Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Sherwood Chourou - Week 3

Hello again, mina-san!

It's been a fairly uneventful week, but it's been good over here. We did get to here Elder Rasband in last night's devotional, which was pretty amazing. I was so overwhelmed by his spirit that I could barely focus on his message, unfortunately. We're also getting kouhai, or new missionaries, this week, so that'll be fun! Sorry I don't have much else to say in this email, but I hope everyone is doing well back home! Please email me any time, even if I can't respond. I'd love to hear what's going on with everyone!

(Sherwood Chourou continues to enjoy art)

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Too Many Dolls 🎎

Konnichiwa minasan! 

I don't really remember what happened this week. It's all a blur. But hey we'll try to report the highlights. 

I finally finished a cool family history tool I've been working on and started using it this week. So on FamilySearch's blog, they have a thing called 52 Stories, which is a thing they put out to help people work more with personal histories and uploading things into memories, but the didn't have it in Japanese, so I took it upon myself to translate it with the help of 3 members and Hayashi Shimai. And it's ended up being really cool! We used it with the Kitamotos this week, and it was probably the most engaged they've been in a lesson in a while. And then we tried it out with some members, the Higos, and it was super awesome there too. They got really excited about being able to record these important stories about their families. It was awesome. (side note: turns out Dettmer chourou and I both love the same random German classical song so that was cool) 

Also this week we met with this guy we met last Sunday named Shuichi. He's super cool and brilliant at English. He's actually been to Vermont a few times, and met with missionaries like 3 years ago so that was way cool. He seems to have a bunch of interest in the Plan of Salvation and knowing whether or not God really is there. He also invited us to go see this cool doll festival thing today. I'm way excited about him. He's a really nice guy and we're hoping to be able to meet and teach his daughter too. 

Also kiseki ni, this girl named Kei chan who wss a referral from Whatcott Chourou came to game night on Friday! We were a little worried she wasn't having fun at first, but it ended up that she had a blast. We played hot potato and it was really funny. Everybody loved it. Tobler Shimai was a genius for suggesting it. And Kei chan said she wants to come next week too and was super excited to meet us for lunch sometime this week as well. Miracles only. It's a blast. 

Also we went up to Nabari this week and while we weren't really able to contact the people we wanted to and it was so cold we had to buy socks and put them on our hands so we wouldn't freeze, we had a great discussion with Imoto Kyoudai about starting up an eikaiwa for the weekends we're up there. He said the members would be okay to teach the messages if we can bring students. The only minor struggle is figuring out how to efficiently schedule it. For real though, Nabari really is such a good little area, and it just needs help. We want to help them out so badly, but it's hard when we're not there all the time. But it's a work in progress and we're determined to find a way! 

Sherwood 姉妹

1.) us at the Higos'
2-8.) today at the doll festival

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Sherwood Chourou - Week 2

Ohayou gozaimasu!

Its been a great 2nd week over here. My douryou and I have been getting along amazingly so far and we're getting closer every day. Everyone in our district is loads of fun and we've come to love eachother very much.

We've been getting to go to the temple on our p-day mornings, which has been a wonderful experience. Today we did initiatories, which was great because I got to hear the initiatory blessings given to me and understand them, now that I've memorized them from my time as an ordinance worker.

As our departure date gets closer, I keep feeling so excited to get out there and share the gospel with the Nihonjin. I can hardly wait to get on that plane and step out into the field!

I hope everyone is doing well back home. Please email me if you can!

~Elder Sherwood

1 - the Provo Temple
2 - the temple fountain

Monday, March 18, 2019

Dance, Lapis Lazuli, Music, Benevolence

Konnichiwa minasan! 

A lot has happened this week. I feel like MLC and zone conference were ages ago but it was actually this week. Weird.

We talked with the elders a little bit about ideas for the transfer, and we came up with a bunch of way good stuff to make eikaiwa more effective through LINE and stuff. Tobler Shimai had a bunch of way good ideas for it and it was awesome. We're gonna start rolling some of them out here shortly, namely a 30/30 sign up spreadsheet that our students can access through LINE, in an effort to offer lessons in a less confronting way. I'm very proud of it actually. It's very pretty.

We also helped Ibu chan, one of the young women in the ward, with English and personal progress this week, and it was way great actually. She even wants to serve a mission when she gets older! We're planning on working with her more and seeing if we can't work with the ward to do mini missions with the youth.

Also we were going to help a member with her yard this week, but she got sick so we couldn't go over, so we decided to bring her treats and a cute note instead and she was way happy about it. It was super great actually. We also spent a bit of time with Hiro chan, another member, and did a mogi lesson of the restoration with her, and it was great actually. She made us really cute little origami wall ornament things and they're the actual most adorable things ever. Not a ton really happened that day, and we were kinda sad we didn't have any chances to contact anyone, but it ended up being okay because that night we got a phone call from Whatcott chourou with a referral, and we're now in really good contact with her! 

Also! The elders' investigator, Yuga san came to church this week! It was way cool! And all because Tobler Shimai was smart enough to ask him! Dettmer Chourou and Hine Chourou were very happy about it. That same day, it ended up happening that an eikaiwa student invited us to a tea ceremony thing and it was way cool. They even made rooibos for us cos they knew we can't drink matcha, and it ended up being crazy effective too! We were able to introduce ourselves and our purpose to like 20 people, and found 5 different solid people with potential. One of them moved here from the Philippines, another from Germany (Dettmer chourou was very excited when we told him about that one haha), and another guy had apparently met with missionaries like 3 years ago and has a whole crazy ton of interest in doing 30/30s with us. Not only that, but two other ladies has a bunch of interest in 30/30s as well, one who's been an eikaiwa student forever but hasn't taken lessons yet, and another who we'd just met that day. It was awesome! Probably the most effective day of the transfer so far! And bonus: a bunch of old Japanese ladies counseled for like 15 minutes about what kanji to give my name haha. We're way excited to see what comes of all of these cool people.

Sherwood 姉妹

Idk why I even number these they always change but whatever

1.) Yabuuchi kyoudai drew last transfer's missionaries and it's brilliant. He's working on Tobler shimai and Hine chourou rn
2.) my name in kanji. It's pretty cool
3-5,8.) the tea ceremony thing
6.) the cute things Hiro chan made!
7.) game night! 
8.) Hiro chan! 

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Sherwood Chourou - Week 1

Konnichiwa mina-san!

I've just finished my first week of the MTC and I'm loving it more every day. My companion is Sabala Chourou and we've been getting along amazingly so far! We have a hard time keeping an eye on each other, though. Everyone in our district is loads of fun, and our senpaitachi have been very helpful to us (and just as goofy).

Our senseitachi have been absolutely wonderful in helping us learn Japanese and making it fun. I feel like I was able to learn about 10 times as much Japanese in the first 4 days than I learned from 3 years of French classes!
We got snowed on for the first few days, so I got to amuse myself by making tiny snowmen, or Chiisana Yuki Tomodachi (Little Snow Friend) as I've been calling them.

I actually got a chance to give a cool insight after last night's devotional! It was given by Brother Funk of the Seventy,  and he talked about how we won't be able to go back to the way we were before our missions. I shared how while the phrase "can't ever go back" usually sounds like a bad thing,  in this case it is the most wonderful thing for us missionaries, as by going on a mission, the Lord will shape us into better versions of ourselves without any chance of reverting back to our less impressive selves. After that, the District President told us about how he had missed the devotional because of an emergency appointment in his workplace, but even though he missed the devotional, he was still able to learn from it via all of our insights. When he finished that, I felt a prompting to talk about how the Spirit can not only help us discern goiid from evil, but also help us choose the more important of two goods, and by following that guidance, a way will be provided for us to receive the blessings of both choices. That was the first time I recognized a spiritual prompting so clearly, so I was very excited after that.

Sorry I can't think of much more to say and for sending this so late. I had a sore throat all night and have been exhausted all day, so I had to nap a lot. I'm already out of time to respond to any of your emails, but please email me anyways!

Elder Sherwood

1: My little snow friend
2: My companion and I

Monday, March 11, 2019

The Beginning of the End

Konnichiwa minasan! 

This week was way fun! It was transfer week and my last companion, beloved Tobler 姉妹, has come to join me in Yamatokoriyama. It's my last transfer here as a missionary. Time goes so fast! Only 5 and a half more weeks and then I die as to full time missionary service. But it's okay. We're gonna do our best until the very last! 

Anyway, so we stopped teaching Iwamoto san this week, which was sad, but she just said she didn't care to find out whether or not our message is true, so there's not much we can do at that point. She's sweet though, and I'm sure Heavenly Father has a plan for her. It's just not her time.

But at the same time we got an awesome appointment set up for this week with a student from Eikaiwa and we're really excited about it. Just goes to show that when one door closes, another door opens.

Also this week we had an awesome Culture Party with the ward because all of us missionaries were from different countries. It was super fun and we made different foods together. Also the nihonjins became a little more American that night by inventing brownie batter covered pretzels. It was truly a masterpiece. It was way fun too though because the members got to meet a bunch of our investigators who haven't been able to come to church, and some less active members even came as well! It was a really awesome night and I feel like it was way great for helping the ward feel more like a family.

We've also had a lot of awesome appointments with members this week, and we've been teaching a lot about family history and introducing more of the apps' features. Most of the members didn't know about the audio recording option and they all got way excited when we showed it to them. I'm just a real big fan of family history. I will testify all day every day that it's absolutely critical for dendo, and especially in Japan. We even got a referral out of it! We're super excited. This transfer is really looking up and I'm excited to see what happens. Tobler 姉妹 has all sorts of really awesome ideas to help out the ward and find new people to teach. It's going to be a miracle of a last transfer.

Sherwood 姉妹

Gomen I forgot to take pictures but I've got a fun set of me and Tobler 姉妹 and that's all that really matters lol

Monday, March 4, 2019

From the Ninth Circle of Hell to Blessed Celestial Light

Konnichiwa minasan! 

Well, many things have happened this week and I'm tired so it's probs not gonna be super detailed but hey I'll do my best.

Iwamoto san: We talked a lot about charity cos we asked her to read Moroni 7. It was an enlightening conversation, and in the process we discovered a really important flaw in her way of thinking. Basically, she's like King Lamoni where she's like "everything which we do is right". Everyone has charity because we hope they do. Everyone is close to God. We will all be saved without any effort just because God loves us. So we're planning on sitting down and really going through the plan of Salvation with her and helping her understand who God really is and what he expects of us.

On Wednesday we had a koukan with the Abeno sisters and it ended up being way busier than expected. Christensen Shimai and I were on foot and ended up walking really fast all over the place because we had to drop off an activity form to Uekubo Kyoudai and give brownies to Ejima Shimai before running back to visit Los Angela san with the elders cos she'd gotten hurt. We brought her curry (my idea; the elders' cooking) and it ended up being exactly what she needed, and she was so happy we had stopped by. It was a really precious few minutes with her. A true miracle. We went back on Friday and taught her daughters English as Taniguchi 長老 spoke with her in Portuguese and invited her to church. I think she's really staring to progress, and her daughters are super cute. (Side note: 11/10 doctors would recommend witnessing a 6'5" German man singing once there was a snowman with tiny children. It can cure cancer) 

Thursday we went ministering with Murae Shimai to Seto Shimai's house. It was way fun and Seto Shimai is super cute. We got to talk a lot about family history and it was really wonderful. I love family history. It's the best. And it's always fun telling people I'm related to Orson Pratt haha. She's doing really awesome though and her testimony is way strong. I've adopted her as my third grandmother. 

Saturday though was quite the wild ride. After eikaiwa, we went around Kashihara visiting less actives, and we ended up visiting this one lady for like an hour and 45 minutes because she talks twice as much as me (which as you all know is A LOT) and halfway through the conversation this Buddhist priest guy came to her house and proceeded to do this crazy exorcism on the house as Hayashi Shimai and I sat there both confused and concerned. It was wild. And then immediately after we managed to leave we had to race back home because (drum roll please) there was a baptism happening! πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰ It was so wonderful. Like honestly Yatagawa Shimai's testimony was amazing. Like the story would be retold in zone conference all year kind of amazing. Both she and the elders were over the moon, literally leaping for joy. It was really pure. 

But yeah I'm kinda out of time, and that's the general Kanji of the week! 

Sherwood 姉妹

1) Cooper Chourou painted the district. It's beautiful. 
2-4) the fancy doll sets for Girl's Day in japan

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 ...