Monday, December 11, 2017

Beloved Sanjo

2nd to last email.  8 days.  Jordan doesn't have a p-day next week because she'll be in the mission home the day before she flies out.  This is a great email with lots of good details.  Next week will be a nice re-cap of her mission.  As you can imagine - I'm VERY excited for her to come home.  I'm also very proud of what she has done in Japan - her effort, her perseverance, and the love she has shown.

As always, thanks for your emails, snail mails and prayers on her behalf - we all appreciate it more than you know.  Make it a great week.  Thanks for reading.

こんにちは、
As the transfer comes closer to the end, I've been reflecting back on this short 5 weeks I've been in Sanjo. My bean and I got to Sanjo and we had no idea where we were going or who anyone was, where anything was (even our apartment), and we had to try to not get too lost because the trains only come maybe once every hour. Whitewashing, reopening an area, and training was way harder than I thought it would be. We did know one thing though and that was our purpose: to invite others to come unto Christ. We hit the ground running and got right to work.

There were moments, even days, maybe even weeks where it was so hard to see the miracles that were right in front of us. There were days where we would go from house to house for hours talking with everyone telling us the word missionaries never want to here, "No." There were days where it has been so cold that people will say no, but then tell us how sorry they are for us. There were moments where I felt so alone because my bean is a brand new missionary and I had to talk to more people, translate more, do more. There were so many days where I was just absolutely exhausted at the end, so excited to get some sleep. However, reflecting back on the five weeks we've had here, it's now that I really see how much the Lord has blessed us. We have been blessed to find about 2 investigators every single week since we got here (some have stuck, some have not). We have been blessed to work with some of the best members I've ever met. We have been blessed with so many learning experiences wrapped up in a short 5 weeks. The Lord has blessed us so abundantly in so many ways!! 

Our investigators:

Yui: 22. She is a member of a part member family (her husband isn't a member, but his family is). She has the cutest baby ever (Masato), who has the chubbiest cheeks I've ever seen. She came to church yesterday!!
‎Kobayashi: She has been an investigator for quite awhile, but is just now starting to progress. We had a lesson on repentance and she wants to repent. She told us that completely stopping the bad thing is the hardest step for her, but she committed to praying to God and asking for his help with it. We also taught her how to do a kneeling prayer and she loves it, we ended the lesson with a kneeling prayer and she said she felt sooo much peace.
‎Saki: She is part of a different Christian church and according to the members is super devout to her own beliefs, but she recently stopped going to her church. She still hasn't come to ours, but the members are elated.
‎Sui: The mom of a member and wow she is the most genki (happy/energetic) 89 year old I've ever met. She listens to the book of Mormon every single day and prays every single day.
‎Honoka: We met her while housing this last week and shared the light the world video and she told us she wants to learn more about Jesus Christ. She also gave us some apples :)
‎Fukuyo: We met her while housing on one of our first weeks and she was so excited to see us! She speaks really good English and wants to learn more about our church. Her mother died a few years a go and she told us that she regrets not having a good relationship with her.
‎Yoshiko: We also met her while housing and she loves Christians! She wants to come to church sooo bad. She is going to come to the Christmas party this week.

I love Sanjo and the people in it. I've learned so much over this transfer and have met so many a amazing people. Sanjo definitely holds a special place in my heart. Also, fun fact about the Sanjo branch, there is only one family in the whole branch (about 25 people) that isn't a part-member family. The missionaries have work to do!

Find joy in the moment peeps.
愛しています、
Wunderli 姉妹

Pics: 
1. Okonomiyaki 
2. Masato 😍😍
3. I love chino shimai 
4. Sanjoooo 
5. I met this lady on the train this week and complimented her frog gloves and then she gave them to me!! She was such a sweetheart
6. Spaghetti party with the okuzawa family 
7. Hoshino shimai and her mom (sui) 

















I hope you enjoyed the email.  Thanks for your support throughout Jordan's mission.  Don't forget that there's one final email next week.  Her homecoming is December 24th at 9:00 at our ward building:  7075 S. 2245 E., Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121.

Monday, December 4, 2017

What's Niigata?

After this post, there will be two more before Jordan get's home.  As you can imagine, I'm VERY excited about this.  Here is her email.  Thanks for your support and thanks for reading.

こんにちは、
Hello hello. No time to waste. I only have 2 weeks left. Ahhh here ya go!

What's Niigata?
There's a sign that moves around the niigata prefecture that says "what's niigata" on it. I don't really know what the real meaning of the sign is or why it's there, but I'll give my meaning of what niigata is.
•the furthest zone in the whole mission from the mission home
•‎the coldest zone in the mission and the only zone where it snows
•‎the countryside of countryside
•‎home of my bean area and my dying area; where I started and where I will finish my mission
•‎the place where a member of the seventy promised there would be a temple one day
•‎the place where I've probably grown and learned the most in my entire life
•‎the place where I've been for both winters on my mission (God really has a sense of a humor sometimes, I'm from Vegas and am not use to the cold at all yet I get sent to niigata for both my winters haha)
•‎famous for its delicious rice 
•‎the place I've spent 6 months, 1/3 of my mission
•‎the most talked about zone in the mission

OYM:
In my mission, we have developed a culture of OYM, or open your mouth, which means to talk to everyone you possibly can about the gospel. So this week, we were at a members' house. She is the only member in her family and has 3 kids that are around 20 years old. We were asking about her family a lot and she told us that she is scared to death to talk to them about the church. She told us that her husband is pretty anti so she doesn't want anything bad to happen and is just too scared to talk to her kids. She then told us that WE have talked to her daughter before. I did not remember this so I asked her when. She said that we talked to her daughter on the train and that her daughter said that she had met missionaries from her church and that we were really nice (she didn't tell us her mom was a member). This member was sooo grateful that we decided to open our mouths and talk to her daughter. She then gave us full permission to talk to any of her kids about the church :) Now we just have to meet them! We're working on having her invite them to English class so we can take over about talking about the gospel.

The rest of my week is in the pictures :) love you all. Remember you can OYM to share the gospel too!
愛しています、
Wunderli姉妹

Pics:

1. My last Zone conference ahhh.

2 and 3. The Sanjo church is in a strip mall! How cute!!

4 and 5. We had zone blitz where all the missionaries in the niigata zone went out and proselyted together and it was on a night where it was pouring snow and rain so it was freezing :) barely survived. Also the what's niigata sign is in the background.

6. Our investigator, Kobayashi san


















There you have it.  She began her mission (the Japan part, anyway) in Sado (the island north of the main island of Japan), the northern most part of the Niigata zone and the mission in general.  She is finishing her mission in Sanjo - also in the Niigata zone.  I think it is a brilliant move by President Nagano since it will prepare her for the winter season in Salt Lake City and it will help her want to come home - she was loving her mission too much in Tokyo.  :)

Thanks for your prayers - please keep praying for her safe return - and your emails.  She loves them all. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Full of Gratitude

I'll just say that Jordan is REALLY my mini-me - in addition to so many other things, she has my taste buds big-time.

こんにちは、
Hope you all had an amazing thanksgiving!! I sure did. Because it's the time to give thanks and tell everyone what you're grateful for, I'll take this email to do just that.

1. I'm grateful for my mission. Holy cow I have learned so much in this short year and a half.
2. ‎I'm grateful for Sado, Kumagaya, Nakano, and Sanjo (all of my areas). I have learned and grown in each one.
3. ‎I'm grateful for all of my companions. I have also learned from each one of them and now I have so many more amazing friends.
4. ‎I'm grateful for all of the members I've met on my mission. They are truly inspiring and I hope to emulate their examples of having Christ at the center if my life.
5. ‎I'm grateful for Japanese food. The sushi bowls, rice, chocolate, convenient foods, cream puffs. They have all made my life a little better and a little sweeter.
6. ‎I'm grateful for my family. I seriously couldn't have asked for better parents or a better brother or anyone else.
7. ‎I'm grateful for the Book of Mormon. I feel closer to God and Jesus Christ every time I read it and it has helped me so much in my life and my mission.
8. ‎I'm grateful for my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. They have given me everything!!
9. ‎I'm grateful for Japanese stores. I have never found so much cute, modest clothing, so easily, in my entire life.
10. ‎I'm grateful for tender mercies. I see so many everyday and it's what gets me through the hard ones.

This short list doesn't even begin to tell how grateful I am for everything, but there ya go. Be thankful for my short email ;) 

愛しています、
Wunderli 姉妹

Pics:
1. Made cookies with the young women for less active families
2. Best. Facemasks. Ever.
3. Thanksgiving dinner :)) these mashed potatoes were bomb!
4and5. We got out the Christmas decorations at the church!!
6-8. We hiked a mountain today
9. This is a train station!! What in the Japan!
































22 days - 3 weeks and 1 day.  Jordan will be home soon and I can't tell you how excited I am to see her, hug her, and hang out with her for a couple of weeks before she gets back into the full swing of school at the University of Utah.  She's excited.  As always, thanks for reading, thanks for your support and your prayers.

Monday, November 20, 2017

It's Cold in Sanjo but the Members are HOT!!

Less than one month and Jordan will be HOME!!  I can't wait.  Here's another good email from her.  Not many left.  As always, thanks for reading and thanks for your support.

こんにちは、
I can't believe I'm writing yet another weekly email! It seems like just yesterday. Time is seriously flying!!! I have a month until I go home, and well that's insane. It's getting pretty freezing here in sanjo... it's been raining everyday and snowing as of yesterday. Lots and lots of layers! :) well anyway... 

The future of Niigata:
A few months ago, Elder Choi, of the seventy, came to the niigata zone for a conference. He told the missionaries and members that Niigata will have its own temple and mission one day. Well ever since then, the members have been absolute fire. We have a conference call with the sanjo branch every single morning at 7am where we say a prayer together. All of the Sanjo members get in the call and we say a prayer to help us with missionary efforts and so that we can see a temple in niigata. Every single morning, without fail, the members get on the call. After church on Sunday, the members wanted to go out and do missionary work! In the freezing cold and rain! They got a stack of fliers for our English class and asked if we wanted to come with them! We broke up into little groups and then we went and handed out fliers for our English class. I love these members so much. 20 of the most solid members in the world. :)

Yui:
Yui is part of a part member family. Her husband's family are members, but he is actually not, so she technically married into a part member family. She hangs out with them all the time and she comes to church events all the time so she has a ton of potential. We've been wanting to bring up the gospel, but weren't exactly sure how to since she's been around the missionaries so much. Well she came late to an activity and there were no other women there so we decided to go into another room and study. We were reading the book of Mormon when she came in. She asked us what we were doing and then how we studied the book of Mormon. One thing lead to another and we ended up teaching her the plan of salvation!! She has a ton of interest, she's just super busy with her baby. She ended up coming to church on Sunday and she even dressed up for it and cut her hair for it!! So excited for her! She's going to be the key to getting her husband baptized as well :) on top of that her baby is absolutely adorable.

Lol of the week:
My companion and I went to go visit this less active that lived semi close to us and the church, but she wasn't home so we decided to house around the area. We rang the doorbell of this apartment (note: in Japan you ring this doorbell that is connected to a speaker think so you can speak back and forth through that, and then the newer apartments even have a video with it so they can see you, but you can't see them) and a man answered. We told him that we were missionaries and since Christmas is coming we wanted to share a short video about the real meaning of Christmas. We asked if he had 5 minutes to watch the video and he did what no Japanese person usually does, he said yes!! We asked if we could share it with him on his front step, but he told us that he wanted to watch it from right there (through the video camera). Well when you're a missionary you do what you gotta do, so I pulled out the video and held it up to the video camera. I felt pretty dumb, but it was for a good cause. Fast forward to after the video and we end up asking if he wants to learn more about Jesus Christ. Then he said that he is already learning about Jesus Christ! We thought he was a kinjin (golden person). We ask what church. He says the Mormon church! We thought he was the elders' investigator. We ask his name and the speaker thing cuts out.. Then the door opens. It was the elders!!! We accidentally housed into the elders.. Welp. There's that.

I'm loving every freezing day here in Sanjo. Stay warm (spiritually and physically) my friends.  

愛しています、
Wunderli 姉妹

Pics:
1. Yui's baby!!
2. Facemasks with comp. It's become a ritual.
3. Grateful for hot chocolate in vending machines and that theyre on every block. Needed.
4 and 5. Scenic bike rides. 
6. Book of Mormon study club 
7. Zone pday. We went bowling. They had the two dying missionaries (soon to be returning missionaries) sit on the two stools in the front. Yup it's me and Kema shimai. Cool. We felt special.








We had a special stake conference yesterday where Elder Stevenson from the Quorum of the 12 spoke.  He said that one great way for us all to get involved in missionary work was what he called the stair-step method - one step at a time.  He said that the first thing we could do is pray for the missionaries.  The next step would be to pray for missionaries by name.  Then we can pray for the investigators and then pray for them by name.  The step after that would be to invite the missionaries over for a lesson so that they can practice - kids often have lots of questions so it will keep the missionaries on their toes.  Then we can invite the missionaries and have them bring an investigator.  Finally, we can invite the missionaries and a friend who isn't a member.  

When he talked about praying for the missionaries, I thought of all the support that Jordan has been getting from your prayers and we really appreciate it.  Please keep praying for 4 more weeks.  :)




Monday, November 13, 2017

I'm Not In Tokyo Anymore

I'm so happy that Jordan gets to keep in touch with the investigators she grew so close to in Nakano.  I'm really happy for the great news that you'll read about as well.  As always, thanks for your kind thoughts, prayers and general support.  Enjoy her first email from Sanjo.

こんにちは、
Coming at you live from SANJO. Well I am definitely not in Tokyo anymore... holy cow. The difference is so real!! The trains are few and far between (they come once every hour, compared to every 5 minutes in Tokyo), and the trains are so sketchy. They are so loud and every time the train stops or starts, it actually sounds like it's going to just break down. Not to mention the doors aren't automatic... you have to open them manually! Haha the 7-11s and convenient stores in general are also far and few between. It's a pretty rare thing to see them, as opposed to Tokyo where you can stand at any given location and see about 5. The people too; far and few between, which is also completely different than Tokyo. It's definitely a lot different, but I'm adjusting and adapting, something that all missionaries have to do and learn.

NAKANO UPDATES
I've learned on my mission that just because I transfer out of an area does not mean that I'm necessarily done with that area, and I am so grateful for that. I'm also so grateful for technology because it has allowed me to keep in contact with Ryoko, Nabeko, and some of the other amazing people I met in Nakano. Okay... but with that..NABEKO HAS A BAPTISMAL DATE. Wow I was soooo happy when I heard this. And who did I hear it from? NABEKO! In my last email, I told you all that on the train she told us that she wanted to get baptized, well it's now happening on December 17th. Holy cow to say I'm so happy is actually a complete understatement.

On Wednesday, Nabeko was having a really hard time. They said it was partly because of work and partly because I left (how cute is she). So what did she do? She went to the takadanobaba teaching station, a building literally dedicated for teaching the gospel. She went there and found the elders in there. She told them that she was having a really hard day and asked if she could just sit in the there because that is where she feels better and that is where she can feel peace. They ended up saying a prayer with her too and right after the prayer she said that she felt sooo much better and she was so grateful for it. The sisters set a baptismal date with her the next day.

She messaged me on LINE and told me about her hard day and how prayer helped her and how the elders helped her. Then she said, "I'm so grateful I could meet you and the church members." Then she said that she is DETERMINED to receive baptism on her scheduled day. Wow. I'm so happy for her. I'm so happy to know her.

THE SANJO BRANCH MEMBERS 
Wow they are amazing! They are so willing to work with us and more than that they want to work with us. They are so dedicated to the church and its so humbling to see. The Sanjo branch is about 20 people and the church is just a little building in a strip mall. There is so much potential with this area solely because of the members. There are so many part member families in the branch and they all have such a strong desire to share the gospel with their families. At church on Sunday, a member came up to us and told us that she wants us to teach her mom and that her mom has been praying everyday and listening to the book of Mormon, and on top of that, the remember also told us that she would set up an appointment with us and another investigator to introduce us. 

MY BEAN
Sister Thompson is her name. Dendo (missionary work) is her game. She is fresh out of the MTC and had a bad case of jet-lag the first few days (this is her first time out of America). She is from Kansas City, Missouri. She is so excited to be in Japan and to be doing the Lord's work! We are working hard together and trying to find our way around Sanjo.

Until next week. Read the blue book!
愛しています、
Wunderli 姉妹

Pics
1. Picking up our beans (new missionaries)
2. Back to the rice fields and the classic name tag pic 
3. I love Japan and the restroom signs in Sanjo
4. the branch presidents family. Wow I love them so much.
5. Last pday in Tokyo with my bff. We just had to try these on. 
6. What in the creme brulee crepe
7. byeeee Tokyo































Feel free to share any thoughts, questions, or comments in the comment box.  Thanks for reading and your prayers, emails, and snail mail.  Jordan really appreciates it - as do we.

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Church is True

Well Jordan has been in Nakano for the last five transfers.  We got the word on Jordan's last transfer and she will be serving the last 6 weeks of her mission in...

Is she staying in Nakano or is she going to be serving somewhere else?  Read on and find out.  It was another challenging week but I think she got some good answers and had a fair amount of good stuff, too.  Enjoy this week's adventures with Jordan on her mission.

こんにちは、
If I'm being completely honest, it was another hard week, but I also had so many of those, "wow the church is true" moments, so that is what I want to focus on.

1. RYOKO 
After Ryoko cancelled her baptism the day of, and after a few days of hardly any contact with her, she messaged us asking us if we could meet. She apologized again for canceling her baptism and then she told us how much she loved this church and Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. She then said that since her parents are Buddhist she is trying to be Buddhist. We found out that she still hasn't told her parents anything at all about her even learning about a Christian church let alone being baptized into one. The more we talked to her, the more we realized how strong her testimony is and how much she wants to follow Jesus Christ. She told us that she wants to keep reading the book of mormon and praying. She told us that lately she has been having a hard time deciding what to do because she feels like all the decisions she has to make are big ones (she is 22 and about to graduate college). As she was telling this to us, and kind of letting her frustration out, she stops and says, "I think the reason God is giving me all of these hard things is to make me stronger and so that I can learn." SHE GETS IT. She completely gets it. She then went on to say that the only time she feels strong is when she's with us and feels that peace. She even showed us her favorite scripture in the book of Mormon that helps her - Alma 34:40. The only thing holding her back is her family. She loves her family so much, so she doesn't want to be baptized without their approval, but she is terrified to tell them.

2. NABEKO
Nabeko is so prepared. She doesn't know anything about God or Jesus Christ or anything involving religion in the slightest, yet somehow she just gets it. We had a lesson about baptism with her this week and were going to commit her to be baptized, but then she really opened up about how she doesn't know how to make decisions for herself. She explained that her whole life, she hasn't has to make any decisions. She is from China and moved to Japan 2 months ago, and up until then, her whole life had been decided for her. She told us that the Chinese government controlled everything they did, and if it wasn't them, it was her parents. She is really struggling with just making any decisions right now, so we are helping her to make her own ones, and because of all this, we didn't feel right about asking her to be baptized on a certain date, even though it is still her decision. However, throughout the lesson, she would reference her getting baptized. She would say things like, "If or when I get baptized, it's going to be hard because I love drinking alcohol."
Well fast forward to Monday night (she had come to church on Sunday too), she hung out with us a little on p-day because I was transferring. On the train ride home, we were all just goofing off and having fun and then she gets serious and she says, "I think want to be baptized. I want that same light that you two have and I really like the way I feel when I'm in the church." She told us that she needed some time, but she really wants to get baptized. She even told us that she's been trying to stop drinking alcohol!! This is amazing!! She loves alcohol!! Also, we haven't even taught her the word of wisdom, so she doesn't even know the blessings of keeping it! She just knows you can't drink alcohol from a member who told her. On a completely different note, when she saw that sister Morelock and I were stressed about something, she told us that we needed to pray. You're right, Nabeko! She amazes me.

3. TRANSFERS
This whole transfer I had been feeling like I would be transferring (I mean I've been in Nakano for 5 transfers so....). I didn't know where I would be going (like every missionary), but this last Friday night, BOTH Morelock Shimai AND I had a dream that I was going to be transferring to Sanjo. We had transfer calls a couple days later and it turns out that I will in fact be going to Sanjo!! We also later found out that the assistants and President Nagano had solidified that I was going to Sanjo the night before we had the dream. Crazy, right?

Now Sanjo hasn't had sister missionaries recently so I will be reopening the area, whitewashing (missionary term, me and my companion have never been to the area and know nothing about it), and I will be doing it with a brand new missionary! I'm training!! Sanjo is in my first zone that I was in when I came to Japan so I get to go back for my last transfer. I'm pumped. This zone is also the coldest zone in the mission so yay.

I'm so grateful for a daily dose of testimony builders and tender mercies. Through the highs and the lows, I just love being a missionary. Next week I'll be reporting live from Sanjo, Niigata. The church is true. 

愛しています、
Wunderli 姉妹

1. This store though.
2. Thus is nabeko. She loves drinking plain tomato juice with every meal.
3and4. Just missionary things 
5and6. Last Sunday in Nakano with my two favorites: Ryoko and nabeko.
7. Last English class with my two favorites 
8. I love the Nakano young women ❤❤ they all want to go on missions!









As always, thanks for your positive thoughts, your prayers, your snail mail and email.  Jordan really loves them and appreciates them...as do we (her parents).  There's not many of these left.  The time is drawing close to when I'll get to see her again and give the biggest hug I can possibly give someone.  We'll be back next week with more.