Sunday, September 25, 2016

How Excited Am I For Another Sunday Night Email Session With Sister Jordan Wunderli - YEAH!!

It's 8:35 on Sunday night in Salt Lake City which means it's 11:35 in the morning on the island of Sado in Japan.  Jordan just sent this email to us and it has some great, inspiring things in it.  I hope you enjoy it:

Miracle of the week: I ate rice with chopsticks and didn't spill anything at all (okay not the real miracle but I am proud of myself) , the real miracle was my first lesson!!

I taught my first lesson last Saturday and it went amazing. We taught Yoshiko San.
A little background:  Call Shimai met her in the street a week before I got to the mission field and she wouldn't meet with the missionaries then. We went and visited her house (an hour bus ride) but she was busy at that time. We called her and set up a lesson time for Saturday!! She has a testimony of Jesus Christ already and her Christian Church that she was going to closed down. She's about 40 and talks super fast Japanese.
So we met at the church and we started talking about what we were going to teach and she just started crying and saying thank you (she said other stuff too but I'm not exactly sure as to what). Then we started teaching the restoration. We showed her the Mormon message "The Only and True God and Jesus Christ Whom He Has Sent." We looked up at her after the video and she was just balling. She was so receptive of our message. Then at the end, me being a bold American, I invited her to be baptized. She didn't say yes.... but she didn't say no either. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she said she would read it and we have another lesson with her Saturday. I couldn't understand hardly anything she said in the lesson, but the spirit was so strong that it didn't matter.

Some wunderful things that happened this week:
-Sado has more shades of green than Crayola!! Call Shimai and I get up and run through the rice fields for exercise every morning and it's just gorgeous.
-We got materials to make our own pens and they are the best pens ever!!
-For FHE (which is actually on Friday's) we played ping pong in the church (that's right my cute little church building has its own ping pong table), and I beat the bishop!! Everyone was very impressed with my ping pong skills (watch out Dad, Mom, and Jantz). They may not understand everything I try to say to them, but we have a deeper understanding: ping-pong.

We took an hour train to Ryotsu and did knock on some doors and talked to some people in the street. No one really wanted to listen to our message. Japanese people are so funny; they will either just talk to you with the front door still closed or open it a tiny slither and then say "ii desu" (I'm good), and then slam the door. By the way, this whole day it was just pouring rain. When we got back to the apartment, we looked like we took a shower with all of our clothes on. So anyway, it was a pretty hard day, but then on the bus ride back home, we met a teenage girl who was super interested in our English teaching service and gave us her address!! Miracle of the day!! Hopefully that can go somewhere.

Another day, we biked 40 minutes to this new place, Miakawa (mad respect for my dad right now, bike riding hurts my butt and legs), but we rode up this huge hill and there were all of these traditional Japanese homes (sliding doors, sacred-looking, tons of plants in front of the house). We go up to this one and the lady told us to come in, we slid the door open and the house looked like it was abut 400 years old. The lady (probably about 40), was super scared of us at first but as she warmed up, and as we told a little of our message, it turned out great and she invited us to come back anytime.

Throughout the days, I'm seeing a ton of little miracles. It may take knocking on a thousand doors, but we're going to find that one person who wants to hear the gospel. The miracles may not seem like a ton, but they are for Call Shimai and I because we know it took hard work to get those little miracles.
Just Japan things:
-the dollar stores here are magnificent, they have so much stuff and it's of good quality
-you can't eat while walking!!! (I got yelled at for this) apparently it's rude or something, but it's way convenient, come on Japan!
-when we were riding our bikes to Miakawa, we rode through some rice fields and there was a high quality vending machine in the middle of all of it.

Favorite word of the week:
Japanese: ohisashiburi
Pronunciation: oh-he-sashi-booty
Meaning: long time, no see

My address:
4-25-12 Nishi-ochiai
Shinjuku-ku Tokyo-to 161-0031

Also, I heard that we beat USC, go Utes!!

Wunderli Shimai

1. Last p-day me and Call Shimai made pens!!
2. the toilets in Japan have all of these weird gadgets
3. Our branch ate food for the last our of church
4. Name tag pics are always necessary
5. Rice fields/normal morning run
6. These huge things are Japanese grapes!!
7. Another food pic, but in Japan they have little bowls for everything, hardly any plates
8. Pass this view every time when I go to the church
9. Sadoooooo 

I love this email and group of pictures from Jordan.  It sounds like she had a busy and productive week.  She is definitely having great experiences that will serve her well and she'll be blessed for her efforts.  As always, she loves and appreciates your support as do we (her mom and dad).  Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section or ask questions.  

I'll be out of town next week on my hunting trip unless I get luck on my first day so the blog post will be later than normal but I'll get it up as soon as I can after I get home.  

Monday, September 19, 2016

Monday's My New Favorite Day - Jordan's first email and pictures from Japan

As you may remember from an earlier post, Japan is 15 hours ahead of us - we are in the mountain time zone.  We didn't know when we would get her email last night but it turns out that the only time they have access to wifi is when they are at their little (you'll see the pictures below) church building and they go there about 4-5 times a week.  The emails started coming around 9:30 our time which is 12:30 in the afternoon on Monday their time.  She is only at the church doing emails for about an hour or so which means she doesn't have nearly as much time to respond to emails as she did in the MTC.  Here is her email from Sado Island - north of the main Island of Japan:

Final week in the MTC/America
-Utah won so the branch president sang the Utah fight song for me
-final testimony meeting with my class which was so sad and we had to say goodbye to the best teachers ever
-some of the Elders in my zone sang for the Sunday night devotional!!

Made it to Japan
-We took a bus, two trains, two planes and then another bus to get here
-FIRST AREA: Sado Island
-took a 5 and a half hour bus ride to Niigata and stayed the night there with the Niigata Sisters then the next day we took a 2.5 hour ferry ride to finally get to my area and then an hour bus ride to get to our apartment

My area:
-Sado has about 60,000 people living on the island and of that 60,000, only 12 are LDS
-We have a way small branch but all the members are really active
-we don't really have a ton of investigators so we've really been focused on finding people to teach
-one of the ward members is from the Phillippines and she's fluent in 3 languages, including English so yay but she is awesome and told us about how she translated the missionary lessons for her grandpa when she was 16 and that's how she ended up being converted
-I'm the only blue-eyed person on the island

Just Japan things:
-they eat hard boiled eggs all the time but the yolk is always pretty raw
-at a stop light, the flashing green means stop, not yield or slow
-there are random vending machines everywhere, even on the farmland of Sado
-Japanese pears are so good, they're not like American pears at all
-ice cream with cornflakes is common here and pretty good
-I'm tall here believe it or not
-public trash cans don't exist here so you have to hold your trash until you go back to your apartment

I haven't had any time to get a bike (We have to get it on the mainland).  I'm using an old bike that's about to break! I ripped one of my skirts getting on...
I've been eating a ton of hard boiled eggs so far hahaha.  Eh they're not my favorite, but I don't hate them. Gotta eat what's cheap and semi healthy!


1. Sado!!!
2. Our church building
3. Ramen!!
4. District pic with our teachers
5. More Japanese food
6. Japanese ice cream (soooo good)
7. On the plane with Gorner Shimai

Here are three more pictures from the MTC:

 I love how she's reppin' the University of Utah in so many pictures.  She loves her school and her sports.  She couldn't get enough football news from me.  I gave her a game breakdown of our win over San Jose State this weekend and then I gave her my thoughts on the upcoming game against USC on Friday night.  Both had a fair amount of detail and she still wanted more.

Next week's emails should be fun because she will have been there for more than a week so she will have had a full cycle of everything she'll be doing.  I love the conversion story of the Philippino gal who translated the missionary lessons and was converted because of that.  I also like the picture of the little church building they meet in as well as the one with the Japanese food and the fork.

She said that they have to take a bus to some of the places they go on the island and so far the ride time on the bus seems to be about an hour.  She's excited to be in the field meeting the Japanese and sharing the gospel.  She also loves and appreciates the support you all give via emails, prayers, and letters.  Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below or to ask questions if you have any; I'll do my best to answer them or to have Jordan answer them.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

She's in Japan - pictures added

We got to talk to her yesterday when she was in the airport.  I sent her a cheap mobile phone so that she could call us (it was allowed) while she was in the airport so we got to speak with her for about 40 minutes or so after she got through security.  It was so great to hear her voice and the excitement she has to move into the next phase of her mission.

She began by telling us all about her experience of trying to follow the score of the Utah-BYU football game.  She said that the wifi shuts off at 9:00 at the MTC and the game had about three minutes left and Utah was up 17-13.  She knows from experience how much can happen in a football game, especially the rivalry game, in three minutes so she was agonizing about who won the game until she got the news on Sunday morning.  We knew about the bet she made with her branch president and he sang the Utah fight song (Utah Man) on the walk to the Temple but she told us that she had made a couple of other bets with some Elders that upon return from the mission, the loser would have to wear the opposing teams attire at the next rivalry game and cheer for the opponent.  We'll see of those guys honor that bet - I'm sure Jordan will hold them to it.  FYI - in case you don't know the end of the game, Utah kicked a field goal shortly after the wife was turned off with about 2:47 remaining in the game to go up 20-13.  BYU then drove down the field and scored a touchdown with about :18 remaining in the game.  They decided to go for the 2-point conversion and we (Utah) stopped them to win the game 20-19.

My son, Jantzen, asked Jordan to share her testimony in Japanese (I was going to ask her to do that but he pre-empted me - good for him).  She went on for quite a while and sounded great to my untrained ear.  She said that she's feeling much more comfortable with the language but is much better at understanding it than speaking it which is fairly common from what I hear.

Jordan said that she's really developed some close relationships, even with people that have only been at the MTC for about three weeks.  She talked about how excited she is to get to Japan and meet new people and eat non-MTC food but how she was sad because of how much she will miss her friends.  She said that one Elder put together a small men's chorus there recently and did a really great rendition of Nearer My God to Thee and she said it was similar to this:

Jordan told us a story about a conversation with an Elder that I won't go into detail at this point but she shared this scripture in relation to that story.  It's D & C (Doctrine and Covenants) 31:5-7 - 5 Therefore, thrust in your sickle with all your soul, and your sins are forgiven you and you shall be laden with sheaves upon your back, for the laborer is worthy of his hire.  Wherefore, your family shall live.  6 Behold, verily I say unto you, go from them only for a little time, and declare my word, and I will prepare a place for them.  7 Yea, I will open the hearts of the people, and they will receive you.  And I will establish a church by your hand...  This has special significance to us as she shared it and it meant a lot.  She is growing so much and, as I've mentioned in about every previous blog post, I'm very proud of her.  I know that she will do great.

Finally, this morning we received an email from the mission home in Tokyo confirming that the plane landed as scheduled at 3:30 Tuesday afternoon Tokyo time (12:30 a.m. our time).  The mission president was there to pick them up (all 30 of them) and take them back to the mission home where they would all spend their first night (it is about a 2.5 hour drive from the airport because of how crowded it is).   When they got to the home they were fed and then went off to bed.  When they wake up, they will go through an orientation and then meet their first companion who will train them and then be off to do the work (after they get moved in to wherever they are living).  We were promised some pictures in a couple of days which I will probably share in next week's blog post.  That's all for now.  As always, thanks for your support you show via emails, hand-written notes / letters and packages to Jordan (I'll share her address when we have it - it may just be the mission home but I'm not sure).  I appreciate it and she appreciates it more than you know.  Feel free to comment or ask questions.  Here are a couple of pictures of her in Japan with her new companion / trainer and her mission president and his wife.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Ladies and Gentlmen - Let's Get Reading Sister Jordan Wunderli's Weekly Email

The subject line in her email was:  Sayonara America.  Very appropriate because on Monday she will be on her way to Japan.  She'll be out of the country for 16 months.  My baby girl will be almost half way around the world - 15 hours ahead of us, so traveling west would be the quicker way to get there.
She's worked hard and has had lots of great experiences, both in the MTC and in life, to prepare her for the work she's about to do.  I'm so proud of her and I can't wait to start getting her emails from Japan with the stories of her interactions with the Japanese and the pictures.  She is so appreciative of all of your support whether it is emails, letters, or prayers - she loves and appreciates them all.  Enough babbling.  Here is her email and the pictures.

LAST WEEK IN THE MTC!! I won't have a p-day next week so the next time you'll hear from me is September 19th.
My final week in the MTC has been so bittersweet. I'm one big ball of emotions right now. I'm scared to be only speaking Japanese for the next 16 months (I've already been out for 2 months that's so crazy). I'm so sad to leave all of my friends that I've made while at the MTC. But most of all I'm so excited to be in Japan for a butt load of reasons.

-Huge shout out to the Regan's for sending me dark chocolate covered strawberries. So I'm walking out of the cafeteria and there's always a big board display of names to go to the main office. Well this time I see my name!! I start freaking out to my companion and was like oh my gosh what if I'm in trouble!? So I get up to the main office and they pull out a big edible arrangements bag. Holy cow that was the best surprise ever!!
-So the BYU/Utah game is this weekend and my branch president is a huge BYU fan. So he comes up to me one day and he goes, "so what're our stakes on this game?" We decided that if BYU loses, then he has to sing the Utah fight song in front of the whole zone, and if Utah loses then I have to sing the BYU fight song in front of the whole zone. So go Utes!! And pray that they win!! My pride is on the line.
-We got our flight plans!!! I leave to Japan on September 12th at 11am and I get there at 3:15pm the next day. Woo-hoo!!

-Chad Lewis (played in the NFL for 9 years) came and spoke to us and it was such a great talk. He was so humble and told us that going on a mission was His favorite choice he made  (and he was in the NFL) how awesome!!!
-He also related football to our missions and he said "if you are too cautious, you can't play like you want to play, play with all your heart." He also said that all of us our professionals (at sharing the gospel but still cool)
-I booked it up to the podium after devotional and I got to shake his hand!! His hand was probably bigger than my face hahaha.

-that's right we had another apostle come, which makes my total: 3.
-Elder D. Todd Christofferson came and it was the perfect last Tuesday Devotional.
-He told us that we are the apostles companions. The apostles are so busy that they can't preach to everyone and that's where we come in. It made me realize that I really need to step up my game because I want to represent the savior as an apostle would.
-He also said that it is better to be trusted than to be loved because love comes with trust but not always the other way around. He told us that Heavenly Father loves us, but does he trust us? If he needed someone in some place, would he trust you to send you there? I want him to trust me.

Sister Wunderli
PICS (going down):
1. District pic with one of our teachers
2. Serious pic with some serious homies
3. Laundry room pic
4. Shimaitachi at the temple
5. Sweater Saturday
6. The only two Utes at the MTC


As usual, Jordan is showing her personality and spunk.  I think the people of Japan will love her for her personality and great sense of humor.  She connects well with people and is always honest and sincere which goes great with this week's message from Elder  Christofferson.  Godspeed, Jordan.  You are in my prayers and many others.