Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Maryandra had Temple P-day, so her e-mail was late, and she didn't send any photos, so here is the Tokyo Temple!  She had a long, hard week, highlighted by the start of monsoon season and a 2 mission conference with Elder Quentin L. Cook! Here are some excerpts:

Well, brown shimai's famous last words of the day yesterday were "it's gonna get a whole lot hotter" and no sooner did we all believe her than it started raining cats and dogs, all night. It's now about 6:40 in the morning, and my once near-dry laundry now looks as if it just came out of the washing machine again :/ Oh well. It'll just have to "hang out" inside for a little bit. :) but the rain is a concern though. We had about four or five investigators and potential investigators set to come to this relief society cooking party, but if the rain continues until 10:00, they might not come, which is really sad. Everything looked just fine yesterday. Well, we'll just have to pray our hearts out for some miracle to happen or something. I'll let you know the results later today...okay, so we had three people show up! Not a bad turn out! Things should be okay now. I think it's still raining outside, but maybe not as bad as before.

And on the weekend:

So, it was our mission and the other Tokyo mission. It was pretty cool! I got a lot of good things from it, and if I have time later, maybe I'll share some of them, mostly in quote form, probably. But it was really cool!
Oh, but before io, I will tell you about my moment of panic. While I was at the mtc, my district heard about one time an apostle came to speak there before, and when he shook hands with the missionaries, all he said to some of them as soon as he shook their hands were "go home," because he could tell they weren't there for the right reasons. And I had a temporary phobia of " what if I get told to go home by an apostle! Sure, I have days when I want to go home, but that doesn't mean that I actually want to!" It was an unnecessary paranoia, thankfully, and it was a quick, painless procedure type thing. I'll tell you though, that was the first time when I looked forward to an opportunity like that with something besides excitement. Man, what's wrong with me? I worry too much.

There are times when, as a mother, I realize that my daughter is an awful lot like me! Here is another interesting excerpt:

We tried once again, unsuccessfully, to find hat less active member I mentioned yesterday, and it was really discouraging . . . We found exactly where it was supposed to be, but we couldn't find it. It's like it disappeared. I mean, where could a whole house go? It's like in Harry potter where they could hide houses and other places, and only he secret keeper could tell where it is. It's frustrating. But my amazing companion gave out another Book of Mormon! She is the hardest working person I have ever met. I feel bad that she's stuck with poky, lazy old me. Really, that's what I am. I don't feel bad for me, because that's how I've always been, and I'm content with that, but I feel bad for all the people who have to put up with it, so I'm trying to go a little faster, and talk more. I guess I get distracted by all the scenery and stuff, because it's so pretty here in Japan, right now!  

Maryandra is very critical of herself, but you can tell that she loves where she is right now!

Monday, May 19, 2014

 Maryandra had a good view of Mt. Fuji while climbing Mt. Takao!
This is the view from Maryandra's new apartment veranda!
Here are excerpts from Maryandra's last 3 or 4 page letter:
Brown Shimai just made the Most amazing discovery! Guess what we can see from our apartment's veranda? FUJI SAAAAAAAN! I can't believe how lucky we are! And it looks way close, too! Too bad most of it is blocked by other apartments, though. But we can see the white top, in surprisingly clear detail. I'll send a picture sometime, I promise!
But guess what else? We can see it WAAAAAAAAAY better from the top of takao San! From the top of takao, we saw the entire white section of Fuji San, in perfect clarity, and it wasn't even that hard to get there! It took maybe 4 hours round trip, and I don't even really feel that tired, although everyone else has been taking a nap. I'm really the only one with any energy right now. I'll send you pictures of Fuji San from the top of Takao San instead of from our apartment. I finally have a suggestion for what we can do when you come back here, or rather a suggestion of one of the many things we can do. We should try to climb takao San if you're all feeling up to it! It's waaaaaay easier than jinbo San was, and all the way up, the path is paved and everything, with tons of fun shrines and shops scattered along the way! It was the coolest! And there was a temple up there too that looked really cool, but I didn't get to get a good look or anything. But it was way colorful.
Here's another excerpt:
I had a bit of an experience like the one Elder Holland mentioned in his conference talk, only I didn't get food spit all over me. However, this man took a flier from me, and as soon as he saw it was from our church and he read my name tag, he started hard core bashing the church. He said a bunch of trash about how because we aren't catholic or Protestant, we're not really Christians, and we're bad people, and a lot of other really rude things. He spoke so fast I couldn't understand most of what he said, and when I tried to explain it, he would interrupt me and say things like " oh, see? You don't know your churches history, do you? That proves your church is fake!" I calmly tried to explain to him that I had only been here for three months, yes I did know my church's history, and the reason I couldn't say much was because I couldn't understand him, and I wasn't the best at Japanese. He waved his hand dismissively and said in English " well, in Japan, you must speak Japanese." Then he walked off, not even deigning to hand back the flier. I can tell you, I was tempted like that other sister to just grab that fat, sweaty business man and say something explosive and shake him really hard, and maybe hit him if I got the chance. But of course I didn't. To quote that sister, sometimes, being a missionary is hard. But it is worth it. The little miracles make up for it time and time again. Other than that, my day was pretty good. We explored the area, looking for the home of a less active member, who we successfully found and spoke to a little bit. I hope we get to visit her again!
I'm proud of Maryandra for keeping her cool! 
You have to know Maryandra to appreciate this excerpt!
Well, we had a bit if an adventure, trying to find another less active member, and failed. We walked almost into Katakura, which is by the highway partly, and it was dark and scary the whole time, with no lamp posts or anything, on these roads that were barely wider than alleys, and we could see bats flying around.the wind kept blowing this little windmill really loud, but we couldn't feel it, so it made me think Halloween things. Do you remember that story in Anne of Green Gables, where Anne has to walk through what she named the Haunted Wood,and all of her imaginations came back to haunt her. It was kind of like that, at least for me, since I'm scared to death of the dark. Sometimes, the cat tail plants would make scary rustling noises, and the moving branches and creeper vines that moved always looked really creepy. Anyway, today was rather normal other than that, for a Sunday. Man, I am way tired, and I cannot wait for pday tomorrow!

Finally, we will end on an exciting excerpt!
Guess what just happened less than a minute ago? Another earthquake! Seriously, these things are happening more and more! That's the second one in two weeks! None of them have been more than enough to startle me, but they still startle me, if that makes sense. Let's see what else happens today...

She is enthusiastically hanging in there, and they have a baptism scheduled for June!!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Maryandra's letter was full of news this week!  They did move the sisters in Hachioji to a bigger apartment, which made Maryandra happy!  In her own words:
We moved apartments!!! I LOOOOOOOOVVVVVVE IIIIIIIIIT!! It's sooooooo much bigger than our first apartment, which was cramped and stuffy, even though it was new. We have several rooms, and I finally feel like I can breathe here! And we are up on the third floor in the building, which, even though it's a bit of a climb, means that we have an amaaaaazinnnng view from all sides! And a small veranda! It's the best!

And this is what she had to say about transfers:
TRANSFER CALLS CAME JUST TODAY!!! Get ready to hear it. I am going to...... ( drumroll please) ......... STAY IN HACHIOJI!!!!! Funakura and brown Shimai are also staying in Hachioji! Funakura Shimai and I are going to become a companionship, and brown Shimai is, once again, training a brand new missionary. So,we are becoming a foursome!! YAY!!! I am kind of scared to be a senior companion, because Funakura works way harder than I do, and I don't know how to lead by inspiration, or any of that other stuff I'll need, so it's actually really scary. But I'm way glad that things are going to turn out this way, actually. At least I'm not leaving, and at least I'm not training a newbie.

On Saturday Maryandra also got to climb Mount Jinbo with investigators and other missionaries, which was fun, but here is something from her letter about a different experience:
Oh, so guess what happened just this morning? My second earthquake! It was quite a bit bigger than the first one, and considerably longer. I heard it was a four on the rector scale, but I don't really know what it means. All I know is that I woke up at about 5 this morning, because the ground was moving underneath me. As soon as I opened my eyes, I freaked out inside my head, and sat bolt upright. Brown Shimai was already at the top futon room door, and she and I just tensed and stood there for About 20 seconds as the floor entry rocked back and forth a little. But it was way scarier in the moment! And brown Shimai said that it was he biggest one shed ever felt, which is kind of scary. She says that they are getting bigger and more frequent. That's probably the reason why president Wada is pushing us all to get our 72 hour kits ready. I'm a little bit nervous about that, but it's okay for now. Nothing really happened, and no one got anything more than a little startled. But Funakura Shimai just sat on her futon the whole time. When we told the elders about it, they mostly said that they just stayed in bed and didn't do anything, like, if the roof falls on me, I'm too tired to worry about it kind of a thing. They're so silly!

We are thankful that Maryandra is doing well, and surviving all of her exciting experiences so far!!!