Monday, September 27, 2010


Congrats Nate on winning the audition!! I`m sure mom and dad will be glad to see you more often, and I will be too once I get back from my mission.:)

It suddenly turned from summer to fall this past week--with several windy and rainy days. It`s starting to get cold again...

We had a wonderful week! Katou Kaoru chan and Naoki kun were confirmed in Sacrament meeting, and are now official members of the church! They are already great friends with all of the primary children/young women and love coming to church each Sunday. They`re the best!

This week we had our third lesson with Saito san, who the elders found streeting and passed to us. She`s a mid-aged lady, and has studied/joined 8 different religions throughout her life, and has now been part of a religion called `seicho no ie` for 10 years. She came to church once, and told us she loved our, the missionaries` smiles, and all the members` smiles she saw at church. She thinks that the reason behind our smiles is that we`re receiving some kind of inspiration from God...we explained to her simply that it`s because of the joy we feel from living this gospel. The gospel is true, and definitely brings us this joy that Saito san saw through our smiles! We hope as she continues to learn about the restored gospel, she`ll realize that it`s true, and experience herself the joy that comes with this knowledge.

I`m enjoying my time every day as a missionary, and also helping our new companion. Dotson Shimai is doing so well, and her language and skills as a missionary are improving each day. I`m so grateful to be a part of seeing her, and our investigators progress!

I know that we are God`s children and that he loves each one of us!

Swain Shimai

Monday, September 20, 2010


It`s been a great past few days!! We went again to the mission office in Sendai (a 2 1/2 bus ride away) and picked up our new companion, Dotson Shimai! She`s from Seattle, Washington, and is so sweet and works super hard. She`s a head taller than us, loves basketball and reading books--she was an English major at BYU before she came. She`s got `dendo fire`--she`s excited to do missionary work, and we`re excited to work with and help train her!

Sunday Kaoru chan and Naoki kun were baptized! It was so wonderful! The water in the baptismal font wasn`t very high, so they ended up each being baptized 2 times before they were fully immersed by the water. Afterwards Kaoru chan(age 13) said she felt `ureshii`--super happy, but Naoki kun (age 11) said he felt cold from his dripping wet clothes:) They are the cutest, and have amazing testimonies of Heavenly Father and the Book of Mormon. We`re so excited for them, and what being baptized will mean for their future--receiving so much love, guidance, and direction when they need it, and eventually being able to live together forever with their family, and Heavenly Father!

Today for p-day we went with some branch members, the elders and some of their investigators to go fishing...I caught a fish but was too afraid to pick it up with my bare hands afterwards...Semba Shimai helped. Then it was cooked by the people in charge of the mini pond/lake, and we ate our catch! It was quite the experience--at least the fish wasn`t raw:) Sorry dad, I still don`t really like sushi...
A little bit of sad news--our investigator Iizuka san called us and said that she doesn`t want to be baptized any more. We talked to her for a long time on the phone, expressing God`s love for her, as well as the need for baptism, but she`d made up her mind. Ultimately, it is her free agency, her choice--but we`re praying and trust that at the right time she`ll get another chance to accept the gospel, and realize what the atonement of Jesus Christ can do for her! I know that God loves her and is watching out for her!

Thanks everyone for your prayers, love, and support!

Swain Shimai

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Going Co-Trainer...

We got our transfer calls this morning, and neither Semba Shimai or I will be transfered, but we`ll become a three-some with a new sister, Dotson Shimai. So Semba Shimai and I will be co-trainers! I`m excited to be in a 3-some again, and to help Dotson Shimai as she comes to the mission field for the first time! I`m not sure where Dotson Shimai is from, but she`s not from Japan--probably from America. We`re going to pick her up from the Mission home this Friday...we`re excited!)

It`s been a wonderful past week! On Sunday we had 10 investigators attend church, as well as the luncheon after church! It was super busy trying to watch out for each one, and make sure they were having a good time, but the Koriyama branch members stepped in and helped a lot with fellowshipping these wonderful people. We were so surprised on Sunday when, during Sacrament meeting, Iizuka san, who has work and said she couldn`t come on Sunday--came to church! Her job had finished early and she`d rushed over to the church! She had a great time. We talked to her again this week about the importance of keeping the Sabbath Day holy, and she said she`ll do all she can to come to church 2 times a month. Probably this Sunday she`ll have an interview with the Branch President, then her baptism interview, and will be baptized after that. She`s wonderful!

This coming Sunday is Katou Naoki kun and Kaoru chan`s baptism--they passed their baptism interview last week! They are both ready and excited to be baptized and make that promise with God. They`re the cutest!

Yamaguchi san is still doing well--she came to a Relief Society activity with us on yesterday and had a great time. She did what we invited her to do, to pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true and if Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God--and she got her answer! She said she felt a really peaceful, and warm feeling, and knew that it was true! She`s truly gaining a testimony.

Last Saturday we had the Music Concert, with about 10 or so musical numbers, including a piano solo from one of our investigators and guitar solos from the elder`s investigators. It turned out great! I ended up playing arrangements of 2 hymns on my violin. (Thanks for the music mom and Mrs. Mary--I didn`t get them quite in time to play them at the concert, but there`ll be another one in the next month or two!) There were between 30-40 people that came, and it seemed like they enjoyed the music.

I`m loving it here in Koriyama and am grateful for the many blessings, and miracles the Lord has blessed us to see here. Missionary work is the best! There are many sacrifices required, but the joys more than compensate for them.

Sister Swain

P.S. I got your package mom--thanks:) It would help to have the accompaniment too--but not for everything. Probably just Meditation from Thais and the Bach one? I forgot but I`ll let you know next p-day

P.P.S. I`m sorry, I didn`t have time to do a hand-written letter last week.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Splits! (email)

It`s been another wonderful, busy week. Last week on Thursday Sister Semba and I went on splits, or companion exchanges with the sisters in Niigata, a 2 1/2 hr. bus ride away. The sisters there are both senior missionaries--one is Japanese and 65 yrs. old, and the other is from Hawaii and in her 70s--they are both serving proselyting mission, doing the same things that we do (teaching, housing, etc.--they just use a car instead of a bike). I was so impressed with their example--with their determination to serve God at this time in their lives, leaving their children/grandchildren to come out here. The sister from Hawaii served a mission here in Japan 45 yrs. ago, and she`s remembered Japanese as she`s come out here. What wonderful examples they are, and it was a joy to work with them for a day!

Also, my companion Semba Shimai and I went to the mission home the past few days with our Zone Leaders/some of the district leaders for Leadership Training--they`ve started to invite sisters some times as well. We received lots of training from our Mission President--instructions for training that have come straight from the 12 Apostles of our church--it was wonderful! I learned a lot of things I want to apply to my dendo (missionary work) as well as things that will help our investigators.

Our investigators are doing well! The week after next, Kaoru chan (age 13) and Naoki kun (age 10), the younger brother of a recent convert into the branch, will be baptized! Last Sunday we had a really fun lesson with them where we used the whole church to teach the Plan of Salvation, and had a different room for this earth life, etc, going down the escalator during Adam`s fall--it was great! They are both excited to be baptized and understand the importance, and blessings of making this promise with God.

Yamaguchi san came to church again this week and is doing great. She even remembered Joseph Smith`s name from 20 years ago! Iizuka san is having a hard time coming to church because she has work a lot on Sundays, but she`s trying her best and praying about it. Also, one of our investigators, Seiko san (a mother, in her 30`s) has started reading the Book of Mormon every day, and says she feels a good feeling when she reads it! It`s been neat to watch her testimony our last lesson she said since she`s learned about God, she`s started to feel bad about wrong things she does, when she didn`t feel bad about them before--she`s truly starting to repent and come unto the Savior.

I`m so grateful to be a missionary, and be a part of/watch the changes that the gospel makes in peoples lives! This church is true, and every one is a child of God, our loving Heavenly Father!

Sister Swain

P.S. Transfers are next week--whatever happens, I`m sure it`ll be what the Lord wants!