Monday, August 25, 2014

E-mail, 8/24/2014

My dear wonderful family,

First things first, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY [to Mom and Dad]!!!

I realized after I emailed that I didn't say anything about it in my email! I'm so glad you too [two] got married. I love our family! You two are such wonderful examples to me and I hope I can be happy and married someday like you too! :) You are the best parents anyone could ask for! I sent you a Happy Anniversary letter too, so I hope that arrives soon. :) I LOVE YOU!!!!! 

Speaking of arrivals, I got your package this week! The senior couple who does the mail (the Taylors) comes to our ward on Sunday and they brought my package with them! Special delivery. :) Thanks for coming to Japan Dad! And Mom, thanks for letting him come! :) I used my quad[ruple combination of the scriptures] and my purse and I'm wearing my new scarf this morning. Thank you thank you! I also loved the letters and everything inside. :) Like Zach's letter!! Zach we'll definitely have to have Avatar and Merlin parties at BYU. Bellows family parties! Mom I love your dendo [missionary work] stories!! You are such a good missionary!! 

Fancy dancy Tyler and Kelsea with a couch in a table. ;) Lauren tell me what your middle school schedule is going to be like. Will you be on time to classes? I got your letter this week! You're the best! I want to see a picture of your stuffed bear and his snaz[z]y bowtie. Airbound, zipline, and swimming--you must be tired! Wow, playing the organ. Talents. Woah, Noah leaves for BYU already--crazy!! Kirk emailed me a while ago. I'll have to email him back. Glad you're learning how to sew on buttons Zach. Next stem is hemming your pants when the hem rips! (The Elders usually need help. We don't mind at all! Glad I know how!) Good luck with Honor Society! How is Jeremy doing?
Nishikawa shimai [Sister Nishikawa, Katie's new companion] is great! She's from Osaka. Super cute. Quiet. Funny. She went to cooking school before her mission. She's 24 (normal for Japanese sister missionaries). She has a sister. She can't speak much English. I actually was roommates with her in Kamisugi for a transfer (and wasn't able to talk to her at all)! Definitely a Japanese test. So grateful! I can already tell it is helping my Japanese and I'm learning much more polite ways of saying things. Talking in Japanese all the time is tiring but good for me.

Gengo [language] tip: Write down the vocab[ulary] words you wish you knew how to say when you're talking to people and then find out how to say them.

Teaching went well this week. We only taught one investigator, Anazawa-san but that went super well and we were able to teach with a member and Anazawa-san loved her conversion story. Sad news though is she doesn't want to meet because it's too hot. Progressing?... not sure.
So proud of you Candice! Congrats on all the work! Tutoring, TA, editing! Such a blessing!!
Woah, everyone starts school tomorrow? That's crazy! Happy returns! Wow Lauren you are going to be so smart! Ooo Zach getting out of school early--is that legal? ;) What class are you taking online? Glad you're getting work hours! 

Yeah, it's hot up here. So hot my name tag[s] sweat. Not me of course because sister missionaries don't sweat. ;) 
Mmm I love sashimi and yakisoba and edamame. Especially taco sashimi. What Japanese food do you like? Nishikawa shimai and Arashiyama shimai [Sister Arashiyama] make lots of very Japanese food and this week I was eating a soup with seaweed and fish heads and stuff in it and started laughing mid-swallow because before my mission I would've hated that! Nishikawa shimai said: "You don't have to eat it if you don't like it." Haha. I will be feeding you very interesting food when I get home! I plan to learn all her secret recipes like pumpkin and hamburger stir fry!  

Congrats to the new seminary teachers!! And to Brother and Sister Johnson!!
Good luck Tyler with the GRE!
I didn't realize they were building a house across the street. Will I recognize North Carolina when I get back or be able to navigate on roads that have names?
Currently the only person we are teaching in [is] Anazawa-san. She's a grandma, in her 60's, and it's hard for her to go places because she doesn't drive. But she has lots of LDS friends and lots of questions. But until she says we can come again, we'll just keep texting her scriptures. Hoping we will be able to build relationships with members and help them share the gospel with their friends and also find some people though our own housing efforts.

One neat family we have in Nagamachi is the Tanaka family. One of their daughters went to Hong Kong as an exchange student and learned English and asks me to help her with her English speech contests all the time. It's so fun! I love it. :)

Tuesday was when we taught Anazawa-san. She came to the church for a Relief-Society cooking activity and then we had a lesson with Kaoru shimai [Sister Kaoru] (30's) after the activity. It went really well. Kaoru shimai was a great joint [a member team-up]. We talked about the Holy Ghost, prayer, and conversion. I lead [led]. I felt really alone but I think Satan was just wanted me to feel that way because the lesson went really well and the Spirit was really strong. Anazawa-san said she wanted to get a testimony too and committed to writing down things she's grateful for to prepare to pray (we thought that'd be a good first step to helping her learn how to pray again). After she left we talked about the lesson with Kaoru shimai and she had lots of great ideas about friends for Anazawa-san. Then we had service, dinner, etc.

Wednesday was transfer day. We 3 went to Kamisugi to meet our new companions and on our walk from the train station to the church we met lots of missionaries. It was super fun because it didn't matter if you knew them or not it was like you were automatic friends because you were both missionaries. Met up with NIshikawa shimai [who was just transferred to this area that day to be Katie's companion] and went to Eikaiwa [English class]. I studied the chapter in Alma of Captain Moroni and the Title of Liberty--love that part! In memory of our faith, our friends, our family, our salvation, our calling! 

In other news, Nishikawa shimai inherited another missionaries bike due to transfers and it is in such bad shape it's unridable, so Thursday morning the Elders met us at the church to see if they could fix it. But the amount of parts it needs in order to be fixed would be more expensive than buying a new bike so we're walking until the mission home brings a different bike she can use. We might be walking for a while. Hopefully it will be here soon!

Since our bikes were broken we visited a close-by member on Thursday and invited her to pray for Anazawa-san. 

Friday we had a great lesson with Obuchi shimai [Sister Obuchi] (LA) [less-active member] with Sister Hanzawa (active member). We talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ and then the temple and patriarchal blessings, and family history and Obuchi shimai seems like she is going so good. So exciting to see her progress and reading her scriptures more often and everything! 

Saturday we had a lesson with Kamata shimai [Sister Kamata] (LA). It was fun! She is a grandma and lives alone and can't really go anywhere so she loves when we visit. We may have figured out how to get her a ride to church too! Then we got lost trying to visit a member's house. Whoops... would've been good streeting [street contacting] but there wasn't anyone around... Then we walked 30 minutes to the Sports Activity and lots of investigators and LAs came which was super good! Then, since it was getting late, Nishikawa shimai and I gave our purses to Sister Yim and Sister Arashiyama [who have working bikes?] and ran home. Fun! But I may have broken Nishikawa shimai--she says she's really sore... whoops...

Church was good yesterday. I spoke in Sacrament meeting about how I want to be an eternal missionary and Nishikawa shimai and I taught the PMG [Preach My Gospel] class so it was a very busy day. We did personal study in the evening and I learned about making the most of temple attendance (set goals, take off your watch inside, listen with an open heart, pray for the person whose work you are doing, do work for your ancestors, think about your relationship to Christ and his relationship to Heavenly Father, understand the doctrine), President Monson, keeping the commandments (100% is easier than 98%), broken heart (motivated to change), contrite spirit (repentant, grateful for God's mercy), covenants (God offers us convenants [covenants] that bind us to him and promise us eternal life), and missionary work in a March 2012 Liahona I found in our apartment. Super good!

Favorite scripture of the week: 2 Nephi 19:10 "The bricks are hewn down but we will build with hewn stones; the sycamores are cut down but we will change them into cedars." Never give up! When everything falls apart, build with fallen stones, when trees are cut down, change them into roses. Never give up! Every closed door is an opened window. Just move forward. Make it all the way to the end of the marathon.

Thank you for the package and the letters and emails!! I love you all so much. You are such great examples to me. Thank you for your diligence in Heavenly Father's work and thank you for your love!! I love love love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Your missionary,

Bellows shimai :)

Monday, August 18, 2014

E-mail, 8/17/2014

My dear wonderful family!!

I am doing great! This past week was our week as a a three-some (Sister Tsuchida, Sister Yim and I)--it was so fun!!--and we had splits with the Sister Training Leaders. The weather is really good! It has been cloudly all week but not really much rain and it has been cool! So nice! The members have been saying that fall is coming and it may keep getting cooler from here or have one more hot burst before October. We'll see! It is humid but about the same as North Carolina or Iowa so I am very used to it haha. 

When we contact people and try to talk about Jesus Christ most people say "I'm Buddhist!" like that's the conversation ender. They really don't have any idea who he is. Most people perceive him as our equivalent of Buddha. A good person, started Christianity, historical person, but not God. Most people don't really even believe in God. A lot of them believe in a creator/or some powerful influence that made the Earth but don't necessarily believe that he is still around. We did service at Pocket house this week and taught Anazawa-san and Endo-san (our two investigators). Japanese is ooookay. I may be translating but it's not a very good translation! Nishikawa shimai [Sister Nishikawa, her new Japanese companion] will probably help though! 

They have this cool chart on the wall of the seminary room that says; Seminary -> Dendo [proselyting] -> Temple Marriage -> Eternal Life. I love it! I'm glad Shelby and Michelle are doing good and that Tyler and Kelsea got to Utah safely! I have a sister's bike now and it is so nice! That's crazy that school is starting so soon! What an incredible summer! When we talked about Moses and the Serpent on the Staff today in Seminary we tried to think of all the reasons why some people looked at the staff and some didn't. Maybe the staff was a hard to get to place or it was really small or people thought they didn't need it/didn't think they would die from the snake bites. But because they didn't look they perished. What am I doing that hurts me spiritually that I am not paying attention to and need to fix? The teacher said the bites represented our sin. I never thought about that before. I always thought the bites represented mortality (we all die) or the sicknesses/trials of life. But the bites also representing sin is so vivid--so easy to understand! I'm glad you come to Japan a lot Dad! :) 

With transfers Tsuchida shimai [Sister Tsuchida] will go to Morioka and be our Sister Training Leader (Yay!), Sister Yim and Sister Arashiyama (Nihonjin [Japanese]) will be companions here in Nagamachi and Nishikawa shimai and I will be companions here in Nagamachi. I'm excited! But soooo nervous! I have only been here 6 weeks and don't remember everyone's names or how to get places. Ahhhhh!! Sister Yim and I have divided all of the Less Actives and Potential Investigators and Investigators so I will be meeting some new people. Pray!

Currently there are 50-ish sisters in our mission. By next year we will be down to 25 sisters. CRAZY!!

Good luck with all the wildlife! Glad to hear Kelsea found a job! She and Tyler should buy futons! No frame needed! 

I would call a seminary teacher with dendo [proselyting] fire! Help all the young people reach out to their friends and invite them to learn the gospel! Help the youth dendo! Start sharing the gospel while you're young and share it for your entire life! 

I don't know if I'm a particularly good missionary, I can't speak or understand the language very well, and I can't remember everyone's names or teach perfectly, but I love Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father and want to follow them and become more like Him and I want and try to love everyone I meet and be full of the guidance and help the the Holy Ghost. Hopefully that is enough.

Candice I love your explanation to Oliver. And that is the coolest thing about Belonging to Heaven! What a wonderful birthday!!

This week during personal study I learned:
  • Repent and then don't mind
  • (a quote from Sister Tsuchida's sister) "My mission is the best experience for my life."
  • Don't forget your end goal. It's easy to forget. Remember!
  • Where your treasure is: Of the possessions that I have what do I really need? What attributes/skills/qualities do I want to acquire? How am I doing at becoming the person Heavenly Father wants me to be? Who and what do I want to become?
  • Use your talents to dendo
  • Pray for missionary opportunities
  • Reach out in normal, pleasant ways
  • Introduce people to Jesus Christ
  • Can God trust me to invite people to learn His gospel?
  • from "The Power of Everyday Missionaries" The number of people we are teaching, converts, numbers, etc. depends not on our area it depends on us. Our faith, how we dendo, how we use God's time, if God trusts us. (I never realized this in this way before--it made me think I need to change my entire method of dendo!)
  • Rules give us opportunities to be blessed because when we follow a rule we are blessed. No rule, no blessings. Exactly obedient, more blessings. 
  • Alma 45:6-7 "And Alma said unto him again: Will ye keep my commandments? And he said: Yea, I will keep they commandments with all my heart." LOVED THAT. When we obey we show our love and respect and honor those who we obey.
This week has been the Japanese Festival for the Dead (O-bon) where everyone goes back home and visits their family grave and pays tribute to their dead. Kind of like the Japanese equivilent of Thanksgiving. There are lots of festivals and there were SO many people who came back to Nagamachi to be with their families--the traffic was crazy! We also heard really loud music a few blocks away for a festival when we were eating dinner last night. Really interesting!

Tuesday we taught Anazawa-san. We were trying to teach the first half of lesson 3 but when we got to faith she had such a hard time with it. But we were able to show her on a map the address of the church in Kamisugi (where she's planning to move at some point). Thank goodness I served there and know the address! After we left Sister Tsuchida said: I think Anazawa-san has waves in her heart; I believe! I can't. Maybe... etc. I thought that was a really good insight. That principle is true for everyone! We just need to be patient, pray for her, help her. No one gets baptized all at once and everyone has their agency. We just have to do our best to encourage her to use hers to try out the gospel so her faith can grow. Anazawa-san made a good point though; the gospel is hard for her because everything we're teaching her is completely new. We agreed that it's hard but encouraged her to commit to doing something daily like prayer or scriptures and coming to church and that through that her faith will grow if she works at it. After her lesson we went to a volunteer place called Pocket House. A government service that makes bentos (packed lunches) and take them to old people who live alone. The service we do is wash all the boxes/dishes. Fun! Very specific steps, lots to remember. 

Wednesday we had District Meeting and our trio did training on testimony and then had a mini testimony meeting. They were all so good and the Spirit was so strong! Then we had Eikaiwa [English class]. 

Thursday we had splits with the Morioka Sister Training Leaders. Tsuchida shimai went with one and Yim shimai [Sister Yim] and I went with another. Good.

Friday we had lunch with Hanzawa shimai [Sister Hanzawa]--sooo nice! She's probably 40. She gives all the sisters who serve in Nagamachi these beautiful cute bracelets she makes and she said when she makes them she prayer that we can dendo [proselyte] with genki [vigor, energy] and not cry too much (because she knows missions are hard). So sweet!! Soooo kind. She says the primary girls are her little daughters and the sister missionaries are her grown up daughters. She feed us delicious tofu hamburgers and talked about meeting up again with one of the sister missionaries who taught her. It made me think; I want to find someone like Hanzawa shimai! Imagine contacting her after the mission and seeing her grow and progress in the gospel--I want that! And then this idea popped into my head; it doesn't just have to be on my mission that I find people like that. If I am a faithful, valiant missionary throughout my whole life I can have that same experience anytime, anywhere. The time for me to dendo is my entire life! After my mission too!

And I was showing my family pictures to Hanzawa shimai and Tsuchida shimai recognized one of Tyler's companions!! Tyler were you ever companions with a Kawahara choro [Elder Kawahara]???? AND Tsuchida shimai's hometown has a volcano that sends out ash every day--and it's the only place in the Fukuoka Mission that does that. Did, did you ever serve in Kagoshima?

Saturday we had lunch with a less active and a lesson with another less active.

Yesterday we got transfer calls!

It's been fun to serve with Tsuchida shimai and Yim shimai. They are so kind and wonderful. Like family! I'm so grateful I got to be with both of them! They are so full of the spirit and of love! We have had lots of interesting conversations. One conversation we had was: Would you have accepted the gospel from the missionaries? Yim shimai said: No. Tsuchida shimai said: I would say no! I am Nihongin [Japanese] I am buddhist! I said: I don't know. I used to think no, but as I've thought about it more on my mission I've thought I really like to be happy. If the missionaries told me I could be happier because of the gospel I might listen. Maybe that's what I need to tell more people!

I am so grateful for this gospel. It is true. I know it. I live it. I love it. I share it.

Thank you for your beautiful emails and love and always helping me. You are wonderful!!!

Thank you for all that you do to share the gospel! There are people you are supposed to find for the missionaries! Please don't miss out on the blessings of sharing the gospel!

Thank you for being so wonderful. :)

I love you!!!!!


Bellows shimai :)

Monday, August 11, 2014

E-mail, 8/11/2014

My dear wonderful family,

It sounds like the open house was amazing!!! I LOVE THE PICTURES YOU SENT!!!! My good looking family :D. I can't wait to see the ones from Brother Yochim as well. Bishop Tanner is our new home teacher--pretty cool!! Candice--that is so exciting about starting everything! So amazing!! 

I realized the other day that I'm almost done with the only summer I will spend in Japan. Crazy!! I guess that means the Bellows Family will be going back to school in a few weeks--have you had a chance to have summer yet? :D 

Lots has happened this week!

Tuesday we had Eikaiwa meeting and then a mogi [roleplay] with Nishimura shimai (Sister Nishimura). Then we stopped by a Mr. Doughnuts for lunch before we biked the rest of the way to an LA's [less-active member's] house but it looked like she might have customers over so we housed [knocked on doors in] her neighborhood while we waited and met 2 really nice people. 1 was a man named Goto-san who wasn't interested in religion (even though he was all about Agency, haha) but kept on using English while we were talking to him so we mentioned Eikaiwa [English class] and he got super excited and we gave him a flyer and invited him and then kept housing. Then we met this lady who gave us marygolds [marigolds], sports drink, allowed us to help her husk her corn and then asked us about our message and our purpose. Really felt the Spirit while we talked to her. We sang a hymn together and read together from the Book of Mormon on her front porch. Her husband and her dog were there too and she said it was okay for us to stop by again but didn't have a specific time. Then we went back to the LA's house and rang the door but her customer was still there so she couldn't talk but she gave us her phone number so we could call and set up an appointment. 

Then we came back to the apartment and did language study and planning and then watched a Mormon Message DVD we borrowed from Elder Low. The first one was the "Because of Him" video. I like to call it the Second Chances video. With all that was going on when I watched that I just started crying. I felt such comfort and peace--that whatever happens it will all be okay because of Him. I can try again and again and again. We went on and watched other videos, but that same peace stayed with me. When I crawled into bed on my knees to say my evening prayer I could still feel it. Peace. Like a warm feeling of comfort wrapped around me. And I prayed in faith and gratitude to God. I know everything will be okay because of Him. I know that my Redeemer lives. I know my Father in Heaven loves me. I know that I am supposed to be here in this mission in this apartment with these people at this time to learn things I could not learn any other way. My experiences with these sisters has helped me develop a greater love for others and a greater desire to serve, show love, help, and be Christ-like at all times--to everyone-with the hope that I can make some difference to some one to help make their burden lighter and their journey more joyful and to be able to walk their path all the way to the end. 

It has also strengthened my desire to love and help my fellow missionaries.

Maybe I can be a helping hand to them on their 18 or 24 month journey. Maybe I can be the hand that keeps them from falling.

We can all make it. 

Our journeys are not just about ourselves making it. We can make it together better than we can alone.

We can all make it.

We don't have to beat up each other or ourselves. We don't have to be hard on people or exacting or mean.

If we just love and help and serve.

If we obey with kindness and speak without judgment, if we understand that everyone has their own ideas and comes with their own background and knowledge and that we are all equal in our Heavenly Father's eyes, if we truly see people as children of our Heavenly Father with the potential to become like Him and that our responsibility is to do all we can to help and support others in our mutual quest for salvation and eternal exaltation won't we truly be disciples of our God?

Won't we truly be filled with charity and love and hope and patience and courage and faith and obedience and humility and all other Christ-like attributes? Won't we truly desire to share the gospel with everyone? Won't we be filled with the Holy Ghost to lead us and guide us and help us find and teach an baptize and plant seeds Won't we--despite trial and sorrow--be filled with peace and joy? I think this is the key to true happiness in missionary life--and after we return.

Being disciples about Christ is about more than just ourselves and our needs. It is about looking beyond ourselves. It is thinking of others before me. The call of missionary work is the call to be Christ-like. It is not just my journey or Sister Taylor's journey or Elder Morgan's journey. It is our journey. We are the family of God. We cannot make it by ourselves. We need each other--to support and help and encourage and to inspire and most of all to remind us to look to our Savior and live. And if we look to Him in faithfulness, and love and life our brothers and sisters in diligence, we shall live. Together. Forever. We will inherit eternal life.

I'm supposed to be here.

Because of Him we have second chances.

Wednesday we had another Japanese lesson with Maquel (teaching her Japanese) and then had dinner and Eikaiwa. The twins came and we had so much fun! We are learning better how to help them learn when they just want to play. :) It was so funny--when we started class their mom asked them "Do you remember their names?" And they said "Yes! Inu (dog) and Mellon (cantaloupe)." Hahaha! So now Sister Yim and I call ourselves Sister Dog and Sister Cantaloupe. Teehee.

In case you think my Japanese is perfect now I have a story for you. Thursday we had a lesson with Obuchi shimai [Sister Obuchi] (LA) and had a great lesson about the Plan of Salvation and afterwards she gave us mango smoothie ice cream because it was so hot and she asked us what our favorite music to listen to is. But I misunderstand what she was talking about and thought she was asking if either of us had musical hobbies and I said "Yes, I like to sing." But because of the way you don't have to say everything in Japanese, and with the background context of her actual question, it sounded like "Yes, I like to listen to myself sing." She laughed really hard, haha. I understand normal conversations with people most of the time now--such a blessing from Heavenly Father! But, of course, I still mess up, haha.

Then we came back to the apartment and met up with Sister Tsuchida, Sister Hall, and President and Sister Smith. They took the 4 of us to dinner and then to a baptism in Kamisugi (I got to go back to Kamisugi again!!) and then we slept at the mission home and got up early the next morning and went to Zone Training in Yamagata (which was really good) and then came back to Nagamachi.

Saturday we had a lesson with Anazawa-san and invited her to baptism and she wants to be baptized but is worried about keeping the baptismal covenant so she wants to learn more about it before she promises to be baptized. It was a really really good lesson. Then we had a lesson with Kamata shimai [Sister Kamata] (LA) about Christ healing the Nephite children which was also super good. 

Sunday we had a normal church and everything and I've been asked to speak in Sacrament Meeting in a few weeks. O.o Guess they think my Japanese is good enough. That or they want me to stop translating for the Taylors... :D 

From getting to spend a lot of time with the Smiths this week I have come to love them so much. Smith shimai [Sister Smith] especially I came to admire so much from getting to talk with her so much. She is truly poised, good with people, and full of love. A wonderful example. An incredible hostess. I am just amazing and feel so honored to get to serve and work with such outstanding people here on my mission.

Well, my dear family, I love you so much. I am so grateful to be a part of your family and to be able to feel your love from so far away. I am so grateful for your examples and how well you keep me updated. I feel your love as I hear about your adventures and read your emails every week. You are so amazing. I learn so much from you. I feel so blessed to always be associated with you and to be sealed to you for eternity. Let's all run with enthusiasm and valiance the gospel path and invite others to come to come with us and partake of the love of God. He loves us! I love you! Go fight win you wonderful Bellows[e]s!!

I love you!!!!!!!!!!


Your missionary,

Bellows shimai :)

P.S. Sister Yim, Sister Tsuchida, and I are a 3-some companionship for a week until transfers are announced. We will see what happens. I feel so lucky to get to serve with them!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

E-mail, 8/3/2014

My dear wonderful family,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!! I love you! So glad we got to bump into each other via email today. I hope you have a great birthday!!

Updates on the week:

Monday night we had FHE [family home evening] at the mission home (everyone is invited) and our investigator Anazawa-san came and Oikawa shimai [Sister Oikawa] came too!! It was the first time I've seen her since her baptism!! As was as wonderful as ever. We took a picture together. We tried to make funny faces at the same time but apparently we're not coordinated enough to do that... It was so good to see her!

Tuesday we did hand massage service again today and the grandmas taught us how to play this Japanese flat marble game called ohajiki. So fun! The grandmas were so good at it. Basically you have to flick 2 marbles together so that they ricochet apart and become a gate. Then you have to flick another marble through the gate. If you do it then you get to keep the middle marble and get to go again. And you have to do all this without hitting any of the other marbles. You go until all the marbles are gone. The one with the most marbles wins. Fun! Hard. Those grandmas cleaned the board! 

Wednesday we went to visit our Deaf investigator and were able to talk with her but she was too busy for a lesson. Maybe when summer break is over. Watching Yim shimai [Sister Yim] sign with her reminded me of how much I love signing. I LOVE IT! :) Then we had District Meeting and Eikaiwa [English class].

Thursday we taught a lesson with a less active and a member about how to study the Book of Mormon by reading together and stopping to discuss. She understand a lot more than I realized! And the member was a great joint. We gave them both cookies and came back to the church for our training with the APs [assistants to the mission president]. They trained us about how we can become missionaries who are full-time teachers. It was excellent. They are both very good missionaries. They both bore their testimonies at the end and Elder Kawamura said "Our hope is that as a mission we will find more investigators and teach more investigators. And then we will be able to become teaching missionaries. And we will be able to do that as we focus not just on working harder but also on using the gifts that God has given us--our intelligence, our brains, and the Gift of the Holy Ghost. As we strive to work with those resources we will be able to become truly powerful and effective missionaries." Super good training! Then we had interviews with President and Sister Smith. Love them! They are so cool. Sister Smith told me about a friend of hers that translated the Book of Mormon into an African language. Her friend said that she got to know the prophets as she was translating their words and would describe to Sister Smith their personalities. When she was translating Captain Moroni's words she described him as picky! She was translate and then ask him "Is that right?" and he would say "No!" and she'd have to do it again. Picky picky! she said. She loved Moroni. So cool! As you've been reading the scriptures lately have you gotten to know the prophets who wrote them? I wonder so much what they were like--their personalities, their quirks, their stories (more than just the ones in the scriptures), their senses of humor--everything! I asked President Smith if he thought missionary work was fun and he said "Yes, I love teaching! It is work but you can whistle while you work and having someone accept the gospel is true joy." Then we went to seminary with the youth and they had a scripture mastery recitation activity where you got 1 piece of an ice-cream [sundae] for every scripture mastery you recited. Fun! 

The Tanaka family has an LDS girl from America staying with them for a few weeks to see if she wants to do a foreign exchange program, so on Friday Sister Yim and I taught her a Japanese lesson at the church. It was so fun! We taught cultural phrases of entering and leaving, eating, plain form, masu, and how to respond to the first questions people usually ask her (where are you from? how old are you? are you a student?) She is a fast learner and a really good student and cute and loves learning Japanese. We had so much fun! Then we taught a lesson to our investigator Anazawa-san about Joseph Smith. (miracle: I was able to recite the first vision in Japanese!) It went very well and she agreed to come to church!

Saturday we did weekly. :)

Sunday Anazawa-san (our investigator) and Kobayashi shimai [Sister Kobayashi] and her two kids (LA [less active]) came to church! SO happy!! Anazawa-san said she didn't understand church but had fun, haha. Kobayashi shimai was worried her kids would have a hard time in primary and she wouldn't be able to come to relief society but one of the Primary workers took care of her kids and another sister invited her to come sit by her at relief society so she came! So good for her! We were so happy! So grateful to the members who helped without us even asking! I translated testimony meeting for the Tanaka family's visiting American student :)--hard! Translating testimony meeting is so hard because lots of times people talk super fast or while they are crying and so I can't understand them so a lot of my translation was "She went to... flowers...temple...I don't know know what she said. But it strengthened her testimony!" haha! I also translated Gospel Principles and Relief Society for Sister Taylor (office senior missionary with her husband). It was so awesome because during everything she would listen really hard to both the speaker and my translation and then ask things like "How do you say word? What is desu keru demo?" And then she would write it down in a notebook. It makes me so happy that all the new senior missionaries are trying to learn Japanese!! It will make people SO happy. :) So happy!

Some things I've learned from personal study this week:

  • The holy ghost speaks to our hearts
  • Worry about what God thinks
  • If we long to be with God that's a good key indicator
  • Though faith in Jesus Christ we can be supported in trials, be relieved of the burden and pain of sin, receive joy, and desire to share the gospel. I think I want to have plenty of faith!
  • Were it not for the records, Ammon and his brethren could not have converted so many Lamanites (Alma 37:9). So use the scriptures!
  • How can we help people become genki [strong?]? By small and simple things
  • The gospel enables you to become like Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Learn of Him and seek to incorporate his attributes into your life. Through the Atonement you can achieve this goal.
  • The more I become like Christ the better I can preach and testify of his gospel and minister to others.

So a great week! Thank you for the letters and emails!! I love hearing from you guys. You are soooo wonderful. Do you know that? You are. :) It makes me so happy to hear from you. I love you so much!! Thank you for the clothes! So helpful!! Thank you so much! Sizes are perfect! And they are so pretty! 

I am happy. I love this work. I love this gospel. I am so grateful for my leaders and for a living prophet today. This gospel is true. I want to share it will [with] all of my heart and hope you can find people to share it with too!

I love love love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Your missionary,

Bellows shimai :)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Week 40 Pictures

[Since Katie couldn't be here for Tyler and Kelsea's wedding, Mom sent her a bridesmaid's dress, and Katie sent us some photos of her in it.]