Monday, August 26, 2013

Hey, everyone!

Hey, everyone!
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!

Roberts Shimai!

Hey, everyone! 
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

Monday, August 19, 2013

Hey everyone!

Wow. Another week in Japan.
How's it going?
I'm fine...
This week was really hard. A lot of work and a lot of stress... but not a whole lot of sleep.
But... One of our investigators just agreed to a baptismal date! We've only been seeing her for a week, but she's ready! And... the miracles of my fast are continuing!!! We found 2 new investigators on the street this week! Miracles, miracles...
Our investigator with the baptismal date is Koko. She's half Japanese and her dad is from Ghana. She's the cutest little 15 year old black Japanese girl I've ever seen! I just adore her... It was kind of funny- she just walked into the church and said, "I'm looking for a church! Teach me!"... in Japanese of course... So we began teaching! This girl has so much faith. More that I ever had at her age. She just knows it's true! She feels it in her heart- sometimes so strongly that she cries right in the middle of our lessons! She really believes it! She's so pure... It's crazy. She ran away from home and is now living with her grandparents, just because her parents wouldn't allow her to go to any church. She's like a pioneer! Her grandparents are actually her legal guardians... or at least I think they are... hmm... we'll see. 
Anyway, when we were trying to figure out a baptismal date for Koko, we were praying... and we got the strongest feeling that she should be baptized on the 7th of September... so we went over to the calendar to schedule it, and the most hilarious thing happened. So... we have this Greg Olson calendar full of pictures of the Savior... and when we went to flip the page to write the date down, we all freaked out! There on the page was a picture of Jesus walking and holding the hand of a little African girl! It was so perfect! We all freaked out! Sister Lane yelled out, "It's prophesy!!!!!" It was so funny. All the puzzle pieces are falling into place just perfectly for her. She's waited in the dark so long... It's just so wonderful to see the light coming into her eyes and to see her repenting and changing. just so so so amazing... love that girl.
Also today I got a huge tender mercy. I was at the beach today... I only slept 2 hours last night and I was tired and hot... I walked down to the ocean and just looked at the waves, when all the sudden I saw something beautiful floating towards me! I watched it until it was close enough that I could grab it... and what do you know!? It was a grapefruit! And you know... I LOVE grapefruits. It was such a tender mercy. I just peeled it right there and ate it. Fruit is so expensive here. We don't often get to eat it. This week was really hard... like I imagine boot camp would be; lots of grueling bike trips, lots pf people yelling at me, and all in the heat of the 100 degree sun... I thought it was so amazing that Heavenly Father knew exactly what I needed in the low time to cheer me right up =)
Overall, I'd say that the good overwhelmed the bad this week. This week was very stressful and hard, but so many tender mercies and miracles happened too. I love the work.
Next week is transfers! I wonder what will happen! I'd love it if I stayed and I'd be fine if I left, but keep me in your prayers! I'll be so sad if I have to leave my favorite little Ghana-girl. I just love the people here. Fukuoka is the place to be =)
Love you all! I pray for you!
Have a lovely week!
Roberts shimai!

This is Koko. She's half Japanese. Her dad is from Ghanna. She's 16 this month. Such a sweetheart.

Here's the picture that goes with that story I just told about us praying for Koko =)

This is Elsie and her daughter Kasumi- 2 of our investigators. They're Filipinas

Me and Nimbus! 

We handed out 6 Book of Mormons last night in 1 and a half hours. Go us!

This is Yukari, on of our other investigators that we found of the street this week!

Today was zone p-day. We went to the beach... This is Sister Williams from Fujisaki. We went down to the water and all the sudden this fruit came on the waves and floated to us! It was delicious. Such a tender mercy. The beach was refreshing.

Sunday, August 11, 2013


Hello everyone!
Well, this week has been quite a bit more spiritual than some others, so, this letter might be a little long-winded... sorry...but before I tell you all that, I just want to say that the best letter award this week goes to gramma Brame! That sweet woman!... But... all the same... thank you to everyone who wrote me this week. I love you all so much. You're all amazing =)...but not quite as amazing as gramma Brame =)
This week I started working out in the morning with sister Lane... oh my gosh, if my bike doesn't kill me, sister Lane's work outs will. I worked out with her once and I couldn't even walk straight for the next THREE days! But it's good... I'm getting waaaaay flexible, which is also a miracle... I can almost do the splits now...
Also this week, I ate a Japanese peach! Oh my GOODNESS! Best, juiciest, sweetest peach ever! I don't think when I come back to the states I'll ever eat another peach again. The fruit here is soooo good. But soooo expensive. Totally worth it though. I tried to make a peach milkshake this week... and I accidentally didn't screw the blender together right... and when I went to pour the milk in, it all poured right through the bottom and all over the kitchen table! I was pretty upset... sister Lane even took a picture because I was so upset...  but now I know! And since that little incident, I have become the designated milkshake-maker! We looooove milkshakes over here in the Fukuoka shimai apartment! Last night I made a brownie milkshake! 
Also... I got sister Lane to eat a raw egg this week. Haha... it's so funny. She's still so American! She's afraid to eat everything! It's so cute! But Sister Andaca and I are still trying hard to get her adjusted to eating Japanese food so that when we go to our investigators' houses for dinner, she won't spit her food out right in front of them... as has actually happened before =) Oh gosh, I just love sister Lane. Training with Sister Andaca is a lot of fun... and Sister Lane is very loved =) Don't worry, everyone! We'll get her adjusted to this place in no time!
On a more spiritual note...this week I gained a testimony of fasting =) I have never really felt the power of fasting before... but last week we had to drop quite a few of our investigators... we went from about 8 to only 2, either because they dropped us or we dropped them. We've been working so hard... We are out in the sun for sometimes 3 hours a day street contacting because we just don't have many people progressing right now, and the members are so afraid to give us referrals! Not because we're bad missionaries... but because here in Japan, if you're a Mormon, it's kind of your secret life... it's like everyone is an undercover Mormon secret agent... and they don't want anyone to know... So... I fasted for new progressing investigators- halfheartedly... kind of just because I didn't think I'd actually receive an answer but needed something to fast for.
The next day, we got 4 referrals. 4!!! We met with 2 of them this week and now they are both progressing investigators! One is a really sweet girl from Ghana, named Coco and the other is a Japanese woman names Mayumi! We are meeting with the other 2 this week and are so excited! Wow, can you believe it!? Heavenly Father actually listens to us when we fast and we're not just starving ourselves!
Another blessing  happened this morning...
I woke up this morning kind of sad...  I was really sore and tired and discouraged. I was praying and wondering "Heavenly Father... why do you feel like you have to break me? All I want is to just be a good missionary... People always laugh and point and yell at us and no one wants to listen... I always crash on my bike... the elders are acting like dumb hormonal teenage boys... what more can I do!? I'm trying so hard!" So I rolled out of bed... and worked out with Sister Lane and then went into personal study... While i was studying, I randomly came across this scripture, D&C 97:8 "Verily I say unto you, all among them who know their hearts are honest, and are broken, and their spirits contrite, and are willing to observe their covenants by sacrifice—yea, every sacrifice which I, the Lord, shall command—they are accepted of me."... Wow...
 I realized that the only thing that is important is whether or not the Lord accepts me... Why am I worried sick because people are laughing and pointing? The only thing that matters is whether or not I'm good enough for Heavenly Father- and if I'm sacrificing and trying to be obedient, that's all that matters to Him! 
So my heart changed a little bit... You know how horses have to be broken before they can be tamed? I guess that's what Heavenly Father is doing to me... I'm pretty hard-headed and prideful, so it's going to sometimes take a lot to break through it all... but I'm ready to be humbled and broken, so that I can come unto Christ and more fully be enfolded in His grace...
Last week I got this really funny bag. On the front it says, "If the result is beauty, the method is justified!" I just bought it because it was only 100 yen and I thought it was hilarious, but this morning when I looked over at it, I realized... Heavenly Fathers method is hard... but His result will always be more beautiful, so His method is justified! So... I'm ready to be beautified! Beautiful soul, beautiful mind, beautiful heart! I'm ready to be broken and beautified from the inside-out!
These missions are amazing... I finally feel like I know why I'm here... to get past myself and find a new me- a better me, who can finally reach out and help other people...
Ah, life... gotta love it. What on earth am I going to do with myself when I get home?

Anyway... this is a really long letter, so I think I'll end it now. 
Love you all! Don't forget about all the missionaries who really need opportunities to teach! Share your friends and they'll love you forever!

Ok, bye for now! 愛していますよ!


 ロバーツ 姉妹!

Updated version of my happy corner =) 

Here's this cute calendar thingie I made. Whenever I pass one of these landmarks I color it in, so by the end of my mission it will be all colored! 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

#Month 3 in Japan- get ready! Here I come!

 Well... what's new, what's new...
This is the week of many many Japanese festivals! So, it's been absolutely fabulous opportunities to take our investigators places and talk about the gospel! It's also great for finding people! We found like a ton of new potential investigators this week! Yaaaay!
As always, you can have trusted me to get in a few more bike accidents this week. This week Sister Lane was biking behind me and very sweetly pointed out that the back of my legs are entirely bruised! I'm also getting a ton of scars on the fronts of my shins from how many times I wreck and hit my shins against my bike pedals!
But it's all good... What's life without a few scars here and there!? But one good thing is that my broken hand is finally healed! I can actually work my brakes properly with my good hand, so maybe I'll get in less accidents!
Other than that.... not else happened this week! Since Emiko is baptized, we have a lot more time to work on other people!
I've been trying, as ever to become more Christ-like and less of myself... So far I feel like I'm getting no where, but I'll give myself a break because  I mean... no one can become like Jesus Christ in one day! But... I do see little improvements here and there, and sometimes I think, "wow... I've come so far"... but there's still always a long way to go... I just love the Savior so much I just want to be more and more like Him every day...
I hope everyone back home is well!
Love always,
Roberts shimai! (wow... I just almost forgot how to spell my own name in

#Month 3 in Japan- get ready! Here I come!

All of us at the giant lotus fields!

Maii, her mom (both investigators), and me!

Maii and her mom dressing me in a kimono- we went to the firework festival this week together and we all wore Maii's kimonos!

The cool obi bow Maii tied!

Miserable wooden shoes I had to walk miles in all over the city with half of my foot hanging off!

All of us at Maii's house!

Fukuoka view from Maii's apartment
In the subway 

Fukuoka castle- this is where we went to watch the fireworks!

Japanese fireworks! So beautiful. I actually enjoyed them!

Japanese fireworks

In the subway with Maii  

Japanese subway- on a NOT busy day

I'm learning to write kanji!

We went and did a cultural dancing display at another festival with all these old ladies. So fun. Emiko introduced us to all of them. When we got to the place, we thought we were going to be able to put the kimonos on... but we got there and about 5 old ladies surrounded each of us, stripped us down to our underclothing, and dressed us culturally in these elaborate 10-piece kimonos. The ones we wore with Maii were only 3 pieces. I felt like Mulan! It was so embarassing though! They put us in these kimonos that were so tight we could hardly breathe! So fun though... and then we got to go to the festival and do Japanese geisha folk dancing!

More miserable shoes. I guess if you include these in the count that makes it a 12-piece kimono, with the traditional socks and shoes...

Us being weirdos at the festival =)
Some of our old lady friends 

Japanese drumming- SO COOL!

Me biking home in the kimono!

I gave sister Andaca a haircut last night. She's wearing my rain pancho. Haha...