Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Week 60: Obedience comes with a price

This week has been quite the adventure. We have learned that obedience always comes with a price. And the price this week, was MacKenzie Shimai's arm and legs. We had spent a lot of time this week talking about obedience, and how important it is. That when we are exactly obedient, we can see miracles. Miracles which Yonago needs so badly. We haven't been having any problems with obedience, we just wanted to try a little harder to be a little better. 

On Friday, because district meeting was canceled, we had lots of time, and no appointments, so we decided to bike to Yasugi, where a lot of members and less actives live, and decided to go finding as we were out. We had a really great day, and were able to talk to some really nice people, and we were able to visit some members, and find some less actives. After a long day, we still had people that we weren't able to visit. We both felt really good about the area, and decided to just come back the next day. So that we didn't have to bike back to Yasugi the next day, we decided to leave our bikes at the train station in Yasugi, and then ride the train back to Yonago. From Yonago Eki, it takes about 30ish minutes to walk home. There are no buses running that late, so we had to walk. As we go to the station, we were left with only 30 minutes to spare. We did our best to walk slightly fast, so that we could make it home on time. About 5 minutes until 9, we were a little over 5 minutes from our apartment, so we decided to jog just to be safe. We were both fine, but pretty tired from the day, and it was dark. About 10 meters from our apartment, MacKenzie Shimai tripped and fell (face planted), but not very gracefully, and then just got up and kept running. 

Her arm isn't broken, she just needs to have it elevated, and not use it. (these girls!  even though they both seem to be accident prone lately, they both just seem to smile through it all!)
We had just had a really long day, and we were both exhausted, and a little bit delirious. When she fell, I felt so bad for her, but then she just hopped right up and kept running. I couldn't help but laugh. I sat there and tried not to pee myself, while she told me to hurry because she didn't have a key. We made it in the door right on time with not a minute to spare. We were both exhausted, looked down at her legs and laughed. Then we thought maybe we should stop laughing and clean up the blood. I think if we hadn't have listened to the prompting to not use our bikes we would have maybe have been hurt a whole lot more. We were definitely counting our blessings. 

The cool thing about obedience, is that it always brings blessings. No matter how hard the price may be, the blessings are always worth 100xs more. We were able to meet with one of our investigators. Xela is incredible, and has one of the strongest desires I have ever seen. We were able to teach her about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and invite her to be baptized. She could be baptized next week. The biggest problem is that she has work at 1:00 on Sunday, but the only bus that takes her to work is at 10:47, and church starts at 10, so there is no way she could make it. She is looking for a new job, and is so excited for her baptism. 
So much more happened this week, and I wish I could just tell you everything. Heavenly Father loves each and everyone of us so much, and when we do as He asks, He always blesses us. Sometimes obedience is hard, the the blessings are always so much better.
I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!


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

After a nice long day in Yasugi, we took a second to take in the beautiful sunset, and to remember just how amazing Heavenly Father is.

 Before Zone Conference with almost all of our sisters.

After our kokan this week. N Shimai is going to the temple on Saturday for the first time to do baptisms for the dead, and will be going through the temple in November

Sakai Minato, a little town that has lots of statues from some anime.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Week 59: Culture Shock

This week I got a big dose of culture shock. You would think that after 14 months you would be pretty adjusted right?
Well. I think I'm turning Japanese. I bet that is not what you were expecting when I said I had culture shock. 

This week was another super busy week! Today we are going to take nice long naps. Our bodies are exhausted, and we are really starting to feel like old missionaries. This week we had twitching eyes, sore throats, canker sores, and our bodies just sort of drag along behind us. The two of us are delirious. It is so much fun! :) I mean you can sleep when you are dead right?

Time is going too fast! I feel like I just got here, and it's already week three! This week has been pretty good. We got to go on a kokan with the Kurayoshi sisters this week. Hatch Shimai is amazing! I was so grateful to get to work with such amazing sister! As soon as we got on the train, she went and sat down by someone and up just started talking. I think I probably learned more from our kokan than she did. She is an incredible missionary! 
Dinner at an Indian restaurant after Kokan 

Besides our kokan this week, we had typhoon craziness, that didn't end up being too bad, but it was pretty windy, and we were told it would be safer to stay inside, so we did as we were told, and worked on things in our apartment. 
Before the Typhoon

Look a Typhoon is coming!

Despite the typhoon though, we were still able to teach so many people this week! We were able to teach 16 lessons this week, and it was so easy! I used to think 20 would be impossible, since sometimes it was hard to even teach 5, but I have really seen the hand of the Lord helping us this week. 

Yesterday we were invited to go to a Philippine party with some investigators. 


It was so crazy, and I felt like I wasn't in Japan anymore. It was fun for the first ten minutes, and then there was too much hugging, and loudness, and I realized that I have really gotten used to the culture here in Japan, and I might die of culture shock when I go home. Haha. It was really fun though, and we were able to get a lot of referrals. There were so many people that just walked up to us and started talking about how they had met the missionaries before, or how they hadn't ever learned about Christ before but they want to and want to come to church next week. It was so cool! I was definitely glad to be back in Japan after a couple of hours though. :) 

The work is going really well here in Yonago. We were able to witness so many miracles this last week, and especially on Saturday. Because we had to go to District Meetingon Saturday, we were able to meet M, her dad is from Pakistan, and her mom is from Japan, and her step mom is from Lithuania. I feel like we went on an international trip this week! So awesome. We got to teach her about God, and we are excited to meet her again. She seems so prepared. Then we had an awesome district meeting. After District Meeting, we got to teach our neighbor who we haven't been able to see in a while, and she is progressing wonderfully well. Next we went to go visit three other investigators we haven't seen in a while. Before we left we were feeling tired, and not feeling so well, but we went out smiling and waving to everyone. The first two investigators that we visited (a mother and daughter) ignored us, and then came out 5 minutes later as we were biking off. We were able to talk with them a little, and they didn't seem interested in talking to us anymore. So that was sad. But we just kept on smiling. Then the next investigator that we went to visit gave us back the Book of Mormon, and said that he didn't want to receive anything else. But, we didn't let that get us down. We just wiped off the dust from our feet and kept going. On the way back home, MacKenzie Shimai felt like we should go to the store to pick up something. It was really random, but she felt impressed that we needed to go. After we were about to leave the Zone Leaders called us about something, so it took a little bit longer to get out the door. As we were walking back to our bikes, we said hello as we passed this cute little great grandma, and grandma. They said hello and started talking to us. We learned that last September, the great grandma's mom died at the age of 103. We were able to share a little message with them about the Plan of Salvation, and they are excited to learn more and meet with us again. If we hadn't gone to Matsue for district meeting, we wouldn't have met any of those people. Heavenly Father is amazing! 

It has been an amazing week, and I am so grateful to be a missionary. :) the church is true! 

I love you all!

(I don't know why the tags I put on the photo's below are getting messed up and running long way, so I'll just write what the images are up here and you will figure out what pic they go to below. :)
* America! A really nice family that came brought us American food.  What's funny is I am the only American so it was super special for me! I was so excited!!!
*Heart Attacked
*Lunch with N Shimai. Her dad is the mission President in Sapporo. She made us American food, and fresh homemade rolls. I was in Heaven!
*The Elders toilet papered us (our bikes), then it rained! 
*at the Philippine birthday party at the Park with X and MacKenzie Shimai
*Ballet class  


Monday, July 13, 2015

Week 58: What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

Wow. What a week. It has been quite possibly the longest, hardest week of my mission. It started off really well. We went to Kobe
 on Monday and spent some time with Croft Shimai, and Kagawa Shimai, and then on Tuesday we had MLC (Missionary Leadership Council).

 It was incredible and I learned so much. Spending time learning from the Mission President and his wife, and from the other missionaries is always incredible, and you are able to feel the spirit so strongly. When we got back to Yonago, we had missed calls from some of our sisters, so we called them back, and that was when things started to get crazy. I think the hardest part was having to put behind the fact that I was tired, and by the time we were heading home, so emotionally, physically, and spiritually drained. But, after a kokan and lots of talking, loving, and lifting, everything turned out okay. Being a STL has been busy busy busy. We have only been in our area two full days this past week. Wednesday, and Sunday. It was a little bit crazy. But we were happy to help in whatever way we could. 

On the way back to drop the Elders bikes back at their apartment, before heading to the train station on Saturday morning, I fell off the bike. Twice.

It had been such a long couple of days and we were both so drained. The first time wasn't to bad, and I just got a little cut on my knee. The second time though (only 30 seconds later) an umbrella got caught in the tire, and I ended up on the ground. 

The umbrella lost. It got caught in my bike

I probably could have stopped it, and been a little bit more graceful, but I think I just gave in, and just let it happen. And now I am suffering the consequences. My knee and my arm are a little bit bruised. And my hand got quite a bit of road rash (it's mostly better now). 

As we were walking though, and time went on, my ankle started to hurt worse and worse. It's feeling much better now though. One of the members who is a chiropractor taped it for me yesterday, and the elders have been helping a lot too. After lots of rice (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) it is feeling much better today, and should be back to normal in no time. We are making sure to take it easy today though. 

I think besides that, everything has been going well. MacKenzie Shimai is amazing, and I am so grateful to be able to serve with her. 
 (R.I.C.E.   Tatami Mat living)

It has been so nice having someone else there, and to be able to support each other during all of the craziness this past week. 

All of the sisters at MLC, and Welch Shimai. :) we were all wearing blue.

On top of going to Kobe for MLC, and kokaning, we also had ZTM (zone training meeting) on Friday in Okayama, where the Zone leaders and the STLs did some training. We played a little game and taught about the importance of testifying. 

On Saturday, because we were both feeling drained, and I was in pain because of falling off a bike a few hours earlier, we asked the elders for blessings. I am so grateful for Gosney Choro and for Takahashi Choro. They are such amazing priesthood holders, and we were grateful that we could count on them when we needed blessings. My testimony has been strengthened this week, and I have never been more grateful for the priesthood. Sometimes it is surprising that the same thing that you have been telling someone else all week, Heavenly Father then feels like you need to hear too. I have been talking so much about Jesus Christ and the atonement with the sisters, and then the very first thing that was said in my blessing, was that only two people really understand what I am going through, and that is me and Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for my Savior, and for His infinite atonement, and I know that through Him, I can do all things. So although this week has been hard, I feel like I have come out of it even stronger. 

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

Dinner in Kobe

We heart attacked the Welchs. :) but, they caught us because MacKenzie Shimai wrote mum. 

We heart attacked the sisters in Kobe.

 English for the win.

Sometimes you find weird things... Some of these things is not like the other.   (I don't know why all these little things are tied onto her bike.  I'm not sure she did either...)

Monday, July 6, 2015

Week 57: Yonago is mint az.

:) Kiaora (New Zealand way to say hello)

This week was so awesome! It was so sad to say goodbye to everyone in Katsura.

 Leaving is always the hardest, but I know I'll see them all again someday. Most of all, I am grateful for technology. :) 

Yonago is mint az. (Or the greatest thing ever) My new companion is MacKenzie Shimai. We are like two peas in a pod. 

She is from New Zealand and has been teaching me all the New Zealand slang. Even though we both speak English, our English is so different. One day she asked me if I had a torch. I wasn't even sure what language she was speaking. She had to switch to Japanese for me to understand what she even meant (a flashlight). Who knew how different English could be. :) I really love it here in Yonago, and I already feel right at home. Everyone is incredible! It was really weird to go to church on Sunday and see so many people. Saying hello to everyone was like running a marathon! But, I love it! And there are so many kids! I am in heaven right now. :) I've really missed all of the kids. There are 120 members that come to church every week. It kindof made me nervous when I had to introduce myself in sacrament meeting. :)

We have been busy busy busy since I got here, but I am loving it. We got into Yonago around 7:30 Thursday night, and then went and visited a less active sister that we are working with. Then both Friday and Saturday we were out of our apartment by 8 or 9, and didn't get back until 7 or 8 that night. Then once we got home we planned for the week, and made lots of phone calls. I have already met so many people, and can't wait to see what miracles await here in Yonago. There were so many amazing things that happened. I want to share one of the really cool things that happened this week. We went and taught X and M, they moved here from the Philippines 10ish years ago, and have lost a lot of close loved ones over the past couple of years. They are SO prepared. We were talking to the daughter X and she just kept telling us how much she wants to follow Jesus so that she can be with her dad again, and be with her family forever. She and her mom are incredible. We are so excited to see what this next week brings. I am so grateful for the gospel and the simple, but yet such powerful hope that it gives to us, especially to those who don't know. A little while ago, X and M thought that they could never see their family again, but now they know that through the atonement of Jesus Christ, death is not the end. They can be with their family again, and it has brought them so much peace, and hope. The gospel is incredible!

I love you all so much, and hope you have an awesome week! :)

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