Here are excerpts from Maryandra's last 3 or 4 page letter:
Brown Shimai just made the Most amazing discovery! Guess what we can see from our apartment's veranda? FUJI SAAAAAAAN! I can't believe how lucky we are! And it looks way close, too! Too bad most of it is blocked by other apartments, though. But we can see the white top, in surprisingly clear detail. I'll send a picture sometime, I promise!
But guess what else? We can see it WAAAAAAAAAY better from the top of takao San! From the top of takao, we saw the entire white section of Fuji San, in perfect clarity, and it wasn't even that hard to get there! It took maybe 4 hours round trip, and I don't even really feel that tired, although everyone else has been taking a nap. I'm really the only one with any energy right now. I'll send you pictures of Fuji San from the top of Takao San instead of from our apartment. I finally have a suggestion for what we can do when you come back here, or rather a suggestion of one of the many things we can do. We should try to climb takao San if you're all feeling up to it! It's waaaaaay easier than jinbo San was, and all the way up, the path is paved and everything, with tons of fun shrines and shops scattered along the way! It was the coolest! And there was a temple up there too that looked really cool, but I didn't get to get a good look or anything. But it was way colorful.
Here's another excerpt:
I had a bit of an experience like the one Elder Holland mentioned in his conference talk, only I didn't get food spit all over me. However, this man took a flier from me, and as soon as he saw it was from our church and he read my name tag, he started hard core bashing the church. He said a bunch of trash about how because we aren't catholic or Protestant, we're not really Christians, and we're bad people, and a lot of other really rude things. He spoke so fast I couldn't understand most of what he said, and when I tried to explain it, he would interrupt me and say things like " oh, see? You don't know your churches history, do you? That proves your church is fake!" I calmly tried to explain to him that I had only been here for three months, yes I did know my church's history, and the reason I couldn't say much was because I couldn't understand him, and I wasn't the best at Japanese. He waved his hand dismissively and said in English " well, in Japan, you must speak Japanese." Then he walked off, not even deigning to hand back the flier. I can tell you, I was tempted like that other sister to just grab that fat, sweaty business man and say something explosive and shake him really hard, and maybe hit him if I got the chance. But of course I didn't. To quote that sister, sometimes, being a missionary is hard. But it is worth it. The little miracles make up for it time and time again. Other than that, my day was pretty good. We explored the area, looking for the home of a less active member, who we successfully found and spoke to a little bit. I hope we get to visit her again!
I'm proud of Maryandra for keeping her cool!
You have to know Maryandra to appreciate this excerpt!
Well, we had a bit if an adventure, trying to find another less active member, and failed. We walked almost into Katakura, which is by the highway partly, and it was dark and scary the whole time, with no lamp posts or anything, on these roads that were barely wider than alleys, and we could see bats flying around.the wind kept blowing this little windmill really loud, but we couldn't feel it, so it made me think Halloween things. Do you remember that story in Anne of Green Gables, where Anne has to walk through what she named the Haunted Wood,and all of her imaginations came back to haunt her. It was kind of like that, at least for me, since I'm scared to death of the dark. Sometimes, the cat tail plants would make scary rustling noises, and the moving branches and creeper vines that moved always looked really creepy. Anyway, today was rather normal other than that, for a Sunday. Man, I am way tired, and I cannot wait for pday tomorrow!
Finally, we will end on an exciting excerpt!
Guess what just happened less than a minute ago? Another earthquake! Seriously, these things are happening more and more! That's the second one in two weeks! None of them have been more than enough to startle me, but they still startle me, if that makes sense. Let's see what else happens today...
She is enthusiastically hanging in there, and they have a baptism scheduled for June!!!