Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas

Hello all!!!
   This week was my first full week in Muroran!! We were pretty lucky this week because it didn't snow... well until today. I'll let you know how that goes in my email next week. :)
   I have met so many people this week and I'm reminded again how hard Japanese names are to remember!! But hopefully once I've met with people more than once I'll start to put names to faces. The church members here are so awesome!!! Maybe I'll say that about every ward I serve in, but really the people are so nice to us. And when I introduced myself in Church last Sunday, I told people that I have a wheat allergy and right after church people were coming up to me and asking me what I could eat so that they know what has flour in it and what doesn't. They were all just so kind and thoughtful! 
   I was also able to meet some investigators this week. We have quite a few in Muroran so that is super exciting. It's a little strange going from only having 2 investigators in Obihiro to having around 8 here in Muroran, but I'm not complaining. :) We have one investigator named Wado San. She and her husband first heard about the church more than 20 years ago - right after they were married and just started having kids. They were super busy and didn't have time to meet with the missionaries. But now they are investigators again now that they are grandparents. :) I think she is really committed to coming to church and she reads the Book of Mormon and prays, but she is hesitant about getting baptized because she wants her husband to get baptized too. But he's not very willing to give up coffee or smoking.So we'll see how it goes with them. They are a very funny couple!! :) But they are so sweet! We had a really good lesson on faith and how if we have faith then there is no need for us to fear.
  I'll be sure to let you know in my next email all about what Christmas is like in Japan!! And since Christmas is in a few short days I'll say it now..........
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season and remember to show your love to everyone this season, because really all we want is to be happy right?? So be happy!!!! :) hahahaha there's a little Jazmyne wisdom for you. :)
Much love!!!!!!!

Morrison Shimai
モリソン 姉妹

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Transfer to Muroran

Hello all!!!
   Well I have finally left my hometown of Obihiro and have moved out to a city called Muroran!! It's about an 1 and a half hours west of Sapporo (by train). And it's right on the southern coast of Hokkaido.  My companion's name is Kuroki Shimai and yes she is Japanese. This area just opened for Shimai only 2 transfers ago so I'm the 3rd Shimai who has ever been here. Pretty cool right?? Anyway Muroran is very hilly and because it's on the coast it is very windy. And guess what?? There's snow here! And a lot of it!! Haha. :)
   My first day here  we went up Muroran Yama (mountain). And yes it's mountain. Not like Mt. Hood kind of mountain but like Ladd Hill/Parett Mountain kind of a mountain, and we took our bikes up it.  We walked our bikes up a mountain my first day here and then we were going to ride down, but because of all the snow it wasn't really possible. But we did ride our bikes down the last half mile or so of the mountain. Riding bikes down a mountain in the snow is just a little bit scary! But no worries! We survived!!   :)
   On Satuday we had the Ward Christmas Party!   I got to meet all the church members before Sunday. At the Christmas party all the missionaries (me, Kuroki Shimai, Lee Choro, and Brown Choro) did a little dance and sang Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer. Everyone thought it was really cute. :) Which is good because we planned it exactly 10 minutes before the Christmas party started - since we just had transfers we didn't really have a lot of time to plan anything amazing. :) The ward seems really great and I'm excited to continue working in Muroran!!!!

   Hope all is going well!
   Much love!
Morrison Shimai

Snow Angels in Obihiro

Tempura Ice Cream

Getting Christmas Package

 Leaving Obihiro - At the train station

Leaving the Obihiro Shimai

Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Muroran Ward Christmas Party
New companion is on Jazmyne's right, far left two Young Single Adult's.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

New Investigators and Transfer Week

   This week we have big news!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
WE FOUND 2 NEW INVESTIGATORS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Basically we are super excited. :)
   This transfer we started out with 3 investigators, but then within the first week we went down to 2 investigators. So this transfer we have really been focusing on getting more investigators. We've been working really hard and trying our very best, even when we were discouraged. Then this last week we were lucky enough to find 2 people who are interested in hearing the gospel!!  It was truly a miracle week!!! :)
   I may or may not have told you about these people already, but since I can't remember I'm going to tell you about them again a little bit.
   One of our investigators, her name is Songumsuk. If you read that and think, 'that doesn't sound very Japanese, well you would be right!   She is from Korea!   But she speaks really good Japanese.  Anyway, she has a super interesting story about why she is in Japan. She is a part of a religion (I can't remember the name) but it's a christian church and everyone in the church has arranged marriages!  I didn't think there were that many people that did that any more, but I guess they do.  Anyway she got married to a Japanese man and they never met before thier wedding and at that point she didn't speak any Japanese and he didn't speak any Korean. So she moved to Japan to be with him and taught herself Japanese, and then he tried to learn some Korean. It sounds so hard!  But they made it work and it sounds like they are really happy now. So we first met her back in October and gave her a Book of Mormon but haven't been able to meet with her until now. She is really great and we have another appointment with her in a few weeks.
   Our other investigator is Sato San. She is married and has 3 children and 3 grandchildren. She was super open to listening to us and so we were finally able to teach her on Wednesday. We were only planning on teaching her the first half of lesson one, but since she was asking so many questions we ended up teaching her the whole thing. She has lots of really great questions and she understood everything that we were telling her! It was truly amazing. And I recited the first vison in Japanese for the first time (to an investigator). So that was really exciting too!!    REALLY, REALLY great week!!
   This next week we have transfers so I will let you know what the results of that are next week.  This is how the whole thing works..  
   Trainers get their calls on Monday night and all they tell them is that they will be traning (obviously in their same area) but they don't tell them who their bean (greenie) is. So they go to the honbu (mission home) on wednesday morning to pick up their bean.
Everyone else gets their calls on Tuesday (usually in the morning). They call us and tell us what our next area is and who our new companion is. Then everyone who is transfering and their companions (usually) all leave on Thursday morning.  We all meet at the "transfer spot" which is a specific spot inside the subway station in Sapporo. Then you all switch and find your new companion and then head to your new area. So usually Thursday is spent traveling all day. Sometimes it's different. Like this last transfer since none of us were transfering we all stayed and Miyamoto shimai just came with the elders. So they try to save money whenever possible because traveling in Japan is really expensive!!!  Our bikes are shipped to our new area as well as one of our bags so when we travel we only have to take one bag with us so that is really nice. :)  So that's how it works here. :) I've actually never been to the transfer spot, but who knows maybe this transfer I will. :)
   Hope you are all doing well! Much love!
Morrison Shimai

Fun in the park with Lundstrom Shimai when the weather was warmer.

A dog sled?

Jazmyne and her companion always seem to find matching outfits.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sushi for Thanksgiving

   So this week was a really weird week. It started out on Monday, we had a little birthday party for Kozuma Choro, one of the elders in my district. He turned 20 years old so I am now the only 19 year-old in the district! Hahaha :) At the party the elders made this huge ice cream sunday. And I love ice cream so I ate a lot. Then on Tuesday, I woke up with a really bad stomach ache (probably from all the ice cream..... :)). So we weren't able to leave the apartment becuase I basically slept all day. :( Then on Wednesday I was feeling a little bit better, so we went and did some housing and then hung out with a member for about 2 hours, but that was just too much for me, so we had to come back to the apartment and then I slept for the rest of the day again. :(
   Ok but on Thursday we actually did stuff!!! YAY for not being sick!!! We met with a couple of people. We met this lady named Sato San. She is really nice and we talked with her for about 30 minutes and just got to know her. There is a really good possibility that we will be able to teach her a lesson next week! We also had a little mini Thanksgiving feast with the other missionaries and the Single Adults from the ward........ :) The elders made mashed potatoes and stuffing. And then me and Bastow Shimai made thanksgiving cake (since there are no ingredients to make pie).  Then we had to go to KFC to get chicken since they don't have turkey here. All in all it was honestly really lame. :) But we got a good laugh out of it. But the sad part was that I didn't even eat any of it becuase it all had gluten in it. So before the little get-together, we went and bought some sushi for me to eat. So I just ate my Thanksgiving Sushi. And it was really good :) It will definitely be a Thanksgiving to remember! 
   On Friday we had a sports activity with all the missionaries and a couple investigators: Akari chan and Koharu chan came. I think I've told you about them before. They are 22 and 23. They both moved to Obihiro for their work. And they come to Eikaiwa sometimes - they both speak very good English. We rented out a gym and we played basketball, volleyball and dodgeball. I wasn't very good at basketball. It brought back some bad memories of my last expirience playing basketball here.... :) Volleyball was really fun and we used a short net so I even spiked the ball once! Pretty amazing right? Haha :) Ok and I guess people in Japan don't play dodgeball the same way that we do in America. It's hard to explain in writting, but it is SO intense! Basically by the end it's like everyone against one person. I was the 2nd to last person out and let me tell you I was a little scared for my life at one point. Hahaha. :) The best part about Friday was that we were able to meet Agnes!!!! We were both really excited. Earlier in the week she wasn't feeling good, so we went by her house on Thursday to drop off some soup and that night she called us and asked to meet with us! It was a mini miracle! We talked a lot with her about prayer and the influence that prayer has on our lives. She really wants to teach her kids correct principles so she has been really focusing on reading the Bible with them. At one point she was asking us about our families back home and about our plans for the future. So as we were telling her she asks "Are you normal American young adults??" And me and Lundstrom Shimai just looked at each other and then together we both said, "No we are really not." :) What normal teenager would leave the fun life of college and take 18 months to go to another country to try to teach people about God and Jesus Christ? I can tell you that not many would. We just testified to her that we're the people we are becuase of the great things we have learned from our parents and from the gospel. It's truly why I am the person I am. And I know that I am so happy to have the knowledge that I do!
   Hope all is going well!! Much love!
Morrison Shimai

Thanksgiving Cakes instead of Pies

Thanksgiving Sushi

Doing service at a Care Center