Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Hello Everyone!

26 May 2015 Kumagaya

Today is temple p-day. Sorry I forgot to mention that last week. So much fun seeing everyone.

This week was a funny week. We had lots of appointments scheduled, made big goals and well, we sure didn't hit them. So many of our appointments canceled or just didn't show up. But, I can't say I'm too disappointment. Through plans not going as planned we saw miracles. We were able to follow promptings and see answers to prayers. It was a good week.

So on Monday we got to go see BYU symphony orchestra with a few of our friends. It was so fun listening to real music. Sister Kubota and I got all dressed up...in the same thing we wear everyday...you know, dressing up isn't to special when you wear a skirt and blouse every day. But, her and I decided to match. We looked cute. Forgot to take a picture though. We both had on our blue blazers and blue shirts. Uchiyama San, who we rode the train with asked if they were our uniforms! Haha.

My favorite miracle of the week was Saturday. We were supposed to have a lesson after eikaiwa. Well, they didn't show up. So we decided to visit Kurihara San. She was sick. Very sick. Like, ran to the bathroom to puke sick. Needless to say, she wasn't feeling up to a lesson so we headed home. But, I really didn't want to go home. Nothing had gone as planned. So I started thinking of who we could visit and a less active's name, Yo Shimai, who I'd never met, popped into my head. So, I suggested it to Kubota Shimai and we went. On our way I prayed that something would actually come out of it. We got there and she was home, knocked, no answer, knocked again and after waiting 5 or 10 minutes she finally answered the door. And, she let us in! We chatted
for a while and every time we tried to end the conversation she would keep talking! I think she is a little lonely studying all the time and she misses the missionaries and members. She even told us she misses church. She never eats dinner (cus she is too busy studying) so we told her we would come back this Wednesday and give her dinner.

I got to talk more about commandments this week. During a lesson, I just went on and on and was a little worried I'd spoken a bit too long. Our investigator, after I finished, asked "how did you come to have such strong faith in God?" I was so surprised by her question. And it quite honestly made my whole day. I don't think in my mind I'd put the two together. Yes, I keep the commandments because I believe in God, but I guess it's really much deeper than that. I know God loves me. He loves each of us. And he gave us commandment because he loves us. He has given us so much because he loves us. And because I love and believe in him, because I know He is there, I choose to keep those commandments. Sorry, I don't know how to explain how it clicked in my head...

I love Kubota Shimai! She rocks. We had lots of fun this week and laughed lots and lots.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ah, No Time!

18 May 2015 Kumayaga

Sister Kubota and her exchange companion,
me and Dopp Shimai in background

Hello everyone! I am soooo sorry but I have no time to write today! We had a busy, busy day!

But, here are my two favorite parts of the week:

It was soooo fun. I felt like we had never been separated. We just picked up right where we had left off, except that we can speak Japanese and had an entire year and almost a half of mission experiences to talk

about and share. I love Dopp Shimai. I love her testimony and I love watching her dendō. It's great and she is great. In the MTC our companionship was inspired. We were made and prepared for one another and we just help one another. It's funny we have served completely different missions. But, Dopp Shimai still knows exactly what to say to help me. It was the best. Something we both probably prayed for for the first four transfers of our mission haha.


Sunday after church we had no plans. Nothing. So we went housing! I love housing. We talked to a few awesome people and quite a few not so awesome people. Right after we met a rather rude lady I heard his tiny little voice say "konnichiwa." I thought I'd imagined it! I looked at sister Kubota to see if she had heard it too and she had! But we didn't see anyone. We heard it again and finally found the source; a little girl was looking out her window and had called out to us. We talked to her for a few minutes, found out her parents weren't home but her mother would return at 8:10 that night so we told her we would come back.

Kubota and me

We headed back home and after dinner we would go back to the house. 

Side story: Sunday after lunch I felt like I should put an English Book of Mormon in my bag, in addition to my Japanese one, so I did and carried it around all day. After dinner I thought to myself Heavenly Father I carried this around all day, we didn't run into anyone who could read it. But I got the feeling to keep it in. So I did. 

Ok so we go back to the house, it was super dark and there was no ping pong (ed. note: intercom) and the gate was closed and "locked" so we didn't know what to do, finally we figured we might as well open the gate-oh well and opened it, knocked and waited.

A lady came to the door and I thought she was going to kekko us by the tone of her voice. But then, she switched to English! And we had an amazing conversation! Turns out she is from the Philippines. She speaks perfect English. We continue talking. Tell her about ourselves and why we are here and about church. I knew this is why I had the English Book of Mormon and waited patiently for the perfect time to bring it out. And the perfect time happened!

She asked if we study the bible at church and I said we did and this book too and then I pulled it out of my bag and told her this might sound kind of strange but I felt like I needed to put an English book in my bag today! Ah! So we talked a bit about it and then she felt like it was for her and an answer to her prayers because she had wanted to read a new book, almost ordered one but then felt like she should wait.

Whaaaa! Crazy! She kept telling us we were angels and answers to her prayers and God sent. Oh it made me so happy. So happy. And we are meeting her again Thursday. So excited. She said she would read a chapter a day from the Book of Mormon! She is so prepared!

Oh something funny... This happened while we were walking through a neighborhood. As we were walking we walked by someone's yard, it had a thick garden, and sister Kubota says "look! It's the garden of Gethsemane ...I mean Eden." Hahaha!

I love you all!


Sister Molinari

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

What's a monk's favorite drink?

11 May 2015 Kumagaya
From our Japanese barbeque
 This week felt really long. We had lots and lots and lots of finding time. Actually it feels like multiple weeks happened this week. But, it was good. Finding with Sister Kubota is really fun. She's a pro. 

Last night we met the elders and headed over to the house of someone they had met who was interested. Since she's a woman they can't teach her. So we get to! She was really sweet. We had a really great talk and we get to visit her later this week! As everyone was talking I had a wow moment. Here are four missionaries, all except me are 19 and 20, in Japan, speaking Japanese all from different places and different walks of life. We were united in the gospel and the power that came from that was really special. It was a really cool moment. 

Ok, I don't have much time...so this week in a paragraph. Ready, set GO: after our crazy Brazilian sports days on Monday we turned it down a few notches and went to an actual BBQ. Japanese Barbecues and American barbecues are very different. The Japanese one is definitely yummier. I sat with the old people and sang them American songs haha. They loved it. I did too.

We got to meet with our super awesome friends: Kobayashi San and Atsuko San twice this week. They are so nice. I love them already. And they are both on the verge of something big. I can feel it. They are looking for answers, and lucky for them, the gospel has them.

We went to a member’s house, almost an hour away, all ready to clean. She had us tie newspapers and card board together...probably took twenty minutes and then she says “ok we are done, let's go eat!” 

Friday We played some ping pong, talked a lot about family history. Saturday was a day full of eikaiwa. Kids eikaiwa was lots of fun. We did animals. We went around the table asking the kids what their favorite animal was. My favorite answer came from our new four year old student he said "ALL OF THEM!". After, we had regular eikaiwa. That's always funny but sadly, I can't remember anything so you'll just have to take my word for it. Saturday night we ate some yummy tonkatsu with Julia and then went home, completely exhausted. Oh! We also made cookies! The oven didn't work so we used the mircowave. 

Sunday we gave the cookies we'd made to all the women in the ward. HAPPY MOTHERS DAY! Church was really great. We are planning a luau for the end of June. I won't be there but the ward is getting excited. It should be really fun. We are gonna open it up to the community and invite Oyuzumi too! There will be hula and a haka (yes I know technically not Hawaiian...but they won't know the difference) and of course buta niku. pig. (ed. note: I have no idea what this is???).

After church we didn't have anything planned so we went finding. We had some really great encounters with people. I was really focusing on trying to find in faith. We saw miracles. We ran into a member, who was on her way to the Eki to pick up her daughter. Her daughter in not a member and she has had discussions with the missionaries before. So, we waited a few minutes and then got to have a really awesome discussion with her! It was so good. I was praying the whole time that I would know what to say, and I did. It was really good. 
We ended the evening by visiting a lady the elders had found. A am so o excited to get to know her better. She could recognize the spirit we had and I just know it is going to go somewhere. I started the email by talking about her and our meeting. 

This week there has been a big theme; Commandments. Something we hear all the time is that commandments are restricting  and not fair. People don't like being told what to do. Therefore they cannot become a member of this Church. I love talking about commandments. They say they are restricting and I say. They aren’t. They appear to be so and it’s hard. But, the freedom that comes from those commandments is like nothing else. The happiness that comes from them cannot be compared to anything else. And surprise, we are not forced to follow a single one of those commandments. We have agency. A gift that God gave us. We are free to choose. If we were being forced to follow commandments then we would not have agency, we would not have the freedom of choice. It is our choice to follow commandments. And every time we choose to follow a commandment we have just exercised that agency we have been given. We choose over and over to follow that commandment. And through those choices we are blessed. And we are happy. And we are free. When we choose not to follow commandments we may be happy. But, in order to keep that happiness, for it is fleeting, we have to choose not to follow that commandment again. And again. And again. And in so doing we have become a slave to disobeying that commandment. The only way to be happy is to do what God has told us not to. And he didn't tell us not to cus he wanted to be mean or bossy. He told us because he knows the source of true happiness.
I love telling those we teach that I've found that source of happiness. I've lived with and without it and I choose with. I choose to follow commandments. And I love promising them the same happiness I have. It's great! I absolutely love it. 

Alright that's all for now folks,
See you real soon
Love you!
Sister Molinari

Monday, May 4, 2015


4 May 2014 Kumagaya

Kumagaya is the hottest place in Tokyo! It feels like summer here! I am loving it. Within two days of biking around I got tan! It's great! And because it's so warm and sunny everyone is friendly! Well, that's probably not the real reason...but, regardless of the reason everyone is friendly. It is so fun talking to people. They actually talk to us!

 I feel a little bit like I'm in a dream. I love it here. I don't feel like I will be leaving so soon either. I just got here! Our ward mission leader yesterday told the ward their job is to make me love Kumagaya because it's hard leaving an area when you only have one transfer left. He is the best. He came to all the activities this week and invites our friends and investigators to everyone. He has dendō Fire! 

My companion is super cool; Kubota Shimai. She is from Hawaii, and the same island as my previous companion Nitta Shimai. Small world. She is 19, full of spirit and isn't afraid to stop someone on the street. I am really excited for this transfer together. We just chat and laugh all day. It's great. 

Final goodbyes in Sakado where really sad. I want to go back there for sure some day! And by some day I mean someday soon. Tuesday we ran around all day visiting people. It was super hard cus I got really sick and almost passed out at an investigators house. Luckily I didn't. And luckily it was Takahashi San. She is basically my mother here in Japan so it was only a little embarrassing. She was going to teach us how to do ikebana (Japanese flower arranging) but I got really sick. So she taught Warren Shimai and I took a nap. Then we ate a delicious last supper together and said good bye. Probably one of the saddest goodbyes. Then we ran over to Odo shimai's house for dinner. She is super sweet. And speaks English amazingly well. And her testimony is so strong. We ate some delicious curry together and then we ran off to juku. We had a final goodbye with Keiko and all the kids. It was really funny. Every once in a while I would speak Japanese and the kids would be like "ehhhh she speaks Japanese" and when I did it again they would exclaim "she did it again! She did it again!". So funny. After, we headed over to Fukuyama shimai's and said our final goodbye in Sakado. Then we headed home, utterly exhausted and so ready for bed. 

Transfers were quick. It took less than two hours to get here. We met a really cool girl on our way to Kumagaya and she lives one station over from me so I'm hoping we will see her again. I said good bye to Warren Shimai and off she went with her new companion. Sister Kubota and I had a delicious tonkatsu dinner and then headed home and we've been working and having fun ever since. There are some really cool people we are working with. We are gonna see miracles here this transfer! 

Today we spent all day outside playing volleyball and sports. We got together with the members from Oyuzumi, which is the Portuguese speaking area in the mission. It was a lot of fun. Our friend Julia came with us, she is super fun. That girl has a hundred and one hidden talents it's crazy. She draws and plays the piano beautifully and can make crazy costumes. She's awesome! I got a little burnt but it'll be a tan soon enough! It was a really fun day! 

Ok I love you all! 
Here is my new companion, Kubota Shimai, and I