Tuesday, May 29, 2018


Minasan konnichiwa! 

Just looking at my planner and thinking about making a full report on everything we did this week makes me tired so this will probably be less involved than last week.

We found a new investigator named Edward. He likes art and cooking. He was a referral from Hikaru actually, and we're dendoing him through family history cos he has lots of stories about his family. I got to show him my seven generation fan chart that I laminated and we committed him to filling out the My Family booklet with his mom. We're gonna see him again tomorrow. It's a good time.

Also we've visited Hayato virtually every single day this week and it's been a huge success for his progress. We even managed to do a lesson with him outside his shop for 15 minutes! It was so good and he's doing so well. The only thing is we promised him that if he would make the sacrifice to do a lesson with us outside his shop, he would get a lot of customers that day, but when we followed up with him about it, he said it didn't happen. So we're kind of like ?????? about it because we thought that was the promise we were supposed to make but he didn't see it fulfilled and now we're kinda not sure what to do because when a promise isn't kept, the trust in future promises is significantly lower.... But the weird thing is that when we were following up, he said that being able to do the lesson was a tender mercy so we're just confused in general.

We're really excited about Hayato's progress though. We had a meeting with Smoot Kaichou's first counselor, Nakajima Kaichou on Friday cos he's a part of Matsuyama Branch, and we've determined that the source of all of Matsuyama's (and Japan in general) problems stem from a lack of young people, which makes a lot of sense tbh. He was saying that without youth and YSA to fire up the older generations, everyone is just tsukareta and stuck in Renlund Chourou's problem box of no attitude or effort. Therefore, because Hayato has like a million young friends who he counsels on like a daily basis, if he gets baptized, there will be a wave of young converts that follow him. Thus, we're trying really hard to focus on and work through him, and get our handful of YSA to be fired up about dendo. Most of them have the attitude (sort of) but are generally lacking the effort. Which is really annoying sometimes, because the way to get out of that is to experience the joy of dendo but if they're too lazy to come out in the first place, then we're in a vicious cycle.

But in order to help with that, we've initiated a mission prep class at the blessing of the ward council! We're all making PMG Books of Mormon together and discussing how to better relate the gospel to people so they will see that it really is for them. More on that as it starts going.

But yeah other than that, Ai chan is a literal kinjin and she's just absorbing the gospel like a sponge. The only struggle we're having is that it's hard to set up things with her over LINE, so we're going to try and catch her on her way home from work today to set up an appointment this week. Hopefully Hayato's influence will help her as well.

In other news, Bagoyo Shimai and I spent three hours compiling a list of the best scriptures in the entire Book of Mormon for Suzuki-San and Hayato. As a direct result, we have these amusing quotes:

"Suzuki-san can't handle the meat of the Gospel yet. He can only have milk." - me
"Hayato can have...vegetables" - Bagoyo Shimai

"How many verses are there in the book of mormon?" - Bagoyo Shimai
"So many." - me

Yeah fam that's all I got gomen. Sleep is needed lol. Til next week! 

Sherwood 姉妹 💕

1.) We gave Hayato the broken guitar that's been sitting in our apartment for who knows how long and he let us write this scripture on it

2.) Hayato did an introduction in English for y'all 💕

19歳 20歳

Monday, May 21, 2018

Ebi Tsuchi 🍤🍤🍤

Konnichiwa minasan! 

This week was so busy I barely remember it all but here goes.

Tuesday: Renlund 長老 taikai (conference)! Woo! Revelation was had. Precious humans were seen. Renlund 長老 is actually an extremely hilarious dad joke person. So much dry humor. It was a good time. I've got lots of good ideas to help investigators and members now. Hopefully we can start using the stuff we learned when we help out members in the coming weeks. 
Also I loved that he mentioned that missionary work is the second most associated action with forgiveness. I read a really cool story about that in the October 1980 New Era, "For Times of Trouble." There was a man named Eli H. Peirce. He was an "old, cigar-smoking, inactive, stern, swearing pool player" who had never read more than a few pages of scripture in his life was totsuzen called on a mission in General Conference by Brigham Young. He then dropped everything, bought a set of scriptures and went on his mission, never touching a cigar again since the day of his call. And he fulfilled a remarkable mission. One particularly interesting story from his mission is as follows. He had been asked to administer to a branch president's dying infant child. But the wife was waaaaay hantai and refused to let them give the baby a blessing, so they just prayed for the baby in a small room in the house. Suspecting they might do this, the wife sent her daughter to go spy on them and report back. They prayed until they felt that the child would be okay. When they arose, the child who was watching said to them “Papa, who was that … man in there?”
Her father said, “Brother Peirce.”
“No,” she said matter-of-factly, “I mean that other man.”
“There was no other, darling, except Brother Peirce and myself; we were praying for baby.”
“Oh, yes, there was;” the child insisted, “I saw him standing [above] you and Brother Pierce and he was all dressed in white.”
And all of this was done for a man like Eli Peirce. Missionary work really is deeply connected with repentance and forgiveness.

Wednesday: We visited Hayato and taught him about prayer cos there was no one in his shop. He's been responding really well to the concept of how the gospel blesses families, like he LoVES the Family Proclamation. So we focused on how prayer has blessed our families, and how daily prayer can bless him. He's actually really good at understanding blessings. And he said a beautiful prayer before we left! I drew him an o-inori houhou (Prayer Instructable) of him praying and he really liked it. As we've followed up with him, he appears to be praying every day! He's been making so much progress.

Thursday: We visited Mary at her new house, and it became very apparent that she needs the principles of the Family Proclamation in her marriage. It's really quite sad actually. She's starting to understand that our church and the Catholic church are in fact different, but she just doesn't care about the details it seems like. She doesn't want to change religions, partially because she's just been Catholic her whole life, and partially because she's socially converted to Catholicism more than the LDS church. So we're going to try to really connect her with one of the members and hope that that'll give her another incentive to start coming to church with us.
We went to visit Hayato again because he responds best to in person visits, and went over how to understand and recognize the spirit. He understands why we want to meet with him outside of his shop now, which is really helpful. Also we ran into Ai-chan guuzen ni at his shop! It was a literal miracle because she had dropped of the face of the planet. She had created a new LINE account so we lost all ability to contact her. But God is good and we were able to swap contact info again so she's still a good, healthy shigansha (investigator with a baptismal date). 
Miracle number two is that Andrew messaged us and told us he could meet that evening. It was insane because we also had to teach TOEIC so we went on splits (miraculously there were shimai who could do it) and we were able to to both. I taught him Plan of Salvation and he liked it, but I think he was really exhausted from work because he had exhaustion and sadness written all over his face. He asked a couple really interesting, deep questions though. Like he asked how we all know about Jesus Christ and how it's possible to be happy even in hard times. I think he has a really hard life. Poor kid. But we committed him to a baptismal date and that's way way exciting, though his schedule is crazy busy so who knows when we'll be able to teach him next. We'll leave it up to God to help us with that one. 

Friday: We met with Itsuki Shimai and talked about how we can help her dendo her friend Yuma. Currently the idea is a taco party and appealing to the fact that she really loves her World Religions class. (#resto amirite) Also we're starting up a mini mission prep class for Miyazaki Kyoudai and the twins in the ward so we can help them get out on missions. We're way excited. Gonna use all the sticky notes ever and make PMG Books of Mormon. Woo!

Saturday: We had a fun service project where we pulled grass from a nearby park with the ward. Idk why we were pulling grass but mah doesn't matter, it was fun. And also I obtained a new nickname: ebi tsuchi. I'm still confused how it happened. See, Katsu Kyoudai (our precious big brother in the ward) has a strange affinity for this shrimp sushi keychain I have on my bag (otherwise known as ebi sushi) and while we were talking at the service project somehow it became ebi tsuchi. (shrimp dirt. Idk. Probably because we were pulling grass and packing dirt and cos sushi sounds similar to tsuchi) And then somehow he decided that this new concept of ebi tsuchi should be applied to me as a human. Wakaranai. But it's a thing now. He calls me ebi tsuchi all the time now. I get back at him by calling him "onii-chan" in an outrageously high anime voice and he and Bagoyo Shimai die laughing every time. Our relationship is weird. 
Also that evening we had a TAKOYAKI PARTY! Woo! (takoyaki is a ball of batter filled with various stuff you can stick into a tiny ball. Traditionally you put octopus in it. Hence the name takoyaki, which literally means "octopus cooked") It was such a good time. Hayato came and it was an actual miracle because he's so busy all the time. He was able to build the Friendship(TM) with Katsu Kyoudai and also he tried root beer for the first time. He thinks it tastes like poultice lol. Typical nihonjin. Hopefully from now on we'll be able to start meeting him outside his shop and he can start making some real progress ✌️✌️✌️

Sunday: We've finally got a Gospel Principles class up and running and Kubo Kyoudai is such a good teacher. We're so proud of him. Things are finally changing. I'm so excited. We're gonna get 10 shigansha by the end of the transfer. ✌️✌️✌️✌️✌️✌️✌️

愛しています! (*^^*) 
Sherwood Shimai 💕💕

19歳 20歳

1-2.) Takoyaki Party! 🦑🦑🦑
3.) Chilling at Hayato's
4.) service with Katsu
5-6.) more takoyaki party! 🦑🦑🦑
7.) takoyaki 🦑
8.) we found root beer
9.) 8:45pm in the bamboo forest

Monday, May 14, 2018

I like beef. You like beef?

Konnichiwa minasan! 

Well this week sure was an adventure. It was transfer week! I'm staying here in Matsuyama with Bagoyo Shimai! Loving Shimai died (was released from her mission) and is back in Oregon now, living the regular person life again. She was 80% of our impulse control. Who knows what's gonna happen now lol. 

We're seeing a huge increase in the effectiveness of our work because of the portable wifi now. Just yesterday we were able to contact every single one of our investigators and several of the members to set up appointments and follow up on commitments even though it was pouring buckets outside! Furthermore, the kankei (relationship) we've been able to build with the YSA in the ward has increased exponentially because of our increased ability to respond quickly.

Katsu Kyoudai especially is our new BFF. I've been using art to dendo a lot these days, and we've been wanting him to go visit Hayato with us for literally a whole transfer but he kept evading us until we just showed up on his doorstep at like 8:30 on Friday with a cookie and a dumb laminated doodle of him holding takoyaki (he's really good at making takoyaki I'm way impressed) and a crepe. (we legit couldn't find his house until he came out like "i heard you laughing why"). 

So now we're like his annoying little sisters and he's our hilarious big brother and we have a thousand hilarious inside jokes from our conversations over Facebook messenger. (see: this email's title) and he's a thousand percent more willing to dendo with us. We went from being ignored in favor of watering flowers with a bowl of water to sending dumb rabbit stickers to each other on a daily basis. The moral of this story is that art and cookie dendo is the bomb and is the secret to winning friends and gaining influence. 

And then because that kankei is so much better now (literally 3 days and we're best friends) we've been able to make better progress with our investigators! We've figured out what's making it so hard for Suzuki-san to progress. He's been an investigator for so long that he's kinda forgotten the first lessons. Thanks to the help of the kyoudai who dousekied for us, we  were able to get to that problem's root. So from now on we're going to restart the lessons from the beginning to rekindle that original spark.

Also we were finally able to reach the core desire of Hayato's heart: a family. Poor guy just wants to get married, but as we all know, the world's vision of marriage is not only stressful, but sad and disheartening. We read the Family Proclamation with him and he loved it! Both Bagoyo Shimai and I felt prompted to promise him that if he gets baptized he'll get married, but we also felt like we have to wait until we can teach him outside of his shop before we can promise that to him. The Spirit is just too hard to discern in his shop. But! A literal miracle happened! We visited his shop with Katsu Kyoudai on Saturday and they chatted and got to know each other and it was great. And then when we invited Hayato to the takoyaki and root beer float party we created with Katsu Kyoudai, he said he would come!!! Hayato never comes to things! He always says he's too busy! But this time he said yes!!! Literally this is all because Katsu Kyoudai came with us. What a hero. 

On top of that, Ai-chan set a baptismal date! We're so excited! She's way interested in the Plan of Salvation and loved the idea of getting baptized. Brownie dendo is real yo. 10/10 would recommend. Food makes the tummy and spirit rejoice. 

But yeah we're so excited about this upcoming week! We can't wait to see how the conference tomorrow with Elder Renland is going to transform our work!

愛しています! ! 💕
Sherwood Shimai 

1-2.) drinking really delicious (and expensive) mango tapioca
3.) Katsu Kankei (we're calling him big brother and his t-shirt is the rabbit we keep sending each other on Facebook messenger. He loled at this) 
4.) My desk is a mess and I found a hilarious camera filter
5.) screenshot of planning the takoyaki party with katsu Kyoudai. The stickers are the most important thing
6.) Katsu Kyoudai was guessing Bagoyo Shimai's age. He was wrong. 
7.) walking in the rain with the #squad
8.) Loving shimai says my hair is really blonde now I guess
9-10.) the squad at Matsuyama Castle
11.) in which I am physically incapable of hiding internal turmoil lol. The thousand yard stare remains.

19歳 20歳

Monday, May 7, 2018

ゼロからヒーローまで (From Zero to Hero)

Konnichiwa minasan! 

This week was crazy busy. We visited a less-active, Ishimaru , with our awesome dendo shunin (Ward mission leader). (Side note: our dendo shunin, Daisuke Kyoudai is actually our best friend in the whole world it's great we love him he's the best he sticks up for us and our ideas and basically our current relationship is he's Hercules and we're the muses singing Zero to Hero at him. Literally Zero to Hero is our exact feelings about him It's a good time. We're getting so much done for the ward because of it. 10/10 would recommend that he be the dendo shunin forever.)

Luckily, in our efforts to strengthen the YSA this week we were actually able to find a really awesome new investigator, Andrew. He has a ton of interest in the Plan of Salvation and Miyazaki Kyoudai was super helpful when we found him. He absolutely loved the Book of Mormon challenge and we're really excited to start teaching him because he's youth and Matsuyama desperately needs the influence of strong youth.

Also this week we got to work in a vegetable farm and pick beans for this cute old couple who lives two seconds away from the church! It was so fun! There were cute frogs in the plants and we felt like we were in My Neighbor Totoro. We had barbecue with them too and it was Delicious(TM). 

We also had an onigiri party with a potential investigator who's the friend of a couple of the YSA. (@mom you need sticky rice and a rice cooker because onigiris are the actual easiest thing to make for lunches ever you just throw whatever you want inside (like tuna or chicken or whatever you want really) or just do salt and its the Best.) she's really cute and super ready. She just needs to be invited by her friends to start taking the lessons and she'll be golden! 

But yeah! That's about all of the most important things that happened this week. We'll get back to you next week as things progress! 😁

19歳 20歳

1-8.) working in the hatake with cute frogs and eating barbecue!
9.) a parakeet sat on my head in the lesson with the less-active
10.) Daisuke 兄弟 looks like Snape but is actually a cinnamon roll. You can tell because he's holding the bird that sat on my head like a pro. This photo is a good representation of the aesthetic of this transfer
11.) indo curry!!
12.) I made bookmarks for Matsuyama Dendo the Anime. It's me, Bagoyo Shimai, Loving Shimai, Daisuke Kyoudai, and the four of us. We all have one. It's like a friendship bracelet. 

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 ...