Sunday, February 23, 2014

THE Miracle Week

Hello Hello Hello!
Wow. This past week I'll just call THE miracle week. Seriously I still can't believe all the miracles that happened. Okay so I'll start with the first one. It was monday and we still had some p-day time so we went to EON (huge shopping center) to try to find some stuff for Kapeliela Shimai. We got there later than we had planned so we were hurrying and we walked in the doors and had walked just like a minute and we saw an old investigator! We knew she worked in an EON but we didn't know which one and Mondays are always her break day so that was an even bigger surprise! We all did like a triple take as we walked by each other and then we stopped and we were actually able to talk with her for a little bit before she had to go back to work. It was so crazy. EONS are huge. Like 3 stories tall and tons of different entrances so it's amazing we ran into her.

Next miracle. We were housing on Tuesday night and we had planned to visit a less active member who was on the ward list and so we got to an area near the less active and I was like okay lets go and we started walking to go to their house but after I took a couple steps I got this feeling and had a thought that we should just stay in the area we already were and just do housing. So I asked Kapeliela shimai if she was okay with that and she said ya and so we went about housing. About the 4th house we knocked at this really nice grandpa answered the door and we talked with him for a little bit and then out of nowhere he started speaking fluent english! I'm pretty sure our mouth's both fell open haha. But anyways he invited us in because he wanted to talk with us some more but he was the only one home so we just talked in the doorway for a long time. He told us that he had gone on a tour of America in 1970 with a few other english teachers (he's a retired english teacher) and he remembered visiting Temple Square! What? haha. But ya and he told us to come back whenever we want and right now his wife is in the hospital from a sudden illness but he invited us to come over for a dinner when she gets home! He's a member of the Teine Men's Cooking Club haha. But ya so that was an incredible miracle!

Next. Saturday morning we're doing personal study and the phone rings. I answer it and it's a lady from the area book that I had called and invited to the musical fireside. And before I finish this part let me tell you that we had actually met her at a members cafe. We were eating and she was there and so we talked with her for a while but we never learned her name so I had no idea it was her that I called.
Anyways she called us on Saturday and said thank you for inviting her to the fireside and that she had a great time talking with us in the cafe and that she had a really good feeling then. And then she said that she still has a Book of Mormon from previous missionaries and she wants us to come starting in March and teach her more about it! Okay. Wow. If any of you don't know--- this gospel is true and God truly guides this work. The spirit truly softens hearts and people CAN change. I feel so blessed to be a part of this work and see the Lord working miracles in people's lives!

Love you all!

Murray Shimai

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Yay! Another fabulous week! We had Ongaku no Yube on Saturday night! a.k.a. musical fireside. We've been practicing for it forever, like every p-day and stuff and we finally had the first concert. It was so much fun and all the songs sounded so awesome! Can't wait to do it again in March!

Mission life is still going. We met this really awesome young mom on the street who was super interested in English Class and will probably come this week so I'm excited! We also visited our new friend we met housing and she made us curry. It was kind of awkward because we got to her house and there were two plates on the table and her and her husband are like, please sit down. And then they fed us and we ate at the table while they sat and read the newspaper and every now and then I asked a question because I felt extremely awkward haha. But they're super nice and like, world travelers. Super awesome. And they invited us to go eat sushi with them next time. So that's great. The problem
is teaching is a little bit of a challenge but they ask us tons of questions about mission life and about church so we're able to teach through their questions. We're working on them and praying really hard
that their hearts will soften more to the gospel.

We also met with the elders investigator again. The mom and her two kids. It was so much fun. We played a lot and taught some english and talked about church and it was a great time.

It's snowed quite a bit this past week and been pretty windy so even when it's not snowing the wind blows all the loose snow around and up your nose and down your neck haha. It's great and people are really nice to us when we go housing. People on the streets usually aren't very happy when we try to stop and talk to them haha. 
Love you all!

Murray Shimai

This is the view from our apartment.

The snow looks pretty nasty in some places haha

The weather can feel a bit like being in Siberia sometimes....brrr, brrr.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Yuki Matsuri!!! (Snow Festival)

Yes, all the buildings are made entirely of snow...

Hey everyone!
It was a fabulous week! More snow and a little blizzardy but super fun. We had a big zone conference. We had it with 2 other zones because the doctors from Tokyo came to give us some health and stress workshops and stuff. It was really good. And we got to go to the Snow Festival! It is so awesome. Like it's not just a bunch of sculptures, I mean there are a bunch of sculptures but there's also really awesome stuff. And there are a ton of Gaijin (Foreign, non-Japanese people) there. It was a little weird haha.

We met a really awesome lady on the street the other day who was really friendly and said that she thinks about God every day and is interested in learning more about him but she's really busy right now. Unfortunately we couldn't get her contact information but we told her about English Class because she's also interested in English and she said she'll try to come so I really hope we'll be able to meet her again. We also got a new investigator. She's one of those investigators who isn't really strongly interested in the gospel but she wants to be our friend and wants to feed us. Little steps though,
little steps.

Kapeliela shimai is sick and her throat is pretty nasty. I know because I've looked at it several times. So that's been a bummer, especially because we  have the musical fireside this saturday. Which by the way is going to be so good. You should all be excited to hear the cd in the future. We do the concert twice so it's going to be fun. We've had music practice like crazy. There is no messing around about music with Evans shimai (the Mission President's wife). We have practice schedules for P-day. It's great haha.

But this week was pretty awesome.  Fun times.

Murray Shimai

When you're sick in Japan you wear a mask. You just do. And I'm wearing one because I don't want to get sick. When you go outside it looks like a bunch of people prepared to do surgery 
are walking around.

We call this one the Tree of Life

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Snow Festival and Zone Conference

We love snow!

Hello Everyone!
This week is going to be so awesome. We have a huge zone conference with two other zones because the doctor is coming from Tokyo to check up on everyone and give a health workshop and fun stuff like that, and then in the evening after that we all get to go to the snow festival. So stay tuned for that next week.

This past week was awesome and exciting. So if anyone remembers my first area where I was trained was Kitami. And it was also Kapeliela Shimai's bean area so we always talk about how great it was and how we love the people and stuff. Well this last week we got to go back!! The sister training leaders called us the week before and asked if we wanted to go with them to Kitami to do splits! So that was a crazy awesome unexpected surprise! And it was way awesome because I got to visit a family in the ward and I was actually able to talk and have a conversation with them! It was so much fun. Yippee!

On monday was the FHE at the mission home and Kapeliela shimai and I were asked to give the spiritual message. That was a little nerve wracking. I was really nervous and I forgot about the scripture I wanted to share and so after we said amen I saw the Book of Mormon and was like , oh everyone later read 1 Nephi 17:13, it's a really great scripture! haha and then President Evans was like, well do you want to read it right now, and so I asked someone's investigator to read it. So I guess it turned out ok haha. Good stuff. But it was really fun. We did a tatoe where we started off with all the lights off and talked about how sometimes our life seems dark and we can't see where we should go or what our purpose is. But God loves us all so he provided a way for us to see and to have light in our life. Then we turned a flashlight on a picture of Jesus Christ and talked about him and stuff. Then we sang Teach me to Walk in the Light and Kapeliela shimai played the ukelele so I think it went pretty well. It was really fun.

But life is going pretty great. It's still cold and snowy. February is actually the coldest month of the year as everyone we talk with informs us haha. So we have that to look forward to. Good thing February is also the shortest month :D.

Hope everyone is doing awesome!! Hope the superbowl left everyone in good spirits! ......sorry if it ended differently and this is a tender subject.....:)

Murray Shimai

Riding the bus for 6 hours home from Kitami. It's normally a 5 hour drive but it was really snowy....

This is looking out the window of the bus.

Again, 6 hours on a bus, haha.

On splits in Kitami