Monday, August 17, 2015

I'm lovin' It

Hello everyone!

So this week was amazing. We arrived in Japan! after a thirteen and a
half hour flight. We had airport run arounds and then settled in for long
flights. Sister Wallace gave a away a Book of Mormon on the flight to
Japa. She is brave!

We have ipads here and I miss computers. So, we landed, had quick
interviews with President Wada, chatted with his wife, and took a two
hour bus ride to the mission home. I stared outside until I fell asleep
on the bus and was oblivious to passing Tokyo Disney and a famous Sun
bridge. We had dinner at the mission home after being attacked by humidity,
slept on tatami mats with bean filled pillows, and woke up at 6:00 for
radiotaiso (morning stretches in the park with the neighborhood).

During the following two days, we had several fun seminars, met our trainers,
received the iPads,and went to our apartments. The bus & subway ride to my apartment
took an hour. I got to listen to my companion trainer Sister Wilson talk to everyone on the subway.
I tried to help a little. I still had a fruit leather snack in my bag and gave it 
to a young woman we met (she was a culinary student and seemed to appreciate the 
foreign food aspect). I loved seeing Japan from windows. The humidity is like a wall. 
I'm lovin' it.

The next few days have been filled with running trips to churches in
other districts, screaming bugs, scintillating aromas on the street and people shorter than I am.
I introduced myself in Church and my turn came after a 6'3" Elder introduced himself
and they had trouble lowering the podium after they raised it as high as it went.
The ward here is very sweet and they all smiled.

We went tracting, and while tracting, I thought we should sing at the
next house, and Sister Wilson, being kind, said yes. We knocked on the
apartment door and a middle-aged man answered the door. We told him
who we were, and that we wanted to sing for him. We sang "I am a Child
of God" and when we were done, he had tears in his eyes and said our
song had touched his soul.

Church had lots of meetings, one before, one after. Don't ask me what
they were about because I don't know. Yet. Once I do, I will tell you.

Saturday was my birthday! That was when we knocked on doors. It was
also the day I rebelled against my family and celebrated at McDonald's. 
It was fattening and delicious ;)

Today we went shopping and cleaned, and we have a sushi dinner with
members, and it is all very exciting!

I love you all very much!
Sister Cottle

Friday, August 14, 2015

Arrival in first area: Sagamihara

Date: 2015-08-14
Subject: Arrival: Photos and Map

August 14, 2015

Dear Brother and Sister Cottle:
Your daughter arrived in the Japan Tokyo South Mission on Tuesday, August 11th in good spirits and ready to commence her proselyting assignment. We had a wonderful  time with her.
Sister Cottle has been assigned to work with Sister Wilson, and they are serving in the Sagamihara area. Your daughter can receive her mail at the following address (Mission Home address):
Sister Madeleine Cottle
Japan Tokyo South Mission
1-7-7 Kichijoji, Higashi-cho
Musashino-shi, Tokyo 180-0002
Attached is a picture of your daughter with Sister Wada and me, of herself, her companion, and a group picture with trainers and Assistants. We have also included a map showing the locations of the various areas in the mission. You can use it as a personal record of her assignments.
By the time you receive this letter, Sister Cottle should be adjusted to her new proselyting area. The positive sustaining support she gets from you at home will be a great blessing to her. May the Lord bless you and your family as you share in your daughter’s mission experience.
President Takashi Wada

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Safe Arrival

From: Japan Tokyo South Mission 
Date: 2015-08-11 6:47 GMT-06:00
Subject: Safe Arrival

Dear Parents,
We just want to send you a quick note to let you know that your missionary arrived safely in Japan on Tuesday, August 11, 2015.
President and Sister Wada had dinner with the missionaries, visited briefly, and then sent them to bed for a much needed rest.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, is orientation and training day. On Thursday they will meet their new companion who will be their trainer. In the afternoon they will be off to their new area to begin their missionary work. Pictures will be taken and you will receive another email with pictures attached.
Our Mission’s preparation day is on Monday. This is the day missionaries can email family and friends. When missionaries have a temple day, which is normally on a Tuesday, this becomes their preparation day. Please have your missionary let you know when temple day is so you will know of the change.
Thank you for entrusting your missionary to us in the Japan Tokyo South Mission. We so appreciate all you have done to get your missionary ready for this experience!
Sister Adamson, Secretary
Japan Tokyo South Mission

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Give me Liberty or Give me Death (because there is no in between)

From: Madeleine Cottle
Date: 2015-08-06 16:05
Subject: Give me Liberty or Give me Death (because there is no in between)

Hi Everyone! 

We leave the MTC on Monday at 7:00 a.m. The flight is 13.5 hours total. We stop in Portland for a little layover; I think we change planes there too. 

We had our last lesson with Mai (who is our morning Japanese teacher) on Wednesday. Wallace Shimai and I both cried. We taught Mai about the atonement and the resurrection. Then we thought that the "lamb" in the Japanese translation of the Doctrine and Covenants, was us, and Jesus was the shepard, however, it was really referring to the Lamb of God! Whoops. The verse meant that after death, Christ lives. However, we didn't really understand that so we were like, "yeah, we as humans live!" It was funny. In retrospect. 

On Tuesday, President Nelson came. He talked about writing Christ's name on our hearts. The second he walked into the room, everyone was silent and I am sure (I am 99.99999% positive) everyone felt the Spirit. He walked out after talking and waved, blew kisses, and bid us farewell with more waves. He is the sweetest, kindest man ever. 

On Sunday, Cheri Dew spoke to us. She talked about her experience writing songs and simply made me feel like, "Yeah! I can do this! It'll be easy!" (Actually, no it won't be easy, but I *will* be able to do it, and that is the important lesson that I need to etch into my brain when it gets hard.)

Wednesday morning, after cleaning windows, everyone leaving on Aug 10th from my branch got together with the branch president Lee Daniels for a 1.5 hour scripture study. He is so smart and we spent 1.15 hours on 10 verses. On Wednesday, at lunch, Wallace Shimai and I talked to an elderly couples mission teacher about her mission experience. She told us that North Dakota was awful until she learned to smile instead of scream. 

I cannot believe I am leaving! I can't believe I am going to wake up in Japan! Can't seem to get my mind around that!

However, I am super nervousexcited (new & useful word) and cannot wait to meet my mission president, my new companion, and everyone. For the first two days, we will be staying at the mission home for interviews, training, seminars etc. and I hope, sushi :) Our suitcases will go directly to our new apartments and for those couple of days, we will be living out of a carry-on bag. The adventure begins. 

Random side note: in geographic area, Tokyo South is the smallest Japan mission although it does not have the smallest number of missionaries. 

Thank you all so much for your love & care, for your letters, emails, and packages. I feel your love daily and I'm pretty sure your love is what keeps me going when my feet feel like they are giving out. 

I love you! Write me when you can! The mission address: 

Japan Tokyo South Mission
1-7-7 Kichijoji, Higashi-cho
Musashino-shi, Tokyo 180-0002