Sunday, July 28, 2013

Hey, everybody!

 Well hello...
What's new?...
Oh yeah... WE HAD A BAPTISM THIS WEEK!!!!!!!!! The baptism of Emiko Oota =) She's a crazy sweet old granny and I just love her to death. It's amazing the changes that we've seen in her since she's come into the church...
I remember the day I first found her. It was the most discouraging day... I was on splits with sister Andaca and I was with a native Japanese who I couldn't even communicate with. The only English she knew was, "Do you have boyfriend?"... which turned out rather disappointing on her end... Haha... because the answer was a big NO. Anyway... We were at English class and I was discouraged... and Emiko just comes up to me and is like, "I want to take you to my childrens English class so they can meet native speakers!" So I was like..."ok... Have you ever heard about the Book of Mormon? (no...) Sweet! We'll talk about that on the way!" So I scheduled the appointment...
That was about 3 weeks ago. Just in the last 3 weeks we have seen her come closer to God, become happier in general, and find a place where she feels like she really belongs! Before, she kind of felt really alone and reserved, but now she's giddy and happy and she is so excited to be a member of the church! 
She's the sweetest person... She used to call me "Robatsu Shimai-sama"... which in English is like calling me "Her royal highness, Sister Roberts". She thinks my companions and I are angels. She's hilarious... It took weeks to get her to just call us "Shimai". So funny... We just love her to death.
Finding her was a real miracle. It's just so funny how I was having the worst day ever and Heavenly Father sends this crazy old lady to me and says- "baptize her!" What a blessing.
What else is new... 
Oh, yeah... I'm still co-training. It's hard work... But it's so fun because sister Lane is wonderful! And I'm so glad she's American. I'm starting to loose this strange Filipino-Japanese-Australian accent I've picked up! Yaaaaay!
Other than that, not a whole lot is new, other than I'm coming closer to God all the time and just loving life as a missionary!
Love you all!

~ロバーツ 姉妹

Emiko's baptism pushed through! She's so happy! 

These are all except 2 of the Fukuoka missionaries at Emiko's baptism... and some random girl.

Cleaning the Baptismal font. So much fun!

We all wore matching outfits this day =)  

A crowd of Japanese schoolgirls stopped me on the street and told me I was beautiful and that they wanted a picture with me...  They were so funny! All these Japanese people tell me that I look like a doll. So funny.

Us with our bikes.

Me and my bike.

This is an "Ameriken restaurant" Haha... too good to be true!

This is our seriously weird tri-panionship... posing like the kids on this wall.

This is a Japanese cricket... They are SO LOUD. I picked this one up to get a picture with it... I kind of freaked out a little bit... 

Oh, and this is Fukuoka zone from last transfer.This transfer Burgon shimai is in my zone, so I get to see her every week! Yaaaaay! We were eating Nepalese food this day. It's big down here...

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Hey Everyone!

 Holy Cow, what a week!
Konichiwa everyone!
So... This week I got a greenie! Whoohoo! I'm training on my second transfer! Co-training with Sister Andaca. We are training Sister Heather Lane from San Diego, CA! She's an angel and the best greenie I could possibly ask for. Plus... she's blonde and blue-eyed, so all the Japanese people want to talk to her! =(
I can't believe our mission president is doing this to me though! I hardly speak Japanese and now I'm in a spot where I'm constantly having to translate. It's crazy... But it is making me learn a lot faster...
Oh, exciting news! You know how on my first day in the field, I got horrible bruising on my poor little tooshie!? I have finally recovered! Yaaaaay! I can ride a bike without cringing now! I haven't fallen off my bike for an entire week now, so things are looking good! And my broken hand is almost healed! 
We still have a baptism scheduled for this Saturday =) I'm still praying that it will push through.
After the baptism, We're going to go to the Firework festival and do Japanese folk dancing with a couple of investigators! 
In preparation for the festival, lots of boys and men have been running around the city in packs... wearing sumo loincloths... beating drums... it's so weird to see half naked men running down the street in the middle of the day... but it's totally normal to everyone!
This week has just been busy, busy, busy... Training is hard work... but I know Heavenly farther is helping me, cause sometimes I still feel like a baby myself and I just think- there is no way I can do this... but somehow it always gets done! 
Now there are three of us living in our shoebox-sized apartment, and it's quite cozy... but that's alright, cause it's a party everyday! I can already see the ways that Sister Lane is beginning to help our investigators even though her Japanese is minimal and she's only been here for less than a week. We love her so much and are so grateful for everything she does!
Sorry, this is so brief, but I just want to thank you for all the prayers in my behalf! I see miracles every day, and all I have to owe it to is the power of prayer and extreme faith! God is looking out for me!
Anyway... time is running out for me and I've got to go bike shopping for Sister Lane today! Whoohoo! Hopefully my translating will be adequate for this job! 

Love you all!
Have a lovely week!
Roberts Shimai

Me, Andaca and Sister Lane!

Andaca, Lane and Victoria

One of our investigators made me eat ume boshi (fermented pickled plum...). Nasty stuff. She forced it down my throat! It was like eating a cube of rotten salt.

This is me eating sushi with Satomi, one of our investigators!

Rice patty!

Home sweet home! My Apartment! 

This is the church... where I practically live!

So... this is Nora, she's so beautiful! This is when she took us adventuring in the caves and hiking up the mountain!

This is my favorite baby- Haruhito Fujiyama Chan! I talk about him in my sleep! He's so cute!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Minasan, Konichiwa!

 Oh Hello!
Sorry for the late delivery... You see, it's transfer week and so our P-day got changed to Tuesday... 
Speaking of transfers- I'm becoming a trainer this transfer! It's a little scary... I've only been here for 6 weeks... Actually, Andaca Shimai and I are going to be co-trainers. We're being turned into a tri-panionship, which I totally am going to looooove! Hmm.... who will be the next lucky person to come to Fukuoka?... The only problem is that our apartment is about the size of a shoebox... Maybe even smaller than my parents' living room... so we're trying so hard right now to make space and prepare everything for the new 'green-bean'!
Oh, yeah! Exciting news!- ONE OF OUR INVESTIGATORS IS GETTING BAPTIZED THIS WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's a miracle! Emiko Oota san! Whoohoo! One down, 7 more to go! =) It's truly a miracle... I have been really blessed to be able to see a baptismal commitment with a date on my first transfer... I hope everything falls into place and she doesn't back out last minute... She's an old lady... sometimes old Japanese people do really weird things... But Yeah, baptism! Yaaaaaaaaay!!!!!!!!!
Also, the strangest thing happened this week... My Japanese started getting better... I can actually teach half of the lessons and pull my own share now! It's a miracle! God is definitely watching over me. How else could it go from being sooooooo bad to all the sudden getting so much better!?
Thank you for all the prayers!... and please keep them coming... I'm going to be training someone who is just about as new as I am... Whooo! This is the life!
Other than that... Not much else is new... 
Your little senkyoshi is working hard!

Roberts Shimai!

Sister Andaca and I bought matching dresses =) And we wear our blue sweaters =)

Sister Andaca and I playing the organ together at a baptismal service! =) She's doing the top 2 sets of keys and I'm doing the foot pedals!

Me teaching English class! And being serenaded by one of my students!

I found our favorite book at one of the member's house while having dinner. I missed my mamma.

Don't mind our messy apartment! We're making room for our new companion! Anyway... We are planning to convince all the new missionaries on Wednesday that they must match their companions at all times! Haha... So this is what we're going to wear when we meet them all! 

This is what missionary parking looks like... with me in the very back! Haha

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Hey Everyone!

Wow... What a week...
As is to be expected, I crashed a couple of times on my bike this week,,, but I still have all my arms and legs and fingers and toes! I'm not blind or deaf or anything, so that's good!
I also got big by a poisonous spider! So that's lots of fun!
Holy cow, have I been in Japan for a month now?... I guess so! 
This week my companion and I went to celebrate my 'monthiversary' by going to sushi... Oh man... I thought it was bad that Japanese people eat raw eggs on everything... The first time I ate one, it was like to swallowing a raw goldfish... Well... Now I can personally say... real raw goldfish is waaaaay worse! 
Haha... I actually didn't eat goldfish... but I did eat raw fish, raw baby squid (whole), raw shrimp (whole), raw scallops (like... 5 of them), and fried baby crabs... with the shell still on... Afterwards I felt like I had swallowed a gallon of lake water... I actually got pretty sick! Haha, now eating a raw egg is no problem! If I need some protein, I just crack one in my soup or cereal and eat it! "When in Japan, do as the Japanese do!" =)
I remember once my brother inlaw Paul told me that while he was serving his mission in Chile, he had to eat braided pig intestine... I was pretty happy when I got called to Japan, because I wouldn't have to encounter that! 
Alas... I also ate pig intestine this week... pretty chewy... but other than that, not bad!
Also this week, the emperor's son came to Fukuoka! It was crazy because there were police men everywhere! Who-hooooo! And the firework festival is happening this week! One of our potential investigators taught us a special cultural geisha dance that we can preform at the festival. She's also going to teach us how to preform the ceremony of dressing in a kimono! Whoooo! We have the coolest investigators ever!
We have 8 progressing investigators. Sometimes it feels like they're killing us! No one wants to get baptized, but we're just going to keep working harder and harder until Heavenly Father shows us a way!
This week I cried for the first time since being in Japan... Japanese sucks. I have kind of hit a road block for learning Japanese. I'm trying so hard and studying so hard, and praying and praying and praying, but it's not getting any better! A few people told me this week that they've seen a few cases that were a little bit more hopeless than mine, but "don't worry! It will get better! I think....." My Japanese is so bad. I don't understand anyone and no one can understand me either... So I cried... a lot. I mean, I speak 2 other languages fluently, and have studied 3 others! I should be doing so much better! But I'm not... apparently everything they taught me in the MTC was wrong, because even when I say the most simple sentence, no one understands!... 
But oh well... What can I do... just keep praying and working hard... I'M doing all that I can! Heavenly Father will do the rest!
Ok, so enough whining! I saw something cool this week! A sign-language baby blessing! Yeah, this old deaf grandpa blessed a baby in sacrament meeting in SIGN LANGUAGE! And his daughter translated. It was so spiritual and cool and weird! But awesome... =)
Anyway... I hope you all are doing well. As always, thank you for caring enough to read!

Roberts shimai!

Zone P-day at fujisaki beach!... 

Victoria with VW bus.....a favorite!

Sakiho is the one in the middle! She is our investigator! The other two are members! We all showed up to church matching! SO we took a picture! 

Me cooking Japanese food in our teeny tiny apartment!

My happy corner =)

Me and Andaca =)

My zone =)

Me doing the geisha dance =) check out my sweet farmer tan! Haha...

Monday, July 1, 2013

Being a missionary is the single best decision of my life!

Minasan Konichiwa!
Ok, I'm going to keep this short, but I just had something really cool to say!
The other day I was biking and I got separated from my companion... lost in Japan... 
So... I prayed for guidance and the spirit led me to our investigator's house (where I had only gone once on the very first day)...
So, then I prayed and told Heavenly Father to tell my companion that I was at our investigators house!
All the sudden she got a feeling to go to the house! 
So she went!
Basically we were reunited by the power of the Holy Ghost!
The church is true! 
Preach the gospel!
I love you all!
Sorry this is so short, but once again email time is cut short this week!
Keep the faith!

Lot's of love
Roberts Shimai!
#Being a missionary is the single best decision of my life!