Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Great week in Maebaru! (wk 11) - Week 29

Monday October 26, 2015

This was a week full of great things, i don't have a lot of time but here's the run down:
  • Sunday: We met a SUPER awesome Lady named Yurika, who just walked up to us smiling and told us she was Christian too! We were able to meet with her on Tuesday and Wednesday and she is the sweetest lady I've ever met. We found out today she's on bed rest because she's having a baby in two weeks, so we may not be able to see her for a little bit.
  • Monday: The Zone Leaders have an awesome friend who invited us over for dinner. Turns out he is a famous chef and has owned several prestigious restaurants that only famous people or politicians went to. Now he's retired and loves throwing food parties! We had fancy expensive Japanese food like snail and a variety of raw fish. It was so cool!
  • Tuesday: We had an awesome lesson with a sweet lady we met a couple weeks ago. 
  • Wednesday: We met a lady from Egypt that moved here three weeks ago, doesn't speak any Japanese and was looking for a phone. So we walked with her to a couple of different resale shops looking for a cheap phone and then went to a phone store to buy a plan and SIM card with her. She literally speaks no Japanese, but she tries to talk to the Japanese people in English and is flabbergasted when they don't know what she's saying. It was so funny! I don't know how she would have done that if we hadn't stopped and helped her! By the time we finished it was 8:30 pm and she said she was just going to find a bus home, but all the bus stops are in Kanji and are super hard to figure out. So we called a friend who was able to drive her home. That was exciting!
  • Friday: the Sister Training Leaders came and went on Splits with us and I got to go with my Trainer Klein Shimai! It was so fun because now I can actually kind of speak Japanese!
And today, we are going to the beach with all of our zone! And Transfer calls are next week and I feel like something is going to change!

I love you all! Thank you for the love and Support!
  my trainer Klein Shimai and I reunited!

Maebaru (wk 10) - Week 28

Saturday October 17, 2015

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous here. It's getting really cold at night but really nice during the day! The trees and everything are really beautiful too.

The past couple of days, Packard Shimai and I have really been trying to know what we can do to be better missionaries. We've been working really hard and meeting a lot of really cool people! Unfortunately this week none of the people we have been teaching were able to meet with us, but we were able to talk to a lot of really cool people anyways. Yesterday we met a lady, when we started talking to her, she crouched down (they do that a lot here, just sit on their ankles kind of) and we felt awkward standing up, talking down to her, so we knelt down too, and talked about our message for about 15 minutes, just kneeling in her doorway. I love Japan! So many unique experiences because of the differences in culture! It's awesome. Packard Shimai and I have also been eating Nato (fermented soybeans) for breakfast. It's a Japanese favorite. We've just been eating it with a fried egg on top, but the real Japanese way is put the Nato over rice and then crack a raw egg over top and eat it! I've been hesitant to try it, mmm raw eggs and fermented soybeans just doesn't sound appetizing, but! I think I'm going to try it this week!

Today we got to go to the Temple to see Mari!  It was her first time in the temple and she was sealed to her parents! Pretty much everyone from Nagasaki came up to support her and her parents so I got to see everyone again! It just made my heart burst seeing them again. I love them all so much! And then knowing that I probably won't be able to see them again, not for a long time, kind of broke my heart! But, being able to go to the temple was so awesome. It's amazing. The peace and love and instruction we receive there is truly celestial. 

Maebaru (wk 9) - Week 27!

Monday October 12, 2015

General conference was so good! I love it so much! How amazing is it that three new apostles were called!? I cannot even imagine the sacred revelation the prophet must have received. Something I felt a lot as I watched was that self reflection is really important. In that Heavenly Father wants us to take a step back and ask, what can I do more? What is keeping me from progressing? That can be a scary question sometimes but I love how one of the speakers emphasized that He doesn't expect us to be perfect all at once, but instead work on one thing at a time. There was also so much about how life is hard, but it's worth it! And we have an amazing way to make the most out of life and that is through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ felt the agony of every mistake, weakness, feeling of inadequacy, we have ever felt. Because of that I know that as we turn to Him, trust in Him, rely on Him for strength, He will bless us with the strength that we need.

Something I've been thinking about a lot lately is Charity, the pure love of Jesus Christ. Last week when we had interviews with our Mission President, his wife Sister Egan gave us this Poem about Charity:

Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other,
when we don't judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give
each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet.
Charity is accepting someone's differences, weaknesses and
shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down or
resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn't handle
something the way we might have hoped.
Charity is refusing to take advantage of another's weaknesses and
being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us
Charity is looking for the best in each other.
-Marvin J. Ashton

Man, if everyone could be this person, the world would be a much happier place. Of course it's easy to be charitable to those we love or get along with. Christ's challenge to us is to have charity even
for those who get on our nerves.

This was a good week! We had a first lesson with a man we met while housing a couple weeks ago. His parents were Christian but he never really practiced. But after a variety of really difficult experiences, he really wants to know how to follow the example of Jesus Christ and become a better person. He had so many questions when we met with him! We had to tell him that we can't answer them all right now, but I felt so confident promising that we could answer all of his questions with
our message, the teachings and church of Jesus Christ. We are so excited to start teaching him!

We had a really awesome lesson with another lady we are teaching named Sumie. We taught her about the Spirit. We taught about how Heavenly Father answers our prayers through the Spirit, and how the Spirit can tell us when what we are learning or doing is good. She seemed to understand it really well! We helped her recognize the good feelings she has during our lessons is the Spirit telling her this is true. It was such a simple and powerful lesson!

We went to see some scenic parts of Itoshima! Izumi Shimai is on the
left and Megumi Shimai is on the right
 We got pizza...it was weird Japanese pizza...Chicken and mayo and some
kind of white sauce! It was weird!
These are the women that Packard Shimai and I share an apartment with.  
Magleby Shimai (left) and Komatsu Shimai (right)

Maeburu (wk 8) - Week 26!

Tuesday October 6, 2015

I've been studying about people in the scriptures and their different experiences. There are a lot that have similar experiences to us as missionaries. So many Book of Mormon missionaries went out to preach the gospel and people rejected them. But, Jesus Christ never left them. He was always there to give them strength and encouragement even when His missionaries were getting spit on and cast into prison. It's really helped me put into perspective that this work has never been easy. Even Jesus Christ the Son of God was rejected, even killed. I know that He doesn't want us to give up or be discouraged. I know He wants us to put ourselves aside and rely on Him. And when we do that, we will always be successful in His eyes.

We had interviews with our mission President this week and it was exactly what I needed. He reassured me that I was doing well and that as I focus more on those I am serving, the Lord will be able to make me a tool in His hands.  I am working hard to become the missionary He can always rely on.

We have an investigator, Sumie that is really cool. We taught her the restoration on Wednesday and she was so accepting of it! She really understood why having prophets is important. She also came to a ward activity we had on Saturday, we had dinner and watched fireworks with the ward members, it was so much fun. The ward members here are awesome. There are about 12 active families in our ward and most of them are over 50 years old. But they are all so willing to help us in our missionary work, coming to lessons with us and fellowshipping our investigators. They are so wonderful.

Also, we had an awesome opportunity to see two baptisms on Saturday! Klein Shimai and our Zone Leaders each had an investigator be baptized! It was such a sweet blessing to see. It really changed my perspective. Being in Japan, I don't really expect to see a lot of people receive baptism, but during the baptism, I felt so strongly that the Lord really is preparing His children here to make these sacred, eternally essential covenants with Him. It's our job to find them!

 We visited a Buddhist temple, one of the oldest in Japan!

 Our zone when we went to the mission home/
temple for interviews with our mission president!