August 10, 2014

Dendo is Fun!
Here`s so pictures of some fun on the mish! [see Tori’s mission photo link at top of this web page]

When it always comes to Sundays there`s no food in the apartment because we ate it all during the week, so we have to eat whatever we can find.
 Well, Hamano shimai found some pancake mix and put some jam and chocolate sauce on it!
I found an ice cream bar! King shimai found a piece of bread and put chocolate sauce on it. Haha, don`t worry we eat healthy!…most all the time…
Here`s a picture of our District family! I love these sisters and elders! We all have so much fun together, and I can honestly say this is by far my best district! We are unified and work hard. With my companion and I as STL`s, the Zone Leaders, and District leader, we`re all super motivated to accomplish goals and work hard. We also play hard! Haha, when it`s “mahari“. “Mahari“ means “funny when it`s time to be fun, and serious when it`s time to be serious“.
I`ve been in districts before were some missionaries don`t know how to be mahari. I am so grateful for my District!
Oh and of course I just had to include a picture of what I come home to every night. Yes, my sweet mother and father sitting on my desk beaming with huge smiles saying “Hi our little Tori, how was dendo today?“. Then I tell you all about my day and my companion wonders why I`m talking to myself…okay I really don`t talk to your picture but thank you for always making my smile. 
I really do say, “Hi mom and dad“ when I come home though.

I sent these two pictures of the Takazawa family here in the Branch. Aren`t these kids adorable?!  They have six children, but one passed away at birth, so they really have seven. Both parents are returned missionaries who served in Japan. My companion and I made an appointment with them last week to get to know them better and see how we can serve them. I always thought that I would be booked with dinner appointments as a missionary, but that hasn`t been my experience. They members serve us in so many ways, but I`ve learned that because we don`t get fed by members, I have to look for other ways to get to know them. We asked this family if we could share a spiritual message with their family and help prepare their little boy, Kamui kun, for Baptism. He`s seven and will be baptized in November. The parents said they want our help with teaching him the Gospel.

We had a way fun time and taught very simply on Baptism and played a game. As soon as I walked in their house all the children were dead silent. Japanese children are complete opposite than American kids haha! I had decided though before we got there that I was going to be enthusiastic to get them all to open up. In Japan silence isn`t considered awkard, so let`s just say there`s lots of silence. It`s taught me that silence is okay and to be patient.
They started opening up a little through out the game of hiding a toy and being blind folded to find it by only hearing their family member`s directions. It was to help illustrate the role of the Holy Ghost.
    They then treated us to sweet potato bread (which I got the recipe for and will be making at some point!), and brother Takazawa showed us pictures of his comic drawings.
   So everyone in Japan loves “Manga“. It`s pretty much Japanese anime, comic books. I have always thought it`s pretty nerdy, but now being around everyone who loves it…I still think it`s a little nerdy haha.
     Brother Takazawa draws animations on the computer of his family`s funny memories! I think it`s an awesome way to use his talents and document his family memories! We built a really good relationship with this family and learned their afraid to share the Gospel. We want to keep trying to help them not be afraid or shy about sharing the Gospel.
   This past weeks results were all 0! It`s funny because I should be really disappointed, but Hamano shimai and I worked really hard this past week and had so many service opportunities. We were in Sendai for two days and had Zone Training meeting on Friday, as well as a split on Thursday, so that could be part of it. Satomi chyan is still in Miyako and has kind of distanced herself from us. She will come back on Saturday this week so we hope we can meet with her.
    No new investigators, but we set up an appointment with a 60 year old man named Nakai san for tomorrow. We met him in a park 2 weeks ago and he has interest in learning English and learning about our Church. I don`t know how high his interest is in the Gospel, but with our Free Family English Program, we can teach him 30 minutes of English and 30 minutes of Japanese.
   Yesterday`s Sabbath was amazing!
I prayed this morning that I would feel the Spirit today and be able to help someone. Hamano shimai and I taught Gospel Principles class on Prayer and listening to everyone`s experiences of prayer really brought the Spirit. Mom, you asked how my Japanese is and dad you said “I`m sure your Japanese is excellent now“. Well, not at all excellent, but yesterday`s class I felt for the first time speaking in front of everyone I could express everything from my heart exaclty the way I wanted to. The Spirit really guided my Japanese! I can understand pretty much everything. There are occasional vocab that I don`t know, but then I write them down and practice until it comes naturally to say.
   I actually have a really funny story from yesterday! Elder Fukuchi and elder McClellan came by our apartment in the evening and elder Fukuchi was talking to us about how we need to strengthen one member in the ward. As he was explaining the story he said “Tsumari“. I thought, “That`s a word I don`t know“. I waited till he was done with his story to ask what the word was, because he was being super expressive in telling us and I didn`t want to interrupt. I then said to him “Tsumari wa nan desuka?“ which means, “What is Tsumari?“. He looked at me super offended and started to repeat his story he just told us. I stopped him confused and said, “no no, what is tsumari? the word Tsumari?“. He then laughed and said, “Oh, tsumari means “in other words“.
I then just realized that when I had said, “Tsumari wa nan desuka?“ that translates to, “so…in other words??“. He thought I was rudely telling him, “in other words??“.
Elder McCllelan laughed too and said, “Ya Butler shimai I thought that was pretty of you at first“.
     After Church my companion and I both felt prompted to find Hibiki, who got baptized last September, to talk to her. She as it turns out has been feeling really lonely. She`s only 19 and her family don`t support her in the Church. She grew to seperate herself from her family and even her friends here at Church who got baptized recently. We found her in a room watching a Church DVD and talked to her for a long time. She really opened up her heart to us and told us from our talk she decided she will start talking to her family again and pray. She is going to go streeting with us tomorrow and we will set the goal of giving someone a Book of Mormon and finding their needs. Hibiki just needed love and to know someone loves her and she is special, a special daughter of God.
I am so grateful for all the times the Lord has placed me in someone`s path to serve them. I want to be there anytime someone needs a kind word, a hug, or just a listening ear,
“Kindness is the power that God has given us to unlock hard hearts and subdue stubborn souls and bring them to an understanding of His purposes“.
I loved reading this today during morning personal study.

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