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....

Monday, October 13, 2014

So there was this typhoon... / Week #20

Me and Pinzon Shimai were both sick on Wednesday. Well me more than her. It's not fun to be sick as a missionary. I will definitely be more careful about eating "Mexican" food in Okinawa.

The luau went really well! So many people came even though there was a typhoon coming. The members here are awesome. Haha Sister Crosby was joking saying everyone else is staying inside and preparing for Typhoon Vongfong and what do the Mormons do? They throw a luau!
The tours went really well. Although we had a lot of Japanese people in our group and all the leaders only spoke English so we tried to translate for them but I'm not sure how much they understood...anyways it was still fun! And the performances were so good. I wish I had recorded more of them. I only did a few and it's really noisy. We had a Hawaiian elder from Naha come up and sing a few numbers. And Sister Nagamine did some hula. I'm kind of sad and at the same time relieved that the luau is over. Now we will have more time for other things!

So the typhoon. Yeah. It started Friday night. During the luau all the military people's phones went off saying it was a TCCOR 3 or something like that. We were hurrying to clean up the luau and luckily the Crosby's gave us a ride home in their van because it was getting super windy. So basically we just stayed inside our apartment the whole time. We had enough food and water. The wind was super strong and it rained constantly both days.

So even though there was a typhoon on Saturday and Sunday we still managed to listen to General Conference because one of the elders downloaded the audio onto my SD card. I really needed General Conference. I don't understand how people can't recognize that these are men called of God. Apparently it's possible though because there were a lot of talks about sustaining our prophets and leaders. But everything they said just helped me so much. As a missionary I feel like I got more out of it than usual. I loved Elder Bednar's talk. I want to hand it out to everyone I meet. And President Uchtdorf was awesome as usual. I wish we could have general conference every week!

We met with Sam and Jonathan on Thursday and Sam decided to move her baptism back two weeks. But the good news is that Jonathan is also getting baptized in two weeks! They are getting baptized together! Plus Sam's baptism wouldn't have really worked out with the typhoon and everything. Of course that means it falls after transfers...but it's okay! It's not about us it's about them.

I hope everyone is doing well! Listen to General Conference if you haven't! It will answer your questions and strengthen you! I promise! Love you guys!

Malone Shimai

                                           Me & Pinzon Shimai at the beach

Wells Shimai, Me, Pinzon Shimai & Nagamine Shimai

                                            Beach Craziness!!

Okinawa is so pretty!
                                           The lighthouse in the daytime
                                            It was very windy!!

                          One of the members made this cake for the Luau

                                          The Luau - Fri. October 10, 2014

Hawaiians are so cool!!

Typhoon Vongfong from Space Station

Typhoon Vongfong - October 11, 2014 - Passed over Okinawa

Monday, October 6, 2014

Konnichiwa! / Week #19


So to answer everyone's question. We haven't seen General Conference yet! So don't spoil it! We see it a week later. But I'm so excited! All I've heard so far is that no new temples were announced.

And yes supposedly there is supposed to be a typhoon but I think it's missing us. It's just been really windy the past few days. I believe it's actually cooling off a little bit. The breeze is pretty nice. 

This week was good. We had a special training this week in Naha. The only thing is we thought it was here until the night before when we got a call saying it's actually in Naha... So all of us were scrambling to find out bus times. We couldn't find out a time so we went to the bus stop the next morning at 7:30 and looked at the map and then waited for the right bus to come. It was actually kind of fun. I like public transportation. Is that weird?

The training was awesome! Kaicho talked about helping our investigators have personal religious experiences so that they know for themselves what repentance, the Holy Ghost, etc, feels like. They also gave us a CD of awesome mormon messages we can show our investigators. One of them is the Because of Him video. It's so powerful! 
Also there's this cool one about this bishop who lives in London. He's originally from Jamaica and he reads parts of the Book of Mormon in the coolest accent ever. Not that that's the point...I don't know what it's called but you should try to find it and watch it!

Also we found out the next day that Elder Wynn, one of our zone leaders, has chicken pox. What?! How does that happen? And it was the day we all went to Naha with like 30 other missionaries so if anybody hasn't had it...they might get it now.

So a lot of our appointments didn't work out this week, but we met a few times with Sam and Jonathan. They are doing really good. We're trying to finish up the lessons with them to prepare for Sam's baptism on Sunday. She got up on Sunday in fast and testimony meeting and bore her testimony in front of everyone! It was amazing. She spoke about how everyone keeps saying they have the truth, they know the truth. The first time she came she didn't understand, but as she has been learning and reading she understands now. I couldn't stop smiling. She is definitely ready for this.

Jonathan is also doing well. We teach Sam and Jonathan the same things and give them the same commitments and he does all of them. Even with the commandments he has had no problem so far. He's reading the Book of Mormon and he's up to Chapter 7. He just wants to be sure of himself, which is good. He told us he's planning on being baptized in a month. Yay!

We also met with Emi this week. We read from the Book of Mormon again together. Then we actually started talking about fasting and why we do it. She had been taught it once before but I think she had forgotten a lot. So we've decided we're going to start teaching her the commandments. Who doesn't love commandments?

We've been busy planning the lu'au this week. I don't know if I've talked about it before. We're having an open house, followed by a 
lu'au. There will be delicious kalua pork and entertainment! We're in charge of decorations so we've been meeting with sisters who have far more artistic talent than we do. They are seriously so awesome. They made this tiki pole things and painted them all colorful. A lot of the work will be done on Friday when we set up everything but the members have been so helpful. It's going to be great! Hopefully all the members bring their friends!

Sorry this one is so long. There's just a lot going on, which is a good thing I guess. I hope everyone is enjoying conference! We are so blessed to have prophets and apostles to guide us!  
Aishiteimasu yo!

Malone Shimai

Lemongrass footsoak at a member's house

My doki, Cox Shimai (we came to Japan in the same group)

                                           Kirakira Beach on P-day