Friday, June 26, 2015

Another transfer down / Week #56

Konnichiwa minasan!! First off I have to wish a Happy Father's Day to my dad! Sorry it's a day late. Also that present I was going to send you must have gotten lost or something...weird;)

So in case you are wondering why I didn't email yesterday it's because this week is transfers. And in case you are wondering why transfers is a week early it's because we are getting a new mission president. So this transfer is only 5 weeks, and next transfer is 7 weeks. Our new mission presidents name is President Egan, I think. I should know this by now.

This transfer went by super fast. It has made me realize how little time I have and how much more I can be doing. Honestly this transfer we haven't had a lot of success. And it's been hard. But I think it also has to do with my attitude. I haven't done as much as I could have this transfer. We see miracles when we are obedient and doing all we can to do the Lord's work. And honestly speaking I think I could have done more this transfer. But luckily we believe in repentance so I will do better from now on!

But in other news this week, we had junkai. I mean exchanges/splits. Whatever you call them. So I went with Chapman shimai and Layton Shimai went with Ogawa Shimai. We went over to Sister White's house to help her clean out a closet and rearrange some shelves. Those shelves happened to have DVDs on them so I may have gotten a little trunky when I started discussing movies with Sister White. I couldn't help it! But I was really glad for the service opportunity. It's hard to find ways to serve people in Japan because they will never tell you if they need help. Or if you know they need help, they may not accept your help. Not because they are rude or anything. If you receive help then it's polite to return the favor and then it creates an endless back and forth of helping. Not that that's a terrible thing...

But anyways, Sister White is awesome and so is her cooking. Cajun chicken pasta everyone. Try it. 

Also one last experience I want to share. It's small, nothing huge. But just an experience that reminded me that Heavenly Father is truly watching over us and cares about us even down to the small things. So on Sunday me and Layton shimai were out contacting. It was pretty warm outside and we were getting really tired. We weren't going back to eat dinner until 8:00 so we would have plenty of time to bike to the area we were going to. But because it's Sunday we couldn't stop at a conbini to buy a snack to wake us up. Layton shimai commented on how we should have brought a snack like chocolate or something. Although we both realized it would have melted way before we could eat it. So we kept biking, stopping people on the street. I stopped one girl and we struck up a conversation. She told us that she worked at a library and likes reading. So of course Layton shimai starts telling her about the Book of Mormon and pulls one out and hands it to her. She gladly accepted it and even asked if she could pay us for it. But we told her it was a free present. So in return she pulled a small packet of chocolate out of her purse and handed it to us. After she had biked away we laughed at how fast Heavenly Father had provided a snack for us. After eating the chocolate we had enough energy to dendo for the rest of the evening!

Have a good week!
Malone Shimai

Another Pic of Kintai Bridge - So beautiful!

Our District - Iwakuni

I'm an Ice Cream flavor!

Me & Layton Shimai with Eikaiwa students

Miyajima and so much more! / Week #55

Konnichiwa minasan! So yes this week I did go to Miyajima. And it was beautiful. So I took lots of pictures. Probably not as many as other people would. But hey sometimes you just need to look at nature and not snap pictures of it. It was a little rainy the day we went, but luckily not a downpour. The biggest takeaway I got from miyajima is that it was a beautiful place, with WAY too many deer. Who eat your food, and your bags, or anything that remotely even looks like food. But other than that it was great. But before I forget because this is super important. Happy Birthday Kevin!! Sounds like you had a good one! You're 30 now right? So this week was good. We were able to teach Matsuo san finally. It went really well because we taught her at a members house and her kids weren't with her so there were no distractions. We talked about how God is our loving Heavenly Father, but if he loves us why do we have trials? Matsuo san has some trials in her family right now so we felt like this was a good thing to talk about with her. We shared a Mormon message about a woman who also had lots of trials in her life. It's called the Refiners Fire. We talked about how we can grow from trials and learn to help others. We can find peace and joy through our Savior Jesus Christ. I think the message really touched her. Hopefully from now on all our lessons can go like that. We had our Eikaiwa talent show this weekend. And we had 3 new students come for the first time. They are all high school age girls. I think they had a really good time and want to come again next week. We also had some members from the Yanai branch attend which was really nice. Afterward we had some desserts and everyone stayed to mingle and talk which was good. When we just have Eikaiwa everyone tends to leave pretty fast after the game ends. But this time everyone was talking with each other. We had some nice talents. One of our students sang Let It Go from Frozen of course. And one man showed us a traditional samurai dance. And of course we did our Lion King puppet show. I have a video of it so I promise someday you can watch it. Although it is in Japanese... Anyways we are looking forward to the coming week and hoping to find some new investigators to teach! Thanks for all your prayers and emails and letters! Malone Shimai

Miyajima - It's so pretty!!

Miyajima Island - We had a great time!

On the ferry to Miyajima

The view from the ferry

                                                         Another view from the ferry

The deer are everywhere in Miyajima

The deer will eat any food you have. 
Even tissues, or my bag...That's not food!!

Me & Layton Shimai - Miyajima torii

                                                                       All four of us

The Kintai Bridge from afar in Iwakuni

We went to a beautiful garden by the Kintai Bridge

A member's daughter, Hitomi chan - She is so cute!

                                                                  More pretty flowers

A group of us at Eikaiwa

Our puppets from the Talent Show

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Iwakuni=Rock Country, no really that's what it means! / Week #54

Ok hello everyone! Now that I work with the military again I thought I would open with English. We are supposed to practice speaking the language you know. So this week went by really fast. Me and Layton shimai are getting the hang of the area more so we are getting more effective. We are also planning some fun activities for the upcoming weeks. On Saturday we are doing a talent show for eikaiwa but we also invited the Yanai members to come. Layton shimai decided it would be cool to do a shadow puppet show of Lion King so we have been cutting out cardboard shaped like lions in order to make the puppets. Layton shimai does all of the drawing and I do the cutting because I cannot draw at all. But I'm always good for manual labor! We are also planning a 4th of July activity with the Yanai branch where we will teach them to make some American type dishes and then we will all eat the food together. The idea is for them to invite their friends so we can meet them and so they want to come to future events. I'm also finally back on my bike. I may have neglected to mention that right before I left Kumamoto I got a flat tire and I didn't have time to fix it. So I came to Iwakuni with a flat tire and there's not really a bike shop that's close around here. But luckily our ward mission leader Brother Mann is great with bikes and he fixed it. Well the next day my back tire was flat, so then he had to fix that one. But anyways it's all good now and I'm back on my bike instead of riding the bike all the Japanese grandmas and grandpas ride.
 It was fast and testimony meeting yesterday and some families are leaving Iwakuni branch so a lot of people got up to bear their testimonies. It was awesome! In particular they spoke about how they have grown so much here in Iwakuni and how they have seen the hand of the Lord in their lives while they have been here. And I hope to have the same experience while I am here. I already love the ward members and because it's a smaller branch I really admire the time they dedicate to the gospel. Military people are super busy but they always find time to help us out. The same goes for the Japanese members. They are SUPER busy but they always find ways to help and serve us. So hopefully we can repay them by finding lots of investigators to bring to church! Well we are off to Miyajima. Don't worry I will take pictures. If you are too excited and can't wait you can look it up online:) Have a great week!

                            Me arriving at Iwakuni after 7 hours on a train!

                           Eating with the sisters after my arrival in Iwakuni

Friday, June 5, 2015

Trains planes and automobiles...or just trains / Week #53

So the reason I am emailing today instead of yesterday is because we had interviews with kaicho yesterday. This was my last interview with kaicho because he is leaving at the end of this transfer. It's weird to think the next time we have a training or interviews it will be with our new kaicho. Weird!

So kaicho shared Alma 26 with me which is about understanding the mysteries of God. At the beginning it lists the things we can do in order to come to know the mysteries of God. It lists the usual exercise faith, repent, pray continually, do good works. And kaicho said one mystery all missionaries want to know is where to find those who are prepared to hear the gospel. So kaicho reminded me that this is not just a nice scripture but that it's true. If we do these things we can find those who are ready to receive the gospel. We will be led and directed by the Spirit. Sometimes we as missionaries get stuck in the same routine of doing things and forget this is Gods work. He is always ready to help us. We just have to do our part. So there is Kaicho's parting wisdom for you.

So we also had zone training last week from the zone leaders. Whenever we have trainings or interviews we take about a 3 hour train ride there and back so I have been on the train quite a bit recently. And I love it! I feel so Japanese taking trains everywhere. Except we stand out like sore thumbs.

Last of all I just have to say Happy Birthday to Dawson! I can't believe you are 5! Sorry it's a little late. Transfers made me forget everything.

Have a great week!
Malone shimai

Iwakuni City, Japan