The view from the top of the ferris wheel! The SEA OF JAPAN!!!
Dear Mamanoff, good morning! I just wanted to share with you some of my thoughts from this morning I was writing down during my personal study time;
This is what I wrote: I am realizing that I think my desires are being purified. I desire to be pure, because I really, really want to be closer to my Savior, Jesus Christ. My desire to know Him and have a personal relationship with Him is growing stronger! Also, I think that my motivation and desire to help others is becoming more purified too. As my mission wears on and my eyes are opened more and more to my blessed life, particularly the safety and love of Mama and Dad, and how many people come from abusive homes; I feel my heart changing, wanting to help others feel loved, to feel the way I do...loved and taken good care of.'
Oh Mama, thank you for loving me! Thank you for never hitting or yelling or speaking unkind words to me! I am the luckiest, most blessed girl I believe! Because you are my Mama! Truly, truly!
On my birthday I started thinking about the woman I am becoming and what I want to become, and what I want to focus on here in my 23rd year of life! This is what I decided I want to focus on: cultivating gratitude and to 'take good care of others'. Its so simple, but I already feel like as I've had this little motto in my head this week to 'take good care of others' its helping me and guiding me!
Like this week my companion just opened up to me and shared some difficult things with me, and I was able to listen and talk with her and try to help her feel loved. And on a different day, I'd been feeling a little grumpy and annoyed all day, and then my companion started feeling down because the basketball activity got cancelled. So we went back to our apartment and started making dinner. I started trying to "take good care of her" and whalaa! I felt better and happier too. I like pretending like I'm a mom, and we made pizza toast together for dinner and I taught her how to make frozen banana popsicles (the kind we would make when we were little where you spread peanut butter and nuts/raisins on it and then freeze it). We had fun just talking and laughing together. I love taking good care of people, and its what I want to do for my whole life...take good care of folks!
I am so amazed and happy every time I read your letters and hear about all the good you are doing right where you stand. You are truly blooming where you are planted dear Mama! I know you are happy, because you are with Dave; but I know you are a little homesick too. Oh, how I know how that feels. Even though its hard and its painful, I am learning that its good to be homesick...because it means I have a HOME, where I am loved; and not everyone has that. I love hearing about you working on Family History, on going to the Temple, serving in your calling, being a good visiting teacher, and all the meals and love and hope you are sharing with people!
My birthday was actually REALLY fun! (it fell on a preparation day) Even though I was away from home, it was one of my funnest birthdays! Carlson Shimai really helped make it a fun day and we made lots of memories! We went to the train station where there are lots of stores and did some fun shopping. Then we had some lunch and then just the 2 of us biked our way to the zoo, which is about a 45 minute bike ride. It was such a beautiful September weather day! We stopped here and there along the way to take pictures and then we had a marvelous time at the zoo looking at all the magnificent creatures! All the animals were way active, the bear was swimming, the wolves were howling! We even rode the ferris wheel and got to see the ocean when we got up to the top! It was so pretty!
After the zoo we went down to the beach and collected sea shells and did some dendo (contacting.) We also sat down for a minute on the beach and just said a little prayer in my heart. That was a good moment, to just sit still and remember who I am and where I am, and that this is an amazing blessing to be here, right where I am.
This week we got to meet with our investigator Eriko Shimai twice! We helped her prepare for her baptismal interview and to bear her testimony after she gets baptized and to try on baptismal dresses and fill out the baptismal form and all that. I am learning to love her more and more and I am so excited for her to get baptized this coming Saturday!
I got a letter this week from my dear TESS SHIMAI in Yamagata!!! She wrote me for my birthday and it was the sweetest, best letter ever! She told me she is doing so good and she is so happy! Two of her little granddaughters are investigators right now! And the best part was hearing her testify that she knows that her many blessings are coming from her paying her tithing!! She gets it! She is amazing!
Thanks for you emails in my inbox this week! Its so nice hearing from my Mamanoff every week! I still need and love your weekly letters and look forward to them every week. I especially love how you always write 'love mom' or draw a flower or something on the paper too!
I fasted yesterday for you and Dave, that the house can sell, but also that we can all be blessed with peace and patience too while we wait. I also asked my companion to add her faith and prayers to mine, and we've started praying together night and morning for you to be guided to someone who can buy the house.
I am trying to be a good "rememberer" too though, and not just ask for blessing after blessing and miracle after miracle from our Heavenly Father, without first remembering the miracles and blessings He gives us. I still am so grateful that you are in Kansas in the first place, because it means my Mama is married and happy, and NOT ALONE in our home in Hyde Park. Even though our family is apart right now, we will be back together soon! I love you!
I love you SOOOOOOOOOO much!
Love Kingu Shimai