July 27, 2014

Family, friends, loved ones!

This week was full of so many little miracles!
My hope is that from reading my letter, you can recognize the miracles in your own life.

Last Monday we did an FHE for the YSA! It was our first FHE! We had a ping pong tournament and only 3 YSA came since the others had work, but it was way fun!

On Wednesday we had a Sushi making party with a member, sister Muraki. It was her and one other member who is struggling coming to Church right now. A less active was supposed to come but she couldn`t make it. I`m excited to make sushi one day for you mom and dad! But this sushi was bread sushi! Instead of rice, we used bread haha!

After my interview time with President Smith this past week, I really pondered on everything he had said. It was a short 10 minute time together, but I got a lot from it. He encouraged me to serve Hamano shimai as much as I can each day and never gossip. It was so interesting because I`ve never gossiped about Hamano shimai, but that was the advice he gave me. It must`ve been what I needed.

My favorite day this past week was Saturday! Hamano shimai and I made the goal this past week to not ride bikes and walk everywhere so we could find a new investigator. We walked 4 1/2 hours and it was so fun! We walked to a far away park and talked to EVERYONE in our path! We met a girl at the park who agreed to have a 5 min lesson with us. We sang hymns in the woods with a man while he played the guitar. We met another man by the river who was reading a book and told him was a good father because he said he loves his children. We had so many opportunities to invite that day! I want to walk everywhere and talk to everyone!
I desire everyone to experience the joy of losing themself and inviting everyone to come unto Christ. There is no other joy like it.

I was asked to give a training for our District Training Meeting on Saturday. I studied from my new book “The Power of Every day Missionaries“. I love this book! I came across a part I needed to hear. It talked about how full-time missionaries do not become friends first and then invite, they invite and through teaching build a relationship of friendship.

As I shared this, our district said they`ve felt they needed to become friends first before inviting someone to learn about the Gospel. I feel very strongly that is a tactic of Satan. He wants us to miss those opportunities to invite.
We are to invite ALL to come unto Christ, and I know through inviting we will gather the Lord`s sheep, just as it declares in 1 Nephi 22:25.

President Smith sent all of us missionaries two quotes I really liked.

“The Lord wants a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Use your pain, your loneliness, your home sickness, your depression, your disappointments as the sanding paper for the rough spots in your character and as a means to help you humble yourself before God. Don’t ask to be delivered; rather ask to endure. Don’t ask to be freed, but rather ask what you are to learn. Don’t ask to go back to being what you used to be, but ask God
to make you what He wants you to be.”
-Elizabeth Gessel

“When in situations of stress we wonder if there is any more in us to give, we can be comforted to know that God, who knows our capacity perfectly, placed us here to succeed. No one was foreordained to fail or to be wicked. Let us remember that we were measured before and were found equal to our tasks; therefore, let us continue, but with a more determined discipleship. When we feel overwhelmed, let us recall the assurance that God will not over-program us; he will not press upon us more than we can bear.”
-Neal A Maxwell

Yesterday I loved walking around the park right in front of our Church. Hamano shimai and I met a man who was feeding the ducks with his special needs 19 year old son. We came up and said, “Oh that looks fun!“. The man, with a huge smile, turned and gave us each a piece of bread to feed the ducks too. I thought that was so kind. We started to feed the ducks together. I told the man I worked with special needs for 3 summer`s and loved it. He said he`s looking for a program his son can go to. I told him about your Special Care Agency in Washington aunt Sally, and he said he`s com`n to America haha!
I could see this bright light in this man`s eyes and he was so Christ-like, even though he`s never learned about Christ. The Light of Christ is in each of us! That`s amazing to me.
I hope to meet that man and his son again.

Sister Butler


July 20, 2014

I had such a great week!
On Tuesday and Wednesday I was in Sendai with Hamano shimai, as well as the other STL’s and Zone Leaders. We did a Dendo activity Tuesday evening, going out with a different companion putting up Eikaiwa posters. It was super fun being with Kushi shimai!
Wednesday was just meetings in the Mission home with Pres. and sister Smith!
I learned so much about our mission!
President Smith started our meeting really powerfully. He said,
 “This will be called ‘revelation [keiji] meeting. When all the 12 Apostles speak in agreement is Heavenly Father’s word. When we are unified, it is Heavenly Father’s word.”
We talked about things we can do to improve the mission and our areas. We focused a lot on Charity and talking with everyone. My favorite part of the whole MLC experience was what President Rasmussen told all of us. I will never forget his words. He said,
“I feel impressed to tell you all something. Heavenly Father wants His children of Japan to know that He loves them.”
I felt the Spirit so powerfully when he said those words. I know there are so many people in Japan who need to be told they’re loved. I see so many every day that have their heads down and look so sad. I made a goal after listening to Pres. Smith that I will tell as many people as I can each day that they have a Heavenly Father who loves them.
President Smith shared an inspiring story that I want to share. He told us about Elder Nelson of the the 70 going with a Stake President to visit a Less Active. This man looked miserable when he opened the door. His hair was all over the place and his apartment was a mess. The man asked why they’d come. Elder Nelson and the Stake President said they had been impressed to come and their only message was to tell the man that Heavenly Father loves him. They then left. A few weeks later Elder Nelson saw this Less Active at a Stake Conference, but he was wearing a nice white shirt and looked cleaner. The man asked Elder Nelson if he could talk to him. Once they went to a private room the man began to cry. Elder Nelson was worried and wondered what had happened. The man then told Elder Nelson,
“The day you came to my apartment, I had decided I was going to kill myself. But then you told me that Heavenly Father loves me and I’m important. Thank you for saving me”. 
Listening to this story I felt so strongly that so many people in Japan are feeling lonely and don’t feel of great worth.
Here’s the miracle!
The next day Thursday morning, Hamano shimai and I felt impressed to visit a Less Active named sister Kawamura. She doesn’t have work, has 2 kids and gets a lot of help from her dad because she has welfare. She has a mental sickness, maybe depression. Well, that day we decided to follow Pres. Smith’s counsel and just tell Kawamura shimai and that Heavenly Father loves her.
We focused our message on Temples and keeping the Commandments.
After the lesson, I asked Kawamura shimai if she has any worries or anything else she wanted to talk about. She paused looking down, and then said,
“Before I met the missionaries 3 years ago, I attempted several times to kill myself. I didn’t feel of any worth. But then the missionaries told me that I’m special and God loves me. I feel loved when you come”.
Both Hamano shimai and I couldn’t believe what we just heard and I felt so much gratitude that we had followed the Spirit to go visit Kawamura shimai. We have an appt. to help clean her house on Friday.
President Smith also counseled us to do Family History Work. I am going to try, but I might need help.
Saturday night we had a talent show! Some members came, Eikaiwa students, one Less Active, and Rio chyan [who got baptized 3 weeks ago] invited 2 of her friends!
Us sisters did a little musical number where we lied on tables with our heads upside down and the curtain over us so they could only see our heads. We put a towel over our face so they could only see our chins and mouths. There were two eyes on our chins so it looked like an upside down face. We sany “Popcorn popping/Book of Mormon Stories”. Elder Fukuchi said it looked scary when I beatboxed haha. It was fun!
I am really focusing on Charity, the pure love of Christ, this next week.
Quote that I loved this week,
“The first test of a really great man is humility”
Sister Tori Butler
Batora shimai

July 13, 2014

  My new companion Hamano shimai!!! She is from Chiba-ken. She is 20 years old and the hardest working, most obedient missionary I`ve met so far being on a mission!!!
The first day we were together she said “Konichiwa“ to everyone as we rode our bikes and stopped at stop-lights. I was blown away. I had never been around a Japanese missionary that is so bold as her. She has a fun, bold, loving personality and she went to BYU-Hawaii for one year so she`s almost fluent in English.
   She asked me the first day if we could switch off every other day speaking English. Probably every other American missionary would be stoked, but it`s been really weird speaking English and I actually don`t like it haha.
   But President Smith encouraged all of us American`s to encourage our Japanese companions to speak English so I`ll do my best!
    This past week was so packed with lessons and finding!!! I loved it!!! We had 6 lessons with less-actives. One of those lessons was so full of the Spirit. It was the first time I saw Yoko shimai open her heart up. She said that she had prayed to receive an answer, and felt that Heavenly Father wasn`t answering her prayer and so she`s stopped praying. She cried as she poured out her feelings to us and I couldn`t help but get teary. I promised her that Heavenly Father is and will answer that prayer, but sometimes it`s in a way that we don`t expect. It might take more time for her, but I`m so grateful I can love her and show her how much the Savior loves her.
   We had 3 lessons with Satomi! Two of those lessons were with members, Rio chyan and Hibiki chyan. Both are 18 and 19 years old. Rio chyan got baptized 3 weeks ago, and Hibiki chyan got baptized last September. Satomi has been worried because her dad said she can`t get baptized, but Rio told her how her parents were against her getting baptized too. She said that she had prayed that her mom would sign the paper so she could get baptized.She then opened her scriptures to D&C and read 61:36,
“And now, verily I say unto you, and what I say unto one I say unto all, be of good cheer, little children; for I am in your midst, and I have not forsaken you;“
She said she felt the Savior right there with her when she read it and the next day her mom allowed her to be baptized.
Rio bore testimony to Satomi that the Lord is with her too and it will all be okay.
I learned from this tender experience that member`s testimonies are needed for investigators` true conversion.
Quote of the week
  “You change immediately with each good thought, each good act, every good word changes you for the better.“ (The Fourth Kind of Missionary)
I am learning that I can continually change for the better. Everyone can! That is the good news! That is the message of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. No matter how yesterday was, today is a new day and you can be better than yesterday! It all starts with our thoughts.
Butler shimai

July 7, 2014

President and Sister Smith Have Arrived!


So many wonderful things happened this past week!
I met my new mission President; President and Sister Smith!!! Oh I just fell in-love with them! I can`t even explain the amazing experience I had meeting them.
   I can`t even describe the spiritual experience I had meeting President and Sister Smith. It was the most spiritual experience I`ve had so far being in Japan.
     President and his wife came to our apartment only after the second day of being in Japan. We were having a Zone Conference with them the next day so they just stopped by to say hi and to meet us sisters in Morioka. I can`t even explain the feeling I had of “wait a minute I`ve met you before…I know you!“ as soon as I saw President Smith at the door. I immediately felt the Spirit and the first thing I said was, “President Smith, we`ve met before!“. I was being 100% serious and really was confused where I`d met him before. They came into our apartment and we were all already laughing and having a good time. President Smith then turned to me and said, “I think we`re kindred spirits, that`s why we know each other“. Tears came to my eyes because I had had this strong feeling that my new mission president, whoever he was, would really change my life these last 6 months of my mission.
       He looked into my eyes and said, “I really feel the Spirit in this apartment. Thank you“. Sister Smith is so fun! She is bubbly and laughs a lot and talks a lot. She reminds me of you mom, haha. I think that`s why we already feel like we`re really good friends. President Smith is not so bubbly, but very sincere and fun. He is so loving and kind to his wife. I loved the way he had his hand on her back as all of uswere talking about Morioka. It was so clear that they really love each other and are so happy together. I haven`t seen that kind of marriage-love relationship since being in Japan and it was really refreshing. Japanese people don`t show affection, and it`s been something that`s been hard to adapt to. I`m used to hugs, but now it`s become hesitant, but not because I`m a missionary but because of the culture. But I am still trying to hug these Japanese sisters whether they like it or not, haha. They love it-I know they do!
The next day at the Zone Conference, it was more of a “meet President Smith and sister Smith“. President and sister Smith both gave the most two powerful talks I`ve heard so far on my mission. It was everything I needed in that moment. I want to share what they told all of us missionaries with you.
   President Smith told us that before he came to Japan he had a dream.
He said, “I had a dream that there was a Tsunami“.
As soon as he said the word “Tsunami“, I felt my heart sink. We have all been warned to prepare our emergency backpacks that we just received and I had been thinking a lot about “what if a natural disaster comes sometime soon?“.
President Smith went on to explain to us the horrific scene that a Tsunami brings.
He said,
    “The wave of a Tsunami is so powerful and it  destroys everything in it`s path. You cannot swim in a tsunami wave. If you go in, you will not come out alive.“
He then went on to say how real the dream was, but how this Tsunami wave was not made of water. He said the wave was full of darkness and evil. It was full of pornography, dishonesty, pride, love with out affection, adultery, hate, and lust. He described how this dark wave started to sweep the whole earth and was coming towards him. He then said that he turned and saw this bright light, brighter than any light he`d ever seen. He said,
“This light was the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was the only thing that could stop the darkness from coming. It over-powered the wave and saved us“.
As he told us about this dream I realized how much evil there is in the world, but how the Jesus Christ`s love is truly the only thing that will stop this evil. President Smith encouraged us to be exactly obedient to the mission rules so we can grown in faith. I felt this huge determination to really be the best missionary I can and share this light and love of Jesus Christ with as many people as I can after listening to President Smith and sister Smith`s talks. President Smith looked into all of our eyes and said something I will never forget,
  “I love you. There is nothing you can do that will make me stop loving you. I will always
love you. This is how your Savior feels about you and I feel His love for you right now“.
I felt my Savior`s love and I am so grateful for Pres. Smith`s sincere words. It really made me think of pure love, to love someone no matter what they do.
All of us missionaries got to have a 5 minute interview with President Smith. I won`t share everything from my personal interview but I felt the Spirit stronger than I ever have my whole mission. President Smith told me, “Sister Butler you have only 5 months left. You will never regret working as hard as you could these next 5 months, you will only regret not doing your best.“
I was determined to give even more these last 5 1/2 months of my mission.
We had Transfer calls!!! My beloved Konishi shimai is leaving and Hamano shimai is coming! ANother Nihonjin (Japanese) missionary!!!
I am said to say goodbye,but I am really excited to meet sister Hamano! I am still in Morioka and Satomi still has her baptismal date for July 27th!!!
Love you,
Butler shimai
Sister Tori Butler

June 29, 2014

Love Dendo [Missionary Work]


Family and friends!

This past week we had a Game night on Saturday! We expected a lot of people to come and it ended up being all of the kids from Eikaiwa haha! We went with it anyway and it turned out to be way fun!

The limbo was hilarious! The cookie on the face game was definitely my favorite! I was asked to demonstrate it first for everyone and got the cookie from my forehead into my mouth in 12 seconds! Try and beat that!!!
It was hilarious watching all the kids wiggle their little faces and the mom`s too!
We had a meeting with our district and drew pictures of everyone in the district. The first person starts with one feature of the face and it goes around in a circle. On the back of the paper every member of the district writes what they`re thankful for. It was a lot of fun and Konishi shimai`s picture was the best haha!
Yesterday we had a baptism for Rio Sato!! She is King shimai and Morita shimai`s investgator! It was an amazing baptism. She had waited over a year to get permission and her father and mother finally agreed to let her get baptized!
Today Konishi shimai and I had a lesson with our investigator Satomi who`s 16!!!
It was an amazing lesson and the Spirit  really guided the whole lesson. The miracle is just yesterday we got an unexpected txt from Satomi asking randomly to do a lesson today. That made me so happy because we`d been praying to meet her more. She`s taken the lessons since October 2013 and I really felt that she needed a Baptismal date.
I prayed this past week for her a lot that we could set a date. Well today, we set a baptismal date for July 27th!!!!!!!!!!!
I can`t even express how grateful I am for the Spirit! That lesson was completely by the Spirit! she just needs to get her father`s permission!
There will also be a baptism next Sunday; Mai chyan! She is 18 years old and too have waited a while to get her parents permission to be baptized.
Lots of amazing things are happening in Morioka and it`s all by the Lord!
Butler Shimai


June 23, 2014

Morioka Dendo!

Wonderful Family and friends!
Sister Konishi really is an amazing companion! She serves me more than any other companion I`ve had. She is always doing little acts of kindness and it`s a huge example for me. I love being with her and learning from her. She`s turning 27 in September, but looks 22! It`s really refreshing being with a mature 27 year old. There`s a lot of young missionaries, but I`ve always been so impressed with the mature Japanese missionaries.
    This past week I went on splits with sister Robertson in Akita! Is was a blast! My favorite part was taking the train and saying to sister Roberston “Let`s go talk to that girl“. She looked at me with eyes wide open and said, “What? But that`d be awkward“. Sister Robertson is really pretty and seems to have confidence, but I then learned that she had never talked to anyone on the train up to this point on her mission, being almost a year.
   I said, “She`ll love to talk to you!“ and so sister Robertson shyly went and sat down. We started to talk to this girl and found out that she wants to learn English. Sister Robertson invited her to Eikawa and gave her a flyer. It was such a small thing, but I saw her confidence grow. I am learning that every missionary has fears of talking to people. Sister Robertson said her biggest fear was rejection, and I believe that`s every missionary`s fear.
  I then thought of a scripture, 2 Timothy 1:7. I had a time in my life when I felt afraid to do something and randomly opened to this scripture. I memorized it that day I first read it and it`s helped me ever since.
   “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and love and of a sound mind.“
Satan wants us to fear so that we will hesitate to do that thing which will in reality bring us more happiness. Fear is always the hurdle that we must overcome. I have learned that when I am afraid to talk to someone, that is when I need to just act and do it. Spending the time thinking of doing it or not only allows more fear to creep in.
But God does not want us to fear. His plan is for us to have joy and Eternal Life. Nothing in that plan involves fear.
   I loved my last Zone Conference with President and sister Rasmussen! They will be flying back to Arizona to return home this next Saturday to end their missions. President Smith and Sister Smith, the new Mission President and his wife will be coming soon! We have a ZC with them July 2nd!
Brother Ishida, who got baptized when I was in Akita came to the ZC!!! He is preparing to go on a mission and I got to sit by him at the ZC! He told me after he really felt the Savior and Heavenly Father in the room.
It was also special going to Stake Conference with the many districts on Saturday and Sunday. We were the only Area in the mission that got to be with President and sister Rasmussen, which was very special. We all watched a Live broad-cast for the Stake Conference with ALL of Japan watching! Edler D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was presiding and spoke!
   It was so neat watching these American speak in Japanese haha. Of course Elder Christofferson spoke in English though.
At the end of the Conference, President and sister Rasmussen had made us all a goodbye video of their time in Japan. As we watched it, It brought me to tears as I listened to the song I one danced to as a little girl at the Japanese Immersion school. The song is “Sakura“ and is a famous song. It was the first time listening to it I felt such a special feeling and love for these Japanese people. The end of the video was pictures of the Savior. I also loved singing “God Be with You Till We Meet Again“ in Japanese. It was the first time I saw so many Japanese people, including missionaries, cry.
It was a day I will always remember.
Here`s some pictures of today! [See Tori’s Mission Photos link at top right] We had a lunch at the church with less active sister Megumi and a few member. We made taco salad and oreo pie! Sister Konishi and I shared a spiritual message.
There`s also a picture of a girl named Yuki and us today! We met her and invited her to hear the lessons and learn English. She said she wants to!
I love you all!
Butler Shimai

June 15, 2014

I Love Morioka!!!


Hello Family and friends!

Morioka is so beautiful and green! It`s so similar to Eugene, but maybe even prettier! Being a Sister Training Leader is so fun! I traveled to my Bean area (first area) AKITA this past week!
I loved going on splits this past week with Sister Morgan in Akita and sister King here in Morioka!

Sister Morgan shared with me before the split that she wanted to work on seeing others for their potential and focusing on the positive. We went to meet an LA and her investigator, but both plans fell through and instead of her feeling down about it, she cheerfully said, “well let`s go housing“.
I loved that we could have fun together housing and we kept saying “There`s someone prepared here“. We didn`t get any contacts, but it was fun and I loved getting to know Morgan shimai.

While I was in Akita I saw a youth that was Less Active when I was in Akita. I would always try to talk to her and be her friend but she seemed so uninterested in anything related to “Church“. Well, when I met Rio Watanabe I was blown away! She has completely changed!
She had this light that just wasn`t quite there before. I asked her what had changed. She told me that she came to a point where she realized she needed to put Church first in her life. She quit her sports club that was on Sunday`s so she could come to Church. She started spending time with the missionaries more and now she is the strongest member missionary in Akita, inviting all her friends to activities! I learn when you love the youth, they will change!
I also saw my past investigator Natsuko! She is 16 years old and she`s the one that after a few weeks in Akita I saw her across the street and yelled “Hi, can you speak English?“ She ran over and said that she wanted to come to our Church right away. It was a miracle! Well we had taught her but her parents were against her taking the lessons so we had to stop. She had kind of gone down and didn`t seem so happy. But when I saw her this past week she was glowing!
I said, “Nastuko, you`re glowing! What changed?“. She had the biggest smile on her face. She told me that after I had left she had a lot of problems with her friends and was really negative. She said she saw others in a negative light and it made her unhappy. But the missionaries kept inviting her to everything and she saw how good they were and she decided to see others in a positive way. She also changed from love!
I learned so much this week that anyone who feels the Savior`s pure love will change. 
The Savior`s love is unconditional. “the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart“ 1 Samuel 16:7
The Lord does not see us as who we are now, but who we can become. We are all destined to become great! We are destined, as sons and daughters of God, to become like Him. In order to become more like the Savior we must learn more about him. It is every day, personal time that allows us to glimpse His pure love for us.

I also went on splits with King shimai, the American sister in my apartment. I love King Shimai!!!

She is so sweet and probably my closest friend so far on the mission. I can see us being life long friends.
The Split with King shimai was perhaps one of my favorite days so far on my mission!
Our plan to meet an LA Fujimura Hazuki shimai fell through and so our back up plan was going to go streeting. We saw a festival going on by the train station and started to talk to the people there and casually give Mormon.org cards.
King shimai and I realized we were focusing on talking to the young people, when there were so many families around us!
I told King shimai “I`ve been wanting to focus more on families“
Then she said, “I`m sure if we focused on finding a family, Heavenly Father would place someone in our path“.
I said,“Yes, He will“.
At that moment I looked next to King shimai at this young mother of two was walking our way. We turned around to talk to her and she right away said she wanted to become friends. She was with her little two year old girl, Uno, and pregnant, due next week!

She invited us to go with her to a festival in August. Her name`s Naoko san. Both King shimai and I looked at each other amazed that Heavenly Father had literally just answered our prayer. We told her we we`re missionaries and she seemed interested. Then all of the sudden Naoko san invited us to go dance with her in the middle of the professional dancers. She had been a dancer for 15 years and was friends with all of them. We got super excited and the next thing we knew we were doing Japanese traditional dancing with all these dancers in the middle of the festival!

It was so fun! King shimai and I had said we wanted to laugh that day, and it that goal was definitely achieved!

King shimai and I met so many people on our split and there was this one man that looked at our name tags and said he`d been looking for a Church. We gave him our information but he had to run off because he was late for something.
At the end of the day King shimai shared with me a quote that I loved, “Happiness is a habit, cultivate it!“

This morning during my personal study I read a talk on the Priestood from the Liahona. 
I loved this quote,
 “There is nothing in this world as personal, as nurturing or as life changing as the influence of a righteous woman“ Elder Ballard
I am so grateful to be in Japan and learning from these beautiful people. My companion is teaching me a lot too.
I love love love riding my bike!
Love you!
Sister Tori Butler

June 9, 2014

Missionary Work!


 I love my new area Morioka! It’s in Iwate prefecture. It’s so beautiful and green! There’s green rolling hills all around It really does look like Eugene!!! It may be even more beautiful! I just rode my bike today across a bridge with a beautiful river right underneath and so many green trees! Right next door to the Church is a high school! I can actually hear the students doing some sort of cheering in Japanese right now. Right outside, infront of the Church is a huge lake with swans! I was shocked when I got the call from president that I would be STL [Sister Training Leader] in Morioka! I really thought I would be staying in Hachinohe. I was sad to leave all those wonderful members, Shion and our investigator Yukio, my beloved companion sister Kanno and all the other missionaries. But I am excited to have this experience in Morioka.
 I am so lucky to have all four Japanese companions so far! I want so badly to be fluent in Japanese!
I will be going on my first split as STL this week to  AKITA!!! I am so lucky to go back to my first area! Ishida kyodai quit his job in Tokyo I heard because of work on Sundays. I am excited to see him and other invstigators. I love all these sisters! There are a total of 10 sisters Konishi shimia and I are over in Morioka Zone; Sister Iwahashi, my daugther, is one of them! I am so excited to see her in a couple weeks!
 I loved meeting the members Sunday! This is a special branch! About 40 came to Church and mostly families and little children! My first experience seeing so many kids, I love it!!
I just wanted to share with you the letter I wrote President Rasmussen this week 😉

President Rasmussen,
I loved coming to the Honbu last week. Dendoing in Sendai with sister Holmstead and sister King was maybe one of the best days I’ve had so far on my mission. We dropped off our luggage at the Kamisugi Church and dendo’d for 3 hours on the streets, just talking to every person we passed. I have never been in a three-some companionship before, but it was the biggest blessing being with those sisters.
I thought, “Wow, we saw so many miracles in just 3 hours. Think of how many miracles in one transfer with these sisters!” We had eaten lunch at Subway and cried and laughed in the Subway, talking about our many struggles and joys so far on the mission. I felt so close to these sisters!
After taking a bus to the Honbu that night, I met a woman on the bus who had surprisingly met Moon shimai a few months before. I asked her if she had read the pamphlet that Moon shimai had given her and she said yes. I talked for a while about Jesus Christ, but she eventually had to get off. I thought that was such a tender mercy that she had met Moon Shimai.

I honestly was feeling really heavy hearted and unsure about this next transfer in Morioka. I didn’t know why I had such an uneasy feeling, but I think it’s because of a lot of things I heard from my last apartment. Watanabe shimai and Morita shimai would often talk on the phone when I was in Hachinohe and I didn’t know what to expect living with Morita shimai. I also had heard things from other missionaries that Konishi shimai gets mad quickly. Just a lot of things were going through my mind and I wanted to throw all those feelings out and start fresh. I felt so uneasy on the bus ride and just prayed that Heavenly Father would help me. As soon as I finished my silent prayer, I felt prompted to open my scriptures.

I randomly opened to DC 111:2-3, 6. I then read DC 112: 10-11

I was blown away! I felt the Lord right there, having a personal conversation with me. That was the first time in my life I felt the Lord was really talking to me so personally through the Scriptures. I can’t even describe how spiritual and amazing it was! I knew in that moment that the Lord expects me to be humble and love every sister, no matter what.

I love Morioka! I love Konishi shimai! King shimai and Morita shimai are so great too! Konishi shimai has a really fun side to her I didn’t expect. We’re already laughing together. I loved meeting the Akita sisters when they came for Zone Training. They are really special sisters!
I loved getting to know them. They all seemed happy. We will be going to Akita this next week for splits with sister Morgan and sister Stice.

One thing I was a little uneasy about it Konishi shimai and I sat in the apartment for 6 hours planning on Friday and then another 2 hours on Saturday and 4 hours on Sunday for Weekly and planning splits. I know that planning is important, but I had mentioned I wanted to go out and try to find someone. It seemed Konishi shimai would rather be in the apartment. I just didn’t feel good spending so much time in the apartment. Sister King also had mentioned to me that after Church her and sister Morita spent 3 hours just sitting in the Church talking to their investigators. Sister King told me she didn’t have the best feeling about that.
I just hope that we can use our time the best we can, but also be patient. I really do love these sisters though.

Sister Butler

May 25, 2014

I thought a lot about grandma this past week!
I had a real special experience on the day of Grandma`s funeral here in Japan. Kanno shimai and I were at the Church because we had attended early morning Seminary with the 3 youth, including Shion! We did our language study and decided we`d go up to the library to find a movie. We found President Hinckley`s Funeral broadcast DVD and decided to watch that. As I watched it and thought about how much I loved President Hinckley, it hit me that Grandma`s funeral was that exact same day! Little things happen for a reason.
Shion is very excited to come to Church June 8 to see President and sister Rasmussen! She`s already been anticipating coming to Church that day and also is looking forward to speaking in Sacrament Meeting. Kanno shimai and I will invite Shion`s mom and little brother to the meeting and encourage Shion to invite her mom to hear her talk as well. I pray they will come.

From Shion`s amazing example of being a member missionary, her friend and our investigator, Yukio, is a progressing investigator! Kanno shimai and I teach her before every Wedensday Eikaiwa class. This last lesson she had read all of 2 Nephi 31 and additionally had read Moroni 10, which Shion had invited her to do. Shion understands the conenants she made at Baptism is valiantly keeping them.
Kanno shimai and I went to Yukio`s house for the first time last night to meet her mom. We unexpectadly showed up and got to know her mom and little 8 year old sister. It had seemed like from Yukio things were a little unsure with her mom. But after meeting her, she opened up right away and said she supports Yukio hearing the lessons. Kanno shimai gave her “I`m a Mormon card“ and invited her to see what we`re teaching her daughter. I felt that we should invited their family to hear the lessons with Yukio, but we focussed on building a relationship first. I feel we should go back and invite the mom and daughter to hear the lessons too. Yukio`s father is in Morioka and still needs to sign the parent permission form. Yukio`s mom said that she and her husband are fine, but Yukio just needs to talk to her dad about it and get the signature.

When President Rasmussen asked me in my interview, “Do you feel your testimony is growing?“ I took time to ponder on that question later. I read a quote I have on my wall by the first presidency that says something along the lines of “Your greatest spiritual growth will come from your personal study of the scriptures and personal prayer“. I realized then that YES my testimony is growing, and it is coming a lot from my personal feasting of the Scriptures and heartfelt prayer. I have been studying the General Womens Conference talks, because I never got to watch that meeting. I loved sister Oscarson`s talk on “Sisterhood: Oh How We Need Each other“. Sometimes it`s easy to see the differences in other sister missionaries because of culture, or just being judgemental. But sister Oscarson advised, “Satan wants us to concentrate on our differences and compare ourselves to one another“.
I read that and it hit me! I am to see everyone as my dear brother and sister and not see differences, but only that they are on the same path I am and need love.

I love you very much and am always praying for you.


Sister Butler

May 18, 2014

Birthday in Japan!
Saturday morning I woke up to hearing rustling by my bed. I turned around and there was a huge Japanese RADDISH right by my face! I then looked around and there was carrotts, apples, yogurt!!! Then I saw sister Lesuma, sister Watanabe, and sister Kanno right there as they sang Happy birthday!!! It was exactly what I wanted! Healthy food!!! haha
Then we got a group of members and played soccer. It was sister Watanabe`s birthday too so the elders planned something and sure enough we got pied in the face! Shion was the one who pied me in the face. It was an unforgettable birthday with many people I love!
This past week President Rasmussen came to Hachinohe and I had an interview with him. He asked me a question I thought was very inspired. He said, “Do you feel your testimony is growing?“
I loved that question and I paused, and then looked out the window and thought of all the experiences I`ve had so far. I then looked back at him with a smile and said, “yes, it is!“.
I love you and sorry this was so short but I have to go already!