Monday, June 26, 2017

I'm Not In Vegas Anymore!!

In about 2.5 weeks, Jordan will have been out for a year.  WOW.  I'm so proud of her efforts and the things she has done.  She has overcome some tough challenges and persevered to find success.  She has kept a positive attitude when it would have been really easy to throw her hands in the air and exclaim something negative.  I told her when she left that she would develop a love for the peole and the place and she has obviously done that.  I'm so happy for her.  I'm also thankful for everyone who reads her blog posts, prays for her, emails her and supports her in any way.  Here is this weeks post.  Enjoy and thanks for reading.

Hello to my favorite people! How y'all doing? I'm doing fantastic here in the promised land. I thought instead of sharing my boring experiences with you this week, that I would share an amazing story I heard from a member so enjoy :) next week will be back to the norm. 

Takemoto Shimai:
This week, we were invited to Takemoto Shimai's house with the young women to make takoyaki (fried octopus balls). While we were in the midst of distributing parts of an octopus into all the balls, I had the opportunity to hear her inspiring life story. Takemoto Shimai first met missionaries when she was 15 years old and wanted to get baptized immediately, but her parents were against it. She waited 3 years until she was finally allowed to get baptized. She went on a mission when she was 25 (after she had saved up enough money to be able to go).

She got called to Portugal where she served for about 9 months. After being in Portugal for 7 or so months, she got a call from her mission President saying that her mom had committed suicide. He asked her if she wanted to go home but she wanted to stay. She served in Portugal for about 2 more months before she got a call from her mission President telling her that she had been reassigned to a different mission, the Japan Nagoya mission. She was really confused because the Nagoya mission is where she was from and usually you don't get called to the mission in which you live.

She went to the Japan Nagoya mission and spent her last 9 months there. Her mission President had known her before her mission and was pretty close with her mom. Her parents weren't Mormon, in fact her dad abused her all through her childhood and her mother as well. Her mom was just starting to meet with the missionaries when she decided to commit suicide because of how toxic the relationship was with the dad. Her new mission President was so worried about her, that he asked an apostle if she could be reassigned to this mission. Takemoto Shimai served in mostly Portuguese speaking branches on her mission in Nagoya and was able to make a ton of good relationships with them. When she finished her mission, she had no where to go because her mom had died and her dad was abusive and she had no other family. The families that she had met while serving in the Portuguese speaking areas in Nagoya, took her in and she was able to start a new life. 

After her story she told me that during all of this, she never felt as if God abandoned her and she never asked why this was happening to her. She said, "In fact it's quite the opposite. During this whole process, I felt as if God knew everything about me. I knew that he knew my past, present, and what I needed for the future. He knows me still and he loves me." Her testimony was so powerful.

I'm not in Vegas anymore: 
On Wednesday this week, it was pouring rain the entire time!! Being the typical Vegas girl I am, I thought that the poring rain would last a total of 5 minutes and then it would be nice and sunny. Well I'm not in Vegas anymore. It was pouring for a straight 24 hours, I'm not even kidding you. Holy cow I've never been so soaked in my life, and I'm a swimmer! I was wearing a rain coat, but it stopped working after 30 minutes in the heavy rain. We were in the rain for about 4 hours straight because on our way to the place we were going to, we got lost and couldn't find our way... oops.. then by the time we got there, we had to leave or else we were going to be late for eikaiwa haha. We get back to our apartment, and in Japan, no one has dryers because it's way too expensive, so everyone just hangs their clothes on their clothes racks on their balconies. So we see through our balcony doors that all of our clothes that were suppose to be drying were soaking wet and some had just fallen to the ground. Our apartment is tiny so we just brought some to the bathroom and then had to leave the rest haha oh how I love Japan and all of the experiences I'm having.   

Remember that God knows you and loves you and I love you too!! 
Wunderli Shimai 

1-4: p-day fun 
5. Sato shimai and tasukun - two of my favorite members ever 
6&7. Making takoyaki with the young women and takemoto shimai 
8. Went on splits with the one and only Modersitzki shimai!! 
9. We were in a huge, crazy train station in Tokyo and managed to run into someone we know!! 
10. Burger mania has my heart and my stomach 
11. Zone pday last week but cool pic so I thought I'd still share

That's all for this week.  I hope you enjoyed her post and the pictures.  Feel free to leave your comments or questions in the comment section.  Make it a great week.  We'll be back with more next week.  

Monday, June 19, 2017

I'm a Missionary!!

Another week is in the books for Sister Jordan Wunderli and she seems to have a better perspective on her position as a Sister Training Leader.  She seemed very happy, which is always a good thing.  I love the story at the end - Chris (my wife, Jordan's mom) told me about this as she was getting the contact information so that Jordan could call her and it was so cool that Jordan would serve a mission 13 (or so) years after this young lady had stayed with a good LDS family who happen to become friends with my wife via their tennis league 4 or 5 years ago.  There is a purpose for why things happen; sometimes it just takes time to see the purpose.  Thanks for reading and enjoy.

This whole mission thing is insane. I feel like I learn 500 life lessons in one day!! This is amazing!!

Takadanobaba teaching station:
I've mentioned before that the church recently bought the 2nd floor of a building that's right in the center of like 20 different colleges as a place to teach English, and up until this week we've only been using it to teach a couple of private lessons. Well this week we joined with the Elders and we taught a class of 15+ college students. This is every missionary's dream (at least in the Japan Tokyo mission). Wow it was amazing getting to teach so many young people at once. We're going to be teaching there every Friday now!! 

Life as an STL:
As an STL sometimes we don't have as much time to focus on investigators, finding, and members, or basically anything you think a missionary should focus on. Instead we focus on other missionaries, their needs, and planning for them. What Sister Her and I realized this week and something I've had a hard time learning, is that this is still missionary work. In fact it's just as important as the other aspects of missionary work. I need constant reminders of this because sometimes I sink back into my "Wow I don't even feel like a missionary anymore" thoughts and that's not the case at all. One thing remains true in both being an STL and a normal missionary: when you focus on the people, and turn outwards, that's when you're the happiest. When I truly focus on helping each sister, that's when I feel the happiest. I'm still a missionary. And more than that, I'm still a happy missionary. 

Vegas baby:
A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from one of my mom's friends in Las Vegas saying that a lady that did a homestay with her family a few years back wants to meet with us. I got in touch with her and we were able to have a lesson with her this past week. She had such positive experiences with the church and knew so much (she even went on trek - way Mormon). She said she loved the activities with the youth that she did and just how nice everyone was. It's been 13 years or so since she did her homestay, but she still remembers the feelings she felt and the good things she learned. The church made such an impact on her whether she fully realizes it or not. It just made me think how big of an impact we can make on everyone by simply living the gospel and letting others see our light that comes from that. As for Saki (that's her name), she needs to get permission from her husband before she starts learning more about the church. 

Word of the week:
Word: pera pera 
Pronunciation: peh-da peh-da 
Meaning: fluent (in a language) 

Serve someone this week; you'll be happier for it. 
Wunderli Shimai 

1and2: We went on a Ferris wheel for zone pday
3.Tokyo story 
4. Ferris wheel 
5. A bridge
6. Ward members ❤❤❤
7. So Japanese....
8. Kids eikaiwa!!
9. The Ferris wheel!!
10. We also had a sand "temple" building contest and we built the provo temple and we won よし。

As always, we appreciate your support via your positive thoughts, prayers, email and snail mail.  Feel free to share your thoughts and questions in the comments section.  We'll be back for more next week.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Flamingos, Pandas, and Elephants, oh my!!

Well we got her weekly email a day late because of temple p-day.  It's the last time she gets to go to the temple before they close it for renovation for about two years.  We'll be going over in 2020 after the temple re-opens so that we can go through it with her and see all of the other great places she's been and hopefully meet a lot of the people she taught and that were in her wards / branches.  Lots of good stuff in this email (I am judging the cherry burger - I'll give it a try but it sounds weird) so enjoy and thanks for reading.

I woke up this morning, looked at my tablet, and realized that it was the 13th, which means I've been on my mission for 11 months. Holy holy, it feels like just yesterday I came to the promise land (otherwise known as Japan). I'm loving every second I'm a missionary.

Yuri chan:
We teach Yuri Chan English at the Takadanobaba teaching station every week and recently, she became an investigator!! We taught her English for the normal hour and then after class, she was telling us how she wants to go on a service trip really bad. We asked her why and she said that she feels really good when she is serving and then we were able to testify that that feeling was God's love and how he wants everyone to serve. She had never really learned about God so she asked us about Him and we told her that he was our loving Heavenly Father. We ended teaching her a lesson on God and told her about the Book of Mormon. We asked her if we could teach her more and she said yes so we will now be teaching her about the church after teaching her English. It's amazing to see mission school working and to see how our simple service of teaching English softens people's hearts. 

Aya chan: 
Wow I love her so much. I could literally probably talk about her all the time and Sister Her and I actually do that.. So she came to the church 5 days in a row this week..yup 5 days in a row. She went to stake conference and then FHE (family home evening) with the single adults, then to a family history night, then eikaiwa, then we had a lesson with her. I thought only missionaries were at the church that much, but nope, Aya too!!  

We had a lesson with her which was amazing. I was also able to teach the lesson with my trainer from Sado, Sister Call, because we were on exchanges which made it all the more amazing. During the lesson we briefly introduced the Plan of Salvation because she had the question "What is the purpose of life?" We asked her if she believes in God and she said, "I don't believe in Him because in the Japanese culture we're brought up not to believe in Him and don't learn about Him, but I really want to believe." She probably went on for about 5 minutes on how much she wants to believe in God. She even recognized that her experience with meeting the missionary 5 years ago was probably a sign from God. She goes, "It's not a coincidence that I was having trouble, and that a guy who spake not only English and Portuguese, but Japanese too was there to help me." Yes Aya, yes!! She asked us if we had any experiences where we had a hard time believing or anything so me and sister call both shared experiences and she felt so much better afterwards. We taught her about prayer and how to pray (she had never prayed before), and she thought it was amazing. We asked her if she had any questions and she just said, "I just want to know if God is there." We asked her to pray and ask Him if he's there and she said: "I can do that?!" We said yes of course, and she got so excited and committed to praying to him that night. We testified to her a lot about real intent and desire. She has such real intent and the strongest desire to believe in God and that's where it starts. 

We went to burger mania and wow it's amazing. I honestly had a dream about this burger place because of how amazing it was (I went there last temple p-day). Usually the "hamburgers" in Japan don't come with buns or tomatoes or anything normal hamburgers in America come with and the ones in Japan usually have sauce and rice, which isn't bad, it just isn't a hamburger!! But burger mania does hamburgers right. In fact it has this fancy cherry burger which has cherries and cream cheese on it along with the normal stuff. Now, this might not seem too tasty , but holy cow don't judge a food by how it is SOOO YUMMY. 

Just eat a burger and read your scriptures and you'll be happy. Sending my love from the promised land. 
Wunderli Shimai
1. Exchanges with Call shimai ❤
2. Dinner with a member and eikaiwa student 
3 and 4. Last temple pday :( go to the temple everyone, you're privileged!!
5-10. The Ueno zoo (yes the temple thing was in the zoo. I also have a new appreciation for flamingos and also the seal life is the life for me. 

After a year and a half of almost nothing but work, Jordan might sleep like a seal for the first couple of days; I know she wants to get back in the water and do some swimming as well so she might actually experience the seal life a bit.  She loves her mission and the people she is serving and serving with.  She also is excited to watch her brother play basketball and get back to school and all the great stuff that will come because of it, like hanging with friends and going to football and basketball games and gymnastic meets.  July 13th will be a great day because she will have been gone a year and that means she's only six months away from coming home.  Thanks for reading and please feel free to share your thoughts and questions in the comment section.  Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, emails and snail mail.  We'll be back next week with more of Sister Jordan Wunderli's exciting adventures. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

No Effort is Wasted

It's that time of week again.  There was no live emailing because of Jordan's crazy schedule but at least I got some nice emails, including the one below.  It has some great stuff in it that all put a HUGE smile on my face.  The math one started it all - that's my subject.  She is her father's daughter.  :)

I love her story on faith and how it was manifested so quickly - it doesn't always happen that fast but faith is so important.  Enjoy and thanks for reading.

All is well in the land of the rising sun, although it is absolutely pouring right now! But I just love doing His work, rain or shine; I just love being a missionary. 

Scientific notation:
I honestly didn't think learning scientific notation in high school would ever come in handy or be useful to me in anyway. Well it turned out I was wrong! One of the YSA ward members is going to a college that is all in English (her classes, textbooks, the instruction, everything) and she doesn't speak any english at all or understand much of it. She wants to learn English, but is struggling with school right now because she can't understand anything. We offered to help her in anyway we could and met with her for an hour to help her with English. She brought her math textbook (all in English) and wow it was such a nice reunion :') For those of you who don't know me as well...I LOVE MATH. My face literally lit up when I saw the textbook and my companion just looked at me like I was crazy. I was looking through the textbook and boy I would not understand it at all if it was in Japanese!! Like polynomials, scientific notation, factoring..all of it in English!! So she needed help with her scientific notation homework, well it had been a long time since I looked at any type of math problem let a lone scientific notation. So I reviewed it a little, but then was able to help her with it! By the end of it she said she understood it and was so grateful. Kids, pay attention in math class, it will come in handy eventually. 

Aya chan aka the most prepared person ever: 
Sister Her and I have been working crazy hard these past couple of weeks and haven't been able to find any solid investigators. It's been a little hard hearing about everyone else's miracles and not really seeing any big miracles of our own. Saturday during personal study we both decided to study personal revelation because we wanted to get more revelation for our area. During companionship study we both shared with each other that we had a strong feeling that we were going to see a baptism together. We didn't know how because we literally didn't have any solid investigators, but we had a strong feeling so we didn't question it. 

Saturday night we got a phone call from one of the Elders in our area and they told us that when they were at the Takadanobaba teaching station that night that a girl walked in wanting to learn about Jesus Christ and that she was going to stake conference the next day. 

Sunday morning comes and who gets there 30 minutes before stake conference starts? Aya chan!! We met her and invited her to sit with us during stake conference. She is 25 years old and lived in America for 3 years so she speaks english fluently! She told us that she met a missionary 5 years ago going from Brazil to America and that she was having problems with her plane ticket. He was in line behind her and asked her what was wrong first in Portuguese  (he was coming home from his mission in Brazil), she said she didn't know Portuguese so he then asked her what was wrong in English, she then said that she didn't really know english (this was before her 3 years in America), he then asked her what was wrong in Japanese (turns out he is half Japanese so he spoke it growing up)!! She was so impressed and she loved his kindness. He ended up helping her out and then he talked to her a little more and asked her what she thought the purpose of life was. This is where she took a break in the story and asked us, "What do you think the purpose of life is?" We then pointed out where she could read it in the book of mormon and she said she would read it. She then told us that this question hasn't left her head in 5 years. 5 years and she hasn't been able to stop thinking about the question or the nice missionary that she met. 

During stake conference, I pulled out my tablet to get to the hymn book and I was going to share it with her, and then she told us that she already has the LDS hymn book app on her phone... I don't know why it's taken her 5 years to come in contact with the missionaries, but I'm so glad that it's happening now. She also only moved here a month ago and just so happened to move 10 minutes away from the church. 

After stake conference we were able to talk to her a little more and she tells us that "everyone needs to hear our message." She hasn't been taught any of the lessons yet she knows it's that important!! We were also able to get some YSA ward members to fellowship her and one of them invited her over for lunch that day! I'm so excited for Aya chan and I feel so blessed to be apart of this miracle. 

If I learned anything this week, it would be that no effort is wasted. Aya chan was first introduced to the church 5 years ago and is now ready to learn more. No conversation, no hi, no effort is ever wasted when you are doing the Lord's work. Share the gospel!! 
Wunderli Shimai 

1. We went to harajuku for pday!!
2. and 3: yummy shakes 
4. This is how we bake in Japan since we don't have an oven.  Also notice how high it is compared to our door because our apartment is tiny and has no space- the toaster is on top of the microwave, which is on top of the fridge 
5. Tokyo zone conference 
6. This random table and flowers that we found on exchanges in Urayasu 
7. The urayasu Sisters and us!! 
8. Indo curry!! 

Another week is in the books which means she's one week closer to coming home.  I think she still has a lot to accomplish while she's there and I'm excited to read about the progression of the new investigator they are teaching.  One week from today, she will have been out 11 months, for those of you keeping track.  :)

As always, thanks for your support via thoughts, prayers, snail mail, and email.  It's all very important to her and us.  Until next time, make it a great week.