Monday, January 27, 2014

January 27, 2014


It has been another super busy week and I am just grateful.  It is coming towards the end of the transfer and me and Sister Silva only have two weeks left together. I am living up every moment I have with her.  I sure am going to miss her.  I have learned so much with her! Yesterday, we had the opportunity to see 野村兄弟 Brother Nomura baptized.  It was crazy because it was only his second time coming to church and after the meeting he was baptized.  This last week, we have been going to their house a lot so that we could prepare him and help him to understand the gospel.  He had known absolutely nothing about the church or Jesus Christ a little over a week ago and now he has a strong desire to live the commandments and to follow Jesus Christ.  Initially, we had planned for next week, but the family really wanted him to be baptized yesterday, so the bishop and Presdient Yamashita 山下 okayed it.  I had the opportunity to speak at his baptism and the whole ward was there.  He is so happy to be together with his family and to be pure and clean.  He couldn`t stop smiling yesterday.  I think one of the coolest moments in my life happened last Saturday when we had finished all of the lessons for 野村兄弟 Brother Nomura's baptism and he was just ready to be baptized.  So I said that in a year from now you can be sealed together as a family for eternity!!! The Spirit was so strong and we all felt it.  野村姉妹 Sister Nomura was so happy and she was honestly crying the entire baptism.  What a cool blessing for this family! He has such a strong desire to bless his family and I was so grateful to see the change that happened in his heart.  It sure strengthened my testimony.  Sister 野村 Sister Nomura is on fire and she is introducing us to so many friends and neighbors who might have an interest in the church. I love her soooooo much. I had the opportunity to speak during his baptism and I used the visual that Nana always did for our baptisms. 

It is amazing to see the way the gospel changes us.  One of the people we are teaching has such a strong desire to feel the peace and happiness that comes through baptism and the gospel. We had a fast for her and called to see if she was able to receive an answer about what she needed to do so she could be baptized.  She said that she hadn`t, but she felt peace and she was reading in the Book of Mormon earlier so that she could find an answer. How cool is that?!?!  She is trying hard and we know that as she recognizes and feel`s God`s love for her she will be able to change. Goll, I love her so much.

Last week I got a gnarly case of food poisoning. (or maybe it was the flu? I have no idea) I was seriously sooooo sick. I think I may have an allergy to nutmeg? (I got it at about 1 o clock in the morning the night after eating this curry rice with nutmeg in it) Anyway, I was in the bathroom all night and morning. It was coming out any possible way and it was sooooo painful. Sorry I realize it is maybe too much info, but I really need you to sympathize with me.

Well, I am so grateful for my Savior and the REAL and LASTING happiness that comes from the gospel! The church is true!


クロフツ姉妹より Sister Crofts

Nomura Kyoudai was baptized yesterday. What a Miracle!
I love my companion
Suzuki San and her family
Mochi Party as a ward
Kamiya san

Companionship goals;)
Yakiniku with Mayumi and Malom:)

Brother Nomura and Kenchan:)

Monday, January 20, 2014

January 20, 2014


So last week started amazing and ended even better. Last Monday, we went streeting with one of the ladies in our ward who was a returned missionary.  It was honestly so much fun.  We talked to so many people and we found several people who might have an interest in learning about the gospel.  She was absolutely hilarious and we learned a lot from her.

With sho gatsu coming to an end, our stomachs are starting to be normal again. However it is kind of funny because last week I guess I was sleep talking in Japanese about the foods I don’t like and can`t eat.  Hahaha

Last Wednesday, we went an hour and a half out by bike to a place we never had been and I totally found it!  I used the maps (yes please believe it dad) and I was able to lead and get us there.  We said a prayer right before we left and I felt the Spirit so strong and just knew how to get there.  It was so awesome and there are so many unseen gifts that you receive as a missionary.

Basically, every day is a test of faith. Every day, I wake up and  I say that I will do my best and give my heart to the Lord even if that means that I won`t find anybody who is interested in the gospel.   98% percent of the people we talk to every day have absolutely no interest in Christian religion, and that can be discouraging sometimes.  I am also trying so hard to learn Japanese, but it comes so slowly.  However,  I know the gospel is true and I know that each of these people need it. It is the most humbling experience and I am really learning that patience and trust in the Lord and His promised blessings does bring miracles. Every day, I pray that I can help God to see miracles.  Even if it just something as simple as telling someone that they are a child of God for the first time.  As I have been praying for miracles, something really beautiful happened. There is a woman in our ward who we have a really good relationship with.  We serve her, we love her and she knows that.  She brought her husband to church for the first time yesterday and he felt complete joy, overwhelming peace and wanted to be baptized NEXT WEEK. (He needs to come to church a few times first and then he can be baptized!)  Everyone was so excited and honestly couldn`t believe it.  She came up to me and said "Sister Crofts! Sister Crofts! I want you to teach my husband." Wow, I was so grateful. I couldn`t believe how much God blessed me and this family. Right after church we went to teach him. We tried to understand what he knew and he honestly knew nothing about God, Jesus, or the Book of Mormon. He said that he doesn't know anything, but the feeling he felt during church was so real and full that he knew this is what he needed.. He was so prepared and ready to accept the gospel.  Ahh.  Sister Nomura knows that I don`t speak perfect Japanese, but she didn`t care.  She knows that I love her, that I am doing my best, and I have the faith to help her husband and that is all that matters.  It really was an incredible miracle and I was so lucky to have that experience. We began teaching him yesterday right after church and he was just so humble, so eager to learn and understand the gospel, and so at peace. This gospel really is happiness.

Well, it`s been a good week!  This is short, but so much happened last week I can`t even make a dent on it. I love you!

Sister Crofts

Missionary work is work!
Temple in Anjo with the Tsuklyamas
Cutest family. Monica has great faith
First strawberry in a long time
Two of our cute friends from Vietnam
Fun FHE for Sho Gatsu with the Yoshidas. They play a game where they put a TON of wasabi in one of the sushi. I was the lucky sucker who ate it. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

January 13, 2014

Good morning from the land of the rising sun!

It has been a killer week and all I can say is how grateful I am for the gospel.  It was pouring rain last Wednesday and we had our plan to just ganbaru through the rain and visit a bunch of people who haven`t been coming to church. Around 10, we got a call from one of the girls in our ward who is less active, but was super sick. Her mom begged us to come over and to help and genkify her. So when we showed up she looked SO sick. She had had some form of terrible skin allergic reaction, had a fever, was just awful, but she couldn`t stop smiling because we were there. We sat down and had a fun time talking with her and her mom. We started to talk about New Year’s resolutions and how the Savior can help us change who we are. She talked about how she has made a lot of mistakes and needs to change.  How she is going to stop drinking tea this year and follow the word of wisdom.  She is going to try to come to church on a regular basis (even though her job makes her work late and she is super tired). It was absolutely incredible because she was in the complete depths of humility and just pleading to the Savior, in His grace and mercy, to help her change who she has become. Her and her mom told us how much their life has changed since we started visiting their family. They are becoming new people and they feel so much happier. They are being strengthened as a family, talking to each other, and have so much love for the gospel. It has been absolutely incredible to see the change of heart they have had and how much God is blessing them for their desires to live the gospel. The gospel truly does strengthen families our families by providing us with hope and the love of God.

I don`t think it will ever get old to teach people who don`t know about Jesus Christ just who He is. Even though it is hard and it takes more time, the Savior loves them infinitely and they can FEEL that. I feel like I really am understanding how deeply I need to know that Jesus Christ can help and that they WILL be able to feel it despite their culture and beliefs. As we teach some people who are Buddhist or don`t believe in God or the Savior, they recognize His love and their hearts change. I honestly see their countenance change as they begin to understand His life and what He did for them.

No crazy experiences this week, just lots of miracles and experiences that make me so grateful to be exactly where I am! The church is true. Have a killer week!

Sister Crofts
Cute fortunes Sister Kawai got for us:) 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

January 6, 2014

あけましておめでとうございます! HAPPYNEWYEAR.

I can`t wait to start a new year and I can also say that I am so excited Sho Gatsu has come to an end! It has been super fun and I am so grateful for the members and all the people in this area. This last week, we have eaten at a member’s house for lunch and dinner... EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Each of these members fed us insanely huge meals and honestly stuffed us to the core. It was absolutely incredible to spend time with them, get to know them better and to share some awesome spiritual messages with them. Sister Silva and I are literally in pain. Our bodies hurt. No normal human should ever have to eat that much! Fortunately we didn`t gain any weight, but we feel the burn, that is for sure. During sho gatsu,  it is completely socially unacceptable to visit people unannounced and it puts a really bad image on the church if we do so.  So the members set a schedule to feed us for lunch and dinner and help us to experience Japanese culture. We did shuji, went to some tea ceremonies at the temples and ate lots of very very very Japanese food.  I loved it! Everyone had a break from their job and was free so it was super special. These Japanese people know how to party.

 We are really looking forward to this next week of normal dendou!  This is a short e-mail, but I love you! Here is a great quote from Elder Bednar. "Sometimes we may ask God for success, and he gives us physical and mental stamina. We might plead for prosperity, and we receive enlarged perspective and increased patience, or we petition for growth and are blessed with the gift of grace. He may bestow upon us conviction and confidence as we strive to achieve worthy goals. And when we plead for relief from physical, mental, and spiritual difficulties, He may increase our resolve and resilience." AMEN. The Church is true.

Sister Crofts

Shokujikai with one of my favorite families
Learning to write kanji for sho gatsu holiday

We got Hayase Kyoudai to laugh so hard. 

Unagi(eel) with the Matsuhisas.
A Japanese movie star some members think I look like. 

Teaching Suzuki San's kids after her lesson:) 

Madoka chan and Kawai Shimai:)                                   A random girl we met on the train