Monday, September 28, 2015

Sorry Everyone!


Sorry everyone for forgetting to tell you that my pray was
changed today! It was cute to see y'all worried about me :) we had a
great week! I don't have much time today because we are going to
explore around Tokyo today! I'll just share a really cool miracle this

The elders have been working with a guy who has known the missionaries
for about 12 years. They said they dint know how to take the next step
and they think the key might be his wife. So we decided to visit them.
It has been amazing! We've met with her twice in the past week and
I've never taught someone with so much interest before in my entire
life. Everything we tell her she just looks at us with big eyes and is
always on the edge of her seat. Last night we taught her the
restoration and I think that might have been the first time we've
taught the whole restoration all the way through. She is so amazing
and we have another appointment with her! It makes me want to try so
much harder because I know she has sincere interest. I'm so blessed to
be witnessing this miracle.

I'm so grateful I am on a mission learning and growing. It definitely
is a test of faith sometimes but I'm grateful for the hard times
because it makes the good times just that much more special. I love
you all so much! Thank you for your prayers! Aishiteru yo!

Love Sister Lacey

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Six months in Japan!

Hello everyone! This week was amazing! We were able to do Mormon Helping Hands this week! They let us know Friday night and we had to leavereally early in the morning Saturday.  We had a bus and a decent size
group came from Saitama Stake. It took us awhile to get to Ibaraki Ken but it was a lot of fun. Japanese people are so organized and structured giving us all tons of instruction and orientations for doing service. Once we finally were done me and my comp and two other ladies from Urawa went to a nearby house and helped clean. The floods
didn't hit too bad in that area but a lot of their things were still destroyed. We helped this elderly couple clean their furniture and clean muddy dishes. The lady was so cheerful despite how ruined a lot of her home was. I wish I could have taken pictures of her home but we were instructed not to. We didn't get back to Okegawa until around 9pm so it was a pretty long trip but we had a great time!

This week we had a mission tour from one of the General Authorities. His name is Elder Whiting and him and his wife both served in Japan. They were so awesome and I learned so much! We were all called to repentance though... Apparently Elder Ballard got onto him and the other area authorities and asked "why aren't we baptizing more in Japan?" He said they were trying to answer and Elder Ballard kept saying "No, that's an excuse." Finally Elder Whiting said how there is a lack of faith. Sister Nagano also threw down on all of us and said how she had 25 baptisms on her mission and president Nagano had like 24 and said its very possible to see so many miracles. They all also said how are success isn't based on the baptisms we see but it is our job to invite. A few months ago we took a survey and the results were how the missionaries in this mission are losing faith. Elder Whiting told us that only 1% of missionaries invite someone to be baptized in the first lesson and only 2% of missionaries extend a
baptismal date on the second lesson. It was a big wake up call for all of us. They also told us how we should focus on the young people and how they are more open to new ideas and how we need to baptize more future missionaries. I have definitely seen how that is important. Just two days later as we were on our way for service I gave a Book of Mormon to a 16 year old and it was 5:45 in the morning! It was such an amazing conference and I know I need to have more faith and not fear man.

Yesterday was awesome! At church Rei brought her other daughter who is not a member. Rei has a daughter named Rin who is a member and Rei is also not a member. I really think her daughter Mayu is the key for their family. She is super shy and quiet but I think she is startingto warm up to me. Also, Olga and her husband came! It was his first time to church and I've never seen Olga so happy! I hope he enjoyed it and I am so excited for that family!

Ai, one of our eikaiwa students, has a lot of potential. I think she has a lot of interest she just doesn't want to admit it. After english bible study we should her "The Hope of God's Light" and she liked it. She asks a bunch of great questions and I love answering   them. She said how she doesn't care about after life but she wants to know why we focus on it so much. I said, "Ai, thats exactly why we want to teach you our lessons." So we finally have a specific appointment for her to start the first lessons. She also asked us to be honest and what do we want her to become and so I told her our purpose and a little bit about baptism but how we're never going to force her. So
she has good expectations set and I look forward to continuing to teach her.

I just want to finish with a humbling experience I had. One night I was just praying and expressing to my Father in Heaven what I was going through and asking for help and strength and so much more. It was all about me me me and then it was like a switch went off in my head. I started praying for the people in Japan. I couldn't help but cry as I poured out my heart for God to help His children here in Japan. I don't know how long I prayed but I realized I have been focusing so much on myself and how I need to improve but after that prayer I realized if I truly focus on others and helping them, I will in the end become the type of person I need to be. It reminded me of 2 Nephi 33 "For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry." It is now one or my new favorite scriptures. I really am trying to be more sincere and have real intent as I pray now.

This was such a wonderful week and there is truly no where else I'd rather be. I was talking with a member in the ward who is from America and he was just asking me why I came on a mission so young so I was explaining it to him and we had a really good conversation he was a convert at 19 and served at age 21. I know my mission is going to shape me into the type of person I will be in the future. During the Whiting Conference they said they are interested in our missions but are even more interested and concerned in the types of wives/husbands and mothers/fathers we are going to be in the future so we need to make sure we do all that we can to be the best we can be. I love you all so much! I miss you! Aishiteru yo!

Love レイシー姉妹

Monday, September 14, 2015

Typhoons and Earthquakes!

Hello everyone! I'm alive! Barely.... Just kidding. I wasn't hardly affected at all. I'm sure you've all been wondering what happened but I'm sorry to say my story isn't too exciting. People kept telling us that there was a typhoon coming and I was like well I'm gonna keep going until the Mission President tells us not to. Then there was rain
and more rain and more rain and thunder and lightning and rain. But it didn't seem any different than other rainy days. We went around visiting members and they thought we were crazy. Then one morning an earthquake shook us awake. That was pretty much it here in Okegawa but over in Tsukuba is where the floods were. We have been told that we might go help out over there but we still haven't been given the exact time. We really want to go help out and serve so hopefully they'll let us know soon!

Okay, so now on to this week!

Members, members, members! They are amazing! I am learning so much about how more effective missionary work is when we work with members. This week we decided to make cookies for ward members and deliver them
to their house. We went to the Sugawara family and gave them cookies. Her neighbor was outside when we came by and we were able to talk to her. She has met missionaries before but hasn't been interested in church. This time, she told us we could come visit her anytime! Also, the next day, Sugawara Shimai called us and asked if we could meet at the church and have a lesson with her and Okada Shimai. She told us how she was praying about Okada Shimai and then we rang the door bell and brought her cookies, and then after we left she received a message that Okada Shimai had a day off and was able to meet! It all worked out perfectly and the lesson went very well. Okada Shimai is going to try and start coming back to church! Yay for members!

This week at bible study only one student came. She has known the missionaries for awhile and I assumed she had already tried to be taught and wasn't interested. But I wanted to find out for my self what her true beliefs were. We just talked with her and got to know Ai better. Then I asked a lot of inspired questions. I was really focusing on questions that came to my mind from the spirit. Long story short, she agreed to take missionary lessons! She said she doesn't see her self becoming mormon but she does want to learn about religion. I'm excited to teach her the lessons and she even set up our next appointment!

Also, we decided to visit a referral that lives pretty far away so we asked if a member family who lives there to drive us there after church. They willingly agreed and Sugimoto Shimai even went to the door with us! Sadly they were not home but we left a note. On the way home on the train, I sat next to a girl my age and started talking
with her. She seemed a little awkward at first just talking about normal things but when I started talking about the gospel she became way more interested, which is a little flip flopped from most situations. I showed her the Book of Mormon and told her about it. When I finished she said thank you and she really enjoyed talking about that. I then told her she could have the Book of Mormon and she was more than willing to take it! She was so excited! She doesn't live in our area but I gave her a flyer and told her she could search the church in Chiba. I wish I had more time to get her contact information but I'm so grateful for that experience. That was the second Book of
Mormon I gave out on the train that week! I can definitely tell that Heavenly Father is preparing the hearts of the people in Japan. I definitely have a testimony of following the Spirit and knowing who you should talk to because God knows who will listen and who won't.

I like what morgan said in her email about on your mission sometimes you feel like the best person you've ever been but you also feel like the worst. That is so true! It reminded me of Nephi when he says "O wretched man that I am!" Nephi was so righteous but he even felt like a sinner. My comp and I were talking about it and realized the more righteous you become the more you're aware of your sins and wrong things. I don't know, just an interesting thought!

I love you all so much! Thank you for everything! I love being a missionary. I had a dream the other night that I went home and I was kinda miserable... I think it was a sign that I need to enjoy my mission more, the good and the bad! Please continue to keep Japan in your prayers from the recent floods!

Love, Sister Lacey

Monday, September 7, 2015

Loving Life!

Brooke drew this picture for someone who loves Winnie the Pooh!

Hello everyone! Im glad you're all doing great! I'm so happy I'm staying in Okegawa! And Sister Bettridge is awesome! She has a very similar personality as me so it has its challenges.... We are both very indecisive so it takes us forever to decide what we want to eat.  We've realized we both need to become more decisive people. She also likes to give massages so this will be a fantastic transfer! She's known as the Princess Missionary because she's so graceful, tall, and elegant. I love her! And to answer some questions, it is different not having a native speaker but then again I kinda like it. Whenever we would talk to people everyone would just talk to Sister Teruya because they knew she would understand but now it's pretty even and we help each other understand. Sometimes one of us gets one half of the conversation and the other gets the other half. Sister Bettridge is transfer 7 so not too far ahead of me but it's going great! Also, just a quick note, when I was at the mission home President Nagano was talking with me and he said I'm capable of training right now......Yikes.

It was hard saying goodbye to sister Teruya but I'll see her again at the temple. Lots of ward members were really sad she was leaving and it almost got to the point where it felt like they wished I was leaving instead (it probably wasn't the case but I am dramatic). But then Sister Bettridge and I went to visit the member who wasn't able to go to church for a year, Yoshi Shimai, and when she saw I was still she looked at me and said, "you're staying?!" Then she gave me the biggest hug I've ever had since I've been to Japan. I love her so much! It brought tears to my eyes knowing how happy she was I was staying.

So Olga is very hard to meet with sometimes but she has been coming to church on a regular bases. She loves church! We have been trying to set up appointments but she is busy. Finally, we realized she wants to learn how to play piano. Guess what? Sister Bettridge can play the piano! So we have an appointment with her today already to teach her and hopefully we can get some lessons in! Yay!

So very interesting miracle happened yesterday. We decided to go housing just around our apartment because Sister Bettridge's bike still wasn't here. (By the way my area is pretty big, it's kinda like if my area was Apple valley, Victorville, and Hesperia.) But we were walking and then we chose one humble looking apartment. The 3rd door
we knocked on was Ubahara San. She was this really very nice old lady and was talking with us. She eventually let us in the genkan (entry way) and brought out a meshi book (kinda like business cards, everyone uses them here in Japan and I'm getting some soon) and we looked at it and she had a bunch of meshis from missionaries! They looked pretty old and she also has an LDS version of the bible and she gave us one she had in English because she said it's too hard to study. Anyways, long story short, we think she used to be a member but became less active and moved away and is now "lost" per-say. Anyways, she knew a lot about missionaries and is kinda interesting but very sweet and we have an appointment with her later this week!

Thank you all for your love and support! I can't believe at the end of this transfer I will be half way done... Crazy! It isn't as bad as I thought being the senior area companion. It's crazy how I'm blessed to know where places are just from being there one time. It's definitely all the Spirit! I love you all so much!

Love Sister Lacey