Maryandra loves the Tama Zoo!!!
And she loves the tigers!
From this photo we learn a few things, and one of them is that Sister Tall is not very tall!!!
We also learn that Maryandra can still smile after being shook up a little by an earthquake!
From her e-mail:
Oh, but before I forget, we had an earthquake while at the zoo, and it was big enough that it cause the alarms on our phones to go off, warning that it was coming, a second too late, I might add. It was so weird. I was standing at a vending machine to buy some water, and then I suddenly feel the very ground beneath my feet start to vibrate, and I saw everything kind of Shake, in this big wave kind of a thing, and all the animals started going crazy. After a few second,a it was done, but I was still shaking!
Sister Tall is definitely one of Maryandra's funnest companions!
And the other Machida sisters are fun too!!!
We had another, pretty intense earthquake right near the end of companionship inventory on Saturday evening. We weren't sure whether or not we should go outside, but it was pretty scary, and lasted for probably a good two and a half minutes. Aaaaah! What if that big earthquake that everyone keeps talking about happens soon? Scary!
We were picked up by a wonderful member family, and we went to their house, which, I must say, is one of the coolest houses I've ever seen. It looks like it's still under construction, but that's kind of part of the style. And there's this cool, twisty staircase that leads up to their second floor, but that floor is open in the center, and you can see it all around from the bottom! It's the coolest thing ever!
They fed us this yummy salad, and asparagus wrapped in thin strips of chicken, which was soooooooooooooo good! Oh boy, was it good!
During dinner, we were privileged to hear the conversion stories of both parents, and both of the, were absolutely amazing!
She told us that after she got back, she had a friend who was seriously struggling with activity in the church, and was going to go less active, but before making that decision, she prayed about it first, and said "if this is where you want me to be, I need to know for sure." And right after that, just in the street, she saw the backs of two elders, Just as they were walking while out proselyting. She said that in that moment, she felt the spirit testify to her that he's, she did need to come back to church, and this was her answer. She came back a faithful member, and her whole life was changed by that experience.
After Sister F told us that story about her friend, she said that she received a powerful testimony of how while we are doing missionary work, we will have times when we don't know why we are walking down this certain street, or why we are doing what we're doing, but that someone, somewhere, will always notice what we do, and they will always be inspired. When we follow the spirit, we will be guided to where someone needs us to be.
My companion and I received a particularly strong testimony about this, because we had a situation a few weeks ago where we just could not find the spot where the lord needed us to be. We felt so confused, and felt that none of the things we were doing were right. So, we prayed about it, and we just felt the impression to stay there. We waited there for a few minutes, and even though we didn't notice anything at first, we waited until we felt drawn to a building across the street, which we housed. Though we met with meager success there, we still feel let good about what we had done that day. Who knows? Maybe someone saw us as we prayed or drove by while we were waiting to be guided by the spirit, and felt inspired or cheered up by seeing us doing our best to follow the will of the Lord. It was a pretty amazing experience last night, I'm not gonna lie.
We shared a lesson about love, and about how it is a commandment, and it brings about good in both our loves, and in the loves of others. I bore testimony about how the members in my family who were struggling would one day come back to the church if I just kept showing them love, like Brother F's dad, and their hearts would be softened. It was a wonderful time there. When he prayed at the end, he asked the lord to guide and protect me through the remainder rof my mission, and throughout my life, and he asked that sister Tall would be inspired an that her Japanese would come quickly, and he asked a blessing on each of our families. It made me start crying, so I was swiping tears away when he said amen, and then we had to take pictures. I hope I didn't look too bad. But it was one of the best days ever!
I loved it! I sincerely hope that this makes up for my lack of a proper weekly this week. It's one of my favorite experiences, and I hope it will stay in my heart forever.