Wednesday, November 13, 2013

how to get 'em to church

I'm feeling all the prayers and the fasts, we're definitely going to
have a white Christmas here in Kumagaya.  We have two people preparing
for baptism at the moment.  Ka and Takahashi both have baptismal dates
set for December! This is such an exciting work!  I love these people
so much and I'm so happy I have the opportunity to teach them!

We didn't find any new investigators this week, but we're able to
teach our investigators that are progressing a lot more that I've even
been able to on my mission so far!  We met with Takahashi 3 times last
week, and he came to church, also we're seeing him today, which is a
lot!  And we're almost worried that it's too much, but he loves
feeling the spirit and being around people that love him. So I'm sure
it's a great thing that he can come talk to us so much.  Takahashi san
is a serious smoker, he's been smoking for the majority of his life
and he's in his 60s now.  He can't go three hours without smoking, but
his doctor has told him that for his health he really needs to stop.
We too have asked that he follow the word of wisdom so that he can
feel the spirit more and have a healthier body.  He is trying soooo
hard! But he is not perfect, and he has the faith to quit and will
keep trying.  I know that God can grant him the strength he needs to
quit smoking as well.  Do you know anyone who has had an experience
with quitting smoking that I can possibly share with Takahashi san to
help him to quit as well?

Ka is our other golden friend!  She's so fun and bubbly and we love
her so much!  I know she needs this gospel and she's ready for it.  I
don't think she knows why she wants to keep learning about the Book of
Mormon and why she wants to study about church, but she does it...and
always does what we ask her to do.  I think she wants to find answers
to her prayers and she wants to know how to find the truth.  She wants
to get work off on Sundays but is so worried that she won't be able
to.  I always look back to the days in young women's where we
roleplayed the scenario of asking our coach or our boss to not do
certain things on Sunday and I've heard countless stories about how
the boss was such a respector of someone wanting to attend
church...but I for some reason feel like it's a little different here
in Japan, but she said she'll try!  I think it helps that there's a
boy in Kumagaya ward that she thinks is cute.  That always gets em to
church ;)



at the culture day dance festival in Kumagaya!
eating Indian food with my bffs!
Bagel Shop playing the guitar!

teachingteachingteaching

We have two progressing investigators right now! Which is so amazing!
I feel like it's pretty rare to find such kinjin that can meet more
than once a week.  We met with Takahashi 3 times last week, but so far
we've only taught him the Restoration of the church. He's so into it
though! On Sunday he came to church for the last hour and we were
teaching a self-referral and Takahashi joined in.  He was pretty much
bearing his testimony at the end about how there's only one true
church, and this church can make us happy! He tells us all the time
too how his heart feels when he prays, just so much power!  Takahashi
has a few things we need to work on with him, and I know he will have
the faith to change his life around. He's a great great guy, love him
to death!

Also we are teaching Ka, and she's our best friend.  I can see her
faith growing every time we meet with her. We have asked a couple
times if she wants eternal happiness and she has answered that either
way is fine, which is reallllly hard to go off of, because if they
don't realize the desire to be happy beyond this life then they won't
want to change or progress, but after we taught her about the plan of
salvation and it was mentioned that maybe the terrestrial kingdom is
good enough, she wasn't sure and said that maybe she would like to go
to the celestial kingdom.  HUGE STEP!  Also, she's really studying the
Book of Mormon, she's reading it in English to practice her English,
but of course she's going to learn a lot and feel a lot.  She is going
to do Moroni's challenge of reading and praying about the Book of
Mormon, she wants to see if she can receive answers to her prayers
through a book.  If she has faith, it will happen!

And to end on a super happy note, Sister Davis and I saw a man almost
jump of a 5 story building...actually we were across the street the
whole time eating at a restaurant and saw firetruck and ambulance and
all that jazz drive by, but we didn't think anything of it. We walk
out and there's a guy standing on the edge with two rescuers holding
him up.  I never thought that I would first-hand witness someone
wanting to end their life.  It really freaked me out, not just in the
sense that people are so unhappy with their lives that they want to
jump off a building, but also the fact that they don't understand
where their going or why they're here in the first place.  I'm pretty
sure statistics say that Japan is one of the most depressed countries
in the world, and I know that as one missionary I can't change the
world, but this gospel  is the answer.  This message is going to hit
Japan like wildfire one day, and I can't wait!

Skytree!

anime friends at the skytree! there was an anime fair happening, crazy stuff!
yoko, taka, hiro, christensen shimai, willden shimai, davis shimai at skytree!
 

Eikaiwa class



Our Eikaiwa class is kind of losing it, this week we only had one student show up...BUT it turned out way awesome because we were able to introduce the Book of Mormon to him.  A couple weeks ago we tried to do a mogi lesson with him (roleplay..to help with Japanese) he talked the whole time about cable TV and things of that sort, that we didn't get to teach him anything at all...but we left him with a pamphlet of the Restoration.  Somehow I pulled out the pamphlet at Eikaiwa and we began having a discussion about it.  He is Protestant, which is very rare in Japan, so he already has a background of the Bible....which is amazingly easy to work with.  He had heard about the Book of Mormon before but assumed it was a replacement to the Bible. So he didn't ever want anything to do with it.  We told him how the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ and that Jesus Christ visited other parts of the world.  He was amazed! He said, "so this is proof!" Yes!  Jesus Christ is our Savior and through the Book of Mormon and the Bible we can know of a surety that we are not lost, and we have the Savior to guide us back to our Heavenly Father! We also shared with him Moroni 10:3-5 so he could know the next step in finding the truth...that is to "ask God" in humble prayer if the Book of Mormon is His word, that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true church of Jesus Christ upon the earth today.  We told him that if he does this he will know his answer.  He told us he wants to try!

Still in kumagayyaaa

We're still working hard on Kumagaya!   As we began our p-day shopping and this girl comes up to us and we're talking to her about English, as always, and that leads into talking a little about the church.  She seemed interested and we set up an appointment to meet. She's super cute, Chinese, 24, way stylin' etc.  Kinjin.
 
On Tuesday we went to visit our good friend Roy who helped us track down our bikes that one day a few weeks ago. He had a student with him, and Roy started telling this student that we're Mormons and they always send out pretty girls to persuade people to join.  So naturally we began telling this new student what we do as missionaries.  I don't know if it was our beauty or the Holy Ghost, but he wants to see us again that's for sure.  He seems like a really great guy, we'll have all our lessons at the church with a member present and everything should be great.  He's kinjin too.  :)
 
Also, Tuesday morning we did a roleplay with one of the members, she's a convert and it was so uplifting to hear her conversion story from Buddhism to Christianity.  So we were all pumped and just going about our day, trying to find a bathroom actually, and as I was looking in one of the local shops to see if there was a toilet I totally SMACKED into a pole, head first.  Luckily the pole was pretty hollow so it didn't hurt toooooo bad, but the sound was great.  It could've been on America's funniest videos...except it happened in Japan...so I don't know if they take foreign films. But, after that things were crazy!  This older woman, super skinny, wearing patent leather pants came up to me and Sister Davis and just started chatting us up.  She was so funny, but kept leaning on me and whispering in my ear like we were best friends.  This woman was so sassy, just confidence exploding out of her head.  It was great, as she was about to leave she points to her cheek and says "chu" which is the English equivelant of "mwa". So I kissed this old lady's cheek right on the street after knowing her for 3 minutes, and then she left....and I haven't seen her since.  But I'm not sure what got into me, kissing old ladies wearing leather leggings on the street. I blame it on the head injury.
 
Thursday was good too.  We had our 2  zone conference which was a 2 hour train ride for pretty much everyone that went to the conference, which is ridiculously long for one of these things.  It was fun though, we were all traveling together and the missionaries took over.  Everywhere we looked missionaries were handing out the Book of Mormon and pamphlets.  It was great to see. :) And it was in our area, so maybe it planted some seeds for us in the future.  haha
 
So we have these white friends, the one from Michigan, well we went out to dendou and we really wanted to see them so we could exchange our information and teach and baptize them, but we had no idea how we'd find them.  But we just had a feeling we would run into them.  We handed out flyers for a little bit, with no luck and knew that we were going to watch conference in the morning so we really needed M&Ms for our special conference pancakes...during our quest for M&Ms, because all the sell in Japan is Japanese candy for some reason, we found our white friends! It was a miracle! We talked with them for as long as we could, and we're becoming their friends, we just need to transition better into the gospel. We'll keep trying to get them to church though.  Dekiru to omou!
 
Yesterday we had a rough morning, we went to a new investigator's apartment, and she kept tempting us with all these things that any non-Mormon would find harmless I'm sure, and her Japanese and English both aren't perfect because she's from Indonesia, so communication was difficult. As we sat there in all of the worldlyness surrounding us we just felt so dark and uncomfortable...the spirit was gone.  There was no way of teaching her in that environment.  I didn't realize just how corrupt the world is becoming until I set myself apart from it for a while. It was the worst feeling I've ever experienced.  We left her apartment both feeling awful, we sang hymns all the way home....I felt such a difference. 
 
Lately I've been worried that I'm losing the feeling of the spirit's direction, that my spirituality was dulling.  I've been praying recently for stronger spiritual witnesses, that I could feel God's presence a little more in my life.  I didn't realize I've had it this whole time, it took losing it to understand the spirit again.  I know God listens to us, He knows what we need to make us stronger.  He loves us, and He is always with us, if we allow Him to be.  It made us so sad after this realization that so many people have not ever felt this feeling of warmth and love, and it's hard to explain because everyone feels it differently. But if we set ourselves apart from the world, He will make Himself known to us.  The world creates all of these temporary happinesses, but we know that the only way to truly feeling happy, and feeling happy for eternity, is through keeping the commandments of God.  This is true. I want to share it with all of Kumagaya!  I love this gospel, I loved listening to conference, I feel so uplifted! 

miracles :)

We ran into our highschool bffs a couple times!  We were able to take purikura pictures with them and taught them about why we/re missionaries.  One of them has a Book of Mormon now, and we still need to give the other one. Every time they see us they get so stoked! We're pretty much celebrities in Japan.  haha!  Except I'm so surprised at the number of foreigners in Kumagaya...because Kumagaya is our in the country.  Really close there's a huge population of Brazilians and Mexicans, but here we see lots of white people, and lots of Philipinos.  It's an interesting thing, you wouldn't understand until you were always surrounded by Asians...on all sides...all the time.  It's great! I love Japan!
We actually talked to a couple of white girls in the 7/11 and one of them went to Easter MI University, she's from Ann Arbor. Her friend's from Pennsylvania. We're becoming friends with them and she can be in my single's ward when I come home. haha!

YEsterday was a really cool miracle!  So last week we met this really funny woman from Indonesia.  We were handing out flyers for English class and she just came right up to me shook my hand and asked us where we were from and started telling us about her life.  She said in 3 days she would call us...she never called!  But she told us roughly how to get to her house because she wanted to cook for us.  So yesterday, since we are always doing finding, wanted to go housing around her area to try to find her, but as we were waiting for the bus we were handing out more English flyers and she comes walking up to us again.  She told us it was so amazing that she found us in the same spot because she was only in Kumagaya for one hour to work, and was picking up her new phone.  She was sitting in McDonalds waiting for the same bus we were waiting for, but saw us and set up an appointment to come over.  She's seemed to have a rough life, and really just wants to smile and be happy.  She's been placed in our path for a reason.  I'm excited!

So many pictures!!

companions! 
hipster missionary photo shoot. what more can you want?
good missionary transportation
cat cafe!  yummmm
yon-nin doryo at the temple!
asakusa temple, biggest buddhist temple in tokyo
best friend, YOKO!
trying to navigate by the ocean in Chiba, gulf side.
Typhoon!!!!
 getting rained on in Chiba, major downpour!
Baby Buddha in Asakusa, Tokyo
Asakusa, doing Bukkyo stuff.












Ai suru tomodachi to kazoku

This week was like fear factor week or something!  We got sushi at a sushi-go-round, and it was all really yummy but the last thing I ate was one of the weirdest grossest things I've ever had.  I had to finish it though, because we're in Japan...and you finish everything you put on your plate, and (side-note) you're not supposed to eat and walk at the same time. BUT the scariest part of this week was the COCKROACH the size of my THUMB in our bathroom right before we went to bed a couple nights ago!  It was the most terrifying thing I've ever faced!  The bug's gone now, I totally destroyed the thing with a good shoe the elders left in our apartment.  It was a 40 minute battle, everytime the thing crawled up the wall I screamed and cried and sister Davis was in the other room hypervenilating!  It crawled inside our bathrooom scale, and under our washing machine, and when I finally got it, it crawled up the side of washing machine and almost jumped on my face! I threw the washing machine and the beast made a run for our bedroom!  I got him though, he's dead.  And we were able to sleep, for the most part.  I can proudly say that I won that battle, and I honestly hope and pray I never have to go through that again.
 
We also went a whole week without bikes because we parked our bikes in the "no parking" zone when we went to District Meeting...the bikes were gone when we got back and went on a mad search for our bikes, found an English conversation school hoping someone knew enough English to help us. We met the nicest guy Roy who walked with us for an hour to find our bikes just to find that the place was closed til Saturday.  I'm back on two wheels now though, so we're good. 
 
Yesterday a couple retro ford thunderbirds drove up by the train-station while we were handing out flyers, they were blasting Funky Town and the asian kid in the drivers seat had an AFRO! I felt so at home. ;) haha!

hot spot.

So Kumagaya is the hottest place in Japan!  Literally, I'm living in a hot spot.  It's not too bad now that it's cooling down a little all over the country.  I'm ready for it to really feel like fall though.  I heard October is super nice though, so we'll see! 
 
The past few days have been really great! Sister Davis and I work really well together, we both know about the same amount of Japanese and our dendou method is pretty similar which is great!  We want to prep this place for more missionaries.  Kumagaya has another thing coming!  We actually found 6 new investigators in three days!  We are planning on teaching 20 lessons a week by week three, so we need to find a lot of people now because the investigators that we usually find, about half of them show up to appointments made.  We'll see how this week pans out.  We already have a few lessons already planned :)  It'f kind of fun doing doki dendou, (MTC district companion missionary work-easier to explain in Japanese)  Today we're just cleaning out all the junk that the Elders left in our apartment.  Kumagaya opened for sisters last transfer from Elders. It's been coined as a 'dead area" but Sister Davis and I are here to turn that around!  :)
 
Sister Davis and I have a lot in common, one of our goals at the beginning of our mission was to become regulars at a ramen shop and convert the people that work there.  Ramen shops are usally full of a bunch of punk boys though, so I kind of abandoned the goal. But now, in Kumagaya there's this really cute bagel shop with a few hip college students that play guitar and like bagels and such!  haha, we kept walking by and saying hi while we were streeting and after about the 5th time we finally went in.  They mentioned that they were talking about how they really wanted us to come in.  I tried to play the guitar for them, but my brain's on mission mode and I seriously had such a brain fart, couldn't remember how to play anything!  NOOOO!  But I said I'll "practice" and come back and give them a good show. haha!  :) 
 
I wish I had my guitarrrrr.  I've heard that there are some missionaries that got permission to bring one and they go to the park and play music and invite people to hear their message that way.  I don't know how effective it is, but I want to try! 
 
Anywayyyy, Kumagaya is great, and I just got here.  The ward is like 50 people and they're all really nice.  They also like to feed us. 2 days in a row I'm getting free food! YAYYY

Kumagaya!

I don't like to leave anyone hanging I guess...I'm transferring to Kumagaya! I'll be companions with Sister Davis, who was in my district in the MTC :) We're both super excited to work together!  I'm so sad to leave Chiba, we saw a lot of miracles here and the miracles are still happening.  Sister Christensen and Sister Willden are staying here!  Two second transfer missionaries training each other, it's never been seen before!  It's pretty exciting, but I'm so sad to leave some of my best friends here in Chiba. :(

hello!

ood things happened this week :)  It's sad to see the transfer coming to a close, but we've had some super great experiences as a 4 person companionship. :)
 
This week we met with a few new people for the second time, the girl I met on the train the other week ago, Yoko and Taka (soooo amazing!!!!), rode my bike an hour and a half in POURING rain to see a potential investigator-she's Hindi, from India, but says we can come back anytime.  She's interesting, that religion/culture is very different from anything I've ever heard of.  She's super nice though, and was accepting of us teaching her about our church.  We'll see what happens with her.
 
On Saturday Willden Shimai and I dendou'd with Ramos Shimai allllll day!  It was super fun. :)  She really wants to serve a mission in a year and I know she'll be such an awesome missionary. :) She's pretty much part of our companionship anyway.  Always wants to help with missionary work.  We all took turns knocking on people's doors and saying our message will CHANGE THEIR LIFE!  We didn't find anyone...next time?
 
Sorry it's a short one, we're teaching a little more lately and having more fun which is super good.  We recite D&C 4 every day, it's a good uplifter!  Our mission scripture is D&C 128:22, another good one :)

all is well, all is well

This past week was great, we taught the Yoshida family and are helping them prepare to be baptized on September 15th!  We're really looking forward to that day!  It's so exciting seeing people choose to follow Jesus Christ's example through baptism, I cry at every baptism we see. 
 
This week we had stake conference! And there was English translation! It was the first Sunday meeting I've actually understood in almost 6 months, so that was good! 
 
I saw the ocean this week when we went out to visit some less actives. The apartments over there are soooo fancy, we ended up not visiting anyone because the apartments are on lockdown.  It looked like Florida over on the coast, palm trees, lots of shopping, ocean, blue sky. So pretty...and we were just on the gulf side of Chiba Prefecture. 
 
So right now I'm pretty much in a 4 person companionship!  We got word from our zone leaders, who got word from President Budge, that the four of us Chiba sisters need to be more united in our study and go on splits super often.  We all teach pretty much everyone, and we find for both companionships.  Kind of a new idea, and it's super fun so far.  Last night we did some roleplay and made cake to celebrate our yon-nin doryou! (four person companionship)
 
Glad you're all having fun at home,  your vision of me is pretty much correct, except we yell katakana English in the street..".Harro,  houw   aaa    yooou?" Doing everything we can to get people's attention.  I'll talk to some people on the train today as well. 

Baptisms are great!

Well family,  life's just going great over here in Japan.  We're not really teaching anyone at the moment, just working on finding people.  We've done a lot of streeting, which is when we go out and just try to stop people and talk to people on the streets.  Our technique has changed a lot from day to day...we're trying to figure out the best approach.  Do we yell "sumimasen! (excuse me) watashitachi wa 'Matsu Jitsu Seito Iesu Kirisuto kyokai' no borantia senkyoshi to imasu!" (We're the missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints"..or do we go for a more sly approach 'suteki wanpisu! doko ni kaimashita ka? watashitachi wa Amerika kara kimashita!' (pretty dress! where did you buy it? We're from America!) We're still working on it, might even have our zone leaders come in and help us out a little.
We did have a lesson with a woman yesterday who met with missionaries about a year ago.  We found her through the area book and are hopefully going to be able to meet with her more!  
Eva got baptized!  It was an amazing meeting, and she has such a strong testimony and faith in Jesus Christ. I can't wait to see their whole family get baptized and sealed in the temple for eternity!  It would be so amazing to witness that.  I love Eva and Catherine!  I'm so excited for them!
I think I need to start loving dendou (missionary work) a little more, it really is an amazing work the Lord is allowing me to do.  I get to share my testimony every day, study scriptures every day, see miracles every day!  I don't want to waste this next year, I want to change lives! 

Birthday week pictures!

it was 104 degrees, probably 90 prcent humidity in that last picture with the food...don't mind the sweaty missionaries :)






Birthday Week!

Well as you all should know, I'm training now, as a third transfer missionary, and it's FUN!  My best birthday present was Sister Willden, from Wisconsin.  She's half Japanese, and can understand most of what people are saying to us!  It's perfect!  So far we get along so great!  We're working on finding at the moment...all of mine and Sister Nagamine's investigators had to be divided between the two of us. (She's training too...four people in our tiny apartment!)  It's so weird being in the same apartment with my old companion, and we both have new companions.  Anyway, Sister Willden and I found a potential investigator yesterday! She's really interested in learning English, and we offered to give her a church tour as well. Hopefully we'll be able to meet her again! We felt so good after we got her contact info! First one of the transfer! Many more to come! 
 
So my birthday was actually pretty good, it felt like it was a weekend long birthday even!  On the day before my birthday Sister Nagamine and I went to the honbu(mission home) to find out who we were training.  On my birthday I woke up and there were four of us in the apartment! It felt like a major party already! (I even have my birthday banner hung up!) The morning of my birthday we went to Eva's house and taught her some commandments, she's getting baptized next week!  We're all so excited!!! That night we bought bikes for the new missionaries, and my cute missionary roommates made me a cute picture book!  Also the whole zone got on conference call to wish me and Sister Nagamine happy birthday. It was so nice!  20 missionaries wishing me happy birthday all at once! The next day, we all went back to Eva and Catherine's house and we had a little birthday party with good Philipino food and birthday cake :) (Catherine and Nagamine shimai share a birthday) And on Sunday, Chiba Stake President, Tabuchi kaicho, gave me and Sister Nagamine 'I am a child of God' necklaces!  It was so sweet of him, I don't even know how he knew it was our birthdays. :) haha
 
That's my week...seriously birthday all week, right?  Next birthday will be at the middle of my last transfer!  Which is so crazy!  I've been gone for 5 months already!  I hope it's going fast for you too.

Chiba!

So today will be a quick one!  I was senpai this week, senior companion, which has been really good preparation for the real deal that's bound to happen in a week. 
 
I'm almost positive I'll be training by next week....transfers are happening a week later than usual because new missionaries get extra training or something.  I'm kind of excited for the big changes!  I'm also super scared out of my mind!  But I think things will be fine. 
 
So this week we had lots of finding time, did some streeting at an international languages university where everyone's studying English and is super stoked to talk to an American!  We found a few potential investigators from that, one of which came to Relief Society, and a few more who want to do church tours before Eikaiwa tomorrow!  It was a good week for dendou!  We were so genki! and now we're super tired...
 
Today was temple pday, so we didn't get much rest, hence the shorter email.  
 
I promise everything's going great here in Chiba!  We have faith that we can see so many miracles and so many baptisms!  Japan's time is NOW! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I wore rain pants today.

Last Pday I went to my first Japanese festival!  It was at a Buddhist temple, and everyone's just walking around eating food. I wore a Japanese yukata, I'll send pictures later. 
Found a few potential investigators and one new investigator, Chihiro...who now has a baptismal date, but since we set that date we haven't been able to contact her.  We taught Diana, who's Chinese, after Eikaiwa and commited her to be baptized as well.  She's unsure at this point.  But we're working on her. :)

Eva is so ready to be baptized!  Eva is Ramos shimai's mom, she didn't want to take missionary lessons at all when we met her, but we decided we would just TEACH and invite the spirit, and that will change her heart....and it did!  She's getting baptized August 25th, maybe earlier :) We also have a baptism set for August 18th with Sekihara san's son, who's joined in on that last two of her lessons.  He was being taught by other missionaries, they called us yesterday and said he told them he has decided he will be baptized in Chiba ward on August 18th. We didn't set the date with him, but if he wants it then he can definitely have it. 
We've also recently started teaching the Yoshida family!  They're so great!  I'm excited for their growth as a family. :) (mom, dad, two little girls)
Today was "zone pday"  this morning.  We had a skills challenge and a water balloon fight. I thought it would start my day of great and my day would just stay great...and it was great til about 5 oclock when I didn't have a specific plan for the day.  I guess plans are important.  We had a lesson with a new investigator Shimizu san, 58-super nice.  She's protestant and was so excited and interested in the fact that this is Christ's "restored" church.  She has always thought about restoration and I feel like she's excited to keep studying with us. :)
Buhbyeeee,
Love,
Sister Bagley

Atsui desu ne? (It's hot, isn't it?)

This week was TOTEMO ATSUI!  Japanese summer is soooo hot!  It's probably really similar to home actually, I just never had to be outside in it for long periods of time without a swimming pool.  So we're using it as a good excuse to start a conversation with someone.  "Atsui desu ne?" Get's em everytime.  ;)
This past week felt really long looking back on it.  We had training at the mission home on Tuesday where I saw mostly everyone from my MTC district. Of course, it's always fun to see my mission buddies. :) Then once we got back to Inage we had a lesson with Sekihara, our self referral.  She's able to meet twice a week and has a baptismal date set up for August 11th!  We just need to make sure she keeps her commitments and reads and prays about the Book of Mormon so she'll be ready by that date. It's so exciting setting baptismal dates! 

Thursday I went on splits AGAIN....but this time I was the OLD missionary. Me and Sister Brumley (1st transfer missionary) set out to teach all of Chiba the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It was such an amazing day for both of us! I think we learned so much because we were on our own and didn't have our trainers to help us out and be our crutch.  Sister Brumley and I taught an introduction lesson for a member referral, Yoshida san.  Our lesson was at a member's home, which made it a little easier, but we were able to set up another time to meet with her and she said she would come to church! Which she did come to church with her whole family! But it was seriously a miracle day.  We were all over the place on trains, had the wrong address, met a new gothic friend, invited a Muslim to church etc etc and now Sister Brumley and I just can't wait til we're companions in real life!
Chiba Stake has so much dendou fire right now!  Their goal is to have a temple in Chiba in 10 years! I love this soooo much! I know it's possible!  I'm excited to help start it off!  Saturday, Chiba Stake had a Stake Missionary Meeting where President Budge came and spoke about the vision of Chiba! I couldn't understand a lot of it, but I can feel how much the member's are wanting to do missionary work, and it's exciting! 
Also on Saturay we went out into the country to visit Ramos Shimai and her mom, Eva.  We taught Lesson one: the Restoration.  And commited Eva to be baptized...she said yes!  We haven't set a date with her yet, but she said that she thinks that Joseph Smith's experience was real and was so excited to get a Tagalog Book of Mormon :) 
Sunday we had dinner at the Stake President's home with Ramos Shimai, Eva Shimai, and Sekihara san.  Eva was telling the Stake President that she really wants to go to church in Narita ward (the area we were in Sunday) and he said that she could come if she got baptized. She responded so quick, it was surprising!  But she said she'd get baptized, and was being completely real about it.  She's an amazing woman, we haven't set a date with her yet, but are trying to see if it's possible for her to attend that ward.  I'm sure either way she'll be dressed in white sometime in August. 
Our goal is to have a baptism every week, and I'm thinking it's possible! I have faith! 
Glad everything at home is great, I pray for you every day!  I love you all sooooo much!!!!!
Love, Sister Bagley 





Watashi wa shukufuku sarete imasu!!!

:) Chiba's amazing. Amen.  Hontonni, The area is just jam packed full of people waiting to hear to the gospel. I can feel the miracles!  Chiba ward has such dendou fire, I'm so stoked to start working more with them.
This week was so goooood and it ended the best way possible! With a baptism! :) During the week Ramos 姉妹 had her last lesson as an investigator of the gospel and we made takoyaki!  Tako: octopus yaki: flour, eggs, pickled ginger, and cabbage in little balls!  I have pictures, it was so good!  But anyway Ramos 姉妹 is soooo cute!  She already has big plans to convert her mom and her sister and help us teach lessons. She's so pumped to dendou with us.

Also this week I was area senpai two times!  One time Sister Jack came to Chiba while Sister Nagamine was at leadership training and we taught a lesson to Mei chan, our progressing investigator.  Our member joint was Sister Kinoshita, the Chiba ward Relief Society President.  She's a miracle worker, that woman has such a strong testimony.  The lesson went so well!  We committed Mei chan to be baptized and she said if she feels it, yes!  Now we just need to set a date and :) :) BINGO! The next day I went on splits with Taneda Shimai, who barely speaks any English. Which I guess should be normal since I'm in Japan and everything.  But it was a hard day.  It was a white day, so we didn't have any lessons to teach or plan for. So the whole day was finding time.  We found a couple potential investigators and some people who said they'd come to Eikaiwa. One 18 or so Japanese girl with her mom started waving at me because she thought I was so cute and said she'd come to Eikaiwa!  Yay gaijin powah! We worked diligently all day and felt like our hard work didn't result in much, then the chorotachi called and said they have THREE referrals for us, three Africa-jin!  We're teaching them today, they speak English...so I'm leading the lesson.  BUT SERIOUSLY, what a blessing!  I'm so excited!  African-jin are such kin-jin (golden investigators)!

We have three new investigators this week, and will have three more by the end of today!  It feels so gooooood.  Two were potential investigators last week, but we've contacted them again and they're interested enough to have us come back :) One of them is Kikue san, who comes from a long line of home-ec teachers, she's 85 and she makes kimonos and is going to let me try one sometime!  :) YESSS! She's adorable, she's like 4'9" ish...tiny. One other referral was a self referral...her son took discussions a few years ago and she remembered recently and decided to show up at church, she also was able to come to the baptism, which went soooooo well! 

I had my first baptism!  Being in Japan DOES NOT mean that I'm not going to see any baptisms. Japan is golden and ready to be harvested!  Sister Ramos has an amazing testimony and I'm so glad I could be a part of her conversion.  The spirit was so strong at her baptism, and so many members came!  Which was so great, we need to get them pumped for doing missionary work :) Chiba hasn't had any baptisms in a year, so this is a really great start!  Takusan Baputesumakai ga aru koto ga dekimasu!  Iki masho! :)


Hope you're all Genki!  I love you all sooo much! :)
 
Ai shiteru yo!!
Love, Sister Bagley

ChChChiba!

So right now we have two investigators, and one is getting baptized on Sunday!  Ja...we need to find people to teach!  We were planning on going to the zoo today with some other sisters in the mission, but it was pouring rain half the day (good rain!) so Sister Nagamine and I decided to do our original relax P-day (once again).  I haven't been keeping up with my "one photo a day" goal.  Oops! 

We met an obachan (grandma) after our mitsuketaikai (hand out flyers to find new investigators meeting) who invited us over to her house for breakfast! It was a real treat, Japanese breakfast isn't your normal breakfast. We had marinated vegetables and cookies. Right now she's just a potential investigator. 

Chiba ward is SO GREAT, about half the members seem to speak English, and everyone's so patient and kind! And I'm beginning to learn exactly HOW small the world is.  There are two families in Chiba ward that lived in Michigan for a couple years!  One of those families was in the Ann Arbor 1st ward about 8 months ago.  Say whaaa???  Anyway, the ward is so excited to have sister missionaries again (there's one companionship of elders already in the ward) and we're gonna start it off right with their first convert baptism in 8 months. :)
 
I love you all soooo much!!!!!







Transfers!

I got transferred to Chiba Ward, my companion is Sister Nagamine from Okinawa (I keep getting Okinawajin and it's great! My Japanese is going to be so Nihonjin-poi!) and we're white washing the area!!! So I got here on Monday, and we didn't have a phone or computer so we were roughin' it big time!  We already have an investigator, and she's getting baptized on the 7th!  Her name's Catherine and she's a referral from the Filipines. We taught her yesterday about living prophets and the ten commandments, she's so excited to be baptized!  I'm excited to have a baptism :)  We also met a girl on the train who we're going to try to have dinner with, hoping to have another investigator soon.  Since we're white-washing the area we need to do a lot of finding.  Luckily this is my companion's fourth white area.  So I'm in good hands. 


My last week in Abiko was really great, we found 7 new investigators!  From Eikaiwa and referrals.  The Abiko sisters are going to have a lot of teaching and I've learned a lot about finding investigators this past week, which is great.  I needed to see some finding miracles to know that I can open up a new area and be a successful missionary!  
I still need to move in my things, we've been cleaning all day...our apartment's full of old sister missionary junk.  It's super fun going through it all.  (I actually do kind of enjoy it.) I want to make my apartment so cute! It has so much potential! 



Last Post Of Transfer ONE!

Well I'm growing up, I'm almost a transfer two missionary!!!

Wednesday mornings we do a district Kubari, so we all get together at the Kashiwa train station/shopping center and hand out Eikaiwa flyers.  I met a girl named Mari, a Jehovah's Witness, and she was soooo sweet.  She even gave me candy AND her email address!!!  So we're going to keep in touch, and maybe teach a Jdub! :) 

At Eikaiwa there's a student who has a really big crush on me, and he says he loves me and runs away almost every week.  I usually just smile and ignore the fact he's saying anything. But this past week he just came up and tried to hug me out of nowhere!  I panicked! I didn't realize that in such a short time a hug from a male would be so scary! (he's like 20...by the way) Here's to hoping I won't be completely socially awkward when I come home.

Also I had cold-stone ice cream and a turkey sandwich on wheat bread.  I felt SO at home, it was great.  They don't sell turkey here at all...so I haven't been able to get my daily sandwich fix in for a while.

So here's something interesting about Japan:  We had zone meeting in Matsudo on thursday (about half an hour by train) and as we're stopped and people are getting on the train this punk guy gets on and accidentally gets his foot caught in some nerdy guy's bag and he starts kicking it around like a punk.  (you know the type).  Anyway the punk sits down next to the other man and the other man says something to him under his breath (probably like, what a jerk thanks for kicking my bag around the train...atually we're in Japan, so he probably apologized) I was nervous that the punk was gonna start chewing the nerdy guy out or something because the punk bumps his shoulder like "excuse me, what did you just say"! But then they're all the sudden friends and the punk is slapping the nerd's knee and sharing his mints.  Even when the punk's getting off, he pretty much trips out of the train because he's waving goodbye to his new pal. I was so confused. I wish I could have recorded it, it was so interesting.  Japan has no garbage, and no violence, and everyone's so friendly!  At least that's what it seems like! 

I did however get my helmet STOLEN yesterday, so Japan's not perfect I guess. 

Today I spent the morning in Tokyo and got to do a temple session. :) It was great, but sad because that was our LAST temple day as a mission before the split so we got a picture of the whole Tokyo Mission!