Monday, July 7, 2014


7 July 2014 Oyumino
Aoyagi shimai..the seventy's wife! I love her! 
(Me & Hubner shimai)
(ed. note: 70 is a particular group of church leaders)
 Hello everyone!

I have exciting news. I’M TRANSFERRING!!! I’ve been assigned to Sanjo, Niigata. No one wants to go to Niigata. They all think you get stuck up there. But I didn't mind at all! I'll just spend the next third of my mission up there and leave just in time to miss winter. It gets very cold there in the winter. And the snow is measured in meters not centimeters. I'm very grateful I get to go in the summer. And I am sooo excited too!

Sanjo is farm country, rice fields, mountains and a tiny town. The ward...well, the ward isn't a's a group. But that is gonna change! I'm also in the same district as 2 of my "doki" or missionaries from my MTC district. What a treat! The only thing that could make it better would be if Dopp shimai was there.

This week was pretty great. I finally got my voice back! Yay! And boy was I ready to have it back. After almost two weeks....I was over the no voice thing for sure. Especially since you need your voice as a

Tuesday we had a zone conference. It was great. We were taught about being diligent and staying connected to our purpose. There is also a lot of new things being rolled out here in japan. After Elder Cook came here, he and some others have been busily working on new focuses for us as missionaries and ward members alike. One new focus is retention. They are really pushing retention of new members. And second is reactivation. Here in Japan there are 7,000 active members in church and...are you ready for this 17,000 less actives. WOAH!!!!
Elder Cook wants us to be teaching 20 lessons a week. And with that many less actives or not all active members there is no reason we can’t be teaching that many lessons. I'm a fan. I love teaching.  The third focus is changing the mission culture. And being diligent was part of that.

So I left zone conference feeling ready to go. I want to be more diligent. There is a difference between going through the motions of missionary work and actually doing it diligently. I spent a lot of the week trying to do the later. While we didn't find anyone ready to be baptized, we did find quite a few cute girls who will probably come to eikaiwa, I got to tell someone I really believe that Jesus Christ lived and had multiple conversations in Japanese all by myself. It's been great.

There has been a crazy change in my nihongo abilities. While I still am not the best at speaking, I can understand sooo much and reading has gotten easier, remembering kanji (ed. note: Japanese characters) is easy too. It is exciting!

I've been translating one of our pamphlets during language study time..well not really translating. It is written in Japanese and uses kanji. So over the kanji I've been writing how to say it, but not what it means. On another page I have all the kanji I don't know and the English. On the first page it’s a long list...but, each page I go through the kanji list gets shorter. I'm remembering a lot from the page before! And the things I study have come in handy each day throughout the day. I also don't need a word for word translation once I know the kanji I can understand the rest of the sentence usually. It is sooo exciting. The gift of tongues is real. I would not be able to learn this quickly without Heavenly Father's help.

We had a really fun Relief Society (ed. note: the Church’s women’s service organization) activity this week. It was all the Relief Society women in the stake and they invited the sister missionaries to come sing. It was a little hard to hit the high notes but I managed to sing! That was a blessing in and of itself. It was an introduction to Relief Society and a little bit of history of it too. I LOVE Relief Society! How lucky are we to have such an awesome organization?

When a nihonjin doesn't believe what you're saying they will exclaim "oo-soh". It directly translates to “liar” but it doesn't really have that feel. Anyways, one of the members said it to me cuz I said we had a meeting and she couldn't believe it. My reply was "ie, senkyoshi desu." (No I'm a missionary). She just looked at me like I was stupid, but all of the Americans laughed.

This week we had a very exciting eikaiwa. Sister Hubner and I decided in honor of Fourth of July that we would do an America class. We had words like barbecue, parade, fireworks, statue of liberty...we didn't want them to think we were shoving America in their face so for the activity we had everyone make flags. If they had their own country what would their flag look like? While they were creating them I heard a BANG come from the other classroom. I made a comment to Sister Hubner that someone had fallen. I didn't think again about it.

After everyone's flags were created we had a parade! We had talked with the elders before class; they knew we were gonna come parade through their room. So I lead the way, patriot music playing, and 16 kids following behind me and head towards the other room. I quickly popped my head in to see if it was ok to come in. Nope! So we continued on, parading around the community center, waving to all the mothers sitting outside (I don't think anyone really understood what was going on..). Music is playing, confused children are chattering and the community center workers appear and look at us SO confused. Then we head back to the room and take a seat. We gave the kids candy and sent them home. After that we headed into the other classroom.

Turns out that bang I had heard was a lady hitting her head on the floor. While playing a game, the lady had gone to sit and her chair shot out from under her and she hit the floor. Because it was a potential head injury an ambulance had been called and she was taken away. While all this was happening, thanks to perfect timing, there was patriot music and children waving flags amidst it all. We added to the confusion and created the perfect storm. It was really exciting. Except as I reread this it doesn't sound at all exciting. Guess ya had to be there...

Sister Hubner and I were sitting across from each other one night and I was reading a phrase I had taken a picture of. It was out of one of those learn English phrases books for nihonjin...they have weird stuff. Anyways I had found a particularly odd one and taken a picture of it a while ago. I read it out loud: "Your nose hairs are sticking out"

Sister Hubner's response: "What?!"

It was pretty funny.

I've really enjoyed being in Oyumino! I'm gonna miss everyone soo much. And luckily I've been told how much they are all gonna miss me too all week. It makes me feel like I did ok here. One eikaiwa mother, who isn't remotely religious, even told me she would pray that I stayed here! So sweet.

Next week I'll be writing from Sanjo!

Love you all!

Sister Molinari