Sunday, August 31, 2014

It's great to be busy!

Hello everyone! Sorry this week's letter is going to short!

   We were so busy this week! Mostly because we were traveling all week!! We got to go to Sapporo on Thursday for a Zone Conference. Elder Whiting from the Seventy came and spoke to us. It was a really good talk! We talked about how even though God does love everyone, he also has favorites among His children. Those favorites are the people who are righteous. So we talked a lot about how we should be striving to become one of His favorites by keeping the commandments, being obedient, serving others, becoming more Christlike, etc. It was a really interesting topic, and it made me realize that sometimes I focus too much on myself. Thinking about things that don't really matter, or just aren't as important. When really if I want to try to be more like Christ I need to be focusing more on other people: members, investigators, even random people on the street.

   Also we got a new investigator this week!! Her name is Oonishi San. She was actually a pass from the Elders. She has been coming to church and also to Eikaiwa for the past couple weeks! She has basically been coming to every church activity. She is really great and has been reading the BOM. So now our goal this week is to find out what she has interest in because she has been coming to all the activities and church, but we're not sure why.... I know sounds a little strange.  I'm excited to meet with her this next week!! 

Love you all have a good week!
Morrison Shimai

 A Missionary from the MTC - meeting again at Zone Conference

With an investigator who took us to the lake.

At a fireworks display with investigator

Monday, August 25, 2014

Transfers and still in Hakodate

Hello everyone!

   So I am currently writing you from..... Hakodate! Yep, still in the same area and better yet, with the same companion! We are so excited for this next transfer and all the amazing people we are going to teach and baptize!! :) Well at least we're hoping! :) Keepin' our heads up!

   So the best part of the week was that we were able to meet with Mika Chan!!! We met her at a restaurant on Tuesday night. We started off just talking about her and her life and we were all just laughing the whole night! I know it sounds so weird, but I can just feel our friendship growing so quickly! I feel like we have been friends for a while, but just haven't seen each other in a long time! She is so cute! She is from Aomori - which is on the main island of Japan. She is here going to a Protestant school to become a teacher. 

   That night she brought her old High School yearbook to show us (She went to a Catholic High School) and she brought her old Bible to show us. She's read the Bible (not the whole thing) but she wants to finish reading it! We asked her if she believes in God, and she said that she thinks that he exists, but she still wasn't sure. She said that she doesn't feel that her faith is very strong, but the whole time I was listening to her, all I could think was 'you have so much faith! What are you talking about?' :) She has so much desire to learn more. She is also reading the Book of Mormon and I believe that she has read at least 50 pages so far! And we had planned on inviting her to church, but before we could even bring it up she said that she wanted to come to church last Sunday, but she got sick and couldn't come. The whole time me and Holt Shimai were listening to this we just couldn't help laughing and smiling. She is different from any other person I have ever met in Japan! And we are so 
excited about it!! :) I'll be sure to keep you updated on her progress! Please pray for her that she will be able to feel the spirit and be able to understand the Book of Mormon! :)

   Me and Holt Shimai both decided that she is the reason why we are still here in Hakodate! We leave our home and sacrifice our time to come out into the world and help people. I'm here for the people I meet every day here in Japan. I know that they are no different from the rest of us. We are all Heavenly Father's children and he wants ALL of us to return to Him. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to share that message with all my brothers and sisters here in Japan!

   Love you all! Have  a wonderful week!

   Morrison Shimai
Hakodate District pre Transfer

P-Day at the Dairy Farm

Yummy Milkshakes

At the Airport playing a joke on Mom - "Coming Home"

Sunday, August 17, 2014

New Investigator

Hello Everyone!!

   So this week in Japan was one of the biggest holidays of the Summer called Obon (Festival of the Dead or The Buddhist All Souls' Day). Everyone gets time off of work and they all go to the graves of their ancestors. The go to clean the graves and they believe that during this time the spirits of their ancestors come back to earth. So basically EVERYONE is traveling back to their home towns. Which means that all of our investigators were gone! We knew it was going to be hard to get lessons, but I was praying a lot to be able to teach new people so that we could find new investigators. And we were actually so blessed to be able to teach a lot of lessons, while we were out housing and we were able to find a lot more PIs (Potential Investigators) too!

   One of our newest and youngest PIs we actually met last week, but we were able to make contact with her this week again. Her name is Mika chan and she is currently a college student studying to become a teacher. We met her on the street and she was willing to talk to us! She asked us where we were from and why we were here (the power of being a foreigner, sometimes it helps out a lot :)). She was super cute and so nice. She is currently attending a Catholic school, so she knows a little bit about Christ and is really interested in learning about religion. We were so surprised.

   It was so easy to talk with her and make a good connection. It's weird, but I really felt like we were best friends already after that 15 minutes of talking with her. We told her a little bit about why we were in Japan and the church message that we want to share with everyone. The best part was that I was able to give her a Book of Mormon and she said that she would read it! We called her this week and she said that she was SO excited to meet with us again. We made an appointment to go out to lunch with her on Tuesday. So I'm super excited for that appointment and praying that everything will go well!

   Well that's about it I guess for this week. This next week we have transfers again. So hopefully I will be staying here because things are finally progressing and moving. I feel like we have just been so blessed, since whitewashing this area. The Lord has prepared people for us to find at this time. If it is His will and in His timing, I know we will be able to find all the people who are ready to hear this gospel of love and happiness!

Love you all! Have a wonderful week!
Morrison Shimai

At the Park - Hakodate Sisters

Holt Shimai and Jazmyne - matching outfits

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I Love You!

  So this week was honestly a little rough. The work has been moving slow this week. I feel like there is always this cycle - we do well, see lots of miracles, but then the next week it seems like everything just falls through. It's like the pride cycle in the Book of Mormon. I'm grateful for the high times and the low times. Because although the high times make me the most happy, I know that we have low times to humble us and to help me realize that I can just try harder the next week!

  This weekend has been pretty crazy because I experienced my first big earthquake in Japan. I've felt little ones throughout my mission, but yesterday during sacrament meeting, all of the sudden everyone's phones started making this warning sound (it kind of sounded like a fire alarm) and then about 5 seconds later the ground starts to shake. It was so weird because it took me like a good 15 seconds to realize what was going on. The shaking only lasted for about a minute and all of the cell phones (because they all have like a warning system to tell you when an earthquake is about to happen) were saying 'this is an earthquake'. It was kind of funny. Not actually as scary as I thought because it was a smaller earthquake. The earthquake happened in Aomori which is on the main island of Japan, but it's pretty close to Hokkaido. It was a 5.0 magnitude in Aomori and in my area (Hakodate) the earthquake was a 4.0 magnitude. So nothing falling over or anything, but you could definitely feel it. We also had tsunami warnings all day yesterday so we made sure to stay away from the beach. But there was also a typhoon that hit yesterday at about 1:30 pm. It was just non-stop rain and wind. It wasn't bad enough for us to stay inside, so we went out in the middle of a typhoon and just kept working. And that's just what you do as a missionary, you always keep working! :)

   This week we were able to meet with an investigator named Iwasaki San. She is in her late 60s. She lives alone because her husband died a number of years ago, and her 2 daughters live near Tokyo. She is a really great lady! She has such wonderful values and opinions. She's not christian, but whenever we talk with her she always has the same sort of thinking as we do. We talked about Christ's example last week and I felt like she was more teaching us. She just kept saying that if everyone would stop being angry and stop hating others then the world would be a better place. It's up to all of us to do our part and show love towards others, not hatred. 

   So yesterday after we had the earthquake I thought about how (not that my life was in jeopardy or anything) it's so important to make sure people know how much we love them because you never know when a natural disaster will hit and it might be the end. Sorry that was a little bit of a sad note to end on, but really never let an opportunity go bye to not tell someone I love you! 

Morrison Shimai

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Summer in Hokkaido

Hello All!
   This week was so fun and so warm! The past couple days it was 30 degrees Celsius plus humidity. It's finally summer! And it will be this warm for about the next 3 weeks and then supposedly it will start to cool down again once September hits. Yep it's true what they say about Hokkaido having short summers! :)
   This week we got to go on splits with the STLs! Which means that Lundstrom Shimai was here (me beloved trainer). It's so fun when you get to see old companions and be able to work with them again. So the 4 of us went to eat at Chise San's restaurant on Tuesday and it was so good. She's been busy so we haven't been able to do a lesson with her, but starting next week she should have Wednesdays and Thursdays off again. She is so nice and gave us a Korean dessert for free. It's like a snow cone, but with lots of different kinds of fruit and a special sauce that makes it super sweet. I definitely want to try to make it again because it was so simple and so good!
   Then we got to go to Muroran again this week for Zone Conference. And I got to have my very first interview with President Nakatsuka. The interview went really well. And although this is only the 2nd time that I've met him, I could just tell that he really cared about me and we were talking like good friends. I know that he has been called and set apart to be the Mission President, and I know there is a lot that I can learn from him. Since we were in Muroran I took the opportunity to visit some old investigators. So we went to go visit Wada San! She is basically my Japanese Grandma! So sweet! She automatically invited us in and her husband even went out and bought us ice cream! They know me so well! She's been making a lot of progress. At the end of our visit I asked if I could share a scripture with her before we left and in this surprised (but not really surprised) voice says, "What you want to talk about religion, what kind of a visit would this be without a lesson?" It was so funny! I really miss her a lot, but I know one day her and her husband will be ready to join the church.
   The Summer Festivals here in Japan are really big. And the biggest one of the summer is happening this weekend. So on Friday night we went to the Hanabi Taikai (Firework show). It was over and hour long. And Kumano Shimai was telling me that because fireworks are handmade here, each one costs over 100,000 dollars. Which means that for these big firework shows they spend billions of dollars! It was really cool and they had lots of cool fireworks! 
   Anyway it was a fun week! Hope you all have a good week! Much love!
Morrison Shimai

Love you mom! 
Have fun in Hawaii!