Tuesday, April 29, 2014


28 April 2014 Oyumino Chiba

This week was amazing! It flew by. I don't know where it went. Sister Hubner and I had so much fun!

We talked so much Nihongo this week that our English is ca-put. Our words just aren't coming out how they are supposed to and I've developed an odd sort of "wisp" for some words. "S" comes out like a "sh" a little too often and my "L" sound doesn't always sound like an L.         

But it's ok. 

Every day I amaze myself with the things I know how to say. We decided we needed different things to say when we house. I decided what I would say in English and then during language study, this morning, I planned to use the entire time to translate. Turns out I actually knew how to say everything! Wow!

Who knew!

So the remainder of my time I spend reading out of the Book of Mormon in nihongo. I can read pretty fast now. The nihonjin read 100 times faster still, but I'm getting there. And I can understand enough of a verse to get the general idea. It's great, I learn grammar principles and new words, and practice my pronunciation all in one shot.

I love Japanese! It's hard. And I don't like that. But the language has really grown on me.

Two boys who followed us around for about 15 minutes.
They had us read everything on their clothes and bikes that was in English.

We spent ALOT of time finding this week. Soooooo  much time. But, turns out finding can be really fun. We met lots of people, invited them to church and eikaiwa (ed. note: English class) and then never saw them again. But that's ok cus we know Heavenly Father is preparing someone(s) really special for us who is totally going to be ready to accept the gospel.

It was just fun feeling like a missionary, talking to people and laughing.

The bamboo forest in our area.

This is Goi - our area too.
This is also our area - rice fields
Two turtles sun bating.

We found this pretty cool house with English signs all over it. No one was home though. 

One of the signs read:

Violators will be shot
Survivors will be shot again"

So, what did we do....

That is all for this week.

Sister Molinari

Monday, April 21, 2014

It's Raining, It's Pouring!

21 April 2014 Chiba

Sisters Hubner, Molinari, Orton, Jensen
I LOVE my new companion. Hubner shimai is great! We made some really awesome goals for this transfer too. My favorites being: ONLY Nihongo (to the best of each of our abilities) outside the apartment and we want to LOVE Mogis by the end of this transfer. Mogis are practice lessons, and other talking instances to help us be less awkward in nihongo haha

Well, in an attempt to feed me everything from under the sea, Shimura San did it again. I   thought a whole fish was bad....but the 8 mini squids we had to eat take the prize. Oh boy....that was an experience!

But I did it!

Eye balls and all!

And when she gave us the whole sardine she had prepared, I ate it with ease; skin, bones and all.

Actually, I thought you just ate the insides and was doing such when Shimura San says " Morinari San, ZENBU" or all. So I then had to eat skin only! It's growing on me. She seasons food so well it doesn't even taste like fish! It's great.

The highlight of the week has probably been the magical increase in my speaking and understanding abilities! The gift of tongues is real! And having a companion who is peda peda is not necessarily a good thing. I never needed to speak now I do. And it's amazing what comes out!

Obviously, I still have a looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong ways to go. 

But, I'm feeling hopeful.

Well, that's all I have time for now. Sorry it's so short! 

Here is another picture of the squid we ate...a picture, after all, is worth a thousand words.


Sister Molinari

Monday, April 14, 2014

Transfers Were Today!!!!

14 April 2014 Chiba, Tokyo

Transfers were today!!!!! Actually, they happen Thursday, but we found out about them today.

I am going to be staying in Oyumino!!! And my companion Orton shimai is leaving and going to Shibuya!

My new companion will be sister Hubner, who, when we were little, used to live in New York and we went to church together! How fun is that!? I'm pretty excited.

This past
 Sunday and Saturday we finally got to watch general conference. It was wonderful. As usual. Our investigator Murai San came to the afternoon session of general conference. She's old, and coming to church takes a lot of effort so she told us she would have to leave half way through but she ended up staying for the whole thing!

And she loved it! We went over to her house that night to follow up on conference. My favorite part of the night was when we told her the hymns were available on line! Her eyes lit up and she got soooo excited. I bookmarked the page on her computer so now she can listen to the Mormon tabernacle choir whenever she wants!

Highlights from conference:

I think my favorite talk was Dieter F. Uchtdorf's. He spoke about being grateful IN all things, not just grateful of things. At the end of his talk he also said something really powerful " we are made of the stuff of eternity... endings our not our destiny..." I absolutely loved that! How lucky are we. The end of this life isn't really the end. We have a loving Heavenly Father who wants us to be just like him! When we die we are reunited with him and our loved ones. There is so much comfort in that. And I know it is true.

I also really loved that Elder Bednar said we each need to have a load. I think that was something everyone needed to hear. In this life we have hard times, trials and challenges but that is part of the mortal experience. And through Christ we can carry our load! Pain and sorrow can be eased, and burdens made light.

President Thomas s. Monson taught that love is the very essence of the gospel. And that every day we are given the opportunity to show kindness. It was a good reminder for me.

Earlier this week one of our investigators became a progressing investigator! We spent the first half of our first transfer in Oyumino trying to get a hold of her, then up until last week teaching awkward and kind of painful lessons, or just being stood up. 2 weeks ago, she called to tell us that her son was sick so we couldn't meet with us the next way. Great. Later that week we made treats for some of our investigators and some for the members as "thank you's". We dropped off one of our treats at Ezaki sans house, and hoping, in addition to showing that we care, that we could also see her. She was asleep! So her husband took the treats for us. We heard nothing from her until the end of last week when she called to see if we could come over the next week(this week that just ended) and to thank us for the treats. I was blown away that she had called us! And wanted to know when we could come over!

We went over on  Thursday and had the best lesson ever since we've gotten to Oyumino. The spirit was present. And Ezaki San had read from the Book of Mormon! When we said the closing prayer she also participated! She usually gets distracted by her son, but she closed her eyes, folded her arms and ignored him during the prayer and said amen.

When we asked when we could come back she told us any day would work! That was a big change from before as well! Usually, we would receive a not so straight answer with (I'm pretty sure) having the intent of not having to meet again. It was amazing! We'd been praying for her lots, and Heavenly Father has been working with her too and I'm so excited to see what happens and to teach her again Tuesday!

This week, we befriended another little obachan (ed. note: "grandmother"). I complimented her on her flowers, telling her that daffodils were my favorite (they are everywhere in Japan) and she cut a bouquet for me! It made my day, and week...it was so nice coming home to beautiful daffodils every day.

Okay, that is all for now. Can't wait to see what this week brings!

Love you all!

Sister Molinari

Last Week's Entry


Editor's note: Sister Molinari emailed a day later last week. The editor was unable to post to her blog due to scheduling constraints. Sorry for the delay. Here is last week's entry and we already have another to add today.

8 April 2014 Chiba

Honestly, I don't remember much of what happened this week. I have been exhausted. Physically exhausted. I fall asleep and morning comes. And it feels like much less than 8 hours in between going to bed and waking up. But it was a good week!

Tuesday we got to go to the temple and I was reunited with my favorite sister missionary in the whole wide world: Dopp shimai! It was a joyful reunion. I'm so grateful she was my MTC companion. I don't know what I'd do without her! She is a blessing in my life for sure!

Because the Sakura are in bloom (I have some really amazing pictures..but my darn iPad won't send them!) we had an ohanami. Flower viewing party. There were a whole bunch of ward members, and one of our recently baptized members! We had all invited investigators and friends as well but no one could come/ no one showed up! It's ok, we had lots of fun. The flowers are gorgeous! Sadly they only last about
a week or two here and then they all fall off the trees.

After our hanami we had a lesson with Hirayama San. We invited a member too and they got a long really well! The member we invited is amazing! She served a mission in what used to be Tokyo south mission. Her Tokyo south mission was MUCH bigger than what is Tokyo south now. And even though she is now married and has two boys in middle school/high school she is still a super great missionary! She was more than willing to come with us and even made some brownies to give to Hirayama San as well! How great is she?  The lesson went well, we taught about Christ and his life. Then she told us she wanted to learn more about the restoration, so we gave her a reading assignment and will be teaching her about that next time! I'm excited for that!

After her lesson we RAN to our our next appointment. Here is the back story: Monday was a normal dendō day and we spent the whole day looking for our obachantachi to invite them to a hanami. We stopped at many houses, invited a few unplanned guests and even happened to find one very elusive obachan who we often walk with in the park. After handing out all these invitations, we realized the date on them was wrong. We realized this at an investigators house (who is now progressing!!!) and after saying good-bye to her, took off hoping we could find our elusive obachan friend again. We ran a couple of blocks and then up the equivalent of 2 or 3 flights of stairs and then tore down the street heading to where i thought her house may be (I ended up being right! She has this GIANT bukyo house and the gate in front has a hidden door to get in and out, so she appears to just be appearing in the street!) and we caught her! Told her the date was wrong and she ended up letting us in to see her beautiful front yard! Although she seemed very touched we ran to find her, she didn't seem to interested in the invitation. So we headed home, and laughed over what had just happened. We had found no one new all day. And just as we were about to turn down the path to our apartment we met someone! Hayashi San.
She was SO prepared. She told us that she was ready to have a clean heart and that our faces had light and she could tell we were different. I was so excited to teach her Wednesday!

So Wednesday we taught her. It was a great lesson. We taught her to pray and taught a little bit of the doctrine of Christ. We invited her to read a pamphlet and to pray. Saturday we had another lesson. I
could see the difference in her! Her eyes had light in them and she was so excited to see us! We get into her house and she tells us she only has a little time. So we asked if we could share a little message. She had read he pamphlet and prayed too! But then, she tells us that she can't really meet with us anymore and that she feels fickle switching religions so fast, and all this other stuff. I didn't know any of his was even being said until Orton shimai told me. As I listened it was all I could do not to cry there in her doorway. I just knew she was telling us she couldn't see us, not because she didn't want to see us but because someone in her house had told her she couldn't or shouldn't. I asked if we could pray one last time together and she said yes. Then after we left I burst into tears and cried on the way home. It was so sad. It was the first time I've ever been sad about someone telling us they weren't interested. Actually, she didn't even tell us she wasn't interested, just she couldn't meet with us. I don't even know how to express how sad this was for me. The worst part was that I had no idea what was going on the entire time. The conversation was so over my head I didn't understand a thing! And I wish I had. I wish there was something I could've said or a testimony I could've shared. But, I'm still praying for her. She is just so sad, and has such a heavy heart. I want her to experience the healing power of the atonement in her life! Because I know it would make her happy again.

So that was the highlight and low point of my week.

Transfers are coming up this next week! Monday I will know if we are staying or going!! Pretty exciting!!!

Love you all!

Sister molinari

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sakura Are In Bloom!

1 April 2014 Chiba

Cherry blossoms in March!

Minasan Konichiwa!

As usual, I don't know where time is going! Last week I hit my 4 month out mark. It's crazy! I am still nowhere near speaking nihongo as well as I would like or should be able to, and time is ticking!

Ok, so this week AND last week have been quite the 2 weeks. We have been so busy! It started on Monday. Study time that morning was pretty intense. We created a lesson plan and then spent a loooong hour translating sentences from English (and then me to Nihongo and then) to Portuguese. While putting the sentences together was easy, figuring out the pronunciation was nuts. I gained a new appreciation for nihongo and how it is all phonetically spelled. We gave up most of our p-day to go teach out in Goi. Well, we ended up missing the train we were supposed to be on and therefore missed the first lesson. We had also been meeting Roselly so she could help out. She speaks Portuguese and so did the women we were supposed to be teaching. To make things worse, the phone hadn't been charged, and died. We were unable to call the lady OR Roselly. By the time we made it out to the woman's apartment she was gone, and when we were able to call her she said she wasn't interested. Great. 

Basically, a hot mess and I was less than happy by that, and if Roselly hadn't been there probably would have showed my annoyance too. We continued to house and found Jean, a Pilipino lady who the elders had referred to us. She was super busy and asked if we had anything for her...we had lots of great things, but she wasn't too excited that they were all in nihongo and Portuguese. We set up a return appointment for Friday. After some more dendō we told Roselly we would walk her back the the train station. Before we went back she asked if we could get something to eat. We searched for a restaurant that looked good...and for whatever reason ended up in the most sketchy looking Brazilian restaurant. The food was pretty good though. And the owner seemed willing to listen to us and our message and said we could come back another time. We told her we'd be there Friday morning.

Tuesday started as another hot mess of a day. We missed multiple trains and were very VERY late for our zone conference. Everyone knew we were late too, I was supposed to give the opening prayer and...just didn't show up! I ended it saying the closing prayer so it all worked out in the end. Zone conference was amazing! I am so grateful to have the mission president I do. President budge is wonderful! He knows exactly what to say. That's the power of speaking by the spirit. Each of the missionaries in the room hears exactly what they need to hear. Me being one of them.

Well, since zone conference it's been smooth sailing. We have had some pretty great miracles!
Friday we went out to Goi and spent the whole day there again. The Brazilian fell through. Wasn't interested. Didn't want to mix religions. And jean wasn't home! Then the over 15 other people we tried to check up on weren't home either. No one was home. We decided to stop by jean one more time. Maybe she would be home and we could share a message with her and give her the Tagolac Book of Mormon we had gotten her.

On our way back we passed by the backyard of an apartment where a little girl was playing. She called out to us so we went over and started talking to her. She was the cutest thing ever! She likes flowers and her favorite color is airplanes. After a few minutes her mother poked her head out of the window and I smiled and waved. She came out and we started talking. We told her who we were and she told us all about herself. She is also from the Philippines. Her name is Joan. Both of her parents passed away and she is a single mother. She had met missionaries when she was in the Philippines and she had met the chorotachi a week earlier. And she hadn't been interested. This time was different! We ended up talking, sharing about our church and we got to invite (well she basically invited herself) to church and gave her the Tagolac Book of Mormon that had actually been for jean who wasn't home. While we were talking her daughter came over and grabbed the Book of Mormon and then refused to let go of it! I think she knew it was something special. I also think if she hadn't held on to it, her mother would have tried to give it back to us. But, she never got the chance! Joan asked when we could come back and gave us her phone number to call her! She was a miracle! The Lord has been preparing her to receive the gospel and now she is ready! And we get to be the ones to share it with her!

Another fantastic miracle this week. I gave a talk on Sunday! In nihongo! And everyone understood me! The spirit was also present, and I got many compliments afterwards...and most of them I could understand.

Another Sunday miracle was Murai San attending church! Originally she wasn't our investigator but when the other sisters got transferred out it was our job to pick up where the other two left off. We spent the entire transfer trying to get a hold of her, but finally we did! And after an amazing lesson we invited her to church and she came!! She loves singing hymns and she can feel the spirit so strongly. When we taught her we just sang and then taught principles from those songs.

My favorite part was when the spirit came up so we sang the Spirit of God. It was really powerful!

Last night was the last miracle I'll tell about. We had spent the entire day running around trying to find people to invite to a flower picnic we are having Saturday. In between people we tried to stop and talk to others. We didn't have much luck in either pursuit. After a long and tiring day we headed home. I wanted to take one last picture of the flowers and as I did so a lady started talking to us. As we talked we told her how we were missionaries. She was very impressed that we were willing to give up a year and a half of our lives, and pay for missions with our own money. We kept talking and she told us she was tired of having a sick heart and was ready to change. She said it was too late to come over tonight, but how does Wednesday sound? Of course we accepted. I love finding people who want to hear the message we have to share. It makes up for all the people who don't!
Dopp shimai and me at the temple
This week was great! I love you all.
Sister Molinari