Monday, February 6, 2017

Last one, I can't believe it

February 6, 2017

Hello Family and Friends,
How are you doing? Hope the week was good and you're all doing well and healthy. I pray for you often. I am so excited to see you all and catch up yet again. This week was awesome. We had my last MLC, last ZTM, last Sunday as a full time missionary etc. but wow was it so amazing. Met lots of investigators and all the lessons were great. We met with Kim 3 times and two were over Skype cause she has been pretty sick but she is progressing so well and I can't wait to see the pictures of her baptized in these next few months. I love her so much! She's also been reading daily and is way into studying the Book of Mormon now. We met with Riona Chan a new investigator on Sunday at the church and it was her first time in a church. It was awesome! We asked her to pray out loud for the first time and she did! It was amazing and the spirit was so strong. She asked god if he loved her and right when she said that, I just knew he did. So we hope she felt it, she is way shy so doesn't always express what she feels but I know she felt something because the spirit was there. I'm excited to see
her progress and grow. But it was a good busy week! Sorry I won't write a lot because I want to share a testimony and thoughts of my mission. Okay I want to share my testimony, especially about my mission. These last 18 months have changed my life. I don't even know where to begin. I came out here hoping to change my life, it was honestly about me. But as I got here and learned to love these people, felt Gods love for them and understood really why I was here, it was about them. As I focused on them and serving my father in heaven then I was able to change. You helps others and god helps you.  I have come to love this place, these people, my Father in Heaven, and my Savior Jesus Christ. Because of my Savior I've been able to get through those days I didn't
think I could. His atonement can do all and will do all if we let it. If we humble ourselves and do our best then let him provide then it'll all work out in his timing. I know He lives and sacrifices for me, you, and this amazing people of Japan. I've come so close to my Savior and now I know He is my best friend. He can be anyone's if we take the simple steps of humility, change, and ask. I've learned to love repentance. Or just as simple as change. Changing it a wonderful thing and I look forward to it daily and can't wait to keep changing. These
18 months were hard and sometimes I wanted to stop, but as I saw the ones I love change and feel of that special spirit, I knew I had to be here and knew there was not any greater joy then that. I know the Book
of Mormon is true, it was translated by another amazing man I have come to love, Joseph Smith. If it weren't for him there wouldn't be missionaries and I love him for his sacrifice. This church is true, being a missionary is the greatest decision I've ever made and wouldn't change it for the world. I'm overwhelmed with joy to see you all again but I've heart broken to leave this place and these people whom I love. This church is true, God loves all of us, and he hears our prayers. I've prayed so many times because I had nothing else to turn too and he listened, loved, and helped me. It wasn't always exactly what I had planned but it was always what I needed. Never
forget he listens with all his heart and just wants you to be happy. Please my simple challenge is keep pray to him tonight and just ask him, do you love me and I know he will answer you and that feeling will be something you never forget. I love my Father in Heaven and my Savior Jesus Christ with all my heart. I know this all to be true and I am forever grateful for these past year and a half and for all the love and support I felt. Thank you so much! See you soon! Love you and
miss you all! #RELY #HELIVES
スミス姉妹 Smith Shimai
"I was given a real Kimono! So cool!...So heavy!"

Monday, January 30, 2017

Wow, the work is fun!

January 30, 2017

Hello Loved Ones! 
How are you doing this week? Hope that the new year is starting off on a good foot and everyone is happy and recognizing those blessings we have everyday. 
So this week, wow what a good week! We are so busy all the time it's not even funny but it makes the days so much fun and just full of the spirit. We are both so exhausted everyday but wow it's a good exhausted.  Before I talk about investigators, I need to tell you about the world wide devotional we has for missionaries. It was so crazy and shocking. It was a good spiritual meeting but also they changed the schedule of missionaries and the key indicators. We now have 4 only, Baptized, Baptismal Date, Church, and new investigators. Way more pressure with numbers now. Getting zeros just got a whole lot easier. (Yeah I get it for a week and a half) but anyway it's very interesting and we aren't quite sure how to use it to its fullest potential yet. But we used to study 3 hours in the morning and plan at night. Well now we plan our day that morning, do personal study and we are out by 10:00. Then it is our choice during the day when we put in our companionship study and language. Way weird. And we now do not study on preparation day besides personal for 30 minutes. Yeah it's way weird and it's sad it's my last week and a half but I think it'll have lots of good things to the work. And they talked a lot about how they want it to help us for after the mission too because we don't have set aside those 3 hours in the morning so we need to learn to use our agency and plan our study for when we are home too which I love. I'm excited to try it this week and hear from my companions how it has affected their work. Well Tuesday we were able to meet with Murata San. A 85 year old grandma who comes to Eikawa and is a Christian and told one of our members two Sundays ago when she randomly came to church that she wanted to listen to us again because she did before but she wouldn't do the commitments. So we met with her two weeks ago and it was kind of a hard lesson because she doesn't understand why she needs to baptized again if she was in another Christ church. So we explained the priesthood as much as we could but she didn't accept it. So this Tuesday we had Minamimoto Shimai come and help us out. We taught the whole restoration and about the priesthood and it was good but we just aren't exactly sure what to do because she still tells us she doesn't understand so we are studying and trying to do all we can to help her understand and I think next week we are having a dinner at Minamimoto Shimai's house and having a lesson as well. But it has been a hard one to teach. We also had exchanges this week. We went to the sisters area this time and actually had all the sisters of the zone come to that area and just find all day because they need new investigators really bad. But we saw less of miracles. My day was a little long and different because we met with one of their Spanish speaking investigators that is in the area next door because Lockett Shimai studied Spanish for 7 years so she helps teach her. I wish I could say I remember my Spanish and helped but I literally forgot it all and listened and felt the spirit. But it was cool to see her be in her comfort zone because she is still a new missionary and struggling with Japanese. But felt like I was in Bry's mission haha fun new experience for sure. 
We got to meet with Kyoko San on Wednesday and we had Oogaki Shimai come. It was a way good lesson. We were able to teach the restoration again and just really focus on the importance of the Book of Mormon and how it is a big difference in our church compared to others. She thought the experience and courage Joseph Smith had was amazing and Oogaki Shimai really shared a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. It went well and we will meet her again this week as well.  Sunday I got the fun opportunity for the first time here in Kawachinagano to speak in church. They asked me to speak on missionary work, of course I would love to do that.  So I decided to speak on the role of the spirit in missionary work. It went fine I think.. haha I felt the spirit as I talked and testified of the things which I've learned here and how much the spirit has affected my work.  And for my favorite thing to talk about right now, Kim and her growth. Her heart is so open now and willing to listen and study well. We felt she needed the Plan of Salvation. So we planned to teach it very simply knowing she will over think things. Well as we simply teach Adam and Eve and then just try and move on she asks why we needed a fall, why couldn't we just have been like we were in the spirit world with god and we told her the simple answer of we needed to obtain a body to learn and grow but she just wants an exact clear answer. So next time we met we just told her we don't know all things and that is where the faith will have to come in. And she actually accepted it well and even talked more about baptism and how she wanted to go to the celestial kingdom. We are hoping she'll accept the date we give her this next lesson and we can help her prepare faster to receive baptism. I just love her so much and she means so much to me. She cries sometimes because I'm going home and so then we both end up crying together. I'm so grateful to be a part of her growth experience. She'll get there soon.  Last is my thought of the week. It's a quote from the missionary devotional we watched that I just loved.  "Living the gospel isn't easy but understanding the gospel is."  -Elder Anderson  I just loved that, it's not easy in this big world to live the standards we have but learning and understand it is which then makes living it easier. I know that sometimes we feel we don't understand, well at least I do but it is simple. God doesn't want it to be a mystery or make it hard. He loves us and always remember it's simple to understand and I promise you it'll get easier to live. The world is crazy now so really stay close to the simplicity of the gospel. I know it's true and I love it with all my heart. Study it simply this week. It's true and the best thing ever. Love you and miss you all! Until next week. #RELY #SIMPLE
スミス姉妹 Smith Shimai

"Love these Sisters"

"We blitzed an area in our zone with all the sisters in the zone"


"Last district meeting"

"Feels kind of weird"

"We went shopping in one of the biggest places in Japan called Namba"

"More shopping pictures"

"Having lunch"

Monday, January 23, 2017

18 months, but don't want it to stop.

January 23, 2017

Hello Lovely People!
How are you? How is your long weekend going? I hope everyone is warm, healthy, and working on those New Years resolutions little by little, day by day, and learning lots. Also HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY CUTE AND FAVORITE OLDER SISTER BROOKIE! Have a good day, thanks for your love, example, and strong testimony. Hope you are treated the way you deserve. Love you lots! 
This week not a lot of time because right now as I write this I am on a train going to Kyoto to go to a famous ring place that every missionary in our mission has a ring with our mission theme on it. So here we go! I am so excited! 
Okay well I know I've been saying this a lot lately but this week was the best and filled with the spirit so much! Where to begin?  So Monday night we were able to meet with Riona Chan the girl we met on the street a few weeks ago. She's 14 loves soccer and just loves how she feels when she's around us. (Thank you Spirit) We went to dinner together and we were able to simply teach her about who god is and what he does for us and how we can communicate with him. She just kept saying 凄い (sugoi) which is like amazing or unreal. She said she wanted to learn more and be able to talk to God. We also shared experiences about when we asked god if he loved us and the amazing feeling we have felt before. She said she would try and pray to feel that. We get a text that night way late and she says I prayed but I didn't receive anything yet but I will pray till I know. We were so happy and we know the spirit touched her heart and now she's acting on her own.  This week our Relief Society had a New Years goal setting Party. We had a lesson on how to set goals and then ate my favorite winter food called nabe. (It's a big veggie soup) It was so good because we had Kyoko San come and a member brought a friend with them who will are going to try and meet with her again and see how her interest is. I was able to talk to Kyoko a little as we ate and it was so good. She kept talking about the joy that is always here. So she asked me the way most of us have that and I was felt that she needed to hear about prayer. So I testified of prayer and how much joy I feel then. For some reason it just clicked today. She says maybe I should better and really pray. So I challenged her to do so. The next day I text her to follow up and she said I prayed. So I asked how it was and she said good I felt so warm but I don't know if that's me or god. So I wrote her a simple email and said I know that is God, it's his love. And she was amazed and made an appointment to meet with her Wednesday. It was a miracle.  Next Friday we had Zone Training Meeting and boy was it a good one. We had the opportunity to train and it was a good one. We trained on mindset. President Welch gave us a new vision until he finishes his mission. Every Zone has a baptism every week the last month he is here. So we are working up to that from here on out. So we wanted to get the missionaries mind set on baptism and accomplishing that. So we did a minute to win it game and talked about the mindset that they needed to accomplish that game. It was a blast but then it also turned into an amazing discussion and we talked about the minder Christ had as well and it went so awesome. I'll share more about that in my thought of the week.  This week as well we had Stake Conference in Sakai. So we went a day early and had exchanges with Sakai Sisters. Which is Pickering Shimai our companion when we were a three some and her new trainee. I had the opportunity to go with Pickering Shimai and boy was it fun! Just like old times plus I kind of know the area so it just felt like a normal day. We saw so many miracles. We met a PI of theirs and she ended up wanting to do the half English and half religion program which was a huge blessing cause we didn't plan on visiting her but Pickering Shimai felt like we should so we stopped by into her cafe and as we walked in a guy was there and we didn't know how to talk to her about the gospel etc and like 3 minutes in he leaves and no one came in the whole 45 minutes we were there. It was a miracle. Then leaving her cafe going to visit a LA we see this cute high school girl and wanted to talk to her so we stop. And she loves studying the Bible and she said she believes god created us and the world. We talked about god loving us and listening to all our prayers. We can receive help in school and in all things we desire for help. She thought that was way cool and gave us her number so we can meet again. It was a good exchange. Then Stake Conference Christopher the guy from my home town came as well as three less actives we invited. It was so good and we got to see President and Sister Welch which is always the best.Last and greatest miracle. So we had an appointment with Kim on Thursday, we weren't sure how it was going to go because when she got back from Korea she was way hard hearted again and was like I want to learn English and you want to talk about church so let's compromise type of thing and it broke my heart. So we meet at the church for the first time Thursday. We started off with English study, which we just talk in English. Then we started the church study. We just wanted to talk about faith and help her understand the basic of believing. It was the most spirit filled lesson, we all cried and just felt the spirit so strong. She was telling us how she always feels alone no matter what but she feels good with us and so I shared the story of grandpa smith and how we are never alone because we have god and Christ. The spirit just touched my heart and I felt the love of God and I felt Grandpa Wally helping me as well teach this lesson. And Kim started to cry as we asked her to say the prayer and she finally agreed and it was the most heart felt prayer I've ever heard. She had faith and trusted god was listening. Then she asked to meet again Friday so when we got back from ZTM we met and only had about 45 minutes so we shared a simple lesson on the spirit. It was good she was able to understand what kind of feelings that the spirit gives us. And we asked her to pray and ask god if he loves her and to take a few seconds and ponder after. So Saturdaywe get a call from her Saturday during the Koukan and she said can we please meet today and we couldn't so she said Sunday when you're back so we made that appointment. Wow three times this week. So Sunday she comes to the church at four and she just goes straight into church talk. She asked about temples and commandments so we talked about those but then she said starts to tear up and she says "sisters I took time and prayed, then I pondered for even longer than a few seconds. I pondered longer and more than I ever have before. And I felt the greatest peace and comfort I've ever felt. Just like Smith Shimai's grandpa, I want to never feel alone." We were all brought to tears, and I just felt god telling me he has prepared her for us at this time. So we talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ and that's how we can get that never alone feeling and she said she wants it and so we are meeting again Wednesday and hopefully give her a date for baptism. God is so good. She is so ready and changed through the spirit. I'm so excited to see this change and growth in her. The spirit is our best friend here and I know he is always there for us. Miracles are the best. 
Last my thought, it's from Moroni 7:33
"And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me." But I changed the word faith to mindset and we also related the Christ-like Attribute section to it as well. Through strengthening those attributes we will have that mindset to do whatsoever he needs us to do. It made me realize how HUGE mindset is in life. But my challenge to you today is to get a PMG and go to the last page and it has an activity to know what we need to improve. Please do it and apply one you need to improve and I promise you it'll strengthen the way we look at things and it'll make our lives happy no matter what we are going through. I know this is true. I love Christ and becoming like him is a journey but it's a fun one. I love you all and miss you lots! Keep being you. #MINDSET #RELY
スミス姉妹 Smith Shimai💕

"Sunday is exactly 18 months.. wow"


"Zone Training"

"Visiting Teaching"

"These kids loved us ha"

"A famous place in Kyoto where all the missionaries in our mission get a famous ring"

"Todays Adventure"

"Every missionary comes here to get a ring with our mission theme on it"