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!!!

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