28 September 2015

Matsumotoooooooooooooo です。

Hello! It's been a bit of a whirlwind around here, feels
like a month since last Pday! I've been on the train more than in my
futon, but now we are all Nice and settled here in beautiful 松本!This
is the largest area in the mission, so overwhelmingly large, but it's
in Nagano Ken so it's beautiful! The weather is very slowly beginning
to cool down as well. Monday was so crazy right up to the last minute
trying to move out, create the
Trash Schedule for the Elders, cleaning, packing, appointments, blah
blah blah (or in Japanese-nani nani nani). Tuesday we had a great
session of Trainers' training in Nagoya, then I stayed with beloved
Takaku Shimai (my trainer) and Barazza Shimai in Kasugai that night.
Back to Meito in the morning where I met Sister VICTORIA GUNN, from
Jacksonville, Florida (shoutout to Alyssa). She is so genki and fun and loves the people in
Japan so much! We are going to have a radical transfer together. I can
already feel major power. Whoo! The spirit has been strong this week. I'm
so happily grateful about that. In case anyone forgot or was
wondering, being a missionary is the MOST MARVELOUS EXHILARATING
moment of your whole life, it deserves capital letters all the time.

So we rode back to Matsumoto Wednesday night, taught Eikaiwa and then
the Elders led us to our new apartment. Good news! It is pretty much
clean and only smells a little bit weird! The four Elders have
actually been a huge help every day this week, we appreciate it so
much. We dropped our luggage, went to sleep, but got right back on the
bus again Thursday afternoon since I had Leadership Council Friday
morning. We decided to take the bus since it was cheaper. But it was
two hours longer, total of five, so we decided that was not worth it
again and rode the train back up Friday night.

The miracle-tastic part is we found a new investigator on Saturday AND
Sunday!! We are starting from the bottom-up here so that was pretty
exciting. Both of us were asked to give talks in sacrament meeting,
which was fun and intimidating. The branch put up with my Japanese
kindly and even chuckled at the cold jokes. They are so welcoming,
we're so exciting to work for them. There are many miracles to be had
in Matsumoto! Every missionary says it because every missionary hears
it, but I testify that this is truly God's most important work. It is
glorious and joyful. Christ has come, He is the light. We each need
Him and will be led to happiness through Him. I love Him and I love
being His missionary. If you have any questions email me! :)
All my love,
Sister Brewer

Sent from my iPad

20 September 2015

I Don't Know Why You Say Goodbye...

Hello, humans. Here's a bit of this week, the last of the transfer!
First of all, we had EIGHT investigator lessons this week! *crowd
cheers* that is about seven more than usual, wit was really thrilling.
A lot of new investigators, so Rogers Shimai and I made a goal to
invite everyone to be baptized. It was scary, but the spirit was so
much stronger, and I felt like a real missionary! Two said no, four
said maybe, and two said YES!! They have set the date for October 25.
They are so beautiful!!! God has prepared them, and I am so grateful
he led us to them. Their desire to follow Christ is there, it's so
On Friday we went down to Amori for the Branch President's family Home
evening. His granddaughters, age six and four, were way too cute and
seemed to enjoy the magic show. It was so refreshing, kids are so
magic! Sister Takei also made an immense amount of delicious food,
including lasagna, it's been a while since I've eaten that, it was so
Saturday we wait in anticipation for transfer calls, not expecting
much, since we both just got here to Nagano. That was a terrible idea,
because President Ishii called to say that he is closing the Sisters
in Nagano, to make way for the couple missionaries coming next year.
(Jaw drops)
Sister Rogers is being transferred to Ichinomiya in Aichi ken, to
follow up train her new Brazilian companion. (Jaw defies laws of
anatomy and drops lower like the bass)
I will be going to the next shi over, Matsumoto, where sisters have
never served before, to train a new missionary. (Jaw detached from
facial structure and plunges to the depths of the Sea of Japan)
So that was transfer calls! And then assistants were like...oh yeah
it's a national holiday next week so make sure you send your luggage
TODAY because they won't pick up luggage after that. So...we ran up to
Zenkoji street, taught a lesson to beautiful and wonderful baptismal
candidate #1, raced back home, threw everything in our suitcases and
sent them off (don't worry Mom, I still folded). And then started to,
you know, do move-out-of-the-apartment things. The two sets of Elders
in Matsumoto will be doubling up in one apartment to make room for us.
While I am very grateful, I'm not particularly ecstatic to be moving
into an...Elders' apartment. I've never been in one, but I've smelled
one. I must maintain hope for the cause.

I learned a lot from the spirit this week. I'm grateful God gives it
to us to attend His work. It's message is pure and it will always
strengthen us in testimony. Reading through the Book of Mormon, I
realized that it truly is a record of a fallen people, which is sad.
So much truth and goodness was offered to them, but they denied it
because of their pride. Which is really hard to recognize. But the
Light of Christ is not, so once you see it, you just have to grab onto
it and see it more and more! Only those rooted firmly and actively in
the doctrine of Christ survived. While sad, it paints a clear picture
of the simple and only way to true, eternal joy and salvation. It is
the doctrine of Jesus Chirst: faith, repentance, baptism, receiving
the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. See 2 Nephi 31.
Keep smiling, working hard, and sharing the gospel with all His
Brewer Shimai

The Naganos

13 September 2015

Because you know I'd bike a thousand miles...

This week the report comes from my dear companion, because she took the time to wrote it. Please enjoy, have a radical week and be missionaries! :) 

We have found more investigators this week than we have the whole transfer combined! On Monday we were talking people near Nagano eki when we saw a girl in shorts coming our way and we knew we had to talk to her!  The experience we had was kind of like Alma 32:34,"And now, behold, is your knowledge perfect? Yea, your knowledge is perfect in that thing, and your faith is dormant." We didn't have to have faith the she would become an investigator because we knew she would. We meet with her on Wednesday! 

Here in Nagano, we have three levels of Eikaiwa and Brewer Shimai and I teach the middle school level. Usually this would be fun, but our students refuse, REFUSE to talk. And if you ask them a question, they look at each other and whisper-discuss what their answer is for five minutes...only to not say the answer. Example:
Us: what do you eat for breakfast? 
Them (whispering in Japanese): what did she say? Breakfast? Like what do we eat for breakfast? What do you eat? I don't know? What do they want us to say? You say it. Me? I don't know what to say. 

And so forth. But our past two classes have been really good! We starting teaching them how to tell time and talk about their school schedules and they are eating it up! And they are actually talking to us! In English! Also, fun fact: apparently there is a time set apart for students to clean the school. Kind of like recess, but instead of jump rope and chalk, they give you a rag and a spray bottle. So if you are ever wondering why Japanese people are so clean, it is because it has been soap-scrubbed into their souls from when they were young pupils. 

This week President Whiting, member of the first quorum of the seventy,area president over Japan and Korea (translation: very important church leader) toured the mission. When we started talking he said, "I can speak frankly to you today, and let you stretch a little or I can speak gently and leave you feeling warm and fuzzy." Obviously we opted for the former and I am soo glad we did! I wanted to become such a better, bolder, more faith-filled missionary after that! Also, his wife served in Japan in Nagano, where she baptized a bunch of people, including the son of our investigator. So cool! 

On Saturday, we had a Vietnamese cooking night/branch activity, where the Elders' vietnamese investigator and his four non-Japanese speaking Vietnamese friends made us some crazy good Vietnamese food. Our investigator  came and all the members loved her! And maybe I had known this before but it was only made manifest to me now, but I'm really bad at Japanese small talk. 
Noriko: so, do you have a boyfriend? 
Us: No. Do you? 
Noriko: No. 
Us: ....

I'm sorry I wrote you a novel. So if you don't feel like reading all of that, just know that I am so grateful for this time to change people's lives and help them "grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created [them], or in the knowledge of that which is just and true." 

Go eat some Vietnamese food.

And I second that.
Sister Brewer

06 September 2015

Jugglers in Spandex

Monday, we took the two-hour train ride to meet our awesome new
investigator who cancelled five minutes before. Cool! Not phased, we
rode the train right back home and ate dinner with all our might.
Tuesday we went looking and looking and looking and FOUND A NEW
restaurant we want to try. So we'll probably go there today. Wednesday
was the epitome of awesome! We had a practice lesson with a member is
the sweetest! Hearing the members' testimonies is always so refreshing
and strengthening. Little did we know her husband (who came to church
the Sunday before) isn't even a member yet, but she said, I'm going to
go home and teach this to my husband! It was so exciting. THEN,
because of the beautiful and blessed faith Of the member, we talked to
a woman on the way home who agreed to meet with us the next day to
learn English and about the Gospel. And yes, there was a choir of
angels lined up in the tiny Japanese road, singing "Hallelujah" as
that occurred. We were in shock for a good six hours.  So the next
day. She
A) CAME to the appointment!
B) was so super nice and fun!
C) was really excited to read the Book of Mormon
D) scheduled a return appointment for TODAY!!
And thus we see and remember that the Lord blesses us in times of
trial and joy. Missionary work is pretty hard but you don't really
realize that until you get here. But it's also the best moment of your
whole life, because you know you are exactly where you are needed,
doing exactly the best thing you could be. Even when it is knocking on
the doors of apartments housing people not yet willing to listen. The
Lord will always guide us to light; if light is success, happiness, a
learning experience, a scripture, a friend. Every day is a miracle.
「14 And thus we see the great call of diligence of men to labor in the
vineyards of the Lord; and thus we see the great reason of sorrow, and
also of rejoicing--sorrow because of death and destruction among men,
and joy because of the light of Christ unto life. 」(Alma 28)

Also, Friday- Sunday also happened, with nice and humorous and hard
and enlightening moments in between. On our way to a member's house,
we passed Zenkoji temple where there was evidently some kind of
festival happening. We peaked to see the performer everyone was
gathered around, to see a man with a rather flamboyant
hairstyle, hot pink feather boa, and very tight tyedye spandex suit
on. So tight in fact, I was led to believe he just dunked himself into
a lava lamp and came to perform. But his juggling was really good!
Then we proceeded onward, walking away with a slightly more
interesting blog entry title than usual.

Much love to you all. Be happy, be missionaries.