Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

28 December 2014 Sakado

How was your Christmas?
It never really felt like Christmas here. It was a little sad. We are still waiting for it to feel like Christmas! Guess I will have to wait for next year. This week was still pretty busy but, because New Years is coming up no one has time to meet us, they are all "busy". So, past and upcoming week will be the calm before the storm! While it is sad not having lots of lessons, it's a blessing in disguise. We inherited the other sisters’ investigators and everything else that was theirs when Sakado area went down to only one pair of sisters. It's been crazy! And it'll be nice to have. A chance to go through everything now and organize! 

This week wasn't nearly as exciting as last week. We got lost twice; once because I wanted to find a short cut (and didn't) and once because we got fault directions. And my Christmas package from my family was delivered to the wrong person! And they sinned for it! So we spent a lot of time having to deal with that. All the members banded together to find it. It was really sweet of them! They also put together a package for me to make up for my lost one! It was full of food and hand warmers! It made me sooo happy. We eventually did find my package. Ito Kyodai did some calling during eikaiwa and by the end of the night he had found the package. When we got home we were met by Ito Kyodai and two met in suits, in a nice car, and they handed over my package. I'm not sure how that package had been retrieved...it had been opened and things were missing from it. But, maybe the person who took it needed those things more than I did!

This week we had lots of Christmas parties to go too. On the 23rd was our ward party. Our bishop renamed it our Christmas celebration. Because he doesn't think it's a party. We are celebrating the savior's birth so it should be called a celebration. I liked he thought. M San came to the Christmas celebration. She fits right in. You wouldn't even know was she wasn't a member! Everyone loves her and her kids. The next day she came to our eikaiwa Christmas party too. She even came early to help set up! 

On Christmas day we went to Keiko's Christmas party for her kids she teaches (she runs an after school program-which I learned the other day she does it for families who can't afford the fancy jukus! How great is that!). It was a fun party. We planned some really fun games and made this goopy stuff. It was like putty but you could stick a straw in it and blow bubbles! Very fun. 
After we went to our bishop’s house and had Christmas dinner. That was fun as well. We shared a message...naturally it was the Christmas story! But it was so awkward. We asked the kids to help and they just wouldn't say anything and neither would the adults! Ahh. At the end we said tonight Christmas is over, but that doesn't mean we need to stop thinking about Christ. We should have him in our hearts everyday! And then we asked them all to think of a way they could remember Christ throughout the year. 
Christ isn't part of Christmas here. I think that's why it didn't feel like Christmas. Christmas in Japanese doesn't even have Christ in it! It is KU-RI-SU-MA-SU. They took Christ out! I'm sure not intentionally, but still they took him out! We need to make sure we don't take him out of our Christmas! I know, from here on out, I will be trying much harder to keep Christ in my Christmas.  

Time for a cool miracle this week! On Saturday we had planned to bring cookies to a member and his family, who had helped us a lot this week. First we needed to go to a seven eleven to get wifi and see on the map where this member was. Well, as we tried to leave, I couldn't find my bike key. It was nowhere to be found! And I couldn't seem to find any of my spares. Oh well, guess that is a sign we needed to walk. So we did.

We tried to stop everyone who walked by. And they all ended up being Jehovah's witnesses! What! We got the address, and realized that it was nowhere near us and that we had to bike. Back to the apartment we went. I still couldn't find my key I'd been using but I did finally find the spares. Off to the member’s house we go!

And I take us on the wrong side of the tracks..oops. So we cross back over and head in the right direction. But, we couldn't find the house! And after looking for a little we had to turn around and go. We had a lesson that night. I was feeling pretty discouraged. We had found no one interested all day! As we headed back to our apartment we stopped at a light. There was a mother and two girls standing there. We said hello but she didn't seem too interested in us. We continued on, we were in a hurry. But, I just couldn't bring myself to ride away, so I stopped hopped of my bicycle and ran back up to her. I told her we were missionaries and would love to teach her! She is from Africa, she came here about five years ago with her husband, Bijoux. We exchanged information and we are just waiting for her call, pray she calls! Sister Bettridge was sooo excited. It was her first real positive contact. Yay! 

Nihongin restaurant meal
Sunday we went over to a member’s house for dinner and we started swapping second language bloopers. Sister Bettridge has already collected quite a few. But she is speaking and trying so I'm so proud of her! My favorites have been "I'm a squirrel" instead of "I'm twenty" and today we told someone the headband I gave her keeps her eyes warm! One of them members told us that she, when she was in the US, would call people on the phone and they would say hello, who is this? She thought they were quizzing her, jokingly, so she would reply "I don't know who this is." I laughed so hard when I heard this. And whenever I think about it I laugh too. So funny. 

Sister Bettridge's first heart attack
Well, that's all for now. 

Here are some pictures.

Love you all! 

It's COLD! You can see Mt Fuji in the background

Monday, December 22, 2014


Sisters? My new companion Sister Bettridge and me
Wow...well, I don't even know where to start. This week was crazy. Absolutely crazy. It feels like multiple weeks were all crammed into one week. Sister hall and I ran around like crazy on Tuesday visiting people and then Wednesday I dropped her off at her new area and went to get my new companion, fresh from America. The sister I was traveling with knew just about as much as I did in regards to getting to the hon bu and by that I mean...not much. Naturally we got lost and I was late for the trainer training I was suppose to be at. But, after a week of training I can't imagine I missed much, nothing prepares you for training. Oh boy! 

Tuesday it tried snowing. Luckily it hasn't tried snowing again. But, we can see snow on top of the mountains now...makes me a little nervous. We went and visited a less active and her son in the hospital Tuesday morning. THe son was getting surgery and she wanted the elders to give him a priesthood blessing. It was really sweet. The little boy seemed much happier after the blessing. After, she walked us out and wanted to pay for us to ride he bus back to the train station. It was raining. We assured her we were fine walking and started our trek back to the station. After a few minutes I heard someone calling my name and turn to see the less active running down the street with umbrellas for us. It was sooo sweet of her! I love her so much! We get to go to her house for Christmas Eve so I am very excited. We are planning something special for that! 

Tuesday night we had an amazing lesson with our investigator kikue. Every time we meet with her we find out a little more just how prepared she is! If only she had more time to meet! At the end of our lesson she told us that she has been studying religion for years and can't find the right one. She doesn't understand why there are so many forms of Christianity and buddism and other religions as well. We told her Joseph smith had the same question and after studying he received an answer! when we showed her a picture of Joseph smith she said she knew who he was! She had studied about Mormonism on her own before she ever met the missionaries! We can't wait to see what happens next lesson. I think she is super prepared and am sooo excited to teach her more. 

Wednesday I met my new companion! She is awesome I love her sooo much. Her name is sister Bettridge. She is 20 and from Utah. And she is already an amazing missionary. I love being her companion. She is so spiritual. And she is just as tall and skinny as me. Everyone thinks we are sisters. Ready for a cool story? So, when all the trainers came in and sat down I sat across from sister Bettridge. She says she thinks she knows me..and she did! She had been following my blog before her mission! So, while I didn't know her, she knew a lot about me. And then, we become companions! She told me the other night, that before her mission she had hoped she would get a companion like me! And now we are companions! Awww! I absolutely love her. She is so patient with me and just loves everything about a mission and Japan. She is so willing to try new things and her Japanese has already gotten so much better and it's already been a week. The gift of tongues is so real. I'm afraid by next week I will have run out of things to teach her in Japanese! 

Christmas cookie making activity
Because she is straight out of America I've realized a few things about myself. First, my English has gotten funny and really slow. I also understand Japanese English very well. I think she needs me to translate more often when a nihonjin speaks English than when they speak Japanese. It sounds perfectly normal to me! But I guess it really doesn't sound like English hahaha. I also learned that I am a terrible translator. As I've learned Japanese I tried to keep English out of it so a lot of the time I don't know how to translate something and so I do it in a weird round about way. Ah! But, I also realized I know a lot more Japanese than I've given myself credit for. And I can translate. That was a delightful surprise! 

So this weekend was absolutely crazy, we had so many appointments cancelled, and emergency appointments come up, a baptism cancelled, lots and lots of traveling and the climax of our crazy weekend was as we were headed homeSaturday night. On the train we started talking to someone, our stop came, we handed the lady we were talking to a flyer and I walked off the train but, sister Bettridge did not get off fast enough! I realized what was about to happen so I step back in and try to jam myself between the closing doors...well, the doors didn't care that I was in the way so I get squished back out, nihonjin are staring in horror as I get closed in the doors and then as they realize my companion is stuck on one side of the door and I on the other. I yelled to her to get off at the next stop and then watched the train ride away. Then I stood on the platform and cried for 8 minutes until the next train came. I was afraid that she hadn't heard me and was going to end up in ikebukoro! I prayed really hard and finally the train came and I was so relieved when I saw sister Bettridge waiting for me on the platform. We just hugged for a long time and I cried and apologized and then we went home. Worst trainer ever. Who loses their companion on their third day in the field?!?!? Yup, that's right me, sister Molinari!
Christmas cookies

Crying cookie? Missionary cookies

Luckily she still loves me, and things have finally slowed down. Today has been a wonderful relazed pday. And I look froward to a Week where no one gets lost on trains. I love training. It my opportunity to get retrained really. I've become painfully aware of all my mistakes and I'm just so grateful I can repent at the end of the day and start over. I love having a companion straight from the MTC. She is so full of fire and is so ready to work. And I won't let her make the same mistakes I made with Japanese. I remember all to well, my first months in the field. And I really want to do everything I can to make her first months great. 

I love you all! 

Merry Christmas! 

Sister Molinari

Monday, December 15, 2014


15 December 2014 Sakado

LDS Tokyo Temple
 This week was awesome! So great. I've been sick and poor Sister Hall has been dragging me around all week, but despite that it was still awesome. There were so many miracles and I just am so happy. I love Sakado. I love being a missionary. 

This morning was crazy! We had transfer calls. Oh my goodness, I was so nervous I forgot to eat breakfast! We just kept waiting and waiting for the call and it wasn't coming and we had an appointment we had to go to! As we were walking out the door the other sisters’ phone rang! Ah! We put it on speaker and all four of us got our calls together. Elder Egbert, the assistant, just talked for what seemed like forever! Oh it was awful I just wanted to know what was happening! First was Sister Christensen and we all knew where she was going...home! Then her companion Oshimi shimai was next. She is going to Niigata! Sakado is down to only one pair of sisters! Ah! Next was Hall shimai and she is transferring! Then finally me. I was staying in Sakado! And I'm training! 

I'm still in shock. Me and my new companion just inherited all the other sisters’ investigators! And I‘m training! Ah! Also, I'm really going to miss Hall shimai. I learned a lot from her! 

After transfers we met with Takahashi San and just had the funniest day ever. She took us to this beautiful spot in Sakado where you could see mountains all around (including Fuji san) and had us sing amazing grace, then we went to a flower shop and then she took us to two shrines and got us lunch. While deciding where to take us for lunch she told us this "I really want to get yakisoba but there is not meat in that, just cabbage and carrots, and Sister Molinari needs to get fatter so she needs meat." We ended up going and getting katsu which is meat. It was delicious. Hopefully I don't get fat though. We laughed and had so much fun. It was really great. 

Ok. Time for miracles...
So the Christian lady I told you about last week, who didn't seem like a fan of church, called us this week and asked if we could meet. I was expecting to get chewed out a little... But that didn't happen! She told us she is looking for something and what she felt at church she hadn't felt before/ in a long time. She came to church again on Sunday! And she told us she has three friends she wants us to visit. And during lunch her friend appeared and she invited her to come to church and when the friend said no she couldn't she told her if she doesn't come once she won't know what she is missing. She has only come to church once and she is already inviting other people and doing missionary work! Wow! 

The other lady that came to church, Morisaki San, was able to meet with us this week! We were able to teach her more about prayer (she hadn't prayed) and the Book of Mormon. We had an awesome doseki, Nohagi shimai, who just did an amazing job talking about prayer and the Book of Mormon. Morisaki San was very nervous about praying. It seemed like she really believed she would be praying to someone so she wanted to do it right. I thought that was so cool. What faith! Saturday night we called Morisaki San and we followed up on prayer and reading the Book of Mormon. She had done both! She has been praying everyday and she said she has become genki! It makes here so happy! We really can receive answers and feel God's love when we pray! I have felt it and so has she! 

Park near temple
Sunday was crazy! Sister hall and I have been planning a surprise party for the two missionaries who are going home this week, and for Ro for her birthday and our ward mission leader who is going back to America. Oh it was quite the fiasco. Multiple people thought they were the ones who planned it and after being invited to the party I planned, multiple times on Sunday, I've decided I'm never going to throw a surprise party again. Nihonjin just don't keep secrets very well. There was just too much going on. Everyone was trying to distract different people and then ultimately the surprise was blown when an investigator who does not like coming to church walked in. Oh what a mess! And then once it finally got started we thought it would be smooth sailing from there but nope. A member and I went and got the cake for the birthday girl, walked back into the room and started singing, everyone joined in and then we realized the birthday girl wasn't in the room! Everyone got a really good laugh at that. All in all it was really fun. And everyone who we threw it for was really grateful. So I'd say it was a success. 

I feel like I experienced a lot of personal growth this week. Nothing big, but little things finally clicking into place. I feel like I'm being set up for a really awesome rest of my mission. I'm excited to see what it holds. I really do love being a missionary. It's wonderful. 

I love you all! 


Sister Molinari

Monday, December 8, 2014

Deck the Halls!

8 December 2014 Sakado

District meeting this week
(I look sooo sick so don't look at my face too closely..
instead admire how long my hair is getting)
Wow! Another week gone. I don't know where my mission is going. It's just flying by. 

This week was freezing cold. But there is still no snow so I am very grateful. 

As Christmas is getting closer we are really seeing miracles. What a great time to be a missionary! Well...aside from it being freezing cold. 

Last week I mentioned finding two people on the train who said they would come to church. And guess what they both did! How it turned out was a little funny. The Christian lady, I think thought church was a little odd. It wasn't what she was used to so I don't know if she really wants to come back. The other lady loved it! She had never been to church ever. And her family is Buddhist so I don't think it was something she would ever do. But she came and during relief society she started crying and didn't stop for a while. We had a lesson with her after church and taught about Heavenly Father and prayer. The member who helped us out talked about how her family was Buddhist when she joined and her mother was super against it but bore a very powerful testimony on many things; Prayer being one of them. Prayers are answered regardless of who we are, or where we are. We are meeting with her again on Tuesday! I cannot wait. 

But Sunday just gets better. The mother with kids who I've talked about a few times came to church too. M San. She couldn't come to all of church so she said she would arrive about 11:30. And then. We got a call saying she would get there at 12.. so late. But, as we went to the eki to pick up another investigator, before church, we saw her and her three children walking on the street towards the church. It felt like a movie moment. One of the ones where there is a big explosion and then the main character walks out through the smoke and you think "yes! They're alive!" It wasn't as dramatic but we were just soooo excited to see them.

After church M San came up to me and said "there is a power here! Something you can feel. At the other Christian Church I went to I did not feel this!" She was so happy. And her kids love church too! I'm glad she is able to come to church and have a spiritual experience. We got to meet with her this week as well and have an awesome lesson on the plan of salvation. She said she's worried that she will be all alone after she dies. It was really great telling her we can have an eternal family and live with them again. We won't be alone! I love teaching her! 

We had a lesson with Takahashi San this week. It started raining while we were there and she didn't want to send us out in the rain so she got us all geared up for the rain. I ended up in this giant white suit that wasn't at all water proof and Sister Hall had plastic bags draped over her and stapled together. Oh we were laughing so hard. While it started out as a serious thing I think Takahashi San found it funny as well and tried to make us look as silly as possible. We were quite a sight riding away on our bikes. I kept my white suit on. I thought it was pretty funny. I looked like the Pillsbury dough boy. I have pictures but I forgot to bring the cable to put them on my iPad...sorry! Next week. 

Sister Hall and I got to give a training on using the new Christmas video in our district meeting. We've seen a lot of success from sharing it. We broke sharing e video into five easy steps. It seemed a little silly because it's such a simple thing to do. Step three was "SHARE IT!" When I said that, someone made a noise as if they wanted to say "well duh." Then I continued. I said that when we share all our attention should be on the person at the door. It doesn't matter how many times we have seen it. If we are distracted they will be distracted too. And then I shared what I do. While someone else is watching the video I pray for them. I pray that they will feel the spirit and their heart will be open to the wonderful message we want to share with them. Sometimes as missionaries I think we get so stuck in the routine of what we do. Or we feel like we've been out for a while, we know what we are doing. I'm guilty of that. Or, that we just aren't good enough. I've really come to appreciate the simple things as a missionary. And I'm trying to be content with what I have. Miracles don't need to be big and grand to be a miracle. And a simple prayer can go a long way. Having ten investigators at church doesn't make you a good missionary and having an impressive vocabulary (regardless of what language you speak)'doesn't mean you are a good teacher. This is Heavenly father's work and he won't let us fail. If we are doing all we can do, big or small, then that it enough. And we don't know how big of an impact the small and simple things we do will have on others. 

Actually that reminds me of this Mormon message! 
Wow what a tangent sorry! 

We had a Christmas concert this weekend. It was really fun. It was all missionaries who performed. There are so many talented people serving in my mission! We went with our friend Chieko. I think she had a really good time!
This week we ate dinner at a member’s house. She always makes delicious food! But this time she put squid in the meal! I had been thinking to myself a few days earlier that I hadn't needed to eat anything odd in a while...well, that problem was resolved. Yuck!

I'm still sick so it's made speaking in nihongo a little more difficult. But it was probably really fun for Sister Hall to listen to. I told someone my brother was "high five" instead of twenty. Sister Hall made her usual carrot/ people mistake this week. It was a really good sentence too....something about the trials carrots have to face while on this earth. Oh Japanese....I don't think I'll ever really be able to speak it. 

Ok, we had a pretty regular week. I can't think of anything else exciting. 

I love you all! 

Merry Christmas season!

Sister Molinari

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Happy December!

3 December 2014 Sakado

I love December. Especially in Saitama. It's cold and rains a lot BUT the leaves are changing beautiful colors, there are still flowers blooming and best of all there is NO SNOW. Who is happy? Yup, that's right, this sister missionary. 

This week we were so busy I don't even know what we did. Oh boy. Remembering things is so hard these days. The days blur into weeks and the weeks into months. Time is flying by. 

This week we dedicated a day to less-active hunting. We biked over an hour away, in the rain. I was sooo cold! I couldn't feel my hands by the end of the day. And we didn't really have much luck. 2 less actives had moved. One had died. And the only one we actually got to meet just didn't really feel like coming to church. I think she might come to church soon though...maybe just for fear that, if she does not, I will reappear on her doorstep.

As we were talking to her I just really wanted to testify powerfully to her about something she needed to hear. But nothing was coming to mind. So instead, I just gave her one of my looks. I think that worked just as well. It was a combination of what you're telling me is really sad and I know you know this is still true. It made her a little nervous. 

We got to end the night really nicely. We had a mogi lesson with the Nohagi family. They are the best missionary family ever! They have two children preparing to go on missions and the parents are always willing to doseki. They invite the missionaries over for dinner all the time and every now and then Nohagi shimai drops off treats at our apartment.

Anyways, back to the mogi lesson. We had dinner and then did a practice restoration lesson in Japanese. Honestly, it wasn't going to well. And then, probably at the low point of the lesson, Brother Nohagi asked us how we got our testimony of Joseph smith. Sister hall looked at me and so I told them. And thankfully, it changed the direction of the lesson.

I've been a member of this church my whole life and I think I always accepted that Joseph smith was a prophet, that he actually saw our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and that he translated the Book of Mormon through the power of God. But, I've also had confirmation for myself that those things are true. That was a little hard to explain in Japanese so I read out of the introduction in the Book of Mormon.

My favorite pat of the Book of Mormon is before it even begins! It reads "Concerning this record the Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” I read this in nihongo to the Nohagi's and as I neared the end I started crying.

I know this is true. I know it is true because I have put it to the test and have seen the results. And if Joseph Smith was willing to give up his life for this book and the gospel it must be something really special. He could have so easily said "just kidding" and walked away. But he didn't because he knew it was true. He knew what he saw and he believed in it. And I do to. It's why I'm in Japan.

Missions are hard. They are a lot of fun too. But hard. And if I didn't know this was true, I would be home. Because it would not be worth all the hard I've experienced. Living the gospel has changed my life, I wouldn't be who I am today without it. And I'm so grateful for that. So, I needed to share it. 

I left my planner at home..so I don't remember what else we did...we had lots of lessons and our investigators are slowly progressing. It is amazing to watch as people, apply the gospel in their lives. Change. Little by little, but change none the less. They are happier. More full of hope. More full of love. They have a twinkle in their eye. Maybe they won't ever get baptized, but, they have come closer to Christ. They have his love. And to me, that is success. 

Today was temple p-day! I got to see my beloved Dopp shimai. I love her so much! I’m so grateful she was my companion in the MTC. She is an amazing missionary and a wonderful example to me. I'm so lucky!

This week while riding the trains we found two people who are going to come to church on Sunday! One lady lives by a church and has always wondered what it would be like so we invited her to ours! She plans on coming! And then the other lady is from Korea and is Christian! I think she plans to start coming every week. Both were miracles. 

Ok that is all for this week. I’m sick...so my brain isn't quite working right. Having a stuffy nose directly connects to how well your brain works. I'm convinced.  

Love you all! 

Sister Molinari


This is the new Christmas video we have been showing everyone! Well...we show it in Japanese but...take a look! 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Wow, It's Getting Colder

24 November 2014 Sakado

Wow! This week was fantastic. We had so many lessons. We were busy running around all week. Our investigators and the other people we are working with are really progressing. It is  really, really exciting. But, it's Christmas season...so we should expect nothing less! 

Monday we had two really awesome lessons. During our first lesson our investigator made us Ramen from scratch. It was delicious! I don't think ever want to eat Ramen from a package again. It just doesn't compare. Then she made me sight read a song for her...ooo it was rough haha but she was so impressed! She wants us to sing it with her boyfriend(?) who is a famous Japanese country singer hahaha. We will see..
Also, today when we visited her she told us how she had gone out to eat with her Christian friend this past week. Before they ate she asked her friend "aren't you going to pray? That's what my Mormon friends do!" I’m so proud of her! 

After we ran to the church for another lesson. We made popcorn with a eikaiwa student and a church member. Our student totally took us by surprise! She is more interested than we thought. Recently, we have been doing a lot of 'introduce the gospel lessons'. But just sitting down and talking isn't always the most effective so we have tried something different twice..and it has been really good both times. We ask everyone to think of a question..any question they want and then, while Hall shimai is talking I find the answer in the Book of Mormon. Then, we introduce the Book of Mormon. I like to say you can find the answer to any question within it. The Book of Mormon is like a personal note, just for you, from God. And then we have them, read their answers. As our student read her answer, her eyes got bigger and you could tell it was exactly what she needed. When we gave her a Book of Mormon of her own she was so excited! It was a really, really great lesson. 

Tuesday we had four lessons planned! Sadly, our last one was cancelled because Hashiba San caught the flu! We ran all over the place. What a tiring day. Our first lesson was with the lady who came to church on Sunday! We taught her the restoration. I think it made perfect sense to her. Now she just needs to pray and receive a confirmation that it is true! We had a really awesome member in our lesson too. As a missionary I've really learned the importance of member missionary work. We can't do it without you! If you haven't helped the missionaries lately, I invite you to do just that. We can't do it alone. Anyways, as we walked our investigator back to the train station she told us she wants to go to New York and visit Palmyra! Palmyra is where Joseph Smith’s home is, and during the summer where the Hill Cummorah Pageant is. Visitors are welcome. I told her once I get home she is more than welcome to come visit! 

We went out with a member this week and afterwards she invited us over to eat. She is the sweetest little old lady. (She has this little old dog who pees on the floor when they are excited.) Well, she pulls two grape sodas out of the fridge and is holding them crooked and one happened to be open so it spilled on the floor! I don't know how to say "you just spilled the soda!" In Japanese so I just hoped really hard that she wouldn't stepped in it...but, I didn't hope hard enough because she stepped in it! And then she blames it on the dog! It was pretty funny. 

Yahagi shimai, the less active sister, is basically an active member again. Sooo exciting! Sooooo exciting! She told us how she has been looking for work and told all her prospective employers she couldn't work on Sunday! And this week she found a job and doesn't need to work on Sunday. Yay! She told me last week that my story about not working on Sunday's really gave her strength to do the same! 

Nishibori shimai, another really old less active, surprised us this week. So she is 83, she loves writing haikus and is just the sweetest thing you will ever meet. We rang her door bell multiple times, we knew she was in there, but she didn't answer. After a few minutes her son came home and got her. She apologized profusely for not answer and then told us the reason why. She was watching sumo wrestling! She loves sumo wrestling! We got a good chuckle from that. After talking about sumos for a while she decided she should and could probably spend some more time reading the Book of Mormon. Of course we agreed with her...we will see if she does next week. I really think she is on the verge of taking some big steps forward. I'm excited. 

I love you all! There are miracles happening all around us. We just have take the time to look! 

Sister Molinari 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

It's Still Getting Cold!

Note from the editor: Sorry I didn't post this last week. Things must be busier than usual.

17 November 2014 Sakado

Well. This month is more than half way over! Wow!  I'm getting nervous for what happens next transfer...even though I have 3 more weeks to go...ahh!

This week was packed full of miracles. We met so many new people with a lot of potential, and had sooo many really, really awesome lessons. 

My favorite miracle of the week happened Saturday night. We had just switched back from exchanges and we were headed home. We asked a lady if the train went where we wanted to go and then just continued talking. It turned out she was in our area, had just moved there, is Christian and used to go to church every week where she used to live! Since moving to Wakaba she hasn't gone to church, but wants to. We told her about our church and she said she would come the next day. And she did! She brought two of her children too! And they all fit right in. She has a really strong testimony and I think she really liked church. Her kids loved primary. They are sooo cute! And the ward members loved all of them. It was great. And, we have a lessons with her Tuesday! She seems so prepared! I can't wait!

We also met with the cutest Chinese girl twice this week. Her name is Katsuna. I love her so much! She is very spiritual and just has a sweet, sweet heart. We had dinner at a member's house Sunday night and she prayed! Then we met again Tuesday, made cookies and gave her a Book of Mormon. After we handed it to her she just held on to it. We didn't even need to tell her it was for her. She just held it like she knew it was hers. She think she can feel there is something special at church, and when we are together and when she prays. I'm looking forward to seeing her again. 

Another one of our investigators, Hashiba San, totally took us by surprise during our last lesson. We ended up going through the entire restorations and she just took it all in! We had a member at our lesson too, who got baptized when she was in her twenties, and her testimony was just so strong. It had a really big affect on Hashiba San and it also inspired me to work in my nihongo more. She was sooo good at explaining simply but well. I want to be able to do that too! We have another lesson with Hashiba San on Tuesday. I can't wait to see how that goes too! 

Two funny stories from this week:
1. During a lesson sister Hall said what translates to "I know that we believe in Christ." I died. It should've been a very spiritual moment but because she said "we" it made it very, very funny to me. 
2. I've woken up twice this week with my foot/ leg on and in sister hall's face. I didn't say anything the first time it happened. After the second time, as sister hall and I were walking out of church I said something about it and just started laughing really hard. What made it even funnier was that sister hall kind of thought she had woken up with a foot in her face but, had written it off as a dream. But it wasn't! We laughed all the way home. 

Sunday we had 11 investigators/ friends come to church! So exciting! 

I love, love, love Sakado. I love seeing everyone progressing too. It's crazy. And I feel like am growing sooo much! I love it! I love being a missionary. I love the gospel. I loveeee all the blessings I've received and seen in my life. The gospel blesses and changes your life in ways you never even imagine. I've never been happy and I love watching others, as they come closer to Christ,mind happiness too. It doesn't get much better than this.

I love you all! 

Sister Molinari

Monday, November 10, 2014

It's Getting Cold!

10 November Sakado
I can't believe another week is over already! Where is the time going??? This week he days felt really long, but he week just zoomed by! We had a little more free time than we usually do. A lot of the people we work with are students and right now it is test season...which means they don't have time for us. But, it ended up being a blessing. We met two new (to us) less active families who had managed to fly under the radar. One of the new families is from Peru and the other is from Brazil. 

This week, please pray for my Spanish and Portuguese speaking ability. While I surprise myself in lessons and can say things, and bring things back to memory...I am nowhere near capable of teaching an entire lesson. But, I know with heavenly father's help and your prayers it's possible!

Every week we go to the family from Peru's home (a different family, same as last week). And the rescuer ring trend seems to be something funny with language and wrong translations seem to happen. This time we got to their house before the mother was home. She said she would be there soon. So we sat outside and called people. The grandpa must have hear us because he came out and invited us in. We went into the entry way but since he was the only one there we weren't allowed to go any farther. No big deal right?...the only problem was we didn't know how to explain the missionary rule in Spanish. Finally I figured out the word for rule-regla. I said missionary rule! He didn't get it. He thought I was saying black- Negla. He kept leaving and coming back, and since we hadn't come in he was getting a little frustrated.

We didn't know what to do! Finally Ushimaru shimai came home. She explained it to the grandpa and he started muttering about regla and negra. Throughout our visit we would hear him periodically muttering about it. It was so funny. I could understand it too so it just made it even better. Each visit I think my Spanish gets a little better! And I'll be sure to extra emphasis on my RegLa next time I use it. 

We met a lady this week who had met the missionaries 8 years ago..or something like that. We met her at Mr. Donuts, had donuts and talked about church. She is amazing, and a hard worker. Her daughter disappeared and left her two children at her mother’s house. So she is now grandmother and mother to them! I really liked her a lot. I hope she comes to church with the kids. It would be perfect for them! Before our lesson we had called a member to come with us. The member is probably in her 50's. While Hall shimai was on the phone with her she told her the lady we were meeting was probably around her same age...we didn't know. It occurred to me she could be older. I voiced my concern to Sister Christiansen and We burst out laughing. Oh we thought it would be so funny if she was older. And then she turned out to be much older than the member. Poor Nohagi shimai...

This week, and every week, Hall shimai mixed up the words ninjin and Ningen. One means carrot and the other means humans. It makes a big difference. I love when she says life is hard as carrots. Or we are all carrots. It just doesn't get old. It brings great joy to my life. 

Funny story from this morning: we let for a lesson and as we were biking I thought to myself "wow I haven't felt the wind in my hair for a while...my helmet!" I'd forgotten it. So we race back to the apartment and see that the garbage truck is pulling in. The garbage hadn't been taken out. We called the sisters and they didn't answer and we didn't know what to do...we had soooo much garbage this week so I came up to the garbage man, told him we had garbage and asked if he could wait, and then made a pity me and my Nihongo face cus I don't think it really made sense. He told me to run so..I did! Sister Hall and I tore up four flights of stairs grabbed our garbage and came running back down and handed over the garbage. We were sooo out of breath. Also, we didn't have our key so we came around our apartment to the back door and I hopped the fence (all in one motion) and let sister Hall in through the door, then we ran up the four fllights of stairs...oh we were pooped after wards. But we got a really good laugh. 

This week was really good. I've started to change how I dendō. I feel a lot more confident in my nihongo skills and so I have gotten a lot more bold. When I extend an invitation they know I expect them to do it, it isn't a suggestion.  And I've stopped letting people make up excuses too (nihonjin don't like to say no, they just like to make excuses instead). Sister Hall finds it very amusing. I'm just ready to stop being a push over missionary. It's very easy when you don't understand what is going on. But I feel like I do now. So, it's time to step up! We saw a lot of progression this week in some of our investigators and lots of little miracles. Christmas is approaching...I'm ready for big miracles. And that means I need to be doing my part. Don't worry though. I'm not mean or anything, just bold. 

I love you all!

Thank you for your emails! They made me very happy! 

Love, Sister Molinari

Monday, November 3, 2014

Another Transfer Come and Gone

Mount Fuji

Oh my goodness it is November! Ahh!

Today was transfer calls. I'm staying! I wasn't really expecting that I would leave though, our whole apartment..actually our whole district is staying. That, is very, very rare. Sister hall thinks it's cus someone is gonna be baptized. I think it's cus our district is living under its potentials. Time for us to get our act together, unite, and see miracles! I'm really nervous/ excited to see what happens next transfer. One of the four sisters in our apartment is going home, along with 28 other sister missionaries!!! That means 14 less companionships in the mission. Ah! Sakado is a four sister area right now...but there might not be enough sisters left after next transfer and we could go down to two sisters! 

We did lots of fun things this week but, here are my favorites. 

Sunday is just a really fantastic day. An investigator surprised us by coming to church and Yahagi Shimai, for the first time in 20 years, came to church in Sakado! We were all really excited and the ward members were soo welcoming. I love Yahagi shimai. It takes a lot of courage to come back and she did it! She asked if we could change our weekly lessons to Sunday after church which means she is planning on continuing to come. Ahh! I'm still happy! 

After church, on our way to visit a less active we ran into our miracle girl from the Philippines. We hadn't been able to get a hold of her at all all week and there she was waiting at a stop light. Meant to be! Hopefully she will come to church on Sunday. During our less actives lesson we laughed so much. Nishibori shimai is a hoot. She is just so honest. We asked if she reads the Book of Mormon every day. She stops, looks up and thinks and then says "nope!" It was kind of funny. She's so old and cute, and the way she phrases things are priceless. We asked her to read every day from here on out, even if it is just a verse a day. And her reply was "ok, a page a day, I will do that." What a goof! We told her to pray that we'd stay here since transfers were the next day. We meant later, when she prays before bed but she says "hai" and just starts praying! Sister Hall and I had to try really hard not to laugh. It was a really good lesson. She is making progress!!!

We received lots of help from the members this week. We had an awesome lesson with the Kimoras. Kimura kyodai shared how he joined the church, and I think it was the first time our investigator really enjoyed a lesson. It was great! Aida shima, and sooo many of the single adults in our ward were a help too. Aida shimai was a doseki for us Sunday night. We made pizza, shared a video and She did a wonderful job taking the 'awkward' out of our lesson. And the single adults here are so full of Dendō fire. We had a mogi lesson with a single adult, Hikari shimai, who wanted to know how she could teach/ speak by the spirit so she can share the gospel with her friends. At our Halloween party All the YSA talked with our investigators too. They are so great! 

At our Halloween party I dressed up as Princess Leia. While on exchanges I had found a baggy white dress in the other sisters apartment. It was perfect! Well, that's what I thought....I got to the party and I was asked multiple times "Kirisuto sama desu ka?" In English that translates to “Are you Jesus?” Oh boy. I got asked so many times! Only one member knew right away who I was and a few did after I told them. But our Halloween parties were so fun!

On Friday there was a ward dance party. Dance parties are very different here. Nihonjin don't dance. All the American sisters just sat giggling. It was so funny. Really made my week. 

We are teaching a less active member from Peru. I love her and I love listening to Spanish. The longer I am there the more I understand, and the more I can speak! I feel so blessed. Sister Hall and I are going to start studying Spanish together. Ganbarimasu! Anyways, we stopped by their house a little later than we usually do, and it was dinner time...oops. But she didn't even mind she invited us in for dinner! It was delicious. And we had so much fun. The grandfather is the cutest little old man who speaks no Nihongo only Spanish. And even though he knows we can't really understand he talks in Spanish anyways! When we walked, he was all bundled up because of the cold, and he had something on his head..it looked like a leg warmer. He also had leg warmers around his ankles, a scarf and lots of layers. Later, during dinner we found out it was in fact a leg warmer. I busted out laughing and his daughter, the one we are teaching joined in. We laughed so hard. It was pretty funny. 
While I dint look the best in this picture I find it funny.
It looks like Aida shimai is comforting me cus I'm not nihonjin like everyone else! 
Ok well that's all for now folks. I really love being a missionary. So much! The gospel is true and it really blesses lives. I've found peace and happiness that I know you can find nowhere else. I love it. 

And I love all of you! 

Sister Molinari