Monday, May 29, 2017

An ALARMING End to the Week!!

I've got to say that while I'm very proud of Jordan and the success she is having on her mission, I'm looking forward to her being done as a Sister Training Leader so that she can get back to emailing us on Sunday night.  She's been so busy with her responsibilities as an STL that we haven't gotten any email time.  That said, I'm happy for her and the effort she is putting in and the attitude she has toward her responsibilities.  Here's her weekly email with some rather alarming content.  :)

Everyday it's feeling a little more like summer, and everyday I'm getting a few more mosquito bites..haha yay for summer in Japan!! Anyway, hope ya'll are doing fantastic.

This week I noticed that I tend to be happier with simplicity and with doing plain ole' missionary work. I've honestly been dying with all of the meetings we've had all of the reports we have had to write!! I miss being able to go visit ward members and build relationships with them. So, this week we made it appoint to visit just one family in the ward. We visited the Murofushi's, the bishop's family. We biked 30 minutes in the rain to get there and then when we got there, the bishop wasn't even home. We also only had time to share a 5 minute message because of how busy we were, but those 5 minutes were probably the happiest 5 minutes of this week. His wife and two daughters were home so we shared a scripture with them and asked them how they were doing and they were SO thankful that we came to visit them!! They were so happy which made me even happier. I had the biggest smile on my face that entire 30 minute ride home. It's hard to describe the joy that I get from the members here, but they are just incredible. 

Gaijin (foreigner) problems: 
There we were in our apartment, safe and sound, on Sunday night, right in the middle of our weekly call in summary report with our district leader...well all of a sudden the doorbell rings - in Japan the doorbell is actually connected to a phone so you answer the phone and you talk to the person through a speaker. Well we didn't know what button to push or how to work the phone at all actually so we ended up pressing a button that sounded an alarm. It was a pretty loud alarm that rang through the whole apartment building (7 stories). We had no clue what to do..we tried pressing other buttons and that didn't work, we tried hanging the phone up and that didn't work, so we call Sister Nagano  (our mission president's wife) and she tells us to go ask our neighbor for help. During this whole 10 minute process, the alarm is just going crazy!! We went and got help and the problem was solved in about .2 seconds and everything was back to normal...just a wee bit embarrassing, but what do you expect from two foreigners living in Japan? 

My new companion - Sister Her:
Sister Her is great! She's from Minnesota, and her parents are from Laos so she speaks mong!! She has the coolest family stories ever, and she converted to the church when she was 14 years old. She loves spicy food and has a huge bottle of that seracha (honestly don't know how to spell that at all) sauce that she puts on literally everything (even spaghetti). She's also so kind and I'm so excited to work with her this transfer. 

Keep your head up everyone; it's all going to be okay. 
Wunderli Shimai 

1 and 2: beautiful Nakano 
3. Sister Her!! 
4. Pday snack 
5 and 6: kodomo Eikaiwa (11 kids this week)
7. I can't get enough of this view 
8. Blue flowers what 

 There you have it.  I hope you weren't too alarmed with Jordan's experience with the alarm.  I always love her pictures.  As always, we appreciate your thoughts, prayers, snail mail and email, as does she.  Feel free to share your thoughts and questions in the comment section and make this week a great week.

Monday, May 22, 2017


Jordan is so busy that we didn't get any email time again.  I waited up until just passed 12 but with no luck.  We got a few nice emails during the wee hours of the morning including this recap of her week.  She definitely misses the regular missionary work and connecting with the people in that way.  Her current position is more interacting with the sisters she's responsible for training and working with them to find people to teach - she still gets to do that part of the work but she doesn't get to build the relationship and teach them through the process.  At any rate, enjoy her report and thanks for reading.

Well look at that, it's Monday again. Time is just flying by!! It's honestly going by way too fast, and I'm really trying to treasure every second I'm here on my mission. 

Transfer calls:
It feels like just 3 weeks ago I got transferred to Nakano and now we have transfer calls again?! *insert sarcasm* I was actually transferred here 3 weeks ago for emergency transfers, but now we had real transfer calls today!! Yamashita Shimai is transferring to Tsukuba...Which means I'll be taking over the area after only being here for 3 weeks hahaha. *insert nervous laugh*  My new companion is Sister Her and she is the same transfer as me... 7... wow I'm old. 

Busy bees:
Being an STL and being in Nakano is completely different than what I'm use to. We barely have any time to find people to teach or to even teach the people we have. We always have about 1000 things to do and a minute to do it in. This week, our week was full of exchanges, mission school, more mission school, and calls. Everyday is packed full, so much that we rarely have time for language study (sad face). I'm honestly feeling a little overwhelmed and inadequate, but with my Heavenly Father's help I know I can do anything. Now I just gotta learn how to use every minute of time wisely and effectively. 

We went on exchanges twice this week:
On Tuesday we went to Urayasu and I got to go on exchanges with my MTC companion, KEMA SHIMAI (boy oh boy do I love Kema shimai). Urayasu is so pretty and we ended up finding 2 potential investigators and then a whole load of mission school students so that was pretty great.
On Wednesday we went to Koiwa and I was companions with Moffat Shimai. Moffat Shimai and I have had a couple of the same companions, so I've heard about her before, but on Wednesday, I actually got to witness what I've heard: SHE'S A REAL LIFE DISNEY PRINCESS. I'm not even joking. She is seriously the most genuine, sincere person ever and she just looks like she should have birds singing around her. Anyway, back to missionary work... we didn't find anyone, but we talked to actually about 200 people, so we both thought we did absolutely everything we could; the people just weren't ready yet and that's okay.

Yamashita Shimai tribute:
I can't believe I only got her for 3 weeks!! I'm seriously so sad. Yamashita shimai loves sushi (we ate sushi so much together, I was in heaven), vanilla ice cream, and McDonald's (we also ate at McDonald's a few times haha). Her English is seriously so cute and she helped me a ton with Japanese. She loves the nashville tribute band (we would listen to the same CD every single day), and she loves her mission! Tsukuba is lucky to have her.

Word of the week:
Word: naruhodo 
Pronunciation: Naw-dew-ho-doe
Meaning: ah I see

Hope ya'll have a wunderful week (I'm turning country now).
Wunderli Shimai 

1. Kema Shimai ❤
2. The Takadanobaba teaching station - We taught two English classes there this week 
3. Homemade sushi - We have FHE every Monday night with the YSA ward and for our activity we made sushi.
4. Koiwa
5. We made this all from scratch - We went to this lady's house this week and she taught us how to make homemade udon  (Japanese noodles) from scratch.
6. 16 kids came to kodomo Eikaiwa, usually we have about 8, but this time 16 decided to show up 
7. My companion wanted to cut her hair so, we cut it.. turned out alright, thank goodness 
8 and 9: Sato Shimai and tasukun ❤ we went over to their house for dinner and they are seriously the best!! So loving and really made me feel right at home. 
10. It's been so hot so our cure for the hotness is to go buy ice cream. We've had ice cream about everyday this week haha.

Some cute kids in this English class!!

Another week in the books for Sister Jordan Wunderli.  I always look forward to not just the emails but the great pictures where I can see her beautiful smile and the people she is working with.  As always, feel free to share your thoughts or questions in the comment section.  Thanks for your thoughts, prayers, email and snail mail in support of my beautiful daughter.  It means the world to us.  Until next week...   

Monday, May 15, 2017

Do You Have Hand Lotion?

Yesterday was extra special for us because it was one of the two days a year we get to skype with Sister Jordan Wunderli.  Christmas and Mother's Day are the two days we get to skype with her so we were able to talk with her for about 40 minutes and see her beautiful face while we were talking.

She really loves the people (maybe not the mean ones so much but she talks with conviction about how much she loves Japan and the people she is serving).  She loves the country and is doing great although she is super busy in her new calling and hasn't been able to do her Japanese study the past couple of weeks.  Anyway - there's a fair amount of stuff in her email so let's get to it.

This week was great overall, but the best part of my week was definitely getting to Skype my family. It's so cool that even though I haven't talked to them since Christmas (other than email of course), it was just like nothing had changed. A special shout out to my mom, dad, and Jantzen, I love you!! 

Undram is from Mongolia, she's 25, and she's living in Japan right now for school. She's been taking the lessons for about a year, but recently hasn't been progressing. We met with her on exchanges this week (my first time meeting her) and built good trust with her and talked to her about her beliefs. She said english was better than Japanese for her so we talked to her in English although there was still some confusion. She told us that she prays every day, she reads the book of Mormon, and believes in God and Jesus Christ, but then she also said that she was buddhist. I'm not really sure what she is or where she's at with the interest level, but now we're homies and now all we need is someone who speaks fluent Mongolian and English to interpret for us :-) I did ransack the mission office and found pamphlets in Mongolian so I'll have those for next time! 

Takadanobaba teaching station:
Our church bought the 2nd floor of a building to be used as a teaching station for mission school. It's prime location as it's about a 10 minute walk from a major train station (Takadanobaba, yes that is it's real name), and right in the center of 3 major universities. We had the opportunity to go and we taught English to a lady there. Next week, we have 2 teaching appointments there! People just randomly show up there all the time wanting to learn English; it's the coolest thing.

Italian flare:
As a sister training leader, we get the opportunity to go on exchanges with all of the sisters in our zone. It gives us an opportunity to get to know each sister one and one and this week I went on an exchange with Sister Fossa. Sister Fossa is from Italy, is a passionate food-lover, loves giving hugs, and loves telling stories; she's also on her last transfer *sad face*. We had so much fun on our exchange. We went to the ikebukuro train station which is one of the biggest stations in Japan. We talked to a ton of people, some nice, some not to nice. We saw these two foreigners and went over to talk to them because why not, and we asked if they ever thought about God. The guy (he was 19) said no in a rude way and then Sister fossa asked why and he said,  in a pretty sassy tone, "I'm busy!" I was in shock, like what, you're too busy for God are you kidding me?! I kept my mouth shut because I knew if I didn't I would've said something that God probably wouldn't have wanted me to say and Sister Fossa kindly said something, but now I forget what that something was.. haha oops. The end. Then randomly, Sister fossa asked if I had hand lotion because her hands were dry and I said no but told her to use that as a streeting approach ahha. She accepted the challenge and went up to the next lady we saw and asked her, "My hands are really dry, do you have any hand lotion?" The lady replied, "I'm don't have interest." Hahaha nice to know she was listening... after all that was said and done, we ended up finding 2 new investigators!! 

Manami chan:
Manami chan is an investigator that was found a month ago or so, but neither Yamashita Shimai nor I have ever met her. We've been messaging her a little on LINE and she ended up coming to church on Sunday! She's 20 and so cute. She went to a catholic high school so she has a little bit of a Christian background. She loved church and afterwards we had the opportunity to teach her about the book of mormon and how to pray. She thinks both are great and accepted the commitment to read the book of mormon! Way excited about her!! 

Muse Acts concert: 
One of the shibuya ward members (the area next to mine) rented out this huge concert hall and invited a ton of people to perform various music acts, including the Tokyo zone missionaries! So on Saturday a lot of the Tokyo west missionaries all went and we sang there. It was such a cool experience. 

Word of the week:
Word: himatsubushi
Pronunciation: he-maw-tsu-boo-she
Meaning: waste of time 

Side note on the word of the week - my companion said it while she was coloring instead of writing in her journal at night, and she even looked it up and showed me so I would know what it means haha. Anyway, have a blessed week everyone. Love you all.
Wunderli Shimai 

1and2: more from zone pday last week
3. The shibuya shimaitachi came for exchanges 
4. Manami chan and a ward member and us
5and6: We stopped in at a pet store for pday and wow this dog 😍
7. Undram and Sister Fossa 
8. Sushi
9. The fam bam ❤❤❤

It sounds like she had a pretty good week overall - those cute little puppies added to it, I'm thinking.  While she has challenges, she has really impressed me at how she focuses on the positive.  

For those of you keeping track, she has been out over 10 months now.  It really is going by quite fast but I still miss her a lot.  I know she's doing a really good thing and I've loved watching her grow - she is very obedient and really wants to do what Heavenly Father wants her to do.  As always, thanks for your support via thoughts, prayers, email and snail mail - we talked about that on our skype call.  They all mean so much to her so keep them coming.  Feel free to share your thoughts and questions in the comment section.  See you next week.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Nakano? Naka-YES

With Jordan's new responsibilities, she doesn't have as much time to email us and we didn't get to email back and forth last night (bummer).  I woke up to a few emails including her weekly email.  

This Sunday is Mother's day so we get to skype with Jordan in the evening - hopefully she'll have a bit more time for that than she has for emails.  I'm proud of how she's handling everything and excited that she gets this opportunity.  

What a week. Honestly this week has been kind of a blur do to the emergency transfer. It's been full of packing, saying goodbye, freaking out, trains, meetings, freaking out, trying to get to know my new area, and freaking out

Let me just give you a little run down on Nakano and why it's tied for the best area ever (with kumagaya and Sado of course):
- Nakano has the only YSA (young single adult) ward in Japan and it's a hoot and because we have this, we go to 5 hours of church every Sunday  (it overlaps with the family ward).
-Mission School is poppin'. We have shuwa (Japanese sign language) every thursday and its way cool. A lady in our ward is deaf and teaches the class. We learned how to sign the song, "I am a child of God." We also have music night every Saturday night and we learn music theory, the piano, and the drums. Who would've thought I would learn the drums on my mission? 
-The people. Wow there are so many people here and it's a little overwhelming not going to lie but it is awesome. The ward is also pretty big here at around 80 people. 

Meetings on meetings:
Pretty boring week to write about because of all of the meetings we had, if you think I'm exaggerating.. I'm not:
1. Zone conference on Tuesday (7 hours)
2. MLC (mission leadership council) on Thursday (7 hours)
3. Zone meeting planning for tokyo west zone 
4. Zone meeting planning for tokyo east zone
5. Mission school coordination meeting
6. District meeting 
And those were just the big ones.. haha who knew there were so many meetings as a missionary? I sure didn't.

Of course we had a miracle: 
So my week wasn't all meetings...when we went to church, a church member had brought her friend and her friend is interested in learning about the gospel! She stayed for the whole 3 hours and wants to learn more. She also wrote down every word/thing she didnt know or understand and asked us about it later. I can't wait to start teaching her!! She is currently learning about a couple of other churches right now too because she is "searching for the truth" but that is okay because that means she has real intent and since this is the true church, she will come to know that. 

I love all of you and God loves all of you and Jesus loves all of you. 
Wunderli Shimai 

1. The Tokyo zones 
2. The shimaitachi (sisters)
3. Love this app, love these peeps
4. Cool buildings in Tokyo
5. The view from our apartment, yes I know we are lucky!!! 
6. She's cute. I have food in my mouth. We love sushi.
7 and 8. My last pictures in Kumagaya
9. I like this house. Its a nice house.

On Saturday the 13th, Sister Jordan Wunderli will have been out 10 months.  She's had a lot of Wunderful experiences on her mission with lots left to go.  I can't express enough how much she (and we) appreciate all of your positive thoughts, prayers, snail mail and email.  As always, feel free to share you thoughts or questions in the comment section.  We'll be back with another episode next week.  Happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers out there.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Expect the unexpected

It was definitely a different week with a big surprise for Sister Jordan Wunderli.  She is doing an emergency transfer - transfer calls aren't for three weeks. She'll be in Tokyo (that should be exciting in and of itself, without the fact that she's got some new responsibilities).  It's a bit of a short email this week because she's short on time.  I hope you enjoy it.  

"Expect the unexpected," is a quote from one of my favorite reality TV shows and is pretty applicable to missions, but especially this week. 

We got a call from president Nagano last night around 10:00pm.  Well president Nagano has never once called me at 10pm so I didn't think it was good...I honestly thought someone had died. We picked up and he asked how we were and then tells us that this was actually a transfer call... transfer calls aren't suppose to be for another 3 weeks... he then told me that I would be leaving kumagaya and I'm going to Nakano, Tokyo (where the mission home is) and that I will be becoming an STL (sister training leader). I was a tad in shock. After the call I started freaking out a wee bit because I wasn't close to being packed and I had to call our members and investigators. So what did I do? I threw everything I own on the floor including myself... basically me and Sister Domino were just freaking out to each other and I still have a lot of packing to do.

Engrid and Erika:
Erika is Engrid's 12 year old daughter and were working really hard with her to take the lessons so she can get baptized. This week, we sat down with Engrid and she just told us that she really wants Erika to get baptized and so we're all working together to make that happen. We taught Engrid about family scripture study and prayer and she said that she already does that with Erika! I'm so excited for Erika and Engrid and the fact that they can become an eternal family.

Words can't describe how sad I am to leave kumagaya. I love the members with all my heart and I really felt like I was apart of their ward family. I love the cute city of kumagaya and all of the amazing people I've met here. I'm so sad that I'm leaving so suddenly (I leave on Wednesday), but I know that for some reason I'm suppose to be in Nakano. I'm excited for this next adventure and I definitely left a little of my heart in Kumagaya. 

If I can give you all one piece of advice from what I learned this week is don't take the present for granted!! Be thankful for everything and be thankful for it now. I'm thankful that I was able to serve in Kumagaya for 2 and half transfers.

1. Still went to zone p-day even though I have to pack and have no time...totally worth it 
2 and 3: dinner with the Ruichi's...Lots of meat 😍
4. Sports taikai. I love the kumagaya ward ❤
5. So sad I only got her for 3 weeks
6. I love this Eikaiwa group
7. Hanyu (where Kiriko lives) 
8. Rice fields = rice = happy me 

So in the end, it was a surprising week but I think that President Nagano showed a lot of confidence in Jordan with this call.  She'll be an STL over 2 zones and 4 companionships where it's typically one zone and two companionships.  I also think that she was probably "ready" to do something like this prior but that she was making such good headway in her areas as purely a missionary that President Nagano thought that was her highest and best use.  She's been working hard and doing great things with and for the people she is serving and that is the mission of the mission and I'm very proud of her and happy for her.  As always, thanks for your support via your thoughts, emails, snail mail and prayers.  Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section.