Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Aug 3, 2016 "Sunshiny Week(s)"

Hello world! It's been a while. Our P-day switched from Thursday to Tuesday, so that's why I disappeared last week. My new companion is Sister Newlin from North Carolina. She is tiny and fast. Like a mouse. And she is adorable. She speed walks like there's no tomorrow. Taking Mandarin Motorcoaches (Temple Square slang for big group tours with tour companies) with her is a blast. Sister Newlin's first companion was a Spanish speaker, so the kinds of tours and lessons they had were completely different, but Sister Newlin has learned quick! Even though she can't speak Mandarin, we teach together and with wonderful balance. :) 

Having a good companion really pays. Even though we were a little lost in the beginning, we learned quickly how to work together and now it feels like most of the tours we give, our guests are happy, and they leave with a clear understanding of what Temple Square is, what our church is, and what we believe. Even though there are no missionaries in Mainland China, at the end of our tour so many of them want to learn more, and they say to us, "We have been looking for religion and I want to read this Book of Mormon." 

Many people call us the seed planting mission, since we never again see many of the people we meet and teach on Temple Square. But I feel like all of these wonderful people we meet already have seeds of faith. They've already come a long ways! I would even say that they have sprouted and started budding and we're just the little bit of sunshine and water to help them bloom in their understanding of exactly who God is. It's wonderful to be able to serve in such a way. It's exciting and I never want to do anything else. (The other day somebody on the square said to me "wow, you only have like half a year left! You're almost done!" and I almost slapped him)

The Pioneer Day Parade last week

Japanese motorcoach tour of a bunch of kids

Elder Bradshaw, the greatest fleet coordinator that ever lived

New companion

Provo friends from my time there as a civilian, and as a missionary 

funniest shirt in the entire world 

July 22 "R.I.P."

Sorry this week I did not plan my time wisely so I do not have time to write you about all the cool things but here are some pictures: 



My companions making food from their own countries: 

Sister Menzie made vegemite rolls

Sister Dechesne making quiche 

and a goodbye luncheon for Sister Menzie 

July 15 "Trunkytown"

There is a theater in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building on Temple Square called the Legacy Theater, where they usually show Meet the Mormons. The past two weeks the theater was closed for renovations, so that part of the building has been really nice and quiet. The foyer outside of the theater has become our favorite study spot, because it's got really nice carpet, fancy stuffed couches, and some nice sunlight. On Friday we went to our study spot to find this: 

Those who are perceptive, or are missionaries who have been watching Meet the Mormons for nightly or P-day entertainment will notice that there are there are 3 EXTRA PEOPLE ON THE POSTER FROM THE REGULAR MEET THE MORMONS. 

On Sunday they announced, "surprise, they have created three new Meet the Mormon stories and we are releasing it in the Legacy Theater this weekend so you missionaries get to preview it with a Q&A session with the cast and director" 


So we went, and watched, and cried. And guess where I cried the hardest: 

Bishop Cardullo of the Provo YSA 97th ward was "friend of Giovanna" and had a lot of screen time and I almost had a heart attack because he is the greatest bishop in the entire world and I almost got trunky. He was the man who signed my mission papers!

The other new story is about Bless 4, a Japanese pop group, so I cried some more. 

And this is our zone with the cast! I was breathing the same air as Jenna Kim Jones (one step closer to being friends with Tina Fey) and Bless 4, and a horse whisperer (that's the other story) 

It's so neat to see how the Gospel of Jesus Christ literally applies to every single person in this entire world. Japanese pop stars, Italians, horse whisperers, comedians... Literally we can all find true peace in this Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is Jesus Christ's true and restored church. 

Another thing that happened this week: Sister Dechesne's body kind of started malfunctioning and so we weren't able to go out and take tours with her all the time, which was sad for everyone. But, we had many wheelchair races and had some fun. Yesterday and today she was able to walk and once we were together again, I could really feel the difference and the power. Since we're in a trio, we could still go out and take tours with just Sister Menzie and I, but really, there is a power in teaching with our companions, together.


Cool tours 

Japanese meeting! THERE ARE SEVEN OF US NOW! 🗾

I made dumplings, and Sister Ueno made applie pie dumplings 😄

We matched on accident 


The old Utah railroad station 

July 8th "The Struggle is Real "

I promise that there have been good spiritual experiences and awesome bombtastic tours, but here are the most memorable happenings from this week: 

1. Saturday morning it was our turn to take the hourly Spanish tour, and we were waiting by the flagpole for people to gather. While we were waiting, we saw this man talking to the English tour sisters, Sister Tekurio from Tahiti, and Sister Pech from Mexico, just a few feet away. As we kept watching, we saw him walk over to one of the flower planters of Temple Square, walk back to Sister Pech, and put the flower in her hair. He started shouting, "WOW, SHE LOOKS BEAUTIFUL!" He turned to us, and said, "THE OTHER HAWAIIAN SISTER HAD A FLOWER IN HER HAIR SO THE MEXICAN ONE NEEDED ONE TOO!" And then he stumbled away. Sister Pech did look beautiful. There is nothing like starting your morning with a drunken man decorating your hair. 

2. We were taking a tour of about 30 English speakers. We escorted them to the Family History Library, where the Elders there taught these guests how to find relatives and do family history. In the short one hour seminar, I saw these guests' faces light up and get so excited as they found parts of their family that they never even knew existed. Hooray for family history work. It's magical. 

3. Last night at 9 pm we came home to a flooded apartment. One of the pipes in the bathroom was broken and leaked all over the hallway carpet. It basically turned into a swamp. We called someone to fix it and they had to come at 11pm at night. Hooray for adventures. Now our carpet is all torn up, because they had to clean under it, and there are 6 industrial fans whirring in our apartment. 

This week I have learned a lot about being bold with guests. A lot of times, they reject you and your heart hurts because you know that if they continued to learn about Christ's restored gospel would fix their lives and their families, and you can see it in their eyes that they know it too... but for some reason or other, they say no. AND IT HURTS. And sometimes you want to stop and just be the nice non-overbearing tour guide friend. But as I have worked on being bold and inviting them to act, I have seen them feel the spirit even more. It's neat. 

Sister Takeshige 

I told this guy, "I love your shirt!" and he said, "I don't know what it says"

Peace Park for P-day :) 

Sighted: North Korea at the Peace Park 

Decked with freedom 

Matching with the gardens at Temple Square