I'm a BEAN!!!!! Newbies are called "beans," short for "green bean." It's hilarious, my trainer always reminisces, "When I was a bean..." :)
I'm serving in Ishinomaki, which is still being rebuilt after the tsunami of 2011. There's a bridge (over a road so you can cross the street...) with a marking on it that shows how high the water came that day, I want to take a picture of it eventually, it's rather sobering. A lady in our ward had a friend who survived the tsunami on that bridge, and the water came up to maybe six or seven steps of the top. The people here are angels. It's a beautiful place, and I love everything about it. I'm truly blessed to be here. We are busy all the time, but that's really something to be grateful for.
After 24 hours of travelling, my little band of five missionaries arrived at the baggage claim of the airport in Sendai. There's this huge wall of glass, and on the other side of the glass was some distinctly non-Asian people dressed in suits and dresses, so I started waving like mad when I realized that I recognized one. Got our bags, met my trainer, and one of the trainer-elders walked up to me and said, "Sister Lisa Luke. It is good to see you," and that's how I came across Elder N. Smith in Japan. He's training one of the elders I came with, and actually we're in the same district (which means we work in the same area and attend the same branch). Little crazy mini miracle.
AND, we got a call from some elders who are some sort of leadership called, so I talked to Elder M. Jones on the phone as well. (Note: Elders S and J and I graduated from the same school.) AND, my lovely friend A got called to Sendai as well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Blessings all around.
Life is so, so good, and I've met a number of sweet ladies (one of whom trimmed my poor trainer's eyebrows and aparently also did an elder's, and threatened to cut my hair but then she decided that the Americans cut it too short and so I was spared. She's a hair stylist).
Attached is a picture of my MTC zone, minus two elders, and the sun was really bright. The other picture is of the ladies in my MTC district. They call this "Luke Shimai no pose," or "The pose that is Sister Luke's." I may have had a little too much fun in the MTC;) I love them, but none of them came to Sendai with me. That's okay.
It's a long email, so I'll cut it here, but Sister M, my trainer, is a doll and I love her and she teaches me so much every day. I'm in good hands.
Thank you all for the support, best of luck with everything, hoping to hear from you each! :)
Always, Sister Luke!