Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Mainichi kiseki o mimashita!

November 23 2015

Well hello yet another p day already.  Time is just going by too fast out here, it needs to not do that.. I've been out fourth months already.. WHAT?!  But let's not talk about time, it's not normal haha so well it sounds like everyone is doing fantastic! Kids are just growing up like a blink of an eye and becoming amazing kids and skilled in all they do by hard work. I love hearing all the hard work everyone is putting in what they do. Hard work brings SO many blessings Merc, cute belly and I can't wait to see that beautiful little girl. Good luck and keep decorating that cute nursery and my dad will finish that amazing crib soon and it'll be the cutest! But keep being amazing all of you American people haha oh also, I forget but Happy Thanksgiving! Eat lots for me. Remember all you have been blessed with... Never forget. So Tuesday was a little rough, we had to stay inside yet again because of sickness but the next day my companion was feeling great and ready to work! Wednesday was MIRACLE day. I can't even describe to you how AMAZING this day was. While we were studying the Yamane couple called and this less-active lady named Umetani Shimai in our branch fell off a building during work and broke like 5 bones so they asked us to come with them to visit her. Two cool things bout that, one I had a prompting to call her that morning and we did but she didn't answer and that's why but the spirit told me she needed us then the members called. It was perfect plus my companion felt great that day. The Lord blesses you no matter what! How amazing is the spirit?! Then on our way back the Kyoudai in our branch who took us had a feeling we should visit this less active named Hamamura Shimai but we had something soon and didn't wanna rush but he decided to go anyway so we get to her house and as we knock on the door we open it cause she is paralyzed on her left side from the waist down and she is like yelling because she was stuck in the shower... So yup, us two missionaries and the sister in our branch got this old lady out of the shower and dresser her and all these things But we then talked to her for a second and asked her if we could sing and pray before we left so we did and she said the closing prayer, and during her prayer she was just talking about how she had just prayed for help and then we knocked on the door. What a MIRACLE RIGHT?! She was so thankful and it was just a heart warming experience. Then the next miracle on the same day was we taught a recent convert named Hara Shimai and we planned on just talking about obedience. So I had a feeling I should share that by keeping the word of wisdom my body was strengthened so I could play all my sports. And after I shared it she opened up about how she has been struggling with wanting to drink coffee and so we then helped her and testified of things that can help her. It was just miracle after miracle and I am SO GRATEFUL for the spirit and the gift of tongues that helped me share that with her! Man, I LOVE OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN AND HIS MIRACLES So Thursday we taught Nagai Shimai this like 88 year old who was just baptized less than a year ago. She's so sweet and precious. But we shared with her missionary work and we wanted her to share the gospel with her sister and when my comp asked her she didn't want too and was nervous too so I felt I should testify of showing love and testifying of the gospel will change lives and asked her to do that. And she agreed... The spirit was so strong and I am so grateful that I followed the spirit and that the gift of tongues is real to out those words in my mouth. It strengthened my testimony of simple testimonies can make a difference. Isn't that great? So always remember that even a simple testimony or comment can change someone. So please apply that in your life and even if it's so simple, it'll change and influence someone. Friday we had interview in Yonago with President Welch. It was AMAZING.  That man is so close to the spirit and said exactly what I needed. He changed my attitude and desire so much and I can't thank him and sister Welch enough for ALL they do. Saturday we had a relief society activity. We made daifuku which is mochi stuffed with mashed soy beans inside haha look it up! It's so yummy haha it was a fun time. So the most amazing part of the week. We got a new investigator this week and he is SO prepared. So we were exercising at the park down the street and he stopped us and asked us where we were from etc and so we started to teach him the gospel and he thought it was cool and wanted to keep listening. We asked him to go to church and he said yeah I haven't been in a long time so I need too. And so HE CAME SUNDAY! The branch members were so sweet to him and showed him so much love and he loved it! He agreed to meet again on Tuesday and we also have a dinner appointment with him and a member family that know him so hopefully that'll help him as well but he was so willingly to listen comment and just participate and so we hope we can see a miracle with him. Apparently he's the owner of some HUGE company here so I mean we found a famous investigator, haha jokes! But lastly we ate this members house on Sunday.. It was SO Americanized haha like I felt at home.. It was nuts but the best haha they made us the best okonomiyaki. Look it up haha but it went well and working with members is a huge goal in our mission and it is going so well in this area. So we are excited about that! Lastly my challenge and spiritual thought of the week... So our district leader challenged us to read the talk called Rescue in Unity By Elder Chi Hong Wong from October 2014. As I mentioned earlier we are really focusing on working with members and being Full Purpose missionaries which is not just baptizing, but also strengthening less actives and bringing them back and even strong members. And of course have the members be 100% involved in the missionary work. So in this talk it just shares ideas and ways we can work together and what happens when we do so. So this week I challenge you two go and read this talk and ponder what you can do as a member to help missionary work progress. Pray to know the best way YOU can improve and become a better missionary. Missionaries aren't there forever and new/less active members need friends and loved ones to help them stay strong. "In order to assist the Savior, we have to work together in unity and in harmony. Everyone, every position, and every calling is important. We have to be united in our Lord Jesus Christ." -Elder Chi Hong Wong. I know through members and full time missionaries that this gospel will be spread even faster than it is and not only will people record baptism but we can keep people active and strong. PLEASE do your best to help this work grow. I wish I would of been a better member missionary before because now I see how important it is. So please do this this week and I promise you that He will answer and your life will be blessed immensely by becoming a better missionary and spreading the gospel. This gospel is true and brings SO much joy and happiness and everyone needs it no matter what. I love this work and will forever be grateful I am able to be a part of it. I love you all and miss you so much!  But I hope you have a great week and know someone is praying for you everyday even all the way over the ocean in Japan  #UNITY #RELY
Smith Shimai スミス姉

My favorite Reisa Chan from Ekaiwa (english class).  It was just me and her in my class this week so fun and cute

So we made daifuku (mochi with mashed soy beans inside) with the Relief Society

I HATE this picture of me so don't post it (Whoops)

Just a Sunday morning selfie haha

Dinner at the Satos Family on Sunday.  This is their sweet daughter Yuria Chan.  Adorable huh?!  Their house is SUPER American ha it felt so homey again

They told me to relax in the American chair haha so I did... That's the Elders and the lady on the ground is Sato Shimai the mom.  She amazing!

These are the vending machines EVERYWHERE.  But this one is special because it actually has good food in it hahaha, they only drinks in vending machines here haha and they never have water in them either.  But those are calorie mates, Japanese "granola/protein bars" sorta


November 16, 2015

Hello Amazing Family and Friends,
First, DUTCHIE BOY!! Happy Birthday! I love you and can't believe you're getting so big, have a great day buddy!! Miss and love you! Auntie Lauren will be thinking of you all the way over here in Japan. Well it sounds like everyone is just great in America!! I'm so happy to hear that. Knowing that everyone is good and okay is such a blessing as a missionary. All the pictures were adorable, thank you SO much! Those nieces and nephews of mine are too dang cute andgetting so big way too fast! Grandma Bonnie, thanks for the love and putting forth the effort of emailing little old me in Japan. Love you! But keep being great all of you. You're the best! Well a hard but good week... So my comp got a bad cold this week so 3 of the days we had to stay inside, which is always hard but she us better and we got back to work. It's been super rainy too, like pouring rain. Haha but it makes it an adventure right? So we have a recent convert named Himo and she is just so sweet and we meet with her every week and help her with things and we just are her friend. This week we got to make paper cranes with her. It was great She has been struggling with the word of wisdom just because she grew up drinking green tea like everyone else here. But we just shared with her a message about Latter Day Saints Keep on Trying and talked a lot about not giving up and you can tell it really helped her. She is so sweet and I can't wait to teach her and grow closer to her each week! Ekaiwa was good! I teach the beginners class and my comp teaches intermediate. Most of my class is young people with a mom as well. The girl I am in a picture with at Ekaiwa is this cute girl who said I was the same age as her sister and she wanted a picture with me cause an American was the same age haha it was cute but not much else about Ekaiwa for now...There is this less active named Inoda Shimai and she is about 60 something and just is struggling with the pressures of what others think of her and also that her husband isn't a member so she doesn't have the "perfect" Mormon family so she is embarrassed to come to church. We are kind of having a hard time knowing what to teach her right now.. She is stubborn haha every time we meet with her, we have to go to lunch at this sushi place every time.. Haha she made me try eel and squid sushi! Yup, I did it haha it wasn't too bad. I quite enjoyed the eel but the squid texture, oh boy! Unique.. Haha but she is great and I hope we can help her more and more to overcome those things. So every Wednesday we teach these two Brazilian girls English from our branch. They are SO cute Cristal and Cindy, they are twins. So we start with talking about our ponderizing scriptures and share our testimonies with each other then teach them English for an hour then their older brother feeds us and it's always SO good ha they fed us Brazilian food this time. It was delicious! So we will see how that continues to go. I love them! so I don't know if I mentioned Mami Shimai or not last week but she is this adorable young mom in our ward who is married to mark Kyodai, a Philippino from America so they speak English to each other but he learned Japanese as well and they have an ADORABLE 2 year old named Mea. She is too cute. So Mami Shimai has been a little  down lately, so the other day we decided to call her and just check up on her. Well she had been having a very hard day so we stopped and bought her a treat, visited her and shared a message and you could see the difference in her day. The spirit is real, all we had was a thought to call her and it ended up changing her whole day and strengthened her. So that was amazing to see! Also this week, Mark and Mami were so sweet and brought us homemade chili cause my comp was sick. IT WAS SO GOOD! American food, yay haha but they are so sweet and just LOVE the missionaries so much. Well Friday we has district meeting in Matsue. First random fact, where we went to eat, there was a baskin robins right next to it, YUP! You bet we went there haha ah American ice cream! Dreams do come true but the meeting, It went really well... We focused a lot on faith. But I will share this one thing our district leader said about prayer that just hit me. "When you ask for specific things, you WILL receive specific answers or blessings." And for me I have been really been working on prayer lately and being sincere and such. But now I have another thing to work on. Be specific! Another challenge for prayer this week sorry haha but look at your prayers some more this week and see if you are being specific and truly asking for certain things, even if they are tiny, and I promise with all my heart, he will give it to you! So please try that this week Sunday was a good one but also hard. So our investigator, Onon (the Mongolian) said she could come this week, one of our members planned to pick her up. Well, she couldn't come... It broke my heart. I know church will help her progress so much! So I hope and pray she can come next week... But I seriously love the people in this branch so much. They just love us missionaries, but they all have such strong testimonies and sweet spirits about them. They just are so happy all the time!! Nothing is better than a happy person right?! But I just LOVE this area so much. Today for pday, Mami and mark the took us to a famous shrine here and it is surrounded in beautiful autumn leaves and water falls. It was such a great day. I love them so much and it was great to see more of Japan and just enjoy the day together. I'll send pics! But the work is going better and better, I love being here! I love these people, and I am forever grateful for this opportunity to be here. This gospel is true, it brings SO much happiness and joy into our lives. Never take it for granted, and please share it and serve others!! It'll bless your life immensely! Love you all and miss you all!! have a great week.
Smith Shimai スミス姉妹

First is Miho second is Ekaiwa (english class) student

District meeting.  The girl that I followed her blog is in my district now

A member gave us fish crackers with spicy pepper flakes haha

Our temple visit today, this is Mea Chan.  Mami Shimai's daughter

The temple

Isn't it beautiful?!

Mami Shimai

Friday, November 13, 2015

Watashi wa Izumo o ai shite imasu!!

November 9, 2015

Hello Hello People of America!
Well how is everyone?! I hope well, from what I have heard in emails everyone is doing great and life is busy as ever! Grandma Bonnie, way to go on writing an email from an iPad, I've got a cool Grandma I would say.  Love you Grandma! But all sounds good, fun medical trips, and just everyday life. Keep it up and be safe! Well I'm sure you're all curious on the new area and companion etc. But first I have to tell you about my last two days in Takamatsu. So Tuesday we had a Primary Day Camp up in the mountains and some cabin like camp area. It was so cute and fun. We just helped with the stations for the kids to do in all our district. It was fun, our while zone was there and stuff. We played games like, dodgeball, tug of war, and jump rope. It was oh too fun! Except they had the missionaries vs. the priesthood holders in tug of war.. There were like 20 of them and 10 of us... We won once and so did they so we ended it like that..Haha it was a great day, and we got to wear pants all day, YAY! And Wednesday before we left to go to transfer point, we visited Ueta Shimai my favorite Less Active and it was SO great! She was so sad I was leaving and so was I... But the cool part was as we taught her, the spirit was SO strong. We taught of forgiving others through the atonement and as we did she just started crying and bore her about how she knows what she needs to do to change and come back. Itwas a great way to end visiting her! The spirit is so real. No greater joy then hearing someone you have come to love tell you that. Okay now to the new stuff! Well, My title is I LOVE IZUMO! Haha So there is the start of my new area. It is so great! It is very inaka or country.. Haha like small town and so beautiful. It's been really rainy since I've gotten here but oh well, it's not cold so I guess I'll take it. But my first day here we went and visited lots of members and had a lesson with our investigator! We got right into things... But everyone we visited was so loving and excited to have a new sister and just showed me so much love like I was family! They are all so sweet, AH! Our branch president is actually American, he married a Japanese women and they now live here and he is great. He's very American haha they have two daughters and they are so cute! Our branch is actually pretty young unlike my last area so that's fun. So our investigator is actually from Mongolia and she speaks Russian, Mongolian, and broken Japanese and English so we teach her in simple Japanglish.. Haha its quite the experience. But she is solid! She has such a strong desire to know if what we says is true. She is gorgeous too, like wow! I'll send a pic soon of her. We taught her abut faith and loving Jesus Christ cause she loves God but she isn't sure about Christ yet. But I'm super excited for her. So fun story, we has like NO food the last few days cause of transfer etc. so we had bread milk eggs and cinnamon basically so we made French toast... Then we realize, no syrup.. So we compromised and put yogurt on it hahaha it was so good actually.. So yup makes it healthier too right? haha JOKES. Sunday was great here in Izumo... I got to bear my testimony and introduce myself in sacrament. It went better then the one in Takamatsu so that's good haha then us sisters teach gospel principles class so we taught about eternal families, it went well. I shared my experience about how my family always read scriptures together and how my parents may not think sometimes that it helped but it did! So thank you mom and dad.  Everyone thought it was awesome we did that together. Then Sunday evening we had dinner with the Bragas, the cutest Brazilian family in our branch. They wanted us to try Brazilian food.. So we got it ha, beans, rice, and sausage with this spice on top ha it was good! But they love us and treats us like family. The mom said to call her our "black momma" hahahaha yeah, they are awesome. They have two kids, a 16 year old daughter and a 18 year old son. They are amazing:) and are great missionaries here. But this area is great and I'm so excited for thus opportunity to serve here. I am blessed to be around these people for awhile and hope I can help them. My thought and challenge of the week is from a poem that President Monson shared in a talk awhile back:
"I know not by what methods rare,
But this I know, God answers prayer.
I know that He has given His Word,
Which tells me prayer is always heard,
And will be answered, soon or late.
And so I pray and calmly wait.
I know not if the blessing sought
Will come in just the way I thought;
But leave my prayers with Him alone,
Whose will is wiser than my own,
Assured that He will grant my quest,
Or send some answer far more blest" -President Monson Never Walk Alone
I just want to testify prayer us real, he listens and answers our prayers. Maybe not when or how we want but he does. I challenge you all to see how your prayers are and if they are sincere and you listen after you pray. If not  will make a world of a difference in your life I promise. I love prayer so much! I've never prayed more in my life and I'm so glad I have it. It's true and real. So please do that this week. I love you and miss you all!! The work is moving and it is great. I pray for you everyday and hope you're all safe, and coming closer unto Christ everyday. #RELY スミス姉妹 Smith Shimai

Shimai Weber and I


Primary Day Camp. It was SO COLD!

These are so famous in Japan. They are outdoor like hot tubs, this was a mini one cause normally they are a big tub and you sit in them but us missionaries aren't allowed in those so we did a mini one haha

Isn't Japan BEAUTIFUL?! That's the day camp place.

Ueta Shimai, the best LA (less active) ever

Our branch president gave us Tim Tams since I was leaving..YUM!

Bye bye Weber Shimai. Crepes were "our last meal" together haha

Bye bye Weber Shimai

The Bragas and my comp and the elders in our area (brazilian family)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

TRANSFERS! And guess who is leaving?!?

November 2, 2015

Hello Kazoku and Tomodachi (Family and Friends),
How are you all doing?! How was Halloween in the states? I'm sure filled with candy, costumes, parties, and all sorts of scary fun things. I hope all went well with that.  Thank you for the love and support I get every week, it really makes such a difference in the mission field. I feel your prayers and love everyday. Well to start off, I'll explain my subject... You all guessed it I'm sure. IM GETTING TRANSFERRED! I'm leaving the island and going to Izumo with Fuller Shimai... No idea what is happening but here I go right? I leave Thursday morning so yeah that's fun news, I'm nervous but excited! Everyone is shocked that I'm the one leaving but hey there must be a reason. I'll I know about my area is that it's more country with LOTS of rice fields and that my district leader said that he served there for two transfers and it's his favorite area thus far so I'm excited to experience that. I'll tell you more next week when I'm actually there.  But for this week in Takamatsu, so we were heading home Tuesday after eikaiwa and it was all the sudden POURING rain haha and we weren't prepared so we just got drenched biking home.. It was hilarious  Welcome to Japan Smith Shimai haha I'll send a pic of me being soaked. My comp and I just laughed our heads off at how ridiculous we must of looked... Haha So investigator wise we will talk about Kana first, oh boy she is special.  We taught her twice this week. First lesson was introducing commandments and pray often. It went well and she understands we must follow them. But then next lesson we taught her the 10 commandments and it was a GREAT lesson. The spirit was strong as ever through out
the whole thing. We started asking her about prayer and she said she hadn't really been praying cause she didn't know what to pray about and she was always busy. So we testified of prayer and related it to calling a friend who lives far away and you just want to hear from them. God is the same way with us, he just wants to hear from us. And you could see the light switch click on. We testified that she must do it cause we can't do it for her and it was just a good moment and lesson with her. She was worried about the sabbath day commandment but we will discuss that more later. But I was so grateful for the spirit putting words in our mouth that she needed to hear. The spirit is the real teacher! I know that for a fact.

So Thursdsy we had Trainer and Trainee meeting in Okayama. It went really good. President and Sister Welch basically just ask how it's been and give advice etc. We had 4 Shimaitachi sleepover the night before cause there area was so far so that was an experience... Yeah 6 sisters in our tiny apartment but we pulled it off.  It was fun
getting to see some people from my MTC district again, I've missed them! And just lots of other missionaries as well as President and Sister Welch. I want to share two quotes from President Welch, "Fun is not where you go but what you take with you!" "How do I know God loves me? He wants me to do hard things because He knows I'll learn and grow." I just loved both of those. Always good to keep in mind. We had zone meeting this Friday and it went great! I just want to share one thing I learned, and also it'll be my challenge for the week. So our zone leader challenged us to pray and ask what we can do to strengthen our testimony and find one thing and work on it. So this week, please pray and ask one thing you can do to strengthen your testimony because it can always grow! I know you will receive and answer, cause I did and it has changed my testimony in just a few days
so please do that and see the difference it makes. But remember, you have to listen after you pray and have the desire to want to grow or else it won't matter. So Saturday, Halloween, we had a party with the branch and just
whoever wanted to come. We invited LOADS of people. This was the craziest day ever! So we started cooking and setting up at 2:30 and we literally finished the second before it started.. Try baking/cooking with a Japanese oven that is TINY and only two stoves and the ingredients aren't 100% normal.. Yeah it was an adventure.  But we pulled off the rice pudding, no bake and pumpkin cookies, Rice Krispies, and the coconut bars were edible but not that great cause they don't have graham crackers here so... But we did it! I'll do a quick sum of how it went. Games (like donut eating, ring toss, pin the head on the spider, and the Oreo min to win it game) it was crazy with
like 15 kids running around.. We had 50 people there.  Members, investigators, less actives, and random people. We had 3 of our 5 investigators there. One was Aratake,  the mom we met on the street and we are doing 30 English and 30 gospel. Her daughter loved the party and our members made them feel so welcome! So activities like these are so great for missionary work in a none threatening way. Funny Stories from party: So our investigator Kana, she came as well. As I've told you before, she LOVES food ha and like never gets full I'm telling you. So at the end we had a piñata and then ate. Well the kids broke the piñata right? Well Kana being a 28 year old sprinted over and was grabbing candy, and Weber 姉妹 and I were dying.  Then we go to eat and she was first to go get food and just kept going and going, it made the night.  Oonishi 会長 was telling her that we are
gonna clean up and she says "I'm gonna keep eating okay?" And his face was the best.  But the party was a success for us! Also random thing that happened this week, I got asked for the first time since being here if I was half Japanese! Hahaha but I said nope full American and she was shocked so yup there ya go.  The work here is improving, but I'll just have to hear about it now cause off to a new place I go. I know I'm needed where I'm going so I trust in The Lord and I'm grateful for the blessing of serving these amazing people if Japan. I love being a missionary, I wouldn't change it for anything. Serving and teaching everyday is just ah no greater
feeling,  share the gospel to all you know please. Smile and serve those you come in contact okay? I love you all and pray for you daily.
I will talk to you next week, just not from Takamtasu, from Izumo. New
adventure here we come.  #RELY
スミス姉妹 (Smith Shimai)

We got hot cocoa from Costco from our branch president so we are loving that

Soaking wet....

We matched

My MTC district

Halloween Ward Party

All of our goodies