Monday, June 6, 2016

Last Week of Training! Nihon Week 12

The Baptism of Aimi and Miu

One thing that Alyssa has said over and over again since being a missionary is never postpone a spiritual prompting.  Thankfully she has learned that somewhat early on in her mission.

Another cool thing that happened this week was last Monday night. The Monday night after P day is always a little awkward because we can't visit members and we rarely have scheduled appointments and so we will usually end up handing out Eikaiwa flyers or trying to go finding...well last week we were biking to this eki to go and hand out flyers, but all of the sudden the face and name of this recent convert brother just popped into my head....I just felt like we needed to go and visit him and so I told Kenney Shimai and she was super supportive and so we changed our plans and went and visited him. It totally ended up being a spiritual prompting because Tajima Kyodai had been having a rough couple of days and our visit really cheered him up and he was so sweet and grateful and really felt love from Heavenly Father and from us. I was just so grateful to be an instrument of the Spirit in that was just too cool. It was also just another reminder for me to never postpone a prompting, because you never know who you will be blessing, and it will ALWAYS end up being good!

Group Letter

Minasan, Konnichiwa!

I can't believe that I am writing you all as my last P day as a
trainee...holy cow my time here in Japan has gone so fast and just
continues to fly by! I have learned so much these past twelve weeks
and can't even comprehend how much more I continue to learn each and
every day is just such a crazy experience. I am so grateful
for the amazing companion that I have had in Kenney Shimai, she has
been so wonderful and we have had such a blast together. She has
become such a dear friend to me, and so I am super happy that she is
just from good old Orem, just a stones throw away from home. I am sure
we will be up to plenty of shenanigans together in the future.

As far as transfers go, we do have them this week but we are still
waiting in anticipation to hear our fate. Ideally we would both stay
and keep working with the wonderful investigators we have, but we know
that Heavenly Father usually has His own plans, and we are blessed
enough to know that they are always the best. Needless to say anything
could go down, so I could be writing you from a completely different
area next week! We will find out either tomorrow or Wednesday and then
be on our merry way for a brand new adventure beginning Thursday, and
life in the mission just keeps on rolling forward!

This week was truly so amazing though, we had the chance to be
witnesses to so many miracles and great experiences. One thing kind of
fun/not fun thing that happened was that I got to be put as senior
companion for this past week in anticipation of the chance that I
might become the area senpai this upcoming transfer...basically I got
handed over the phone and the keys and was told to take the lead in
things and frankly it was TERRIFYING but it was also very humbling and
I learned so much. I was able to receive a lot of help from Heavenly
Father and yet also see what I have become capable of. It was such an
adventure but I do feel a lot more prepared to graduate to normal
missionary status now haha.

Monday and Tuesday were great and busy days like usual, we just taught
a bunch of lessons and then Eikaiwa and it was so great as always.
Wednesday however, was quite the adventure. Kenney Shimai and I have
fondly named that day "The Day of the Gokiburi Crisis". Basically what
they don't tell you about serving a mission in Japan is that when it
gets hot, the bugs come abundance...namely cockroaches. We
came home for weekly planning on Wednesday night and discovered that
we had some little (Lol at that, they were not little AT ALL) friends
who had moved into the apartment! We had quite the adventure trying to
capture and kill them, especially because they are fast and they
freaked us out and we were so scared and yet laughing so hard that we
were crying all night. We ended up having to go to the store on the
orders of our district leader to get some killing spray and cockroach
traps and then spent the evening deep cleaning our apartment and
trying to get rid of our little contraband pets. Eventually we got
them all, and we even killed the biggest one (fondly named Herman),
and so we can once again rest peacefully at night haha. Although it
wasn't super amusing at the moment, it is hilarious to look back on
now, and just think of all the little adventures that you have on the
mission from day to day. Seriously such a blast!

Okay as far as getting back on topic with spiritual stuff and the rest
of life, Thursday I had the chance to go back to Abeno to go on an
exchange with Smith Shimai from the lovely city of Lehi, Utah! She is
so great and I learned a lot from her, and it is always just fun to
dendo in a new place and meet some more amazing people. We focused a
lot on testifying powerfully all the time, and it was just super cool.
Then Friday we had ZONE CONFERENCE! Holy cow, Zone Conference was the
best. It was basically seven hours of us getting to learn from
President and Sister Welch and the AP's and the Zone Leaders and STL's
and it was such an amazing experience. I just have to keep saying over
and over again how much I love my mission president and his sweet
wife! I know that they are called of God and are so inspired and are
helping this mission to achieve amazing things. Currently the Kobe
Japan mission is the second most baptizing mission (we are coming for
you, Guam) in the Asia North Area, and I just feel so very blessed to
be here at this time to see all the changes and the hastening of the
work. I learned so much that day about the Spirit, and companionship
unity, and love, and working with the members, and solving every
problem we come across through prayer and the scriptures. We discussed
what makes us a successful missionary and what we need to do to become
the person that Heavenly Father wants us to become. Ahh it was just
such a great meeting and I walked away so fired up and inspired to
repent and become better!

Saturday was also wonderful. We had a ward strawberry picking
activity, then we went to Asuka to help teach another Eikaiwa, and
then in the afternoon we had a BAPTISM! Aimi and Miu Chan are the
daughters of a less active lady and she FINALLY decided it was time
for them to be baptized! Kenney Shimai and I had the chance to teach
them for a while but then we ended up passing them to the elders
because they lived closer to them and some other factors and other
stuff, but the baptism was just happy because it was one big huge
group effort to get these two little girls baptized. They have such
sweet spirits and strong testimonies, and it was just a happy day!
Baptisms are the BEST!

Okay I am sorry that this email is already forever long but I really
want to share just one last amazing thing I learned this week, and
that truly is to never underestimate what the Lord is willing to do to
help bring His children home to the church. A few weeks ago my
companion and I both felt impressed to go visit this one lady who
lived kind of far, but we both felt very guided in making that
decision. Anyways we did and then were prompted to go and talk to this
girl we saw at a vending machine...needless to say we taught her
briefly and wanted to learn more and set up a return appointment! Her
name is Ayaka Chan, and she is sixteen and just so cute...anyways we
had the chance to teach her multiple times this week, and she is
GOLDEN! She came to the baptism and to church and loved both and
really felt the Spirit even though she didn't understand entirely what
was going on. We also found out that she has some crazy familial
connections with families in the ward and her brother is an
investigator of the elders and it was just all these insane
connections that ended up in this big miracle. We gave her a soft
baptismal commitment and she accepted, the ward is fellowshipping her
like crazy, and basically Kenney Shimai and I just get to step back
and watch in awe of what the Lord is willing to do for His children.
He pulls SO many strings and orchestrates so many miracles so that
everyone will have the chance to accept the gospel, and it is
incredible. Never underestimate how much the Lord loves His children,
and what He is willing to do for them!

Anyways...ahh I just love this work so much. I love being a missionary
with my whole heart, and I am so grateful for my mission every single
day. This is easily the hardest thing I have ever done, but it has
also easily been the best decision I have ever made up to this point.

I love this work and I love Japan and the Japanese people and this
gospel and the Lord!

Thank you all for all the prayers and support like always! Have an amazing week!


Sister Pickering

Strawberry picking with the ward
This is Inamori Kyodai who is our ward mission leader and is a freaking rockstar. He is probably the best in the world and I am not even kidding. He is literally the definition of magnifying a calling and we love him so much!
Noriko, one of our ward members, delivered Alyssa's first package to Japan.  She was so excited.
Alyssa's first tortillas in 5 months

Osaka Zone

Ayaka Chan
Zone Conference

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