Thursday, April 21, 2016

Hump Day!

April 18, 2016

ようこそ皆さん!In English: Welcome Everyone! Ha
I can't believe it, a transfer is over again.. It gets faster and faster every time.. And can you believe it? I am HALF WAY! I hit that mark this week.. Wow!! It's insane... But we don't need to think about leaving Japan, don't want too haha so sounds like all is well back there in America. I'm glad all is well and such. Geez, we just need that baby to come Brookie, ha goodluck! Praying for you! Well my last week in Izumo (I think) still not 100% sure) but it was such a good one! So many miracles and oh man I just love these people more than I ever thought possible. I truly have come to know how God loves us and Christ loves us from serving these people. It's such a heart warming feeling. Well I'll start with yes there was an earthquake but we are all good! The big part actually wasn't in our mission so we are all safe here. I did feel it though, it was a weird feeling. It was like 3 am and I just felt our whole apartment just move back and forth. But the missionaries in that mission have such a great opportunity to serve a lot now so that'll be a great missionary opportunity for them. Aladdin is doing well and is planned to be baptized May 1st and she always sends us cute text about what she learned from reading today etc, it's great!  So this week we had yet another amazing lesson with the golden one. She is ah just so prepared. So we taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Faith in Christ, repentance, baptism and Holy Ghost, then of course enduring to the joyful end we were talking about repentance and she just looks at us and says how grateful she is for Christ because she said sisters I was not a good person before, but I met you and wanted to change so I've been changing then you offered me to learn about your church and I'm a whole new person. I testified to her of how grateful I was for my savior and the spirit was so strong we all just teared up and she said she was going to change her job so that she has Sunday off to attend church and have Sunday to be with her family. I hope that she will keep listening to us and we can see her receive baptism. So this Saturday we had a Branch Brazilian BBQ and it was SO great. It brought so many LA to come and the members were so awesome to befriend them and you could see the joy in their eyes and I just was so happy to see the activity making a difference. We ate A TON of delicious meat and then played minute to win it games with everyone and it was such a great activity to do to help people come and feel loved. We also played soccer and I was in heaven! It has been so long and boy was it a blast. Last is the spiritual thought of the week. We were challenged by our ZL to get another confirmation of our own personal testimonies. So I thought, about why that would be a thing but it is something we should all do often. So that next morning I knelt in prayer before study and asked if this church was true and to feel of that once again and I was reading through my general conference notes and I wrote "Lauren, this church is true." But I have no remembrance of writing that, but it answered my question so strongly. I felt the spirit warm in my heart and knew that it is true. I want you all to do the same. This week, ask for that reconfirmation or your first confirmation that this church is true. I know that if you have a sincere desire to know that God will bless you and give you that answer that it is His true church. I know that this gospel can bring so much joy and happiness to anyone. Do not ever forget how blessed you are to have this amazing gospel in your life please. And do not be afraid to share that because people may not care at that moment and time but some day they will remember what you said or tried to share with them I promise. I know this church is true, I know Christ suffered for each of us, not just for our sins but for all our pains and sorrows. Rely on Him in all you do. He is there, He loves you, and will do all He can. #RELY 

"My favorite grandma in the world!!"

"Kokkan (exchange)

"BBQ party ha before the fact

"Half way pictures hahahaha, lame I know but oh well"

Prayer is real! こにちわ家族や友達

April 11, 2016

こにちわ家族や友達!Hello Family and Friends!
Time is CRAZY! Another week has come and gone yet again and it's crazy... Transfers are next week again, WOW! But we won't talk about that because it's a sensitive subject right now.. Anyway, still no baby, sad! Ha but besides that all sounds pretty good. I'm glad to see Joe home safe and sound. What a great example he is and what a blessing it is to see God protecting his missionaries. Tragedies are never fun but I know from this people are growing closer to God and it strengthened our church as one. I love Joe and hope all is well with him and the others who were involved. Well this week was a good basic week but we did have a few miracles and amazing experiences of course. So this weeks best news is Aladdin the filipina moms daughter, HAS A DATE! April 24th, so yes after transfers and I'll probably miss it but it's so amazing to see her have the faith just like her mom. Wow! She has such a strong testimony of the atonement which is just perfect. If you understand the atonement, then the gospel just makes sense. So this week we had a kokan/blitz. So a blitz is our whole district goes to one of the areas in our district and we just talk to everyone and teach the gospel. We also went on exchanges with the other sisters in our district. I got to serve with a girl one transfer above me whom I love more than ANYTHING! I was so excited.  Well we were assigned to go visit a PI and we had to walk and it was like a 50 minute so we were just going to talk to people as we went, well it rained SO hard all day that no one was outside and everyone thought we were crazy for even being outside. We got so wet and the end result, we found the PI's house but she wasn't home haha so we walked back... It was sad missionary work but we made it a fun experience and there's a reason or everything. So we finally got to watch general conference!! And first, let me tell you the miracle and small testimony builder experience we had. So we watched it in a separate room with a small lap top and it wouldn't work and we had no other way of watching. So Mami Shimai looks at us and says well let's pray then. So we all stopped and prayed for it to work and right after we pushed play and it worked the rest of the time. Yes it was small but it strengthened my testimony of prayer and I know God cares about us so much he helped us to hear his Prophets words. Before I tell you my favorite talks here was a cool experience with the nurse student. She came to general conference and she said that she just felt the spirit and loved hearing from the leaders. She
said from one of the talks that she heard, she just felt God and Christ tell her that they know how she feels in her trial right now. General conference does wonders for anyone. So my favorites were President Erying "Where Two or Three are Gathered", Elder Holland "Tomorrow the Lord will do Wonders Among you", President Uchtdorf "He will Place you on His Shoulders and Carry you Home." I want to share two quotes one from Hollands talk and one from Uchtdorf. First Holland, "Heaven is cheering you on and don't let the conference spirit leave you." Then from Uchtdorf, "Just start with hope." Those just stuck out to me because isn't that phrase "Heaven is cheering you on.." such a comforting phrase. We constantly have support behind us and we never have to feel alone. Then sometimes, at least for me having faith can be hard but Uchtdorf let us know, just have hope. It's that easy, hope. I know that what the prophet and the other leaders of our church said are all true. General conference is such a special blessing for us to have and do not lose that spirit and that revelation you received.  Please now, write down the things you felt and were prompted to do so that they can be acted upon and we can change and grow. I know I have lots of things I was prompted to change and improve. I will do all I can to do those and follow those things. I love this gospel and teaching it to the loving, kind, and amazing people of Japan. Share it too! #RELY #SHAREIT


"More Sakura or cherry blossom pictures"

"AH! Isn't she adorable?! I'm gonna miss her..."

"I didn't know what to do ha"

"My New Zealand buddies T:)"

"A Samoan foot to mine haha"

"Oh My"

"Trying to cover myself from the rain"

"Our Kokan (comp exchange) it was POURING AND WE WERE SOAKED

                                                                   "We found shelter"

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

"Smith, Shimai......" *keep reading to see the end*

April 4, 2016

Hello People of America,
How are you? Happy General Conference weekend for you all. I hope it is awesome and that you receive answers and revelation you need. I know if you go into general conference with a question or something in need them Heavenly Father will help you receive that. This week was AMAZING!! So many miracles and just Gods hand in a lot of things. I love the gospel!  Okay first, just a fun part of the week, I'll send pictures but we went and saw the famous 桜 or Sakura or in English Cherry Blossoms. WOW! They are just like people say, and just like the pictures you see. They are beautiful and we just sat and ate a picnic together and played apples to apples with investigators and members. It was AMAZING.  Just an update on the dancer, we are having a hard time... She believes in our church teachings like 70% and her church teachings like 60% but she doesn't believe in one completely. We are not sure how to help her right now because no matter what it's the same response... It's hard but it was a miracle to see her open up about still believing in her other church too. But yeah any advice with this, please do tell because ah I love her and want her to receive baptism so bad! We love her and know she will come around soon. A miracle of the week, so we teach this Brazilian family English every week right? Well we forgot they had youth camp so they weren't home when we went there so we didn't have any back up plans so we prayed about what we should do and we both had this impression to visit our branch president. His family has been going through a very hard time lately and it's been a rough road lately. So we decided to go there, we knock, no answer... What? I know we both got the same prompting, why would he not be home? Well we knock one more time and he answers. We share a message and as we shared the message, he just teared up and we testified of our Saviors atonement and he said he needed this today and it helped. Isn't the spirit amazing?  It was a simple thing of not having the girls there to teach English so we pray and just an idea of go visit him and we followed luckily and it was just right. AH, God is good people, God is good! Okay okay, THE BEST PART OF THE WEEK! The nurse student RECEIVED BAPTISM! Yes she did.  It was awesome. But before I go into that, we were teaching her Saturday and we were reviewing the baptism and such then she said I have a question, "Do I have to serve a mission when I become Mormon?" We explained to her girls don't have to but they are encouraged and etc. well she looks at us and said "Well I want to go so is that okay?" And we were both just on cloud 9! WHAT?! Of course you can go! We testified of how we should pray to know if it's our path or not but she had a few fears and concerns about leaving work etc but we were able to testify of the blessings we will receive through sacrificing that time. She will do amazing things as a missionary, her dream is America and especially Utah for her mission. Awesome right?!  Okay now her baptism, it was great! It was before church at 9 so we had to get up at 5:30 to go start the font so it would be ready etc so that was early and fun.  But then she was baptized by the branch president and the first time her toe came up and we had to do round 2 but it's okay the second one worked! She was just smiling so big! So we were helping her blow dry her hair and stuff, she looks at me and in English says "Smith Shimai, IM MORMON!" Haha it was so cute!  I said yes you are, and just got huge tears in my eyes. Then she kept blow drying and she stops again and says, "I feel so warm and pure now." AH! I love the spirit... She even went up and bore her testimony during fast and testimony meeting. She got to nervous and forgot how to end it so she said "owari desu." Which is 'Im finished" haha and walked of, so precious! But wow it was spirit filled.. I love seeing this part of the missionary work take place! Well last, I just want to share a quote, "God made you as you are in order to use you as HE planned." I know this is true, He is our Father and he made us all so we need to love each other and love ourselves. Please never forget that He is your Father and He loves you. If you do ever forget that, wrote this quote down and look at it and also say this quote in the mirror and I promise it'll change how you feel about yourself. He loves you and I love you all so much! Miss you lots and I hope you're all safe, healthy, and happy!

"Sakura (cherry blossoms)"

"Isn't it beautiful"

"Picnic by the beautiful cherry blossoms"

My comp took this cool picture during exercise"

"My companion thought it was funny because the kitchen plug is the only plug that works right now so I had to.."

Easter Package

"Thanks mom!!"

"It happened!"

"Chiharu AKA the nurse student received baptism"