Sunday, April 24, 2016

Week 7 in Chikushino

Hi everyone!
Transfer week happened! It's always fun. We became a four person
apartment so me and Bearman Shimai spent two days cleaning out the
apartment. We have so much stuff from old missionaries and whatnot. It
took a long time. And then since the two new missionaries are
whitewashing in, we talked to them about the area and the members and
stuff. So we didn't really do that much this week. Although Tuesday we
got to go to Temmangu which is a shrine that is like a 10 minute bike
ride away from our apartment. Super cool. Haha, I'll attach a picture
but as we were walking up to Temmangu, we were looking at some gift
shops when I look to my right and see a group of Asian people taking
pictures... Of us! Like not discreetly either. When we noticed them,
they ran and motioned for us to take a picture with them (they didn't
speak Japanese or English at all.) so all of a sudden we are just
posing for these pictures with these random Asians. It was really
funny. People passing by took pictures. Other then that.. Not much
this week. I love the girls in my apartment, it's been a way fun week.
But that's all :) adios!
White Shimai

Week 6 in Chikushino

That was the biggest thin that happened this week. From my emails I've
looked over so far, everyone else has heard about it already! We're
all fine. On Thursday night, right after me and Bearman Shimai
finished our daily planning our phone started to make this crazy loud
beeping noise that I've never heard it make, and then as I was opening
the phone to see what it was, the whole room started to shake like
crazy! For maybe a minute it shook and then it was fine. It wasn't
very big in Chikushino, but the epicenter was actually in Kumamoto! My
last area. Apparently the damage there is really bad. I actually still
don't know any information or what is going on down there. But after
the first initial earthquake we had a ton of aftershocks into Friday
night until maybe Saturday afternoon. I didn't sleep at all Friday
night. We had another really big earthquake Saturday morning around
1:30 am and then we started getting texts from our Zone Leaders and
from the mission office making sure everyone was okay, on top of all
the earthquake warning text messages we kept getting. I ended up
sleeping with the phone in my hand just to turn off the earthquake
alarms because they were coming so often. But there wasn't any damage
from the earthquake in our area. I did hear that a wall of the
Kumamoto's Castle collapsed which is just crazy. Anyway, I don't know
anything else about the earthquake, but everyone here in Chikushino
area is just fine.
I don't know what else to say to top that! My week was pretty normal
in the life of a missionary in Japan. Its been getting pretty warm and
the flowers are starting to bloom which makes it absolutely beautiful
here. I love being outside. Bearman Shimai and I are having a lot of
fun here. Oh, it's transfer week, of course. Tuesday emails. We got
calls this morning, and we're both staying but exciting news! We're
getting two more sisters in our area. Four Shimai apartments are the

I got sick of my bike, so I decided to try this out for a little bitBear face γγΎγ§γ™

Monday, April 11, 2016

Week 5 in Chikushino

I know you watched it last weekend, but I got to watch it this
weekend. Oh man. Words can't describe how much I loved conference this
weekend. I wish I could tell you how much I loved each talk and add my
testimony right along with our prophet and apostles. I loved it so
much. I will share one experience though. I was listening to a talk. I
think it might have been Elder Bednar's talk during the Saturday
afternoon session. But while I was listening to his talk, I had this
indescribable peace rush over me. More peace and lightness then I have
ever felt in my life. And it just confirmed to me again what I already
know to be true. That these are God's words that were spoken. Just for
us, for right now, for our each individual circumstances. I remember
feeling more grateful then ever that I have been so blessed to grow up
hearing these words, and knowing how much Heavenly Father loves me
individually. And I'm especially grateful now for my knowledge of my
Savior Jesus Christ. It was such a great weekend!!
This week, nothing crazy happened! But always fun. Monday I wasn't
feeling too well so we stayed in and called a whole bunch of people,
set up appointments and called a bunch of potential investigators and
former investigators.
Tuesday we had district meeting and had two lessons with our recent
converts! They both went really well! Tomomi Shimai, the girl who just
got baptized a couple weeks ago committed to go to the temple. I'm so
excited! We told her that we had a youth trip going the beginning of
May, and she said she had work.. And then immediately said, actually I
can switch it. I want to go! She's the best :) Then after her we had
another lesson with our recent converts Kouchiyama Shimai and her
daughter Suiju Chan. We played commandment jeopardy, and it went way
well. Suiju Chan gets distracted very easily, so we have to make the
lessons very fun and entertaining.
Wednesday we had a lesson with a less active and then dendo'ed after.
We bumped into an old lady like crazy old. I'm pretty sure she didn't
have any teeth so I couldn't understand her and she couldn't hear very
well at all. But she was trying to figure out why we were talking to
her when finally I was about to give up when I felt like I should tell
her that she was a daughter of God even though she couldn't hear us or
understand us very well. So I did. I to,d her that God loved her and
that she was a beautiful daughter of God, and she immediately started
crying. It was a very cool experience to see the spirit work in
someone that we couldn't communicate with very well. But she
understood us anyway, at least when we were testifying. It was so
great :) We had Eikaiwa that night, and we had so many people come! On
Thursday we had a Mogi with a youth, she really likes English and
she's way good at it, so we just talked to her a lot and then taught a
practice lesson on her. She is so sweet. I love our members here.
They're so amazing. After her lesson we weekly planned and went and
got on a train to go do splits with our STL's who live about an hour
away. It was fun, and I got to ride my very first bullet train! It's
basically an airplane cabin inside, and it's really quiet. Nobody
talks on a bullet train I guess because me and Bearman Shimai were
whispering and it felt like everyone in the whole cabin could hear us.
Friday I got to dendo with Hilke Shimai. It was way fun, but we
dendo'ed all day. Usually we have things to break up the dendo time
like lessons, but not Friday. I was way exhausted after. Also, I was
riding a bike that was owned by an Nihonjin, so it was an extra small
frame. I felt like I was a giant on a child's bike. It was way
awkward, and super tiring to use.
Saturday and Sunday we had conference! Sunday night we got to go to a
members house to eat dinner with the Elders. It was so fun, they fed
us three different dinners and then snacks afterward haha. I was so so
full. They made me sing a hymn, and one of the elders recorded it so
I'll attach it. It's mainly my companion you see in the video haha,
but you get to see their cute little girl in it too. She was cooing
the whole time I was singing. Asian babies are the sweetest. I love
them!! Smiling face with heart-shaped eyes
This morning me and my companion were going over conference together
and we were talking about the second speaker, Mary R. Durham in the
Saturday session of conference. She talked about how the immersion
program of languages and how it's he best environment to learn a
language in. And I completely agreed with that learning a new language
haha, but it made me realize something else. Lately I have really
hated when I speak in Japanese to someone and they reply in English. I
haven't figured out why until recently. When they speak to me in
English while my mind is thinking in Japanese, my mind doesn't switch
fast enough to be able to understand them the first time. I almost
always have to have them repeat it even though they say it in English.
My mind is thinking in Japanese, in a completely foreign language. So
I'm not expecting it, and I don't understand. Tying that into the
language of the spirit, if we are always thinking wholesome thoughts,
thoughts that bring the spirit and keep him there, then when he talks
to us, we can understand easily. We won't have to change our language
in our brain and ask him to repeat it just one more time (or two or
three if you're really struggling to switch your brain over) We can
learn to speak the language of the spirit fluently and understand
better. I am soooooo grateful that I get to learn an new language. I
love Japanese so much. It is so hard and so frustrating and I can't
tell you how humbling it is to not be able to understand when you feel
like you should be able to. But I love it, and I'm learning to love it
more and more every day. I've learned so much these past 10 months and
I'm so excited to continue learning. Missions are seriously the best
:) anyway, sorry I get off on random tangents, but basically my
commitment to you guys is to find someone that you can go over your
notes from general conference with. I learned so much this morning and
we are going to continue to do it the rest of the week. Smiling face with open mouth
Anyway, that was my week :) I hope you all have a wonderful week this
week! It's starting to get a lot warmer now.. Ah, summer in Japan.
I've heard it's crazy hot. I'm getting excited! Haha
Talk to you next week!
White Shimai

Splits with the STL's

Week 4 in Chikushino

Another week flew by!
This week... I am exhausted from this week. It went by so fast, I
still can't believe it is already Monday. And it's April!! But anyway.
We didn't have a ton of lessons this week (not for lack of trying,
basically everything we planned fell through) so we talked to a lot of
people this week. I am constantly being reminded that this is God's
work. I see so many little miracles every day! Sometimes God waits
until we are really running around working our butt off until we see
them haha, but they are everywhere. One day this week we decided to
hand out as many Book of Mormons as we could in an hour, and we prayed
that God to send those people who would accept a Book of Mormon to us,
and we handed out more than I have ever handed out in a day in just a
half hour! We had to run back to our apartment because we didn't have
enough. It was way fun :) Tuesday we went with our Japanese class to
go eat lunch under the cherry blossoms. It was way fun, a lot of them
got drunk haha but it was so fun, after we left we got lost around
this shrine and ended up somehow on the edge of a shrine.. I'll attach
a video.  On Friday we had a lesson with a less active which went a
little long when we got out and realized that we were late to go to
teach Eikaiwa at a members house, 40 minutes away, up a dang mountain.
We booked it there, and I am still recovering from it! I think that's
part of the reason I'm so exhausted today. Anyway. Sorry this email is
going to be really boring and really short! Everyone should listen to
His Grace is Sufficient by Brad Wilcox sometime this week. Don't just
read it, but listen to it! It's so good. I love my Savior, I love His
gospel and the knowledge that I have that "I'm not earning heaven, but
that I'm learning heaven." Love you all! :)