Sunday, May 25, 2014

Spring is non-existent in Kushiro

We took Maaya shimai dendoing with us! She's visiting her grandparents in Kushiro for a couple months!

Hey everyone!
What a crazy fantastic growing experience week! I could write a small book with all the great things that happened but I`m going to have to give you the cliffnotes version. sorry. 
So last last week during weekly planning Johnson Shimai and I felt really strongly that we really needed to start making more of an effort to get members involved with our work. It`s really hard because like literally everyone works and is so busy but we made a goal that we were going to try and pray really hard to be able to have more members in lessons and things. One really cool experience we had was that we had a scheduled lesson for Tuesday and we didn't have a Team up for it. We still didn't have one on Tuesday morning. But we decided we still needed to try so we mailed a member and asked her if she would have time around 2 to go with us to a lesson. She called us back right away and said that she had to work then but she would be home around 5. So we called our investigator and asked if it would be okay if we came around 5:30 instead and brought a friend and she said that would be totally fine! So we went at 5:30 instead and were able to take a member with us and it went really well. And the amazing thing is that the sister we went with told us that she never gets home that early. She always works until 7 or 8! But for some reason that day she got done at like 4:30! We know that Heavenly Father was helping us make our goals and that because we put in our effort and tried all we could He helped make it work. I know this truly is the Lord's work and that nothing is too great to accomplish as long as we do all we can and work with the Lord. Miracles are really just moments in our every day lives being touched by the Lord's hands. 
We also had a member lesson with a really awesome sister in the branch and her boyfriend's sister. She was an investigator since the sisters opened Kushiro 5 transfers ago but she hasn`t met with the missionaries since the transfer before last. Then at the beginning of last week the sister in the ward mailed us and asked if we had time on Friday that we could do a lesson! She asked us! And we're like, yea we got time! So on Friday night the member and the investigator picked us up and we went out to eat at this restaraunt that was a little out in the middle of nowhere but it was delicious. 
But we were so excited for the lesson because we were going to talk about temples and we had earlier prepared a room at the church with pictures of temples and flowers and it was really nice. So we finished eating and were so excited to get to the church and start the lesson and we get back to the car, but the key won't go into the ignition! Like the ignition closed up or something. So Mai shimai tries a bunch of times and Johnson shimai and I are just praying because we really want to do this lesson but it still won`t go in. So they call a car place and after talking for a while they said they would come to us with another car. But while we were waiting in the car we actually started talking about temples and we did part of a lesson in the car haha. But then the car people came and we switched cars and it was this sweet new eco car that was really nice but that does`t matter haha. We finally get to the church and we`re all just feeling a little chaotic and what not but we walk into the room we had prepared and it was so peaceful and the biggest calm feeling filled us as we entered the room. The spirit was there and the environment just changed completely and we were able to have a really great lesson and testify with the spirit about temples. It was really a special experience. 
So never give up on goals you have made. Keep trying and working for them and seeking heaven's help because it will come and it will take you from a hectic chaotic situation to a peaceful spirit filled one. 
I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!

Murray Shimai
A less active member brought a bunch of homemade hot sandwiches 
to our apartment for us!

Monday, May 19, 2014


Hey everyone! Sorry this week is short, I had a lot of emails to write today. Also this morning we went to the Marshlands just outside of the town! It was so cool. The marshlands here are the largest in all of Japan and the guy we went with who is actually a guide for them told us that the city of Tokyo can fit inside them haha! Crazy. It was so cool though. And so beautiful and so open! It felt so good to really be out in nature! On the drive we saw deer and a fox and some kind of huge bird thing that was too far away to tell but it was huge. Anyways it was really awesome. And just like everytime I`m in nature it just made me really grateful for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for creating such a beautiful earth for us to live in! 

This past week was awesome of course. Tons of miracles and meeting with awesome people! The work is going amazing here and we'

re really working harder than ever before. I can totally see the Lord blessing us and guiding us in this work as we put forth all that we can give and when we do all we can and the only way we can see to move forward is with a miracle, He never lets us down. Every time the Hand of the Lord reaches down and makes a pathway for us. It really is so special and the most amazing experience. Everyday I feel like I`m just living with a prayer of gratitude in my heart because the blessings are so numerous! God truly loves us and he loves those we are trying to reach and he wants them to accept the gospel even more than we do! He will help us if we do all we can and work alongside Him!

I love you all and feel your prayers everyday!
Murray shimai

Sunday, May 18, 2014

This week----pictures

Cherry blossoms! They are gone within like a week of blooming. bummer but beautiful!

District! The Elders are weird and wanted us to all wear pink for the picture haha

And that's whale sushi. Yes. I have eaten whale. Raw whale. Not that bad. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

It`s a beautiful Day!

Good ol' fashion pizza night! 

Yesterday and Today are lovely! We didn't have to wear a coat all day yesterday which is a really big step haha. Oh and to all my mom friends....HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!! I love you all! I hope you all had a really awesome and special mothers day. It was really weird because yesterday there were no talks about mothers in Sacrament or at all. And like so many people forgot it was mothers day and so many of the sisters said they probably wouldn't do anything or get anything from their families :( It was really sad. But on Saturday Johnson shimai and I were like, we should do something for all the sisters tomorrow! So we decided to make some little chocolate cakes and little cards and we wrapped them all in cute bags and took them to church. We ended up finishing them by flashlight on Saturday night haha but it was so much fun and everyone was so excited to receive them at church. Seriously it was such a small piece of cake and just a really simple note but they were so surprised and so grateful! It was so much fun and just felt really good that we could help make their mother`s day a little more special and help them know that we really appreciate and love them. Because moms are so special and matter so much! And while we`re missionaries we`re so far from our real mom and it really means a lot to us to have so many moms around us who love us and give us mom love. 

But this past week was so incredibly full of Miracles! Missionary work is exploding in Kushiro! Everyday Johnson shimai and I go home thinking there's no way we could top the days miracles but the next day we go out and crazy things happen! God is totally leading us to prepared people here and softening peoples' hearts. It is the most amazing thing to see and be a part of. I know its only with Heaven's help that this work moves forward! 
We visited this referral that the Elders gave us. They found this young 20ish year old girl housing and so we finally made it over to her apartment and she was home and we talked with her for a while and we started teaching her about God and about how she has a special purpose in life and asking her questions and you could see her really thinking about things we asked her and after we would say some things it was like you could see it click in her head. It was really cool. And we got a long so great and we asked her if we could come back and she`s like, ya totally! So we're really excited about her! And it's interesting because we talked to the Elders about her and they said they didn't get that image of her at all when they met her. That she was interested at all. God really is working in lives and softening hearts. I`m seeing it right now everyday!

Another way awesome miracle. So a couple weeks ago I wrote about this dad we found after we had prayed to know where to go and he was interested in English class for his son. And then he had told us to come back again when it wasn't dinner time haha. So on Saturday we went back and he was home and he was like, oh you came back! And we're like, Ya, We came back! haha. And last time we met him he had told us that he wasn't interested in church or talking about God or Jesus Christ at all but he was interested in english class for his son. But this time we went and he talked with us for a while. And he told us how he had read the Bible a little when he was a high schooler just because he was curious and how he thinks christian churches are really great. And then he was talking about miracles and how it`s a miracle that we met him and how we're from america and we could have gone anywhere and we came to his house! And he said that they might not have time to go to English class but that he wants to hear more of our message so please come back to teach more. I think Johnson Shimai and I looked like we were trying to catch flies for a couple seconds because we couldn`t believe what just happened haha. It was literally like a completely different person. Seriously I am here to tell you that no one should be brushed off as not interested or not ready until you try again. Until you follow-up like Elder Ballard talked about. Because God has a plan and the spirit is in buisness. Miracles are not only things that happened in the scriptures. They're real and they are not only a rare once in a blue moon thing. We can see them everyday! 
So many more amazing things have happened but I don't have eternity to write! So I wish you all a very merry week! Enjoy spring! We're finally starting to get Cherry Blossoms here! Hokkaido is a little slow!

Murray Shimai

I just thought this was a funny picture, haha

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Kushiro is the BEST!

At the ocean with Johnson shimai!!

I love Kushiro! 
Hey everyone so this past week was packed with miracles. We met with a lot of really awesome people. We met with the grandma and little girl we're doing the family english program with. That was fun of course. Then we went to try and find an Old Investigator and we finally found her apartment and she wasn't home. But while we were standing at her door one of her sons came home and he talked with us and said his mom would be home soon. So we told him we'd come back another day because we had to go some other places too but as we were starting to walk down the stairwell she came up! And she was so excited to see us! So we walked back with her to her door and we talked with her for a little bit and she was so friendly and said her and her daughter had been wondering why the missionaries weren't coming to visit them anymore :( It was so sad. She has 6 kids! And only one of them is a girl and she's our age! She wasn't home when we visited but the mom gave us her phone number and asked us to come back again! So that was really a tender mercy and a miracle from God. So cool. 
That same day we also found another Old Investigator who was also really nice and said she had stopped meeting with the missionaries because she was really busy but that she loved when they visited and talked. So we told her we would come back and she said ok.
On Thursday it was Johnson Shimai's birthday! We had lunch at a members house and then we did some of weekly planning and then we met all the Elders at Coco's for dinner. The ZL's and the Nemuro Elders were also there so that was fun! Then we went to Eikaiwa! There were 10 missionaries there! It was so much fun. 
On friday we visited Yoneshiro san. She's the mom that we visited with Aoyagi shimai and Evans shimai. That was fun. She is so funny and so willing to listen to our message! She was a little busy so we didn't get to teach much but she said come back soon! And she gave us peanuts and vegetable juice. Haha. For some reason everyone is worried that we don't feed ourselves very well haha. 
Oh and also on friday we were riding around trying to find someone's house and these two middle school girls walked by so we said Hi to them and invited them to Eikaiwa. Then we went on our way and did some other stuff and several hours later we were in a different area riding and we saw the same girls! This time they talked with us some more and they gave us their phone number! They're super cute and like sports so we're going to organize a sports night at church and invite them! 
Saturday we met a lady at Mister Donuts. She's a lady that the sisters met on the street last transfer I think and she actually lives in Shibetsu a tiny town 2 hours away from Kushiro and she's an english teacher! She comes to Kushiro every month or so to help take care of her parents. So she calls us when she's coming to Kushiro so we can meet and talk in English. We talked about so much stuff. We talked about church, temples, scriptures like all over the place. We invited her to church and she asked if it was in English, and we're like no, it's in Japanese and she said she just wants to practice english. So that was a bummer but she's really awesome and someday maybe she'll go to church. 
On Sunday we went to the ocean! It's so beautiful! We had to pass it to get to an area we were trying to find some people in. We ended up not finding any of the less active members houses which was a bummer but on our way home we were crossing the big bridge and there were a ton of people out on the bridge watching the sunset. So we stopped riding and wanted to try and talk to some of the people and there was a mom with her son standing there and we started talking to her. She was probably the nicest person I've ever talked to on my mission (and that's saying a lot!). She was so excited to talk to us and so interested in what we were doing. We got to talk with her for a while. She actually doesn't live in Kushiro but we gave her a pamphlet and told her about and she said she would look at it. It was just a really feel good moment. She asked if she could take a picture of us haha. As she was walking away she kept turning around and waving to us. I really believe we were meant to talk to her. She's from a small town between Kitami and Abashiri which are small themselves so I doubt she would have an opportunity to meet the missionaries there. It was a really special and warm experience. We are so lucky to get to meet so many amazing people! Johnson shimai and I have been so blessed since this transfer started. We are seeing so many miracles! God is Good!
I love being a missionary!

Murray shimai


Hiraiwa shimai, kyodai from the Teine ward visited Kushiro on Sunday!! They lived in Kushiro like 20 years ago but hadn't visited since then and they had a break day because of Golden week and they said they heard I came to Kushiro so they decided to visit haha. 

Okay, remember how I said Kushiro is famous for sunsets? Ya we get to live here and have this for our scenery as we`re biking home! How cool is this?