Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Week 34 Hodogaya Transfer 3 Week 1

We went to the temple today so I really don't have all that much time
to write. So I'm just going to focus on one thing that happened this

On Wednesday the ward held their annual Fall Festival. It was a really
well put together activity! There were tons of games for the kids and
lots of yummy food. We invited all of our investigators to come, but
never received a sure 'yes' from any of them that they are coming. But
they ended up coming! First Nozomi chan came with her friends from
Eikaiwa! The ward knows them pretty well already so they just played
with the other kids in the ward. Then Ana came with her four children!
This was the biggest surprise to us because she is SO busy! But
Brother Don, our recent convert, and all of the kids in the ward just
came right up and were instant friends with her kids. Her kids had a
blast at the festival! And Ana even made the comment about how many
children were in the ward and how we're very family oriented. Yes!
Then our investigator Rie Kugai and her two little girls came and got
to enjoy some of the food!

Now, it would've been amazing if they could've came on Sunday and the
activity was church attendance, but when there is an opportunity to
invite people into the church building and an opportunity to mingle
with members it is so important! I don't think a lot of members
realize the importance of their impact on investigators.

At the event we had to drag members over to where our investigators
were sitting so they could say hi. When we suggested to the members
that saying 'hi' would be a really good thing, they got so nervous and
they analyzed the situation and tired to figure out when would be the
best time to cut in to talk.... And I am telling everyone now,
investigators are real people. They aren't scary. Haha ๐Ÿ˜‚ And through
your friendship, you might be able to help them in a way the
missionaries can't with your testimony and your personal experiences
in applying the gospel in your life. We, as missionaries, sometimes
come off to people as well... not really people haha. Because we live
such high standards, it's intimidating. But through the members these
investigators can find true help and friendship as they repent and
make dramatic life changes!

The example of Don and the children in the ward impressed me so much.
They immediately included our investigators and befriended them.

"...and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full
of love" (Mosiah 3:19)

I'm so grateful for my opportunity to be a missionary and for the
blessings of the temple. This experience has blessed my life and
helped me grow in my conviction of the gospel. I know this is the Lord
Jesus Christ's church and it's awesome!

Tons of photos enjoy!

Sister Fordiani

 1. With the Kugai girls!
 2. Ana and family at the festival!
 3. I busted through my shoes! First pair ever in my life I think!
4. I straitened my hair and took a selfie! It stayed pretty for maybe
15 minutes haha ๐Ÿ˜‚

1-3. At Sister Chu's house making Chinese food! ๐Ÿ˜›

 4-6. We made mini bear pies!

7-8. We went and ate Mexican food in Yokohama just barely today!
Here's the famous Farris wheel! ❤️❤️❤️

Monday, September 21, 2015

Week 33 Hodogaya Transfer 2 Week 6

So we had transfer calls and as you can guess from the subject of the email, I am still in Hodogaya! This will be my third transfer in the same area  Hodogaya is so awesome so I'm really happy! For those of you that don't know where Hodogaya is, it is in Yokohama, Japan. Yokohama is split into a lot of small areas because there are so many people living here. And Yokohama is where I wanted to serve in the MTC when we would stalk Japan on Google Maps hahaha  yay! And my companion is Yamaguchi Shimai for another transfer! I love her so much and we were both super happy to stay together for another 6 weeks!

No more natural disasters this week thank goodness! And the heat has died down immensely! It's wonderful! It was even chilly some of the days! 

This week some pretty cool things happened! We went on splits on Wednesday and Thursday because there was a conference for all of the Japanese missionaries in our mission. So I spent the time with Magleby Shimai. She was one of the sisters I lived with as a 1st transfer in Yamato! She's so amazing just as a person and everything! We chatted all day while we dendou-ed and became even better friends!

While we were on splits, we went to visit an old area book woman named Yamanaka San. Missionaries had visited her before but it was about three years ago since she has talked to any missionaries. Well a miracle happened; we knocked on her door and she remembered meeting sisters before and she let us in to have a nice drink of mugi-cha (that was sarcastic... I hate mugi-cha. It is "okay" tea that members drink, but I think it tastes like cigarette buds.) Anyway, we ended up having the opportunity to introduce ourselves and since her dog died last month we also talked about the plan of salvation  yay! She's not interested in the gospel at all but we are still going to visit her from time to time and seek referrals from her because she is such a lovely lady! It was super cool to knock on a stranger's door and get let in right away! That had never happened to me before on my mission!

Another cute thing that happened was after Eikaiwa. It's the free English classes we teach every Wednesday. I was chatting with a mom who brings her daughter to my class and she had heard that we might get transferred! She told me that I can't get transferred because I'm her daughter's favorite teacher! That made me happy  I can see why you love teaching so much mom and dad!

Okay last amazing thing this week! We are teaching the Kugai family with the Elders. They just bought a bed for their two little girls and they needed help painting it, so we went over Saturday morning and painted the whole bed set for the girls. We did it with the elders but they had to leave early because they had another appointment so we stayed and finished. They had me write English all over the bed set and they thought it was the coolest thing that their daughters have this super cool bed set with English on it!  They were so thankful. I was super happy too because I got to paint all day which is one of my favorite hobbies! But they were so thankful. I am learning that even though I might not be able to speak Japanese well and touch hearts through extravagant explanations of the gospel, I can teach and show people what it is to be a disciple of Christ through my actions!  

Sister Fordiani

 1. My district

 2. Painting the beds!

3. The stairs I painted :) 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Week 32 Hodogaya Transfer 2 Week 5

Hello admirers  

Hahaha just kidding! This last week has been quite eventful! We had a couple of almost natural disasters. But the weeks always are crazy and busy so yeah! 

Last Tuesday we were at the temple and that's why my last email didn't send because we had literally 20 minutes to email before 6:00 when we needed to start dendou-ing again. And the email I was trying to send just wouldn't.... So everyone gets two this week! Merry Christmas! 

Thank you for sending me emails too throughout the week! It's literally the best when I can read how people are doing back home! (You know to make sure you haven't died or anything in these last seven months...) 

So Tuesday was temple day, I wrote more about it in my last email! Another thing that happened was we had a run in with the cops hahaha  we parked our bikes in an "illegal area" and in Japan bikes are treated like cars. So they impounded our bikes like a ten minute walk away... which would have totally been no big deal if it hadn't been a mini-typhoon outside. After paying the fee (only 1500ๅ†† not bad) and putting on my rain jacket, I was much happier! And now I know to be better prepared for surprise rain storms so I never have to be that wet ever again. 

Wednesday was typhoon day! It was lots of rain and wind hahaha. The typhoon that hit Japan was about as big as the country itself! We looked it up on our weather app! So the lame thing was that our two lesson appointments with Rie and Ana cancelled because no one, except for the missionaries, goes outside during typhoons. Luckily most of the rain and wind happened in the morning while we were studying! That's why missionaries should always be obedient to the schedule hahaha  oh and typhoons aren't really all that scary. They just sound scary!  Think of the most rain you've ever seen in your whole life and times that by 7 and then add really high wind speeds and you have a typhoon!

Thursday we had zone conference! It was full of keiji (or revelation)  I loved when we talked about how obedience brings miracles! And I loved this quote: "God made us free and then gave us commandments to keep us free!" Never thought of it like that! We also talked about how Satan was the first person to suggest breaking the commandments in the garden of Eden when he tempted Eve. So interesting! Then the returning missionaries gave their final testimonies and I just bawled like a baby! I got really close with this last group and its sad to see them go! Their testimonies of Christ were amazing and I hope someday that I can be as amazing of an example as they are!

Friday we had a lesson with our member referral; however, it fell through because she wouldn't answer the door. We went back yesterday (on Sunday) and we saw her through the window and when we rang the doorbell no one answered. So not quite sure what happened there... probably Satan! 

Friday at 5 a.m. we had an earthquake! And it was huge! It rocked our whole house! So awesome!  hahaha Sister Yamaguchi and I sat up straight at the same time and just stared at each other... like 'should we run?' Then it stopped. Mmmmm, oh and I had a dream that I was in Costco last night, but Costco didn't have any of the food that I needed on my shopping list so I was all panicky hahaha. And our investigator Nozomi chan came to church yesterday! That rocked! She's nine years-old so I just played with her during sacrament. I drew her a picture of her, Sis. Yamaguchi, and I and then she colored it with her Frozen coloring pencils ️ it kept me entertained during sacrament too hahaha so it was awesome! 

Okay sorry that was all over the place!
Love Anna 

Here in the Land of the Rising Sun....we're getting ready for Halloween already!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Week 31 Hodogaya Transfer 2 Week 4

This week was a week of splits and exchanges with other missionaries! We do this every transfer so we can have the opportunity to dendou with missionaries who are much more experienced than we are. They teach us so much!  The sister who is over me and Yamaguchi Shimai is Hartvigson Shimai. She came on Tuesday to Hodogaya and we were able to go that day and visit a member from their English ward who just had a cancer removing surgery at the hospital. Her name is Nora and she is such a sweet spirit. ️ It's amazing through listening to her testimony and seeing her faith, you can see a stark difference between her and the other cancer patients around her. She glows! And she is so happy!  She knows as she relies and puts her faith in Christ that he will help heal her and help her have the strength to serve others in the hospital too! She is so incredible that we visited her twice this week! 

We saw an incredible miracle on Thursday! We were walking to the hospital and we had a bit of time before the visiting hour started. So we decided to go knock on some doors down this little side street for only 15-ish minutes. On the second door we knocked on, we met this cute college student named Yang. She is from Taiwan and came to study in Japan! ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต She learned Japanese all by herself through talking to people! I told her, "I know exactly how you feel!"  We told her we were church volunteers and I testified that through our church's teachings her family can be strengthened and will become closer. Then I added, "And I came from America to tell everyone about it because it works!" just for good measure haha!  She's not only interested in hearing more, but she really wants to come to church this next week! WHAT! A miracle people! 

Later that day, I had the opportunity to lead the lesson we taught to a less active member! It was seriously all the spirit. I only had guesses at what she was saying when she was responding to my questions haha.  But that's when teaching by the spirit comes in handy right?  It blows my mind how crucial the spirit is needed when we teach. People only learn through the spirit! So our job is to invite the spirit through prayer, sharing scriptures in the lesson, and sharing our testimony and then he teaches!  I'm not near anywhere close to a good teacher, but it's wonderful to know that as I prepare and try my hardest to love and listen to the people I teach, the Lord will make up the difference in what I lack...Amazing right?

Later that night we had a member dinner with the Curtis family!  Wait, your probably wondering why that name sounds so English.... It's because it is! The Curtis' are from Sydney, Australia! They all speak fluent Japanese and are living here in Japan but their main language is English. What a tender mercy it was to be able to share my testimony and talk in English! We had an awesome discussion about teaching our friends through our example, and through sharing our testimony in small ways (like on FB). I also had shepherds pie for the first time in my life!  I felt like I was serving an English speaking mission in Australia! 

On Friday I went on splits with Sister Cheney back in my old area! I spent the night in Yamato in my old apartment! So weird!  But this time I got to sleep in a bunk bed and that was HEAVEN! Don't get me wrong, futons are pretty nice, but man have I missed sleeping in a bed. When we were getting ready for bed, Sister Cheney and I watched all of the new "His Grace" videos on the gospel library app and then I was just lying there and I totally just fell asleep! I was so tired! Sister Cheney and I decided that we are going to room together when we come home from our missions! She said that her and Sister Law are going to room and I can join too! She is going back to BYU! And we come home at the same time! She's so awesome!  

Sunday was insane! We saw so many miracles! So you know how last week I said that we were trying to contact two old member referrals? Well we totally contacted one Sunday night! We had been to her house like three times, but we tried at night and she was there. Long story short, we have a lesson with her Friday Morning!!!! She wants to hear the lessons again! We went straight to the member's house who referred her to us and told her the good news! We all celebrated by drinking the Japanese version of V8 together hahaha.  Ew. But wonderful! 

After, we went to Tsurugamine eki and handed out Eikaiwa flyers! It was POURING! We were drenched but we kept going! And low and behold, I handed a flyer to this mom and she and her husband stopped and stared right at me and said, "Is this really free English class?" Turns out their little 12 year-old daughter had just returned from a home-stay in Germany where she had learned English, and they were currently trying to figure out how they were going to keep up her language skills she acquired!  Yoshi! I told them how awesome Eikaiwa was with all I could muster, because at Eikaiwa people's hearts are softened to religion! Then I might get to teach this adorable family!

Monday morning for language study Yamaguchi shimai and I took turns singing hymns together in English and Japanese. It was the best language study ever! Not just because singing is fun, but because after language study we had the sweetest spirit with us all day! 

Today we got to go to the temple! And I know your all saying, "wait, didn't you just go?" The answer is "yes!" but we got to go again!  And here's why: we have a new missionary in our area named Elder Adachi. Elder Hunsaker has been training him. So we found out that before his mission he didn't take out his endowments, so we all got to go with him again this week to the temple and support him for his first time through! ️ That's what a district family is for! AND I GOT TO SEE HANDY SHIMAI!!!  and I met a sister at the temple today who totally followed my blog before her mission! Woah! She was like, "hey! It's you! I followed your blog!" Hahahaha! 

This week I'm am just so thankful! You don't realize how insanely inadequate you are until you come on a mission, try your hardest to measure up, fail epically in all aspects of missionary service, but nonetheless see miracles everyday anyway.  God is so good people!!! He is so mindful of every single one of us! And it just goes to show you that his work will move forward no matter what. Because this missionary cause is truly the Lord's cause. 

️ Sister Fordiani
1. Letter from Grandma with cat pictures attached
2. Visiting Nora
3. Teaching Shirai Shimai
4. Splits with my two favorite sisters!
5. Handing out English flyers in the pouring rain! 

I'm so grateful to be a missionary every day! I love the people in Japan!