Monday, July 25, 2016

Another Week Down, 1 Year Older!

Looking for the elect

Hello, hello, hello! Today is one of the best days of the year (in my
opinion) because it's my birthday! Although, technically it's not
really my birthday because I was born in America and in America right
now it is the 24th, but in Japan it's the 25th so I'm celebrating!
Haha. When you turn 20 in Japan it is when you become an adult, much
like 18 is for America. Today I don't really have anything specific or
fun planned for my birthday. My companion asked me what I wanted to do
and my response was "relax and eat ice cream". So that's what we are
going to do haha.

But anyways, on to last week, we had lots of stuff happen. On P-Day
last week a member took us out to an all you can eat restaurant as
well as got us ice cream. He used to be the branch president and is
super nice as you can tell. He loves rock music and the Beatles. All
the members here actually feed us a ton. I have eaten more here in
Nakatsu at members homes than I have during my first five transfers
combined. I think this may become my favorite area ;) haha.

I'm not sure how much I have already said about our investigators but
right now we have 1 main investigator and one other that has some
potential. Our first main investigator is Kayo, I talked about her a
little in last weeks email but she is still doing good and
progressing! We met with her once this week and tried to set a more
specific baptism date but she wasn't willing to since she said she
doesn't understand it all completely. It's really funny because she
says she believes all we tell her and she says she feels good about it
but hasn't understood it logically yet so doesn't want to set a
specific date yet. We are hopeful we can get a date with her soon
though. The other investigator with potential is Matsukage. I only met
her once but as we bore testimony of the first vision and the Book of
Mormon it was really easy to tell it touched her. When we extended the
Book of Mormon to her she was shocked we were giving her such an
important book for free. We testified it would help her and the trials
she is facing currently and she promised she would read the section we
asked her to read before our next visit this week.

This week our dendo was pretty fun. We went to a highschool and handed
out tons of Eikaiwa flyers and that was pretty cool. Highschool kids
usually love to talk with Americans and it was good English practice
for them, hopefully some of them will actually come to our free
English class! We also got a couple return appointments this week
which is always good, I really want to build our teaching pool because
we don't have to much we are working with right now. Most of our
lessons are taught to less active members which is good but I really
want to help find some new people to help strengthen the branch. Just
a couple days ago we went to play basketball with some potential
investigators and it was probably the best workout I have gotten since
I've been in Japan. They were super good so it was a pretty intense
game. I was so dead tired afterwards that I could hardly bike home
haha. The main guy who runs it we are trying to work with but it's
pretty slow, so we are only planning on going every now and then since
it's not the most effective use of our time. One other thing about
Japan summers are the spiders... I have never seen so many, so HUGE,
and so ugly of spiders since I've been to Japan. I mean I guess some
of them look kind of cool but when they are the size of your palm and
their web is 3 feet wide, I'm not a huge fan of them. Plus whenever I
park my bike for a couple hours to dendo I come back and they always
have made webs in my helmet and on my bike! Just last night I put my
helmet on and felt a web hit my head so I threw the helmet off and
sure enough, two little spiders chillin in my helmet. That has to be
probably my least favorite thing about the summer haha.

To end I'd like to share a quick scripture I came across in my studies
this week. It is Matthew 8:20, "And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes
have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man
hath not where to lay his head." As my companion and I discussed this
scripture we talked about its meaning. We concluded that it meant that
these other creatures such as the fox and bird have places of refuge,
but Jesus (the Son of man) has no place to rest his head. Pretty much
saying to be his disciple and follow him is not easy, but ultimately
worth it. Having the opportunity to follow His example and preach
repentance and the Gospel to others is such a blessing! Even though it
is difficult sometimes the positives always far outweigh the
negatives. I love this message I get to share and I'm thankful for
everyone who supports me as I do so. I love you all! Have a great

Love, Elder Sherrill

Over 3,000 views!

Thank you for your interest in and support of Elder Sherrill as he serves his mission in the Fukuoka Japan Mission!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Goodbye Kure, Hello Nakatsu!


So the new week has come, and guess what!? I actually transferred!!!
Yeah my old companion and I were super surprised when we received the
transfer call last week. I thought for sure I'd be gone since I hadn't
been in the area as long as he had been but I suppose we are needed
wherever the Lord calls us! My new area is called Nakatsu. It is on
the smaller island of Kyushu and east of Fukuoka (my mission home).
It's kind of hard to explain so I have a picture showing my last area
and my current area I'll be sending today. It is super country though,
so lots of rice fields, old people, and hardly any young people. The
branch is pretty small (about 12) but an awesome group of people! I
have already grown to love them and I know it will be fun to serve
with them. My new companion is Elder Lotti, he has been out a little
over a year now and so far the first couple days with him have been
way fun! He has a super knowledge of the scriptures, church history,
and all kinds of random stuff so we have had some really interesting
and fun talks since I got to Nakatsu just a couple days ago. Also
another cool fact about him is he has lost over 100 pounds since he
has started his mission! He is a hard worker and I'm really excited
for this upcoming transfer. I can't believe I'm a transfer 6 already
and my birthday is next week! Time flies!

So this transfer week has been pretty fun, there hasn't been to much
to report on since I'm so new in the area but we have one instigator!
Her name is Kayo who is a lady in her 50s (she looks super young
though) and is a self refer all from a couple weeks ago. She came to
church for the first time this week and she had a great time! We
taught her a lesson and she said she believes in the first vision
story! We have a baptismal date with her next month but it will more
than likely need to get pushed back a little but that's okay, she's
progressing really fast. Anyways, I don't have to much time left so
this will be a way short email, sorry for that! I will explain more
about the area and the members next week. I love you all and thank you
for the emails and love. Have a great week!!


Elder Sherrill

Monday, July 11, 2016

Transfer Week!!!

While knocking on doors, a lady gave them salad dressing 

Hello everyone! So today is transfer day and guess where I'm going!?!?
I have no idea..... We still haven't received our transfer calls yet
lol. We will be getting them sometime today but since they haven't
come I guess you all won't know where I will be until next week. But
either myself or my companion will definitely be transferring for sure
since we have spent the last 2 transfers together.

So onto this week, it seems like we did so much! To start off the week
I cut my companions hair. Now that I have started to cut my own hair
since I bought my own clippers my companions have wanted me to cut
their hair and word has started to spread that I give a pretty good
haircut... (Who knew I had that hidden talent? ;)) because a member
came to me and asked me to cut his hair for him so I of course did my
best and gave him a good ol American haircut! I took a time lapse
video of it with my iPad and have some before and after pictures that
I will send.

This week we taught a few lessons with Hiromi of course and things
have been really great with her but we have to unfortunately push her
date back two months. She was supposed to be baptized this week but
she needs to go through some treatment at the hospital that will take
a couple months before she can be baptized. I am not worried about her
though because she is such a strong investigator and was so bummed to
move her baptism date. Did I mention that she read the WHOLE Book of
Mormon in 2 weeks also? And she has already restarted reading it
taking notes and writing down questions?? She is a serious kinjin
(golden investigator). I hope by the time she is baptized I will be
here to see it. We taught her about the temple and how after she is
baptized a year she can go and that also if she goes to the temple I
will be able to go with her. (We have a thing in our mission that
allows missionaries to go to the temple with people they taught if
they are still in the mission by the time they go to the temple) so I
told her if she is baptized before October 20 this year I can go
with her to the temple, she of course was excited and agreed she would
try so we could go together.

I don't have much time left but I want to share a little experience I
had this week and also I scripture I found during my studies that I
felt appropriately matched the situation I found myself in. Just the
other night we were out knocking on doors as usual and we ran into
this lady in about her 50's. I was closest to her door so I started
the contact and introduced myself and all the usual things we say to
begin a contact. As we continued talking we moved to the subject of
God and she started to share her beliefs on Him. She talked about how
he takes on multiple roles and isn't one single person. As I talked
about our beliefs and testified she kept cutting me off and wouldn't
let me finish my sentences. Finally, as I realized she was a little
stubborn in her beliefs and wouldn't let me share my side I offered
her a flyer and right as we were saying bye and walking away she said
once more what she believed. Feeling deep down that she had still not
heard my testimony I stopped in my tracks, turned around and
approached her again as she continued to speak. After a couple seconds
she finished and I looked her directly in the eye and bore one of the
most powerful, yet simply testimonies I think I have ever borne since
I have been in Japan. I know without a doubt that the words that came
to me were directly from the spirit. This time she did not interrupt
me, she stood and listened. I told her I have received confirmation
from God that what I say is true. I asked her if she has received
confirmation for what she knows to be true. She simply said no and I
continued to testify to her. After I finished I said goodbye and we
parted our ways. Thinking back on that experience during my personal
study just yesterday I came across a scripture, that scripture is
Romans 1:16, it says, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:
for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that
believeth..." I wasn't ashamed to testify to her and I really think we
never should be ashamed of our beliefs. Although I do have to admit
that sometimes I have been quite nervous to do so. Our own personal
testimony is so powerful and as we share it with others it really
allows them to feel the spirit and be subject to the truth. I know she
felt the spirit and from that simply act of bearing testimony she was
changed a little and so was I.

I love this gospel and I know it is true. My testimony has received so
much nourishment and help from others as they have borne their
testimonies while I listened. I'm so thankful I now have the
opportunity to help others through sharing my own simple testimony. I
love you all and hope you all have a great week! Remember to always
bear your testimony on what you know to be true!

Love, Elder Sherrill

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July! πŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

It is July 4th here in Japan so Happy 4th of July everyone! Today we
won't be doing much to celebrate it, they do have lots of little
fireworks at stores for different summer festivals that Japan has but
as missionaries we can't use fireworks so looks like we'll have to
keep all of our American pride bottled up this year.

Before I jump into this week, last P-Day at Miyajima I bought a
sword!! I will be sending pictures of it later, I got a little carried
away and took a lot of funny pictures with it. But, on to this week!
There were quite a few awesome things that happened. First off, we had
3 investigators come to church yesterday! It was the most people at
church Elder Ratzlaff and I have seen since we've been here. The
mission is focusing on investigators attending sacrament meeting so
they urged us to invite pretty much everyone in our phone book and
sure enough 2 former investigators showed up! It was way awesome to
see the church filled with so many people.

This week we also had a specialized training from our mission
president and the assistants to the president. It was an amazing
training, I think one of my favorite things as a missionary are all
the trainings we get. During the trainings the spirit is always so
strongly there and I feel like I walk away each time with new things
learned. This past training I learned a lot about utilizing the spirit
more as I dendo and I'm excited to see the different results it will

To end I'd like to share a quick scripture I read this morning that
really stuck out to me.  Recently as a mission we have all been
reading the Book of Mormon daily (5 pages a day). That way in a few
months we will all complete the Book of Mormon together as a mission.
Right now we are in the middle of the Book of Alma and I am loving the
change to read everyday! It is my most looked forward to study of the
morning. Anyways, the scripture is Alma 26:27, it reads, "Now when our
hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the
Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites,
and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you
success." During this scripture the sons of Mosiah are talking to
their brethren. When the sons of Mosiah wanted to go preach to the
wicked Lamanites their brethren mocked them and said they should just
kill them because of their wickedness. But the sons of Mosiah had
patience and just like stated above in the scripture were comforted by
the lord, and as they went to teach the Lamanites they did see much
success because of their patience and their love towards their fallen
brethren. I don't know why that particular scripture stuck out to me
but as I read it I felt a great peace of comfort myself and I wanted
to share that.

I know this message of the restored gospel really is for anyone and
everyone, no matter how wicked or far from God someone may seem. They
truly are a son or daughter of God and we should see them just as the
sons of Mosiah did, with potential to become cleansed through the
atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I love this Gospel and the love,
peace, and joy it brings to those we share it with. I hope we can all
find more people to invite to enjoy this sweet gospel with us! I love
you all, have a great week!


PS- Next week is transfer week so I will be emailing a day later than
usual (on Tuesday morning instead of Monday morning).