I'm off to serve an LDS mission in Kobe, Japan from June 2015 to December 2016. My mom will be keeping this blog updated with my latest letters, photos, adventures, etc.! Also I would LOVE to hear from everyone - katya.wagstaff@myldsmail.net

Friday, May 27, 2016

Monday May 16, 2016

Monday- helped a grandma carry her groceries and now have a new potential investigator!

Tuesday- Koukan (exchange) with Nakayama Shimai and we had first official lesson with a grandma from Eikaiwa who came to church! We think she's been prepared really well (has a Chrisian background, used to go to another church years ago!) and she opened up a LOT, sadly in grandma Japanese to our member (another Japanese grandma) and Nihonjin comp...so I didn't understand all of it...most of it...and wouldn't commit to baptism, but still progressing!

Also nice reminder that God loves us and knows us individually- we went streeting around a bigger Eki and it wasn't going so great, so I asked Nakayama Shimai what she likes to do to feel better/get pumped again - visit members. Sadly there were are no members close to that Eki that we know of, so that wasn't an option, so we just kept going. Like 5 minutes later we passed a book store and saw a YSA from the ward!! Said hi and got to talk/teach her for 5-10 minutes and then we were ready to keep going strong! 

Wednesday- on the way to a less-active's house we stopped and talked to a grandma sitting on a bench and turns out she had met missionaries before about a year ago and wants to learn English, plus willing to listen to a church message, not interested, but willing, and that's something! 

Thursday- taught an eternal investigator who brought up her usual concerns, BUT somehow in the same lesson also wants to really try reading the BOM again and therefore starting to progress! Later had a less-active lesson- her last one before GOING TO THE TEMPLE SATURDAY. We've met her consistently every week since I've been here and let me tell you, just from her alone I've learned that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ people really can change. Skip ahead- Sunday at Ward Council everyone talked about her- surprised that she's active but now making plans to convert her family! Back to Thursday, visited a member for her birthday and her gift is making everyone feel really good about themselves, this while we were trying to show love to her for her birthday. 

Friday- great district meeting, seriously a fun district. 
I'm a horse. 

Then actually met a less active who we've tried to visit probably at least once a week...a person does live behind the door and she can come back!! Had a lesson with a fantastic family who came to church last week and explained church, mainly the Sacrament. Even though it was really simple, it was a really special experience to help them slowly understand what Jesus Christ has done for us, the significant role He plays in our lives. 
Later cancelled plans, but obviously that just means we're following God's plan and met 2 cool kokosei (high schoolers). 

Saturday was HOT with lots of lessons, a contacted referral, successful visited a less active and gave away a BOM to a guy who at first wasn't interested, then randomly ran into one of our investigators! Good day. 

Sunday we received a referral from an investigator, funny thing was she didn't know her very well and we didn't know her, but actually apparently the elders taught this woman a little bit years ago, so that was cool! Also recognized one of our former investigators at a street corner and talked to her a bit...once again an investigator, hopefully! 

Also I don't remember when, but another experience to show that this is God's and He's the director of this show: we found a former investigator in our area book that we really wanted to go after, but didn't have a lot of info except that she worked at the Internet cafe missionaries went to before iPads. So we asked a member weeks ago where that was- he pointed it our on Google maps, but wasn't 100% sure. We figured why not? And went after it...ended up at a Home Depot kind of place with no Internet cafes in sight. Later had a follow up call with our district leader and told him about it- he was here when they didn't have iPads and knew a big company missionaries usually went to- found out it's super close to the church! (Made a lot more sense than the fictional Home Depot place that was a 45 minute ride; still grateful for member's willingness to help!). Went to this place and found out she was still working there they thought, but wasn't there that day. Then the next day we handed out fliers for an upcoming sushi activity at the church to a neighborhood by the church...one of the houses had her name on it! Also it's a pretty rare name, so seemed like a good shot, but no one home. Went back the next day and the mom was  home! She remembered the sister missionaries, talked about how her daughter loves English, but actually just left for an extended trip to New Zealand and Australia for 2ish years...and she left 2 days ago. No! We were so close to finding her before she left, and couldn't have taught her but maybe had got her in contact with missionaries in NZ/Australia. BUT, is God the director? Yes, so he gave us our directions, our miracles, and obviously has more in store than we know. So long story short, no new investigator, but found a much bigger plan in store. 

God has a plan for each one of us. Have you prayed about it lately? Have you followed all of the promptings, the directions he has given you? Have you noticed the miracles laid right in front of you? Please look out for them! Follow Him, it's really rewarding.

Also sorry, funny:Sorry pioneers, no handcarts on this Japanese road! 

Love you!
Wagstaff 姉妹

Nothig huge, don't even know why but emails made me cry this week, I was really happy to read them. Also fun Japanese!
Figures that I sound different...I live in Japan and for the last few months even the English is different (Tahitian and Australian!). Whatever, plenty of time to transition back. I love it here! There's just so much that I love here!

Interesting thing lately- I'm trying to study and focus on HOPE this transfer, and of course you know about the baptism challenge, which is coming up this week. In a way, I think I've been given challenges that are hard to keep hope up in order to strengthen me to have stronger hope when it's looking hopeless. Also something that hit home this week- my hope should be in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, not in imperfect investigators/ other imperfect people including myself.

Monday May 23

We had a really good weekend with the whole mission going to Kobe for a conference with Elder Stevenson from the 12!

Last Tuesday I went on an exchange with Wakayama sisters, I was with Blomquist Shimai! We got to work with members a lot, starting with Visiting Teaching with some sisters! Then visited some a grandpa and another grandma that Steere Shimai had found last week- something I've learned here is that it doesn't really matter who, I just like talking to people, and that's what we get to do everyday, with the greatest message! Next, Blomquist Ahimai's bike chain fell off and got super stuck, at the bottom of a big hill. Small miracle was that I fixed it!
First time fixing one so bad...and then we were only 20 minutes latefor next appt (called ahead and norm takes like 30 minutes, so obviously there was some heavenly help). We met with a not-so less active member who just went to the temple last week!! She did baptisms for her grandma at Tokyo and had an AMAZING experience. There is absolutely no doubt that the temple is the house of God and we can feel the Spirit in abundance there- didn't get to go and still my testimony was strengthened because she had a wonderful experience. One step at a time and her family will be eternal!

Wednesday was super good! For language study/finding/building relationship with members we went to a free community Japanese class with Kerri, member from Taiwan. Learned about some Japanese mistakes I've been making a lot, then found out one of the teachers used to come to our Eikaiwa years ago! After, we brought a lunch and ate there with Kerri and 2 Chinese students- ended up using English and Japanese (Kerri doesn't speak Japanese yet, one doesn't speak English) and then the third really only knows Chinese, so they translated for her, so it was an interesting lunch and lots of fun! One can hopefully someday become an investigator, because she was expressing how she just didn't feel happy in China, and it's really great that we have happiness, but the way she talked about it was like it was unreachable for her. Happiness is NOT unreachable for her!

Later that day we added Tagalog to our language list and translated for some visiting teaching! Miracle: tried a former investigator for the 485839th time...and she answered the door!! High school student, still interested, though testing season right now is busy.

Funny moment: invited a grandma to RS sushi party and ended up talking for a while, but the same conversation 5 times (partial Alzheimer's) and she thought we were half-Japanese...she got up really close and looked at my eyes and then said, oh never mind, your eyes are the wrong color. Eye color, that's what gave me away?? :)

Thursday started really spiritually with a quick message with the bishop's wife-talked about the BOM because she just recently gave one away. The Spirit was strong, and we are so blessed to have the Book of Mormon- Do you know it's true? Do you realize how impactful it can be on your entire life? Find out! Please please please open the door for God to POUR out blessings. Ended the day challenging another member to give one away- she's
excited and ready to go!

Friday off to Hashimoto for District Meeting on...the BOM! How to use it more effectively as missionaries- lots of new ideas and more motivation to use the BOM. Then a lesson with one of my favorite investigator families about
The Plan of Salvation- ran into a lot of confusion because they've grown up Buddhist. Just so you know, not every lesson goes perfectly, some are really really hard, but the light at the end of the tunnel was that the daughter seemed pretty interested in the BOM!

Saturday a less active Brazillian took us out to eat and had so much fun with her and her granddaughter! They are each other's best friend and it was fun to be with them, they'll come back someday! Next was a lesson with an investigator we haven't seen for a while- learning English and then "Bible Study" as she calls it, but we use the BOM! She wants to read it more and help her life improve- now as long as we remind her, she'll be right on track for progression. Next was finding different old Eikaiwa people, PI's, etc in a really hilly area...so let's just say I was leading and had the map backwards and ended up going back up a giant hill and now I owe Steere Shimai new legs. :)

Ended the night with sushi party! An investigator and 2 students from Eikaiwa came!! Everyone had a great time- we were in groups making different types of sushi and then all went around and tried them all. I love sushi! One of our new Eikaiwa students that came can definitely become a new investigator (she already believes in God!) and goes to show another thing I've been learning- don't judge people by their looks- she didn't seem like someone who would really be interested in our message, but seems to have quite a bit of interest!

Sunday- greatest day! It was ward conference- sad part was that none of our investigators could make it BUT this kid came for the elders (Cool story: we got in the elevator at a close apartment building and this kid 16-19yrs ish looks at our name tags and goes on Kirisuto-Kyo? (Christian church) Then reads the full name (Matsu Jitsu Seito Iesu Kirisuto Kyoukai) and goes oh the Mormons? Whaaa??? Like nobody here knows to make that connection! So then he got off the elevator, we were stalkers and figured out approx which apartment was his and called the elders to go after him- they did, invited him to church and then he came!)

Then we got a new bishop- that was a shock! Our new bishop, Shino Bisshoppu is pretty young! We left in the middle of Sunday School to travel to Kobe! The closer we got to Kobe, the more missionaries we ran into- so much fun! Geographically our missions really big and so mission conferences aren't a thing, so this was really special! Elder Choi and his wife and Pres and Sis Whiting from the Area Presidency came with Elder Stevenson and his wife. There was a lot of good things said and learned, though one of my favorite moments was when we all got to sing our mission theme song together (Armies of Helaman) because there's one part:

- We have been called to Kobe Japan, to work with members in teaching
God's plan, Walk with the Lord and raise up the light, establish Zion
with all our might

One theme that was emphasized was the significance of where we are called and the mission president we are called to work with. I have been blessed above and beyond to get to be in Kobe Japan under Pres and Sis Welch. Right now I'm in the most wonderful ward in Kawachinagano with the most supportive, enthusiastic members. I don't know if I'll be here much longer, but I love it so much. God is in charge of this work and He knows exactly where we need to go. With that, God knows who YOU are and where you are and there's a reason! Find out! Also really helpful if you do that by reading the Book of Mormon, PS. It's a testament of Jesus Christ, our Savior.
Someone quoted this scripture yesterday and I really liked it: Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

I love you all so much! I'm so happy here first and foremost because of the testimony I have and the desire to serve God and share that testimony. It's all true guys!

Wagstaff 姉妹

Saw Elder Stevenson yesterday! Really special that he was a mission president in Japan (Nagoya) but even cooler is that at that time, the Kobe mission had been closed and he was over the Osaka area, so he started listing all these areas- even the little ones and expressed how much he loved them. Also his wife spoke a little of how hard it was when the mission split while they were there to open Kobe, so they lost the Osaka area and those missionaries, but coming back, they see the growth - anyways it was an apostle, but it was really specific and special.

Already told Mom a lot of stuff, so basically lots of that left my brain already, sorry. Other things... Stevenson Choro Taikai! - I've been really trying to be better at truly being prepared, especially because I also have to teach at Zone Conference next week they are having us teach individually as STLs (that never happens!) and no theme- we seek the keiji (revelation). So with all my study this last week I started feeling like Commitments, especially Promised Blessings were important- then Elder Stevenson talked about that for just a tiny bit, but it was exactly what I needed to know that it's right. I was more specific about questions prepared, and also we had really good spiritual prep -threatened with our lives if we were late, but obviously everyone loves each other so much so NOBODY was late, but the cool thing was we were told we absolutely had to be prepping at 2:30 but everyone was sitting and completely quiet and studying at about 2:20.

Also I love Welch Kaicho and Shimai so much, and we know they love us so much, so obviously everyone wants to do their best and we want to show them how hard we've working and it was really special for them (and for us but probably more for them) to have all of their missionaries in one room.

We were challenged to see a baptism, and I didn't see a baptism, lots of people probably didn't, but at the conference, that wasn't what Welch Kaicho asked, he asked if we had seen miracles and YES we've
seen those, and that means we're on track for a baptism.

Elder Stevenson used to be the mission president over Osaka and he knows and loves this area, plus spoke a little in Japanese. That was special! He and his wife are very connected to missionary work and through the Spirit, delivered what we need to move forward. And guess what? It's the gospel. There's not something crazy and new (as much as we would like to have Facebook!) but it put me back on focus to work harder, have more self-esteem because of the importance of what I'm doing, more emphasis on teaching with the Spirit and teaching, testifying about the Restoration, regardless of the fact that this isn't a Christian country- everyone needs the Restoration and that's going to take a lot of faith and work to change the way we teach a bit to make sure that the Restoration is important (obviously always important, but we generally emphasize family and who is God and don't get to Joseph Smith very often.)

Exciting week ahead with Graduation! So happy I can wear a hat! Also starting to have more gratitude for the rain because if it's raining I can't get burned :) And if it's a billion degrees hot, at least it's not raining!

Went a shrine and were the only ones there, literally the only ones...maybe it was Buddhist P-Day too?? :)

Love you!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Monday May 9--Happy Mother's Day

The deer was half blind and a little scary, but cool stuff! 
Love you guys lots- weird that it was just normal talking today...I guess it just means I'll be home faster than I think.

Cool week, really cool week!  Skyped this morning, that was fun, now riding a train to Nara- going to this famous deer park and all I want is for a deer to bow to me, that's all I ask!

Last Monday as we finished at the church and went off to go dendo, we're getting our bikes ready and this lady walking by stops and talks to US. Like, let me tell how often that happens....it doesn't! She works at an Indo curry place, definitely visiting!

Tuesday MLC in Kobe- Sister Welch's Dad came, he was really sweet and bore a really humble simple but really powerful testimony. Also a miracle was we got back in time for Eikaiwa, normally we're a little late and this week the elders were sick so that was definitely a

Wednesday less active lesson and it was ぎりぎり(giri giri: really close "that was a close one!") but she's going to the temple this week! Also special moment- felt like it would be a good idea to go visit a grandma who comes to Eikaiwa every week, we just wanted to see what her reaction to a church message would be, why not? Way cool- talk about family a bit, she's really nice and open, invited her to church Sunday and she said she's been wanting to come! Miracles people, listen to the Spirit!

Thursday we taught some solid lessons but got kekko'd (rejected) but felt like we really did our part in teaching clearly, inviting them, and then they have their agency. Did a little housing and met this guy from Africa who in the space of a really short 5 minute contact says he loves Jesus Christ, he's thankful for him everyday and where's our
church? He wants to come. DANG- kinjin (golden).

Friday went to Wakayama for ZTM- just overall really good because we felt the Spirit strongly, learned about the Atonement. Also ate lunch at a really good buffet place- so full! Then super good lesson in the evening with family friends of a Phillipino member- they really did pray as a family like we asked, and the mom and daughter are coming to church Sunday !

Saturday we had a clean up at the church and lots of members came, found out that to help us get a baptism by the 22nd, they have been praying for our investigators. Later perfect timing with some less active's - home when we visited without appointments. In the afternoon/evening we took the train down to probably the most city
part of the area and got some pretty good lessons plus one good potential investigator- I saw her like 3 different times and wanted to talk to her and finally got to talk to her on train, definite good potential and coming to Eikaiwa this week!

Sunday... 4 INVESTIGATORS CAME TO CHURCH!! Seriously just miracles throughout the week, but the best part was that they actually did come! (Preface this with 1 other person on my whole mission has ever come)
Later lesson with Phillipino and she opened up a lot- hallelujah!

Sorry, short and sweet, but love you lots! Reading about the atonement and amazed at His love and I experience it everyday in different ways.

Please look out for how you are blessed daily!


English interest investigator (look how fancy?!)

Funny thing is the owner's really less-active, but cool name, right, plus super helpful when I have bike probs

Monday, May 2, 2016

Mon. May 2, 2016

I'm working on having a brightness of hope this transfer, so of course this week, there were sometimes where it looked a little hopeless BUT we will be able to see a baptism here before the Elder Stevenson deadline...keeping hope and working hard!

Monday even though no one was home and weren't able to teach much, we met a PI leaving to go toward and were able to set an appt later in the week!

Tuesday REALLY COOL! Hopefully you can follow this, the details show God's perfect timing- So we went to the church to teach a less active, but location changed to a member's house nearby and the less active was late and didn't know where, so we waited for her at the church a bit. Since we had a little time at the church with wifi, I checked my email and found out about my Dad's new job working for the temple dept.  Right after that Tsuruta Shimai came and we went to the Yoshikawa's to teach about the temple and getting ready to go soon! So I was able to testify of what a blessing the temple has been for my family and strengthen her in her resolve to go to the
temple even though there are different obstacles in the way (which P.S. There are always obstacles!)- so really good lesson, really perfect timing.

After that we spent the rest of the day with our ward mission leader, Choro Tachi and an RM- lots of LA's and finding!

Wednesday morning was a flower garden activity with the RS...lots of standing around listening to a guide talk about plants in Japanese, no idea but good bonding with the RS! Next Soga Shimai (our wonderful Phillapina member!) drove us around to different LA's she knew that lived pretty far, plus showed us wherever friend lives that she wants us to start teaching! Then later we went over to a lady interested in English and really really could use the gospel in her life but doesn't realize it- super fancy house, she had tea time set for us (so we had to introduce the Word of Wisdom pretty fast) and we got to talk about what we're doing here and why we want to be here, plus translate a letter from her friend...super interesting person! I really hope she'll listen to our message officially!

Later made tempura with the youth for their mutual night- guess what? Battered and fried leaves are pretty good!

Thursday we koukaned (exchange) with Wakayama sisters- I was with Manwill Shimai! We had the same trainer and she's a really hard worker, lots of fun and miracles though it rained the whole time. We got 2 new investigators from visiting PI's and a referral! Lots of biking (she was a really good sport about the hills since it was her first time!) Also got to drop by some members and Mogi (practice lesson?) with them- good tips on teaching Japanese people and good kanke with these really amazing members. Also of course...the selfie stick.

Friday we went to Hashimoto for District Meeting and after to their branch's barbecue- it's been a while since I've been with a little branch, that was fun! They don't have sister missionaries in their branch, so for the short time we were there we tried to help- I talked with a mom from Eikaiwa who came, really cute! 
2 special lessons after- helped one old less-active move some things around in her apartment then ate and taught a little. She's not very connected with the church right now, but all good things come of God and she showed us some of her calligraphy (she's professional)- beautiful words, sorry the English translation isn't as good, and also we were able to sing a hymn together - there was a really sweet spirit there. 

After we visited a new investigator family with Soga Shimai- MIRACLE time: we found his family housing a while ago- nothing super special, we housed and they said we could come back, they were busy for actual lessons but finally set an appt and we visited and ended up meeting the whole family last week. While we were there they told us they know Soga Shimai and love her, so this week of course we brought Soga Shimai to doseki. Not only do they know her, they are like family! They were neighbors years ago and when their kids were young, she babysat them a lot and they are together, etc- just good neighbor/friends, the mom came to church with Soga Shimai once. But that was about 7ish years ago and they lost contact. So Friday they were reunited, that was really good- also we could definitely tell a difference in that they were more open to listening to our message and at the end we prayed together and they were all totally into it. 

Saturday we had cancelled lessons, but thankfully Osumi San (Phillipina with lots of potential!) was still able to meet and of course Soga Shimai came with us! She didn't really accept a baptismal commitment, but she didn't shut it down, so even though the lesson was a little mentally spiritually exhausting, there's still lots of hope! Plus after the lesson she sent a nice thank you text, so that's a good sign, right?

Plus really good Indo Curry at night with another exchange student friend of Steere Shimai!

Sunday- discouraging that some people who said they would come to church but didn't show, BUT then one of our less active's came a little late to Sunday School and RS and had really tried to make it for Sacrament but couldn't, that was really uplifting. The rest of the day people home, not home but met 2 LA's for the first time! Ended with some streeting by Sayama Lake and we were EXHAUSTED but pushed each other to each keep stopping people and definitely had more energy by the end- that's the interesting thing, we always have enough energy to dendo even if we got lost and went over waaay too many hills or also lost our bike key and had to go back to find it- there's always enough energy to do God's work. 
So many times I'm reminded that this is God's work, His vineyard, we're helping His children, so therefore as we do His work, we will always receive His help. 

Love you all lots! 

Love you guys a lot a lot and I was so grateful for all the emails this week- really good, so exciting! See you next week, calling my time Monday morning at 10 AM!


Tuesday- seriously the temple miracle was really really really cool. Tsuruta Shimai (our LA) was struggling with obstacles (mainly non-member family) that seemed to be getting in e way of going to the temple, but because of your experience, able to testify of a part in the temple prep book- temple blessings go far beyond the time we are
inside, and we are blessed spiritually and temporally. Really cool. 

Wednesday with Takehashi San (English interest). Oh my goodness, she has the coolest job ever and I want to stay in contact with her. She'sthe music producer for the Ritz Carlton in Osaka. So does that give you an idea of how fancy she and her house were? Yeah scary fancy as in we didn't dare use a fork until we watched her use it so that we could use it right. Anyways, I was able to talk with her about music and how it would be a dream to sing at the Ritz Carlton. But how on Earth to help her become an investigator, accept the gospel because she really needs it but doesn't really want it/doesn't have time? Figuring that out, or else sadly we would have to let her go, butshe's a super interesting person. Not sure what I need to explain, but FYI big Broadway people do concerts at Ritz Carlton when they aren't in a show or when they have a break, just a side thing.

Saturday lesson with Osumi...Phillipina, which means the lesson is in English and she has a Christian background. I love her lots, but in some ways I'm very grateful to mostly be teaching people who don't
know because her questions were hard! To her, how you act and treat others, who you are as a person is most important. So she's a bit skeptical about reading scriptures/going to church/getting baptized because (what I understood- she's super complex so lots I don't understand) but those things are what hypocrites do- Sunday Mormons- that kind of thing? Anyways, so we are working overtime trying to show by example that we do live our beliefs and not just teach them.

Seriously though she's close-basically like once she says she will get baptized (current status is I don't know all that Mormons believe and don't want to make a promise I might later break/not want to keep) she'll get baptized.
Dang, baptisms are hard work- this will be a miracle with blood, sweat and tears because it's not easy! (Very worth it, very worth it)

Next little thing is humility, always learning humility. I've really been trying to be consistent about bearing testimony every fast Sunday, so I went up, but the words were hard to say- Japanese wasn't coming . I guess that's where I really really do want to say exactly what I feel, mean, not just the vocab I have, but it's not all there.That's where I have really loved Elder Holland's talk from conference.
Did I try? Yes.

And today we went to downtown Osaka- I love the city! Went to a big high rise to this famous cake buffet, Sweets Paradise. So good, but funny enough even though there was tons of cake (really good, ate a
lot of different kinds) liked the popcorn and Italian sodas most.

Wagstaff 姉妹

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Monday April 25 Music, Snake, Rain and THIS CHURCH IS TRUE

This week was interesting...held an investigator's snake, climbed a fence with our bikes, picked weeds and ate them, and it rained AND good spiritual things happened too! 

Monday night we did some birthday visits for members, never actually saw the birthday people, just their family members!

Tuesday was the weed eating...that's the truth, it was a Relief Society activity! We drove out a bit, then walked in to this valley area, then apparently it's a real Japanese thing to go out and pick the edible weeds- we were in groups with the guide being someone who knew what they were doing- I think Grandma and Grandpa would love Kawachinagano Ward because there are lots of people who know a lot about plants/flowers. Fun, interesting experience!

Then we had a weekly LA lesson with Yoshikawa Shimai as our doseki (member who joint teaches) and she was perfect because we talked about tithing and she has a really strong testimony of tithing, great experiences to share that brought the Spirit more than we probably could've. Nighttime was Eikaiwa and I taught kids- they are exhausting! You can't talk for long, they'll get bored so we do lots of games. This week we practiced calling and talking to each other on the phone in English.

Wednesday was Visiting Teaching day...seriously someone must have told the sisters to have us go visiting teaching with them because we got requests from 3 different people in a day! First was our regularly scheduled with Shino Shimai (RS Pres)...lots of LAs and no one was home/would meet, but we still took our regular selfie and I got to hold the stick -hey turns out it's harder than I thought.

After, we were translators for 2 Japanese sisters visiting a Phillipina, so she read in Tagalog but spoke in English and we translated back and forth- lots of talking, but a really good lesson because these were really strong sisters that are firm in their faith. 

Ended the night with Game Night, goodbye for Lins Choro who's done and going back to Brazil! He was our district leader this last transfer and a really good missionary. 

(The one in the middle is our Dendo Shunin- Ward Mission Leader; other guy is one of the chorotachi's investigators) 

Thursday was transfer day, but just a normal day for us. Lots of rain! So we got lost and the roads in this neighborhood kept getting smaller (roads are just small here anyways) and then there was a fence and we couldn't get out and we really didn't want to backtrack forever and waste time, so we climbed over and hauled our bikes over and it all worked out. Thought about cutting this part out, but...it happened, we died laughing that night because we couldn't believe we actually did that and also that we were able to carry out bikes over. Sorry, back to better things!

Visited one of our dendo FIRE members- she's great, so bold about sharing the gospel with her friends. Also did some finding around a member's house- they told us missionaries have found around the area for a long time with no luck, but we found a family with some interest in the Plan of Salvation! Told them about it and they were surprised but really happy- I think you could practically see their faith increase a little. 

Friday, met with a member in the morning and created a prayer list together- at first it was just less active's (which are wonderful as well!) but our purpose was getting referrals/helping them share the gospel and see baptisms together, so Steere Shimai was inspired and asked for anybody else...then she remembered one friend! We're going to try and visit her friend together next week. Later that day we had an interesting appointment with a PI- appointment was just with teenage daughter for 30/30 because she had English interest but we ended up meeting the whole family plus their pets which are not limited to a dog, a few ferrets, gekko and snake. Held them all, didn't worry. Also the gospel is for everyone- this family didn't look like maybe the "type" I'd expect, but who knows? They seemed to really have interest and want to read the Restoration pamphlet we gave. Also towards the end of the night, we started counting up lessons and realized we had hit 11 that day, pretty good! We were heading back to the apartment and my prayer and desire was for just one more, just one more person to find. My thought was the crepe shop by our apartment- God works in different ways, working through my LOVE of crepes works for me! It was just about to close but we got in and were able to order and then talk with the owner a bit- talked to her a bit before. It wasn't a lesson, she's not an investigator left, but we learned more about her story and the gospel would fit into her life so perfectly, she needs it!

Saturday after study started with a lesson with the former investigator we met last week. We tried to bring a member with us, but called ahead and she didn't want a member there and asked  if we could just teach English, not a church message...well that doesn't work, but she a little reluctantly agreed to a church message. So we were a little worried going into this one, but really wanted to listen to her and follow the Spirit. Turned out to be a lesson that is all I could hope for as a missionary. People's hearts change and I got to see God's hand guiding her life. She talked, we listened, then testified and were able to share a bit from the BOM. She read, we talked a bit and then she told us that this scripture really touched her heart. She used to go to a Protestant church, but things happened and she cut herself off completely from that church and from God, but she thinks she wants to come back to God. I'm so blessed to be a missionary and see these moments, be a small part of them.

 We shared 2 Ne 26:24-28
24 He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.
25 Behold, doth he cry unto any, saying: Depart from me? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; but he saith: Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, buy milk and honey, without money and without price.
26 Behold, hath he commanded any that they should depart out of the synagogues, or out of the houses of worship? Behold, I say unto you, Nay.
27 Hath he commanded any that they should not partake of his salvation? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but he hath given it free for all men; and he hath commanded his people that they should persuade all men to repentance.
28 Behold, hath the Lord commanded any that they should not partake of his goodness? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but all men are privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden. 
God loves us all, invites us to please come to Him. 

Later in the day went to a member's and as we were coming up, their next door neighbor drove in. Said hi to us in English, so we talked to him a little and found out he lived in California for a little bit years ago, plus had been to/knew Salt Lake City! The Kosugi's (members) came out as we were talking to their neighbor, told us they'd lived next door probably 20 years and didn't know he had good English! Proceeded to talk about prayer and sharing the gospel and the Spirit was strong, we were all inspired and their eyes were opened to their neighbors who they hadn't really considered before as far as really pursuing to share the gospel. Is God hastening His work? YES. 
Last thing on Saturday was going to this community choir thing someone told us about- said anybody could come, there were lots of people and it was German sacred music- sounded like a good new finding activity. Haha! Turned out to be the most awkward experience- the staff was really flustered, the whole thing was a bit awake are, music was beautiful but not good finding, but hey, we tried something new! 

Sunday- women's choir sang "I Know My Redeemer Lives"- beautiful, so true. Then after church we had another lesson with new Fillipina investigator about the Plan of Salvation, she has LOTS of questions. It's really different to teach someone with a Christian background , honestly it was pretty hard, but really grateful getting to teach like that- someone who really can and will progress! 

So this turned out really long- it was a long, interesting week! One other thing I wanted to bring up really fast- Osumi San (Phillipina investigator) asked if we would convert to another religion if we loved someone who was in another church. No, I couldn't do it. I can love just about everyone, God does love everyone, but this church, the restored perfect gospel of Jesus Christ means everything to me. As Steere Shimai said in our lesson, we know the blessings that have come and will come and absolutely can't give it up. 

Love you all!
Wagstaff 姉妹

Did some streeting by a train station the other day (I think Friday, day with lots of lessons) and this hasn't happened for a while, but I think it was at least 3 different people that asked if they could take pictures with us...white people are a little rare, lots of teenagers think we're cool (but then too shy/embarrassed to talk)

Also for P-Day today we had to take my bike to a shop because yesterday the tire had a bump in it- miracle was that it never popped, but took it to the shop and found out they couldn't fix it- the bump was big and had gotten uneven wear, so I had to get a new tire...looked like about 5000 Yen (guess a little less than 50 dollars). Ouch- though when they rang up, it was a little less- closer to 35- hey that works. There are some pretty bad roads/sidewalks in Osaka (a bit infamous- little Japan info. Kyoto is the tourist city so apparently it's beautiful and perfectly clean, still haven't been there; Osaka is more for real people who live there. I'm in Osaka suburbs...the suburbs are huge- 3 stakes worth)

Elder Stevenson of the 12 is coming to Kobe on May 22nd, and there's usually homework/a challenge attached to these visits. This one was BIG- The bar has been set at everyone baptizing weekly and the mission is overall improving a bit, now our mission is baptizing weekly, but we want more so the commitment is to really dedicate ourselves, starting today and commit to each see 1 baptism before May 22nd. 

Wow! I saw the extent of my faith this week, and it needs to stretch further. One family was smoking when we visited, another investigator I think was drinking a little, and another's house smelled like they were trying to cover up smoke. I had a hard time believing that they would change now- I guess I believed overall that yes of course people change because I've heard stories, I know it can happen. I also believe that everyone CAN change, but maybe a lot of them take a long time- but can the people right in front of me change now? That was hard. That's where I realized I wasn't so sure/ a little skeptical. 

That's where I'm working, it's hard, but that's where I believe our companionships are inspired because Steere Shimai has a lot of faith and hope in the converting power, sees beyond current circumstances.