Note: The subject of the e-mail is kind of a triple pun. The words say, basically, "it's cherry blossoms that are the clear flowers!" The character for "flower" is the generic word for any kind of flower, but in poetry or literary settings, usually refers more specifically to cherry blossoms. The character for "clear" is used in the sense of "clear" or "pure," is in clear water, or clean air, or bright, shiny eyes, or a pure, beautiful voice. The word is pronounced "kasumi," which as a word is usually written 霞, and means "mist" (kind of the opposite of "clear," actually), and is a word in the first verse of the traditional song "Sakura, Sakura" (where "sakura" = 桜 = "cherry blossoms.") The third part of the pun comes in because 花澄 is Lisa's middle name. Nice, ね?
A few weeks ago, after a meeting, our zone leader (a goofy, lanky, silly Austrailian of a missionary) shared with us an insight. He said, the best thing you can do as a leader is to see miracles on splits. That way, the missionaries see miracles, and they think that's completley normal, and it builds their faith. With that bit of advice floating around in my brain, as I prepared for my split with Sister Q, I prayed fervently that we would see miracles together. I had faith that we could see miracles together, but was still surprised by the miracle that unfolded practically as soon as we set foot in Akita.
There was an obviously foreign man parking his bicycle in the same parking place as we were, and Sister Q asked where he was from. Ends up he was a Middle Eastern man, and Sister Q happens to be half Middle Eastern and is the only missionary in our entire mission with ties to the Middle East, not to mention the fact that her name is basically John Smith for that part of the world. We were all surprised, but the man then proceeded to invite himself to church, even though he's not Christian, and then he went into his apartment and the two of us were left in awe. Half an hour later, we were in the middle of study when Sister Q suddenly looks at me and says, we have an Arabian Book of Mormon.
Me: No way! NO ONE has an Arabian Book of Mormon, are you serious???
So yes. Literally minutes within our setting foot in Akita, we ran into an Arabian man in what is perhaps the only companionship with a Middle Eastern missionary and we happen to have an Arabian Book of Mormon, and who else in Japan has a random Arabian Book of Mormon in their apartment??? That's a miracle if I ever heard of one. All I can say is I know the Lord loves us very, very much to bless us with such an astounding miracle, and the thing is, as a missionary, it doesn't even feel all that strange, because we are witnessing miracles every day. Isn't that incredible? I think it is. :)
Also, the cherry blossoms finaloy bloomed! Yaaaay Morioka! Check it: