Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Saying Goodbye and Hello - Area Transfer #3 - August 25, 2014

These are some high schoolers that I met before I left Senzokuike
area. They are absolutely fantastic. I really, really love talking to
people my same age. Young people have their minds wide open to so many
possibilities, one of them being religion. It's so fun to help them
think about the future and what it will bring. 
 Do you remember last week when I told you a member from a different
ward (nagayasu shimai) brought an investigator to church. Well, this
is Satou san. She is the cutest thing ever. We had a lesson right
before I left and talked about who god is. She has had so many
experiences she she has felt gods presence in her life. What a
prepared individual. I told her whatever she does, to remember to pray
every day, read the scriptures every day, and go to church every week.
She says she will. Love her sooooo much!

This is Izumiya Sachi san. I am sooooo excited for her future and what
it will bring. She is an amazing example to me and I will miss
teaching her so much. So gave me a plate and a cup for my bye bye
present and told me to use them every day. She will be getting
baptized in November, I'm pretty sure without a doubt. I also was able
to talk to her mother, who kind of went to another church without
telling us. That was a miracle that we were able to talk. She was
super sad I was leaving and asked if she could get anything for me. I
told her I didn't want anything like that. I wanted her to listen to
the missionaries again, go to church, etc. She said she would I
believe that woman and love her to death. Oh, but the way, this is
Sachi sans nephew, Riku kun. He's shy, but so nice.
The Itou family. Seriously one of the best families around. They sure
do know how to spend good family quality time and be strong. They
spend more time at our church than the average members do. It's
unbelievable that they still aren't members. I hope someday they will
This is Hamada Shimai and Kobayashi Shimai. They make me so happy. 
Kathy is seriously the best. She got work off and everything just to
come see me one last time at eikaiwa. When she was saying goodbye to
me, she started crying. Luckily, we have Facebook and we will still
keep in contact. She is so close to baptism I feel.
Yasuhiro san (not his real name...I actually don't know his real
name...he would never say) and Satomi (Annie, the English name we gave
her). They have been eikaiwa students for a long,  long time and know
soooo much about our church. I pray like crazy that one day, they will
be members. They would be sooo great! I told them that. They just
smiled. I think they know it's true.

As hard as it was leaving the Senzokuike area, investigators, members,
less actives, etc., I am having a ball here in Koga. I love my new
companion. Her name is Sister Cortes and she is from Mexico. Guess
what, I am learning Spanish! This week I have learned a little bit
about how to pray in Spanish.
This is our apartment. It is so beautiful. I love it!! Also, it is
just me and Sister Cortes and no other sisters and I love it just
being two!! So peaceful.
Koga is COMPLETELY opposite of of Senzokuike (Tokyo area). It's
probably a lot like Soda. Everything is just incredibly, INCREDIBLY
inaka (country).
They also gave me a certificate that says I graduated from Senzokuike and a cute candy necklace. I sure do love them all so much.
 Guess who is in Koga. I just about cried with happiness when I found
out. Do you remember in Kasukabe my mission leader was usui kyoudai.
He know lives in Koga boundaries! Koga is actually really close to
Kasukabe, even though it is a different prefecture.
I guess a lot of the investigators I found and taught in Kasukabe are
getting baptized soon. I think you would recognize their names from
past emails? Kurokawa san is next week and then Maria and Bibiche are
coming up!! I am sooooo excited!!
Another thing from Kasukabe is a story that I can't really tell you
until I see you face to face because I feel it is so private. But, do
you remember Blanche? Well, I found her on Facebook and found these
pictures of her new born babies. Like I said, I don't feel like I
should say a whole lot. But let's just say that these two baby twins
would not be here if me and Sister Miyaki had not been there. Twins.
How precious!
Also, one of the investigators me and Sister MacArthur found in
Senzokuike is getting baptized next month!! Her name is Mao san. Do
you remember her? She is the one that we went with her and her
boyfriend out to eat and I ate horse. I love her so much and am way
pumped for her.

Okada Shimai and Yamazaki Shinji kyoudai got baptized this last
Sunday. It made me so happy. I love them soooo much. Sister Okada is
actually the friend of a recent covert. They aren't married, but I'm
telling you right now, they are going to get married eventually. They
are probably the cutest two people I have ever seen and act exactly
like a couple. They keep asking about the temple and stuff, so I'm
pretty sure they want to go together.
Other than that, we didn't have really any investigators when I came
in. However, the miracles that have happened from transfer day on
Thursday to today have been absolutely incredible. In that short
amount of time, we were able to pick up two investigators who just
seem hungry for knowledge and have a baptismal date now. They are both
very young. Megumi chan should be able to get baptized really soon.
She is super cute and loved church this week.
Also, this is a picture of (from left to right) arial, taiz, Fuyumi, me, and Gabriel. We
taught them today. Taiz and Gabriel received baptism a couple of
months ago. Arial isn't old enough. And then Fuyumi actually isn't a
member of their family, but she is staying at their house right now
because her parents work all the time. The kids speak Japanese but the
mom and Rosa don't speak super duper well. So Sister Cortes did a
lesson in Spanish and I did a lesson with the kids in Japanese. Was
able to set a baptismal date with Fuyumi chan. She is really excited!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Saikou Senzokuike (saikou in Japanese means awesome)‏ - August 18, 2014 - Tranfer

You just can't do missionary work without the members!! 
This is sugawara shimai, higuchi shimai, and Sakata shimai. In the
background is our dendou shunin (ward mission leader), Kaneda genki
kyoudai. These Sisters are soooo special to me.
Smile is from Nepal and he doesn't really speak any Japanese or
English, but he understands a lot. At the beginning, there was
literally no talking between the two of them or anything. I was amazed
at how good of friends the two became within about 10 minutes, and it
all started because Masaki kun brought over a game of Japanese chess
and they started playing together. So thankful for missionary work
among the members. I want to be the bestest ward missionary ever!!
Oh, P.S., we were able to set a baptismal date with Mina!! I am so
excited for her. It's coming up soon! I will miss you so much too.
Thank heaven for Facebook so that I will still be able to keep in
contact with her.
Her name is Aoyama san and she is absolutely adorable. I kid you not,
everything she does reminds me of Grandma Okamura. She actually when
to a Catholic school in Japan when she was little (lots of Japanese
people do). She lives super close to our apartment. I actually met her
when we were leaving our apartment and I saw her U.S.A shirt. We
started talking and it turns out she speaks pretty decent English!
Taught her about the plan of salvation.
Let me tell you about a way cool miracle. So, we had a member family
invite us over for lunch this past Tuesday. We wanted to take one of
our investigators with us. We called everyone, but they were all busy
with Obon and stuff like that. I told Sister Nash that we were zettai
(without a doubt) going to bring an investigator with us. So we
scheduled in an hour of finding time before our appointment with them.
Well, we were riding our bikes and I saw this girl passing out flyers
at a train station and I felt I needed to stop. I did and helped her
with passing out flyers. She thought it was incredible that I could
get almost everyone to take flyers from me. I told her we do this type
of stuff a lot with our English class. Then I just invited her to the
dinner and she accepted. She was working, but she would get off work
in another 15ish minutes. So we just handed out flyers and then went
together and talked about prayer. She loved it.
It turns out that Mira knows Mina (our other investigator I have shown
you pictures of)!! Incredible how The Lord connects all his children
Cool, right?!
Me, Mina, Smile (yes, that's his real name...the best, right?), and
Masaki kun (he was a great member missionary for Smile.
After zone meeting, I found this cute girl. Don't know her name or
anything, but she is so cute and I am so thankful I met her.
Shichijo Masami shimai, Allen Airi shimai, Nash shimai, Mina, and me
Although there are many souls I have had the privilege of watching
change for the better, I wanted to talk about Ikeda shimai, especially
since I have pictures with her. She was baptized several years ago,
but went less active. When I came in we worked with her hard and she
is now preparing to go to the temple in November. I am so pumped for
her. Ah, I'm going to miss you, Ikeda shimai.Crying face 
August 18, 2014 
Hello all. I figured my first email out ought to be about transfer
calls this morning.
I am going to Koga. It is in the Kiryu zone and very inaka (country).
I will be a sister training leader again. This is
the first time that I will be going to an area that might
have some investigators to start with. My first area, Kasukabe, was a
new area that me and Sister Lowry opened together and then Senzokuike
was a white wash, meaning they bring in two new sisters and take out
the other ones. The other sisters had no one to teach.
Sister Nash will be staying here. Needless to say, I am very sad to be
leaving this wonderful ward and all the investigators who I have spent
soooo much time on. The Senzokuike area is booooommmmmiiinnnggggg
right now. Sooo many people getting baptized soon. Although I will be
far away from them, they will always be in my heart.Heavy black heart
We had an awesome lesson with Izumiya san on Sunday. She is the
epitome of the bomb dot come. We felt the spirit so much. We had three
members present as well!! Everyone wants to talk to Izumiya san
because her desire to find the truth is so pure and refreshing. One of
our members is someone that she really admires a lot. He teaches the
Old Testament class in Sunday School and she really likes the bible.
At the end, he told about his conversion story. It was so incredibly
powerful. I still don't have a picture with her. I will get one this
week before I leave.
We have also been working with one of our eikaiwa students who has
been coming to eikaiwa for forever. She is super sweet. We have a ton
of trust in our relationship and this past eikaiwa, I was able to ask
her why she wasn't a member. She said she would tell me because she
trusts me. She and her husband tried to have a child for a good nine
years and finally, their wish was granted. However, she ended up
losing the baby in pregnancy and she says that any time she talks
about our religion or anything like that, it reminds her of those
memories and it early hurts her. I testified to her that she would see
her baby again if she would embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We also were able to meet up with her just before hanabi (fireworks)
and give her a lesson. The lesson ended when everyone started counting
down for the fireworks to start. Then the famous song off of the movie
"Spirit" began to play. She then said, why don't you stay. I said, i
won't stay because there is something better than fireworks that I
have to share with the world and I want everyone that I can possibly
talk to to know about it. I don't know if it was the music in the
background that made it so powerful or what it was, but as I left, it
was one of the moments when I said to myself, I am more free than
anyone here (mind you there were thousands upon thousands of people
there). I am so thankful for that powerful witness from the spirit
that I am in the right place. I am where I belong!
Heavy black heart️Love you allHeavy black heart️

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

In the Strength of the Lord - August 11, 2014

This is Nakahigashi Shimai. I've set you pictures of her before. I
just love this lady. She is the sweetest person in the whole entire
world. If I haven't told you this already, it is not very common AT
ALL to say I love you in Japanese. They just don't say it. It's a very
reserved culture. Anyway, I love saying it to everyone and, as I have
told you before, telling everyone the I love you sign. She loves it
when. I say I love you to her. Always giggles a bit, and then says it
back to me. Very rare for someone to say it back to me.
This is a fabulous quote. I heard it from a friend this week and thought I would share it.
Well, this was the temperature last week, in case anyone is curious.
Blazing hot weather calls for blazing hot dendou! P.S. That tall tower
in the picture is called Tokyo Tower. It's not in my area, but I can
see it from my area.

This is the Yamashita family's little boy named ryuusei kun. Talk
about kids being smart when it comes to technology. I put the camera
up to him so he could look at himself and he knew the button to take a

This is Mina! She is from Nepal and she is sooo cute. I love her so
much. She speaks very, very, very little English and Japanese is still
somewhat difficult, so we are teaching her Japanese and also teaching
the gospel super simple. I love simplicity! She has a husband and two
sons. She came to church and we now have planned to go every week with
her. Please pray for her to be able to come to church every week.
Brother Takayama is leaving for his mission this week. We had a little
farewell party after church this Sunday. He will be serving in the
Fukuoka Mission. And...he got baptized last year! He just turned 22.
We are going to save Japan together!

This Saturday, we had a fun kids event and we were able to bring a few
investigators to it as well.
This is Sakuya kun. His Mom is one of our investigators. Her name is
Ami. We talked about how our church is like family and we wanted her
to come give church a try. She is leaving for Obon this week, but when
she comes back, she wants to come try church. Oh, now you should be
asking what is Obon right? Obon is a famous Japanese holiday where
they believe all their ancestors come back to visit them at their
homes, so they all go to the homes where they were raised. It is a
three day holiday. Obviously some people still work. However, for the
most part, everyone has work off. It will be held this week from
Wednesday to Friday.

Hori Shimai! I love her so much. She reminds me of you, Mom. And the
husband also reminds me of dad. They definitely can't beat how awesome
my parents are, but they are wayyyyy awesome. I call them my family in

She has been an excellent fellowshipper for Izumiya Sachi san and we
planed together what lessons we would teach her and when so she will
be ready for baptism this November!

August 11, 2014
 Hello everyone who is the best ever and reads my letters. Thank you so
much. Hope you enjoy another week in my shoes as you read this.

We had so many less actives come to church. Our less active
reactivation in this ward has been incredible, though it makes me so
sad that there are so many. We had 4 less actives come to church this

As far as investigators goes, we had a few come to church. They were
huge miracles! I have to tell you about one of them. A member from
another ward called us and said that she was going to go with her
friend to our ward because her friend lived in our area. Then her
friend got sick and we prayed really hard that she would be able to
come to church, and she got better!! She is awesome. Her name is Satou
san. Miracle!!

Went over the the Terasaka family house this past week. The husband
came out and said I thought you would be coming today. Woot for
revelation. He and his wife are so close to coming back to church I
think. Hurray!!

We had a really cool experience this past week where a less
active(Kobayashi shimai) brought another less active friend (Kanemaki
shimai) to the church for a lesson. Kanemaki shimai is actually
someone that we don't have in our records because she became less
active in her past ward. Kobayashi Shimai said that she wanted to meet
me before I transferred, but had no intention of coming back to church
or anything. We prepared for this lesson very carefully and
thoughtfully and went into it with lots of prayer. Going into the
lesson she didn't seem very willing to budge, especially when we asked
her the reason she decided to leave the church. However, as we
explained the blessings that she was missing out on by choosing to do
so, her heart changed and she felt the spirit. Kobayashi Shimai was
shocked when we were able to make another appointment with her and
invite her to come to church on a specific day at the end of this
month. God is real!

We just visited the Sawamura family yesterday and went through the
kind of the same thing that we did with Kanemaki Shimai. The reason
they left the church is because they were offended by those of the
church. We told her our message is that we need her and she needs the
church and that now was the time to come back. She said, muri (can't)
and iya (no) over and over and over again. Then, all of the sudden at
the end she said, I will go just once with you two. Wow, talk about
the spirit of god slam dunk!! All 5 of them should be coming this next
week to church. Sooo excited!

Next week is transfer week! Always exciting slash crazy to think
about. Next email you get next week I'll have to tell you about. Don't
you just love cliff hangers!?

Love ya!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

One Year in Japan! - August 5, 2014

I cannot believe today marks my one year in Japan. It has been the
best year ever! Tears trickle down my face thinking about all the
memories. Japan is holy ground for me. It always will be. I love every
day as a missionary!
  Kids English Class!!‏ 
This is Kanemaki Shimai. She is a less active who we were able to meet
last night with the help of another less active. Believe it or not,
asking less actives for referrals is sooo effective. Anyway, she lived
in Yachio before this, but because she was less active and then moved
to Oomori, which is in our area, we didn't have her member records or
anything. Unfortunately that can happen quite often with less actives.
Anyway, her and Kobayashi shimai were investigators in the same area
at the same time when they were around 20 years old. Kobayashi Shimai
said before that her friend isn't interested in coming back even
though she wanted to meet with us. However, by the end of her meeting,
she felt like she needed to return. It was such a wonderful spirit we
felt. Love both of them so much.
 Me and Sister Ipson
Senzokuike park. It never gets old. Love this place!
 Not by Chance .......We were walking through the park the other day to meet an investigator
and i looked to my left and saw someone that I thought looked
familiar. Sure enough, it was her, Sakai Shimai. Her story makes me so
incredibly sad, so I won't take the time to write it. Basically, she
thinks she will never return to our church. Please pray for her. I
told her I always would and that I knew she would come back sometime.
I am a disciple of Christ

Follow the "sun/son"

Look on Facebook for more details about this picture. Also, a great
way to help the work more forward for us missionaries that use
Facebook is to like our posts. The more likes we get, the more people
see it and can get closer to Christ. Shall we not go on in so great a
This is Akiyama san. We found her one day outside her house with this
big grasshopper (batta). I asked her if I could take a picture and we
became good friends from here. No later than 5 minutes we went into
her house and started teaching her and her husband about the plan of

Sister Yamauchi and Sister Nash‏