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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!



Happy Thanksgiving minasan! I love you! I was talking with another sister missionary this week about how much we have grown to love our families from coming on our missions. She said that she feels like she doesn:t really have the words to say how she REALLY feels about how much she loves them. I feel the exact same way. Like, I can say "I love you!" But want to make sure you get it. Its SO REAL and so I want you to know that it is hard to say in words how much my love for our family has grown. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH.
Being an American in Japan is so funny! Its not like they:ve never seen Americans before or anything...but its just not super common to have foreigners here... This week when me and Syuto Shimai (on a split) were out giving out Eikaiwa pamphlets we passed a girl and she saw me and as we passed she turned around and was just like "Gaikakujin!" Which is like "foreigner!" Or later this week on another split with Luk Shimai, we were on our bikes, waiting at a stop light and there was a little group of young teenage girls and they saw me and just came over and started talking to me in English and being so giggly and excited!
This week is Thanksgiving! They don:t really celebrate that here in Japan, but lucky for us missionaries, we have the Browne family in our ward who is having us over for Thanksgiving dinner!
This week I went to my first funeral here in Japan. It was like the movies where everyone wears black. It was different, because there was no casket, because they don:t bury their bodies here. After the funeral, everyone lines up and we are handed a flower and you go and put it on the memorial table and then bow to the picture of the person, and then turn around and bow to the family. Us missionaries sang Families can be together forever.
I am so thankful that our family is sealed together forever! I am thankful for prayer. I am thankful for the Book of Mormon and Bible. I am thankful for Jesus Christ. I am thankful for Heavenly Father:s tender mercies!
I love you so much!
Love Kingu Shimai


splits with Tui shimai and Kodama Shimai

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Me and Kubota Shimai have a new investigator!



Hello dear family!
I love you!
First of all I want you to know that I have felt a few extra heartfelt prayers being said for me this week. For real. Thank you so much my family! Heavenly Father has really had me in his tender care this week. He gave me so many little tender mercies. 

I remember Tel telling us when we talked to her last Christmas that Heavenly Father sends us angels. Well He sent me angels this week. Here in Japan, and I believe from the other side of the veil too. A brother in our ward asked me a couple of weeks ago what food I missed from America...so I told him peanut butter. He asked what kind. I told him Peter Pan peanut butter. I just thought he was interested and trying to get to know me a little more. Little did I know that he was heading to America on a work trip...and this week, he brought me back a container of Peter Pan peanut butter from America! It was so sweet that he would care that much about me, especially because we didn:t really have any special connection before, but he went out of his way to take care of me! 

There were so many little moments this week that brightened my days, and all of it came from people who were being kind. Like last night when me and Kubota Shimai were riding home and waiting at a stop light and an old gentleman in his car waving a smiling at me as he turned the corner. Or a less active sister stopping us as we were riding our bikes down the sidewalk and just being absolutely thrilled to see us and just holding our hands and loving us so much, even though I had never ever met her.

Another really good moment this week was on the subway. Me and Kubota shimai were standing there and there was a group of young teen age girls sitting there and I could tell they were kind of looking at me and talking about me. I smiled at them and said "Konnichiwa!" and then we actually talked...in Japanese!! It was really simple, and there was some English thrown in there too, but it was so fun and I invited them to come to English class and I told them that we are missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!
Last night we went and had dinner with the Kanazawa family in our ward (that is the picture attached). They are so nice! At dinner we ate salmon and salmon fish eggs. Brother Kanazawa was saying how we were eating the parents and their little babies.......oh hooray! It was funny and I ate it and it was okay!

I:ve been in Japan for 2 months now, and I remember Sister Mann just telling me that the first 3 months are the hardest, and to just make it through them. So 2 down and 1 more to go!
Me and Kubota Shimai have a new investigator! He is a young college student. We met him because he came to Eikaiwa (English class). We have been getting to know him and working on building a relationship of trust with him. This week we had our first lesson with him and we taught him about God. Its so interesting to serve in a place where some people don:t have the same concept of God. We taught him that we are God:s children and that God has a body like us. We have another lesson with him later today!
It makes me think of something I learned in the MTC...a story about 2 salesmen going to Australia to sell shoes. One salesman wrote back to the company saying that there was "no chance of selling shoes here...the Aboriginals don't wear shoes here." The other salesman wrote and said "great chance of selling shoes here...the Aboriginals don't wear shoes here!"

I think its the same about being a missionary in Japan....I can either feel..."no chance of baptizing here...the Japanese people don:t believe in God here." Or ..."Great chance of baptizing here...the Japanese people don:t believe in God here!"
I love you all so much! Please keep praying for me. Mom you said to let you know what specific things you can pray for; here are a couple....that I can feel closer to Christ and his love and grace. That I can be patient with my companion and not get annoyed over little things :) that Dad can be here with me and help me not feel homesick and lonely.

I love you!!!
Love Sister

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A happy, good life is a choice everyday


Beautiful Japan!

Ohayo Gozaimasu! Hello dear family!
This week went by so fast. Now that Kubota Shimai is the Sister Training Leader, we are having meetings and going on splits and vroom the time is flying! This week we were on our way on the subway to Nagamachi for a meeting/split. I finally mustered up the courage to try talking to the man sitting next to me on the subway. I turned to him and said "I am learning Japanese. May we talk?" He just waved his hand at me and turned back to  what he was doing. Haha sometimes we give things a shot and it doesn`t always work out.
The next day in Nagamachi, I was working with Kanno Shimai, while my companion was at a meeting. We decided to do some streeting. She is Nihonjin, but has been on her mission shorter than I have...so we are both pretty new at this. We stopped a man walking down the street and started talking to him. We introduced him to the Book of Mormon and he just stood there listening to us for real! I had him read part of the introduction and told him that its another testament of Jesus Christ. I showed him the picture in the front of Christ appearing to the people in America. He seemed to understand my Japanese okay...it was such a neat experience!
Guess what I ate this week? COW TONGUE. Yep. I loved it. For real. It was SO good!
Mom its so fun to read your long, newsy letters from home. Thanks for telling me about sharing your testimony in church and going on a split with Sister Morillo! You are so good at being a missionary.
How are things at work? Are you and the new AA good friends?
The Iwasa family. They had us over for lunch. They are SO nice
How is the sprinkler system coming? I bet its probably all installed by now. How nice! No more hoses! People in Japan don:t really have grass or yards. The houses are so close together and they just have lots of flowers and plants in pots for their yards instead. Its different, but its beautiful!
Has Monique had her baby then? What is her name?
I would like to tell Nate Henshaw hello! Hello my dear cousin! I hope you are having good times at school! I miss you!
Jayme Hansen, my dearest friend! I got your letter this week in the mail...and it was just the best thing ever! Thank you so much! I loved your pictures you sent, and I put them in my photo album! Your beautiful curly hair is so lovely! And the best part is always your smile! I love you so much!
This week I saw a guy wearing a tshirt that said..."Make Good." And I loved that little quote. Make Good wherever we go. Make good whatever situation we are in. Make good thoughts and feelings and memories. Make good moments. Make good...life. Lift where you are standing. Bloom where you are planted. Right Grandma Kerr? 
Here is something I have been thinking about lately. In Dr. Seuss book Oh the Places youll Go, it talks about the "waiting place". And how some people are waiting for a boat to come, or the rain to rain...but the waiting place is not for you! You:re off to great places, you:re off and away! Sometimes in life I feel like I:m in the waiting place, waiting for when I will be happy.

But this is the thought I:ve been thinking...A happy, good life is a choice everyday. A good life is made up of good days...and a good day is made up of good moments...and a good moment is full of goodness...and goodness, comes from God. "Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God..." Our God is complete and true goodness in every way imaginable. He is everything good. He want us to be good and make good. And because He is perfect goodness, He will help us to have good moments, and good days and a good life! And the whole point of everything is to make good for other people. So lets make good.

I love you so much! Give Bella and Jan and Chels and hug from me!

Love Kingu Shimai