Sunday, June 28, 2015

Week 21 Transfer Calls Came!!!

Hello Everyone :) It's transfer week! I'm now transfer 3. If you want to see my call skip to Saturday or to the photos. If you want an intense experience read through the whole email first. You decide haha :)

Monday-- We went late at night to visit the Kikuchi Family. Emiko San wasn't home but Chinatsu San was! We got to talk to her and ask about her work, which has been really tiring for her. We shared scriptures to help her and had a discussion on faith in Christ and relying on God, which has helped me entirely through my mission thus far, so we were able to testify boldly that if she reads her scriptures, prays, and goes to church to show her faith, God will support her even more through her hard times. 

Tuesday-- We visited Keiko San! She was really happy to see us! I love visiting her! We shared a spiritual message practically about the same as Chinatsu san. Faith is so essential people, but it's hard to develop and maintain when you aren't reading your scriptures or praying everyday. It's the small things that build your testimony! We helped encourage her and talked with her. Later that night we taught a less active member named Hermana Zoila. We taught her about Joseph Smith and boy is there power behind bearing testimony of that prophet and his experience. I've felt nothing like it! The Book of Mormon and the restoration are SO POWERFUL! 
Wednesday-- We finally got to help Hasegawa Shimai clean her home. We have been planning to go and help her for weeks but it hasn't been good for her. She's been in and out of the hospital for months. She is deaf too so we have to do a lot of planning around going to visit her. Luckily I've been learning Japanese sign language so that came in really handy :) we helped her clean and then drank tea and had pineapple with her. There are lots of different tea and some is okay and some is not. I don't know which is okay and which isn't through... I really don't like any tea haha. Before Eikaiwa one of our students Moeka San wanted to hang out with us so we went out to dinner for ramen and got to know her better :) she's really open to the gospel and she has been living in Italy for the last year so the English she knows has an Italian accent! Gah!

Thursday-- We had a zone meeting in Hodogaya! It was good :) then we had weekly planning so not much there.

Friday-- I thought it'd be really nice to bring my district Swedish fish for our district meeting. So I wrapped up Swedish fish all cute like and everyone was so happy! They were like Swedish fish!!! And then we have one Australian elder who's like "gummy babies!" We all looked at him weird. The Japanese missionaries had never had them and Funa Shimai loves them! After we taught Matsuda San about faith. It was a faith week with everyone! 

Saturday-- Okay I got my transfer call and I'm transferring! I'm going to Hodogaya area and my new companion is Sister Brox. She's awesome! She's is on her last transfer so I will be in Hodogaya for two transfers for sure. I'm still in the Fujisawa East Zone :) and my new area is right next door to Yamato :) I'm really excited but sad too. All of my investigators were sad. Except for Matsuda San hahaha. Later that day, there was a stake relief society activity that we invited all of our investigators to and they all came! Nakamura Keiko San, Matsuda San, and Ueda Akemi San. I was teamed up with Nakamura san during the event and she is sad that I'm getting transferred but I'm just happy that because I am leaving she is coming to more and more activities! Right after the stake activity there was a baptism for David. So we invited them to all stay and watch if they wanted. We were waiting for a ride from Nakamura san's husband, so she agreed to stay and so did Matsuda San. After they saw the baptism, we had planned to leave to make it to the eki on time, but Nakamura San wanted to hear David's testimony. So we stayed a bit longer for her. After Kawahara Shimai went home on the train with Matsuda San and we went with Nakamura San. Her and her husband Charles used to be investigators. In the car Nakamura San had lots of questions that she has been dying to ask us! (According to Charles) but she has been too embarrassed before. The really are the sweetest couple! I'm so excited that this step was taken for them! 

Sunday-- I said bye to everyone and took pictures. 

Anyway, way fun week! Tons of miracles! I love you all!

Sister Fordiani 💕✌🏻

Ramen with Moeka San 

The zone 

The Kikuchi family :)

My transfer call

 Keiko and Charles

Me and Namie Chan

Eating steak with Moeka San (we went out to dinner twice with her cause she's leaving to America)

Our district

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Week 20 Photos Week :)

Hahaha okay just kidding! My whole email isn't going to be in Japanese. Well I'm not really capable of sending a whole letter about weekly events in Japanese quite yet! But anyway here's my week in English :) it was so wonderful! 

Monday-- (last Monday) Vainerere Shimai called me totsu zen (outta the blue) and asked if we wanted to go bowling! Heck yes we do! So we took a train to Kawasaki, went out for burgers and fries, and went bowling! *See awesome pictures below*
Tuesday-- I had my first Zone Conference. It was combined with all of the missionaries from Fujisawa East and West Zones. Probably the most missionaries I've been around since the MTC. We had lots of trainings focusing on recognizing the spirit and inviting people to be baptized. Really good :) trainings are so helpful. After Funakura 姉妹 had more leadership trainings so I went on splits with Hotu 姉妹 and Shindo 姉妹 again. Splits are not my favorite when it comes to the staying the night at another person's apartment. But hanging out with different missionaries is pretty fun :) They had a lesson scheduled with a cute girl named Sakura chan. She's in high school and she is so nice! We taught her the plan of salvation! She had lots of questions and I bore my testimony to her about the comfort from knowing where your going and your purpose on Earth. *See awesome photo below*
Wednesday--At Eikaiwa (free English class) we were teaching the grammar pattern "Have you ever...". So of course I was like, we are turning this into a game! So I taught my class how to play Have You Ever. Hahahaha. It was awesome! I died first because I haven't done anything too cool with my life yet, but our class was spitting stuff out like, "Have you ever been to Korea?" and "Have you ever eaten alligator?" So yeah of course I died first.
Thursday-- we had another lesson with Matsuda San. She read Moroni 7 as her homework for last lesson and she had tons of questions about angels. We explained that angels can be the celestial beings with God but also they can be people in our life too. She has two daughters and we said that they could be angels in her life. She had never thought of that before. Then we taught her about the blessings of sabbath. We told her that coming to church is hard but that it will bless her life and family so much. She's come to church before but she has a hard time coming because she lives far and that is her daughter's only day off of work. I felt super prompted to tell her how my young woman's leaders blessed my life. So I told her when I hated my parents when I was a teenager the only people who I'd listen to were my Beehive and Mia Maids leaders. ;) (thank you for being such a good influence for me!!!) we told Matsuda San her daughters will watch her example and she needs to be a good example if she wants her daughters to be good people. Bold but true eh? ;) After her lesson we went to a members house and helped her clean her home. Her parents were there from Nagoya and they know Motter 姉妹 from the MTC :) They said he first time they met her she was looking up all their words in the dictionary. Hahaha ain't that the truth. They made us lemon cake and lemon aid :) sooooo yummy!
Friday-- I went on splits to Odawara! On the train there I sat next to this cute Japanese girl named Mori San. She's in college working on her blood testing degree. We had to pass the dictionary back and forth to have a conversation but she was so patient with my Japanese! I showed her pictures of my family and she showed me pictures of her two dogs! Haha :) It was such a blessing :) after we arrived at the station she told me, "thank you so much for talking to me." And she waved goodbye to me until we were out of sight of each other. What a blessing! My companion for the split was Shitami 姉妹. She is Japanese too but she is the cutest! We were super good friends right away. Friday night we went to bible study class. We read the scriptures with their new member Natsuki chan who was baptized a couple weeks ago. She's the cutest! And her Japanese is impossible to understand haha. She had questions about the abrahamic covenant so I did my best trying to explain it in Japanese. After she told me she didn't understand at all and I told her that is okay for now. Bahahaha. I didn't understand it until like two years ago myself anyway.
Saturday-- I finally got to visit Mariko San my grandma's friend! She brought us to her house and we looked at all of the pictures they had with my grandparents. They went to Catalina Island, Huntington Beach, Cannon Beach in Oregon, the Grand Canyon, Mt. Fuji, and Temple Square. They were going on and on about how beautiful the temple is! Mariko asked about what we believe so we taught her a few basic things about how our church is centered on families and that we are all god's children. She says she believes in God and knows he's been helping her make the right decisions all her life. :) she is just like my grandma Yasuko! They were so loving and so excited to meet me! We talked for a long time and they printed out pictures of Mt. Fuji and temple square for me and Shitami 姉妹. They love MOTAB :) they're so cute! They played it for us and blasted it in their apartment :) *see photos below*
Sunday-- okay this day blew my mind. We have 4 investigators right now and only Akemi San comes to church every week. But this week Matsuda San came too! We were freaking out! We think it's because she felt how important it was from our lesson! Yayayaya!!! So we sat through church and then when sacrament ended we turned around and there in the back was the Kikuchi Family! They had come late and slipped in the back! Holy freak! #peeingourpantsfromexcitement #thechurchistruepeople! This week I sent them an email with a spiritual thought attached. I do this every week for them but this week I had the thought to send them a part of a talk instead. So I sent them "Stay By The Tree" part #4 from last conference. When she emailed me back she said: 

Which translates to: Right now I just saw your email. I was totally brought to tears. Really, always, thank you. 
Holy crap! And Funa Shimai said that my mail must have convinced them to come to church. A freaking miracle. Miracle. 

The Lord knows what his children need and I am just the tool. Honestly, I can't do this without the spirit. Live your life so you are worthy of his companionship every day, every day, every day! 

Love Sister Fordiani
Burgers and bowling
Teaching Sakura chan
Our district this transfer
Me with Mariko San and her husband!
Me and Shitami Shimai
I got the package today! Thank you! And forgive my getto-ness in the
one with the poster from the ward. The photos and notes made me bawl
my eyes out! Thank you so much everyone! I love my ward!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Week 19 Transfer Two is Almost Over :(

Hey Everyone! 

I hope this email doesn't mess everyone's systems up because I'm sending it as a reply to my last weeks email haha. It literally takes me like 10 minutes to type everyone's names into the send box and this week I'm not having that.... 

I'm really excited to tell you that we are teaching Matsuda San again! We were teaching her weekly in April, but when Golden Week came she decided she was way too busy for our lessons for a whole month. That made me sad. But this last week we had a lesson with her and a member and I think it went really well :) I'm happy that our prayers were answered!

I figured out last night that another one of my prayers had been answered and I didn't even realize it. So I have been praying to figure out a better way to be healthy. I have set goals around my health, like drinking water and eating better, but the biggest thing that is hard is we can't go running or biking in the morning because Funakura Shimai already is so fragile with her health this time of year, going running would push her over the edge. So it's been difficult for me to find exercises to do in the apartment every morning. However, this week I had the idea to ask one of the Zama sisters if they would like to go running with me in the morning. When I asked, what I thought would be a "no" from both of them, was a huge "Yes"! I was so happy! And then I realized, I would've never thought of that idea by myself. God must have put that thought to ask them to go running with me in my head! That was an answer to my prayer! Yay!

I think I have just been so blessed this week and throughout my mission. The reason I say that is because I have been able to recognize most of the little blessings the Lord has given me to help me along the way. They have been feelings of intense love or peace, comforting thoughts, people in my path, and leaders loving advice, but all of those things are ultimately from my Father in Heaven who loves me so much! He loves you too. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, "In everything we give thanks: for this is the will of God." I know that through recognizing those little blessings and giving thanks to God daily, I have become more humble and more optimistic. Life isn't too hard when God blesses every step you take :) 

I love you all! 

Here are lots of pictures to make up for the short weekly report! 

Love Sister Fordiani :) 
1) A selfie of the group from Music Night in Shonandai on June 6th! (I'm on the far right)

2) The group who attended President Wada's Questions of the Soul (I'm in the back and a little to the left
3) Funa 姉妹 was sick all Saturday :( so I made cards for our investigators and really disgusting chunky pudding...
4) The Slades took us out to dinner on Atsugi Base! We had real American Pizza! Yummy! (I had pasta but it was so cute to see the look on Funakura 姉妹's face when she saw the size of the pizza they brought out) :)
5) we had lunch with the Watanabe family! They were telling us about their life and it was so awesome! That picture frame behind us has all these pictures of them with all the prophets who have passed away! So crazy.

6) Funakura 姉妹 loves Rapunzel :) so when she was sleeping I harnessed my inner artist power and drew this picture for her haha :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Mom Post--Miracles!!!

We usually get emails from Anna on Sunday nights because Monday is her PDay and she's 15 hours ahead. A little over a week ago, I received an email on a Saturday that said, "Emergency."

Anna: My wallet was stolen please cancel my debit card. I love you mom.

Me: I just cancelled your card. The new card will me mailed to me and I will send it in a package to you. Your PIN number will be the same. Sorry that happened. No money was taken out. :) I love you!!!!!! Was anything else in your wallet I need to help you replace or call about?

Anna: Thank you so much mommy :) My drivers license and my social security
card were the other two important things. There was around 100 dollars
cash too but that was from the money I needed for groceries and things
tomorrow. Ah I'm so stressed about it. Thank you! I love you!

Me: How did it get stolen? How are you going to get food tomorrow? Can we send you money somehow?

Anna: I looked in my bag this morning and I realized it was gone. I haven't
really used it since Tuesday when I went to the temple. I always keep
it in my bag so I don't know when it could have been taken. I have
enough food to last me the next week and I have emergency money on me
too :) thank you mommy

We've been praying for her and her wallet. She is meticulous with her belongings and never loses anything so I kind of knew her wallet was stolen and not just misplaced. I didn't want to say that because I didn't want it to be true! 

Two days later.

This week I forgot my notes to say what happened haha it all blends
together here... But my biggest worry was I lost my wallet! Super hard
and it was right after I was reading in the Book of Mormon about how
Aaron and Ammon went through really hard trials but they obtained a
lot of blessings from the lord for their hard work on their missions
(alma 20ish-27ish about) so I thought to myself, "I'll be willing to
go through hard things to see the success they saw in their missions
in my area!" Literally right after I finished study I noticed it was
gone.... Haha I don't think I handled the challenge with as much grace
as Aaron and Ammon did. I cried all day I was so stressed. But through
prayers I know that God comforted me. And if I have faith that it can
be found God will help me find it :) 

Sunday, June 7th

He loves us so much that he gives us trials to become better and better people. Our purpose is to become more like him so when he gives us the opportunity to grow through trials, rely on him and he'll show you the way through while he strengthens you and lifts you. I still have faith that my wallet will turn up somehow; however, I am beyond grateful for the load of blessings I have received this week as I have worked through my trial of losing my wallet by relying on the Lord. And I'll gladly lose my wallet again because this week was awesome! 

Same day...
No luck with my wallet. It was definitely stolen... So I'm okay with
all of the lost items except that my social security card was in
there... Is there a way to report that to the government? People could
ruin my life with that information. I remember learning about it in my
financial class in high school :(

The next day on Monday I started calling governmental agencies and because Anna's 19, I can't do anything to help. She has to do all the calling and filling out forms. Since I was stuck, I called the missionary department and they suggested I call Japan Tokyo South's mission home and talk to the secretary. He said usually they discourage parents from calling, but in this instance, I should. 

I spoke with the  secretary and her husband and here's the email I received back from her:

Dear Sister Erica Fordiani – Thanks for your phone call this morning.  It would be perfectly fine for Sister Fordiani to come into the office and use our computer to go through this process [reporting her social security card lost/stolen]. She can come in on Pday and should call the office to set up a time with me.

However, there’s another option that might be more convenient for her.  Elder and Sister Slade are the senior couple serving in Yamato area. I’ve spoken with Sister Slade and they’re very willing to have Sister Fordiani use their computer in their apartment --  they’ll even pick her up at the train station!

You mentioned forms you wanted to fax to us. We do have a fax number, we suggest you might want to scan and email the forms instead. You can email them to me or to Elder Slade depending on where Sister Fordiani goes to use the computer.

Regarding the prescription, Sister Fordiani should talk to Sister Wada, she handles all the medical needs of the missionaries. I’ll encourage Sister Fordiani to follow up on that.

A new mission debit card has been ordered and is on its way -- we’ll get that to her as soon as possible.  

Please let me know if there’s anything else we can do to help.

Sister Adamson
Tokyo South Mission Secretary

Yesterday, Tuesday, I was at my routine eye exam with Dr. Haggard (contacts) and Dr. Lloyd (opthamologist). Dr. Lloyd was looking in my dilated eyes while I was telling him the story of Anna's lost wallet. I was saying how she would be able to go to the senior missionaries home and use their phone and computer. He already knew that Anna was in Japan Tokyo South. He said to me, "This is a long shot, but we have a senior missionary couple serving from our ward in the same mission." I then asked what the name of the couple was and before he even spoke, I knew he was going to say, "The Slade's." I backed up from the eye machine and said, "Shut up!" Dr. Lloyd was really excited about it actually being the same couple and told me that Bro. Slade is an ex millitary guy and will know exactly what to do and Sis. Slade will just scoop Anna up under her wing and love her to pieces!

Well, early this morning at 1:35ish, I'm sound asleep and my cell phone starts vibrating with a call. I normally power off my cell phone at night, but I didn't (miracle!). I'm all groggy and can't figure out who would be calling me, so I pushed the power button to end the call and went back to sleep. Literally one minute later, the phone starts vibrating again with a call from the same number. I still have no idea it's Anna, but I figured someone needs to talk to me so I answered.

I said, "Hello?" and heard Anna say, "Hi Mommy!" That was the BEST moment EVER!!! She was at the Slade's house using their phone and she needed my debit card number so she could pay for the freezes she would be placing on the three credit bureau agencies. (Vince was awake and Anna was on speaker phone). Her replacement card is on its way to her so she has no way of paying. I told her the story of Dr. Lloyd and when she told it to the Slade's, they enthusiastically said that he was their bishop! I told her everything she needed to do to try to protect her social security number--which website to go to and the numbers to call. Then we said goodbye. Speaking to her was incredibly reassuring and just wonderful! 

As I lay back down to fall asleep (which didn't happen until around 5am), I thought about the tender mercies of the Lord. Anna had an amazing week, she credits to losing her wallet, and she would gladly lose her wallet again because of the wonderful experiences she's had. She now has had time with the Slade's, whom I feel like I know because of my talk with Dr. Lloyd. I can only imagine how comforting being with the Slade's is for Anna. I'm sure they are treating her like their granddaughter--giving her lost of love and hugs AND speaking in English! That's just what Anna needs right now! Possibly losing her wallet brought her to the Slade's, which is exactly where the Lord wants Anna because it's what He knows Anna needs. Amazing!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Week 18 Week of Blessings!

Hi everyone! 

Before I start on this week, here are my last weeks "failed to mentions" moments because I ran out of time! Mailing in an hour and a half is sooooooo stressful!
I finally saw Phillips Choro! (Critter Phillips) :) He lives in Salem Utah and went to my rival school back in the day haha. His mom works with my mom so we discussed Utah briefly and it was so nice to talk about people we both know and our hometown! He's in my Zone serving in Kamakura right now. Pretty cool! At that same zone meeting where I saw Phillips Choro, I gave my first training!!! I gave it on accountability and it was really good. It was scary giving a training to missionaries all older than me haha I felt totally unqualified. Um, we had another earthquake! Level 5 this time :) shook us pretty good in the church. That's two earthquakes now yo. And we did service on the American base! There are two in my area. Atsugi and Zama :) I saw Taco Bell. They only exist on base here haha. 

Okay now for this week :) 
Monday: After P-day we start working again around six o'clock. So today we had scheduled to stop by members and less active families and heart attack their doors. As we were in a specific area where a less active family lived; we were there at a different time of day then we usually were, I thought we should stop by to see if they're home. The Elders work with this family but they asked us a while ago to meet them so we can help the wife. And we haven't been able to catch them home. But she was there and she answered the door. We introduced ourselves and then asked if we could share a spiritual thought. It was awesome! She opened up and really received us. 
Tuesday: We got to do some service! There is a huge beautiful park nearby with a baseball stadium, pool, fountains, grassy fields, big trees, you name it. It's gorgeous. There is a team of cute older Japanese people that take care of it and twice a year the community comes together to help them plant flowers all over the park! It was super fun! 
Wednesday: Funakura Shimai had a mega migraine so we were house ridden all day! 
Thursday: We had splits for a training. So I was in a san nin (three sisters group...idk how you say that in English) in Hodogaya for a day. It was scorching hot! My back got burned and my neck because my hair was up. We had tons of fun housing!
Friday: Because Funakura Shimai is a sister training leader (STL) we go on splits with other sisters so she can help them and guide their work. So today was one of those days. Since she's Japanese we split with Japanese sisters. So I picked up Tachibana Shimai and we came back to Yamato together. As we were riding the train back to Yamato, we passed through Chou-rinkan and I had the feeling to just get off the train and visit our investigator Matsuda San right then. So we did. We had to buy umbrellas because it was raining. Lately, Matsuda San has been too busy to meet with us so we haven't taught her for a month. (That happens quite often in Japan and it sucks) And so we text her and keep in contact with her, but I hadn't talked to her in person for at least two weeks. And I can't tell you how many times I have walked to her house and tried to see if she's home, and she never is. But today she was home! So Tachibana Shimai and I talked to her for a good 30 minutes in her genkan (doorstep) about her life and her worries about her daughters. It was awesome! We are teaching her again next week and I am praying that the break she had from lessons helps her realize the difference the church has in her life.
Saturday: Was the day we'd been planning for forever! It was Music Night in Shonandai and a Questions of the Soul presentation by President Wada! An old investigator who I met with Gazdik Shimai came! Her name is Nakamura Keiko San. It was a miracle she came. She had been taking lessons weekly and then she stopped. I have only talked to her in her genkan so this was the biggest blessing of my life! When we got to Shonandai we saw Kawahara Shimai one of the members in our ward at the train station. She asked about my wallet and she agrees with me that it was probably stolen. Everyone keeps saying that it is lost but if you know me I never misplace anything. But she is awesome! She agrees with me. Keiko San loved the music night and she got tears when an elder sang I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus. She asked if I'd send her the lyrics. Emiko Kikuchi came too, but a little too late for the music night. I'm just glad she could make it! She came just in time for the questions of the soul part. Keiko San had to leave so we gave our full attention to Emiko San. She definitely had a defining moment at the presentation. We are following up with her this week and hopefully we can figure out a way to work closer with both of them again like sisters have in the past! 

I think through some of the hardest trials we can see the greatest blessings as we rely on the Lord and have faith that our life is in good hands. 
     "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." (John 15:2) 
He loves us so much that he gives us trials to become better and better people. Our purpose is to become more like him so when he gives us the opportunity to grow through trials, rely on him and he'll show you the way through while he strengthens you and lifts you. I still have faith that my wallet will turn up somehow; however, I am beyond grateful for the load of blessings I have received this week as I have worked through my trial of losing my wallet by relying on the Lord. And I'll gladly lose my wallet again because this week was awesome! 

Love Sister Fordiani

Picture 1: Housing in Hodogaya haha we were super excited to knock on the blue house's door :) --Sister Hotu and Sister Shindo
Picture 2: My peanut butter came from the hombu! I can now commence the eating of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches daily again yes!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Week 17 Stolen Wallet

Hi family and friends!

This week I forgot my notes to say what happened haha it all blends
together here... But my biggest worry was I lost my wallet! Super hard
and it was right after I was reading in the Book of Mormon about how
Aaron and Ammon went through really hard trials but they obtained a
lot of blessings from the lord for their hard work on their missions
(alma 20ish-27ish about) so I thought to myself, "I'll be willing to
go through hard things to see the success they saw in their missions
in my area!" Literally right after I finished study I noticed it was
gone.... Haha I don't think I handled the challenge with as much grace
as Aaron and Ammon did. I cried all day I was so stressed. But through
prayers I know that God comforted me. And if I have faith that it can
be found God will help me find it :) haha we went on the U.S. Base and
other fun things this week too but I'm out of time! Pictures! Love you

Love Sister Fordiani