Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Reunion!




I haven’t been able to sit down long enough to gather my thoughts and write a good wrap up post for mission or about getting home.

But the most important things? Family. Friends. Love.

And that is just perfect!

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Grand Finale

Hello everyone!
This week is my last one in Japan, which is super weird! It doesn't feel like it  at all. But we are having a ton a fun! And are booked for lunch and dinner every remaining day this week, haha.
But... since this is my last p-day I think instead of writing an email I will go have some fun in Japan and then report back on everything once I get home!
I will be back Friday morning American time (I leave Friday morning Japan time, so that is weird), so I am excited to talk soon!! 
And for the last time from Japan (at least for now), I will sign out! Have a great week!

...Ok, just one picture to tide you over. It is of all of the Odori missionaries, taken approximately 30 seconds ago.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Eniwa and Odori Week!


So this past week we went to --- Eniwa! Where is Eniwa you might ask? Not too far -- it is actually where the Sapporo airport is. But it just opened up to sisters this transfer, so it was our first time going out there! It was nice and green. I worked with Miyagawa Shimai, and we went out pretty far, where there was a really pretty natural forest along the freeway. I also had my first experience teaching a lesson in English this week. It was really weird! I am not sure if I was able to explain things functionally at all, haha. But it was fun!

We also did exchanges with the other sisters who are living with us in Odori, and it was great! I worked with Osterloh Shimai, focusing in the Toyohira area and saw lots of fun people.

But without further ado, some pictures! It is easier to describe things that way.

First, an Odori sunset. Then some fun from two p-days ago when we had some fun snacks and took puricura with the other Odori sisters!

I have currently come to the realization that I have too many pics that I haven't sent and no time to send them.  So I think I will just send a couple from this week now, and then post others on the blog after I get home... while I am sitting on the couch eating ice cream or something. It will be a more quality experience for everyone involved.

But this week...

There was the Sapporo Matsuri! It is a big festival, featuring a long sidewalk of declicious food stands and games. There were also a couple of cute old school haunted houses that looked fun, even though we didn't go in.

We went during a break with one of our friends Rina, who is actually from Columbia and super cool.

It kept getting more and more crowded the longer we were there! Super fun.

A lot of the girls(and occasionally the guys) get dressed up in Yukatas (like a lighter summer version of a kimono) for matsuris, and it is super fun.

Ok, and that is all that I have time for today!
Everyday is so much fun, it is ridiculous. I will have to fill you all in on more later!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Sisters Training Meeting Week and Asahikawa Weekend

So... I am actually in Asahikawa right now! Which means there won`t be any pictures for this week, but hopefully there were enough from last week to tide you over!

The reason I am in Asahikawa again for p-day is because there was a music concert (of a much smaller scale than the others. Members performed in this one too) that we participated in on Saturday night, so we stayed for church and an exchange and then are going home to Sapporo after this! Kise Shimai had never seen the zoo before, and so since it is so famous that was obviously a must before she heads home.

Being back in Asahikawa was a ton of fun! I got to work with Lundstrom Shimai, which was magical since we only had once transfer together instead of the normal too for training and she is just way too fun to work with. It was kind of funny though because it didn`t feel like an exchange at all -- just like a normal day of dendo! Being in Asahikawa was also great because I got to meet with some of my favorite people again before I get too far away. I saw Ai Chan for a little bit too!

She is still the best.

One of the main features of this week was a Sisters Trainer Training Meeting we put on this week for all of the sisters (as the title suggests) to be able to be good trainers since everyone will be having to work with new missionaries soon. There are going to be eight new sisters coming this next transfer, so that means that everyone will have to train! It is pretty exciting. We had workshops from President and Sister Evans, the Assistants to the President and then us, so it was a really good opportunity.

This week was also super awesome because of a new friend that has come into our lives! She is someone who has been super prepared to hear the gospel message -- she has had some experiences dealing with leukemia and other things that has led her to believe that there is a God and that He loves her, but wasn`t sure which church was correct. It has been so happy to share what we know with her, and see how she grows as she prays everyday and reads the Book of Mormon! This message is really just such a powerful catalyst for good, and gives so much purpose in life. If you haven`t had much of a chance to learn about it before, I recommend it more than anything else! If nothing else, you can`t decide for yourself if it is good or not without hearing more about it. Feel free to ask missionaries, cruise over to or just ask me! It is fun.

Anyways, my time is up, but I think you are all fabulous and hope you are having the best of days! Life in Japan continues to be fun, and the summer weather has come at long last so it is great.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Hakodate and Atsubetsu Week!

Hello everyone!

I am not super confident in my writing skills right now (can't focus here at the mission home at all. The Elders are way too entertaining), so I'll jump right into the pictures and use that as a frame!

We started out by going to.. Willy Wonka's chocolate factory on last p-day!! Ok, maybe it wasn't Willy Wonka, but it is the cutest chocolate factory ever -- everyone always says it is like Disneyland. It is the company for the Shirokoibito cookies that are way delicious (when I was in Asahikawa Ludstrom Shimai and I both got a big box of them with like thirty packages and ate them ridiculously fast). It is all made up like a European village or something with cute little houses and such out front, and then you can go inside and see where the cookies are made and stuff too. The four Odori Sisters all went together and it was the best!

There were all sorts of famous people there too, like Mona Lisa. You know, she was just chillin' there.

Our meal on the way to Hakodate! Hakodate is a three hour or so train ride from Sapporo... and it is down in the Penninsula of Hokkaido. Since it is a penninsula it has the ocean on both sides, and is just a super cute seaside city! I've wanted to go there forever but was never transferred to there, so going there for this exchange was a real treat!  We went down on Tuesday night, did the exchange on Wednesday and then left first thing Thursday . But I wanted to stay way longer! It was just way too cute. I'll have to plan a vacation back to there ASAP...

First glances of the ocean!

At the top of a mountain overlooking the bay! We did housing up it and found a park. It was so gorgeous that these pics don't do it justice at all. There are also a ton of really cool old churches from when European settlers (maybe they were Dutch or something?) came.
It was kind of funny though because Hakodate is known for being like the warmest area in Hokkaido... but the day we were there was the first day it rained all transfer! Peterson Shimai (who is way awesome and from Canada. Working together was a blast!) and I may have gotten really wet. But it was still fun!

The rain may have destroyed our map...

But it didn't keep us from waking up a little early the next day to do morning exercise (which missionaries have for 30 minutes first thing every morning) on the beach! We borrowed a bike from the elders so we could all make it out there. It was like a monsoon (that cleared up as soon as we were on the way back to the apartment, haha), but that just made it even better.

Left to right! Kise Shimai, Peterson Shimai, Smith Shimai (who is also super entertaining, as I am sure you can tell) and me!

Ah and only like three seconds left to mail! Um, maybe I will do Atsubetsu next week? I have to work on my time management skills. But Atsubetsu was so awesome! It was my first area, and I got to work with Parker Shimai and see a lot of my favorite people, including my favorite family! Ok, I will see if I can send a picture or too...

But first, Hokkaido shaped bread from the Sapporo Eki!

We had dinner with my favorite family at night...

and then went to their school's undokai (it is like a sports competition that all of the elementary school kids do every year, and it was so much fun to see! A cool cultural experience too) the next day! We got to have a bento lunch too.

Aren't they the cutest kids in the world?? I love this family so much. Masuda Shimai and I met them when we were going door to door last year.

And then on Saturday night we had a dinner at the Moiwa Bishop's house... with an impressive amount of missionaries! There were 8 elder and 4 sisters, and then some ward members! Good times.

And I am way over and everyone is waiting for me, so until next week!!

Wishing you all the best of luck!!!


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