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

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Mon July 25, 2016 Let the Holy Spirit Guide

Hello! This week I got smarter and figured out how to save my email really well A but seriously though in my defense I swear I saved it last week. Anyways, quick update from last week

- Monday made cookies with member and friend, friend was first time inside a church, did a tour and she's really open to hearing about church!
- Tuesday we had a lesson with an investigator plus a member who came with us and while she doesn't feel ready to be baptized, she did self commit herself to read Ether 12 when I said how much I liked it!
- Wednesday we went with our grandma investigator to RS sewing club and she had a great time! Plus seriously good lesson at the end of the night doing English and gospel, taught about the prayer and Restoration and she didn't fully believe it from the start, but committed to pray about it and from what I've seen, people that are open like that do one to know this is true. Real intent!
Thursday woke up early to go to Shino Shimai's garden. Then in the evening with Kawamura Shimai went to kodomo Eikaiwa...cute member's kid didn't want to wear clothes, 2 boys kept wrestling and had to be taken out and 3 other sweet girls tried so hard to ignore everyone and learn English❤️
Friday amazed by a recent converts simple testimony of peace he feels in his heart because of the gospel. Plus seminary with Miyu-dendo member on Monday and the Spirit was so strong and she's so excited to share the gospel with her best friend.
Saturday we met a really cute college girl who lived in America a little bit- left before we were able to exchange info so now we'll just have to search for her again!
Sunday after church the schedule was just not working out, but then miracles happened and because I had a card from Steere Shimai we dropped by a former investigator and found out she would like to start lessons again!

Okay that was last week, now for this week!
7/18 Monday. We went after this potential investigator found in our Area Book and lives super close to our apartment. Looks like she moved, so that was zannen (unfortunate) but talked to this grandpa close by and he said that he doesn't care, doesn't believe in God but his wife love Jesus Christ, so he took us to his apartment to meet her! Sadly she was eating dinner and didn't want to talk but said we can come back later in the week!
7/19 Tues we started off the morning with Visiting Teaching with Maekawa Shimai and Soga Shimai- we met almost all of the less active's on our list and not only met them but actually got to share a message (so far that's been really rare!). After as we were returning, we walked a while with a girl who then exchanged numbers with us and seems really open to learning! Then we had our regular Tsuruta Shimai lesson with Yoshikawa Shimai doseki- seriously so good! She committed herself to a specific time and place for scripture study. Being specific is really helpful, I want to remember that when I go home. Ended the night with Eikaiwa, I taught kids and it was potentially he beat one yet- no crazy kids, everyone paid attention, we had fun coloring pictures and playing games! Plus a new kid and his mom came, and the dad went to the adult class...investigator potential!
7/20 Visiting Teaching again! This time with Shino Shimai and Yamamoto Shimai. Later tried to visit a former investigator who wasn't home, but then ran into her LA son who hasn't been seen in a long time! He was really cool and talked to us for a while. Seriously cool this week to see the different ways revelation works- although we are going after a specific person, it may be someone else in that area who is the real target. In the evening after Ping Pong- oh wait I have to tell this one- we do a tournament every week and I'm, well I'm not that good at Ping Pong but seriously I've been improving and this week I made it to the finals and ALMOST beat the champion! Anyways after we shared a short but really powerful message on the Restoration. So grateful for those moments when the Spirit confirms again that this is true.

7/21 Plans didn't go perfectly, but did get to visit one of my favorite members, Yoshikawa Shimai who shared her conversion story. Truly every conversion is a miracle as everyone receives and recognizes that confirmation from the Holy Ghost, for her that God is real, and her life was forever changed and she has then helped in changing so many people! Also Thursday is weekly planning day, so not a lot else happened, but good planning for the next week!
7/22 Friday! Started with seminary, then District Meeting, talked about goals for the new transfer and 12 Weeks training, which is such a blessing. No I wasn't a big fan of all the "practice teaching" before and it's taken me a while to learn, but Mogi is so helpful! Sad that it's taken me so long to figure that out because Welch Kaicho's
been talking about the importance of practice for a while...I have a testimony of it now! Later in the day pretty good lesson with an investigator, then a former also! Sadly though our teaching skills are getting better and we feel good about lessons, haven't seen much progress towards baptism. Lots of no's, but it's nice to know that
we've been trying really hard to do all we can and teach clearly with the Spirit, so it's up to them because everyone does have agency.

7/23 Saturday- we have a new investigator who runs a little old-fashioned snack shop and ended up running into her twice that day! That really felt like a confirmation that she is someone important to help right now. Also it was Clean Action! This is a monthly community service project we go to that's a good finding opportunity- one cool
guy I ran into turns out is the president of Lion's Club here and has been to America several times. I gave him an Eikaiwa flyer and explained it was our free English class- he freaked out, it's free?! Why is it free?? Replied we're volunteers- Why are you volunteering?! Seriously funny, he talked to the elders after and we'll probably see him next week! 

Later in the afternoon we biked out to a less active I haven't seen in a long time (she lives pretty far and not very interested in hearing about the church right now) but she is really sweet and she wasn't home but then as we were writing a note to put in her post, she pulled up and got to talk for a bit about family.
Definitely a small miracle! Last was dinner with a member and her referral friend who we've met a few times before- she had to leave earlier than we thought, so BOM message was short and her interest has gone down a lot (really sad when people won't accept that this message HELPS when you are busy, struggling, not well), so that was a little depressing, but then after as we got to review and make plans for the future with these two amazing members who didn't seem to get discouraged- moved forward to the next step helping their friend- that
was really touching to see.
7/24 - On Sunday I spoke in Sacrament Meeting, thankfully I had this talk pretty well prepared, they asked me to speak about "Dendo Spirit" - helping increase member's desire to share the gospel! Shared an experience with an investigator a while ago who was really touched by the BOM. Also there is so much power in bearing testimony because the simple things I can say in Japanese are true. After church, Kawamura Shimai wasn't feeling so great, so we took things slow and finished some planning in our apartment, then went out with a member in the evening to visit her less active friend- they chatted for a while, took me back to my first couple transfers because I had a pretty hard time keeping up with everything (good friends talk really fast and
used a lot of Osaka-Ben and slang) and even had to do the whole laugh-because everyone's-laughing-but-I-don't-know-why. Seriously, humility. I'm working on this transfer and I've been given lots of good opportunities!

Today we went to Osaka-Jo with the Sakai sisters, so I was outnumbered by Nihonjin! Lots of fun and it was even a little bit cooler than normal, plus an American member came and talked to us! Dendo is so fun, so rewarding, learning humility and more reliance on the Atonement of Jesus Christ and I'm so grateful for all of it!

Visiting a less active!

Clean Action
O for Osaka! Osaka Jo

Love you all!
Sister Wagstaff

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Monday July 18, 2016

Literally spent like an hour earlier today writing a really good email, came to church to send it and it doesn't exist. Now I don't really have time so this will be really short, sad since the last one was a good long one. But, transfers came and I'll be staying in Kawachinagano for a 5th transfer!! New comp is Kawamura Shimai! She is on fire and so fun to work with, also went to BYU-Hawaii for a year so she's pretty fluent in English- we switch off between Japanese and English.

Sent Steere Shimai home this week- that was really hard, I loved working with her so much, still love her lots! New place added to my travel list: Melbourne, Australia!

Miracles happened this week- finally met a PI after trying for months and she has interest still! A former investigator wants to meet again, thanks to Steere Shimai for writing a meishi (contact card/business card but for a missionary?). Other things happened this week...sadly you'll have to hear about it later, promise it was a good week!

The gospel is restored, yes it's a big claim but it's very true that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith, and your prayers will be answered as well because God loves you!  Also super excited to get
to participate in the upcoming Sapporo temple dedication- lots of focus on temple and family right now!

Last day together, got up super early to THRUST IN OUR SICKLE at Shino Shimai's garden :)

R.S. Sewing Circle and investigator Murata San came! (Cute grandma in the middle)
Cookies this week with member and friend-- so much fun and so proud of Miyu Chan!

Picking up new companion, sending off old one...

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Monday July 11, 2016 His Love

Mon - after PDay ended we went to dinner with an Eikaiwa student/PI wanting to make her an investigator. Interesting night...seriously all the details would take too long to write, ask me about it later! But anyways we asked her for her favorite restaurant, we get there and already know it's going to be expensive, but then she came and no
backing out! She believes pretty strongly in what she believes and I don't want to make fun of it at all, because she has a lot of truth! Believes in guardian spirits and things like that, though she's very sweet and said she feels really good at our church and thinks we're great people.

Tuesday- MLC in Kobe, big reveal is that next transfer the whole mission is going to do the 12-Week Training Program! I'm pretty excited to go back to that because he purpose is to strengthen our foundation, go back to the basics so that we can then work more effectively!

(Doki at MLC!)

Wednesday- went to lunch with a potential investigator, a grandpa that approached us 2 weeks ago and used to meet with elders, so we exchanged info and he said he wanted to take us to lunch. Sadly he showed up to lunch completely drunk...and so all it ended up being was a free lunch. But after that we had a lesson with an investigator, Kumiko San, the elders passed to us and that went really well! We brought the RS president with us and they connected well and she had done her BOM reading we asked and has the desire to understand and find out if it's true. 

Thursday we koukaned with Wakayama sisters! I went with Manwill Shimai and she is on fire! In the early afternoon it was super hot and every appointment fell through for the first 2 hours, but we kept going, then had to go back to the apartment for a bit since some inspector person or someone like that was coming. After we went back out  more pumped to work and literally were busy from then until 9! First close to our apartment, waiting at a stoplight, a girl started speaking a little English to us, so we talked to her- wants help with English and also is interested in church- we exchanged info then we're asking when she was free and she basically blurted out, I have time right now! Alright then! We found some nearby benches and did a quick English, then gospel/missionary introduction then! Then to top it off, we ended up heading in the same direction and found out where she lives as well- we walked away speechless- YES miracles like that happen! Then everything the rest of the night was miraculous too- met an investigator who we hadn't seen for about a month, then also good experiences with a part-member family and some members. Seriously koukans are so cool. 

Friday- next day we all went to Wakayama for ZTM- met the Sakai sisters along the way and all got to travel together! ZTM was focused on our preparation- study, mogi (role play?), unified as a companionship- all good stuff! Came back to Kawachinagano and when we met with one of our favorite investigator families, the Matsui's they found out it was Steere Shimai's last time, so they self-committed to come to church Sunday to see her! We'll take any reason ! :) 

Aoi Chan!

Saturday- 2 cool experiences. First was doing 30/30 with a member's grandson- he has so much energy and is really enthusiastic. It's amazing to teach a 7 yr old because he's so believing- he has been to church a few times and really wants to come again, but currently plays soccer on Sunday - praying for him to be able to come to church, make that decision.

Later in the evening the RS had a family history activity and had left a note to invite an investigator earlier but she wasn't there when it started, so we went over to her house. She's 84 years old, lives right by the church and comes to Eikaiwa every week! Through talking found out she likes trying new things and has never done family history before, then last week for Tanabata (Japanese holiday, look it up) her wish was to live to be 100 yrs old. Told her that there was a 100 yr old grandpa talking at the activity tonight- she perked up and wanted to come- she had the greatest time there! I don't understand 100 yr old grandpa Japanese, so I had no clue what was going on but watching her reactions was priceless. Plus seeing members immediately fellow shipping her without any push from us- this is a GREAT Ward! 

Sunday, Murata San (84 yr old) investigator came to church! All four missionaries sang that day- Armies of Helaman- Kobe version, every time I sing that song, I feel the Spirit, and I feel so grateful to be a missionary here and now. 

After church lots of member appointments- good food and mostly just so much love felt from these members. 

One of the SUPER members in Kawachinagano! :)

This week is transfers, definitely getting a new companion, probably staying in Kawachinagano for 5 transfers! 
I've been struck again with amazement for the power of the Atonement. My heart is getting bigger- He feels greater love for us than we feel for our investigators, members. He loves those who break our hearts and the most beautiful thing is that broken hearts (and contrite spirits!) get healed and become better than before. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is within reach of all of us, how can you reach out to Him more this week? I can testify that His love is overwhelming, the blessings are great and worth any small sacrifice on our part. 

I love you all so much!

Sister Wagstaff

There's this app like Snapchat that Japanese teenagers love- this was at Eikaiwa 

Primary boy took my iPad and had fun- took about 100 photos and this was us mid-run to get the iPad back...:)

None other than our Primary boy, Taiki...aka Hammy the Squirrel

Thursday, July 7, 2016

July 4, 2016 HAPPY 4th + Police, Magic and Church!

I'm celebrating the 4th of July in Japan with an Aussie! We bought watermelon to celebrate! Okay it's like 5 bucks for a 4th of the melon, no joke, but hey it's a holiday! Interesting week...

Last Monday after P-day nobody home, one lady cancelled on us because of rain...at least we think so because she didn't show up at the church and haven't had any contact since then. BUT we finished SKK (weekly planning)...yeah last week was crazy so it went a little late. 

Tuesday a member was able to come to our less-active lesson- seriously little miracle because nobody was answering, but then we call and she had been ready to do it! Then other finding and LOTS of plans for the day, but instead...we got stopped by the police. I've hardly seen them at all in Japan. Apparently it's normal that they just do random gaijin (foreigner) checks- he was super nice, telling us how he went to church when he was little, which was cool! He also checked our bikes and that's where the problem, came...I own my bike which was fine, but before when Steere Shimai came to the mission, the mission owned the bikes, so she still rides a church bike but they wanted to know WHO owned the bike...the church isn't a person, a person? Welch Kaicho? We don't know. Anyways that was pretty crazy with lots of calls to the Mission Office and getting missionaries who could help, some were confused, then also got our Ward Mission Leader in Kawachinagano involved, and he was stressing a lot, and the elders were in Wakayama on an exchange, so then we weren't sure when they would let us go and if we could get to Eikaiwa on time...also every once in a while a new police officer would come- I think we ended up meeting 6? Plus a giant van because they were thinking about taking the bike (they thought it was stolen a while ago and missionaries have just been passing it down...) BUT in the middle of this we got a call that someone found Steere Shimai's lost Book of Mormon from last week! Also we didn't really know what was going on, but after 1 1/2hr to 2 hrs ish the police let us go with the direction that we have to get the missing identification sticker for the bike...wow, stressful, BUT we did get to introduce who we are lots of times and teach a basic lesson to the police officers- really they were pretty nice people. But I didn't get a picture :( Actually because scared out of my mind to try.

Wednesday- the rainiest day ever, seriously haven't felt rain like that before! But we have kappa's so it was all good! The elders passed us one of their investigators, we all went and visited together and she is seriously SO CLOSE to baptism! She's an English teacher and has always been interested in religion and heard a lot but has continued to learn about our church because as she put it, she's amazed that so many missionaries so young sacrifice all of their time for this message, so therefore it must be important- YES! YES IT IS THAT IMPORTANT! Really really cool. She wants to find out for herself. After, started a koukan with Sakai sisters and I went with Nakayama Shimai! It rained but we worked as hard as we could and she's absolutely so fun to work with! Found some cool people, talked with a member, some kekko's and ended the night by going to a former investigator's gospel choir concert. Another moment where I should've just gotten my iPad out because I wish I had videos of this, but didn't want to be disrespectful. It's just a that, well imagine this: a group of Japanese are trying so so so hard to be black and sang in all English and just so you know, there are lots of "L"'s in gospel music (Lord, light, hallelujah) and if you know anything about Japanese it's that L's turn into R's. Priceless. Fun, this investigator was really really happy we came and hopefully now she'll start taking lessons again- working on building a relationship again. Also on a different note, I learned how important having the Spirit is- they were singing songs like "Amazing Grace" and "The Lord is my Light" and they were trying really hard to have a good performance but there was so heart, no Spirit in their work- we have to be careful to not be like that. Is it coming from your heart? Or are you focused on the outside performance? 

More HARERUYA at the gospel choir concert.  There was this one guy in the middle doing all
the "Mmm, AMEN" and the hands up to heaven and everything, wow.

Thursday at the end of the exchange, Nakayama Shimai and I met a guy who said he likes church- got excited! Actually he likes churches because their pretty but doesn't care about religionWouldn't commit to when, but said he'll come to our church sometime! Later back with Steere Shimai we brought My Family booklets to a less active and she committed herself to do family history and seemed pretty excited about it- she's an old grandma who did stuff before, but a tsunami ruined/took all the records. That evening we taught kids English, but the member was late, but that actually turned out to be a little miracle because then another Mom said we could come to her house- she trusts us! 

Friday we had District Meeting at our church- talked a lot about the Spirit in our work and it was cool to see all the various topics line up, as we learned what we needed. 

Steere Shimai's last DM...stole the picture idea from Sister Marshall a few weeks ago, thank you! 
The rest of the day was a little hard, but it gave me a beautiful chance to repent at the end and find out exactly how I can improve myself and circumstances. 

Saturday we went to another District Meeting- for Sakai, changed their day so a member could come. Learned lots at theirs about consecration, including humility, obedience, and diligence. The Spirit was strong, plus went out for sushi after!

In the evening we went over to the Kito's- a member couple and taught their grandson English plus gospel- he's 7 and his family isn't members but because of health problems, mom and kids are temporarily living with grandparents, plus got a call that their dad was going to be there this weekend from Hokkaido! We were nervous about this- no idea what the dad thought about he church, how open would he be? Turned out really well! He's a really cool, super funny guy and works for a non-profit. Kito Shimai made us her famous Okonomiyaki- STUFFED us, I ate 2 1/2, elders ate more and she kept asking us if we wanted more? Good experience and basically the son-in-law's first introduction to the church. The elders shared a message about service and he seemed impressed, later heard from the members that they all thought it was really fun! 

Dendo is SO. MUCH. FUN. 

Sunday was a great Fast Sunday- right after Sacrament Meeting started, a former investigator walked in and sat by me! We helped her carry some groceries when we randomly saw her the other day, then left a note saying she was always welcome to come to church- really didn't think anything of it, but then she came! Maybe we can start lessons again? 
Later visited a less active who has lots of struggles, but loves music- used to be a ballerina when she was young and also a piano teacher and had me play- music is powerful! Also I definitely received some divine help because I haven't played in a long time and it turned out pretty well (of course it was Savior Redeemer). 
In the evening we were invited over to the Shino's for dinner- got there and they said we had to hurry because Shino Kyoudai was putting on a magic show for us! Haha, so cute! He really is a magician and it was good! 

Me helping with magic :)

I get to meet some of the most wonderful people and as you can see life is anything but normal- between all the crazy we're trying to find, teach and baptize to the best of our ability, then miracles happen because this is God's work. 

Love you all so much! 
Wagstaff 姉妹

Failed attempt because we all died laughing

Better version! Who are we...??

Answer is...Abinadi and King Noah :) 

Cool holiday coming up- more about this next week but 7/7 is Tanabata: the old story is that on this day, 2 stars in the Milky Way meet (Prince and the Princess) and they only get to meet once a year, so everyone writes wishes and hands them on the bamboo and then if it doesn't rain that night and the stars see your wish, it's granted! This was a cute display at a member's apartment building- she also taught us a song that goes with! We wrote big church ones (Ex. Wish for everyone to feel the joy of the gospel of Jesus Christ) for everyone who passes by to hopefully see!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Monday June 27, 2016 Because He loves us...

Monday we did calligraphy with elders, RS president and her friend (former investigator) who is a calligraphy teacher! Traditionally it's only would your right-hand, but every other time I've done calligraphy here, they just let me use my left hand. This time she was pretty traditional and had me try with right...probs looked like a 5 year
old, but it was fun!

(This is the old kanji for Hikari...light)
Then at the end, Shino Shimai was like, wait, Wagstaff Shimai  sings, she can sing Le Mizerabure..tnsjrmdj (its really hard to say Les Miz in Japanese) ! so then I sang, we left- sadly her friend still isnt wuote ready to accept the  gospel, but it was a good opportunity! Then on the way to another appointment we ran into a less active by the Eki that we've been trying to get a hold of- she had some time and we were able to talk a little bit, good little miracle! Then next thing was finally getting a hold of the less active that actually turned out to be a former investigator...we were sort of freaking out because she hadn't been home when we checked a few days in a row and there was a bag of groceries with stuff like milk, but don't worry she's still alive, but in the hospital! 

Tuesday did visiting teaching with members then that finished early and we had time, so we did a little finding in the area and found a guy who believes in God, but doesn't really have much of an image and wanted to hear more! Then we visited a few members and our day was shorter because we went to the BYU Hawaii Choir Concert in downtown Osaka. Way cool! We drove with some members, then sat with a young woman and her friend, who has starting investigating the church a little! Saw tons of members and other missionaries there, plus the concert was great. Still weird sometimes to watch other people perform, especially since I knew most of the music. Really a super great dendo opp- I think the best part was having different members come up to us and introduce the friend they had brought, so proud! 

Wednesday the Wakayama sisters came for a koukan and I worked with Blomquist Shimai! We had a great time despite the rain, but just weren't seeing much success. That was a little hard and we tried to increase faith, figure out all we could do...then went to Ping Pong night at the church, then at the end- no kidding- following is a TRUE STORY: 4 high school girls walked into the church and one said she received a chirashi about a music activity here, so they came! So basically 4 new investigators came to us, but we don't do a music activity! It says we do on the chirashi (lesson learned- chirashi is written in kanji so I can't read it but should probably translate and figure out everything that's on there. Turns out our Ward Mission Leader had put other activities down as alternative to Ping Pong, but so far everyone just comes to play ping pong.) So Blomquist Shimai and me and the elders put together a music activity! So the only sheet music we have are hymns, so Blomquist Shimai was super smart and made it exciting- asked them if they knew Titanic? Yes they did and they liked it? Then she told them we were going to sing a song from Titanic...Nearer My God to Thee. It worked actually! We did parts and had fun dining together, then found out they like English, so we sang it in English too! Little crazy stressful, but we were able to share a quick message at the end and got their contact info and they said they would come next week! Miracle. 

Thursday we had a surprise party for a recent convert...she was 40 minutes late BUT she came, she was really happy and uplifted and that's what counts. Then we did our weekly kids English at a member's house for her neighbors and friends. She is not afraid to dendo and just does it in a nice, warm friendly way. Love her example! 

Friday we went to Sakai's district meeting which was fun! Learned with them really fast, then we had to hurry back to go visiting teaching with RS president. Miracle day- everyone was home and got to teach them each time! Plus saw some progress- one less-active trusts us more and now talks longer, then another wants to do family history, then the last one said she wants to go to the temple 2 more times before she dies! (She's 80 yrs old, super funny and stopped coming to church for health reasons and it's been about 10 yrs since she's been to the temple). 
In the evening met with investigator family, but everyone except the teenage daughter Aoi had somewhere to go, so it was just her, which was a blessing because there weren't as many distractions and we were able to get to know her a lot better and connect her desires, dreams more with the gospel. Testimony builder: ANYONE can change, the gospel is absolutely personally for each one of us. 

Saturday we had Clean Action at the lake in the morning, it didn't rain so we were able to go, but it was cloudy so there weren't a lot of people, so it wasn't great finding time (usually lots of high school and college students) but it was still a great service opp, plus met this scout leader who really admires the church because of their strong affiliation with scouts. I really don't know anything about scouts, but proud to say that my brother just finished his Eagle project! ❤️ Later in the afternoon we stopped by a former investigator we felt like we needed to see- we were able to talk in her genkon a little- she's still a little down and life is hard and not ready to progress BUT it was special to get that time to talk with her, and give her a message of hope. She's a person I've really really come to love and I know that it might not be now but she'll accept the gospel- she's close! She believes in God, trusts him, her desire is a firm foundation, but doesn't want to commit. 

In the evening we had FHE at the church! So the sad part was literally every investigator and the LA family we were doing this for cancelled earlier that day, BUT none of the members did, so we decided to just go on with the member families we had. They are so wonderful! We planned together how to better help the others come next time, and it felt so nice to have that support- were not alone in inviting and helping, they stepped up and will help out more! 

(Find the picture of the Liahona, how do we compare?? PS I'm a camel.)

Sunday we had a really effective Ward Council meeting- new bishop is super good! Still a work in progress, but doing great! Then after church some of our plans changed because we had the thought to visit some other less actives and those visits turned out really well and needed. One sister even commented that she believed God sent us to her and she was really grateful. There are so many sweet moments like that- recognition of God directing this work because He loves all of his children. 

Also I wanted to share something I read this morning, Alma 30:34 and something Alma said stuck out, "And now, if we do not receive anything for our labors in the church, what doth it profit us to labor in the church save it were to declare the truth, that we may have rejoicings in the joy of our brethren?" JOY- that's the reward. Not getting paid right now, I get to be a full-time missionary and I get to teach the truth and bring people joy. Why do you do what you do? How does it help you? God's reward in eternal life and He is so merciful to give us pieces of that joy now. So grateful!

Love you all!

Visiting teaching with Maekawa Shimai (left) and Soga Shimai (right) plus lunch after with Soga Shimai's daughter in the middle

BYU concert! Mom, they played Cindy with the crazy hard piano part- that was fun! Some of he girls came out and did a country-style tap dance during the break in the song! Really good. It was a show choir and they were good! Homeward Bound was beautiful. Though then they did "She's in Love" and some other pop/Broadway style and they weren't very good at that...too classical, BUT overall super great and the Polynesian stuff was probs the best! 

Exchange with Wakayama sisters- we made pizza toast!

Member birthday!

District Meeting in Sakai!

 Visiting Teaching, which means Shino Shimai (RS Pres on the left) brought her selfie stick! Member in the middle wants to return to the temple!

Clean Action - lake clean up project...we found a dead cat and a dead turtle this time...not cool. 
Also we're usually spoiled and the members bring a bento-sack lunch for us, so we planned in that and nobody brought us food...so sad.

Spilled my water on myself at an investigator's, so then Aoi
immediately jumped up and grabbed her blow dryer to help me- she's
really sweet!

Singing on Monday after calligraphy...helmets and sweat, never going to look great!

Me struggling with my right hand

Okay now I'm on a train and have some time to actually think and write
some more- we got rushed because found out Steere Shimai has to send
one of her suitcases home early...not prepared for that! So shopping
and packing!
I've been trying to make my emails better- less like a news report.
Sadly yes I just can't put everything in, I have no idea if funny
experiences come across as funny because LOTS of fun stuff happens!
Every Monday we email Welch Kaicho and sometimes he replies if needed,
but he's reading like 200 emails ina. Day so obviously not everyone
gets a reply, but this last week we had a lot of concerns with sisters
in the zone and got pretty clear direction for what to do (which is
rare!) Welch Kaicho is big on us receiving personal revelation. But
anyways we had brought ideas to him to move forward with. I love being
a part of this, I love being an STL! It's fun to be busy and actively
doing all we can to help someone, it's really rewarding. I think I've
been blessed with an ability to forget my life before and focus on the
work here- this is more important now! That's a big issue we're
working with- wanting to be here and being happy, therefore an
effective missionary. Really rewarding thing this week was seeing
progress: Welch Kaicho authorized a special exchange with struggling
sisters and another companionship, which we hoped would help and we
called afterwards to see how it went and sounded really successful!

Wednesday struggled with the fact that our finding wasn't going
well...no one was answering, not many people taught- little stressed
because I'm with another sister and trying to set an example for her
to follow, but maybe our planning was ineffective? Not following the
Spirit well enough? Need more faith? Better prepared?
And this was the night that 4 girls randomly...not so randomly walked
into the church. Hopefully that helps paint a picture of what a
miraculous experience this was. Yeah we struggle, but this is God's
work and he doesn't let us just struggle and fail for 18 months. Not
the plan!

Love you all, out of time!
But wait there's more, we went to Namba today (big shopping area in Osaka)