"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)

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