Haha, so well, things are a bit different today, I guess you could say. Really I don`t even have any idea where to begin. I`m glad President Albrecht sent you all those emails because that basically outlines how everything has been the past week, goodness, has it only been a week, and even then, it`s been over a week...sheesh!
However I guess I can give a shortened version of my side. Oh and tell you where I`m at... I`m now in a place called Akashi, and my companion is Sister Murdock. She`s half Japanese, half American, but mainly grew up in America, she`s from Hawaii. To accommodate all of us into the mission, in my small area of Akashi there are now 4 sister missionaries, 2 elders, and only 1 ward/1 area. Quite different from being over 2 areas! But we`ll really be able to help the ward a lot this way. The 4 of us sisters are all in the same apartment (not too bad, I`ve done that before) 2 of us from Tokyo (Sister Weatherstone and I), this is nice because, I`m not in the adjustment alone, and the other 2 sisters were in the area before, Sister Ishiyama (this is her first transfer, she got here 3 weeks ago, and is from Sendai) and Sister Murdock. Making the apartment predominately American, something that`s different for me, but a nice little break. However, I know my japanese will not improve as well (since sister Ishiyama doesn`t understand english though, we still try to speak all japanese) Anywhere that`s a fast little introduction, honestly, I don`t know much about the area yet.
So what happened: we`ll have to make this short. Wednesday morning: we woke up to a text saying, you`re all being transferred tomorrow to different missions, pack your bags today more information will come later. You can imagine the surprise we felt...really except for the earthquakes that were getting less and less frequent and the shortage of food we saw in the stores, we were doing perfectly fine...we had plenty of food, and well you get used to the earthquakes. Anyway throughout the day we received little short pieces of news as plans were changed, finalized, shifted and refinalized. The end result being that they wanted us at the mission home that night, carrying all of our luggage and if possible our bikes, but if not just leave your bikes in the apartment. Basically don`t expect to come back so take all your things except for your bike. So that night we made it to the mission home about 9:30pm and I found out I was going to Kobe, and where others were headed. It looks like you saw the list that I heard popped up online, so you know where my previous companions are. Thursday morning we hopped on a bus and headed down and I arrived in Kobe that night. The next day, we got our new companions and headed out ready to preach the gospel in a completely different mission! So much for my first transfer, I got transferred to a whole other mission! Ha
I`m really surprisingly doing okay with the change of area. I think the hardest thing is just how different our missions are run. The gospel is the same, our rules are the same (for the most part:all missionary rules are same, but there are different mission specific rules), our purpose is the same. But the way we carry those things out is just completely different. It`s just a slower pace here. You go from the city to the sort of country, and you're going to have a different pace. But I will say, I am very happy to see trees and mountains and the ocean. I love the city, but I need some sort of nature. So that's nice.
I haven`t quite figured out why I`m here in Kobe or how long I will be, but I do know that this can really help both of our missions, as we see strengths and weaknesses and how we can improve things that in Tokyo we didn't necessarily do well, but they do well here. I've decided to be 100% positive about this opportunity, because well there`s really nothing we can do about it. You can do missionary work anywhere, it doesn't matter if I`m in Kobe, Tokyo, or Missouri. It can be done anywhere, I've been called to teach the gospel for 1 1/2 years so that`s what I`m going to do, no matter where I am.
Please pray for the members in Tokyo as they take on the full responsibility of missionary work, and also for our investigators that this won`t stop them from learning about the gospel.
Love you so much
Sister Erin Benne
Ps. P-days here are on Monday, not Tuesday
Starting immediately, all letters can be sent here:
4-6-28 Shinohara Honmachi
Nada Ku, Kobe Shi, 657-0067