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!