Monday, March 26, 2018

Bumpy White


Well it's been a week. I ate too much naan today so I'm kinda tired not gonna lie, so I kind of don't want to write for super long. 

We had a bunch of shokujis (dinner appointments, well the word technically just means meal) with members so we had really good opportunities to try and strengthen kaiin dendo (member missionary work) in Ibaraki. Also on Wednesday we had a culture night for Eikaiwa where we made crepes and talked about a bunch of different countries. It was really great because members were able to talk to eikaiwa students and the Ikawas actually invited one of Wood Shimai's students (Maiko) to their house for a shokuji with them and us on Sunday. 

Speaking of which, that was really great because not only were we able to eat real proper tacos with guacamole and everything, we shared the family history video, #MeetMyGrandma and it so happened that Maiko had a really special relationship with her grandma and was able to share a really awesome story about her with us. The fuenki (aura, feel, atmosphere) of the shokuji was just really great and wonderful and the Spirit was there, it was just really wonderful.

We were also able to meet with Kazuki and really get to know his needs. He spent a lot of time in Utah with a bishop there, and because of that he knows a lot of Church hanashi (technically it means talk(s) but we use it to mean church doctrine and culture and stuff) and really likes it. He just struggles with confidence in his faith. Like he needs faith in his faith. Cos he said that if he were to live in Salt Lake indefinitely, he would get baptized, but because Nihon culture in general is not really friendly to Kirisutokyou (Christianity), he's afraid that he wouldn't be able to keep imashime (commandments) because of all the hantai (against, opposite) influences around him. So we're trying to help him make friends in the church who can help support him and give him confidence that he can live the gospel if he wants to.

We also had another lesson with Hashizume-san and we made him a study journal to help him learn about Jesus. Hopefully it helps. He's trying to read the Book of Mormon in English, which is awesome except now he refuses to read it in Japanese so now he can't understand what we read when we try to read with him. It also doesn't help that I can't understand anything he says in Japanese or English. Even Ashikari shimai has a hard time with his Japanese. Lessons are a little stressful. But we love him anyway and he came to a little girl's baptism yesterday in the Takatsuki ward! He's getting there, little by little. 

Also on Friday we got to dendo with a cute member, Kokoa Shimai! We walked around Aigawa and ran into all sorts of cool people. The first guy we talked to (Nakahara-san) was way awesome and had come out to the river to look at the sky cos he can't see the sky from his office. And he was way down to talk and we chatted about all sorts of stuff. He said he thinks people lose their connection with nature and each other because of phones so he doesn't have one (unfortunately this meant we couldn't exchange contact info). And he already had the right idea about the spirit world. It was crazy. I hope we run into him again. 

That same day we also met a group of guitar players who were SUPER TALENTED. It was awesome. We also met a kid who'd met missionaries before. (one of them was Stewart Chourou from my MTC district) Basically Kokoa Shimai is a really awesome good luck charm. 

And now for the question y'all probably have: bumpy white. We were dendoing on Saturday through a park and we found this giant weird statue that looked a bit like something out of a horror movie. I compare it to a bumpy slenderman but without a suit. It was an adventure. 

More to come next week! 
Sherwood 姉妹 💕

**Sister Sherwood forgot to add photos to her email this week. There were four she was supposed to attach, but they were forgotten. Hopefully she'll add them next week.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Level Up! You Are Now at Baking Level 2

Konnichiwa minasan! 

This week was an adventure. Tuesday was zone conference, and let me tell you, it was the best zone conference I've ever been to. Granted, I've only been to three zone conferences, but that's neither here nor there. Sister Smoot gave a training on effective study and it was way great. We talked about the principles of study in PMG and also those that preceded the revelation in D&C 138. Speaking of D&C 138, did y'all know that one of the first people to read that revelation before it was published by the Church was Susa Young Gates? She's way awesome and was a key influence in keeping family history work alive in the Church in the early 20th century, before it was the priority that it is today. She's a way awesome lady. Y'all should learn about her. 

Then President Smoot gave us a training about being bold in teaching, following up with Elder Yamashita's challenges to us from the mission tour. The amount of people accepting the gospel has more than doubled since Elder Yamashita came. It's crazy. As I've said previously, this transfer we've been learning and focusing on the Four Gospels in the New Testament and Christ's ministry to the Nephites in 3 Nephi. We talked about the characteristics of Christ's teaching methods, and it was way interesting. He taught with authority from God, not by the authority of other "experts" like the scribes did, and because of that he was able to really impact people. So as missionaries, if we teach by the Spirit and do our best to teach well, those two things combined equate to what the Savior would do or say if He were here. Way cool deshou? 

One of our goals as a mission is to strengthen the Kansai area enough that a temple can be built within the mission boundaries. We talked about that at zone conference, and President Smoot read D&C 110:6-8 with us, which talks about how Christ himself comes to speak to his servants with his own voice. Basically, as a mission right now, in preparing for a temple, we are preparing for Christ himself to come to Kobe, Japan. That's right. We're working to build a house of God right here in the Land of the Rising Sun. What a vision! 

Other highlights of the conference include an awesome STL training about loving God (everyone go watch/read The First Great Commandment by Elder Holland in the Oct 2012 General conference immediately) and doing our best to show we love him through our obedience to His commandments. After all, that's all He asks of us. He gives us everything, and all we have to do is love Him, truly love Him, and demonstrate our loyalty to Him. (see Mosiah 2:22) I've also decided that the apostle Peter is my new favorite person and I'm learning everything ever about him. He's awesome. But that's a discourse for another day. 

Also, the zone leaders did a training about Elder Yamashita's challenge to focus on blessings rather than explanations when we teach, and they illustrated this principle by using the Parable of Natto. Now, if y'all don't know what natto is, it's a Japanese delicacy. And by delicacy I mean it's fermented soy beans. It's way healthy and all the Nihonjin love it, but it has the smell and consistency of particularly gooey snot. Apparently it's best with egg and rice. (in my opinion, it's not's not good though) But anyway. There's a first transfer in our zone who hadn't eaten natto yet, and the zone leaders basically just tried to convince this poor guy to eat this honestly really gross-looking substance that most missionaries are not particularly excited to try. But when they "taught" about natto with a blessing focus (such as "we were promised by Elder Choi that if we eat natto every day, we'll have a better relationship with the nihonjin") they were able to make the natto at least 52% more appealing than by just explaining what natto is. They related it to how we teach the gospel. For a lot of nihonjin who barely know anything about Christianity, missionaries and the missionary lessons are kind of scary (like the prospect of eating natto) but if we as missionaries focus on personal experiences and the blessings that come from the gospel, it's way easier to help people become more comfortable with investigating the Church. It was a really good object lesson. 

Wow that was a lot gomen. And that's just Tuesday! More to come! 

Wednesday was hard. We met with a potential investigator with the elders and it ended up going really sour. The lady we were teaching asked a lot of questions, but it felt like more of an interrogation almost. There was something that wasn't being communicated, or a need we weren't able to discern, and she ended up storming out when Ashikari Shimai glanced over at the clock to make sure we would still be on time for Eikaiwa, saying "if you guys can't focus then I don't want to be here." The elders chased after her and apparently were able to resolve some of the frustration, but we cried a lot. And drowned our tears in Skippy peanut butter. It was really hard because we wanted to help her so badly, but her heart was just so angry and hard. I now understand at least 0.01% more of what God feels when we get angry at Him. Just really sad because He loves us so much and just wants to help us. 

On Thursday we met with our fun investigator, Hashizume-san for sushi lunch! He's way cool. He's read the Book of Mormon twice all the way through and believes it's true, but he's still missing faith in Christ. It's a really interesting situation that we're trying to help him with. He sees God very much as "God the creator of the universe" but not really "God my Father in Heaven." I feel like if he can begin to really feel the importance of Christ personally, he'll want to be baptized. He really loves the church, there's just that one little piece missing, yet it's the most important piece. 

FRIDAY WAS EXCHANGES WITH WOOD SHIMAI! I love her she's awesome. We worked in Takatsuki for the day in the rain and it was great fun. We had so many awesome contacts, and we got to share the Peace in Christ music video with people! A really nice lady we met in McDonald's even made us origami hearts! It was so cute we died. Also that day I invented a new kind of cookie (which, incidentally, is where the subject title comes from). I call them Melon Pan Cookies. The recipe is as follows:
1. Don't use a recipe. 
2. Eyeball the wet ingredients. A couple eggs, butter, vanilla, sugar, all that good stuff. 
3. Eyeball the dry ingredients. Flour and salt and baking soda and baking powder and probably other stuff I'm forgetting. But make sure you put in more baking powder than you think you need. 
4. Mix it all together. 
5. Dump a bunch of cinnamon, nutmeg, and melon pan taste in the batter. 
6. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for maybe 15 minutes I think??? 
7. Hope it works. 
8. Congrats you have really delicious cookies!!!! 

Ma. I'm tired now though cos this is a long email, but that's really about it. Other than that, we've found a really cool family history video that's good for sharing! It's called #MeetMyGrandma if you wanna go watch it on LDS Media. It's way cute I love it. 

Love you all!! See you next week!! 
Sherwood 姉妹 💕💕💕

19歳 20歳

Monday, March 12, 2018

Fun Times in Nishiwaki


So this week we went on splits with the Sister Training Leaders in Nishiwaki, which is a way rural area. We talked to a lot of obaa-chans (grandmas) and made okinomiyaki at the rest home there. It was way fun. We figured out that it's easier to contact people when they're just chilling and taking a break than when they're walking. Also train dendou is really good. We talked to an obaa-chan who really likes baseball when we were on the train. It was a good time. 

We've been trying to meet with one of our investigators, Hashizume-san, and he came to church yesterday! He really likes Sunday school. Mostly because he likes really complicated talk and our gospel doctrine teacher likes to explain the intricacies and history of the priesthood. Ashikari shimai and I were like "nooo wait he doesn't even know the plan of Salvation yettt" but it ended up working out and we're gonna lesson with him again on Thursday so yay! 

Also I've been thinking a lot about this year's youth theme, and I think it's way awesome. The music video is really pretty so if you haven't seen it yet, go do so. It's really interesting if you think about it. Any peace that we have in this life is from Christ. All joy, light, and positivity is of him. Without Christ, none of us good experience anything positive. The brief time we were without him, during his crucifixion and death, gives us insight into what the world would be like without Christ. Pain, darkness, and destruction. Christ doesn't just bring light when we follow him, he always brings light, whether we admit it or not. But when we do follow him and obey his commandments, the light we have access to is beyond the brightness of the noonday sun. 

But anyways I'm not sure what else to talk about so if y'all have any other questions, please ask. 

Sherwood 姉妹 💖

19歳 20歳

1. a cool car we saw in nishiwaki
2. A weird billboard in Nishiwaki
3. Real grass! In Nishiwaki!
4. Hot chocolate with Lockett shimai in nishiwaki
5. I made a cute cake in the rice cooker (get one mom they're amazing I need a rice cooker)
6. Me and Ashikari shimai
7. Me and Ashikari shimai and Agatte shimai
8. Me and wood shimai
9. Me and Eaton Shimai!
10. Chourou sporting in the church gym. It has Carpet

Monday, March 5, 2018

Fur Japan by Beethoven and by Beethoven I mean Cleary-san


This week was way chill! We had three lessons with Cleary san this week! That like never happens in Japan! She's awesome and has so much faith! She said that she even wants to get baptized! As of yet we haven't been able to commit her to a date, but that will come with time and learning to help connect the gospel to her. She's a super jouzu piano player and she played for us in one of the lessons!!! It was so awesome!!!! She's so cool we love her a lot. 

Also one of our meaningful contacts this week was with a 3 year old child who taught me about Anpan Man. He's a cartoon superhero with a head made of anpan (red bean paste bread) and he saves the world and is super selfless too. Whenever anyone is sad and hungry, he gives them a part of his head. But it's okay because he's a superhero and the guy that created him restores his head. Apparently everyone in Japan loves Anpan Man. Yall should watch it and tell me how it is. 

Also my badminton skills continue to improve. I'm so happy. Sports Night is one of my favorite service activities we've done. It's great I love it. Also in other news Ibaraki looks like California and I'm including a picture to prove it. 

Also this transfer we're reading the four gospels and Christ's ministry in the Book of Mormon as a scripture challenge!!! I'm excited about it and I'll tell you all about what I learn as the weeks progress! 

Gomen I don't have much time today cos we're in Umeda but I love you all!!!

 愛しています! (*^^*) 
Sherwood 姉妹 💖💖💖

19歳 20歳

Sherwood Chourou - Week 38 in Japan

Konnichiwa! We are back to the slowish days once more. We've been dendoing and teaching plenty, but nothing outstanding has arisen ...