Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!!!

Snow!! Wooooo!

Happy New Years everyone!! I can't believe it's 2014!! 2013 was a blur! Christmas in Japan was a little different but it was so much fun!!!
On christmas eve we had a huge party at a church building with all the missionaries in the Sapporo area and it was a blast! We played games and did a white elephant gift exchange and then we did a Nativity type thing and then we watched the Christmas Devotional and then had a Christmas dinner. Like a real American Christmas Dinner with ham and cheesy potatoes! Thank-you Evans Shimai! After dinner we all traveled to Odori koen which is the huge park in the middle of Sapporo where all the festivals are and we sang Christmas carols. It was such a great day. On Christmas day we woke up and opened our presents, Santa still found us! Then we talked to our families on the phone and then we had district training meeting. After district training meeting we all visited some of the Otaru missionaries potential investigators and sang christmas carols for them. After that we traveled back to Teine and with the Elders heart attacked a members door and then we traveled back and ate at a members cafe. It was so good and I needed to be wheeled to the bus station haha. Anyways we met up with some members and we traveled to an old folks home and we sang Christmas carols for them! It was the best Christmas!! It was so much fun to be out and about ON Christmas spreading the joy of Christmas! Kapeliela shimai
and I had a fun missionary opportunity riding to and from the old folks home. We got a ride with a nonmember who is the friend of a member in our ward. So on the way we talked a little bit about while we're in Japan and being a missionary and such. Oh and I forgot to mention that Kapeliela shimai had her ukelele with her. Anyways so we were sitting in the back seat on the way home and we looked at eachother and we're like, yes. So when there was a pause in the conversation she started playing and the driver and the other member sitting in the front were like, what the? haha. And we sang some songs and the nonmember was like, keep going! haha. So we sang in english and then in Japanese. But it was so much fun! We have so many fun opportunities and different ways we can share the gospel with those around us! We just have to take a step out of our comfort zone sometimes and just do it. And it usually turns out really great!

So that was a blast!! And then there was the Messiah concert on Saturday. Since President and Sister Evans have been here they've had a Messiah concert every year. It was so amazing! Like seriously some awesome voices and an orchestra. It was an awesome experience!

I hope everyone has a great New Years!

Murray shimai


Otaru with Kapeliela shimai 

Christmas dinner!

This is the coolest lady ever! She sat like front row when we were singing at the old folks home and sang like all the songs with us and when we finished called for an encore! haha

I forgot to tell this story. We were walking through a neighborhood and met these little girls and we talked with them for a little bit but then said goodbye and walked away and then the girls came running after us and we started having a little snow ball fight and then we sang them a song with the ukalele in the street haha and they loved it. Then I was like, let's go build a snowmannnn!! Wooo! And they were like, yaaaaa!!! Anyways it was so much fun.

Christmas Eve!

Christmas morning!

And I got to see an investigator from Higashi at the FHE at the mission home on Monday!!! So happy!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Merry Christmas! - Dec. 12/22/2013

At the chocolate factory

It's a white christmas!! And it doesn't show signs of stopping....:)
It's  been a fabulous chilly week! I've only fallen twice walking around. Of course both times it was in front of someone. The one person walking down the abandoned street haha. But dendo is so super fun in the snow. And people are really nice to us. This last week was really awesome though because we got a new investigator! And she is so awesome. She also wants to learn english so that's fun too. And she has a 22 year old daughter who also wants to learn english but she's super busy with work right now but next month we're going to meet with her and hopefully start doing the family english program with her. I'm super excited.

We missed the last night bus twice this past week. That was fun. So we call the Bishop and are like, "Bishop, sorry, we missed the bus..." and he called someone else who lived closer to us to pick us up. Then yesterday we were eating dinner with a less active lady and she likes to talk a lot so we finally left and ran to the bus stop as usual and missed it by like 2 minutes. Japan is on the ball with their buses.
Anyways we called the bishop and we're like, "hey bishop, sorry we missed the bus....again...." haha. And he's like "okay I'm coming right now". He's super awesome.

But this week was super fun and this next week we have lots of really fun things happening! yay! Hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!!!!

Murray Shimai
Inside the chocolate factory. We all share an apartment.

The ocean, viewed out of the train window. That's why it's a little fuzzy.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sorry I have no time to email today. We're going to the chocolate factory with a family in the ward! 

Oh ya so we had transfers last week and I'm still in Teine! But hey I got some new news! I have my first non-Japanese companion! Kapeliela shimai! She's awesome! John's shimai also got a new companion so our apartment is all Americans haha. It's really fun. Maybe too much fun haha.

 And the snow has come. Oh has it come and it's still coming. Pretty fun. So things are good. We have an exciting transfer! Lots of activities and caroling and christmas and fun stuff. Sorry I'll fill ya'll in next week!
Love you all!

Murray Shimai

Sunday, December 8, 2013

This week is Transfer 5!!!!!! Ahhhhhh!! What is happening to the time?

This past week was pretty awesome! We met some super awesome people. We're still struggling to find some investigators but we've been able to talk with a lot of really nice people and even though they didn't accept our invitation to listen to our message at this time, I know that they'll have another opportunity and at some point it will be the right time for them. I'm learning that being a missionary isn't just seeing baptisms but it's also about the baptisms we don't see. Being a missionary isn't just finding people and baptizing them but it's also about introducing people to the message of the restoration and helping them to feel the spirit and having the opportunity to learn about the gospel. Seeds have to be planted before the flower grows right? A lot of people who get baptized had met missionaries in the past or had some interaction with church in some way before. So even if you share the gospel with someone and they don't accept it at that time maybe sometime in the future they will be ready and they will remember their first interaction. That's so important. Don't get frustrated if a missionary moment doesn't turn out how you wanted it to. God has a plan for everyone and the missionary moment was part of the plan for that person on their path of progression. They needed that moment, that opportunity in order to progress. I'm really learning that every day as we knock, and knock, and knock on doors and no one has interest.

But back to the awesome people we met. One lady we talked with for about an hour and she gave us a taste of this super yummy mayonnaise that she eats. Ya I don't really remember how mayonnaise came up in our conversation haha. We also met a lady who was like I'm Buddhist so I can't listen to your message. But she was super nice and was like just a second and she went back into her house and came back with some snacks and then we talked a little and left to keep housing. We were walking up the street and the lady came outside walking towards us and said, "Sorry I didn't give you very much, here's some chocolate.
Please eat it when you get hungry while you're walking around." I'll tell you I have met some of the most charitable and kind people in my life here who don't realize they're emulating Christ. Speaking of charitable. Another lady we met. Her genkan was super cute and decorated with all this Christmas decorations. She came out and was like, sorry I can't listen to your message...something about her husband....some other stuff.....I can't listen to your message. So I was like, oh well hey, your Christmas decorations are really great! And then she went into long explanations for each one haha. And she makes little gifts for her neighbors and writes notes for them when something bad happens to them. Like she is seriously a relief society member. It was really strange because you know how it feels different when you go to a members house than when you go to someone else's house? Well it totally felt like we were at a members house and talking to a member. It was the warmest happy feeling talking to her. So strange. Someday she's going to be able to listen to the message of the gospel and accept it.

Well hope everyone is staying warm and enjoying life!

Murray Shimai

Sunday, December 1, 2013

December is here!

TimTam's are soooooooo yummy!!

Yay! Hello Everyone!
This past week was Thanksgiving! Hope everyone had a good one! We had
a mish-mash of leftovers and food from members for our Thanksgiving
dinner! It was yummy! In other food news, of course I have food news,
let me tell you what I experienced this week. Okay so in some of my
past emails I've talked about eating with members and being extremely
full right? Okay and that was after one members house. This past week,
Tuesday, we ate at three different members houses. Yes, three houses,
one day. Randomly tuesday was the day everyone had time. Okay heres
the schedule. 1:00- Lunch with Watanabe Shimai, super yummy and super
full after that. Travel to the Sawaguchi families home. At this point
still full. 5:30, a huge bowl of ramen is placed in front of me and a
side bowl of rice. The only explanation I have as to how I ate all of
it is a Miracle. Heavenly Father truly blesses his missionaries :)
Okay so I am uncomfortably full at this point. Like I'm not sure how I
walked to the bus stop. Then we travel to the bus station and Ono
Bishop and Ono shimai picked us up there in their car and we went to
their home. We walked in the door and smelled what, under normal
circumstances would have been a delicious smell. But under our
circumstances it was more of a "I want to cry" smell haha. There was
homemade pizza on the table and big bowls of soup. When we got home
that night we just collapsed and the next day were still feeling the
affects of eating so much haha. It was a great day.

In other news, snow! Yay! It's pretty cold. It looks so Christmasy
outside. I can't believe Christmas is next transfer! Time is going so
fast!! Work in Teine is still going. We found several potential
investigators this last week while housing so yay! Winter might not be
so bad because we were housing the other night while it was snowing
and everyone was super nice to us haha. Yay snow! Yesterday I
experienced a little miracle. We were housing and we hadn't had much
success like all week. And I realized that I had started to just
expect everyone to immediately say they aren't interested and didn't
really believe that anyone would want to listen to us. So yesterday we
were housing and we went to a house and it was my turn to do the
intercom and as I was walking up to the door I just said to myself
that that person was going to listen to us. I pushed the button and a
really nice mom answered and we talked with her for a little bit and
introduced about eternal families and we made an appointment to go
back next week! Faith and hope are so powerful! If you want to see
success you will!

I hope everyone has a fabulous week!

Murray Shimai

Family home evening/ ysa activity at a members house!

Getting ready for the feast...


Dinner with the Konno Family! Konno Shimai teaches english!