Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Thursday, August 18, 2016



Hey everyone! I can't believe this transfer is almost over, it feels
like I just got to Nakatsu. Next week we get our transfer calls and I
have no idea what is going to happen, although I'm pretty positive I'm
staying since I've only been here for a single transfer. This last
week was pretty fun and surprisingly enough we actually dendo'ed more
this week than we did last week. Lately we haven't been able to meet
with our investigators so we have had quite a few days were we just go
out and street contact or knock on doors all day. So needless to say
we have contacted a very large amount of people this week. Which is
good because my dendo techniques are getting better and better the
more practice I have.

At the beginning of the week we went to Beppu (neighboring city) to
have a meeting there. After that we went on Junkai's. Which simply
means we switched companions for a day and dendo with them to mix
things up and learn from other missionaries. I had been on Junkai's
many times before but this was my first time going with a Japanese
missionary! Plus I got to go with one of my favorites, his name is
elder Mizoguchi so that just made it better. We went out and dendoed
hard and talked to a lot of people but unfortunately didn't see to
much success, it was still a good time though. After a long day we
went back to the apartment and he made this dish called chicken nanban
(one of my favorite Japanese meals). Elder Mizoguchi is known for
being one of the best cooks in the mission (he actually wants to open
up his own restaurant when he returns home) so of course it was way
good. We talked some more and as I talked with him I looked back to
the beginning of my mission when I couldn't speak Japanese at all
(still not all that great) but the fact I was able to hold a normal
conversation and be able to express my thoughts freely with him felt
so cool. For many reasons, other than actually being able to speak to
them semi clearly, I really hope my next companion is Japanese haha.

The rest of the week was normal in terms of dendo. This week is
another Japanese holiday so unfortunately people are telling us no a
lot faster than usual but we do occasionally run into some people that
are willing to listen. But anyways since we didn't have to much going
on with our investigators I figured I would talk about a seemed to be
reoccurring topic that has been on my mind. This week I studied a
little bit about forgiveness and was able to teach a lesson about it
as well. It is kind of interesting though, the more I have studied
different Christ like attributes and qualities the more I realize how
much I need to work on each one of them haha. Forgiveness was no
different. As I was studying it I found a really good video about
forgiveness as well as a great old conference talk about it. I could
give my own thoughts on forgiveness but I feel that the video and
article do a far better job than I could. Although I would like to
share one scripture about forgiveness I don't believe is used in
either the video or article, it is one of my favorites. It is Doctrine
and Covenants 64:10, "I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive,
but of you it is required to forgive all men." Forgiveness is so
important and definitely something I know I can always improve on. It
is a commandment just as any other commandment we receive from
Heavenly Father. Anyways, I added the links to both at the bottom of
the email so please give them a view!

I love this work. There is no better nor rewarding work than
missionary work.  Being a missionary definitely has a lot of
challenges, but it is one of the best experiences I've been able to
participate in. Learning all about the Japanese culture, the language,
and helping others come unto Christ is truly something I'll never
forget. I have already noticed things begin to change with my
attitude, study habits, work ethic, and many other things change
positively because of serving. I really do believe it when people say
the things learned on a mission will shape your life. I can already
see that beginning to happen. Thank you everyone for all your support
and love, it really means a lot! Till next week!

Love, Elder シェリル

PS: Transfer calls are next week so I will be emailing a day later than usual.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Hot Hot Hot = Japanese Summer

Well, August has started and according to the members and people here,
August is the hottest month of the Japanese summer. So far I can
already tell that is true haha. This past week has been really fun,
for many different reasons. I gave a talk in church, we found a new
investigator, spent a day in Kumamoto and 3 days total traveling, and
dendoed our hearts out.

First things first, I will start with the new investigator we found.
Last Monday as we were out knocking on doors we came across this
really nice single mom. She was really willing to listen to our
message and said she'd be interested in hearing it again. We came back
the next day and taught her real simply about the first vision and
prayer. Our lesson went well and she said she felt a really peaceful
feeling as we were teaching her. We came back just a couple days later
and continued teaching lesson one and introduced the Book of Mormon.
She was happy to take it and told us she would read some  before our
next visit. We also invited her to church but since she has 2 jobs
currently she is pretty busy and couldn't really find the time. Even
though she is super busy though we set up a new appointment with her
tomorrow! She seems so prepared and I hope that we can continue to
teach her.

Last Wednesday right after studies in the morning we had to get on a
train to head to a bigger city called Oita. It's about a 2 hour train
ride. After we get there we met up with some other missionaries and
took the 4 hour bus ride to Kumamoto. Once we got to Kumamoto it was
almost 9 so we had to go straight to the apartment. There we got to
meet up with some other missionaries and I got to see my old companion
elder Colton! He is doing really good, it was a lot of fun to see him
again. But anyways there was about 10 of us in that little apartment
so it was a little packed haha. The next morning we go to the church
building and get training from President Egan and the Assistants. It
was a pretty long conference (6 hours) but it was really good! The
main theme was success and talking about how you can measure your own
individual success as a missionary. I learned a lot and it helped me
see things in a little different perspective. After the taikai
(conference) was over we hopped back on a bus to go home. But since
home is so far away after the bus ride we had to spend the night in
Oita this time and then wake up early to catch a train home. Traveling
as a missionary is kind of crazy, especially when you have to go so
far but I think it's also pretty fun! Besides, I also get lots of
extra study time which as a missionary really is always sought after

Other than that the rest of the week has pretty much just been dendo.
Since we lost 3 days of dendo due to the taikai elder Lotti and I have
been going pretty hard to make sure we make up for the days we lost.
So far so good too because it looks like we will hit all the goals we
set this week! When I first got to the mission, dendo (proselyting)
wasn't my favorite since I couldn't really speak all that well. But
now that I feel a little more comfortable with the the language I love
it! We meet so many interesting people and honestly most of the
funniest (I think that's a word..) experiences come from dendoing and
talking with other people. It really is a lot of fun to go out and
share the gospel every day even when it sometimes gets hot and you
don't meet the nicest person, it's all worth it.

It feels like the weeks are just flying by and I'm a little scared of
how fast they are going, but I'm so thankful I get to be here and be
apart of this work in Japan. It really is a blessing. Oh and lastly,
Yano Hiromi, my old investigator in Kure was baptized a couple days
ago! My old companion is going to send me some pictures and I'll send
those out when I send out mine. Have a wonderful week everyone!

Love, Elder Sherrill

Trip to the Fukuoka Temple! 福岡神殿!

It feels like I just sent off an email yesterday! Hello again
everyone! Today was awesome! We woke up really early and went with a
couple in the branch to Fukuoka to go through the Temple. It was such
an amazing experience, the last time I went was about 8 months ago.
I'm so thankful I have a temple in my mission and was able to go!
After we finished our first session the couple we were with stayed to
do some work and then we all decided we might as well go in for
another session so we did! It kind of killed our whole P-day though
because it takes about 2 hours to get to Fukuoka one way and another 2
hours for a single session, but we didn't mined, it was definitely
worth it.

This email won't be to long since there hasn't been much that has
happened this week  since my birthday. On Tuesday though we went to
District meeting in a nearby (not actually that close, takes about a 1
1/2 hours by train one way lol) town called Beppu. There we met with
our district and received some training from our District Leader. The
district is just three Americans and three Japanese so it's pretty
small, but the district meeting was probably one of the most fun ones
I have ever had! We did these relay race activities and he related
that to some different standards we have as missionaries. Then for the
last activity they had a fun little demonstration planned. I was to be
an investigator and the objective was make it to the whiteboard (it
represented the temple) after I had been baptized. As the investigator
I was blindfolded and had to walk around the room with the voice of
the spirit (another missionary whispering to me where to go), the
missionary who baptized me (his hand was tugging on my shirt pulling
me to where I needed to go) and lastly, Satan (who was a missionary
putting chairs in my path and telling me wrong directions. So after
about 3 minutes of confusion I finally make it to the whiteboard! My
district leader tells me to take off my blindfold. As I take it off,
SPLAT! 3 plates of whip cream all in my face! Not only was it a fun
little demonstration of helping investigators to the temple it was
also a little surprise for the birthday boy to wish him happy
birthday. After I get the whip cream in my face they all begin to sing
to me and it was a lot of fun! They definitely got me pretty good
because I had no idea it was coming haha, I have some pictures I will
send of the aftermath.

As far as the rest of the week goes we didn't have to much happen. We
tried to meet with our main investigator but she got sick and wasn't
able to meet. So we then tried to meet with our other investigator and
she didn't show up, so that was pretty disappointing. Other than that
we have had lots of dendo time, which is good because we need to find
more people to teach! Hopefully things will start to pick up her
pretty soon. But so far they have been going kind of slow which is
kind of a bummer. The only thing that has come out of our dendo so far
is really tan arms and a lot of sweating under the hot sun in Nakatsu
haha. Oh! Also I have exciting news! My old investigator in Kure, Yano
Hiromi, is getting baptized next Saturday! My old companion called me
and told me the good news, I'm so excited for her! When elder Ratzlaff
and I found her we never thought she would progress as fast as she did
but she did and was able to overcome some problems and will be getting
baptized really soon now. Right before I left I told her about how a
year after she is baptized I can go to the temple with her and she
said she wants to go really bad so I'm excited for that day to come!

That is about it for this week but I'd like to just close with my
testimony of the Temple. Going today and being able to participate in
the ordinances was really a special experience. I almost forgot how
powerful the spirit can be felt within the temple walls. Being there
today really solidified to me how badly I want to make going to the
temple a priority when I return home. That way I can feel that same
sacred feeling each time I go and be able to partake of those
blessings more regularly. I'm so thankful for the temple in my life, I
can't wait to go again! I hope everyone has a great week! PS- the next
time I email will be August 8th. I love you all!