Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy New Years! / Week #31

Ok so since I just emailed on Thursday I don't have too much to say. Things are going back to normal here, although New Years is pretty big here. People make a lot of mocchi and go to the shrines and do cleaning. Yeah I don't really know.

But we went to the aquarium today which was really cool! I took a lot of pictures and half of them are just of fish but they looked so cool I just had to! They also had a dolphin show. I forgot that I love dolphins. 

Other than that things are just going back to normal after Christmas. Getting back to our normal routine. Not that it changed that much...

So a quick happy birthday to people. Sorry its late! Happy Birthday Heidi, Kristee, and Candace! I hope you guys had a good birthday and don't worry about the fact that you guys are old now. Just kidding. 

I hope everyone has a great week! Remember even though its not Christmas anymore you can still have that same spirit year-round!

Malone Shimai

P.S. Thank you Aunt Barbara and Uncle Bob for the package! I definitely will enjoy all the sweets. Although maybe I shouldn't...

Saturday, December 27, 2014

We Wish You A Merry Christmas- From Okinawa This Year! / Week #30

Konnichiwa and Meri Kurisumasu! Trying to spell it like Japanese people say it is hard.

So it was good to talk to you guys today! I'm not going to lie it was kind of weird and surreal. I feel like that didn't actually happen. I walked out of the room at the end and I feel like I returned to normal life. I guess that's a good thing right? I'm glad to hear everyone is doing good though. Also I'm emotionally unstable since becoming a missionary. Just seeing my nephews and hearing them talk made me want to cry. Geez.

Sorry Dev, I forgot to congratulate you on graduating last time! We are all graduated! But not all of us are done with school. Me and Bri just had to pick professions that require more. We should really rethink that.

Also, a big thank you to the Terrys and the Seagers! I will never see the Nephite Christmas in the same way again. That was such a cool talk. Also I love my socks and scarf and chapstick, etc. I don't know how you knew exactly what to send. It must have been the Spirit! But a big thank you to everyone who has sent me anything. I can't believe all of the gifts I have received this year. I truly know that Heavenly Father blesses his missionaries.

So this week has been great! Lots of opportunities to serve at Christmastime. We decorated sugar cookies for Family Home Evening and took them to members houses to help recent converts and members get to know each other better. So me, Jeffery Shimai, Gibo Shimai, Minami, and Sakamoto Shimai all piled into Crosby Shimai's van and we went and delivered cookies. We could not have found some of those places without Gibo Shimai. Thank goodness! And it was totally worth it to have members open up their doors and sing Silent Night to them and hand them cookies. I don't think Japanese people get sugar cookies very often. They were so happy! And I think we all had a good time too.

Things are going good with Okamune shimai, Elina, and Sam and Jonathan. They are awesome and actually they are great examples to me of striving to come unto and follow Christ more each day. Please keep Karla in your prayers though.

On Christmas Eve we went with some American members to a hospital and sang carols for the patients there. It was a bunch of old Japanese obachans and ojichans. They were sitting there staring as we sang. One of the grandpas came up front so he could be a part of the choir too. They loved it when we sang Joy to the World. I don't know why but that is one of the few Christmas songs that Japanese people know. The coolest part was when a sister played some traditional Okinawan songs and suddenly they all started singing them. It was reverse caroling but it was so touching to hear them recognize the song and then join in. Then we passed out presents and chocolate to them all. They wouldn't open their presents though. They just hold on to them. And they love when the little kids hand them their presents. A lot of them would use English phrases too. Everyone here in Okinawa knows some English I swear. Even 99 year old obachans.

We also had the opportunity to go to a members house for Christmas Eve. There were a lot of members there but also they invited their nonmember neighbors and a Japanese friend. So it was cool to talk with them and get to know them. I think the Japanese lady was happy that we spoke Japanese. But props to people who form friendships despite the language difference. At the end they showed the Nativity and shared their testimonies of Jesus Christ. Way to be awesome member missionaries! Also we might start teaching their neighbors. We'll see!

Also I have some news for you all. I lost my alien registration card a while back so technically I'm illegal right now. But I'm working on getting a new one, it's just a complicated process. But I can now say that I have been to the police station in Okinawa. Yeah! Illegal for the holidays! (But really I'm trying to get it fixed. Don't worry).

This has been my first Christmas away from home, but I'm grateful that Heavenly Father has provided many many people to make us feel loved and feel like family here in Okinawa. It has made this time of year easier and a special Christmas that I won't forget. I only hope that we can return the favor in some small measure.

Merry Christmas everyone! Love you all!

Malone Shimai

Big Christmas Tree lit up in "Music Town"

                                                             It was actually cold!!

My Package arrived - Can't believe how much you sent!

Socks from Seagers - Wear them everyday now in the apartment!

12 Days of Christmas gift we made for Karla

Christmas Baskets from one of the Wards - They are so good to us!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

I can`t believe it`s almost Christmas! / Week #29

Merry Christmas minasan! Ok not quite yet. I`m just excited okay?

So this last week has been very busy. Jeffery Shimai and I had Elina`s baptism to get ready and luckily we did most of it before hand because on Friday all the missionaries` phones got turned off. The only problem is in Okinawa we haven`t received our new phones so we have been going without phones for 4 days now. Pretty fun stuff. Also really inconvenient when you can`t set up appointments or ask people things. But it`s made us all really grateful for our phones. Missionary work is a lot better off with them. Also Jeffery shimai has been sick for quite some time. She is doing better but still has a nasty cough so keep her in your prayers!

So Elina`s baptism went amazingly well. I think that is the strongest I have ever felt the Spirit at a baptism. Her family came too which is really cool! Her dad is a less active and her mom and brother aren`t members. When Elina bore her testimony I know her family felt the Spirit. She talked about how lost she had been before she started praying and reading the scriptures. And now she`s so much happier and she knows what to teach her son and how to bring him up so he will become a good person.  She`s a crier and it totally made everyone else cry, including me. She wants to be the one to bring her family into the church and I know she can do it.

Sister Jeffery also gave a talk on the Spirit at the baptism. One thing she shared that her mom told her was really cool. She said some people think that a mission changes us into a different person. But I think a mission changes us into the person we were before when we lived with Heavenly Father. The person we are meant to be. It`s a cool thought.

One other cool thing we did this week is the 12 days of Christmas. We are supposed to pick someone and then do something for them every day until Christmas whether it`s a treat or message or text, etc. We really wanted to do it for Karla but we were nervous about overwhelming her by visiting her everyday, plus she lives on base so it`s difficult to get on. But we came up with the idea to make 12 cranes (I`ve been making cranes a lot lately) and then we divided up the talk Lord I Will Follow Thee by Elder Gavarret from General Conference into 12 parts and we included a scripture to look up each day with it. Then we put it in 12 little containers and put that in a Christmas box. (Daiso seriously is so amazing - it's a store here). Then we wrote that it is said that if you make a 1,000 cranes it is said you will never die (or something close to that), but we hope with these 12 cranes of Christmas that you will come unto Christ who is the true giver of everlasting life. So we gave her all 12 days in one box and dropped it off. I hope she does it because it`s really cool and hopefully will bring the Spirit each day until Christmas. We also told her to watch Because of Him and He Is the Gift, two really great Mormon messages. It`s a really awesome opportunity and we put a lot of work into it. I wish we could give one of those to everyone though and switch up what talk we include. How cool would that be?

We also had the Okinawa ward Christmas party. I don`t think there`s anything much cuter than a Japanese nativity or a line of little Japanese kids waiting to see Santa (a.k.a. Elder Clinger in a santa suit). I`ll send some pictures. Also I`m still always amazed at how much food there is at these things. They made homemade pizza, taco rice, chicken, and a whole bunch of salads and desserts and a huge cake. The Japanese know how to do it, let me tell you.

That being said I just want everyone to remember the true meaning of Christmas during this time. Go watch He Is the Gift on lds.org if you need a reminder. Even as a missionary I sometimes find myself forgetting why I am out here and focusing on the planning and scheduling and all the little details instead of remembering my Savior and how grateful I am to celebrate his birth this time of year and to share that with others. So please remember to share that joyful message with others you meet!

Have a merry Christmas everyone!

Malone Shimai

The Nativity at the Japanese Ward - So Cute!!

                                          Elder Clinger as Santa at the Ward Party
Elder Henrie had to sit on Santa's lap too!

Minami, Jueri and Jeffery Shimai

Elina's baptism - Nov 13, 2014

Elina's little boy Cameron

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

This week is crazy! / Week #28

Konnichiwa minisan!

Okay so as you all know transfers were last week and my new companion is Jeffery shimai. No big shocker since we already lived together. However, we are a 2 sister apartment now which is kind of lonely. I miss Wells shimai and Pinzon shimai! But it also has perks like more room in the fridge, and only one person showering in the morning and at night. So yeah. 

So we had to say goodbye to Wells shimai and Dolbin choro because they went home. Weird. Missionaries go home? I thought that was a myth. And then we had to say goodbye to Pinzon shimai and Ho choro because they transferred to Kumamoto area.

It was weird right at first though because Pinzon shimai was my mom (missionary term). I've never had any other companion besides her out in the field. So I kind of felt like a high school kid going to college again. I can do things for myself?! Scary! But also cool. But I got used to it really fast.

So for those of you who don't remember what I said about Jeffery shimai when she first came to the island (I don't really remember either), I will tell you about her again. She is from Provo, Utah so we are a classic companionship let me tell you. From Orem and Provo Utah. So original. Anyways, but she's cooler than I am because she's half Japanese whereas I am 100% white. Like as white as it gets. But we joke that we had to come halfway across the world to find someone who lives 15 minutes away. She's really cool and outgoing so that's good. The two of us together should be exciting. It already has been. 

So the thing about going from 4 sisters to 2 is we have to combine all of our investigators. We're still in the process of planning and working that out because we had no time this weekend. Why is that you ask? Well because Wells shimai and Jeffery shimai had two investigators with baptismal dates and one of those baptisms was on Sunday. So we basically only had time to plan for that and the other baptism happening this Saturday. It's been kind of crazy. But really great. Did I mention I love baptisms?

So Okamune san was baptized on Sunday! She is golden. Like really. She prayed and came up with her own baptismal date. When that happens you know the person is solid. I kind of feel like an intruder in the baptism pictures though because I never actually taught her. I just got to take over for Wells shimai. So in one of the pictures I held up a sign with her name on it so she could be represented.

The other baptismal date is Elina. She is half Japanese and is a referral from the awesome Wykles. She is really golden too. She has a lot of family members who are LDS and she even went to church when she was really young but was never baptized.  She has a son named Cameron and he is 5 and so cute! She has a really strong testimony. I like wanted to tear up when she shared it. Heavenly Father really does prepare people.

Also on Saturday was the Handel's Messiah Christmas concert at the church. Tons of people came and brought their friends. It was a really cool experience. There was this amazing trio-a violin, cello, and piano-that rocked some classical music as well as Let It Go from Frozen. Have I ever mentioned that Japan is obsessed with that song? Like more than America. I don't understand it. It's everywhere. Then for the Messiah part we had legitimate opera singers from Okinawa perform. It was so cool! And the coolest thing too was the choir that backed them up was made up mainly of members from the Okinawa ward. The last song they sang was O Holy Night. If people in that room weren't feeling the spirit, then something is seriously wrong with them. I think it was a really good experience for nonmembers to have as an introduction to our church.

Also, I finally saw Elder Robinson (Heidi's little brother) at the concert! I was wondering if I would ever see him before he went home.  I feel so bad I didn't get a picture with him. But he took one. So maybe it will end up on Facebook somewhere. I don't know. He just transferred into an area called Itoman. That's in a different zone so I won't really see him unless there's a big event again. But it was cool to see him.

Last of all Happy Birthday Devin (Dec. 7) and Jill (Dec. 10)!!! Sorry I'm not there to celebrate with you guys! Have lots of fun for me!

Malone Shimai

                                                    Me & Gibo shimai

District Meeting - Chicken n Dumplings

District Meeting

District Meeting

District Meeting

Okamune san's Baptism - Me & Jeffery shimai

Okamune san's Baptism

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Guess who has been out for 6 months? / This is it... / Week #27

Konnichiwa minisan!

So I realized that on November 28 I had officially reached my six month mark. How crazy is that? But that's not really important right? You know what is important? Food. Lots of it. I have eaten so much food this week I really just want to eat a normal meal at my apartment with normal portions. I know I know I shouldn't be complaining about the fact that people feed me. But it's just the AMOUNT that's killing me.

So my Thanksgiving was really fun. All of the missionaries on the island came to our church for lunch/dinner. It was cool to see some people I hadn't seen in a while and some I've never seen in my life. It wasn't just us missionaries though. It was families from Kadena, Gushikawa, and Futenma branches so there was a TON of food. I've never seen so many pies in my life. And I only had two pieces thank you very much. They also let us take the leftovers home. We're set for a while.

Basically this week has been a lot of contacting people who aren't home or calling people who don't call back but such is the life of a missionary. I've found that really small things can make my day now such as one person on the street who will stop and actually listen to us rather than rushing away, or one person who listens at their door instead of saying "sumimasen, choto isogashii" Or finding a joint for your lesson at the last minute when everybody else couldn't make it. Little tender mercies from Heavenly Father.

Our district is doing really good right now though. I think we have about 8 investigators with baptismal dates right now. We've all been praying really hard for people to be ready for baptism and it's been really cool how many miracles have happened. Of course Pinzon shimai and I are still searching for that investigator, but I'm sure they are out there!

We also have a goal next Sunday to have 250 nonmembers come to church. That's mission wide. Last time we met the goal of 200 so we should be able to make 250 right? So we've been challenging the members to invite someone to church for this next week. It will be exciting to see how many people show up!

I do have a special announcement: I put on tights for the first time last night! Yes that's right. Tights. But of course by the time we got to the church I kind of wished I hadn't put them on. But it's still exciting to think I can wear tights and jackets even in Okinawa!

So I still don't know about transfers. Hopefully I can email that today. We'll see. But I'm so glad to be in Okinawa and so grateful for the awesome missionaries in my area! Whatever the future brings, it's in Heavenly Father's hands.

Malone Shimai


So this is the moment you've been waiting for!

I'm staying in Okinawa! Surprise! Not really. I had a feeling I would stay. But the crazy thing is Pinzon shimai is leaving to go be an STL in Kumamoto. Wells shimai is going home, and Jeffery shimai is my new companion! So there will only be 2 sisters now in the Okinawa area. It's kind of sad but also I feel really good about everything. I was kind of freaking out at the thought of training but luckily Heavenly Father decided to have mercy on me and not make me a trainer yet. 
Hope everyone has a good week!

Malone Shimai

                           Thanksgiving Celebration at the church - Fun seeing everyone!

Thanksgiving - Nov. 2014

Yakiniku - This is probably the last pic of all of us...

Jeffery shimai and Wells shimai being weird!

Our District - Okinawa 2014

Our Christmas Pic!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving! But not yet / Week #26

Konnichiwa kyodai shimai!

So the weather here is still ridiculously nice. So nice that all of the winter clothes I just received (thanks mom!) will probably not be used unless I leave Okinawa. I have to make up excuses to wear sweaters. Usually it's indoors because that's the only time it's cold. Anyways...

So we may not have 2 baptismal dates like we've been challenged to, but we are accomplishing one of our other goals. Finding Peruvians (or anyone who speaks Spanish really)! And mainly it`s the other missionaries who have been finding them. Usually the people aren`t that interested but when they find out Pinzon Shimai speaks Spanish and is Columbian they totally open up and want us to come back. It`s funny. And then I stand there and nod while they speak Spanish. Although actually a lot of times I understand whats going on even though I have never taken Spanish in my life. Maybe I should have gone on a Spanish speaking mission...

So one cool story that happened this week. We went and saw Higa san. She's a lady we found housing like a month ago. She's part Filipino and Catholic. We've met with her a few times before but only for short times. Last time we told her that her Heavenly Father loved her and she was a child of God she started crying. It was so sweet. This time we wanted to try talking about family history. But she wasn't interested. She said she didn't want to do it. So we were kind of at a loss as to what to say. So Pinzon Shimai, like the genius she is, pulled out the Book of Mormon to share a scripture. 

The first time we met Higa san we learned that she had been given a Book of Mormon before but she had no idea where it was. We offered to give her another one but she said she was fine. So this time when Pinzon Shimai pulled it out to share a scripture she said "Can I have that?" We were like "Of course you can have it!" So we shared like 3 different scriptures with her and marked them with sticky notes so she could read them again. I've never seen that happen before. Somebody actually asked us if they could have a Book of Mormon? Miracle!

We also met with Tomoko san this week. Our joint, Gibo shimai, was awesome! Right off the bat she told Tomoko san she should be baptized. Of course Tomoko san doesn't really know what that is yet, but that's not the point. So we talked about God a lot and about good and evil. Actually Tomoko san did most of the talking, we're trying to work on getting in a word or two. We also talked about prayer again and Gibo shimai challenged her to pray to Heavenly Father. Because before I think she's always been praying to her mom. But by the end of the lesson I think Tomoko san was willing to try it, thanks to Gibo shimai's testimony. Members are great!

We also found this super cute family that we really want to become investigators. We talked to the wife the first time. Her name is Chiaki. She was totally willing to listen to our message about family history. And when we went back the second time her husband was there. He listened to us too, we just shared a short message about families. Mostly he just asked us where we were from but he was really nice which was surprising. A lot of times the husbands aren't so enthusiastic about us visiting. So we invited them to church. They didn't end up coming, but Chiaki actually responded to our text and said they went to visit her grandma or the kids grandma and that's why they couldn't come. So we definitely will go visit them again!

Lastly, one night we went down to this area called Awase to visit a less active family. We don't usually go down there so we followed the other sisters down this HUGE hill. The family fed us a heavenly dinner of eggs, potatoes, apple pie pancakes, pumpkin spice waffles, and candy bacon. It was amazing. Bacon with brown sugar on it? Yes. It literally was candy. Anyways, the other sisters had to go to another appointment so we had to figure out how to get back to our apartment. We had gps on our phone but it was late and we were trying to figure out how to get back on a main road and get back up the huge hill. Then our phone rang. It was Sister Crosby saying she had the feeling she was supposed to call us. They even went to the church to look for us but we weren't there. The Spirit it awesome! Heavenly Father cares even when it's just small things like not knowing how to get back home when it's late. Miracles!

So as far as having 2 investigators with baptismal dates, I don't really know who it's going to be. We have some people in mind we want to invite, but I don't know that any of them would be ready by next month. But Heavenly Father has been blessing us in other ways such as finding cool people to teach or inspiring Sister Crosby to call us when we really needed a ride home. It really makes me grateful when I look for the small miracles everyday. 

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone! We will be eating at the church. The district is doing a dinner for missionaries, YSAs, and deployed spouse families. We will be well fed for sure. 

Love you!

Malone Shimai

                                         Dinner with Gibo Shimai - The bananas were so small!

Wells Shimai 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

It's finally getting chilly! / Week #25

Guess what? It's finally getting a little cold in Okinawa. At night now we actually put on sweaters. Ooooh. I can't even imagine being really cold right now. Watch I'll probably get sent to mainland and then I'll actually be cold.

So just a heads up for next week. Since it's Thanksgiving next week we might have Thursday be our P-day. But it could also be a good dendo opportunity so it might not be P-day. Either way just know if I don't write next Monday it means P-day is on Thursday. Otherwise, I'll write like normal.

So we did a lot of housing this week. Which is good. I think I'm getting more comfortable with it. I used to dread having to do housing for several hours and now I think I'm okay with it. Of course if there's somebody to teach I still would rather do that...

But me and Pinzon Shimai have been trying to use the My Family pamphlets in our housing. She's really good at it. We talk about how everyone has a family and the importance of family. Then we give them the pamphlet and Pinzon Shimai shows hers so they can see what one looks like when it's done, (or mostly done). Then we share how we believe families can be together forever. At the end we ask if we can come back another day to talk more about the pamphlet and see how they're doing with it. Everyone is pretty accepting of it. I think everyone can relate to family so people are more open to us coming back again. We still need to go back and visit them this week so we will see how it turns out. 

Some exciting news! We were finally able to meet Vanessa. I don't know how much I've mentioned her. Probably not at all. But we met her when we were signing onto base like a month and a half ago and found out she had been to our church before in mainland. (Also her best friend is a return missionary she met while in mainland. What?!). She's half Okinawan, half Peruvian. She's really nice. We got her number from a member and have been trying to set something up for several weeks now but she's really busy with work. But we went to a member's house for dinner and invited Vanessa. We're still not 100% sure about her interest level so we want to meet her again in a setting where we can talk more. But at least we finally met her!

The military branches had district conference this weekend. I don't know what it is but ever since I've been on my mission I absolutely LOVE conferences now. General conference, district conference, sometimes zone conference. The speakers were really good. The theme of the conference was spiritual growth. But each talk was always about spiritual growth through prayer, or fasting, or repentance. It was really good. I realized I need to make my prayers more sincere and really wanting what I'm asking for. Also fasting. Fasting is so powerful. If you really want something you have to be willing to sacrifice. Our effort and desire has to match the thing we want. Or something like that. They said it better than I can.

Anyways, I hope everyone has an awesome week! If you didn't write me, repent. If I haven't written you back, I'm sorry. I'm a busy missionary? Is that a good enough excuse?
Love you all! 

Malone Shimai

                                         Me & my bike with the church in the background - Okinawa

Okinawa City

November 2014 - Things are still growing here!

Watching "Ephraim's Rescue" at the movies - Pday

Jeffery Shimai, Wells Shimai & French Choro being silly!

Service at a less actives place - We love moving grass!

Korean Food - Bibimbap

Japanese people write things in English that don't make "sence"

Monday, November 10, 2014

What even happened this week? / Week #24

Guys this is serious. I`m starting to forget things. I think I`m going senile. Or I`m just a missionary and my brain can only hold important information like Japanese, scriptures, and members` or investigators names. Actors, song names, etc... are no longer important apparently.

This week was really good. I feel like we had a couple of slow weeks and now we`re back to our normal busy level. Rushing from one appointment to the next is how we like it.

Tuesday night there was a Relief Society activity that was so good! And the main reason it was so good is because Yuliya, Emi and her friend Midori, Karla, and Sam were all there! I think they all had a really good time. And Yuliya told us on Wednesday during the meeting she got goosebumps and felt warm inside. She totally felt the Spirit! And she came to church on Sunday! She is totally progressing. It`s in small ways but she is progressing. We showed her President Uchtdorf`s talk from general conference and talked about faith when we met with her on Wednesday.

Sam and Jonathan are doing solid. They came to church on Sunday and sat in their own little pew and looked like such a cute LDS family! Karla came to church too. I think coming to church has helped her because she seems to be doing better spiritually. She knows people will have questions and will tell her things about the church but she`s decided that`s okay. I think it also helped that the ward gave her visiting teachers and asked her to be a visiting teacher!

We received a couple referrals from the choro-tachi. We met with one of them, Tomoko-san. She`s 60. She has a husband and takes care of his parents who are in their 90s. Elder Wynn and Elder Jolly found her. She`s really funny but she has a difficult life. We taught her about prayer when we met with her. She wasn`t able to come to church but we hope to keep meeting with her.

For service on Saturday we got to help out with the Kadena Special Olympics. All of the Japanese special athletes come on base for the day to do events. We had to get up at 5:00 am to get on base and get registered. It rained the entire morning. But luckily a little after the athletes arrived the weather cleared up and it was so fun! Each of the companionships got a buddy and we take them to their events and help their families. Our buddy`s name was Kurama san. He is 17 and he did the 100 meter dash. He was so great. He would go around and talk to all his friends and talk about how fast he was going to run. He did so great! He didn`t medal, but he got like 4th place!

On Sunday Pinzon Shimai and I spoke in the Gushikawa branch. Speaking in English is so much easier than speaking in Japanese. Who knew? Our topic was Fully Committed to the Gospel and our remarks were based on President Uchtdorf`s talk Are You Sleeping through the Restoration? It`s so good. Everyone go read it right now. Don`t let yourself become sleepy in the Gospel!

Random notes:

Happy Birthday Allison!!!! November 11! You`re the best sister I`ve ever had! You`re turning 30  right? And next year will still be 30 right?

Thank you to Aunt Barbara and Uncle Bob for the package! How did you know all the things I needed? You guys are the best!

For zone P-day today we went on base and ate at Chili`s then reserved a movie theater at the USO and watched Ephraim`s Rescue! I had never seen it before but it was really good. Of course I was hoping it would be Meet the Mormons but that was never actually going to happen...

I hope everyone has a great week! Keep going strong! Or semi-strong! Or barely strong! Just keep going! Heavenly Father loves you, that much I know. Love you!

Malone Shimai

The Sea Wall - Okinawa                    

Our District - Okinawa

Eisa Performance by the American Kids      

Kadena Air Base Special Olympics
(Our buddy Kurama san)

Halloween Treats we made!             

Eating bulgarian food with members from the Japanese Ward



Monday, November 3, 2014

Happy Halloween! Also it`s November! When did this happen?! / Week #23

So it sounds like everyone had a fun Halloween. Much colder than ours. The weather here is finally starting to cool down a little. But then I`ve said that before and it goes back to being hot. But I think this time it is real. We might be having another typhoon this weekend. We`ll see. I never believe it until I see it because people are always saying there`s a typhoon coming.

So we had a trunk or treat on Halloween and it was combined so there were a TON of people there. There were some awesome costumes too. Unfortunately I was too busy talking to people to think to take pictures of them. Bummer. We were really excited too because one of our potential investigators, Vanessa, said she was going to come but then she had to go into work at the last minute. We were so disappointed because we have been trying to meet with her for a while now and we thought it was finally going to happen. I guess we need to learn more patience still.

We went out so see a less active, Nakasone shimai this week. She said she was busy but her daughter let us in. She`s a former investigator I guess. She said she still prays and she remembered the last time Pinzon shimai was there. So it was a blessing in disguise. We may not have been able to see the less active, but we taught a lesson to her daughter. 

We met with Karla this week and I`m really glad we did because she was having a hard time again. Her husband looked up a lot of stuff online about the church and has been questioning everything and I think it was starting to plant some doubts in her mind. But Sister Nielsen, our joint, did a really good job of encouraging her and telling her to keep doing things like praying, reading, and attending church to spiritually strengthen herself.  By the end she was feeling a lot better. She also came to church on Sunday! She hadn`t been in a few weeks because her son was sick.

We also had Sam and Jonathan be joints for Emi`s lesson this week and it went really well! We taught about keeping the Sabbath day holy and Sam and Jonathan shared what they do on Sundays but then it just turned into them sharing their testimonies about the church and Heavenly Father and prayer and baptism. It was amazing. I felt the Spirit so strong. I`m sure Emi must have felt it too. She had a big smile on her face when they were testifying. They have what we call dendo fire!

Random points:

This week was Wells shimai`s birthday. We have had so much cake this week. Once people find out it`s your birthday they all want to give you cake. I never want to eat cake again! Or at least for like 3 weeks.

Crosby Shimai made the cutest snacks for our Eikaiwa Halloween activity. I will try to get pictures to you of them.

We had Bulgarian food last night. In the Japanese ward there`s a member who is half Okinawan, half Bulgarian and she invited us to her place and grilled a lot of meat Bulgarian style. 

Also all my notes have to do with food I`ve noticed.

Lastly, Happy Birthday to Megan! You`re now the big 23! Sorry it`s two days late, or I guess with the time zone difference it`s only one day late! 

I hope everyone has an awesome week and just know it is now okay to sing Christmas songs since it is after Halloween. That`s our policy here at least. It`s never too soon to start talking about Jesus Christ`s birth! Love you all!

Malone Shimai

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Transfer 3 / Week #22


I can't believe I'm on transfer 3! I'm no longer a bean technically. But in reality I still feel very much like a bean. Pinzon Shimai thinks she's going to transfer next time and that I'll be left here to teach the new person how everything works in Okinawa. To which I say: No way! Why am I the one who is staying? I don't know anything!

Anyways, Happy Halloween on Friday! The military branches and Okinawa ward are having a trunk or treat for everyone. Yay for candy and handing out pictures with Jesus on them!

Well you can guess what the high light of our week was. On Saturday Sam and Jonathan were baptized and yesterday they were confirmed! I am so happy for them. Sam was lit up after her baptism. She couldn't stop smiling. And I was kind of surprised how happy Jonathan looked. He kept thanking everyone who came or helped out in some way. It's so wonderful to see a couple get baptized together. Their whole goal now is to be worthy to go to the temple next year. And I'm not worried about them if we get transferred or something. They will be well taken care of.

Now that Sam and Jonathan are baptized we are trying to find our next golden investigator who really wants to come closer to Christ. A lot of our investigators right now are not progressing or are taking very very small steps forward. So we will probably be doing a lot more finding and asking members. We want the elect!

We do have one investigator who seems to be progressing. It's been a long time coming. His name is Nitta san. He's in his 60's. He believes in the Bible but he doesn't really like the Mormon church (or any church for that matter). He used to tell us all the things he didn't like about our church. But he's slowly been softening towards us every time we see him. So now we teach him lessons from the Bible. And last time he seemed like he really wanted to hear our explanation of what we believe, not just what's in the Bible. He's still a long ways from coming to church but we just want to show him that what he believes and what we believe is very very similar. It's exciting!

Also transfers happened. Wells Shimai's new companion is Jeffery Shimai. She's from Provo Utah and we totally know the same person Kaytlyn Monsivais (Marr)! The world is so small when you're a missionary. So that's exciting. Jeffery Shimai's pretty cool. She's getting used to Okinawa life and missionary work. It's different than mainland from what I hear. So it sounds like I will have yet another culture shock when I go to mainland...whenever that is.

I hope everyone has a great week! Dress up for me and eat lots of candy!

Malone Shimai

Sam, Jonathan & Sebastian - Baptism Day

Pinzon Shimai, Me, Sam, Jonathan and Sebastian - 
The Evans Family (Great member missionaries!)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Things that were, things that are, and some things that will shortly come to pass / Week #21

Konnichiwa minisan!

This week was good. A little different than what I'm used to in Okinawa.  We did a lot of contacting and housing this week because a lot of our investigators couldn't meet with us this week and we realized that we need new investigators who will progress. Luckily, Heavenly Father is merciful and we have already found some new investigators. I'm still not good at talking to people in my limited Japanese but I'm getting better! Me and Pinzon Shimai kind of get in a groove where I introduce us and ask some questions and then she swoops in and answers things when I don't understand anymore which takes like 10 seconds...

Sam and Jonathan are doing great. We met with them on Monday to do Family Home Evening together and also combined it with teaching a lesson about missionary work. And as usual they were way ahead of us. I guess one of their neighbors was asking what church they go to and had questions about our church so they told her a little bit about it and why they like it. They're so great! 

They also had their baptismal interviews on Saturday. Sam is solid. They met with us an hour before because Jonathan had some questions about some things he had heard about from the Pearl of Great Price and about modern prophets. We just encouraged him to turn towards his Heavenly Father for answers rather than outside sources. He knows this gospel is true he just questions certain details. Their baptism is this Saturday at 6 pm! I know that they are going to be a solid family in the church and I'm so excited for them!

We've also been working with Karla since her baptism, obviously. She has already had a lot of people ask her questions and she started reading stuff online. So she started to have some doubts. But luckily we brought Sister Gillis over for our lesson and she was able to share about her and her husbands experience since they are both converts to the church. She was able to say exactly what Karla needed to hear about how this time will be difficult for her as a new convert because Satan is going to throw everything he has at her, but if she can turn to her Heavenly Father and trust in her testimony the blessings will pour down on her. Sister Gillis was amazing.

There's so much work to be done with investigators, and less actives and recent converts x 3 wards/branches. But I'm glad we stay busy and that there is always work to be done. Okinawa is a great area! And I have an awesome district. So I will email you guys later to let you know about transfers. I really hope I get to stay one more transfer but we will see what Heavenly Father has in store for me. 

Malone Shimai

Random notes:

We went to a crossfit class at the church on Friday. Needless to say I'm REALLY sore. Why do I think I can just jump back into working out that hard?

We had a talent show after Eikaiwa. Sister Wells and Elder French sang an awesome version of Secret Prayer which included him beat boxing for the last verse. Don't worry. I recorded it.

We had Spanish class again. Anytime Pinzon Shimai asks me something in Spanish I can't reply because only Japanese comes to my mind. I should probably not try to learn another language right now.

The General Women's Meeting was awesome! Yes we're a little late seeing it. Although I'm not going to lie all the talk about temples is kind of hard for us missionaries to hear since we can't go to one right now.


Ok so we actually got our transfer calls at like noon but we had to hurry and go to the beach afterwards. That was great by the way. I'll send a few pictures as a preview.
So...all of us are staying, except for Nagamine shimai. She is going to Sasebo which is up by Nagasaki. It's actually another military area. But we are so sad she is leaving! It's hard when you get used to living with people and love them only to have them leave. Although both Nagamine shimai and Wells shimai only have one transfer left anyways. Then they are going home! How weird is that? I can't even imagine being at that point. Anyways, I hope everyone has a good week. I'm excited to be in Okinawa for Thanksgiving! Yay for American food! 
Love you!

Malone Shimai

                               Sam, Jonathan & their son Sebastian - Oct 2014

The Beautiful Ocean - Okinawa Oct 2014

                                          How Cool is this View?
                                         We are So Cool!

                           By the Sea, By the Sea, By the Beautiful Sea....