Monday, August 25, 2014


Can you tell which side is mine?   RIGHT SIDE! STRONG SIDE!

Dearest FAMILY of mine! How do I love thee? Let me count the ways! I LOVE YOU FROM FOREVER TO FOREVER! 

The first thing I want to share is my testimony! Dear Family, Dear friends, Dear world....I know this Gospel is TRUE. I KNOW it. 

Something about coming out on my mission really made me take a step back and look at my testimony. For a long time, I:ve just kind of felt this cloud of doubt lingering around me and feeling like holding back, not being quite sure if I had a strong testimony of my own. 

I think I:ve been waiting - feeling like I have to have that moment down on my knees when my heart burns and the Spirit tells me it is true. But I:ve come to realize, I don:t need that. And I don:t need to wait for that moment in order to move forward. I feel like my testimony grew differently than that. 

There wasn:t really the one moment down on my knees when I suddenly know it was all true. I:ve been taught to believe my whole life. I:ve been nurtured and grown grace by grace in the light of the Gospel. I think I:ve also been blessed with the gift to believe. Because of that, I never really questioned or doubted, I just always believed and felt I belonged to the true Church of God. Because I believed it and because I:ve lived it and am living it - and because I:ve had countless moments and experiences of feeling the power of the Holy Ghost helping me to feel and know that, yes, this is really true....I believe and feel that I CAN honestly look people in the eye, stand up tall, with a big smile on my face and say from my heart that "I know this church is true!"

I know I have a testimony. And I know I have a testimony through the power of the Holy Ghost. I have been so doubty and wishy-washy and wondering if I can really say that "I know by the power of the Holy Ghost." But now, all of that changes. Because I know this is true. Its all true! Hallelujah! I especially remember one moment back in my first area in Izumi when I was a bean, as I was thinking one morning about my testimony, and if I had one....I looked up at our family picture and I felt this thought come to me "What more evidence do you need?" My whole beautiful life, our whole beautiful family has been blessed and grown through the Spirit:s power and our Savior:s love and our Father:s tender care and mercy. Its all true and its all beautiful! 

My new area is great! Its so small and quiet here! I feel like the streets are so quiet compared to my other areas! There:s hardly any people and bikes and cars about it feels like! But I like it! My new companion is good, and she is actually in her last transfer! So she goes home in 5 weeks! We are going to work hard and one of our investigators, Eriko san has a baptismal date in a couple of weeks for Sept 13!! So I:m excited to get to help her prepare these last couple of weeks! 

Me and Carlson Shimai with two girls who came to English class! 

I love you so much! I am so grateful we are a family for forever and ever! We are so blessed! Truly, SO blessed! Eternity is going to be awesome! But today is part of our family:s eternal history too, so lets embrace it! All my LOVE!

Kingu Shimai

Monday, August 18, 2014

Adventure is out there! Part 2

Hi my FAMILY!! I love you ALL! 

Guess what!? I:m TRANSFERRING AGAIN!! I:ve only been in Morioka for 2 transfers, but President Smith I guess loves moving us around and giving us new experiences, because here I go to AKITA! Its by the Sea of Japan!!!! Whewhew! I will transfer on Wednesday morning. My next companion is Carlson Shimai! 
Sister King is transferring from Morioka to Akita.

And what I:m so excited about is that MATAOA Shimai, my very very first missionary companion (in the MTC) will be in the same apartment with us! I:m so grateful and excited to have a second chance to be her friend, since the first time around was a lil` bit rough. But now I love her and can:t wait to make lots of memories with my Tahiti sister! 

This week we went to a lady:s house and helped her clean it. She is not a member, but her daughter in Tokyo is. Her daughter was the one who called us and organized the project for us to come with 4 elders and go help her clean her mom:s house. It:s an old traditional Japanese house and we got to help clean out cupboards and vacuum and such. As we pulled out tons of stuff from the cupboards, it kinda turned into a mini garage sale! They gave me this cute little wooden set of Japanese dolls of a prince and princess, that you put out on March 3rd for Girls Day! 

This week was Obon, which is the holiday where everyone goes with their families to put flowers on the graves. People are really busy because of Obon, and so this week there were only 2 members who came to English class. We decided to have English class anyway, and me and Butler Shimai started teaching English to everyone (the other missionaries and the 2 members). But then a girl who had come to English class last week walked in with 4 of her friends! They are all Chinese and they were so genki! Manjyu:s birthday was the next day so she:d brought her friends and came to the church so we could all have a birthday party together! We put up tables and chairs and had a wonderful birthday party! One of her friends brought wine, so Oomija Choro, our District Leader was just like, Oh hey, lets just have this be a center piece tonight, okay? 

We all just talked and they could all speak English really well. As I was sitting there talking to Wong, who is a college student at the nearby college, it was just such a cool moment, to be in Japan talking to one of my Chinese brothers! Its just so amazing to be able to talk to someone who lives on the other side of the world from me. Its just a very real-earthy-soul-human we:re all just here doing the Earth Thing! And I:m a Utah girl, and your a China man, but here we are talking and laughing and talking about our families and showing him our family picture! Life is so wonderful! 

This week we went out into the country again and visited a member in our ward who lives all by herself out there. We had snacks and had a good time with her and she was really grateful for our visit!

Then we tried to visit a less active who lives out there too, but he wasn:t home. So we knocked on a couple of doors. And the 2nd house we knocked on, the man answered the door, and right off the bat, he kind of motioned to us to look inside and he said he had a cat. Sure enough we looked in and there was the cutest lil: kitten named Mimi! So cute! We gave him a Book of Mormon and we are going back tomorrow with the elders to help him pull weeds in his garden! 

Another door we knocked on earlier, wasn:t so friendly and no kittens...the lady came to the door and Isogai Shimai said we were missionaries and that we were sharing a message about how God loves everyone, and she said "if God were real, He would help us." And then closed the door. 

Its hard to see so many people who don:t believe in God. Another man we talked with this week, I tried asking him about what he believes in and he said he believes in "nature". So I asked him if he believed that God created nature, and he said no. Sometimes I wonder how someone can start believing in God, when they seem so hardened against it. 

But I love the hope I feel from the Book of Mormon, and Alma and Ammon and the Sons of Mosiah who through the power of the word of God and the power of Christ:s love, were able to help bring thousands of the Lamanites, who were hardened against the truth, to come to know and embrace the Gospel and the Atonement of Christ. That's a true story! So if it happened then, it can happen again! 

This morning as I ate breakfast, we were listening to the hymn "I Stand All Amazed" on an EFY cd. The phrase that stuck out to me was this:  "...that He should extend His great love unto such as I, sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify!..." Isn:t that beautiful, about our Savior:s love? His love is sufficient. Its complete. He loves us so much, and I am so grateful for that! I love Him too. 

Thank you for sending Dad:s journal entries! I:m so excited to read them! Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!

I love you! 
Love Kingu Shimai

Monday, August 11, 2014

Feeling Love!

MY FAMILY! I love you!
Me and Rio Shimai (left) and Hibiki Shimai (right). Last Monday when we went to the big FESTIVAL!!

- On Tuesday as I was beginning my language study I put up some pictures and then just sat still for a minute and looked up at my pictures of our family, and of Belle, of me and Tel, of the Blue team, and of me and Dad. I had a strong feeling of comfort and love come over me; it was maybe a really simple moment, but to me it was so sweet! I want to tell you how much I love you family! I hope you can feel my love, because I can surely feel your love! 

- On Wednesday me and Isogai Shimai went and visited a member who lives in a hospital. After that, we went and did country dendo! We decided to go out more into the country where maybe those people haven't ever had the chance to meet the missionaries before (like Mama how you said in one of your letters that you wondered if the missionaries ever knocked on the doors out in the country-side in Kansas). I loved it! I love being out in the country and I really think its fun going in all the interesting yards and seeing all the houses - especially in the country things are older and more run down. More dogs and cats and lots of interesting folks! We housed in this area for awhile and talked to a young high school boy and gave him a Book of Mormon!! Whew! Exciting! 

We also talked to a lady who believed she was a child of God! That was exciting too! I pulled out my Japanese hymn book to see if we could sing her I am a Child of God, but she wasn't too interested in hearing our message. 

The next day, me and Hamano Shimai (in my apartment; we went on a split) went back to the same area to keep housing. One lady was out on her porch, so we walked over to her and started talking. We could tell she wasn't very warm to us and didn't really want to talk, but little by little and we smiled and just tried talking to her, she gradually warmed up to talking to us a little bit and we talked with her about God. I remember being able to feel the Spirit there as we talked about our Heavenly Father. We weren't able to make a next appointment, but I hope she was able to feel at least, God's love for her. 

Yesterday after church! Happy happy!

- Yesterday was a really good day at church! OUR INVESTIGATOR HARUKA CHAN CAME TO CHURCH!!!! She came all by herself! Yay!

- After church when we went back to our apartment, I lay on my futon for a bit and realized that I was so tired, just like every other Sunday, but I felt happy!  I'd really felt the Spirit at church and also tried to forget myself and talk with the members and be a good missionary. It felt so good to be tired and happy, and not just tired! 

I love you my family!
Love Kingu Shimai

I my Mama! Oh.....I miss you sooooo SO much Mama! My homesickness still comes and goes (though its not as bad as it was when I first came to Japan), but oh How Much I Miss my Mom. Let's hang out every single day for the rest of our lives! And make lots of memories! 

I am so happy to hear about your helping the sister missionaries! Really, its SO cool knowing that you are doing that, and getting to see into the nitty gritty of being a missionary. And glad that you are bold and helping the sister missionaries get their lesson out! 

This last week I was wanting to pray about Dave's house selling. But instead of just asking Heavenly Father to please bless Dave's house to sell soon, I decided to just make it more of a real conversation with God. I decided to be more real and more grateful. I told Him how it must be hard to Dave to sell his house and leave it behind, but that I'm so grateful he is willing to do that for you and for our family. I prayed more specifically that you and Dave can have good ideas and be guided on what you can do to help the house sell. So, I hope you can feel my prayers for you. I pray everyday for our family by name, for you and Dad, for Chels and Jan, and Spence and Nate and Belle. I always pray for Tel. And I always pray for Dave too. 

I love you Mama! Did you get the black and white striped zebra skirt from Gramma Kerr!? She told me that she sent me one and you one, so we can be twinners! We should both take a picture in it and send them to her! 

I love you so much Mama! Thanks for loving me and being my Mama! 
Love Courtney Elise