Friday, December 26, 2014

Skyping with Maryandra was so much fun!!!  She called us on December 24 at 6:30 pm, which was Christmas morning for her!  We all talked to her separately and together, and got to hear about the current miracles she is experiencing, and a little about the missionary conference they held in her mission on Christmas Eve, which had been yesterday for her.  Here is a photo one of the members took of all the missionaries at one time during the conference!  Can you pick out where Maryandra is?  :-)

She is way to the front and right, wearing a tan coat,  and is very close to President and Sister Wada in the photo, but kind of behind a sister in a maroon sweater. 

Anyway, talking to Maryandra was so much better than reading any e-mail, so here are some photos of her, talking to us!!!  That is all we will put in the blog this week.  We know she had a wonderful Christmas, and we will get the e-mail about the details on the weekend.  In the mean time, we hope everyone had a Merry Christmas like we did!!!  

It was certainly hard to say good bye to her!  But, after over an hour of talking to us, she needed to let us go and head off to an appointment!!!  :-)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

 Maryandra had an exhausting but wonderful week of enjoying the holidays as a missionary!  She found that the Spirit is so strong and sweet this time of year! Here are some excerpts:
. . . .
But my favorite part of that time of the day was when we were on the
train going to oizumigakuen, to catch a bus to kichijoji, and who
should we meet, but a Japanese lady who was speaking English with her
daughter. And not just any kind of English. No! This was the
hard-core, refined, dignified English of Great Britain! She said she'd
lived in England for most of her life, and her family lives on
oizumigakuen, and her daughter was going to an English kindergarten,
and they were just on their way home, etc. and she had genuine
interest in the Christmas party, and she liked that we were
missionaries, and wanted to know the name of our church, and where it
was located, and stuff! It was fantastic! We all got off the train
together with bright, happy smiles in our faces, every one of us,
except the lady's daughter, who may have fallen asleep. But it was

Well, so far today, we've done a fun study, and just finished lunch.
During companionships study, we got side tracked, like the typical us,
and started reminiscing about our MTC districts. Sigh. I really miss
them all so much. I still can't believe that was a whole year ago!
Wow! I'm officially an old missionary now! I don't feel like it, not
usually, anyway, but by all standards, I've officially entered the
ranks of the oldies, at least as far as sisters are concerned. Yikes!
It's so crazy! But kind of cool. Know what I mean?
LETTERS FROM THE SCOUTS!!!!! I have all the letters taped up on my
wall! It made me soooo happy! I loooooved the package! Horrocks Shimai
was pleased at getting a present from you as well, and she and the
other sisters gladly accepted when I split the candy spoils with them!
Yay! Since I don't know what any of my presents are yet, I have to say
my favorite part of the package was my AWESOME STOCKING!!!! Oh man, I
looooove it! Too bad it didn't make it here yesterday. Then, I could
have used it for my honbu stocking. But that's okay. I got another one
from Daiso, which will serve just fine. I get two stockings this year!
Yay! I've already bonded well with my lovely purple one. I'll have to
name it or something.

We had great
success at the recycle shop in oizumigakuen! Yay! I got 2 toasty
light-weight coats, and and a warm sweater, all for ¥3500!!! Cool,
huh! And they're pretty stylish, too! And they're excellent quality!
American eagle brand, baby! Yeah! Awesome, in my opinion! Anyway, we
are at the station's bakery after that, and Horrocks Shimai started a
conversation with this lady that was sitting near her (***I'm so proud
of her! She almost never initiates the conversations! She did it, and
did it good!***) and we invited her to eikaiwa, and she actually said
her friend who had passed away used to go to our eikaiwa. Small world,
huh? And the lady got all excited when Horrocks Shimai told her her
first name, Abbie. She asked if it was the same spelling as the title
of her favorite TV show, which is, would you be surprised, Downton
Abbey! And since both Horrocks Shimai and I love that show as well, we
had a pretty good conversation with this lady! It was pretty cool! The
Lord sure has an interesting way of preparing His children, doesn't

When we went caroling,
the original person we wanted to carol wasn't home, so we
went and bang! Bang! Bang! Did four nearby members in under an hour,
singing "away in a manger" to all of them, and they all loved it! We
even got a few thank you presents, such as candy, and
postcard/pictures of temples to use in our dendo! Cool, huh?
But the coolest thing, to me, anyway, is what happened when we were
just finishing the last person, and this random man yells "excuse me!"
To me. Unsure as to whether he was safe to talk to or not, I pretended
not to hear him as I got my bike ready to go. But then he came up to
me, and he said "Would you like some bananas?"
Unbeknownst to everyone else, I had been kind of frustrated that we
had run out of bananas that morning because I did't want to stop
eating them until I was for sure all the way healthy again. And
I'd been feeling kind of depressed because I wanted to just go home
and rest, but I hesitantly
accepted some bananas, and stuttered my thanks, a little weirded out,
but thankful to no end that Heavenly Father was willing to answer to
the whims of one of his complaining, 20 year old brats. It turned out
that this man, is a member of the English Second
Ward, so he knew exactly who we were, and he was happy we were out
doing the work! I was grateful for and humbled by, once again, the
accuracy and perfection of Heavenly Father's timing. It made the bike
ride home more pleasant for me:)

. . .
I wasn't in too great of
a mood before starting out on our last minute errands, because I was
cold and hungry, and really tired but I was feeling great by the time
they were done. Here's the reason why...
So, it turns out that when we visited a certain sister for her birthday,
she hadn't been able to have any sort of fun for herself, and was so
happy and grateful when we gave her a note and a chocolate! I felt a
lot warmer when we left her house than when we had started our journey
by bike, and I get the feeling it wasn't the long bike ride up the
After that, we stopped at the church, took a picture of a hymn we
could sing, and after a discouraging search, found this family's
house. Here's the cool thing about that.
We had literally just decided to quit and go home, and I felt sad,
even though I really wanted to go home, so I looked around...and
realized I recognized this street! And the house we were standing in
front of was one I recognized. I told this to Horrocks Shimai, and she
looked at the kanji. Lo and behold, we had found it! So, we rang the
doorbell, and were, surprisingly, invited in, and got to meet them,
both the husband and wife, and her dad. He is the
funniest, most adorable and genki little ninety year old man either of
us has ever met! And he spoke pretty good English to boot, which was
crazy! And when we sing our carol, Silent Night, he told us he felt
really happy, and in his heart, he could feel it was the true
Christmas season! It just warmed the both of us right up! It was way
cool! We enjoyed our ride home much, much more than we would have had
we given up and just gone home! Yay! Thanks to the spirit, we made a
great memory! It was great!
Okay, but I saved the best part for last! So, while we were at the
church looking up addresses and stuff, I got a surprise phone call
from the Hachioji sisters. Thinking it was probably sister reeves,
Horrocks Shimai had me call, but lo and behold, it was Sister
Brown from New Zealand! And she told me the coolest thing ever! AAHH,
Okay, so do you remember the investigator I had in Hachioji?
He was an eternal investigator, been investigating for fifty
plus years. And recently, he'd been sick and had to go to the
hospital. While there, the elders visited him and gave him a
priesthood blessing. He was healed, and changed from that moment
onward. The next time he saw the missionaries, he told them "okay. I'm
ready! I want to be baptized! I want to feel the spirit like I did
when I got the blessing! I want to hold the priesthood! I, ready! I
want to keep the word of wisdom," etc, etc. and GUESSS
MOOOONNNNTH!!!!!!!!! WAAAAAAAAHOOOOOOO!!!!!! I can't tell you how
excited it made me! Oh my gosh, I was speechless when I heard! Holy
cow! No way! YEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So from what I put in from the 9 page e-mail Maryandra sent, I hope you can tell
that she is back into the swing of things since being sick, and enjoying 
the Christmas season on her mission now!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Finally Maryandra sent her e-mail!!!
We got 3 weeks of e-mail on Sunday night, and when I moved it to her document file, it was 31 pages long!!!  This was the view from her window, and some other flowers that someone brought to Maryandra to brighten her existence in the hospital!
We were pretty shocked by some of the things Maryandra wrote about those first days as she went to the hospital on November 17.  Here is an excerpt that describes her ambulance ride to the hospital, etc:
So, reeves Shimai and I were still feeling as awful as heck, and wondering when we were ever going to feel better. I had managed to eat one Apple slice that day, so I had a tiny bit more energy, and thought I could maybe, finally, go and brush my teeth. As I pulled my self up to reach my toothbrush, and saw my face in the mirror, I nearly soiled my pants!  I looked scary! I looked like death, I thought. Dark purple rings around both eyes, which had become sunken and sore. My cheeks were hollow, my face was pale and colorless, and my lips were red and chapped, because I just couldn't get, let alone keep in enough fluids. I just couldn't believe a living person could look like that. Still, I managed to brush my teeth semi okay, and crawled back to the small couch.  
After some point that day, reeves Shimai and I were feeling just as bad as ever.  We all just got fed up and called sister Wada again. She was surprised that we weren't feeling better and said "Okay. Maybe you need to go to the hospital."  I don't remember exactly how it played out, but we heard an ambulance pull up outside our house. I was once again making my way out of the bathroom, and I saw paramedics standing in our eating/sitting room, talking with the other sisters. After I had once again settled on the couch, they started asking me questions. Due to dehydration, build up of phlegm or whatever in my throat and repeated vomiting, my voice for the last several days had been rather restricted, so I had to struggle to speak, and it was difficult for me to get what they were saying. But in the end, we were all put into the ambulance. Sister reeves made it with some assistance, but I couldn't raise myself off the couch without becoming severely dizzy and exhausted, so they had me scoot onto this mat thing with straps on it, and the three paramedics carried me down the stairs, outside, and put me on a stretcher, which they lifted into the ambulance after strapping me in. I was too weak to do anything but lay there like a rag doll. We had to wait for a few minutes for them to get everything they needed, and the other sisters all in as well, before heading off. It was painful laying flat with my reflux already acting up, and I felt like I was going to throw up, so they elevated me a little bit. Thankfully, I did not throw up. But I just remember that after we were finally underway, at some point thinking "I feel like it's going to be okay. I got a blessing yesterday. And I'm going to the hospital. Whatever happens, I'm going to be okay."

When we got to the hospital, they let out the other sisters, put reeves Shimai in a wheelchair, and took me out on the stretcher. We were brought inside, and I was painstakingly moved from the stretcher to a wheelchair, where we had to wait about fifteen or twenty minutes. It was awful for both of us, and at different points, we each had to be wheeled to the bathroom by Funakura Shimai. I didn't have the capacity to sit up straight, so I spent the time holding my barf bag, and trying to support my head between my knees, or else slouching to one side or the other, with my head resting on my shoulder. But finally, we were brought in, and checked over. They let reeves Shimai lay down, because she was feeling more nauseous and had just thrown up again. They took her blood, and I saw it coming for me as well, and was afraid I would get even more nauseous. But I think I was too feeble to even care. They had to stick my left elbow three or four times, and then gave up and found a suitable vein in my hand. They'd already put an IV in my right hand, before I vaguely remembered that that was the better arm.  They brought us into the next room, which had curtained off beds for us to wait and rest. I settled gratefully onto the bed, and the other sisters sat close by me and reeves Shimai. Eyring Shimai kept telling me I was starting to look better. My eyes were "moving," and looking more normal already. I was starting to get a bit of color back in my cheeks, etc. which was good to hear. I'd noticed in the hospital bathroom that my face looked even scarier than before. But I felt so calm there, in the hospital bed, knowing that, at last, everything was being taken care of. At one point, a doctor came and told me that my companion was going to be able to leave that night, but because my kidney function had dipped so low, if I didn't improve soon, I might have to go on dialysis. Therefore, I would probably be staying at the hospital for a day or two. But I just nodded and said okay. I was too tired to be worried, and I thought, no it doesn't sound pleasant, but Whatever it takes to get me better.  A couple more things were done, and amidst it all, Sister Wada showed up! She just brightened me up with her presence! Oh, that blessed woman is an angel! She was so relieved to see us there, and just asked some questions, talked with the other sisters, etc. She sat with me on my side of the curtain petition until I fell asleep. Then, I think she went to take care of some business items. At some time close to midnight, a nurse came and woke me up so we could go to another floor for some testing, to take a picture of my stomach. Wada Shimai met us as we were coming back, and I was wheeled to my hospital room. After using the bathroom again, I was settled in, poor Wada Shimai stayed to fill out some paperwork, and after saying a prayer with me, she left and I fell asleep. So there, that's the Monday from heck, probably the worst pday I've ever had. And hopefully, the worst one I ever will. Gluh. It really helped to have Wada Shimai there, but I must say, it was really weird to sleep by myself for the first time in almost a year.

So in a matter of days, Maryandra had gone from this photo above, to this photo below.  And that was after some major hydration!  We've never seen her with such sunken in eyes!
At some point on Monday, November 25, it got a little more critical, since Maryandra had not been able to keep anything down for so long. Here is another excerpt:
Well, shoot, I just realized how pessimistic and self centered I've been being! Nobody wants to read a sob story like that! I'd been feeling really homesick the last few days, and perhaps that's what was killing my appetite. I was also feeling like I didn't want to be a missionary anymore, which is a horrible, horrible thing to think. But today, I feel better. I'll tell you what happened. After throwing up again this morning (it's no wonder this time, since I ate dairy, the only thing I was willing to touch) I was feeling a little better, sickness-wise, but then I was hooked up to a second tube that runs through the same IV as my other one, and told that I wasn't eating enough to keep in the nutrients, so they were going to just give it to me through the IV. And then sister Wada popped in! She was amazing as always, but after talking to the doctors, she told me, bluntly and boldly, that I NEEDED TO EAT THE HOSPITAL FOOD OR I WAS GONNA DIE!!!!! Of course it was an exaggeration, but it got my attention, and I determined to try again. She could see it had scared me though, and she told me she was sorry, but the reason she'd used "hard words" was because the missionary medical department was saying that if my condition wasn't improving, I was going to have to be sent home. That sent an icy shaft right into my heart, and I realized right then and there how stupid I was.

Well, Wada Shimai was able to come briefly yesterday, but she was super busy getting ready for things that are coming up, such as transfers, with a bunch of new missionaries coming in, some going out, and elder and sister Yamashita leaving, and their replacements coming. She's such an amazing person! What a trooper! She's the best! I'm so lucky she's my mission mom!
She just came again today, accompanied by Dr. Hansen and his wife. They've said that, yes, I'm getting better. But now they're starting to apply the heat. I have to stop my diarrhea. And I have to build up my strength. In order to do that, here are some things they've committed me to do. They literally committed me, like an investigator. They did it deliberately, and they told me so. They asked me with a "will you...?" Question, which would require, to be honest, a straight yes or no answer. And I said yes. I committed. So I'm gonna have to do it, because I can't break my promise. Here is what they told me to do:
Drink ten cups of water a day.
Eat two bananas a day.
Eat all the bread that's given to me.
Every time I get up to fill my water cup, walk ten laps back and forth across my room, and five more every time I finish going to the bathroom.
I committed, even though it makes me cringe, especially the part about eating bread. Oh my gosh! But I'm trying to get out of this hospital by Monday, which will be Sunday for you guys, so I'm really gonna try hard! I want to get better! I'm gonna do it! I can do this! I can do this! I'm a Miller! I'm tough! I'm gonna do it! Yeeeeeeeeaaaahhhh!!!!!
Elder and sister Hansen said they would be putting my name on the prayer roll again tonight, when they go to the temple, like they do every Friday, which made me feel even better, and I know I can do this now. How can I not, with so much support behind me, so many people cheering me on?

So, a little more descriptive detail about what happened when president Wada visited might be nice, I think. So, I wasn't expecting anyone to visit today, though sister Wada said she would try to get somebody to come and deliver the package for me that had been dropped off at the honbu. I would never have dreamed it would have been president Wada himself! I heard someone speaking in Japanese outside the door that kind of sounded a little familiar. Then, a business-like knock on the door, and "Miller Shimai?" And president Wada opens the door! I just about jumped out of my skin! And I felt embarrassed, because he'd caught me in the middle of eating a banana, so I didn't look remotely dignified, not that I really could have, anyway. But he came in and brought the package and the other things.

This collapsible tree was in the package we sent to Maryandra, and she put it up in her room, along with some gifts from the Spriggs, her friends from the U.S. 

Maryandra got the news that for transfers, she'd be staying in Hibarigaoka, but she would be getting her old companion, Sister Horrocks, back as her next companion! That was fun for Maryandra to hear, since she never felt she had a long enough time with Sister Horrocks, who is so full of fun.  So Sister Horrocks will be her 5th and 7th companion, I think.
They didn't let her go on Monday, which made Maryandra sad, but they did do something that made her happy!  
... But hey, guess what else? They just took out my IV! Yay! I get to sleep without it tonight! I'm so happy! That's a wonderful, marvelous blessing to me! I can move freely about my hospital room now, and not have to drag it along with me, jiggling on its pole when I do my laps, (and the plug not being able to extend more than five feet in any given direction) as Dr. Hansen instructed. It's sooooo nice! Yay! I can now sit at the window for long periods of time, and do basically whatever I want! Heck, I can shower! In fact, since they're keeping me here another night, I think I might just do that. Get myself looking as nice as possible for when I leave tomorrow! Ah, things are just getting so much better, with every passing hour, save my reflux, which has been persistently bugging me since this morning. But I can deal with that no problem! Yay! I'm so happy now! I could sing! I could dance! I bet I could even fly! I'm so excited! I just wanna get up and jump and run around the whole hospital! I feel so free! Even though I can't even run, cuz my legs are so weak, and the muscles are horribly atrophied. Yikes. But I still feel great! Yay!!!!!!!.........

Well, I don't leave until nine, but here I am at 7:23 in the morning, all prepped and ready to leave the hospital. I was able to take a few good photos of the view outside, too, and in fact, just after I got the very last one I wanted, my iPad freaked out and said it couldn't take any more photos, so that was lucky! I can't wait to send them to you! And I can't wait to finally send this mail off to you, either, and receive and read three pdays worth of emails!!! Ooooooooh, I'm so excited!
Haha, my iPad will be glad to be rid of this awfully long email, too. It's sooooooooo long! I hope you can enjoy it. . . . 
Oh my gosh, I'm FIIIIIIINAAAAAAALLLLLLYYYYYYY OUT OF THE HOSPITALLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!! YEEEEEEEESSSSSSS!!!!!!! It was almost surreal to finally walk out of the doors, put everything in sister Wada's car, and drive away, and to call Dr. Hansen and let him know so he could call you. The whole drive, I was just thinking "wow! It's done! It's over! Woohoo!!!!!

The rest of the 31 pages were of Maryandra's 1st week out of the hospital, and her reunion with Sister Horrocks at transfers.  She will miss Sister Reeves, who has also made a full recovery.  Maryandra enjoyed a great week back in the mission field, but sent no photos of herself, so we couldn't see the improvement in her appearance, but there's always next week!  Sorry for such a long blog, but it is a lot shorter than 31 pages would have been!  :-)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

These flowers were sent to the mission home for Maryandra from a sweet lady living in the Tokyo South Mission area that is one of Maryandra's mom's favorite friends from her mission!!!  Thank you Michiko-chan!!!  We have appreciated the kind thoughts and prayers for her quick recovery, and know that Maryandra could feel the effects of everyone's love, prayers and concern as well!  :-)

Since we have not gotten an e-mail from Maryandra, we can only assume that since she was finally released from the hospital on Tuesday, December 2, 2014, instead of Monday, her P-day, that she has not had any time or ability to let us know how she is adjusting.  We did get a phone call from the medical specialist in Tokyo telling us that she had been released, and that her phone call to him from the car that was taking her back to her house in Hibarigaoka, was one of excitement to be out at last!!!  We look forward to our own phone call from her at Christmas time!!!
We know she will be taking it easy for a few days while getting her strength back, and hope for a nice newsy e-mail this coming weekend.  We know she'll be back to normal soon, and we just have to patient!!! :-)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Maryandra turned out to not have the stomach flu after all.  It was salmonella food poisoning.  She and her companion went to the ER on Monday, November 17, and after some IV hydration, her companion was able to go home, but they admitted Maryandra, and she's been in the hospital since then.  They realized it was salmonella by Thursday, and started both sisters on antibiotics.  Sister Reeves, though very sick herself, was able to stay at their house, and has begun to slowly return to missionary work, but has to be very careful. Maryandra had gotten sick about 5 or 6 hours sooner than Sister Reeves, and was dehydrated so severely by the time she was admitted, it is taking longer for her to recover.  She probably had a larger portion of whatever had the salmonella in it!  But due to the toxins released by dying salmonella bacteria, once she started taking the antibiotic, she had another rough weekend of vomiting, etc., and is now doing somewhat better.  Here is all she sent us for an e-mail this week:

Just letting you know I'm not dead. I'm still at the hospital, so I can't email you in the regular way. But sister WADA was kind enough to offer to let me use her phone to send you a quick message. So I just wanted to tell you guys not to worry. I'm trying to get rehydrated and get my kidney function back up. I'm trying to eat fruits and things, because those are things I can digest better. This week was temple pday, so I'm sad I wont be able to go tomorrow, but hopefully I'll keep getting better. Mom I really miss you, and your lasagna and spaghetti and your salsa and grape juice and jams and cookies! Tell everyone hi for me and that I love them. Tell Daddy I love him and I'm sorry I can't email him right now:( Tell the boys to hang in there at school, and they're all getting too big! Ah! Okay I have give sister WADA her phone back, but I love you all and can't wait to be fully healed! The church is true and being a missionary, though hard and frustrating at times, is the best and it is so rewarding! Love you!  

We usually pick a little here and there from a 5 page e-mail to put into her blog, so this e-mail was slim pickins for us!  Then early Tuesday morning, we got this photo from Sister Wada!

Though she'll be in the hospital for Thanksgiving, we know she is in good hands.  Hopefully we will get our usual lengthy news from our daughter next week!  We appreciate all the thoughts and prayers you may have for Maryandra as she gets over this time of sickness!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Maryandra and her companion, Sister Reeves, had a great week, but then they both came
down with the stomach flu.  Here are some excerpts:

We had splits today, and I have been so busy that unfortunately, I'm
not writing this in real time. I'm writing this from Thursday, but I
will try to make this as exciting as it would have been if it were
still Wednesday. So, once we exchanged at the tokorozawa eki, and
headed home, starting study an hour late. I actually kind of like
sister Ellsworth. That's her name, by the way. But she's nice.
Interesting character. To describe her accurately, I would have to say
her character type is similar to that of Keliana Tayler, whereas her
appearance is more like that of..... Hm... Well, she's blonde, with
blue eyes and... I will say. But she's crazy good at
drawing people and stuff! I wish I could be as good as her! And she
and I actually have a lot of like things in common. It was kind of
like being with someone who is a combo of a few people I've known
throughout my life, so it was a bit of dejavu for me. But it was fun. . . .

Suffice it to say, I had an interesting time. It made for an entertaining day.
Anyway, that's it for Wednesday. Now, on to Thursday....

Well, after dropping off Ellsworth Shimai and splitting back with
Reeves Shimai, I think I was geekier today, in a more genuine way. I'm
not sure why. It hasn't been bad at all lately, but I think it was
just.... Better. Interesting, huh?

Anyway, after another studying and planning the collect lesson ever
for matsushita Shimai, we went all the way to Kiyose, took the wrong
bus from the station, and had to ride it half way back to the eki and
walk the rest of the way to another sister's house. While we were
walking, we said hello to this old lady, and she stopped and said
thank you, and then proceeded to jabber at us for the next fifteen
minutes, crying any time we said something nice, and telling us about
how amazing it is to meet warm-hearted people, and talking about her
experiences from the past, and about her grandma who lived in Los
Angeles many many years ago, and something about Disneyland, etc.
After that, we discovered that our appointee was not even home, after
having scheduled an appointment. Shoot. So, we weren't too happy about
that, but we made our way back, and came all the way back home, to
prep for our other to-do things before leaving to drop off a birthday
card at one lady's house, and she came out when we rang
the doorbell, and she has the cutest four month
whose hair was so long and fluffy it self styled into dragon ball z
hair or something like that. He was soooooo cute! But after that, we
were unable, try as we might, to find a referral's house, even
though we found the closest possible house it could be to, but it
wasn't it! We were so dejected, but I managed to somehow cheer up my
companion and make her yakisouba, which was delicious, and we then had
most of a wonderful weekly planning session! It was really great!

We had such a crazy busy day today! I think I may have pushed myself a
little too hard today, or perhaps it's just something I ate at a member's
house, as in the quantity. She gave us way too much today. . . .

Sorry, I really don't feel well, so I'm kind of lax with detail, but we ended the day
by teaching at a sister's house. she fed is way too much, which may be one
reason why I started to feel sick.


Sorry, nothing really to say about today, besides that both me and
reeves Shimai have, according to Wada Shimai, the stomach flu. I
haven't left the house, and I probably won't for a good long while. I
haven't eaten anything since yesterday. I threw up three times last
night, once this morning, and once in the evening. I don't remember ever
being sick like this before.

I threw up again last night, and about an hour or so ago. I barely
even have the energy to make it to the bathroom. We weren't able to
make it to church, understandably, but later four of the elders came
and gave me and sister reeves blessings.
After that, sister Wada herself came over and administered to us. I
ate almost a whole saltine cracker, but later I threw up again. Shoot.
I'm literally starving, but what am I going to do?

I think the total times I've thrown up now is about twelve. I haven't
for a while, which may be a good thing, but, though I no longer have a
fever, my stomach feels even more sensitive. So far, I've managed to
keep down an apple slice. . . . It's just the

stomach flu. But man, does it pack a wallop. Well, I hope your week
ended better than mine. Love you, and sorry once again for this email. 

Miller byouki (sick) Shimai

We haven't heard a word from her since, but hope she and her companion
are finally on the mend!  Poor things!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Maryandra is having a pretty good time so far in Hibarigaoka, even though she misses Sister Horrocks!  She started her week by going on splits with her former companion, Sister Funakara, which she enjoyed, very much!

Yay, splits! Funakura Shimai and I talked about lots of fun and
natsukashi things during companionship and language study! It was a
blast! I'm really looking forward to today! After taking my bike to
the repair shop, we plan to go and get lost while looking for the
home of a member couple we want to visit, and do Hasina, and park
dendo, etc.! It's gonna be such a fun day., I haven't done an all
finding day in a really long time!
Remind me to tell you later of something that happened
when we were going to the church yesterday, before I forget... Ah.
Okay, so when we were going to the church,  we saw the elders in front
of the gate or something, and elder Scott asked me why we weren't
riding bikes, with this oddly excited lol on his face, like he was
expecting a certain answer. I said that because my tires were flat, I
couldn't really ride it. He looked puzzled and said "but wait! I
filled up your tires for you!"
"No you didn't. How could you? It's been at our house the whole time."
"Oh. Wait what? Really? Shoot! I filled up some random person's tires
for nothing!"
It was pretty funny. I told him that it's the thought that counts and
said thank you anyway.
(Maryandra's brothers got a laugh out of that, when we read it to them
Alrighty, so with that over, it's time to tell you about how awesome
my day was! I looooooved it, even though I'm super tired! We went and
got my bike fixed, and then went to a park place and tried to visit a
less active that lives there. They weren't home, though, so we housed
a lot, and did some park dendo, housed some more, and got lost coming
home, but we made it safely in the end. Both of us just kept telling
each other how glad we were to work together again! It was just sooo
fun!  We listened to my ghibli cd while eating dinner, and then left
merrily on our way to go and visit another less active, who was
actually home! It was cool, because we weren't hoping she would be,
but then she was, and she actually came to us instead of making us
come to her. We were both surprised and thought she was a man at
first, because she looked and sounded like one, and she wore boyish
looking clothes. It was really weird. But she is really nice, and she
loves airplanes, and told us all of her cool hobbies, and how she used
to love in Africa, and all that. She's way nice! I was really glad to
meet her. After that, we just made our tired way home, as happy as you
WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Today was the most perspective changing
experience! First off, I had a great interview with president Wada,
(he says hi by the way!) and it totally helped me to change and to
help me to realized that the only times I have a hard time or suffer
on my mission are when I turn inward and become selfish. I need to
focus on other people, and on what I'm doing, not on what I want, or
on what I feel should happen. I just felt so happy when I came to that
realization! I felt so good, I can't even describe it! Of course, I
still have room to grow, but I think I made some progress today. I
felt good, I felt sooo good, I just can't stop saying how good it
felt! I just cant! Oh my goodness! I felt almost literally like I was
floating, it was so amazing! Hence from that experience, I was able to
start an amazing conversation with a lady on the way home, and even
though all I did was gently and lovingly invite her to come to church,
and give her a flier, yes she said no, but we are both smiling and
happy by the time we got off the bus, and she said "I'm glad you
talked to me! Thank you, it made me happy!" And with that, I know she
will one day be able to make an important decision based off of that
conversation! But it wasn't just the conversation itself that
mattered. What mattered was that I loved, genuinely cared for this
lady that I'd just met, and that was all it took for it to keep the
conversation natural, and kind, not just a statistical report.
I can't tell you how lucky I am to just..... Be here! I am one of the
luckiest things that have ever existed! That sounds weird, but you
know, we all are! We were created by a loving, caring, infinitely and
perfectly kind and compassionate Being, who has asked us to call Him
'Father' and to think that He supports and gives life to every one of
His children from the moment we first exist and on into eternity, just
because He loves us! Just think about it! Compared to everything else
He has created, we are nothing, but we are dearly beloved and
important to Him! It's so hard to even think about it and try to
comprehend it, but the little I can imagine is just too amazing! My
testimony just grew sooo much!
It all came in a moment when I was being interviewed, and the words of
president ringwood came again into my mind, where we realize that God
knew we would need takashi Wada as our mission president now, so He
put everything into motion for that to take place, and tprealozing
just how much president Wada has helped me, and realizing that my
mission has opportunities and blessings prescribed exactly for me,
just what I need, when I need it, in just the right amount, coming
from the right angle, just enough for me to stretch and grow without
breaking, and it's all worked just perfectly. I know I was supposed to
meet the lady I spoke to on the bus, and I know that, even if it isn't
now, that small conversation will have far reaching effects!
Oh my gosh. Why was I ever nervous or scared to serve a mission? I
can't believe what an idiot I was! I feel so happy right now! I just
wish I was un-imperfect enough to know I could stay this way for the
rest of my life! Well, let's see how long I can make it last his time!
I have a favor for you. If I ever get down, tell me I'm being selfish,
okay? Well, that's it for today. I love you all so much! See you
That's probably enough for one week, just a snippet from her 
wonderful, long e-mail!  :-)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Maryandra was apparently surprised by all the goodies she got in her Halloween package from home!  She enjoyed her candy so much that she played a game with her candy corns!

Here's how her week went in her new area of Hibarigaoka:
Oh my goodness me, I can't believe that October is almost over already! In literally just two weeks, I'll hit my 11 month mark! Yaaaaaaaahhhh!!!!! Wow! Time sure does fly! Well, we have a meeting in kichijouji this evening, which I'm excited about because it means I'll probably get my Halloween package, but the down side is that we're going to have to ride bikes... And mine hasn't come yet. I got all of my suitcases yesterday, so now I'm all moved in, but it's like my bike has just...disappeared. So, if it doesn't come today, I'm gonna have to borrow sister Eyring's bike, which doesn't have a basket. So, I'm understandably just a little bit upset that my bike hasn't come yet, especially since I don't know why it's not here yet. :s Well, I guess I'll just have to wait and see. At the very least, I can probably pick it up tomorrow when we go to kichijouji again, for the conference with elder Michael T. Ringwood, who will be touring the mission this week. That should be interesting. It's gonna last from ten till four, which is basically the same time as zone conference.  
We were up and at 'em this morning and back to Kichijouji! It turned out to be exactly what I needed to hear! I loved loved loved it! It was amazing! And Elder Ringwood shook everyone's hands before the conference started, which was cool, and after that, he was very good at getting us to participate during his presentations. He even borrowed my iPad for a tiny bit. And guess what?! He remembered everyone's names! It was so cool, to hear him call is elder something, and when he called me sister miller, I was like "whoa!" And the messages he gave to us were all exactly what I needed! I'd been feeling down without realizing it,many it just helped me feel so much better! I loved it! And it was just...... Oh, it was so amazing! One thing he said really stuck out to me. It went something like this:
God knew that [you] would need takashi Wada as your mission president in 2014, so in 1979, He prompted Elder [?] to talk to a young Japanese boy who at that time was afraid of talking to Americans. He knew you would need takashi Wada, because He really does know the details of your lives, and He sees it all. I know that He loves you, and He knows just what you need, because He knows you better than you know yourselves.

I thought it was just so amazing, because yes I know it's true, but it just emphasized it so much when he said it like that! And that was a really spiritual moment for everyone else as well, I think. It opened up the doors to receiving revelation for the rest of the meeting! Oooooh, it was just so great!
I'm going to call sagawa today, and see if they can find my bike, because it's really frustrating not being able to go very far due to no bike. But oh well...
... Okay. Guess what just happened? So, do you remember when I told you about how we had a district blitz last transfer, and Horrocks Shimai and I gave hand warmers to a girl that was doing advertising for and animal humane society or something? Well, we just saw her today, and I recognized her, and she recognized me! I said hi and told her to ganbaru, and she got this big smile on her face! Yay! Apparently, she goes to all the eki's around this general area. It was cool to meet someone again who I'd helped in an entirely different area, never expecting to see her again! It was just a really cool thing for me to experience! Have you or dad ever had experiences like that? I just think it's so cool!
After that, we went and visited the bishop's house, and heart attacked their door. Then, we tried to do the same thing to the another family's door, but they heard us and opened the door while we were trying to tape on the hearts, and it scared the daylights out of me! But it was really funny, and they invited us over for Halloween night to trick or treat their house and come and eat some snacks and stuff with them and their friends and a few of their neighbors. I hope we go! The sisters here are great and hard workers, but they don't do things like go to game night, despite the elders, even the zone leaders, asking them to. Oh well. I hope that we can still go.  
Happy Halloween! I would make a bigger deal out of it, but since nobody really actually celebrates it here, I don't really know what I could do. Eat some of my candy, I guess. I've still got quite a bit left!
Okay, I've had no time to write to you today, but I have a lot to say! Today was one of those fail days you just have as a missionary, or at least it was up until we got to where we needed to go and did what we needed to do. So, it rained all day today, and it still is raining, I'm pretty sure. We got my bike at last from Sagawa today, so we changed our original plan and after doing some contacting, went to go visit a member, who'd had a birthday last week but we weren't able to go then because I didn't have my bike yet. Well, it turned out to be a really hard ride up to her place, at least for me. I was wondering why it was so difficult, and why I couldn't keep up my speed even when we were going downhill, and it wasn't until I was going up a particularly steep hill that I heard the sound of my rear tire rubbing against the rim, and having had such an experience before my mission, I throught "oh shoot! NOOOOO!!! Not again!" It was indeed flat.
But then, because we had an appointment set up with a member at four, and it was 3:15 ish, Reeves Shimai determined, correctly, that we would never make it on time if we walked. Well, no duh. So I had to tough it out and suck it up, and ride my banged up bike with, it turns out, not one, but both tires flat, all the way back to the church, going uphill and downhill, and almost never on the sidewalk, with cars sometimes right alongside me, and me trying so hard not to fall, and to keep myself from bumping up against them. And to make it that much more interesting, my shoe flew off about five minutes into the ride, which made me even slower, trying to get it back on, and getting my foot wet on the process. Gah! But we booked it, me trying to keep up as best as I could, and failing pretty badly, and nearly killing myself. I was exhausted, and not feeling too well, but I felt pretty good about our timing. We ended up being only three minutes late. Woohoo!

We had an especially good time after dinner. We housed a huge apartment complex for like an hour and a half, and we extended a lot of invitations to church and stuff! We met another Christian lady, and met a family that apparently used to come to eikaiwa, before I came here. It was really cool! We felt so good! But while I was doing housing, and here's the funny thing, I started getting down again, and I started to think about how much I missed home and how fun it would be if I was there right now and such. But it was after we met the other Christian lady (not a very kind one. She basically said that she doesn't associate with Mormons, her beliefs are different, and that if they were the same, we might meet again in heaven, someday. But she didn't think so. Yeah, slightly irritating) that I started wondering just what my job is here. And wondering why I was here. And then it just came to me. I have something that not many people have. Something that can and will bring them peace, comfort, healing and joy if they will accept it. And right now, I'm trying to give it to other people. That's not a bad thing to do at all. So,ermines. We get so focused on doing what we have to do that we forget everything m even why we're doing these things. It's sooo important that we don't forget what our message is here, otherwise, we'll become robots, and we will lose track of our goals and what our purpose is, and we will get sad and upset, and think about things that will make us want to go home. It helps me feel so much better to finally realized what I'd been doing and how I could help myself to feel better! It was a really good boost/defining moment for me! Yay!  
This is the view from Maryandra's desk in their little house in Hibarigaoka!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Maryandra was sad to leave Fussa so soon!  She spent time with one fun family that is actually in an "I'm a Mormon" video, featuring the dad!  Maryandra encouraged us to watch it, so we did!  It was fun to learn about this family that Maryandra became attached to in such a short time!  Here are their kids, having fun with her iPad!

Maryandra enjoyed 2 Halloween parties last week, one in Fussa and 
one in Hibarigaoka!   Here is some of her last e-mail:

Well, today, as always, was very bittersweet. We had our eikaiwa
Halloween party in the evening, as the final part of the day. It was
really fun. We did all kinds of games and activities, and it was fun
to just watch these people all break out of their shells a little bit. . .
So, before the eikaiwa party, we had kids eikaiwa with this awesome
family. They're featured in an "I'm a Mormon" video, by the way. You
should watch it! It's a great video, one of my favorites! Anyway, it
was really fun. We talked about time and seasons with them, like we'd
done with another family. It was really cute. And the last part
was a fun game of Duck, Duck, Goose. It was always soooooo cute to
hear little two-year-old as he tried in vain to say duck and
goose. It was really just him going around saying"guck" over and over
again, and when he wanted you to be the goose, he would tap you and
just yell it louder. It went something like this every time: "Guck,
guck, gook, guck, goo, gook, guck........ GUUUUUUUCK!!!!!" It was
sooooo cute! And when he cried because he couldn't play the other
English games as well as his siblings, I fished a peace of candy out
of my pocket that I'd bought earlier that day, and gave it to him.
After that, he was a happy camper, and he even offered me one of his
candy corns at the end, because I would give him one whenever he
asked. What a cutie! I'm gonna miss him! He was my favorite from the
start! Ooooooh, I loooooove this family!

Waking up at five in the morning is one of my least favorite things to
do. Not only that, but we had to get right to work. I had to finish
packing my blankets and pillow cases, and get ready. By seven, we
headed to the church to get my bike and bring it back to the
apartment, where it was disassembled, and put into its bike bag for
the third time. Anyway, I am sitting in the
church in kichijouji, because both my current and my soon-to-be
companions are in a training meeting, and so I am studying with other
sisters. What fun, huh? Well, anyway, I have nothing further to
report at the moment, so I will see you after we get through this
awkward halfway phase, and I am settled into my new HOUSE! I can't
wait to see what it's like to live in a HOUSE! Haha, well, see you
later!.. So far, so good. After stopping at the house
to get bikes to ride (I had to borrow someone's bike), we rode to the
home of a member for a dinner appointment.
She is a really sweet little old lady. She gave us all the leftovers,
including cake! Holy cow! She's got such an amazing story, and a
really strong testimony that's been strengthened by here trials. I was
so amazed at one of her stories. Her house burned down when she was
young, and she and her family lost everything, except the clothes on
their backs.... And the pages of her Book of Mormon. The cover had
been burned away, and the edges of the pages were all charred, but
inside, the words were still there! She showed it to us, kept safe in
a box. I have a picture or two of it that I want to send! I can't wait
to show you! Oh. She's such a great person! After that, we made our
way back home, did planning, and prepared for bed! Yay! So weird to
live in a house, and sleep in bunk beds. Yikes!...
This is the Book of Mormon that was in the fire!
It's been fun teaching so many people. I've never taught so many
appointments in such a short period of time, and all the members are
so nice, as far as I can tell, anyway. I can see why my mtc companion
liked this area so much. Except for everything being crazy difficult
to find/get to, it seems like a great area, and would be a great place
to start a mission. I can see why she liked it so much.  It's
not bad here. I kind of like it already. Yay!      
By theway, one random note. Even though it's cool to live in a house, 
the house is, not surprisingly, 100% Japanese, which means the stairs 
are very scary to go up and down. I'll have to send you some pictures 
of the house soon. But the stairs are scary. And the house shakes a lot,
so I always think it's an earthquake or something, but it's not. The
house just shakes. Probably because we're not too far from the train
station, or a busy busy road. But it's interesting living in a three
floor building, having two bathrooms, bunk beds, my own closet all to
myself, and a small love seat SOFA on the second floor! Yikes, it's
all so different!
We met with a lady before the Halloween party, and she is an interesting person. 
Quiet, and reserved, but she listens. It's interesting. She's sweet. Anyway, the
Halloween party was actually kind of fun. There
was food, so I was able to eat dinner, and gain
a little more energy. I've been exhausted today, ever since about
three. All this walking back and forth is something I need to get used
to again, but it's good.
We housed part of this huge
apartment complex that's across the street from our house, and would
you know what? We found two people who said to come visit again, and
another lady that INVITED US INTO HER HOUSE!!!!! Oh my gosh! Oh my
gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh!!!!! That's the first time that's ever
happened to me in my entire mission! This lady is Chinese, and she has
one three year old daughter. Her husband is abroad for work at the
moment, or at least I think that's what she said.
It was really cool! This lady is
really busy, so she can't do much with us, but she does have interest,
and we gave her the address to the church, and gave her a Book of
Mormon, and invited her to hear more! YES YES YES!!!
Hey, we just experienced a split second earthquake! It was normal strength, but it started and ended rather suddenly, and now the elders out in the hall are talking about it and trying to one up each other about the coolest earthquakes they've ever been in, etc. haha, elders. Well, see ya!
Couldn't resist one more scary Halloween selfie Maryandra!  
We hope she will have a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

 After only a few short weeks in Fussa, it looks like Maryandra is transferring again!  By the time anyone reads this blog, she will already be in her new area of Hibarigaoka! Here is what she thought about it before transferring:

I got some interesting news for ya. I'm transferring again. I'm going
to Hibarigaoka. It's in the exact same zone as the one I'm in now, and
it's my mtc companion's bean area. I will be companion's with my doki,
sister reeves. She will be sister training leader, and I guess I will
just tag along and be a co-senior or something. I'm not sure how I
feel. I wanted to stay with horrocks Shimai, but I guess that the
lord's plan for me really was to do a 3-2-1 transfer pattern for the
areas I go to. Interesting, because I've wondered what doing that
would be like ever since leaving Hachioji. After that, I'm not sure.
This should be interesting. I was really sad, then really... Okay with
it, then really mad, and now I'm okay with it again. The plus is that
I get to love in a HOUSE, not an apartment! And I get to live with
sister Eyring! Best yet, she will be companion's with FUNAKURA
SHIMAI!!!!! Aaaaaaah! That makes me happy. I hope I get along okay
with reeves Shimai, so I hope that things go well. I'm not going to
let myself get angry or sad about that. I have to say, I've wondered
off and on about what it would be like to be in hibarigaoka, and what
it would be like to co-senior, and I've wondered lately about what it
would be like to live with reeves Shimai, and I've been missing
Funakura Shimai, and who wouldn't want to love with president Eyring's
granddaughter? I can see that there are a lot of plus's. But I will
really miss np being companion's with horrocks Shimai. We've gotten
along so well. But I should have know it would be too good to last.
Sigh. Well, I sure hope that things go well there, and that I can make
hibarigaoka a home. That would be nice. I've heard it's a great area,
and a lot like Hachioji, apparently. Well, I'm really sad to leave my
weird, freakie girls here, but I'm sure I'll make some new freak
friends in hibarigaoka. Well, wish you all luck, congrats to dad on
MAKING IT TO ETL!!!! And I may actually need that mouthwash, now that
I won't have a chance to go on base any time soon. Love you all! Be
safe and careful, tell cousin Chris hello and to write me and send me
his weeklies, and to love it! I hope the whole,thing about Hyrum and
glasses worked out! Sorry about the questions I missed! I'll have to
answer those next time! Love y'all! Bye!...

That was completely unedited.  Pure Maryandra.  We hope she has a good week, and we'll find 
out more in her next e-mail!  Here are some more of her Halloween photos!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

 Maryandra and her companion enjoyed a visit to the Tokyo Temple this week!

Otherwise, her week was full of General Conference, another typhoon and meeting some interesting people! Maryandra  also enjoyed taking and sending some very spooky, Halloween selfies to her family!                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Maryandra knows how to be scary!!!
And silly for Halloween!!!
Well, we were invited over to a family's home. Or I guess I
should call them the senior family, because all of their
children go to fussa Ward as well and live close to their house and do
office work in their basement. Anyway, as I was saying, we went to
their house, had a delicious lunch, and talked a bit about family
history. That's what we're going to try to focus on for this last part
of the year, as a stake and as a Ward, like we did in the machida
stake. Funny how so many of the missionaries who used to be in machida
stake have now transferred over to musashino stake:) and that we just
happen to be starting the same thing. But anyway, I am really glad
that we went, because I liked that part of the area, they were really
nice, and it was just fun to get to know them. . . I traced
all the way back to Adam from grandma sandy's line while we were
looking at doing the family history stuff on the family history search
website! I was sooooo stoked! It took forever, but it was awesome, and
I saw sooo many cool names, especially among the Vikings, which gave
me ideas for cool names to use in my story when I get home! Haha, I'll
probably write my book while doing family history! That would be
We are now at the church, and
sister Horrocks is doing more of her family history stuff. I think I might
just take a look as well! Yay!... So, I went all the way back to Adam
and Eve again, this time from a different person in grandma sandy's
line! It's fun going back to the old days where you don't know how
concrete the details are, but at least there is a vague line, if
nothing else. Okay. So we have eikaiwa (English conversation) today 
. . . Well, eikaiwa was pretty fun. We had our
regular class, but then at the end, instead of doing a game, we went
out and watched the lunar eclipse! It was so cool! Man, we enjoyed
looking at it for a really long time, before making our way home. Did
you know about the lunar eclipse? If you look it up, you will also see
that the moon was kind of red for a little bit, or like an orangish
color. Interesting, huh? So, look out for that scripture reference!
It was really fun when we were coming
home on the train, because there was this huge group of elementary
school kids, on their way to a field trip. They kept staring at me,
and I would smile at them sometimes. Then, one of them timidly said
"harro?" (Hello) and I immediately said "Hello!" Back to him. He and
all of the other children were like "OOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHH!!!!!!!!!" And
giggling and stuff. It was great! And then, others kept coming up to
me and asking if I knew the movie Frozen. I said yes, and that started
another round of oohs and aaahs. One asked me my favorite animal, and
I told him it was a horse. This little girl piped up and said "me
too!" And I gave her a high five. Then, she asked what my favorite
color was. I said blue and purple, and she was like, "oooh! That's the
same as him!" And pulled her friend over, and he was kind of looking
like he didn't know what the heck was going on. It was sooo funny! And
when we got off at higashi Fussa eki, I waved at all of them, and they
all waved back, and some of them said "bye bye!" And "see you!" It was
such a cute moment! Love those kids already!
It's my ten month
mark today! Ah shoot! How did the time go by so fast? No no no no no
no no no no no no no!!!! Aaaaaaahhhh!!! Well, anyway, aside from that,
we also get to go and finally watch general conference today, in
KICHIJOUJI!!! I'm soooooo excited! This is going to be the best
Man, I can't wait!  We will do personal study,
then leave at nine thirty to hope on the 9:46 train headed for
Kichijouji! Yaaaaaaaay!.............. 
Oh my goodness, you guys!  General conference was
I am also reeeeaaaallllllly glad that we were able to come to
kichijouji to see it, too! Wooow! Man, I looooved the atmosphere of
getting to watch it with almost all of the missionaries in our zone!
Oh goodness, it's awesome! In the first session, I was intrigued by
the new perspectives offered by the Cantonese speaker, and then I was
just BLOWN AWAY by president Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk! Worlds without
number, and the way he just put it into plain and simple,
understandable terms. And the topic! Oh my gosh, it was soooooo
Anyway, the second session was my favorite one so
far, I think. I liked the one delivered in Spanish. I thought it was so sweet
in a lot of parts, especially when he talked about his wife! And of
course, who could ever not enjoy good old elder Holland? Fantastic as
always, and I can't wait to study that one again later! Oooooooh, it
was an amaaaaaaaziiiing day! I always love love love getting to go to
kichijouji! Goodness me, I'm just soooooo happy! Oooh man, I'm just
so.... Wait, I was just about to repeat what I'd just said. Haha,
silly me, but it deserves to be said twice. Anyway, loved today! So, I
will go for now, and I will see you tomorrow! By the way, have you
guys heard about the super typhoon that's supposed to be coming in
soon? And worse than the last one? Maybe? And to add to that, how red
the moon looked tonight as we were about to go to the church to do a
few things? It scared us a lot, and we talked about the second coming
on our way to the church. That's gotta be super super close! Yikes!
Haha! Well, anyway, sleep tight on that! Teehee!;) Love you!
I absolutely looooooved General conference,
especially as a missionary. I
don't know how many times I've said this even in just one email, but
general conference is somehow even better, in fact a lot better, out
in the mission field. There's just a magical quality to it. A special
feeling you can't ever get in any other setting, no matter how hard
you might try! Ooooh, it makes me so sad that I only have one more
conference left in the mission field, and it's going to be just two
months before I go home. Oh my gosh, that's just the saddest thought
ever! And in only two months, I'll be getting my death note, or six
month letter. Yikes! It's the scariest thought ever! But I'm so happy
for al, of the amazing opportunities I've had here! I just love it
soooo much! There's nothing like this kind of job! If I were allowed
to, I would probably want to do it for a really long time!
Well, the only significant thing we've seen about today is a lot of
misty rain. The typhoon should be hitting our area in exactly one
minute. Or around there. It should last from about six pm to six am
tomorrow morning. Should be interesting. Well, I sure hope it doesn't
interfere with us being able to go to the temple or anything. That is
the one thing that would make me so mad right now, not being able to
go to the temple. Grrrrrrr.... Stay away rain!

... Wow. I got the news letter for timpview ninth Ward in my emails.
First off, I wonder why, and second off, I just gotta say, it gives me
a really special feeling when I look at the list of current full time
missionaries, and see my name on there, with a Japanese address
underneath, and I'm like "whoa!" I almost do a double take. And I just
look at it, and think about my job, and my calling. And my purpose.
And all that I've experienced so far. And all of the amazing things
that I've seen and done and felt and I just think "why was I scared to
do this? Why, how, could anybody, regardless of circumstances or
personal opinion, not choose t serve a mission? Oh, how glad I am that
I came!" I haven't done a thing, as far as amazing ness goes, but I've
done a lot of small things, like just happening to be in the right
place at the right time, to get a lot of people started. And I feel
like that's my purpose for coming here. I may not see a physical
baptism, but I have met with and introduced the gospel to so many
people now that I know are going to get baptized that I don't regret
one bit not being classified as what I've called a "reaper." I may not
be the one that takes the wheat out of the field, but I am the one who
puts a lot of it there, and who sometimes even gets to watch it grow
before I'm called to go to another part of the field. But that's okay.
I'm okay with it. I feel like this is what I've mainly been sent here
to do, and if this really is my main job, then I'm gonna do it with
all my might! It's one of the most humbling experiences to think that
I am one of the people who gets to expand the field for others to
reap, and open the doors for others to receive the opportunities that
bring so much joy to so many. So many friendships have been made, so
many lives touched, so many miracles witnessed, that I just can't
regret becoming a missionary, no matter how hard I sometimes try. From
the mtc till the last eight months in Japan, I've seen so many things
and changed so much  that I wouldn't trade this for any thing else!
Truly, a mission is the hing for me! It's just such an amazing
realization! I want others to be able to have this same life changing
experience! So boys, don't ever let any of the small, unimportant
things get in the way of the most life changing experience and biggest
blessing you will experience! It will shape the rest of your eternal
existence! Where you go, who you marry, and what you do are just a few
of the many amazing things and decisions that will be influenced by
your decision to serve a mission, and then following through with it!
I promise you that you won't regret it!
The lord will bless you with a thousand times
more than you will ever sacrifice to serve a mission! It's happened
for me, and I know it will for you too, if you just make the
commitment now, and prepare from now onward to serve the lord! I bear
you my testimony that this is true.