Thursday, September 18, 2014

Maryandra got to celebrate her birthday one day early at Eikaiwa,
(English conversation class), with a lot of her favorite people in
Sagamihara! She wrote in her e-mail:
We are going to celebrate my birthday today
instead of tomorrow, because of transfers....
eikaiwa was pretty fun. The after party was kind of sad. 
Everybody was so sad that I was leaving,
which I find very interesting, because they'd never said much to me,
so many other people that I can't
remember all of them, came up to me to offer their goodbyes.
But the coolest part of the day was that, for the first obvious time
in a while, The Lord showed His ability to time things perfectly,
because, when Tachibana Shimai asked to leave early because she wasn't
feeling well again, we left a few minutes later, only to run into
a dear investigator, as she tried to catch us, having just send and read the
letter I'd put on her post box earlier today. It made me so happy to
be able to give her a few good hugs and say a proper goodbye, and so
she could be properly introduced to Tachibana Shimai. It was a perfect
handoff! I'm so happy The Lord was merciful enough to His very
imperfect servant, to give me that good memory! Now, I can leave this
area in peace, having tried to fix all the things I messed up well
enough to give the next sister missionaries a chance to see some real
miracles! You're welcome, future sisters!

Maryandra enjoyed her birthday morning, opening cards from her family, etc.
Soon, though, she was on her way to her new area, Fussa!
Here are her thoughts about her birthday from her e-mail:
Well, hey,
guess what? I'm all by myself, on a train going to a station, 40
minutes away. Never done this before. Kind of nervous. So far, today
has not felt remotely like a birthday, though I enjoyed the things
you'd sent me this morning. It's felt... Well, weird. The fact that
I've left Sagamihara for entirely new territory, ( new stake, new
climate, new companion, new ken, new atmosphere, everything) hasn't
really hit me yet. Yikes. Oh well. I just don't really know what to do
for the next 40 minutes, as I try to balance my bags on my lap and
type with one hand.... Well,that went better than I expected. I was a
little confused when I got off at higashi-Fussa, where I was told to
go, because it looked like nothing more than a small platform with a
bridge, which is pretty much what it was, but the other three sisters
quickly found me and we walked the short distance to the apartment,
which has many similarities to my home, Sagamihara, and it made me
happy and sad at the same time when I looked at my new desk, they had
decorated it for my birthday! It made me so happy that they
I'm so glad that
at least the other sisters are nice! They said we're going to go out
to dinner soon! Cool! It makes it easier for me to deal with not being
in Sagamihara. I hope that I can survive being without a nihonjin (Japanese),
in such a large group. And having so many Americans in the area.... I can
remember wanting to go to one of the "base" areas earlier in my
mission, but that was only because I couldn't speak Japanese. But when
I got better at it, I became okay with not doing it after all, and
what do I get but the unpleasant transfer call that I will be leaving
my beloved hometown and coming to another new, totally foreign area.
Oh yeah, I forgot to talk about the district. There are four sisters,
and four elders.  But the thought of
associating with Americans the way I have to with Japanese is really
scary! I didn't sign up for this! What am I doing? So, yeah, I guess
my birthday was kind of weird. But it could have been worse, I guess.
A lot worse, I'm sure. I could have gotten lost, or mixed up on the
train, or something. But now, basically I'm just tired. Well, I'll see
you all tomorrow, okay? Love you! Bye!.....
I'm still not over my culture shock. In fact it's gotten worse. In
fact, it got so much worse that for a few minutes, I was on the verge
of having a panic attack. This does not bode well for me when I return
home at the end of my mission. I just discovered that the reason I've
been shy my whole life is because I find Americans terrifying. What a
weird thought. I'm terrified of my own race. The only exception are
missionaries. I'm not joking. I literally wanted to run away and hide
my self somewhere, and I nearly passed out as we were crossing the
train tracks to come to the station. This area is really nice. I like
it, but where did this sudden fear come from? It keeps me from
focusing, and I need to try really hard to even open my mouth and
talk. To anybody. Not just the Americans. It's been a most unusual
trial. So unexpected.

So, we don't have church till 1:00 here in fussa, which means we get
to do a lot of things in the morning. It's so nice! We just had a
lesson/family eikaiwa with this cute mom and her one year old boy.
He is so cute!
A couple of random facts. 
One, you can see MOUNT FUJI from our apartment!!!!!!!!
AAAAAAAHHH!!!!! And you can see it really well on a clear day! It
makes me so excited! I can see Fuji San! And the other one is
something that sister horrocks told me today. She said that, when we
go to the temple from here, we get to pass through main city TOKYO!!!
I'm soooooo excited! I can't wait! Also, did you know that in our
mission, the area known as Yokohama is the first ever area in Japan to
welcome missionaries, and see success!!!! Whoa! My mission may be the
"newest" but technically, it's the oldest, and most historic! That's
way cool! Whooooooaaaaa!!!!! Anyway, I can't remember anything else,
so I need to go for now.
Hopefully Maryandra will keep adjusting better each day to Fussa!

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