23 Nov 2015 / Erin Letter

Hey everyone!

So this week was kind of brutal on the investigator part.  But the
good news is that I love my comps and we go around all day doing happy
dendo (biggest smiles ever and yelling hello to everyone) so life is
still good!

The bad news: SETSU.  She broke up with us.  You should of seen us on
Tuesday night… Watson SHIMAI was crying and I was on the floor and
poor Gillespie SHIMAI didn’t know what to do.  We had a lesson with
her the night before and it started out way awesome.  She was so
excited for baptism and kept asking what time it would be and who
would baptize her.  But she just wasn’t getting the whole “can’t live
with your boyfriend” thing.  I think the language barrier was a little
hard (she’s Chinese.) so I finally just had to say it, which killed
me.  And then she texted us the next night and said she just can’t do
it and that she’s going to stop all contact with us.  It’s been quite
the change.  But I know that one day she’ll meet missionaries on the
street again and open up.  Sad the faith wasn’t there.  But I saw her
change so much, I’m grateful that we were able to help her at least a
little.

In other news…
1. We taught seven lessons on the doorstep this week, ALL TO MEN.
What on earth.  Basically the elders are overjoyed with us right now.
We made a goal this week to find the women.  And maybe not wear makeup
or something.
2. We had a solid 2 hours of knocking on doors one night and made some
big goals.  Decided to tell everyone about baptism.  So cool because
we were able to teach someone about baptism and invite them to be
baptized over the intercom box.
3. Studied a lot about living with real intent this week… And I
realized that I’m not.  I’m doing the right things right now, but many
times not for the right reason.  Made me realize that I always need to
think not only of what God wants me to do, but how he wants me to do
it.
4. The majority of our investigators are all high schoolers.
Literally my favorite thing ever.  Our lessons are with the young
women and I am 20 but still feel like I am 16 and hanging out with
friends haha.
5. STAKE CONFERENCE.  I spoke on the Saturday night session.  It was
one of those weird moments where I stepped back and was like, I am a
20 year old American who is currently in JAPAN giving a stake
conference talk in JAPANESE telling a bunch of Japanese people how
they should participate in the work of salvation.  What?!!! Haha but
it was way awesome.  I didn’t want to read or anything so I just
prepared a lot and then went up with no notes and basically it was the
funnest time of my life.

Okay love you all!!! Have the best week.  I’m so tired but I would not
want to be doing anything else… love this work.

Love, Erin

 

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23 Nov 2015 / Anna Letter

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!

Today in personal study I read all about “thanksgiving”… It is
mentioned 6 times in the BOM. My favorite one was “live in
thanksgiving daily” #recipetoahappylife

Anyway the one bummer of having pday on Thursday is that I have like
two weeks of emails to catch up on … NO TIME so I am just going to
make this short.

These past 10 days have been crazy. I went up to Fukuoka (2 hour bus
ride) for MLC. President asked me to present on “finding effectively”.
I got to see kitchen shimai because she is STL in Hiroshima so we were
having the time of our lives just chatting away and acting like the
dumb blondes we are when we are together and it was the best. I love
her. Then I went up to do splits in Nagamine and then again in Beppu
(4 hour bus ride). Wilkinson shimai and I (she is my STL partner) got
to chill in Oita and it was way sick. Well anyway probably none of
this makes sense but that is pretty much the story of my week.
Sleeping on wood floors, buses, etc… I can’t even think straight
right now.

Also I have yet to wear tights but I think I will have to pull them
out today… It is freezing!!

We had 4 people at church last week. It was Luczaks shimais first time
having someone at church. She is turning into an amazing missionary. I
am so glad I chose to do 12 weeks because I know it was for her. This
transfer together is good, but it is nothing compared to what the rest
of her mission will be.

MLC was all about having faith and president really came down hard and
basically called us all to repentance and said the reason why we
aren’t baptizing is because of our lack of faith. And then he looked
me straight in the eye and said “I have seen your plane ticket, and I
promise that you can baptize someone before you go home”. So anyway I
got way pumped up and got home and Luczak and I made grand plans to
baptize someone and consecrated ourselves and everything…. And so
far nothing. We have no investigators. It is hard not to get
discouraged but I have learned SOOOO much about faith this past week
and how it works. For the first time in my ,I’ve I have been kneeling
and praying out loud to Heavenly Father and asking and begging and
suddenly a phrase of scripture pops into my head…. I look up the
reference, then turn to the scripture. And it was literally an exact
answer from heavenly father!!

I love you all so much. Have a good week!!!

 

16 Nov 2015 / Anna Letter

Hello everyone!! This past week was so good! Except for the 5 days straight that it poured and I didn’t see the sun and I thought I was going to die. But the sun was a champ and came out yesterday so that is good!! Anyway I am so blessed to spend my last 6 weeks here… I literally just want to cry all the time because it is so beautiful. I love being in the city too. Plus Luczak Shimai and I are seriously bffs forever and ever. Anyway we worked so hard this week… We hit numbers that I have never hit before. One day we made return appointments with 5 different people. We are just teaching all the time… On the street, sitting on the curb of the sidewalk, etc. it is way fun. Yama-San is the lady we found who committed to baptism. We took the stake relief society president to a lesson that was good but then she got way sick and so it doesn’t seem like December will happen. We found a way way way prepared and totally cute 23 year old… Met with her on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at the church with members there too. We asked her to be baptized and she said “onegai shitai desu”… And then we found out that she lives in the other wards area so we had to pass her. Boooooo. Those things happen I guess. Yesterday I have a talk. It was the first time at the ward. It had maybe 35-40 people… Re,winded me a lot of saijo and I wish so much that I was staying longer so that I could help this Ward be stronger. Anyway this Ward member came up to me and said she was glad I said I was from California because I look like “Beverly hills” and I was like YESSSSSSS👸🏼👸🏼👸🏼👸🏼 Love you all!

16 Nov 2015 / Erin Letter

Hey!!

We had another good week.  It’s kind of (a lot) slower with three
people and two of them super new.  Still awkward trying to figure out
how to find and teach, etc.  but we’ve gotten a lot closer and it’s
become super fun.  So glad I get to end with these two.

So news of the week.  SET SAN. She texted us this week and said she
wants to get baptized on December 1!! So excited EXCEPT flash back to
a few days ago when we discovered she’s living with her boyfriend…
FOR FIVE YEARS.  And she doesn’t want to get married at all because
she thinks she’ll lose her freedom.  And she works at a Chinese
restaurant and I’m pretty sure she can’t support living by herself.
So we are in the church with the relief society president waiting for
Setsu to come to her lesson so we can teach the law of chastity… And
I am basically almost throwing up because i am so scared, all while my
companions are trying to remember the words “chastity” and “sexual
relations” in japanese.  But then it was so cool because we just
looked at each other and were like… Are we choosing faith or fear?
The lesson went really well.  She said she wants to keep it… Still
100% doesn’t get the ‘you have to move out in the next two weeks to
get baptized’ part so we’re going to work in that tonight.  But we’re
just holding on to faith and we’ll see how it goes!!! Pray for her!

This week I was super humbled.  I realized that I’m not struggling
with my investigators.  I should be making such a big sacrifice for
them- and my companion, Ward members, etc- everyday that I should feel
the struggle and sacrifice.  It should be painful.  I realized that
I’m just over here living the comfortable life!! And I guess that’s
just how it should really be my whole life.  So cool.

Okay love you all!!
Erin

 

09 Nov 2015 / Anna Letter

Hello Everyone!!

I am in Kumamoto!!! Glad to say that I have hit all 3 islands… It
was so weird flying back up… It was me and 4 other missionaries on
the plane back to Fukuoka, and they all happened to be ending their
missions and going home. And they kept on asking me what airport my
parents were waiting at, etc. 6 weeks too early!!! Anyway, I didn’t
realize how different Okinawa was… It really felt like I was coming
home to Japan. I can’t even describe to you the difference.., but
there is a big one. Anyway I am happy that I get to spend my last 6
weeks here. One embarrassing thing… I forgot how to use the tickets
to get on the train. I kept on doing it wrong and somebody had to
correct me. I used to scoff at those people and now I am one of them!

Anyway Kumamoto is sooooo beautiful. But I do miss Shuri so much. My
companion is Sister Luczak from Utah. Her twin is in the Kobe
mission!!!! Except they had no ties to Japan whatsoever. All we do is
talk about twin stuff all the time. It is seriously the best.

Yesterday was stake conference and so we got to see President Egan!!
But I still haven’t been able to meet any ward members and that means
I only have 5 Sunday’s in this ward.

Anyway in my past experience I think it takes about 2 weeks to really
get a feel of the area and know where the spirit wants you to go and
actually start making appointments with people who will listen.. The
easiest way for me to do so is to feel things out while biking. But I
only have 6 weeks here, and we set a goal to see a baptism. And we
just don’t have time to do anything else but sit down in front of the
map and ask HF where he wants us to be. And that is what we did. And
on Saturday night we went to this place we had seen on the map and
prayed about. And I was sick to my stomach because if it wasn’t good
then I wouldn’t know where else to go. But then we had the biggest
miracle on my mission: we knocked on a door at 8:30 pm and this lady
answers it and let’s us right on in like she had been expecting us.
And we were able to sing and pray and then have a lesson and we taught
her about Jesus Christ and asked her to be baptized. And then we set a
date for December 12 and she said she wants to prepare for that day.
The spirit was so strong.

We have had a lot of cool instances like that– of is knowing we are
where Heavenly Father wants us to be. Anyway I am so grateful to be
here. I love it. I can’t tell you how much I love talking and
teaching.

Love you all and thanks for the prayers and everything!