Monday, June 24, 2013


So, this was my very first rain in Japan.  It rains all the time. When it rains here, it POURS. I ride around in a stupid looking snowman rainsuit! But I love the rain =)

So, you see the mountain on the far right covered by the tree? I hiked it today with one of our investigators- the Peruvian. 606 meters. So fun!!!

Me at the top of the mountain!
And now I'm eating seafood rice-balls, wrapped in seaweed! yum-yum!

We went cave exploring today too!

Instead of plastic-ware, they give out disposable chopsticks at convenience stores!... which is where I bought this cup of noodle! Yep... I haven't changed one bit. Still in Japan... eating my favorite food =)

I was forced to sing at the ward talent show =)

 There are SO many hydrangeas here. HUNDREDS! They're everywhere! There's pale pink, hot pink, china blue, purple, violet, lavender, cerulean, indigo, butter yellow... These ones are some of my favorite. 

My first encounter with a squat toilet.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Hello everyone!

So, I'm back!
And I'm still alive!
I got in 2 bike accidents this week, and I'm pretty sure my left pinky in broken! Or my knuckle... or something! I'm quite a sight... My legs are so colorful with bruises and cuts! I'm like a work of art! Haha... last time I wrote about my bike troubles, I had yet to realize that the streets of Fukuoka are even crazier than I thought! I wonder if there are any driving laws here!? Bikes and people are always in the streets and sometimes the cars drive on the sidewalks! Hence, the 2 accidents... But don't worry! I'm ok! My hand is healing, and I have learned very quickly how to get around and not get killed! Man... it's like nothing else here... I feel like I'm on a different planet.
But out of this crazy experience has come so many miracles! For example, one day when I was missing my mom SO bad, I went and taught an investigator... I didn't expect much, but during the lesson, she really opened up to us. I could feel her reaching out to us. She shared her hardships with us, and we shared the gospel. We all became so close. It was such a blessing at the time, because I felt like I just needed a mommy. And even though it was us teaching her, I could feel her genuine love for us. Now we meet with her every day and I feel like I have adopted a new mother (of course no one will ever replace my wonderful mommy, but it's good to have someone who at least cares a little bit). She is a beautiful Peruvian woman. She speaks 5 languages (one of which is English!). Last week, we all decided to participate in the ward talent show, and she taught us Peruvian dancing! It was so wonderful. I think I'm becoming Peruvian!  
Another miracle- Yesterday, Andaca Shimai and I) were SO hungry! We haven't been able to go grocery shopping and had literally no food. So we went to church, and randomly this lady came up to us and gave us some food! When we went to the kitchen to eat it, I discovered it was rice and fish wrapped in seaweed... It took 5 minuted of laughing before I was able to try it, but as I was brave, and took a bite of seaweed, I discovered it was actually quite delicious! That was also a miracle...
One last miracle...
So, my companion is Filipino. So... she speaks Tagalog. She speaks English too though... Anyway, on that first day, when we were biking, when we got to the appointment, she informed me that we would be teaching the lesson in Tagalog because our investigator is also Filipino!.......What!?..... I freaked out. First of all... I'm in a country where I already don't understand anything that's going on. Secondly...Tagalog!? I had never even heard of that language before! When we went into the appointment, I was surprised to hear that Tagalog sounds like a mix between Chinese and Spanish! And surprisingly enough... I was able to understand more Tagalog than Japanese!!! Miracle!!!!! Sometimes I wonder what language they taught me in the MTC, because if I'm understanding Tagalog, but I still don't understand what people in the church are saying to me... something is backwards!
Japan is a mystery. Last week at church, some crazy lady came up to me and randomly started combing out the curls in my hair! I had an afro for the rest of the day!  Also, people yell at me a lot when I'm riding my bike. I'll hear people yell "gaiigin! gaiigin!!!" Which means, "foreigner, foreigner!" It's quite odd... People seem to be curious enough about me, but when we try to talk to them, no one really wants to hear about Jesus! All the sudden everyone becomes "Buddhist"... it's never really true though... 
Oh Japan... Sometimes i think I'm in paradise... and sometimes i am convinced I'm in purgatory... But I love it here anyway! 
But anyway... I'm off to the beach! We're going to study in the sand today! It's P-day and I've never felt more deserving of a break. We work hard over here in Japan...
Thanks for your love and support, everyone!
Roberts Shimai!

#Little American girl in the biiiiiiiiig asian city. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Young woman met in Fukuoka Japan

This letter was sent to Victoria's parents.  It made all of us(family) so happy.

Dear Richard and Kathleen:
Last Sunday June 9, I attended LDS church meetings in the Fukuoka Ward in southern Japan.
One of the speakers included a newly-arrived sister missionary, Sister Roberts, who did a great job sharing her testimony in Japanese. Now that I have returned to the US, I just wanted to email you and say she looked happy, enthused and fully engaged in her missionary work. Her senior companion from Makati City (Manila), Philippines also seemed to be a great companion for her.
Anyway, I just wanted to drop you a quick email to say she is doing well and thank you for supporting her missionary service. She will do well there and grow to love the Japanese people in Fukuoka as we did when living there many years ago.
Best regards---

Eric Doman
Provo UT

P.S. During her talk she commented she was from Washington--not Washington DC. After sacrament meeting concluded, I asked her where in Washington state she was from because I grew up there. Was surprised to find out that she was from the Tri-Cities, and more specifically Richland. Coincidentally I grew up there many, many years ago and attended church in the Jadwin building before we moved to 3 houses west of the Thayer stake center. Always interesting to be part of a world-wide church with local links such as Richland--even though I attended the "other" Richland high school and not Hanford High. In fact, my mother still lives in Richland very near the beautiful temple.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Week 1 in Japan...

Sent at 5:15 PM Monday June 10, 2013 Japanese time.
Oh Konichiwa!
Well let's see what's new... oh yeah...
I'M IN JAPAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My first area is Fukuoka City, Fukuoka! Yes, I'm in the biiiiiiig city... and let me tell you something- Satan is ALIVE here! I know because he tried to kill me as soon as I got here!
So let me tell you a story. 
So, as you know- In Japan they drive on the wrong side of the road... And also- they go as fast as they want. ALSO- everyone rides bikes. So... The minute I got to my new apartment (which is the smallest apartment I have ever been in- maybe 480 square feet), the first thing my new companion (who is Sister Andaca, from the Philippines) said to me was- "Hey, so we've got to go teach a lesson! Let's go!" That's not what almost killed me. Here's what is- we had to go to the mission home to borrow a bike, because our area covers the ENTIRE city and our teaching appointment was 45 minutes away by bike... so when we got to the mission home, we were informed that all the brakes on the bikes were broken... except one... the District Leader's bike... Our zone leader is really tall... So... I took the bike anyway! As soon as I rode away, I realized what a huge mistake this was. The bike was HUGE! I couldn't maneuver it! The seat wouldn't go any lower! When the old ladies would see me riding towards them, they would yell "Danger, danger!" Haha... I fell over a LOT. I almost got hit by a bus too... It missed me by less than an inch. Half way through the ride, I realized what a mistake this was. I was totally miserable. I was scraped up so bad on my shins. The bike was so tall it was digging into my sitsbones. I began crying because I could feel my poor little derriere starting to bruise. It was gnarly. I felt like giving up and weeping, but my companion was riding so fast, that I couldn't stop. She was darting across the street and in-between cars... and I just had to keep going. When I stopped crying, I remembered how discouraged I was earlier in the morning when I had to go out and contact. I couldn't even say the phrase, "I am a missionary from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" It's so hard in Japanese... So I decided- I know that all the forces are trying to stop me right now, but I have been blessed. I will ride this bike and I will get to my appointment! For the rest of the ride, all I said through tears the whole time was, "I am a missionary of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." "Watashi wa matsu jitsu seito iesu kirisuto kyokai no senkyoshi desu!" I said to everyone I rode by! I said it to Satan, and he left me alone!
The second time he tried to kill me was the next day! I found out that I would be speaking in church in 2 days! So... He made me lose my voice. I got very sick... I couldn't speak at all. I had a fever and couldn't breathe... It was really funny because I've been so healthy lately! It came out of no where! But I got better...
The third time he tried to kill me was when I had to return the District Leader's bike. My poor little bottom was so bruised, and I was so sick that I could hardly ride the bike! I was in so much pain by the time we got to the mission home. When I got there, I just prayed, "Heavenly Father, I just need a tender mercy right now!" Just then, out really cute A.P. came walking out- "Sister Roberts! You got a letter!" I did??? I opened it and it was from my mommy. It was so loving and encouraging, I burst into tears right there... in front of everyone. Needless to say, my conpanion made me go home and recover!
So to that end... Why am I telling you all this? To complain? No way. I'm leading up to the big stinger. 
I found out why Satan wanted to kill me.
When I got to church on Sunday, I was shocked to see that there are only about 200 members in this entire city! Only 1 ward! When I saw that, I knew why...
I was sent to this city perhaps because I am the only one determined enough to want to save it! 200 members is simply not enough! I have been here for 4 days and we have already committed 2 to baptism. Satan knows what is going to happen to this city while I'm here. There hasn't been a baptism here in 2 years. I am the first 19 year old to ever serve here and I'm determined! I see that this place can become paradise! And it will. I am going to open my mouth and share the gospel and never stop until my work is done! Miracles are coming to Fukuoka! I know why I am here!!! There is a greater deed that needs to be done and I will be the one to do it!
After I realized that, Satan has left me alone. We found the perfect bike, we got baptisms, and I have been safe! 
I love you all!
I'm off to work again! Good luck in all you do!

Roberts Shimai!
Oh, yeah... and the food is weird here =)

#Japan!!!!!!!!! I'm finally here!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Here are some maps showing the different cities Sister Roberts will be flying from/to on her way to Japan!

Salt Lake City to Los Angeles

Los Angeles to Tokyo

Tokyo to Fukuoka

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Hey, everybody!

 So wow...
Last week in the MTC.... Next time you hear from me, I'll be across the ocean in a country that I still feel like I know nothing about!
It's kind of funny to think about- Asian language learners are here in the MTC for the longest of anyone... except those who are learning 2 languages. So except for the slim number that are learning Tahitian and French, or Mandarin and French, I have been here the longest! I've watched all my friends come and go! I've watched the people that I met on day 1 come and go... but it's finally happening for me! I'm going to JAPAN!
It's still not real yet... yesterday we had a huge in-field training that was 9 hours long. Even after that, it's still not quite real. I don't know when it will finally become real! Maybe a year into my mission!...
Think about it... I've never been across an ocean! The only place I can even remember traveling to is Vancouver Canada! This will definitely be a shocker...
But enough of that nostalgic stiff...
This week something cool happened! An elder from the first quorum of the Seventy came and spoke to us! Elder Zwick! Turns out, he was the man responsible for building the Portland Temple! He gave an excellent talk. It really got my thoughts turning about how lucky I am that my family was able to be sealed in the Portland Temple so that when I was born, I always knew I could be with them forever! It was so interesting to learn about all the challenges that popped up while the temple was under construction. I'm so glad that they persevered and saw the whole thing through. I'm also glad that my parents were persistent and made being sealed in the temple a priority. I had never thought in depth about how lucky I am to have an eternal family until that night. I really am the luckiest person in the whole world... because I have the best family I could ever possibly imagine having!

Another not quite so serious thought... I'm learning Finnish... kind of random... but I met a Finnish elder here and he's been teaching me Finnish!!! I'll probably forget it all by the time I've been in Japan for a month... but at least for now, I can have a very simple conversation- in FINNISH!!! It's kind of cool... I've also learned some Portuguese... It's a lot like French, so that's fun too! Man... sometimes I think I learn more about other countries than I do about Japan! But it's not because I don't try hard. There's just so much ethnic diversity in the MTC! I study Japanese for 10 hours a day and then I pick up a ton more tidbits along the way! It's so much fun. I just ADORE my foreign friends.

Oh yeah! I got my Japanese name badge this week! It says Sister Roberts in JAPANESE!!!!! Ro-ba-tsu Shimai!!!!

Wow... in 2 days I'll be flying half way across the planet. I can't stop thinking about it! Time has just flown by here! I wonder how it will be in the field. I still have 16 months... weird. I won't see you all for so long!

Japan... I still don't know why I'm going to JAPAN. But I definitely know why I'm a missionary- I love this gospel. So much more now than ever before. I love sharing the very essence of who I am with whoever will listen. I don't know why Heavenly Father thought Japan was the right place, but I know that I'm going to love it and I know that there are people who need ME. That's so strange to think about. People have been prepared to hear what I have to say, from my mouth, with my experiences! Someone (or multiple someones) need me right now. I'm going to go out there and find them!!! Even though my Japanese in imperfect and even though I'll probably offend everyone with my ignorance of Japanese culture, I'm going to trust and hope and pray, and I know I will be lead to the people who are ready to receive me!

I also know that people are prepared to hear the gospel from YOU. You just have to look around yourself and find them. Someone needs YOUR light. We all have a purpose and a gift to share =) We just have to find the ones who need ours particularly. I know that Heavenly Father will lead them to you. Just don't be afraid to share.

Wow... am I a missionary or what? A year ago all that would have never occurred to me... I have a glorious feeling that my life is about to change for the better =)

I love you all, and I pray for you.

さよなら アメリカ!
(Goodbye America!)

Roberts Shimai! 

ロバーツ いまい!

Victoria with her teachers

Victoria with her District