my shoes (they have had holes for a while now, actually XD) and still going forth with faith! Still working hard and as smart as I can! All the areas around me are seeing baptisms and I hope that my effort has been somewhat part of that. I may not be the one seeing miracles, but somebody is. I feel like I am learning from this experience and this transfer.
Sister Tamagusuku never laughs at my jokes.
Also I am pretty sure all my friends are dead, because no one really writes to me......ever.......
Just as a friendly reminder....
1-7-7 Kichijoji Higashi-chi
As always, my love and prayers are with you. Keep the faith and always stand as a witness of God in ALL things. Yes, even when you are playing video games or pulling weeds. In all things.
Sister Teagan Clark
Sunday, September 21, 2014
I know, as opposed to old challenges. All that means is... Well... Maybe I'll talk about it as I think of it.
Wednesday brought a fun challenge of delivering a birthday card to someone on the member record that we had never met or seen. We went and found that she no longer lived there, but the lady who was living there (I am assuming she was her grandmother) was just like "You are from the church? You know her name, address, and birthday and you have never met her but you brought a birthday card? That is so very scary. She would be so scared." And Heavenly Father really shut me up because after we left and were walking away, I pulled out all the sass. Scary? Sister Tamagusuku and I are NOT scary! We are two young girls who made a HANDMADE BIRTHDAY CARD because we saw that someone had a birthday! How many people put all that same information into various websites and get birthday emails and such without another thought?! But heaven forbid we bring a handmade note to the door. Excuuuuse me.
On Thursday we got to go to a members home and we had a delicious meal! Sister Tamagusuku had the opportunity to teach bits of the lesson in English, which was exciting. The next day, she had to go off for a conference and so Sister Jolley came and worked with me for a day.
That day, we all made cookies and Mexican food with a wonderful lady. It was delicious and really defining for all of us. We had the opportunity to share the gospel with her and challenge her to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. I think there is great potential their and I really hope that I can be better missionary in order to help out. I guess that has been the main challenge lately. Feelings of such great mediocrity. Trying and failing and trying and failing again and just following this continual cycle of nothing happening because of my inability.
I've been really struggling. I just want to be a good example for my companion and give her experienced with lessons and miracles and being able to do astonishing things but I have just come to really see how unastonishing I actually am.
I have so many more feelings that I could express, but I don't know if here is the right place or the right time. Needless to say, I asked for a blessing from Elder Ferni on Sunday and he gave me one, which helped. But that along with some other frustrations are really pushing me to my limits. I don't know how much more I can do.
Also there was a GIANT SPIDER and everyone thinks I am crazy but I won't walk on that side of the street anymore.
Maybe next week will be better. Perhaps I just need the faith to fail, because the faith to succeed doesn't seem to be taking me anywhere. Wow, that sounded awfully pessimistic. I'm really sorry. Just disregard all of that. Just know that it isn't easy and that I am simple getting stronger, I suppose.
Sister Teagan Clark
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Good evening everybody! How is it going? Was it hot today for you? Man, I was sweating. We got to go to the temple! So that was exciting!
Last week feels like years and years away. On Tuesday we had a lesson with our cute deaf friend, which was lovely, as always. I saw some deaf people signing the other day and I really wanted to try and talk to them, but I got too scared.... :/ but I really love Shuwa! It is wonderful!!
Oh my goodness, Wednesday... I had totally forgotten that that was this week... It feels like forever ago. So on Wednesday, Sister Ellingson and I went to have lunch with a lady (we thought) and have a nice talk and what not BUT IT WAS A TARP I MEAN TRAP. It was weird, because the first thing we did was go shopping for sir thing to eat, when we thought that she had already prepared the food.... That was the first sign. The she started talking about how she has a friend over, so don't be surprised that she is there. Then she mentioned that there was also a guy there and they all just want to be our very best friends. Sister Ellingson and I looked at each other wearily. We didn't quite have a good feeling about it.
So we got to the house and walked in. Her friends introduced themselves and then shuffled us into the living room to sit down. Before, the woman had given Sister Ellingson a panphlet and DVD about her interesting religion. He (it was really only the guy) asked us if we had watched it and we said no, because we aren't allowed to watch things while we are missionaries. He tried to get us to watch it then, but we refused. He then pulled out the pamphlet and start going over a few of the things. We suddenly felt like we had become the investigators and that they really didn't understand out purpose. We tried to explain, but he didn't really let us explain anything fully. He talked about how they got power from light(?) and use that light to heal people (?) and when we asked where they got it from, he said the first guy went to a mountain top and wrote the light character on his chest (?) Oh, and then they TRIED TO GIVE US THE LIGHT THING, WHICH IS BASICALLY LIKE THE PRIESTHOOD I AM PRETTY SURE. SO THEY TRIED TO GIVE US THE PRIESTHOOD. "It'll only take like 10 minutes" he said "uhm we are pretty darn sure we cannot do that" we said "it isn't like baptism" he said "we really can't do that" we said. Then we tried to explain the priesthood and it's importance, but he didn't really listen. Then we got a miracle phone call and had to leave. It was an interesting experience.
But it really really strengthened my testimony. They were trying to find answers. There were similar principles that they had. But they were not the tru and you could feel it. There was no testimony of the spirit. There was no searching to find out for ourselves. And this church, the true church, has the answers that they did not. I am grateful for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
We had a surprise party for Marcia which involved PIÑATA TIME! I whacked it pretty hard. And Wright Shimai left, so everyone was sad.
But then Sister Tamagusuku came! Yaaaay! She is from OKINAWA!M aaaand she is a black belt in karate like me!! We are the same! Just she is smaller! Yaaaay!
The way to train is to nudge your companion to do it. And then the will do it. Maybe. Actually, she is way nervous to talk to people. She'll get there. She can do it!!
AND THEN MARCIA AND MARCIO GOT BAPTIZED!!! So happy for them!
I think that about sums it up. Yup. Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed. See ya next week.
Sister Teagan Clark
Monday, September 8, 2014
Wow! Can you believe it!! Transfer 9 is here! I am practically an ancient missionary by now! Can you hardly believe it?!
Also, with a spike in my transfer age, comes an increase of dementia... AKA I don't have my old planner so I am having trouble remembering what occurring this past week...
We were able to have a lesson with an investigator that was... Interesting. She seems to have no reason and no desire to learn, but she is still fine with us coming back to her house to teach her again. She is a very typical Japanese person, satisfied with life and with no thought of God. I have met many people like this. But it truly is amazing because you can see the people changing. Slowly, person by person, people are starting to think more deeply about life and about the beyond. You can see the effect the mission is having on people. It is amazing. A great reason to keep working hard.
I received my 6 month letter, AKA my death letter this week, informing me that my officially release date is "February 27, 2014" so that is exciting. Also, I also misspell February.
We are preparing for a baptism for the other sisters this coming week! BUT! As a new transfer comes, so do transfer calls. Today we found out that Sister Wright will be leeeeaving me :(:(:( *criesforever* and I am going to be training...... For the first time.... A cute little Japanese girl who I have yet to meet.... SCARY! But exciting! Lots of adventures in the future!
We made cookies! We walked everywhere! We looked awesome and we represented The Lord with all of our hearts! I look forward to another great week working as a missionary for my dearest Heavenly Father. I feel him watching out for us. My testimony grow stronger day by day. This work is true. This message is true. This can bless and change anyone's life. Follow God. Follow Christ. And the blessings will certainly come.
I love all of you.
Sister Teagan Clark
Monday, September 1, 2014
Wow, it has certainly been an interesting week! A lot of different fun things happened, so I hope that I can properly explain about all the amazing things that happened this week!!
On Tuesday, after a quick surprise trip to Kichijoji, we got to visit Hasegawa Shimai who is the cutest little deaf lady and practice our sign language, always a good time. She is so very sweet and kind to us. She has such a strong testimony as well. She was telling us that she was really worried one day, because her eyes are going bad and she can't hear, that she won't be of any use to Heavenly Father, but she said she had a beautiful spiritual confirmation that as long as we is trying her best that everything will be alright.
That night, we got to visit the Nishijima family and celebrate a teddy bears first birthday. It was a lot of fun and it was a great opportunity to hear her testimony as well. Most members in Japan have served missions, so it is great to hear about heir experiences.
Wednesday, we visited Akatsuka Shimai, who has a rare illness in which she is basically allergic to all chemicals. No electricity, no smells, nothing. But she is such a sweet spirit and such a strong example. I am grateful to have gotten to meet her and we hope to be able to meet with her again soon! Also, Japanese men are way too skinny, don't try to wear their pants.
Thursday, we got to go on the base! YAY FOR SPECIAL BASE TIMES! It was full of American things. Oh, america. Basically Sister Ellingson needed to go on splits for the evening because Sister Yoshida's amazing abilities were needed elsewhere, namely Atsugi. So we got to eat with the American people and speak english and stuff, so that was weird. I can't speak English normally anymore, I think, haha.
Saturday was a day of many, many miracles. It was an official exchange day where I went with Sister Ellingson. We decided to go and try and visit a referral and walk the whole way so that we could try and visit people. Apparently Sister Ellingson doesn't really like walking. Didn't know that before hand. Anyways, she was a trooper. As we neared our destination, she started saying things like "boy, you really do like walking, don't CHA?" But she didn't complain for too long beeeecaaause we ran into this girl who had been wanting to come to church with her mom and felt prompted to come outside for a walk and found us. YEAH. That's the power of walking, baby.
Then the referral wasn't home.
Then we walked back to try and visit a member and give them a birthday present! For their birthday! As we walked, we met a nice mother with two kids who spoke perfect English because she lived in Orem, UT for a few years. Crazy, right? She gave us her phone number and texted us first! I am so excited to get to work with her!
And then we successfully delivered the present!
Then we rushed to the church to meet the other sisters, but they weren't their. Then, a random phone call out of the blue! Someone wanted to meet to talk about English class! The elders appeared at just the right moment! They come and they are a Chinese couple in which the wife no only wants to come to English class, but is interested in learning more about our church! What! The real miracle is that we have no idea how they got the sisters number. We give our English class flyers, but they have elders number, not the sisters, and as far as we know, no one gave them our number. Elder Otsuka testifies that this was a miracle.
On Sunday, the girl we met the day before by walking came to church with her mom. ステキね！They are now the other sisters investigators! Yes!
But now I am kind of tired and grumpy and don't want to talk to anyone. Hahaha. That isn't a good thing. Oh well!
Love you all lots and lots and lots!
Sister Teagan Clark