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 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 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 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 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