Sunday, July 31, 2016

Week 19 in Chikushino

Hi everyone! It's been a very very hot week here. Oh my goodness, I
feel like I'm melting everyday. But it's actually been such an amazing
week!! We visited a lot of members this week trying to get to know the
ones we don't know very well and that has actually been so fun! There
was a member who told us that she joined the church when she was 21
and then started going to institute and during one of her classes her
teacher challenged them to think about what kind of person they wanted
to marry and she decided that she wanted to get married on April 6 and
she prayed for 10 years to get married on that day, and 10 years later
she did! Haha the stories they tell sometimes are way funny and way
cute. I love our members. Especially the older ones. We also had a lot
of return appointments that we got to go to and one of them was
amazing! His name is Katsuyoshi, and he is so cool. He absorbed
everything we told him and told us he would study the Book of Mormon
and take all of our lessons. He thought it was cool that we are
sharing our message with everyone. We also got return appointments
with 2 of his neighbors too! It was such a great night. I love
teaching lessons so much! We haven't been able to teach Haruka Chan
lately, she keeps saying she is too busy :( but she promised she would
come to church tomorrow! So I am so excited! Also today we got to go
to the temple! Ah I missed it. I can't believe it has been so long
since I went last! It was so great, and then after we went to the zoo
which is right next to the temple! It's been such a fun day! Tonight
we are going over to teach a members daughter a lesson because she is
getting baptized in September and her mom wants to to have all the
lessons before she gets baptized. I just love it here. I've almost
been here 5 months which is so long to stay in one area but I'm way
grateful! Anyway, I hope you all have a good week!
Love ya
Sister White

Friday, July 22, 2016

Week 18 in Chikushino

I can't believe it's already p day again! We had a barbeque today at a
members house, so we are starting p day a little late today. Not much
to write about because this week was a ton of cleaning and fixing
things in the apartment that have sorely been neglected. Also, sister
burnside came into the apartment. We lived together when I was in
Nagamine for 3 transfers and now we get to live together again! I'm
way excited! Sunday was definitely a highlight this week. I love our
members so so much. We had a dendo fireside to try and help the dendo
fire in our ward. We all took part in it, and me and Mckenzie Shimai
did a skit of what missionaries do in a day and how to prepare for
lessons with members present, and I think it went really well. We gave
members banana bread that we made and they loved it! They all hung
around and talked to us after (even though it was basically an extra
hour of church). It was so awesome. Then one of our members invited
all the missionaries over to a surprise going away party for one of
the BYU students who taught English here for the past three months. So
we went there and there were a lot of nonmembers that we got to talk
to. It was so fun. But the best was getting to their house. Their
house is like 45 minutes uphill in the most complex area ever, and our
map doesn't really help when it came to it so we were super lost. We
finally we asked a lady that was walking if she knew how to get to
their area and she pulled it up on her phone and then walked us all
the way to their front door! She was so so kind, and we became such
good friends in like 15 minutes. She hugged us afterward and wanted to
add us on Facebook! I invited her to come to Eikaiwa. I love people
here. I love that I get to become friends with the most random people
on the street. I love having long conversations about the gospel in
Japanese. I just love it here. I am tired allll the time. But it's so
worth it. God really does help shape us to be the person he wants us
to be. We just have to be flexible and willing to be shaped. I'm
learning so much each and everyday. Sometimes I feel like I am
overwhelmed with all that I learn, but I think we learn better that
way sometimes. Not everything sticks, but the most important things
do. Love you all!!

それだけです。わたしとマッケンジー姉妹。大好きよ^ ^

Monday, July 11, 2016

Week 17 in Chikushino

Transfer week! Me and Mckenzie Shimai are staying another transfer in
Chikushino. Woot woot!!
Anyway, this week I actually went to go see a doctor about my back.
It's been hurting pretty bad lately so I wanted to see what was up.
Apparently it's nothing and I'm just over working it. So he gave me a
back brace and told me to wear it whenever I am biking and/or walking
for a long time. (So all day everyday!) on another note, I love the
hospitals here! You go to the hospital for every thing in Japan, there
aren't like doctors offices. So it's very organized. I really liked
it. While we were waiting at the hospital a nurse came up and was like
"sisters, where are you from?" Which just doesn't happen. Nobody calls
us sisters in Japan. (Except the members). But we found out that she
was a member from another ward in our stake. It is really rare to bump
into members so it was pretty cool.
Also, have I mentioned how hot it is lately? Oh my goodness. It is
just crazy. They have these things call sweat towels that I just
thought were kind of weird, but now I completely understand. I carry
mine around with me everywhere. You're just always dripping sweat.
Also the bugs are out too. It is big spider, worms, mosquito, gnat
season. Oh man, I was talking to someone on their voice box yesterday
( it's like.. A thing they have here so they can answer the door
without having to come to the door.)  when I noticed this huge gecko
underneath it and kind of gasped in the middle of my sentence but just
kind of moved away from it a little bit, and then throughout this
contact I had a bug on my right arm that I swat away, and then right
after a mosquito came and landed on my left arm, and then a spider
crawled up my leg. It was all within 30 seconds that this happened. I
was so glad that it was over a voice box and the guy wasn't watching
me dance around trying to get all these bugs off of me. It was super
gross. Oh man. Bugs are the worst. 🙄😒
We had one day where literally everyone we talked to just slammed the
door in our faces and didn't even let us get more than a few words
out. It was rough, but we really wanted to hand out a Book of Mormon
so badly. We knocked on this house and nobody was answering and I was
a little downhearted so my companion and I decided to pray to be able
to hand out a Book of Mormon right there on her doorstep. Right after
we told Heavenly Father that we wanted to hand out this Book of Mormon
we hear footsteps running to the door. We closed prayer really fast
and talked to this younger lady, and she immediately took the Book of
Mormon. I have had so many experiences like that on my mission with
Heavenly Father answering my prayers immediately. All we have to do is
pray. Most times it does take a while to receive an answer, but we
have to exercise our faith. I love having experiences like that. It
just reminds me how much Heavenly Father is aware of us.
Anyway! Love you all! Have a good week!
White Shimai

This is a fish vending machine...

Week 16 in Chikushino

Happy Fourth of July to those in America. If anyone is wondering (and
yes it has actually been asked out here..not by me FYI) they do not
celebrate the Fourth of July in Japan. We did get invited over to a
members house for a barbecue last Saturday though so we basically
celebrated it. Just no fireworks. This week went by ridiculously fast.
So many things happened. Last p day we went and rode a Ferris wheel in
Fujisaki for McKenzie Shimai's birthday (which was actually this last
Friday but we ended up celebrating it the whole week) Tuesday we and
junkai in Fujisaki with the STL's and that actually ended up being
almost 2 days out of our week. It was a little frustrating that it
took so much time. But Wednesday after we finally got home from
Fujisaki we had a lesson with our less active Ashian Shimai. We talked
about the atonement and the spirit was really strong. Usually I feel
like she just doesn't understand any concept of what we teach her, but
we really tried to use a lot of examples from her life to relate to
the atonement, and I think she finally understood a little bit. It
felt like a huge break through. Then after Ashian's lesson we had
Eikaiwa. I love our eikaiwa students. We have so many good people that
come. We have a ton of potential in Chikushino. A lot of our Eikaiwa
students gave Mckenzie Shimai cute presents for her birthday, it was
so nice. Thursday we weekly planned and got to help out with another
kids eikaiwa that a member puts on with a BYU student who is staying
over here. Friday was Mckenzie Shimai's birthday, so we went on got
hamburgers at the only place you can't et them at here and went and
put our feet in a river nearby. It was way fun and also a miracle that
it wasn't raining because seriously, rainy season in Japan is no joke.
This week has been so wet. Saturday we went to visit a couple
referrals and to a return appointment and the whole time it was
raining like crazy. I felt like I had just jumped into a pool fully
clothed. It was hard to see biking because of the mini typhoon , so we
decided to go home and change for the barbecue we had that night. I
love members so much. The member who invited us over for the barbecue
didn't want us to bike in the rain so she picked us up and drove us to
her house. Then we had the funnest time there. They do this thing in
Japan, it's kind of like a pinata.. But with a watermelon. They put
the watermelon on the ground, put a blindfold on a person, give them a
stick and spin them around ten times. Then you just try to break the
watermelon open. Haha it was so fun. The husband was just a little
kid, he was having so much fun pranking the elders. I love love love
members, they are amazing. Yesterday was so good. We set up a lot of
appointments with members this week to get to know the shyer ones. So
hopefully we will be able to get to know them too and can help them

Anyway, this week I have really been studying and focusing on the
atonement. Alma 7:11-13 is such a powerful scripture on the atonement
and I love sharing it with people. He really does know us perfectly
and know how to help us. We just have to be willing to use what has
already been given to us.

I hope everyone had an amazing week! Love you all!

Week 15 in Chikushino

This week we bumped into a lot of foreigners. I feel like I can talk
to them forever! Although teaching in English is a little bit
uncomfortable and awkward. I end up translating from Japanese to
English in my head and it always sounds funny. Last night we bumped
into a lady from Cameroon. She was so kind! She is catholic but when
we told her we were missionaries she asked is if we could come over
and do bible study with her. We are so excited! I have really been
studying the bible a lot lately and I'm excited to talk about it with
her. I love the bible! And definitely introducing the Book of Mormon
to her when we go over. The other lady we bumped into is half Japanese
but grew up in Croatia and lived in America. Her family is all
Buddhist but she is like hardcore Hindu. She was telling us all about
her life, and she served in a nunnery type place for a while (but for
Hindu) so she said she could relate to what we do. I love the
different types of people I get to meet out here. It's such an amazing
experience. On Saturday we got to go down to Kumamoto to help clean up
after the earthquake! There is still so much damage there! We went to
help clean up this one old ojisans house, and I was asking him how the
earthquake was and he told me that he literally thought he was going
to die. He said it was so strong and so scary. Later I found out that
his house was right next to the epicenter. He asked us if we could go
help clean up his parents graves because the earthquake hit the
graveyard so badly and when we went there.. It was just unbelievable.
This graveyard was in the middle of the forest, with tons of huge hit
trees surrounding it. It was absolutely beautiful, but then when you
looked at all the tombstones (and Japanese tombstones are huge and
amazing) they were all toppled over and cracked. These tombstones are
crazy heavy too. He asked if we could help try to push this tombstone
away so he could get his parents urns, and there were ten of us and it
wouldn't even budge. It had to have weighed at least a thousand
pounds. I wish I had gotten a picture of the area. It was so
beautiful, but completely destroyed. He showed us an area where it had
actually cracked the ground. There was this huge crack in the dirt
maybe about half a kilometer long. The houses next to the graveyard
where all deemed unsafe, everyone had to move out of them, including
this older guy we were helping. A lot of people lost their homes and
are still living in shelters 2 months later. It's way sad. I'm glad we
got to go help them for a day. We really cleaned up a lot of his yard.
He had a couple of sheds that were completely destroyed that we helped
clear out. All this stuff had been sitting there for 2 months and
through rain and the humidity so there were so many bugs and maggots
on the wood and rotting food. It was so so bad. We got just one area
all cleaned up, but didn't really make a huge dent in what needed to
be done. I hope we can go back and help. Although we didn't actually
get home until around 10 Saturday night so we were pretty dang
exhausted yesterday. Also, it is so so hot lately. We are always just
covered in sweat and sunblock haha. Last night we were biking to an
area when this downpour started out of nowhere so we ran and got
cover, but it was still so stinking hot, even with the downpour of
rain! So last night it was a mixture of rain and sweat haha. Oh man I
love Japan.
It was a way good week. I'm so excited for this next one too. I just
love it here so much. My companion is amazing, my area is the best
area, and I just love the people so much. I am so so so happy I am
here. Anyway, that's all for today :) hope you all have a crazy fun

Week 14 in Chikushino

We had transfer called last Tuesday! We were on the train headed to
the beach when the assistant to the President calls us.. It's super
super rude in Japan to talk on the phone when your on a train. But we
were not going to just sit and wait.. So.. We answered it. We assumed
we could get away with it since we're American. Haha anyway, everyone
was staying in Chikushino except for my companion Bearman Shimai. She
went near my old area in Kumamoto! Way exciting. And I got McKenzie
Shimai. She is from Australia and I absolutely love her! She's only
been in Japan for a few months and so I've been the one doing all the
talking in Japanese. It's just so fun to feel like I actually know
this language after having struggled with it for so long. It's
definitely shown me that patience really is a virtue, and it really
does pay off haha. God can't give everything to us as soon as we want
it. We have to struggle and pray and work hard and do everything we
can, and then you can look back and realize that God was there the
whole time helping you through it. I absolutely love it. I am so so so
grateful to be on a mission. I feel like I could go on and on about it
forever. I have learned so much in this past year.
For p day last Tuesday we went to the beach, and it was so fun! We got
ice cream played frisbee and volleyball. It was nice to just hang out.
Yesterday for Sunday dinner we were invited over to a ward members
house. The 5 year old little girl prayed over the dinner and she
prayed for the missionaries and that she was grateful that we were
there. She even prayed for our dendo! Children's prayers are by far
the best prayers I've heard on my mission. They are so full of love
and always so grateful for the littlest things. She even thanked
Heavenly Father for her doll. I want to be more like that. More
thankful instead of always just asking for things, even if they are
good things.
Lately I feel like some of my favorite principles to study have been
agency and repentance. I love both of those topics so much. Happiness
really is a choice. And if we aren't happy, then something needs to
change. That's what repentance is. It's changing, becoming better and
recognizing that we aren't perfect and that we need God in all aspects
of our life. When we rely upon God, I think that is when we can truly
be happy. I would encourage anyone who reads my emails to study those
two topics. It really has changed the way I view my life and