Monday, March 28, 2016

Happy Easter! "I didn't even know it was Easter yesterday"

March 28, 2016

Happy Easter Lovely Friends and Family!
Yes I'm not kidding I had ZERO idea yesterday was Easter, I thought it was this coming Sunday. So sad... But no worries we were still focusing on him a lot these past week or so with the new video and stuff so we had the spirit here. Sounds like all is well though over there with Easter and finding some eggs etc. CONGRATS to my adorable big nephew Carter for getting the priesthood. I'm so proud of you and I know having the priesthood power, Gods power will bless your life. Way to go buddy! Okay well if I was to title this week, it would be "A Door Slam Before the Smile." Why? Let me tell you🤗 In a second, first other experiences.. First the elders had a baptism this week and it was awesome! He is a solid, prepared person and it was great to see someone else draw closer to Christ. Next we taught Aladdin and her mom this week and we shared the Easter video with them and after the video she goes, "I just saw a video about this yesterday that we bought, it's about Christ atonement and sisters, I bawled because I just want to help him and can't believe He did that for me." And we testified of how amazing the atonement is and how much Christ loves all of us so much. It was so spirit filled and we were all teared up and boy did it strengthen my testimony of the Savior as I had the opportunity to testify of what I know. Okay so the nurse student is still on! She gets baptized on SundayAH, We had our "last" required lesson with her on Saturday and wow.. It was amazing. And guess what she did?! FINISHED THE WHOLE BOOK OF MORMON! She had a goal to do so before her baptism and she did it. It was amazing to hear her talk about it and how she knows it is true. I love the Book of Mormon. It is what helped her and changed her and I know as well the Book of Mormon is true. I'm so excited for her to see that change in her life soon. So we were biking around trying to find this former investigators house and we thought we found it but it was not her. We were getting pretty bummed and it also started pouring (yup, Japan) So we asked this lady whose house we actually knocked on and asked her for help and she ended up being so sweet and helped us for 30 minutes to find this house but we couldn't find it... So we decided to teach her and she thought it was interesting and said maybe but to come back soon because she thinks we were so sweet and liked us so we will see. God led us to that house for that reason, I know it! She kept trying to give us tea we can't drink, it was so cute. She offered us everything possible haha on I love old ladies here! Okay, so back to the door slam and smile title... So Sarah our investigator, we had an appointment with her at 3 but we decided to go earlier and try finding some new people in her apartment building. So we knock on this last door with having no success before and right when my sweet companion says "konichi..." The man SLAMS the door hard in our face. Ouch... So we both were feeling bummed and thought great now it's time to go teach her and we feel crushed.. So we said a prayer and went to teach Sarah. Well, GREATEST lesson ever. We asked her if she was able to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and she pulls out 3 pages of notes and tells us how she read the intro, and all the testimonies sections. She opened up and expresses how amazing she thought this was. She said "I tried putting myself in Joseph Smith shoes and as I read it, I felt it was true. This book has blessed me a lot already and I was telling my friend to read it too." WOW! WHAT?? Haha so we taught her about the gospel of Jesus Christ and committed her to be baptized when she knew it was true and she said "of course, I want to be in your church." YAY!! No specific date yet but we are so excited for her. So after that brutal door slam, we couldn't stop smiling in the next lesson and it was a day and week changer. So my thought this week is a smile quote I heard from Elder Holland this week in a video, he said "Love is what you go through together." And when I heard that I thought of my Savior and my relationship with him.  The reason I am strengthening my relationship with him so much lately is because I am literally going through all things with him. Happy, sad, tiring, exciting, etc. all those things are WITH Christ
and now the love I feel is even stronger than I knew possible. Isn't that awesome? You don't know your relationship with someone, whether it be friends, family, or our Savior, we will see true love when we rely on those people and it will grow. I know that with ALL my heart. I challenge you all to try better to strengthen your relationship with Christ or family or friends by going through EVERYTHING with them. And I promise you that love and relationship with grow and be even stronger than you can imagine. This church is true, and I KNOW Christ was resurrected and because of Him we can do the same. I love Christ and Easter season. Enjoy conference next week! I LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU ALL! #RELY #LOVE
"Our favorite drink! Salty Litchi"

"This is one of my favorite Ekaiwa students ever!"

"Isn't Japan beautiful?"

"Our District"

"The Ocean! Ah!"

"Game Night! The dancer on the left and Umetani Shimai on the right!"

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Recognizing Blessings

March 21, 2016

Hello Everyone!
How are you?! It seems like everyone is doing good and I'm glad all the surgeries went well and everyone is healthy and okay. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JADE AND AUSTIN this week!! 御誕生日おめでとうございます! (Happy Birthday in Japanese) I can't believe she is 1 wow.. And Austin you're getting old! Jokes. LOVE YOU BOTH, HAVE A GREAT DAY! Thanks for the emails and support you show me. Well new transfers started and it's been good, always a little hard to adjust but it's going good still. I am in Izumo still and I LOVE IT! So the Filipina mom who just got baptized, well she is doing awesome! We have been talking a lot about the temple, she wants to go so bad and is doing all she can do to prepare. It's awesome to see her grow and improve. But we also taught her daughter this week the first lesson, and it went awesome. She just has so much faith and said she wants to be baptized just like her mom. So we will keep teaching her, it's kind of hard because she isn't super good at English but we are teaching as simple as we can and hopefully her mom can help her too. So the nurse student, she is doing amazing! Just a little update, ever since she received her answer to be baptized she has just been doing AMAZING! She is almost done with the Book of Mormon and just has such a strong desire to follow Christ. Words can not describe how much I've grown to love her. She will forever be my best friend and I'm so excited to see her be baptized and change her life. So we had a bit of a trial and hard time this week. The dancer, her date was the 20th but she just got a job and hasn't been able to come to church so we moved it to the third of April but she texted us Saturday night and said sisters I won't receive baptisms my parents said I don't need too since I already did in my church. We both just were silent and heart broken. I've grown to love her so much too that words can't describe. So I'll be honest, it affected my mood on Sunday. I was pretty down, couldn't sleep that night and just wasn't sure what happened. I got a call from my zone leader that night to see how we were doing etc. and so we talked about it and he shared with me a quote from PMG now sometimes we need to take a step back and realize we need to just remind them of our desires for them is why we are here. And it made me realize, sometimes as a missionary you get caught up everything that you don't realize you need to take a step back and show them your desire for them.  I learned a lot, we will meet with her Wednesday to talk so update will come next week. Sometimes I don't like agency haha. Well we have a new investigator and she is AMAZING and SO prepared! Wow... Haha let's call her Sarah. She is 18 and from the Philippines. Her mom is a LA and we are working with trying to bring her back as well. But we the first lesson and it was SO spirit filled I can't even tell you. She told us all her beliefs and they were SO much like ours. It was amazing... The greatest part for me was when we went over the first vision, I know it's true but during that time, it just reconfirmed to me that wow, this is amazing and SO true. I'm so excited for her and she agreed to read the BOM and pray. Yay for 
prepared ready people. Okay so my challenge this week, two things kind of haha first I've been pondering a lot about what does magnify your calling mean? And how do we do so? I want to know what you all think. First, magnify means to make bigger, or zoom basically. As I've been studying it, one thing that stuck out to me was the single word HELP. I found that word a lot as I read things about magnify your calling and it really is helping the Lord with His work. It's that simple, we all have our own certain callings but they are not all the same. We are called to help God progress His work whether it be a a full time missionary or a good example to those around us. But I know we all have a calling and we need to strive to magnify it everyday. but I want to know more so this week please help me out. Lastly, there is a new Easter video called Hallelujah PLEASE GO WATCH IT AND SHARE IT WITH OTHERS PLEASE. Easter is an amazing time, let's never forget why we have it, because of Christ we can all be resurrected, WOW! I am so grateful for that, I've never realized how important that is for us. So please do both of those this week. Please think about the Savior and your calling I love you all and miss you like crazy! But the work is growing so much and I'm so grateful for the Lords help in that because I for sure couldn't do it alone. Keep being amazing people all of you! #RELY#MAGNIFY ã‚¹ãƒŸã‚¹å§‰å¦¹

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

God is Good! April 3rd

March 14, 2016

Hello Everyone!
I'm sure you're all curious what happened with transfers this past week, well I'll tell you in a minute. Well it sounds like all is well. I need to wish my cute very first nephew CARTER aka CARL a happy birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY CUTE BOY OF MINE you're getting so old, it's freaking me out... Haha お誕生日おめでとうございます! Love you lots bud and enjoy getting the presithood, WOW. Well okay, transfers... I stayed!! I LOVE IZUMO!! BUT... MILLER SHIMAI LEFT ME!! We were both shocked and so crushed... now with transfers if they call you Tuesday or Wednesday then you transfer. When they call they tell you where you are going and new companion etc. so we didn't get a call and it was 8:15 pm and so we were both thinking YAY one more together. Well then at 8:30 the phone rang and we didn't want to answer but then we found out, Miller Shimai is leaving... We both just cried all night after... But it was so great to serve with her. She changed me forever and I learned so much from her. So Wednesday morning our last morning, I have been needing a trim and Miller Shimai offered to cut it so since she was leaving, Wednesday morning she cut my hair HA! So I cut off about an inch, feels SO short but it is healthier so yeah that was a thing. But yeah I'll miss my amazing Miller Shimai, forever a best friend. Well okay, my new companion is half Japanese and half German haha random right? She's from Orem Utah and it's just so sweet and funny. She is a fourth transfer, so one younger than me. Her name is Miyazawa Shimai and I am excited to work with her. She has a very loving fun personality and we will see good things too. This Saturday we were able to attend the filipina moms daughters graduation we will call her Aladdin okay? Haha well let me tell you. WOW! Japanese take middle school graduation very seriously, and no one claps, it's like you're at the military base or something. Weird but boy was Aladdin so happy to have us there. She just kept smiling and saying ah this is so good in her cute decent English. But we went to lunch after to celebrate and after Aladdin said she wanted to learn more about the gospel like her mom because she sees how much happier she is from being baptized. So let me tell you about this amazing lesson. We talked about God being our loving Heavenly Father and we can pray to him anytime. I asked her why she thought we should pray and she said for help. Awesome! So I asked the mom to tell her how prayer has blessed her and her testimony was AMAZING! So we are getting ready to end then Aladdin said  Smith Shimai why do you love God? And boy did I LOVE that question. It gave me another opportunity to testify and share why I love my father in heaven. I told her lately I've been thinking a lot how I have my amazing family because of God. Wow, that's a blessing. And as I testified, the spirit filled the room and we both teared up and she said that is true, I love my family. Ah, she is ready just like her mom! It was amazing. So this Sunday the Filipina mom received the Gift of the Holy Ghost and boy was that awesome. She is officially a member! After I leaned over and asked her how it was and she said, "I feel Gods hand on my head." Wow, she loves her Father so much. She will do amazing things. Also fun Sunday, I had to speak.. Again ha and my subject was the role of the relief society, like what? Haha I've been in their for a year or so.. But it ended up good no worries. Glad it's over though.. Speaking in Japanese is overwhelming haha THE BEST NEWS AND MIRACLE OF THE WEEK! The nurse student has a date finally!! Hence my subject, APRIL 3rd! So we met with her Saturday and she finally opened up to us how she has been praying for the past year or so about whether or not she should be baptized and what is right but she said no answer. So we talked a lot about God is wanting to teach us patience or something so we grow. And I felt like I should give her Moroni 7 to read and we can discuss it next time. So we get a text from her Sunday and she says can we meet, I really want to talk about what I read so we said of course and went over there. So we sit down and she tells us what she likes about this chapter etc. but then she goes but before I accidently thought ch 6 vs 1 was ch 7 vs 1 so I read all Moroni 6 too and sisters, I got my answer. That whole chapter is about baptism. She says "I got my answer and I want to be baptized. When can I?" PEOPLE WHAT?! We have been trying to help her for months.. But she got it. April 3rd she has the opportunity to grow closer to her Heavenly Father! Yay, I gave her a chapter but she messed up and God directed her there so she found it herself which is what she has been wanting, yay! God is good good! Lastly, I want to share a quote and ask you to work on something this week. "We choose how long and to what extent we allow the darkness of doubt to influence us."  I've learned that all the negative bad things in our life are our choice. Just like us having faith so is having the negative our choice. Like President Monson said, we can't have faith and fear in our mind at the same time so we choose to get Satan out of our life. And I know that is true. Sometimes that can be hard because we aren't perfect and Satan knows our weaknesses but through the atonement, all is possible. The atonement is for anything. So one thing I've been doing is praying to know the atonement can help me overcome Satans negative darkness. Through sincere prayer and having the spirit closer to me through my purification challenge, I've overcome that little by little. I want you all to do the same, please pray with all your heart that the negative darkness can be taken away by your choice and that is by acting. I know he will help you, he has helped me more than k ever thought possible. I love my Savior and His atonement. Without him, I would be in a dark hole. He loves us so He died for us. I know the atoning power is real. I use it everyday so I can come closer to Christ. I know it's true and will help. I love you all and miss you like crazy. #RELY #ACT   ã‚¹ãƒŸã‚¹å§‰å¦¹


"Miller Shimai ate 21 plates of sushi" Take a look at them right by her...CRAZY! She beat all the boys!

"New Photo Booth"

"Some of my favorite kiddos in the branch"

"Miller Shimai heading off to her new area"

"Can't we stay one more transfer?"

"I am so sad to see her go, friends forever!"

"Game night, this LA stuck a ice cream cone on his head then kept taking pictures of me because I took this of him."

"We went to the beach, isn't it beautiful?"

"My new companion, Miyazawa Shimai"

"Relaxing today"

Transfer 4 is over

March 7, 2016

お久しぶり!🤗 (long time no see, or it's been awhile) (but not really..) Every week I feel like I was just emailing yesterday but here I am again, writing more amazing experiences, and getting to tell you about my amazing mission in the land of Japan. I get transfer announcements this week, so I'll see if I'm here or not, I HOPE I STAY! We will see...  Sounds like all is well and I'm glad life is just going on over there. First off, Landon I'm an awful sister! Happy late birthday!!! Sorry Hope it was a good day for you. I love you lots! Okay so first I want to share of the amazing power of Ekiawa for finding new people to teach. It does wonders for missionary work. We are starting to find so many new people through this non-threatening free English class. Lately, lots of people who come always ask about why we do this and etc. then when we share about our work, lots of people have had LOTS of interest. I love this English class blessingmwe for here. But every week after Ekiawa, we have the goldens lessons with a member. This week we had the amazing Mami Shimai. We introduced the 数いの生活 (plan of salvation) and she was so excited to hear she can be with her family forever. And guess what we ended with, a baptismal commitment! She agreed to be baptized when she knows these things are true for herself. Wednesday was full of amazing things. We went to a Brazilian restaurant with our investigator who is Brazilian and the elders investigators who are Brazilian. Wow, Brazilians know how to cook. We got a burger and wow! Do I miss those things... Haha but besides that, we were just going all day and all lessons were just spirit filled and went amazing. Days that just like flow well and all is happy and great! So this week we had ZTM and we were asked to share an experience we did as a companionship this past transfer. We did a 40 day purification challenge these past transfer and it changed our work Quick summary: we prayed together and personally then we gave ourself 5 minutes to write down things we feel are stopping us from feeling the spirit. Then we picked some things we wanted tom"fast" from as a companionship and then 3 personal things we will fast for. Since doing that, our lessons, investigators, and planning have just grown and improved. So we told our STL's about it and they wanted us to share it so we can all improve on obedience. After ZTM, we had a few missionaries come up to us and thank us because they want to do it and improve. So my thought/commitment of the week is to try this. Write down in your life what is keeping the spirit away and pick the top three and fast from them for 40 days and it'll change your life. I know it will. It has changed my missionary work and my testimony of obedience. It'll help you, I promise, I'll follow up next week! I promise, so DO IT! お長居します!(please) So this Sunday we found a new investigator we will call her Tiki I guess. Ha she is 18 and just so dang cute! We found her number in our phone and felt like we should text her and we did, she wanted to meet so we taught her the restoration and talked a lot about the Book of Mormon and she prayed at the end and it was so awesome and sincere. So hopefully I stay here and can see how she grows. Okay so the Filipina moms last lesson was amazing. We went over the baptism questions and asked her to bear her testimony to us and let me tell you, she is so prepared and ready for her baptism. She was crying and just testifying of prayer and God knowing her. So SUNDAY was the day. Well I want to share the amazing experience I had on Sunday with her baptism and it was both our first experience. But that's not the only reason why it was awesome, I've been through a lot with this investigator because I've been teaching her for 3 transfers and I've grown to love her just as God does. She came into church and told us she kept waking up before her alarm the past few days because of her excitement to receive baptism. But we had been fasting for her to feel of an experience that she will never forget. So right before she went into the font, I prayed in my heart she could feel no more burden, guilt, and feel pure. As she came up out of the water, I saw the glow around her and could feel the Savior and Heavenly Father showing me how they see her all the time. What a neat experience it was to see Gods child just as He does. After she said, "I felt God accept me. And now my goal is to go to the temple and keep teaching my kids about this gospel." The gospel changed her life, I saw it in her. Wow, isn't it so awesome being His instrument so others can feel like we do? I love it! Well lastly I want to just share my testimony of prayer. God answers all my prayers. It's not always how I want it but he has answered them. Especially when we pray with faith, I know without a doubt he will answer. If we show faith that it can happen, he will want to even more. Especially this week, he has answered so many that have been mission/life changing. I love my father in heaven, he loves me, and all of you. I know that without a doubt. I love this work and it is changing my life forever. Have a great week and know I'm praying for you all. LOVE YOU ALL AND MISS YOU!  ã‚¹ãƒŸã‚¹å§‰å¦¹

"The Day!"

"After, she was so pure"

Our new investigator

Crazy day of bowling

Celebrating this sweet girls birthday

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Another transfer is done again?!

February 29, 2016

How is everyone? Thanks for the love, emails, and prayers for the benefit of me, it means so much that I have awesome support back home in the Land of America. I'm glad the blessing went well, way to go Bry and I'm sure Merc had her looking cute as ever. Give her a but hug and kiss from Auntie Smith Shimai🤗 Carter, WAY TO HIT YOUR FIRST HOMERUN!! So proud of you, wow. 御目出度う御座います! (CONGRATULATIONS!) Keep being healthy, safe, and awesome everyone! Okay okay, the Filipina mom we met at eikaiwa is 100% a prepared soul from God. So we meet with her every Tuesday after Ekaiwa and this past lesson was the most spirit filled lesson I have ever been a part of. So we were finishing teaching about Joseph smith and the restoration right? Well we pray and ask her if she read and right when we ask she goes wait I had a experience. So she tells us that lately she had some struggles at work with a coworker who hasn't been nice to her and she doesn't know why. So she said one night she went had time so she went and read the introduction and testimonies part of the Book of Mormon and she said she loved it and it made sense but wait, the best part! She went to work the next day, and the coworker came up to her crying and apologized for everything and hoped she could forgive her. So golden said to us, I know it's from this book, I prayed read it and prayed after and the next day the miracle happened of her saying sorry. WOW! She recognizes Gods help and especially from the Book of Mormon already? Isn't that amazing? The rest of the lesson was so perfect and amazing and she will pray to know if the book is true. Which we all know, she will receive that answer. I LOVE HEAVENLY FATHER! And of course, the spirit. The spirit does the work and we just are the tool in Gods hand. So we had to do a lot of traveling this week so we did a lots of street teaching which has been awesome. The best is just getting that courage to talk to people and it works out. We were in Kobe for TTTM and we missed our bus back to Izumo. So we decided to go out and dendo of course. We taught 3 lessons to people while we waited for our next bus and oh it's so scary but so fun! So hopefully we planted some seeds for the Kobe missionaries to teach soon. Okay so I don't know if I talked about this or not but dancers parents want us to teach them English and part gospel. Well we went yesterday and wow they are my favorite people ever! They love everyone, always smiling, and want to grow closer to God. We are so excited to have a FAMILY being taught together and they can have a gospel filled home. Thought of the week: So I was reading 2 Nephi 7 and while reading verse 7 and 8 I just had an AH HA awesome moment. So I was reading it and it just clicked, we need confidence. They say: 7 For the Lord God will help me, therefore shall I not be confounded. Therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall notbe ashamed. 8 And the Lord is near, and he justifieth me. Who will contend with me? Let us stand together. Who is mine adversary? Let him come near me, and I will smite him with the strength of my mouth. If we have confidence in the Lord and ourselves then we can stay as far away from Satan as possible or as needed. It can be hard to have that confidence, I've seen so many weaknesses of mine and it has been hard accepting or overcoming them but I know he wants is to because that how we accomplish the things we need too. If we don't have confidence, well life's gonna be a lot harder. This week, if you feel like there are so many weaknesses or just things you wish you had or were better at, I challenge you to stop ask God what your strengths are and use those. We can accomplish all, especially if we are showing God that we know our strengths and we are grateful for them so we use them. I know he will help you and answer you. Sorry a shorter email this week. I love you all and miss ya like crazy! BE MISSIONARIES PLEASE! #RELY #CONFIDENCE   ã‚¹ãƒŸã‚¹å§‰å¦¹

Dyed our staches

Welcome to JAPAN!!!

Our new Filipina investigator who is the golden one! She brought us all those chocolates I'm holding 

Trainer, Trainee Training Meeting this week in Kobe

District Meeting - Girls got white trash

Tallest Shrine in Japan
Entrance to the whole area

Legend statue of the bunny

"You know..."

Front of entrance where you pray to 8 million gods

Our tour guide

ZTM today and lunch with Shimaitachi