The Lord has been so kind to me since I`ve been on my mission. A lot more people speak English than I thought they did and we`ve started visiting a college every Tuesday for their English activities to build relationships and begin teaching. While we were coming back from one of these Tuesday night activities we were running to our train as usual and in the crowds of always-busy nihonjin 2 little kids, about a 7-year old boy and 4-year old girl ran up to me. I was surprised they ran right up to me with huge smiles. The boy said ``Hello!`` The little girl waved. I stopped running and leaned over to them, ``Hello! How are you?`` They said ``We`re great!`` and then just ran off. Their English was awesome! And I was relieved to hear English! I have been thinking all week about what the scriptures say about `becoming like a little child, submissive, meek....` and what that really means. These 2 little kids took one look at me and could tell I`m gaijin -- can`t speak any nihongo -- and they came right up to me and said hello. I wish I had courage like that 7 year old and 4 year old! It`s amazing what we can learn from children.
Japan is probably one of the busiest countries in the world. The most common excuse we hear from people while we`re housing, or streeting, is `chotto isogashii ne` or `kekko`. Kekko is a word for not interested. We get that a lot! For some missionaries there`s only so many kekkos they can put up with before they begin to doubt their abilities to be a good missionary, or begin to become discouraged. In our Zone Conference on Wednesday we discussed Faithfulness. In 2 Nephi 4:34 `O Lord, I have trusted in thee，and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh...` Some days feel like a roller coaster. One minute you`re really happy and everything is great then the next minute you`re more depressed then you`ve ever been in your life. We talked about why that happens to missionaries. In the scriptures it always says, `Let your heart rejoice.` We need to remember that the Lord didn`t send us here to fail. President showed us that when we trust in man, or ourselves, our faith will go through this wave-like motion. But when our faith is in Christ and Heavenly Father, it`s constant. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ don`t change. Their love never changes either -- it`s us who change. Our faith should never waver when it`s in Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ. So next time you feel discouraged, check where your faith is!
Also study the topic of Faithfulness in the next FHE. It`s an amazing lesson to be learned and continue to use for the rest of our lives!
Saturday night Hayashi Shimai and I rode bikes for almost 2 hours to a less active member`s house. We went up 2 mountains and 3 hills...when we finally got home, we stretched for a good hour, I think! Anyways, we rode to TC but when we arrived, the person wasn`t home! So we decided to go housing and talk to as many people who were on the streets as possible. It was finally around 6 o`clock in the evening and we figured we should start heading home, so that we make it back on time. We stopped by one more time and by some miracle she was home! Unfortunately she used the `isogashii` excuse so we headed back. As we were coming down one of the hills, we saw this cute little neighborhood we never noticed before. We thought, "Eh we got 20 minutes! Let`s do some housing!" So we did. As usual, we got kekko`d the first 4 houses and I was so sick of it. So the next little door bell box thingy we came to (nihonjin don`t use peep holes, they use cameras instead of opening a door...it`s pretty sweet), we rang, they answered, and I said `Aloooha! We`re volunteers for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I came a long way from home to share a message with you!` We both threw in shakas and all! We went all out in front of those little cameras and the people were so much nicer! So 2 people agreed to come to church, all the rest of the houses we knocked agreed to read the little handout we shared and we found 1 potential investigator. Who would`ve thought `aloha` was the medicine for `kekko`! I guess Love really is the answer to every thing! When we finally headed home, we laughed the whole way and kept saying aloha to everyone we rode past.
Yes this week was much better....last week was hard cuz I was really down on myself about the language. But in interviews with kaicho he asked me, `Are you having fun? Are you feeling overwhelmed?` I answered yes to both and he said, `Well, KEEP having fun and STOP being overwhelmed.` I took it to heart and I`m just having fun! Also working hard but always trying to keep that smile...Hayashi Shimai said in her interview kaicho asked about me and he told her he trusts me. He says I have a strong testimony and they`re so excited to have me here. Well there's pressure! Now I have huge shoes to fill with expectations like that from our president! haha so I`ll just keep working!!!
Yes I got my package..thank you!!!I got it today actually, so i'm wearing the skirt right now. You asked about Sundays? My ward is awesome. They give us so much food every week which helps cuz I`m trying not to eat too much. I spent 9 dollars on groceries for this week cuz I dont`t have money to spend and I really really need to slim down so I can bike faster and not waste any more travel time! hahahaha. Mama! I want to talk to you all the time! When I'm cleaning I think about you having to clean that house by yourself. When I cook I think about home cooked meals and how I would kill for something like yours or grams' cooking. When I bike around sometimes I see things that remind me of the boys and I laugh and hayashi shimai thiniks i`m crazy cuz i`m always laughing...lol oh well. I try to be as loving and kind to everyone that I meet cuz I can`t do anything but smile so that`s what I do. I hope you enjoyed my letter this week! It`s kind of short...sorry, and I could`ve told a million more stories! Like how when we are cutting it close on time and we`re biking as hard as we can sometimes the stop lights are all perfectly aligned for us to get where we need to right on time! The Lord`s hand really is in this work I can testify to that!
Give all my boys hugs for me...even the big ones like Hemz! Tell Normz I want an email from her! A girly one with lots of details about their life and how its been with the fam. Tell housty I love him and I want to write him a long letter...so I will some day when there`s time...eh there`s never time...lol give harry a big hug and kiss for me. His costume was awesome [Michael Jackson]. I miss my baby boy a lot! Tell heels I miss my best friend and I wanna hug him so bad whenever I feel really sad here...his hugs were the best! Love you mama, love you dad! And hey, dad never emailed me back, that punk ;) xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
This Thursday will mark the half way point in my first transfer! And what a transfer to remember! Already I learn more and more everyday. Yes this work is hard but it`s so worth it. I fall into my futon at night completely exhausted from that day's work and I wouldn`t have it any other way. People always tell us how busy they are and how they don`t have time to listen to our message but I can tell you that they`re busy not listening to our message and we`re busy telling people about our message. What a strange world we live in! I love these people, especially the children I meet. I learn so many great lessons from them! This week really try to make time for the Lord, I know we have callings and we do visiting teaching or home teaching but instead of playing a game on the iPad or watching a lame movie maybe you could be talking to a less active, or a non member and stretch yourself to be who the Lord needs right now. From my favorite hymn, `More used would I be` try to find some way to be more used by the Lord this week. I`ll try too! Love you all, have a blessed week!
All my love,
|Heimuli Shimai and a few of the new sister missionaries|
|Heimuli Shimai & Kerr Shimai taken on their first morning in Kobe at the summit of Mt Rokkyo.|