Sunday, March 27, 2016

Week 3 in Chikushino

Holy cow!!!!! This week was possibly the best week of my mission so
far. It had a ton of ups and downs but the ups were waaaay way up! I
don't have a ton of time to write today because we are doing a zone
p-day up in Fukuoka so we have to take a train there. But Tomomi San
got baptized on Thursday!!!! It was so perfect! Well actually, she had
to be baptized three times because the dress came up haha. But we
finally got it :) other than that I can't believe how amazing she is.
Yesterday she got confirmed and she was literally glowing after. I
have never seen someone with so much light around them before. She was
also talking with everyone and made so many friends. Oh man. It was
literally the greatest. Sometimes Japanese people have a hard time
befriending new converts, but not in this ward! Our ward is the
greatest!! She also told us later that she was able to fix her work
schedule so that she could go to church every Sunday, which had been a
problem before. We didn't even ask her to do it, we just asked her to
try to come to church whenever she could, and she did it on her own!
She's so perfect. I love her so much. Another highlight of the week
was the Yano kazoku. This family is seriously amazing. The mom is the
relief society president and she has a daughter on a mission right now
so she helps us like crazy. She is always wanting to help us with
something, I love her!! She asked us on Saturday if we could come over
to dinner on Sunday because it was her twin daughters 11th birthday
and they asked if we could come over for it. So of course we jumped up
and down saying yes. It was so much fun! We all went around and did a
self introduction and asked each other questions to learn about each
other and it took up the whole night because it was so much fun!!
Other than that this week was really amazing, nothing super big, just
little things. We had zone conference so I got to see Anderson Shimai
from my doki for the first time since I came to Japan, we taught a lot
of fun lessons, and visited a lot of members, I gave a talk in
church.. In Japanese.. With no notes (mainly because they asked me the
night before and I had no time to prepare it because we had lessons we
had to plan... Haha gotta love winging talks in a completely
differently language). Also along with that I have realized this week
how much God helps us with our time management. Sometimes I look at
our week and wonder how we will fit everything in we need to fit in,
or wonder when we are going to have enough time to plan our lessons or
this and that, but it always ends up working out fine. We always have
enough time, and we always get done the things that God wants us to
get done. We really are doing the best we can, but without God it
wouldn't be good enough. It's really helped me understand the
principal of James 2:17. God could easily do what we are doing, but in
order to build our faith we work. I came across this quote this week
that I love by David A. Bednar, �gThus, faith in Christ leads to
righteous action, which increases our spiritual capacity and power.
Understanding that faith is a principle of action and of power
inspires us to exercise our moral agency in compliance with gospel
truth, invites the redeeming and strengthening powers of the Savior�fs
Atonement into our lives, and enlarges the power within us whereby we
are agents unto ourselves"
Anyway :) that's all for now.
Have a good week!
White Shimai

 A pretty view we found while dendoing Heavy black heartHeavy black heart
 Me and lovely Anderson Shimai
 Tomomi San right before her baptism!
 Right after! She was glowing after! Seriously so happy.
The Yano family. The best family!! I love them! 

Week 2 in Chikushino

You can guess of course but this week was so wonderful! I have started
writing down things that happen each day in my planner so maybe this
will make it easier to remember what happened this week
Monday-Tomomi passed her baptismal interview! She was way nervous for
it but passed. Our district leader says he's never seen anyone more
prepared for baptism. She has such an amazing testimony. I love her so
much and I only met her 10 days ago!! Attaching a picture of her.
Tuesday- oh my gosh there is a Japanese class here. We get to go on
Tuesdays and they teach us one on one Japanese. (Actually I had 3
teachers just to myself) Literally the best thing ever. I learned so
much last week and we get to go again tomorrow. We actually got
permission to change our district meetings to Wednesday's in order to
go to this Japanese class. After that we went and visited a woman in
our ward who has cancer. She is so amazing, she used to translate the
Ensign into Japanese before we had the Liahona. She's such a sweet
Wednesday- we had district meeting, and then we did a member lesson
with a 19 year old girl in our ward. We challenged her to give out a
Book of Mormon to a friend and she immediately told us she is going to
give it to her boyfriend! We got way excited haha. She's the best. Oh
she also gave us kanji for our first names. I'll attach a picture.
Thursday- we weekly planned at a park and I got a sunburn! I'm so
happy that it's getting warmer. We also had a lesson with Tomomi San.
We planned her baptism and talked about her favorite hymns. She
doesn't really know any hymns yet, but she told us she thinks her
favorite hymn was the last song we sang in relief society on
Sunday.... Haha like we remember! And she couldn't remember the tune!
So we went through the hymn book for like 15 minutes trying to figure
it out until she blurts out, "I think it was number 66" haha she
couldn't remember the tune, but she knew the number. So me and Bearman
Shimai are singing "Come Follow Me" at her baptism on Thursday! Also
that night as we were talking to people on the street, we bumped into
the elders. As we were talking with them this crazy drunk lady rides
up to us on her bike and is like "hey! You're the Mormons!" And starts
talking to us about how religion is hard and the bible is hard to
understand. She threw in some stuff about seeing ufo's and then told
us she has a book that makes Christianity super easy to understand and
she wanted to show it to us. So we told her we would see it if she
would look at our book too. She stared at us for a second and said "
Scary.... Okay I'll do it!" all courageously and then rode off almost
hitting a pole. Drunk people are so funny to talk to haha.
Friday- we had a member lesson with another YSA.... Actually not much
happened today. We just talked to a lot of people
Saturday- we had 2 children's English classes! It was crazy and all
over the place but it was way fun. We usually have a children's
English class every Saturday at 10, but the once a month we have an
English class at a members house with all of her kids and she invites
her friends and their kids over too. It's a great way to meet the moms
and talk about what we do. It was way fun and way exhausting. Also
Asian kids are literally the cutest.
Sunday- was literally the best day this week easily! We had church
which was awesome. We ran around asking members to help at the
baptism, give talks and prayers and whatnot and got the whole baptism
scheduled and planned. So it's going to go very smooth on Thursday
haha. Then after church we got together with some of the primary and
went and gave out Eikaiwa flyers to people on the street. It was so
much fun!! They had so much energy and were running around talking to
everyone they saw. They were way nervous at first but after we helped
them talk to a couple people, we just sat back and watched them as the
talked to everyone. They counted every flyer they handed out and we
gave out 138 flyers in 40 minutes. It was the best thing ever. They
had so much fun and it was so great to see them come back to the
church and tell their parents about it. We want to do it once a month.
Anyway! It's so fun being with the members here. They are so strong
and have a huge desire to help share the gospel. It's also one of the
biggest wards I've been to and it has a lot of young families. Anyway,
that was my week! Have a good week!
White 姉妹

Our member that made kanji for our first names
Tomomi San! She is getting baptized on Thursday!
Another one of the YSA we had a member lesson with. Our YSA are so cute!!
The girls that came with us to hand out eikaiwa flyers.
They were literally running around giving the flyers out!

Week 1 in Chikushino

Where do I begin with this week?! It's been so unbelievable. Oh my
gosh, I love being a missionary. This week was just so all over the
place. Tuesday after I emailed, we all went to the zoo which was so
much fun. I loved that district so much.
After the zoo we came home and I packed and wrote little cards for my investigators and the members, so it was pretty sad knowing I was leaving everyone. Nagamine ward is the best, I already miss them so much. Wednesday I went around saying goodbye to my investigators and some members. A member took us and the elders out to eat at a yakiniku place which is basically all you can eat meat. I'll have to see if I can get the picture and send it next week. It was so fun! Then we had eikaiwa and all the leaving missionaries said goodbye and we took tons of pictures. The next morning I went to Chikushino! I was pretty nervous to become a senior companion and was freaking out a little bit, and it didn't help because on the bus over I was sitting next to an elder who was going back to America, and HE was freaking out haha but spoiler alert, I absolutely love being senior companion and I adore Chikushino!!! My companion is Sister Bearman from Maryland. She's super cute and a 4th transfer, so just 2 under me. Thursday we came home and I unpacked and figured things out and had a lesson with our investigator who is getting baptized next week! Super exciting. She is the cutest thing ever. Her name is Tomomi and she has such an amazing testimony. I am so excited for her. Then Friday we weekly planned and went to go introduce me to some of their other investigators and recent converts which was so fun. I love everyone here! They are so kind. Saturday we had a relief society activity which was a little hard because that morning during morning exercises, my companion ran into a huge cement block corner with her leg when we went running and basically couldn't walk all day. She pushed through it though so that was way awesome of her. Sunday it was still hurting her pretty badly, but we were still able to go to church and talked to people outside after for 4 hours. We didn't use our bikes though because she couldn't ride with her leg. So we walked everywhere. I feel bad pushing her so much with her leg though, so today we are taking it really slow and just hanging out. Anyway my scripture of the week is 1 Nephi 3:7 because through the Lord all things are possible! We just have to be willing to go and do what He has asked us to do. And then miracles will happen :) love you all! Here are some pictures :)
Ferris Wheel at the zoo
This is a crocodile burger. It was actually way good. 
Me and sister Bearman Thursday night

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Week 19 in Nagamine

Hello! I can't believe another week has gone by. I can't believe
another transfer is almost over. I can't believe my mission is almost
halfway done. Time is going by so fast, I don't know what to do! This
morning I got a call from Egan Kaicho. He told me that I am going to
be senior companion and I'm being transferred out of Nagamine. I got
off the phone with him and immediately started crying. I love this
place so much. It is going to be so hard to leave on Thursday. :( I am
going up to Fukuoka zone to Chikushino. Despite how sad I am to leave
I had an amazing last week in Nagamine. I used to read missionaries
emails and think, man not every single week can be amazing. But
despite the hard things that happen I always feel like at the end of
the week I did my best and I'm so happy to look back over what amazing
miracles I was able to see. It's an amazing feeling knowing you're
putting your whole heart into something. I love it here. This week
started off with us dressing up in kimonos and walking around the most
beautiful park I have ever seen! I'll send pictures at the end :) it
was so fun! It was only 400円 to rent a kimono and get into this park
for all of February, so we're glad we were able to go the last day
even though it ended up being sooo cold and windy. It actually snowed
a little bit that night haha, but it was totally worth the experience.
Tuesday was amazing also. We had our last district meeting of the
transfer, and our zone/district leader Nelson 長老 is going home this
transfer so he gave this amazing meeting on love and how important it
is as we share the gospel. Everything that God does is based on love.
Everything we teach is surrounded by love. 1 John 4:7-8.
"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one
that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not
knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of
God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the
world, that we might live through him." God is love
It was an amazing district meeting, and then right after we got to go
visit one of our investigators who I absolutely adore. She is so sweet
and every time we visit her I love her so much more. We were going to
talk about service with her, and decided while we were teaching to
focus on love and showing love to her family. I mentioned that my mom
would always text me sweet messages and it always made me so happy and
through her small act of service to me I knew that she loved me. So we
committed her to try and find ways she can show service by showing her
love for her daughters and her husband. She was a little embarrassed
to do it but she said she would try. I can't wait to hear what she
comes up with to do for them. I really hope we can help her family
become closer and happier together. She is the kindest, most loving
person, but she doesn't know how to show it to her family. I think
that can sometimes be all of us though. Sometimes the people we love
the most, it's the hardest to show love to. We just have to keep
Wednesday, oh man. Wednesday I was exhausted. We went and did a Mogi
with one of our members Kaneko Shimai. I love Kaneko Shimai. She is an
amazing person. She helps us so much I can't even tell you. She loves
missionary work and missionaries. She served a mission in Sapporo and
so she has crazy dendo fire. Anyway, we went so I could do a lesson
mastery (lesson mastery is where you pass off all the lessons in your
mission language to someone who speaks the language. You do it alone
without your companion and this particular one was supposed to be
30-45 minutes long) and the whole time we were talking, her 2 adorable
kids were running around in absolute chaos. It was so crazy, but
Kaneko Shimai was so amazing and was so patient with them, and focused
on my lesson all at the same time. I don't know how she does it. She
is an amazing mom. I was more tired at the end of the lesson then she
was. She had complete composure. And then we asked her to come visit a
less active with us who lived down the street and so she packed up her
kids and walked with us. We had to take turns trying to make sure her
2 year old little boy wouldn't run into the street. Then at the less
active's house we all wrestled the 1 year old little girl as she tried
to get into anything and everything. But somehow the lesson went
smoothly, and our less active absolutely adored the kids. Everything
went so well and it was so fun but I was extremely exhausted after. I
don't know if it was speaking Japanese for 4 hours straight on top of
running around with high energy kids all afternoon but I was so dead
by the end of the night. Thursday we went to pass a potential
investigator to the 長老たちand then they helped fix my companions bike
which was way nice of them, then we came home and did weekly planning
for the rest of the night. Anyway, Friday was a beautiful day! It was
perfect weather and we got to be outside all day. I was so happy all
day! We ended it by playing volleyball at our sports night we have
every Friday. It was 8 missionaries 4 members and 1 nonmember haha but
it was way fun. We were all pretty tired at the end of it. Oh my gosh,
I totally forgot. Friday as we were outside talking to people, we
knock on this house and this lady comes out and in perfect English
starts telling us off. We were so shocked that she was speaking
English that it didn't click to us that she was not happy we were
there. Haha we just stared at her and then said we were sorry and
left. It's very rare to bump into a Japanese person who speaks perfect
English, at least here in Kumamoto. We bump into gaijins a lot and
that's fine, but not English speaking Nihonjins. It was pretty funny,
but I also gained a lot of respect for those missionaries in their
native language countries. It's hard being told off in your own
language. Ouch. In Japanese it doesn't matter because you barely
understand them anyway, so being yelled at doesn't mean anything
really. But anyway, it was pretty interesting. Saturday was such a
good day! The weather was perfect and I didn't have to wear my coat
outside. We had a relief society activity where we made Tongan food.
Our investigator brought her boyfriend which was so exciting to
finally meet him. We've heard a lot about him. And then we taught a
lesson to another investigator that night. It went really well and he
finally started opening up to us! Sunday was also a way good day. Oh
my gosh I love Fast Sundays! We went to church and were greeting
people when all of a sudden I look up and see Egan Kaicho standing
there with Egan Shimai! I was seriously so surprised. We maybe see
Egan Kaicho once a transfer for trainings or interviews, but he was
just standing there! Completely 吃驚しました. But it was so fun because Egan
Shimai got to come to our lesson with our investigator and to relief
society with us and Egan Kaicho went and did a lesson with the Elders.
It was so much fun being with them. I love them both so much! I think
Egan Kaicho came because it was one of the Elders last Sunday before
he goes home, and he used to be President Egan's assistant up in
Fukuoka. It was really sweet of Egan Kaicho to come visit him.
Monday...Usually transfer Monday's are kind of stressful but yesterday
was a blast. We went over to a Kumamoto members house with the
Kumamoto Shimai and it was so good. We all took turns sharing our
testimony and talking about why we came on missions. It was so good.
So good that we ended up being a little late to our next appointment
which was making waffles with a less active. Haha they had never had
waffles before, and she had somehow gotten her hands on a waffle
maker. It was so fun. Anyway, and that brings us to today. I haven't
written a long detailed email like this in a while, so hopefully
someone read it! We are going to the zoo today which I'm pretty
excited about, it has gotten pretty warm here recently. I'm a little
nervous for what summer has to bring in terms of weather, but I'm sure
it will be an adventure as always. I'm a little bit freaking out about
being senior companion, haha I still feel like I just got here! But
it's going to be so fun :) I'm excited for the amazing things that
will happen these next 6 weeks!! Here are some pictures!

Week 18 in Nagamine

To start off, I am just exhausted so I'm sorry this email will be
short. This week was SO good though. We started off this week by again
going to the Kumamoto castle.. Haha I've been like 4 times. So I'm
sorry, more of the same pictures. But some flowers are starting to pop
out so its way pretty :) and then the rest of the week was lessons and
finding people. Same old, but for some reason it was just the best. I
am loving life with my companion. Sister Parmley is just the best and
we have so much fun together. And I love my district. I love the ward
I am in. Basically I'm surrounded by amazing people and I'm so
grateful! Also my old companion Kawahara Shimai came down to visit
from Tokyo (she ended her mission in December. I "killed" her which
means I was her last companion before she went home) so she came back
to Kumamoto to see us and hang out with the members. She is currently
hanging out with us as we email haha, but we're going to spend the day
with her and hopefully do something fun. Other then that, I had a
couple moments in personal study recently that just really uplifted
me. The Book of Mormon is so amazing people. Even reading just a
chapter makes me think of my life in such a different way, and no
matter how many times I've read that specific chapter, I can find
something at applies to me right then and helps me understand things.
I know anyone could have those experiences. Just read it :) anyway,
love you all!