Friday, October 14, 2016
What's up everyone!? It is the beginning of a new transfer and yep, a new companion! I finally got to meet my new companion and his name is Elder Wintercorn! He is a stud! He is straight out of Sandy, Utah and has been in Japan for about 6 months. We have only had a few days together but I can tell this transfer will already be one of my favorites. He works really hard and is a very spiritual missionary which is essential in helping others come closer to Christ.
So this week started off fairly slow with transfer calls but ended way fast and busy. During the first couple days my old companion packed while I prepared to get Elder Wintercorn. We went up to Fukuoka, said our goodbyes and then I met my new companion. As soon as we got back to Nakatsu it was time to work again and boy did we work hard! We knew we weren't going to have much time to dendo this weekend because of conference so we went out and talked to everyone we could see. I always feel like I get recharged at the beginning of a new transfer to work extra hard, be more obedient, and to have the faith to see more miracles and this transfer is no different. Elder Wintercorn and I have set high goals for this transfer and we are expecting to see them because we know the Lord will bless and help us as we fully submit our service to him.
General Conference!!! Wow! Let me just say this was the best weekend ever! I learned so much from the talks and by the end I just felt spiritual overfilled, it was the best feeling ever. There were so many good talks so I feel like I can't choose a favorite but if I really had to pick a couple I would say I loved Elder Robert D. Hales talk at the beginning of conference as he talked about the Savior being your personal caregiver. Another one I liked was Elder Hollands talk about home teaching and sharing the gospel out of love for others, not merely just because it is our duty. Each individual talk I felt was amazing and I learned so much personally from each one, this week I am going to reread all the talks and my notes and see what else I can get from them. I invite you to do the same!
Moving on to our investigator, Yamasaki! She is doing really good, we met with her just yesterday to introduce my new companion and to set up a couple appointments this week. She said she has been praying to God every single day and feeling closer to him! What a miracle! This week our plan is to set a baptismal date with her because last week as a part of Elder Lottis last lesson with her we invited her to baptism and she accepted! So we think with a little more she could easily have a date she can be working towards.
Overall, it was a very good week and I am honestly stoked for this new transfer! These past few transfers I felt like I was getting somewhat lazy and not being as obedient as I could have been and I feel like it definitely was effecting the work as well as myself personally. So to change that and to really call down the powers of heaven and see a baptism in Nakatsu this transfer I have made some changes and plan on sticking with them because I know the Lord will bless us and the people we come in contact with. This work is impossible to do without His help and without the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Just changing small things here and there I have already seen more help come to me and been able to feel more love for the service I have been rendering. This gospel is true and what an awesome time it is to be a missionary, I couldn't be happier and I'm excited to work hard and see what the Lord has in store for us this transfer. I love you all, have a great week and take care!
Love, Elder Sherrill
Hello everyone! So somehow another 6 weeks have past by and it's time for transfers again! We received our transfer call and........ I'm staying! My current companion Elder Lotti is going up to Hiroshima and my new companion is coming up from Okinawa. His name is Elder Wintercorn and he is going to be transfer 5 so that means I will be going senior companion! I'm pretty excited for this next transfer and I think it will be a lot of fun. I will fill you all in on the details next week once I finally meet him.
This week was packed with so much to do and it seriously flew by. I'll see if I can give a quick over view of all that happened. But before I talk about that I forgot to mention something in my email last week. On the way back from Kumamoto it was raining and as we look out the window we see a couple guys riding out on their bikes and it turned out to be missionaries. As we rode past them I looked to see if I knew who it was and guess who it was? Elder Colton! My transfer 3 companion! I asked Brother Tanaka to pull over in front of them and so we jumped out and needless to say I think he wasn't expecting me to pop out of a random car in the middle of Kumamoto haha so he was a little surprised. It was pretty funny and way random that we ended up seeing each other but he is doing good and working way hard in Kumamoto right now!
Moving onto this week, first things first we went to the Beach in Fukuoka! It was way fun and I got to play some sand volleyball which really made me miss playing sports haha. After a chill p-day with the zone we headed back to Chikushino that night because we were going to have Junkais (companion exchange) with our District Leader. I got to junkai with my old companion Elder Ratzlaff and man was it fun. It was cool to see how both of our dendo techniques have improved and changed over the past two transfers. He is a really humble guy who just radiates the spirit so having him to dendo with is so powerful. With that, I have been pretty blessed so far on my mission to have some pretty good companions, so I hope that will continue! Haha. Oh and also while I was in Chikushino that night I guess the secret of me cutting hair got out.. because they both asked me to cut their hair for them.. Missionary by day and a barber by night. I am definitely honing my skills!
That next day we had District Meeting and that morning the District Leader asked me if I could prepare a short training on a certain topic. I of course said yes and let me just say.. it was probably the weirdest training I have ever given. Guess what my topic was? Body Language. Yes. Body language haha. After he told me I was like "are you serious?" I thought he was like playing a joke on me. But sure enough he was serious so I spent that personal study searching for any kind of church material (scriptures, conference talks, videos, etc) that could back up my teaching about it. As you could imagine I didn't find to much haha so I kinda winged it going off of things I had remembered hearing and learning about body language before the mission and applied it to us as we contact people when we dendo. It actually didn't go to bad!
Next up we had a party here in Nakatsu! An old missionary who served here about 10 years ago, his wife, and baby boy came to visit so we threw a party for them and it was a lot of fun. My companion and I have been doing a lot of role play lessons with members lately and asking for referrals at the end and this week we taught the Ogura couple in our branch it was probably the best lesson I've ever taught to a member! I'm not sure why it was so good but the spirit was just really powerful during the lesson and my companion and bounced off each other well and it just felt really natural to teach. I'm really bummed my companion and I haven't been able to teach much these past couple transfers because I feel we teach pretty well together. On top of that I am at a point where I am starting to get a lot more confident in my teaching skills because I've been doing it longer and Japanese isn't as big as a barrier as it used to be. I really hope I have some opportunities to teach more in the future because it really is my favorite part of being a missionary!
On Sunday though I suppose my wish was granted because we had opportunity to teach 2 member present lessons which was really good. One was to our main investigator Yamasaki who is doing really good and the other was to that guy we found the other week on the street! It was that one guy we met at night who I shared the story about and asked us all the questions. So we called and he agreed to meet after church for us to teach him! It was a good lesson and the spirit was there but unfortunately he just isn't prepared at this time. He was more just interested in our teachings and what we believed rather than actually seeking spiritual truth for himself. We did give him a Book of Mormon though so we are hoping through him reading that he will come to be more prepared so we can teach him in the future.
Well I don't have much time left and I feel like I've already written a lot so I will wrap it up with a couple other things that happened.
- I completed my journal! I've managed to write every single day since my first day in the MTC. It's crazy to go back and read all the different experiences I've had so far. I recently got a new journal though and I love it!
- Suit season started October 1st... which means all elders are required to wear their suit jacket every day. Its pretty much the worst. Luckily the mission president postponed it to October 16th since its been so hot lately but I have a feeling it will still be hot then.
- Sister Tanaka's non member husband prayed at the end of our weekly visit with her! Something I have never seen him done so I was way cool and powerful!
- Visited lots of less actives and invited them to General Conference next week. I'm so excited to watch it!
- My companion and I got 3 return appointments our last full day of dendo together yesterday! It was way fun!
Overall, I had a pretty good week! I'm excited for this new transfer and for all the new miracles we will see. Also, I'm extremely jealous of everyone in America because they have already seen General Conference! We get to watch it next week and I'm so stoked for it! Please tell me some of the talks you liked and I'll be sure to let you guys know what I liked next week. I hope you all have a great week! 私は君らを愛してるよ