Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas in Japan!

Dear Family and friends,

It was a wonderful week! It was so good to talk to everyone on Christmas day. I love all of you so much! I missed being home for Christmas but am grateful to be serving the Lord out here.

Besides talking to you on the phone, Christmas was a normal day as a missionary. We woke up at 6:30 (instead of the 30 min. of exercise we opened our presents), did personal study for one hour, companion study for 1 hour, and language study for 45 minutes. We proselyted (knocked on doors) and had dinner at a member’s house. It was a Christmas that I won’t have too many of, only as a missionary!

This past week one of the highlights for me was Eikaiwa- the free English class we teach at the church each Saturday. I teach the advanced class, and their English is quite good for Japanese people. There are about 6-7 in my class. After we teach English, the missionaries teach a short 15 minute spiritual message. This past week’s message was about agency. Yoneda Shimai and I taught it. We’ve been working to try and get the Eikaiwa members to be interested in the message or at least participate in the spiritual thought when we ask questions—last Saturday they did! Their hearts are slowly softening towards the Church…

Also we taught a recent convert this past week. She has many trials and still needs to be strengthened in the church. As we taught her, she had a question. I was able to share a scripture that answered it. I’m grateful for this guidance from the Spirit, and for the sacred responsibility of helping God’s children progress toward one day living with Him again!

I’m understanding more and more Japanese, and my speaking is slowly getting better. I’m learning to be patient with my progress and have realized that I don’t have to speak like a Japanese person in order to be the missionary God wants me to be.

I love being a missionary! I especially love the Izumi area and Izumi ward. Transfer week is coming up soon- in 2 more weeks this transfer will be over! I want to stay here in Izumi, but will go where the Lord and President Tateoka want me to go!

Swain Shimai

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