Sunday, June 29, 2014

First sunburn in over a year!

Hey everyone!
Hope you all had a fabulous week last week! I had an interesting and great week! All three of us are getting over colds so that's been fun. When all the sisters in the zone were here one of them was sick and after they left Johnson shimai started getting sick and then I got sick and then the other Johnson shimai got sick. So we weren't the prettiest site last week. We would visit people and then as soon as they shut the door we would all cough and blow our nose and try to get it all out before the next person haha. That was fun. But we're all pretty much better just nose issues but other than that life is great! And last week even though we were sick we still had lots of miracles! One of them was that the sister in the branch who has a friend that we're teaching invited us over to her apartment wed morning because the friend was also going there before work. So we went there and the member made way yummy pudding that we enjoyed and we talked and it was fun. And then the sister started asking her friend how lessons were going and the Book of Mormon and stuff. And then she shared her own personal experience when she first started taking lessons and praying. It was way incredible and the spirit was way strong. Our investigator was listening the whole time and after we invited her to pray for herself and to keep reading the Book of Mormon and she said she will! She's so awesome! 
On Saturday we had the branch yakiniku party! It's Japanese style bbq and way yummy. You have like charcoal pieces or whatever they're called that get hot and then like wire things that you set over the coals and then put vegetables and small pieces of meat down on it and just take it and eat it when they're done. It's soooooooooo gooooooooood!!! Anyways that's not what's important. What's important is that like a ton of people came! And lots of nonmembers came!!! It was way awesome! And surprise, the sun came out on Saturday! It wasn't supposed to be sunny at all but it came out in the morning and stayed through the bbq! And the bbq was right on the edge of the river! It was so much fun! And the three of us got sunburned! I forgot what it felt like. It's never that intensely sunny here so we didn't even think about getting sunburned but it happened. And afterwards when we were dendoing everyone was like, did you get sunburned? haha. Can't really hide the bright red nose. 
Anyways it was a great week! And tomorrow our new mission president is coming here! So everyone is coming to Kushiro again tonight! Fun fun fun! I love being a missionary!!
Love you all!

Murray shimai

We made Phillipino friends at the BBQ! The elders found them while housing. 

At a members house for the Dad's birthday.

Where we had the BBQ. It's on the far side where you can see small white dots which are cars.

Hey mom and dad. So missionary report. I guess I don't have any profound insights or anything to share but I do have something of a sort to share. In Japan missionaries always write their home ward letters and they share them in sacrament meeting so I'm going to do that too.

Dear Coolest ward ever,
I'm in an area called Kushiro. It's by the ocean and summer doesn't exist here. People on the streets also don't really exist. Sometimes I think we get a little scary because we race down streets to talk to the one lady going to get in her car a mile away haha. But really it's an awesome area and really a blessed area. We have tons of investigators and are seeing tons of miracles everyday!
I want to tell you all how much this gospel is awesome! I'm pretty sure you all know that but I'm going to say it anyway. It is the greatest gift we could ever receive!!! And Heavenly Father loves us so much he just lets anyone who will take it have it!!! It's so special being a missionary and offering this gift to all we come into contact with. Lately I have been thinking about my mission up until now and all the crazy and unique and amazing experiences I have had. And I've come to the conclusion that a mission is unlike anything else you will ever experience in life. I could never have imagined all the things that I would experience and will experience. I never could have imagined that I would eat something that had tentacles still attached or meet a lady that is going to show us japanese bamboo magic ( kind of scared) or have the capacity to eat enough for 3 people in one sitting and then get on a bike and bike home in 10 minutes to make curfew. And I also couldn't have imagined how good it would feel to stop complete strangers on the street and testify to them about the Book of Mormon and how they have a Heavenly Father or how much love I can feel towards people I just met. I guess what I'm trying to say is that this truly is the Lords work. It's not at all like I expected it to be but life usually isn't. I've learned and am still learning that Heavenly Father loves us so much and has a plan for us and for those we meet. No matter what kind of circumstance it is, we can love those we meet and show them the joy of the gospel. Being a missionary really is the most amazing thing ever and it's really great because another big thing I've learned is that Heavenly Father totally has a sense of humor. Everyday really is the greatest and sometimes weirdest adventure!
I love you all! Thanks for your prayers and love and examples! 
Murray shimai

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Summer came today!!

Evans shimai. Really going to miss her!

Dear everyone!
Thank you all so much for the Happy Birthdays!!!!! It really meant a lot to me! I had the best birthday ever!!!!!!! The whole night before my birthday my companions (lucky for me I have 2) kept me awake by giving me regular updates of how much time was left until my birthday. Finally at midnight they wished me happy birthday and we all went to sleep haha. Wednesday morning they wished me happy birthday and made me a crown haha. They put little paper hearts all over my desk and the apartment . And in the afternoon we went to the church and Johnson shimai played violin with a member's friend who has been coming to eikaiwa and is an amazing piano teacher. So basically had a private concert that was awesome. And she played me a really fancy happy birthday on the piano haha. It was really fun. Then a less-active sister picked us up from the church and took us to see some cool stuff in Kushiro and then took us out to Mister Donuts for my birthday. Then just me and Johnson shimai and Johnson shimai went out to eat okonomiyaki and takoyaki! So yummy! Then when we got back to the apartment the obihiro sisters and kitami sisters were there for zone stuff!!! At night we had cake that they made for me! It was the best birthday!!! Oh and I got my birthday call from Evans shimai! She calls every missionary on their birthday and sings happy birthday to them and so does anyone else if she's with other missionaries. So mine was sung by the office elders and the APs. It was pretty great. So ya it was a great birthday that also included whipcream in the face that happened during what I thought was going to be a prayer but turned out to only be a cover up. Nice. haha. 

So we had a zone activity this past week!!! President and Sister Evans are going home this Saturday so they did activities with all the zones. Our zone went and did park golf which was a blast and I was on Evans shimai's team and it was way fun. She's a master. All the old people playing kept coming and telling us how to do it and all the rules haha. Friday we had zone training meeting and Sunday was district conference. So all the far out here branches came to Kushiro! I got to see all my Kitami family! Evans kaicho and shimai were also there and it was really special and lucky because it was their last sunday in Japan! I'm going to miss them so much!! There is no one else in the world like them and I've learned so much from them. I'm so grateful to Heavenly Father for sending me to this mission with them as President. 

This week we also had a way awesome lesson with an investigator. She's the one that works at the same place as a member and we've taught once before. But at this recent lesson we found out that she's been reading the Book of Mormon everyday! And we taught the restoration and the Spirit was so strong and we invited her to baptism! She didn't say no but she said she still needs to know a little more but it was so amazing. You could see her feeling the spirit when I would look in her eyes. It was so awesome. I love being a missionary!!!!! 

Murray shimai

Happy 21st birthday ambush!

p.s. you can check the facebook page for more pics from Evans shimai.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Today was the best day of my life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hey friends! So this past week was rainy! Something you all should be familiar with. But it's been a blast being in a threesome again. We have seen so many miracles! I'm telling you Kushiro is booming with miracles. There are 7 missionaries here this transfer and we can see that God really has amazing things in store for Kushiro and is really hastening the work. We have met way awesome people on the street who want to meet us again and it's so awesome!!!! We met a highschooler the other day on the street walking her dog who loves basketball! Yatta! We're going to play together sometime! And she was really interested in our message as well! And one of the million miracles we had today was that while we were biking to someones house we stopped to talk to a lady working in her garden and We talked for a while and then we noticed the dog and Johnson shimai asked the dog's name and it was the same as the girl's we met on the street! And then the lady was like 
"ya, didn't you meet my granddaughter on the street the other day?" !!!!!! Whoa! We found her grandma! Haha. And then she came home while we were talking and we got to talk to her a little bit! Seriously. Missions are insane. I have never had a clearer or more personal witness that Heavenly Father is here and guiding things then I have this past year. There is no limit to what God can do! We can't pass up any opportunity even if it just seems like every other opportunity. We can't possibly know what will come of talking to someone or taking a chance on someone just by looking at them. 

Today was so full of awesome! On our way back to the church to email we stopped to talk to a girl walking home from school and she is the coolest girl I've ever met. Seriously. She just stopped and casually talked to us like it was totally normal and like we had been friends before. We just talked with her for a while and we gave her our contact information because she couldn't remember hers haha. And she just mailed us! We made a cool friend! haha. And we had a member mail us today and ask if we had time tomorrow to do a lesson with her friend who came to church like 2 weeks ago! She made the appointment for us and everything! Oh and yesterday we met this grandma on the street while we were just sitting on our bikes eating cookies a member gave us and she walked by and I said Konnichiwa and she turned and started talking to us. She talked with us for an hour on the street! And she gave us her address and phone number and we made an appointment for this week! 

When Aoyagi shimai came to Kushiro and we worked with her and Evans shimai she told me and Johnson shimai that if we continued working like we were that people were going to come to us, find us. People who are prepared. And it's totally happening like crazy!!! We have more investigators than I've ever had in my mission and the members are doing missionary work like crazy!! Life is so great! I know in order to have this success and see all these miracles we have to live worthy and continually exercise our faith and believe that we will have success. And always express our gratitude to our Heavenly Father. After all it's only because of him that we have any success at all! I know that's true for everyone and that Heavenly Father is waiting to shower us all with blessings if we open up our arms to receive them! Probably can't hold onto all of them at once but I guess if we're overflowing with blessings they might spill out to those around us and then it's all good! The only spill you don't have to worry about cleaning up is a spilled blessing! 
I love you all and pray for you! Thank you for your prayers and love! I feel it always!

Murray shimai

Monday, June 9, 2014

New Transfer!! #9!!! I'm a grandma!

Hey everyone! Another transfer has started and I can't believe it's my 9th! I'm getting so old. But anyways exciting news I have. I'm staying in Kushiro! and so is Johnson shimai! and so is.....the other Johnson shimai! Yes. We became a threesome. And yes, my old companion came to Kushiro. And yes I'm sandwiched between two Johnson shimais. Oh people are just getting the biggest kick out of this let me tell you. Heard just about all the jokes in the book haha. But really it's the best. It's so much fun! And the members were overjoyed to have another sister. Great things are going to happen this transfer!

On transfer day we had a sisters conference which was awesome! But it was so sad because Evans shimai is leaving soon and that was the last time for all of us sisters to be with Evans shimai. She really is the best. So ya we had to go to Sapporo again for that and to pick up Johnson shimai. It was hot. And now its raining in Kushiro haha. feels like summer at home. We still wear coats and thick tights here. It's great. 

We had an awesome miracle happen last night when we were biking home. We were coming home and we got to this crazy steep hill that we always have to walk up. So we're walking up and we get to the top of it and there was a lady in her car doing something but we said hi to her and she saw us and had this surprised reaction that was kind of interesting but we kept walking and about 20 seconds later we heard someone calling to us and we turn around and it was the lady! She was running towards us with a plate of something asking if we would eat it! We were like, um, ya we'll eat it haha. She finally got to us and she had a plate with really yummy looking stuff and said that she had just got home from her mom's house and her mom had given her a ton of food and she was just wondering who she could give some of it to when we walked by her house! Wo!! 
So we talked with her for a while and told her about english class and she was way pumped about it and said she wanted to see us again and that it was goen or like, luck, that she met us! 
After we left her we had to stop and say a prayer of thanks because that was definitely a miracle and she was so incredibly nice and clearly followed the spirit even though she doesn't know that. 

Seriously miracles are so abundant it's insane. I know Heavenly Father is mindful of us and will always provide food for hungry missionaries.....and other things we need haha. And he always gives us opportunities to share the gospel! Don't be afraid to take them!
Love you all!

Murray shimai

New transfer!

Yay threesome!

Three's a party

Monday, June 2, 2014

Hey everyone! What a week! We went to Sapporo this past week Because Elder D. Todd Christofferson (of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles) came! On Wednesday morning we had a meeting just for the missionaries and it was really cool because every missionary in the mission got to go! But the funny thing is President and Sister Evans weren't there :( They were in Tokyo for a Presidents conference. But it was really a special, awesome, powerful experience. He gave me like this calm but sure desire to do better as a missionary while knowing that I can because of who my call came from and whose work I'm doing. It was really unlike anything I've ever felt before. Afterwards we were trying to get organized to take a picture and Evans shimai wasn't there to direct us so it was a bit of a struggle haha but Elder Christofferson asked if they could get in our picture and so then we had to figure out how to get them in and still be able to see everyone so I'm sure that was pretty entertaining to watch for 20 minutes haha. But it was a really awesome day. 

I had my first bike biff of the season this past week! Still not really sure what happened. All I can tell you is I'm riding down the sidewalk and then I feel like I hit something hard but no idea what because there was nothing on the sidewalk and then I'm going down in like a diagonally forward faceplant into these huge weed plants that look like humongous clovers haha. At least they cushioned the fall haha. That was fun. 

We met this really awesome new investigator on Saturday! We had ward FHE on Saturday night and one of the members invited a work friend who came and she's way sweet! She moved to Kushiro in April so she has like no friends here but this sister in the ward befriended her and she came to the FHE and had a blast so she chose to come to church the next day all on her own! After church we were able to do a lesson with her and give her a Book of Mormon! She's way ii kanji. Or she is, uh, she seems really interested and open to the gospel. Super pumped about her. 

Anyways it was a great week! Love you all!

Murray Shimai

The Hansen's went home :( Can't imagine the mission without them ;(

The World Cup is at McDonalds. Soccer ball bun in case you could't tell. Also we met a less active that worked there. Crazy.

Ward FHE

Yay for packages!