Monday, February 29, 2016

閏年!Leap year!


Sunset

?

Sister Soloman and Sister Lacey

Out working :-)


















































閏年!
Leap year!

Hello everyone! Thank you for all the emails! I hope you're all doing
okay, I always pray for you all!
This week was a little on the harder side but it ended with one of the
most spiritual experiences I've ever had. All of the appointments we
made fell through so that was pretty rough. Most of the people we
tried to visit weren't home so we have definitely been feeling a
little unsuccessful this week. And I caught another little cold but
I'm doing better. But we have still been trying hard and studying how
to find more people to teach.

We had stake conference all the way in Matsudo yesterday but the
Sasaki family gave us a ride so we didn't have to take the train.
Stake conference was really good and powerful! The talks were mainly
on how to help and encourage members to share the gospel so I'm
praying we'll be getting some much needed referrals!

Okay, now for my favorite part of the week that literally happened
last night. It amazes me how perfect timing is and how the Lord places
everything exactly where it should. We had a few hours of finding time
and the people we planned to visit just weren't working out and we
decided to just walk instead of using our bikes. We got a call from
the elders asking us to send in some reports so we changed plans and
went to the church. At the church we looked at a map and decided to go
finding and housing in an area where neither of us had been before
which is close to a river in the more country side of town. We were
having a great time talking to everyone even though everyone rejected
us. Not one person showed the slightest interest but we were still
enjoying everything! We had planned to have dinner so I asked Sister
Solomon if she was ready to go and she said no she wanted to dendo
more so that's what we did! We got more rejections and it started
getting dark and late so we were heading back home. Along the way,
Sister Solomon said how there must be prepared people out here and she
wondered where they were. I said that in my experience is just really
showing Heavenly Father we are trying hard and He needs to trust us so
He humbles us and then all we have left is to follow the Spirit.
(Earlier in the week I was studying about following the spirit and how
we need to follow the slightest little hunch we get. Whether it be a
house or someone walking on the street, we need to follow it. Also,
you can decide whether to put this part in the blog, but in my
patriarchal blessing it says that the Holy Spirit dictates quietly and
comfortably to me.) As we were walking up the hill out of the valley,
an old apartment in the dark caught my eye. I stopped, well rather I
feel like the spirit just stopped me and I couldn't move, stared at it
for a few seconds, and I knew we needed to go knock on some doors so I
said lets try one more. It was really dark and Sister Solomon joked
and said "Satan dwells in darkness" so I said back "that's why we're
bringing them the light!" And that's exactly what happened with
Ichijo San.

He was the first door we knocked on. When housing apartments I like to
go from top to bottom and he was the very top all the way to the end.
At first, we both kinda thought he was drunk or something and so I
wanted to make the conversation quick and move on by I kept feeling we
needed to talk with him more. His Japanese was pretty hard to
understand but through the Spirit I was able to understand how I
should respond. He's had a really hard life though and because of
that, doesn't believe in God. He has some sort of something so part of
his face is paralyzed so he was a little embarrassed but I testified
boldly that through Christ he can be healed and receive happiness. He
said he's learned about churches before and they all say the same
thing and nothing has helped him. So of course I responded and told
him that I know our church is true and he can know it too. He laughed
a little but continued listening. He took a pamphlet, took a flyer,
and took a Book of Mormon without hesitation. I asked if the elders
could come visit him and at first he no because he has no interest but
as we began to testify and get to know him more I asked again if us or
the elders could come back and he said okay. He said he would try
reading the Book of Mormon too. Sister Solomon bore a powerful
testimony as well. I have never felt the spirit so strongly while
housing. I wasn't leaving until I got an okay to come back because I
know this gospel can and will help him. I was trying hard to hold back
tears as I testified of the Savior. He thanked us for everything and
then we left. I'm so grateful for that experience and how we were led
in the right time and place. Afterwards we said a pray of thanks and I
couldn't hold back the tears back anymore. I hope and pray everything
will go well as we continue to try and help and teach Ichijo San.

This whole experience helped strengthen my testimony of the power of
the Holy Ghost. I've been pondering the scriptures found in Doctrine
and Covenants 100,

"I, the Lord, have suffered you to come unto this place; for thus it
was expedient in me for the salvation of souls.
Therefore, verily I say unto you, lift up your voices unto this
people; speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, and you
shall not be confounded before men;
For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment,
what ye shall say...
And I give unto you this promise, that inasmuch as ye do this the Holy
Ghost shall be shed forth in bearing record unto all things whatsoever
ye shall say...
And I will give unto [you] power to be mighty in testimony...
Therefore, continue your journey and let your hearts rejoice; for
behold, and lo, I am with you even unto the end."

I feel like those scriptures describe my experience perfectly. I know
without a doubt that Ichijo is being prepared. He has studied other
churches before and hasn't found his answer or help. But know I know,
if he is willing and truly wants happiness in his life, he will feel
the Spirit and know he has found what he's been looking for as he
reads the Book of Mormon and continues to meet with us. My Japanese
was no where near perfect and I could barely understand half of what
he was saying but the Holy Ghost constantly kept telling me what to
say next. I'm not sure if it was the answer to his questions but I
know it was what he needed to hear. I know that this is the Lord's
work and He is right here beside me helping me along. I am not even
close to perfect and I make mistakes, but I know if I continue to do
my best and follow every prompting from the spirit, I can be in
instrument in the hands of the Lord as I let the Spirit work through
me. I challenge you all this week to follow the promptings of the Holy
Ghost, whether it be to serve someone, share the gospel, or just
simply smile and say hello, I know you will feel the Lord is trusting
you and you will become a better disciple of our Savior and Redeemer,
Jesus Christ.

I love you all so much! Have a wonderful and safe week! Thank you for
your prayers, they are much appreciated and needed. 愛しています!

Love,
レイシー姉妹

Sent from my iPad

Monday, February 22, 2016

お母さんになりました!

video
She still has the ping pong skills
Cooking a special treat


Medium pizza in Japan... That's why they are 
smaller than Americans




お母さんになりました!

This week has been really good! I absolutely love training and Sister
Solomon is a great missionary! She's from New Zealand! She tries so
hard and catches on really quickly with the language. When finding,
she has a lot of courage. She is so positive and is helping me so
much. I love being a missionary but her joy and happiness is making me
remember the thrill and excitement of missionary work. We are so
excited for the many miracles we will see together! Oh, I heard her
grandma has been reading my blog so shout out to her!

Being a trainer is definitely boosting my confidence but I need to
make sure I don't become a bundle of pride. I'm amazed when I can be
able to translate for Sister Solomon but I know it is definitely the
gift of tongues. I've never been the oldest in a companionship before
so I never felt good at Japanese. We went to get Sister Solomon's bike
and I have no idea how I was able to translate for Sister Solomon and
the bike people. But I'm definitely humbled in lessons where I need to
take over because Sister Solomon is a bean chan but it is an amazing
growing experience.

Now, I'd like to share some of the miracles this week! On the way to
Kodomo Eikaiwa (children's English), we said hello to a mother with
her cute baby. She kept staring at our name tags and I couldn't tell
if she really wanted to talk to us or she hated us; it was hard to
read her face expression. So I said a little prayer in my heart and
waited to feel the Holy Ghost to see what I should do and then I spoke
with her. We talked for a while and I asked if she'd ever been to
church and she said no but her friend invited her awhile ago. We
talked some more about what we do as missionaries and some basic
principles of the gospel. I gave her a flyer and as soon as she saw
that we are Mormons she said, "my friend who invited me is Mormon."
She had been to Brazil and met someone who was Mormon and she invited
her to church. It was so cool! She lives in Tokyo right now and was in
Mito visiting her parents. She said she doesn't have too much interest
right now but I know that the more she meets missionaries and members
the more interest she will have.

Vy is doing amazing! She is seriously the most amazing person ever. We
had a lesson with her and taught about the commandments, prophets, and
the word of wisdom. She understood really well and asked really good
questions that show she really has the desire to change her life.
There were some concerns but she said from now on she wants to follow
the commandments because she wants to be baptized. We have another
appointment with her tomorrow and we will go over the baptismal
interview questions to see if there's anything she needs review on. I
am so honored to be able to work with her!

Things are definitely going fast but I am grateful for every moment
here. Some days I am unbelievably tired and just want to stay inside
all day but I know that as I try my hardest and endure with faith to
the end I will be blessed and be changed into a better person. I love
you all so much! Thank you for everything! 愛しています!

Love, Sister Lacey

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Training!!!


Some treats the sisters made for people



Looks like real hibachi cooking!













































Hey everyone!

Last week was great! I think I'm finally recovered from the little
accident I had with my bike. There were a couple rough days and 
Sister Nagano was worried about me but my mission doctor 
reassured her and me so everything will be okay! Alright, now on 
to the news of this next transfer! AHH. I'M TRAINING. I'll get my 
new little bean chan on Wednesday. I'm so excited but also terrified 
beyond belief. But I literally can't wait to have a trainee!

So last week we saw a lot of miracles, both big and small. Our Eikaiwa
is amazing! We have about 6 high school students that come. We're
trying to get them to come to our tutoring class but most of them say
they're busy besides Wednesday but hopefully soon! A lot of them are
graduating and going to college soon so we'll try to refer them to new
areas but Sakura is still 16 so she'll be around! She's so cute and
sweet and has a Book of Mormon. When we see her again we're going to
ask her if she would like to take the missionary lessons.

We met with Mayumi and just wanted to see if she was truly interested
in our message. She is! She loves learning but the only thing is it
will take a little more time for her to fully comprehend what we teach
her. We don't want to push her too fast but we all agreed for the 13th
of March as a new baptismal date! Also, way cool miracle on Saturday.
We were on our way to visit a less active when we spotted Mayumi. We
turned our bikes around to go over to her and she was so surprised. We
sat down next to her on a bench and turns out she was having a really
rough day. She told us what was going on and I put my arm around her
to comfort her as she cried. Sister Oshima and I were able to comfort
and encourage her. Later in the day the elders also saw her and talked
to her and said she seemed really happy! I'm grateful that through our
words we were able to comfort her and bring her some cheer. I really
felt like a true disciple of Christ as I sat next to her with my arm
around her because I know that's what the Savior would do if He were
there with her. He would listen to her and just show her that He loves
her. That experience really made me think of one of my favorite
pictures of Christ. I'll make sure to send it!

We were finally able to meet with Vy! We talked about baptism and how
we will need to reschedule because there are more lessons we need to
teach her. She kept saying "baputesuma wo uketai desu!" (I want to
receive baptism!) So we scheduled her knew date for March 13th as well
so about a week or two before she goes back to Vietnam. We told her we
need to meet with her more and she agreed! I'm so excited and I pray
will be able to finish the lessons and help her faith grow in time!

I'm really going to miss Oshima Shimai. This was definitely the
fastest transfer so far. I've learned so much from her testimony and
her faith. She was definitely the perfect companion for me for right
before I train. She's an amazing missionary. The members are also
going to miss her. She is a legend here in Mito because she was the
first Japanese missionary in Mito and she was here for 8 months. I
have big footsteps to fill in but I'm excited for this next transfer!

I learned a lot at zone meeting and I'm grateful for the trainings
that we had. Some revelation that I received is that I need to make
sure I am showing my love for the Savior more. I just want to end with
one of my favorite missionary quotes. It's from Elder Holland but I
can't find where it came from. I just found the quote in my apartment.
Anyways, here it is:

"When the light dawns and it finally comes to you that this gospel
really is true and the work matters and that God is not going to come
down and do it Himself; we will realize that we are the only hands He
has got and that we are the only feet He has got. When somebody knocks
on those doors, it is with our knuckles. When we make contact on the
street, it is our voice out there on that street corner. When we work
with the less-active, Moroni and Mormon and Alma and Joseph Smith are
not going to come down and go in that door and do that teaching; it is
you and it is me. It is just people who get up, like we get up every
morning and do the work of the Lord the way those men and their wives
did it in the era and in their day and in their age and in their time,
but now it is our time. When we come to know this, then we will get on
with the work."
 Jeffrey R. Holland

"Whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same."

I love you all! I hope you have a great week! I am learning and
growing so much more than I ever thought I could. I'm so grateful for
the privilege to stand as a witness and disciple of our Lord Jesus
Christ.

Love, Sister Lacey

Monday, February 8, 2016

Disaster Week

Garden in Kairakuen

They had to switch back to their MTC nametags

District

MTC Nametag

Activity at church






















































Hello everyone!

This week was definitely something else! Lots of interesting, physical
trials happened. Also, kinda funny but scary story. Yesterday, during
the sacrament prayer, there was an earthquake! I just hoped I'd be
able to take the sacrament before anything collapsed but it wasn't
very big so we're fine haha. Let's just say the brother had to say the
prayer twice because I think he was a little caught off guard haha.

To start off the week we had exchanges with the Matsudo sisters. It
was awesome and a great learning experience. The downside was that
morning a cold all of the sudden hit me so that wasn't fun but Sister
Bettridge was patient with me. It was fun to dendo with her again
because I loved being her companion back in Okegawa. We went to a less
actives house and it turned out really well. She loves the
missionaries but for some reason doesn't come to church. But, we found
out why! She said she is really nervous to go back to church but she
wants to and said she would try to come today so I hope she did. We
also focused on inspired questions and we found out a lot about her
husband and he might have tons of interest in learning. Well, he's
actually learned some before from missionaries but he might want to
learn again! She was very interested in me too. She kept asking me
questions and told me to come back. Either she just liked me or she
could tell I was dying from the sickness I just caught and felt sorry
for me haha.

We actually weren't able to meet with Vy or Mayumi last week. Vy has
been hard to contact and Mayumi never showed up to our appointment on
Wednesday. We finally got a hold of her Saturday and she said she was
coming to church. She came! We didschedule and appointment for this 
week so hopefully we can figure out
where she is. We will have to push back her baptism just so we
can finish the lessons and make sure she understands the importance of
the covenants she will make.

So.. Just like Morgan months ago, the other Sister Lacey had a great
fall. It finally happened. I survived 11 months without a bike crash
and boom. It happened on Saturday. It wasn't even crazy or a cool
story. We were on a busy road and so I decided to get on the sidewalk
but I didn't turn my wheel enough and my tire got caught on the lip
and I flipped going head first into the concrete. Miraculously I have
no damage to my face. My helmet protected me and it was cold that day
and so I wore a big scarf. My scarf protected my chin from the concert
so it's like i landed on a pillow haha.  Sister Oshima came to my rescue. I was so
embarrassed because it was a busy road and I stick out like a sore
thumb so yeah. Everyone had a great story to tell their families that
night lol. I'm still pretty sore and sister Nagano had me rest after
church on Sunday which I was upset about because it way my first time
taking a day off of dendo and I felt so lazy but it was Sister Naganos
orders haha. I went to the doctor today and he said I'll survive. 
Anyways, I'll be sure to be careful from now on!

But this experience really helped me realize that I am being
protected. I remembered a scripture in D&C which says:

"I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your
left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round
about you, to bear you up."

I really believe I was protected and I know my Father in Heaven was
looking out for me. I love you all so much! Thank you for your
prayers! I miss you all. Aishiteimasu!

Sent from my iPad

Monday, February 1, 2016

こんにちは皆さん!

Karate Class
Add caption

She got her "Middle Sis" bracelet!

Mito Tower

















































This week went by so fast I can't even remember what happened! 

Sorry if my email is all over the place.

Saito San, (the woman we are doing family eikaiwa with where we teach
her English for thirty minutes and then 30 minutes of the gospel. She
has a 1 year old little boy who is so cute) anyways she is very
confusing. We both think she just wants it for the English. She's very
excited during the English portion and when we go into the gospel she
kinda turns into a robot and asks all the right questions and says all
the right answers but Oshima Shimai and I could both that something
was off and her heart definitely isn't in this. We are going to meet
with her today to try and reset expectations and tell her our purpose.

On an upper note, Mayumi San is doing good! We met with her three
times last week and she came to church! I still kinda think she's just
doing this for the member she has a crush on (I'm honestly not sure if
they're dating or not) but I can also tell her faith is growing. Her
only concern right now is tea but she said she's willing to try and
stop drinking it. She is still loving to learn and has a good time
every time we have a lesson.

Also, amazing miracle! #mitomiracles Last week we were making some
areabook calls and called Ebisawa San, who is an Eikaiwa student who
hasn't been in a long time. She answered and said she'll come to
Eikaiwa again and we also invited her to church. She came! It was so
cool! She really had no idea what church was like but I sat with her
and explained things to her. She has no Christian background so she
was still really confused but also interested. Our lesson in gospel
principles was about the spirit world and that added to confusion
because she's never thought about afterlife. But I told her what we do
as missionaries and said we could explain more about the plan of
salvation sometime this week. She agreed and we have an appointment
before eikaiwa! She has a tone of interest in english though and wants
to come visit me in America already haha. She's funny but I hope
she'll continue to be willing and open to hear about the gospel.

We went housing last night and we didn't get any new investigators or
potentials but I just had a great time! I love being a missionary but
it's also sad. I've been praying to see people the way Christ does and
it just helps me love everyone so much more. It makes me so sad when
people reject the gospel, not because it hurts me personally, it's
because I know how much happier they'd be if they accepted the gospel
of Jesus Christ. I'm trying to learn the language of the Spirit so I
know how to best testify to people when they reject our glad message.
I haven't quite received my answer yet but I believe that if I
continue to show the Lord I'm trying my best, the words will come.
I've been thinking a lot about the worldwide missionary broadcast that
we had the other week. It really hit me when someone said a lot of
times we think the Spirit is our best tool to use but we need to
remember that we are just the instruments here. The Spirit is the
teacher. The Spirit converts the people. The Spirit touches and
changes their hearts. I need to make sure I let the Spirit work
through me. I'm grateful for prophets and apostles who give us such
great council and advice. Thank you for your continued love and
support! All of your prayers are so appreciated and help give me
strength! 愛しています!

愛する
レイシー姉妹

Love, Sister Lacey