Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Happy Late Valentines Day to Everyone!  Some sweet person
gave these things to Maryandra for her Valentines Day!

 An Elder in the mission drew quick images of Maryandra (above) and her
companion(below) while teaching English Conversation class, and they are a silly! 
 We didn't have a good selfie of her to use this week until just barely, and it is at the
end of this blog.  The drawing above looks a little happier than Maryandra's selfie!

The artist!

 Maryandra resent her temple photo from last week, and we like it so much we'll repost it!
Lovely Hibarigaoka!  I think this is the view from an apartment building
 where they were housing!
Here are some excerpts from Maryandra's e-mail this week!

We had a good time yesterday! We went out and did some housing, and
the weather, compared to the day before, was PERFECT!!!!! Oh, it felt
so good, like the end of March, or something, and I took some cool
pictures of a view from the top floor of one apartment building. It
was way cool!
After that, we had to hurry home and do weekly planning. We actually
managed to finish all of it, miraculously! Hooray! Now, it won't
bother us until next Thursday... Which is transfer dayFace screaming in fear! Oh no! Am I
gonna transfer? I sure hope not! I don't want to! Aaaaah! And as of
yesterday, I only have 19 weeks left as a missionary!
Man, today was AAAAAAWESOOOOOOME!!!!! Smith Shimai, choi Shimai and I
all went by train to the Kawasaki area to see a music recital put on
by the missionaries and some members. It was soooo cool!
On the way to and from the concert, we had to pass for a bit into the
north mission's boundaries, so I got a taste of Tokyo Tokyo, the real
thing, or so very close to it, when we stopped at shibuya station to
transfer. It was sooooo huuuuuge, soooooo colorful, and soooooo......
I don't know. I loved it, but it scared me to death at the same time.
I really didn't know what to think, but it made me realize just how
inaka(countrified) the Tokyo south mission really is. It's crazy! I
feel like we're babies now. Sheesh! Oh well.
We went to the special combined mission
conference in the Tokyo mission's area. Elder Ballard, president Rasband and Bishop Stevenson were all there. I learned soooo much! But I'll tell you about it in a minute. One thing that hit me was when elder Ballard told us to buck up and get out there, and work. He said "no amount of disinterest in the church, walking in the rain, or slammed doors can ever compare in anyway to gethsemane. Don't you forget that!" And I realized "oh! He's right!" To all my friends and family currently serving missions, just know this: we've got it easy. Our job right now is just to go the direction we are pointed and to be the mouthpiece. The people we talk to aren't monsters. They aren't scary. They're our brothers and sisters. It's particularly poignant for me to be here in Japan, because more than ninety percent of the people who live here don't even know who they are, or why they're here. There is a 99% proclaimed but inactive Buddhist population in this country. In our two missions combined, there are more than 30 million people, 30 million of our Heavenly Father's children. They have no idea why they are here, or who they are. Most of them have never read any kind of scripture, or know more than the name of Jesus Christ. That's it. About 1% are Christians, approximately. And only 10% of the remaining them are active Latter-day Saints. Can you imagine how sad that has to be? We need to tell the people of this world, our brothers and sisters, who they really are.
This isn't something just for Japan, just for me. This is for
everybody to know. We know who we are. How happy does it make you when
you help someone to understand that as well, who they are? Don't you
want to go out and shout it to everyone you see? Do it!
That's one thing I learned from the conference today. I'm so glad I
got to go there! It was amazing! Also, I'm not gonna lie, it's always
cool to shake hands with a member of the quorum of the twelve, right?
All in all, it was a great, great day.

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