Sunday, January 5, 2014

Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima

Well hello!
I decided to do something different this week and write my everybody email first so that I don't run out of time, like I have the last 2 weeks!
Honestly though, not much has happened! 
I transferred 4 days ago! This is my third transfer in a row and I'm getting kind of tired dragging my heavy suitcases about everywhere, but I have loved all my areas so far and I'm happy to be here! 
Now I am in Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima! I honestly never thought I would come here, Richland's mascot being the bombers and all... But It's a beautiful place and I love it. Today a few of us in the zone are going to visit the atomic bomb monument. I'm kind of excited to see it. I don't really know what to expect, but I was told that it's really depressing... but I'm still excited.
My new companion is Sister Yuko Kashida, from Ishikawa Japan! Nope, she doesn't speak any English!- but that's ok, because I had a huge miracle this week that compensates for all of that!
At first I was really scared when I found out I would be with Kashida shimai, because she doesn't speak English, and my Japanese skills were extremely limited, and I mean EXTREMELY LIMITED... I was so scared and I didn't want to go. When I was on  the bus coming up to Hiroshima I had this huge dilemma where the bus driver was trying to ask me for my ticket and I didn't understand what he was saying, even though he was saying, "ti-ke-to onegaishimasu"... that little episode didn't really help my confidence much about having a Japanese companion...
But I came... The first night was a little bit of a struggle. I literally could not speak Japanese... Up to this point I just haven't been able to get a handle on the language. It has really been a struggle... So I prayed a lot...
Here's the miracle- are you ready? This might sound absolutely crazy to you all who aren't going through it, but it is so completely real for me...
Ok. Here's the miracle. 
After that first hard day I went to bed... When I woke up the 2 other missionaries in the apartment were complaining bout how I had been sleep-talking in Japanese all night... Japanese!? After that, all day as I was trying to speak to Kashida shimai, I found that I was able to say anything I wanted to her and I was able to understand everything she said! I literally learned Japanese OVERNIGHT! Yesterday I went to church and understood EVERYTHING that was going on, whereas before I couldn't understand anything! All the sudden I can speak Japanese and I don't know what to do with myself! I can read quite a bit of kanji too! Weird......
Anyway, I hope you all have a great week! 
That's my miracle!
Love you all!

Robatsu shimai!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Talking to our Missionary

On Christmas Eve (Christmas for Victoria), we got to see and talk with each other.  We were having our annual family Christmas Eve gathering and everyone was so happy to see our missionary.  We are all so proud of her!!  Her parents, sister, brother-in-law, niece, four nephews, two aunts, two uncles and a cousin were all able to see and talk with Victoria.  Oh yes, and she got to see her kitty Ivory.  What a happy joyful end to our Christmas Eve celebration.  Victoria, her companion, and a ward member sang Christmas carols to us in Japanese in three part harmony.  It was so beautiful and we truly were able to feel of the Savior’s love that night as we gathered to celebrate Him.

Sister Roberts' nephew getting ready to see his Tia.

Victoria's Mom, niece and some nephews waiting to see her.

Sister Roberts' parents, sister, niece, nephews and cousin excited to talk to her.

So happy to see our missionary on Christmas Eve(Christmas Eve for the US, Christmas for Japan).

Sister Roberts on  the TV looking at herself from the laptop and some very happy kids!

A happy Sister Roberts

Sister Roberts on  the TV looking at herself from the laptop and some very happy kids!

Happy family, happy Missionary.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Ok, forewarning- this is going to be a very short email. 
How are you all doing!?
Everything is great here!
This week was filled with lots of drama in the ward... Everyone has been pulling us in different directions. Our relief society president is telling us not to speak to certain members, but our ward mission leader is telling us not to speak to the relief society president. There's members going around telling the less active members and the recent converts that the church isn't true. People refuse to come to church until other people agree to leave the church! Drama drama drama!
It's times like these that I have to remember that The church is perfect, but the people are not...
I love the story in the Bible where the Savior says that the reason he hung around sinners is because it is the sick who are in need of a physician... Well there are certainly a lot of people in this church in need of the Savior's healing grace... That's where it actually works out. Even though we're all a bunch of imperfect sinners, the Gospel and the Doctrine and the Teachings can help us ALL to become BETTER! I love this church!
Ok, but that's about all I have to say... Hopefully next week will be less dramatic.
Love you all! Have a great week!
Pray for Miyazaki branch so that everyone will get along and stop putting the missionaries in the middle of everything!

Roberts Shimai!

Sunday, December 8, 2013


Hello hello!


I wonder how everyone is doing in the little old cold Tri-Cities...
As for Miyazaki, it's still warm! Miyazaki is the warmest place in Japan right now except for the little southern islands! I heard there was supposed to be rain today, so resentfully pulled out my coat. I haven't really needed it so far... but maybe winter is finally coming after all.

This week our brand new investigator Masako chan had 2 lessons with us! She is just doing so well! For my birthday we all went out to a neko cafe. Let me just tell you... Neko cafes are the best thing in the whole world. Neko in Japanese means 'cat'... yep. It's exactly what it sounds like- A cafe where you can go play with cats while you're waiting for your food to come out! I think I want to open one in America someday. Discovering the neko cafe was the best birthday surprise that could have possible happened to me! And going there with Masako chan made it even better =) 
Also this week we kind of dropped Ray... she's turning into a little too much trouble and we kind of passed her over into the Branch President's hands... Her problems have become too big for the missionaries to handle...But it's bitter sweet...

On my birthday when we were out talking to people we found this old knitting lady who is apparently really famous in the knitting community... she invited us over to lunch... so we had lunch with her, and what do you know, she didn't care or want to hear about religion!... So we sang her a hymn and left and haven't gotten in touch with her since... it's a little hard to teach people when they hate religion.
Also this week I had a little miracle... I got a little down in Tuesday when we went to district meeting... Our district leader was giving us some training and he shared a story about some missionaries in France. Every time I hear about missionaries in Europe it's like someone has just punched a little sore bruise in my heart. I wanted to go to Europe so bad, but I was sent to Japan on my mission... so when I hear about missionaries in France or Italy it kind of makes me mad. The story our district leader told kind of put me over the top. I was so angry that God had stuck me in Japan and not sent me to Europe, where it would have made sense that I should have gone...

So I was mad... I just kept thinking of all the reasons I hated Japan... Japan can be fun... but it really is hard sometimes, when everything is so unfamiliar and you can't speak the language and you always make mistakes... So I stewed and got mad and just kept thinking of all the reasons I would rather be in France like the missionaries in the story Elder William had told...
But then I got this idea! I decided to make a notebook of only things that I LOVE about Japan that I couldn't have possibly experienced anywhere else! At first it was really hard... I only wanted to write sarcastic things that just made me even more resentful, but as I tried really hard to not write anything negative I was all the sudden filled with a huge amount of happiness! It was incredible! All the sudden I couldn't find enough room on the paper to write down all the things I realized I love about Japan! 
Since then I have not had a single thought about wanting to be in France. 
I think God really blessed me that day.
Every day I continue to write more and more things that I love about Japan and the funny thing is, I can't even think of anything negative anymore!
That just shows when we try to count our blessings, the Lord makes our trials easier to bear!
Gosh... I hope you all have a wonderful week. 

I still love you all!

Don't let any of your toes freeze off in the cold weather!

Love Roberts Shimai!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Miyazaki is glorious

Well, it's another beautiful week in Miyazaki! Sometimes I have to remind myself that it's winter... although some parts of the world are right in the middle of basketball season, in Miyazaki it is the season for beach soccer! In fact, today our district is going down to the beach to play some right after this!
Miyazaki is glorious.
This week we were able to see so many of our investigators. First we met with Ray... still having a hard time with her... Then we met with Ozaki-san, whom I had never met before... He has purple hair. Then we saw Hashimoto-san- one of our newer investigators, who is actually the daughter of one of our other investigators, Orimto-san, who came to church yesterday! This week Orimoto san took a trip to Tokyo and went an got a lobby tour of the temple! She plans on being baptized this May. Also yesterday we found a brand new investigator when we were out on the streets talking to people!!! She's so cute. She's a 25 year old names Masako-chan! At first I decided to talk to her because she was wearing the most bright green tights I had ever seen! Then it turned out she was really nice and loves religion and wants to learn about ours! She also is pretty good at English... which makes me happy, but doesn't matter all that much for Suzuki shimai!
This week was Thanksgiving! We got to eat dinner at one of our American members' house! It was so great. Eating normal food was so wonderful. It was the first seaweed-free meal I've eaten in probably 6 months...
Also we got to go up north to Kagoshima this week for a zone meeting... which was cool. We had to get up at 4 am to catch a 4 hour train there! It was so so cold up north. I didn't wear my coat because it's so warm down here in Miyazaki! But it ended up snowing while we were there! Only a little bit though...
Oh, last thing! Something cool about this week is that it's Elder Holland's birthday on the 3rd! But it's also my birthday on the 4th! But since Japan is a day ahead of America, Elder Holland and I will be having our birthdays at the same time this year! So, I think that's pretty awesome. 
Other than that, nothing else really happened this week! Still working hard!
Hope you all have a wonderful week! 
Oh, and Elder William wants me to say hi to you all... though I don't know why... Australians...
Anyway! Love you all!

Roberts shimai!

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Hello, hello!
It's the happiest missionary in the world over in southern paradise, Japan! Yep! It's Sister Roberts again!!! And I even remembered how to spell my name right today!
Ok, quite honestly, this has been a really hard week, but I am still so so so happy! I have been sick almost this entire week actually... I have a nasty cold that has made doing much missionary work a little hard... And as if that weren't enough 2 days ago on Saturday night when we were over at a member's house for dinner, I had an accident when I fell down their stairs! So for the last couple days I've been house bound and not quite able to walk or ride my bike, BUT last night I got a priesthood blessing and I was actually able to ride my bike to the church today so I could email! Yaaaay! Happy p-day!!! No broken bones this time =)
This week of the little that we were able to do, we were able to meet with our investigator, Ray! We are still working on the word of wisdom with her... When we went to her house we almost died of second hand smoke, which I attribute partly to the cause of my getting sick... But it's ok! No matter what, we just care so much about Ray and we're trying as hard as we can to help her out and get her on a better path... she finally agreed to start praying =)
Also even though we weren't able to go to church yesterday, 2 of our investigators showed up! We were so happy! Miyazaki is doing so well, and it's just proof that even if I'm not super woman and can't do everything, the Lord will do what he will with those prepared people! Yay!
Ok, so something else kind of cool is that I learned how to cook takoyaki this week! Takoyaki is fried octopus pancakes! Sounds really weird, but it's actually so delicious!
Also... Miyazaki got another set of elders this week! So now we have 4 elders and 2 sisters! One of the elders is from Australia and he looks like Prince William... so we call him Elder William. Every time we send him an email we always write it in scriptural language and end it with "your majesty". Then we put a little animation of a crown after it! So... life is becoming a little fun =)
Other than that, not much to say, except that we're working hard!
Hope everything is good at home!
Love you all!

Roberts Shimai!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Lots of love

Hello, hello!!!
Guess what! Another awesome week in Miyazaki and no surprise, I'm not transferring!!! 
So great =)
This week was just so awesome, so great in so so many ways.
I am so sorry, I can already tell this is going to be a short letter... My mind is a little scattered today. Happy, but scattered!
Here's just one little funny thing I want to share cause it's just so cute!
To set the background...When I first got to Miyazaki a little girl came with a ward member and Sister Suzuki to meet me! Apparently she was the daughter of a less active member we're working with...and also it was her 6th birthday! So I tried to struggle over a few broken Japanese phrases to tell her happy birthday and I thought she was cute and I was so glad to meet her... and that was pretty much it! 
So this week week when we went to meet the family they were all so surprised when they met me! They said that they had asked the little girl whether I was Japanese or a foreigner missionary and the little girl had said that I was Japanese!
So when I got there they were so surprised to see an American!
Apparently she had thought I was Japanese because my Japanese was "so good" even though I think my Japanese is awful......
It was actually really a hilarious little tender mercy. I have been praying a bit about my Japanese... I have been a little worried about it... but it was cute that a little girl told her family that a white girl was actually Japanese all because I had stumbles over a few grammatically incorrect congratulatory phrases when I first met her! Haha... kids are cute! 
Gosh we're just working to hard... Not much progress with our investigators... but that's ok! We can always go find new ones! In fact, that's what we're going to focus on this week! We're going to knock every door in Miyazaki until we find the prepared one!
But quite a bit of progress is happening with less active members... We are trying so hard to bring everyone back so we can have more people here to all support each other even though our little branch is so time!
Miyazaki is so great. It's actually the surf city f Japan... Today we went to the ocean =) The water was so warm... I am so happy we're allowed to go to the beach... as long as we don't go past our knees in the water! Miyazaki is almost as paradisaical as Okinawa! Palm trees everywhere, glorious flowers... even in the winter it's surf paradise! I just love Miyazaki and EVERYTHING and EVERYONE here!!!
Anyway... sorry this is so short, but I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Robatsu Shimai!
Haha... if you noticed... I have forgotten how to spell my own last name! I only say it and write it the Japanese way anymore! I'm going crazy!!!!! But in the best sort of way =) No point fixing it now! You all know! =)

Lots of love <3