How many sumo wrestlers can you fit in a Prius?

The answer is two. And very snugly. I can’t tell you how much I wish I had photographic proof. And as it turns out, sumo wrestlers are now advertising big Macs. #Japan

What a week! In the sphere of weeks that flew by, this one is up there. On Tuesday we were able to go up to the temple in Tokyo! It’s a better experience every time.


The Crew, round two. Also, we made T-shirts. Quote, “Shatter Me”. #lindseystirling

I got to teach five lessons in Spanish this week, and English on English on English. Strangely enough, everyone wants to learn English.

We’re teaching lots of families right now, and it’s so interesting to see the different parenting techniques between Japanese parents, Peruvians, half and half, American Military families, and everything in between. On one hand, it’s good to see what I like and don’t like, on the other hand, it’s terrifying – nice work parents, I’m not sure if I could do what you did.

I also received a lecture on the gift giving culture in Japan, and how every gift has an expectation underlying it. So apparently there is no giving out of the kindness of one’s heart. That’s a scary thought. And it makes you think twice about what gifts you accept.

Thursday I attended the mission leadership conference, graced as always by a fantastic breakfast of French toast and berries with yogurt and granola. They spoil us. We watched part of The Mission with Robert Dinero again, and talked about new starts, redemption, and “other matters of great importance”. There was another training about helping people find joy through service and how real joy comes from fulfilling our purpose and doing the things in life we feel and know we’re supposed to do. They mentioned the difference between ‘happiness’ and ‘joy’, the latter being a much deeper and more satisfying emotion. My theory is that you can find joy during trials and the difficult times in life, but happiness is a little more shallow. I know so many days where it’s been a long, fruitless day, full of mistakes and mishaps, but I knew I was doing what I was supposed to, so while I wasn’t having ‘fun’ or feeling ‘happy’, I did feel ‘joy’. Or in other words, it felt like all the work was and would be worth it. And it has been.

In other news, I also designed and introduced a training on eliminating excuses in day-to-day life that keep you from achieving your potential, so that was interesting.


Who knows where we were looking. One of these three is not like the other…

Lastly, we had general conference!!!! I loved loved loved the address concerning the refugees in the world currently, with the question, “what if their story was my story?” And the call to action! If anyone is interested, please visit

Other headlines:


In-and-out knockoff appears across from a McDonalds. Critics say, “classic.”


Smiley Shimai


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