Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Goodbye to the BEST Year and a Half Ever! - December 15, 2014

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
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Heavy black heart

Monday, December 8, 2014

It matters how you finish! - December 8, 2014

We got another referral from Nakajma Shimai. She is such a trooper. My
cute mother!!
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! 
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. 
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
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.
Mayumi chan is someone that I met on the train last week and she met with us and ate dinner with us. She is going to come to church on December 14 I think. Oh, since my last Sunday on December 14, I am giving a talk that day. I'm really excited. We are going to bring sooooooo many friends to church this next week. Pray for that for me please. Thanks.
Okada Hisako shimai. I keep asking her when she is going to marry Kakuhata kyoudai and that she has to do it before I go home. She is so hazukashii about it. I love her so much. She calls me her daughter. Well, I pretty much call everyone my mother, so most people call me their daughter. I guess that means that I can just stay in Japan, right?! I do have a family here. :)
Saturday Hasegawa sans lesson today was incredible. She is usually a goof and tries to laugh as much as possible. But we really talked about the things in her heart. We told her we were going to help her, but she had to do what we say and trust us. She broke down in tears and said thank you so much to us. I teared up too. I told her one of the reasons I came to Japan was to meet her. Ayabe family. They are doing good. Another lesson on missionary work (lesson 5). I have such a strong testimony of missionary work! Meet with Mari and Nakajima shimai tonight in preparation for tomorrow. We ate going to do a stop smoking workshop for her tomorrow. For that, we went and bought a ton of yummy, healthy foods for her. So excited for tomorrow.
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
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!! 
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.
This is Yamagishi shimai. She is a funny lady. Doesn't really want to join the church, but really likes it. She has only come a couple of times. Tried to get her to come next week, but she said she probably wouldn't, so we took a picture together. Selfy!! Nakajima shimai got up and bore her testimony of missionary work, wanting to do the Lords work, and also about how I am a great misisonary. She is too sweet. Mari san came to church as well. Her mom was going to, but I guess they got in a fight before and just Mari came. We called Hasegawa san that we really needed her to be at the tabacco presentation we were going to give because we needed family to be there. She did come. It was a super long lesson. The two almost couldn't stand to be in the same room as each other. They started fighting again and even went into separate rooms for a little while. It took a lot of patience and encouraging both of them, but we did it. It is a hard core one week program that she is going to do. Please pray for her to be able to stay away from tabacco all this week. We know she can do it. Also pray for her and her mother to have a better relationship. That will really help. We went to Nakamura ke that night for dinner. That was fun. Love that family so much. I will miss them.
Monday Helped Okada Youko shimai clean. She will be moving to a place nearer to where she is now. She just needed a little help with a few things. Nakajima Shimai definitely needed our support tonight. If there is one thing that I learned today, it is that God only commanded us that we do two things to everyone, regardless of who they are...love and forgive. Remember earlier how I told you that we are going to bring lots of people to church next week. Well, we were shopping and I felt really inspired to say hi to a lady. Her name is Maria. She and her family all want to come to our church this next week. What the?! I love miracles!! It is sooooo normal to see miracles as a missionary. To
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
Love you!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Happy December - December 1, 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. 
So as a Tokyo mission, we do what we call Facebook waves every Monday with hashtags and stuff. I would encourage you to make your own hashtag based off mine and get it started going viral. Also, a really simple way that you can share the gospel and help the missionaries is by sharing or liking our stuff. It goes a long ways. Today I have been thinking a lot about what my mission is teaching me. Here is one of them.
Oh, a random thing. If you look in the General Conference address and find, lord is it I, the talk from President Uchdorf, you will find a picture of a Japanese man. His name is Imamura kyoudai and he is a member of the Koga ward!! Since it was Pday we had some fun times with Nakajima shimai. I love her soooooo incredibly much. I want to be like her when I grow up. She always makes everyone feel so special and does a wonderful job of hastening the Lords work.
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.
We are working with her little by little. For being a grandma, she sure is gone from her house a lot. Her mother, who is 97 is in the hospital and she has to take care of her a lot. She really has a sincere desire to be a good person and I love that about her. Then there is Mari chan.
She is sooo adorable and she doesn't even believe she is. She is super nice. She has lots of trials in her life. She loves us visiting her and helping here feel good. We went to eikaiwa and took fun pics. She loves taking pictures with me for some reason ;) November 27 Happy Thanksgiving. Today we had our district meeting in Oyama and then we went to the Adachi family for thanksgiving dinner. They are adorable. They made all the food for the missionaries in our zone. At the start of the dinner, they said, okay it's thanksgiving and we are thankful for missionaries. So cute, right?! I love members who love us. Love sure does go a long ways.
We visited the Nakamura family. It was so cute, they came to the door and then said just a minute. And then a few minutes later Ayumi chan popped out of the door and we were so happy to see her. Oh, do I love that girl. They welcomed us right in and we talked about the importance of Christmas. I don't know if you have seen it yet, but if you haven't, look up "he is the gift" in YouTube or lds.org. It is this wonderful Christmas initiative that our church is doing this Christmas. Wonderful way to tell your friends the true meaning of Christmas. I love showing this video to as many people as I possibly can. It never gets old. November 28 Got to meet with Mari san. Nakajima shimai got new furniture from the seki family and so she moved her old table out into her "garage" and served us our there while we did a lesson. It was so cute because after the lesson she was talking about how her little place has become like a little restaurant. And she said she loves it. :) Today for language study, I talked with one of our recent converts about how many kanji we can make using one type of stroke. I love Japanese because there is so much meaning behind every single work. I love Japanese!
November 29 I'm pretty sure I didn't breathe today. Today was exchanges with Howe Shimai. She is one of the most incredible persons I have ever met in my whole life. I am so thankful for her influence in my life. She is a pretty new missionary and so her Japanese is very simple, but I was astounded by the power of her testimony when she bore it. I know that The Lord works through us missionaries because we are the weak things of the world. It was the day before the baptism, so getting that prepared along with all our other appointments was just crazy. Here is Saki chan.
November 30 Today I am so thankful to my loving Heavenly Father and Savior today. I worked my tail of this week. Like literally, I had no breathing time. It was sweet! Okada shimai was able to be baptized. She said she felt a fushigi feeling. Hope she knows that is the spirit. She seems to really be sensitive to the spirit she just doesn't show a lot of emotions ever.
I felt like there was so many things going on during the baptismal service that it was hard to focus, but here are the feelings I felt 1. When Okada shimai got baptized, toma kun wanted to go in with him. How important it will be for her to raise her son in this gospel so that he too can be baptized when he is 8 2. I felt a special spirit when I got to sing with the young women I like to look for rainbows to Okada shimai. What a wonderful thing it is to have a new start. 3. I really felt Nakajima Shimai's love for Okada shimai when she did her shokai. Nakajima shimai has been one of Okada Shimai's best friends. It wis incredible to see the change in both of them. Thy are just like family. When I think of them, I remember what it means to be a true friend. 4. I felt the spirit when Kurosaki shimai read the scripture in 2 Nephi 31:19-20 that this isn't the end, just the very beginning. 5. I felt the spirit when I got to lead the music and look into the faces of people that I love while singing I am a Child of God. Ueda Shimai called us this morning and said that she couldn't come to church because one of her friends and fallen over the night before and had to go to the hospital. She said she was sorry. I told her not to tell me, but to tell god. Told her to say a prayer right now and ask god what she should do. But I told her I would be waiting for her at the church. She ended up coming. Every single one of the recent converts came as well as four investigators. Oh, man. Let me tell you the joy I felt. It can't be described. Every day is a special day, it's the day we get ready for Sunday. I love it when investigators come to church. After all, 100% of people who get baptized have been to church, right?! :) We blew the soe out of the water this week. It was so the best. In my opinion, that is a minimum. I don't settle for less. I know that The Lord is at the head of this work. We don't do anything. It is all Him. I, like Alma, rejoice in His glory. December 1 Keep the commandments...it's all you have to do in life. I am amazed that when people go down hill, almost every time it is because they aren't keeping commandments. God has given us so much, and he only asks us one thing. I think we can do it. Fun with Hiroko sans daughter, miku. I made yakisoba for 8 of us. There was so much. I love coming. Wonderful lesson about the plan of salvation. They loved it. December 2 Today was my last temple Pday.
Talk about bittersweet. I love the temple so much. When we started, a man told us that this would be one of the deepest learning experiences for us today. I learned a lot about my life in the temple today. It was one of the most spiritual experiences I have ever had. I learned that another season of life will soon end. But if I stayed in that season forever, I would never learn and grow to become the person that God wants me to be. Love you all!! Sister Yamauchi