Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My Fairy Tale - April 28, 2014


Once upon a time, in a far away land, there lived two Sisters who
loved each other very much. 👭

They were born of royal birth and because they knew that, every day
brought purpose. Here are some of the things included in our fairy
tale.

Weekly Eikaiwa (english class). This event could probably be related
to a royal ball in the palace. I love Eikaiwa and I love the people
too. We hold one for adults and one for children. I have always made
it a goal to testify and invite AT LEAST one person every single time.
Let me tell you some of those miracles. Recently, I have been working
with Kay. He has been an Eikaiwa student for a long time and his
English is way good. However, no one has really tried to hard to share
the message of the gospel. I have been sharing Moroni's promise with
him. In Japanese and in English. He has been reading before he goes to
bed and he says that it gives him so much peace. He cool is that! We
are now working on praying about the Book of Mormon to receive a
confirmation from God that it is true. He is so incredible and so
needs this gospel. I'll have to keep you updated on him. Also, in our
kids eikaiwa class, I asked them if they want to be a king or a queen.
They all said yes and I couldn't help but think...you can be if you'll
listen to our message.

We had a very powerful experience with one of our members. Our
investigator, whose name is Nakano san, came to Eikaiwa a long time
ago and we found her in an old area book and asked if she could meet.
We had a really good lesson. She has had some wonderful personal
experiences that have helped her come to know that God watches out and
protects her. We invited her to come to church and at first she was a
little hesitant, but then Tanaka Shimai, our member, explained more
about church and the benefits of coming. She said that they could walk
to church together and everything. Nakano san readily accepted the
invitation. Members are so much more powerful than they realize. We
are all so much more powerful than we realize. If every person could
get a glimpse at their divinity, can you imagine?

Prince Riyuya kun is doing well. God has performed so many miracles
this week in regards to his progress towards baptism. In particular,
we wrote finally able to meet his earthly King dad, who is a less
active. He is super nice. Things are going well, but we need everyone
to unite in prayer for him to be able to get baptized on May 18.
お願いします。

We had splits on Saturday with the Nakano Sisters. Sister McAllister
and I worked in Senzokuike. She is a wonderful sister. She is very
humble and always wanting to learn. I really love that about her. It's
kind of funny the way things worked out, but we ended up talking
a lot about princesses and how we could relate that to our
investigator to teach them about their happily ever after that is
waiting for them. What hit me most of all when we were biking and she
lost her shoe and the boy behind her walking picked it up and then
gave it to her. It was kind of a funny incident, but I don't think it
happened by accident. As we rode our bikes together, I couldn't help
think that it was a sign from God to show me how lucky I am to be able
to learn from the sweet sisters in our zone. They are all so beautiful
and I love them all so much.

Obviously there's a whole lot more to the story than this, but for the
sake of time, I'm going to wrap up with this thought.

I've been thinking a lot about heroes lately. That us led me to think
about this: I have been exposed to many beautiful languages--each of
them is fascinating and remarkable; each has its particular charm. As
different as these languages can be, they often have things in common.
For example, in most languages there exists a phrase as magical and
full of promise as perhaps any in the world. That phrase is Cherry blossom“Once
upon a time.”Cherry blossom 日本語で昔昔とか今は昔

Aren’t those wonderful words to begin a story? “Once upon a time”
promises something: a story of adventure and romance, a story of
princesses and princes. It may include tales of courage, hope, and
everlasting love. In many of these stories, nice overcomes mean and
good overcomes evil. But perhaps most of all, I love it when we turn
to the last page and our eyes reach the final lines and we see the
enchanting words Cherry blossom“And they lived happily ever after.”Cherry blossom

Isn’t that what we all desire: to be the heroes and heroines of our
own stories; to triumph over adversity; to experience life in all its
beauty; and, in the end, to live happily ever after?

We have been told that we are beloved sons and daughters of Heavenly
Father, prepared to come to the earth at this particular time for a
sacred and glorious purpose.

Those words are true! They are not made up in a fairy tale! Isn’t it
remarkable to know that our eternal Heavenly Father knows you, hears
you, watches over you, and loves you with an infinite love? In fact,
His love for you is so great that He has granted you this earthly life
as a precious gift of “once upon a time,” complete with your own true
story of adventure, trial, and opportunities for greatness, nobility,
courage, and love. And, most glorious of all, He offers you a gift
beyond price and comprehension. Heavenly Father offers to you the
greatest gift of all--eternal life--and the opportunity and infinite
blessing of your own “happily ever after.”

“Happily ever after” is not something found only in fairy tales. You
can have it! It is available for you! But you must follow your
Heavenly Father’s map.

So, we follow the map and we live (not lived) happily ever afterBlack sun with rays️

The End...or wait...there is no end...

By: 山内姉妹

Consecrated - April 21, 2014

Well, this is the only picture I've really taken this week, do it will
have to do. It was a picture we used to introduce ourselves at our
zone meeting this last week. The story behind the picture is that I
love the cold and hardly ever wear a cost while Sister MacArthur wears
nothing but coats.
Happy, happy Easter to one and all. I hope you had the most incredible day ever. I hope all of you have seen the video the church put out recently キリストのおかげで (Because of Him). If you haven't, I suggest you go watch it. I am so thankful for the gift of the resurrection...because of Him. I love my Savior so much.  This week was so incredibly busy. It has been incredibly to continue to see this area grow. The Lord is doing some serious work! I've got this thing going on that's called "bring a friend to church!!" Just think if all of us just brought one friend to church every week. It would be incredible, right?! Sacrament Meeting attendance is so crucial. This doesn't relate to just missionaries, but to all members everywhere we should do our best to bring at least one non member friend to church every week. A lot of times church words may be hard to understand for those who are not of our faith. We often worry about that, but then I think of my own experiences. I testify that at church, we can have some of the most incredible experiences. Church has become a revelatory experience for me. Even when I didn't understand everything that was going on at church when I first came, I still felt the Spirit. Everyone can speak the language of the spirit. We invited so many people to church this week-I believe around 25 people!! Invitations are so powerful! I wanted to share something with all of you from preach my gospel. I have come to learn more and more of the power that members have. It is nearly everything.  President Gordon B. Hinckley said: “Every new convert needs three things:  “1. A friend in the Church to whom he can constantly turn, who will walk beside him, who will answer his questions, who will understand his problems.  “2. An assignment. Activity is the genius of this Church. It is the process by which we grow. Faith and love for the Lord are like the muscle of my arm. If I use them, they grow stronger. If I put them in a sling, they become weaker. Every convert deserves a responsibility. …  “3. Every convert must be ‘nourished by the good word of God’ (Moro. 6:4). It is imperative that he or she become affiliated with a priesthood quorum or the Relief Society, the Young Women, the Young Men, the Sunday School, or the Primary. He or she must be encouraged to come to sacrament meeting to partake of the sacrament, to renew the covenants made at the time of baptism.”
Now I want to add some thoughts. 1. A friend. What does that mean? Not just a friend at church to sit by, not just someone who comes by your house to give you a lesson so they can check you off a Relief Society or Priesthood list, not just when you need something. That's not it, and yet too many are doing exactly that. I think you can all think about who your true friend is and why. Friendship is devotion. Complete devotion. Investigators and less actives have to have friends and feel like they are needed. Please reach put to the less actives in your area. They need you.  2. I love President Hinckley. As leaders of the church, are you worried about giving someone a calling because they might not be able to fulfill it? Just think of the risk The Lord took when he called you. 
3. The word of God certainly can heal souls. I have seen it several times in very real ways. I know that as we go forward with courage, The Lord will give us the words that we need to help heal others souls. I wanted to share something that one of the sisters in our ward emailed us. She was a missionary in Hawaii and learned quite a bit of English there, so she wrote it in English. It hit my heart and I share it with you only to bring out one point....love. "Sisters! Thank you so mcuh for everything you have done in our ward! We truly appreciate for our calling to work with you missionaries and feel your special spirit. It was so excited  to see many LA and NM at the church today. Because you two have worked so hard with the spirit and love, LA and NM could accept your invitation to come to church... Love ya!! 和田姉妹"
When it all comes down to the basics, it's just love. Pure and simple love. Love from the members is unlike any other. Please reach out in love as you converse with God's children. It's so important!
Something I have really come to learn. While most may finish nightly planning and then think it's time to rest, that's when I say ITS TIME TO WORK! Some of the best revelation for the Lords children has come to me during this time. When we ask for revelation and long for it more than anything else, The Lord will give it to us.
I have come to learn that another meaning of being one who is consecrated is one who repents with joy. The happiest word in my vocabulary is "repentance." Isn't it great that we can be completely clean. The choice is ours.
I have also been thinking about consecrated oil a lot this week. There is but one purpose to consecrating oil.  That reason is to bless the lives of others. I want to be like consecrated oil. My purpose is to help others, to be there with them, grab on to their hand, and come unto Christ together.
I hope you are all enjoying the beautiful, fresh weather. What a beautiful world Heavenly Father created for us! Much love, 山内姉妹

Monday, April 14, 2014

素晴らしいな洗足池(Super Senzokuike)‏ - April 14, 2014

Sister MacArthur and Sister Yamauchi


We just finished zone pday in a super beautiful park next to Shibuya.
We had a good time. Played some basketball, took some pictures, saw
lots of gaijin (foreigners). Can I just tell you how weird it is to
see American people anymore.



Konbanwa from Nihon!!
Wasn't conference the best ever?! My favorite talk...ALL OF THEM!! But
seriously, wow, what a revelation packed weekend). I decided I should
probably follow up with everyone on this commitment made by Elder
Ballard, "To help you in this process, I invite all members,
regardless of your current calling or level of activity in the Church,
to obtain a copy of Preach My Gospel. It is available through our
distribution centers and also online. The online version can be read
or downloaded at no cost. It is a guidebook for missionary work--which
means it is a guidebook for all of us. Read it, study it, and then
apply what you learn to help you understand how to bring souls to
Christ through invitation and follow-up. As President Thomas S. Monson
has said, “Now is the time for members and missionaries to come
together, to work together, to labor in the Lord’s vineyard to bring
souls unto Him.” I hope you are reading it. 
We also had transfer calls this morning. After staying in Kasukabe for
7 months of my mission, you could probably say that I really didn't
have any doubt that I was staying here in Senzokuike. Sister MacArthur
is too. This transfer has been a wonderful one. On Kasukabe, me and
Sister Lowry opened up a new area. Senzokuike wasn't a new area, but
we did whitewash, meaning that both of us are new to the area. At the
start of this transfer, we had no investigators at all, but that had
changed dramatically with the Lord's help. There are sooooo many
prepared people it's incredible.

Let me take you through just a few of the thousands of miracles in our week.
I am so grateful for every second that I have to serve The Lord. Every
single second, after all, we only have four minutes, right? Oh how I
enjoyed conference and the message it brought to the hearts of
everyone, individually. One of our investigators said that the words
really entered her heart. Cool miracle, right?! I know that we are led
by living prophets and apostles today. We had a general conference
miracle weekend. Two of our investigators brought friends with them to
watch. It helped me realize that it's not just the missionaries and
the members that can bring friends to church, but our investigators as
well!

Saoshin san is an investigator that we met through Japanese class. She
is an angel. She is so willing to listen to our message and wants to
come to church and improve. Her mom is really sick right now, so your
prayers would be greatly appreciated. Please also pray for Saoshin san
to be able to receive baptism along with her friend Oo san. 
Usually as sister training leader, I go on about one exchange per
week. This week I went on two exchanges. One of the exchanges is what
I call the Kagi (key) story. It was nearing the end of the day and we
were about to go visit a less active by bike. I always keep my bike
key in the same place. However, this particular day, it wasn't in my
bag pocket. I had no idea where it could be. We searched for a little
bit, prayed, and even tried unpicking the bike with a bobby pin.
Nothing was working, so we decided to go finding near our apartment
and the first person that we talked to was a Jehovah Witness. She
isn't very strong in her faith right now and would love to talk about
our church. We ended up setting an appointment for this Sunday. Then,
about 10 minutes later, we ran into another lady who said that she
would love to meet when she has time. The last lady we ran into
actually lives close to the Shibuya Sisters' apartment! Her family
comes from a Christian background, but she doesn't have a religion
right now. She is pregnant and we told her our message could help her
raise her child. She will be meeting with the Shibuya Sisters' soon.
When we got back into the apartment for the night, I knew where my key
was. It was incredible! We did what The Lord needed us to and then He
answered my prayer. This is the Lords work! We go where HE wants us to
go. We say what HE wants us to go. We be what HE wants us to be.
One more huge miracle that I'm so excited to share! We have a member
in our ward with ten kids. She is what I define as a truly devoted
daughter of God. Some of her children are less active, but she remains
strong and loves helping the missionaries. Her son is 10 years
old, but has not received baptism yet. Her son is less active, but her
grandson, Riyuya kun, has started coming to church a little bit.
During the lesson, it just hit me really hard how wonderful the
teaching situation was-when you have a member who cares more than
anything about the investigator, her grandson. We set a baptismal date
on the first lesson and he just kept saying that he wants to get
baptized so badly after the lesson. Please pray for him to be
baptized. Then, during the Saturday session of General Conference, we
learned that Elder Scott had the same type of situation-a grandmother
who cared enough to ensure that he got baptized. I wouldn't be
surprised if Riyuya kun turned out to be a wonderful leader like him
someday. Smiling face with smiling eyes 

I love this poem: 
 My father rules the Heavens,
 My mother is a Queen,
 My brother is a Champion they call the King of Kings,
 I am born of Royal Birth, it courses through my veins,
 What will I be called, the story still remains.

We are all children of a Heavenly Father and all have some seriously
extreme potential.

Let me end with a favorite quote. "Dear friends, you are in the midst
of an exhilarating journey. In some ways, you are racing down the
half-pipe or sled track, and it can be challenging to perform each
element or navigate each turn along the way. But remember, you’ve
prepared for this for millennia. This is your moment to perform. This
is your four minutes! The time is now!" I don't know about you, but I
plan on spending all four of my minutes serving the God that gave me
life. 
 Hugs and loves to all of God's precious children, 
山内姉妹

Monday, April 7, 2014

Happy Birthday, Jesus! - April 6, 2014

 
This is "Spring" who I was telling you about last week. I love her so
soooo much and am sooooo happy for her. She told me that she feels so
wonderful now. She came to Japan hoping to find peace from the
world...and she found it! It may not have been what she expected to
find, but it was what The Lord knew she would find. The Lord had a
very specific plan for her. I am so grateful to be a part of that
plan, even though I was only a pin prick of it. 
In Japanese, Easter is 復活祭 (Fukkatsusai). Fukkatsu means resurrection.
It is a great to tell the world about the meaning of Easter.
 
Greetings to all who have already seen General Conference,
 
I hope you have been inspired and uplifted and even more pumped up
about hastening the work (EXCLAMATION POINT)!
 
Let me tell you about some of the ways The Lord has hastened his work
in the part of the vineyard that he has called me to labor.
 
Medium white star️We met a lady named Inaga san housing a few weeks ago on splits. She
was about as low as it gets. She would barely talk to us, but always
listened very carefully to what we had to say and then tell us we
could come back and visit her on a specific date. She loved hearing us
sing the hymns. She is 61 years old, and her family doesn't seem to be
very supportive. She is so lonely. In a two week time period, it was
amazing to see the change in her heart. We took her for short walks
and taught her how to pray. It was a complete 180 turn. She came to
church and enjoyed everyone's company and then got to watch a
baptismal service. We have a lot of hope for her. From this
experience, I truly learned the power of a true friend, one who was
always there for her and taught her the gospel.
 
Medium white star️We went to the church for kids English class this Saturday. Upon
arriving, we found a man about 56 years old in front of the church. He
got baptized quite awhile ago. It may have been during the Tokyo
express, though I can't be sure. His name is Katayama san. He told us
his story, which was nothing short of a miracle. Soon after getting
baptized, he made the choice not to attend church any more, but
continued friendship with one of his senpai who always encouraged him
to go back to church. He faithfully wrote Katayama san letters for
years quoting scriptures and giving him inspiration. Recently,
Katayama san has been feeling like someone has been telling him he
better get back to church. Then, there in front of the church, he just
started sobbing. He was so happy we were at the church and he could
tell what was in his heart. He feels the need to repent and change.
The Lord has been working on his heart...through a good friend. How
cool is that?
 
Medium white star️To be children of God implies that there is an unbreakable bond
between us. Children of God take care of each other, watch out for
each other, comfort each other, and are there for each other through
thick and thin. The Lord has said, “I say unto you, be one; and if ye
are not one ye are not mine."
 
Medium white star️I love missionary work! I know that God is working on every single
persons heart to receive the gospel. This has become one of my
favorite scriptures, "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son
of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his
people, that they might have everlasting life." This is what I'm
giving Christ for his birthday...and it will be a birthday present
that never ends because I will never stop. I know that which the Lord
hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I
glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my
glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to
bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy. My dear family and
friends, I know that this is the work of God the Eternal Father. It is
the greatest movement in all the world today. There isn’t an honest
man or an honest woman in this world, who really loves the Lord, who
wouldn’t join this church if they would take time to find out what it
is and would ask God the Eternal Father, who will not mislead them.
 
Love one excited to see General Conference this coming weekend Winking face
山内姉妹

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Power of the Atonement - April 1, 2014


Puri is something really popular to do in Japan. It's like the photo booths in America...only a whole lot better. We had so much fun. We met one of our investigators (Kamino Yuriko-19) in Shibuya after our temple stop in Hiro-o. She is simply adorable.
So...at the Senzokuike park, they have tons of booths with food. Well, Sister MacArthur has been craving chocolate bananas all week. So, we stopped by to get one for each of us. We pay and are told to pick one chopstick from a cup. It's a luck of the draw to see if you get one, three, or five bananas. Sister MacArthur pulls out the big five. The lady is telling us congrats and I'm thinking, woo, that's a lot of bananas. As luck had it with me, it pulled out one with no luck and got one banana (I think all my luck may have run out that one time Mom and Dad and I went shopping on so early in the morning...remember that?) Sister MacArthur picks one and the lady goes, keep going. Sistet MacArthur is wondering what else to do and then she realizes that she won five. It was so funny. Wish I had a video of it. Anyway, here's us with our bananas. By the time we took the picture, we'd both already eaten one.
.

This is what they call the scrambler. I guess this is the biggest intersection in the world. I only took a picture of part of this intersection and I had to take it when everyone was first allowed to cross or all you could see is people right in front of me. Sooo busy!
So, just in case you couldn't read the kanji (saiko Sakura), it means the best cherry blossoms. Yes, I am in one of the best places EVER for beautiful cherry blossoms. This is a place really close to our church. A fantabulous place to find.

 We went out to eat some endo curry. Soooo yummy. Check out the size of the nan.
It is one of the best days ever!! Sayaka chan got baptized this last
weekend. They unfortunately changed church in Kasukabe to be later on
in the day and made the baptismal early in the morning...the same time
as our church in Senzokuike. I was dying to go and if I wouldn't have
been listening to God, I think I would have. I taught her for over a
third of my mission. She is a miracle to me. Well, I really wanted to
do what god wanted me to do and I felt like he asked me to stay in the
Senzokuike ward. I still got to skype her before and after just for
about 3 minutes and snapped a few screen shots of it. I was crying my
eyes out in the first picture. Seeing the ward members who I love more
than anyone will ever ever know, seeing Sayaka chan in white and
seeing etou shimai (her mom) at church was incredible. All the little
ones kept saying, Yamauchi shimai, Yamauchi shimai. I love the little
ones so much. We have such an incredibly strong relationship.
April 1, 2014 


*This is a true story, but name has been changed...I will call her
Spring for her protection

About a month ago, Spring got a baptismal date for April 6. At that
time, she loved the Sister Missionaries and really enjoyed the
message, but she was an alcoholic. Her house reaked with smoke,
leaving the house you still smelt like a ash tray. She would be sober
at one point and then the very next drunk. One of the saddest lives
ever. Finally, the missionary's told said we can't come into your
house any more to share this message in a place where the spirit could
be. The days were stressful and we wondered if she could make it to
her baptismal date. In a combined effort with prayers and fasting on
our part, she went cold turkey in two days after that. She will be
getting baptized on April 6. I know that miracles are so real. Spring
is one of the dearest daughters of god ever. Teaching her is like
teaching a child who soaks everything up like a spong. I'm so excited
for her this weekend. Can't wait to see her dressed in white! The
Atonement is real....that I know!

山内姉妹