Sunday, November 27, 2016

Missionary REBELS - staying out past curfew AND bedtime...

Good news, bad news, and miracles.  I'll let you read all about them below but the mission presidents wife told us via facebook that she is very impressed with Jordan's Japanese.  That makes me happy to hear that.  I just hope that she continues to progress and that she is starting to feel comfortable with the language.  Enjoy the email and, as always, feel free to post comments in the comments section or to ask questions.  Thanks for your prayers, emails, letters and thoughts.

English club:
At the beginning of this transfer, we started an English club on Sado. Every week, on Tuesdays, at 7pm we have a room rented at the Sado community center. We've passed out countless fliers and have been there every week without fail and no one has shown up. This happened 4 weeks in a row. This Tuesday we start biking to the community center (45-minute bike ride) and it's pouring rain and really windy and cold, and I just kept thinking to myself, "Someone better show up, please Heavenly Father!!" We made it to the community center soaking wet and chilled to the bone and started setting up. The door opened, "Is this where English club is?" Umm heck yes it is!! I about peed myself I was so excited. Reimi San is our first student and she's basically fluent in English so we just talked to her and got to know her. She works for the tourism department in Sado (we've been trying to get connections there) and she said she's going to bring a friend to English club this upcoming week!! She was so awesome and I am so thankful for this big miracle.

We had a special "Store" Eikaiwa in Ryotsu with some shop owners on Tuesday. We taught English in a store to 4 ladies and they were the funnest ladies ever! We taught them the word "sweet" and how Americans use it to mean "great" and the whole lesson they just kept saying "sweet!!" They were pretty sweet, to say the least.

Yoshiko San:
Sadly, Yoshiko San is no longer a progressing investigator. She is still an investigator, so we still teach her, but she isn't keeping her commitments. She has a huge testimony of Jesus Christ, but she's not too interested in the church, just talking with us. We're going to keep teaching her and I think someday she will be ready to accept the gospel, that day just isn't today. I still love her so so much though!!

Zone conference:
My first zone conference was a success. Lots of trainings and lots of learning pretty much sums it up. Something that was said that I liked a lot was we need to be more patient with our investigators. It took most of us 18 years to fully convert so why should we expect them to convert in a month?! This put it in a new perspective for me and made me realize that I definitely need to be more patient.

Just a little past curfew:
It was a struggle getting home after zone conference. President Nagano let us take the 7:30pm ferry to get home which would mean we wouldn't get back to our apartment until 11pm (a whole 2 hours past normal curfew and 30 minutes past our bedtime). We get to the bus station to get on a bus to go to where the ferry is docked, except there were no more buses! We were already late and it's about a 15-minute bus ride to the ferry port, so we started running. We ran all the way there with 5 minutes to spare and got our 2-way ticket out and gave it to the guy and he said, "This is a one-way ticket you can't use it again." Well we definitely knew it was a 2 way ticket because it said it on there and we've ridden the ferry enough times to know what ticket to buy, but he wasn't having it and the gate was going to close, so we bought another $25 ferry ticket and we got on just in time. We got back to our apartment at 11pm and we were absolutely exhausted!!

Eikaiwa round 2 and 3:
We taught another store Eikaiwa, but this time in Ogi. We had 3 people there and they loved it and want to do it again next week. Then, when we were talking to other store owners, a lady invited us in to do an Eikaiwa right then and there! We ended teaching to her and her friend and she wants us to come back next week too! (If only this were about the gospel, dang).

Word of the week:
Word: yoshi
Pronunciation: yo-sh
Meaning: sweet, great

Wunderli Shimai

1. Ramen!!!
2. A Japanese temple I think?
3. I saw this wall while we were biking and I yell, "stop it's monsters freaking inc" and of course u had to take a pic because how random is that??
4. A shrine or something
5. The Niigata zone
6. A shrine
7. We live 2 minutes away from this gorgeous view

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Teaching: English and the gospel, girls' night out (sort of) and baking - YUM.

It's Sunday evening before Thanksgiving and I am so thankful for the couple of hours that I get to email back and forth with my daughter.  I'm also thankful that she is working hard in the service of the Lord.  The time from Thanksgiving through New Years is my favorite time of year.  I love Thanksgiving because it kicks off the holiday season in such a great way and gets us in the spirit of giving which is a great spirit to be in for Christmas.  The holiday season also gives me more time to spend with my family which is always a great thing for me - I love time with my family.  This Christmas will be a little extra special because we get to skype with Jordan - we get to see and talk to her for the first time in several months.  She will have been on her mission for 5 months and 12 days on Christmas.  With that, I give you her email from this week.

I want on exchanges with Riggs Shimai and she's also from Vegas!! This is her last transfer! We went to Ogi and found a place that we could teach English to store owners. We didn't have a whole lot of luck, but on our way home two high school students were sitting in front of me so I started to talk to them. We ended up talking the entire way to the bus station (an hour). I showed them some pictures of America, and they showed me some of Japan. They told me about their families and how they want to visit America! I told them about English club and they were super excited about it so I hope they come next week!! Other than that, Sister Riggs and I just ate a ton the whole day and laughed a ton as well. We ate ice cream, 5 donuts (each), drank hot chocolate made from a vending machine (go Japan), and topped it off with a ton of Sado rice (the best rice). As for mine and Riggs Shimai's companions... they taught the first Eikaiwa on Sado!! I'm soooooo excited! And this week I get to teach the 2nd! Things are looking good for Sado!

Japanese style baking:
We had a little activity where we decorated a cake and then ate it. Genius right? So making the cake was definitely an experience. There are no ovens in Japan so baking isn't really a thing. We bought cake mix at the store and made it at our apartment. The box of cake mix comes with a make-your-own-pan because I guess no one owns pans since you can't really bake. So we made that and poured the cake mix in it and then we cooked it in the microwave!! The CO alarm went off while the cake was cooking and so we ran out of the apartment thinking we were going to die. It was freezing cold outside and we didn't grab jackets on our way out so we really thought we were in trouble. We called Sister Nagano and she explained that the CO detector was also a smoke detector and to just move it away from the microwave. Turns out she was right and everything was okay. And the most important part is the cake turned out great!!

Girls' night:
So only two people showed up for girls' night, but it was a potential investigator and a ward member! We ended up having a douseki (member-present) lesson. The potential investigator isn't too interested in the church right now, but she's not scared of us so that's a start. Right now we just want to build trust with her and form a good relationship. She's pretty lonely right now because her husband died a couple of years ago. So we are trying to help her have fun and to have more friends. Anway, the cake tasted way good which I was pleasantly surprised about.

Eikaiwa in Ogi:
Call Shimai and I went back to Ogi a few days later and talked to more store owners. We talked to one that had interest that Riggs Shimai and I had talked to earlier in the week. And we set up an Eikaiwa class with her and another store owner!! This coming Saturday! Soon Eikaiwa is going to be all over this little island.

Word of the week:
Word: kuiaratame
Pronunciation: koo-ee-aw-da-taw-meh
Meaning: repentance

Wunderli Shimai

1. I thought this was cool
2. We always have pretty bike rides
3. Our cake!
4. Kaki
5. Riggs Shimai and I love Mr. Donut
6. OGI
7. Girls' night

I always love the pictures and the great experiences in her email.  As always, she appreciates all of your support as do we.  Please feel free to comment or ask questions.  Until next week, make your week a great one.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

More Small Miracles for Sister Jordan Wunderli

It's email time for Sister Jordan Wunderli and I'm always excited for this time because we get to communicate in real time but I also get to hear, ok read, all about her week and see what good things have happened.  In my emails to her, I always provide words of encouragement and try to share inspiring scriptures that might resonate well with her.  She says it helps her get through the week and that these things motivate her to persevere and to work as hard as she can.  She was my workout buddy when she swam and she always worked out really hard and put forth a good effort and it paid off for her so I know that she is driven and that she will put forth the effort - especially with a little nudge from her dad.  She was rewarded for her efforts this week with a few firsts.  Check it out.

I'm convinced that the 12 branch members here on Sado are the best ones in the world!! One family invited us over for dinner and another took us to dinner and did a lesson with us!

Yoshiko San lesson:
Woo-hoo we had a douseki lesson (member-present lesson). The Hamada family came and taught Yoshiko San with us and it was great because now they are really good friends. It turns out that they knew each other somehow because of work so they already had that common ground. I didn't understand much of what was going on in that lesson because they talked in fast Japanese most of the time, but she wants to keep coming to church!! The lesson was 3 hours long, which a lesson should never be 3 hours long, but we didn't know how to leave! We didn't want to be rude, and the Hamada family was going to give us a ride back to our apartment...We went back to Yoshiko San's house a few days later and read the Book of Mormon with her. She promised to read it every day!

New potential investigator:
We were walking the streets in Ryotsu and this little old lady was walking in front of us so we decided to talk to her. We asked her if she has heard of Christ before and she said yes AND that she believes in Christ! What!? Apparently, she has some Christian friends, but she doesn't actually belong to a church and she reads all of their stuff that they give her. We asked if we could teach her more and she said yes and gave us her address!!

Coolest little miracle:
We had to get to the Ryotsu community center, so, we were walking around thinking we knew where to go. We passed this lady on the street and she goes, "oh you're going to the community center, it's this way" and she tells us where to actually go. The cool thing is that we have no clue how she knew where we were going. There's no way she should've known! We had to go to the community center to set up an appointment, but we are definitely going to go back and visit her!

Store Eikaiwa (English class):
On Sado, we are starting a special Eikaiwa for store owners. We want to target the more touristy places and teach them English so that the tourism grows here. We found a place to do it at (the community center) and we have been talking to store owners about a good time to do it. Some said they were too busy, some said they had no interest, but we had some promising ones too. One lady said that there was a store owner association group and at their next meeting she would talk to them about doing it and then call us. Another lady we talked to asked if we could do a personal Eikaiwa with her and her friends right in her store! She actually called us on Sunday and set up appointment with her and 4 friends for Tuesday!! 

Frosty the snowman was playing (in English) on the streets in Ryotsu which was pretty funny. It's only the middle of November and we're on a little island and here Frosty the snowman is. I love Christmas!!

Word of the week:
Word: suteki
Pronunciation: stecky
Meaning: stylish, cool, superb

Wunderli Shimai

1. Our rain pants and we're wearing about 4 jackets each, it's been cold in Sado
2. Some traditional houses
3. A cute little alley way
4. This town is ancient
5. My new bff
6. An example of a random vending machine
7. Beautiful Sado
8. A Buddhist shrine

Like last week more good stuff happened this week including the first dinner invitations by members on Sado.  I love the pictures and can't wait to visit.  As always, thanks for your emails and letters.  She loves and appreciates the support.  Feel free to leave a comment and ask questions.  

Monday, November 7, 2016

Yoshiko San (and her cat) came to church this week and...

More miracles.  It was a good week for Sister Jordan Wunderli - She said it was her best week yet after saying that last week was her best week yet.  I challenged her to have a mindset where she will make each week better than the last, to work harder and / or smarter, to approach things creatively and with humility and to pray for help and have faith in the answers she gets.  She was really excited about this week so here it is.

Long email this week everyone. Sorry, just so many great things happened this week!! I love being a missionary! Fill free to skim through or just skip to the pictures.

Ogi is a town in Sado, about an hour and a half bus ride from our apartment. It's so gorgeous there, but it's a ghost town. We went to this hotel to talk to the workers there about our English class we offer, and there is only one person who works at the hotel! Yeah, didn't have much success there. Our hope with going to more "touristy" parts of Sado is to help them with English so they will be more successful.

We went into this bike rental place and rented rocket-powered mamacharis (granny bikes) and we biked through all of Ogi on them; it was fantastic. The guy who works at the rental shop was really good at English and he put our flier up in the shop!! We saw some way pretty scenery there, but didn't have any luck as far as people being interested in the English or the gospel. But wait for it... we got on the bus to go back home and before we get the chance to sit down, the bus driver says to us, "I want to learn English, teach me English!!" Might I add, he said this in perfect English. I was so ecstatic! I told him okay and that we had a free English class every week. Boy was he excited. At every stop, he would turn around and talk to us. He would say things like, "I love American music. I love the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and the beach boys." It was so funny and he was such a nice man. Heavenly Father is always preparing people for us!!

Ryotsu is another town in Sado, only an hour bus ride from our apartment. We had the same mission as we did in Ogi: talk to the store owners and more touristy places about Eikaiwa (English class). This time it was so successful. We talked to about 30 shop owners and had such good conversations with all of them. None of them came to Eikaiwa this week, but hopefully some will next week. I know that as we keep showing our faith and building good relationships with people, we can build up Eikaiwa. 

So obviously a miracle happened in Ryotsu too. We were waiting for the bus and this lady is standing next to us. So we obviously have to talk to her!! (This time in Japanese). We introduced ourselves.  When we said "Jesus Christ," she told us that she went to a Christian school and that she believes in Him! She doesn't live in Sado unfortunately, but we gave her a pamphlet and told her that there were missionaries where she lived too. We all got on the bus and then when we sat down I realized I had a Japanese Book of Mormon in my bag (this was the first time I had ever carried around a Book of Mormon, usually it's just pamphlets and fliers). I pulled it out and went up to her and testified that this book had the answers she was looking for and that it would make her so happy. She looked so excited as she grabbed the book from my hands!!

Yoshiko San's Mother-in-law:
We tried to meet up with Yoshiko San this whole week, but she was always busy and never at her house! We went to her house when we went to Ryotsu and her mother-in-law was there and told us that Yoshiko San was somewhere else (not quite sure where). We asked if we could come back tomorrow and she told us yes, of course, and then held out her pinky finger and made us both pinky promise that we would come back (this might have been the cutest thing ever). We came back the next day as promised, but Yoshiko San still wasn't there so we ended up talking to her Mother-in-law again. She absolutely loves us!

Forever over-eating in Niigata:
We went to Niigata for zone meeting and exchanges this week (both were amazing). So me and Call Shimai went to the dollar sushi like we usually do in Niigata and I set my record - 14 plates of sushi. I was dying after hahaha. So worth it though. The next day after zone meeting we had zone lunch and we went out to this restaurant that had really good meat. I obviously ate a ton of food there! Then we went on exchanges and Domino Shimai and I went to a member's house for lunch and she fed us soooo much. I was dying for the rest of the day, but again, it was worth it.

Now for the big miracle:
YOSHIKO SAN CAME TO CHURCH! We called her Sunday morning and invited her to church. Well it turns out she knows one of our members and so we had them talk and she came!! Watching her in church talking to the members, singing the hymns, taking the sacrament for the first time, well it was the best sacrament meeting ever. It was kind of funny though because she brought her cat and he would meow sometimes in the back, but it was all good. She had to leave after sacrament meeting to go to work... but she said she felt really good while she was there. Next, were going to talk about keeping the Sabbath day holy...

Word of the week:
Word: Fuinki
Meaning: vibe, atmosphere
Pronunciation: fwainky

Wunderli Shimai

1. 14 plates down in 20 minutes
2. Yoshiko San's Mother-in-law gave us anko (sweet bean paste) in mochi (sticky pounded rice), wasn't my favorite, but wasn't the worst either
3. Ogi!!! I love Sado
4. Sado should be in a movie
5. Halloween party pic from last week
6. Sushi 7. More of ogi
8. The little town of ogi
9. Rice fields on rice fields

The picture of the little town reminds me of some of the small towns in Europe that we've been to.  The rain drops on the lens in the rice field picture show what she told me in her emails - it's cold and rainy.  She said it's freezing so riding bikes in that weather does not sound like fun; maybe that's why they decided to take the bus to visit people.  One thing to keep in mind is that there are only 12 members in the branch and even though this part of the mission has been open for 22 years, there have only been three convert baptisms during that time.  As always, she loves and appreciates your emails, letters, and prayers, as do I.  Feel free to comment or ask questions.