This is a fun photo from the holidays, and is what Maryandra fondly calls her and her companions' "barrel kimono" photo! They were wrapped rather quickly by this kind Japanese sister!
Anyway, Maryandra just had one of the best weeks of her entire life!!! Within that week was the best day of her life!!! In her own words:
I can safely say, for
reasons you will find out in a bit, that today, at least the evening part, was probably the best day I've ever had in the field. And now for the explanation. So, at around 3:00, Funakura Shimai and I went on splits to GO TO HACHIOJI TO SEE BROTHER ________ GET BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my gosh, that was a moment I've been waiting for for almost a year!
So, we ride the train over there, and when we step off onto the platform at the eki(station), both of us just felt like we were coming home. And as we walked through the large station and out into our first home in Japan, it was like a breath of fresh air! I felt like I belonged there! It was the most amazing feeling in the world! Walking down the street to the church felt as normal as you please, if a little surreal.
I got to see so many people I can't even list them all, or remember each of them, but every single one of the, recognized me, knew my name, and said "okairinasai!" (Welcome home)! And they asked us to come back for good! The baptism itself was amazing! It brought back all my memories of when a dear sister was baptized, which was almost a year ago, February 15th. And I just felt like I was home the whole time! And to make it better, or to put the icing on the cake, another dear friend showed up with her husband and little daughter, now three years old and becoming quite a big girl! I had messaged her the day before on Facebook to see if she could make it, and she did! For just a few minutes before the baptismal service began, they came to the church! It had been over seven months since I had last seen her, and it just perfected my happiness! I can't remember the last time I felt so happy! Hachioji is and always will be my second home. My most favorite area. Of course I love all my areas, but there is something special about Hachioji.And we took a picture of the whole group that was gathered
there. I smiled so widely that I'm pretty sure I never looked happier in a picture. Same as with the ones of me and my friend and her daughter! Oooooh, it was just perfect! It was too bad we had to hurry to get home on time, otherwise I would have stayed there all night! I felt really sad to leave again.
Hachioji City. Sigh. But the memories are ones that I am going tocherish forever! I'm so glad I got to see this experience! That was my real baptism, the one I was meant to be here for! Oooooh, I'm so happy! I can't wait to tell you all about it! In other words, I can't wait until you have read it and are reading this sentence and thinking
"what the heck? She's weird" as you read it, like I told your fortune. Just kidding, that was weird. Anyway, I, still just giddy with excitement! Aaah! This was the best day of my life!.......