Pizza with octopus, shrimp and tuna. Pasta dish with fish and veggies
I hope you all had fun camping this week with the Lybbert's! I'm sure it was great fun! :)
Thanks for the letters and for your love and prayers.
So, today was transfer calls!! Transfer calls are always a little bit nerve racking for me and today was definitely one of those times, haha. Well, as most of you could probably guess, I'm being transferred! The place came as a bit of a shock, but I feel really good about it now. :)
So, if you remember last week, I made a comment, as a joke, saying that they send all of the Canadian's North for the winter! Well, guess who's headed North?? Me! Haha.
You probably recall seeing a little Island on the map included in my call packet when I opened my call. Well, after 5 and a half months in my beloved Koiwa, I am being transferred to the little island of Sado!! I'm still trying to get over my jitters from being nervous, but I really do feel good about it. I've heard from other missionaries that Sado is a really nature filled place and it is really beautiful. I'm excited to see grass again! (For the longest time I couldn't figure out what was missing in Tokyo.. There is no grass anywhere here! Haha) Apparently there are a lot of service opportunities in Sado too, so I'm really excited for that! Koiwa is one of the biggest wards in the mission, and now I'm transferring to one of the smallest wards in the mission. I'm sure it will be a great experience for me! :)
My new companion's name is Sister Horito! I've met her a couple of times, and she is in Sister Ahn's Douki (MTC district), so she is just a transfer ahead of me! :) She is Japanese, but grew up in the States so she had to learn Japanese too! It should be fun!
If you look on a map, I'm pretty much at the bottom of our mission right now in Koiwa, but Sado is almost the farthest North in the mission. On Wednesday morning, Sister Ahn and I will be traveling to the Honbu to pick up our new companions. The Sister who is replacing me is Sister Franks. She is really awesome! I've been on exchanges with her a couple of times and I feel like she is exactly what Koiwa and our investigators need. I was actually more worried about who would be replacing me in Koiwa than where I would be transferred to. I'm really grateful that I can feel at peace about leaving here. I know Koiwa is in good hands and that my friends here will be taken care of. Everyone here was hoping that I would be transferred somewhere else in Tokyo so I could be close by, but God really does know best. For the past week, everyone has been saying, "It better not be Niigata or Sado," haha. Tonight, we are having a fun ping pong activity at the church for our investigators and members. I'm a little bit nervous to tell everyone where I will be transferred to at the party, but I know it is where the Lord wants me to be. Yesterday at church, I told everyone that my parents would be coming to Japan next year! They were all really excited for that and told me to call them when the time came so that they could prepare a party and meal for them, haha. I love this Koiwa ward so much. I feel like I'm leaving home again. I feel like I'm saying goodbye to my family again! They are all so loving and kind. I'm sad to be leaving them for a little while, but I'm so grateful I had the opportunity to serve them and for everything they have helped me learn and see. I've heard it said that there isn't a lot of growth in an environment a person is accustomed to, and so I think it is important for change and unfamiliarity, but it is also another difficult time because of all the goodbyes. I think saying goodbye to people has been the hardest thing I have experienced on my mission so far. I don't like to think about it, but leaving Japan will probably be so hard for me when the time comes.
It takes a long time to get to Sado, and so after we exchange companions at the Honbu, I will be traveling to Niigata with all of the other missionaries transferring up north on a bus. I think we will be staying the night in Niigata and then make the tripe to Sado in the morning on Thursday. We will then be taking a 2 hour-ish boat ride to the Island of Sado... Pretty exciting! I've been wanting to ride in a boat since I arrived here in Japan, but missionaries aren't aloud to unless they serve in Sado. So, I get to ride in a boat finally and I'm way excited about that! :D
A lot of missionaries joke that Sado is the 'exile' area because it is kind of cut off from the rest of the mission. The Sado and Niigata areas aren't able to attend temple P-day because it is too far away. I love temple p-day, but it looks like I may not be able to attend the temple for a few months. Kinda sad, but come what may and love it! :) I really am excited!
This week was really special for me! Megumi and Minami Chan work at a restaurant called 'Red Lobster' close by and they said they wanted to take sister Ahn and I there before I leave. We went and it was a lot of fun! We ate some really yummy food and had a really nice visit with each other. Megumi Chan was working at the time, but we were able to see her a few times in between which was awesome! Just when I thought we had finished eating and it was time to go, they surprised me with a special plate of cake saying, "いすもありがとう ハバード姉妹," expressing their thanks and gratitude. It was so sweet of them to do that, and I was so surprised! They are so thoughtful and I'm so grateful for their friendship. This week I made them both sock monkeys between our dinner and lunch time. I'm excited to give the monkeys to them! I will send you pictures of the cake. A woman from the restaurant also came out and took our pictures and gave them to us. It was so fun!
I feel like we saw many miracles this past week! We found 3 new investigators and they will all be coming to Eikaiwa on Wednesday. Even though I won't be here, I'm so excited we could find more people to teach! This is such a rich area! God is really blessing the people here.
Megumi and Minami Chan were confirmed yesterday in Sacrament meeting, and it was such a sacred experience. They both had tears in their eyes and said that they couldn't describe what they were feeling, but that it was wonderful. The blessings pronounced in their confirmation blessings were beautiful and wonderful. I really felt that they were from God and that He was so pleased with them. They are so excited to go to the temple soon to do baptisms for their ancestors soon. Minami Chan's family is Buddhist and when they heard about our family history, they were really impressed. I think that they are both going to influence so many people, including their families, by joining he church. I am constantly amazing by their goodness and their testimonies. They are amazing!
The past week has also been really busy as we have tried to visit all of our investigators before I leave. It's been bittersweet to say hello and goodbye to everyone, but I feel like I have done what I was supposed to do in this area, and learned the things I was supposed to learn. When the call came this morning and I heard where I was going, I feel like my mindset was changed and now I want to be in Sado. It was amazing to me how fast that change was able to come as I was called to serve somewhere else. Because this week has been so full of goodbyes, it was definitely a tender mercy for me because I didn't know how I was ever going to leave Koiwa and the people here. My heart is so full of gratitude for the opportunity I had to serve here. I'm excited to return someday! :)
I'm sorry this email is a little shorter than usual. I've spent most of today cleaning and packing. I love you all so much, and am so grateful for you all.
Sister Hubbard Xoxo