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

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