Monday, April 25, 2016

First few days in 呉 (Kure)!

Hello everyone! So I survived transfers and I'm now down in Kure with
my new companion. Quite a bit has happened since last pday but I'll
try not to make this email to long. So my last couple days in Saijo
were pretty sad. I spent most of the day packing and then they threw a
party to say bye to me and two other sisters who were transferring out
of the area. The party was a lot of fun and they gave me and the
sisters these bye bye books that has notes from everyone in the
Branch! It is really cool and it will be a good way to help me
remember all of them. I hope I can go visit Saijo again sometime later
in my mission or afterwards. They are all so loving and caring, it
really was a blessing to serve there for my first few months as a

On Thursday I went down to Kure and settled in and met my companion
Elder Ratzlaff! He is way awesome! He has been out a little over a
year and is kind of a quieter guy but probably the most optimistic and
positive person I've met on my mission so far. We've been getting
along really good and I'm sure this transfer will fly by just like the
last ones have. As far as the area goes it is really pretty! I haven't
had the chance to take any good pictures yet but I will soon. It
borders the ocean and is a fairly big city. But then there are also
huge great mountains right next to us. As weird as it sounds it kind
of reminds me of Jurassic park sometimes haha.

The members here are really cool and I met them for the first time on
Sunday. The Branch is still pretty small with about 15 or so members.
We do have two strong families in the branch though so that is really
awesome! Just my companion and I serve here so it will definitely be a
change from having 8 missionaries in one area. On Sunday I had to give
a talk which didn't go to bad and then they asked us to teach Sunday
school on the spot! As missionaries you can usually pull a lesson off
with little to no preparation but doing it in Japanese is a lot
harder. Through quite a few prayers said in sacrament meeting and
about 10 minutes of prep before church started we taught together and
it actually turned into a way good lesson! I'm thankful it turned out
so well.

This week we taught quite a few lessons but unfortunately had to drop
about 3 people due to them being not interested. It is always hard to
have to drop someone but we only have so much time as missionaries and
we need to focus on people that are really prepared to change and
accept the invitations we give. Yesterday we had a lesson in English
with a less active Philipino member and his roommates. It was so nice
to teach a lesson in English haha! But I really am glad I get this
chance to learn Japanese and it has improved a lot so far.

To end I'd like to share a funny, yet rather embarrassing story from
yesterday. So on the way to visit a member we were riding our bikes on
the sidewalk and a watch store (Rolex) caught my eye so I looked at it
as I biked by it. Then when I turned my head back I noticed this
concrete pole about 3 feet tall sticking out of the ground. In a panic
I slammed on my brakes and went flying over the handle bars with my
bike missing the pole but me barely hitting it. My companions stopped
and helped and I laughed it off and kept riding. Then later that day
we were crossing the street and I got distracted again, this time
looking at this elderly lady pass the street with this younger man.
Then before I had time to look in front again I hear this loud noise
followed by me going over my handlebars again! I ran into another
little pole sticking out of the ground! Embarrassed and laughing
because it's the second time that's happened in about 6 hours I get
back up as the man rushes to my aid. I assure him I'm okay and then
hop back on my bike to continue towards our lesson. I'm really
grateful that I wasn't hurt at all and I was able to walk away from
both without any trouble. I think it was a definitely a learning
experience to tell me to pay attention a little more as I bike haha.

But anyways that's about it for this week! Thank you all for your love
and support, it really does mean a lot. I hope everyone has a good
week! 愛してるよ

Love, シェリル長老

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Over 2,000 views!

Thank you to everyone who supports Elder Sherrill on his mission!  His blog just went over 2,000 views!

Monday, April 18, 2016


They played the koto at an Eikaiwa
Bowling with the district

Niita Kyodai's last Sunday in Saijo - He's going to the Tokyo Mission

Just messing around with Elder Colton

Hello Everyone! So first off I'm sure many of you heard but all the
missionaries in the mission are safe from the earthquake. I know God
truly does look after his servants and protect them.  Friday night my
companion and I woke up to the earthquake that happened around 1:30 in
the morning. It didn't shake us to hard up here in Hiroshima but
enough to wake us from our sleep and to know it was an earthquake.
Soon after that the whole mission was awake calling each other to see
if everyone was okay and thankfully everyone was.

So I got my transfer call... I'm going to Kure! It's still in
Hiroshima zone and it actually borders Saijo! So it is super close. My
new companion is elder ratzlaff. I haven't heard to much about him but
he sounds like a really nice guy. I will fill everyone in next week
with all the exciting news of my new area! To be honest I'm pretty
bummed to be leaving Saijo. It has been a great 3 transfers but I know
I'm going to the area I need to go to.

This week was pretty average and a lot happened with our investigator
Kodama. The lesson we had with him last week didn't go so well and he
talked about feeling to pressured into getting baptized before
understanding the Book of Mormon fully so we pulled his baptism date.
He says he still wants to get baptized, but just wants to increase his
testimony some and know more about the Book of Mormon and the

Today is pretty busy since I'm in Hiroshima right now with the zone
and I'm going to have to go back home early to pack so I'm sorry for
such the short email. Next week will be a lot better. I love you all
and thank you for all the support and prayers! Have a great week!

Love, Elder Sherrill

Monday, April 11, 2016

General Conference!

Hello everyone! 

This was a pretty average week except we got to watch
General Conference! It really is like Christmas as a missionary! It's
10 hours of listening to prophets and apostles and being completely
spiritually filled. Dendo after watching conference was the best. My
companion and I just had so much dendo fire and I think it was
apparent because almost every person we contacted stopped and talked
with us for at least 5-10 minutes. We really want to try and keep that
spirit with is so we can always be that effective.

To begin I would like to talk about Kodama san, he truly is so
amazing! This week we met with him twice as we usually do and talked
more about his upcoming baptism. He is excited for it but is scared he
won't be fully prepared. He is still having a little bit of difficulty
with one of the things we taught him so we decided to postpone it one
week. He felt a lot better and we all thought it would be a good idea
that would help him feel more prepared. Unfortunately, his baptism
date is now scheduled the Saturday after transfers, so if I end up
transferring I won't be here for his baptism. Although, in the grand
perspective of it all that doesn't really matter, I just want him to
be prepared and ready as he is baptized so he can continue he to live
the gospel throughout his life; which I truly think he will be. That
being said, I'm way excited for the 23rd of April now! It can't come
fast enough!

The rest of the week was pretty regular with normal dendo, we will see
if any of the return appointments we made turn into anything.
Conference was such a blessing to watch. The only bad thing was it
took so much time out of the best times to dendo! Which are Saturday
and Sunday haha. But it really was great, I learned a lot things from
what they said and through the spirit. I don't have much time but one
of the things I liked most about conference was when Elder Snow talked
about humility. He shared a wonderful verse of scripture found in Alma
32:16 that reads, "Therefore, blessed are they who humble themselves
without being compelled to be humble; or rather, in other words,
blessed is he that believeth in the word of God, and is baptized
without stubbornness of heart, yea, without being brought to know the
word, or even compelled to know, before they will believe." From that
I learned that I should really humbles myself before the Lord has to
compel me to be humble. I have considered myself a fairly humble
person but as I have been serving my mission the Lord truly has been
making my weaknesses known unto me as he states he will in Ether 12:27
Being here and not knowing the language or the gospel as well
as I would like to really has humbled me. Seeing others sometimes poor
circumstances in life has really shown me how blessed I am in my own
life and the duty I have to help those in need.

The last speaker at conference was the one and only Elder Holland. I
really enjoy listening to him as I'm sure others do. As he talked
about keeping this feeling of conference we have with us something my
mission president has always counseled us on popped out in my head.
The counsel is after we receive training of some sort (in this case,
General Conference) we should challenge and ask ourselves, "therefore
what?" Now that we have received all this training and this great
spiritual message, what are we going to do about it? If we just idly
enjoy our training but don't act or change ourselves after watching
it, has it really benefited us? I don't think so. We must take what we
have learned from conference and apply it in our lives. Change things
about ourselves to become better men or women and ultimately a better
disciple of our Savior Jesus Christ.

General Conference was amazing, but I challenge those that watched it
to review your notes (I hope you took some) and give yourself your own
"therefore what". I truly love this Gospel and the light and joy it
brings to others. I pray I can help some of the people in Japan find
that same joy in their own lives. Last thing before I go is we have
transfer calls next week! So my pday will be changed to Tuesday
instead. I am hoping I will stay and Saijo and I think I will but you
never know! Until next week, I love you all! Have a wonderful week!

Elder Sherrill

Monday, April 4, 2016

April Already?!

Miyajima Island

There were deer all over Miyajima 

The zone!

Hello everyone! 

This week was so busy and full of things to do. Today
my companion and I are going to Hiroshima again to do some things as
well as take a run around the city. It's so beautiful and I love it
here! I have some pictures I took last week that I'll be sending home
today. Miyajima was way fun last week! I have some funny pictures and
videos of that as well.

This week we had two lessons with Kodama and one of the them was the
word of wisdom. We were a little nervous to teach him because we knew
he smokes and drinks tea and coffee. As we began the lesson and
started to talk with him he was taken back a little bit and made a
comment like, " I didn't expect these lessons to change my life".
After we taught him though and bore testimony of the blessings he
promised to live them. At the end of the lesson my companion and I
gave him a big bag of hot chocolate and told him to drink that if he
ever has the urge to drink coffee or tea. Luckily he loves hot
chocolate and was more than willing to take it. When we met with him a
few days later to continue teaching him some other principle of the
gospel we asked how he has been with the word of wisdom since our last
visit. He kind of smiles and says I haven't done any of it, but I have
drank a lot of that hot chocolate you gave me haha. My companion and I
were so happy, we consider it a miracle he has stopped everything and
committed to live the word of wisdom since the day we invited him.

Later in the week we had a going away party for Xie and it was really
sad to see him go. He left back to China on April 1st to find a job
since he has finished his schooling in Japan. At the end of the party
Xie got up and said a few words about how thankful he was to all the
people in the branch and how grateful he was to Heavenly Father for
having the opportunity to find the gospel. He finished with bearing
testimony of the gospel and how it will bless him as he continues to
live it in China were the church doesn't have much of a presence. He
has such a strong testimony and continues to impress me with how much
faith he has.

At the end of the week we got to go up to Hiroshima for some training
from our mission president, assistants, and zone leaders. It was such
a great training and probably the best training I have received so far
on my mission. The focus of the training was mainly on what we can do
to consecrate ourselves and increase our performance. They challenged
us to make new goals for ourselves on how many baptisms we want to see
and what we will do each month, week, and day to see those goals
happen. I really loved the training because before I went into the
training one question I had prepared that I wanted to have answered
was how to set goals more effectively! The training definitely felt
like it was tailored to me.

That's about it for this week! I love you all and thank you to
everyone that sent me pictures! I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Love, Elder Sherrill