Saturday, December 28, 2013

White Christmas!

We are finally getting snow here. Well it is more like hail. It comes down in these small white balls and sometimes they can be pretty big. I am glad that we wear helmets! It definitely slows us down on the bikes, but we are going to ride until we can't anymore. Apparently it is much much worse here in February! That is after the next transfer, so I don't know if I will still be here then, but at least for the next 3 weeks I will be bundling up good!
I got a great thing that doesn't have an equivalent in the US, as far as I know. It is a Coat Skirt. It is thick like a coat, but shaped like a skirt and you wear it over your skirt to keep you warm while biking! It is great! 
I sang "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" at church last Sunday. It was special. I did not do as good as I have in the past, I am really out of practice, but an Elder on the violin made it sound good!
All 9 missionaries serving in Niigata branch spent Christmas Eve with the Oseki family along with some friends of theirs. They are so good to us! 
Oseki family with friends and missionaries

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Merry Christmas!

We just watched the First Presidency Christmas devotional yesterday! So good. I loved it. 
The members here are treating us so kind. They are the best!
The members filled a big box for each set of missionaries.
Tortilla chips and salsa from Costco and all kinds of wonderful things!
We had a special event at the church with music. It was nice. 

The branch members and missionaries sang at a nursing home.
Something great that President Budge introduced to us is a consecration box. It can help us put away things that we don't need on the mission. I started it on paper, but I kind of want to make one physically so I can put things down on paper and in the box and not see them again. Really give up my distractions. It is a great way to think about repentance. It could be adapted to many different circumstances, not just missions.
I love my mission. I cant say I love every minute of it, but I love being a missionary. I was born for this. I love this tag I get to wear over my heart! 
A special happy birthday to my dear sister Chloe on the 19th!
Gambatte imasu!
Orton Shimai
Kamito tomoni ne!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Satoh sensei

I experienced 2 distinct miracles this week. 
One of them is Satoh sensei. 
She was my brother's elementary school teacher for 2 years when we lived in Yokohama. She was a close family friend. We had a special relationship with her. She investigated the church while we lived there, receiving lessons from Sister Missionaries in our home. She did not get baptized though. We moved back to the States and lost contact. Fast forward 8 years and I got my call to the Japan Tokyo Mission. We as a family started to think about and pray about those people that we still knew in that area that maybe would be ready to learn more about the gospel. Satoh sensei came to mind. I went to the MTC and left it early because I already spoke Japanese. That put me on a plane to Japan with Sister Miyagi. At the same time Satoh sensei found out that a janitor at the school she teaches at is a member of the church. She talked to her about it and asked her to invite her to something because she wanted to attend and participate. Satoh sensei attended the Tokyo 2nd ward Christmas party. She talked about this family she knew, loved and missed called the Ortons. Sister Miyagi was the missionary to hear this and remembered my name. I received a wonderful phone call that evening. Satoh sensei wants to take lessons from the missionaries. I plan on emailing her tomorrow, reestablishing contact and testifying of the truthfulness of this Gospel. I love her so much. I can not put it in words. I came to the Japan Tokyo Mission thinking that I might get the chance to finish the work my father started. Now I get to finish work my mother started by being a special friend to Satoh sensei. 
What a marvelous work and a wonder. 
How humbled, honored and privileged I feel to be called to participate in so great a cause!

Dinner with the Oseki family. Yum!

Saturday, December 7, 2013


Crane shimai and Orton shimai outside the church building
the writing says "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints"
I had a wonderful Thanksgiving! 
We received a package from Crane shimais mom that had packets to make lots of food. It basically had everything but the turkey. We had karaage (like chicken nuggets) instead. haha. We got to eat mashed potatoes with stuffing and gravy. There were cans for green bean casserole and pumpkin. 
I was so proud to have been able to make a pie crust with margarine, flower, salt and water. I had to roll out the dough on the table with a bottle that we had in the apartment. Quite difficult and makeshift, but it was a decent pumpkin pie! So delicious. We made 2 small ones (we had pie tins in the apartment!) so we shared with the Elders. It was a Thanksgiving miracle. 
We made all our prayers that day only in thanks.  That was a special way to celebrate the holiday. We told everyone we knew that it was a day of thanks in America so we wanted to express our thanks to them. Everyone was interested to hear about America and it felt good to focus on thanking and praising people all day. 
An investigator taught us that kanshashite imasu (thank you) means a lot more than arigatou gozaimasu (thank you). Like I appreciate you or I am thankful for you verses thanks or even thank you. We taught the investigator that she can show her love to God by giving grateful prayers and by offering her heart to him.