Monday, March 27, 2017

when the clouds dump.... joy?

Zundel Shimai & Moda Shimai---Looking joyful in their superrrr
attractive helmets!
HELLLLOOOO AMERICA (and whoever else is reading this.... cough cough Kyoka, cough cough Kiyomi;)

This week was crazy.... as usual. Definitely way fun. We had 2 different sets of exchanges which was a blast. I loveeee getting to work with so many different sisters! 

One super cool thing that happened this week was on my exchange with Sister Zundel. For starters, she is the cutest and we get along soooo well. I was so excited to be able to work with her. Well, she comes and we realize we have the exact same clothes so were we matching all day? ABSOLUTELY. Okay, that's beside the point, but it was fun so hey. lol. In our companionship study we studied about joy. It was something I really needed. Sometimes missionary work is stressful and hard and you just kind of want to curl up in a ball and die for like 30 seconds. Haha also not going to lie, transferring away from my second home was pretty hard for me, so this was a good thing to study. Annnnyyyways, we read "Joy and Spiritual Survival" from the last General Conference (AND YES THIS IS ME SAYING GO READ THIS TALK) and it was so so good. Exactly what I needed. We had a lesson with a member and a less active that day so we planned to teach about that.

Well, let's just fast forward throughout the day..... Was it pouring SO HARD THAT WE COULDN'T EVEN SEE? Yes. Did we get lost in the rain? Yes. Did our appointment fall through because the less active member wasn't home? Yes. Was anyone interested in what we had to say? No. Were we soaked to the bone and freezing? Yes. Now I don't know about you, but normally for me that is not what you call a "joy filled day." But this one was. There was just something so fun and happy about it. Just like the talk says, "The joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives." As we were riding our bikes, literally drenched, I just had this smile on my face. Being a missionary and focusing on nothing but others and the Savior is something that can make any situation good. Like when else would I have the opportunity to do this? Never. 

We arrived at our lesson soaked and really scary-looking, but the message of joy we were able to share with this member was one of the coolest lessons I have had on my mission. As we testified that we can be happy when we choose to focus on Christ and rely on His Atonement, we felt the Spirit guiding us. Why? Because we had experienced that same joy in a not so joyful situation just 20 minutes before. My testimony grew sooooo much through this little experience, and not only that, but the member was so touched by the message that she began to cry and said that she needed us at that point in her life, and she needed that message. 

The Lord works in mysterious ways people... even if it means dumping 40000 gallons of water on you.

There is just no way the church cannot be true.... I PRAYED ABOUT IT!


Modersitzki 姉妹

Fun fact:
- Well. Niigata is known for being freezing. And WOW is it true. I am not lying when I say I have yet to be warm here. Now yes, you would think, well just go inside. It's warm in houses right? Let me answer that for you. NO. People have these heaters that they only turn on when they are home. But not in the whole house, just in 1 room that they are in. So the rest of the house is just as cold as outside.... Heat. No need? Who would have known!

This one is a s/o to the PAC. Meet our new ultimate frisbee team.
Everyone always talks about Christmas miracles, so hey!
Yuko chan, aka my best friend in the universe (the miracle girl who came and found us).
This is Irina. She is from Russia and is the coooooolest!
Just your average pair of super stressed STLs trying to survive the day.

Monday, March 20, 2017

This one goes out to all you LP kids


Well.... where to even start with this week... Let's just say 5 out of the 7 nights this week were spent having sleepovers. Talk about a party. Being an STL is the BEST! We had exchanges in Sado which was an absolute blast. The sisters there are darling and we had sooo much fun! Also we got to feed birds on the way back which was an adventure to say the least;)

We had zone conference this week as well so everyone came over again! SERIOUSLY SO FUN. We got to go do a zone blitz right after where everyone worked in the same area! We did the Free English Challenge again with a bunchhhh of missionaries. In fact, Elder Clark (Ben Clark, who I served on student council with) is an assistant now, so he got to come as well! So weird I see him all the time. Wellllllll... we ended up talking to the same couple and it was as if we were companionship for a second... HAHA WHAT IN THE WEIRD. I would say one thing, he would testify of what I said, he would say another and I would add to it. AND HEY! The couple we were talking to ended up being wayyyy cool and prepared and we were able to get contact info, so holla at that, but WOW it was soooo funny. It was one of those moments where you just pause... realize that you just had a complete conversation with someone in Japanese with Ben Clark... fist bump and move on.  Can't say I ever expected that, but hey. It happened. #lpodamiright

This week was crazy and stressful but it was great. There were so many times where my companion and I looked at each other wondering if we were going to make it through the day, but there were even more where I just stopped and realized how lucky I am and how perfect God's timing is. It is cool the people He can put in our paths when we are doing our best. When we are on God's timing, nothing is a coincidence and I have come to know that for real. Being a missionary is a cool things folks. 10/10 would recommend.

The church is WAYYY true. I know... I prayed about it;)


Modersitzki 姉妹

Fun fact:

The foyer inside the ferry. Pretty fancy!
-In order to get to Sado you have to take the car ferry aka this little baby cruise ship. It is so fun, I'm serious. You just chill and they also have the best french fries ever. Soooo there ya have it folks.

Yes, it is freezing. Yes, we did all need ice cream. #sleepovaaaaa
Teaching Eikaiwa with the angel Boden  姉妹 on Sado!
The longer you look at this picture the funnier it gets. Seagulls. What a species.
Sado ft. Japan pride and also..... wind.

idk either, but hey!
A little unsure about these Japanese snacks....

This is Kouki. He is a legend. No more needs to be said.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Conferences, meetings, and MIRACLES

Yes, it definitely snows in Japan. ;)

Warning. I promise I actually do missionary work, not just travel around Japan hahahaha... But HEY! Coming at you live from the island of Sado, an island about 2 hours off the coast of Japan. 🌴 (Take a search on Google, 10/10 would recommend;)... and yes, I will send pics next week) This week was crazzzzzyyyy busy. One day we were in Tokyo, the next we were in Niigata again, and now we're on Sado! Being a Sister Training Leader has proved to me that I really need to travel the world more... lol. No complaints. No complaints.

Like I mentioned last week we had MLC and WOW. All I can say is that the church is so true. I was sooooo inspired. At MLC (Mission Leadership Council), we get to hear from all our leaders and get to be trained on how to help people in our own zones. I learned so much! Elder Tokuzawa from the Seventy even came and spoke! It was wayyy cool. The spirit was so strong and I left with so much more faith and desire to be better! After we got trained, as zone leaders and sister training leaders, it was our turn! We got to plan for our zone meeting and teach everyone in the Niigata zone what we had learned. Well... that means everyone came to Niigata... and because everyone lives sooo far away, we had a GIANT SLEEPOVER with all the sisters in our apartment. It was SO fun. And to make things better we get to do it again this week because we have zone conference and interviews! HOLLAAAA!
MLC with Elder Tokuzawa.
Okay, now let's just talk miracles for a second. The coooooollllleeeeesssstttt thing happened on Sunday. First things first. Let me just explain how missionary work goes down in Japan for a second. 1. Americans in Japan are kind of like celebrities. Everyone stares at you, talks about you, giggles and gets way embarrassed and shy if you talk to them, and when you do they will sometimes try to speak English to you (it's so cute I die). 2. From junior high, all Japanese students are required to take English classes. 3. People either absolutely love or hate English..... SOOOOO... One of our biggest ways to do missionary work is through English! I know I talk about Eikaiwa a lot but our mission is actually starting up an English school called Mission School. We teach all sorts of classes for all different ages. It's wayyy fun. We have to get creative and advertise and all sorts of stuff! Sometimes I think people think of missionary work as just housing... Well not in this mission! We do missionary work through all sorts of different things, the main being English! 

 Longggg explanation but now for the miracle. We were doing the "Free English Challenge" which is so fun. We all have little English quizzes and if the person passes they get candy! People get wayyyy excited about it, so it makes our job a blast! We saw tons of cool miracles but I'll share the coolest. Wellll... we were just finishing as this girl came running up to us! She told us that she was coming back on a bus from Fukuoka (literally the other side of Japan) when she saw us out the window. She was so interested that she went all the way home, dropped off her stuff, got back on the bus, rode allll the way back and then ran to find us... HELLO KINJIN (golden person)! She LOVES English and was sooooo excited when we told her about Mission School and when we told her we could even do personal lessons she about fell over she was so happy. THIS GIRL IS DARLING AND SO PREPARED AND AHHH I'M SO EXCITED. We have an appointment on Wednesday and I cannot wait! *insert dance party* But really, it was just so cool to see how perfect God's timing is. I really felt like a tool in the Lord's hands at that moment and it was a happiness that is just hard to describe in words. YAYYY MIRACLES!


Also today I hit my 8 month mark.... just realized that... BYE.

Love you allllll!


Modersitzki 姉妹

Fun fact: 
-Sooooo many people have colored contacts that are like crazzyyyy. They also have things to make their eyes bigger.. so yep. There ya have it folks! Haha!

Cute Kiriko chan and purikura today!

So much snow!
Sushi date with the sisters.
Free English challenge!

Monday, March 6, 2017

What's Niigata?

Sister Domino (Shae's new companion) & Shae!

Well. I did it. I am alive and in Niigata! (Well technically not really.. I am currently on the shinkansen... aka the bullet train... aka basically an airplane on the ground... heading back to Tokyo for MLC... It's basically every missionary's dream to ride the shinkansen, but it is like never that they get the opportunity..  So ya. We are feeling pretty cool... #blessed ;)  Let's just hit the basics for this week because it was insaneeeee! 

Let's just say Monday and Tuesday were like the saddest days of my entire life. I had to say bye to all of my best friends and it was really hard. I loveddddd Kawagoe and Sakado with my whole heart and it was really sad to leave... but in the words of President Nagano on my phone call, "All good things have to end sometime..." :( Early Wednesday morning Sister Ohki and I
Last night in Kawagoe with all my best friends. :'(
went to the mission home so she could pick up her BEAN! She is training a cute little Japanese sister and it was so fun to be there for that. But next thing I knew I was on a 5 hour bus ride across the legit country to Niigata. It was crazy. In just a small time I went from seeing hugeeee buildings and people everywhere to rice fields and a tonnnnn of snow. Welcome to Niigata prefecture;) Luckily the snow is melted where I live but WOWZA it is cold. We are right on the ocean so the wind is way strong too! I have decided I will never know what warm is again lol.

These two even got matching planners. #goals
My companion on the other hand is the warmest cutest thing ever. Her name is Sister Domino and she is a fireball. So crazy and fun and loving. I LOVE HER. She has been a Sister Training Leader for 5 transfers now in Niigata so ya. Let's just say she knows her stuff! Our area doesn't have a ward, just a branch. Definitely wayyyy different from my last area and it will take some time to get used to, but Sister Domino is obsessed with Niigata so I am hoping some of it rubs off on me! :)

Life is crazy so far as an STL. We are in meetings and on phone calls and planning like all day every day. It's way overwhelming at the start, but it's wayyy fun. I am grateful for the new opportunity! Also, the sisters I get to work with are the bestttt so ya you could say I'm lucky! 

Life is good! Church is true! 



Modersitzki 姉妹

Fun facts: 
- Niigata is famous for having the best rice in all of Japan soooo aka all the world. So ya. Call me the rice queen. I'm living the life out here lol.

The first thing I noticed is that she wasn't too tall to fit in the "I"! Yay!
Cute Erina chan from the branch.
When it feels like your birthday because Shinkansen!
(featuring old grandpa in the window)
Can you tell these two are a little excited about riding the Shinkansen? :)
Apparently this is a really big deal!