Dear Family and Friends,
Well, with the reset going on with the iPads, our first step is to be
master users of the Areabook app. So, what does that mean? It means
keeping our Areabook up to date with all the lessons, and people we
have met! Well, with how busy we've been, we have not been doing so
well, but we decided it needed to be done, so we took a decent amount
of time and did just that. We cleaned it up, filled everything in, and
helped it be more effective. And it felt good.
Later, we went to a Seven Eleven to use the Internet, and on the way
there, and on the way back, we met some really awesome people! One was
a family! And they accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon! And so did
another young mother! She listened to what we said, and she told us
that she believes that God is there, and that He listens to her when
she prays to Him. She said that she prays with feelings, but she
doesn't really use words, but even that is enough to reach the
heavens. It was a great experience.
Well, this week, we went to church, and there was a baptism! One of
the member's sons had turned eight, and he decided he wanted to be
baptized. I don't think I have participated in such a spiritual
experience in a while. He bore his testimony at the end, and you knew
that he realized that he had changed, and for a while, he sat in
silence, not knowing what to say. And then, he started to cry, and
said he was grateful to all that came today, and that he was grateful
to be baptized. Wow.
Well, lots and lots of things learned, but one that hit me recently is
that too much stress is not good. But relying on the Savior is. Has
everyone seen the new video by the church "He Lives"? I watched it
this morning. So good. It's true! It will bless us!
Have a great General Conference, and a wonderful Easter!
The gospel blesses us, and I invite you to list all the ways it
blesses your life, too!
Dear Family and Friends,
How are you? Are you well? I hear from many of you, and I know you
read these, so I'm so happy!
Happy week! We had Elder Nelson here with us, and that was great. Talk
about being in the Book of Mormon times when King Benjamin or Jacob,
or Alma and Amulek stood in front of crowds and taught doctrine! I
love it. I have been personally so blessed to see and hear so many of
the Quorum of the Twelve speak to us as missionaries. While I was at
the MTC, Elder Anderson, President Dieter F Uchtdorf came, and while
I've been here in the field, Elder Quentin L Cook, Elder M Russell
Ballard, and Elder Russell M Nelson have visited us, and what a
blessing it is to hear from them. Not because of what they are, but
because of their character. Who they are. You know they hold authority
when they walk into the room. The Spirit testifies of it.
The intent of the conference was for us as missionaries to have a
reset. It is time for us to commit ourselves to being Disciples of the
Lord Jesus Christ in the digital age. Our mission has been, up until
now, a test group for using technology for missionary work. iPads, and
other applications, such as Facebook, have all been a part of that.
The church leaders have decided to open this up to more areas, and we
are no longer testing the iPads, we will be using them. However, there
are more reasons for this than just advancing missionary work. The
main goal, they directed, was to ensure that missionaries are trained
on how to learn to properly use technology, not only well, but
worthily. It was so crucial that when missionaries go home, they know
how to be in the world, even the world with all of its technological
advances, but not of the world. Staying safe from the evils of
Pornography, and protecting ourselves from the temptations of the
We will be giving up Facebook for a while, as long as our mission
We will learn under the care of our mission president, :) which I am
looking forward to. There are so many awesome things about this week.
The blessings he promised, though we're strong and clear. He blessed
us with a thirst and a hunger for the knowledge of God, that we would
be able to apply those teachings, becoming an example that attracts
others to the Lord. He blessed us with safety and success, and to be
obedient. And after we return home, he blessed us to continue as
missionaries among those who are most dear to us, and for those
missionaries who have health problems, and for those missionaries
whose families are struggling with health, he gave a blessing of
healing and health, consistent with the Lord's will.
How grateful I am for the Priesthood, and the blessing it is in my
life, and in the whole world! What a great thing!
Well, let me tell you, I love Shonan Ward. I think it is so amazing.
They have fun activities, and they desire to do missionary work. It is
smaller than many wards in America, but it is still so great. One
sister just made it back from her mission. She was sooo nice! She
immediately came to the Relief Society activity the next day, and
that's where we met. She was kind as she asked about how the work is
going here. I want to be a missionary like her. She spoke about her
areas on her mission, and spoke about how each one of the
investigators were so awesome. And she spoke on how she really learned
to rely on God, and how she saw miracles.
Wow. I want to be like that, too!
We also had Zone Conference, and my companion and I were called on to
give a training. Teaching lessons on the street. Not a lot of
preparation time, but we got the training ready, and we actually were
given 45 minutes. Wow! Lots of time. I hope I learned from the
training. If there's nothing I learned from the conference, it's at I
need to listen more, I need to be kind, and I need to do less talking
during trainings, but allow them to role play more, to practice. Whoa.
What a difference.
There was a particular training on handling stress, and about
companionship. The mental health advisor for the mission gave this
training. When we were asked a question, "if your companion was upset,
and (I don't remember the whole question, but it was a very realistic
question. Along the lines of stress, I think) What would you do?" And
there were many answers. Then one Elder raised his hand, and said,
"they probably just need a little space, so it would be good to just
let them be for a bit" and the adviser giving the training was a
little taken aback, "you mean you wouldn't do anything?" When the
Elder confirmed the response, and gave a reasonable answer, the
medical adviser called him to the front, and asked to put his hand out
and hold it there. As he held his hand in the air, the Medical Adviser
grabbed his tie, and holding scissors in the other hand, cut the tie
straight off, and then excuse the Elder to be seated. The elder looked
so dejected. I was shocked! The Medical Adviser continued on with the
training, but then his wife called him out for it, and said, "that was
not a nice thing to do." After a few moments of awkward silence, and
there was quite the intense feeling in the air, but he called the
Elder back up to the front, and said, "you know, we never want to
leave on these bad feelings. Elder, whose tie is that?" And to
everyone's surprise, the Elder responded, "yours." "Well, Elder, then
where is your tie?" And then the Elder who had his tie cut pulled two
ties out of his pockets, one had been his own, and the other was a
gift from the medical advisor, just because he had agreed to be a part
of this. If I learned anything, it's that I never want to leave
someone alone, to let them cool off, especially if they're stressed.
They need to know we love them, and just letting them be will not be
enough to show our love. We have to talk it out. And then, the Spirit
will be there as we resolve concerns with love.
Lately, we've been dealing with trials of the adversary. The last
three days have been rough. Our relationship has been on the rocks a
little, we have run out of time for all the mountains of things we
have to do, and we are just tired, and stressed, and I know on my end
there was a little pride. Well, you know, there's really no reason for
us to be that way. We just need to show love, and accept it where it's
given. We both have concluded that intense trails come when something
amazing is about to happen. And it did!
Last night, wow! We had a lesson with a part member family, which was
superb. We were able to listen with love. I wish all lessons could be
like that, all of the time.
Dear Family and Friends,
Today, I just want to say--there were many miracles. I don't think
I'll get to write them all in this short time, but I'll just do my
Well, we're trying to start this thing called Nemawashi which
basically means digging around the roots. You might ask, "what on
earth does gardening have to do with missionary work?" Well, my
friend, just ponder this for a second. The scriptures says that "all
things denote there is a God" and that is definitely applicable here.
Well, actually, the Japanese use this word to mean coordinating with
people before a meeting, so that when you get to the meeting, you only
have to talk about the most important details, because you've already
talked about all the small stuff beforehand. So, we've been trying to
get a Nemawashi email sent to the ward council by Wednesday each week.
With pictures. But the time we remember to ask our investigators or
the ones we visit if we can take a picture together, were already out
the door, on our bikes, about to take off to go somewhere else.
Well, also this week, we experienced a lot of trials, as rejections
seemed to be common, especially with those we invited before, but then
they didn't want to meet. But then, we had many other interesting
things happen. We met three missionaries of a different religion on
the corner.they were passing out flyers or something... But when we
said hello to them, they immediately approached us. And began to try
to teach us. But as we talked, my companion and I got to explain what
we believe and the Book of Mormon, and we invited them to read and
pray about it. They all walked away with their own copy of the Book of
That is not the best miracle we've had this week. I think one of my
dearest experiences I have had on the street talking to people
happened just two days ago. We met a beautiful woman who when she saw
us, she glanced at our Book of Mormon that we had in our hands.when we
began to talk, she opened up that she once had been given a copy of
the Book of Mormon by two Elders some time ago when she lived in
England. Wow! She had read some of it, but it didn't really make too
much of an impact on her. However, as we talked, I felt the Spirit
testify so strongly through me to her that I know how true this book
is,and that it has the word of God written in it. We truly can become
closer to God as we read, ponder, and apply what the prophets of old
have written in the Book of Mormon.
I loved that experience. It was sweet to see how God had guided us that day.
Just know that God loves us, and we need not fear. I received this
week in an email my release date letter. So, I will be a missionary
until the 25th of September. It is so short, but I know that I can do
my very best until the very end. Those who do their best in the last
six months of their mission will go home with their heads held high,
knowing that they have done their very best. I thought about it, and
it's right, not only about missionary work, but this is about life,
too. Unlike my release date, we have no idea when we will be called to
the other side of the veil. We must be always doing our very best so
that when we go to the Spirit World, we can walk with our heads held
high knowing that we did our very best, to help ourselves and our
friends and family return back to Heaven.
Dear Friends and Family,
Well, today is a good day. We got all our shopping down, and made it home before the rain. I have been sitting here for about fifteen minutes wondering what on earth to write. I will figure it out as I go I suppose.
There are so many miracles this last week! Starting with the day I last wrote, on Tuesday last week! It was a good day. We got to talk to so many people, and invite so many people to church. We were out of our area, because of temple P-day, but it was good, because many of them showed interest in going.
On Wednesday, I was able to attend English class here for the first time. That was fun. There are a few students for each class, and here in Shonan we give homework. ^.^ it's simple, but it is fun.
The missionaries in Shonan Ward are as follows: Elder Bowerbank(came to Japan at the same time as me!), Elder Nicholsen, Elder Hernandez (he was in my first district in Takao. Speaks Spanish), Elder Davies, and then Sister Johansson(she is my Senpai. First missionary I met at the MTC), and me.
We are all about the hard work. We have been booking it all around Shonan. Yesterday, we were invited over to a member's house, all six missionaries. That was amazing. The house that this member lives in is about an hour bike ride away. By car, it's about twenty maybe, but there are no bus routes hat go up there, and no trains either. :) that's why we have bikes, I guess. It really felt like I had returned to Kofu. Haha! The scenery, the fields, the lack of houses, etc.
I still have yet to see the ocean itself, although it's just a ten/fifteen minute bikeride away. We see it whenever we ride the train to Chigasaki, which we did do a couple times is last week, but it's a little far away. Maybe on a Pday, we'll check it out. Today, however, is raining.
Well, let's begin with some miracles! This last week, it's been a whirlwind of visiting people, trying to keep track of all our people. There were a couple lessons we couldn't do. Hay-fever has been bad for people in Japan lately. Especially one of our friends. So, we didn't get to meet her. Zannen. (That's too bad!)
But! We decided to work on the list of less active members! Well, on Friday, we actually had decided to visit an active member, because we had a four hour block, and we weren't sure what else to do. Well, so that was that, and even though it didn't feel very right, to me, or to my companion, we continued with our plan. And then, during companionship study, too, we decided not to change it, but! When all study was done, and so was lunch, I brought it up. "It just doesn't feel right." So we thought about it. Instead of visiting the active sister, we decided to take brownies to the Bishops wife(it had been her birthday!) and then to visit a less active member from the list we were given. Well, that's when the miracles began.
We got to talk to so many people that day, the weather was great, and so many were willing to listen. We taught people lessons on the street that day, and invited them to hear, but no one agreed. :) and then, we reached the Less Active's house. It was an apartment complex, actually. We saw the mailbox that should have been hers.. And there was duct tape over the hole where you would put mail in. Well, we thought... Maybe she moved? But we wouldn't give up. We climbed to the fourth floor, and then we knew, she had to have moved because there was clearly no one living there. We asked her neighbors. She moved. Two or three weeks ago.
Then, we decided that we would house the whole complex. We began on the third floor (we already had tried the fourth floor, in asking about the Less Active), and the door we came to, we rang the doorbell. And waited. No one answered. We rang again, and a woman came over the ping pong box. We explained who we are, and she turned us down. We found out in the brief conversation over the ping pong box, we found out that she believed in Christ! But she wouldn't give us anymore time to talk, so we quickly asked if we could leave a simple pamphlet in her post box. She said we could! We wrote our names and our phone number on the pamphlet. I felt that I wanted to put a Book of Mormon in her post box too, but we hadn't asked if that was ok or not. >.< we took a little bit, writing our names, and number on the back. And while we were writing, she opened the door! She jumped a little, surprised that we were still there, but from that point on, she welcomed us in, and we talked and talked. And she allowed us to share the message of the Restoration! She said that she would read the Book of Mormon!
We exchanged phone numbers, and we'll be going again! It was so awesome to see God's had in our day. If we had gone to visit the Active Sister, we would never had found this person who had been unknowingly waiting for us. And what was more, is her side of the story. She said that she normally doesn't ever talk to missionaries from any church. But she looked through the camera on her ping pong box, and saw us smiling. That's why she answered. Then, she was moved by our kindness, and then decided to see if we were still at her door, and to her surprise we were! Wow!
Well, there are so many miracles. Sometimes, with the rain, and the hills, and the hours of bike riding, it's hard to see, but it is there. So, keep your chin up!
Btw- I am adding this as an addition to my email, this week, seeing how it goes. Well, these are notes from Relief Society, and I don't want the notes all piling up in my notes on my iPad. Do you mind if I just attach it here. For those of you who can read it, awesome! If you can't, well, don't worry about it. You probably learned the same thing in your home ward. ⭐️
Kuiaratame 悔い改め悔 = 心+毎くやしく思うあやまちに気づき、残念に思う
How do we overcome the temptations of the devil in order to repent?希望信仰前向き気がつく絵を描く預言者の言葉を読む奉仕する家族で聖典を読む
When you work to improve your relationship with your 相手(in my case, companion)Work on speaking their strong points.Instead of sayingそれをやるとだめじゃん。Instead, say, こうしたら、どうですか？Give a suggestion, instead of just saying that what they are doing is wrong.
Dear Family and friends!
"You are hereby called to serve in the Japan Tokyo South Mission."