Tuesday, September 27, 2016

O-hayo konnichi bonwa!

3 months! I have been a missionary for over three months now!
So crazy.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHOUT OUT TO ELIZA (Chinese middle name I can never remember) LIN!! 20 YEARS OLD TODAY🎉🎉🎉

Also, I would like everyone to know that I love Hachiōji and I'm never leaving.

President Warnick closed the Takao sisters and now Sister Porter and I get the privilege of technically having two areas👍🏻it's slightly stressful.

Since we're working in Takao now we got to go teach eikaiwa there on Wednesday. Which was great! We taught the kids eikaiwa and got to talk to some new students from the advance class who are interested in learning more about the gospel!!! YAAAAAAAAS. We're actually going to the Warnick's family home evening with one of them tonight so yay😊

Thursday I got to go to Kofu! I went on splits with my STL, Sister Watson, and it was soooo fun. I rode a bike. My bum was real sore after that day and I was absolutely awful at it but I did it! I'm just real happy no one from home was there to witness that hahaha. Kofu is beautiful. It takes about 2 hours by train to get there from Hachiōji and everyone always teases that if you transfer to Kofu, you've been banished. It's so far from anything and anyone. But it was a great day filled with sharing the gospel and giving myself diabetes. There's this thing that apparently missionaries love here. It's called a supa kuupa. You take melon pan, hollow it out like a bread bowl, put vanilla ice cream and a black thunder (which is basically the best candy ever and I need to send some home for y'all), and then put the top back on. I almost died from the amount of sugar I consumed in that moment but it was delicious and I do not regret it. So yes, mom, I'm being very healthy👍🏻 Sister Watson also made me talk to people and start conversations on the train by myself and it was terrifying. My Japanese is real bad, folks. Real bad. No one ever understands me. It's like I'm speaking Haleyian again. SO BAD.

Friday was an adventure. Sister Watson and I woke up at 5:55 (after having only like maybe 3 hours of sleep due to the poor condition of the futon I was using😂) and left for Hachiōji at 6:45 to be back in time for me to be interviewed by President Warnick at 9:45. After our interviews, Sister Porter and I got to go to Tokyo! Like real Tokyo. Shinjuku, to be exact. So I was all over Japan on Friday haha.

Saturday we had a stake blitz in Tama, where Elder Tomita is from!! I actually met his parents! They say thank you for feeding him and taking care of him! During the blitz it was POURING rain. And we had a goal of giving out 74 Books of Mormon in about an hour and a half. I don't think we got the goal but we tried our best and considering the rain, I think we did great! I got to go on splits with Sister Watkins, who is just so funny and happy about everything, and Sister Suzuki, who is Nihonjin and probably the nicest person I've ever met. She's on transfer 12 so she only has one more and that makes me real sad. She is seriously the best. That hour I spent with her was my favorite!

I've talked about the members here in Hachiōji before but I just can't stop! They are the greatest people! We always have shokuji's (meals) with them pretty much every Sunday and usually at least one other dinner every week which is crazy for Japan haha. This week we were lucky enough to have three shokuji's! Last night we went to the Tsukada's for dinner. They're this cute old couple who I just adore. They're actually the bishops in-laws so his whole family came. It was just them and the missionaries and our Chinese friend Choyo who comes to everything hahaha. I love these shokuji's because it's the most normal I feel. Just chilling with some good people eating some good food. I LOVE being a missionary, but it's nice to feel like a real person sometimes haha. It's a weird thing to try and explain haha.

Our investigators are so frustrating! We have some really promising people but EVERYONE in Japan works so darn hard and never has time for anything. So we never get to meet with anyone. It's okay, though. We're still trying our hardest and trying to show the Lord we won't give up! The work is hastening but that hastening requires effort on our part!

Everyone's favorite part of the email: SCRIPTURES🎉
D&C 50: 40-46; D&C 138:59; Mosiah 1:6; Mosiah 7:19; Mosiah 12:27Mosiah 15:8; Mosiah 18:30; Mosiah 20:11(this one talks about dragons. They're real).
I hope y'all enjoy those. I do.

Stay safe. Stay classy. Stay sassy.

Also, one of the Elders in my district didn't believe me when I told him I once received a "Little Miss Sass Pants" award. Jokes on him. It's in my room. He also asked me what dominate race dad was because he looks Mexican and said Miranda looks Mexican too. In that moment all I could think about was convincing one of Miranda's boyfriends in high school we were half Mexican😂😂

This is what happens when you tell 18-20 year olds
to teach an English conversation class 

District meeting

A nice selfie for y'all while we were walking to the church

Cutest little girl ever sharing a scripture with us after a shokuji with her family💕  

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Happy Half Birthday to Me🎉

Minami 姉妹!! Isn't she so cute! I love her😊

Hello, my beloved family.
This week was definitely interesting. Don't worry, it was a good week overall, just not what I expected it to be.

I know every week I tell you all I'm homesick, and that's true. I am. Very. But I hope you also know that it's a weird type of homesickness. I miss you all SO much. I also really miss my mountains. But I don't want to be home right now. I want you all to be here in Japan with me, experiencing this all with me. That's how I am feeling right now. That and 15 months seems FOREVER away. But daijobu desu. Subete wa yoshii.

This week really was a good week, though. We didn't have any crazy or exciting things happen. It was just a solid week. My feet hurt at the end of almost every day so there's room for improvement but at the same time, I'm happy😊 we also reached a pretty high goal we set for ourselves one day so 👍🏻👍🏻 to us!!

Our potential investigator list is forever long. Seriously. There's people in there from over a year ago who haven't been contacted. So hopefully some of those people will become investigators! Buuuut our actual investigators right now are maybe 2. We think one might have dropped us but we're not real sure about that.. So yes, lots of work needs to be done here in Hachiōji. BRING IT.

Yesterday we had a "Chinese Night" (S/O to my Chinese BFF Liza Lin✌🏻️) and it was great fun. We invited every Chinese person we could find. Literally. Everyone brought food and we had a few good Chinese foods and everything. One of the members here is from China so he planned the whole thing and talked only in Mandarin. So everyone was as confused during those two hours as I am all day long. We were finally equal in some sense! But anywho, he shared his testimony and his conversion story and it was so cool to listen to. We also watched the "Because of Him" video in Chinese and that video is the bomb.com no matter what language you watch it in. I highly recommend it. President and Sister Warnick came as well since Sister Warnick speaks Mandarin and she shared her testimony too. We also had one of our investigators come!! Her name is Nomoto San and she's from China, married to a Japanese man. I think I've talked about her before. But she was so happy to be able to talk to sister Warnick and other Chinese speakers. It was great😊

Also, I'm going to start using Facebook soon so if you post anything about my blog or anything like that, please don't tag me in it! There's a million rules we have to follow for it. Kinda lame but I totally get why. So yes, you'll see my face pop up on your timeline again soon enough!

Weekly weird thing about Japan: 1) they only sell milk by the quart. QUART. Sister Porter and I together in a week half of what I drank by myself in a week at Utah State. It's killing me. Bread comes in packages of 4, 6, or 8 slices only. Lame. And they don't waste ANY of the meat here. It's nasty.

Jacob 5:36, 41, 59; D&C 33:8-10; D&C 101:16; Jacob 6:5; Jacob 7:25D&C 135:3, 4, 6
Also, please read the talk "Faith is Not by Chance, but by Choice" by Elder Andersen from October 2015.

Shorter email this week because sometimes you don't feel like talking all that much about your repetitive life haha but I love you all!! And I hope you never forget that!

Stay safe. Stay classy. Stay sassy.


Fun fact: I opened my call 6 months ago😱

Here in Japan, they are VERY superstitious
of the number four. Idk why.
Our new nice friends from Nepal👍🏻 that food
was SO good. And they're way nice. Really.
I could fit a small island off Italy under this umbrella

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Rainy Day in Tokyo


I totally forgot to tell y'all that my P-Day this week is Tuesday..Sorry! (Actually, I'm pretty sure I told dad but it's okay, I forgive him for forgetting) But the Tokyo temple is lovely and I highly recommend everyone go at some point in their life. It was weird having to use headphones to translate, though haha I'm not used to being the minority. It's a new feeling haha. Actually, when we got off the train and started walking towards the temple, at one point all we could see was the Angel Moroni and I had to physically force myself not to cry because I was so happy to be going to the temple. It's so strange being in a foreign country where I can't drive 20 minutes and get to a temple whenever I please. But yes, the temple is great and I love it.

But anywho, it was a pretty good week! First off, we have been having some great lessons with the members here and building that relationship has been wonderful. Second, we had 7 new students at eikaiwa on Wednesday and 5 of them were women so yes, good day! We're hoping to meet with a few of them this coming week to teach them the good Word of God. They are all so cute. We also talked to one of the moms of one of the little girls who comes to kids eikaiwa👍🏻

I'm definitely still struggling with the language. It's super weird and super frustrating because I'll hear things and think that I have no idea what was said and then Porter Shimai translates and it's usually things I do know. My brain just decides not to work. But it's okay. I'll understand one day. For now, I just sit and smile and try to listen SO hard. My brain is always exhausted at the end of the day haha.

Baptism!! On Saturday there was a baptism for our friend Tou San, who is now Tou Kyōdai! But we call him Jack because that's his "American" name. He's from China and is great. He was so happy the whole time and Sunday in gospel doctrine he answered basically every question that was asked haha I love him. It just makes me want others to have that same happiness!!

We had one of our investigators come to church so that was good! But she only stayed for relief society.. It's okay, though! It's a start!

So we don't have a ton of investigators right now because no one EVER wants to meet with us. Ever. But we have this nice 90 year old lady named Ono San who is Catholic and really likes the Catholic Church so she's a little bit of a struggle for us. But she's so nice and the typical Japanese old lady. We also have Nomoto San. She's from China and is married to a Nihonjin. She's so cute! And so nice! She's the one that came to relief society, I really like her haha. Other
than those two we just have a bunch of potential investigators that we're trying to progress. The work is hard but the reward will be great!

I still get huge blisters. I pop a new one at least every 3 days or so. It's rockin. I've never sweat so much in my life. That's also rockin. I've never been so exhausted in my life. Not so rocking but still rollin. It's starting to cool down a little bit so that's 👍🏻. Japan is weird. Everyone stares at me. Everyone. I watched this guy across from me on the train take a picture of me last night. He thought he was being sly but no, he was not. It's okay, though. I'm cool with it! Also, everyone always laughs at my name. They laugh, say "omoshiroi" followed by "burned fish" in Japanese, and then they look at me very confused and say "honto?". So yes, everyone loves it. And random people laugh when they walk by me and look at my name tag. I'm
very entertaining to the Japanese people. I also get asked ALL the time how tall I am. And I have to respond in cm which I didn't know how tall I was in cm until today. So I normally would just be like "uh... Wakaranai haha" meaning I don't know and then everyone stares again and just "ohhhh". Like I said, very entertaining to the Japanese people.

OH. Weird thing about Japan number 271937281: little kids go everywhere by themselves. As we speak I'm sitting next to two little boys on their way home from school by themselves that cannot be older than 6. On a train. In Tokyo. WHAT. So crazy. Also, I hate that they drive on the wrong side of the road and such here. It's also weird. And messes with my head. It's a good thing I won't be driving here.

Funny story. We were on the train (I know, big shock) and these three teenage boys get on the train and one just starts freaking out. Like a little girl. There was a big ole bug in his friends hair and he did not handle to well at all😂😂 he started scream the equivalent of "no no no no no" in Japanese and tried using his backpack as a shield. The friend with the bug on his head instantly went into the stance that we all do when there's a bug on our head while the third friend just laughed. The entire train was dying. And the bug stayed there until the next stop where the third friend karate chopped it off his friends head out the door. I was dying (as you can tell, I don't get many forms of entertainment so the little things make me real happy).

Sorry, this email is forever long. Please forgive me. This is why I have a blog and not an email list.

I have to put in my scriptures for y'all.
2 Nephi 9:45 10:25 11:7 21:10 22:2 25:8 28:2 31:19-21
D&C 108:7-8 109:32-33 111:8&10 112:7,10-11 112:28 115:5 117:13 121:7-8
That's a lot.. I know.. But pick one of two and read them. They're good stuff. Maybe a little random but I promise you there's a little nugget of gold in each of them.

I love you all sooooo much!! Always remember that someone in Japan loves you💕 and Jesus loves you so basically, you've got some good love flowin your way.

Stay safe. Stay classy. Stay sassy.

The view that made me almost cry

Jacks baptism! Look how happy he is!! I love it😊

Tokyo Temple

Zone meeting👍🏻 

Add caption
The district👍🏻 which, apparently, is a huge district..  

Monday, September 5, 2016

Nihongo wa muzukashii desu👎🏻

For all of you non-Japanese speakers out there, the subject line translates to "Japanese is hard". And it's true. Japanese is the bane of my existence. But. Slowly, very very very slowly, I am understanding more. Just don't ask me to express my feelings about anything other than the church.

This week was another week in Nihon (I forgot my journal so it won't be as detailed as usual). We had some really good lessons! So, there's this member who was baptized a little over a year ago (I think) and she is the cutest person ever. Her name is Minami Shimai and I love her. We had a lesson with her this week and while I didn't understand like anything that happened, I loved it haha. She is amazing. And she came to church on Sunday!! She came up to me after sacrament meeting and asked if we could meet with her again this week (I understood her, too!) and I was like "oh my, of course!" And then I remembered I had to say that in Japanese and my language triumph was quickly thrown away. But it's okay because Minami Shimai is the bomb. She's also going to have a baby real soon and I think she's the cutest pregnant lady I have ever seen. Yes. I love her.

Streeting here is real rough. Everyone is always in a hurry and no one wants to talk to you. So we like to talk to people on trains when they can't run away. It's the best. They're forced to stay and chat. Little do they know we've trapped them to help save their soul. We also kubari a lot (when we pass out flyers [chidashi] for eikaiwa, the free English classes we teach every week). People stop to hear about the free English classes and then we get to slyly throw in that it's free because we're all volunteer missionaries for our church and then we sometimes get some nice conversations about God from that. I like to kubari. I also like it because literally all I usually have to say is 
"muryou eikaiwa!" And then explain where the church is using a map that's on the flyer. Saving souls one flyer at a time. We also get rejected a lot so it's helping me realize that not everyone wants to talk to the tall gaijin and rejection is okay. I mean, it's their salvation, not mine.

The weather here is kind of awful. It's either blazing hot and you're sweating all of the fluid you once had in your body out or it's raining and the humidity makes you so sticky you aren't sure you're going to be able to unbend your arm from holding your umbrella. It's lovely. BUT every once in a while, in a hot day we get a nice breeze that cools you off and reminds you that God still loves ya. It's the little miracles that get me through the day.

Homesickness. I thought I'd be good once I got to Japan. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA no. I miss y'all so much. All day. Every day. However, it's okay. Why is it okay that I'm doing the hardest thing I've ever had to do and my family is literally an ocean away? I'm glad you asked. Because my trials are nothing. I am literally nothing. Alma 26:12, right? But because I know that this gospel can and does bless people immensely, I have to share it. There are definitely days when I think about going home and having a good American meal cooked by mama fish while papa fish and I watch some college football. But by the end of those days I'm thinking about how I'll get to be with you all for eternity. I know that. So many people here don't know that. They don't know that their life has a purpose and through this gospel, they can see miracles and receive blessings. So yes, the mission is SO hard but it's also SO worth it. Especially when I come home at night and my feet hurt so bad they're throbbing and I have blisters the size of Japan. Those are the best nights because I know I did all that I could that day.

Eikaiwa. I love eikaiwa. We teach kids eikaiwa earlier in the day and they're all so cute. We did introduction words last week and one little girl raised her hand and said "I am from Japan" and I thought I was going to pass out from the amount of cuteness that was thrown my way in that moment. There's also this kid that just looks like he hates his life. He's a punk. But I enjoy him and his baseball cap even though he looked at me like I was the stupidest person he's ever met.

The members here in Hachiōji are seriously thee best. I don't know if I told you about Kitahara Shimai but oh my, I adore her. She's the relief society president and always helps us out when we need a member present lesson. She's also probably the smallest person I have ever seen in my life. SO LITTLE. But she's leaving us😭😭 her and her husband are leaving to serve a mission at the Sapporo temple on September 26😔 she's basically already a missionary, though. She just needs the tag. Another member who probably is my new favorite human being ever: Watanabe Shimai. First time I talked to her all she did was mock me. Seriously. She spoke slow and imitated my awful Japanese and then just smiled, laughed, and walked away. Everyone told me that Nihonjin aren't sarcastic. Watanabe Shimai proves all of them wrong. Everything she does is sarcastic. EVERYHING. I. Love. Her. Watching her and our district leader, Elder Jennings, interact has become my favorite activity. There are no words to describe her other than she is amazing and all I do is laugh when I'm around her. I'm never leaving Hachiōji.

I have had a few classic Japanese meals. Nothing too scarring from those experiences. BUT WAIT. So, it's rude not to eat ALL of your food here. You literally have to eat every grain of rice. So we were at a members house and they fed us lunch. Sandwiches, to be exact. I was very happy in that moment. At least I was until she brought out basically whole tomatoes for us to eat. I. Hate. Tomatoes. I just looked at Porter Shimai and she said "if you can get them on my plate without her seeing, I'll eat them". But that opportunity never came. So I ate them all at once and I had to physically stop myself from gagging. It was an awful experience that I would not wish on anyone. So there ya go, dad, I had tomatoes and I really don't like them. It's not just me thinking I don't like them. They cause me actual pain to eat.

HAPPY MTC ENTRANCE WEEK, MACRAE OR SHALL I SAY ELDER FISHBURN!!!!! You'll do great. It'll be awful at times BUT YOU ARE TOUGH AND YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS. And there will also be fantastic days so don't dwell
on the hard ones. Also, I need your mission email or you won't ever hear from me, ya goober.

Soooooooo since I forgot my journal, I can't tell you all the amazing scriptures I read this week.. And that makes my heart sad. So here's a few I can remember: D&C 105:14, 19, & 41. That's a good section. The whole Doctrine and Covenants is good. Y'all should read it.

Well, fam, I love you. I love you lots. But more importantly, Jesus loves y'all. Remember that, and remember that someone in Japan loves you!

Stay safe. Stay classy. Stay sassy.

Baskin Robbins!!!!

Fast Sunday dinner at the Kitahara's 

We hiked a mountain to get to a members house and
then turned around (half way up) and appreciated
how far we came

Feeshubaaan and Potaa Shimai, bout to
drop the hottest mix tape of 2016