Monday, October 27, 2014

Ueda Shimai's baptism!! - October 27, 2014

Ueda Shimai was baptized. The service was wonderful. Everyone
mentioned how much change there was in her after she got baptized. It
was like she was a completely different person. The power of the
atonement is so real. 
This is the Horie family. The parents are the same age as ueda shimai
and have been the worlds best fellowshippers for her from the
beginning to the end. I love that family so much. Horie kyoudai
preformed the baptism and I will never for get how jyouzu he performed
it. One of our investigators, Tashiro Hiroko san, was able to come to
church and the baptismal service and she loved it. She has a date to
get baptized next month and is so excited. I will have to get you a
picture of Tashiro san next week. :)

This morning we went with Nakajima shimai to her friends that live
close to us. She had given them a Book of Mormon and wanted us to talk
with them. When we got to their house (Kimura family) and saw the man,
he said, I am not going to enter into any church. Did that stop
Nakajima shimai? No way!! She kept talking and making small talk with
the man and talked about how traditional Japanese think, there is only
one god, not many. And there is only one right religion. By the end,
the man said he would continue to read the Book of Mormon that she had
given him. Nakajima shimai is probably the best missionary there is in
the whole world. We told the man that we lived pretty close to him and
he asked us if we were the ones that were always running close to his
house and doing "taiso" we told him yes. He thought it was funny and
way cool that we exercise. This morning we actually went to ueda
Shimai's to remind her about having FHE at Nakajima Shimai's house
tonight. Sister cortes rode her bike and I ran. It's about a 8 minute
run to her house. Way nice. And there was more fog than I have ever
seen in my life. Did you know when it is foggy, you can see spider
webs super easily. It looked super halloweeny.
After we were done there, we were headed back to our apartment and I saw is lady with a way cute puppy. She is three months old. Soooo adorable, right?! We were able to give her a Book of Mormon and invite her to free English class. Hopefully we see her walking around our apartment again.
Here she is. I think you receive a picture of sister Nakajima
literally every week from me. Boy do I love her so much. She is quite
the lady.
We played the mummy game where you wrap one person in toilet paper.
Our team one second. Woot!  The mummy is Komichi ke's daughter. She brought two friends with her.
What a cute, good missionary.
The Ayabe family wanted to come to the baptismal service,but they had
something going on, so they couldn't. They have such a wonderful
funiki (um, in English that would be like their air/The feeling they
put off...kana). They came to the ward Halloween party and all the
members just loved the family. They will be a great addition to the
ward. We really hope they continue to progress and are especially
praying that they will be baptized before Christmas. This is two of the children.

This is Airi chan. She is the one that me and Sister Day met on splits
the day before this Halloween party! We invited both her a her friend,
but Airi chan ended up coming...alone. What a trooper!! She lives
close to the church. Love her so much. Ward activities are the best
tools in the world for missionaries. I take every ward activity very
seriously because it's such an awesome opportunity for our
investigators. We really invited as many people as we could to come to
the activity. Pretty much every person that wasn't a member that came
was one of our investigators. I tried to count. We ended up having
around 15 people come. We had to get all the other 6 missionaries who
are in our area to help us so that all our investigators had friends
to talk to. It was such an amazing sight. If a ward wants a successful
missionary program as far as activities goes, a ward ought to have a
big activity for everyone to come to at least once a month with flyers
that the missionaries can give out to everyone.

Companion exchanges with Sister Day‏

We have been teaching a lady named Joyce. She is for the Phillipeans.
I think I told you about finding her in last weeks email. We went
shopping on pray and I saw this lady I felt like I really needed to
talk to. Within this week, we have been able to teach her a could of
times, commit her to a baptismal date, and also she voluntarily took
us over to her friends house (2 referrals)! Wy have been able to teach
that family a couple times too! They live pretty close to the church
and believe in God. What a miracle!
This is Japan for you. A premade peanut butter and honey sandwich without crust.

Time flies! Went into Daiso today (Japan version of dollar store, only Daiso is
better than the dollar store). Crazy to walk in and see Christmas
stuff. Yikes! Halloween hasnt even happened yet!
Thais and Hannah chan. This dog is the cutest. The kids play around with it so much that it is pretty much like playing with a doll and you pick it up like a person. I think I forgot to tell you this story, but about a month ago, we went into their house and then we go to leave and I put my shoes on and notice the straps of my shoes are missing. The dog had ate them off. I ended up getting them fixed but my shoes are quite hammered.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My desire! - October 20, 2014

Today we went to the temple. Oh how I love the temple. I have to
listen in Japanese. I understand it so much better. I seriously do
have a hard time listening in English any more. In fact, one of the
new investigators that we met today is a Fillipino and he was telling
us stuff and I just could not understand what he was saying in
English. Luckily he speaks Japanese and Spanish too, so we could talk
to him pretty good. Turns out he has read the Book of Mormon and
studied about our church before. He is 60 years old now, but he
studied when he was 23 years old in the Filipinos. How cool it is that
we meet him in Japan and get to teach him. Oh, he's the dad of the
family of 14 that I have been telling you about. We literally go over
there to teach them and get a new investigators every time because
someone different always answers the door. ;) 
Anyway, back to the temple. I love it so much. So much inspiration and
power it's incredible. I saw Kitahara Kyoudai and Marutani Shimai in
the temple from Kasukabe ward. Man, I love and miss them so much! I
love the temple!!

This week we had companion exchanges with the other Koga Sisters(
Sistee Miyaki and Sister Requilman). It was so fun to be companions
with Sister Miyaki's been a long time. I love this sister
so much. We have always made quite the team. Sister Miyaki and her 
companion have been having a really difficult time for some reason.
It's really hard when you have a companion that doesn't want to do
missionary work. Sister Miyaki is such a great missionary and I know
how hard it must be for her. Luckily, from past experiences with
companions, I understood that. I now know why the Lord wanted me to
have those experiences...because He needed me to comfort Sister Miyaki
at this time in her mission. 
Anyway, that day we literally set Koga on fire with missionary work.
With found tons of new investigators and taught tons of lessons. It's
a great way to get them off for the coming weeks. I am so thankful
that The Lord blesses us so much. I have taken particular notice to
how much he blesses us leaders. It is incredible. He really
consecrates our time.

So when I first came to Koga and was going back to the apartment, I
remember seeing the Statue of Liberty and wondering what in the world
it was doing in such a awkward place. So, today on pday on our way
home from the temple, I had to get a picture with it. Enjoy ;) 
Then we went grocery shopping and I saw this lady from a distance and
I just thought I had to talk to her. We ended up talking for about 30
minutes. She lives really close to our church, doesn't have a job,
doesn't live with family, and likes talking about church things.
SWEEEETTTT!! So excited to work with her. Her name is Joyce.

My companion caught a cold for about a week, but she has been a
champion and still does missionary work with me. There is no time to
waste. Our investigators and members have been so sweet to her. This is a scarf 
and a hat she got from Nakajima shimai. She is better now. Me and her come from
totally different climates. She is always used to way hot climates, so
just a little bit of cool weather and she is freezing. Me on the other
hand, Japan is almost always hot/warm. :)

Shabu shabu with the nakamura family‏

Ever since I have come to Koga, we have been trying to work with a
less active family. The mom is the only active one and then the
husband and children are less active. They are sooooo cute. I still
remember when we first met each of them and they seemed super skeptical
and kind of hesitant to talk. I did all I could to be their best
friend every time I saw of talked to them. It has been amazing to see
the transformation in their family. They invited us over for shabu
shabu this last Sunday night. It is one of my favorite meals.
Basically tons of steamed vegis and then you shabu shabu the meat. I
don't really know how to explain it in English. You use chopsticks,
pick up a please of meat, and kind of weave it around in the boiling
water and it cooks within about 10 seconds. So yummy. They are coming
together as a family to church this next week and also to Ueda
Shimai's baptism! So excited for that!

I love to ride my bicycle! It really is a joy ride. Here in Koga, we
get to ride our bikes a lot and get lots of thinking time. It is such
a great time to receive revelation for our area. Missionary work is
soooooo fun. Work is sooooo fun!
What a wonderful week we have had in Koga. This is truly the land of miracles. 
Ueda Shimai is all set for baptism this coming week! Thanks for all
your prayers everyone. One wards baptism is our whole church's
baptism! So congratulations to you all! She will be confirmed the
following week in sacrament meeting. Because she doesn't have a cell
phone, we have plans to meet with her every day of the week just for a
little bit. The ward is super excited to welcome her in. She really
already acts and seems like she is a member. I love is woman so much.
She has had a lot of hard things in her life, but she has changed
completely. Seeing that change and the atonement's power is unlike any
other experience I have ever had. 
She isn't all to big into pictures, so getting one with her was a
little tricky. But I wanted to show you who she is so you can put a
face to the name you are praying for.

This is my awesome Mission President. He is the best. So funny and yet
so serious when it comes to missionary work, which I love. On Monday,
I got to have a personal interview with him. We have interviews with
him every other transfer as well as one at the beginning of our
mission and one at the end of our mission. I always prepare
spiritually so that I can receive revelation. President Budge is a
super successful man. Not only in being a mission president, but in
almost every phase of his life. One of the questions I really wanted
to ask him was... 
How have you found success? 
I told him I left It really broad on purpose. 
His answer was very inspiring and something I wanted to share will all of you. 
He said he never set out to be famous or well off or anything like
most people in this world do. He said keeping the commandments is
pretty much it. If you keep there commandments, you will find success.
What a simple, yet so profound a statement. Something I will always
remember. All you have to do is keep the commandments and the rest
will fall into place. He also said, Don't be two the
gospel...all the time. I love that. Then he said, Follow the spirit?
Lately, he told me about how in the world, there is an infinite
addiction for more, more, more in order to be happy. You must
continually seek to understand if you have enough, but don't think you
need more. Find a good balance. I love President and Sister Budge and
sustain them with all my heart!
 THE LOVE OF GOD - Hey everyone, so I've been thinking a lot about the love of God
lately. Outside of my apartment, there is this little bush that has
cute heart-shaped leaves. Then me and my companion started talking
about the tree of life and I was thinking about how the tree of life
is the love of god. What a great little thought! If we really love
God, we will do what it takes to return to his presence.THE 

Here are a few other thoughts from the week that I don't have pictures
to go with. 
Kenson came to church this week again!! We teach him along with his
sisters, but we haven't been able to get the sisters to come to church
yet. He really enjoyed it and I can see him changing so much. He loves
the words of god and so do his sisters. Although he works a lot, his
sisters don't, which makes it nice because we can meet with them
during the week. We have been trying to talk to him about baptism and
the importance of it. Hopefully, we will be able to set a date with him
this week. His sisters will then see that example and want to follow. 
The Ayabe family is doing so wonderful. They are one of my favoritest
families ever. We are doing the family eikaiwa program with them. (30
minutes English and 30 minutes of them listening to our message). They
listen to the gospel lessons so intently. The kids were taught from
the time they were young to pray to their ancestors, but as of last
week, they have been praying every day to Heavenly Father and have
really grown to love the fact that they have a Heavenly Father. The
mom has been reading the Book of Mormon and this next week will be
applying Moroni's promise. Pray for her to be able to feel the Holy
We we're housing about a month ago and ran across a lady named Itou
san. She is pretty much the cutest mother of two I have ever seen in
my life. We have been visiting her on and off and this week she has
just sky rocketed! She loves the plan of salvation and when we gave
her the Book of Mormon and told her why it is so important to us, she
was so humble when she took it and so excited. Way excited to continue
working with her. Pray for her that she can come to the Halloween
party this coming Saturday at our church and also to church and Ueda
Shimai's baptism service! 
There are so many wonderful miracles and people to tell you about, but
I'll save you the time and stop there because if I were to keep going
I don't think I'd ever end. 
I am so excited for another always. When I think of my
desires as a missionary, I think of John. In 3 Nephi we read: Behold,
I know your thoughts, and ye have desired the thing which John, my
beloved, who was with me in my ministry, before that I was lifted up
by the Jews, desired of me...for ye have desired that ye might bring
the souls of men unto me, while the world shall stand. And for this
cause ye shall have fulness of joy; and ye shall sit down in the
kingdom of my Father; yea, your joy shall be full, even as the Father
hath given me fulness of joy; and ye shall be even as I am, and I am
even as the Father; and the Father and I are one. 
Love you all!! 
Peace out from Japan! 
Until next week Smiling face (black and white)️ 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

My Faith was Strengthened - October 13, 2014


Oh, Christmas Tree!
Well, the tree is up in the mission home and boy is it beautiful. It
is now waiting for the many paper cranes to go on it's branches and
presents to go under the tree to give to Christ this Christmas. It's
so much fun being a missionary and being able to think about Christmas
time so soon every year. I know that Christmas time is a special time
of year. It is bound to bring several miracle. Bound to bring 100
people closer to Christ through baptism and the laying on of hands
before Christmas in our mission!! What kind of gift do you want to
give to Christ this Christmas. Start now! Boy am I grateful that
Christ as born. I am so thankful that my Savior atoned for my sins.
Without him, none of us would be able to return to live with Him

 This was my first time going to a sushi belt restaurant. It was so
yummy. I love sushi. 
As I think of my experience I had with these two this past week, I
think of Elder Bednars talk from several years ago (I think). The
church isn't build by the masses. It is build one by one. I love that.
Our job as members is not to get the masses, but to get the one and
raise the one in a way that he will get one and then he will get
another one. That is exactly what Kakuhata kyoudai did. The message
was sweet to him and he went and shared it. In this past General
Conference, I love that Elder Bednar said that true disciples of
Christ are missionaries. Well, everyone. How is your misisonary work
going. You better have a teaching pool. I will always have one. I want
the to be a witness of Christ that Christ can be proud of. 
Kakuhata kyoudai

This last Wednesday, we had an eclipse. It was so incredibly
beautiful. I am so thankful that my mission is a biking mission. I
have learned more and more to appreciate the beauty in the world all
around me. I love the song, consider the lilies of the field. I know
that under the direction of God, Jesus Christ and Michael created our
world...our universe. I am so thankful to live here at this time in
this place. I know that God loves me when I look at nature.
Sorry, the pictures don't do it justice at all.

I remember when I first came to Japan thinking that the sweets here
aren't sweets because they aren't sweet at least in
comparison to America. Our friends in the ward that went to America
for conference brought us back some candy. I ate one and puckered up
big time. No wonder American people are obese. That stuff is super
sugary. I definitely got used to Japan! Woot!

One of the families in our ward have be trying to figure out how to
share the gospel with the Ayabe family. Well, thanks to our family
English program (30 minutes of English and then 30 minutes of gospel
discussion) we have been able to do so once every week for the past
little while. They now have a baptismal date and we are so excited for
them. Love these two cuties. This is Saki chan.
October 13, 2014
We have had an absolutely wonderful always. This week, I
wanted to focus on telling you how my faith was strengthened through
the experiences that I had. 
We have had some incredible lessons with a family of 14. They are
Filipinos and of the baptist faith. Although they all have the same
faith, their thoughts on religion are so different from each other.
When I am with them, there is not one slight doubt in my heart that
God lives. If I was on the earth when Christ was here, I would walk
with him and listen to his words. But I have the scriptures and as I
read, if I listen carefully, I hear the Saviors voice. I have prophets
to listen to that say what The Lord would say if he were here. If I
listen carefully, I can hear the Saviors voice. The spirit helps me
feel the Saviors voice. We don't need to see God to know He is there.
I know he loves me. Each of much. He knows my name. He knows
the people I am trying to help bring closer to him. He knows their
hearts. He knows. I am so thankful for their spirit. We are excited to
teach them this week about the foundation needed for a church
to be Christ's church. 
Megumi chan came to general conference! Boy, was I excited to see her.
Lots of prayers went into her coming to church this week. I'll tell you
what, I have the strongest testimony ever of prayer. I couldn't do it
without you guys. Thanks for everything you do for us in Japan. 
Lastly, I want to tell you about one of the most sacred experiences of
mine from this week with Ueda san (thanks to your prayers). We went to
breakfast together at a members house on her day off this past
Wednesday. After we finished the meal, we then started our lesson. We
had given her the service section out of pmg to read in advance so we
could talk about is principle in our lesson. However, before we
started, she said that she had one thing she wanted to tell us. She
won't be able to get baptized on the 26th of this month. We all
remained quiet as she told us some of the things that had popped up in
the last couple of days. She told her boss that she was studying with
the Mormons and the boss wasn't very happy and didn't treat her very
well. The man that she really likes right now told her to keep her
schedule open for the 26th because he had something special planned
for the two of them. Her children aren't the best of children and have
made a lot of mistakes recently. Even though she is not to be blamed
for the mistakes, the people around her are always saying that she is
the mother of bad children. Tears rolled down her face as she told us.
Although she had kept in tears for a long, long, time, she couldn't
hold one tear in that day. She asked if we could lengthen her date
until she got all of her personal problems taken care of. I was praying
like crazy in my heart. Something told me that the date we set was
inspired and she needed to be baptized on that date. We started
talking about Joseph Smith and how before one of the greatest events
in history (the first vision), he received much temptation from Satan
trying to get him to stop praying. I asked her if she had asked God if
she should be baptized. She said she hadn't. I was then able to
explain the experience I had at mlc with pray. I suggested that I
offer the prayer to ask god what he wanted ueda shimai to do. Tears
rolled down my checks as I prayed. I felt one of the most wonderful
feelings I have ever felt. The spirit was so incredibly strong. After
finishing the prayer and what seemed like an eternity of silence, she
said, I guess I should be baptized, huh. The Spirit is so incredibly
indescribable. This is an experience I will forever remember and hold
Have a wonderful week,
P.S. It's so weird that my Bishop (Bishop Hegemann) and my Stake
President (President Hart) have changed. A big thanks to both of you.
I really admire you two and the example you have been to me.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Transfer 11 - October 6, 2014

Making gyoza

Elder Burt's last eikaiwa in koga.‏


It's always fun to show people my baby pictures because I look like a
Japanese baby with black hair. Now a days, my hair isn't even close to
black. So someone the other day asked me what color my eyes are. I
told them they are brown. They told me that they weren't brow, but
hazel eyes. I got the same questions few days later too. So, I guess a
sign of me aging is me going from darker features to lighter features.
I don't know. Crazy, right?! One thing that has gotten darker in Japan
is my skin color. I have the skin color of a Japanese. I actually get
told quite often that my personality and the way I talk and hold
myself is Japanese. Hurray for me!
We had a crazy taifun today. All sorts of emails from the mission
president and his wife for preparation and safety. It was crazy winds
and rain. So awesome!! The best part is doing dendou in it. I can't
wait to go out tonight to dendou. Oh, sorry, dendou in English means
missionary work.
I met Ann on the bus. She is way cute. We were able to meet with her
this week and she even brought her boyfriend. Aww, yeah. Let's be
honest the best date ever is to go out with the missionaries Smiling face with smiling eyes
Kawakami san. Believes in god and now just has the question as to if
it is necessary for her to join a religion. She is progressing slow,
but well and I am so happy for that. I love her so much.
Anya shimai. She is going to Hokkaido until next year! She is one of
our recent converts. She will go back to Peru in February. Please pray
for her to be able to keep strong in the faith.
So, I don't think I've actually told you this, but feel like the mom
of the apartment wherever I go. I do all the cleaning and cooking.
cortes shimai tried to cook pancakes the other day and hand our
apartment covered in a think smoke in just a few minutes. We had
alarms going off like crazy. So...I do the cooking pretty much always.
This week I made some super delicious gyoza. Sister Cortés took a
picture of me.
Everyone, your prayers are the best ever!! Thank you so much for
praying for Ueda san. I feel your strength every single day. She is
changing so much and others even at her work have told her so. I love
seeing people change for the good. Ueda shimai still has her baptismal
date for October 26. The member involvement with her has been
absolutely incredible. We have been able to go to members houses with
her for food and lessons twice this week. One of them was with the
usuis and nishis. I love that family. I call nishi shimai "mom." She
is excited to get baptized. She still feels a little lost and wonders
if she can do it. Please pray for her to not feel lost anymore.
I have been really worried about Megumi chan a lot this week. We all
need to be praying for her harder this week. I feel like Nephi when he
said, "For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my
pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and
I know that he will hear my cry."
We went on a blitz before transfers to Oyama to give the sisters some
help. I could not believe how many miracles we saw in just a short two
and a half hours. Sister Cortés and I didn't even really have to move.
Everyone just came to us to hear our message. We were able to give
them about 6 people, two of whom are going to be able to go to church
this next Sunday. I love helping the sisters in our zone!
It is definitely different in our apartment going from two to four
people. One of the sisters is having a really rough time. She doesn't
have the desire to go out and do missionary work and she actually
wants to go home. Please pray for her to find the strength to do the
Lords work.
I'm really excited to be working with our zone this transfer. Every
single missionary is so special to me. You can almost just look at
them and see halos above each of their heads. I love being a mission
leader because I get to serve those around me. In so doing, it has
also been a huge opportunity for me to become the person I know that
God wants me to be. Everyone in our zone is thrilled without 100
baptisms before Christmas goal. I was great to kneel down as a zone
and feel the same confirmation that I did at MLC that this is the
right goal. Also, I got to translate for our Christmas meeting with
our zone. I love love love translating. The Japanese missionaries I
translated for said I sound like I am Japanese. Good accent. Boy, am I
thankful for my ancestors help. I know they are with me here in Japan
helping with the work. I'm sure they help me with my Japanese too.
We have met a ton of Filipinos this week who have even provided us
with referrals. I love Filipinos. I wish like crazy that I could speak
their language.
P.S. Today for our dendou we visited one of our new investigators and
found out that 14 of them life in one house. Cha Ching. The speak
English and Japanese. We have another couple of appointments with them
this week. I am so excited.
I look forward to continuing the work of salvation this week. There
really is no greater calling! I have no other desire than to preach
the gospel all day, every day. I even do it when I'm sleeping!
Love, Sister Yamauchi