Sunday, January 26, 2014

Transfer Week

Hello all!!
   Well I'm still in Muroran with Kuroki Shimai and everything is going great here! Except for the fact that it's still freezing, but I'm becoming more accustomed to the cold so I think that's a good sign... :)   Although this last Saturday it was really warm and it rained and melted some of the snow, so I was really getting my hopes up for a warmer week. But my dreams were crushed when I woke up to a foot of snow on Sunday morning. :(   But really I count my blessings everyday because it's much warmer here then other places on Hokkaido! :)
   This week was transfer week. So on Thursday we went to Sapporo and had a big Rehearsal for the Musical Fireside that we'll be having on Feb. 15th and March 2nd. Apparently they do this every year as a mission in Sapporo, but this will be the last one because the mission president and his wife will be going back to America in July. So it's a pretty big deal. There are some numbers with just small groups of people and then a couple that we all sing together. The ones that I'm in are the 2 big group ones and I'm also singing in 2 songs where it's just the Sisters who sing. We spent the whole day on Thursday rehearsing and I was so tired by the end of the day. 
  We got to stay in Sapporo on Thursday and Friday and go on splits with some other missionaries. I went to an area called Shinkotoni. It's a part of Sapporo and my companion for the day was Kumano Shimai (oh I almost forgot side note: dad do you know a Kumano Shimai? I guess she served in Kobe about 30 years ago so I was wondering if you remembered her). We had a really run time and we tired to visit some people but no one was home. So we just talked to a bunch of people on the streets.
   Basically that was my week, transfers and splits. But I'm really excited that I get to stay in Muroran for another transfer!! We have some great investigators and we're hoping to see a baptism this transfer!!!! :)
   Love you all!! Hope all is well! Have a great week!!
Morrison Shimai

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Transfers Already!

Hello all!!!
   This week has been our first normal week in a long time! With all the holidays and everything, I feel like this transfer has gone by super fast! And it's almost time for transfers again! I hoping that I wll stay in Muroran because I feel like my time here has been way too short. :)
   This week we were able to meet with lots of people! We had 8 lessons this week!!! which i think is a record for me! So that was super exciting!!! At the beginning of the week it looked like we weren't going to meet with many of our investigators because 3 of our lessons got canceled. So we were really dissapointed, but the Lord is truly the one who is in charge of this work! 
   On the day that all of our lessons got canceled, there was a huge snow storm. So now we walk everywhere and as we walk we try to stop and talk to people. It was about 4:00 pm and pretty much completely dark. The wind was blowing super hard and the snow was really coming down. It was hard to open our eyes and we really couldn't see anything! But we stopped and talked to a girl - her name is Ayana Chan. She's 22 years-old and she is currently going to school to become a nurse. We talked to her for about 5 minutes and she said that she was interested in hearing more about our message. So we tried to exchange numbers (the way you do it in Japan is you can just hold your phones right next to each other and it will send your information), but it wasn't working. So she invited us to her house so that we could get out of the cold and the snow. We went to her apartment and she gave us hot chocolate and we were able to teach a lesson with her!!! She is super nice and she really seems interested!! So I'm excited to start teaching her more next week!!!
   So hopefully I'll be emailing you from Muroran next week!!
   Love you all and hope you are all doing well!!!
モリソン 姉妹

Sunday, January 12, 2014

I'm officially Japanese (I wore my first Kimono)

   We had a long fun week this week!!!    Basically we were traveling for most of the week.
   We went to Hakodate for Zone Training meeting this week. The Zone Leaders gave a really great workshop about setting goals and making plans. It was so fun because after we got to go on Splits with the sisters in Hakodate. It was really fun!
   Yesterday we got to go to a Sejin shiki. (mom you should look it up becasue I really don't have time to explain) Sorry :) I got to wear a Kimono for the first time. And it took approximately 40 minutes to put on. It's super intense! It was so tight and I felt like I couldn't breathe, but it was it worth it and super fun! Sorry for the short email but now I have to go to a music practice for the Mission program coming up in March
Love you all! 
Morrison Shimai

Sejin shiki (Jazmyne didn't have time to explain so she asked me to look it up):  

Coming of Age Day is a japanese holiday held annually on the second Monday of January.  It is held in order to congratulate and encourage all those who have reached the age of majority (20 years old) over the past year, and to help them realize that they have become adults.  It has been celebrated in Japan since at least 714 AD, when a young prince donned new robes and a hairstyle to mark his passage into adulthood.  In current practice, some of those attending the coming of age ceremony are actually only 19 years old; attendees are those whose 20th birthday falls between April 2 of the previous year and April 1of the current year.  (I guess this includes Jazmyne as she will turn 20 on March 4th.)

 First sunrise of 2014.
 New Year's Day
 So much snow! - Taller than Jazmyne
 Ready for the Seijin Shiki (Coming of Age Celebration)
Back of the Kimono

 Middle Front
 All dressed up!
I can't breath!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Year's

Hello to you!! 

Today we are in Sapporo for Music Practice. It's for Ongaku no Ube. You can find a video of it on YouTube. ( )  
The one they had last year was in May I think. And this one is next month. Kuroki Shimai (my companion) is in a special singing group so that's why we came to Sapporo today.  We'll also come to Sapporo next week because it will be a big practice for everyone.  Evans Shimai (Mission President's wife) is very serious when it comes to music... :)

About the picture from last week.  The 'pajamas' aren't really pajamas.... It's like a hooded Snuggie. So it's just something to keep us warm, like a blanket. The ward member bought them for us. I use it just about every morning while we are doing personal study... :)

Yes I love the CDs!!! It's nice to have a little bit of a variety when we listen to music. I've heard the BYU men's choir CD before - I downloaded it when it first came out, but I could never figure out how to get it onto my ipod so it's great now that I have the actual CD. The other CD is all piano music so it's nice to listen to. :)

Ok well I have to get off the computer right now but hopefully I will have more time later to write an actual letter!!! :)

Actual letter:

Hello all!!
   So this was a short week, since we just had our last P-day on Wednesday (New Years day). But now I can tell you about how my New Years was!! :) So last week was a very different week. New Years in Japan, is really a huge holiday. It's like how Christmas in America is really big - your whole family gets together, there's lots of parties and presents. Well in Japan they still celebrate Christmas, but it's more of just a day to give presents and eat Christmas cake. And then New Years is the actual holiday where families get together and have big parties and such. So Monday, we usually have P-day (which is our day to go shopping and clean and email), but it was a normal day. Then Tuesday, New Years Eve we stayed in the apartment all day and it was our day to fast and to read the Book of Mormon - All day. The goal is to try to finish the Book of Mormon. We started reading at 7 in the morning. And continued to read until 6 pm. Then we took a half hour for a dinner break. And then we continued to read until 9pm. It was a really long time, but sadly I didn't finish reading. hahah :) The Book of Mormon is long!! :) But I did make it to Alma, I'm about half way trough. But it's good that I didn't read it in Japanese, because the Japanese version is a lot longer than it is in English. :)
   So on New Years day is when we had our P-day. We got up at 6am to go to the beach to see the sun rise. The Yoneta's in the ward took us. It's aparently a tradition or it's a realy well known thing to do in Muroran. You go to a specific beach and the sun is really pretty. When we first got there it was super cloudy so we were worried we wouldn't be able to see the sun. But luckily it cleared up and we saw it. :) It was super pretty and the sun was pink!!! Way cool! And then afterward we went to Noboribetsu to see the hot springs there. And there was the little festival going on. So we just explored the city. The Yoneta's fed us breakfast. and then we went to another member's house for lunch. After, we came back to the church so that we could have some time to email and go shopping. Then we went to another member's house that night, the Kasano's, for dinner. It was kind of nice not having to make food all that day. Seriously the people are so nice here!!
   The day after New Years, the 2nd, is suppose to be a deep clean day for the apartment, but another member from the ward, the Kamada's, invited us to their house. They live about an hour and a half away so we went to their house for lunch. and then we stayed there for about 4 hours just talking and playing with the kids. Then we drove another 1 and a half hours back, and the family who drove us there, wanted to take us out to dinner. So we had dinner with them. Basically we didn't have to make food for ourselves for 2 days. :)
   So that's what the holidays are like for a missionary in Japan.... hahaha :)
Hope you all are doing well!! Much love!!
Happy New Year!!      Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu!!!
                                                    空けまして おめでとう ございます!!
Morrison Shimai

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!!! 明けましておめでとうございます

Hello!!!! And Happy New Year!!!  明けましておめでとうございます

   So where to start?!?! It's been a great/busy week!!!!
   For Christmas we got to go to Hakodate. We took a train on Christmas Eve morning and had a little get together/party with the Hakodate missionaries. There was a total of 5 Shimaitachi (sisters) and 8 Chorotachi (Elders).  It was so much fun and I loved getting to see some of the other Shimai!   We had a White Elephant gift exchange in the afternoon and then we hung out at the church and played games all afternoon. We played Mafia and a couple other games. Then we went to go and visit Coyne Shimai.   Back in October, her appedix burst and so she finally had the surgery on the 22nd. So we went to go visit her in the hospital. Then we went to see an illumination show - which is apparently really famous in Hakodate. But we were late so we missed all the big fireworks. :(   But there was a huge Christmas tree - definitely over 100 feet tall!! And you can't find these kinds of trees here in Japan, so we found out that they shipped the tree from Canada!! Haha. :)
   That was basically the end of the night. We woke up Christmas morning hoping for a white Christmas, but we were dissapointed. You would think that we would have snow, I mean, it is winter and this is Hokkaido..... but I guess since I'm on the southern side of the island, there was no snow on Christmas. We had a big meeting with all the missionaries and then came back on Christmas.
   Today (New Year's Day) was really fun! We went with a ward member's family to see the gysers/hot springs in Naboribetsu. They are really famous here. I'll have to tell you more about it next week and I'll send some more pictures!!
   Oh my goodness it is sooooooooooooo cold here!!! But I know that I'm lucky because I'm on the southern side of Hokkaido so it's a lot colder in other places!! But I think it's the wind that makes it feel a lot colder than it actually is.......

Hope all is well! And Happy New year!!!!!!
Morrison Shimai

Gifts from a sister in the Ward

New Year's Trip  to a Hot Springs

Jazmyne's Dad sent her a santa beard in a card for Christmas