Monday, August 27, 2018

Broseph #1

Konnichiwa minasan! 

So this week was really fun. We got to help out one of the members memorize a speech for her English club and it was super fun. Jones Shimai rapped it to help her remember it better and it was super funny. And hey now we have way good kankei with her so it was way great.

Tuesday we taught a couple of recent converts, and we were very surprised to find that one of them had completely forgotten that the word of wisdom was a thing that we believe. Slightly worrying, but we read D&C 89 together and it ended up being okay. Also there was a worldwide problem with the tablet filters and so none of us could access wifi without our tablets getting wiped. It was a hard day. We also got to do a way good mogi lesson with Wilkin Kyoudai. We determined that we direly need to improve our teaching skills and also have to repent about using the book of mormon more in our teaching. Also we learned some way cool teaching tools so that was fun. 

Wednesday we walked six kilometers to Sanda and annoyingly enough there wasn't a soul to be found (probably because it was ridiculously hot). But hey Eikaiwa was fun and we had lots of time to bond so that was good.

Zone conference on Thursday was also really great. We took to heart the counsel to clean out the area book so we've been doing that hardcore and now we've got a whole list of potential people to try and contact now so it's nice to have direction for once. Current favorite "former investigator" is "Broseph #1. " It's horrendous. But soon it will be gorgeous and beautiful and ready for wonderful new investigators.

We taught Nakamura-san and Kunitsu-san this week and they're progressing slowly but surely. Honestly, what they need is the Book of Mormon. Once they start truly reading it, they'll progress much faster. 

Also our dendo shunin is changing soon because Uekubo Kyoudai is moving so who knows what's gonna happen there. But because of that we've been told to focus on individual members over the structure of Ward council and stuff at this point because the system takes too long to move and we need to be working effectively. The current idea is to try to make mini activities to do with members and their friends, so we're putting together a list of all the old referrals in the area book that never got followed up with. We're really excited. Hopefully this week will see much better results.

愛しています! 💕
Sherwood 姉妹

1.) my companion, the burrito 
2.) my companion, the cat
3.) we went to Takarazuka, home of the Takarazuka Revue, aka reverse Shakespeare where instead of everyone being played by men, everyone is played by women. めっちゃ行きたい
4.) the view from our apartment
5.) it was a hard day. We lost access to wifi and all dendo related to it. I had a breakdown. Almond milk, oreos, and Milo were necessary

Monday, August 20, 2018

Suddenly Edmund in Chronicles of Narnia Becomes Relatable

Konnichiwa minasan! 

Well this week there were several adventures here in the inaka (countryside) of Kita Rokko of varying degrees of ridiculousness, but I'll start with the investigators.

Maho: So we met with her twice this week and it's been going both very well and very not. Like she's willing to listen and has a lot of questions. Like the "wait this doesn't make sense in my current view of the world" sort of questions, which is a good start I guess, but she may well be too stubborn to change that view, which for obvious reasons may prove problematic. But she's made friends with Wilkin Kyoudai which is way good, if not a little stressful because he low-key judges our teaching skills and it gives me minor anxiety.

Kunitsu-san: we got to do a lesson with her again finally. Turns out she was slammed with work and studying for this exam that'll let her get a new, less taihen job. So we rushed in there with the Spirit and challenged her to read and pray everyday with the promise that if she did so she'd be able to focus better and get the job she wants. Hopefully she rises to it.

Matsumoto-san: so we visited her this week in an attempt to set up an appointment to teach her family history, but what ended up happening instead was we bonded over cute family photos, jamming for a second on a traditional Japanese harp, and set up an appointment to make tacos together because Jones Shimai went to culinary school and is Jouzu(TM). Also she gave us super expensive fancy soumen it was insane. Like you know how there's like different color belts in tae kwon do and stuff? Well apparently soumen is the same. We had black belt soumen. 🥋 I feel like my taste buds are not equipped to properly appreciate it. (they were, however, more than equipped to appreciate the $7 grapes we were gifted by an eikaiwa student. I've never eaten a more delicious grape in my life) 

In other news, we've been trying really hard to find new people to teach but finding through our own efforts has been particularly difficult as of late. Maybe we just need to be better at stopping people when they are there, but also we can walk for 45 minutes and see maybe three people. We decided to walk the hour and a half to Sanda (because okane (money) is sukunai (few) and we didn't wanna spend $5 on a bus and also we still don't have bikes) and we saw exactly three people that whole time. I don't know where the people are. It's kind of frustrating. We want to do more service, but we're struggling to find a good place to start. We're working on it.

But hey this next week we have quite a few appointments so that's exciting, and hopefully we can find some more service opportunities at a community center. Not sure how those things really work, but we'll see how it goes.

Now for some adventure stories! 🎉

So last Sunday night, Jones 姉妹 was ranting to me about how men as cool/wonderful/nice/beautiful/etc as her favorite TV show characters don't exist so she's always disappointed. (incorrect, incidentally) And the next day (P-day) we went to this huge mall in Kobe called Harborland with Maho. It was jamming and there was this Turkish ice cream stand. And lo and behold turns out Heavenly Father has the best sense of humor because the guy running the stand just so happened to have the looks and vibe of two of her favorite characters, Tangled's Flynn Rider and Transformers' Knockout combined into one person. We saw this dude and just looked at each other like 👀👀👀👀👀 trying not to laugh super hard. So we talked to the guy for a bit and I bought ice cream because it looked way good (it was delicious btw) and APPARENTLY according to Jones 姉妹 he totally flirted with me and it went right over my head like a fly ball over a six year old baseball player on a Major League field. I didn't find out until Jones 姉妹 started dying of laughter after the fact. She calls him the Turkish Delight now (thus the email title). We laughed about this for like three days straight. Also nihonjins get a kick out of it when we tell the story. #sistermissionarylife

Also recently we were housing a bit and ping ponged into this lady who came out and spoke fluent English to us. But she gave off this really creepy "I will come and suck out your soul in the night" vibe and was like "ah, young people can remember things so easily. It just sticks in your braiiiinnnnnn~" We were very uncomfortable. 

Also we made lots of takoyaki this week. None of it was real. The first time was a powdered mini takoyaki kit and the second time was an experiment with TACOyaki. @levi:❤️❤️❤️ it's all for u bean. 

When we visited Matsumoto-san we got to jam with her on this way cool traditional Japanese instrument that I don't know the name of. She let us take videos. 

愛しています! 💕💕
Sherwood 姉妹

1.) my new favorite recipe found in the apartment
2.) us + Indonesian girls + Viatnamese dudes
3.) the harbor! 
4.) we live in the inaka
5.) #squad
6-7.) best comps
8.) Maho takes more pictures of us than we do
9.) lookin good😉
10.) took Maho to indo curry for the first time
11.) new sunglasses! 
12.) life is good
13.) we have matching anklets

Monday, August 13, 2018

Missionaries! Transfer and Roll Out! 🚛

Konnichiwa minasan! 

So this week was TRANSFERS! 🎉🎉🎉 Hattanda Shimai has gone off to my beloved Shikoku to be the sister training leader in Marugame with Eyring Shimai! Omedetto! Meanwhile, I'm still here in Kitarokko with Jones Shimai! She's like me but less mellow. Also turns out we both share a deep and abiding love and appreciation for animated robots that disguise themselves as various vehicles. She's a fifth transfer which makes me the SENPAI aka I'm the one in charge of understanding everything now and it's only extremely stressful. I don't know what I'm doing. "Average missionary knows what they're doing 3 times per day" factoid actually statistical error. Missionary Georg who lives in Brazil and knows what he's doing 10,000 times a day is an outlier adn should not have been counted. 

But anyway, this week we've had lots of really good lessons! Might as well just go through them by investigator.

Imanaka: We had a couple lessons with him this week. We had a phone call lesson actually on Monday. We read Enos together, and interestingly the main thing he got from it was that Enos was able to obtain forgiveness through prayer. (Gospel of Jesus Christ anyone?) He said he'd try praying, but when we went and followed up with him on Saturday, he hadn't, and seemed a lot more down and depressed than usual. He also said a great many things that neither I nor Jones Shimai were able to understand due to the fact that gamer Japanese is impossible to understand. But the fuinki (vibe) we got was that his mental and emotional health status is making it difficult for him to even accept the idea that God is there. Unfortunately, we have neither the Japanese nor the stewardship as sisters to really help him through it, so we may need to stop teaching him. He probably will struggle to progress until there are Japanese elders in the area.

Sofiah: We met with her on Tuesday and wow what a great lesson! Naganuma Shimai dousekied for us and we were able to help Sofiah resolve a lot of her concerns. She didn't understand the connection between the events of the Bible and the Book of Mormon, so we went through an overview of the contents of the Book of Mormon and watched the Restoration movie with her. By the end of it all she was really excited to read the Book of Mormon again and said if she received a witness of its truth she would get baptized! (that conversation ended up involving a more in depth discussion of the priesthood than I've ever needed to teach ever before in my life. #DendoInACountryWithoutAChristianBackgroundWoo) We're way excited.

Maho: We met with her again on Friday for a 30/30 but the gospel discussion part ended up taking longer than expected because she had so many questions! She said that she doesn't think God exists but is really fascinated (like a large very huge rock in her figurative mental view of the world shoe #Ravenclaw) by the fact that we keep telling her we know He exists. She's super willing to try things out for herself and has set up appointments with us for the next three weeks! Also we're going to hang out with her today for P-day. It's a good time. 

Aside from all that we've been walking everywhere because Jones Shimai's bike hasn't come yet and also I would rather go out Abinadi-style than bike up a hill. (which actually isn't too far off from what could actually happen because it's blazing up in here🔥🔥) So we've had lots of time to bond and talk about our investigators and also life in general. I have accidentally reached High Elder Sister Role Model status within a matter of days. Idk why. I don't actually know what I'm doing. I'm just pretending I have my life together and hoping it works. #FakeItTilYouMakeIt

But yeah so that's the gist of this week! More to come as things and investigators progress!

愛しています! 💕💕
Sherwood 姉妹

1.) Walking through a jungle path to Imanaka-san's house
2-5.) Japanese filters with Maho-chan 

19歳 20歳

Monday, August 6, 2018

🎶Secret Tunnelllll Secret Tunnellllll🎶

Konnichiwa minasan! 

Many apologies but I have zero energy so the flavor of this email will probably be much like that of a pretzel stick. This week we managed to schedule a couple of solid appointments with investigators, most of whom, I am noticing, are very tired and sad individuals. Good thing the Balm of Gilead is quite the salve. Now if we could only get them to realize that they want it, our work would be much smoother.

We got to go hiking on Tuesday with this one eikaiwa student, Suenaga-san, and that was way fun. There were many many 🎶secret tunnels through the mountains🎶 (not actually secret. they were old railroad tunnels that became obsolete) and no hills so I was very happy. It was still really hot though and my hand still hurt from last week's wasp sting so I was a little out of it. But a member came with us too and it was some pretty jamming kankei building time and I got to omoidasu (suddenly remember) a funny song from the best TV show so that was good. 

Taniguchi-san became a real honest-to-goodness investigator this week. We taught her about the Restoration and even got to use the cool time-line thing. A lot of things about the history of truth throughout the years seemed to click in her head, so that was way good. We zoned in way hard on prayer and understanding answers from God through the spirit, and I'm at 103% sure she felt the spirit in high voltage for a second there (mostly because we invited Him, He came, and I told her He was there. A fail-proof formula indeed). She, at the very least seems to be willing to try things out, but she seems to be lacking the confidence in her own ability to forge a relationship with Heavenly Father. Baby steps.

Also we found out this week that Nakamura-san watches that TV show, Family History, and he was very surprised when we told him that Christians care about their ancestors. It's a good thing too, because he likes to pull the whole "I'm an ojiichan it's impossible for me to learn new things" act (300% untrue) and this way we can help him realize the gospel is in fact going to make his life better.

Imanaka-san is our other almost-investigator who needs a very strong dose of happiness in his life. Poor guy has a hard time with people so he turns to videogames. (incidentally, gamer Japanese is ridiculously hard) I visited him with Ishikawa Shimai on our koukan and turns out he's actually way nice and kinda like a blank slate, down to listen and absorb stuff. Whether or not he actually acts on the stuff we give him is a whole other story that we haven't read yet but we'll see how that goes.

Speaking of Ishikawa Shimai, we visited this friend she had when she was in elementary school in Japan, and not only was she home, she remembered Ishikawa Shimai, invited us in, told us she'd talked to missionaries in the past, and gave us way cool hair pins. It was away good time. She told us to come back another time, so now that's in the works for next transfer.

The week's crowning miracle, however was probably that Maho-chan came to church this week. Now you see, I have never met Maho-chan before. Hattanda Shimai has only. Met her twice. Yet when we texted her and said "hey wanna come to church?" she was just like "sure" and then actually came! And then the members were the Best, made good friends with her, invited her to come with us to lunch, and then at said lunch, we talked a whole lot about Jesus Christ and faith in God and the Book of Mormon, and how by exercising faith and learning, she can learn for herself whether or not all this stuff is true. She seemed a little overwhelmed, but she responded well, and said she'd think about it when we taught her about baptism. Honestly, it was the testimony of the members that really made the difference. They were so good at relating to her and making her feel loved. Also they used a bunch of way good easy to understand tatoes. Hopefully the seeds planted on Sunday will take root and start growing. 

愛しています! 💕
Sherwood 姉妹

19歳 20歳

1-3.) Maho-chan + her Japanese camera filters

4.) an ancient Australian relic from the time Wilkin Kyoudai was a missionary (aka like three years ago) found when helping Ito 長老 and Courter 長老 clean out the 長老 apartment.

5.) the training we gave on teaching to meet needs and helping people resolve their concerns at district meeting. Olive trees are tricky little buggers man

6.) 🎶Secret Tunnellllll secret Tunnellllll through the mountainssssss secret secret secret secret tunnellllllllllllllll yeah🎶

7.) Jones Shimai plus yours truly as our companions were busy doing something that I don't remember

8-9.) the cool river that flows alongside the secret tunnels 

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 ...