Kobe, Japan

Monday, September 23, 2013

Week 6 - Don't Change Yourself...Find Yourself

This wouldn't be a real letter if I didn't address the big rivalry game today...I don't have any red in my wardrobe, I'm a Weber State fan and today will be a sad day for the Y so I had to go with all black! (Check the pic with Kerr Shimai and Beane Shimai...can't you tell where each of our loyalty lies???) 

I guess if I don't hear much cheering from the stadium tonight then it means it's a good game! I have to say my withdrawals from sports are finally leaving. I got an awesome package from Jessye a couple days ago with pics and candy and everything I could ever wish for!

Then I got letters from Toa and Harry today which made this PDAY the BEST ONE EVER. I'm so glad some of my favorite boys finally met each other!! It's been a crazy fast week here in the MTC and letters from home are like gold here.

I want to give a shout out to all the women out there!! Can you believe the General Relief Society broadcast is next Saturday?? This meeting is always such a great prelude to hearing Thomas S. Monson and the apostles words the following weekend. I'm so excited to hear what Sister Burton and her counselors have to share with us. I've never been more motivated to do things for the sake of being a woman than I do while I've been on my mission. Women are so amazing in so many ways and this Saturday is going to be an empowering experience. I've been trying to think of something that would benefit anyone reading this letter and I couldn't just think of one thing...there are LOTS of things I want to share with you all but there's just not enough time or space for me to do it. This is what I learned this past week:

Sister Edgington from the General Relief Society Board told us the story of Jack and Jill. Jack is her grandson. Jack isn't good at holding still and when he was moved into Sunbeams his teachers couldn't handle him. Within 5 minutes of being in class they would take him straight to his mom who already had her hands full with another baby and her calling in Primary. One Sunda,y Sister Edgington's daughter realized by the end of class that no one brought her son to her. She walked over to his classroom to pick him up and when she walked in he was sitting reverently in his sub's lap (whose name was Jill!) with his arms folded. Jill told Jack's mom he was such a sweet boy and he had been so good throughout class. Later in the week Jack told his mom while they were driving in the car, "I love Jesus now." His mom asked why only now and he said he used to hate Primary because his teachers never let him stay in class. Then he replied, "I love Jill because Jill loves me like you love me." It's easy to be good when you feel loved. And the feelings children receive in Primary are usually how they feel about Christ. Besides sports, I miss working with kids the most! I miss my adorable Primary class and their sweet spirits. When you look at a child, you're looking at Christ. They embody everything we spend the rest of our lives trying to emulate. 

Speaking of examples, can I brag about my district for a second? First of all, we have the most talented senkyoshi in the whole mission. Cope Choro, from Tokyo Japan, has mad skills on the piano. He played a beautiful arrangement of A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief on Sunday for Relief society. Not only is he insane on the keys, but his testimony is so strong. I love to eavesdrop on his lessons or when he and his companion mogi because without fail I always learn something new. Tolley Shimai has the most beautiful voice I think I've ever heard. Her knowledge of music is way more than I could acquire over the span of my life. She and her companion, Larkin Shimai, are our Sister Training Leaders and they do such a great job. 

I know callings come from God because they're exactly who all the sisters need as their leaders right now! Gonzalez Choro, from Colorado, or I like to call him Gonzalez Sensei because he's brilliant! He helps me with nihongo all the time and if I ever have a question about anything he's always so willing to help me out. I absolutely love and adore my WHOLE district. They're all awesome missionaries and they'll be such a blessing to Nihon. My new companion, Cortes Shimai is from Mexico. She's the first Mexican woman to go to Japan on her mission so my doryo is making history!

Ugly pic but ehhhh that's all we got cuz Cortes Shimai doesn't like pics...LOL
Within the past 6 days of her being my companion I've learned so much about being a missionary and more importantly about the language. What I love the most about our district is how much love and support everyone has for each other. We all get excited for each other when we get letters, we all open and share our packages, we all laugh and tell stories with one another at meal times...I don't think I'll ever have a better district! I'll be so sad to see our Fukuoka chorotachi leave but we'll all keep in touch.

Sister Schwitzer, whose husband is in the Quorum of the Seventy, told us an awesome story about her dad when she called him, crying after she failed one of her nursing tests. She said she was crying and telling him what happened when all of a sudden she heard a click. She said, "Hello, hello...dad?" He hung up! She tried to call him again and when he answered she asked him why he hung up, he said, "I'm not going to sit there and listen to you cry about failure. Hold your head up, roll your shoulders back, and get to work." I couldn't agree more. Whenever you're discouraged just hold your head up, roll your shoulders back, and get to work.

Elder Schwitzer's talk was so powerful! He told us not to take notes, just to listen to what the spirit is telling us not what he's telling us. He told us, "Don't change yourself, find yourself." We're only missionaries for so long, 2 years at most. The changes we make on our missions don't have to be temporary. A lot of missionaries have a hard time adjusting to post-mission life and Elder Schwitzer explained that it's because we expect to "change" ourselves while we're serving when really we should be "finding" ourselves. His sweet wife said in her talk that when they left for their mission to Russia she wanted to go home that very first day but she knew her companion wouldn't go home with her. She remembered the words her son had said to her before they left, "Everyday you're on your mission you'll think about home. When you get home everyday you'll think about your mission." Everything about home will still be there when we get back like Cafe Rio, and City Creek Center; so why not make these next 18 months - 2 years the best memories we can reflect on for the rest of our lives? 

I was on LDS.org a couple days ago and I was reading up on the 50th Anniversary celebration of PCC. I love my culture and I love the opportunity I had to dance at PCC because I met so many people that I will be friends with for the rest of my life. I made so many memories there, I think about all the memories I made working for a short time and all the memories I'll make here as I serve my mission. I thought about all the funny things that would happen back stage, all the things that could and would go wrong. I remember how hectic back stage was as we ran from one end to another trying to change and keep our make up intact. I thought about the singing, the dancing, the food, the laughing that we all enjoyed every night! My favorite part of performing at PCC was seeing how our culture uplifted everyone in the audience. Some people had tears streaming down their faces by the end of the show, others laughed and clapped loud! I loved being able to bring happiness to those people in the audience. That's what I like about being a missionary, bringing happiness to other people. 

Mahaloz to all the fam and friends for the love & support! I can't tell you how much I appreciate the letters and the pictures and the awesome packages you send me. Every time I get a package it's at the perfect time, right when I need a little pick me up or something to snack on I find out I have a package! You're all amazing. Thank you for reading my letter, I hope this letter helped someone because it sure helps me feel closer to you as I write it! This week will be full of amazing adventures and opportunities to make memories so PLEASE make some good ones and write me all about it! 

All my love, 

Heimuli Shimai

On our way back from the temple this lady stopped us and asked us to return a spoon her "friend" had stolen when she was in the MTC almost 2 years ago!  Haha funny, so we took a pic with the infamous spoon before returning it to the MTC and relieving this lady of her guilty conscience.
And did I already tell you to go to the General Relief society broadcast on Saturday?? Well you'll wanna go cuz I'm singing in the CHOIR!!!!! This will be the last time we'll sing together for the next 18 months.
This is me and Black Shimai with the notices we got in the mail that we were chosen to sing at the General Relief Society Broadcast next Saturday! So come so we can be in the same buildling!!!! I hugged Sister Burton at practice yesterday...actually she hugged me LOL after practice she and her counselors were just standing there so I walked up to her and shook her hand (normal for me now) but she grabbed me and hugged me. She said she loved me and I told her thank you for being there and for giving us all this opportunity. She an amazing woman, she and her counselors! It's cool to think that I'll be singing for 7 million women worldwide...we are part of the largest woman's organization in the world and I have an amazing opportunity to bring music to them. I can't talk any more about because I'll start crying while I'm typing and everyone will think I'm crazy LOL love you mama, miss you all the time!!!!

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