09 Mar 2015 / Anna Letter

Hello Everyone!

Sorry, not a ton of time today but I will try my best…

N san is going to get baptized on Saturday!! She is sooooo ready. She asked for a hymnbook and made copies of her favorite songs and is trying to learn how to play them on her tenor saxophone haha. We just pretended like that is the most normal thing in the world. Only worry is her tobacco addiction… she sat down 10 days ago and smoked the rest of her cigarrettes in one sitting… 17 of them in a row!!! She hasn’t touched them since though. Anyway she is seriously a gem. So T shimai got baptized in October (Flake’s baptism like a week before we became companions) and we had her joint for every single one of Na shimai’s appointments. And then we had her joint for every single one of No’s appointments (twice a wek). Which means that this morning we were biking to the church for an appointment and ran into Ta, No, Na and Ak on the street. They were all going to karaoke together. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA it is the best.

Biggest miracle of the week… Yo-san got her husband and son to come to the church on Sunday so that we could all meet together with our ward mission leader. Yo-san has only ever met us 2 missionaries and a member that we always have joint )member is from kure…pretty far away and another branch) so she was pretty overwhelmed when she walked into the church and saw so many people. Well anyway we were all fasting for her husband’s heart tobe softened… he is a hard guy. It is sad because you can tell he probably abuses her. He walked in and just started complaining about having to come out to a church on his one day off, etc. But anyway he finally gave perission!!! Which means she can start coming to church and then be baptized! We have already finished all the lesson and she is keeping all the commandments. Our ward mission leader told me to make sure she gets baptized before i leave haha.

Other than that we have spent all day trying to find new investigators…. we have seen mircles! One lady invited us back on Sunday. On Friday night Sister Sanford had a dream that we would go over and be fasting and that she would offer us tea and choclate… I can’t eat chocolate anyway because I am fasting from it. Well we go over and that exact same thing happened. Hahaha it was crazy. Anyway her name is Ito and she is amassage therapist and asked us why ther are so many religions and where we came from before we were born. We just looked at her and were like…. can we come back like 3 more times next week?!?! She said yes.

Ok I loveyou all! Have an amzing week!

Sorry thiskeyboard is awful.

 

 

 

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23 Feb 2015 / Anna Letter

Hello!

 

Transfer call day! Except no call yet… I’ll get on later today to send a quick email out but it looks like I’ll probably be staying in Saijo for my 6th transfer… which will be almost 9 months! It is crazy but I wouldn’t have it any other way. This is seriously a land of miracles. Saddest news is that Elder Takayama is leaving… 😦 He and Elder Boyden and I had grand plans of transferring out together next transfer but he eat us to the punch.

 

Well this week was way good! And warm too 🙂 I think I have officially survived my only winter as a missionary thank goodness.

 

Ak chan passed her interview and is all set to be baptized on Saturday! We are all so excited for her. So big miracle is that she is in like a home-making club at school and they all drink tea together. So after we taught her the Word of Wisdom she went to school and told her teacher that she couldn’t drink tea anymore. Well it turned into a little missionary opportunity and Ak ended up telling her teacher what church she is being baptized into, etc.!

 

Speaking of the Word of Wisdom… we taught it to Watanabe-san and she committed to following it! We had a way awesome lesson with Kiribayashi shimai. From the beginning (first lesson) Wa-san had told us that she knew about the Word of Wisdom and wasn’t planning on giving up coffee. But her faith has built and she even said that as a doctor, in the break room, all they offer is coffee and tea but she will start bringing her own stuff in.

 

No-san will hear the Word of Wisdom from us today… a little worried because she smokes tobacco but I think she’ll be fine.

 

Yo-san is a little bit of a worry because of her family situation. We are trying though.

 

Well yup that is about it. We are busy and when we are not busy we just spend all our time freaking out about how our 4 investigators are all going to get baptized soon and then we will have absolutely no investigators haha.

 

Love you

 

02 Feb 2015 / Anna Letter

Hello Everyone!!

 

Welcome February…. Sister Sanford and I have been dreading this month for a while but so far the weather has been pretty nice! 2 days down, 26 to go…

 

This was a good week! Our investigators are doing well. After our lesson with Ak-chan Sister Sanford looked at me and said “you’re really good at being a 13 year old” hahaha and she is so right. It’s like the best hour of the week when we teach her. This past week I drew a huge intersection and made this whole analogy with traffic lights and commandments… she is doing so well and we are going to move her baptismal date up to this month… except she is so busy that the earliest we can do it is Feb 28… which is TWO DAYS after transfers. Which means there is a 99% chance I will miss her baptism by 2 days. It makes me want to cry but it’s ok. Anyway she is like obsessed with this boy band… every time we go over she has a new magazine sitting out on the table. And after the lesson she always waits for a couple silent seconds until we ask “is that a new magazine?” and then her face lights up and she opens it up and we spend then next 20 minutes talking about how each member of the group is doing haha. I have all their names down.

 

We are going to call Yo later today… so no news until next week.

 

I love Sundays because it is when you see miracles. I just had my 6th fast Sunday in Saijo. Crazy. Anyway, remember how me and Burgon knocked on Ha san’s door and he got baptized? Well his nephew is getting baptized on Sunday. He is 15 and so cute and wants to go on a mission so much. He got up and bore his testimony and it was amazing. This group has grown so much since I first got here. Now we have a YW and YM every week… all the youth are just investigators too! YW, YM and primary and sunday school all meet in the same tiny room with dividers separating us. It is hard to hear. Hopefully we will move soon!

 

Sorry that is it… no exciting news. Love you all!

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26 Jan 2015 / Anna Letter

Hello Everyone!

 

Shout-out to the best party week ever! Birthday, interview with president and stake conference meant it was a really fast, really awesome week. But first a little bit on our investigators:

 

Yo- We had the elders come to our lesson so that Elder Otani could role-play with Yo-san. He was her husband and she was herself… asking for permission to be baptized. I am so proud of this woman. He pressed her hard and she was brave and kind and bore her testimony… it was so amazing to see. Please pray for her. She and Sanford Shimai and I fasted together yesterday so that her husband’s heart will be softened when she tells him this coming Sunday, the 1st.

 

Soooo on Monday our investigator To-san took us out for lunch and had the whole restaurant sing me happy birthday! She is the best. Then on Thursday we went into Hiroshima for interviews with president… the zone leaders surprised me and had made me banana bread and president and the ap’s and everyone sang to me. President said OSU won as a birthday present for me haha. Then Friday was my actual birthday! I ran at 6:30 am in the dark just so that I can tell people I ran at 6:30 am on my birthday for the rest of my life… Sanford Shimai is the best. She surprised me with pancakes for breakfast and chocolate and lunch with the elders… who paid for my meal. So I was feeling way spoiled and stuff. And then that night we had a party for Shunka ( member… her birthday was on the 24th). It was a surprise party for her… we used the excuse that it was my party so that she would come. Well little did I know everyone else was keeping a secret from me… it was a joint birthday party! Way fun and I got presents and everything. So waayyyyyy spoiled on my birthday but definitely felt everyone’s love.

 

Ok that basically sums up the week haha! Sorry no time but I love Japan and missionary work!

 

Anna

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19 Jan 2015 / Anna Letter

Hello!

 

No time so this will be fast. I bet missionaries are some of the fastest typers in the world.

 

This week was way fun! Didn’t seem like transfer week at all… all of Saijo stayed the same!

 

Tuesday was the best ever! P-day and the Lambs took us into Costco… I told myself I wouldn’t buy anything but ended up getting a big bag of dried mangos #shoutouttokayla

 

Then after we went to the Kiribayashi’s! They had a big dinner for all the Hikari and Saijo missionaries and our investigator, doctor and single-mother Watanabe san, came with all her kids. It was just a fun time with a special spirit.

 

We set a baptismal date with Ak-chan, Na-shimai’s daughter! March 14 and it will for sure happen. We taught about eternal families this past week and it is a blessing to see one in the making. They will for sure be going to the temple next year. Anyway it has been SO HARD to teach a 13 year old… everyone else I’ve taught has been in their 40’s with a huge need for the gospel… and Ak is kind of like I was when I was 13… she knows it’s a good thing and that’s kind of it. Anyway the BOM has not been a strength for her so we made this cute scripture journal.. each page has a date and one single scripture. Everyday she reads that scripture and writes how she feels. Also funny thing… we bought her a plant and told her to water it every single time she prays so that she could she her faith grow… turns out we accidentaly bought a cactus hahahaha.

 

Anyway we are so busy but so good.

 

Love, Anna

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12 Jan 2015 / Anna Letter

Hello Everyone!!

 

This we was way awesome, plus the sun was out almost the whole week which means I am happy no matter what happens!

 

-We went into Hiroshima 3 times this week… first we had Zone Training Meeting. I am the oldest in my zone… it is so weird because it seems like yesterday I just got here as a fresh bean who didn’t know anything and now I’ve been here the longest. The second time was for Katou san’s baptism… he is the one that Burgon and I found. I got to speak and it was way cool to see him baptized. And lastly we will go again tonight… the Kiribayashi’s invited all of the Saijo missionaries and Hikari missionaries over. And our investigator, Watanabe san, is coming and bringing her 3 kids! So pumped.

 

-F san, one of our lovely eikaiwa students, had all of the missionaries over again to teach us how to play the koto. I was the only who had been before… it was weird going for a second time with all different people. Super fun though!

 

– Ok so craziest experience ever… Sister Sanford’s first week here, like 6 weeks ago, we were knocking on houses and we got to this super huge super moden super nice house and this lady answered the door and we alked to her for like a total of 2 minuts and got her number and that was it. We tried to contact her several times but she was always busy. Well she randomly calls us this week and sets up an appointment at this bakery… so we meet her there and she announces to everyone in the shop that she will be treating us to lunch and then proceedes to hand us trays and usher us around. Haha it was so crazy… just one of those things where she really likes Americans. In the end, after we refused the money, she left us with gift bags and ten dollars each… which we paid to the missionary fund haha. It was just a way funnyexperience.

 

Our investigators are doing way good!

-Ta san is someone who the elders found… we met with her and her 12 year old son for like 30 minutes and she said she would come to church… both her and her son rode their bikes on Sunday! She loved it and said she would come back every week. Biggest miracle ever was when our ward mission leader turned out to be her middl school art teacher…. so cool!Her Japanese is WAYYYY hard though and I understand 5% of what she says…

– We made a baptismal calendar with No san and set all the days we will meet until her baptism next month!

– Yo san has a baptismal date. She is 40 and lives with her husband and in laws and 10 year old son. She told us this past week that she hasn’t told them anything about the church. Her in-laws are way buddhist and traditional. We told her family is more important and fully expected herto stop lessons…. instead she said she will tell them! She is wayyyyy quiet and we are so proud of her. Please pray for her and that her in-law’s hearts will be softened!

 

Love you!

Anna

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05 Jan 2015 / Anna Letter

Hello Everyone!

 

If I actually put subject titles to my emails this week’s would be “I don’t know how I am still alive/how I will make it to March”. Haha this ice was pretty bad this week… Sister Sanford wiped out way bad and was down for 2 whole days because she couldn’t put any weight on her leg. I totally ate it and landed on my head… the left side of my face is bruised haha. The concrete is my new bff!

 

It was a way good week to be in the apartment though… Japan’s New Year is definitely America’s Christmas… every single one of our investigators told us they couldn’t meet from December 25-January 5… so we deep-cleaned our apartment and organized records and stuff like that. Sorry nothing too exciting!

 

Good news from this past week:

-We went to go visit N shimai and watched The Testaments with her and her 3 year old daughter (our investigator Achan). It was soooo cute because she had her baptismal certificate and a picture of christ and the baptism hanging on her wall.

-One of Burgon’s last weeks here we knocked on this guy’s door and he said he was interested in hearing what we had to say… so we went back with the elders a couple weeks later. Well he is getting BAPTIZED this Sunday!!! So happy!  That means all 3 companionships in Saijo had a baptism this transfer.

-Our group is growing and is definitely branch-size. It is a completely different place than when I first got here and it is amazing to see. Sister Sanford and I really want to be able to go to the temple with all of these recent converts so we are going to have a special temple prep meeting for the group… we are training in callings and t eaching about patriarchal blessings and it is so cool to see the growth.

– We knocked on this door and a man answered… we taught him about baptism and he was way awesome. He said he would want to hear more from the elders but couldn’t make an appointment. So we said bye and then I called the elders and told them where we were and said “if you come right now he will let you in!” so they booked it over and we knocked on the door and were like “surprise! came back with our friends!” haha it was way funny but way awesome and he let them in.

 

Ok that is pretty much it! Love you all!

 

Anna

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