Monday, August 31, 2015

Week 30 Hodogaya Transfer 2 Week 3 ๐Ÿ‘˜✨

Hi everyone!

So it's been a week :) All of you are in school again which blows my mind! Where did summer go? Has it really been a whole summer vacation? What? Well today all the Japanese students started school again too. This is where it gets tricky to find people with time to hear our lessons because Japanese people are pro at being busy! But it is also a great way to tell who is really serious about learning more about the gospel because they will make time to meet us! 

This week we have been really focusing on building relationships with the members and finding new people to teach. We have stopped by tons of members houses this week to just say hi and share with them a quick message! We are hoping through building relationships of trust then members will introduce us to their neighbors and friends who are ready. When we haven't been meeting members, we have been contacting everyone in our area book and finding new people! We found two old member referrals in area book that we are working on! One person used to have a baptismal date! We're excited to see where those go...

So we met with Rie, our investigator, yesterday! We were able to talk to her and teach how to use prayer to make big decisions because she's thinking about moving back to the United States. She's an awesome person! She doesn't live in our area right now so going to see her is pretty tricky. But because she is ready and receptive to the gospel we're making sure that we are meeting with her even if we have to travel like 2 hours one way to her home haha :)

We are also working with Ana from Romania still! We ordered a Book of Mormon in Romanian and we gave it to her today!

I am getting along just swell with my companion Yamaguchi Shimai! She's hilarious! So yesterday, while walking to an appointment, I really had to pee. So out of curiosity, I asked Yamaguchi Shimai how you ask people REALLY POLITELY to use the toilet. (In Japanese there are different forms and words you can use to change how polite something is). So she told me you say, "Toire karete mo ii desu ka". Okay.... alright! I can do that! So the second word in that sentence is "karete" which means to use/borrow kinda. But when you say it, it totally sounds like the word "curry". So of course I, wanting to make a memory trick, tell Yamaguchi Shimai, "Oh it sounds like toilet curry!" Not even realizing what I was saying hahahaha!  To which she responded "YADA!" (Which means gah! or no way! or sick!) Hahahahahaha! Then we both just died! Like literally on the side of the road we were laughing so hard! Missionary work rocks guys! 

Well thanks for tuning in! Sorry that wasn't all that spiritual hahahaha  love you! 

Sister Fordiani

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Week 29 Hodogaya Transfer 2 Week 2

Hello family and friends! This week has been a great week here in Japan. It continues to get hotter and hotter which blows my mind because I literally did not know that anywhere could feel this hot! I'm really ready for fall weather, sweaters, and hot cocoa ๐Ÿ‚

Okay this week! Here we go!

Tuesday-- that's when I wrote you last! It was temple p-day✨
Wednesday--I caught a baby virus! So I was sick in bed all day sleeping. I was having stomach pain and vertigo (that's for my mom). But at night we still went to Eikaiwa to help the Elders teach. I still felt weak and dizzy but it went okay! 
Thursday--we had a "RPLA" (Read, Ponder, Liken, Apply) in Shonandai with our zone and the Fujisawa West Zone too. President Wada gave us a training on the Book of Mormon and we all read it together. The coolest experience I had was talking to a Sister I was sitting next to. She is fairly new and she right now is with one of my old companions I struggled with a bit. We got talking and I asked her how she was doing. She told me that it was hard for them right now, and   I told her that I used to be in her exact same position. I was the same transfer as she is right now and had the exact same companion. I was able to offer her advice and we bonded right away. She told me after the meeting that she was so grateful that we had talked and it helped her so much because I knew exactly what she was going through. People! I know we definitely go through trials and specific things in our lives so that we can lift the people around us. I'm so grateful I struggled that transfer so that I could relate to that sister and her situation and help her!
Friday--We had a lesson with Ana today! Oh my word people, I love her so much! She is officially our new investigator! Yay! We read the Book of Mormon with her! We started at the introduction, then we scanned over the 3 and 8 witnesses, and Joseph Smiths testimony, then we started 1 Nephi! She's so knowledgeable! She realized that the 3 and 8 witnesses plus Joseph Smith make 12 people just like the 12 apostles who are witnesses of Jesus Christ. There is also a way nifty page at the beginning of the Book of Mormon called "A Brief Explanation of the Book of Mormon". She loves religious history and the bible so she liked comparing her bible to how the Book of Mormon looks. She liked the cross-references at the bottom that let you study between the two books too! I am praying that she picks it up this week and reads more on her own because she is so busy, but if she doesn't, we'll read with her ๐Ÿ˜Š she's such an amazing person! I wish you all could meet her! I love her!
Saturday-- We were in charge of game night! So we finally got to plan and have the fiesta! Yamaguchi Shimai and I made a piรฑata, taught everyone Spanish, and we played pin-the-tail on the donkey! I drew the donkey and made him look all Hispanic with a sombrero. It was a really fun activity! And teaching everyone Spanish was hilarious! I've learned a little since coming here because I've had to teach people in Spanish. But it was probably all wrong anyway haha! 
Sunday--was what I call a "futsu no hi" which literally translates to "a normal day". We went to church and got a new mission leader ๆฃฎๆœฌๅ…„ๅผŸ ๐Ÿ˜‰ (Brother Morimoto)!

Through teaching and serving I've come to love this experience more and more. When we serve others, our cares and worries literally go out the door! My favorite quote says, "Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves" (James Barrie). I've made that quote the theme of my mission! "Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together. That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day" (D&C 50: 22, 24). I know you will be able to feel more sunshine in your life when you give all that you have to strengthen those around you!✨

Sister Fordiani ๐Ÿผ

1. Playing pin the tail on the donkey

2. All my letters I got this week! I'm a lucky Sister missionary! 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Week 28 Hodogaya: Transfer 2 Week 1 (August 10- August 18) ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘˜๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต

Hi everyone! Boy have I had the slowest week! But it's also been pretty quick too. You always hear in the mission field "the days are long, the weeks are fast, and the months go by SO fast!" For example: I'm already writing another weekly email! And it hit me the other day that I have spent most of 2015 on my mission. Like that's all I've done this year... ๅค‰ใงใ™ใญ?

Well besides having another amazing opportunity to speak Japanese 24/7 with my new companion Sister Yamaguchi (her last name means "mountain mouth" if you were wondering), we have also seen some pretty incredible miracles! And we went to the temple again today! Here are some wise words about temples from President Monson the prophet himself ๐Ÿ˜Š:

"My brothers and sisters, in our lives we will have temptations; we will have trials and challenges. As we go to the temple, as we remember the covenants we make there, we will be better able to overcome those temptations and to bear our trials. In the temple we can find peace. Such peace can permeate any heart--hearts that are troubled, hearts that are burdened down with grief, hearts that feel confusion, hearts that plead for help. We will grasp the true meaning of the words of the Savior when He said: 'Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. … Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.'"

We do find incredible peace in the temples of the Lord. But here on the mission I learned an amazing thing! The second most holiest place next to the temple, is our homes. Please strive to have the spirit present in your home this week. Serve each other and make sure you tell your family you love them! Try not to fight and argue. Have daily scripture study and prayer. Participate in Family Home Evening. These activities are designed to bring the spirit into the home so that we can experience temple like peace ๐Ÿ’› And make it a goal to go to the temple sometime before this month ends! I know in temples we can find guidance for our lives and feel the love of God like no other place. 

So about those miracles, we are continuing to work with Ana Horiuchi, Rie San, and Megumi and Nozomi chan! Ana is seeing us consistently now! She is prepared, but I don't think she realizes that yet. There are a lot of concerns we are addressing! And lots of questions too! Rie San came to church last Sunday, and even left her daughter home because her daughter didn't want to come! Rie understands the importance of church attendance! Rie is so special! She lives pretty far from us right now, so we are team teaching her with the sisters in the neighboring area. And Megumi and Nozomi chan are just too cute! They come to game night on Saturdays, to church most Sunday's, and last night we went with them to a music concert in Shonandai. A missionary who just finished his mission is putting on spiritual concerts around the mission so we have another opportunity to help people feel the spirit. ๐Ÿ˜Š 

Temple day is a bit busy! Sorry for the lack of super detailed days! Love Ya! ๐Ÿผ


Eikaiwa: free English class with Captain Jack front and center ๐Ÿ’•
Temple day with new companion!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Sister Handy's Facebook Post

I'm so grateful for the time I got to spend serving in Hodogaya! This area is amazing! I will miss you all! 
ใ‚ใŸใ—ใฏไฟๅœŸใƒถ่ฐทใงๅฅ‰ไป•ใงใใŸใ“ใจใซๆœฌๅฝ“ใซๆ„Ÿ่ฌใ—ใฆใ„ใพใ™!ใ“ใฎใ‚จใƒชใ‚ขใฏๆœฌๅฝ“ใซ็ด ๆ™ดใ‚‰ใ—ใ„ใงใ™!็š†ใ•ใ‚“ใซไผšใˆใชใใชใ‚‹ใฎใŒๅฏ‚ใ—ใ„ใงใ™!
— with Sister-Anna Fordiani and Heather Brox.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Week 27 Hodogaya (August 3- August 10)

Hi! This week has been our last week with Brox ๅง‰ๅฆน! We have been so busy that it has just FLOWN by literally! We got our transfer calls on Saturday, but of course I put that at the end of each email for suspense  (so just scroll down if you wanna see it).

Monday-- after Costco, we had the rest of our normal p-day. At night we have 3 hours of dendo before planning so we went to visit the girls Nozomi and Megumi. They taught us this awesome dance! It's the one all the kids learn when they are little and when you dance it you look like a ninja! Of course doing it in dresses was like impossible and dancing in the road was even more ridiculous because we had to stop and move for cars every couple of minutes, but it was so fun!
Tuesday-- we have a district meeting every Tuesday; however, because it was our last one with the district this week we decided to go out to eat. We had a really hot day of missionary work, but we got to end the day with a visit to the Naoi's for dinner. They are my favorite couple! We call them "eien no kyudousha" which means literally "eternal investigator" haha. They have been meeting with/seeing missionaries since 2011. They have so many pictures of missionaries in this one photo album, you can trace the line of missionaries back to the beginning (and I'm in there too!!!). They are so sweet! They said when we get married we can stay at their house and we always play ping pong in their upstairs loft :) SO CUTE! I love them.
Wednesday-- we skyped Becky in Utah! She lives currently in Japan, but she is from Spanish Fork. So because she is visiting Utah right now, we skyped her and taught her a lesson. Then we had her walk outside so we could see the Utah mountains :) yaaaaayyyyy! Brox ๅง‰ๅฆน had her final interview so we just chilled while she talked to Wada ไผš้•ท. We talked to him a bit too after they were done and he was teasing me about transfer calls. He was asking me if I was ready to be a senior companion, and then he told me that he always lies to the missionaries. Well, great!  I love him so much! He takes such good care of us.
Thursday-- we had three appointments scheduled! We visited first with Shirai ๅง‰ๅฆน. We watched the Joseph Smith video with her, and talked about how without his experience we wouldn't have the knowledge or blessings that we have today from the restored gospel. She is struggling with her testimony a lot, but I know through our lessons with her we can hopefully help build that foundation of faith for her again. Next we visited Saito ๅง‰ๅฆน, and we shared with her a quick Mormon message. I led the lessons today so the beginning was a bit rough; however, it turned out to be a really good message and I could feel the spirit was there! Yes! We shared the same video and message with our dinner appt. the Nagano family. They fed us amazing sushi! I love that stuff SO MUCH! After we shared a message, we asked about their conversion stories. It was funny because they both said when the missionaries taught about Joseph Smith they thought it was a huge lie haha . But within 2 months for Nagano Shimai, and 9 months for Nagano kyoudai, they were both baptized! Then they pulled out all of their old wedding photos and photos of when they came to Utah in 2002 for the Olympics  awesome! That's definitely my goal! I would love to come here in 2020 for the Tokyo Olympics!
Friday-- we had the biggest miracle of all! We got our lesson with Ana Horiuchi San! I'm just going to call her Ana from now on because in her lesson she said that in Romania it's very impolite to call people by their last names (which is completely opposite of the culture in Japan). But how cute huh!? She has the same name as me! We finally taught her the first lesson all about the restoration, Joseph Smith, and the Book of Mormon! Oh my word it was incredible! She is SO PREPARED people! She had a bajillion questions and she said that she is looking for the true church because she doesn't know why her current religion does a lot of the things it does! Well, let us tell you about a boy who had that same exact question!  We bore our testimonies a couple times about Joseph Smith's experience and the Book of Mormon. I was so happy after! SO HAPPY! That was seriously the coolest moment that has ever happened to me in my life people! Yeah! Pray for her and her four little cute boys! She's an incredible person!
Saturday-- today was so crazy. We got our transfer calls! (See below) we went to a member's house for lunch. We went to the Koyamagishi's! They fed us tacos on rice! It's the most American meal we get fed here and we love it! They didn't force us to drink tea either! There is okay brands of tea to drink and the Japanese members know them all, but that doesn't mean that we missionaries like tea. It's a huge part of the culture but I can't get over the slight dirt taste to it. Ick. I had amazing tea at a Chinese member's house and it was so yummy! I didn't think I'd be breaking the word of wisdom so much on my mission haha! Then we had a farewell party! So many people came it was crazy! Like literally crazy! People and kids were running around everywhere, we had made Costco pizza so everyone was eating that, but she got so much support and we had so many non members come and they were able to talk to members! And having people in a fun environment in the church is so essential to helping them feel comfortable with religion! So it was successful :) it was really fun!

Transfer calls!!-- I'm staying in Hodogaya and my companion is Sister Yamaguchi! I have another Japanese companion! Hunsaker Choro is training so we get a bean chan in our area too! That'll be crazy! :) 

Hey have a fun week everyone! I'll be with Sister Handy until Thursday when we transfer! Then we have temple P-day on the 18th so you'll hear from me a day late that week! I'm sorry! But go temple! Go church! Go celebrity Handy! Hahahahaha! (Inside joke )

Sister Fordiani

1-district lunch :)

2-setting up Brox's party

3-lunch with the Koyamagishi's

4-our last day together at the church

5&6- Shibuya Tokyo!! So many people!!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Japan Costco

We went to Costco today for our P-day adventure and it was awesome! I felt like I was back in America! ๆ‡ใ‹ใ—ใ„!So, so, so much fun! COSTCO ROCKS!
Yappari food court!!!
Look they have clam chowder, mangos in their ice cream, and golden pineapple slushies!!! 
Oishii!!! ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

Week 26 Hodogaya Week 5 (July 28- April 2)

Hello Everyone! 

This week has been an exceptional week :) I apologize again for missing last weeks email, but now everyone gets two so how can you complain right!? :) 

It's so crazy! Brox Shimai only has until August 10th until she flies back to America! What? You mean to tell me that I won't be a missionary forever?! Hahaha sometimes it feels that way! That's why, as we live through the hard and great experiences, we need to enjoy every moment of what we are experiencing NOW. Don't postpone your happiness until "you get that home you've dreamed of", or until "this hard trial passes". No, no, no. When was the last time that you enjoyed every second of the day you were living, good and bad? When was the last time you marveled at all of the blessings God has given you? When was the last time you told every single person in your family, "I love you"? Don't procrastinate your happiness, find it every day :) 

This next Saturday we will be receiving our transfer calls! I basically know that I will be staying in the Hodogaya area; however, the Lord has funny ways of always mixing it up on all of our missionary transfer predictions haha. We have one more really hot week to endure before we find out! Another announcement, I'm almost at my 6 months mark! Tuesday the 4th makes me a six month's experienced missionary. :) I feel like I still don't know anything though haha. The work is so complex and I am learning every day! Okay enough rambling :) here's my week:

Monday-- we had our normal P-day of shopping, writing letters, emailing, trying to find time to sleep but never quite getting there; and then we went to a wonderfully delicious dinner appointment with the Elders :) We went to the Saito Family's home. It was really fun to talk to them! They have a daughter who is a very famous movie actress here in Japan. They fed us a super traditional Japanese dinner! It was so delicious! As we were teaching their family Elder Mukai had the impression we needed to sing together. So we sang "I am a Child of God". By the end of the song the spirit was so strong and Sister Saito was in tears :) when we follow spiritual impressions we really are in tune to what people need around us so we can bless their life :)
Tuesday-- we saw two amazing miracles! So we were housing an area for a couple hours after we heart attacked a member. On our way home we were climbing a hill with our bikes when we saw this little frail woman walking her dog. So we said hi to her and we came to find out that she was Brother Sugiyama's sister. She doesn't belong to our church but she has heard all about us from her brother! She had wonderful English so we invited her to attend our Eikaiwa on Wednesdays :) so cool! The next miracle was that we had an appointment with an Eikaiwa student named Jackie :) she invited us and our P.I. (Potential investigator) Hikari chan to dinner at her house! She made us giyouza and sushi which are my two FAVORITE Japanese foods! I was so happy and she is being prepared by the Lord legit. It's so crazy to see how the Lord takes little thoughts everyone has and molds them into experiences that prepare people to receive the gospel :) I'll keep ya'll updated on her :)
Wednesday-- we traveled really far to visit a less active member. It was blazing hot (it has been every day this week!) but it was so worth it. She is incredible. She has a couple hard issues in her family that make church attendance nearly impossible, but her faith is rock solid. She is actually from China! So she made us Chinese food that was so good! People, the food here is so good! And so we talked to her and loved her and just let her cry a little. Life is so hard. Trials are hard, but if we support each other and lift each other up its so much easier to endure when you feel the support of people who love you. 
Thursday-- was another day full of miracles :) we had lunch with a member named Hattori Shimai. She told us about all of her concerns concerning her family and her health. She feels so alone. Her family lives in Taiwan but she lives here with her husband and son. She has so much love for her son, I can't explain everything she's going through on email, but I was touched as I listened to her. She reminded me of my mother and I got an insight to how much love my mom must have for me, and if my mother loves me that much... How much does my father in heaven love me if his love is perfect? Everyone! Heavenly Father loves each of you so much. SO MUCH! I am blown away when I even get a little taste of it as a missionary when I meet with and help others. His love is perfect. After we visited Shirai Shimai who is a less active lady we are trying to help come back to church. No houses in Japan have central heating or cooling. It's all done by air cons that hang in some of the rooms in your house.... So we get to her house and she tells us her air con broke.... Me and Handy literally thought we were going to die in her house. We were melting!!! I was sweating so much! And it was SO HOT. People, Japan is so hot. Like I can't even explain to you how insane it is. There is the normal heat which makes it hot, but then you add on buckets of humidity which amplifies the heat times 40 bajillion. And Japan is So Humid!!! So we come out of her home and we took a picture before we wiped the sweat off haha because we were all dripping with sweat. Then we went to the Eki for splits. We started to dendo around the Eki and the first person I stopped was this lady at a light. She asked me what church I belonged to so I told her. Turns out she is already Christian and she can speak some English because she lived in Wisconsin with her husband for work! This doesn't just happen people! That lady was placed in my path and I was there at the right moment to meet her! I kept talking to her about Eikaiwa, where our church was, and about America. She kept asking more and more questions about our church! She asked if we read the bible so I pulled out a Book of Mormon and showed her how Christ brought his gospel to the Americas! Then I gave her the Book of Mormon!!!!!! After talking to that sweet lady I was on cloud nine! :) even when some teenage boys yelled at me that religion was "dame" (or useless), I didn't care haha :) I am so thankful that Heavenly Father gave little ol' me the opportunity to introduce the gospel into that wonderful lady's life! 
Friday--we visited my most favorite person ever! Her name is Sakuraba Shimai :) she is an angel. She was less active and out of nowhere she started to come back to church. She's just got the strongest faith and she is so sweet and ah! I just love her to death and I love teaching her and talking to her! We talked about the importance of writing in journals and I gave her the commitment to write her testimony in her journal this week :) I hope she does it! We also went to Baskin Robbins because it was the 31st today and we get cheap ice cream :) well my companions did and I took pictures :) 
Saturday-- we had a ward member surprise us with ice cream fruit sundaes at the church! He's so awesome! His favorite dance is the thriller and he loves to listen to oldies music from America :) I totally snuck/dry swallowed two pills when he wasn't looking so I could eat the sundae and not hurt his feelings, but with ice cream, yogurt, and cream all mixed together.. my tummy still hurt all day anyways. Oh well. We also said bye to Don Kyoudai because he is going to America for a month! We went to Horiuchi San's house to teach her about Joseph Smith!!! But she said we'll have to come over later because her husband was home and there were people over working on the house. So maybe I'll be able to tell ya'll about that story next week when it happens! We did give her the talk "Ask the Missionaries! They Can Help You!" in Romanian so she can study it until we teach her. It's from October 2012 conference :) I love it! Saturday night we have game night at the church, but no girl p.i. showed up so we went to the Summer Festival in the park by our house for some ใพใคใ‚Š dendo :) we talked to so many people! And lots of them knew where our church was which is huge! People here think Christians are one huge group. So we always have to explain that there are lots of groups who are Christian but we are obviously the best option duh! Just kidding, just kidding ;) 

Thanks for enduring that insanely long email! Thank you for your prayers and support! One more year and I'll be home! 

ใƒ•ใ‚ฉใƒซใƒ‡ใ‚ฃใ‚ขใƒ‹ๅง‰ๅฆน (Fordiani Shimai)

1&2 Saito Family dinner!

3 heart attack Matsuura family!

4&5 Jackie and Hikari chan dinner!

6 Japan! 

7&8 the Matsuri!