Sunday, April 27, 2014

Busy.. but I'm loving it!

Hello All-
   This week has been really great!! Shinoro has just been so wonderful!! The members, first of all are so great!! We felt embarrassed but we told them about how we have no food and they have been dropping food off for us and they have been taking such good care of us these past 2 weeks.
   So we are still housing most of the time trying to find new investigators, but the long days don't seem as long as I thought they would be. I'm starting to realize the joy in being able to talk to so many different people every day, and while most of them reject us, I know there are people out there searching for the truth and I know we can help them find it. Me and my companion have made it a goal to pray every hour and it has really made a difference in helping us to find people to teach. Through praying, I feel like we are showing the Lord that we are willing to do whatever it takes to find those people that he has prepared for us.
   We also met the Endo family this week!!! They are so awesome!! We started out by reviewing about God and Jesus Christ. We tried to use lots of examples and things to help the kids understand, but it's a little hard to keep everyone focused for even 30 minutes. :) But I am so happy about being able to teach a family!!! They are so great and we are still looking forward to their baptism on June 1st so please keep them in your prayers!!

Thanks so much for all your love and support and prayers!!

Love you all! Have a wonderful week!!
Morrison Shimai

Leaving Friends in Muroran
 Furue Shimai, my trainer, on her way home

New apartment in Shinoro - Kitchen

Living out of suitcases - 1st day at the Apartment

New companion, Vielstich Shimai

Meeting new friends in Shinoro

Monday, April 21, 2014

New Area and New Opportunities

Hello Everyone!
Happy Easter!!
   So I transferred this week! I left my beloved city of Muroran and have moved to Sapporo! Into the big city!  I'm not right in the middle of the city, but more on the outskirts in an area called Shinoro. My new companion is Veilstich Shimai! She is so great! We actually went to the MTC on the same day, but she is half Japanese so since she already knew some Japanese she was only in the MTC for 2 weeks. 
  The other surprise is that we are the first Shimai in the area!! Yep that's right we are opening the area!!  We got a brand new apartment. It is so nice and I promise I will send pictures next week, but they literally left us with nothing!  We didn't even have a fridge for the first day!!   So we had no food, some kitchen supplies, a kitchen table, and some futons to sleep on. Yea basically it was SOOO crazy!!   The worst part is that they didn't leave us with any mission supplies!! No pamphlets, no flyers and no BOMs!!! So we were just like ok so what are we suppose to do?!?!?!? Haha it was a pretty funny day!!  So we frantically called the elders and they gave us a couple BOMs and some flyers! And so we were just like "we don't need food!   As long as we've got our testimonies and a BOM we are good to go!" And basically that's what we did!!! So funny!  Anyway we have had some fun already, and we have seen a lot of miracles!
  We are in such a cute, quiet little area! And I already love it! It's been a little tough since neither of us know the area - so we really have no idea where we are going... ever. But it's kinda fun figuring out the area and where everything is! My accomplishment for the week:  I memorized our address (so in case we ever get lost we can ask someone :)). 
   Ok but the Elders that were already in this area are so great!!! This area is seriously SO prepared for us to come. The Elders were teaching this family (a mom, and 3 daughters) and they are so awesome!! They read the Book of Mormon every day and they came to church yesterday!! Plus they have a baptismal date for June 1st!!!! It's so exciting!! Our first investigators in our brand new area!!! I will continue to keep you updated on them. 
   I'm so excited for this transfer! I know there will be some long days, where we will be housing for 8 hours, but it will all be worth it!! I know that there are more people that are prepared for us and ready to meet us! And we are ready to find them!!
Love you all!
Have a great week!!
Morrison Shimai

Monday, April 14, 2014

New Investigators and Conference - My week was great!

 So this week was so great!!! A complete turn-around from last week! Which I am so grateful for because this is the last week of the transfer so we are ending on a high note! Yay!!
   This week we were able to gain 3 new investigators!!! It was so exciting. 2 of these new investigators are actually old investigators from about 7 years ago. We were searching through some of the old records and found their names and called them and we were able to set up appointments! One of them, Ogawa San, is a mother of 2 high school kids. She is very busy, but she made some time for us so that we could have a lesson over the phone this week. We talked a lot about God and if he really exists. We have an appointment to finally meet her in person on Tuesday so we are excited for that!
   Our other new investigator is Alis. She is from Malaysia and she is Muslim. We first met her at the train station when Gibbs Shimai and I first got to Muroran after transfers. We were able to exchange numbers with her and this week we finally met her and also one of her friends, Fatine. They speak Malay, English, Japanese and a little bit of German! I'm also so impressed when I meet people that speak more than 2 languages!  They are really awesome girls!!  They both attend college here in Muroran and so they are about 22 years old.  On Wednesday we went out to dinner with them and they were asking a lot of questions about our religion and Christianity in general. It was funny because I'm so used to explaining things in Japanese that at some points I would start speaking Japanese and then I have to sit there for a minute and think "wait how do I explain this in English??" It was super funny. So we talked to them in an English/Japanese mix. :)   It was so interesting to learn about their culture and their religion as well. They said that they really are interested in learning about our religion and they said they wanted to come to church! They are pretty devoted to their own religion, but we are hoping that as we befriend them and continue teaching them, then maybe the spirit will be able to touch their hearts!
   Oh my goodness Conference was great as always!!  We got to watch the Women's Broadcast yesterday (Sunday) afternoon too!   Here in Japan each ward gets two copies of conference DVDs. So me and Gibbs Shimai asked if we could borrow the priesthood session yesterday so when we got home we watched the priesthood session too. The Chorotachi (Elders) were telling us how good it was and so we were a little impatient and we didn't want to wait a month to read the talks... :)  So basically I watched a total of 7 and a half hours of conference yesterday... :)  It was great! 
   Did you watch the priesthood session???? If not you should definitely watch it!!!! I have to say it was probably my favorite session to watch! :) hehehe   It was so good and so insightful!! I especially loved Elder Oaks' talk!!  His talk really opened up my mind to the priesthood and there were things that he said that I had never really thought about before. And his explanation was just so simple and clear and it really makes sense. Anyway I'll stop rambling now but it was really great!!   I think my favorite talk was probably President Uchtdorf's talk about gratitude.  I liked his comparison about being grateful for things and being grateful in our circumstances. So great!!
   It was a really fantastic week! And this week is transfers and hopefully I will be able to stay in Muroran!! I really love this place and all the people!
   Love you all! Have a good week!

   Morrison Shimai

P-Day with Muroran and Tomokomai Missionaries - Cardboard sledding 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sunny Days Ahead

This week was a little rough to be honest. Still a good week, but it really seemed like Satan was trying especially hard this week to work against us. So at the beginning of the week we started out with 4 scheduled lessons. One everyday of the week, but one by one they all canceled on us. One of our investigators with a baptismal date, Kasai San, we haven't been able to meet with her all transfer because she wasn't answering our phone calls and never opened the door when we tried to stop by her house. But this week we were able to make a solid appointment with her. But sadly we went to her apartment and she wasn't home. So sadly she will not be able to make her baptismal date. :( Then one by one all of our other lessons cancelled. Then we found out that Wada Family will be busy for the 2 weeks so we can't have lessons with them. So we put on our brave faces and did lots of finding and housing this week. But since this week is haru yasumi (like spring break) no one was home. 
   But it's all ok. :) Sometimes we have good week and sometimes we have bad weeks. As a mission right now we were all challenged to read the whole book of Alma in one month. So right now I'm in about Alma 30, but on one particularly discouraging day last week. We were planning where to go the next day and I was feeling very frustrated and down. So my amazing companion suggest that we go to the scriptures. We start taking turns reading from the book of Alma. We stayed up reading for a long time. It was just a small thing, but the scriptures truly bring so much comfort in our lives. This book was truly written for our day. Those prophets and missionaries of old had trials and struggles, but they made it through - with the Lord's help! And we can too, if we continually put our trust in Him and in His timing. Things will work out the way they are suppose to. And there are sunny days ahead! (literally because it is finally starting to be spring, well it still snows a little bit, but the snow is no longer sticking to the ground!!!!! )
Love you all!! Thanks so much!!! Have a good week!!!

Morrison Shimai
With Gibbs Shimai

The missionaries traveled to a members home who lives by this lake - 1 1/2 hrs away