Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Yes, you read the title right, I'm transferring! And I'm going to the city of Okinawa in Okinawa! The heart of the island! I will become a new Zone Leader and my new companion will also be a Zone Leader. His name is Elder Muhlestein. I'm way pumped! But also terrified haha. He was actually my Zone Leader in Hiroshima so I'm expecting to learn a lot from him. It will be sad to be leaving Nakatsu but I'm really excited to go down to the island and see success there! As a Zone Leader my companion and I will oversee the work of about 24 missionaries on the island. It will quite the experience!
Since I am transferring though this will most likely be a very short email. I have lots of packing, writing meishis, and saying goodbye to do. This past week was way awesome though! Our biggest miracle would have to be what occurred on Sunday. I have been meeting with a less active woman named Tanaka every 2 weeks since I got to Nakatsu. She was baptized 30 some odd years ago and hasn't been to church in over 8 years. Through meeting with her and teaching her by the spirit she seemed to be slowly progressing to coming back into activity. This past Sunday we had a special conference and it was likely my last week so I invited her one last time. Honestly I didn't think she would come since we had invited her so many other times but to my surprise she pulls up in a taxi right after church started! I was so happy! The messages shared in church I could see really touched and I hoped that Sunday was the beginning of her path to coming back into the church. Never give up on less actives! They need your love just as much as new converts do, through meeting with her I have realized how important working with less active members is.
Well that's about all I have time for, I will for sure update you all next week on how Okinawa is and how my transfer went. I'm so stoked for this next transfer and for all the learning opportunities I will have. I am definitely being humbled and will see a lot of humbling in this next transfer as I prepare to rely on the Lord more fully and completely. This Gospel is true and perfect, I know it! I love you all, see ya next week!
Love, Elder Sherrill
Monday, November 7, 2016
Headed to Fukuoka!
Hello again everyone! Time goes by way to fast, I can't believe I'm already emailing again and next week is transfers already! Each transfer goes by faster and faster. This week was pretty good but before I get into that today for P-Day we are headed to Fukuoka to hang out with some other missionaries. We are going to go to the park, play some sports, eat some delicious food, and hang out in the city! I'm pretty excited for it all and the best part is, getting to wear normal clothes. Wearing a suit and tie everyday is nice but getting to throw a t-shirt and jeans on is way hisashiburi! Since we are going there though I don't have much time so this will be fairly short.
So this last week was fun but Halloween was pretty lame to be honest haha. We couldn't find a costume and we didn't have a branch party so we didn't do anything for it other than normal missionary proselyting at night. We did however go get donuts so that was fun. Starting off the week we went to Fukuoka for District Meeting and then after that took a stop at the Mission home and chatted with the Mission President and Mission mom. It was nice to see them and I'm glad were so close to them, Sister Egan gave my companion and I lots of American candy so that was a plus!
The Fukuoka Zone leaders came down to Nakatsu and we went on Junkais (switch companions for a day) and it was way fun! We actually saw a lot of success together and on top of that Elder Wintercorn and I had a pretty solid week and made 7 return appointments. It's not a whole lot but each of them were all pretty solid instead of being kind of sketchy like they sometimes are. We taught Koshimichi (new investigator) and she is progressing slowly but still progressing. She says she doesn't want to join the church, but she is okay with listening. We'll see about that haha, that's what they all say ;). For now though she's taking things slow and reading the Book of Mormon so it's going good. This following week we have quite a few teaching appointments lined up so I'm excited to see where it goes!
Lastly, my companion and I have been running in the mornings. He is a former cross country runner so he runs like horse but it's been way fun to get some solid exercise in the morning. Just on Saturday we ran 3 miles together at an average of a 7:34 pace. That's not even fast and I was dead at the end of it haha. But other than that I'm just way excited to keep working with him! Elder Wintercorn is a stud missionary and is helping me out a lot. We will see what happens next week with transfers!
That's about it for this week, sorry it's so short! I hope everyone is having a good time and enjoying the cold weather, I sure am! I'm excited for the all the Holidays coming up, especially Christmas. We just learned we will be proselyting all day long Christmas day and skyping the day after Christmas. That will be pretty interesting but I'm sure we'll see some miracles it being Christmas and all. I love you guys! Have a wonderful week!
PS- Next week is transfer week so I will be emailing a day later than usual. Then the following week after that is Thanksgiving week and our pday has been changed to thanksgiving day.
Happy Halloween everyone! This week flew by! There was a lot that happened and at the same time not... Each week I feel like it is just packed with stuff and then I get to the end and I look back and I think to myself, "what even happened this week"? Out of all the things I feel like have improved on my mission so far, my memory has definitely not been one of them haha.
But onto this past week, to start it off we had dinner with that new friend of ours Haruki (he is the guy that cooked for the emperor of Japan). We went to his house and he cooked ham for us. It was literally the best ham I have ever eaten in my life. It was better than any American ham I had ever had. He told us it was actually ham from America so that was funny, but the way he cooked it was absolutely amazing. Him and his friend asked tons of questions about our missionary purpose and missions in general so we got to talk about that and it was a lot of fun.
Our investigator Yamasaki is kind of wishy washy right now which is really sad, we tried to visit her but she hasn't been home so we left a Halloween treat/message and hope we can meet sometime this week with her. We have found a new investigator though. Her name is Koshimichi and she is really nice, we will see how things pan out with her. Other than her though we actually set a really strong return appointment with a young mom for tonight and I'm excited to see where that goes. She had some really cute and funny kids that we played with outside of their house.
Near the end of the week we had specialized training with our Mission President, his wife, and the assistants to the president. It was a wonderful training and I actually feel like I took quite a bit from it. One thing I learned from Kaicho was to budget my money more. I thought I was pretty decent at this before the mission but as some of you may know.. I like to spend money haha. So learning more about living within your means and how to have a solid budget plan helped and I'm excited to follow the new budget I made for next month! I'll let you all know if I survive it. From Sister Egan though we learned a lot about being happy and choosing joy in the journey, rather than enduring it. She said so many good things I felt like I personally needed to hear so I was very grateful for that training. She also talked about gratitude and how that effects our own personal happiness. During the week as I reflected on the training I had a thought come to mind and it was, "the more I do for others, the more I appreciate what has already been done for me". Sister Egan is such a Christlike individual and I feel like I learn so much about charity and service every time she presents us with trainings.
To finish up the week I'll share a quick funny experience. We were home teaching at Tanaka Shimai's home and right before I started the message I noticed a large black thing moving on the wall adjacent from me. I stopped in the middle of my sentence and with a look of horror on my face pointed to the large spider on the wall. It was a huntsman spider. They are all over Japan and they are HUGE! This one was a litter bigger than my palm, so about the size of my hand. After I pointed it out they just casually carry on the conversation and say it is just a baby one! I then ask if they are going to kill it before we share the message and they say no!!! I was like, "are you crazy?" They said they were just going to leave it since it was harmless. My companion and I looked at each other with confusion and continued on sharing message only after we folded our legs in our chair so they were off the ground. About the middle of the message the spider kept crawling on the wall and then disappeared behind a dresser. Needless to say, my companion and I wrapped up the message and got out of there with no time to waste.
Unfortunately we didn't have a Halloween party in Nakatsu because our branch is so small and old.. haha so elder Wintercorn and I are just going to party it up ourselves today since it's p-day! We don't have much plans but we may go buy some mustaches and wear them while we dendo tonight.. we will have to see haha. I love you guys! Have a great and happy Halloween! Enjoy the candy!
Helllllllllo everybody! This week was really good! It went by pretty fast and we had tons of dendo and saw a couple small miracles that my companion and I were way grateful for. But honestly not all that much happened this week, it seemed like a pretty normal week.
Starting off we have our investigator Yamasaki (山崎) who this week didn't progress as much as we would have liked. We called her and she didn't answer, then we tried to visit and she wasn't there.. so we called again a day or so later and no answer again. Usually she calls us back so I was started to get worried but when we visited her once more at the end of the week my fears were suppressed as we found out that she has been busy with work and her mom is currently in town. She has read where we invited her to read in the Book of Mormon and is still ready and praying! We have a lesson with her tomorrow and I'm hoping we can start moving a little faster soon.
That's pretty much it unfortunately with investigators.. we made quite a few return appointments this week so I'm hoping in my email next week I can report positively about some of those and tell you guys about some new investigators we found. We had a couple cool and funny experiences this week during dendo as well. The first night we got the cops called on us again as we were o knocking on doors. The cops came realized it was just "those American missionaries" again and took down our info and left, they were pretty polite about the whole thing. Then on another occasion we knock on this one door and this old woman (later we find out she is 82) opens it up and screams when she sees us. We at first thought she was startled by us, but rather she was screaming out of excitement to see us missionaries again. Apparently missionaries knocked on her door a couple years ago and she just loved them so much that when we showed up to her door she bursts with excitement and talked to us for a solid 20 minutes. Unfortunately she has no interest, she just likes the missionaries, so we left her with something to read.
Then our most recent cool little dendo miracle was a young kid we street contacted right outside our apartment on the way home. He was 15 and headed home from basketball practice. We BRT'ed a little with him (got to know him/small talk) and I asked him what he wanted to do when he was older, or if he had any dream job. He replies yes but that it was a secret. I then asked him if through baptism (we were talking about baptism at the time) and Jesus Christ he could receive help in fulfilling his dreams what he would think. He responded that it would be awesome and he would love it. Before I could try and set up and appointment he said to me, "can I tell my friends about baptism"? I practically fainted from hearing such words. I said of course! Tell everyone you know! Haha and then gave him a Gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet that discusses more about baptism. As he rode off on his back he turned to us and said one more time, "I'm going to tell my friends about this!" And then rode off. It was a way cool miracle in my eyes.
Well that's about it for this week. The work is moving along here in Nakatsu! It is moving slow but I can tell it is moving. I love being a missionary and I'm thankful for this chance to serve and be apart of this great cause. I love you all and wish you a wonderful week!
What's up family and friends?! How's it going?? I'm doing great here in Nakatsu and loving life! This past week was full of miracles and some way cool experiences! But since I don't have so much time to email I'm going to make this pretty short.
First off our investigator Yamasaki! Way cool things are happening with her. We invited her to baptism again, she expressed some of her concerns and then said that if she really did receive and answer she would get baptized. We invited her to read a section in the Book of Mormon and pray to know if baptism was right for her. I called her the next big to follow up with the commitment we gave and she said she received an answer to her prayer. She said after she prayed she heard a voice tell her "you will know soon", how cool is that?! She said she wants to keep studying and learn more about Jesus Christ. Just yesterday we met with her and I was "quizzing her knowledge/testimony" of the things we have taught her and she literally already sounds like a member when I talk with her. She is so cool and I have no doubt she will be baptized at some point, whether I'm here for that I'm not sure but I know it'll happen.
We also had zone training meeting this past week and learned a lot from our leaders. I personally learned a lot about humility as well, something I have come to learn I need quite a bit of work on haha. During dendo this week it was Elder Wintercorn and I's first full week together and it was so fun! We had lots of dendo time and met so many nice people that we gave Book of Mormons too as well as set up appointments to come back and teach, the miracles are starting to pick up here in Nakatsu!
Last night we met a guy, he was our last door we knocked on and it actually made us a little late getting home. But anyways we met him, his name is Haruki and he invited us into his apartment. He had a way cool apartment and to be honest looked like some really rich guy with probably some cool connections, and sure enough he was! Turns out he is some super awesome chef that has cooked for the emperor of Japan, twice! He also had a few soccer balls signed by the whole Japan National Soccer team as well as some club teams. He said he wasn't to interested in our message but thought we were cool and wants to hang out again! He said his friend is coming from Kyoto who apparently is the 2nd best chef in Kyoto and he wants to get together and hang out and and make some food for us! So we of course traded numbers with him and set up a time to meet with him next week when his friend from Kyoto is in town. Way nice guy that I hope our new found friendship will grow into something that we can begin teaching or he will be open to other missionaries down the road.
Well, I had tons of other little cool miracles happen all week and we were super busy but I don't have to much time left. I am loving this work and have been having such a good time here in Nakatsu. I'm so pumped for the little miracles we are seeing and the big ones I know we will see soon. This work is true and Jesus Christ truly is at the head of this Church. I love you all!
Love, Elder Sherrill
PS- Oh yeah, I hit my one year mark! That's pretty weird.. haha. Time to pick up the pace, I'm losing time!