Sister Hubbard and Sister Alder her companion
Elder Scott and elder Ries At the cave
Top of the mountain view
Hundred year old shoe we found on the beach, lol.
賽の河原 (sainokawara). The translation of the word means "children's Limbo." It is this big cave near the ocean with hundreds and thousands of little statues of children. It is a place dedicated to children who have died prematurely or while they were young. The belief about the area is that the children's spirits reside there and so families and people in the surrounding area go there to visit them and can feel of their presence.
Last,but certainly not least! Haha this is a toki bird. Sado is famous
for them. This is of course a stuffed one, but there are real ones on
Sado too. ;)
Sister Alder and Elders
Today I went on an adventure! We travelled to the far tip top of the island today for p-day to go and see some more of the historical sites in Sado. It was so far! I'm glad we went though. We got up really early and rode our bikes to Ryotsu to catch a bus at 7:30am. The bike ride to Ryotsu from our house is about a 12km bike ride, and so we had to leave the house early, and so I am pretty exhausted from today, but it has all been worth it. :) I've seen some really cool things today and learned lots more about the Japanese Culture and beliefs while seeing all of the sites. Sado's history is amazing! It still continues to blow my mind.
We went and saw a really special spot here on the island. It is called 賽の河原 (sainokawara). The translation of the word means "children's Limbo." It is this big cave near the ocean with hundreds and thousands of little statues of children. It is a place dedicated to children who have died prematurely or while they were young. The belief about the area is that the children's spirits reside there and so families and people in the surrounding area go there to visit them and can feel of their presence. It was a neat experience for me to see all of that and to visit some of the other neat places near by. On the way there, we road the bus along the coastline. I saw Dolphins jumping in the ocean for the first time! That was really neat for me to experience. The fall nature colors are so beautiful here on the Island right now. We hiked for close to 10km to go and see all of the sites. Most of the hiking was done on along the coast line, and so we got to see the beautiful ocean waves and the beach scenery. It was so breathtaking. I always feel so close to God when being in nature. There is a special peace that comes from enjoying the small things in nature, just as much as the big things. I found a small handful of some of the most beautiful shells from the beach. I will have to send some home for Christmas. :) I have decided that Sado is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my life. It's absolutely stunning. While I was outside, looking at all of the wonderful things around me, the primary song "My Heavenly Father loves me," came into my mind.
|Whenever I hear the song of a bird|
|Or look at the blue, blue sky,|
|Whenever I feel the rain on my face|
|Or the wind as it rushes by,|
|Whenever I touch a velvet rose|
|Or walk by our lilac tree,|
|I’m glad that I live in this beautiful world|
|Heav’nly Father created for me.|
God created such a beautiful world for us. I'm so grateful for all of the beautiful things He has created for us. Lately, I've really tried to help people understand that this earth and its beauty is a sign that there is a God and a supreme creator. There is no way that all of the beautiful things in nature evolved overtime from smaller compounds; they were organized and pieced together by our Heavenly Father for us because of love. At this time of the season, when talking with people in different places, I love to share Alma 30:44 with them. I've found that it is a great way to give people a Book of Mormon and talk about the nature of God.
"The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator."
Anyway, just some things I've been thinking about lately. :) We are so blessed and so loved.
Today, after asking for a few hours, we got really hungry. I had packed a whole bunch of snack because I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I'm glad I did, because we got out to this area and there was only some small houses close by. There were no stores, no vending machines, and after looking for a little while, accepted the fact that we might just be eating snacks for the next couple of hours, haha. As we came out from the cave and hiked another kilometer or so, we came out to a small area where there were a couple houses. We saw an older couple working together in their garden. When they saw us, they dropped what they were doing and came down from the hill to talk to us. At first, we didn't notice them, but then we saw them coming towards us. We were able to talk to them and explain why we were there. They said that it was so rare for them to see foreigners in that area. They said that they were surprised when they saw us, and they were even ore surprised when they learned that we could speak Japanese. As we talked with them, they asked us if we had food with us and if we had eaten anything. Now, as missionaries, we aren't supposed to lie, but we said that we had already eaten (snacks), haha. The woman somehow knew that we were really hungry and insisted that we wait and talk with her husband while she made us onigiri (rice balls). Before we could say anything, she had returned into the house...Japanese people are so giving. It doesn't matter if you are a stranger or a friend, they will give you all they have if you let them. I love them so much. While she was inside making the rice balls, we were able to talk with her husband about the gospel and give him a Book of Mormon. We asked him if he knew our member friend who lived close by. He said that he did, and then he asked us if the member friend could explain more about the Book of Mormon when they met. It's was such a neat experience! I hope they can come to church with the Hamada's (our member friends). That would be so great!
A few nights ago, we had dinner with the Iwasaki's and it was so amazing! Iwasaki Kyoudai is our branch president. Iwasaki Shimai made us a delicious dinner and we ate takoyaki and a really yummy seafood soup that we put overtop of raw ramen noodles-so good! She is so good at making things. A while back, last transfer, she told sister Horito that she would make her a skirt, and then she told me she was going to make me one too. She is so sweet, kind, and one of the most considerate people I have ever met. After dinner, she brought out the skirt she was making for me and she had me try it on to see if it was fitting right. It is one of the most beautiful skirts I have ever seen! She is so talented at sewing! Everything she touches becomes more beautiful and the way she speaks and shows love to others is so special. She is such an angel to everyone. I want to be more like her. Sister Alder thought it would be a good idea to Mogi how to give Book of Mormon's away to friends. I went first and the Iwasaki's played random people on the street. It was really awesome. Soon after, Alder shimai did it too. We then encouraged them to try while we pretended to be the people they wanted us to be. They both stopped for a minute to think about who they each wanted us to be. Iwaksaki Kaichou wanted one of us to be his boss because he had been feeling like he should give a book of Mormon to him for a while now. That was really neat. I think that as he practiced, he really felt the spirit confirm to him that his boss was the person he needed to give it to.
The spirit was felt really strongly as we practiced with them and bore testimony to each other. Watching them practice how they might talk to their friends really helped me to realize what an influence love can be when talking to people about the gospel. They are so amazing. :) I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to know them.
Well, that's probably all I can share for this week, but I just want to say that I am so grateful to be a missionary. I love it so much and everyday brings on a new adventure. The things that happen everyday are a witness to me that God loves the people here so much. I feel that so strongly, and just as he loves the people here in Japan, I know He loves each one of you and is watching over you. This church is true.
I hope you all have a wonderful week!
Sister Hubbard xoxo