Monday, November 9, 2009


Dear Family,

It seems like yesterday that I wrote my last e-mail--time flies! Thanks Grandma and Grandpa Tasso for your dear elder, and papa I also got yours. I hope mom and Michael get better soon! I love you all so much!

It`s been another wonderful week in Izumi. Yesterday was Stake Conference in Sendai--it was in a big hall. When I played "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" on the violin, it almost felt like I was performing again because I was on a big stage! My playing went well, and the Spirit was there--which was what I was praying for. I didn`t really understand any of the speakers, but it was neat to see that the church funtions the same out here in Japan--another testament of its truthfulness! Even though I could not understand the words that were said, I could feel the Spirit. Many of the stake members drove a while to get there--some drove 1 1/2 hrs, probably more! It was a wonderful gathering of the Lord`s Saints!

Last Friday my companion, Tani Shimai and I had gotten permission to have a special p-day--we went with some recent converts to Matsushima, an island about 1 hr. drive away. It was beautiful--the ocean, and the unique Japanese trees--and the beautiful autumn leaf colors you were talking about dad! We went to an oyster restaurant right by the ocean, where they brought them out and grilled them right in front of you and opened the shells for you--it was quite the experience! The oysters weren`t bad, but I wasn`t a fan of the scallops...

Part of the reason we were allowed this p-day was because it`s Tani Shimai`s last transfer--she goes home in two weeks, and I will get a new companion! It`ll be sad to see her go, but it`s been wonderful learning from her and spending the last part of her mission with her.

I want to share one experience with you that Tani Shimai and I had last week. We went to follow up and try to make an appointment with a potential investigator she`d found before I came. He was older and had to use a wheelchair, and lived alone. When we came to the door, he went to give back the Book of Mormon Tani Shimai had given him before--but we wouldn`t let him. At first he was hesitant, but as we began to bear testimony of the book and of God`s love for him, his face began to change--there really was a visible change, and we could tell he was feeling the Spirit! We scheduled another appointment and will go back to teach him the lessons. The church really is true, and God is preparing those who are ready to hear its message, just as He prepared Kodama san.

I love all of you and hope you`re doing well!

Swain Shimai

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