Monday, September 29, 2014

Baputesuma! / Week #18

Konnichiwa minasan!

So I'll start with the big news I guess. Not that it's a surprise or anything. Karla was baptized on Saturday! It went really well. There were lots of people who came to support her. And her husband also came. I'm still not sure how he feels about everything but I'm thankful that he's not opposed to it. I think now we're going to try and work on having families invite Karla and her husband over for dinner so that he is involved too.

Things with Sam and Jonathan are going really well too. We taught them Lesson 3 on Thursday with the Evans. As always the lesson went really well and they had lots of questions. They also came to a baptism on Sunday for two eight year olds and Sam told us that she wants to be baptized in two weeks. Wow! She's totally ready for it but our only dilemma is Jonathan. He's not quite ready yet but we really want them to be baptized together. So I guess we need to talk to them and figure out what they want to do. We're praying that he will be ready in two weeks and then they can just be baptized together.  It's tricky, but they are both doing great and really progressing. They are awesome!

Tamiko san is doing good too. We took a member over to her house for the lesson which is a definite improvement. We read from the Book of Mormon together and talked about the history of the Jewish and Christian religions. We invited her to read that chapter again or to read the next chapter before our next visit. She really does have a love for the Book of Mormon and knows it's true. Now we just need to extend that knowledge to other things.

Sunday was interesting because we didn't have Sam and Jonathan show up or Yuliya so we were thinking that we wouldn't have any investigators at Church this week but in the Japanese ward Minami and Zukeyama san showed up! It was definitely a miracle. We also had a member bring his girlfriend and so we gave her a quick tour of the church during the second hour and then went with her to Gospel Principles and Relief Society.

Random notes-

I've been in Japan for almost two months now and I had sushi for the first time on Friday! It was pretty good. Much better than Utah's sushi. It was on one of those conveyor belts too where you just grab it as it comes around and then the plate it's on tells you how much it is.

I love mac and cheese. Yes I'm five.

It's so hard to not be able to hold people's babies. Why is this a rule?!

Thanks for everyone who wrote me! You are all celestial! Those of you who didn't write me are...probably still celestial. I hope everyone has a good week!

Love you!

Malone Shimai

                                                      Karla's Baptism - Sept. 27, 2014

View from a tall building in Okinawa

Satomi san (investigator) let me try on this cool cultural hat

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Still hot / Week #17

Konnichiwa minasan! 

It's still hot as ever here. People keep saying it's going to cool down but this week felt just as hot as August. But now everyone is saying once it's October it will get better.

This week was really good. Karla is getting baptized on Saturday! I'm so excited! We're trying to get everything ready for Saturday. Her and her son have been sick recently so we've had to rearrange some of our appointments and what we teach her when, but it's all going to work out! We've taught her all the commandments so we just need to finish lesson 5. Her baptismal interview is scheduled for Wednesday. Other than being sick though she's doing great and feeling excited for Saturday!

We met with Sam and Jonathan for the second time on Thursday and it went really well. We taught about the Plan of Salvation and both of them really felt the Spirit. Sam especially, she said she felt like crying after learning about it. She is really ready for baptism I think. Her husband Jonathan has never really been religious at all so I don't know if he's quite as ready but he's praying and keeping the commitments too. We gave Jonathan his own copy of the Book of Mormon so that he can start reading it. Sam is already on chapter 12 of First Nephi. They also came to the branch social on Friday so they are getting to know more people. Some people thought they were already members. In other words, they're doing great.

I also had my first zone training meeting on Thursday. It was so good! The zone leaders and the sister training leaders did a really good job. I was writing down notes and ideas for investigators during the training. We went through Alma 22 and broke down each verse to see what Aaron did to teach King Lamoni's father, because Aaron's an awesome missionary.

We finally met Tamiko san after a couple weeks of not seeing her. We met with her on Friday and Saturday. We shared Ether 12 verse 27 with her. She has been struggling with some things and this scripture really helped her. She wrote it down so she could read it again and again. We also started talking about the Book of Mormon because that's a strong point for her. She knows the Book of Mormon is true even if she doesn't understand everything in it. So we committed her to read the introduction and next time we will talk about Joseph Smith and how if the Book of Mormon is true then everything else is true. I'm excited. Even though we hadn't seen her for a while she seems like she's more ready to hear these things now.

We biked the furthest we've ever biked this week and let me tell you at the end of it, it wasn't pretty. We were so gross. But we got no sympathy from the other sisters because they bike that far all the time...anyways, I think I made up for all that biking because the two military branches both had a branch social and there was lots of delicious food...yeah.

Some important notes-
On Sunday we went up north to a members house and I finally got to see the ocean! I mean I'd seen it from far away but we actually walked on the beach. It's so pretty! Sometimes I forget I'm on an island.

Happy Birthday Bri!! September 26! It's you first birthday in Texas!! It's probably going to be better just because of that. Have some fun! But not too much fun, if you know what I mean.

There's lots of Jehovah's Witnesses here. One day we saw them twice in two completely different areas. Maybe they decided to follow us. I don't know.

Elder Ho says hi. He's Hawaiian so he's cool.

Have a great week everyone! 
Malone Shimai

Me & Pinzon Shimai on the beach

Monday, September 15, 2014

One transfer down, Okinawa to go / Week #16


So I'm still in Okinawa! Yay! I'm so happy. This is such a great area. Everybody from my district stayed which is cool. There was only one change. Elder Ho joined Elder French and Elder Horstmeier so they are a trio now. And Elder Dolbin got a new missionary (also known as a bean)! And I totally know him from the MTC. He was in the group that came in after us. His name is Elder Clinger. It's so funny to see him and think I was just like that a month and a half ago. It feels longer. But they say time goes by faster after your first 2 transfers, so I'm almost there!

The weather here is still rainy and humid? Is it getting cooler in Utah yet?

Tuesday was super fun. Us four sisters went zip-lining with the Crosbys. It was fun but a little more work than zip lining in Mexico. You climb up the poles and then you hook yourself up to the line. They teach you how don't worry. And then you go across and land on a big bed of wood chips. I totally got a huge scratch on my leg when I landed hard one time. I took a picture of my legs but I'm not sure I should send it because you will think that I must be falling a lot. Which is kind of true. I totally fell off my bike this week. Pinzon Shimai was there to help me though, after she finished laughing.

This week we started teaching Karla the commandments. She is doing really well. She understands each commandment we teach her and hasn't had a problem yet. We've taught her the Word of Wisdom, Tithing, Fasting, and some more. On Sunday they announced her baptism in church and some members have already stepped forward to offer help. They are so nice! We just want to make sure she's really prepared for her interview so we will be meeting with her a few times this week to teach her the rest of the commandments and start in on Laws and Ordinances. She shares her testimony practically every time we meet with her. I can't believe I have an investigator who is getting baptized.

We have two new investigators that we met with this week. Their names are Sam and Jonathan. They have a little boy named Sebastian. Sam works for a member on base and I guess he mentioned some things about the church and invited her to attend. We were able to meet with them on Thursday at a members house and teach them the first discussion. It went really well. They have a lot of questions but they are really good questions. She is more religious than her husband but both of them are interested in learning and we committed them to pray about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. We're excited to meet with them again!

Some of our investigators have been busy this week or have things going on. I think I'm learning that sometimes all we can do is just let our investigators know that we love them and we are there for them. 

I gave my first talk on Sunday in Japanese! I was really nervous this whole week about writing my talk. It was on honesty which is kind of a hard topic to speak on in Japanese. Just because I'm not familiar with the vocabulary. It would've been easier to speak about faith or the Book of Mormon. But I did it and I think it went well. At least that's what people tell me. And hopefully they're not lying because I spoke about honesty.

Today we are going to get haircuts for P-day. Mainly I just need to get my bangs trimmed because they are getting super long. (I can hear mom making a comment about telling me to trim my bangs often so they don't get too long all the way from here). But I'm doing it!

It's funny because each week there are so many good things that happen that I forget about until I look back through my planner and see who we visited or taught. I don't know what I would do without my planner. It contains my life pretty much. 

Well I hope everyone has a good week! Have lots of fun, but not too much fun. Until next week!

Malone Shimai

                                               A couple of pics of Me & Pinzon Shimai

Me & Wells Shimai

Another day in Okinawa

Recent baptism

District Elders in Okinawa

My zip-lining injuries!

Some of the English Advertisements are so funny!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Transfers! / Transfers: Am I staying or going? / Week #15


Ok this letter will be kind of short. But I'll try to include the important things. 

We find out transfers later today! I will let you know and send a really quick email on whether I'm staying or leaving. Also I have a little less than 15 months left on my mission. Isn't that weird? I feel like I just started. I mean I know I did out in the field but it's just going by so fast.

We met with Karla and she is getting baptized on September 27!!!! I'm so excited! She really is so amazing and so ready for this. We just need to teach her the commandments and the laws and ordinances. But there's plenty of time for that. 

We're going zip lining today! Woohoo! Yeah that's right. Okinawa is cool.

I have to give a talk in the Japanese ward this coming Sunday on honesty. Yikes. When is there time to write a talk in Japanese? I don't know.

Things are moving along with all of our investigators. We had Karla and Tamiko-san come and see a baptismal service and I think that really helped them. Satomi san told us she's been praying everyday which is cool. We will probably have two new investigators that we're teaching by the end of this week. Our schedule is always crazy but somehow Heavenly Father makes it work out, sometimes even better than we planned.

Our mission had a goal on Sunday for 200 investigators or nonmembers to show up to church and we had 208 people come! Fasting and prayer really do work. And inviting people. But the members here are so awesome! Missionary work really goes so much better when the members are involved.

We had exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders for the first time this week and I was nervous about it at first but it turned out really great. I don't know why I was nervous. It's just weird to not be with your companion and feel like the other sister might be wondering why you're not good at a lot of things but it totally wasn't that way because Wells Shimai is awesome!

For eikaiwa on Thursday we had a talent show and most of the missionaries shared a talent. Wells Shimai and I sang I Heard Him Come. It was really fun and I think our eikaiwa students really enjoyed it. Some of them even did some talents like magic tricks and guitar. I videoed it on my camera so I'll see if there's a way to send it. If not, you can all see it when I get home. 

Glad to hear everyone's doing well! Sounds like Devin and Dad are having fun in Chicago. Mom's probably enjoying being alone. Just kidding. 

Good luck to everyone else who had transfers recently! And whatever does happen is for the best I know. But I'm not going to lie I want to stay in Okinawa. 

Love you all!

Malone Shimai


*So we got the call just barely! And...I'm staying!!!! All four sisters are staying! I'm so happy! I know there's so much work to do here and I'm happy I get to be a part of it for one more transfer!!

Love you!

Malone Shimai

Zone P-day "The Winning Team" jk...we lost!

Whip Cream Challenge - Find the gum, chew, blow bubble & pop!

Going to dinner with our Eikaiwa friend Minami

Church - Everyone in stripes but Me

Zip Lining - So fun!

Zip Lining on P-day

Monday, September 1, 2014

Busy busy! / Week #14

Ohayo gozaimasu!

So much to do. So little time. That's the life of a missionary. I'm realizing how blessed I am to be in Okinawa where we have appointments and get to teach people. Not everywhere in Japan is like that.

For P-day we went with the other sisters and a less active sister to Chili's on base! It was the best! You better believe we ordered that molten lava cake with ice cream. Desserts in Japan are not desserts. They don't understand the meaning of chocolate and lots of it! Portions are small. Well dessert portions. You can still get huge portions of ramen or fried rice. So after our fill of American food we went to see a lighthouse but by the time we got there it was dark so we couldn't really take any pictures. But we still tried. And as we were leaving we saw this huge spider with a sac thing underneath it. We figured that was all of its thousands of babies it was carrying around. So gross!!! I have one spider encounter AT LEAST once a week. But as of yet there have been no spiders on me. Which is good because I made a deal with Heavenly Father. He keeps His promises everyone. 

So we are still teaching the usual people. We challenged Emi this week to pray about Joseph Smith and I told her I would pray about it too. She texted us to say she did it! We have to wait until Tuesday to find out how it went.

Sad news. We didn't get to teach Karla this week. It was her husbands birthday and then her son had a fever and then she got sick too. It's so hard to not see her. I just want to teach her everything right away but I need to be patient. Plus this week we wanted to set a specific date with her but it didn't happen. So our mission goal was to have 2 baptismal dates by the end of August. We really wanted to set one with Karla but we couldn't. But...we set one with somebody else. And it's really funny how it happened. 

So we met with this girl Naia. She's in high school. She's almost 16. She was being taught by the elders earlier this year but then stuff happened and the elders who were teaching her are gone. So we called her up and met with her. She's pretty cool. Like cooler than us, so it's intimidating. Just kidding. But she mentioned something about having a baptismal date when we were talking to her. We didn't think she had one. We didn't say anything about it at that time. We were just getting to know her and see if she was still interested. But the next day I called her and she's at a house party and I can hear yelling in the background while I'm trying to ask her about her baptismal date. She said it was supposed to be in October sometime. So I'm asking her if she still wants to plan on that. Then she's like can you call back in 10 minutes? So I say yes and we call back in 10 minutes and it's quieter on her side. So I ask her when in October she was thinking and she says October 12. So I said okay lets plan on that then and we'll figure out what lessons we need to teach you. So basically I did a baptismal invite over the phone while this 15 year old girl was at a house party. Yay for missionary work!

Also we have Eikaiwa each week but one of the students expressed interest in learning Spanish so we set up a Spanish class on Saturday. Even some of the missionaries want to learn so we sat and learned Spanish from Sister Pinzon! So Devin maybe I'll be able to speak to you when I get home! Just kidding. It's enough for me to learn Japanese.

The weather here has been hot but it seems like we're finally feeling a slight cool down. Slight. I've made it through the hottest months of the year! It's rainy on and off still but I really don't mind that. I have officially been in Okinawa for one month now! Transfers are on the 9th I think. I really hope I'm staying here. We shall see. By the way my P-day is on Tuesday next week not on Monday! So don't freak out when I don't email on Monday!  

Have an awesome week everyone! Just keep pushing along! Whatever struggles you are going through there is someone who knows exactly how you feel! 

Malone Shimai

              The Lighthouse we saw at night                           

Pretty flowers                                                        

Eisa Drummers - They are HUGE in Okinawa          

    Me eating Indian food                                                  

Nan - aka...Really big bread. Super good dipped in curry or other food

Cute statue of Eisa Drummers