Monday, March 24, 2014

This is part of Maryandra's newest letter from her mission.  She is having a good week, apparently!  We love to hear about it when she is having a good week! It is one of her shortest letters yet, though!

March 24, 2014
I will go kind of backwards with the news today. First, we got transfer calls. Both me and brown Shimai are staying in Hachioji!! And what's more, WE GET TO TRAIN A NEW MISSIONARY NEXT TRANSFER,!!!!! ^.^!!!!!!!!! I'm sooooo excited!!! So, of course, we had to spend half of pday today getting the apartment ready. It's good now. It just needs a few of her things to come that are just small necessities. Like a bed. And a chair. And a desk. And a shelf. And a set of drawers. But we've got it ready for when those things come, so we are all excited!!!,
Next item of business, we got a KINJIN INVESTIGATOR on Saturday!!! She's already committed to read the Book of Mormon, pray every day, come to church every week, and eventually get baptized, that is if she feels that our message is true, and she came to church yesterday!!! She was awesome!!
Anyway,on Friday, we also taught this great family. You remember them, right? The ones we teach eikaiwa to every week, and they have a two year old daughter. I'll send you a picture if I can. We usually just teach an hour of eikaiwa, and then a short message, but this time, we taught them all of lesson one, and the mom really liked the message!!,! Even though they aren't really aware that they are technically investigators, it was really cool!!!
So, that was mainly it, at least as far as I can remember. But I do have a couple of questions. So, when is Easter, and also when is general conference? We want to schedule our investigator's lessons around those weekends. And also, I'm annoyed that I don't know. Oh, and by the way, I got the package that you sent with the letter you wrote on March 8th, with the hat, and the Cheetos and stuff. THANK YOOOOOOOUUU!! Brown Shimai has already eaten some of the Nutella :) because she couldn't wait even though we don't have bread yet. It was funny. So, I haven't had time to read your letters yet, and it's almost time to go home, so I will have to tell you to ask dad if he ever taught a Nagaoka family? Probably not, but I always love to just ask. Nagaoka chourou goes home this week, back to Sendai. Sad day. Well, I'm afraid I have to go, but happy early birthday to,daddy!!, and tell me all the other good news!. Sorry this email is way shorter than I meant it to be!

Sister Miller, Sister Brown and their friend must be at a cotton candy bar!!! Looks like a lot of fun!!!
Who knew such a place existed!?! :-)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Here are a few excerpts from letters from Maryandra, to give everyone an idea of what she is experiencing! She writes really long letters, just like her mom, and so these will be just to give everyone an idea of what she is doing and enjoying so far while she is serving in her first area!  Meanwhile, we are waiting to get more fun photos from Miller Shimai.  It seems like e-mails from Maryandra Miller Shimai come later and later each week, but we'll be publishing more soon!

From the e-mail of February 23, 2014 
In the evening, we went to the ward activity, which was ping pong
night. That was way fun! Even though both me and my team mate were
really bad at ping pong, we somehow made it all the way to the final
round, before being savagely beaten by The other team, who actually
knew how to play:)
Friday, we went out streeting, and would you believe it? The second
person we talked to said she was interested in learning more from us
about the church. She even showed us where she lives and gave us food.
O.o! She's a really nice person, and Brown Shimai and I are very
excited to begin teaching her the gospel!

Sunday ( also known as yesterday) was a really busy day. President
Wada came! And he gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting! It was really
good, even though I couldn't understand a lot of what he said. We also
had a family who sort of came to church. This great family, who each had
different interests, came for a bit, but both the mom and dad left
before first hour, and the daughter left before third hour, which was
sacrament meeting. At almost 5, we went and taught a lesson to a less
active family. We did a little bit of finding after that, and then
came home.

So far, what I love most about being in Japan is the food, and the
people, and my surroundings. Like I said, Hachioji is exactly like the
studio ghibli movies! There is almost nothing that I dislike, except
that, being in a big city-place, I can almost always smell pollution,
and I've never enjoyed that smell. But still, that's not even bad.
I really like doing kubarikai, which is where you talk to people on
the trains, and I think riding the trains are fun. Oh, and also,all
the little children are absolutely ADORABLE!!!! Especially the tiny
babies!!!! Oh my gosh!!!!!! Soooooo cute!!!

From an e-mail of March 3, 2014
So,next cool thing. A week or so ago, we met with this great family
before church. Only the daughter ended up actually coming, and she
didn't stay the whole time. We were really bummed, because we thought
she had lost interest. But later that week, we were walking in the
rain doing housing, and we met her dad completely by chance ( or so it
would seem ) and we talked a bit, and he was really nice, and we were
happier and less miserable. That night, she texted us and said she
was going to come to church again on Sunday! And she did! And she
liked it! And she stayed the whole time! She agreed to do some
lessons/ eikaiwa, and we taught her for the first time yesterday, and
we definitely felt the spirit. She said she had always felt like
something was protecting her all her life, and she seemed to
understand and like what was being taught. We have another lesson
scheduled for next week, and she says she will come to church again!

Maryandra soon found out that she'd have her own I pad to use for missionary work, but she also uses it to take photos of things, like herself!  The following are taken either from her camera or the I pad, but they show Sister Miller's first apartment in Hachioji, Japan.  It is pretty small, but that is normal for Japan!

Maryandra has also been very charmed by her surroundings, and reminders of her favorite Japanese animations, like Tonari no Totoro or My Neighbor Totoro.  It is one of the Miller family's favorite animations too, so the photos are very appreciated back home in Orem, Utah!
Maryandra thinks the things in the kids' sections of the stores are very charming, and also full of Totoros and cat buses and fun characters from the animations!  While Maryandra is working hard to learn and understand the Japanese language, it is refreshing for her to at least see things she is familiar with, and that bring back fun memories of watching these animations as a kid!

Maryandra traveled safely to Japan, and arrived on February 11, 2014 to the Japan Tokyo South Mission, where she was welcomed by President and Sister Wada, along with the other missionaries from the MTC that were going to her mission, including her MTC companion, Sister Wilde! Here are a few photos of them at the mission home before going to their assigned areas.

Maryandra found out her first companion in Japan would be Sister Nicole Brown, or Brown Shimai, as they say in Japan.  Her first area is a city called Hachioji, which boasts a lovely zoo, where Maryandra got to go soon after arriving in Japan!  She had a great first week in the Japan Tokyo South Mission!

They had a baptism shortly after Maryandra's arrival!  A wonderful lady, Seki San, had already decided to be baptized, and Sister Miller got to be there to witness this wonderful event!  It was an awesome way to start her mission in her new area!