Saturday, December 26, 2015

Week 78: The land that holds my heart.

What a wonderful, wonderful 18 months it has been. I am so grateful
for all the things I've been able to learn, and for all the wonderful
people that I have been able to meet. Oh my goodness, I can't even
begin to express how much these people mean to me. I am SO grateful
that I was called to serve in the Japan Kobe Mission, and for the
opportunity that I have had to grow to love these people. I have made
so many lifelong friends that I intend to stay in contact with

It's really weird to think that this week I will be headed home. But
there will always be a part of me here in Japan. I may be a little bit
strange, and awkward, and my English might not always make the most
sense. I might bow often, and say weird things in Japanese. Just
smile, and nod. :) and try not to laugh too much.

This week has been incredible, and full of so many wonderful things.
Every single day something new happens. This week though, I have begun
to learn even more about members. As we were studying this week, we
began to talk about the importance of working with the members. We
were reading in Preach My Gospel, and noticed that since the church
began, we have been taught that members and missionaries need to work
together in doing the work of the Lord. We have taught this since at
least 1830, but for whatever reason, it took until the last 6 weeks of
my mission to really truly understand that. Truly working with the
members has been such a huge part of what made my mission so
wonderful. I love the members here in Japan. They are some of the most
wonderful people that I have ever met. And when we work together, we
really do see miracles. Missionary work is so much different... So
much more different? than it was when I first came on a mission. In 18
months it has changed into something so much greater. Missionary work
is not knocking on doors and talking to people on the streets. Sure
that is a part of it, but a very small part. Missionary work is SO
much more than that. We are called to invite others to come unto
Christ. By others, that means everyone. Those who don't know about the
church, those who may have forgotten, those who are trying their best,
those who always strive to reach out and help others.... Everyone! As
missionaries, we work with everyone. And we can share the gospel in SO
many ways. To do missionary work, both as a missionary and as a
member, we don't merely have to go knock on doors all day. We can
share the gospel with our friends. We can strengthen those we see at
church. We can help lift those that are struggling. We can help lift
those that are doing everything. In order to do missionary work, all
you need to do is to teach and to invite them to do something. It can
be as simple as telling someone that you went to church and learned
about how to become a better person when they ask about your weekend.
And then you can invite them to come. It is that simple, and it
doesn't mean you need to sit down for an hour. You can share the
gospel very simple and very powerfully in just a few minutes.

I could just keep talking for hours and hours about how much I love
this work! I love being a missionary! And I love sharing the gospel.
Just because I will be going home, doesn't mean I ever have to stop, I
will just have a new calling. But I can still share the gospel always.
And for that I am SO grateful! :)

I love you all so much, and I am so excited to see you all soon. I
hope you have a wonderful couple of days. You are in my thoughts and
prayers always! Thank you for being a part of this wonderful journey
with me!

Robertson Shimai

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Week 77: Missionary work is the greatest!

Well, I don't have a ton of time this week since I spent a lot of the
day packing. But, I wanted to share a quick thought with you all! :)

This week has been fun of lots and lots of miracles, and Hamilton
Shimai just keep thanking Heavenly Father. 
Despite the craziness of
Zone Training Meeting week, where we have to spend the majority of two
days traveling and at ZTM, we still were able to teach 20 lessons this
week! What an incredible blessing that is! I know that when we show
our fait, and try our best to work with all of our heart, might, mind
and strength, that Heavenly Father sees that desire, and does
everything in his power to bless us. :)
Two of the triplets from Tsuyama are about to go on missions and they came to Zone Training Meeting.  

Recently we have been finishing up our Book of Mormon reading
challenge, where we studied the doctrine of Christ, and beginning a
new challenge to read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John by the end of
December. We are going to continue studying the Doctrine of Christ,
but this time we will also be studying the relationship between
Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and also the way that Jesus Christ
teaches. I am so excited for this new study challenge. I have really
enjoyed learning about and beginning to more fully understand the
Doctrine of Christ. I can't even begin to explain how it has not only
helped to teach, but it has also helped me to change and to grow. I am
so excited to continue to study the Doctrine of Christ for the rest of
my life!

I love you all! And I can't believe how soon I will be back home. My
mission really had been and continues to be the greatest time of my
life. I have never been happier.

I love you all!

Robertson Shimai

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Week 76: What a Crazy Incredible week!

Well. This week was so incredible, and filled with way to many cool things to even begin to explain! 

Remember the two sisters who I talked about last week? The ones who invited their friends to hear about the gospel? Well we got to teach both of them, and wow! They are SO incredible. One of the ladies, Y San committed to be baptized when she comes to know that these things are true. We got to teach her the next day as well, and what a powerful lesson it was! She feels the spirit so strongly, and she knows that what she is learning is true. She told us that she feels like she has just gotten a peak through the cracked opened door, and she just wants to see and know all of it. She did tell us though that it was okay to go slow, because after all, she just learned who God is! This week we were able to hear two people pray for their first time, and we also got to teach 3 people about God for the first time. Missionary work is so cool! And I am so grateful for the joy that comes from serving the Lord. With my mission quickly coming to a close, I can't even begin to express how grateful I am for the gospel in my life. If I didn't have the gospel, I would have no idea how to get through all the hard twists and turns of this life. Because sometimes life is hard, sometimes you are faced with trials and challenges that you never even imagined you would be faced with. But when the trials and the hard times come, when you feel like you are just being put through the ringer, remember that you are not alone. That Heavenly Father knows and loves you. And He will even bless you with the opportunity to find joy, despite all of the hard things that you are faced with. I know that is true, because I have seen it happen in my own life. I know that this gospel is true, and I know that it really does bring true happiness. Sometimes, we just need to open up our hearts and let it in, and serve others as we do it. I've never been happier than those time when I am in the service of those around me. When I stop thinking about myself, and put others first, that is when the joy comes. Maybe one day, you will have to ask me about this week, and I'll try my best to explain it all. All the ups and the downs, but mostly just how much God really loves us. I'd be happy to share it with you. :)

I love you all so much, and I hope that you have an incredible week!
I love M Shimai!

After the best day ever!!!!

The Beach, and snow on the Mountain :)

Monday, November 23, 2015

Week 75: Missionary Work is the greatest thing!

I just can't even begin to express just how grateful I feel for everything this past week! Yonago is such an incredible area! Yesterday in Sacrament Meeting the theme was Missionary Work. And, three of the members were able to share experiences that they have been having with missionary work. Two of them, were sisters that we have been working with. One, F Shimai, the member who's friend started the mommy and me group up in another part of our area, and the other, N Shimai, a sister that worked a lot with the sisters and invited her friends to ballet, but recently has gotten really busy with work, and so she hasn't had as many options to share the gospel. And both of them were return missionaries. As they both spoke, I was reminded of my final interview I had with Welch Kaichoon Friday

Anyways, F Shimai has been trying to find ways to share the gospel with this friend for the past 8 years. Ever since they met, she could just picture seeing her in the Celestial Kingdom and giving her a big hug! She has been looking for the opportunity to bring the gospel into Y San's life, and then through the mommy and me group, she found the perfect opportunity. I was able to share with F Shimai yesterday before sacrament how KK went, and how a week or so ago, we were able to teach one of the moms from the group. I also told her about our appointment that we had set up with Y San, and asked if she had time Tuesday to doseki. F Shimai then shared about that experience in her talk, and about how recently she learned just how fun doing missionary work is! SO amazing!

Then, N Shimai also spoke. She started out by saying that recently she has felt like she needs to change, and get her priorities set. She has been so busy with work, that she has been giving up opportunities to share the gospel with her friends. She has a friend, N San, who she was able to share the gospel with about a month or so ago. She invited her to meet with the missionaries, and then N Shimai told us. She was so excited to set up an appointment, but then she got really busy with work, and then all of the sudden, she couldn't find time to meet. We would follow up with her, and ask her about her friend, but she would always talk about how busy she was. About a week or so ago, we called her, inviting her to the kids ballet and also asking her about her friend. She told us how she really wanted to dendo, but she also needed to work, so she was having a hard time. After talking for a while, and trying to figure it all out, she told us that she was going to pray about it. We heard back from her, but somehow there was a miscommunication. So, we thought she had received an answer to her prayer, but really she was just asking if we could change the ballet times. So, we didn't end up hearing anything about her friend. Well, then in sacrament meeting she started sharing about her, and about how she had been able to share the gospel with her. And about how she wanted to share more. And then she said that she had gotten her priorities straight, and that this week she was going to set up an appointment for her friend to meet with the missionaries. When she was talking to us later, we found out that the same day that we called, and asked her about her friend, she prayed, and later that same day also got a promotion in one of her jobs, giving her an answer, and a way to dendo. We were able to set up an appointment to meet. N San already believes in God, and is so excited to learn more! 

The work really is progressing so much here! It is so cool to be just a small part of it. In Yonago this week, we taught 43 lessons as an area (between us, and the elders). We were able to teach 13 this week, and able to learn lots of ways to continue to improve. It is really cool though to know and to see just how much things are changing. 6 months ago, as an area we were only hitting about 20 lessons a week. And, now it has doubled. We are so excited to see what this next week brings! Yonago is doing great though, and we are able to really work with the members!

So, now one of the things that I learned, that has been reinforced over and over this week. One of the things that really stuck out to me in my interview, was just how small and simple things really do have so much power. It is so simple to pray, or to read the scriptures, or to do other things, that sometimes we get lazy. But, they are each so much a vital part of our growth, and progression. It really is so important that we are doing all of the simple things daily, and having new experiences daily, because it is through those daily things that we continue to learn and to grow. On Friday night, as I was reading in the Book of Mormon, I read Helaman 11:23. "having many revelations daily." When I read that this time, after talking about how I can continue to be active my entire life, it had so much more meaning. They understood the doctrine, and they continued to receive many new revelations every day. They didn't just rely on the things that they learned when they were younger, or when they were missionaries. They continued to learn and to grow every single day. They had new experiences every day with sharing the gospel. They received answers to their prayers every day. As I read that, I just couldn't help but be grateful for the things I have learned, and the habits that I have been able to develop on my mission. I know that I will be able to take these things and apply them into my life, not just now, but for the rest of my life. And, I know now more than ever just how important it is to continue to grow and to progress. To have those experiences daily, for the rest of my life. 

I love you!
Robertson Shimai

Sister Amanda K. Robertson
Japan Kobe Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Letters from friends.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 74: Crazy, crazy, crazy.

Coming home on the train

What a crazy week full of so many things! All good things, just a lot of unexpected things. Like being invited next door to talk with the owner of a lot of the surrounding businesses, and with two of his associates, and in the process teaching them about how the gospel blesses families. Or, trying to contact an investigator and instead calling two different wrong numbers instead, because the right number was actually saved in your previous companions phone that was then taken to another area. Or failing at speaking English... About  ... Well, all of the time, although that isn't too unexpected. (We can learn it on ourselves... Instead of the right thing to say- we can learn it on our own/ we can learn it by ourselves.) I pretty much make English mistakes all the time, most of the time though, the second I say it I realize that it wasn't quite right. Or when my name tag disappeared. Or when our entire area book planner (missionary app) stopped working so we weren't able to see when any of our appointments were, or where anyone lived, or able to schedule any appointments. We decided to switch back to paper planners for the time being. Or, when we planned a ballet class, and there was an unexpected stake leadership training that was using the whole building, so we ended up using the primary room, and just opened up the kitchen and tried to do ballet with crazy energetic children. Or, when I cut my finger on the back of a knife as I was cutting vegetables (don't worry, it wasn't that bad, just very surprising. I didn't even know that that was possible). Or being given the opportunity to work with so many people this week, who just came up to us and asked how they could help, or if we could meet. Yonago really is filled with so many incredible people, and I am so excited that I get to continue working with them all.
Mackenzie Shimai her companion from 2 companions ago, is finished with her mission and her mum came to visit from New Zealand and they have been able to visit lots of the area's she served in. Here they were able to attend District Meeting, so Robertson Shimai got to see her again! They always looked like they were having soooo much fun when they served together!

One of my favorite unexpected this this week though, was meeting with H San, one of our new friends. We had called and scheduled an appointment to meet, and she said that she wanted to come to the church. So, we were waiting for her, when she called saying that she had gotten a little bit lost. I tried my best to explain to her where the church was, but realized I didn't even really know how to explain it in English (they don't really have road names here, or even road numbers for that matter..., and so it can be difficult to explain, especially when they are from a completely different part of town). So, I tried my best to explain, and she didn't quite understand, but said she would try. So we waited a little bit longer, and realized that because there were members at the church, it would be a perfect opportunity to just ask one of the members to help, so we called H San, and told her that maybe one of the members could help. Then we found U Kyōdai, and he was able to explain. We were so grateful! She made it safely, and was able to meet both U Kyōdai and M Shimai when she walked in the door. They all happen to live close together. Then we met with her and her baby, and taught some English. Then we got to show her around the church (because she had never been to church before), and then share a little message about Jesus Christ. Then at the perfect time, U Kyōdai's wife, U Shimai walked in the door, and they were able to meet and talk. As they talked, they realized they had so many connections - school, job, friends, where they live. It was so perfectly unplanned. We were SO grateful for God and His perfect timing. H San was able to feel very welcome, and fellowshipped, and was able to make new friends. This week I learned the importance of members and missionary work. Sometimes the most helpful thing for our investigators, is when they have a member that is their friend. Because then they always have someone there when the missionaries leave. It also gives them the opportunity to talk to someone when they have questions or concerns. I don't even know of that makes any sense. I do know that members are such an incredibly taisetsu... vital part of missionary work.

Rain or Shine :)

If you have the desire to help the missionaries, or to do missionary work, but aren't quite sure how, just ask the missionaries. They can help you! :) ( )

I love you all! You are incredible! Have a wonderful week!
Robertson Shimai

Sister Amanda K. Robertson
Japan Kobe Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

I forgot to mention the time when my companion got a flat tire, and we decided to fix it, but decided after trying to take it apart that changing the back tire is a lot harder than changing the front. So instead we put it all back together and I have been riding a mountain bike one of the elders left, while my companion rides mine, until her real bike arrives in a couple of days. Hurray for 6:30 AM runs to the church to fix a flat tire. 

Happy Sisters! :)

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 73: I believe in miracles! ♡

What an incredible week! My heart is so absolutely full that I don't even know where to  start! 

I guess I can start with my new companion. Her name is Hamilton Shimai, and she is incredible. I am so blessed! When I first met her, and she sat next to me (sitting right where I sat next to McLaughlin Shimai, and right where Perry Shimai sat next to me - it happened coincidentally with Perry Shimai, but I did it on purpose this time) I just looked over and thought about so many things! One was obviously, how did time go by so quickly? But also as we were talking, it felt like I had made this big loop. She reminds me of my own trainer in many ways. I remember thinking of my trainer often the last time I trained, and I guess it shouldn't be surprising that I thought of her again. Anyways, Hamilton Shimai is incredible! She is so willing to just try new things, and she is so fearless. She also has a beautiful voice! Hamilton Shimai is from Salt Lake City, and she is 19 years old. It's crazy to think that Sariah is only a transfer ahead of Hamilton Shimai. It's still so cool to think that my own little sister is serving the Lord too right now. :) 

Anyways. Hamilton Shimai is awesome! We got back to Yonago on Thursday night, and since then things have been busy, busy, busy. Our first day together we taught 4 lessons, and she did SO great. She definitely doesn't feel like a new missionary. The work is just about to start exploding here in Yonago, and we are SO excited! This week we received 6 referrals and we are just trying to find the time to contact them all. The ward is SO incredible, and I am so blessed that I get to work here, and be a part of this big family! Yonago really has become just another big part of my family! Yesterday we had a dendō fireside (um... A missionary work fireside?) and our dendō shunin (ward mission leader) talked about how the members can work with the missionaries. The members here are all so willing and ready to work with us, and they are all fine with us just stopping by to visit, to share a short message, and to do missionary work around each of them. We are SO excited! If we teach 3 lessons every day, we will easily be able to teach 20 lessons every week. 

This transfer Hamilton Shimai are going to work with all of our heart, might, mind and strength to see miracles here. We are going to teach 20 lessons every week, get 2 people to come to church every week, and we are going to do everything we can to see a baptism this transfer. This area is SO prepared, and we are ready! I have never been more excited to be able to stay in my area all week. :) the members are really excited to have missionaries here too!

I wish I had time to tell you all about all the wonderful things that have happened here in Yonago! I am just so grateful! And like I said, my heart it full!

I love you all! You all are in my thoughts and prayers!

Robertson Shimai

Sister Amanda K. Robertson
Japan Kobe Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
This was before we begun the hike. (Wow... English is hard, and I may or may not make a lot of mistakes...I realized after I typed that, that it was wrong...)

We went with members and hiked Daisen (or Big Mountain)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Week 72: Transfer 12 - missions are too fast!

Wow. Where do I even start? I was SO surprised, and SO excited all at the same time when we saw the transfers this morning. I really wanted to stay in Yonago for my last transfer, but I thought it would be fun to train again but knew that I would have to transfer to do that, and then I saw, and it was perfect! I am sad that Itabashi Shimai is transferring, but it will be awesome to have her as my STL. :) And I am so excited to be here in Yonago for my last transfer! I have only served in 3 areas my whole mission, and for about 6 months each! :) So fun! And I am even more excited to be able to actually work here in Yonago. The members have been talking recently about how hard it is to never actually have the sisters here, and now we will be. And things are really picking up here! Holy cow I am so excited! I guess I should explain what all is happening. So, I will be staying here in Yonago, and will be training a brand new missionary! :) and then the STLs (my companion and another sister) will be moving to Okayama. :) lots of changes, but I am so excited!
After MLC on Tuesday.

Happy Halloween! :) 

 Yonago Ward Halloween Party

We have been able to work with the members a lot recently, and we have even been able to receive a lot of referrals. Yesterday, we went with one of the members to meet with one of her friends. Y San just started a group called キラ (as in キラキラ) Kids. It is a group for these mothers with young kids who don't really have the opportunity to meet and interact with others very often. F Shimai had been waiting for a good opportunity for us to meet with Y San, and so when she heard about the new group, she called us right away and set up an appointment for us to meet. So we met, and we were invited to go to the group where we will be able to help serve the people in the group, with Eikaiwa, or even just being a loving listening ear. She also told us that she wants to meet with us, and do the Family English Program, and we are so excited! She said that there will be about ten moms, plus four of her own friends plus all of their children. As we were talking with her, I couldn't help but think of how this might be the way that Y, the city they are in, will grow, and maybe even one day become a branch, and than a ward of its own. After that appointment, we met with some more members in Y (the same city), and they too told us about some of their friends they had invited to dinner. They weren't able to make it, but they said that they really wanted to meet with us. SO cool! Yonago Ward is so strong, and such a wonderful example. They have been able to teach me SO much about working with members, and I am excited for my new companion to come here and be able to hopefully love working with the members as much as I do. Wow. I am just so excited for this next transfer. I know that we can start teaching 20 or more lessons a week again, and that there will be baptisms soon. :) the work really is starting to move forward, and I know that with this past stake conference, it will just keep hastening. In relief society yesterday, we were talking about what we all learned in stake conference, and we ended up talking a lot about Ward council, missionary work, and the sabbath day! So awesome! The members here really are trying to apply the things that they have learned, and I am excited to work with them.

Some of my favorite little kids at kids Eikaiwa.

Today I just can't help but think about how I am so grateful for my Heavenly Father. I know He really does hear and answer our prayers, ever those prayers that are just in our heart, and we don't necessarily express. I feel like, especially recently, Heavenly Father just keeps pouring out all these tender mercies, like He knows that things are hard, but with all these little seemingly unimportant things, it will help me to just keep going. Just being able to be in Yonago is one of those things. And being able to see everyone from Tsuyama, some multiple times, and being able to stay here and work with such great members, and getting to see MacKenzie Shimai again. I can't even count all of the blessings. Heavenly Father really does know and love us, and I am so grateful!

I love you all!
Robertson Shimai

Sister Amanda K. Robertson
Japan Kobe Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

It was Wilkin Choro's birthday yesterday. The members made him a cake.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 71: Counting my many blessings

Where do I even begin? It has been a pretty great week. It just is going to fast. I can't believe it is already Monday again, and we are on our way to Kobe. It feels like just last week that we had MLC! This week I have really enjoyed missionary work. I always enjoy it, but there are some weeks where I just think how lucky I am to be a missionary right now. I know that pretty soon, I won't be anymore, so I am taking in as much as I can get. And trying to learn and do as much as I can.
Zone Conference 

This week we got to go on a Kōkan with the Kurashiki sisters. I got to Kōkan with Mills Shimai. We went to go visit some members and investigators who lived in a part of their area an hour away by train. I am always so impressed when members who go so out of their way just to get to church, who sacrifice so much, and yet are still so strong. The saints here in Japan really are SO faithful. I've never lived within walking distance to the church except while I was in Hawaii, but I've only ever had to travel more than 30 minutes (that I remember) a handful of times. I am so grateful for the example of these wonderful saints. While we were out there we also ran into some really cool people, one lady who we ended up running into 3 times. She is excited for when the sisters can go back and visit someday.

Besides that this week, and having the chance to meet with a lot of people in Yonago this week, despite not really being there, we just had zone conference, and stake conference. Which was so great. I was able to learn so much. After stake conference on Sunday, we were talking with the Dendo shunin (Ward mission leader), and some of the members, and after talking about our goals, they told us to not be afraid to visit members. Even if it is just 5 minutes, they really appreciate it and will make time for us. We had a couple of experiences like that this week. We wanted to visit some members who had been sick recently, but we didn't want to take a ton of their time, so we decided to just stop by, sing a hymn, bear our testimonies, and invite them to come closer to Christ in some way. So, off we went. We were able to help uplift a sister who has been really sick lately and hasn't been able to come to church just by singing her favorite hymn, and reminding her that she was still loved. We were also able to visit some members, and they invited us to meet their neighbors who ended up being former investigators. Then we stopped by and visited a recently returned member, and although she was in the middle of cooking, she was just glad that we had stopped by even though she didn't have time to talk. It was really such a small thing, and visiting all 4 of them only took maybe an hour, but they were that much happier that day. We definitely want to visit more members. We have noticed that as we strengthen the members, they really do have more of a desire to share the gospel, and as a result, we have received quite a few referrals this week. The work really is hastening here! 

Lunch at a members ramen shop. :) they play EFY and church music! So cool. :)
I love Yonago! And I am SO grateful that I got to see everyone from Tsuyama yesterday. One of my favorite girls got her mission call! She is going to Tokyo Mission and she reports to the MTC on December 15! It was SO cool to see just how much everyone has grown. As I was talking with the triplets mom, she told me forever yoroshiku. (Which pretty much means, I hope you are okay with being their friend for the rest of forever.) :) man I love that family, and I really am excited to keep up with them for the rest of eternity! They really are like my own family. Just being a missionary makes my heart so full! I have never been happier!

I got to see some of my favorite girls again yesterday at Stake conference. :) I LOVE these girls! M Chan on the far left just got her call to Japan Tokyo Mission.

Thank you for everything always! You are in my prayers! 
I Love you!
Robertson Shimai
Sister Amanda K. Robertson
Japan Kobe Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Week 70: Now is the time

What a great week! I really love being in my area. :) With all of the kokans that we have been doing, and lots of taikais (meetings) and everything, this is the first entire week I have been in my area in a long time, and it was so great. We were able to see so many people. Yonago is such a wonderful area and I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to serve here. 

As a mission we have been focusing on working with the members a lot more. I remember always hearing/ being told about what President Gordon B. Hinckley said. “So many of us look upon missionary work as simply tracting. Everyone who is familiar with this work knows there is a better way. That way is through the members of the Church." No matter how many times I heard it though, I never really fully understand what it meant. A couple of weeks ago during Missionary Leadership Counsel, we talked about working with the members. A lot of the time when we think of doing missionary work, we often just think of knocking on doors, and talking to people on the streets. The really cool thing about missionary work though, is that it is really SO much more than that. And working with the members really is the best way to do it. President Monson once said, "Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together, to work together, to labor in the Lord’s vineyard to bring souls unto Him. He has prepared the means for us to share the gospel in a multitude of ways, and He will assist us in our labors if we will act in faith to fulfill His work." Now really is the time for the members and the missionaries to come together and work together. 
District Meeting with the incredible Nagata fufu (couple). They will be set apart this week as missionaries, and we will have the blessing of working with them here in Yonago until they get transferred at the beginning of next year.

We have been blessed with so many tools and "means" to share the gospel lately. The Lord's work really is hastening, and He has given us so many incredible tools. One of the tools that I would like to tell you all about is an new app, made specifically for Japan. It is called LDS Teachings, and has 3 pamphlets that help to explain things simply for those without a Christian Background. And as missionaries here in Japan, we have been given the opportunity to test them. We have been trying our best to use it, and because we are still trying to figure out how to use it best, we have been mogi-ing (practicing using) it with the members. And what an incredible blessing that has been! This week we got to meet with MH Shimai, a really sweet sister who moved her a little over a year ago when she got married. Her husband is not a member, and we thought maybe by sharing with her the first pamphlet (What to Expect when meeting with Missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) that perhaps she might feel like it is an easy way to share the gospel with her husband. What we learned though, and the experience we were able to gain through meeting with her was incredible. She is SUCH a wonderful lady, and I am so grateful we got to meet with her. We talked for a little while and got to know each other a little bit more, and then we went through the pamphlet with her. One of the cool things about these pamphlets is that it is just used as a way to direct and start conversation, not to just be read. We still teach by the spirit, and can stop wherever we feel like we should. There are also questions at the bottom of each page that help to check for further understanding. And embedded into the pamphlets are definitions for words that not every one is familiar with. When we started, MH Shimai pretended to be an investigator, but as we taught, she got really into it, and was just herself. There is one page in the pamphlet where it asks how the missionaries can help you. We asked if there was any way that we could help her. Through sharing experiences with her before, about who we are, and our purpose as missionaries, and also about why we are personally here on missions, I was able to share one of the reasons I am here. Because my life has been changed through the gospel, and I have been able to find so much peace, guidance and happiness. And I have also been able to see my own family change through the gospel. When we asked if there was any way that we could help her, she really opened up, and asked if we could pray for her brother and sister. They have been going through a hard time recently, and because she knows the power of prayer, she wanted us to pray for them too. It was such a simple thing, but for her to see that we really are just her to help her, she was able to share something important to her. It was a really cool experience. And through mogi-ing with her, we have been able to be more prepared as we use the pamphlets with our investigators, and the people that we are teaching. 

That may seem like a little experience, and I'm not sure how well I really explained that, but one of the biggest things that I have learned is the importance of becoming truly converted. When our own testimonies are strengthened, that is when we have the desire to share the gospel with others. It works the same way with everyone, not just missionaries. When members testimonies are strengthened, and they realize how much the gospel blesses their lives, that is when they have the desire to share it with others. We have had lots of times recently when we have been able to talk with members, and hear about their own conversion stories, or about how they have been sharing the gospel recently. We had a sister come up to us the other day that was SO excited that she was able to invite her friend to meet with the missionaries, and the friend said yes! Then N Shimai bore her testimony of how important it is to really believe that something is possible. If you are trying to share the gospel, and you really believe that someone you share it with will be ready and willing to listen, then you will be able to find that person. Because, like my little sister shared last week, Heavenly Father really does bless us with the righteous desires of our hearts. To have a member come to us to share her testimony of that, and to share that experience made us so happy! Now really is the time for members and missionaries to come together, to work together. Through being one and working together, that is how the work of the Lord will continue to hasten. I'm not sure if any of the made a whole lot of coherent sense, but I hope you all know that I have gained such a strong testimony of not just missionary work, but member missionary work. 

You are all awesome, and I hope you have a wonderful week. You are in my thoughts and prayers. 

Sister Amanda K. Robertson
Japan Kobe Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Okayama Stake after the Aki Matsuri last week.

Deciding what to start sending home just incase I get transferred one last time before I go home in December. Time is going too fast!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Week 69: My heart is full

It has been a great week! 

I have never missed my companion so much though! We have had two Kōkans this week, and with MLC
Missionary Leadership Counsel in Kobe

too, we haven't really seen that much of each other besides travel time. So, it was really nice to finally be reunited with my companion. :)

Kōkan with dōki. :) we came to Japan together. I helped her fix her bike. :)

And a Kōkan with these beautiful sisters.

We also had Zone Training Meeting in Okayama this week.

We don't really have a ton of time this week because we had a stake activity, so I will just try to type quickly! :)

I really enjoyed watching General Conference this weekend, and feel like I learned SO much! There were some talks that stuck out to me. Some reoccurring themes too. I am excited to go back and read through/study conference. I really enjoyed listening to Elder Holland, President Nelson, and the Elder who spoke after President Nelson. As I listened to conference I kept thinking about how I could apply the things I am learning in order to become a better mom. On my mission I feel like the things I am learning/ have learned are all for me to become a better mom. I have been able to grow so much in my own testimony, and have learned just how important it is for me to have a strong foundation first, so that I can raise my children to be strong too. But, like President Nelson said, we need to be converted covenant keeping women. I am so grateful for all that I have been able to learn, and for my our conversion. I really do know that this is the true gospel. I know that my Heavenly Father knows and loves me. And I know that through my Savior, Jesus Christ, and through His infinite atonement I can do all things. I know that the things I am learning now are helping me so that I can be the kind of mother that I want to be, and that my future children need me to be.
Listening to conference this weekend also made me really grateful for my own mom. I don't think I had ever really realized how important moms are until I came on my mission. I mean I have always loved my mama, and I have always looked up to her, but I think that through out my mission, and everything that has happened since I left, I've realized just how grateful I am! Thank you mama for everything! I am so grateful for your example, and for everything you have, and are still teaching me. And I am so excited that I get to see you again soon!

Let's see. Besides that, everything is going pretty well. Just happy to be home in my own area with my companion. :) I am also SO happy that I got to see most of my loved ones from Tsuyama today at the Stake Aki Matsuri! My heart is full.
I also got to see these beautiful girls today!!! :) M on the far left submitted her mission papers and is waiting for her call. S in the red is just waiting for her interviews with Branch President and Stake President, and then she will have her papers submitted, and then M in the green is working on her papers right now too! I love all of these girls! And I am SO excited for them to go on missions!!!

I hope that you all have had the chance to watch General Conference, and if you haven't, go watch it! It will truly change your lives! :)

I love you all!!!

Sister Amanda K. Robertson
Japan Kobe Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints