Sunday, October 28, 2012

Japanese slumber party begins!

Brittany's transfer to a new city!

The Japanese slumber party begins!

Happy Brittany!

This is how a sister missionary is supposed to look! Happy and all smiles! She LOVES her new companion and gets to share an apt. with another pair of sister missionaries so it's one slumber party for the girls every night!

Kichijoji week 3

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRIDGIE! (Sorry I missed it, but I bet you had fun! It's totally WEIRD that you're all grown up!)
Hi family!
Thank you for sending all the fun pictures! It looks like you guys are having a blast! I'm attaching a few photos of me and Facer Shimai from the last two weeks. (All the photos are hers; I haven't taken any yet---I'm such a bad tourist!) Featured here are our four futons in the apartment, us at Baskin Robins, and then us soaking wet after forgetting our jackets and getting caught in the rain across town!
Also, thank you to everyone who contributed to my birthday package this week! It was exciting to get so many messages from kids in the ward. I loved the shirt and sleep in it now. Thanks Mom C:
For my email home I decided to just copy and paste my president's letter. Every Sunday night we write to our mission president about the week, and this week I wrote about ten fun but little miracles we saw. Japan is totally amazing and I love it, you guys!
(I think I caught all the missionary lingo but I may have missed some! Just let me know.)
1. Two new nonmember moms came to our Kids Eikaiwa on Tuesday morning. We always teach how to pray and share a message from the 3 ways to a happier family book, and they both seemed to like it. I love sharing that book because the principles can help anyone have a happier family, and they are all based on Christ's teachings!
2. A production of the Messiah is happening here next month so we use it in our dendo as much as we can. Tuesday night, we housed an ancient obaachan who used to be a professional singer and even sang in the Messiah once. She wants to come and even bring her son! She was so nice and there's a good chance she'll be interested in taking missionary lessons.
3. On Wednesday we had a great lesson with an eternal investigator. We weren't sure how much she really believes in Christ, but we studied from the Book of Mormon and she made a comment like, "Jesus Christ must be so busy because He's everyone's best friend!"
4. We got to read from the Book of Mormon with an investigator who sings gospel music at another church. She can't really understand because the music is all in English, but she talks about how good she feels when she's singing about Jesus. She says she feels the same when she's with good Christians like us. I'm so grateful for the Spirit helping us testify and teach!
5. The longer I'm here the more current investigators I get to meet! They are all so sweet and really want to have good families and be good moms. On Thursday morning we had a lesson with one about how following Jesus' example helps us be good examples for our children.
6. Every week we mogi with two sisters who are preparing to be missionaries; we teach out of Preach My Gospel and practice applying principles from it. We're especially focusing on teaching skills, and this week was Listening! I love talking to Nihonjin saints because I learn something new every time.
7. The Shimai Taikai (Sister Conference) on Friday was so fun and helpful! The things we learned really helped my companion and I set goals to be more healthy, more positive, and more Christlike.
8. On Saturday we got to help with an Institute Dendo Blitz (big missionary activity) here in Kichijoji. I paired with an extremely shy 20-year-old shimai and we streeted. We had some training too, and I learned a lot about showing love to Nihonjin by praising them and showing sincere interest in what they like and do. My little companion left with such an admiration for missionary work and said she wants to love the people as much as we do.
9. We were invited to the Nakano Halloween party with our investigator and it turned into such a good BRT (building relationships of trust) experience. She loves and trusts us and so is becoming more and more receptive to the message we know can bless her life.
10. Tonight during some bike dendo we stopped a woman who spoke English with us and said she was Catholic. We talked about how God wants us to be happy and will do anything to help us; we offered to teach her how to understand more about how to strengthen her relationship with Heavenly Father so she can feel His love. Ultimately she refused an appointment and settled for a pamphlet, but it was really faith-building talking to her. The more I bear testimony of how happy and peaceful the gospel makes me, the more I really believe it, and the more I want to share it with everyone!
This transfer really has been a turning point in my mission. I'm having so much fun, I feel so much love, and I feel like I'm really helping. Thank you for all your support at home! I love you guys!


Monday, October 15, 2012

Comics Oct. 4-6 Brittany's 22nd birthday!

Comic diaries Sept 26-Oct 2, 2012

Brittany's birthday in Japan

Dear Family,
I have like no time to write today (sorry again!) but I hope everyone watched all the sessions of conference last weekend! (In Japan they weren't broadcast until this past weekend.) Our leaders are so inspired. The main message I took away was that the most meaningful, happy life we can live is one filled with loving service to our families and our fellow man. "What would Jesus do?" isn't just a trite slogan; it's a way of living!
The other message I wanted to for sure was from President Uchtdorf---not from Conference but from the October 2012 Liahona. It's called "One Key to a Happy Family," and it's main point is that happy families are families who learn to forgive, overlook faults, and see the good in others. This applies to families, missionary companions, coworkers, fellow ward members, anyone. The most successful relationships are based on forgiveness as we follow the example of Christ who patiently forgives us for everything. Read the whole article here! 
I LOVE my new area and am completely obsessed with it. Being six months in Japan, having a birthday, and transferring have all made a huge difference in my attitude. I feel so much more love for the people and want nothing more than to talk to everyone and try to help them see how the gospel of Jesus Christ can improve their lives in every way.
The church is true and I love you guys! Enjoy my journal pages C:
Ai shite iru yo,
Long Shimai

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Brittany is tranferred!

Hi family,
This week has been CRAZY busy because, you guessed it, I got transferred! My new area is called Kichijoji. It's just one area over from the mission home in Tokyo prefecture, and it is the BIG CITY! It's been so fun. My companion is Facer Shimai, my senpai (a missionary 1 transfer older than you) who I got to know in the MTC. She is blonde and Barbie-doll gorgeous, so I bet it's going to be fun proselyting with her! The other big news is that we have four sisters in our apartment---two sisters from the countryside got transferred into our zone without an apartment, so they have to stay here and bike 20 minutes into it every day. Yikes. The new apartment is TINY! In the room we sleep in, all our futons overlap, and maneuvering around the kitchen and bathroom is tricky. It's been fun though. The other two girls are Facer Shimai's doki (missionary on the same transfer) and a 2nd transfer missionary she's training. We're all American and all young missionaries (even though I'm like, halfway done now; that's so weird) so this transfer is going to be wild. So far I haven't met much of the ward or investigators, but I'm really looking forward to it. Leaving all my friends in Matsudo was tough! But you'll get to read all about that in my journal. Speaking of which...sorry, I have absolutely no pages to send this week because I was way too busy with transfers to even draw in it. Next week I should have some.
Thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday! It was pretty good. Mano Shimai and I had lunch with Kiko-chan and an eternal investigator, we did a three-hour weekly planning session, and then we had dinner at a member's house with our ward mission leader. They didn't actually know it was my birthday until Mano Shimai told them, so we ended up sitting around playing UNO while we waited for the dad to go out and buy me a cake. I was a little embarrassed, but the ward members are SO sweet. They said I'll always remember the only birthday I had on my mission!
I won't get to watch conference here until this weekend, but I am looking forward to it so much! I heard the news about the missionary age getting lowered and I still can't believe it. The work is really going to start growing and the world is going to change, I hope you're ready!
Send my love to flea-bitten Tanner in Chile, Julianne in Germany, and everybody else. I pray for you all every night. Have lots of fun, work hard, and share the gospel! The spiritual message I want to send home this week is actually an article in the September Liahona magazine (it's probably in the Ensign too) called "Sharing the Gospel" by Burns and Jensen. It's about natural ways to help your best friends receive the blessings only the restored gospel can bring. I hope everyone reads it!
Have a great week everybody! Ai shite iru yo!
Long Shimai