Monday, September 29, 2014

Hello- I love you!

Dearest, dearest, dearest Mama 

This is a wonderful Tongan family in our branch here in Akita! We love them! The mom isn:t in the picture cause she's the one taking the photo. But they had all of us missionaries over for dinner this week. Their 3 little boys are so fun! The dad is a professional Rugby player! 
Church went good yesterday! We didn:t have any investigators or our new member Eriko Shimai at church yesterday (she was out of town). I love Akita branch though. The members are wonderful! I especially love a sister named Sasaki Shimai. She is the Relief Society president and she noticed that Eriko Shimai wasn:t at church and asked if everything was okay. I told her she was just out of town. But it made me so thankful to know that Eriko Shimai is being looked out for by the members! Our branch is pretty small here, there:s probably about 50 people who come to church. Its been fun lately because a couple sisters in the branch have been asking me to play the piano for a YW song that they:ll be singing a few weeks, or for the Primary program coming up!

Sorry to hear that Dave is sick. I will pray for him! How was your standards night tonight? How was your piano playing? 

My heart is doing good! I have just been chatting back and forth with my dear Teltel and Millzie and Jamie! They sent me a little video saying "we love you Court" and then Tel says "hi" right at the very end. So funny and so good to see my friends! Chels sent me a little video too of Bella in her pjs getting ready for bed and her and Spence. Both of them were still in their Sunday clothes. What good examples they are! 

I don:t know if I will get to listen to the Women:s meeting actually. But I will read it for sure! We will get to watch conference in a couple of weeks! I will get to watch in English! I'm so excited! 

Mama, do you want to do something cool with me starting right now? Before you go to sleep tonight (if your not to tired) read in the New Testament, Matthew chapter 1. Then everyday read just one chapter. And on Christmas Day, you will finish reading the 4 Gospels! We can do it together for our Christmas gift to Christ this year! Learn of Him and Love Him and Rejoice in HIM! There are 89 days til Christmas and 89 chapters in the 4 Gospels! I started a couple of days ago actually and I read my one chapter and then I write down whatever is in my heart. I love it! 

My companion is leaving in a couple of days and my new companion will be Lesuma Shimai from Hawaii! She has already been in the same apartment with me (she was companions with Mataoa Shimai), but now we will be companions! This new transfer will also be her last transfer, before she ends her mission and goes home. 

This week with Carlson Shimai leaving and all, we:ve had tons of dinner appointments with the members. They are so nice to us! 

We also met with a couple of less active sisters and were able to share a spiritual message with them. We taught our investigator Sato san and her two little kids. I taught her about the Spirit with the sister who was jointing for us, while my companion tried to play with the kids and keep them quiet (cause it would probably be insane trying to keep them still and quiet for a lesson...not a lack of faith....just doing real life). 

We had a talent show this week. It was good because a couple of nonmembers came! All of us missionaries did a Mario skit and I was Princess Peach. It was fun! 

Its time for me to go! We get to eat lasagna for lunch that a sister made for us! 


Love Kingu Shimai

Monday, September 22, 2014

I love you!

Japan is so beautiful right now! Fall is here! 

This week we taught our new investigator, a young mom, Sato san and her two little kids! We are doing a program with them where we teach English for 30 minutes and then a Gospel message for 30 minutes! Her little kids are so cute, but really little, so its basically just 60 minutes of playtime and craziness for them...but its a blast! For our English part of the lesson we hid little foam ABCs around one of the rooms in the church and they went around and found all of them. 

Then while my companion and a sister in our ward talked with Sato san about God and how to pray, I sat on the floor and tried to play quiet little games to keep her kids quiet. I traced their hands and feet with colored pencils onto paper, and we made paper fans and put papers on our heads and rolled colored pencils back and forth on the was so fun! Her little girl is about 1 year old and is so so sweet and mellow, a lot like Belle! Sato san said a prayer at the end of the lesson and committed to pray that night! It was awesome! 

This week we also had a lesson with our investigator Imano san. We went planning to teach him more about God, because he still has a hard time believing in Him. But as we started talking, he started asking questions, which led us to teaching again about the Plan of Salvation. He was asking questions like "Was Christ a God or a human?" "Why did Christ die on the cross?" and "Why do we need to be saved?" He has a really hard time believing in life after death, because none of us have ever experienced it. He believes that after death, its "mu" or "zero, nothing". I tried testifying about how the Book of Mormon teaches us about the Plan of Salvation, and because I know the Book of Mormon is true, I KNOW there is life after death. We tried committing him to come to church, because he needs to come in order to progress and come to know God, but he said no, that he wouldn:t come. Lets keep praying for Imano san! 

This is a dear sister in our branch. Her name, Komatsu, means little pine tree. She is so sweet and she speaks fluent English! We went this week to her house and did a practice lesson so we could practice our Japanese. She taught us a cute kids song about bubbles. 
Eriko Shimai came to most of church yesterday and afterwards Shindo Kyodai taught her and us an awesome lesson about Family History. I just felt so grateful for a good brother in our branch who is faithfully filling his calling and is prepared to help our new member! 

Yesterday afternoon we went out to go visit a couple of less active sisters in our branch. After we tried visiting the first sister, but she wasn:t there, we were riding our bikes down the road and we said "konnichiwa" to an old man walking down the side walk. He said "hello" back to us, so I decided to stop my bike and started talking to him. I:ve had lots of Japanese companions in my mission, who can understand elderly people:s Japanese; but this time it was just me and Carlson Shimai trying to talk to him. It was a funny moment, with him smoking a cigarette, and us only kinda understanding what was going on...but it felt good and fun to try talking to him! We asked if he would have interest in hearing our message, but he said he was Buddhist, so no. 

Beautiful rice fields and pretty sunset here in Akita on Saturday night!! 
Then we headed to visit our next less active sister. On our way there we saw this small field lit up and there was this Japanese archery thing going on there! We stopped and pulled over on the side of the road and watched it for a little bit! It was so cool. They were wearing cool big Japanese pants and whenever one of them would hit the target everyone would yell! 
Then we were able to visit the sister we wanted to and had fun talking with her. Then on our way back to our apartment we saw beautiful fireworks! 

Eriko Shimai:s baptism last Saturday! The brother who baptized her was baptized last October. (Butler Shimai my dear friend I made in Morioka, served here in Akita last year and found him, just by talking to him at a stop light!) 

This week I started thinking about resilience. One of the quotes that I love in my "Be" book is this: "Be Resilient. There is nothing you can:t live down, rise above, or overcome." Then I realized that resilience is the biggest message we have in this Gospel! Jesus Christ came to earth, He lived and died for us, and then He literally rose above, and overcame death. Christ lived again.Christ:s resurrection is our message and hope of resilience! Christ is perfectly resilient! Because of His redeeming love and complete mercy, and perfect resilience, we can be resilient too. Because of Him, and with Him, we can rise above and overcome too!

Kingu Shimai