Kobe, Japan

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Week 5 - Two Minutes and Nine Seconds

Pre-Letter: Shoot me details of Housty's game. quarter by quarter kudasai (please). And what time is Helam's game?? I will check my email around 10-ish...if i don't have an email with football stats in it, I will not be sending an email home this week...xoxo...football scores ima! (now)

Time really does fly by.

Remember the rankings among the Nihon missionaries I talked about in my letter a couple letters ago? Well this coming week I will be DAI SENPAI! I still feel like Kohai, I think I'll be a Kohai forever. Thank you for sending me Scheffler Shimai's letter. I know that in no time I'll be riding up those mountains of Kobe like she is. I've now been preparing myself mentally for the bird-sized dragon flies...I hate flying insects! 

If I could describe my week in one word it would be FAST.

Here's how my day goes:
-Alarm goes off. I beg the Lord for 5 more minutes of sleep
-I'm in class stressing over grammar
-Teach kyudosha (investigator)
-Sitting in more class
-In bed at 10:30, wondering where my day went

In the moment I feel like my day will never end, but by the time we return to our residence and reflect on our day I just can't believe it's been another day. On Thursday we had a sub come in that taught me something really interesting. He asked us, "How many days of ours is a day to the Lord?" A choro in my class raised is hand and said "1000 or our days = 1 of the Lord's." Then our sub says, "If that's right, then 2 years = 2 min 53 sec to the Lord." Our missions are a matter of minutes in the Lord's time. For us sisters we have even less time...2 min 9 sec! Within these couple years to us or couple of minutes to the Lord we may be the most Christlike person a Nihonjin may meet in their life. 

In 3 Nephi 5:13: "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life." 

Japan is a predominantly atheist nation with little to no knowledge of our Savior. The thought that I might be the most Christlike person someone will meet in their lives because I have his name next to mine on my little black name tag, is pretty intimidating! There's no excuse for us to not live up to the name we bear on our chests so we must push ourselves to be like Christ. We only have a little bit of time when we are set apart as disciples of Christ and my district made it a goal that we're going to make our missions Celestial ones! In no time we'll be home, thinking back to our missions, just wondering where our time has gone.

Speaking of time...Happy 28th Anniversary on Monday, Mom & Dad!!! We have the sweetest Branch Presidency wives who come and visit with us throughout the week. The nights they come and talk with us and give us hugs are definitely the best parts of our week. Sister Waites is the sweetest woman. She brings what she calls 'Throw Aways' to every single sister in our branch. They're these little slices of paper that have awesome scriptures on it centered around a certain theme. Every time she brings a Throw Away they have the scriptures on it that are exactly what I needed for that day. There's a million tender mercies I receive from the Lord everyday! In order to get a Throw Away you have to share a tid bit with her. A tid bit about your day like what was the best part, or something new you learned, or even the worst part of your day. She just wants us to share whatever! After my room shared our tid bits I asked her what her tid bit was for the day. She said the cutest thing:

"I retired back in June and it came as a surprise to me. Since then my husband and I are able to be together more. We were only together just the two of us for a couple years before we had kids, then after that he was always working and we were always busy. Now we are together all day and you know what...after all these years I STILL LOVE HIM! We're still courting and I still love him."

When they first got married she told us that they spent a couple years trying to figure out what they had in common. She said, "All we knew was that we loved each other and that's the only thing we had in common."

Now they're going to be receiving their mission call soon and they left for a trip to their grand daughter's baptism this week. I found what she said to be absolutely adorable! I hope you and Dad look back on the past 28 years and find that you still love each other just as much as you did on your 1st anniversary! 28 years will turn into 50 and before you know it you'll be stuck with each other for Eternity! Haha, I'm so grateful for such amazing parents and for amazing examples all around me even here at the MTC.

Thinking back on this week I would have to say that a recently returned missionary's testimony I heard at Devotional on Sunday was the best part of my week. Hearing the testimony of a recently returned missionary as a new missionary sitting in the audience you realize how fast your time goes here on the mission. She said, "The name on my tag is engraved on my heart. This is a sacred time in your life. Love; the pure love of Christ has the power to change hearts. Through the Book of Mormon, I saw those changes in people's lives. I knew the church was true before but now it's a different kind of know." 

She went on to say, "Elders and sisters, I remember sitting where you are sitting and thinking about what my mission might be like. Now I'm up here and I can say I love the Lord and I know this work is true." 

I love what she said about Christ's name because it's true, the longer you wear his name closer to your heart the deeper it sinks into it! In Ether12:27 it reads 

"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness, I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." 

I haven't had any crazy hard trials in my first month of being a missionary, but I do believe the closer we come to Christ the more humble we become. The more I'm working on my relationship with Christ the more my weaknesses will be tested and, as a really good friend wrote to me, the more I'll have many opportunities to grow -- it was his way of letting me know I would experience many struggles but that those struggles would end up making me stronger. Through Christ (studying the Book of Mormon, studying his life, constant prayer, diligently seeking opportunities to serve, etc.), our "weak things become strong".

Like I mentioned earlier, tender mercies from the Lord are REAL. I got an awesome letter from Normz this week on a day when I just really needed to hear from someone not at the MTC...I have the best sis-in-law in the world! 

I got a package from Marsha full of all my favorite candy and food! There were li hing mui candies and arare...I've missed it all so much!  Yummmmm. 

Thank you so much family and friends for everything every single thing every single one of you do for me. I can feel your prayers and I'm so grateful for them. I love your letters.  I love your packages.  I especially love your love for me. I hope you all know that I love being a missionary, and I'll love it even more once I get to Nihon!  Everyone, have a blessed week!  Sorry Mom this letter is short. Time is short. Love you all!

All my love,

Heimuli Shimai

P.S. Heels, you better send me a nice long letter this week. I don't care if you have 100 hours of homework. Take 3 minutes and write me something good!! I miss you, best friend!

P.P.S. So I need to make a list of clothes I'll need you to send me...but I'll make that later tonight. ummmmmm I don't know that I absolutely need anything at all. I just want Weber State to win!  I hope they do well. Send me an update on Monday thru DearElder or something. Here are some pics!

At our tanning spot by Samuel HARRISON (love that name!) Smith, I think?? On sunny days we sit by this statue...you get the best sun at this spot...gotta stay brown as long as I possibly can...

On a walk with my doryo during lunch. We walk around the temple every day during lunch because we want the extra exercise and we don't like to eat the food
Got my nihongo name tag! Celebrating while getting ready for bed...
My name tag up close...pretty exciting!...but we're ordering new ones when we get to the mish field because I want to change my name a little bit.
LOVE YOU SO MUCH, MOM!!!!!!!!  I'm starting to hate Pdays...they make me homesick.  I probably won't write you guys on my Pdays when I get to Japan cuz I don't wanna think about home at all when I'm there...hahaha! LOL!  ("Fat chance," says Mom)

Have so much fun in Logan tonight! xoxo

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