Monday, January 25, 2016

Transfer week!

Big Mac in Japan!

Geomon Restaurant

Japanese Curry

Warming socks by the heater before going out in
 the cold

The cold 

Hello everyone! So First off sorry to everyone I forget to tell you
guys I had P-day one day later this week for transfers haha so I am
staying in Saijo with my trainer Elder Harrell! It didn't come to much
a surprise to me but I was still nervous because some people still
transfer out on their first transfer. I can't believe it has been 6
weeks already! Our District is changing a little bit too. My companion
became district leader and we have 2 new sisters white washing into
Saijo so it will be cool to see how much more success we see in the

It has been snowing so much here too! It has snowed the past 4 or so
days and it gets so cold at night. I thought it would make dendo a
little easier because people would feel bad for us and want to talk to
us but instead when they come to their door they say "don't you know
it's cold out? Go home". So that has made it a little more difficult
but we are continuing to see miracles here in Saijo. Speaking of
miracles we met with a referral we received last week and set a
baptismal date for February 27! The person we met with is a girl who
is about 16 and is in her first year of high school. Her name is Kaori
Mizukami and she is from Peru but moved here in 1st grade so she
speaks fluent Japanese and Spanish. We taught her about baptism and as
we talked with her she said she really wants to be baptized and thinks
it will be a great blessing in her life. Is she kinjin or what?! I am
so excited to see how it all goes with her this next month as we
continue to teach her.

Over this last week we had a world wide missionary broadcast and I
learned so much from it. One thing that was said that really stuck
with me was to always have "Christ on my lips". Which simply means to
always be testifying of Him. Elder Anderson from the Quorum of the
Twelve talked about this and as he talked about it he asked how often
we testify of the Savior. He asked if we were testifying of Him in
every person we come in contact with whether they have interest in our
message or not. As I thought about that I committed myself to try and
testify at least one sentence about the Savior to everyone I come in
contact with. So far it has been hard to keep my commitment because we
talk to a lot of people and some people really don't want anything to
do with our message but those I have testified to I can tell it has
made it a difference and I know as I continue to do so it will touch
others hearts in a way that hopefully shows them the love the Savior
has for all His children.

To end I would like to share a funny little story of something that
happened last night. As we were out dendoing we sometimes knock on
doors with just kids home and so we will normally ask them if their
parents are home. Last night we were at a door and heard some kids
inside so before the door opened up I just imagined it would be a kid
so I prepared myself to ask the question if their parents are home.
After the door opens up a lady peeks out (she is about 4 and a half
feet tall and looks about 16 or so) and their is another little
toddler behind her. Thinking she was young I asked if her parents were
home. She looked at me confused and said "what?" (Obviously this is
all in Japanese but I am translating it haha). So then I ask again and
in the middle of asking my companion whispers quietly to me, "dude,
she is the mom..". So after I finish she is like "I am the mother,
what do you want?" So needless to say the rest of that contact was
pretty awkward. I thought maybe she would have taken it as a
compliment but it seemed like she thought it more of an insult so
yeah, my companion had a pretty good laugh after we finished talking
with her haha.

Thank you to everyone that has sent me emails and continues to show
their love and support. It is very much appreciated! I love being in
Saijo and I can tell the Lord is hard at work here preparing the
people. It is a great blessing to be on a mission and I wouldn't trade
it for anything. I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Love, Elder Sherrill

Monday, January 18, 2016


This week has been awesome! This email will be fairly short though
since we have a pretty busy day scheduled for us. First things first I
want to talk about a recent convert in the branch who was baptized
just last July. He was actually baptized on the 25th! Which is my
birthday! Anyways, we have been meeting with him and been teaching him
about the Melchizedek priesthood which he will receive Sunday! We
are so excited for him. His name is Xie and I probably have talked
about him a little in previous emails but he is from China and is such
a strong convert. My companion and I are convinced when China opens up
to the church he will become a stake president there. It has been so
cool to hear about his story and just seen how much he has grown. He
constantly has a yearning to learn more and more about the Gospel and
is always studying it when he has free time.

This week we had the opportunity to go on Junkai with elders from
Mihara. Pretty much what that means is you switch your companion for a
day and go out with another elder in your district to learn some new
ways to dendo and also whenever we go on Junkai's there always seems
to be a miracle that happens! This time I went out with Elder Osborne
and he has been out for about 6 months so it was pretty interesting
going around talking to people since both of us (more me than him)
aren't fully sure what we are doing haha. It was a great time though
and we talked to a lot of people and set up a return appointment with
a younger college student who we are actually going back to teach
tonight! One thing I learned from him is to talk to everyone.
Sometimes when we dendo we don't talk to some people because we think
it might be a little awkward or its just not an ideal circumstance but
with Elder Osborne he talked to literally everyone! Some people I was
hesitant to talk to you and might not have talked to without him ended
up being some great little on the spot lessons that led to a baptismal
invite or giving someone a Book of Mormon.

So far I have learned so much from being out for just over a month and
I know I will continue to learn more and more. This work is definitely
the Lord's and there is no way I could do any of the things I do
without his help. I am grateful each day for His example and I pray I
can continue to work hard to become the missionary he wants me to
become. I love you all and hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Love, Sherrill 長老

Monday, January 11, 2016

Another day in 日本!

Yuichi's Baptism

Yuichi's baptismal program

Jason's comfy futon

A tissue box with Jason's name on it

Sushi last pday

All the missionaries in Jason's branch

One month down since I have been in Japan! Wow, I never thought it would have gone that fast! It kind of scares me for how fast the rest of my mission will go by because people say it just goes faster and faster the longer you are out. This week was amazing and we had a baptism! One of our investigators Yuichi was set to be baptized this
coming Saturday but we felt he was ready last week so we called him and he was more than happy to move his date up! He met the missionaries for the first time about 2 years ago. Since then he has been meeting with them off and on but coming to church every Sunday. About a week or two before I came to Saijo he came up to my trainer
and his old companion and asked "where is my spirit? I want to feel it". So they began to meet with him a couple times a week and as they extended commitments they saw a huge change in him and even just being here for the latter end of it I have seen him change so much. It is truly beautiful to see the change the Gospel brings to people's
life's. After he was baptized and getting changed into his normal clothes he was talking with my trainer, Elder Harrell (he baptized him) and my trainer asked him how he felt. Yuichi said to him, "I feel light, there has been a lot of mistakes I have made in my life and I just feel light, like they have been lifted off of me". Seriously so amazing!

It made me think of how I felt after my baptism and I remember I felt the same way. That next day on Sunday when he was confirmed I was thinking a little more about it I remember how right after I got baptized people would sometimes say to me, "you are so lucky to have just gotten baptized, you are so clean!" Right as that thought come to me I thought of the sacrament. Each week every member of the church whether they were baptized the day previous or 30 years ago has the opportunity to partake of the sacrament and when they do so they renew
those same covenants that are made at baptism. They have the same opportunity to feel cleansed again through the sacrament. So as I took the sacrament I realized the experience I have when doing so can be the same as when I was baptized. It is so important to really focus on the sacrament. It is such a huge blessing in my life to be able to have that each week to covenant with God that I will follow his son Jesus Christ and always remember him.

Moving onto the rest of this week it was pretty normal except we received training from the AP's and it was amazing! During the training they were focusing on Christ like attributes among a couple other things and something one of the AP's said really stuck out to me. It was, "we can work on ourselves by focusing on others".
Throughout the training he said many people focus on just themselves and how they can develop this attribute more or that attribute more. But he said as we instead turn outwards and focus on other people, on their needs, on what we can do to help them we will be working on ourselves without even knowing it! I really loved that and it is something I am going to try and do more of.

At training we also had the opportunity to have interviews with President Egan and during the interview I learned so much. We talked about consecrating ourselves as missionaries and devoting all of our time and strength while we are serving to him. He shared two great scriptures in the New Testament I would like to share with you all. The first was Matthew 10:39, "He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." The second is similar and it is found in Luke 9:24, "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. After we read these together he looked at me and asked me what I thought they meant. I couldn't help but begin to cry as I said to him that we must not "save our lives" by being selfish because we will have lived a life only for ourselves and not serving our fellow brothers and sisters. But those that "lose their life" for Him. Those that devote their lives to serving Jesus Christ will be saved, they will give service to all those around them. They will pattern their lives after the savior and they will have lived a life worth living.

I love this Gospel so much and I love the people here in Japan. I am learning so much and I know all that I am going through and experiencing is to help mold me into the person God wants me to be. I hope everyone has an awesome and safe week! I miss you all!

Love, Sherrill 長老

Monday, January 4, 2016

Hey everyone!

So I know I just had my pday a couple days ago but they are getting us
back on the schedule of having them every Monday that's why we are
having it. So from now on I will have them every Monday with the
exception of a few weeks here and there but I will let you all know
about that if it comes up. I don't have much to write about so it will
be kind of short but I do have a funny story!

So for New Year's Day after we had our p-day (it ends at 6pm) then we
went out to dendo some more! Which I'm sorry if I haven't explained
dendo yet, it means missionary work so pretty much like knocking on
doors or talking to people on the street about the gospel. During our
P-day the senior missionaries in our area invited us over for lunch
and we hung out there and ate food for 3 and a half hours. I had a lot
of good food that I liked such as okonomiyaki and gyoza. But then I
had this stuff called mochi which is like pounded white rice and it
tasted pretty nasty haha thankfully they said I didn't need to finish
it. So yeah we did that on New Year's Day and then during dendo we
knocked on this one mans home who was having a huge party and him and
his wife came out. We started to talk to them and in the middle of our
conversation she looks at me and says "otokomae!". So I look at my
trainer all confused as she keeps saying it and he starts to laugh and
says it means "handsome man". (Fyi these people are about in their
60's). After I kind of laugh she goes inside and grabs like half the
party and brings them to the front door! So about 15 or so people come
out, a bunch of kids, teenagers, and other people and just look at me
and are like "oooh umai!" Or other Japanese words that I don't know,
later my trainer told me it was like words of agreement. After that
awkward little experience we kept talking to him and he invites us in
but we could tell they had been drinking and we didn't think it was
the best idea so we decline. Then I said that I can only speak a
little Japanese so it wouldn't be that fun anyways and he accidentally
heard "I can only drink a little sake" so that was pretty funny. We
left and he said to come visit him anytime so we are going to see him
later this week or next week.

Later that night we met another nice lady that gave us candy and the
following day we talked to a man who had met with missionaries 30
years ago! He enjoyed talking to us but said he wasn't interested in
our message. Right as we were about to leave he ran in and gave us
some candy too! We were excited until we realized he gave us coffee
jello haha. So needless to say we didn't eat that but we still
appreciated the gesture. On Saturdays we do an Eikaiwa class and it's
so much fun! I can't remember if I have talked about it or not but it
is one of my favorites things we do. It is just an English class we
teach for free here and the people always love it. We play games and
are able to get to know people in the area a lot better.

So that is about it for these past couple days! One thing me and my
companion have been focusing on is being bold with our commitments and
when we talk to people. I have seen already the impact it has had on
the people we talk to when we boldly testify to them. I believe they
truly do recognize us as disciples of Christ. I can't wait for my
Japanese to improve so I can become a better teacher and be able to
relate to people here better. But until then I have been focusing on
having a love for them and looking for ways to serve them and show
them my love even if it is as simple as smiling at them on the street.
I love being on a mission and I can't wait to see all the miracles I
know are waiting for me in Saijo! I love you all!

Love, Elder Sherrill

Friday, January 1, 2016

Over 1,000 views!!

Elder Sherrill's blog went over 1,000 views this week!  Thank you to all who show interest and support him in his missionary efforts in Japan.

Happy New Years!!

At Shabu Shabu with District 

Opening gift from Secret Santa

A bird pooped on him! :-)

Sweet ride... with HUGE basket!

Hello everyone! I hope everyone had a great Christmas and will have a fun time celebrating New Years. This second week has been a lot of fun and I have a lot to talk about again haha. First thing first I forgot to tell everyone about something I got to do last week; I got to go to a Buddhist funeral which was really interesting. They have a lot of little ritual things they do throughout it and it was kind of interesting to see how different it was than normal funerals I am used to in America. So I had Christmas with my District! It was a lot of fun! After emailing we all went to the store and did secret Santa for each other. I got these sweet pink night shades that you will see a picture of in my email after this. Then after we exchanged gifts Egan Kaicho gave us permission as a mission to watch a Disney movie if we wanted to so we all watched Frozen! All the other missionaries thought it was weird because they were not used to seeing movies but I have only been out for like a couple months so I didn't think it was all that weird. That following Monday I had a really good experience and a really kind of "crappy" one too. As we were dendo-ing we walked by this tree and I felt something fall on my shoulder and I figured it was like an acorn or something and as I looked up I saw a bird fly away and then I looked at my shoulder and saw a nice little pile of bird poop on my shoulder.. Yeah, so that was kind of funny haha I had my companion take a picture so you guys will be able to see that as well. But, after I got cleaned up we went and knocked on some doors in the local neighborhood and didn't have much success till our very last house. We met this lady who was so nice and so open to hearing our message. We shared a Book of Mormon with her and she had told us she would read and call us if she would like to know more. Right before we left she told us to wait and ran inside of her house and grabbed us some chocolates and hand warmers! She was so nice and it made my day because before that we were just getting kekko'd which just means like "no thanks" at all the doors. Later that day we had dinner over at the missionary couples home and they had lots of Japanese food for us. They are both Nihonjin and so awesome! While I was there I tried nato, the famous Japanese food. It was probably one of the worst things I have ever eaten. It is like these weird fermented beans. Then after that I tried some other stuff, I think it was like fried tofu and this one gelatin like meal. I didn't like those either haha. But they did have curry and sushi so I just ate those and both of those are way good. That next day we went out to an Indian Curry place as a district and it was so good! I am really liking most of the food here in Japan. Especially the candy! The candy here is way good. On Christmas we went to Shabu Shabu which is a place where they put hot water in front of you and a bunch of different uncooked meats and you cook the meat yourself then eat it over rice with soy sauce. It was probably my favorite meal I have had so far. So more on this week we were able to go visit less actives on Wednesday with a member in the branch and it was a great experience! We got to know him a lot better (his name is Kanchika) as well as some people that are struggling in the branch that hopefully we can begin to help. Afterwards he bought us McDonald's too and surprisingly it was better than the McDonald's in America! But still not that great haha. To finish up I want to talk a little bit about the area here and members. This area of Saijo is known for seeing a lot of miracles and I know I am going to see some while I serve here. Just 2 and half years ago this area had 2 members and no missionaries here. Then they brought in a couple missionaries and built it from a group to just becoming a branch! They have had 26 recent converts that have been baptized in the last 2 years and just this last Sunday at church we had just over 40 people there! We have been promised by a General Authority that Saijo will become a ward someday and to do that we need at least 80 members. I really hope before I leave my mission Saijo can become a ward, there are so many prepare people that live here. We are teaching two people right now mainly and the first one is Yuichi and he is set to be baptized on January 16th! He is an older man in his 50's and is a lot of fun. I love meeting with him and teaching him even though I can barely understand his Japanese haha. Our next main investigator is a man from Iran who teaches English here and he has been visiting with the missionaries for a while and is so ready to be baptized! He comes to church every Sunday and is practically a member already. He wasn't able to be baptized yet for some confidential reasons but I believe he will be baptized within the next month or two. We teach him in English which is a nice break from being confused all the time, which is a plus haha. So that is about all for this week! I miss everyone but am very excited to be serving in this area! I know I will see miracles while I am serving here and I am so grateful I have been entrusted to be a missionary in Saijo. I am grateful for this opportunity to serve and I know I am becoming more Christlike each day as I give my all to the people here in Japan. Till next week! Love, Elder Sherrill