Monday, November 30, 2009

New Companion!

Dear Family and Friends,

I’m doing well! Tani Shimai finished her mission and went home last week. I was sad to see her go! I will miss her. She was my trainer and helped me through so much. I will always have a special spot in my heart for her! All of the Izumi ward, and the eight converts she baptized while in Izumi, were sad to see her go. She came with her mom to sacrament meeting Sunday, before going home to Osaka, and bore her testimony and sang a duet with her mom, “His Hands.” (I played the piano part. Thanks mom for teaching me piano.)

My new companion, Yoneda Shimai (from Osaka) is wonderful! She’s the opposite of Tani Shimai and more of the polite Nihonjin I think of when I think of Japan. She is the most humble person I have ever met! She is always seeking for ways to improve. She is very nurturing, and will help me a lot with my Japanese. She speaks to me only in Japanese, except for the two hour English SYL (Nihonjin missionaries are also supposed to improve their English skills) each day.

Since Tani Shimai left, I’ve felt a lot more responsibility. I’ve had to introduce Yoneda Shimai to Izumi and the investigators--everything! The Lord has blessed me so much with this responsibility—from remembering the right way to investigator’s houses/different areas, to receiving revelation for His work! The past few days, as we’ve prayed, the Holy Ghost has put thoughts in our mind of where to go, and what an investigator needs. The Lord has answered our prayers in a very real way!

Last Friday, Yoneda Shimai’s first full day in Izumi, we talked to someone on the street not too far away from our apartment, Naho san, who we found out is actually our next-door neighbor! She had an interest in the purpose of life and she came to church on Sunday. We taught her lesson two and she met some of the church members. She has faith and wants to learn more! It’s amazing to see how the Lord puts people in our way who are ready to hear about the gospel!

I love being a missionary! Some days are hard with the language--but the Lord is merciful and hears my prayers and strengthens me! The hard times are worth it when we meet someone like Naho san, or see Mori san’s baptism! I know that the Lord loves each of His children so much. This is His work! I love all of you so much! Thanks for your support and prayers.

Swain Shimai

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