Sunday, June 29, 2014

I got to go back to Muroran!

Hello everyone!!

   This week started out really busy. We were so excited that we had a lot of appointments. Sadly 3 of our strong appointments cancelled right in the beginning of the week. But that was ok, because it just gave us more time to find! And it was a good thing because we met this super nice lady this week! Her name is Fujita San. She is a young mom in her late 20s. She just moved to Hakodate from Tokyo a few years ago. She also has a 4 month old daughter - who is absolutely adorable! (Side note: Japanese kids are so cute! I just don't understand how they can just be so adorable!)  We made an appointment with her for next week, so please pray that we will be able to meet her again.

   Also I got to go back to my home this week! Yep I got to go back to Muroran!!! I was so excited and basically freaking out the whole 2 and a half hour train ride there. I felt like I was like a little kid going to Disneyland again! We had a big Zone Conference there with other missionaries so I got to see my old companion Gibbs Shimai, who is still in Muroran. It was so fun. And the best part is that I got to see my old investigator Wada San. She is truly my Japanese Grandma. haha :) She came and met us at the train station before we came back to Hakodate. And being the sweet lady that she is, she even made us food! So sweet! I love her and miss her lots. I know that her and her husband will get baptized someday! :)

   Well the work is moving along. Slowly at times, but definitely moving.

   Sorry this is a short letter, but I hope you are all doing great! Happy 4th of July!

   Morrison Shimai

Restaurant called Luck Pierro.  There are many of them in Hokodate and they have different themes.
This one is a Christmas theme as you'll see below.

Jazmyne with Yabutani Shimai

Yabutani Shimai, Jazmyne Shimai, Chise San

Back in Muroran with Gibbs Shimai and Jo Shimai

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Teaching Miracles

Hello Everyone!

   So this week was great! And one of the reasons it was so great was that it was actually warm! The sun was shining basically all weekend. I think Friday might have been the first day I didn't have to wear tights and 3 layers of shirts since October! Yay summer has finally arrived!! :) I'm just glad it came before July!

   The other reason it was so great was because we were so busy! It's truly an amazing thing to see the progress that happens over one transfer and all the different miracles that we see everyday in being able to find people to teach!
   One miracle from the week: so last Sunday a returned missionary came back to Hakodate. She was here just for one day to visit people and see some of her old investigators, but while she was here she gave us 10 referrals of people she wanted us to go see.  So this past week we have been trying to tract down all these people. Sadly most of them have either moved or aren't really interested anymore.  But on Friday we went to contact a referral. She lives on the top floor of an apartment building, but she wasn't home. But we heard kids playing in an apartment right below her's so we decided to ring the door bell since we knew that they were home. So the mom opens the door and we start talking with her. She is 23 years old and has 3 kids. She's home basically all day and her husbands works. She was a little quiet, but when we asked if we could come back she said that we could! And we were able to make an appointment with her.

   Ok miracle #2:  So every Friday night we teach a free English Class. So this last Friday right at the end of class this young girl walks in. She is a friend of a member in the ward. The member invited her to come to English class, but she was busy so that's why she came at the very end. She is so nice and she is young and her name is Yuka chan. She has talked to missionaries before so we are hoping that we can start teaching her.

   And lastly miracle #3: So at the beginning of the transfer we as a companionship had made a goal of the types of investigators we wanted to find this transfer. Our first investigator would be a young family. A mom who is home all day and takes care of her young kids. Our second investigator would be a young girl who works during the week, but has the weekends off and her name would be Yuka chan. And this week we found them both!!! It was so exciting!

  I know that the Lord truly blesses us if we are working hard and continuing to do the things that he has asked us to do. We still have to put forth effort, but we will eventually see the results and blessings.

   Hope you all have a good week! Love you all!

   Morrison Shimai

 Jazmyne and her companion Yabutani Shimai

 Flipping the Elder's bikes for fun!

 Funny Girls!

Hakodate Dairy Farm - She said the ice cream was delicious!
Watch out Tillamook!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Rain and Teaching Miracles

Hi everyone!

   So this week was the first full week for us in Hakodate!  It rained all week this week, but I think rain is a good thing because let's face it no one likes riding bikes and stopping and talking to people in the rain. It helps to motivate us more to find someone to teach who will be nice enough to let us inside to get out of the rain. :)

   We saw so many miracles this week and I wish I had time to tell you all the detail of them all but here is the basics. Since we are whitewashing the area, we didn't have any investigators so we have been searching through all of the old records of investigators. We have been calling everyone to try and meet people. And this week we were able to meet a really great family! (Suzuki family) The mom and son (6 years old) have met with missionaries before, but they got busy and stopped meeting them. They are really interested in learning English. We were going to just first invite them to English class and then see if they were interested in learning more about the church. But, when we went to their house the mom pulled out the Book of Mormon right away and started asking us all sorts of questions. We had a really great discussion about faith and she really just wants to be a good mom for her son. 

   Also there is another investigator and her name is Chise. She is Korean, but she grew up in Japan so she speaks perfect Japanese. She was the Elder's investigator, but she got passed to us because she is interested in learning English. She is 31 years old and just the sweetest girl ever!  Right now she has a Baptismal date for July 5th so we are really working hard with her for baptism!  She also owns a little Korean restaurant and so she invited all the missionaries to her restaurant last week and I have realized how much I love Korean food!! It is so delicious!  If you ever get a chance you should really try it!  

  There are really great things happening here and I'm so grateful to be a missionary here in Japan! I love the culture! I love the food! And I love having the opportunity to share the gospel with the amazing people here!

   Hope you all have a good week! Much love!

   Morrison Shimai

Monday, June 9, 2014

Good-bye Shinoro, Hello Hakodate

Hey there everyone!

   So this week was crazy because it was transfer week! Although I thought I would be staying in Shinoro since I just got there, I have transferred to an area called Hakodate!  I have actually always wanted to come to this area so I'm so excited to be here!!   My new companion is Yabutani Shimai. And this is her last transfer so she will be heading home in July.  Before this transfer there were only 2 sisters in the area and now there are 4. Neither me or Yabutani Shimai have been in this area before so we are whitewashing the area together!   I know it's going to be hard at first, but I'm so excited!  There is just something so fun about not knowing anyone and not knowing where you are going. :)   But we've only gotten lost once so far! It was so sad saying goodbye to everyone in Shinoro and especially saying goodbye to our recent converts, the Endo family!  But I know that it's not the end and I will be able to see them again!

   So we got to Hakodate on Friday afternoon and we have just been doing so great! The ward is so wonderful and members had us over for dinner on Sunday night. There are a total of 8 missionaries in this area, and the members are so wonderful since they are willing to feed all 8 of us! :)  This is a pretty big area and we are right at the southern tip of the island, so when you go to the beach you can see the main island of Japan! 

   I'm so excited for all the miracles that we are going to see this transfer! I know the Lord has a plan for his work and I'm so grateful that I can help in it. I know there are still lots of people waiting to be found and wanting to hear the gospel, they may not know it yet, but they want to know! :)

   Thanks for all of you love and prayers! Hope you all have a good week!! 

Much love!
Morrison Shimai

Jazmyne with the Endo Family

Meeting up with MTC Shimai at the Sisters Training Meeting

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Happy Day!! Endo Family Baptism

   Ok so basically this week has been the most hectic, most crazy, most busy, most special, most rewarding and most amazing week ever!!! But I have to start from the beginning. :)
   Monday: P-day. We had a normal day just getting everything ready for the week. Going shopping, emailing. Then we went to lunch with our entire district. We went to a place called Matsuria. It's a really nice sushi place and aparently it has some of the best sushi on Hokkaido. And it was super, super good, but it was also really expensive. I think I spent a total of $12 on 4 small plates of sushi. Like I said it was good, but I probably won't be going back. :) Then that night we had FHE with President and Sister Evans. They hold it once a month for missionaries and their investigators. So we got to go with the Endo family. The mom works close to where the Evans live (in the middle of Sapporo). So we had to pick up the 3 girls and get them to FHE. We took 1 bus and 2 subways to get there. It must have been a pretty interesting sight seeing these 2 American girls running around Sapporo with 3 little girls. :) It was really fun though! 
        *Also that day we had the most amazing miracle happen. We took a bus back out to Shinoro from Sapporo. And sometimes the bus can be a little confusing since we can't read any of the stops or anything. But we took this bus thinking it would take us close to our apartment. But we were wrong and the final stop was still way far from out apartment (at this point it was almost 10pm) So it was dark and we had to walk back to our apartment (about 30 min. away). We were freaking out a little bit because it was so dark, and late, plus we live out in the country so there are no lights on the streets. So Vielstich Shimai says that we need to say a prayer to make it back home safely. So we stop say a pray and literally 1 minute later we see a taxi!!! I have never seen a taxi on this road before! And the crazy thing was that the driver said that he normally doesn't take this road, but decided to tonight. Crazy miracle and I know that the Lord really does watch over us where ever we are!
   Tuesday: Nothing really speacial today except for the fact that we had Eikaiwa (English Class). All three of the Endo girls came and it was really fun.
   Wednesday: In the morning we had a special meeting with all the Missionaries on Hokkaido because Elder Christofferson came to visit our mission!!! It was so cool having all the missionaries from the mission together in one place and having the opportunity to hear an Apostle of God come and talk to us!!! It was really a wondrful experience that I will never forget. He talked about lots of different things, but what I really liked was what he said about becoming more Christlike. He said that it's great for all of us to strive to be more faithful, more patient, more charitable etc. But if we just love everyone the way that God does, seeing everyone for what they are truly worth, then we won't need to work as hard to love and serve others. It will just come naturally. Isn't that great?!?! I just love that perspective of how we can better serve all of our brothers and sisters!
       Then that night there was another big fireside for all the members here on Hokkaido. And the Endo family was able to come!!!!! Which made us soooooo happy!!! We went over to their house to make dinner with the girls (good old American Mac and Cheese  - I swear no matter where you live every little kid loves it!! :) Then one of the members from the ward was nice enough to pick us up and take us to the fireside. I got to sit up on the stand and sing with the choir during the fireside (I don't know why people here have this idea that I can sing, but.....) it was really great to be able to sit so close to Elder Christoffereson. At the fireside he talked about the importance of the temple (since the temple in Sapporo will hopefully be done within the next year or two) and how everyone should be preparing for the special day when the people of Hokkaido will have their own temple. It was a really great talk! And we were so so so happy the Endo family could come!
   Thursday: Today we practiced with the Endo family for their baptismal interview. It went really good and we just cleared up some final details for the baptismon Saturday.
   Friday: Interview day!! They all passed with flying colors! Yay!
   Saturday: In the morning we went to Undo Kai. Basically it's a school event where all the kids have races and relays and things and all the parents come to watch and cheer their kids on. It was so fun and also really warm! It's finally summer!! Then that night we had the baptism for all 4 Endo girls! And the great thing was that President Evans (the mission president) was able to come! It was a really special experience. We had so many people show up and we really couldn't have pulled it off without the wards help! The spirit was so strong and we all just could not stop smiling the whole night!
   Sunday: At church they were officially confirmed members of the church. They are so wonderful and we are so excited for them! 
   Thanks for all of the prayers that were said in their behalf! I know every single one of them helped!! 
   Hope you all have a great week!! Much love!!!
Morrison Shimai