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 :)

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