Sunday, July 26, 2015

What even happened this week? / Week #61

Konnichiwa minasan!

So just to review, last week my district went to Hiroshima to see the peace park and bomb museum. It was a good experience, although not something I want to see everyday. The museum really shows the devastation the bomb had on the city and the after effects it had on the people. Looking at the bombing alone it's hard to think people would do that to each other, but of course I know there was a lot more behind that decision. I would definitely recommend anyone go see it though. And of course it was raining, and all of us managed to forget umbrellas so we got a little wet as you can see from the pictures.

This week was really good. So many miracles. 

We taught the Sakamoto couple again this week. We had two members come with us to joint and I feel like it really helped the lesson. However, this also means there was a lot of Nihongo used that I didn't understand. Oh well. We taught about prayer and used the Gospel Principles manual chapter to teach it because the Sakamotos have one now. But the coolest part by far was that at the end Sakamoto san finally prayed for the first time. I didn't think he was going to do it because he kept saying he didn't know what to pray for. But I handed him the pamphlet that shows how to do it and he was reading out loud what it says when all of the sudden I realized he was saying things that aren't in the pamphlet. He was praying! It was so simple and sweet, but so powerful. I don't know if they can feel it, but me and Stevenson Shimai could feel the Spirit there. I love hearing people pray to Heavenly Father for the first time.

Probably the coolest thing this week is that we found a new investigator, Morioka san! We met him Monday night while housing. We asked him what he knew about Jesus Christ and he only knew a little bit (which is normal). But then he actually continued to listen to us which is not normal. So we taught about why Jesus Christ is important, and how Heavenly Father loves us so He sent his Son. Morioka san said he thinks there is a God but he doesn't really believe in Him. So we testified there is a God and we can talk to Him. Turns out Morioka san is going through a really rough time right now with his family situation So we ended up challenging him to pray and said we would come back on Friday to follow up. And he accepted.  

We came back on Friday at the time we said, but he wasn't there. We were really sad because he seemed like he was serious about meeting us again (plus we were missing a baby shower with delicious food on base to come meet him). So we started to write him a note when he pulled up in his car. Yay! So we talked to him about his work, but then ended up talking about God again. And can I just say the Spirit was definitely there because everything just came out the way it was supposed to, and Stevenson Shimai had this awesome comparison with his family situation, and how we are separated from our Heavenly Father, but He still is there and loves us. And Morioka san told us our words "watashi no kokoro no naka de hibikimashita". In other words, the words we said made an impression in his heart. IN OTHER WORDS, he felt the Spirit. It was such a cool moment. So we taught him about the Restoration, gave him a Book of Mormon, prayed with him for the first time, and committed him to come to church. Is that too much? I don't think so.

We also helped a family on base clean their house because they are moving back to the states. Can I just say I love service opportunities? Yeah that's right, I enjoyed cleaning someone's house! Don't count on that when I get home though, mom. I know everyone loves to be independent and do everything themselves, but when the missionaries say they want to serve you, they really mean it!!!!

Anyways, I feel like this week has been about service. Whether it was making cookies, cleaning a house, or just talking with someone who really needed it, there are so many kinds of service that we can offer. And it truly does brighten up that person's life. So if you are overwhelmed by your own personal problems or the world's problems, then go serve someone and you can forget about yourself for a while. 
Love you all!

Malone Shimai

Our District went to Hiroshima to visit 
the Peace Park & Bomb Museum

Ringing the Peace Bell 

Eating out after visiting Hiroshima

Monday, July 20, 2015

It's July and it's hot / Week #60

Konnichiwa minasan!

Can you believe it's almost the end of July already? Where does the time go? Actually I know where it goes. It gets evaporated by the heat. Actually that's not true either. It's so humid here you just have a layer of moisture on you all the time. I must have amnesia from last summer because I swear it wasn't this bad in Okinawa. I think I blocked it out. Anyways...

So last Monday we went bowling on base with some of the members and I discovered that unfortunately I still can't bowl to save my life. I wanted to join the kids lane with the bumpers. At least then I would have a good score. But maybe that will be a goal for me to work on. Get better at bowling so I won't be ashamed to play with the grandmas and grandpas. 

Today we are heading up to Hiroshima to see the Peace Park where the bomb was dropped. Stevenson shimai has been there before and she said it is a really good experience. Kind of sad, but definitely worth it. So we are going as a district. I will try to take pictures and send them next week. 

Now on to the good stuff, we had another lesson with the Sakamoto couple this week. And this is the first lesson where we had a member come joint. Sakamura kyodai came and helped a lot. He's a return missionary so he really knows how to teach people, and he's Japanese so he can actually speak. Turns out that helps a lot. We talked about faith. It's still hard for Sakamoto san to believe but we are hoping that slowly but surely his heart will open. So Sakamura kyodai invited them to church and they came again! They also discovered the Gospel Principles manual and realized it's way easier to understand than the Book of Mormon so we let them take them home to read. So I took that as a good sign. But if you could keep them in your prayers I would appreciate it.

Other than that this week has been a lot of finding. We are still looking to find that kinjin (golden) investigator who will accept our message. But in order to do that we know we need to be perfectly obedient! Perfect obedience produces miracles! So even though it's hard sometimes, when we have that goal in our minds it is worth it! 

I hope everyone has a perfectly obedient, but still fun, week!!

Malone Shimai

Me & Stevenson Shimai with the Sakamotos

Our District - Iwakuni 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

So many things! / Week #59

Konnichiwa minasan!

Man so many things happened this week I don't even know where to start! No wait, I do. So last night we woke up because there was a small earthquake that was shaking our apartment and one or two things fell. But then we all went back to sleep. Yeah that is how we respond to emergencies. Then this morning turns out there is a typhoon coming through so it's raining and really windy. But we still walked to the church so that we could email. I promise we value our lives. Anyways, on to more important things!

On Tuesday we had a lesson with the Sakamotos and we knew at the end we wanted to invite them to church. So our plan was to talk about the importance of prayer, scripture study, and coming to church. Well it didn't go quite as planned and we ended up all over the place. I think we talked about the Ten Commandments and about the Plan of Salvation a little, yeah it was confusing. But at the end we invited them to church and they said "Yeah sure we've got time." Miracle! So they came to church on Sunday, all the way to Yanai. I think they had a good time. I'm not sure they understood everything, but I think most importantly they felt the love of the members. Everyone was coming up and shaking hands with them and introducing themselves. It was great!

That day we were also hoping to teach Mitchell but he wasn't sure what day he was leaving yet so we just planned the lesson anyways as if we were going to meet him that day. And then Sister Carter called and said he was leaving Thursday so he could meet that night. Miracle! So we went and taught Mitchell about the Plan of Salvation. And as usual the lesson was awesome. He had super good questions about Adam and Eve, The Law of Moses, and even the importance of Jesus Christ in the Plan. It kept me and Sister Stevenson on our toes. Especially since our English fails us sometimes and we sound weird now. But the Carters are awesome joints and they testified their hearts out. Unfortunately Mitchell left on Friday and won't be back for like a month and a half. But we committed him to read and pray every day while he's gone. 

This week we also had the opportunity to go to Yamaguchi and meet our new mission president, Egan Kaicho, and Egan Shimai of course. They are so wonderful! They have a lot on their shoulders taking on this responsibility but they are already doing great. Kaicho encouraged us to work hard, work smart, be obedient, and have fun! So we are trying to do just that! 

Honestly most of this weekend was taken up by us preparing for our American cooking class. It's been in the works for over a month now and finally the day came. We had practiced making the BBQ chicken, potato salad, green beans, and cookies beforehand but of course the day of things always get interesting. We had a little fiasco with the first batch of chicken so we had to go run and by some more last minute. But we had a good sized group come and I think everyone had a fun time. We are all a little relieved it's over but we will probably try another one sometime next month. 

There are many other miracles that happened this week and I can't even list them all. I'm so grateful I get to be a part of this work and we hope to see many more this coming week! 

Malone Shimai

Is it Jello? Is it Soda? Turns out it's both!
The wonders of Japan right here!!

Everyone enjoying the food we made for our cooking class

The long awaited pic of The Carter Family! And Mitchell!!
He's the one who looks like a Marine! :)

Me & Stevenson Shimai with Morikawa san

Me & Stevenson Shimai with Chapman Shimai & Parmley Shimai
Enjoying lunch after interviews with our new Mission President!!

Happy 4th of July! With no fireworks... / Week #58

Konnichiwa everyone!

So I hope everybody had a wonderful 4th of July! Ours consisted of going on base to eat an American meal. The wonderful Mann family took us on base and we ate chicken and fries and had chocolate fudge cake. I love America! Then me and Stevenson shimai taught eikaiwa so our theme for the class was "America" of course! We taught our students the phrase "Home Sweet Home." We may have also taught them the phrase "Come on man!" What? It's American. No there were no fireworks on base. But supposedly Iwakuni will have lots of fireworks in August so we are excited for that!

I have really enjoyed being in a military branch around this time of year because the theme for sacrament meeting talks centers around patriotism and the founding of our country. And then I look around and realize I'm surrounded by those who defend our country. It's a cool feeling. 

So we didn't get to teach Mitchell this week because he was hiking in the Japanese Alps from Tuesday to Friday. But he came to church again on Sunday! We were horrible missionaries and we didn't even invite him. But he came with the Carters again so he must not mind it too much. He's still not sure exactly when he leaves for his training so we might be able to teach him one more time. We will see.

We also had zone training this week in Yamaguchi. The zone leaders talked about prayer and obedience. Two things I definitely need to work on. As a missionary you pray ALL the time. All the time. And so it's hard not to slip into a routine of praying just because that's what you do. I really want to work on making my prayers really sincere and heartfelt again. Me and Stevenson shimai also want to step up our obedience level as far as time goes. We want to get out of the apartment on time and just be where we planned to be at the right time. So those are some of our goals for this transfer! Feel free to follow up with us!

Until next week! 
Malone Shimai

Celebrating the 4th of July!

Zone Training  -  The group

Zone Training

Running from Dark Clouds!!!

Our American Dinner Trial Run

Chicken, Potato Salad & Green Beans!!

Ready to Eat....

Saturday, July 4, 2015

I'm transfer ni-not telling you / Week #57

Konnichiwa minasan!

So this week was transfers. A lot of really good missionaries went home. I feel like everyone I know is leaving soon and I wonder what's going to happen when all of the older missionaries are gone and it's only my group left. I still feel like a transfer 3 missionary. I swear I don't know anything!

But onto the news. So my companion Layton shimai transferred to a place called Nakagawa which is close to Fukuoka. My new companion is Stevenson shimai. She is from American Fork. So our families only live like 20 minutes apart. But she's way awesome! She is transfer 11 so she has a lot of wisdom and her Japanese is pretty fly (a.k.a. way better than mine:) We are excited for the next 7 weeks in Iwakuni!

So this week we had several miracles. It's kind of funny that a lot of things me and Layton shimai have been working towards this entire transfer finally paid off and then she gets transferred. But that is how missionary life goes. So on to the miracles!

On junkais me and Chapman shimai housed into a woman-Umemoto san- and talked with her about God and how we are his children and how he wants us to be happy. And strangely enough, she totally agreed with us. Turns out she likes studying about God and through her studying has come to certain conclusions that tend to agree with our beliefs. It's crazy. So we gave her a Book of Mormon and asked if we could come back sometime. She agreed. So me and Stevenson Shimai went back to see her this week and basically taught her about Jesus Christ, the great apostasy, and the First Vision. She wants to learn more so we are going to see her again. We have a new investigator!

The next miracle is the Carter Family. They are an awesome family! I love being around them. So they told us at the beginning of this past transfer about their friend Mitchell who they know through scouting. The Carters are heavily involved in scouting and Mitchell is an assistant scout master. So they formed a friendship and he started to come over to their house a lot. But they have been so busy with scouting we could never set up a meeting. 
Mitchell is 22, a marine, and he's from Maine (I love Maine!). So finally this week on Wednesday me and Layton shimai had the opportunity to meet him and teach him the first lesson. And it was great. He listened and agreed to read the introduction to the Book of Mormon and pray about it. 
Then on Saturday me and Stevenson shimai taught him again and he agreed to come to church. So basically he's awesome. However, there is one down side to this. He is going on vacation for like a month and a half so he won't be back until August. So we don't get to teach him again until he gets back:( Who goes on vacation in the summer? Geez.

So we have seen lots of miracles this week. I'm sure there are many more I haven't listed. But we just want to work hard and continue to see those miracles! 

I hope everyone has a great week!

Malone Shimai

The Yamashita Family

Hayashi Shimai & Saki chan - We ate Okonomiyaki