Where in the world has the last year and half gone. I feel like I have been living a dream. A dream that, in one way or another, has to come to an end. I sure don't feel like I am at the end of anything, I always tell my investigators that testing out our message is like testing about a favorite food. If you don't try it, you'll never know if you like it. I have always wanted to go on a mission and knew it would be something I would love, but I never knew how much I would love it until I actually did it. Boy, am I ever grateful that I did. Up to this point in my life, there has been no other thing I have done better. Let me give you a little run down of my week. It won't be super long because I have tons of things to do today. This week I went to my last Zone Meeting. It was so sad. I translated as always (hopefully not for my last time...I love translating). Got to train on my experience I had at Meji shrine. As I did the training, my heart just burst with a love for the Japanese culture. I have always loved it. It is what I am made of. Met with Louie Agui san. She is sooooo great, although she has a lot in life to get cleaned up. She has one of the best hearts ever. We were able to set a baptismal date with her. Looking forward to hearing about her progression. Also looking forward to hearing about Hasegawa sans progression towards baptism. That lady is one of the most interesting, sweet things ever. My recent converts here in Koga are doing so well. You know, there are so many things that happen on a mission and there is no way that I am going to be able to remember everything, but one thing is for sure, I will never forget those who I helped lead to the waters of baptism. Who got closer to God. On that note, right before I go home, I will be staying at the mission home for about a couple days and not everyone has time, but I was able to set up time to meet with Urrichkie and Ryuuya kun before before I go home. I am waaaayyyyy pumped to see them. I also get to meet with some investigators and less actives. There are 28 missionaries leaving my mission this week!! Yikes! I think there are 21 new missionaries coming in. Ah, it is so painful to leave the thing that I love most. I am really having a hard time. Leaving home was only for a year and a half and I knew that I would come back soon, so it wasn't hard. However, when I leave Japan, I don't know when I will come back and many of the people that are so dear to my heart I will not likely see again in this life. Nakajima Shimai is sooooo sad. I am going to have the hardest time ever leaving her I think. I promised to write her often. She will me to. She told me she will come to America for General Conference and we can talk again then. She tells me over the phone all the time that she is saving money and has already checked into a visa. What a cutie. She is literally my family member. There has got to be some way that we are related blood wise. The hardest thing ever will be to take off my name tag. Oh, how I dread that day. It makes me tear up thinking about it. I love my mission. I know that God lives and loves me personally. But not just that. He loves everyone personally. Jesus is the Savior of everyone I meet. Through His saving grace, I will have the chance to meet again with those that I so dearly love. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that if we do not have charity, we really are nothing. I have learned more about charity than anything else. It is one of my most prized possessions. I love this work. It isn't over, not for me. I am forever Sister Yamauchi. Forever a representative of my Savior, Jesus Christ. For Christmas this year, I would love more than anything else to give him yet another year and half of my life. No, make that my entire life. For through Him, I am living. And through Him, I will yet live again for all eternity. See you all soon! Much Love (no wait)...Much Charity, 山内姉妹️
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Monday, December 8, 2014
Tuesday We got another referral from Nakajma Shimai. She is such a trooper. My cute mother!! Wednesday My last district meeting. Lasts are just not fun. But I am so thankful for my district. It is so important to be united with our district. We had lunch together with Ueda shimai and Nakajima shimai. Ueda shimai needs lots of support still. Pray for her hard this week. Mari san. Told her about the word of wisdom this week. She smokes. She really wants to stop, though. One of our big goals for this next week is to get tons of people to come to church. I won't tell you the goal by number, but it is going to be big. Pray hard for that for us please! Thursday My last MLC was today. Oh, it is so sad to me. I love mission leadership council that we hold every single month. It always gives me so much spiritual stamina. I included what I could in an email our mission song. Every time I sing it, I get goosebumps like crazy. I love my mission. I have the best mission ever...hands down. We learned a ton of I just wanted to share two things that I learned with you that really hit me. Joy is contagious. It is so important that we share our joys with everyone. I love joy. We have so much to be joyful for. At the end, President Budge had everyone stand up that this would be their last MLC. I did not want to stand at all. But...I did. He said to everyone. Never doubt that this is the lord's work. Never doubt that The Lord is with you. It's a privilege to be a part of this. You that are leaving, I hate to say this, but you will miss it so much. Enjoy every last minute you have with the call. Because it will go away soon and won't come again. Talk about a complete heartbreaker. But I am so thankful for the spirit I felt when he said that. I know it is Gods work! Then we started exchanges this night. I go to Utsunomiya! Utsunomiya is famous for gyoza. I love gyoza. :) second time going here. First time was on exchanges with Yasui shimai a couple transfers ago. Friday Inoue shimai is a new convert eh they have in their ward who is struggling. When we first asked her if she would come to church, she said that she wouldn't because she doesn't have the yaruki (I forgot what this is in English) to do it. But then we talked about Christmas and how Christ gave us the most important gift ever. We must give our gift to Christ as well. Showed her the talk in this months liahona about going to church and giving that to Christ for Christmas. Her heart was changed over the lesson and we once again asked if she would come and she said she would. Sometimes we mistakenly think that if we are rejected once, that's it. But it's not true. You just gotta keep trying. Think about all your friends you have tried but they kind of rejected you. Well, you ought to try again. That's what I would recommend. Ikuine san is probably one of the most charitable persons I have ever met. She just wanted to do everything she could for us. If she could do anything for us it would be to just listen to our message. So we were leaving Ikuine sans and I see this lady riding a bike. Keep in mind that we are at the bottom of a hill. So she is coming pretty fast and I just call out, hey to her and she stopped. Her name is Alexia and she has been in Japan for just about 6 months and feels pretty lonely. She was on her way to the hospital due to internal problems and she had been praying that God would help her. She started crying and said, I knew that God would answer my prayer. He sent you! It was incredible!! God is hastening his work for sure. She will hopefully be coming to church and we also have lots of contact info for her and she has lds library and everything. Woot! I went on my last exchange with Sister Nelson. She is such a sweet missionary. We dendoued in Utsunomiya. We saw some incredible miracles. She is also probably the most humble missionary I have ever met. She seeks always for feedback on how she can do better. If we use the saying, feedback is the breakfast of champions, then she is the champion. I am so thankful for what I learn from my Sisters. Love them like crazy. Remember the Nakamura family that I have talked to you about before. Well, on our way back to splits we norikaied at Oyama eki and all of a sudden I see Ayumi chan. I am so thankful for Gods plan. There are just no accidents in his plan. Her testimony was strengthened as well.
I am starting on my Christmas presents for all my friends here in Japan. You ought to see my room...it is covered in Christmas gifts I am preparing. Oh, I love Christmas. It's best spent in the service of others.
I kind of cheated and gave Okada hisako shimai her gift earlier because it is a journal and I wanted her to write in it because today they went to the temple for the first time. Her and kakuhata kyoudai and Nakajima shimai. Soooooo pumped. And Nakajima shimai got to be baptized for her husband. Man, when you baptize one, you baptism tons of people!! Sunday This was probably one of the most incredible days ever. So first off, I stayed at the church from 8:50 in the morning until 6:30 at night. Yes, that is true. Tsukahara san is doing well. I am amazed at those who have obstacles in life and how well they face their challenges. Last Sunday we were teaching him about the resurrection and he is sooooo excited for that day to come. Until then, however, he knows he needs to follow Christ. He has been coming to church every week faithfully this past month.
God, a miracle is nothing but normal! :) For those of you who don't know, I just wanted to explain a little bit of English and Japanese. In English we do subject, verb, object right. Well, in Japanese, it's reverse. The subject comes first, then the object, and then the verb. I love this because I know that it's not how we start things that counts in the end. It matters how you finish, how you act, that makes the sentence good. I always think about what kind of a legacy will I leave. I will finish strong for sure!! Everyone keep doing fabulous. Take the thoughts of finishing step by step. First, finish this year out strong. Next, finish out next year strong by thinking what kind of goals you will make for next year. Then think about finishing phases of your life out strong. And then we get to finishing our lives strong. Live it like it is your last day. It changes a lot. I love my life and I want to live with my beloved Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ forever. It does matter how you finish. Love you! 山内姉妹
Thursday, December 4, 2014
We went to see Okada shimai and Toma kun every day this week. Today, Nakajima shimai brought love, her dog. Cute name, right? Toma kun loved feeding the dog bread.November 25 Love rainy days. They happen pretty much every week in Japan. You have to know you are in Japan when it starts raining a little bit and then two seconds later it is pouring. I love the rain. Like I've said before, any weather is wonderful for me. We met with Hiroko finally!! She is this cute lady who has lived in America. Has two children. On this visit, we only got to meet one of them. We are going to do our family eikaiwa program with them. The family eikaiwa program is half English class, half gospel discussion. It is way fun. We give them 12 times to do it and then after that, they either have to be done,or have more interest in the gospel than they do in taking English lessons. However, today when we visited, we pretty much just talked about the gospel. She shares a lot of the same beliefs. I think in relation to how much doctrine we taught, it had to have been about half of the missionary discussions! It was amazing. A lot of people don't realize that Christians really hold their ancestors as important. Such a great time to talk about family history. Hiroko sans daughter's birthday is next Monday, so we are going to do a birthday party with them and share a message with them about the gospel. We went to visit Hoshida Akiko san today. She asked us all sorts of questions that I have never really been asked on my mission, but that were really good for me to hear. She asked why we would go from door to door. She has things she believes in too, but she wouldn't just go telling people about it. It's a great question. I guess the answer lies in Elder Bednar's talk. "When we invite you to attend church with us or to learn with the full-time missionaries, we are not trying to sell you a product. As members of the Church, we do not receive prizes or bonus points in a heavenly contest. We are not seeking simply to increase the numerical size of the Church. And most importantly, we are not attempting to coerce you to believe as we do. We are inviting you to hear the restored truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ so you can study, ponder, pray, and come to know for yourself if the things we are sharing with you are true." I know of the role this message has played in my life and, as a result, have a natural instinct to share it with other people. You know how Elder Bednar also talked about that story where the little boy got healed and so he wanted to share it with everyone. I have noticed the exact same pattern with Nakajima shimai and, just like Elder Bednar, it amazes me beyond anything else. She has literally become a super star hero in my life. She always carries with her church flyers, pamphlets, and book of Mormons around with her to give to people that she has ever even met before. One day this week we were with her and we ran into a lady that she had apparently seen twice that day and that was a sign, so she literally ran to chase her down to give her a flyer and tell her to try and come to church. It bewilders me every single day. If every member was like her in our church, everyone in the world would be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. November 26 Able to met with Ueda Shimai. She has been running through my mind like crazy this past week. She lives alone, but I have learned two things from her recently. 1. Do it and be happy. Dont do it, and be sad. 2. You can't do it alone. No further explanation on that one. This is Hasegawa san. I've told you about her before. She is such a hoot.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Here in Japan, we don't celebrate Thanksgiving obviously because it is just about Columbus coming to America...or something like that. So I figured the way I would celebrate thanksgiving the best with you this year is to tell you all of the things I am thankful for from this week. Here goes... I am thankful for... Akiko san. She is the one we found who was walking her dog that speaks English. We actually didn't end up getting her number right, and so we couldn't call her. But we knew where her house was, and so we went to visit her this past week. She said that she even thought about coming to church this last week! It was incredible to find out that she has a lot of our same beliefs. For her first lesson, we ended up teaching her the word of wisdom and the law of chastity because she is takes her body as being very important. I have to say that is the first time I have ever taught that for a first lesson. She told us that she would love to learn and talk with us and go to church, but she said she probably won't get baptized and wanted to know if that was okay. I told her, the reason that I came to Japan was not just to make friends. I came to help people get closer to Christ. As we teach you, the purpose will be to help you be baptized. She seemed okay with it. I am so thankful that I feel so strongly about just telling people how it is. There is no sense in beating around the bush with God's work. We are going to meet with her tomorrow and I'm really excited. She is super cute. I'll have to send you pictures next week. Ko san. Picture 1.
She met the missionaries about a year ago and we called her up to see if she would be willing to meet with us. She said that was okay. She said she would bring her son as well. As it turned out, Ko san just wanted to talk, but not about the gospel. However, her son was very nice and interested in what we have to say. I know that The Lord blessed us so much because even though she wasn't interested, she was prompted by god to bring a family member that would be. Hasegawa san. Picture 2 and 3.
If you put Hasegawa san and Nakajima shimai together you've got yourself
a wonderful video, all you need is popcorn. I love these two so much.
Hasegawa sans mother is 97 and in the hospital right now, so she spends
quite a bit of time taking care of her mother.
However, if she is home, we are able to visit with her. We had two lunch appointments with her at Nakajima Shimai's house this week. You know how sometimes when you plan a church activity and you know you have to have food in order to get lots of people there. Well, in missionary work, we do that a lot too. :) I asked her this week that if if she knew the message we taught was true, would she be baptized? She looked at me for a few seconds and then said, yeah I will. Then she said, I just can't say "no" to Sister Yamauchi. In my heart I was thinking, "oh, yeah!!" :) Hasegawa Mari san. She is Hasegawa sans daughter. She is one of my best friends. So sweet, super stylish, and has a way smart head on her shoulders. She came to eikaiwa with us this past week and had a blast. She is like my long lost twin. We are both perfectionists and we both know it. Ayabe family. Picture 4 and 5.
We went with Horie shimai this week. It was a really good experience. They learned about the temple. Shoma kun finished reading the children's Book of Mormon. Amazing!! Also, isn't saki chan the cutest thing you have ever seen in your life?! Your prayers and the Lords allowing a huge miracle to happen this week. I am also grateful for fasting. So we go this past Tuesday to see Okada shimai with Nakajima shimai prepared to share with her the lesson about tithing. We get there and I can just feel that something was wrong. I asked if there was, and she said there was, but it was private. But she said she couldn't be baptized. I felt like it was dei ja vu with ueda shimai. So, in order to open up her heart, we allowed for a little silence and questions just a little at a time. She ended up saying that her husband and her aren't getting along too well, money is a little hard, she doesn't know how she is going to live in the future, her husband had been in the hospital for so long that his employment was in jeopardy. We just talked it out and she felt better by the end and we commited her again to baptism and told her she would need to talk to her husband. So we set the date she could talk to her husband. The plan was for on Friday, so we were all going to fast for her that day. But then on exchanges on Thursday, me and Sister Chander and Nakajima shimai go to her house and she said she met with her husband today and told her her desires in her heart and the husband didn't understand it too well and kind of thought she was crazy, but was okay with it and said that when he gets out of the hospital, he wants to hear what we teach!! I am so excited!! I am so thankful for everyone's prayers in her behalf. You made a huge difference. I know it. She came to stake conference with members. Mom, I remember when you always had a baby bag for us at church. I made one for toma kun. Picture 6 and 7.
Cute, right!? Had her interview Sunday night and she is all good!! Pray for her to safely receive baptism and confirmation this next week. I am so excited!!! Service opportunities. Fun times with the relief society and Okada san this week. We made cute Christmas tree ornaments for the senior citizens. Way fun. Picture 8 The gift of tongues. I got asked without warning at the stake conference to translate from Japanese to English for all those who were listening in English. It was quite the deal. I had on this big headphone set. I know The Lord helped me so much. I love translating and am so thankful the gift of languages. P.S. I am a little better at translating from English to Japanese than I am for Japanese to English. So we wanted to pass off Ken Son to Elder Killpack and Elder Higbee so I set up an appointment for this past Sunday night. On the way there, we ran into Tsukahara Hiroshi san, the deaf man. He ended up coming to the church and me and Nakajima shimai taught him while the others taught Ken Son. And...we had the best lesson yet with Tsukahara san. He actually understood a lot. We even got a baptism date with him!! In April. A ways away, but he will need a little time to absorb things I think. Picture 15.