Monday, January 27, 2014

I Feel My Time is Short

January 27, 2014

Oi familia!!!

DESCULPE!!! for my super short email today.  :(  Sadly, my time on the computer seems to get shorter and shorter as the ELDERS who go first take up ALLLL the time!!  :P haha, oh well.   I'll just have to be short and sweet!  I feel bad because I got a lot of emails this week and can't even read them again :(((

I can't print them yet... but I'm hoping to be able to this week at the library--we get an hour in the week besides pday to print or go on, sooo we're going to plan on doing that.

I'm super nervous because I feel like my time here is SO short.  We had interviews with President and Sister Neider this past week and they said “Time is not your friend,”and never before have I felt so much this saying hitting home for me.... I keep waking up and feeling homesick -- but not for home (no offense) -- but for my mission, as if I’m being reminded over and over how fast time goes and how short this time is to completely dedicate my life to this.  

And on top of that, I know how much shorter the time may be for this area specifically.  It's been a baby area pretty much.  This is the first time for a while they have had their own set of sister missionaries.   It was shared with another ward before so it didn't get much attention.  But wow, we've worked and the area is looking up, already!!   In the last area, it took a transfer and a half to really get it to explode!   This area, we got it up in 3 weeks!!   woooh!   haha,  It still needs soo much work though. I feel like I've put more into this area faster than any of the others.   I already love it and don't want to leave, yet I still have that creeping feeling that my time here is SUPER limited :*(   It's NOT a good feeling to have.. sighh.  This poor ward has had missionaries in and out sooo fast all the time.  We really need them to trust the missionaries...... so they put two visa waiters in hahahah.....sigh.  Breaks my heart! but it will all work out for the best.

We met a Part member family last week where the mom, the member, is super inactive and her children (10yrs and 8 yrs) are not members and her fiance goes to Central Christian--the big concert church that teaches their people to hate Mormons :( --and he really doesn’t like us.  But we found out that he'd be home Sunday afternoon and we felt like we should go by. We knocked on the door and he answered and was very cold and disgruntled towards us so we asked if we could come by sometime when he'd be home with the girls so he could just know what we're teaching them so he's kinda in on the loop as well and not left out and he said he has his church and doesn’t want anything to do with us.  He then said he was offended years ago and it threw him into a downward spiral that turned him atheist for years.  We didn't know what to do or say but we just knew that we needed to sincerely apologize on behalf of the Church and the specific people who had offended him.   He tried to explain it more and we just kept apologizing and letting him know that we really don't want to offend him or push anything onto him and he invited us in to talk some more so he could explain.  Boom. 

We were sooo shocked. We kept talking and he explained that it really was the death of his father that turned him atheist and the Mormon missionaries teaching his mother just came in at the wrong time and he took it out on them and so since then he's hated Mormons and then he joined Central Christian and learned to hate us more (not saying all Central Christian churches do this, but at least the ones here do....) but anyway, we just let him know that as the head of the household, we wanted to make sure we had his permission to teach the girls and wanted to make sure he knew he was welcome to sit in just to make sure what we were teaching his girls wasn't crazy!  haha.  But yeah, he was like yeah, sure I might come and sit in sometimes.   And they can be taught if they want to.   So we were like great!  So we were there talking for like an hour, but it was seriously the best use of time.  We got no numbers out of it but the seeds have been planted and he is sure on his way to warming up to the blessings of the gospel.  I never saw so clearly the blessings of truly taking the time to understand the individual and his needs. I've never seen the blessings of my Patriarchal Blessing so evident in my life before--it said that I have the gift of compassion and understanding and I always thought those were lame ...haha.  But it turns out it really helps in missionary work and in dealing with others as we strive to be representatives of Jesus Christ.  

I am grateful for the blessings God has given me because He knows exactly what I need.  I love you all and hope you have a great week!  I will read all of these email messages ASAP!!!!

Thank you all for your support and love and prayers!  II feel them with me every day!
The miracles we see daily lets me know your prayers are heard!


Sister Yoshimoto

Monday, January 20, 2014


January 20. 2014

Happy Birthday Dad!!!!!!!!!
Parabens a voce!! :)))

Oiiiiii minha familia!!!!
This week was super awesome!!! WOW!!! I forgot my planner with all the notes in what to write today, but I will just wing it... I have no memory anymore :(

But first of all I would like to request something from you all!  From EVERYONE!!  I was talking to people about conversion stories and we went to a Why I Believe fireside where recent converts tell their story.   And I got to telling my conversion story.  And they asked about my parents or grandparents who converted first and I didn’t know!!!   So, would you all maybe write or type out your conversion story--before or after baptism?   I know that even if you're born into the church, we all have our own conversion whether soon or later after baptism.  Will you type it out and send it to me?  and Grandpa's/Gramma's too.  Those who first joined the church and your own!  I would REALLY appreciate it!  Can you send it to the mission office or Dear Elder, because I want to keep them?   :) THANKS !!!!!   I love you alll!!!!!   And when I have more time, I'll write mine out and send it haha.  But yeah, I would love it if you could all send me that!  Everyone in the family and anyone else who reads this and would like to.  I just love being able to see the path you all took to find this and it strengthens my own testimony so much.  It's good to have it recorded down for your future family!!   I’m excited for my kids to read my journal... some parts hahaa. but yeah!    I would really love that! :)

By the way, we only get letters through our mission office on Mondays in-valley.   We were spoiled in Kingman :))

Anyway, this week, we went to the baptism of Bryon!!   Oh wow! What an amazing event. I didn't even know how amazingly prepared he was.  I knew he was, but it was so much deeper than he let us know.  Apparently, his older brother was baptized a member but died when Bryon was 11, and the last thing  his brother said to him was “Never lose faith in God.”    He kept that and held to that his whole life and when he met us and started taking the lessons, he knew his brother was Mormon but never understood what it was and decided to just keep learning and studying for himself.   He finally understood why his brother was so deep into this religion. and he bore his testimony at the baptism.   Wow.  I never heard something so powerful in my life.  I never realized how deep his conversion really was. It didn't matter about fellowship or about the missionaries.  It was his personal conversion ---the way it should be.   Wow. I am so impressed; so amazed by how much Heavenly Father has his hand in things and how much more there really was under the surface in everything and in every one's story.   Only He [God] knows it but we got to be willing and humble and worthy and able to be His instruments so we can do what He knows is best, even if we don't know why we need to do it.  Obedience Precedes Understanding and Spirituality.   It is so true. 

Man, I can't even begin to explain how much I love fasting.   I hated it always before because I love food...... haha.  But since the mission, I have never had such a strong testimony of the power of fasting.   This past Sunday, I fasted for our investigators, especially this one, Brenda, to come to church.  We invite her all the time and she wants to go, but waking up for 9am church is hard for her. (She's amazing by the way.  She did 10years of research on near death experiences and all that she gathered from her research pointed to the conclusion that our Church is the only one with the plan and view of the afterlife that matched up with all of the experiences.   Wow.  She went to and requested a Book of Mormon and went to church and loved it.  And she found the missionaries.   She is awesome.  She feels the spirit so strongly and understands things so completely.  Her husband is in the Air Force and is interested, too, but works a lot and reads the Book of Mormon and loves it, but is a little more stand-offish and doesn’t want to take the lessons yet.  "Just curious" he says. but yeah basically, she hasn't come to church since we changed times at the start of the new year.   I fasted and prayed and wow, she text and says she's in the wrong area and doesn’t know the address so we called and helped her get to the right building and then she pulls up and we're freaking out cause they’re singing the sacrament hymn. but she shows up and we walk in and sit down right as the last verse ends.  Haha. man, Heavenly Father is sooooo awesome, but so funny sometimes.   He's like  “Alright, I'll let you sweat a little.   Test your faith.”   haha. man... Did I sweat.  Who knew Sundays are just so stressful?

Many other experiences from Kingman also just solidified my testimony in fasting. It's seriously so amazing.   Becoming closer to God, while invoking the powers of heaven in whatever we're fasting for.  It's just so amazing to see how physical, tangible, undeniable proof of the miracle you ask for is shown when we fast. Heavenly Father just asks for a little sacrifice and faith. and boy how incredibly worthwhile it is.

I forget everything else I was going to write about.... :( I'll ust have to save it for next week! I feel sooo bad I can't write everyone everyweek!   But I'll try to write letters! ahhh!!  So little time on Pdays... haha. but I am reading what you write and loving it alll!!!  I think about you all and pray about you all every day!!!   I love you all soooo much!!! 

Please tell Michael [Okazaki – cousin who is contemplating about serving a mission] to write me or something.  I'm actually pretty sure that if he asks President Neider, and a woman is with him,  him, mom or sister, or friend, we can go out to lunch or something and I can talk to him!! :) That'd be sweet!!!   haha.  I just know that there is nothing he will regret more than not going on a mission and nothing he will thank himself more for than going on one.   It's the single best decision you can make in your life.  Without a doubt.   And no matter how hard it may seem, I can promise you that you will never regret going on a mission.  It will be wonderful for you and for all the people you will meet (your companions, members, investigators, converts, and all for their ancestors and posterity).   This work is beyond us and it's completely not about us.  Yet we are the beneficiaries of our labors.  We benefit the most when we selflessly lose ourselves in His work.    I hope this makes sense.  I’m super pushed for time haha. but I would love to talk to him or even email! 

Love you all sooooo much!!!! COM MUIIIIITO AMOR!!!!

-Sister Yoshimoto

Monday, January 13, 2014

Getting To Work in the Calico Ridge Ward

January 13, 2014

Oi minha familia!!!!!!

 Okay, sooooo this new zone is ridiculous [very large] and has like 16 companionships and 4 working computers and less than an hour for 3 companionships per hour [to use the computer for email] and I was just able to go on like 10 minutes ago [11:09 am] and our time was supposed to start at 10. :P soooooo I have very limited time and I'm super sad cause there's no printer so I can't print these out either soooo hahaha. I think I'm being prepped for Brazil or something :( I don't like being rushed in emails!!!  I don't know what I'm going to say anymore!! 

Oh yeah.  Good thing I wrote it down.  So this area is really tough.  But I know it's just because it used to be combined with another ward and just got split before I got here so it's slowly picking up and basically starting anew. Sister Nilson has self-confidence issues with people and so I'm working on that with her and really trying to help her overcome her fears and doubts.   We have 2 investigators--sounds like the beginning of last area--except this time, I feel like I'm supposed to take the lead because we're both out the same time and have no idea what we're doing haha.... but it's a huge chance for me to really re-learn to rely on the Lord and just work hard. 

I always forget how lucky I was to be with Sis Jen-Coon. She is the hardest worker and we teach so well together and really, I forgot that it's not like that with everyone because I only have her to compare with .. and Sis Roberts.  But then back to Sis Jen-Coon and now back to Sis Nilson! haha.  It’s so strange.  I have such a weird mission.... but I LOVEEEE IT.  It's also a challenge that Sis Nilson hurt her ankle a while back and is still healing so walking or going out a lot is tough for her so we slow it down.  I love her to death and I feel like we've both changed so much (in a good way) since the MTC that it's such a blessing to be back with her. We just need to work on teaching better (both of us big time) and finding, finding, finding!!!!!!!   [MTC companion – Nilson, Kingman 1st companion – Jensen-Coon, Kingman 2nd companion – Roberts, Henderson YSA companion (for two transfers) – Jensen-Coon, again, Calico Ridge companion – Nilson, again]

But this week at church we had this amazing ward conference where the stake came in and talked a looooot about missionary work and how the ward can do it too.  It's awweeesome!! This stake is sooooooo gung-ho on missionary work!! YES!  That was a hard challenged for Royal Mesa--by the way the transition from singles to family is harder than the transition from family to singles... omg.  So weird ahah... I MISS MY SINGLE'S WARD IN ROYAL MESA!!  I never thought I'd say that, but oh man... they're seriously the BEST!  Have Kei and Travis move there :) haha jk... but seriously. It's sooo great there.  But back to this area.  It's a fun little area haha! The area we live in is suuuuuuper sketch. and then it slowly gets better going up and then all of a sudden it's like BAM CELINE DION!! like forreals.. Celine Dion lives in our area hahahah. And so does Chris Rock!!! HAHAHAH!!

And we get to see Brandon Flowers every week at church hahahaha...  [Brandon Flowers is a Grammy nominated professional singer, musician and lyricist].

OH NO!!  Which brings me to another really terrible idea. So, when I was transferred in, Sister Nilson tells me that we're singing in Sacrament next week.... hahahha. That's funny.   But no. she's serious..... because the sister I took the spot of was a super good singer. but yeah. no.... so yeap. basically, we'll be singing Jesus Lover of my Soul in English and in Portuguese this coming Sunday.... in front of Brandon Flowers...... hahahaha. Yeah. oh, mission stories, huh? 

Anyway, the ORINGINAL point of that story was how amazingly gung ho this stake is about missionary work! I got so excited about how focused they are on the youth.  Man, I just want to tell ALL the youth in the WORLD about this and how every single youth should go on a mission. Some people say missions are not for everyone, but I COMPLETELY disagree.  While it is a lot of HARD work and there are so many challenges, that you DO need to be strong, it's honestly THE BEST THING you can do for yourself.  Man, I honestly feel just so incredibly grateful for the MIRACLE of me even being here on a mission. Of course, I feel like a lot of people expected me to go but a year before the age change, I had no desire, no thought, no idea I'd ever even think about going on one.  Even though I thought I would want to when I was young.  It's so crazy to see how much I've grown and learned.  Like I literally had a testimony of like 3 things and then all of a sudden, it's like BOOM!!  My testimony of everything is growing so fast.  Like basically the littlest things. But basically my little spiel for the youngsters is to really pray and think about going on a mission.  If there's a mission prep class anywhere near you, GO. Even if you aren't sure if you want to go yet, just attend the class.  See what it's about, learn the things they teach, go out with the missionaries, learn about the lessons and the teaching skills and the things you do on a mission.  Just check it out. and I promise you will understand why every single missionary, no matter how hard or miserable the conditions or circumstances on the mission, every single missionary absolutely loves their mission.

I personally am so amazed by how I am so privileged to be a part of such an amazing work. Wow.   I can't believe the Lord trusts such a clumsy, awkward, prideful, selfish person as myself to be here on His errand, doing this work.  Wow.   He trusts me with the souls of His children in this area.  It amazes me. and it's such tangible proof of how this truly isn't about us.  It's HIS work. because there's just no way these 18-21 year old kids can do this alone … or even at all. haha.  It's incredible.  I love missions. EVERYONE JUST GO! 

Anyway,  I have to go!!!  But I love you all sooo much!! and I will write letters soon!!! I have no time to write and no printer to read these but I will ASAP!  I LOVEE  YOUUU  ALLL!!!!!!

You're alll always in my prayers every night. 

Ate a proxima semana!!
-Sister Yoshimoto

Monday, January 6, 2014

Bon Ano Novo! Transferring to Lake Mead Stake

Oi minha familia!!!!!!

Wow!!   So this is a crazy fun week!  I swear, MISSIONS ARE THE BEST!!!!!!!

Sooooo transfers are tomorrow and I'm going to Lake Mead Stake in Calico Ridge!!  I will be here at least another transfer and I'll be here when you are here! haha.  But I have no idea how close Lake mead is to Black Mountain haha. but anywayyyy... It'll be fun!!  And guess what?? I’M WITH SISTER NILSON AGAIN !!! HAHAHAHHA!!  oh mannn!!! They just don't want me to have any new companions!!! dang.

haha.  But I'm super excited because we'll get to speak Portuguese together all the time!! WOOOH!!  I've been slacking dang. but this will be good! :) 

Anyway, this week we had NewYear’s Day and we had to go in at 6!!!   Lame. but it was fun, we got to plan and get ready for bed then watch the Joseph Smith Full Movie and I packed (cause I had a feeeling I was leaving haha).  But yeah, it was fun! :) 

I have so much to pack. haha.   I'm actually really sad.  I just love this ward now and realize how much  I DON’T hate singles wards. haha.   Well, this one at least is seriously the best!  They are all just so amazing and strong and spiritual, and yet so cool and normal and just the best!! I'll miss them!! :( And this zone is so great!  But I'm sure I'll feel this way about every area and zone! :)   So, I'm excited!! wooh!

Anyway, back to the VISA stuff, I'm pretty sure they changed it to even if I get the VISA now, I'll wait until the end of the transfer to leave so it's less messy. and that's okay. I'm just excited to be here! :)))))) man, I love being a missionary.  It's weird cause I can't imagine not being a missionary and someone asked me what the "ideal date" would be for me and I literally first thought hmmm .. .like April or May…maybe, early June. haha and then they clarified and I was like uhhh.... ew. ahha. and the thought of it was like OMG stop... hahaha I feel so missionary hahah!   I love it!  It's so funny when members talk about it to us and we're like hmm... we can't help.  Our minds are just SO far from it all hahaha!   And it's awesome because I hate thinking about that stuff yuck hahaha.   Anyway, sorry that was random. but it was just funny seeing how different it is on a mission and I just love it.   Everything is literally centered on the Lord and I've never been so happy!!! :)

Man, I just want to thank you all again for the Christmas Presents!!!   I have the Christmas cards for the Stevens and Skinners still!!   I feel bad it was taking so long.   I just couldn't find their addresses.  Can I get the Skinners' address by the way?   thanks!!!

And the presents were sooo cute!!   ahh!  So  fun and useful!  Man, you know missionaries! haha.  lotion, chapstick, earrings! the best!! 

Man, I am so scatter brained...!!!! I don't know what I was going to say.   Mannnn I looove this zone!   I'm sad.  Everyone's leaving now and saying bye for the first time :( BYE EVERYONE!! haha. 

Well, yeah, I'm like super sad that after this next transfer, I'll be half way done... weird. omg sooo sad hahaha.... gosh. it goes by sooo fast.. 

Send me updates on the ward and people from home!! :)

Sorry for the lame letter.... this week was fun. 

Update for Bryon:
He's suuuper excited for his baptism!!!   It's pushed to the 18th because he got sick and coudn’t go to church but we took him to a baptism and he was like soooo amazing.   He was like wow.   I feel so much more ready now!   I feel a little nervous but so ready for it.
WOW never met someone so prepared. and I’m sooo bummed I won't be able to keep teaching him :( but I’ll be back for the baptism!!! :))   I'm so excited!   He's the BEST!
I want you all to come to his baptism!! !!!   Hahaha.  Probably not allowed..... but hey, never hurts to ask!!   hehe.   jk. idk.  That would be sweeeet thoughhh!!!!

Man, this is the best. I realized this week that really, my mission isn't so much about the people we teach or the area or the members, but really about my companions and how I need to learn how to love and show that I love them.   It's hard but it's really pretty much exactly what I need to learn.... woohoo!   Anyway. I'm going to a new area that is being split up and so we'll have a lot of work on our hands!! wooh!  It'll be fun! I'll update next week!!

HAVE A GREATTT WEEEK!!! I LOVE YOU ALL!! by the way,,,I feel like you played down Rusty's incident.   What happened?? :((((


Sister Yoshimoto