Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Week 70 - Senzokuike, Japan ( ^ _ ^ ) v Peace!

Well, Hello There!
It's always a happy day when I get to read your letters! So I guess the big news for this week is transfers. You'll never guess where I am! Okay, maybe you will since I think the only places in Tokyo that you know are areas that I've been, but still... Anyway to finish things off, I will be staying in good old Senzokuike! That will make a total of 7 1/2 months being here! I was really happy about that, it would've been hard to leave this area with only 6 weeks left.  My companion however did change. I'm now with Sister Edstrom. She's way cute, from Utah, and has just this awesome bubbly personality. She's on transfer 3, and transferred from Kichijoji, so we share the same first area! I can already tell this is going to be a fun and miracle filled transfer.

It's funny to think how the first half of my mission, I jumped from place to place so quickly, but I've stayed in one area for the last half of my mission (I've now seen 4 companions come and go here  ). I think there is definitely things I needed to learn from all the moving around. Hopefully I learned everything I was supposed to.
I hope you all have a great week!

Love you lots!
Sister Erin Benne

P.S. Today is my half-birthday! It's a good day! hehe  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Week 69 - Senzokuike, Japan \ ( ' --' ) /

Hello Family!
So the subject line, I'll quickly explain. It's a Japanese emoticon (?), they're a little different than American ones, but can you see it? It's a face with arms stretched up like saying Hello! or ready to take Christ's outstretched arms of mercy, which ever way you look at it. Hehe...!
Well, this week it snowed for the first time this winter! Brrr! It didn't stick, but well, it still wasn't the funnest to ride my bike in. I love snow, however, so I happily danced around when I saw the flakes falling. It was definitely worth the frozen face. I have come to really love those moments where I could be bitterly miserable due to the cold, rain, or other circumstances and yet choose to laugh and be happy. There comes great power in how we react to our surroundings and the choices we make when not neccessarily the most comfortable thing or our personal preference happens. We, ourselves choose our attitude. We choose whether we want to make the best of our situation and continue pushing on with a positive attitude or if we want to grudgingly finish our task. Today, we were out about 30 minutes by bike from our apartment when it started raining. Neither Sister Barbour or I had our rain gear, but we needed to get back home and the only sensible way was on our bikes through the rain in the cold. When we got to our apartment all I could do is laugh with amusement as I rung my skirt out and peeled off layers of tights, socks, etc. I think back to a year ago and wonder would I have found it as amusing, or more miserable. One thing I love about what my mission has taught me is how to laugh at the difficult things that you can't change. There is no point in being unhappy about something that you have no control over. I hope I can continue to remember that even after I come home from my mission.
This weekend is transfer calls. Next week starts my last transfer. It's a scary thought. It all goes by so fast, everybody said it, but I never believed it.
I love you all!
Hope you have a good week!
Sister Erin Benne

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Week 68 - Senzokuike, Japan

Hello Family!
So I'm coming to you a little later than usual...that's because today we went to the temple. We're allowed to go to the temple once a transfer, and well, since the temple is closed on Mondays, when we do go, we switch our P-days to tuesday. Despite it being p-day, it's been a really busy day! Running from here to there, but that's okay, we're settled down now for about an hour or two!

Things have been going well here in Senzokuike. Lately we've really been struggling to find investigators, all of our previous investigators seemed to disappear during Christmas and New Years, which has been hard, but it seems that things are picking back up now. We've been able to find a few new people that I think have quite a bit of potential.

We have a conference this week with President Stevenson, the area authority here in Japan, on Thursday. It's going to be good, and we're all excited!

That's about all I can think of to say right now!
I love you all! Hope you have a good week!
Sister Erin Benne

Monday, January 9, 2012

Week 67 - Senzokuike, Japan

Hello Family!
Good to hear from you this week!  It's funny, while I know time is passing here, I forget that other people's lives continue on. I'm realizing that slowly; so much has changed, but that is okay, because in order for us to grow, things have to change...so it just means all of you have grown and learned so much!
Today, we had a ward activity where we made mochi. Mochi is a traditional Japanese food really only eaten around New Year's. Basically it is pounded up rice; gooey, and good. I think I sent some pictures last year of me in Kichijoji making mochi. It's fun, Jon, I feel you would be very good at it. It takes a lot of strength, and you can buy mochi at the store, so people don't make it too often on their own anymore.
By the way Jon, one of the members here, I guess found me on facebook and was looking at your pictures and he came up to me and he was like, "Sister Benne, your brother is cool!" haha it was really funny, especially since I didn't know he even knew I had a brother! I can't believe you'll be graduating in April, what kind of planes are you up to flying now? Will you do any commercial size planes before you graduate?
Anyway, I don't really have much else to say... but thank you for all the support you give me! I love you all so much!
Sister Erin Benne

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Week 66 - Senzokuike, Japan

Hello Wonderful Family!
あけましておめでとうございます(akemashite omedetou gozaimasu!)!or HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Can you believe it is already 2012? I can't, that just seems too crazy! Has everybody made their goals for the New Year? If I wasn't a goal-maker before the mission, I definitely am now. It's amazing how much more can be accomplished when we have goals and are really working to achieve them.
It seems strange to me that I was just talking to you a week ago, it feels like so much longer than that. How was everyone's New Year's? Is everyone now back in their respective cities?
New Year's in Japan is 10million times bigger than Christmas. Really it's like our Christmas is their New Year's, and our New Year's is like their Christmas. But it's fun. During New Year's every family has a big meal just full of traditional Japanese food. I love Japanese food, but will admit this is not my favorite meal of the year, as it is for most. Maybe a little too traditional for me, but it is still really good. Mainly I just love being able to spend time with the families in our ward, sharing in all their joy and excitement for the New Year's celebrations. Thinking back on last year New Year's, I have to laugh at how little I knew what was going on. Thank goodness we as human beings can progress, learn, and grow!
Anyway, I hope all is going well!
Love you!
Sister Erin Benne