Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 31, 2012

Okay so we had transfers and I am still in Shibuya!! So is my companion!! I am SO HAPPY. I was so so nervous waiting to find out if I was being transferred or not. I am really excited for this transfer. It has only been two days and we have already seen so many miracles! Yesterday we were on our way to visit a member and this girl was on her bike riding past us. I said hello to her and she stopped and then we started talking about God and Jesus Christ. Most people have no idea who Jesus Christ is but we asked her anyway and she said that just that day she watched the movie Passion. It was really cool! So we were able to talk to her a lot about Christ and it was awesome!
So right now we have a three some companionship until tomorrow when we will drop off Mano Shimai (my senpai in the MTC that I was obsessed with) to pick up one of the new missionaries that she will be training. Our District Leader got transferred so on Saturday before he left my companion and I went to Burger King and got a crown and then wrote on it "Richmond sama" sama is a word they put after names to make them honorific like you put it after kings names and stuff. Anyway, after writing that I realize it probably isn't funny to people who don't get the Japanese. ANYWAYZZZ......
So one of our investigators who has been learning about the church for like 2 years has really been progressing lately! We met with her to teach her and before this point we were wondering if we were going to stop meeting with her because she was not really interested in the message she just liked meeting with us BUT we got into the lesson and the spirit was REALLY strong. We taught her about God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. Before the lesson ended we told her we wanted to share with her our testimonies so we each testified and then had her prayer. During her prayer, this was the FIRST time in all the times I have heard her pray that she prayed to God and not God AND Jesus Christ. She finally understands the difference. The second she started her prayer the spirit filled the room so thick it was almost tangible. I started crying of course and then halfway through she stopped, and had to gather herself because she was crying too. After the prayer she told us that this is the first time she has felt the spirit like this in all the years she has been meeting with missionaries. I love this woman SO MUCH!!!! I want her to be happy with every fiber of my soul! I am so happy for her that she is finally feeling what we have only been able to tell her about up until now. She is FEELING the gospel change her life. It is moments like that that make all the freezing cold hours of "kekko desu" (no thank you) SO WORTH IT!!
I love being a missionary! I love Japan and these people are so awesome. I love every single one of them including the grandmas with neon hair and the harajuku girls who look like china dolls from a Gwen Stefani music video. I know I am where I am supposed to be!!!
I love you all!!
Gossip Girl
Swainston 姉妹

Monday, January 23, 2012

January 23, 2011

Another week in the life of a Sister Missionary:
It has actually only been a few days but hello again! Since we last spoke (we didn't really speak butlikewhatever), I spoke in sacrament meeting, gave the lesson in Young Womens, and ate Indo Curry. Nothing too crazy.

 It was cool though because after sacrament meeting one of the members came up to me and thanked me for my talk and told me that his wife really needed to hear the message I spoke about. It was cool for me because the day before I was going through my study journal to figure out what to speak on and I read one line of one entry and got such a strong strong strong feeling that I should talk on that subject. So I did of course and before I went up to speak I just prayed that the Spirit would speak to who ever needed that message at that time. It was just a huge testimony to me that the Lord cares about us on a very individual basis. That talk subject could have been JUST for that one sister because the Lord cares about her. as an individual. I know that is so true!! Our Savior loves and cares about all of us individually!

So today we were going to go to Meiji Jingu which is a famous Buddhist shrine in my area but it is totes raining so we can't.... Transfer calls are on Friday and I REALLY want to stay in Shibuya because I am obsessed with it and I don't want to leave these people!!! We will see if I am staying or going! Nevertheless, I shall serve where the Lord wants me to serve!  

Yesterday it was raining too and I had my first experience with riding my bike in the rain with my huge rain suit on. It was hilarious. It is freezing cold so I had like 20 layers on and then over the top of all of that I had rain pants and a rain coat. I could barely walk I looked like a monster. I was laughing the whole time I was biking.

To explain the picture: I don't know if I have already written about this so sorry if I did... The fish is from a bentou given to us from a lady in the English branch. A bentou btw is like a little to-go box of food.. anyway this lady works for the ambassador for the Dominican Republic so every year she gets to go to the emporor's palace for a celebration and they always give away a bentou. She didn't want it so she gave it to us missionaries to eat. She told us it was worth over $10,000 American dollars. I tried everything in it and it was all disgusting but my companion of course enjoyed it because she is Japanese. Anyway this terrifying fish was in it. It legit has eyes and teeth. I had to take a pic.
LOVE YOU ALL!!! Tune in next week!
Swainston Shimai

Friday, January 20, 2012

January 20, 2012

First of all, good news for the week, I FOUND CHIPOTLE IN TOKYO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! well I mean it is called frijoles (see attached photo) but it is JUST like Chipotle. I was seriously making the biggest scene and the workers didn't know what to do with me. I was so happy! Got a huge burrito and enjoyed every second of it.

In other news, it is snowing today. Seriously many times while I am doing missionary stuff I think, I WISH my family could see me right now. Today riding my bike in the snow was one of those times. Seriously hilarious.
Let's see... OH!! this is unique beyond measure, this week we somehow got roped into this charity guitar slash clown concert thing that I can't really explain but it was literally 6 missionaries and like 3 other members watching this unique couple perform their talents. yep I believe in my journal I described it as an event involving a handicapped couple with the purpose of creating awareness of their disabilities, a guitar, Japanese sign language, a clown costume, a bird, spinning plates in between toes (picture attached), and singing like a cat. (don't doubt I got a short video of that). Anyways it was one of those times where you just smile and join in on the fun. I seriously wish I could tell some of these stories in person because they are golden. That will have to be saved for another time though. Like in 1 year! Ps how crazy is it I have already been out for almost 6 months!!!???!!!

This week I taught my companion, one of my investigators, and an Eikaiwa (english class) student the phrase, "You're the bomb" they think it is sooo cool and it is hilarious to hear them say it. I also taught my companion totes, babygurl, and ummmmmmmm eww. (that one is especially funny).
So this month in the Liahona there is an article about George Albert Smith. He is the prophet who's teachings we are studying this year in Relief Society and Priesthood. He was a man who lived what he knew. I love reading about him! There was an example in the article of him bringing lemonade out to the street workers near his house despite the fact that they were yelling swear words and being gross. Hearing this story made me think of my parents. Growing up I watched and experienced so many times my dad endlessly and selflessly befriending and serving those who most people would never take the time to know or talk to, let alone serve. Most of his kind acts went unnoticed but that is what he preferred. Then I think of my angel mother's example. I recall her sending me running our to the garbage men early in summer mornings when it was already 100 degrees at 8am, with a tall glass of ice water and making sure I said a simple, "thank you for taking our garbage!" It was experiences like those that helped me come to know my Savior. You can read about the Savior all day but until you go out and try to emulate His example, you aren't really a follower of Him dessho? I definitely learned more from my parents actions and Christlike example of silently serving others than I could every properly thank them for. As George Albert Smith so eloquently put it: "Kindness is the power that God has given us to unlock hard hearts and subdue stubborn sould." I love that! Kindness is like magic.
Anyway, I love all of you. I really do. Kiss my nephews and niece for me.
Tokyo gossipgirl

Monday, January 9, 2012

January 9, 2012

Ok so it is 2012! Weird! One of the families in our Japanese ward had us over and showed us some legit Japanese New Year traditions! It was so fun! The little girls were all in kimonos and we had a tea ceremony and wrote kanji with paint brushes and then had a traditional Japanese meaLl! Definitely a time I will never forget. THE MEMBERS ROCK HERE!

Today is a holiday in Japan so all the streets were blocked off in the main part of Shibuya and they had street performers and stuff everywhere. it was really cool!! there were a gajillion people everywhere! I went shopping with my companion and I loved it. No mission is going to change my love for shopping! Haha. The other week I got asked to participate in a musical number for when Dallin H. Oaks comes to the mission to speak to us missionaries so obvi I needed a new outfit! haha (yes, I am still the same ol same ol Ariel. Just missionary Ariel)

In other news... Funny story: So we were on the train on new years eve and we met this girl from china. She freaked out that we were christians and loved it so we got her information and later called her up. We set a time to meet her and we were SO EXCITED!!! So we were at dinner, talking, teaching, and it was all going great! We were so excited, we set up another appointment to teach her and it was awesome. Obvi this is all in Japanese so I didn't fully understand. We get back to the apartment and that night our district leader does the nightly call and I am telling him about our new investigator. I was like yeah she is so cool and her religion is called Ehovana Shonin. What is that in english? and he goes oh! She's a Jehovah's Witness. HAHAHAHA I was like.... oh. hahahahaha this is going to be interesting. SO she had told us earlier that she wanted to share with us her religion too. THIS WILL BE FUN. HAHAHA ohhhh the joys of not understanding Japanese....

HA! Anyway... that's my story for the week! There are really awesome things happening in Shibuya! We are getting really good relationships with the members and it is paying off. I love this people so much. I am seriously going to sob whenever I get transferred.



Monday, January 2, 2012

January 2, 2012

(that is what everyone has been saying all weekend idk....)

hhahaha jk it is like happy new year.. anyways the picture attached is pretty self explanatory. but dont doubt it was 100% my idea. If you look closely it is written in Kanji as well (obvi my companion did that part) You get creative when you are on a mission.. haha So for New Year's eve we went to the bishop of our Japanese ward's home and had some traditional Japanese food! It was awesome! I am really starting to like Japanese food. (although I still crave mexican food like its my job) Today I made my companion a quesadilla for lunch and she was amazed she didn't know what hit her. anyways, like I said in my last email i think, New Years is a PBD here. So things pretty much shut down from the 31st of December to the 4th of January. It is weird to walk around and not see 6gajillion people everywhere. It also makes dendo (missionary work) hard because everyone is gone and or extra busy with parties and visiting the shrines and stuff so they won't listen. BUT last night I went to one of our investigator's homes and we had a cereal party (also my idea) and a lesson. It was definitely how I would have chosen to spend the holiday. My investigator is married to a church member and they are like my family here. I love them so so so much and can't wait until the day I can see them be sealed in the temple FOREVER!! Don't doubt I will do everything in my power to be there! (first he needs to get baptized though.. don't worry I am working on it!). Let's seee.... There was a pretty big earthquake yesterday. It felt big to me but it was not a big deal to everyone else. We were at our church building which is ancient so it shook pretty hard and went on for at least 30 seconds which is pretty long. Anyway, I can't really think of anything else except for I believe I spent like 20 minutes over lunch the other day trying to explain to my companion the meaning of "hot mess" it was next to impossible but I was like crying laughing the whole time. OH! And yesterday one of our other investigators came to church and she hasn't been drinking coffee for like 4 days! THIS IS HUGE!!! We are really excited about her too! She is unique beyond measure and I am obsessed with her. Well, happy holidays!!! I love all of you! I love my Savior and I know I am where I am supposed to be finding my friends in Japan!!


(I still love putting that at the end of my emails... doesn't get old..)