Tuesday, April 29, 2014

E-mail 4/28/2014

My dear wonderful family,
Tuesday started off with District Meeting. It was so good! Ceasar choro [Elder Ceasar] gave the spiritual thought and talked about Moses 3:5 and how God created everything spiritually first and related that to planning. We need to be good planners because Satan is very cunning so we need to have a really good plan too to allow us to work more effectively and be successful. Our training was on Christ-like attributes. Everyone was assigned one to train on for about five minutes. (We did half this DM [district meeting] and will finish the rest next DM.) 
  1. Hope (Paxton choro). The Holy Ghost fills us with hope. It is the opposite of dispair [despair].
  2. Faith in Jesus Christ (Smith shimai [Sister Smith]). From the MTC [Missionary Training Center] until now how has your faith grown? (A LOT!) Why has it grown? (Because I have relied on God, I have prayed more, I have diligently studied, I have felt and recognized the Holy Ghost, and I have seen and recognized miracles.) Through faith in Jesus Christ--believing in him and following him--we can truly do all things.
  3. Charity (Johnson shimai). You develop charity by serving others and giving of yourself. How can we show love? Members: Greet them by name and remember their birthdays. Investigators: Teach to their needs, help them keep commitments, and be patient with them. Companion: Serve, listen to their testimony, and have spiritual time together.
  4. Humility (Patterson choro). Relying on God's power and abilities, and submitting yourself to His will. 3 Examples: Gordon B. Hin[c]kley--he took his father's "forget yourself and go to work" advice and applied it rather than being offended. Pahoran--received a very blunt letter from Moroni but was not angry and responded with dignity and love. Jesus Christ--the perfect example of humility. When he went to the garden he was suffering in a way we can't even comprehend and when he prayed to the Father he could've said this hurts, make it stop, and could've stopped it. But he didn't. He said "As thou wilt." The ultimate example of humility. Following God's will and not our own feelings and emotions.
It was such a good District Meeting! Then we housed and visited former investigators before DCS. At DCS Hinode kyodai [Brother Hinode] said there hasn't been a baptism in Izumi in 3 years and the ward is trying to apply (from General Conference) President Monson's teachings about love and Elder Ballard's teachings about follow up.

Also, Tuesday when we were biking past the fire station, the firemen had a net and a wire stretched between their two-story buildings and were in climbing gear spiderman-ing across the line (upside down, sloth-like, but not sloth-going--zipping across the line). It was the coolest thing! No idea why they were doing it, but it looked like fun!

Wednesday morning we went to seminary (we go to be with the youth and do the activities with them, Sato shimai and Takeda shimai are the teachers) and then did prep for Eikaiwa [English class] at the church. Then we came back and had morning study and then went to the Lodging home (which is an old folks home)--which was pretty hilarious because each of the missionaries that went were able to sit at a table by themselves with about 3-5 residents to talk to, but at my table all 3 of mine were falling asleep! It was so funny. The employees would come over and wake them up and say "Look, someone came all the way from America to talk to you. What do you want to talk about?" But they would just fall back asleep, haha. It was pretty funny. Then we visited more Potential and Former investigators and did some housing before teaching the Intermediate Eikaiwa class. 

Thursday we had Ladies' Eikaiwa and showed the "Because of Him" video as the Spiritual message and read Mosiah 16:7-9 together. Then we biked to an old investigator's neighborhood about an hour away and visited her and housed nearby. It was a super pretty area and we got to talk to a lot of people.

Friday had splits with our resident Sister Training Leaders (I can't remember if I told you or not but Smith shimai and Hamano shimai are the other shimai [sisters] in our district that we live in the same apartment with and they're the Sister Training Leaders). So Hamano shimai and I went to our appointment with our 70-year-old PI [potential investigator] Wako-san. It was a miracle. Since we were on splits, I wasn't actually sure if Wako-san would let us in and share a message (especially since she wouldn't even take our pamphlet last time), but when we rang the doorbell she yelled "Dozo!" (which means 'go ahead') and was so warm and friendly. She let us pray together and then she started talking about all the other missionaries who have visited her who she would always tell no. But she said the reason we could teach her is because we showed her so much respect and love. She said she felt cared about and like we really wanted to help her. When she told her husband and son that we were coming over they were shocked and asked "Why??" but she defended us and said "They're like my granddaughters who want to teach me what they believe." The Spirit was super strong. It was incredible. We were able to teach her about God and prayer and families and asked her to pray that night and she took our pamphlet and she said she would study it. It was incredible. I was in awe. I can see her getting baptized. 

Then we went to visit a PI (who wasn't home) and housed and found a new PI and then biked to Orange Net (volunteer place--we sit with kids while they do their homework and talk to the building owner). I was actually able to talk to the building owner and her friend who was there and they were super excited about Dad and Tyler having both been to Japan. :)

Saturday, we had weekly and visited PIs. And I got your package!!!!! Thank you so much!!!!!!!! I love the shirt and skirt and CDs! I'll let you know about shoes. I would love another plain black skirt though--like the printed one I have from Lands End (if you remember that one; it doesn't wrinkle and it's a good length so I really like it). 

Sunday in Sacrament Meeting the Youth sang the 2013 Theme Song "Come Unto Christ" and it was so good! And after church we had a meeting about Less Actives with Kikkuchi shimai--who has no calling to do it, but writes or visits the LAs [less actives] every month. She is incredible. She said the reason she cares about the LAs so much and does so much for them, is because when we [she] was less active her home teacher visited her every single week and shared a scripture about God's love for her. And that is what brought her back. She said "I am so grateful for that. And I'm not 19, I can't serve a mission, but I thought 'What talents do I have?' and she said 'I can write.'" So she writes all the LAs. She said "It doesn't take much time. Only an hour or so every week. But that doesn't mean it's easy. I don't always get the nicest replies. But I know one visit every week made a difference for me. So maybe my letters can make a difference for them." It was an incredible testimony builder for me. It made me want to be a better missionary.

After that meeting we went and visited Hamura-san (our new 80-year-old investigator from last week) and were able to teach her the rest of the Plan of Salvation. It was amazing! The Spirit was so strong. She really liked it. She loves that families can live together forever. When we asked her to pray at the end, we were giving examples of things she could pray about, and we said we could say thank you for good health, and she said "That's a good thing to pray for!" and she clapped her hands together and said "Dear Heavenly Father, I am so grateful for good health. Please bless my family." Then she turned to us and said "Is that all I have to say?" And then we taught her how to finish and she did. She was super excited about it too. It was the coolest thing.

In other words, it has been an amazing week. Many tender mercies and wonderful spiritual experiences! Thank you so much for all your letters and emails and packages and love and prayers!!!!!!!! I love love love you!!!!!!!!!!

Congratulations to Shelby and Natalie! That's incredible! Welcome back to the South Tyler! Congrats to Jeremy!!!!!!!!!! Soccer sounds like it was fun! I love the story of Tyler riding Maria's bike! Tyler--otsukaresamadesu [cheers for good work?]!

I love you! Wish I had more time to write but we gotta run!

Love you!

Your missionary,
Bellows shimai :)

Week 26 Pictures (After a Picture-Less Week 25)

Monday, April 21, 2014

E-mail 4/20/2014

Hello my dear wonderful family!
Has it been another week already? Time is flying! I can't believe it. Happy Easter! Thank you thank you for all the emails! It sounds like you had a wonderful week. :)
Monday night on our way to our FHE [family home evening] Dinner Message with Takeda Bishop's [Bishop Takeda's] family we saw a tall, older looking gaijin [foreigner] and Johnson shimai [Sister Johnson] said to me "Ask him where he's from" so I hurried over to him and asked "Doko karakimashita ka? [Where do you come from (I think)?]" and he pointed to a store down the street and said "Seria" (the name of the store). I laughed and said "What country?" He said "United States." I said "We're from America too!" Haha, so we started talking to him and apparently he teaches a course on Christianity at the local Christian college in Japanese. His family has lives here for over 20 years so his kids are all grown and speak both Japanese and English. We told him we were LDS missionaries and that it was super cool to see another American. We asked him about his family and he said "I have four kids and one wife." Haha. It was so fun to dendo [proselyte] in English! I actually knew what to say (sometimes I [think] thinking about Japanese makes it hard to know what to say). But I should've asked him if we could come to one of his classes. :) Then we had dinner FHE with the Takeda family. It was so fun!! They are super cute, kind, intelligent, good family. We taught follow the prophet with hiding candy and asked them to study a General Conference talk together a a family before next month. Their kids are so good and well taught! Takada Bishop loves reading so he quizzed me on classic American authors. I was shocked I still remembered people like Ernest Hemingway. I think he was shocked too. :D
Tuesday was Tyler's birthday!! I hope it was fun and the last day of classes wasn't too crazy! Good luck with finals! I am praying for you!
Tuesday was also the day the cherry blossom trees bloomed (for Tyler's birthday ;D). It was beautiful! After lunch we had biked up to visit a former investigator in this big park up in Shogen (close to our apartment) that surrounds a small lake and along one side is this long road that is completely lined with cherry blossom trees--and they were all blooming! A canopy of beauty! There were so many people there to see them that we had to get off our bikes and walk them. Amazing!
Anyway, :) we went up past that park and visited people and then had dinner and DCS--at which was Igawa choro [Elder Igawa] with his new companion Ceasar choro from Australia. Then we came back and I got letters from Mom and an Easter card from Alyssa!! So fun!! Thank you thank you!
Wednesday we went to seminary and had lunch in the park and then served at Lodging home. I talked to Kawamura-san and every time I said her name she got excited about me remembering it. :D I tried to teach her tic-tac-toe but she said she wasn't smart enough, haha! Then the District surprised Paxton choro with ice-cream and cake for his birthday. Then we had Eikaiwa [English class] kids' class. Emu-chan (4 year old) was so cute. She kept showing me all her Disney Princesses and saying "Hello my name is Emu" but wouldn't pay attention to anything else we were trying to teach her. It was so funny!
Thursday we had Ladies' Eikaiwa and Izumi meeting and planned our Missionary Musical Number for Sacrament Meeting. I had the idea to combine "Abide with Me!" and "Nearer My God to Thee" so I got the assignment to transpose "Near My God to Thee" into the "Abide with Me!" key so we came back to the apartment for lunch and drew my own staff paper and transposed it really fast (Heavenly Father must've wanted us to sing it because he definitely helped me). Then we had Ohanami (cherry blossom picnic) with an old investigator, Miyazaki-san and Shoji shimai. It was way cool dendo! We got to Miyazaki-san's house so we could bike together to the park and she'd made a ton of food--and then led us up this GIANT hill while pushing her bicycle full of food--and she's this tiny 60-70 year-old woman! (Did I mention I love Japan? :D) Then we had lunch under a pavilion in the park together and she and Shoji shimai hit it off well but she had to leave quickly so we weren't able to teach a lesson but we talked about church and she was very appreciative of the missionaries who had taught her. Then we visited another Potential Investigator, Hamura-san. She was interested and said we could come back to share a message. While we were talking to Hamura-san, Kaneko shimai called us and said we could have dinner together with her and her mom (another PI [potential investigator]) so she came and picked us up and we ate pizza together and talked about church.
Friday we visited Hamura-san and she wanted to hear our message but her husband was come [home?] so we couldn't come in but she said we could come back. Then we came back and organized all the former investigator records we have and started weekly. Then we biked to the church to practice our sacrament Meeting song as a District. It was way fun! Paxton choro is way good at the piano. Here's how our song worked out (just in Japanese :D);
  • Verse 1, Nearer My God to Thee, Elders and Sisters
  • Verse 3, Nearer My God to Thee, Elders
  • Verse 1, Abide with Me!, Sisters, and Piano
  • Verse 2, Abide with Me!, All
  • Sing again: Help of the helpless, 
  • Sisters sing: oh, abide with me!
  • Elders and piano: Nearer to thee!

1. Nearer, my God, to thee,
Nearer to thee
E'en though it be a cross
That raiseth me.
Still all my song shall be 
Nearer, my God, to thee,
Nearer, my God, to thee,
Nearer to thee

3. There let the way appear,
Steps unto heav'n;
All that thou sendest me,
In mercy giv'n;
Angels to beckon me
Nearer, my God, to thee,
Nearer, my God, to thee,
Nearer to thee

1. Abide with me! fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens. Lord, with me abide!
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me!

2. Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day.
Earth's joys grow dim; its glories pass away.
Change and decay in all around I see;
O thou who changest not, abide with me!

It was way fun!!
Saturday we had Ohanami with the Ward Young Women in the park and played frizbee [frisbee] and badmitton [badminton] and a gave out Eikaiwa chirashi [English class flyer] ;) and then visited Hamura-san. She invited us in and we were able to teach her a lesson about Gad [God], Families, and the beginning of the Plan of Salvation and she said she felt the Spirit like she hasn't felt it since she was a child and went to a Christian church with her mother. Then her husband came home so we had to leave but she said we could come back next week and teach her more. It was incredible! The Spirit was so strong. A miracle! Then we visited Shoji-san--a 70 year old PI who wants to come to church but hasn't come yet. We asked him if he knew how to get to the church and he went and grabbed the flyers we had given him (and a card with our phone number on it)--all rubber-banded together (he said he'd done it so he wouldn't lose or forget them--so cute!). We drew a map for him to be able to find the church and he said he'd come and meet us at the Eki (train station) so we could show him the way.
Sunday was Easter! It was wonderful! Shoji-san woke up late so he couldn't come but Johnson shimai gave an awesome talk in Sacrament Meeting and our District sang and Brother Browne spoke about about D&C 93:33 and the "Because of Him" video and how because of Jesus Christ we have every chance; 1st, 2nd, 3rd--as many as we need--a lifetime of second chances. It was wonderful. Then we tried to visit Sugawara-san (our investigator) but he wasn't home and then biked to the Sato family home to share an Easter message and have dinner. We shared our testimonies of Jesus Christ and asked them to write theirs down and share it with someone.
On Sunday I finished reading the gospels for Easter. What a wonderful testament of Jesus Christ! Reading about his life filled me with such peace. What an incredible life he lived--one of compassion and purpose and love for everyone. I will forever be grateful for the life he lived and gave and took again for me so I can have every good gift. It all comes from Him. God be thanked for the glorious gift of his Beloved Son! Because of Him, as Elder Holland said, "We have neighbors to bless, children to protect, the poor to lift up, and the truth to defend. We have wrongs to make right, truths to share, and good to do. In short, we have a life of devoted discipleship to give in demonstrating our love of the Lord. We can't quit and we can't go back. After an encounter with the living Son of the living God, nothing is ever again to be as it was before." I am so grateful for Jesus Christ!
Funny story of this week: This morning I was saying our prayer to start companion study and was praying for some of our less actives. In Japanese there is the word "saikapatsuka suru" which means to reactivate. But there is another word "fukappatsu" which means inactive. And I unfortunately got the two words mixed up and prayed for our less actives to go inactive. Whoops! Johnson shimai died laughing. :D
In other words, it's been another amazing week!
I hope both Zach and Elder Perry stay safe in their rugby match this week. :) Congrats to Andrew on Peru! Dollywood sounds like it was a ton of fun! So excited for Shelby!
I love you all so much!!! I hope you are happy and doing well! I love you!!!!!!!!!!

Your missionary,

Bellows shimai :)

[No pictures again this week. Sorry!]

Monday, April 14, 2014

E-mail 4/13/2014

My dear wonderful family,

This week went by so fast! So much going on I can't remember it all but I'll do my best!

Monday all the shimai [sisters] shared a spiritual message with the Omori family but on our way back my front tire popped. So Tuesday morning we got it fixed but then as we were biking to the Akatsuka family house (about an hour bike ride away) after District Meeting we realized my actual tire (not the tube inside) was breaking and would probably pop my tire soon, so we walked the rest of the way there. The Akatsukas had actually invited a friend over to play--conveniently during the time of our appointment ;)--so they invited their friend in to listen to our message and we taught about God and families and invited them all to General Conference. Then we came back and served at the Lodging Home and had dinner and DCS.

Wednesday, we had seminary and then bought me a new tire and visited people and had Eikaiwa [English class].

Thursday we had Ladies' Eikaiwa and Izumi Meeting and then visited Wako-san (a PI [potential investigator]) and she invited us in and fed us and talked with us for a long time and said we could share a spiritual message next time. Yay! Then we had District Chirashi kubari [flyer distribution] but it got cut short because the train station security told us we had to get permission from the police (whom we'd already asked, but they said we didn't need permission from them).

Friday we had pizza for dinner with the Browne family and talked about all the good books that have come out since I've been out. :D It was so fun! It was like being in a little slice of America again and talking to my cousins about our favorite books. It was really great. :)

Saturday was General Conference!!!! At least in Tohoku, each ward recorded General Conference on DVDs and then had a ward general conference. Our schedule was:

Saturday: 10am-12pm Saturday Morning Session
1-3pm Saturday Afternoon Session
3:30pm General Women Meeting (or Priesthood Session)

Sunday: 10am-12pm Sunday Morning Session
1-3pm Sunday Afternoon Session

So we got to see all the broadcasts! It was wonderful! We English speakers were in the Relief Society room (next to the chapel) and got to hear every word of Conference. Wasn't it wonderful? We are blessed with incredibly inspired men and women as our leaders. My favorite talks were by Elder W. Craig Zwick, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Elder M. Russel[l] Ballard, Bishop Gary E. Stevenson, Elder David A. Bednar, and Elder Michael John. U. Teh... just to name a few. :D I also thought it was interesting how nearly every speaker used Helaman 5:12 (build your foundation on Christ so the whirlwinds of life will have no power over you). I love that scripture! And so many said 'discipleship' and 'stand up for the faith' and 'take heart.' So powerful! I had been praying before Conference and writing down questions and one of the ones I wrote was 'How can I keep from getting discouraged?' and I felt like all of Conference was an answer to that question--that there will be times when I am sad and discouraged, but when those times happen, just if I just remember God's love and build my foundation upon Christ even stronger at those times, I will not falter and my heart will take courage. I truly need Him every hour.

I think the Japanese loved Conference too. They all told us afterward that they could hear the people in the English room laughing and were very curious as to what was so funny. Maybe the Japanese translation didn't have the same funny things the speakers said as did the English version, or maybe the Japanese just didn't think the speakers were funny, haha. :) Wow, Zach with no 9s! Greensboro watch out! I hope the weekend was fun with Richard! I'm so glad Mrs. English's surgery went well. It was so fun to hear about Natalie's bridal shower! Zach, I hope you have recovered from your noble service. :D Good luck on your finals Tyler--and Mom too!

Thank you for your letters and emails!! I love hearing everything you are up to. I miss you and love you!!!!!!!!!!


Your missionary,

Bellows shimai :)

P.P.S. Oh, and I don't know if you have gotten my letter yet (Tyler) but HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How does it feel to be aging? I hope you have a wonderful birthday! I love you so much my wonderful hero!

Week 24 Pictures

Monday, April 7, 2014

E-mail 4/6/2014

My dear wonderful family!!!
How are you? Is it warm and sunny? It is starting to warm up here and the blooms are SO close to blooming--we are so excited! And it sounds like Conference was amazing!! We can't wait! Our ward will watch them this weekend at the church (in English and Japanese). We are so excited! I can't wait to see the conference flowers and the temples and the prophet! Signs of spring! Happy birthday Kelsea!! I hope it was a great one!! And my six month mark is this week?? Wow, and Sunday will be the last day of my 3rd transfer. Crazy! Last Monday we watched 17 Miracles as a District and I have been seeing miracles ever since. :) This week has had so many tender mercies and miracles!
Tuesday we had a lesson with Ishihara-san--the super cute investigator from a few years ago who's in her eighties--and had a really great lesson about faith, Jesus, the Atonement and the Sacrament. She was concerned that we didn't partake of the Sacrament because it isn't in the Book of Mormon but we read the part in 3 Nephi where Christ gives the people the Sacrament and it made her happy. It was a great lesson. :) After the lesson she was standing up and showing us pictures of the 2011 Earthquake and we had a little wiggly earthquake right then--but she didn't notice, so Johnson shimai [Sister Johnson] put her hand up behind her just in case, but thankfully it was just a small one, and she didn't fall and she didn't even notice the earthquake either. It was super funny. She also told us that the 2011 Earthquake wasn't just one BIG earthquake--there were tons of aftershocks too. She said after the first earthquake all her books and food and everything in the fridge were strewn across her floor and there was a giant crack in her floor. So she cleaned it all up and put everything back in place--and then the next aftershock happened. So she cleaned it up--and the next aftershock happened. And then another one. She laughed and said she gave up cleaning everything and just made a little path to her bed, to her fridge, to the bathroom, and to the door. Amazing. Then we had chirashi kubari [flyer distribution] in the Izumi eki [station in Izumi]. It must have been a holiday or something because there were SO MANY PEOPLE. I gave out a GIANT stack of chirashi and there were at least 4 miracles: 1) A business man took a chirashi (they NEVER take them), 2) one woman RAN back to take one, 3) one guy went all the way around the corner and then came back for one, 4) one guy walked straight up to me and asked "So are you guys Protestant or Catholic?" and started talking to me about the church. It was amazing! Then we had DCS [district companionship study?].
Wednesday we had Seminary about the part in 1 Nephi where Laman and Lemuel murmur even after seeing an angel and talked about why they did that. Why did Laman and Lemuel murmur even after seeing an angel? Because they didn't remember their spiritual experiences. DON'T forget!! Oh, remember remember! (Helaman 5:12) Then we went housing and then did service at the Lodging home. It was super fun. I actually went straight to the resident with memory problems because I knew she'd repeat our conversation 2-3 times and thereby maybe I'd be able to learn and understand what she was saying. :D She was super genki [energetic?] and fun to talk to and one of the employees was sitting next to us with another resident, listening in to our conversation and when she asked me "When did you come to Japan?" And I said "Four months ago?" He about fell out of his chair. And then when she asked me "How old are you?" And I said "19" he said "What??" And turned to his co-worker and said "Gaijin [foreigners] look so old!" haha. It was super funny. And I also told her I was here as a volunteer missionary so know he knows that too. :D Then we went to an Udon [wheat noodles] shop for dinner and then had Kid's Eikaiwa [English class].

Recently, I've been thinking about the Willie and Martin Handcard [handcart] companies. I think I understand them a lot better now. I'd been wondering why did they have to suffer so much? Why did they have to keep going? Why why why--and I realized... they were just doing the best they could. They were in an impossible situation and just tried to act in true faith and Christianity. And that meant that their best course was to go forward--even though it meant suffering and many death[s]--because every other course they could take would lead to the same thing, but not to Zion. So they acted--and called upon God for help because they were doing what they'd been asked to do. And He helped them. He watched over them every step of the way and sent down angels from heaven to watch over them and bear them up and save them. They saw His hand moving powerfully in their lives. They saw miracles. And they knew of God's love. They knew He loved them. Because He never abandoned them.
Thursday was ZONE TRAINING!! It was awesome--in Kamisugi again so I got to see everyone and the big highlight was that Sendai Zone had 2 baptisms this months! And one of them was Oikawa shimai. :) They asked Orgill shimai to share her experience with it and she got all choked up and said "Oikawa shimai's baptism was the most spiritual experience of my life." It about made me cry too. It made me so happy. Also at Zone Training they said that when we send in our numbers to the mission online each week they go directly to Salt Lake, and that when we get our iPads we will report our numbers daily--also straight to Salt Lake. Amazing! Imagine what they can do with that kind of data--it will change the face of missionary work! Also, in June our new mission President, President Smith will do a mission tour and visit every apartment--pretty exciting! And from a servey [survey?] from converts 65% realized our message was true right at first. Crazy! First impressions are so important! The big idea I took from training was: Through the Atonement we can overcome our challenges. It was a great spiritual boost! From there we came back to Izumi and did some housing before going over to the Yamaguchi's and making (and eating) a delicious gyoza feast! Delicious! And we had a great gospel discussion with her friend. It was awesome. :) They are a super cute family.
Friday, the Sister Training Leaders had a split with the Nagamachi sisters here in Izumi so I got to see Stice shimai!!! It was so fun--and hilarious because our entire outfits were matching--accidentally! And she brought be [me] the button for my pink coat (that I'd given to her in the MTC) and even sewed it on for me. :D It was so fun to see her.
Saturday we visited a lot of people and an investigator (who isn't interested anymore) and housed with no luck, but we had a wonderful dinner with the Kanazawa family and shared a message about faith. They are so cute! They loved talking about Japanese culture with us--Japanese family symbols (like crests) (are on the back of family kimonos, on their dishware, etc.), Kanji (they wrote Bellows in kanji--club, Russian, whirlpool--haha), and apparently they have Phineas and Ferb in Japanese--I want to see it! Perry doko [where's Perry]? They loved the fact that Dad and Tyler have both served in Japan and there are temples in Fukuoka and (almost) in Sapporo now. They're hoping that means that Sendai is next. :D Oh, and that night I got a letter from JESSICA!!!!!!!!!! It made my day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yesterday was a wonderful fast Sunday. :) We found a PI [potential investigator] and Johnson shimai made delicious navajo tacos for dinner. Yum!
In other words it has been a wonderful week! It was so fun to bump into Mom, Zach, and Grandmother on email today. :) Glad to hear Conference is amazing! I can't wait to see it! Thank you for all your prayers, love, letters, and support! I love you all so much! I am so proud of you!

Kelsea's mom is in my prayers. Transfer calls are sunday--after general conference! I hope the peppermint keeps the deer away. Lauren--I hope soccer is fun! Zach--unrestricted driving??? And you have to take the ACT again? Sounds like you will have an awesome Spring Break! Don't forget to take pictures!! Tyler--how does it feel to have another birthday coming shortly? I'm glad you got my letter!! I love the shirt and sweater--they look like spring! :D We got a lot of appointments with members this week--hopefully many referrals. Thank you for your prayers! We do service every week. Our apartment building is probably 6 stories. We live on the 2nd floor, but no one lives on the first floor--it's just mailboxes. We don't have pictures on our door but we do in our apartment! We like to eat at this Udon shop between the church and the lodging home--it has delicious curry udon and yakiimo [baked or roasted sweet potato]! Grocery shopping... I don't really read the labels, I just grab what we've had in the fridge before. :D And lots and lots of funny looking vegetables. :D I'll have to take pictures. For breakfast I have oatmeal, cereal, or eggs, and lunch and dinner are typically fried veggies on something--toast, navajo tacos, rice, or noodles. There's a lot of good sauces here. The members feed us a good amount too. If we ask for an appointment with the family, a lot of times they will feed us, haha. I hope Mr. Kimbrough is doing okay.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Your missionary,
Bellows shimai :)
P.S. Tyler, can you send me more info about Chiba-san?
P.P.S. I love you!!!!!!!!

Week 23 Pictures (After a Picture-Less Week 22)