Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Keepin it Simple - Week #81

Konnichiwa minasan!

Well I don`t really know what to write...I was hoping I would have some profound thoughts for all of you but it turns out I just have a lot of jumbled thoughts, emotions, and memories. So yeah.

Well this week has been much like other ones on the mission which is a good thing I think. We went out and talked to people, we had some lessons with the recent converts, Shimoda Shimai and Maeda Shimai. We talked a lot about Christmas this week and I love it because I really feel like I am fulfilling my purpose as a missionary when I get to straight up testify about Jesus Christ and who He is. We have to keep it pretty simple because a lot of people don`t know who He is, or know nothing except Christmas is His birthday or something. But I`ve found that simple is always more powerful.

So I will simply share my testimony. I`ve realized on my mission that I don`t know a lot of things. And I`ve been asked questions that I don`t know the answer to. But when it comes to that point I can always simply bear testimony. I know God is there. I know He lives and loves me. I am His daughter. I make a lot of mistakes, like everyday. I have a lot of weaknesses. But Heavenly Father knows that. So He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to this earth to live as the perfect example, the perfect person, who would experience all of our mistakes and weaknesses, pains and sufferings, but He would overcome them. He would bear them for us. Because He loves us. So when the time comes that we feel like we can`t do it on our own, He is there to help us. We can change. That is the power of the Atonement. And the way we continue to change and become happier and happier is faith, repentance, baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. That is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are not alone. And we can share this with friends, family, and people we have just met. That is the "good news" that I have been trying to share with everyone for the past year and a half. And that is what I have learned for myself over the past year and a half. 

They say that a mission is like a mini life. And I am here to testify that is SO true. I am a grandma right now with all my aches and pains, and I`m a little bit senile I think. But I`m happy to say that I endured to the end! I have finished the work I was called to do. (Pretend this email is actually dated on Thursday).

So here goes the whole Enduring to the End Part 2: After Mission Life. I`ve heard lots of stories about it. It sounds kind of scary if you ask me. But I guess from here on out you can just ask me in person:) Unless you live in Japan:(

Have a great week!

Malone Shimai
                                                 My last P-day - We went to Shuri Castle

                                           Kasamatsu, Bearman, Lowe & Me

                                                 Inside Shuri Castle

                                      Merry Christmas from Naha Okinawa

                                     Okinawa is so pretty - I'm going to miss it!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Yes its Christmas once more... - Week #80

Konnichiwa minasan!

Can you tell that I`m excited for Christmas? I make Kasamatsu shimai sing Christmas hymns every morning even though there are only like 8 in the Japanese hymn book. And we have lights in our apartment from Bearman Shimai`s family. And on the streets we ask everyone what their image of Christmas is. In Japan its basically a couple date day. Oh Japan. You don`t know what you are missing! That`s why we are here! So we tell them its actually about the birth of Jesus Christ and how he is our Savior. Sometimes they still don`t think its that cool...but we are working on it!

So we had junkais (exchanges) with the Sister Training Leaders who are Sister Magalogo and Sister Peterson, both of whom I love. So I went with Sister Peterson and we had a blast! Although we did both realize why we were never companions. We become way more awkward together. But it was still fun. We didn`t set any return appointments but we met a few people who gave us their phone number and said to contact them to see when they have time to meet. 

Other than that we visited a lot of less active members this week and shared a Christmas message with them. We gave them a broach the Relief Society sisters made (I`ll have to show you mine sometime), and then we shared the new video the church released. One sister told us she had been feeling a little lonely and had wondered if we would come. Answers to prayers!

So this week has been interesting. I feel like my emotions are on a rollercoaster lately. At one point I`m excited, then I`m terrified, then I feel like I haven`t done enough, then I feel like I just want to shut my brain off. But I`ve been reading General Conference talks lately and it seems like they are always just what I need. I read President Monson`s talk called Joy in the Journey from 2008. I recommend it to everyone. It reminded me to enjoy the time I have left and work hard and not worry about whats ahead. And don`t worry about whats behind. Just do your best and live joyfully now.

Last of all a big Happy Birthday to Devin and Jill! You guys are both one year older! Have fun this week and let me know if you want anything (within reason)!

Have a great week everyone!

Malone Shimai
                             Dinner with the STL's - Peterson & Magalogo

                                         Me & Kasamatsu Shimai
                                      wearing our lovely bike helmets!

                                              Me, Kasamatsu and the Elders

                            Lowe Shimai's Bday party - Us with Shimoji Shimai

Friday, December 4, 2015

It`s that time of year! - Week #79

Konnichiwa minasan!

First off I have to wish a Happy Birthday to my grandma! She turned 68 I think...oh no wait reverse that. Well she looks 68 at least. Happy Birthday grandma! Sorry I didn`t send a gift! But I`ve got a really good one prepared! I`ll be sending it in a few weeks...

Anyways, the weather is maybe starting to cool down just a little bit. We can`t be sure. But we are still wearing short sleeves so that tells you how "cool" it is. But it`s officially December now!! Well not for you guys, but for me it is! That means everything Christmas 24/7! Yes! When we were shopping today all of the stores play Christmas songs. Japanese people may not understand the meaning of Christmas, but they understand the commercialism aspect of it just as well as we do. 

But I`m excited that the Church has released another Christmas video this year called A Savior is Born and we are going to hand out cards with the link to the video and invite people to watch it. The phrase at the end says "Discover why." Talk to the missionaries! They can help you discover why a Savior was born!

So yesterday we had the opportunity to take a taxi up to the Okinawa Church for a special training from President Egan and the APs. I was so happy to be able to go back to Okinawa City and be in that church again! I should`ve taken more pictures but I got distracted. Kasamatsu shimai was blown away by the building, and by the American base across the street. She was like "This is not Japan. This is not Japan!" She`s kind of right. Oh and I got to see Sister Peterson and Sister Magalogo again too! 

But anyways, the training was way good! Kaicho talked to us about our faith and asked us "Where is it at?" Whatever the current level it`s at, we can raise it, we can build it. Japan needs it. Everyone has the image that you don`t baptize in Japanese missions, but they want to change that. Then the APs followed up with a training about finding investigators through the Spirit, which is what we need help with right now so you can bet I took really good notes. We are excited to try it out this week.

As for the baptism we were supposed to have this week, it fell though. So we are kind of bummed about it, but we also feel like that was the right thing. She`s not ready for it, and that`s okay. But we are going to keep working hard and ganbaruing! 

Everyone have a great week! Happy December tomorrow! Listen to lots of Christmas music!!!

Malone Shimai

Guess who got to go back to the Okinawa City church?
Yep!  Me!!!

Lots of memories!

Maybelline meets Star Wars....lol

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving - Week #78

Hello everyone!
Sorry this email will be short but dont worry I will email again on Tuesday. We have had an awesome Thanksgiving at the Wedekinds. It was fun to go back to my old area. I didnt really see anyone but it was cool to see places that I used to go. Its crazy to think it was a year ago that I was here. But we ate delicious turkey and pie and it was Sister Kasamatsus first Thanksgiving. I think she enjoyed it.
As far as missionary work goes we are still teaching Fu chan. She has a baptismal date for December 5 so we are preparing for that. We are really excited! Other than that we have been working really hard to find new investigators but its been hard. Practically everyone we meet has already met the missionaries before. But have no fear! We will find that prepared person who is just WAITING for the missionaries to show up. 
Well because its Thanksgiving I guess I will mention some things I am grateful for. I am grateful for ice cream and pie, and my bike which helps me work off some of that ice cream and pie, my companion, Okinawa and how beautiful it is, my family, everyone who has helped me get to this point, and of course my Savior Jesus Chist and Heavenly Father and their love for us. Everyone have a great week!

Sister Malone

Kasamatsu, Bearman, Me & Lowe Shimai at the Seawall 

All of us with Sis. Wedekind

Beautiful Okinawa Waves

It was very windy!  So pretty!!

Thanksgiving feast at the Wedekinds

Me & Kasamatsu Shimai - It was a great day!!

My area - Naha Okinawa

Me & Kasamatsu Shimai at the church

Me & Kasamatsu Shimai with Shimoji Shimai

Last week's trip to the Art Aquarium - Shimoji shimai took us
Making fish faces..... at the aquarium

Sunday, November 22, 2015

This is Okinawa! - Week #77

Konnichiwa minasan!

Well in other news, weather is the same as usual in Okinawa. It`s beautiful, bright, and sunny, oh and then at night there`s a torrential downpour and it`s basically like monsoon season. And I forgot my rain suit so...yeah. I think that is the wettest I have ever been in my life. Sister Kasamatsu wears glasses so we couldn`t ride our bikes because she couldn`t see. There was one point where the street we were walking down had flooded so the water was up to my knees and I was wading through with my bike and in that moment I was like "YES, I am a MISSIONARY!" Don`t worry the rest of the streets weren`t that flooded. It did get a little chilly towards the end. Luckily, I`m in Okinawa because a huge rainstorm in November would be REALLY cold in other areas. 

Speaking of Kasamatsu Shimai, she is from Nagoya area. Aichi ken I think. She is 20 and she is on her 2nd transfer. She is also the cutest Japanese person you will ever meet. She is so bright and cheerful all the time. She really helps me A LOT. Especially with my Japanese.

In other news, we are still teaching Fusano san, our one investigator. She doesn`t really have many lessons left so we are going to invite her to baptism (we were going to do it last week but things changed). 

Other than that we are searching for new investigators who are ready and need the gospel in their lives! Which reminds me, there is a recent convert in our ward. Her name is Shimoji Shimai and she is just the greatest person you will ever meet. She just got baptized last month so she has that missionary fire in her right now. She loves sharing her testimony with everyone. And she loves the sister missionaries. So she took us to this aquarium art exhibit with goldfish. It`s so Japanese I can`t even explain it. But it was pretty cool.

Anyways, thanks for all your prayers and emails! I definitely still need them! But I`m grateful to be here in Okinawa and to have some more growing and stretching opportunities!

Have a great week!
Malone Shimai

It's already Christmas in Japan!!!

Okinawan boy band, because why not?

We went to a Japanese Aquarium - So Japanese...I love it!!

                                                           It's Aquarium Art!!

Me being one with the fish...

Last Zone Training Meeting  

Look who my STLs are! Doki!!

The view from our apartment - Naha Okinawa

Friday, November 13, 2015

Back in Okinawa - Week #76

Konnichiwa minasan!

Yes I am emailing you from the beautiful city of Naha in Okinawa. Yes it is still summer here. I should just send all my winter clothes home because I`m pretty sure I won`t need them. So I am on the island of Okinawa again, but my area is Naha so it is completely different from my first area. There are no military people here, it`s all Japanese. But as luck would have it, the very first night we went to the church and who should be there but a member from the military branch in Okinawa. It was fun to see her again. So me and Kasamatsu shimai live with 2 other sisters who are the Naha Sisters. We are the Naha East sisters. As always its lots of fun, especially because Lowe shimai likes to cook so we eat delicious food every day. I live such a blessed life:)

For those of you who want an update on what happened in Iwakuni: I left and Sister Willson went to Beppu to be with my MTC companion Sister Chun. Sister Salmon is training again, still in Iwakuni. And Sister Welte is in a trio with two other sisters now. But she told me things are going good there. They set a baptismal date with Ayumi san!! And apparently they are teaching a friend of Dustin`s who is just like him. AKA he is kinjin!!! So that`s your update for Iwakuni. I miss them all A LOT. 

So we don`t have very many investigators right now so we are gonna work really hard this transfer to find new investigators and the mission has a goal for every companionship to have 2 baptismal dates by Thanksgiving and a baptism by Christmas. So that is our goal for this transfer. Naha has had lots of baptisms and the ward is really big so I know its totally possible here. We can dekiru, as me and Kasamatsu shimai like to say.

I hope everyone has a good week! Keep on ganbaruing!

Malone Shimai

Farewell Party for Me & Willson Shimai
Iwakuni - Nov 2015
I am going to miss my friends in Iwakuni so much!!

Me & Sister Rebecca White

Me and The Mann Family

Me & Sister Shelli Winter

Me with The Billings Family

Sister White, Me & Sister Tessa Wilson

Me & Sister Hope Carter

Me & The Chavez Family

My last time on the Train....

Me, Welte Shimai & Ayumi san

Me & The New Crew! 
Lowe Shimai, Bearman Shimai & Kasamatsu Shimai
Okinawa  -  Nov 2015