Monday, September 28, 2015

Gaejin with helmets and name tags oh my


This has been the best week of my life! I know that sounds crazy but it has been amazing. I've never felt so much love from people I barely knew before now.

Funny Highlights: We were visiting a lady in our ward the other day and I've been trying to add in on conversations now so here she is talking about how she doesn't have money to do this and that and I look at her and say 'awesome' really loud and energetic, got a super weird look back... Whoops.  

Kimono. Ignore my face. I didn't know how to handle that situation.
On Saturday we had a clothing exchange at the ward. Sister Kempner and I walked in and saw two kimonos chillin' and we wanted them! No one took them so after a little bit we just took them. Then all these Japanese women started flocking around me dressing me in this kimono. It was so funny. I felt so awkward.

So fun fact. Everyone and I mean everyone stares at you if your gaejin (foreign). The other day I was going on splits. So here I am sitting on a train minding my own business and this school comes past for a field trip. This one little girl spots me and just stops in her tracks. Then she calls all her girlfriends over and points right at me they all start giggling and just stare straight at me. It was great. So I waved and they giggled harder. I love it. Every little kid just is so surprised to see me. All the ladies in the ward say I look like a French doll. I don't know what dolls they've seen but I've never seen one with a fro. It's so great though I get to start a lot of conversations with really random people! Japan is my favorite!
Emily and her Grandpa
Last Monday I received a call saying that my grandfather had passed away. All my life I thought about what I would do if something like this ever happened to me and let's just say it wasn't a pretty picture. What I didn't know is how I actually would be. This last week I have learned so much about life and how fragile it really is. But I also learned something that made everything okay. My mom once told me that she's not sad when the prophets and apostles pass away. She said they lived a good life and they serve hard. Heavenly Father is just ready for them to come home. This is one of the things that brought me the most comfort. Don't get me wrong when people pass away it's sad but it's also such a happy time! My Grandpa lived an amazing earthly life. Full of love, happiness, and joy. He knew who he was and where is was going and he lived everyday becoming the man Heavenly Father knew he could be. I came across a scripture the other day that I love so much. It talks about how in hard times God will send his angels to comfort you and then you as well as generations can know about the plan of salvation. I know that God is sending his angels not only to me but to everyone that is is need. My grandpa taught my dad the plan of salvation who in return taught me. In just 3 lessons generations were taught about that comfort and joy. That legacy will continue for generations to come.

Heart Attack from everyone
Lastly I know I've said it 100 times but I'll say it 100 times more. Monday night I was a mess - just a wreck. Everyone was asleep but I just couldn't. No matter how hard I tried to sleep I couldn't. So I cried out to Heavenly Father in that time of need asking for comfort or anything. Then the Tuesday night I came home to find my door decorated with little hearts notes and scriptures from other missionaries. Saying things like families are forever. We love you. And stuff like that. Even if it's not what you're expediting He will always answer your prayers. I know first hand that he does.

I love you all so much! Don't worry so much about today or tomorrow because families are forever and that will exceed any today or tomorrow!

(I Love You)

(Zoringa Shimai) 

P.S.   Families are forever and I have a new companion on the other side of  the veil. I love you very much! Keep your heads up. I'll send some scriptures in the mail! xoxoxo
We ate at this family's house! Everything in English and they made us tacos! He's the new 1st councilor in the ward!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Hello Friends!


It's P-Day again!? Where has all of my time gone?? This is going by too fast.

Got some Ramen!  Yay food!
Anyways fun highlights: My first English class a girl walked in wearing a sweater and her and another lady started talking about how cold it is. So I looked over and said "smart for wearing a sweater, I wish I had a sweater". Like I wish I had a sweater in the moment. Then this last week at class the lady (not wearing a sweater) brought me a bag a sweaters.. She said, "for you cold, here some sweaters. I have them for 3 years but they still nice." I love their English here it's so great. Anyways now I have all these random sweaters! They're actually super cute! But lesson learned be careful what you say around Japanese People. 

Then it was pouring rain the other day and we're riding to pick up an investigator from the Elders and we are turning into to her buildings parking lot and then what to you know I wreck on my bicycle oh so gracefully. Yay, first bike wreck! I'm so proud. Then on Sunday a Sister just came home from her mission in Colorado! In church she had a comment and she's just going off in Japanese and then she stops says "um" and then keeps going. Oh my goodness it was so weird sounding! Japanese People do not say um, ever. My companion and I just looked at each other, like what just happened. She's super cute and she come up to us all excited and started speaking English. When she gave her homecoming talk she bore her testimony in English at the end. It was a super cool experience because in America you hear all these different languages in homecoming talks so hearing English and everyone in the ward get all excited was cool!

When the going gets tough  wear rain pants!

This week has been crazy. I'm not going to lie this has probably been the hardest week of my life. We went from door to door talking to person after person all week with no success. It was hard super hard. I came home every night like why am I doing this to myself. No one wants to listen to me. Then yesterday I prayed harder than I ever have in my whole life. And we went out again. House after house after house. But this time is was different. People still weren't talking to us but I had all this energy. It hurts when someone says no but I just kept going and I didn't get discouraged.  Everyone prayer is real. It doesn't matter who you are, what you're doing. What you need, nothing.  Heavenly Father is listening and when times are super hard he will comfort you. 

Sushi!  The real stuff.  American sushi doesn't even come close. 
Don't worry there's a happy ending to this story. We got a new investigator! Her name is Takagi San! She's so cute and she loves Americans. She was so excited we came to talk to her and called us like 10 times after we left to make sure we were okay. Before we left we asked her if we could pray together. She had never prayed before so we taught her how. Seriously the coolest experience ever! Even though this week was so hard I saw so many miracles. The hard times make the good moments greater. Life isn't always going to be perfect but it's okay because Heavenly Father is always there and every thing we are feeling has been felt before by someone that loves us more than we can imagine.
I burritoed myself inside of my futon. 

I'm gonna leave you with one last thing. Because of how many people have been saying no to us I decided I needed a little line to say back to them. So my little thing is "God loves you!" We role played that 100 times yesterday so you best be bettin' that's what I'm going to be saying tonight! So remember "God loves you!"  

(I love you)

Sister Zollinger

Monday, September 14, 2015

Everything is better...


How goes it? That's great! Me too!

View from my apartment

Funny Highlights: The other night we were eating dinner at this members house and after we asked her for directions. So she's like okay follow me. So this little old lady takes off running to her bicycle. She hops on her little mama chatty and takes off. And I mean she was flying! Then before I know it were at the mission home and she's running inside to say hi to the elders she doesn't know. Seriously the greatest thing of my life! So funny. Don't have a lot of funny highlights this week but life here is great!  This week my companion's bike broke down three times and I wore my rain pants. Fun times. I've decided everything is better when you're a missionary. 

Here is a list of all the things that are better.

1) Your prayers: Heavenly Father is so willing to give you everything you ask for as long as you are willing to work. Some of the tiniest things I pray for happen. I see so many miracles everyday. It's amazing the power of prayer.

2) The food (if I'm 100lbs heavier this is why). In Japan they have these little Oreo chocolate covered twix cookie thing that are 31 yen of Jezebel's lust. A got a box with about 20 of them for my birthday. They are called Black Thunders but I call them Thunder Thighs because that's all you get from them. It's great. Also the best Ramen in Japan is in my mission… we eat that a lot. Also rice cheeks is real!
hangin' onto my teen years...Now I'm an adult 

3) Your scripture study. I learn so much every day! I never want to stop studying the gospel. I feel like I won't learn anything new but them I'm always amazed by how much I learn. It's the best!

4) The people. Everyone here is so nice! When they say no they say it so politely. Also everyone is so willing to do anything for the missionaries. The members in the ward are so great. They watch out for us every day.

5) Birthdays. Seriously the best birthday of my life. There was surprise after surprise after surprise all day. It was so great. Everyone around me made sure that I had a good day.
Yay!  Birthday cake!

Being a missionary is so great. Sorry mom I'm never coming home! My companion and I were talking the other day and we started talking about why we went on missions. We both wanted to come out here and repay Heavenly Father for everything he has done for us. But you soon realize that you can never repay him for what he has done. I came here to serve those around me but they do more for me then I could ever do for them. Every time I teach someone I leave feeling so great. I have been blessed so much by being here. In my two short weeks of being here I have been taught more than I have taught. Even though we don't have any investigators I see so many miracles every day. All of these moments help me through the hard times. My journal looks like a roller coaster. One day is great and awesome and then the next day is slow and I feel down and then it's great again. But I started something new. Every night I write a miracle I've seen that day. Now I see miracles all the time! Miracles are real. They do happen. I love being a missionary. I've said that 199 times already but in case you forgot I love it.

Sorry my email was all over the place this week. But I love you all!

Jesus loves you!

(I love you very much)

Sister Zollinger

P.S.  Thanks for all the birthday wishes!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Home Sweet Nihon

(Konichiwa - Hello)

How is everyone? Probably not as good as me!

"Heart Attack" with my companion Kempner Shimai
Funny first week highlights: So we get off the plane not even been in Japan for 15 minutes and I walk into the men's room... This Japanese man was walking out and I looked up and realized what I was doing and freaked out. He just laughed probably thought this foreigner over here doesn't know what a blue men's room man looks like. The toilet paper in our apartment smells like roses... I have no comment.  At least our bathroom never smells!

Yesterday at church I bore my testimony and said "toki doki doki doki, kedo waku waku desu" (sometimes I'm nervous but I'm excited) everyone died laughing. The all said I'm fluent so I know my Japanese is bad. Then we were street contacting and this girl said my trainer and I look so cute and took a picture with us. She invited us to her concert and we got permission to go, yay! I am so glad I practiced kneeling. We were in a lesson and my leg fell asleep. It was so bad but for the first 20 minutes I was set!

We went to get ramen the other day. Oh my goodness it was so much food. I was halfway done but I was so full, I looked up and my trainer had downed hers.  I literally rolled over and died. I'm going to get so fat. Everyone here asks me about my hair, EVERYONE. Those weren't exactly funny but hey this place is cool!

I love love love Japan so much! I feel so at place here. Everyone is so nice! When they
Mission President and his wife
don't want to talk they just bow and walk away. You literally bow all the time. I'm starting to pick it up but it's still hard. When in doubt, bow. The members here are so awesome. I'm in a small ward with two companionships of Elders. Before church all the missionaries line up outside the door and shake everyone's hands. They are all so friendly! Their testimonies are so strong. I am seriously the luckiest person in the world! The language is so hard though. I only understand like every 5th or so word.

The first night 3 different people asked me how old I was and I had no idea what they were saying.  Embarrassing.. But I am in a apt with two Japanese Sisters. They are in the area next to ours. So I get to practice my Japanese a lot. It's great. My area is Moiwa! Everyone here wants to learn English so they practice on my constantly. It's sooo helpful! I teach English class tomorrow super excited! I don't know what else to say but how lucky and blessed I am to be here. We have no investigators, no prospects,
nothing. Starting scratch. But I know that I am supposed to be here and that if I do everything I can the Lord will fill in the rest!  Every time I have to say something in Japanese the words find their way to my mouth.

Silly Sisters!
The other day we were teaching a recent convert (she's so cute!) and we showed her the "Because of Him" video and after my trainer Sister Kempner looked at me and said bear your testimony on Jesus Christ and all I said was I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. I felt the spirit so strong. Sometimes we forget the small and simple truths of the gospel. But in that moment I knew more than I ever had in my life that Jesus is the Christ and he loves us. It was really awesome.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful week. Next time I email I will no longer be a teenager!!

I love you all very much!

ゾリンジャー 姉妹
(Zorinja Sister)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Home Sweet Nihon!

Hello Family!!

Guess who made it to Japan!!! This Sister! This place is beautiful! But I have a constant fro! Cool story though my Trainer also has a fro! Curly hair friends!

Sorry for everyone I didn't get to call. It was a super stressful day! I love you all a lot! P-Day is Monday! I'll email with pictures then! I get to go to my apt tonight!

My area is in Sapporo so I don't have to go far! Woohoo!

Zollinger Shimai