Monday, October 28, 2013

3 Earthquakes

Hi Mama! I love you so so much! I got the world:s best letter in the mail this week. And you know who it was from? ....MY MOM!!!!! I LOVE you!

Thank you for sending Brother Chasedunns address. Brother Browne was so excited when I gave it to him.
My gear is working out great. I love my shoulder bag. Its been a little rainy lately, but the rain in Japan is different than the rain in Utah. Usually its like these tiny little drops, so its more like a mist. But sometimes its real rain too. Yes we bike in the rain, someone at the MTC said that there is no such thing as bad weather when you are a missionary!

Yes I get Micail and Amelias emails. We just have a cell phone, no Ipad or other gadgets. My mission president is just the most wonderful man alive. I love him and sister Rasmussen so much! To describe them I would say they are the epidomy of happy, calm love. My district leader is Ito Choro and he is so genki! My favorite day of the week is Wednesday, when I get a letter from my MOM!!! And Sunday, when I get to take the Sacrament. And P-day of course! We live in an apartment. 
Last night we got a call from President Rasmussen. Its the end of my first transfer (6 weeks) in Japan, whoa, can you believe that? Anyways, he called and said that my companion Kubota Shimai is the new sister training leader and that Sakuma Shimai is getting a new companion, so we won:t be a threesome anymore.
This week we had 3 earthquakes. I don:t think I:ve really felt a real earthquake before coming here. The first one was during companion study one morning, first we heard it and then felt it. The second and third ones were during the night. I only felt the 1st one during the night and slept through the second one. You just kind of feel like you are on a tube floatin down some little rapids, really. So, so far, nothing too crazy, so don:t worry!
The missionary work, is a little slow going, as far as teaching goes. We have 5 investigators, but only we are really only able to meet with 2 of them right now. We also visit members and less actives, old investigators, and go tracting, and invite people to English class. 

In hyde park we have the blessing that literally most of our neighbors are our ward family, but here in Japan, its not really like that. Our ward is so spread out. Us missionaries will bike for a good long while just to go visit a few people. But thats why we:re here. I really think Heavenly Father, through my companions and through calling me to Japan, is trying to teach me to care about "the one."

I:m so happy you are getting all better from your surgery and back injury. How is that all going? I:ve been praying for you!
I love you Mom! Keep trusting in Heavenly Father. 

Thank you for telling me the little details about Bella and Jan and picking apples and our wonderful life! When you said that Jan had a refinished lamp from Donna Lou, it just made me smile and my soul was so happy about that! I love our little Mayberry town. I miss it, sometimes being in the city, with all the lights and cars and smells, really makes you love the open fields and country air from home. Soak it all in. And I will try to soak all of this in too. 

How exciting for Nickol to be expecting again! Does aunt Tonya know if she is having a boy or a girl yet? How is Drew and Savannah:s new baby? 

Thank you for the pressed flowers from home, and for your simple, beautiful advice at the end of your letter. I loved it so much and it made me cry!
I love you! Be brave.
Love your Kingu Shimai

Monday, October 21, 2013

Becoming quite a lady

Hello my family! I want you to know I LOVE you! 

Chels I got your package this week! What a joy! The Halloween candy didn:t even last a week. Thank you! Mom I love your hand written letters! Thank you thank you for taking the time to write me real mail! Its the best! Janni I love you! 

There is a little baby in our ward who is just about a week older than little Bella! He:s such a chunk and so cute! Can Bella roll over yet? Is she still so scrunchy?!

Mom this week I was thinking about you not being relief society president anymore. I want you to know how grateful I am for your example of that service you gave. You really gave of yourself. I remember watching you when we went and visited one of the sisters in our ward and just watching you talk with her and be so caring and such a good friend to her. I loved watching my mom be such a fabulous lady! I love you so much!
This week I went to my first imonikai which is like a soup party up in the mountains! It was so good to leave the city and go to the open space and smell campfires! Its a traditional thing they do in Japan when the season changes. You play games and talk and eat some soup!
My sweet companion Sakuma Shimai is really helping me become quite a lady. She is teaching me to not pop my knuckles, to stop chewing on my pen, to not cross my legs (its bad manners in Japan). We practiced what to say when you enter a house and when you leave, and other polite, important things to say to really become a Nihonjin!
Mom, I have a check from Grandpa and Grandma King that they sent me in the MTC for my birthday. What should I do with it?
Mom you had some questions in your letter, so here you go;
My favorite talks from conference...All of them! Yes we got to listen with headphones in English.
My bike is used, but its a really good bike and it even has a basket!
Yes I am eating enough! I:m also gaining muscle from riding my bike. Japan is sooo hilly. to go now! I will tell you more about the missionary work next week!
I love you so so much!
Love Kingu Shimai

Monday, October 14, 2013

Becoming like Christ is like learning to ride a bike

Hello family!
Jan: the picture of Bella is the best thing ever! Oh my, what a cutie! Her eyes are so so beautiful!
Mama: I got a wonderful surprise this week...the photo book you sent me! Thank you for such a fun, unexpected surprise! It was fun to have heard from everyone about the baby shower in our backyard...and then to be seeing pictures of it pretty soon afterwards! Also I love your hand written letters!

Chels and Spence! I can:t believe that Bella is 4 months old! Take 1000 pictures and videos of her growing up! Tell her every day that Aunt Court loves her so much!
So in my area there were 4 companionships. 2 sets of elders and 2 sets of sisters. Me and Kubota Shimai and then Takata and Sakuma Shimai (both from Japan). The four of us sisters all lived together in our apartment. But, last Tuesday, Takata Shimai got in a bike crash, and broke her now she has gone home for surgery and rehabilitation, so now I am in a threesome with Kubota Shimai and Sakuma Shimai.
Kubota Shimai is from Nagoya and Sakuma Shimai is from Mie (near Nagoya)! Kubota Shimai is a hard worker, sweet and patient with me. I:m so lucky to have her as my trainer. Sakuma Shimai is the cutest person that's ever lived on the earth :) She:s so happy and excited about things!
For example, last night she was asking me about my family heritage, like how many generations have been in the church. She said in her family there are 3 generations. I told her that I have pioneer ancestors, like back in Joseph Smith:s time...whoa nelly....she freaked out! She was so excited and blown away! She started rubbing my hand and said "Pioneer no chi!" Which means "Pioneer blood!"
Also another story to go along with this one: one day we visited a member family and had lunch with them, I showed them pictures of our family and the one of our extended family from the last Kerr reunion. The father asked me if it was a ward...I excitedly told him it was my family! He asked if everyone was a member of the church, and I was so proud that I could say YES!
Our family is so blessed! We:ve got pioneer blood pumping through us...we:ve got a lot to live up to!
This week I ate whale...
The other day, me and Kubota Shimai were walking back to our apartment, and there was this cute little group of children walking with their teacher. We waved and kept saying "konnichiwa!" and "hello!" little boy was all excited and was like "gaikokujin!" meaning..."foreigner!" :)
Folks, lets talk about Japanese, eh? Let's sum it with a story or two: The other day me and my companion were out knocking doors and we started talking to this young mom and her little girl. The little girl was only 2 years old I think, and was sooo cute. She was not scared of us at all and just jibber jabbered away in Japanese.  I maybe understood like 1% of what she said. I have more similar moments. I can:t even understand 2 year olds! What a humbling prospect :) 

When its more churchy, missionary conversation going on, I can sometimes understand a little bit! Both of my companions speak really good English, so we can communicate pretty good.
Japanese is so funny, its got all these long hard words, but then sometimes you have moments like this: Me and Sakuma shimai sitting at our table eating some cheese toast and just enjoying the moment. I asked her "how do you say cheese toast in Japanese?" ...."cheesu toasto." Well, its as simple as that sometimes, I guess!
Mama, how is it having the sister missionaries live at home? Do you see or talk to them very much? Have they complained about the squeaky floor yet?
Mama, this week we had interviews with our mission president. While I was waiting for my turn, I was talking to sweet Sister Rasmussen. I was showing her our family picture and when she saw you, she said how beautiful you are and that you are a very special lady! I am so grateful you are my Mama! For REALS.
This weekend we got to watch General Conference. I seriously think it was the best one in our history! I just soaked it in and loved everything.

Then later in the evening I was thinking and came up with this analogy...Becoming like Christ is like learning to ride a bike. Its like a child pleading with their dad, "Please! Help me to be able to just ride the bike!"...expecting instantly to be able to do what their dad can do. But that's not how this all works. We have to be the one who gets onto the bike, holds on tight and tries and tries and tries. We fall, we crash, we get scraped up, scratched up and bruised in the process. But what we may not realize is that our minds and body is learning little by little how to ride the bike. Our dad wipes away the tears and comforts us when we get hurt. He wants us to be able to ride the bike and feel that freedom. But he can:t learn to ride the bike for us. But, he is the steady, loving hand who runs behind us and pushes us over and over, as we pedal. Because he runs behind us, we gain strength and confidence from him to give it all we:ve got. Each time we ride a little farther. And one day, we jump onto our bikes and we don:t have to think about it so hard any more. We know how it feels and what we have to do. 

Sometimes I feel like I just want to wake up one day and be amazing! I don:t want to keep making the same stupid old mistakes. But guess what...learning and growing takes time. And it takes more than just asking for it. Heavenly Father wants to help us, but we have to be the ones to pedal the bike, and give our effort over and over and over again. How truly merciful He is to let us keep trying, so that one day we can experience that  freedom that only comes from learning how to ride a bike!
I love you so very much. I pray for you everyday, morning and night!
Love Kingu Shimai

Monday, October 7, 2013

Dearest family!

There is a quote that I like that goes like this: "Sometimes you have to go away, to see where you have been." That, folks, is true.  I had no idea how much you mean to me until being here.  I'm so happy we are a family and that we don't have to worry, because its just going to keep getting better and better and more beautiful!  Think about when we're all in Heaven and we'll be like, "We made it!  We did the Earth thing!" and then we'll eat some shepherds pie and throw confetti and smack the confetti onto our foreheads!

The other day, me and Kubota Shimai were riding our bikes somewhere and we were stopped at an intersection waiting to cross.  A big bus turned the corner where we were waiting and this random girl on the bus just waved and waved and smiled when she saw me.  It looked like she maybe had some sort of disability.  But it was a sweet little tender mercy to have that cheery, funny moment together!

Mama, can you send (email me Brother Chase-Dunn's home address? Brother Browne in my ward used to live in Hyde Park and Brother Chase-Dunn was his scoutmaster...small world! and Bro. Browne wants to write to him.

Having the last name King" gets just as many comments in Japan as it does in Utah.  Like, "oh you're not a're a queen!" Same-O.

How is little Bella!  Chels, your video of her standing didn't work (frowny face) but the pictures did!  I hope you tell her every day that Aunt Court loves her!  I love you Bellamy!  My companion, Kubota Shimai, speaks pretty good English, thank heavens!

I love you forever!  I always will!

Love Kingu Shimai

Short and sweet

Hello my mother!Can you forward this to jan and chels?Sorry, this is going to be short and sweet.I love you all so much! Mom, I got your letter this week and it was wonderful, thank you! How are you recovering? How is work? Oh I also got the Letters from the Primary was so fun! 

Japan is beautiful.It smells so good right now. Riding bikes on windy days in skirts in Japan...yeehaw! There are so many hills here. I think I:ll sign up for the Tour de France when I get home. First place for sure with these thighs!
We get to watch conference this weekend!I love you!I love you!