Sunday, April 27, 2014

Kushiro is AWESOME

Aoyagi shimai

Okay, let me just start by saying that I know in many past emails I`ve said this week was the greatest, but seriously this past week was THE greatest! First, Aoyagi choro who is a counselor in the Asia Area Presidency and his wife came and visited our mission! So we went into Sapporo for a big zone conference! It was so incredible! I have never left a training meeting with more desire to go out and work like crazy! So that was awesome to be taught by a general authority! And before he became a general authority he was a mission president of the Japan Sendai mission so they are just really awesome, smart spiritual people! Such a special opportunity! But it gets better. So we found out that after the zone conferences Aoyagi choro, shimai and Evans kaicho, shimai were going to Kushiro for the weekend! They were doing a training meeting on Saturday for all the far out areas of Hokkaido haha. So I actually got to see a bunch of members from Kitami! That was awesome. But anyways so Aoyagi shimai and Evans shimai didn't need to go to the training meeting so they asked to dendo with us! Whoa. Working with a general authority's wife and Evans shimai at the SAME TIME. Talk about your power house! It was the most amazing experience I have had. We visited a potential investigator with them and it was incredible. And the cool thing was that the PI was the mom but her husband actually happened to be home too which apparently is rare because of work. So we got to visit with both of them and they are a member couple. It was so cool. So we talked for a while and then Johnson Shimai and Evans shimai played the violin, they played `How Great Thou Art` which was beautiful and the spirit was there and then we basically had a testimony meeting and the four of us all bore our testimony about the gospel and the Savior and it was something. The spirit was so strong and the husband and wife really listened, like really listened the whole time and afterwards the wife said that she could tell from our eyes that we really meant what we were saying. When we were leaving Aoyagi shimai asked her what she thought and she said she wants to listen to our message! It was so incredible! And on the way home Johnson shimai and I had a really special experience in the car. Aoyagi shimai basically gave us a private workshop. It was amazing! It will take me forever to write it all down but just rest assured that it was a once in a lifetime experience! 
So ya I had a pretty good weekend. Oh and here's some fun news. On Friday after zone conference was over we had to go catch the train to get home but you know when all the missionaries gather everyone is going to talk to each other and whatnot and long story short the whole obihiro zone missed the train haha. And the next train wasn't until 7:45 I think. But the AP's had us all take that one so we got to Obihiro at like 10:30 and spent the night there and then came back to Kushiro Saturday morning and then went out and worked with Evans shimai and Aoyagi shimai. So it was a way full spiritually overflowing weekend! Nothing like it. And on Sunday we were asked to talk about families in primary and about Joseph Smith's first vision in Young Women's which are at the same time and they both kept getting us from the class to go to the other one and so we were running back and forth but we ended up being able to do both and it was a really awesome experience! Something Aoyagi shimai told us in the car was that since Johnson shimai and I have become the missionaries, we've reached the level where people will ask us to do things. Investigators will come to us. And that was really special and we're starting to really see that happen and I'm just so excited for this transfer and all the miracles we are going to see!
Love you all!

Murray shimai
We got sung to for birthdays happening in the next few months. (I love TimTams!!)

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Last English class in Teine! We had a Takoyaki and okonmiyaki party!

Another transfer has begun! My 8th transfer! This week I hit my year mark from when I entered the MTC! I can`t believe how fast the time has gone! But anyways I`ll tell you all what happened with transfers! So for the past 4 transfers I've been in an area called Teine which is on the edge of Sapporo. I really loved it there and had such a great relationship with the members and with our investigators and it was really hard to leave. But I`m also really excited for this next transfer and I know it was my time to move on. So I got transferred out to an area called Kushiro! And by out I mean out! We took about a 4 hour train ride to get out here. And apparently if you go by car from Sapporo it takes about 7 hours! So it`s a little ways out here. And I've also heard that the sunsets here are in the top 5 in the world! How about that? AND, haha, it has the best sushi in Hokkaido! I've already eaten some, trust me, it`s good. The branch here is about 30 active members I think and they are some awesome people let me tell you! I am so excited to work with them. This transfer there are 4 elders here and then us two sisters so there`s really some missionary power going on here. Oh and my companion, you`ll never guess, Johnson shimai...the 2nd haha! So great. And we were in the same district for three transfers before so we`re already really good friends and we always joked about becoming companions but then it really happened! That was exciting ;D 

So I got here on Thursday and we are already seeing miracles! Yesterday we were planning on taking a bus at 2:55 after church to go to a farther area to work but we ended up having to take a later one at 4:15. So we took that bus and we got to the area and we were walking on the street and saw a lady coming towards us (happy day, there are NO people on the streets here) and so we said hello to her and introduced ourselves. Then she started speaking to us in really good english and Johnson shimai and I were just like, wo, what the? haha so we were able to speak with her in english for a while and then she gave us her phone number and we gave her ours and so we'll probably see her again and speak in english and have a great time! So awesome! Let me tell you there are no mistakes in missionary work. EVERYTHING happens for a reason. God's hand is always guiding us. 

I love being a missionary! Love you all and hope you all have a great week!

Murray Shimai
Ono Bishop

Roomies! (please ignore the awful frizzy hair resulting from waking up at 5 a.m. two days in a row to pack)

New doryo

Hokkaido scenery from the train...

Last DTM with these guys! We had a party!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Again Spring is back for real!

We went to a Mexican restaurant last Monday. It definitely was Japanified, but not bad.

Today is so warm it's wonderful! We're going to be riding our bikes probably this week. I have to get my bike tire fixed today but I'm excited to stop riding the bus all the time! Anyways this last weekend we got to watch General Conference! It was soooooooooo good!! And we got to watch Women's Conference! That was incredible! So much goodness. I loved President Monson's talk about love and showing love towards ALL people. As a missionary I believe God gives us an enhanced ability to love people but sometimes it is hard. People aren't always all nice and polite but that doesn't mean that we don't need to be. I've found that as I've tried to have an attitude of love for all the people that I cross paths with it makes my desire to share the gospel stronger. Love is so powerful and it's something that we can all have, if we choose to. 

I also loved Elder Zivic I think and his talk about asking other people what they're thinking and having  "no corrupt communication". Countless times we jump to conclusions about things or get angry with people because they don't do what we expect them to do or act the same way we do. Especially as a missionary having the same person with you 24/7 I've learned it's really important to talk about things and that it can prevent some small misunderstanding from becoming a huge problem. 

I loved all of conference but those were the two that came to mind just now and I left my notes at home. But it was so good and I can't wait to read all of them again!

Life is going pretty great. The sun is out and we're having a single adult activity tonight which is basically a making food and eating it party haha but that'll be fun. Tomorrow we get transfer calls so that's exciting! 
Nothing else much exciting or new happened last week so this is going to be a short one. But I hope you all have a great week!

Murray Shimai

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Spring is back!

Konnichi wa!
So Spring decided to return today! Last week we had several snow blizzards and extremely windy days so that was fun. Apparently the weather isn't really being normal this year so yay for us! haha. But it was a really great week regardless of winter returning. We had lunch with our grandpa friend and ate really yummy pizza. We also had a crazy awesome miracle happen! So we have this investigator who we mostly keep in contact with over the phone because she's sick a lot and the last time we talked with her on the phone we talked about going to a members cafe together when she was feeling better. So that was on Thursday of the week before last and so we had planned to call her on last Thursday to see how she was doing and we were going to call her in the evening. On Thursday we were out knocking on doors and we met this lady that said she was looking for truth and had a lot of questions and was studying the bible and we were so excited and like, "we have the truth!" We talked with her a little bit but then she started saying that she thinks we are wrong and maybe don't know what we're talking about and it just got really uncomfortable and the spirit was not there at all. It was really a terrible feeling and so we left and felt really bummed and kind of discourage about it. After that we went to the members cafe for dinner before we went home and when we walked in our investigator was there! As soon as we walked in she walked over to me and gave me a big hug! It was the best feeling ever and especially after what we had just experienced. So we were able to stay there and talk with her for a long time and we talked about God and the Book of Mormon and it was just a really nice time. The whole time I just felt so much love for her! It's so amazing how different things are when the spirit is there and when it's not. That was really a tender mercy from Heavenly Father. He always blesses us if we put forth our best effort and persevere through the hard and discouraging times. When you have those experiences that just bring you down and life just feels rough, just go a little bit farther and that's when you'll find those tender mercies. God doesn't want us to fail but he also gave people agency and so sometimes there isn't anything He can do if the people don't let him. But as long as we're doing all we can He will always bless us for those efforts. I have experienced that time and time again in my daily missionary work. It's so incredible to see everyday how the Lord blesses us.

I hope you all have a fabulous week!
Murray shimai