Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Maryandra got some letters and not just e-mail this week!!!  But she does love both e-mails and letters, of course!  In fact, her e-mail address is in case anybody has wanted to know that! 
Judging by the photo below, I think they have been having some pretty steady rain the last few days!  Her caption for this photo went like this:

Me, having just come in from the rainstorm that's been going on all day.

One of her friends did this one,
a screen shot on her ipad's photo booth app!

This week, after mentioning an article about service from the Liahona, Maryandra issued a challenge to us all:
This week, I want everyone to find a way to serve someone they love,
and to continue to do this act of service, even if nothing seems to
come of it at first. It can be something small, from doing their chore
for them to listening to them if they need to talk. Make this a habit,
and see how it helps your love for this person increase!

So lately we've been "egging" members' houses. By "egging,"
I mean taping paper Easter eggs to their doors, with little messages written on them. Scriptures, because of him quotes, lines from hymns, etc. and it's been really fun. For some reason, people are finally starting to notice that there are two sister companionships, and they come up to us and thank us all the time at church, or whenever they happen to see us. We've had a few interesting experiences with that, actually!

The mission president came to our church today to speak in sacrament meeting and give a presentation during a combined priesthood and relief society hour. It was a great presentation about member missionary work, and about some ways the members can do missionary work. It was a great boost! It was great! It makes me so happy, because really, finding is getting more and more difficult in Japan, and I'm sure all over the world as well. It's hard to street, it's hard to house, and have success here. It exits, but working with referrals given by members is where we see the biggest amount of success. This is how missionary work will end up developing, at least in Japan, I think. So, since it's difficult to approach people on the street or in their homes, and it's scary or weird to them coming from total strangers, there is a lack of trust on the part of the person. However, if they talk with their friend about religion, maybe get to come to some fun activities, and then realize they're curious about this church, and they like what they've seen so far, they want to learn more, and they ask their friend. The friend introduces the missionaries ,sits in for lessons, helps to explain what the person can't understand, and when this person receives the gospel, they have a solid friend at church, someone they can rely on. Because if someone joins just because they like the missionaries, odds are they will have a hard time when that missionaries transfers or goes home, and who knows what will happen? So there, that's what our vision is, as far as I know. I can't wait to finally start working more with members! This is going to be a great period in the church history of Japan, when it finally clicks, and the members and missionaries both understand their duty, their purpose! What a golden time that will be!
Night view of Tokyo and Sister Smith!

Maryandra also cleared up the mystery about the artwork she was pointing to last e-mail:

I forgot to tell you in my weekly, but that Osaka castle picture is
definitely not my hands work, nor my companion's, but one that an
eikaiwa (English class) student kindly made for me, by my request.
He's really good at spray painting. I thought I'd said who did it
before, but maybe I forgot. Sorry about that!

Maryandra often makes suggestions for church videos for us to watch, etc.  Here's this week's suggestion from her:
Now, for the video lessons. I'm trying to get you guys thinking of
Easter, so what I want you to watch this week is called "None Were
With Him." And then talk about the atonement, and why we truly
celebrate Easter, and think of ways you could all stay focused on
Christ, rather than candy, this year.
There, that's my suggestion. I leave you all my fondest farewells!
Love you!
Sister Miller

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