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.
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!
Sunday, December 8, 2013
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
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!
Sunday, November 24, 2013
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!
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
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!
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
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Surprise! I'm no longer in Okinawa!
Some crazy things happened with transfers and I was transferred early to a new mysterious place... MIYAZAKI!!!
I am now companions with a Japanese missionary, Sister Ami Suzuki, who is amazing and sweet and kind and is luckily fluent in English! We are having a lot of fun together!
I actually haven't been here for long, so I don't know much about our investigators, but I have met a cute girl that we are teaching, named Ray. She's 18 years old... she's a fixer-upper, but we love her and are trying to help!
Our other investigator that I've met is Orimoto san! She's the cutest old grandma ever and she's totally getting baptized! She comes to church every week with her cute little granddaughter.
The people of Miyazaki are amazing! And it is very nice to be somewhere once again where the people actually show up on time to things =)
On Saturday we had a talent show! I sang... like always, but we also did this awesome skit!
There are 4 missionaries in Miyazaki branch. 3 of us dressed up in reindeer suits and played out this strange reindeer version of the Cinderella story with the Circle of Life song playing in the background. It didn't make much sense, but it was so fun! It had a happy ending... The reindeer all turned into frogs! So fun.
Last night I went to dinner at some older members house and it was so funny because the old men just kept joking the whole time about how shiny their bald heads were!
Everyone here has been so kind to me.
I was a little sad to leave tropical paradise and step right into winter, but I love love love it here and I can't wait to serve and help and find and teach! It's gonna be great!
Thank you for everyone who has been praying for me =) I'm still working to make you all proud!
I'm happy, happy, happy!
Sunday, November 3, 2013
Oh my goodness!
I'm still in Okinawa and it's still Summer!
Yesterday I figured since it was November I might be able to wear a scarf and a sweater... biggest mistake of my life. I walked out the front door and walked into a wall of summer heat! But at that point we were already late so we just had to go! Oh man! I was dripping all day! Good thing we were in the air conditioned church most of the day.
This week we had our ward Halloween party. I dressed up as a Japanese person! I wore one of those stereotypical round Asian hats with a point on the top and a kimono shirt! My goodness. All the ward members thought I was hilarious! It was a lot of fun.
I also was in charge of making the pinata for the party. That was a funny thing- watching Japanese kids do a pinata for the very first time in their lives. They all took the baseball bat and tried to hit it karate-chop style! It literally took an hour to get it nearly broken at which point we just ended up ripping it apart to save time. Japanese kids are so funny.
This week we also found a new investigator- His name is Mister Miyagi. He does karate and has a bonsai garden. He's pretty legit. We were riding our bikes down the streets and saw him trimming his bonsai trees and we asked if we could help! Turns out he already knew who the missionaries were and knew quite a bit about the church! He said we could come back to his house and teach him! So that's good!
Okinawa is as good as ever. We're still struggling to find and keep investigators right now because of how flakey the Okinawans are, but we're working harder than ever and bishop Arakaki keep reminding us to "party hard, dude"... so we're doing our best.
Anyway... that's all for this week!
Love you all!
Sunday, October 27, 2013
This week has been strange... very strange... all of our investigators cancelled every single appointment we had scheduled with them this week...that is, everyone except Casey! The lush from Florida!
Boy, oh boy... that was a strange lesson... It really made me realize why I am in Japan and not anywhere else... and it also made me respect my daddy a whole lot more and admire the fact that he served his mission right in the middle of the Bible Belt in Missouri! Gosh... I can't imagine doing lessons like that 24/7. Casey is also baptist... and he showed up to our appointment once again not in the right mind... It was hallelujia and paraise the Lord all the way! He didn't remember me from last time... I think our next lesson will be the word of wisdom.
Also this week, I learned to do basket weaving! An old lady in the ward taught me! Cool, right? I made a basket in the shape of an owl! Wish I could send you pictures, but this dumb little computer won't let me! Basket weaving reminded me of when Sister Lane and I learned how to do tatting. Gosh. I miss her so much.
We also met a crazy lady who talkes to spirits. We were tracting and we went and knocked on her door and she opened it and said, "when you rang my doorbell, my heart leaped and when I opened the door there were so many beautiful light spirits around you!" Then she basically told us our futures. Aparently I am going to grow a lot on this mission and promptly get married when I get home... but who knows... that was just what the spirits said! We also met with another ward member his week who is a 97 year old who hears spirits! She said, "just tell the spirits thank you, and I love you and they will be nice to you!" Okinawans are very spiritual... literally.
But Okinawans are also very funny. Sometimes it's still hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that people actually laugh in meetings and my bishop says things to me like, "party on dude"...
All in all I would compare this week to an insane asylum... Spirits, drugs, basket weaving... but don't worry, I'm not going crazy yet! The Lord is helping all the way!
Oh, and by the way, everyone... my mom's birthday is this week on the 29th =) Make sure you give her some extra love for me =)
Anyway! That's it for now! The church is still true!
Love you all! Keep praying!
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Another crazy week in Okinawa!
It's still gorgeous and showing no signs of moving into fall! I love everything about Okinawa. All the tropical flowers, the constant sea breeze, the friendly people. I never want to leave!
But... but, but, but... we are having a bit of a rough time trying to keep investigators... There's something here that we like to call "Okinawa time"... Meaning- whenever we have appointments, either no one shows up, or they cancel 15 minutes after they are spposed to show up. Also, no one ever calls us back unless it's to cancel an appointment that they most likely are already late to... it's interesting =) But not completely unworkable!
Right now we have an amazing investigator names Oshiro who we committed to baptism a few days ago! She's really excited. The problem is that she's so busy, we might not actually be able to get her in the water until March... But we're still really excited!
All of our investigators are really awesome, but the real struggle is just pinning them down for appointments. They're all a bit flakey. But I love them! I still haven't het half of them yet, but they're all great and have really good desires!
One of our investigators, Casey in an African American from Florida. He's not all that promising, but he sure does love us!
The other night we met him on the street and he was SO SO SO drunk! He wolf whistled at us and got out attention! Then we had a little discussion about all his x-wives. He also started ranting and raving about black people and the priesthood, garments, tithing, baptism, and all sorts of other stuff... Man. He was really drunk. Then at the very end he started telling us how cute he thinks we are. All the sudden he turned to me and said, "Hey... are you Jewish or something?" And I said, "Nooo..." So he was like "Well what are you?" So I told him I was Italian... Then he started going off about how beautiful Italians are and about how his very first girlfriend in 1st grade was Italian... Then we left. Yeah, well that's Casey for you... When he's not drunk he's actually pretty great, but when he is drunk, man... he is out of it!
So that's the up down of what's up in Urasoe!
Japanese is still a struggle, but it's getting better every day! People down here actually speak a different dialect, so sometimes that can be confusing, but when people just speak plain Japanese, everyithing is fine!
And that'S pretty much all I've got for this week!
Hope everything is well back home!
Love you all!
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Well, hey hey hey!
I'm in OKINAWA!!! What else can I say?
Just in case you haven't heard, Okinawa is paradise.
On the flight over I just kept looking out the window at all the water... as we got closer to Okinawa island I saw the water starting to turn turquoise... That means one thing- tropical!
So basically I am living on a tropical island.
It's called the Hawaii of Japan- because it literally is like Hawaii. There's actually a Hawaiian elder down here and he says it's just like home.
It's kind of funny- on my way down here I was wearing several layers and my coat and a scarf, but when I stepped off the plane I was in mid summer heat! Totaly unexpected. I just got done with summer up on the main land and now I just came back to it!
Okinawa is the most beautiful place I have ever been. Everywhere is beautiful flowers and palm trees. My area, Urasoe, is right on the coast, so we get the ocean air every day. We're also right next to the military base.
One thing that is very different about Okinawa is the relaxed attitude.
Up in the big city everyone is so serious and stone-faced. Even among missionaries... But down here it's a party all the time! When we had our first missionary get together with the zone I was so surprised. Everyone was laughing and talking. I kind of stood off to the side for a while like an awkward loser because I just didn't know how to act! But I'm getting used to the island vibe and now I'm actually starting to enjoy the laid back feel among the members and missionaries. BUT- just because it's relaxed doesn't mean we're lazy. I've worked harder this transfer that ever before. The area is probably less than a tenth of the size of my last area, so it's a lot easier to get places. We get a lot more done in one day.
I feel like God has blessed me by sending me away for the winter. Everything down here is warm and happy and sunny. Plus, they actually have root beer down here, so that's a good thing.Oh have I mentioned that? Japanese people hate root beer, so it was impossibly to find anywhere up on the mainland. We're going grocery shopping today =) I'm excited to see what other American treats they have here =)
We've got great investigators and the members are amazing. Okinawans are so different that all the other Japanese people. They're happier and more friendly and less busy!
Everyone down here is Japanese too, so I'm done teaching in 4 different languages! I just realized how bad my english is getting though. Sometimes the things I say don't even make sense. I had to read this letter like 3 times before I sent it just to make sure you could understand my severely deteriorating grammar...
Everything else is fabulous though! I can't think of any place I would rather be! I love the island, I love the people, I love Japan, and that's all there really is to it!
Love you all! I'm happy as a clam!
Monday, October 7, 2013
So this week was full of lots of good times, but there is just one little story I want to share =)
I had a little miracle this week!
So, we were in a rush out the door because we were absolutely sure we were going to be late to our appointment with a less active member... So we biked as fast as we could and got there 5 minutes early. As I was unloading my bike, I realized that I had forgotten to wear socks. In Japanese culture it is REALLY rude to not wear socks into someones home. So I started freaking out because I did not want to offend this lady. So I started praying really hard in my head. I asked Heavenly Father to please provide some socks for me. I knew it was a really small thing, but it was so important to me to not offend this lady. I asked Heavenly Father, "If there is any way that you could make some socks appear in my backpack, I would be so grateful..." So I started unzipping my backpack. When the zipper was halfway undone I realized that I had no faith that God could make a pair of socks appear in my backpack. I thought, "this is ridiculous. I should have prepared better. God isn't going to help me"... So I just stood there for a few seconds and doubted that there were any socks in my backpack. Then another thought popped in my head. I have been studying the miracles that the Savior performed on earth and I had been noticing that all of them were wrought by faith. It is by great faith that great miracles are worked. So I decided to have great faith. I decided that there WAS a pair of socks in my backpack because I knew that God could do that! I had asked in the name of Jesus Christ, therefore since Jesus could heal lepers, give sight to the blind, and forgive sins, he could certainly put a pair of socks in my backpack.
So I unzipped the rest of my backpack, having perfectly renewed faith, knowing that if Christ could heal a woman who had enough faith to just touch the hem of his clothes, I could muster the faith to make a pair of socks appear in my backpack!
So... I looked down in there and right on the top of my backpack there were 2 socks =) Mismatching, but perfect! One made of lace and one of fleece, but I didn't care! I was so grateful! Tears filled my eves and I felt humbled and grateful as I put them on my feet.
To this moment I don't know how the socks got in my bag, but I do know that God can do all things.
That's about it for this week though! I just found out that I'm transferring to Okinawa! I'm so excited- that's exactly where I wanted to go! I will be in Sister Andaca's first area- Urasoe (oo-da-sow-ay). I'm so excited! So so so so excited!!!!!!!!! I'll also be with Sister Lane's MTC companion, sister Coles.
Ok, well, gotta go pack the suitcase!
Love you all!
Keep me in your prayers! I'm working hard to make you all proud!
Sunday, September 29, 2013
So this week... was pretty much the same as all the others!
Which is good! My mission is awesome!
But... the most important thing that happened this week was a little adventure that Sister Lane and I had this week. =)
We were feeling a little worn down because we had Zone Conference, which always gives us plenty to do... and I guess Sister Lane got this brilliant idea to pray for something funny to happen! Oh boy, did it ever...
The next day we were planning on visiting a less active member, whose house we had never actually been to before.
First of all... The street system in Japan is SO confusing. There are no street names- just block numbers, which are painted on these minuscule little signs and you have to drive around the whole block to find it!
So... it happened to be Sister Lane's day to navigate... and I was kind of hesitant because I didn't know if she knew how to read the map...
So, I just followed her, and before I knew it, we were riding up the side of a mountain! So I just went with it and followed her. Eventually we found the right block- number 17, but the only entrance to it was by stairs... so we walked our bikes up about 100 stairs and when we got to the very top, we realized that it was in fact block number 17, but she had lead us to the wrong number 17!
So we were exhausted and a little put out that we were on the top of a mountain and the right house is no where to be seen, so I get off my bike to go give a lady a flier and all the sudden I hear a spat. I turn around and a bird has just flown by and pooped on my bike seat! Great... but sister Lane thought it was hilarious.
After the lady rejected the flier, I start hearing this loud meowing... So I look around and see this lady carrying a cat into our house, so I try again to make an attempt so I can give her the flier and I just say, "OH!!!!! NECCO DAI SKII!" Which means, "I love cats!!!!!!!!!" So she turns around and she is holding the fattest cat I have ever seen in my life! So we got pictures with the cat... it was HUGE...
Anyway... it was quite the adventure and afterwards sister Lane and I just looked at each other and laughed =) So her prayer was answered =) Very funny. We plan on visiting the correct house tomorrow =)
Also this week about a hundred people (ok, maybe not that many) have stopped me on the street to tell me that I look like a movie star... so that's been kind of awesome...
Anyway... Japan is always an adventure. So much fun, and I just love the work =)
That's all for now!
# A third of the way through my mission... and it's still the best decision I've ever made! Where is the time going?
|Sister Roberts and Sister Lane with matching scarves|
|The littlest door I have ever seen|
|Doing origami with Less Actives and Zone Leaders!|
|I made sushi!|
|The endless staircase|
|fat cat lady|
|Emiko's toilet- Japanese toilets are strange...|
|The underground world|
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Oh my goodness, is September almost over already? A third of my mission done?
This week has been awesome =) We're still getting used to the new apartment, which we have discovered is infested with lots of creepy crawlies... Not only is it infested with lizards... also cockroaches... and large black beetles... and centipedes, killer mosquitoes, and spiders... yes, spiders. Big jumping ones... Sister Lane is constantly freaking out, but I've gotten used to it. She runs around squealing, begging me to kill whatever it is that she's screaming about and I just sit there and make her do it... But the down side to that is that sometimes she won't do it, and I will find it crawling on me later. We don't kill the lizards though. They're too big. But... the mosquitoes really are a problem. Every bite I have gotten has turned into a scar. And those are just the regular ones. These ones are way worse. The other day I got 3 bites on my left foot and about half an hour later while we were on our way to an appointment, I noticed that my foot was turning purple. But it's back normal now... but the bites still look really scary.
The other night I was laying on my bed when I felt something crawling up my neck. I used my ninja reflexes ( which have begun to develop quite rapidly since living in a bug-infested apartment) and swatted the back of my neck. I thought it was a mosquito, but when I inspected it, it appeared to have been a very large spider, with quite a few blood and guts in it. Pretty gross, right?
Other than that, this week has been great! I tried octopus, which was actually really delicious! Last night i also went to a dinner and ate lots and lots of raw fish, which was actually also really delicious... But who knows... I think I could eat a tire and think it was delicious. My taste buds are probably disintegrating. Oh, what i wouldn't do for some dairy queen!
Anyway That stuff isn't that important... But here's something cool. I finished 2nd Nephi this week and I have 2 chapters left in Jacob til I'm done with it!
The Book of Mormon is awesome and I'm just loving it more and more every day =)
But not I am running out of time... Sorry this wasn't a very spiritual letter... But suffice it to say that I did in fact have a lot of spiritual experiences this week!
Love you all so much! I'm off now!
Today we're going to go visit the underground city of Fukuoka... cool, right? The other week we were desperate for some American food and heard word that there was a Krispy Kreme somewhere in Tenjin... so we went looking down in the subway station, and not only did we discover Krispy Kreme (which was delicious as I had never actually tried it before), we discovered that there is an underground metropolis under Fukuoka city!!! So today Sister Lane and I are going to go explore it =)
Hope you all have a good week! Pray for us please!
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Oh hello, everyone!
This week has been scattered and crazy!
We moved into a new apartment this week! It's wonderful because we actually have room for everyone in it now! Sister Andaca doesn't have to sleep on the floor anymore!
It's way funny, no members showed up to help us move, so we had to do it with just us and the elders. We also had a lot of teaching appointments that day, so when we came home, the elders were still in our apartment unloading all our stuff in their pajamas, listening to Taylor Swift! Those big sweethearts. We really couldn't have done it without them.
Also, this week, something exciting happened.
I have developed a love for the Book of Mormon. Sometimes I just sit there reading and I just think to myself, "There is no way that this was written my any man unless they were inspired by God..." And now I'm almost through with 2nd Nephi, and I'm loving every bit of it!
Confession... I have never read the Book of Mormon all the way through... But I have a goal to do it, and let me tell you, when I made that goal, I had no idea how much it would bless my life. I am finishing strong. I am being fed by living waters and the bread of life.
Anyway... not much else to say!
The gospel is true! The Book of Mormon is True!-no matter what language it's in- IT'S ALL TRUE!
Love you all.
Have a great week.
Sunday, September 8, 2013
Oh my gosh. Where to start.
This week has been SO good. One of the best of my entire mission- not just because of the investigators, but because I've seen a lot of changes in myself...First of all in my Japanese!
So last week I fasted that my Japanese would improve and it HAS! But not quite in the way I expected...
So I have discovered that one of the reasons I think I have been sent to Japan is so that I can learn that silence is golden. I am by nature a very outspoken person. I say exactly what I think, and sometimes certain things would be better not said! Sometimes I catch myself thinking, "wow... I'm so glad I'm in Japan and I can say whatever I want and no one can understand me..." I realized how bad that is. No matter where I am I am a representative of this church and of Jesus Christ... and I decided that I want my voice to be one of kindness and happiness no matter what country I'm in!
So this week I made 3 goals!
1. Not say the words 'crap', 'freakin' or 'hate'
2. To not say anything mean or negative.
3. To not be sarcastic!
It's been the craziest thing, as I've worked on these goals, my JAPANESE has improved RAPIDLY. It's just so crazy! I think Heavenly Father is seeing my efforts to improve my speech and he's deciding that it's the right time for me to learn to speak my mission language! It's CRAZY! And I'm so grateful...
Also this week we met an Italian who has become out new investigator! His name is Amadeo... He said that he died and went to heaven and that he met God and God is black... Yep... so we’re teaching him... Sometimes he'll just go into Italian because I will usually understand what he's trying to say, but it's just so difficult! I haven't spoken Italian very well in SO long! So in addition to my Japanese study I also read the Book of Mormon in Italian... and I study Tagalog... because we're still teaching that crazy Filipina =) Having a background in Italian helps with that too... I usually understand what she's trying to tell me, but I can't speak Tagalog very well yet, so... I'm trying to study!
Also this week I ate some really weird food. Pretty sure I ate snails... and squid tentacles...
it was gross...
Other than that though, life is good! I just love being with sister Lane. I love her kindness and her cute little spirit. I love hearing her sweet little singing voice around the apartment. She's a darling...
I just love being a missionary. I've learned so much about God... I know sometimes we think we don't need Him, or we're better off without Him... but I can honestly say that through learning to rely on Him I've become humbled and a better person. I am nothing compared to Him... but I want so badly to be like Him someday. I want to create beautiful things and have power and wisdom... but I can't do it without Him! I have to trust Him and let Him teach me how! I have tried for years to fix my little vices but just in a week I have improved so much. and you know why? Because I have relied on the Lord. He is helping me all the way. I can't do it alone, so I don't try! And I am so much better off... Everything is just getting better.
Life is good my friends, life is good.
Love you all!
|Us at a dinner last night|
|Us at a dinner a while ago...|
|I convinced sister
Lane to buy crocs also. I got 22 bug bites on my left foot and 15 on my right.|
|Look what we did to Sister Andaca and Sister Bush!|
|Also we made sushi. Look how tan I am...|
Sunday, September 1, 2013
It's been a busy busy week in Fukuoka!
Sister Andaca got her greenie and I'm with Sister Lane now! Things have just been crazy crazy crazy and we're trying to figure everything out!
It's been a little hectic cramming all four of us into our teeny tiny apartment, but we're actually moving to a bigger apartment this week, so That's a good thing! But it's also adding a lot of craziness...
Actually, this whole week has been crazy in general. There was a typhoon for the majority of the entire week, so we didn't get much done. Typhoons are crazy. We actually had an appointment scheduled right in the middle of the typhoon, but we really didn't want to cancel it... So we biked for an hour through crazy lightning and the heaviest rain I have ever seen in my life. It was really windy and a little scary... but the appointment went really well! When we finally got home, I was completely soaked and had the chills, but I didn't want to be a wimp about it, so I just went on with things and toughed it out. The next day I had a fever and chills and I was pretty delirious... So I've been recovering. Too much rain isn't good... Yep... so I got soaked and sick, but now I'm all better!
Also this week I found out that I have a cousin in the same area as me! It's so weird! He gave me his family's conversion story to read, but I had never actually read it... so yesterday when I was in bed recovering, I took it out and read it... and then I realized that it was the exact same story I've heard my dad tell a million times... And then I realized that This elders last name was a family name from my dad's side.... So. I freaked out. And told my companions. They didn't believe me though. They thought I was hallucinating and told me to go back to sleep... So it took me like half an hour to convince them that this elder really was like my 3rd cousin! I promise I'm not going crazy! Haha... I have such awesome companions. They were just like "Don't worry, honey... you're not related... it's gonna be ok. Have you drank any water lately?" So funny... But yeah... That was weird. I'm serving in the same area as my cousin at the same exact time!
We also had to divide our investigators this week. It was a crazy spiritual experience. Some things turned out completely different than we originally planned. We now have 7 people each to take care of- much more manageable that doing it all together... So now we're working with Nora (my Peruvian mamma), Yukari (someone we just met on the street), Elsie (a Filipina... which will be a challenge because my Tagalog is still pretty bad too), Christina (my MTC "investigator" who is from Nepal), Mineoi (a crazy lady who is obsessed with Americans and never listens to what we're actually trying to say), and we're also still working with Emiko and a less active named chizuru!
One more thing- basically I just love sister Lane. She's amazing and we've started this new thing where every night we tell each other one thing we love about each other. It's really corny and Sister Andaca always makes fun of us, but it's so sweet! Sister Lane is just the best. She always does the dishes and we always have a fun time. Neither of us are very good at Japanese, but we are trying so hard! She had the coolest revelation this week that we needed to go see this member (who Sister Lane had never met) and read a very specific scripture to her. So we went, and this Sister just started crying. It was exactly what she needed to hear right at that time. I'm so glad I have a companion who pays attention to the spirit.
That's all for this week!
I still love you all!
Hope everything is well with you!
Monday, August 26, 2013
Wow... what a week.
First of all... I'm being made a trainer! To Sister Lane!... which is crazy. I officially have senior companionship over the biggest area in the mission... I'm in bigtime shock, and I'm so surprised that President G is doing this to us, but he must trust us a whole lot, cause we're both brand new and have noooo idea what we're doing! I feel completely stripped of all pride. It's not very common for this to happen. Not very common at all... Pray for me. I don't know what's going to happen. I just finished my own training with Sister Andaca and now I have to train Sister Lane! What!? Well... We'll see what happens!
Usually the experienced missionaries are put in Fukuoka city... I don't know why I'm the senior here right now, but hey- The Lord knows why, so I'll just trust!
This week was SUPER busy. Packed full with appointments. On Saturday we had 3 meal appointments in one day- a lunch and 2 dinners. We have too many investigators to handle! It's crazy!
Also, one of the members made me tacos this week =) I was so grateful. It's been way too long since I've eaten Mexican food... The member said that she heard that I liked tacos and she wanted to make me some, but at first she had planned on making octopus (since the Japanese work for octopus is 'taco'). Crazy, right? But I lucked out. Tacos are awesome.
Haha also this week I gave sister Andaca a haircut. It looked so good that word spread and before I knew it our mission presidents wife came up to me and said "so... I hear you give haircuts"... my brain went "oh NO!" and I quickly just said, "yeah! I guess I do!" And ran away. Haha... I never want to have the opportunity to butcher our president's wife's hair! Scary...
But yeah... overall this was a good week...
Nothing to complain about!
Love you all! Have an awesome week!
Sorry! One last thing! I just found out that Fukuoka is becoming a 4-sister area! Yaaaaaaay!!!!!!! Sister Andaca is staying!!!!!!!!!! I'm still training, but I'm not all alone!!!!!!!!!
Now I won't constantly be dying because I'm racing from place to place in a rush all the time! I'm actually going to be able to sleep at night! Yaaaaaaaaay!
Good things good things....
Ok. bye for now.
|Me biking through the mountains|
|Beautiful flowers up in the mountains|
Me teaching baby ekaiwa (English class)
Our class =)
|This is Haruhito, my favorite baby. Big fat marshmallow.|
Me teaching beginners ekaiwa. Lots of fun.
Had dinner at the Fukuyama Family's house and got to play with Haruhito, my favorite =)
This week was full of lightning and thunder storms. LOTS of rain. So we got to wear our matching rain suits =)
|These are 2 of our investigators. Yukari and Akemい。|
|This is a grasshopper... That I'm about to eat.|
|And a snail... They have HUGE snails here.|
|This is what a rice paddy looks like.|
|And this is what I look like at a rice paddy. Haha|
Us at one of the many many rice paddies.
Us at the rice paddy =)
us eating dinner at a park
Us on a slide =)
us playing around with dry ice