Tuesday, April 24, 2012

April 24, 2012

Dearest Darlingest Momsy and Popscicle,
There's been some confusion over rooming here in Utsunomiya......... yes, that's right, transfers happened. My new companion is none other than.... Drumroll please...... MANO SHIMAI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yep, for those of you who don't remember, she was my senpai in the MTC!!!! We are full on companions. I screamed when I got the transfer call. Those poor AP's ears... Yes, it has only been one day but it has been a DREAM. We are going to see so many miracles this transfer I can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!
So story of the day, we were streeting today (by the way the weather is amazing I finally don't have to wear a jacked and I am so happy I literally come to tears.) anyways, we came up to this lady (okay bear with me there is no way I could get accross the full effect of the awesomeness of what happened), anyways even though this was full on hours ago I don't actually remember what we said to her at first but she was like, almost in tears, I really want to become a better person, my heart is not always happy, please teach me, I really have interest. Granted, that statement makes a lot more sense in Japanese but we literally did not do anything and before we could blink we had an appointment for a lesson set up with this woman for tomorrow!! Crazy right?! It was unbelievable. What was even better is that we were walking towards the way of the grocery store that we always go to when usually we have bikes but my companion's bike hadn't gotten to our area yet from transfers and on top of that, we weren't even on the right street because I of course got lost and still have no idea where I am sometimes. And thus we may see, the Lord 100% led us to this lady today. He has a plan for every single one of you. I KNOW that!!!! AHHHH!!!! It was SO COOL!!!!
Let's see what else.. OH this is kinda funny. Last week at church this lady from India came because she was visiting for a convention of sorts (who knows why it was in inaka Utsunomiya) nevertheless a member who was also there invited her to come and she came. She is Hindu but was interested in coming to a Mormon service. We were in Relief Society and this woman pulls out her full on video camera and starts video taping the lesson. It was hilarious.
Well, that's all I have for this week, I hope all is well in America! The church is true!!! Japan rocks!
p.s. congrats to my babygurl getting married! I LOVE YOU!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

April 17, 2012

Dearest family and friends,
I LOVE BEING A MISSONARY. Do I say that every email? Maybe. Because it is true!!! Seriously I can say I have felt joy on my mission that I never knew existed. Ok so this week Fukuda san got the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was SO SPIRITUAL slash hilarious. He gets done with the blessing and as he is walking back to his seat (keep in mind he has the taped glasses and two face masks) he is like hyperventalating (cant spell) like full on deeeeeep breaths in and out with his hands out like he was meditating (with the middle finger and thumb touching). He comes and sits down and is still breathing deeply (loud) and my companion and I are trying our best to hold back our inappropriate laughing. Needless to say, Fukuda san felt the Holy Ghost!
Also this week, I GOT TO DO SPLITS WITH EDSTROM SHIMAI!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (for those who don't remember, she is my MTC companion) So we were companions for a day and right now she is in the area that Jeff (Melissa's brother) lives!! So it just so happened that we were able to go eat dinner at their home! IT WAS AMAZING! Jeff made INCREDIBLE Japanese food and I got to see his CUTE baby and the rest of the fam!!! I was SO grateful that it just worked out perfectly! They are such wonderful people and I feel so blessed to be able to see some of my family on my mission! Edstrom shimai and I sang I am a Child of God and I am pretty sure they took a home video of it. Included is the CUTE picture of Nikkkkko!!!! I love him! (please pardon the fact that I am as white as a ghost and have gained a few sister missonary lbs). All in all, I have known now more than ever on my mission that the Lord has a specific plan for each and every person on this earth. We just have to listen.
In other news, our investigator Toru san has a baptismal date!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is getting baptized on May 6th (early birthday present for me) and I can't wait!! Seriously 1 billion miracles are happening every day in Utsunomiya and it is seriously going to explode any second. My companion and I went housing last week and when we knocked on people's doors we would ask them if we could sing them a song. Then we would sing them I am a Child of God in Japanese (she's an alto luckily). Well we met this mom and her daughter and we have an appointment to go back and teach them about the gospel and how EVERYONE deserves to have the joy of raising a family in the gospel! Can't wait! Anyway, not much time, we went to the temple today for p-day and it takes 2 hours to get there by train so that leaves not much email time! I LOVE YOU ALL!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

April 9, 2012

Hello all!!!!
Sorry my email didn't send properly last week! I guess you just get two today! So this week has been nuts!! So much has happened! First and foremost, FUKUDA SAN GOT BAPTISED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Best. day. ever. (see attached picture) this man is hilarious I love him to death. His baptism was after conference on Sunday and it was so beautiful. My companion and I sang and the ward like freaked out and then asked us to full on sing and encore. Fukuda san got up to bear his testimony after and it was so sweet! He was so nervous so he was speaking 100 miles per hour therefore I had no idea what he was saying BUT I felt like a proud mom. Literally I wish I could explain the feeling of seeing someone you love so much finally step into the waters of baptism in a dedication to follow Christ.
Let's talk about conference..... HELLO IT WAS SO AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My companion and I were the only ones listening in English so we were in a little classroom of the church watching all by ourselves. It was pretty fun! Definitely one of those, wow, I'm in Japan moments. (I get those like daily). I especially liked David. F. Evans' talk. He has such missionary work fire!!! You could say my companion and I hi-fived upon hearing him talk about how we should write our missionaries real life letters thinking maybe this will be a hope of getting something in our mailbox... **winkwink... But seriously I am obsessed with conference. I sat there listening to President Monson speak and when he said, "tenderly, the master speaks to ALL, Come back, Come home, Come unto me." I thought these are literally words from Him. From Jesus Christ himself. He is quite literally calling us to come home to Him. That is the purpose fo this life. To come unto our Savior and be sanctified by His love. It hit me really hard as I hear a literal prophet of God speak the words of the Lord unto us in the most direct method we have here on earth besides prayer. I KNOW that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God with all the authority the Savior has given to him passed down throught prophets alike. I know this because I just received a witness from the Holy Ghost toughing my soul and re-affirming a truth I have known for a long time and knew long ago when I was in heaven living with my Heavenly Father. AHHH!!! I love this gospel!!! p.s. HAPPY EASTER!!!! Japan doesn't know what Easter is so we celebrated with conference and today an elder gave me two chocolate reese's eggs which I almost cried at how amazing they were.  
Moving on, today we went to a place called Nikko for p-day. (google it) It is one of the most famous destinations in Japan for shrines and temples and stuff. It was GORGEOUS. It is in my area so we took a train on up there that looks like the Hogwarts express. It was really fun! Japan is literally soooo beautiful!
That is all I have for this week! Sorry if it takes me 27 years to write you back! We don't have much time these days which is a good thing! The work moves on!!
Swainston shimai

April 2, 2012

Okay that's enough Japanese... haha it still takes me 75 years to type in Japanese. SOOOOOOO I don't know how else to break this to all of you but, yesterday or Saturday, my beautiful, lovely, cutie bike named Basil was STOLEN. (R.I.P.) And nope, this is not an April fools joke. She was taken from right under my nose at our apartment building even though I locked it and everything. Also my helmet was stolen with it.. (don't know why they would want that.. missionaries are the only people who wear helmets..) So yes, we came downstairs on Sunday morning to go to our meetings and low and behold, my bike was not to be found! All the other 27 bikes parked next to it were still there though don't worry. SO we walked to church. Not that far, only a couple miles I think. BUT the moral of the story is, it didn't even get me down! I could have been really mad slash sad slash depressed that my bike was stolen but instead I was just like, OK! at least I am alive and get to go partake of the sacrament! The mission office is sending me a bike that one of the missionaries who recently went home used. In the meantime, I am currently using a bike of a sweet sweet grandma in our ward. It is called a mamachatti and it's what all the grandmas ride and I look hilarious riding it with a helmet and all!
Enough about that, the attached picture is from today. We had a zone p-day in a place called Oizumi. It is a place in Japan that is more like Brazil than Japan. There are SO MANY Brazilians living there and we always have Brazilians who are called to Japan serving in that area. (pictured are my companion and I and our Brazilian missionary friends) Yes, I do understand that I am whiter than you could have ever imagined I could get but I assure you that the sun is slowly but surely warming up Japan. Anyway we had a Brazilian barbeque that was AMAZING. We had it at a park and the second picture is our whole zone on this abnormally long slide they had there. P.S. all the Japanese children there were seriously confused as to why a huge group of foreigners were taking over their playground. Also, I may or may not have taught a few of the elders a cheer that I remembered from my middle school days. (no I was not a cheerleader I just know all the cheers) THAT video will have to be an after mission moment to be shared. Get excited.
In other news, on Sunday after Conference, (yes we watch it a week late here) ( and yes I did hear about Elder Archuletta, got 20 emails from my sweet little sisters), our beloved, investigator FUKUDA san will be getting BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Literally I'm like shaking just thinking about it. He is an ANGEL!!!! I LOVE HIM and cannot wait for him to receive all the blessings from baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost. This will be my first baptism on my mission to someone I have taken part in teaching. I feel like my own child is getting baptized. So, the work moves forward here, I am literally so excited for conference I could pee my pants, and I love you all very very much!!!
gossip girl
p.s. My companion and I can't read kanji so you could say we bought clothes softener the other week thinking it was detergent and used it for a week before we figured out it actually was NOT washing our clothes. THAT was hilarious to find out. #gaijinmoment

Sunday, April 1, 2012

March 25, 2012

Dear world,

Greetings once again from Atlantis! Another strange, exciting, confusing, week in the mission field!

Let's start off with explaining the attatched photo. This is a 23 year old girl in our ward. She has the mind of a 5 year old and is HILARIOUS. For example, yesterday during the ward musical number, she SPRINTED to the front, grabbed the conducting baton and in perfect rhythm helped out the ward choir director. When she was done with that, as she was walking back to her seat she stopped at every member and said (in Japanese) (and in a very loud voice) YOU ARE FUKUDA KYODAI (Brother Fukuda) as she poked him in the shoulder. Then proceeded to do that to everyone down the row. After sacrament, I was privelaged to meet this little ball of joy. She came right on up to me and grabbed my face and hugged me for like 2 minutes, snuggled her face into mine cheek to cheek, let go for one second and then did it all over again like 5 times. I taught her to say totes and snap her fingers at the same time in a sassy way. so for the rest of the day every time I saw her she did it like 10 times. I LOVE HER!!!!

So we met this guy Skywalker, he was an investigator a while ago and never got baptized so we kind of resurrected him as an investigator. BTW he goes by skywalker because he is obsessed with Star Wars. We tell him to come over to the light side every day. Anyway, he invited us to come to this international potluck thing for the community so we came and we would be talking to people and every single time anything would come up about missionaries and like or lifestyle and rules and stuff this random guy would pop up and recite every single thing about us (keep in mind, perfectly accurate too) we were like, WHO ARE YOU? why do you keep just appearing out of no where?!!?!?! Come to find out, his old girlfriend was a mormon. So, naturally I asked him why he wasn't baptized, he said I dont know and then proceeded to tell me about his teddy bear that he was carrying around with him. Ohhh the people you meet on a mission!

OHHHH!!! and there was this little girl there named Hana who knew every single word IN ENGLISH to all of the Disney songs. You could say she and I performed a little duet of A Whole New World. She was Jasmine and I was Aladdin. She kept getting mad at me every time I sang her part on accident. It was the bomb.

Last but not least, our investigator Fukuda san IS GETTING BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We have been praying and fasting and praying some more for this man and yesterday in our lesson through a series of miracles, a strong power of the Holy Ghost and an AMAZING member who was teaching with us, Fukuda san is getting baptized on EASTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I AM SO EXCITED I CANT BREATHE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Lord truly does answer prayers!!!

I LOVE being a missionary!! Eat a burrito for me!!!