Monday, June 25, 2012

June 25, 2012

This week has been jam packed and action filled.
Firsties, the first picture is of almost all of the sisters in our mission. This was at an all mission conference we had this week. I will get to that later.
The second picture is of my companion and I at our bishop's family's home last night! Our bishop is hilarious. Don't worry I taught the whole fam what it means to brush ya shouldas off and how to do it. You should have seen it it was the best!
Ok so this week we had our LAST conference with President Albrecht. It was dramatic to say the least. SO SAD. Those of you who have served a mission can relate on this one, your mission president becomes like you father away from home and you grow to love and respect them SO much. So we had a conference where everyone in the mission met and we heard from President and Sister Albrecht and had REAL American Subway for lunch from the American base. (it was heaven) then we were blessed with a little musical snack from a Japanese perfoming group called Bless 4. They are a band type singing group and I am their newest, biggest fan. I was dying you know I was. They are all members, 4 brothers and sisters. They grew up some in America so they are all fluent in English and Japanese. One of the girls has a song that is super famous in Japan. It is something like Aquarion or something... From an anime I believe. Anyway, I always ask kids on trains if they know it and they say yes every time. So after our private concert we had a heartfelt last testimony meeting with the Albrechts and the missionaries going home in July (which includes my trainer Sister Derricott) bearing their testimonies. You could say I was a hot mess. I thought about how NOT okay I am going to be when I have to give my last testimony before I go home. After that, it was over! And I won't see President Albrecht until I am back in America! CRAZY! Time flies TOO FAST!
So lately I have been studying a lot about faith. When you are on a mission you always hear stories about insane miracles that happen and of course you want to experience them yourself. So I have been wondering if it was because of a lack of faith that I wasn't really experiencing that kind of thing too often. After prayer and study I have realized that God wants me to know and gain a testimony about the fact that it is not about that. It is about giving our best and having faith that our best is creating miracles we may not see but since we have faith, we know they are happening. After finding that peace and answer to my prayers I was filled with such hope. I knew that everything I was doing day in and day out, if I was doing it by the spirit, trusting in the Lord, with faith, I was creating little miracles everywhere I went. Then of course as the Lord always rewards our faith. I met Seino san. Seino san was found housing. (We knocked on her door) and we had our first lesson with her on Saturday. I can't really explain it but it was one of the most spiritual lessons I have ever had on my mission. It was like everything in this woman's existence aligned so that we could meet her and teach her about true happiness and the way to return home to God. Listening to her give her first prayer at the end of the lesson was sacred and something that could never be described in words. I cannot tell you how excited I am for my new friend Seino san to learn about the rest of God's plan for her and to experience her life change starting with baptism. It is experiences like this that help me know that missionary work is an exquisite joy not felt anywhere else! The best part is, we don't have to be full time missionaries with the badge to feel this joy. There are thousands of people all around us READY to hear this message of happiness. They may not even know it but they are searching for that true joy that only can be found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Needless to say, this week was the bomb!
Until next time,

Monday, June 18, 2012

June 18, 2012

Happy Happy Father's Day to all!!
Father's day is not a big deal at all here in Japan but luckily I found this GEM of a Father's Day banner at our local Japan version of Wal-mart. We gave our bishop a little card for Father's day since he is the Father of the ward and he was like oh yeah that's today? I forgot! So that tells you a little bit about how important it is here..
You know you're a missionary moment:
You know you're a missionary when you.... hesitate putting princess stickers on a letter you are sending to the mission office because all of the princesses are immodest. (only Snow White made it on).
yep. that's real.
You know you're a missionary when you... include eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as one of the Lord's tender mercies for the day.
Those were a few I experienced this week. On Saturday I got to go to a baptism of one of our friends in another area who got baptized. It was amazing!!! I love seeing baptisms! Every time I get to see someone get baptized and then see the glow they have about them afterward it reaffirms the reason I am on a mission. The happiness that this church, that Jesus Christ can bring matters more than ANYTHING. I have come to realize that more and more with every day that passes of my mission. The things I thought mattered before my mission, 97% of them have absolutely no worth in the grand scheme of things. The gospel is what matters. Eternal truths are what matters. Not homework. Not TV. Not shopping, idk I forgot what matters to people in the real world.. BUT if you were to take a step back and think about what you spend most of your time doing and then think about if that thing you spend most of your time doing will matter when you die, when you stand in front of your maker, priorities might change a little. I don't even know where that came from but that is my thought of the day I guess! haha
The second picture attached is of this laundry detergent I found today! Thought it was cool to see Ariel written out. I feel like I haven't seen and or heard that name in a long time! I don't think it will let me send any more than 2 pictures but just get excited for this summer because my companion and I have decided to take summer pics of how DISGUSTINGly beautiful the Japan heat slash humidity makes us look!
Love you all!

Monday, June 11, 2012

June 11, 2012

Hello Americans!
(that is what my district leader says to my companion and I every night on the phone. He is Korean. I am obsessed with him and his Engrish.)
So... this week... Well as my subject implies, it is getting hotter everyday, therefore the humidity is getting more smothering every day, therefore I have begun to be eaten by mosquitos every day. Apparently I'm delicious because despite the really good smelling bug spray my companion and I so liberally apply each day, we still get eaten. It rocks. In a not at all my legs are splotchy and unbearably itchy sort of way. Nevertheless, it could be much worse!!! I thought about that this week as I was thinking about what it must be like to serve in like Brazil and then I compared it to here where I have a toilet complete with seat heater and bidet options in my apartment. Life is good. I am one spoiled missionary.
With transfers this past week I had to put together my bike which I am very proud of by the way but as you can tell by the attached picture, it wasn't after some struggle with some dirt and grease till I finally succeeded. Just imagine me in a skirt trying to put together a bike. It was priceless. (ps the clock on the wall in the picture was a birthday gift from a few of the elders in my mission. yep. keepin that forever.) anyway, Getting my bike put together also meant that I got to get a feel for the streets of my new area for the first time. Please just think of the largest hill you have ever seen and you've got every single street in my area. It is soooooo awesome. Luckily this just means my legs will get even more ripped and maybe I will start to loose some of the extra poundage that comes from an overload of rice.
Yesterday at church WE GOT PEANUTBUTTER FROM A MEMBER. I almost cried. It was a full on huge tub of costco peanut butter. Glorious I tell you Glorious. Even better than that we had an investigator come to church and after the Gospel Principles class (which by the way my companion and I taught and didn't know we were going to be teaching until in the opening prayer the person praying thanked God for us for giving the lesson) anyways we got out of the class and went to sacrament meeting (yes, it's last here) and she started sobbing. I was very concerned but happy to find out that it was because she felt bad because she hasn't been thanking God lately in her prayers. This lady is an ANGEL. She is so pure! I love her! I just met her this week and I already LOVE her!
Annnndddd before I go, one last story.
So my companion and I were walking home one day to eat dinner and we saw some middle school aged girls standing outside of their school. As we walked by they stared at us like they had never seen an American before (which is how everyone looks at us here). So, we walked over to them to give them fliers for our free English class. They were like giggling and stuff because we were talking to them and then they asked where we were from. I said Las Vegas and they all did the usual gasp. Then one girl asked us if we knew of Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus. I of course broke into the theme song of the Hannah Montana show and this girl no joke almost fell over dead. She started yelling at her middle school friends who were accross the school yard to come over, "miley cyrus miley cyrus!!!!!" (in a Japanese accent of course which i WISH i could imitate for you via email). Then she asked me if I knew High School Musical. She asked the right American. I said of course! Then I asked her which song she liked and she said What Time is IT. Then I proceeded sing the song while doing the dance to what time is it. This girl was reacting like I was Gabriella Montez herself. Then I told her that my friend has met Zac Efron before (heyyy Sierra) and I thought she was going to start crying. It was hilarious. Needless to say I am grateful for my extensive Disney knowledge. It really comes in handy here.
That's all for today!!! Happy Father's day soon slash Happy Birthday to my angel mother soon!!!!
love love love