"Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen." (Alma 26.37)

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!

Hey all!
It's been a little while haha. Our pday was changed to New Year's Day since it's such a big holiday in Japan and people spend it with their families. Yesterday we read the Book of Mormon all day and that was really cool! I learned a lot and really felt grateful for the Book of Mormon and all the sacrifices the prophets in it went through to get it to us, that we can know how to get closer to Jesus Christ and comehome to live with God again. Tomorrow is an all day cleaning day. And the members here are so kind and are feeding us a ton this week and ton last week even too! When members feed us, they don't do it really often like in America but when they do feed us they go all out. I gained a little weight I think but maybe it will keep me warmer hehe.
Also it snowed a ton! We were walking to the other sisters in suehiro's apartment for splits and we took a detour but we went through a path that wasn't shoveled and the snow came up to my hip! We were kind of scared we wouldn't be able to get out but it was really fun haha. My tights were all white at the end and we left puddles all over their apartment. Oops.
Christmas was really magical. We had a little extra time after planning for Christmas Eve so we took baths and ate mochi and yuzucha at night. It was the best Christmas ever. We made sushi for lunch and got sushi for dinner and aside from skyping my family on Christmas Day, we dendoed all day. People here don't really think much of Christmas and a lot of people still go to work, but we felt a special spirit that day for sure.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Hey all!
Hope you're all doing well. I hear jersey is warm. Hope you're enjoying that haha but hope it still snows on Christmas.

It's really easy to talk about Christ during this season here because the people likecelebrating it but a lot haven't thought about the meaning of it, or that there could be a meaning. It means so much to be able to talk about Christ and the impact he has had on my life.

We have these two young investigators who are our age that we are teaching and that's really exciting. We were teaching them at the same time which kind of made us nervous at first because we've never done that before but it went really well, and when I asked if they knew if it was true, if they would get baptized, they said yes! We didn't set a date but I was so happy to hear that from them. We really feel like we can relate to them too and we desire the same things in life and are going through similar experiences, so it's a blessing to be able to teach them.

I gave a talk at church for the first time in Japanese this Sunday!  That was a little stressful but I think it ended up okay. It was a homecoming for a missionary who just got home from a mission called Adriatic north I think. He's American but grew up partially in Japan and Germany so he speaks like 6 languages now. It's やばいよ。

We also sang as a ward and with one of our investigators to a nursing home for blind people after church. That was really special.

I love my ward! I love the people and being able to feel the love God has for them! As I work harder and pray, I can better see the hand of the lord in my life and that is amazing. Missionary work amazes me everyday and I've already changed so much in this short time. It makes me sad that my time with free shimai is coming to an end but I'm also excited for the opportunity to see more miracles and see other people find more happiness in coming to Christ.

I love you all! Thanks for all your love and all that you do!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Heyo!! You guys are great. Thanks for the encouragement this week. It meant a lot. I feel better about myself this week and have really tried to focus on what I can do. I can't do a lot, and I don't have a lot of talents, but I can be really kind. And I've been trying to really do that. Also one new thing I've been doing is writing in my journal everyday about how I have seen the hand of the lord in my life that day. It's really helped me see how the lord has blessed me and the miracles I have seen that day. I'm also a lot more grateful now that I can see so much more of what he does. Our goal this transfer is to see two baptisms. I know it is going to be really hard but we are trying to make baptismal dates and we believe we can see them. These people are prepared.
In other news, we caught the sweet potato truck! It was delicious. As expected. We were on a bridge and waved him down and ran down to meet him and he's like, you guys aren't from Japan are you? Haha. But it was delicious so that is what matters.
Also it snows like every other day here. It's a bit ridiculous but it is a winter wonderland! When it snows, the air is so dense with white that the air looks white too. And the sky is white and the roads and sidewalks are all white too cause they don't plow. It's beautiful.
I love you all! I sang in a duet on Saturday at our Christmas concert which was really scary but I was able to do it to the best of my ability so I'm happy about that be safe this week!! Love you!
Massey shimai

Monday, November 30, 2015

Hey everyone!
Hope everyone had a great thanksgiving! I sure am thankful for all of you.
We had transfer calls but we're both staying in asahikawa!! Yay!! I love this place so much. It's the second biggest city in Hokkaido but it really isn't big at all. It's very comfortable. People say this area gets the most snow and we sure have gotten some of it! We got about a foot. Some of it melted but what baffles me the most is that they don't really plow the roads or shovel the sidewalks so it's kind of treacherous to walk around. But it's been fun. I fell twice haha (はずかしい) but that was fun too.
Today is the birthday of another elder who is serving in my ward. On the way to his apartment, while we were running since time is always limited as a missionary, I fell and popped the only balloon we had. So embarrassing. We didn't run after that haha. Sister free had a cake in her hand and we were like clugging along in our winter boots. I'm sure it was a fun sight for the people around us!

Also there's this sweet potato truck that goes around kind of like an ice cream truck, but sells delicious sweet potatoes. It is our dream to eat from one since it's supposed to be so good and we got really close but couldn't find which street it was driving on. It sings in a really deep voice about sweet potato. It's really weird but strangely enchanting.

On a more serious note though, This week was kind of hard. Lately I've been getting down on myself. I've felt so incredibly happy since I've come out, but then I started wondering why and if I was serious enough about the work and my ability as a missionary. But I think I took it a little too far and got really discouraged. The other day was really hard and honestly I felt like a failure. It is hard for me to feel gods love when I feel like that, so I've been praying really hard this week. I've also been repenting every day this week to try and purify my heart more and that's helped me. I'm still figuring it out, but on Sunday during sacrament meeting I really felt gods love for me again. I missed that feeling and felt bad that I had forgotten it. In the end, I know that God loves me and I'm grateful that he's looking out for me and for everyone. I'm grateful for the atonement and that his hands are always open, pleading for us to come back.
We also met with a non active we found in old records which was really exciting. We click really well and I love her so much. I want her to come back to church because coming to church makes me happy and brightens my day through feeling the spirit.
I'm out of time again but I love you all! Have a great week this week!

My address is here if you want to send me anything!

Sapporo shi chuo-Ku
Kita 2 Jo nishi 24-1-25
Hokkaido Japan

Massey shimai

Monday, November 23, 2015

Zone Conference and Snow!

Hi everyone!
This week was a solid one. We had zone conference with our mission president who I love so much and left us with a lot of great advice, workshops, and his amazing testimony. It helped me strengthen my faith in the lords plan for Japan and in how much it has grown in not a lot of time. In 1949 there were no chapels, and in 1974 when kaicho served here no one thought there would be a temple in Hokkaido. And now there is one. God hasn't given up on his people anywhere in the world. You and I included.
I loved one quote from zone conference: "if you make an effort, blessings will always come. They are waiting around the corner to show you that you are worthy to receive it."
Just being out here is a blessing. I have already changed so much and I've gotten to testify of Christ and of this gospel I love that has blessed my life. This week we tried making more appointments so we can get more member presents and we got so many! We just worked a little harder and were blessed so much for it. Also we found 3 new young people to teach which is amazing. We're very happy. Tomorrow is transfer calls though and were a little nervous but hopefully we'll both stay in asahikawa.
Funny story: I left the house to an appointment with shoes from two different pairs, one heels and one flats, and both were left feet. Our investigator got a laugh out of it but boy it was embarrassing.
I'm out of time but I love you all! Till next week! Thanks for all the emails. You guys light up my week.
Massey shimai

Monday, November 16, 2015

Asahiyama zoo and Miracle

Hi everyone!
I miss you guys! Thanks for your emails and prayers as always!

This week we tried really hard to make a baptismal date with one of our investigators because she wants to do it! She knows it's true and loves the gospel but is scared. It makes us sad, but we're hoping she can still feel that we love her. It was a really sad lesson, we're just trying to see where we can go from here so she can progress.

I went on splits in suehiro and it was so great! I really needed it.  We found a new investigator who was sooo prepared. Davis shimai and I both just sobbed afterwards because it was such a miracle. We really felt the spirit in that lesson. I'm grateful that we can feel that everyday. This week the things that bothered me before didn't bother me anymore. I was really happy this week and I think it's because I'm getting more into the work. It's true that when you forget yourself, you're happiest. I love you all! I'm excited to learn more how to show others love and completely give myself and increase my capacity to love as God loves.

We also got to go to the zoo today! It's apparently one of the top 3 in Japan so that's exciting. Here are some pictures:

Monday, November 9, 2015


Hi everyone!
You're all inspirations to me  こんしゅがんばてね.
Thanks always for your emails. They're great pick me ups and it's so nice to hear from you all!

This week was a little harder. I went on splits in kotoni and ebetsu which are both around Sapporo area. It was different and kind of stressful but I'm grateful for the experience and for the opportunity I had to learn.

Such a blessing to be able to see Sapporo Temple. I'll get to go in since it should open before next winter. Yay!

It's starting to get a little colder. Last night it dropped down to -6 C but it hasn't snowed too much yet. It'll be fun .

One scripture I loved this week: 2 nephi 26:23-25.
23 For behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you that the Lord God worketh not in darkness.
24 He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shallnot partake of his salvation.
25 Behold, doth he cry unto any, saying: Depart from me? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; but he saith: Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, buy milk and honey, without money and without price.

I know that everything he did is for us to be happy. "Men are that they might have joy." And I'm so grateful for that. I'm so grateful to be here and share this gospel with those around me. The members love the temple so much and I love hearing them talk about it. Right now
they have to fly to get to the nearest one, which is in Tokyo. I'm so excited for them to have a temple pretty soon.

I love you guys! Have a great week this week! Don't forget that God loves you and is aware of you and is reaching out right now. I love love love you all!!

Massey shimai

Monday, November 2, 2015

Miracle Week!

Hi everyone!

First off, I love you all. Your emails give me so much strength and
make me so happy!  Thank you!!

This week was a straight party. One investigator and her member friend
taught us how to make some desserts and we were able to give her a Book of Mormon, which she finally is showing some interest in. We finished our area book records!! Yay! That was a huge blessing. We prepped for the Halloween party coming up and two investigators came to that! One is Mami chan who is the cutest. We get along so well and it was great to meet her and talk to her like forever. But reiko San from our English class came too and brought her teenage daughters! She wants to start doing free family English program, which is means we teach her 30 min of English, and 30 min about the gospel. So that means she'll be a new investigator which makes us so happy. She's been coming for awhile and for her to make this step is so cool and such a blessing. She's the funniest lady and her daughters are sweet and made us cookies for Halloween. At English class, eikaiwa, two new people came. One of them was a lady we gave a flier to on the street and she actually came! We do that like everyday but we haven't seen much results from it so for her to come was such a blessing. Then we had the Halloween party on Saturday and we were afraid not many people would come but there were like 80 people and the church was packed.  I'd say only 25 were members so we got to talk to a lot of people about English class and spend time with the kids. So fun. Many people were interested in eikaiwa so that was a HUGE blessing. This ward that I'm in has so much missionary fire in them, it's unbelievable. They care so much about this gospel and it's because they see how much it has blessed them that they want to share it with others. It's great to be able to work alongside the members. And then we were going to visit one lady in the hospital but free shimai felt she should go visit an old investigators house even though she knew she'd still be in Thailand, but we went and she was outside. Apparently she'd come out of the house just 5 minutes earlier and she didn't know why be she did. She's been through so much and it was good to be able to listen to her story and get to know her. I felt so much love talking with her yesterday. She doesn't think us meeting her was a coincidence and apparently it's happened many times before where it shouldn't have happened because she's never in Japan but every time she is for like a week or so, we end up at her house. 
I love her testimony of the lord and his love.

I love the people here so much and it breaks my heart thinking that I'll have to leave them eventually. I know God has a plan for each of us and that he wants to be with us all the time, we just have to let him into our lives. This week was a hard lesson about not doubting the lord and not limiting what the lord can do. I do that a lot, maybe because it's easier, but I know that this is his work and he works to bring about his purpose, which is to bring his children back to him.  Because he misses us. I'm grateful to be a missionary and a member of this church and I know that when we turn our lives over to him that he works everything out because he knows us better than we know ourselves. I love you all! Have a great week this week!

Massey shimai

PS sorry my English is so bad. It'll probably only get worse from here on out lol. Thanks for bearing with me

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

I feel like so much happened this week I don't even know where to start, so I guess I'll start with food... Haha. We were so spoiled this week. I had sushi in Japan for the first time and a ward member fed us homemade gyoza and gave us a loaf of homemade bread and jam to take. So good. Also remember that all you can eat naan place? Apparently there's a competition among the missionaries to see who can eat the most naan. Each piece is twice the size of my head and our district leader, who's only like 6' ate 7. We were all impressed.

I got to know the ward members here a bit better. There's this one lady who is an absolute angel. She plans her life around the temple. Like right now she isn't working so she can spend all her time visiting people in the hospital and less actives and serving everyone she can. She does this and goes to the temple, which you have to fly to get to since it's in Tokyo, so she saves so she can go to the temple, and that drains all her money. So she goes back to work until she has enough money to serve and go to the temple again because she can't get days off if she continually works. One day I want to develop as much love as she has for the lords house.

Sometimes missionary work can get discouraging. We dendoed in a rainstorm one night and yesterday is snowed. People say I look really Japanese here. We teach an English class once a week and one student was speaking English until he saw me and asked where I was from in Japan. It's cool but then a lot of people ask why I don't speak Japanese if my mom is Japanese. Right now I'm trying to just forget about myself though and focus on loving everyone around me with the love God has for them. I'm also trying to be a more consecrated, committed missionary by losing myself in order to find the person Christ wants me to become. There's this talk called the fourth missionary that I love. One piece says "Trust him that he will make of you, immeasurably more than what you will ever, ever in all eternity, make of yourself. He will create of you a masterpiece. You will create of you only a smudge. You will create an ordinary man. He will create of you a God." I love this because it encourages us to let go of our will and turn ourselves over to our father in heaven who knows us and our potential more than we know ourselves. It might seem hard to do (right now it seems hard to do to me) but I know that as we trust the lord even if we're scared, if we go and say I will go and do like nephi even if we don't know what we're doing we'll be made stronger in the end.

I love you all! Have a great week this week! Thanks for your emails 😊they're really encouraging. 

Massey shimai 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Oct 19, 2015

I made it to Japan!!

After a super long flight we finally landed in Sapporo and got to meet my mission president and his wife. They are just the sweetest. Everyone here is so nice and helpful. It is a bit cold but I guess I'll get used to that. I was assigned to Asahikawa which is the coldest mission sisters get sent to and I'll probably be here all winter since I'm in training. But I've loved it so far! My Japanese isn't great but the people are kind about it and when I apologize, they apologize for not knowing English, which is kind of ridiculous but whatever haha. One thing that's funny is that people say I look Japanese except for my eyes. Back home people say my eyes make me look Japanese. I'm a little confused.

It's been so nice to have Japanese food again! One lady took us a to a little ice cream shop up a mountain that was right next to a dairy farm. It was delicious but the best part was that we could look over the whole tree covered valley. I didn't even care that I was lactose intolerant haha. Later today were going as a district to get Indian food at this place that has all you can eat naan which is apparently really good. I'm excited.

This past week I've really felt gods love for everyone I talk to and I'm so grateful for that. We visited one man who is a less active member and says he knows there is nothing after this life, but he also said he wishes he could see his wife again. It's heartbreaking because I know he can and I know God wants to comfort him. I know God loves us all and wants us to come to him. Suffering is part of life but if we go to Christ with that he can make us strong and uplift us.

My second day we did a concert at the snow museum which was just stunning. I had to learn three verses of as sisters in Zion on the car ride there. So, Spanish, Japanese, and shua which is Japanese sign language. SUPER COOL but really hard. We made it through though. It was a neat experience. My district is super fun! There are my companion and I, and two sets of elders in our ward. One elder is from Australia so his Japanese sounds like nothing I've heard before, it's cool. His comp came to Japan in my group so we're both new. The other set are two Japanese guys who are adorable. We all get along well. I love this work and I love being able to represent Christ and have his name on my tag. I love these people and I love gods love. I love my companion and all of you! Please take care and be happy. おだいじに!!


Massey Shimai

Oct 9, 2015

Hi everyone!

I hope everyone is doing well. Right now I'm still in the training center in Utah but I fly out to Japan after this week, which is kind of crazy since everyone else in my zone has to stay here for 9 weeks. It's been really, really hard, and I've been down on myself more than a few times but I'm finally coming to peace with my inadequacies and insecurities (something I never thought I'd be able to do) and learning to trust in Christ. The MTC gives us so many amazing experiences to leave our comfort zones and grow. We've had a couple of devotionals AND general conference! If you haven't watched it yet please do!! You can at lds.org. After I watched it I felt that peace I was craving, that God called me to this work and He knows I can do it, that I don't have to be perfect now, but have the rest of my life to work on that. What I've learned this past week is that we have a choice to either let our weaknesses bring us down as Satan would want, or to use our weaknesses to turn to Christ who can make us strong and whole. I know that without God I wouldn't have learned as much Japanese as I have this past week, been able to stay happy, and been to stay here. If it weren't for Christ's strength I know I would be home right now, but because of Him I have found the strength to keep going. President Uchtorf said something I loved: "Moses was so discouraged he wanted to give up and die, but God didn't give up on Moses. God sees us as how we really are." Right now I'm nowhere near perfect but God sees our potential and knows how much we're worth. So we shouldn't give up on ourselves, and especially not on Him and His cause (which is us).

My district (class) has 7 people in it, 4 of which are from Japan, so communication is interesting but I'm learning a whole lot. :) They're all really cute and we get along so well. Our whole floor is going to Japan and I've made so many friends from other districts as well. There's this one Elder from Brazil who can't speak much English but always tells everyone they're "konpeki," which really means blue sky but he's trying to say "kanpeki" which means perfect. Now my district only uses "konpeki" because of him.

I've had my own language mishaps too though! During companionship study I was trying to say "ketsui" which means commitment, but I accidentally said "ketsu" which apparently means butt. It was really hard to refocus after that but at least our relationship grew because of that haha.

Even though it's hard and I fail often, I'm grateful to be here on a mission. I'm grateful for God's love for everyone and I can feel it everyday when I look at the people around me. I'm grateful for the scriptures He's given us to study and learn from and receive inspiration from. I know that He answers prayers and that He wants to help us all so much, we just have to go to Him and let him in. I teach two to three investigator lessons everyday which is kind of stressful, but I'm learning how to teach by the spirit so that it's not me teaching, but God speaking through me. Without that spirit we can't know what other people need to hear to know for themselves that God loves them.

I'm grateful for all of you and strength you have and have given me. I love you all! Have a great week this week and be safe! Apparently it's already snowing in Hokkaido so I hope I can be safe too :) Find joy despite your trials!!

Massey Shimai


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Last Minute Feelings

I'm probably not the first to say that going on a mission is not all smiles and good vibes. While I waited for my report date to come I have thought a lot about my experiences so far, the things I have learned, the people I have been blessed to meet, and how God has put it all together for my benefit and ultimate happiness. But I have also thought about the struggles I have been through and how I have dealt with them through the years, and I started getting nervous. As a missionary I am called by God to invite people to come to Christ and experience the gospel I have enjoyed and loved and grown through. I will have the opportunity to share my testimony of Christ and how much it means to me with others. Through doing something that has nothing to do with me, I will learn how to turn my life over to God and trust Him to make up for my weaknesses. At my farewell I talked a lot about how I have learned to trust in the power of the atonement, but the truth is that I feel more insecure about my ability to perform the Lord's work in my last week here than I have ever felt before. So I prayed about it. And no matter how many times I forget this, God answers prayers. 

These past two days I have had so many reminders that God called me to do His work, that He trusts me and I need to trust Him, that I am not alone and never was, that I should not be harder on myself than God is on me (and I most often am), and that in knowing He loves me I already know enough to do this work. I'm grateful for His patience despite my returning doubts and insecurities. I am SO grateful for everyone who has been a part of my life and has built me up. I am so amazed at the amount of love the people around me have in their hearts. I know God puts people in our lives for a reason, and I hope that through me the people in Hokkaido can feel a fraction of the goodness and light of those I hold so dear to me. Am I still scared? Yup. Being a representative of Christ, though a tremendous honor, sounds pretty hefty, but I am learning to trust that God can work through me, flaws and all, if I try my best. 

"God does not begin by asking us about our ability, but only about our availability, and if we then prove our dependability, he will increase our capability." - Neal A. Maxwell

"Be not afraid, only believe." Mark 5:36

Sister Massey