Monday, September 1, 2014

Today I turn 23 years old!!! I've never been TWENTY THREE before!

Good Morning MAMMANOFF!! I love you!!! I am here! And I am happy! Today is so fun cause I:M turning TWENTY-THREE!!!! I:m doing the EARTH THING!! And I:m just so GRATEFUL to be alive and to be LOVED! Today we are going to the ZOO for my birthday/p-day!!! Both last year in the MTC and this year in the mission field, my birthday was on P-DAY! Best ever! 
Thanks for the pictures! Will you take one right now of you and send it to me!? 

I am 23!!

I think I:m getting more and more excited for my birthday every year, cause I LOVE it! I hung up my Hello Kitty Happy Birthday sign last night in our room (that you sent me last year for my birthday in the MTC) I:m never going to be bashful about saying how old I am, cause who even cares, you know? I think its weird how there's this thing in society that is all about being young and not getting older. But guess what!? I:ve never been TWENTY THREE before! I am so excited to experience 23!!!! And when I:m 47 and when I:m 99, I:m going to be SO excited cause I:ll never have experienced 47 or 99 before!! I love life!!! 

My companion is being so sweet today and singing me happy birthday every now and then, and she:s been watching the clock, for it to turn 11:13 am, so she could sing me happy birthday right on the dot of when I was born! So we just sang happy birthday together here in the little computer room at the church together right at 11:13! 

On our way to the aquarium with the Akita district.

Last Monday we went to an Aquarium with Lita Shimai who is Tongan but is in our ward! She is awesome! There are 2 Tongan families and now 2 Americans in our little branch here in Akita! Also a sister from Columbia! 

We got to see the Sea of Japan which was a dream come true for me, because I've been wishing I could see the ocean while I am here in Japan! It was so beautiful and amazing and BIG!!
Me and Carlson Shimai at the sea of Japan

Last Monday night we did some housing and we housed on this door and this nice old lady came and answered it. She told us she'd been drinking and we could tell. But she was super genki and talked to us for awhile. Turns out she had a Book of Mormon that previous missionaries had given her! We talked for little while, but it was a little weird, because she was drunk. Anyways, it was a funny little housing moment and we'll try going back this week, earlier in the evening. 

We watched fireworks this week! That was a magical moment, sitting on a slope by a river here in Japan watching fireworks! 

We have met this amazing guy who lives close by and he has some interest!! We have talked to him a couple times and given him some pamphlets. As we were ending our last visit he said that he WANTED to pray and if that was okay. We were like YA! So we explained to him how to pray and then he said the coolest, simplest prayer. He said, Dear Heavenly Father. Please give me a reply. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.  I think that was his first prayer ever. I'm so lucky I get to be a part of these experiences with these people when they talk to our Heavenly Father for the first time. 

Our investigator Eriko san who has a baptismal date is doing well and she came to church yesterday! 

We placed a Book of Mormon this week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love my FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Love Kingu Shimai

Dear Mamma and Daddy,

Today I am turning 23 years old! Today I am in Japan, serving as a missionary of our Heavenly Father and Savior. Today is glorious. Today my heart is brim with gratitude!

This week I read Dads letter to me. I wanted to share a part of it with you Mama, 

"You have a very loving and caring mother who will do anything in this world for you. Stay close to her, share your daily experiences with her and she will be there to love and support you through the difficult times."

I feel like Daddy puts our relationship so beautifully! Because that is how it is!

Today I am celebrating being alive, which means really, I am celebrating Verlyn Shane King and Cameron Kerr King! Sometimes when I pray, I tell Heavenly Father how I am oh so so grateful that I got to be born to you two! I will be truly, eternally grateful for our family, and for the feelings and understanding and perspective I've been blessed to gain through serving my mission. "Oh how you ought to thank your Heavenly King!" (Mosiah 2:19) I think I've decided that is my mission theme scripture. I think the biggest blessing I've received on my mission is a heart full of gratitude. There may not be words to ever express the feelings in my heart, of gratitude to my Heavenly King, to my Savior, and to my family. This life, is oh so good and so  beautiful! 

Thank you Mama and Daddy for being my loving mother and father! Thank you for being worthy to be sealed in the holy Temple, so that our family can be together forever! Thank you for saying prayers with us everyday and for reading scriptures with us everyday. Thank you for loving each other, and for loving us three girls. Thank you for giving us a happy home, with good meals and time together. For letting us slide down the stairs on the mats, for letting us have cats, for giving us so many good memories and so much love! Thank you for staying home Mama. Thank you for working hard Dad. Thank you for tucking us in at night and for giving us love that we can trust. I love you so very much!

Happy day, all is well! 
Love Courtney Elise

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