Monday, June 30, 2014


Hello my dear FAMILY! Oh I LOVE YOU MORE THAN EVER! I love being Family! Its so MUCH fun! I love you I love you I love you!!!!! 

How are you all? Are you genki? 

This is a brother in our ward. Just look at him! Isn:t he amazing! He is our brother! A couple of weeks ago he received the Melchezidek Priesthood, and yesterday in church was his first time to say the Sacrament prayer and to stand in the circle to confirm Rio Shimai! He is so sweet and talks nice and slow for me. He likes birds! I love him!

This week I had a cool moment. I was sitting at my desk having a marvelous time reading a hilarious and letter full of love from my Mann family, and I was also drinking my barley tea. Now, you might wonder why that is a big deal. Well it is a big deal! I used to HATE barely tea. But here in Japan, we drink it a ton. We drink it hot. We drink it cold. Pretty much every time you go to someones house for a visit, instead of giving you water, they give you barley tea. When I first came to Japan I dreaded drinking it. I just wished I could drink water. But drinking it over and over, my body has gotten used to it. Isn:t that cool!? I didn:t even have to drink it, cause I was just at my apartment, but I did cause I wanted to be Japanesey! 

Mama, Oh sweet Mama! I got your beautiful wedding photo book this week! It came all on the same day with a letter from the Manns and your weekly letter! Happy day! I have 2 of my very favorite photos in there! One of them is with the sunrise behind you and you look like you are laughing a little bit and you just look so happy and beautiful! The other one I really like is the one of you and Dave walking down the dirt road.

I like it cause I think its symbolic kind of. When I saw it, it made me think of Micail:s farewell talk before she left for her mission, when she talked about doing the White Rim Trail in Moab and how it was so hard, but once she realized that that is why she was there, for the trail, then she learned to love it. That was I like to think about when I look at that picture. "Here for the trail." 

Mama you got a calling in Young Womens again! That is the calling for you! Remember how amazing our experience was in Young Womens together? You have so much influence on us young ladies Mama! 

I laughed about the fact that you literally took frozen apricots with you to Kansas. Oh, my Mama is so funny! Don:t feed the missionaries weird food!!!!!! 

How did your open house go? Any offers on the house yet? I:m praying that the house can sell!

Chels thank you so much for the little video of Bella walking! It happened so fast! I loved the video and the pictures you sent! The mohawk one is adorable! And when I looked at the splash pad photo it was like "What! Whoa! Bella is just standing there all by herself!" She is so strong and beautiful! Did my birthday letter make it there yet? 

Mama I am proud of you for practicing with the missionaries how to invite your friends to learn about the Gospel! 

Yesterday was such a good day! Rio Shimai got baptized! She was SO excited! Everything went pretty smoothly and I played the piano for a couple primary baptism songs that the missionaries all sang together during the Baptimal service! 

Rio Shimai:s Baptism!!!!

We had a couple lessons after church with a couple of our other investigators that went really good too! Haruka chan wants to keep learning and wants to find out if the Book of Mormon is true! We committed her to be baptized if she finds out for herself that this is true, and she said yes!!! YAY! 

We get to meet President and Sister Smith this week! 

This week I celebrated our Daddy Papa. I remembered him especially on Friday June 27th. I think June 27th is a sacred day. I:m glad that we celebrate Dad on that day and we go to Macks and get chocolate marshmallow malts for him! Lets do that all together next June! 

I love you so much! My whole soul loves all of your whole souls! 
Love King Shimai

Here is a photo from this week. Look who it is! Its me and my first companion Mataoa Shimai from Tahiti!! This week she and her companion came to Morioka for a split with the 2 other sisters in our apartment! Mataoa Shimai is so happy and fun and bright! Its amazing to think that we:re coming up on one year ago of being companions in the MTC! Its interesting looking back now, and knowing it was so hard when we were there in the MTC. But now, everything is okay! And I love her! 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Happy! Japan Style!

I miss you all so much! And I love you so much! 

This week is President and Sister Rasmussen:s last week here in Japan! Our new Mission President comes this week! We had our last zone conference this week with the Rasmussens, and then Morioka also had District Conference (like Stake Conference) on Saturday and Sunday, so we got to see the Rasmussens then too! The District Conference was so cool! It was broadcast live to all the stakes/districts in Japan from Salt Lake City! Elder D. Todd Christofferson and a couple other general authorities spoke to us! It was so good! 

The biggest news of the week is that our sweet investigator Ryo chan finally received permission from her dad to get baptized! She:s wanted to get baptized for a long time, but her parents wouldn:t let her. But this week, her dad finally gave her permission! So she will be baptized this coming Sunday morning!! She has attended church for the last year, and is so faithful, brings her friends to church, and is basically a member. But now, she:ll get to make the covenant and receive the Holy Ghost, which she is super excited about! 

This week me and Morita Shimai were walking on the road that goes by our apartment and up in front of us was this big guy walking up ahead of us. He had a crutch under both of his arms and one of his legs had this medical leg equipment all up and down his right leg. His foot couldn:t even touch the ground as he walked because the medical equipment suspended his leg up in the air a few inches above the ground. He walked so slowly and uneven. I walked behind him and just watched him. It made me so sad. I don:t even think about walking, but for him, every single step is hard. We caught up with him and told him hello and talked about what beautiful weather it was and asked him where he was going. He was so kind and just seemed like a good soul. We only talked for a second and then went our different ways, but I was thinking later, that I hope I can meet him again. I want him to know that because of Christ, one day, he is going to walk! I really want him to know that! It was a sad moment, but I am thankful for what I felt, because it was one of those "life moments" where you just kind of stop and remember just how beautiful and fragile this life is, how really dependent we are on our God, and the gift to be human and to be alive. 

This week we went again to Muraki Shimai:s house out in the country and helped her stack a pile of firewood and pull some weeds. She is so sweet! We got to meet her husband for a second, who isnt a member and he told us thank you for the help! Then today, we had a cooking party here at the church with Muraki Shimai and some other sisters in the ward, and Muraki Shimai invited a less active sister to come too. It was so fun! We made tacos and Oreo pie! 

Something I do pretty much every morning is 100 JUMPING JACKS out on our back porch in the morning sunshine!! I LOVE it. It is so good and invigorating! 

Well its time for me to go. I love you!

Love Kingu Shimai

Hi my Mama! I love you so much! I was just looking back at your letter to me a couple of weeks ago, where you wrote all about your honeymoon to Jackson Hole and the wedding day. Thanks for writing all of the wonderful details of beautiful life! 

One of my favorite parts was you sharing so specifically about when you were getting married and you walked up and hugged Grandma Kerr and she was crying. It was so short and sweet and simple what you wrote, but it was beautiful, and just knowing about that little moment with you and Grandma Kerr has so much meaning. 

Also it was fun to read that now you are an army wife! Whew how exciting! You are so official! 

Then in this last weeks letter to me you wrote something that my heart really needed. The week after the wedding, I started feeling worried that maybe you might not love Dad as much as Dave. I didn:t want to write home about it though. I just tried to let it pass and keep trusting. Then I felt like your letter to me this week was the little reassurance that I needed from my Mama, cause you said that you had a strong feeling of missing Dad and that Dad will always be your sweetheart. Thank you so much for telling me that Mama. But I am so happy you can be married right now to Dave! The other day I started feeling a little mad that you moved to Kansas, feeling sorry for myself I guess, and thinking that "I didn:t ask for this!" kind of a thing. But then the thought came,...but I did ask for my Mama to have this miracle in her life. I prayed for you to be able to get married! So the thought that came was that I would much rather have you so happy and married and in Kansas, than I would want you to be at home, alone and not as happy. So I am just completely grateful, even though it is a little hard that you are in Kansas. God is good, He is taking care of us!

Do you know about the Facebook page that my mission has? Remember how I told you last week in my email about dancing in the festival here in Morioka? Well, it got filmed and apparently its on YouTube and Sister Rasmussen told me this week that they posted it to the mission Facebook page. So if you want, you can check it out! We are Happy from Morioka, Iwate

I hope everything I said in this email is okay. Here:s my heart! 

I love you so much!. Thanks for being my beautiful wonderful MAMA! 

Love Courtney Elise