Monday, January 28, 2019

A Deer Place

Konnichiwa minasan!

Well I have no time so bullet list miracles/other stuff that happened! 

- transferred to Yamatokoriyama! (it's in Nara and famous for deer) New companion is Hayashi Shimai from the lovely land of Tokyo!
- there's no hills here I am happy
- Got to meet with Jenny again before we left. It was great. She's so cute. 
- Ooyama San came to church! 
- Natsuki Chan said she wants to dendo and plans on getting baptized! She's so close! I love her. 
-Bishop sent me snacks and things I am eternally grateful
-I'm the only American in my area even though there's elders too. One's from Brazil and the other from Germany. It's like a bad joke lol. 

More to come next week when I'm not pressed for time!!! 

Sherwood 姉妹

Pics of the new house and why I love you, Bishop

Monday, January 21, 2019

Note to Self: Live Somewhere that Allows for a Treehouse

Konnichiwa minasan! 

This week was way fun actually! We've been surprisingly busy, which I'm certainly not complaining about. I like having stuff to do.

Nishikawa 姉妹 asked us to come over to her house and help her trim her trees, so that was outstandingly fun. I'm a real professional at making trees look like giant bonzais now. She was so nice and made us lunch too. There were vegetables and bagels and it made me really happy. And it was really cute because she was so happy that we would take the time to come and help her, and she told us all about different people who might have interest in family history. And then when we saw her on Sunday she was sooooo happy to see us. She's the actual cutest person. And it was really nice to get out and just garden because I was feeling like a bag of gomi left out in the rain, but it's okay because gardening helped.

We also got to go and spend time with Jenny and her mom and get to know them really well. Her mom is the nicest and also makes really good cookies. And it turns out that the mom has a whole bunch of interest in family history and is even working on a book about all the times she's seen the hand of God in her life! Hopefully we'll be able to meet with them again before I transfer bc that would be great.

It also turns out that being 99% sure you're transferring is really helpful in getting people to meet with you because we also got to meet with Kurose san and Nakamura san. Kurose san showed us a bunch of old photos and things from her family history and it was great, and it got even greater because she helped us out by driving us to see Nakamura san. We made chicken noodle soup for him because he's not been feeling well recently and so we haven't been able to meet with him, but he was way happy to see us and get the soup, so we're ureshii about that.

District meeting was also brilliant, as usual, but this week especially because we had a really good discussion about how powerful words are and how addressing your negative thoughts and replacing them with positive, hopeful thoughts is super effective in actually making your life and situation around you more positive and fruitful. It was way good. I need to repent about that bc sometimes I'm too negative towards myself ha. Probably need more sleep.

Also we had a koukan with the Akashi shimaitachi and it was way fun. Okamura 姉妹 and I had a lesson with their investigator Mika san and it went super well. We talked about how much the gospel blesses families and it really resonated with her. It was just way cool to be a part of her conversion process and to get revelation about what she needs together with Okamura 姉妹. She really is a brilliant missionary. We also made brownies for members and it was way good. I'm a big fan of okashi dendo.

Also Ooyama san came to church again finally, and she brought her daughter with her. From the way she talks, she sounds like she's ready to just get baptized already, like she talks about baptism like it's a thing that's definitely going to happen, but she's weirdly flaky when it comes to learning the actual principles. It's an odd situation. We're working on it. But hey, at least she's coming and things seem to be moving, if just a little slowly.

But yeah it that's about the kanji of the week. Tune in next week to see what happens with transfer calls! 

Sherwood 姉妹

1.) squaaaaaad I love these guys so much I'm cry
2.) shimai for the win
3-4.) high quality Japanese English homework. It makes me laugh

Monday, January 14, 2019


Konnichiwa minasan,

I'm tired and emotionally shot for various reasons which all basically boil down to the fact that I am an old missionary and my everything hurts. Hopefully the many pictures will make up for it. So a brief overview of what happened.

-finally got to talk with Suenaga san for the first time in forever
-had a lesson with Hara san that was less exciting than expected but she did agree to meet again so hey bonus
-KUROSE SAN AND HER SON BECAME NEW INVESTIGATORS THROUGH THE POWER OF THE HEXAFLEXAGON! Ready? Okay so hexaflexagons are these little origami hexagons that have 3-24 sides you can flip through (hence the flexa part of the name) depending on how you make them. We usually use 6 and we were able to connect it really awesome with the book of Mormon challenge, which we debuted as a test run in eikaiwa and it worked brilliantly and ended in Kurose san becoming an investigator and inviting us over to teach her about family history! And then when we went over to her house, we used a hexaflexagon to explain the godhead to her son Kouhei, which resulted in him asking how he can get guidance from the Spirit. It was BRILLIANT! Hexaflexagons are the futuuuure
-talked to a real nice former investigator who didn't have a ton of interest, but he accepted a book of Mormon and gave us a ramen coupon so hey, good times.
-did a looooooot of family history with less actives and members. And I mean a lot. It was brilliant tho.

But yes this is about all I have the energy for gomen nasai. Hopefully this next week will be better and I'll have more to expound upon.

Sherwood 姉妹

1. This sign is me when trying to get nihonjins to listen to our message
2. Hatchett 長老's enormous hexahexaflexagon
3. Squad
4. My miniscule hexahexaflexagon 
5. My less miniscule hexahexaflexagon 
6. Naganuma 兄弟 gave us an inordinate amount of bananas
7. Lunch with Hara san
8. My child on the busiest street in the area
9. My enormous hexahexaflexagon we used in eikaiwa 
10. The general Kanji of the area

Monday, January 7, 2019

No Subject!

Konnichiwa minasan! 

Well as far as astounding adventures on the streets go, this week was pretty uneventful. However! On the side of members, it was quite the brilliantly effective week! Huzzah!

The newly-called ward family history leader invited us over to his house on New Year's Day to have lunch with him and his wife and also discuss the Dramatic Vision of Family History for the Ward(tm). It was super great. They're super duper fire about family history, and they told us all sorts of really cool stories from their own family history. We had a really awesome discussion about how a desire to do family history is inseparably connected with an understanding of the eternal principles regarding eternal families and the temple, and it was just really great because it was like the discussion at the Christmas taikai all over again but in Japanese. We're super excited to start working with them more closely and get the ward turned more towards the temple. On top of that, they really liked the family history bingo chart that Bills Shimai made last transfer and so we've got plans to start circulating it around the ward and meeting with people to start up family history.

Then TTTM was great, and lots of really awesome things were learned. I really loved the discussion on the power and authority of our calling as missionaries. It's always a topic that helps me feel better because sometimes life out here is really hard and it's nice to be reminded that it's not just us all by ourselves out here. This point has been really driven home to me recently due to various stressors, but hey I know my leaders are inspired because they've all been touching on the subject in wonderful ways. I'm super grateful to be blessed to be surrounded by such a spiritually strong district. @Nishinomiya District: 愛している〜

Also! The Mitsuyas invited us over for more Oshogatsu things on Thursday and we got to spend some really awesome time with both them and the Fujikawas, do calligraphy, make crepes, and just general wholesome bonding. And since there were so many youth there, we told them about the Book of Mormon challenge, and helped them learn how to do it themselves with a challenge to each family to give a Book of Mormon to a friend. It was way great.

The best, though, was definitely Sunday. Natsuki-chan came to church, being the wonderful doll that she is, and we got to have lots of really great conversations with the members. I expressed some of my concerns about dendo to Fukuchi 兄弟 and was rewarded with an invitation to go visit less actives with him and Fukuchi 姉妹. Originally we were only going to visit one, but it turned into three plus a potential investigator! And wow was it brilliant! We visited Kondo 姉妹, who I've only met once back when I was with Hattanda 姉妹, and when we stopped by she wasn't there so we decided to write a note and leave cookies. Well, as we were writing the note, lo and behold Kondo 姉妹 comes driving up! She invited us in and we ended up having a really awesome conversation with her about family history and it seems like she has a lot of interest in starting to put her family history together! We even swapped LINEs with her and made a group chat with us and the Fukuchis to discuss family history! (When we told Hatchett 長老 about this during our weekly report he just about sang for joy and said it was the most perfect group chat he'd ever heard of lol) and if it had stopped there, I would have been happy, but no! There's more! We visited the lady we were originally going to visit and ended up having an awesome conversation with her and her non-member husband, which was super great because Fukuchi 兄弟 told us that he'd never had a conversation like that with the husband before. AND THEN! We went and visited the Masons, met one of the sons, and the wife, (now mind you, I've only ever seen Mason 兄弟 in 5 straight transfers) and had a really awesome conversation about what Mason 兄弟 appreciated about missionaries in the past (He said that Dahl 長老 had eyes like Jesus haha) and a bit about his family history (because my bean is awesome and asked about a picture on his wall like a boss) so now we have a much better idea for how to minister to him better in the future. And then the Fukuchis invited us over for dinner and we had ANOTHER super awesome conversation about the needs of the ward and how grateful they were that we pushed them to go minister more. We talked about the importance of focusing on eternal things and unity, and I got to do one of my favorite things, which is testify about the blessings I've seen these past two transfers as a result of being in a super unified and nakayoshii (emotionally close) district that's centered on Jesus Christ and magnifying our callings. (Hilariously, once I mentioned Pionita 長老, Fukuchi 兄弟 got all excited and went on a small soap box about how Pionita 長老 is super pure. It was great and also 500% true.) It was super great though because then they really opened up to us and started talking about the problems they've noticed and their desires to help the ward and help the members realize that missionary work is not supposed to be missionaries supported but members, but rather members supported by missionaries.  It was just a really really good day and week in general. 20/10 would recommend. We're excited to see what next week has in store. 

Sherwood 姉妹

Fun quotes of the week. My district leader has some solid one liners:

“Pionita 長老 likes fish. He's a fish boy.” - Hatchett 長老
“I like fish if it's good.” - Pionita 長老

“髪の毛がおいしくないよ” (hair isn't delicious, yo) - Sherwood 姉妹
“髪の毛食べたい” (I want to eat hair) - Kou-chan

“It smells like I've bought the trademark for musk and sprayed it on our apartment” - Hatchett 長老

“I mean you could call it pizza but I would call it an abomination” - Hatchett 長老

“I'm pretty sure Dominoes in Japan is not a need. Our needs are our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, accessing His Atonement, and burning corn and mayo pizza to the ground...with lemons” - Hatchett 長老

“Soup is just fluidous salad. Like someone was making a salad and went too much on the dressing and was like…welp. And that was how soup was born.” - Hatchett 長老

1-2.) I melted my jacket this week rip me
3-4,7.) when we were at the Mitsuyas we played this pizza game so we decided to make a face out of the toppings and then put that face on Kou-chan's face lolol
5.) Pilling Shimai and her fountain of youth
6.) me and Gaby-Chan, the cutest little dachshund ever I love him 
8.) I make a crepe with the skill level of a goldfish

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 ...