Kobe, Japan

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Week 10 - Yes!


Yes, I am in Nihon! Yes, I am so lost all the time, and Yes, I still don't know the language; HOWEVER, YES! I still know this Gospel is true. Yes, my love and admiration for my Heavenly Father and for Christ's sacrifice grows every single day. And Yes, I am totally in love with every aspect of this country and its people. 

Thank you so much for the GREENIE package! I loved everything that was in it: the scarf, the candy, and the letters especially! I also loved that everything in that package was green except for Hema`s yellow letter, hahaha, oh Hemz!! I have the best family in the world. Harry`s letter was so funny. Helam`s was sweet and too short as usual. Housty`s got me pumped. And Dad`s made me cry. My favorite part of Dad's greenie letter was when he said, "If anyone gives you a hard time, just say the word and I`m there." I cried because I know it`s true. Out here on the mission especially, I know I`m a daughter of God, but sometimes I forget I am also my Dad`s daughter and he`s just as willing to do everything for me as is our Father in Heaven. LOVE YOU DADDY!!!!!!

I want to share with you what happened on the plane ride from America to here. I would almost say that plane was a sacred place. When you think about it, there were 31 of us senkyoshi (missionaries) on that plane. Not only are we senkyoshi but we are atarashi senkyoshi (new missionaries), so we`re new, excited and eager! I sat in the middle seat on the middle row between 2 Nihonjin (native Japanese). During those 12 or so hours, there was A LOT of missionary work happenin! Lamb Choro taught the old guy next to him how to pray. Three other missionaries and I gave out Book of Mormons (in Nihongo, of course!) and almost everyone passed out pass-along cards. If there`s ever been an excited bunch of missionaries, it would be us! I talked with both Nihonjin next to me; I read the Book of Mormon with the man to my left. The woman to my right wasn`t interested in our message, but she was intrigued and grateful that we would travel such a long way to learn their difficult language. She could tell how enthused and happy all of us were and I testified to her that it`s because of Christ that we feel this way. I respectfully encouraged her that, if she ever sees anyone with black tags like mine with Christ`s name on it, she should stop them and talk to them. I gave her a pass-along card with my email and the mission office`s number to call if she ever needed anything. I talked to a man from Nashville who has a rock band that travels everywhere to teach English and sing songs about Christ. He told me, "We only teach about Christ for 2 weeks -- you teach for 2 years! Thank you so much for spreading Christ`s love!" He was awesome. No, he wasn`t interested in our message either but he definitely walked away with a deeper appreciation for missionaries.

As soon as we landed, I heard Giles Choro and a bunch of missionaries say, "We`re HOME!" And that`s exactly how I felt. There are millions of people within the boundaries of our new home -- the Japan Kobe Mission -- and they all deserve the Gospel.

 President Zinke and Sister Zinke are amazing! President Zinke is a man who functions by revelation, as should we all. He is truly inspired by God and he makes sure we know that we all can be, too! 

The first couple days were awesome ... lots of English, ha! And then we met our trainers, said our goodbyes to others in our group, and I was off to my first area, Akashi [which is just west of Kobe].
Hayashi Shimai is the poor Nihonjin who has to train me! She`s so...there are no words to describe her, but I will try to tell you about my wonderful trainer who right now probably has the hardest job in the world. Hayashi Shimai is from Sendai (I think where the earthquake was a few years back). She's awesome, mom. The mission home should've sent you pics of us, and also one of me with the Zinkes...so hopefully you get that soon because I know you want pics but I didn't take any. All my friends have them on their cameras..they`ll have to send them to me and I`ll send them to you eventually...xoxo.
Hayashi Shimai really knows what she`s doing. Even better, she really knows where the source of her strength comes from, too! We pray before we do anything, and I love that. Her English is awesome (yayy!)! And get this: we actually went to BYU-Hawaii at the same time, and she was a tour guide at PCC! She told me she remembers seeing me dancing and running around at work. Of course I felt bad cuz we dancers are literally running all the time so we don't always get to know those who do other jobs like tour guides...but still, it's a small world, right? I can't tell you enough how grateful I am for Hayashi Shimai. I know this is God's work and I know I can't do this alone. Sometimes when I`m pondering things about my mission I feel a sudden burst of new energy, or a comforting feeling, or a scripture will pop into my mind, and I know that I get these promptings because I have so many people praying for me. The power of prayer is real! Make your prayers as specific as you possibly can with all the faith you can muster and you`ll unlock the powers of Heaven, I promise! I've been learning the importance of specific prayers and I think it could really benefit me! When you pray for me, please pray that I will know the Nihongo for my next lesson. Pray that I will be able to remember my surroundings and be open to being guided by the Spirit. Also thank God for giving me an amazing companion who helps me with my Nihongo. She really is an answer to many long prayers! I told her that, too. I told her that I had been praying for my trainer ever since I got my call. And my prayers have been answered with Hayashi Shimai. She's so awesome, Mom. No need to worry, I`m in good hands...I`m in the Lord's hands.

I didn't need to buy a new bike so they're taking out a bike rental fee. It's like $150 for the next 2 months, so cheaper than I expected. I did lots of shopping today and everything here is so expensive, so I`ll definitely be skinny when I get home. Thank you for the skirt - I can't wait to get it. I thought my skirts were long enough coming here, but riding around for the last few days on a bike, I realize how short my skirts are...yikes!

My 2nd day in Akashi, we went to teach a lesson but she wasn't home. We had to travel pretty far by bike, too, so we decided to come back on Sunday. We went back yesterday and same thing...she wasn't home. I was semi-relieved because that meant I didn't have to talk :) but I was mostly sad that she missed an opportunity to hear the message God knows she needs to hear. We`ll keep trying! This week we have a lot of streeting and finding (knocking doors, stopping people at parks, etc.) so I`ll have a lot of opportunities to open my mouth! 

Everyday I have less and less time which is kind of a ridiculous thought because I just got here, but I can already feel the urgency of this work. I hope you all know how much I love this Gospel. Most times I feel totally lost here but I know I'm not really because I have the Gospel. I`m so blessed that I`ll always be able to carry it with me no matter where I go. I am so grateful for family and friends that have been so supportive! You`re all in my prayers. Keep Nihon in your prayers please! There`s lots of work to be done! Second Nephi 7:7-8 has helped me prepare for this week. I hope it helps you prepare for yours, too!

"For the Lord God will help me, therefore shall I not be confounded. Therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. And the Lord is near, and he justifieth me. Who will contend with me? Let us stand together. Who is mine adversary? Let him come near me, and I will smite him with the strength of my mouth."

The work is working!

Heimuli Shimai

Shout-outs: Love everybody's emails especially those who send me nice long ones for my birthday! I love all my boys and I`m glad they all love each other. Please tell Pua and Sifa I love them, too, and really do appreciate them. Tell Coach J that I said hi back, and tell him to keep giving Housty a hard time. Tell the extended fams that I love them so much!!!! Everyday one of the cousins pops into my head and I`m thinking about them...even the babies! I love you all. I miss you all. But I love this work so much! Wish I had more time but this Japanese keyboard is going crazy and I don't know how to fix it...oh well...all my love to the boys! Love you, mama!

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