Tuesday, February 21, 2012

February 21, 2012

Today, I met Elder Dallin H. Oaks, an apostle of the Lord!!!!!!!!!!! It was AMAZING!!!! He spoke about personal revelation and how now matter who you are, where you are in the world, or what beliefs you have, if you want to know the truth, you can receive personal revelation through the spirit! The meeting was so awesome. We had our whole mission there and it was held in the building right next to the temple which is my area. The spirit was incredibly strong. I got to sit on the first row because I was singing for it and it was like you could literally feel the power of an apostle. You know when you have a really spiritual experience so you are literally physically tired afterward? That is how I feel. I know that we have a prophet on earth today and he has 12 apostles who are special witnesses of Jesus Christ. I love Elder Oaks so much! He was so kind to let every missionary come up and meet him and shake his hand.
In other news, for P-day we went to a place called Kamakura. (see attached photo). It is a really famous place here in Japan that has a GIANT Buddha and a bunch of shrines and temples and stuff. We went around to a few places there, had some sweet potatoe ice cream (there is something really disturbing about that I know) and met these little ninja men who legit run around kamakura with little carriages attached to them carrying people to the different sights. I thought of my dad and how he would 100% love those little ninjas. There was also a little shop near (see other attached photo) that reminded me of my dad. It had every kind of weapon in Japanese history there for you to buy. Oh how much I wanted to take a picture with ninja swords and ninja stars and such..
Anyway, that was my week! Sorry I don't have much time as always but THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!! I love being a missionary! Oh yeah and we get a new mission president this summer! They just announced it will be President Todd Budge. So excited!!!
Sister Swainston
p.s. my companion has adopted totes into her everyday vocabulary. #soproud

Sunday, February 12, 2012

February 12, 2012

Hello alll!
The picture attached is of my joy with my favorite cereal in America! (Don't doubt 3 of those boxes are already gone). Anyways, I thought of one more thing America needs to pick up on: HEATED CARPET!!! I went into a members house the other day and was standing for a minute and thought, my feet feel really warm, this is nice, my feet are always freezing. come to find out, they had heated carpet. apparently a common thing in Japan. LOVE IT. Ok so the other day on the train I met this lady who is a ballet teacher. I told her I have done ballet before and really like it. She was like, let's dance together I will teach you! So of course I was like, sure! I gave her our flier and we were on our way. Well she contacted us (rare) and long story short, on Saturday I will be doing a little bit of ballet with this woman. hilarious. this is going to be a trainwreck to remember. So we told her, since we are missionaries, if we do ballet then we need to teach her about our church and she was like, sure!! hahaha I can't wait. This is sure to be a unique experience. I'll let you know. #icantihaverehearsal..... Also earlier this week I jotted down a little note in my planner (I know my mom isn't going to like this sorry mom!): "I just told my companion 'I just threw up in my mouth' in Japanese without even thinking about how to say it first. just came out. I feel like I have arrived at a milestone in my Japanese progression." I felt really proud about that. haha ALSO, (this one is for Jessi): The other day I was coughing and my companion goes, "kobito ga iru no?" and i'm like, what is a kobito? So she eplains to me that a kobito is a dwarf or midget and younger Japanese people use it as like a little person who will go and do things while you're not looking. So she asked me if I had a midget in my throat.. hahaha mostly funny because of Jessi but you probably had to be there...
So this week we got a referral and went and visited her and were able to teach her the first lesson. We taught about God, and the Restoration. It was really awesome. It was one of those lessons where before you go into it you know it is going to be really important. You can just feel it. It was the point in the lesson when I was testifying to her that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer that she started to cry. It was so cool because I was looking into her eyes and it was like I could feel the spirit testify to her through me. I KNOW she felt that. And it was all through my simple Japanese. I loved it. Anyway, gotta go!! Next week Elder Oaks is coming to our mission!! I CAN'T WAIT!!!!
Oh and I decided being a missionary is like being a professional stalker. so like I should be really good at it right?

Monday, February 6, 2012

February 6, 2012

Ok so McDonald's here has a hamburger called the Las Vegas burger... I obvi need to try it... anyway,
So last night I got some manna from heaven. It came in the form of Jeff Peel (Melissa's brother) who came back home to Tokyo bearing gifts of 6 (yep thats right 6) boxes of my favorite cereal from my mother. Needless to say I wasn't quiet in my reaction. There is currently a tower of cereal on our kitchen table and my Japanese companion tried it this morning and said normally American cereal is weird because it is so sweet but she really liked this kind. YEP! (Oh's)
Anyways, so this week we were at a less active member's house and I had NO IDEA what this lady was saying. We were sitting on our knees in seiza so my feet were asleep and we were there for like an hour, me not understanding a word. I was getting pretty discouraged because lately I have been able to get the gist of most conversations. Nope. not this time. So we leave her house finally and I told my companion I didn't understand a word and she told me it was because the lady had a really heavy accent from Osaka. I was so relieved to know I am not a failure in Japanese.
A few things America needs to pick up on:
-Heated toilet seats
-Pan-yas (bread stores of the Gods)
-Puikura (photobooth on steroids, SO FUN)
-Karaoke (I know America does this too but it is 1,000 times better here)
I'm sure there is much more... I'll let you know when I think of it.
So we have an investigator who is a Jehovah's Witness and she is Chinese and her Japanese isn't very good. (yes, every lesson is unique indeed). BUT. we have been searching for a member who can speak Chinese to help us with our lessons and have been out of luck. Until this Sunday when miraculously there just happened to walk in a girl who just moved to Japan from Taiwan and speaks Chinese!!!!!!!!!! Just a little example of the blessings God places in our lives as missionaries.
I love this work so much!!!
The attached picture is of a full on CRAWFISH that I ate in its entirety. Yep. Head, brains, EYEBALLS, legs and all. The legs were the best part. Crunchy. I was ok but I was on exchanges and the companion I was with literally almost threw up. It was hilarious.