Sunday, November 28, 2010

Trip to Sendai!

The internet`s working again!! It`been a great past few weeks, I can hardly believe how fast time goes. Next week is transfer week...and then, I`ll be in my last transfer! It seems like yesterday that I had just gotten to Japan.

It`s gotten pretty cold, but still no snow. Last Thursday was Thanksgiving--we didn`t have pumpkin pie, but Dotson Shimai made mashed potatoes and pork, and we had a great time! If I have time there`s half of a pumpkin in our fridge that I may try to turn into pumpin pie, thanks for the recipie dad!

We spent half of this past week in Sendai--I went to the honbu (mission home) for training with the other zone leaders/trainers, and Dotson Shimai got to go on splits with the Kamisugi sisters--she got to see our old companion, Semba Shimai again!! There are 4 Japanese sisters right now in Kamisugi, and she actually went on splits with the other companionship, including my old companion Murase Shimai! I was able to see Murase Shimai at the bus stop for a few minutes, it was so good to see her again and see her doing so well. Dotson Shimai had a great time with 4 Japanese sisters, and I also learned a lot from the training at the honbu.

Our investigators Kokubun san and Kazue san are doing great--Kokubun san is keeping the Word of Wisdom! We just have to help her break the news to her husband, then she`ll be ready for baptism. We practiced the baptism interview questions with Kazue san, and we`ll probably do it again next week because she doesn`t have the best memory...but her heart is definitely in the right place. Yesterday she told us how lately she felt that God is protecting her, when she almost got into a bike accident but didn`t, and when she prays and feels a warm feeling. She`s been coming to church almost every Sunday for about a year--we definitely feel like this is her time to be baptized!

I`m loving every day and minute left of my mission, and I`m striving each day to become the missionary God wants me to be. I know that this is God`s work, and that He loves each one of us! He hears and answers our prayers, and knows the desires of our hearts, and what we need. I have felt His love for me, and for these wonderful Japanese people!

Swain Shimai

Monday, November 8, 2010

No Snow in November!

It`s been another great week here, and during the day, when the sun is out, surprisingly warm for November! As soon as the sun goes down it gets windy and cold, but no snow yet--I heard it doesn`t snow here in Koriyama until December! I`m counting my blessings.:)

This past week nothing super big happened, except that our investigators are doing well, and I taught my Eikaiwa (English) class about Thanksgiving--now they all want to eat pumpkin pie and have a stuffed turkey! I haven`t seen any canned pumpkin puree since I`ve been in Japan, so I guess they`ll just have to come to America to experience it.

Today I`ll introduce one more of our investigators. Her name is Kokubun san, and she`s in her 60`s (?). The elders found her when they were talking to people on the street. She`s a cute obachan (grandmother), who loves coming to the Ping Pong activity we have every Saturday. She`s faithfully reading the Book of Mormon and praying every day to know if it`s true or not--she doesn`t feel like she`s gotten or recognized an answer yet, but we know she will as she continues to seek to know. Kokubun san came to church this Sunday and had a great time. She wants to be baptized next month, so that she can return to live with God! Her only obstacle is her husband, who apparently doesn`t like religion; but he know`s she`s been up to some religion lately, and hasn`t said anything about it yet. We`re praying and hoping he`ll understand her desire to come to church, and hopefully one day he too, will want to hear our message.

On Saturday night we met with the Elders and a man from Peru, who we found streeting two weeks ago. He`s been in Japan for 20 years now. He was born Catholic, but since he`s come to Japan, he hasn`t really been to church. When we met him, he said that `God` part of his life has been missing lately, and he wants to come to church again. We shared about the Restoration of our church through the prophet Joseph Smith, and he agreed to read the Book of Mormon (in Spanish) and pray to know if it`s true. I know that he will, as well as anyone who prays to know the truth of it, will receive an answer from God. I know that this church is true!

I love and am praying for all of you!
Swain Shimai

Monday, November 1, 2010


It`s been just a few days since I wrote, but it`s getting colder here. Saturday there was a typhoon and it rained hard the entire day! :)

Since Semba Shimai transferred, Dotson Shimai and I are doing our best, as two gygienes (foreigners) here in Japan, but everything has worked out, and I`m even getting used to reading the maps here (which are all written in kanji--I can`t read all the kanji but I can figure out the locations/where things are.) It`s been an adventure doing all the things my Japanese companions used to do, but definitely a learning experience. And the Lord has been strengthening us to do it.

This weekend was District Conference (like Stake Conference)--the Koriyama district consists of three branches, Koriyama, and two neighboring cities, Iwaki and Aizuwakamatsu. The theme was on bringing people unto Christ, and centered on missionary work. It was wonderful, and our mission president President Tateoka and his wife both spoke. During the Saturday session, President Tateoka had everyone in the audience practice with the person sitting next to them on inviting their friend to the Christmas Party/giving them an introduction DVD to our church. It was so great! As missionaries, we do `mogi`, or practicing what we want to say, all the time, and it`s super effective, I highly suggest it!

All the recent converts, Yamaguchi Shimai and the Kato siblings, are doing great! The oldest Kato daughter, who first joined the church, gave a talk on her conversion story and meeting the missionaries at District Conference. It`s so wonderful to see everyone progress.

One of our investigators, who I don`t think I`ve mentioned yet in my e-mails, is a sweet, 69 yr-old grandmother who lives alone. She was a member referral from her daughter-in-law`s mother, who lives nearby (they share the same grandchildren). She`s been coming to church almost every Sunday this whole year, but has been worried about being baptized, because she doesn`t know as much about the gospel as she sees her relatives do. But lately, as she`s kept her commitment to read the Book of Mormon every day and pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true or not, she said she sometimes feels a warm feeling in her heart when she prays! At first she thought it was because she`d just eaten, and she took her sweater off...but we were able to tell her it`s the Holy Ghost, God`s messenger telling her that it`s true!! We`re continuing to teach her and help her realize that it`s her answer, and she hopes to be baptized before her birthday in December. While maybe a lot of things are hard for her to understand, she`s really progressing at her own pace and gaining a conviction of her own.

I love missionary work! Thanks all of you for your love and support.
Swain Shimai