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!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Big email...

Hey everyone! 
Another great week here in Kushiro! We're having like sort of a Typhoon here. Not a full one but it's pretty fun to ride bikes in. This last week we had some hot weather which I didn't quite know how to handle but I made it through so it's all good. Wagner shimai and I had to take a few icecream breaks and that's probably what saved us haha. 

This week was pretty busy and some cool stuff happened. Lately so many people have been coming to english class and this last week we had 3 of our investigators there! It was really fun. And our philippino investigator came to church again! She is so awesome! She is such a testimony builder to me that the language of the spirit is universal because she can't understand most of what is being said in church but she always tells us that she feels so good when she comes and she feels her stress go away! The Spirit is so powerful!

We also had a neat experience about praying for guidance and receiving it. In the beginning of the transfer the elders passed us this lady investigator and told us we could go anytime  and we tried to visit her several times but we couldn't find her apartment. We finally thought we found it but no one was ever home and we found out it was the wrong place, so that was awkward. But yesterday we decided we really needed to find it so we could visit her and again we couldn't find it but we both felt we needed to find it or just really wanted to because it was so frustrating that we couldn't. So we said a prayer and then decided to go to the main road and then weave up and down all the streets in the block. We started doing that and we were biking down one and out of the corner of my eye a blue building sticks out and I look over at it and at first glance thought it was right but then realized the name was wrong on the building. But it was kind of close to what the elders told us it was called and we just decided to do it anyway. So we go there and ask a lady out in the garden near it if the investigator lives there and she told us yes! We found her!! So there's a lesson for you. Even when the elders give you wrong information, the Spirit can still guide you right haha. But seriously, it's true. 

Anyways, hope you all have a great week!

Murray shimai

Sunday, August 3, 2014


This past week was really really awesome!! We had some really super duper lessons and one of our investigators told us that she wants to go to church and another one came to church yesterday!! It's really funny because right now our two strongest investigators aren't even Japanese. One of them is Korean and it's really cool because none of us are Japanese but we're teaching her in Japanese and it's just a really cool experience. She's making Korean food for us tomorrow so that should be excellent! We went to a festival with another friend on Saturday night and ate really yummy food! We randomly met this lady who we're sure is a less active member because we were walking down the street and this lady in front of us turned around and started talking to us in english and then she told us that she went to BYU forever ago!! Like, what?! haha. And we asked her if she is a member and she said right now she is too busy. So not exactly sure but she might be a member. She's visiting Kushiro with her son because she's making a documentary video about old whaling towns. Random. So that was fun.

We had zone activity and zone training meeting! For the zone activity we went to the sports center and played sports for 4 hours. It was so much fun, but let's just say that your body does not appreciate it when you don't play sports for a year and then suddenly do it for hours straight. It was pretty rough the next few days. Sitting on the bike was especially a bit of a struggle. Just had to ride standing up for periods of time haha. In zone training meeting we had our first interview with President Nakatsuka and he is way awesome. He speaks fluent english too so that's cool. 

After zone training meeting we had splits with the STL's and that was a blast. Me and Lundstrom shimai met some really cool people on the street who want to see us again so that was a success. 
Lots of amazing things are happening here! Lots of new people came to eikaiwa last week which was tons of fun! I love being a missionary!

Murray shimai

saikou! - July 27, 2014

Hey everyone!
Well another great week has past. This past week we had some pretty awesome stuff happen. We have a new investigator who is Korean! And she is so special! We had our first lesson with her last week and it was one of the all time best first lessons I've ever experienced. The spirit was so strong and she was so excited to receive the Book of Mormon and read it and I could just feel God's love for her and feel that she really is His special daughter. It's so amazing how you really can tell when someone is prepared to hear the gospel and instead of us having to nag and repeatedly ask someone to do something they want to do it! She said she wanted to read the BOM before we even invited her to! That's not something you experience too often. My companion and I were kind of in shock I think haha.
But really, I know, because I'm witnessing it, that The Lord is preparing people to hear the gospel and that these people are all around us. The Spirit will lead us or lead them but either way if we are prepared we can be the Lord's instrument to bring these people closer to Him. It's such an incredible feeling as we invite people to do things that will bring them closer to Him. 
We had ward FHE on Saturday and we played signs for one of the games. It was pretty entertaining. I don't think they play it here because it took a while to catch on but it was still really fun. 
We also biked to the other edge of the map and visited a member who lives out there. Her mom isn't a member and we were able to visit with her for a while and that was fun. The other day we were doing some housing and it was pouring and we pinged one house and the lady told us she wasn't interested and so we left. As we were walking down the street we heard someone calling out to us. We turned around and it was the lady from that house who had just told us she wasn't interested. She told us to wait and she went to her shed and brought us her umbrella and told us to use it and then bring it back when we were done. People are so nice! We meet people all the time who have no interest in our message but they give us food or tell us to do our best or just show so much kindness to us and it's so amazing. I feel so blessed everyday! I love being a missionary!

Murray shimai

A member has a massage chair in their living room. Ya, that was a cool surprise.

Wagner shimai and I