Sunday, September 28, 2014

Three Great Investigators!

Hello Mina San!! (everyone)

   This week was great! Like always! But we have finally hit fall, and I'm back to wearing tights everyday!! Only a little bit longer until we see some snow... probably.....

   We finally were able to meet with Mika chan again this week! We had met her at the end of last transfer, but she got busy and wasn't able to meet with us for over a month! But we met her this week and we followed up with her about the Book of Mormon and what she remembers and she said that she has been reading it and she just started 2 Nephi! We talked about Joseph Smith and his experience. We asked her what she thought and she said that if it really did happen, he was pretty amazing. It is so incredible to me how much she understands. She keeps telling us about how she feels like her faith and understanding about God is growing more and more every time she reads from the Book of Mormon and when she meets with us! She has such a great desire to know about God and who is. We have another appointment with her this week and we are planning of watching the restoration video with her.

   We also met with Chise san this week. She is still having a hard time with reading and understanding the Book of Mormon on her own. We are trying to help her realize that she doesn't need to be with us every time she reads to be able to understand it. She's been having a little bit of a rough time at work lately and she just feels like it is so hard to be kind to people sometimes. And we all feel that way. We talked with her about Christ's example and she kept talking about how she can become better through Him. I know that she can feel the spirit when we meet with her and when she comes to the church. Now we just need to help her recognize that and help her see how this gospel can apply to her personally.

   And we also met with Oonishi san a few times this week!! She is really progressing so fast! We've been able to teach her most of the commandments and she is following them and really wants to follow them. She is also reading her Book of Mormon and she is praying every night. I can just see her changing so much as she learns more about our Heavenly Father and this gospel. Although yesterday was a little difficult. We had a team-up after church and the member was a little too bold with her and so she felt a lot of pressure about baptism. Then we got a call from a member telling us that when she went to drop off Oonishi san at her house after church, her mom came outside and started yelling at the both of them. We knew that her mom had some disapproving feelings about the church, but obviously there is more than Oonishi san was actually telling us. I don't want her to feel pressure and  stress about her baptism. We really need to help her to work out some things with her mom. We want to keep helping her work toward baptism, but we've also started to understand that it's important for Oonishi san to feel that she is ready for baptism as well. So please pray for Oonishi san and her mom as well!

   Thanks for all your support and prayers!

   Love you all
   Have a great week!
   Morrison Shimai

Getting an Aerial view of Hakodate

Yep Ice Cream

Getting ready for a musical fireside

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Life is Great - Baptism Prep!

Hello everyone!

   This week was really great! We are still continuing to prep for Oonishi San's baptism!! This week we taught all of lesson 3 plus a couple of the commandments. When we met her on Wednesday, we first followed-up on whether she had talked to her parents about her baptism. She said that she did, but they weren't very happy about it. We had such a wonderful Team-up that day, and the member just encouraged her saying that her parent's opinion is really important, but she is also an adult and she is the one who will make the ultimate decision, not her parents. I haven't met her mom yet, but I'm hoping that we can meet her before the baptism and introduce ourselves, so then maybe her heart will be softened a little. :) That day we talked a lot about faith and we told her about how faith is like a seed. At first it might start out small, but then eventually as you learn more it will grow more and more. She told us in that lesson that if she had to put her faith on a scale from 0 to 100, she said that her faith is probably close to 0. Although I believe she has so much more faith than that! 

   Then we met again on Friday and taught more about baptism and confirmation. She is starting to get really excited about baptism. For every lesson we have been able to have a Team-up so she is always asking everyone why they got baptized. I think she is trying to figure out how her conversion relates to others and how she will know when she is ready. At the end of the lesson she gave the prayer. And in the prayer she thanked Heavenly Father because she told him that she thinks her seed of faith is starting to grow and sprout! It was so cute!! And we were so happy to hear that!

   So we have planned to meet her 3 times a week before her baptism. This next week we will be teaching Word of Wisdom and Tithing. I'm so excited to continue to teach Oonishi San. I'm so grateful for the opportunity that I have to watch her learn and grow and she is really coming out of her shell, little by little, so that's a good thing! It's all so great here in Hakodate and I just never want to leave! I know that this gospel is the only true way to happiness. We see and watch these investigators as they learn and change their entire lives for the church. They all have so much faith and I hope that one day my faith can be as strong as their's.

   Love you all! Have a wonderful week!

   Morrison Shimai

 A new friend - Kanon San

Morrison and Holt Shimai

The Hakodate Shimai

Sunday, September 14, 2014

We can see miracles every day!

Konnichiwa Minasan!

   I know that I say that every week is good, but really this week was just SOOOOOO wonderful!!! We were able to meet so many people, teach lots of lessons, and we truly saw some wonderful miracles!

   On Thursday we were able to meet with Chise san. She has had such a hard time understanding the Book of Mormon, and hasn't been able to read it on her own. So we decided to just take some time and read through the 1st chapter with her to help her understand it. We would read verse by verse and simply explain the story of Lehi and his family. As we were reading she could understand the meaning of the verses, once she understood the background and she committed to reading the 2nd chapter this week on her own! It's so easy to forget how important the Book of Mormon is and that people who read it for the first time don't always understand the meaning behind every verse. When I read it, I can find almost anything to highlight, because different things will stand out to me each time I read it. But for these first time readers, it's so important to help them understand 1st what is going on in the story, so then they will be able to see the spiritual meaning behind it.

   Then on Friday we met with Oonishi san! We had a great lesson about the Plan of Salvation. She thinks that the idea of resurrection is really great. But when we asked her which kingdom of glory she wanted to go to, she said that she wouldn't want to go the celestial kingdom if that meant living with her mom forever. I think she really loves her mom, but it's been tough recently because she has to take care of her mom all the time. So we tried to emphasize that in the celestial kingdom we can also live with our future family forever. She really liked that and said that's where she wanted to go. :) At the end of the lesson we were able to make a baptismal date for October 11th! It's coming up soon, but I know she can be ready by then! She's also having a hard time understanding the Book of Mormon and prayer is still a hard thing for her, so please keep her in your prayers!

   I love this mission and the opportunity to see people change their lives and come closer to Christ. I know that Heavenly Father is watching over all His missionaries and he is mindful of all of His children. We can see miracles every day, if we just have faith and work our hardest! :)

   Love you all!!  Have a fantastic week!

   Morrison Shimai

Nighttime hike up Hakodate Mountain
 Beautiful view!
 Jazmyne and Holt Shimai


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Investigator Good News!

This week was really good!! We had a couple really great lessons. First on Tuesday we met with Oonishi San. We talked about Joseph Smith and we even watch the restoration video with her. When we asked her about what she thought of Joseph Smith's experience, she said that if it was true, it's pretty amazing that God would show himself to someone.  Then for the last 30 minutes of the lesson we just decided to ask her what questions she has. There is this one member, Brother Kimura, who has been really good with fellow-shipping her. But at the same time he just likes to tell her every little thing about the gospel - like about how you have to take the sacrament with your right hand. Anyway so she has heard a lot about different small parts about the church so we wanted her to feel free to ask us any of her questions. She asked about the Word of Wisdom and also about baptism. So we talked about baptism and why it's important. She said before that she doesn't really have any interest in actually joining the church, but when we asked her to be baptized she said that she would really think about it! So even though it's not a baptismal date yet, it's still a step in the right direction. She is still coming to Eikaiwa and church every week. So I think she realizes that there is something here and I think she can feel the spirit when she comes to church.

   The most important thing about this church, or I guess one of the most `enticing` reasons that people have for joining the church is that we are a welcoming church. People should always feel welcome and feel accepted the moment they walk in the doors. Whenever we tell people about coming to church we describe the members as our family, because we truly are all brothers and sisters. People want to be accepted no matter what their background might be or what they have done in the past. The Lord is willing to accept anyone and we should be that way too! :)

  Thank you all so much for everything!  Have a wonderful week!
   Morrison Shimai
The Elders Serving in Hakodate

Shopping at the Recycle Shop in Hakodate - The perfect shoes!

Example of the translation - Love it!