Sunday, November 29, 2015

Week 4 in Nagamine

So since we had p day just barely for thanksgiving, I don't have much
to write about today haha but we went bowling on Thursday after email
so I just have pictures today :) so many selfies!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Week 3 in Nagamine

Happy Thanksgiving!!

We had so many good things happy this week! I feel bad my emails have
been so bad haha, it's hard to know what to write about. But this week
I have lots to write about :) so I'll start from the middle of the
week, last Thursday I had splits with Guzdik Shimai! It was so much
fun! She is such a good missionary, and she can just really relate to
people and be friends with anyone she talks to. It's really cool to
see, so I have been trying to do that with everyone we talk to.
Anyway, we saw so many miracles that day! We talked to this one old
lady who didn't really seem interested and as we walked away we
stopped to talk to another lady, and as we were walking away from her
the first lady came RUNNING back to us. She saw on our flier that we
gave to her that we teach free English and she told us about her
grandchild who had been getting into trouble but who really wants to
learn English, and that since we talk about God too that it might be
good for him to come listen to us. It was such a blessing, because if
we didn't stop to talk to that other lady we would have been long gone
and wouldn't have been able to exchange information with the first
lady. Then right after her, we had a really amazing lesson on the spot
with a lady who works in the hospital. She says she sees death all the
time and she just knows that there is something after death. We got to
teach the plan of salvation to her testified that there is life after
death and how amazing the plan of God is! She was super interested and
I'm excited to get to talk to her more! We were able to make a really
solid return appointment with her so it's gonna be awesome. Then after
her, we met a Philippine lady who only spoke English! We were able to
teach her the restoration and I was able to recite the fist vision in
English which was so amazing. It would have been good in Japanese too,
but because it was in English it was so powerful for me too! I love
hearing it, and being able to say it to someone was amazing. On
Saturday we made miso with the relief society. Miso is this paste
stuff that is made out of soy beans and malt. After you make it, you
have to put it in your fridge for a month and then you can use it to
make soup and put it in other things for flavor. Super weird texture,
but it was fun to make! Then that night we had a really awesome
contact with this guy who was so interested. When I handed him a Book
of Mormon, I don't know what it was but I could tell he knew it was
something special. He kept staring at it, and asked us if we would
tell us more about it, so we set up an appointment with him on
Saturday :) Sunday was crazy busy, we had church and our investigator
came!! It was so awesome!! I was so excited to see him. He is 26 and
he is just really lonely I guess, he doesn't have many friends but he
really is such a nice guy. He works as a nurse at a hospital in
Kumamoto. He was super interested in just learning English at first,
but then we had a couple lessons with him and he says he really likes
what we have been teaching him. He came to FHE with us at a members
house that night too! He is a pretty quiet guy, but when you get him
talking about something he can talk about it for a while. So I think
he became pretty good friends with the family we were with. The Kaneko
family is the best! They have the cutest little kids I have ever seen
in my life. The little girl is so chubby and I cannot even begin to
describe how cute she is. Kaneko Kyodai is our ward mission leader so
he is way into missionary work which is so awesome. He helps us out a
ton. Also, we had a baptism on Sunday before FHE. It was a little boy
who turned 8 in the ward, but you should have seen the turn out for
his baptism! It was so great to see the support of the ward members.
It makes me love them so much. Monday was a pretty normal day, nothing
too exciting happened, Tuesday we had district meeting and ate
sushi...haha I eat sushi so much you don't even know. Wednesday was
the same as Monday, pretty normal, although we have eikaiwa (English
class) and it is so much fun. I love doing eikaiwa! And that leads us
into today. We had VT this morning with a member so we are starting
p-day a little late today.  But this week along with a lot of stuff
going on, I was also having a pretty hard time. I haven't felt like I
have had any improvement in my Japanese and it has been really hard
for me. Anyway, I was reading an article in the new era from back in
2013 and this quote really helped me so much!

"Our Heavenly Father, who gives us so much to delight in, also knows
that we learn and grow and become stronger as we face and survive the
trials through which we must pass. We know that there are times when
we will experience heartbreaking sorrow, when we will grieve, and when
we may be tested to our limits. However, such difficulties allow us to
change for the better, to rebuild our lives in the way our Heavenly
Father teaches us, and to become something different from what we
were--better than we were, more understanding than we were, more
empathetic than we were, with stronger testimonies than we had before.
This should be our purpose--to persevere and endure, yes, but also to
become more spiritually refined as we make our way through sunshine
and sorrow. Were it not for challenges to overcome and problems to
solve, we would remain much as we are, with little or no progress
toward our goal of eternal life. As we seek our Heavenly Father
through fervent, sincere prayer and earnest, dedicated scripture
study, our testimonies will become strong and deeply rooted. We will
know of God’s love for us. We will understand that we do not ever walk
alone. I promise you that you will one day stand aside and look at
your difficult times, and you will realize that He was always there
beside you.”

I read that and it reminded me that I want to be a different person! I
want to continually grow and become better! And I can't do that
without going through hard things, right now it is learning Japanese
and trying to be a good missionary and I know there will be many more
hard things in my future. But that isn't a bad thing! It's a good
thing, because I will grow so much from it hopefully with God's help
be molded into the person that I want to become. We all go through
things that we may not feel that we can overcome, but somehow at the
end of the day we did it. We survived that day, and we will go onto
the next. Most of you aren't serving missions right now but we all go
through difficult things, and we all struggle with something. Maybe
it's a continual feeling of loneliness or weight from financial
burden, or a loss in the family or whatever it may be. Life is hard!
That IS something I can say in Japanese. 人生は難しいですね but! We are growing
and learning and will become amazing people as we follow Gods
commandments and do what we know is right. And God is always there for
us, even when we might not realize it.

Oh man, and one more thing I read that just changed my mindset so
much. I read Ether chapter 6 this week. It was AMAZING. Okay maybe
it's just the first part- verses 1-12. I have read this story so many
times but I have never seen it this way. It goes along with what I was
talking about before, I just absolutely love it. In order for the
Jaredites to get to the promised land, they had to be put in these
barges and it says "they were tossed upon the waves of the sea before
the wind"(vs. 5) and that "the wind did never cease to blow toward the
promise land... They were driven forth before the wind." (Vs. 8) "they
were driven forth.." (Vs. 10).  "They were driven forth.." (Vs 11) it
doesn't say that they were lead but driven. In my mind it's kind of
like being pushed forward. It sounds pretty rough what they went
through. Even though this was something God commanded them to do, I
can't imagine how scary that would have been, but it also talks about
how the Lord kept them safe that "no water could hurt them." (Vs. 7)
and "no monster of the sea could break them, neither whale that could
mar them.." (Vs. 10) and that they had so much faith in the Lord that
they knew He would keep them safe. "They did sing praises unto the
Lord... They did not cease to praise the Lord." (Vs. 9) No matter what
we go through we need to have faith in the Lord. He may push or drive
us to become who we need to be, but we still have our free agency
whether to choose liberty and eternal life or to choose captivity and
death. We can choose to praise God through times of trials or we can
choose to pout and complain. I know I've done both and praising God
always works out better for me and makes me happier. And in the end
when we set our feet upon the promise land we will "shed tears of joy
because of the multitude of his tender mercies.." (Vs. 12) I'm so
grateful for the hard times.

Anyway, that was my week and all the stuff I learned! Also the weather
here is starting to cool down now. It was perfect until yesterday, and
then it got super cold. But it's okay, because it's still probably not
as cold as Utah haha.

Anyway! Love you all :) have a good week!

White Shimai

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Week 2 in Nagamine

Hi everyone!

This week was really good :) as always. I am learning so much from
Kawahara Shimai and it's been so fun.  We had zone conference this
week and that was really good! Last night we had a barbecue at a
members house. And speaking of that, the weather here is AMAZING. I
can't believe that is the middle of November. It feels like September
outside. It gets a little cold at around 8 but it's totally not bad.
But I am definitely loving the weather here. I don't know what else to
write about haha, but I really have felt the love of God this week! I
was struggling with the language and my self confidence in speaking,
and I know that the Lord help me get through it. Its amazing when you
can see the Lords hand in your life. There have been so many times so
far that I have seen God helping me get through rough days or help me
express how I feel in Japanese. It's amazing what the Lord can do with
imperfect people.
Here are some pictures for this week!
(Japanese people and their face masks..haha)

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Week 1 in Nagamine

Guys. Tomorrow is my five months on my mission. What?! Crazy! Also...I
got transferred!!!! I have a new companion and she is JAPANESE. Haha
she speaks a little English, but oh my goodness it's the best thing
ever! I was so nervous to have a Japanese companion because of the
language barrier, but I feel like there isn't even one with us. I
don't know why as she usually only speaks in Japanese. But she is
amazing. Dendoing with her is so much fun. I feel super lucky. I am in
Nagamine which is in Kumamoto. And I'm in a four person apartment. I
feel like I got so lucky this transfer. My new companions name is
Kawahara Shimai! Having a Japanese companion is actually pretty rare
apparently. There aren't very many Japanese missionaries, We are
whitewashing the area though which I was pretty worried about, but
Kawahara Shimai actually served in this area a year ago, so she
actually knows what's going on, so it doesn't really feel like we are
whitewashing so that is good. Anyway, it's been so much fun. Knocking
on doors with her is the best. Yesterday I was talking to a guy and
apparently I told him that God feels him and that I loved him very
much. Haha which is a little awkward. Ah Japanese is difficult haha.
But it's okay, because I am going to learn soooo much this transfer
its gonna be awesome!! What else. OH MY GOSH. Yesterday we had stake
conference and I got to see Sister Willson from my doki! I saw her and
I actually started crying I was so happy to see her. I haven't really
been able to see anyone from my doki since I've been in Japan (doki is
my MTC group) and so seeing her made me so happy. And President Egan
and Sister Egan came to speak at the stake conference so I got to see
them too, so it was a really great day.
Anyway, I love being a missionary! Oh my goodness it is the best. The
past three days me and Kawahara Shimai have been going non stop and it
is such a good feeling to know that we are working our hardest and
doing our best to share the gospel. I know I have been blessed so much
already because I'm here. I love this gospel! I know that this is
Jesus Christ restored gospel, I know that we have access to God every
day through prayer and that we can receive personal revelation from
Him. I love you all!

White Shimai
ホワイト 姉妹

I don't think this picture shows how happy I was to see this girl!!

Week 12 in Miyakonojo

I can't believe I will be starting my 3rd transfer. What!? We get transfer calls today and my mind is a little boggled that I'm already this far into my mission haha. But anyway, this week was SO good. I might have been even better than last week. We had so many funny things and tender mercies happen this week. Friday was a little crazy. It started to get COLD on Friday. Like oh my goodness, riding your bike outside was not a good idea (but we did it anyway haha) and it was pouring rain too. but then Saturday and Sunday was perfect weather which is awesome because we spend all day dendo'ing. So people in Japan are just the nicest people ever right? Saturday we were dendo'ing this area and we walked past this super old shop and we decided to go in it to look around for a minute and there was this really old lady there and so we started talking to her. We told her that we just wanted to look around and not really buy anything, but then I noticed what a humble shop it was and how she must not have many customers and so I decided to buy some Japanese candy. So I bought it and then she gave me these free japanese nuts that she wanted me to try because I had never had them before. It was so sweet. I feel like I am used to getting random food from people we house into, but getting it from this sweet old lady who was working in this super humble shop was very humbling to me too. Japanese people just care about others so much. I mean that's a generalization, but for the most part, they are very aware of others. Haha also, in the same area we were walking down this street and there was a group of guys sitting outside this shop, and normally we kind of avoid those types of groups but these guys started calling over to us and as we walked passed them they gave us a couple mikan's (tangerines) just because. Then as we were dendoing yesterday in a completely different area, we bumped into the same guys! They were doing construction on a house and one of the guys yelled over and was like "Do you remember me?! I gave you the mikan!" It made me realize how little Miyakonojo really is. We probably bump into the same people over and over again and I don't even realize it because we talk to so many people a day. But they definitely recognize us. When we are stopped at a red light, I can look at the cars that are driving next to us and almost always, every single person in every car is staring at us. It was a little weird at first but I've gotten pretty used to it now. We also had our Halloween party this week! I was a little stressed out about it because the missionaries were in charge of it and we didn't have a lot of time to plan it but it ended up being so good! We had about 40 people come! And a lot of them dressed up too! (well mostly the kids) I was supposed to be this anime character that my companion said was apparently really popular in Japan... but nobody knew who I was and everyone thought I was a panda... (We didn't have a ton of time to get ready.. that is my excuse haha) So I just started telling people that I was a panda when they asked. But it was a good Halloween :) It was really fun! Anyway, I got to go! but I hope everyone had a great week! 

White Shimai