Monday, November 3, 2014

Last PDAY....not sure what reaction to have......

Hey everyone! So since I'm coming home this week I'm not going to write a lot of stuff :)    (I have to save some stories for when I'm home :) But today the weather is crazy. Like we can't ride our bikes the wind is so insane. It hails and rains randomly and then it's sunny. And apparently there was a pretty good earthquake earlier that happened while we were walking outside but we didn't feel anything. Crazy.

We had the ward Halloween Party on Friday and for Muroran ward it was the best turn out they've ever had. Yes! It was lots of fun. 

But ya so that's all I will reveal until we see each other in person......wahoo!

Hope you all have an awesome week! I hope I survive the 14 hours of plane ride to see you haha.
Murray shimai

p.s. if I speak Japanese and bow constantly and make weird noises just go with it. It can't be helped at this point.

These boys are all english class students

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Hey! So this past week was awesome. Highlight would probably be that we started the Free Family English Program with this really awesome mom! She's a friend of a member. And the fun thing is that they live really far away. Fun thing about Hokkaido is that some areas are humongous. So we have to ride the train for 45ish minutes or 20ish if we get the fast one and then the sister picks us up at the train station and we drive for another 30 minutes to get to her home haha. And it is some of the most beautiful scenery you've ever seen. You all should visit Hokkaido because WOW. It sounds weird in english but when you look at the scenery you're so moved and feel so amazed at the power of God. 
But ya so we started the english program and it went so awesome. Her english is already really good and she has a little bit of a British accent because she lived in Britain for a little bit when she was younger. So she has a cooler english voice than me haha. But it was really fun. And everyone (there's four of us) copy the things I do because they don't know what's normal and what's weird so it's really funny. I'm actually more nervous about the english part than the lesson part because I've forgotten english. It's kind of a problem. Anyways the lesson part went really well. The mom is one of those people who is totally prepared for the gospel. She feels the spirit all the time and told us that when she ate dinner with the member's family and they prayed to bless the food she felt something and she wants to be able to pray like that! 
This whole experience is just a testimony builder to me that God really does have a plan. The member family has only lived there for 5 years and there aren't missionaries where they live. So through that member who is living the gospel everyday we were able to meet this amazing mom that probably wouldn't have had an opportunity to meet the missionaries or learn about the church otherwise. Being a missionary is so awesome! Everyday we get to see the hand of the Lord guiding and working in people's lives. 
Yesterday I gave my last testimony in Sacrament meeting. It was kind of weird because they told me a couple weeks ago and said, "You have 10 minutes and your topic is things you have learned on your mission." haha! What! In 10 minutes!? But it went really good I think.
Yup. Hope you all an awesome week!

Murray shimai

This is my companion, Jo shimai. She was born in Brazil but grew up in Japan. Her mom is Japanese but was born and raised in Brazil and her Dad is Brazilian. He was a professional soccer player and now teaches soccer here in Japan. She's way awesome. One of my favorite comps ever!

This is a yuki mushi or snow bug.
The farthest left is a sister in the ward and the lady next to her is the one we started the english program with. We're at her house which is like in the middle of the mountains haha. It's sweet.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Hey everyone!
Another chilly awesome week has past. This last week we had zone training meeting! It was awesome! We had workshops about purifying and preparing ourselves, faith, and gathering the elect. They were all so good. Sometimes as a missionary you get stuck in the mindset that you're good and will always have the Spirit and stuff because you're a missionary and it's a given. But missionaries more than ever need the Spirit and we aren't exempt from the rules of how the Spirit works. I've found on my mission that purifying ourselves as often as we can is the only way to constantly have the companionship of the Holy Ghost. And we need that companionship. In the workshop about Gathering the Elect we talked about how we don't know who the elect are or where they are. Only Heavenly Father knows. It's our job seek God's guidance and talk with everyone despite what our impression of them is because we don't know. And I've experienced meeting someone who we thought wasn't going to receive the gospel or understand because of certain circumstances but they turned out to be one of the most prepared people I've ever taught. 

This truly is the Lord's work and it's only through his Hands that we can see success. 

I love this gospel so much and I can promise you that the happiest you'll ever feel in your life is when you're sharing the gospel with someone else! Try it!

We had sports night on Saturday. Ping pong of course. And also a huge breakthrough was made. There's this adorable little girl in the ward and she never smiles when I wave at her and her face just never changes. But at sports night she was standing there with her usual face and I rolled a big ball towards her and she got this huge grin on her face and rolled it back! Yes! And then we kept rolling it back and forth and I added some sound effects and she threw out a laugh!  Couldn't believe it! Then yesterday at church when she saw me she smiled and waved! Greatest success of the week. 

Anyways hope you all have a great week this week! I love being a missionary!

Murray shimai

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Hey everyone! I watched General Conference this weekend!! It was so awesome! There was a lot of talks about following and sustaining the prophet but what stood out to me the most was the need for each of us to develop our own personal testimony of the Savior and His gospel and to constantly cultivate the testimony through receiving personal revelation. It's so important for us to receive our own personal witness of the truthfulness of the things we hear and read. I also loved the talks about preparing for and keeping our temple covenants in the Women's meeting. We can receive such powerful blessings from our covenants but we need to be constantly remembering them and keeping them. That was a good reminder for me. 
It was a pretty awesome week here in Muroran. We saw lots of miracles and met lots of awesome people. One investigator said she wanted to come to church once to see what it's like and another said she had been reading the Book of Mormon and asked us for a recommendation of a place to read. Jo shimai said that the whole time she's been here that investigator never kept the commitments so it was huge that she read! We are seeing what the scriptures call a softening of the heart through the spirit in action! It's so amazing! I love being a missionary!
Today we're going to go see penguins! 
Hope you all have a great week!

Murray shimai

Sunday, October 5, 2014

It`s cold again.

Well that was fast. The cold has returned. But no snow yet haha. Although we did see yuki mushi yesterday. They are bugs that come out before it's going to get freezing and snow. Yay! 
Oh ya, so I transferred! I'm still by the ocean though so it's still the same chilly weather :) I'm in an area called Muroran! My companions name is Jo shimai! She's really awesome and really funny. It's way hisashiburi having a Japanese companion and having to speak Japanese 24/7 but it's really fun. And it's fun to teach her funny english. I taught her 'wet willy' the other day and she said it was gross haha. But we get along really great and the members here are so cool so I'm excited for this transfer. It's so amazing every time I go to a new area or a new ward how fast everyone loves you and you love them. It hurts to leave your old area but it's so awesome to be able to make more new friendships. Love really is the center of Christ's gospel! 

And I love being a missionary!!! Missionary work is so fun and so full of miracles! Sorry this is really short but ya, I'll write more next week!
Love you all!

Murray shimai

Bus ride to Sapporo

This is a picture of all of my companions minus Nanjo shimai and Baker shimai.

Monday, September 29, 2014

It's a little chill

Hey everyone! So it's turned a bit chilly here and leaves are already covering the ground! But this past week was pretty fun. We had a ward activity and we drove about 40 minutes to an area called Akan and we dug up potatoes! imahori! It was way fun. And now we have a TON of potatoes in our apartment. Sure the americans will love all the potatoes, mashed potatoes everyday right? haha. No. No more potatoes. Everyday we eat potatoes. On top of rice haha. I've been Japanified and I can't help it. But it was fun. Also we met some really awesome investigators who the Elders passed to us. They said whenever they try to visit them they're never home or super busy but when we went with them we were able to see all of them and to talk with them haha. Yes, sister power. 

Ummmmmm,,,,,,,I can't remember......... Today the family that comes to english class took us on another road trip! It was beautiful! You should all come to Hokkaido to play because wow. It's gorgeous. 

Oh I just remembered one of our miracles from last week. We had an appointment to teach an after-baptism lesson and we took a sister from the ward with us and when we showed up the recent convert's friend was there as well! She's not a member and we'd met her twice before but hadn't been able to see her for more than a month! She had called that morning and said she was coming just when we did! So we were able to teach her as well with a member there. It was really awesome. 

Sorry this guy is short. I'm sending pictures so enjoy!

Murray shimai

Hokkaido is famous for the redheaded cranes and Kushiro is their home. In winter tons of them come here to live. 

We stopped at a Japanese garden along the drive.

The leaves here are like a crazy neon color! It's so beautiful!

The famous green algae balls. We went to their homeland. They only grow in this lake. 

This is a different lake.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

P-day pictures that were posted to Facebook by Kanno Yuji.

After service treat!

Sunday, September 21, 2014


Hey everyone! 
This past week was a good one! We had beautiful weather! We also had splits with the STL's which was awesome! When we have splits or the elders have splits there's like 8 or more missionaries working just in our area so it's really cool. And Kushiro is pretty small so we actually run into the elders a lot. The white helmets are very easily recognizable. Random people we talk to all the time will know who we are because they've seen us biking with our white helmets haha. It's a good conversation starter. But ya so we had some good lessons with people and found a couple new people who are interested so this week should be full! 

Last week we also had clean checks! We passed! Our apartment is only about a year old luckily so it`s still really nice. The Getz's are really awesome. They are the new senior couple who came a few transfers ago. Senior missionaries are the coolest. And they gave us homemade cookies and some snacks from America so that also made a good impression haha. 

So nothing crazy exciting, I mean other than proclaiming the true gospel but you know what I mean. Yesterday we went to try and visit a less active sister and she was home! Some little boys had started talking to us when we were outside her house and she came out to work in her garden so that was perfect. We told her who we were looking for and she said it was her. She was so nice and remembered church and everything and has no bad feelings or anything but her husband is against it so she can't go. It was really sad. We've met so many people like that and all we can do is pray that their hearts will someday be softened. But I'm still glad that we got to see her. And she said that she sometimes gets cards from members so that was good to hear. Member work is so crucial to everything we do as missionaries. 

I can't really remember the week at the moment so this is all you get for this week. Sorry! Next week should be good!

Murray shimai

Sunday, September 14, 2014

One of the coolest weeks ever

Hey everyone!
So this past week was one of the most miracle filled weeks I've ever had. I think I say that every few weeks or so but it was awesome. I'm just going to recap everything or else I will run out of email time. Here it goes:
*Met this adorable lady who was out cleaning the trash around her apartment and she had met other christian missionaries before but had recieved a bad impression. But we talked with her and laughed and had a good time and she said she was glad she met us so she could see that not all church people are the same and that she will go to our church if she can. We asked her if she was a member of a church and she said she had no religion because she wasn't sure which one she should go to. Yes. A missionaries favorite question to answer. 

*We met with an investigator the elders had passed to us but hadn't been home for weeks when we went before. We were able to reintroduce our message and re-invite her to listen and she said yes!

* There was crazy random rainyness this past week so we always carry our rain gear in our bike baskets. So the other day we were housing and we didn't have our rain gear on because it wasn't raining yet and we started knocking on doors but no one was coming to the door even though we could see through the window they were home. Then in like a split second the sky opened and the rain just dumped like crazy. So we walked back to our bikes and grabbed our pants and ponchos and then found a spot where someone's trees from their yard hung over the sidewalk and we huddled under there and put our stuff on. If it can be helped it shouldn't be put on in public because shoving a skirt into pants just can't be done gracefully haha. But we did that and then we decided to go to an apartment building so we could stay out of the rain for a little bit and we found this one apartment building. We went to the second floor and the second door we knocked on this really sweet mom answered. She had a little 3 year old girl and we talked with her for a while and introduced our message and asked if we could come back and she said yes! And as soon as we closed the door and turned around the rain had completely stopped. Heavenly Father really uses all kinds of ways to guide you or sometimes push you where you need to go.

*We met this really awesome girl at Mr Donuts. She teaches a hip hop dance class but a couple times a month she does an english class for her students and she asked us if we would come at the end of this month and help out! Yes. There's actually more to this story but I have to save some stories to share when I'm home.

Ya so there are more miracles and good stuff  but you'll just have to wait to hear more. Hope you all have a great week!

Murray shimai

Monday, September 8, 2014


Happy day everyone!
Yesterday the church gained one new Philippino member!!! Our amazing Philippine investigator was baptized! Probably the cleanest convert there ever was seeing as she had to be dunked 4 times! But she did it! And it was amazing. The baptism and the confirmation were both done in english so that was kind of weird but awesome. Watching her get baptized and then confirmed I was just thinking about how amazing it is everytime someone becomes a member of the church. The only completely true church on the earth. And just how many more blessings Heavenly Father can give you when you choose to obey His commandments. It's the most amazing thing to be an instrument in the Lord's hands in showing people how they can receive those blessings in their life and how they can become so insanely happy! 

So yesterday was a pretty good day. Oh and Saturday night we went and watched a big firework show by the river! It was really cool. You know you're a missionary though when you go to something like a firework show and look more at the people and who is an adorable family or who looks like they would be really friendly than at the fireworks haha. It was fun. As a missionary, people watching is actually a thing or maybe it's more like people hunting but it's with a purpose so I guess it's not creepy haha. 

We had dinner at a members house on Friday night which of course was the most delicious thing I've ever eaten and the most full I've ever been. 
We visited an investigator and when we got to her house she was in her car and so we got her attention and then she said, hey, I'm on my way to go eat cake. Do you want to come with me? 
Who would say no to that? Not us. We went and ate cake. And it was good. Japan has the best cake shops. That was fun. 

The other day when we were housing we met this really cute, adorable grandma who was really friendly but wasn't interested in our message. So naturally we told her about english class and she said she wanted to learn english but because she's old she chose Korean instead because it's a lot easier haha. So we chatted and had some laughs and then she went back inside and brought us a big bag of fresh grown baby tomatoes and told us to eat them while we were walking around so we could keep up our energy. She was so sweet! And let me tell you those tomatoes tasted like candy. Like wow. We tried them as soon as we walked out of her driveway haha. It's just kind of a thing that you're always hungry as a missionary so when people give us food its really nice. And the grandmas of Japan give you food. It's incredible how many snacks and food we've received from people. 
Anyways you probably don't care about that. 
But it was a really great week! Hope you all have a good one!
Love Murray shimai
Cleaning the baptismal font. Fun, fun!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Awesome Possom

So this past week was awesome. We had zone conference in Sapporo! And this time we had to ride the bus! 5 hours there and somehow the bus ride home was 6 hours. Still not sure how that worked out. Anyways it was fun. The hardest thing about the bus instead of the train is that on the bus they have 2 big tv screens that play movies the whole ride. You have to put the head phones on to hear but still when you're on a bus for 5 hours it's really hard to not look at the screen right in front of you. But we managed by sleeping or playing hang man haha. 

Anyways, Elder Whiting of the Asia Area Presidency came to do our zone conference. It was the best zone conference I've been to. He didn't have any lesson outline or any plans but just said the Spirit would guide us to what we need to talk about. There wasn't a dead moment the whole time. He did question time in the beginning and I asked a question that has always kind of been something I've wondered about and I received the most amazing answer. Elder Whiting answered it and then He asked Nakatsuaka Kaicho to answer and Kaicho's answer was so amazing and so filled with the spirit and with love. I left the conference feeling so uplifted and just free of those doubts or questions and just so excited to get back and dendo! Heavenly Father will never let us down. When we have questions or concerns and we ponder on them and pray about them He will always answer. That's one of the coolest things I've learned and I know it works for anybody! 

Another really awesome thing happened. So we didn't come back until the day after zone conference so we just got to hang out in Sapporo and do anything as long as we were doing something productive. So I got to go back to Teine and visit some of my favorite people!! And then after that we went to Higashi, the second area where I served and we got to go to their english class. And one of my favorite investigators was there!!!! She's someone Nagamine shimai and I found housing when I was third transfer. She's still coming to church and still meeting with the missionaries. I had so many tender mercies this past week and I just feel so blessed. The investigator, she almost got baptized when I was in Teine but because of some stuff she didn't and I've been writing her letters and stuff but getting to see her in person was such a blessing. And I got to tell her that I want to live with her forever so she needs to get baptized haha. 

It was a really amazing week and just one of those weeks that really makes me so grateful that I get to be a missionary. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!

Murray shimai

Okay, so these pictures were taken during the long bus ride so ignore the just rolled out of bed look.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Another transfer in Kushiroooooooo!!!!!!!

Yea....this raincoat has met it's match...

I didn't get transferred!!!!!!!! Yay. This is great news. And my companion didn't either so this is really really great news. Things are going really great here. It's already started cooling off a little bit and it feels like fall outside today which is really nice. Summer started, happened, and ended in about one transfer so that was cool haha. The wind has started picking up again though, which feels nice but is a little dangerous with a skirt and a bike. I had to use my magnet nametag as a weight on the bottom of my skirt the other day to keep it from flying up all the time. It worked pretty well. 

We met with our philippine investigator and she's still doing great. We taught her about following the prophet and about tithing. It went pretty well I think. She still says that she has energy from keeping the Word of Wisdom so that's awesome. The best part about missionary work is seeing someone change and grow as they follow the teachings of the gospel and as the Spirit causes a change in their heart. It is such a special miracle that we as representatives of Jesus Christ get to be a part of. It's so awesome. 

Yesterday she came to church again so that was awesome. We were all sitting in the chapel waiting for sacrament meeting to start and these two american guys walk in and sit down. ......uh..... everyone was like, what the? haha. Just in case you're wondering it's not normal for non-Japanese people to be in Kushiro, let alone at church haha. And we soon found out they didn't speak any Japanese. So after sacrament we were like, ya we're gonna go talk to them haha. Turns out one of the guys works at the Salt Lake Airport and gets good deals for tickets and stuff so him and his buddy came to do a cruise around Hokkaido and part of Russia. Crazy. And one of the guys is in a stake presidency of a BYU ward and knew some kids that Brown Choro new. Small world -- mormon world.
So that was fun. Definitely didn't see that coming. But anyways things are going good. We had a couple torrential downpours. Like as in I don't think my raincoat has any water resistance left haha. It was fun. We would ping people's intercoms and couldn't even hear them speak because the rain was so loud. Gotta love it. But seriously dendoing in the rain is awesome because you get soaked and then you can ride through the humongous lake puddles because you're already wet! Bright side. 
Hope you all have a fabulous week!

Murray shimai
Time for a new raincoat.

Tiny tire bike. Ya people ride these. Purpose? Not sure.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

End of Transfer 10!

It's the end of another transfer!!!!!! Tomorrow we get transfer calls. I really hope I'm staying in Kushiro because it's awesome and we have so many great investigators! Our philippino investigator is doing awesome! She has a baptismal date for next month and we are meeting with her a lot and she's really progressing and loves hearing our message! It's super weird teaching in English though. Like kind of a struggle haha. Most of the time while we're teaching we'll try to explain something and all that comes to mind is Japanese! It's normally what we want but when you can't remember or figure out how to say it in english it's a problem haha. We rely very heavily on the Spirit. But it's been a really amazing experience.

This past week was obon. It's like day of the dead or something like that in english I guess.  Families all come back together and visit the graves of relatives and clean them and put flowers and food I think and stuff on them. They believe they come back from the spirit world or wherever they believe they are. But so basically everyone was really busy this last week and a lot of people weren't home. At night in the parks they had dances that the kids do with their parents and stuff. It's actually really cool. There's a park right near our apartment so we could hear very clearly at night the music. It was fun. The picture is of the park near our apartment.

The other night a family who comes to eikaiwa, the one who took us on the road trip last transfer, took us out to eat and it was the real Japanese dining experience. I ate I don't know what. Raw squid, octopus, shellfish, oyster and some other stuff. Most of it was actually pretty good. Oh and a huge raw shrimp. There was one for me and Wagner shimai to share and she was like, I don't really want it and so I took it and started peeling it's shell and head and legs off. I started pulling the body shell stuff off and nasty brown guts and stuff squished out haha! It was gross. So I finished peeling everything off and I held the shrimp body up and the string of gut stuff is still hanging off the body and I asked the dad if we were supposed to eat that part. He said, "Yes, it's perfect, eat it like this, it's delicious!" Haha. Ya so my throat kind of closed at thinking of eating the slimy brown guts. So I just took a bite of the clean body part and it was pretty good. Then the dad turns to Wagner shimai and says to her, "You eat! Try, Try!" and all that was left was the bite with the guts haha. She took it from me and stared at it for a few minutes and then pops it in her mouth. They're all like, "How is it? Is it yummy?" And she looks up and like a champ keeps a straight face and says, "Ya, it's really good!" haha!! Afterwards she asked me if I could tell she was lying from her face :D I still have no idea how she kept a normal face during that experience. I respect her haha. It was really funny. 
Anyways hope you all have a great week!

Murray shimai

Welcome to typhoon weather!