Monday, September 24, 2018

Page 33

Konnichiwa minasan! 

Transfers have come and gone and Jones Shimai and I are here to stay once more. It has been quite the week of miracles over here in Kitarokko actually. But all in very weird and unexpected ways.

So we had a Tae Kwon Do activity last Monday because Jones Shimai is a black belt and it was way great. A whole bunch of little kids and grandmas came it was adorable. We're thinking of doing it again after her mom sends her her outfit for her birthday because a bunch of the people we were working with were kinda sad they couldn't make it so therefore the second time will theoretically be more successful.

Also we've visited and done service for Kurose-san almost every day this week. It was kinda crazy. We pulled weeds (in the process of which I found two inchworms, several spiders, and a praying mantis) and vacuumed and helped her make potato croquettes. She was super super happy about it and now she really wants to come to our EnglishConnect class which theoretically should be starting soon hopefully.

Then, miraculously, we got to begin lessons and teach the restoration to this Eikaiwa student who's been coming for who knows how long and it went very well! Ish. He has a lot of knowledge about history and he got rather distracted by Christopher Columbus and the intricacies of Buddhist doctrine which we, incidentally, know exactly zero things about. But it was okay because we had some awesome dousekis who solved those problems with their superior Japanese. And hey he was totally down to read the Book of Mormon every day and wants to meet for lessons every week so I consider that a wild success. Also, when we went to visit him and follow up and invite him the the baptismal service of these two cute little kids on Sunday he gave us kiwis and also medical cream for my poor, bug-bitten, literally on fire legs because it looks rather pitiful. He's such a nice old man.

This week we've also made So Many Brownies and also a cake for the members because one of our goals this transfer is to build the Strongest Relationship With The Ward Ever(TM) and as a result the members are very impressed with us because we walked up a literal mountain which 50% of the ward lives on in order to give them these brownies and the Lord has blessed us greatly. On the way up, we ran into this American guy who's a missionary from some other Christian church (Idk which one) and he was like "hey are yall missionaries? You should come over to my house and have dinner with me and my family sometime and tell us your stories" so now we're going to do that. #kiseki

Also! On Sunday we went to go walk up the mountain again because we got a referral who lives up there and halfway there the Okadas show up in their car and offer to drive us to this lady's house and long story short we got invited to dinner on a whim and it was the best ever because the youngest son just got called as the assistant ward mission leader and we got to talk lots about dendo and plans for the ward and did a really really great mogi lesson of the restoration with them (I'm so proud of Jones Shimai) and when we testified about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, the Spirit was really strong and the men were trying really hard not to cry and it was really just the best. Their family is so cute I love them they're all so quirky and fun. Okada Shimai told us how she met Okada Kyoudai and it is literally the best story I've heard in my entire life so here's how it went:

Okada Kyoudai lived in Ibaraki back in the day and Okada shimai lived here. Also living in ibaraki was the Donomotos, who now live here, but back then they were the bishop and wife of Ibaraki so they were tight with Okada Kyoudai. Then Okada Kyoudai went on his mission and the Donomotos moved to Kitarokko where they met Okada Shimai. Then she went on her mission, and they both came back. Then Okada Kyoudai came to Kitarokko to visit the Donomotos and thus met Okada Shimai. Then Okada Kyoudai went back home and a made plans to go to the Tokyo temple. As he was doing so, he called up Donomoto Shimai and asked her to tell Okada Shimai to go as well. So Donomoto shimai was like "lol I ship it" and told Okada Shimai to go to the temple. So a week after they had met Okada Shimai went to the temple and Okada Kyoudai was like "oh hey there what a crazy random happenstance" and they went out to McDonald's for lunch or whatever and after that they went to a cute cafe where Okada Kyoudai pulls out his missionary handbook and turns to page 33 which reads "Unless otherwise directed by your mission president, go directly to your new area when you are transferred and meet your new companion without delay." and then goes "Kobe is my new area and you are my new companion" and that's how he proposed to her. And she was like "maa okay" and three months later they got married. It's so Utah lol. 

 It was just a really good day. God is good.
The transfer is proving to be quite the adventure already.

愛しています! (*^^*)
Sherwood 姉妹

1.) Suenaga san gave us unagi (eel) 
2.) a double decker bus in someone's backyard
3.) all the weeds in Kurose san's garden
4.) Tae Kwon Do with the small childrens
5.) the best district ever

19歳 20歳

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Factoid: Walking from Akashi to Kobe Takes 8 Hours

Konnichiwa minasan! 

So we did a great many things this week and a lot of crazy stuff happened. All in all one of our better weeks and worse weeks at the same time, but that's just how it goes I guess.

Tuesday we had two appointments with members! The Tanakas took us out for Chinese food and it was really great. They're such a sweet couple and it's cool because I've heard from missionaries in the past that Tanaka Shimai has been kind of cold to missionaries, but I think because we've been trying to help out Tanaka Kyoudai she's cool with us now. Then we had an appointment with Kamikura Shimai and Yuka Shimai. We talked to them a lot about EnglishConnect and Area Book woes and they said that they'd love to help us out by driving us down to the really far and expensive by train places in our area! 

Wednesday we had a koukan with the Amagasaki shimaitachi and it was way fun! We got to talk with a cool guy who works at an indocurry place and is very nice. We want to try and teach him but it's a little difficult to communicate with him because neither Japanese nor English are his native language. But he's a very nice man. Also! We went and talked to Suenaga-san and we got to give him a Book of Mormon! We told him about it and he said he really likes how Christians have books you can just read and figure out if they're true or not because in Buddhism they don't really have that. He also said lots of other things about Buddhism that I didn't understand at all because that's a lot of very specific words BUT! He set up an appointment with us to learn more about the gospel! We're so excited!

Thursday we went and visited Ooba Shimai, who lives on the top of a mountain. Which we hiked up to reach. We invited her to stake conference, but no dice. But she seemed happy to see us and asked us to Line her more often, which we are now doing. We also came back on Sunday to put cookies in her mailbox and it was very successful. She was very happy about it and I consider that a good day. We housed a cool-looking apartment in the way up there but turned out it was a lie because there were SEVERAL ENORMOUS SPIDERS THE SIZE OF MY HAND and we almost died. One bit Jones Shimai. Unfortunately she doesn't have cool web powers to use to stop people on the street. Zannen. 

FRIDAY WAS MY BIRTHDAY which we celebrated with an adobo party for lunch after district meeting because I wanted to do something nice for Pionita Chourou, he being a bean chan and working in two foreign languages. It was delicious. And then we had an appointment with Tokunou Shimai, our relief society president about EnglishConnect and recent converts and it was very good. We want to work more with the recent converts but because of a lot of cliquey things going on its proven a bit difficult. Ganbaru waa

Saturday we had a cookie making party with the Relief Society and four potential investigators came! Jones Shimai impressed everyone with her knife skills learned at culinary school and we built some really good kankei with members and their friends. Also we're best friends with two of the little kids now. We were introduced to several versions of janken which I'd never heard of and which quickly evolved into a very complex and exhausting game where there were teams and running and intense duels of janken. I don't know where kids get their energy but they love us now so hopefully we can use that to our advantage. And blwe must have been doing something right because like three different members asked us for appointments that day so that was really great. 

Then there was stake conference and that started off with quite the bang. Nishikawa Shimai and we had just pulled up, half an hour early accidentally, and we walk up to the church in Kobe to see a kinda disheveled-looking man looking quite lost. He asked us where the monks were, and I, being very confused and not a monk, asked Nishikawa shimai to help us out due to the fact that she's a nihonjin. Then the Kobe shimaitachi showed up and long story short, this guy wanted to meet with us so the four of us sit down in a room with him and ask him what's up and this poor man had gotten mugged and walked 8 hours all the way from his workplace in Akashi to Kobe because he remembered that his friend once said that Christians help people. So Nishikawa shimai left to go find bishop cos we have zero way of helping people temporally like that because we are poor missionaries whose resources include referring people to the bishop, and we just taught him a basic lesson about God and prayer and bringing the power of God's love into our lives. He said he's really interested in learning how to be happy and when we taught him to pray he prayed so sincerely it was really beautiful. I really hope he's okay. I know zero things about what happened after we passed him off to the Assistants. 

But yeah that's the basic gist of the week! We're excited what the next transfer is gonna hold for us. 

Sherwood 姉妹

Pics: these are the spiders. I promise they're bigger in real life. Also a snake we saw and then an ojiichan saw it and freaked out and it became a 10 minute ordeal of trying to get rid of this snake and then we gave them eikaiwa chirashis 

19歳 20歳

Monday, September 10, 2018

And I Would Walk 500 Miles and I Would Walk 500 More Just to Be the Missionary Who Walked 1000 Miles to Knock on Your Door

Konnichiwa minasan!

This week was very wet, but that's okay because we got to pet several dogs while out and about and that makes everything better. 

As you may have gathered from this week's subject line, we did an awful lot of walking this week. On Wednesday we walked 11 miles, on Friday we walked 7.7 miles, and on Saturday we walked 8 miles, for a solid total of 26.7 miles. Not quite 1000 but it sure did take a long time. We do this because trains here are more expensive than me. 

Also there was yet another typhoon on Tuesday so that was fun. We went outside not at all due to wind which we feared would break our windows. But it was fine. 

Also I gave a talk on Sunday about dendo and ministering! The members were very impressed and told me they hadn't heard such a well-prepared talk from a missionary in a very long time. I'm not sure whether to believe them or not because I used a lot of Google translate but that's neither here nor there. I'll include it for y'all to read if you want! 

As for investigators, we met with Maho this week actually and it turned out to be way good, surprisingly, because she had told us she didn't really have any interest in joining any churches. But she ended up ranting to us about her relationship problems and it just so happened that recent keiji received by Jones Shimai was perfectly suited for helping her to see how God can answer prayers when we have questions or need guidance about what to do. I think she finally realized that religion isn't just some ethereal, intangible thing used to make people feel good about themselves, but is, in fact, a connection with deity. Hopefully she'll actually take our invitation and pray for guidance.

We've been ganbaruing and going through the massive list of former investigators with minimal success, but the cool thing is on Sunday we had lunch with the Asadas and we got to talking about dendo (as you do) and it was a really solid discussion. Asada Kyoudai said that the best dendo he ever had was when they had no investigators and he was right about to give up and told Heavenly Father that he was going to dendo super hard that day, but he was sick and tired of trying to finagle his way into people's houses so he decided that he was just going to use the "We're missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" approach and if that didn't work and they didn't find any investigators that day, he would quit and go home the next. So he did and the very last door they knocked on fifteen minutes before they had to be home, the lady said "I've been waiting for you to come." and she became a new investigator. 

So yeah that was awesome and really validating because I too am very sick and tired of trying to convince people into the font and have exactly zero desire to focus on the tares when I'm supposed to be harvesting the wheat. And then Asada Kyoudai told us about this one former investigator and we went and visited her and we used the straight up approach and she was like "right now it's kind of late but sure you can come back another day in the evening." So long story short, my soul is at rest, all is right with the world, I'm done working myself up about the intricacies of Japanese social skills, and now I'm just down to go out and swing. If they're ready, they're ready. If they're not, they're not. My job is to state my purpose and fulfill it to those who are prepared. No sense in exhausting myself trying to do the Lord's part of the work.
愛しています! (*^^*)💕
Sherwood 姉妹

1-3) chilling with Maho 
5) Miki Elders and Nishinomiya Elders being nerds
6) aesthetic photos of me 
7-8) we found a huge worm it was gross
9) a waterfall

19歳 20歳

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Team Christ or Team Satan?

Konnichiwa minasan! 

So there were a bunch of fun things this week but I have like zero time gomen! 

Tuesday we went with Ooba Shimai to Kobe to see Bagoyo Shimai after the Trainer Trainee Training Meeting and it was so cool! See, she just HAPPENS to know Bagoyo Shimai's uncle from when he was a missionary in Japan, so we went and they shared photos for like twenty minutes it was really cool. 

Also that day at Eikaiwa we played a fun pictionary game and when we separated into teams, we let the students pick their team names, and they decided to be Team Christ and Team Satan and thus we see that the latter days are nigh and the epic battle has begun. Plot twist: team Satan won. It was hilarious. 

Wednesday we had an appointment where we intended to make tacos with Matsumoto-san. What were weren't prepared for was four of her friends also showing up to make it with us and then also learning to play the Japanese koto together. There were many shenanigans. We talked about family history quite a bit and discovered that my sense of humor is the same as a Japanese obaa-chan. Also I'm pretty good at the koto. The old ladies were very impressed✌️✌️✌️ 

Thursday and Friday we had an exchange with the Akashi shimaitachi and it was way fun. I got to koukan with the bean-chan and we dendoed a group of teenage boys who thought they were very cool. It was funny. They tried to impress us by saying "hello" and "My friend has many many girls" but then we spoke to them in Japanese and they got the funniest deer in the headlights look and it made me laugh. Lol fifteen year olds. 

As for investigators, we taught both Kunitsu-san and Nakamura san. Kunitsu San has the problem of being a total Hufflepuff and cares more about her friendships at her current church than finding out the truth, so our plan is to make lots of activities to invite her to so she can make Friends(TM) and then she'll be more willing to come to church. 

We shoukaied the book of mormon to Nakamura-San and he said he'd read it except the print is too small. But he said he'd listen to it on audiobook so now we're on an epic hunt for a CD because he doesn't have a smartphone and this cannot download gospel library. Annoying. But soon. Soon we will acquire the audiobook! 

愛しています! (*^^*)💕
Sherwood 姉妹

19歳 20歳

1-3.) taco party!
4-6.) Ooba Shimai AND Bagoyo Shimai in Kobe!
7.) learning to play the koto! 

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 ...