So I started working on a final email, but I've decided I'll just
write it next week. Unfortunately, it means that I hardly have any
time to write. Which means you get this week's highlights reel!!
1. Being a dying missionary means that you have meal appointments for
every meal. I am so full. So happy. Fully enjoying Japanese food until
the end. And any other variety of food that's thrown in there. Yeah...
A lot of joy.
2. We got to see Urnaa again after not seeing her for a few months!! I
feel so blessed, and our relationship is even better. I'll get to see
her one more time before I go home :)
3. The temple was incredible! I learned so much, and was able to
receive a lot of revelation. It's funny how the Lord sometimes teaches
you ways to improve by the small and simple things.
4. Our Valentines Eikaiwa party was off the hook. Reference Facebook
for photographic evidence.
5. One of the elders' investigators gave me a nickname. "Talley." Yes,
my height is still "standing out" in Japan.
6. We had a Sister's Conference!! It was so much fun to see all my
friends and to say goodbye to those who I love. It was a really
strange feeling, but amazing at the same time. I really feel like
there are so many women in this mission who have influenced my life
and helped me change for the better.
One of the themes at the conference was, "Open your Heart." What a
strange thing to do, but as I've been trying to open my heart more, I
find that the only effective way to do it is to pray that the Lord
will do it for you. That He will help strengthen your love, and make
it possible for you to change. It really is thanks to the Atonement of
Jesus Christ that we can change and love others better.
7. I want to have a kind heart! I want serving others to become second
nature. I am trying to become better, but it is still taking some
time. I am so grateful though for the people who serve me and help me
become better. I am really grateful for the people who are patient
with me while I sometimes blunder through my efforts to serve ;D
8. We had a lesson with the Sato family and when we asked if they
prayed as a couple last week, they said they hadn't because they had
gotten in a fight. Any feelings that do not encourage us to pray, are
definitely not of Heavenly Father. So in the moments when you are
especially feeling like you don't want to pray, take a deep breathe,
and seek the counsel of a Heavenly Father whose number one desire is
to see us succeed.
9. I made a baby cry today when I said hello at the supermarket today.
It was his first time meeting a white person. I think that was my
first time experiencing that, so I was a little shellshocked.
10. I'm really blessed. Good companions, friends, ward members,
investigators, family, and teachers. I am really grateful for the
influence of each of you in my life. I love you!
This past week, Sister Eyring and I feel kind of like the people being
taught in Alma 32.
14 And now, as I said unto you, that because ye were compelled to be
humble ye were blessed, do ye not suppose that they are more blessed
who truly humble themselves because of the word?
We have been compelled to be humbled this week :) Sister Eyring lost
her wallet on the train. I dropped my ipad and cracked the screen. As
to the things of the world, we are poor and broken.
But as to the things of the Spirit, we are blessed. Our investigators
are doing well, and we really feel as though we are being led by the
Spirit to know what their needs are. We have been able to meet with a
lot of investigators, make new friends, as well as see old ones.
One of our investigators, Alyona San, is so funny! She's Russian, a
member of the Unification church, and her husband is a priest there.
She feels the Spirit really strongly in the lessons when we talk about
God, the Holy Ghost, and our Savior, and it feels amazing! But,
whenever we bring up anything slightly controversial, she goes nuts.
The Plan of Salvation, completely off limits. So we really feel that
in order to soften her heart and help her receive this message is to
strengthen her testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel through the
prophet Joseph Smith. Does anyone have any creative and easy to
understand ways to teach the Restoration? If so, let me know!!!
We had interviews with President Wada. It was so great, except for the
fact that it is making me face reality a little more. And reality is
kind of the worst. So I just want to stay really busy so that I don't
have time to think about the future. I just want to try and do the
things that God needs me to do everyday, so that when I report to Him
nightly, I can know that I have done what He needs me to do.
That's one thing that I've learned a lot about this week. Reprting and
Accountability. It's interesting to realize how our days change as we
realize that we are accountable for how we use every second. Leads to
a lot of repentance, but there's no shame in that. I've been trying to
be more dependable and hold myself accountable to the Lord, and I'm
amazed at how much stronger I'm feeling the power of the Atonement in
my life. I know that Christ forgives us of our mistakes, and that He
always wants to help enable us to become better.
I love my Savior. I love this gospel. I want to be a disciple of
Christ in everything I do for the rest of my life.
I love you all! I thank you for all that you do, and I feel the
support of your prayers daily!
We work to achieve our missionary purpose through the 3 levels of consecration. Work Hard. Work Smart. Work Inspired.
Working hard. On my mission, I have learned that I am a hard worker. I'm not afraid of 12 hour days, walking 10 kilometers, or riding my bike for hours. Working hard, it takes stamina, but it's pretty easy.
Then there's working smart. It's having a plan, using your time wisely, and really working with a purpose. It's not just getting out the door of your apartment, it's getting out and having an idea of where you are going.
And finally, there is working inspired. It's working hard, and smart, but doing it all as the Savior would do. Working hard and smart for the sake of others. Forgetting yourself, and really praying to Heavenly Father that He will tell you where you need to go and what you need to do. Then working all day to find those who are prepared, and help those around you return to Him.
We talked about what it means to know that we're a successful missionary, and I really do believe that we can know that we are a successful missionary when we feel the Spirit of the Lord working through us and influencing the lives of others. But in order to do that, we need to know what the Spirit feels like to us.
I have been striving so hard to know how I feel the Spirit, and I have been trying to be extra sensitive to recognize when I feel I am being prompted by the Spirit. I have found that as I am searching for those feelings, not only am I able to feel them, but I also am able to feel them more deeply than before. I feel the Spirit of the Lord guiding my words, my actions, and bringing me where I need to be at exactly the right time.
Here's a miracle that we saw this week that simply amazed me!
Our friend Motoko San. Sister Matsuzaki and I met her last transfer, but were never really able to follow up with her and she kind of got lost in the areabook. Well, Elder Maurer had us write a PI list, and so we ended up calling her and inviting her to meet with us that Monday night. Then we called her that day, and asked if we could have it at Kichijoji and she was totally down. She loved FHE. Had a huge defining moment, and even on the way home, we were all feeling the Spirit so strongly, and it was so comfortable. Like we'd known each other for a really long time. We set an appointment for the next week, but then she called us on Tuesday, and asked if we could do a lesson that night. It was incredible!! She loves prayer, the Book of Mormon, and the fact that God is her loving Heavenly Father. She also realized that she's met with missionaries before in Taiwan. When we taught about baptism she said that she would LOVE to be able to receive the ordinance. She is going to pray about her date, but she feels pretty confident about it. She's amazing. She is prepared.
None of what happened can possibly be contributed to me. It is all simply that the Lord loves Motoko San, and He guided her to us. I feel so humbled and amazed to be a little part of her finding the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I have a lot of mixed emotions these days as my mission is coming to an end.... But I feel incredibly blessed for every moment of every day. I love my Savior, and that through Him, I can be forgiven of my sins. I can become better. I can progress along the path to eternal joy.
I love you all! Have a great week!!
This week, the them has been Grace. I have felt the power of Christ's
Atonement in my life so powerfully, and feel so much gratitude for His
grace. Like I might have said in my past emails, when I was a first
transfer missionary, I was sure that by my last month of my mission, I
would become the perfect missionary. I would really know what I was
doing, and would totally have my act together. But these days, I have
come to know just how imperfect I am as a servant in the Vineyard of
the Lord. But I've also learned that the Lord values all the work I
do, because He knows that it's the best that I can do. I testify that
the Atonement of Christ is really, and that because of it, your best
is enough. Don't ever fall into the temptation of comparing your best
to the fruits of others. It only leads to disappointments. Instead,
thank God that He has made you an individual, so go out and serve in
individual ways. That will bring the most joy.
Our investigators are all progressing in such different ways and at
such different rates that it is really interesting? But the most
incredible thing is that we get to see them change. Change is such an
incredible blessing. If we are humble, we can come to see our
weakness, rely upon Christ, and become more like Him. I feel so
blessed to see our investigators come to rely upon Christ and feel the
Spirit more strongly in their lives. I always feel so great when I
leave a lesson and can hug my investigator and feel like we really
helped her better understand her relationship with Christ.
We have this one investigator, Alyona San. She's from Russia, and her
husband is a leader of the unification church. The first few lessons
we had with her were ROUGH! She was bringing up all these things from
the Bible, and tried comparing our religions, and I was like, "I just
want to share a message of truth and love?" It was so hard! But the
past few lessons, we've been going with a member, and the Spirit has
been so strong! It really feels like we are simply teaching one of our
sisters about how she feel more peace in her life. She's amazing. I
love it and I love her!
Sister Eyring. Have I mentioned how much I love her? She is so well
versed in the scripture, so caring, and really easy to get along with.
We are striving to simply serve the people in Kawasaki as the Savior
would. It's really awesome. I love love love it. She helps me so much
and is such a great example to me.
Lately, my love for the Book of Mormon has been growing, and I feel
the love Christ has for me as an individual as I read it. He knows me
by name. That's pretty amazing right?
I love you all, I wish I was better at sending detailed emails, but I
hope you all know that I love my mission, and that I love serving my
Savior. I want to become a better instrument in His hands every day,
and I am simply amazed by His mercy. He loves each of you the same
way, don't forget to thank Him for His love in your prayers!
I can't lie, this week was really hard. We are still seeing tons of
miracles and having a great time, but facing my last transfer is
really really sad.
I miss Matsuzaki Shimai so much. She became one of my best friends in
the whole world. It's so funny, because our first impressions of each
other were not good at all! But we both wanted to work hard and to not
regret a minute of our time together. So we talked all the time! We
had open communication and we cooked together, and laughed at
ourselves all the time. She helped me to improve, and she let me know
when I did something that hurt her feelings or was simply selfish. She
also helped me realize my strengths, and encouraged me to continue
working for my dreams. I love her so much, and my heart hurts a lot
now that she's back in Osaka.
At the beginning of my mission, I was certain that I'd have my act
together by last transfer. I thought I'd be a master at working with
members, our investigators would all be golden, and that my Japanese
would be perfect.
It's hard to say, but I'm still making mistakes left and right! I'm
still not completely nailing it. And it's really really really
humbling. But that doesn't matter. Because God doesn't want me to
completely nail it. My best, is sufficient. He sees the work that I'm
doing in Kawasaki, and He is so proud of me, and He desires me to
succeed. He didn't send me here because He knew I'd do it perfectly.
But He sent me here because He knew that this is where I would have
the most chances to grow. My Heavenly Father loves me perfectly, and I
have to keep remembering that as I strive to really work 100% this
We had a lesson with one of our investigators today, and she is so
honest and kind. She told us that she didn't really believe in a God,
and that she thought that after we died, it was simply nothingness. We
were able to testify that the joy we feel in our families is eternal,
and that she will be able to enjoy the same relationships that she's
cultivated and developed after she dies as well. Her eyes lit up! She
was so happy, and at that moment, my heart just felt so full. She is
desiring something more, and she is working for something better in
her life. I really pray that we can continue to be guided by the
Spirit as we teach her and love her.
I love my eternal family, and I'm so grateful that I get to be a
missionary not only to help others have eternal families, but to also
be able to learn how to better love my family. To increase my desire
to serve them and grow with them.
I love you all, and hope that you have a great week! Tell your family
that you love them, and continue to pray to a loving Heavenly Father
who wants to listen. Love you all!! Have a great day!!
So this is love??
Sister Matsuzaki and I have easily had the best transfer of my life.
No offense to any of my companions. In fact, mostly I'm just sorry for
all of my companions. Because this transfer I learned how to follow
the Spirit and love my companion. Which made a huge difference in
everything I've done!!
I've been really striving to learn how to follow the Spirit this
transfer. I wanted to know how the Spirit spoke to me, and how I can
recognize what the Spirit is trying to teach me. And it's really
awesome. In Mission Leadership Council Elder Ecchu said, "When the
Spirit is present you feel love. But opposite is also true. When you
feel love, the Spirit is there." And that statement just hit me like a
ton of bricks! I realized that this transfer, because I started with
the attitude to learn, and that I would do whatever I could to be a
good companion for Sister Matsuzaki, I felt love stronger than I ever
As missionaries we always try to remember this saying, "People don't
change people. The Spirit changes people." But if the Spirit is love,
then I think that means love changes people, right?! And it's just
like what's in Moroni 7:45: "For Charity... Seeketh not her own." If
you really love someone, you don't try and see who wins. It's not a
competition. The person you love's success become your success. I want
that to become my mindset!! Right now, I'm far from having Charity,
but I pray to be able to receive it, because it brings a new dimension
to how you see people.
This week as we worked with our investigators, it was awesome to see
the Spirit working through us to help them. We were able to trust
each other as companions and to understand the needs of our
investigators. I know that I am personally a really bad teacher, but
the Spirit is perfect and has given me the ability to teach better
than I ever could have before.
Kawasaki ward is still the best. We are laughing and enjoying our time
with all the members. They all are begging Sister Matsuzaki to move to
Tokyo. I am too. But she's going to change even more lives as she
returns home to Osaka.
So speaking of returning home and changes, we got transfer calls last
night!! I am of course staying in Kawasaki... And my new companion
will be Sister Eyering! You might have heard of her grandfather? I'm
so excited! We talked on the phone the other night about a training we
are doing together, and she loved Accounting 200 at BYU just as much
as I did. I think we'll get along famously! Just the kind of sister
the Kawasaki members need.
Love you all! So grateful for all you do! Have a great day :)
Happy New Year!!!!
I love the New Year! I love the feeling of hope and joy and the fresh
start it provides for us all. New Year's is a really big deal in
Japan. They watch the first sun rise together, eat special foods, and
your first dream of the New Year has a significant meaning. And guess
what. In my first dream of the New Year, I saw Mount Fuji!!!
Apparently it's the luckiest dream that you can have in the New Year.
I am destined to have a year of peace and happiness!
And that's exactly how I feel. Peace. I feel peace about the New Year.
I feel peace about the goals I'm making and the direction I am working
towards. I feel joy because I know that I am completely working for
others. I'm not striving for my own success, but for the success of
others. I am using all my time for others, and even though I'm not
doing it perfectly, God accepts it! I love what I'm doing right now,
and where I'm at in life. And I know it only gets better from here,
because I'm working harder and improving daily!
We were able to spend a ton of time with members this week and it was
so awesome! We were welcomed into their homes, and fed so much. Maybe
this is what the life of an American missionary is. If so, I'm so
sorry. But also, that's pretty awesome. I am so amazed by the awesome
examples of the members of this church. We laughed, we shared our
desires for our lives, and we made goals together. And one thing I
realized as I spent so much time with these members is that this
gospel is a way of life. As we are following the teachings of Jesus
Christ, it effects every aspect of our lives! Our career, our hobbies,
and especially our families. I'm so grateful that I am able to have an
eternal perspective as I strive to find my way back to my Heavenly
This year I have a theme... 望。English: ambition, full moon, hope,
desire, aspire to, expect. I want to remember what my desires are in
life, eternal and temporal, and always work to achieve them. I figure
that if your desire is a 10, then you're going to work hard to achieve
it. And then, even if you fall a little short, you're better off than
if you had no desire at all. Expect to achieve the impossible. Aspire
to something bigger. And hope for greater things to come.
Love you all! Happy New Year!!
The Nishi family. So Funny. The son kindly explained to me Japanese
traditions and about monsters in Japan. 3 times he was like, "Sister
Feist. Ogres are real. They are on this Earth. But don't be afraid."
Also, when we talked about New Year's goals he said that he either
wants to be like his mom or like me. I was almost in tears. What made
it even better is that he can't even remember Matsuzaki Shimai's name.
I died a little.