Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My last email


My last email…can't believe it!!!  My email is coming so late because for my last pray we all went to an INCREDIBLE aquarium 2 hours away and got to spend the day doing that.  IT WAS SOOO FUN!!!  I will send some pics, oh my gosh.  I wish you all could of seen how amazing it was, apparently it is one of the biggest tanks in the world???

This last week was craaazy! Nakamotos baptism was scheduled for Saturday, however, we got a call on Thursday from the zone leaders informing us that the temple president of Fukuoka passed away and they would be holding his funeral at OUR church, ALL day Saturday so we would either have to postpone Nakamoto's baptism or do it a day early.  It was way stressful, but we got it all figured out and decided to do it on Friday and all went well :) He was so cute, super nervous, but way prepared!!!  He received the holy ghost on Sunday and is going to be receiving the priesthood this upcoming Sunday!  Gosh, love him to death, I'm way sad to be leaving.  The next time I see him will probably be in heaven. :( but that's okay, I'm excited for that day!

About two weeks ago we found a girl on the street who spoke perfect English, (has been living in America for the last 5 years)  converted to Christianity and the first thing she said to us was "I want to become a missionary!"  She was soooo soooo nice. I was so amazed at how brightly the light of Christ was in her countenance when we were talking to her, I offered her a Book of Mormon and she said "Oh yeah! I know some mormons, I've been wanting one of these books, I have some questions!"  We were able to meet with her for the first time yesterday at the church and we talked for 2 hours!  Her name is Alini.  She told us her conversion story and how she came to know about the Savior.  Her mother is half Filipino and I guess when Alini was younger she was super rebellious and didn't believe in God at all.  Her parents shipped her back over to the Philippines and its there that she first heard about God and Jesus Christ.  She was talking to a friend about God and this friend told her that she was a sinner and because of her sins she deserves to go to hell, but because of Jesus Christ, she can go to Heaven, and it was from that point on that she started believing in God.  As I was listening to her tell me all of this I was shocked that this is what she was taught and believes concerning Jesus Christ….she is a Born Again Christian.  They believe that its only through the grace of God that you are saved and if you just confess with all your heart that Jesus is the son of God, you are saved and then become "born again" she said. " I have complete assurance that when I die I am going to Heaven."  I just sat quietly and listened to her speak.  I was praying so hard that the Lord would direct my words, I knew I was going to need to choose my words wisely otherwise it would probably turn into a bible bash…God answered my prayer and he guided the whole conversation, I taught from the Bible and was able to teach her about the need for a restoration.  The interesting thing about Born Again Christians is they don't believe that Jesus is their Savior because they have received a testimony through the Holy Ghost, or any kind of feeling, they only believe because the Bible says so.  Because we are human, and imperfect we have the capacity to deceive ourselves…so they don't go off their own feelings,  so in their minds the only real thing they can rely to know the truth is the Bible. Its actually really quite crazy…but I just testified hard core that a testimony can only come through the power of the holy ghost.  Nothing else.  And we can only know of truth if we ask God.  Anyways, there were many more things discussed, I can tell you about it later.  It was a really interesting conversation. I know God led her to us and I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to bare such a strong testimony of my knowledge of the Restored Gospel.  I learned so much from the experience and my testimony was strengthened as always.

I am waaay sad to be going home.  Last Sunday was hard, but I knew that it wasn't the end…I feel like I'm coming back to Japan again one day.  And the relationships I have formed will continue on even after I come home so its okay.  I'm looking forward to the future :) Just as the Savior commands us to do!

Well, I love you all, can't believe its come and gone so quickly.  I hope to be a different and changed person than I was when I left. :)  I think I am.  But only because of the power of the Atonement, I love my Savior, I love these people.  Thank you for all your love, prayers and support!
I'll save all my "really profound words" for my talk on Sunday ;)  Love you all.
Love Sharp Shimai

This place was AMAZING!

Nakamoto San's Baptism

Kashiwa's beautiful whiteboard masterpiece

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


Children of God

August 31st


This week was a little crazy, we had some unexpected things come up with Nakamoto San in his final baptismal interview, but we've got it all sorted out and he is still able to receive baptism this saturday, i will definitely send pictures.  My talk yesterday went well, Kashiwa helped me a lot with making sure I didn't sound like a fool with my terrible grammar haha.  After church we went and met with a new investigator, and he committed to come to church next Sunday yay!  After church we went to a dinner appointment at a really strong members house with all the missionaries, it was way fun!!  They asked me to bare my testimony at the end (I'm all testimonied out…haha).  Also we are to meet with an investigator that we haven't seen in a long time, she committed to come to church this Sunday too which was awesome.  Our mission president has asked all missionaries in the mission to get as many investigators at church on Sunday as possible.  AS a whole our mission has a goal to get 200 investigators this upcoming Sunday.  Maybe that doesn't sound like a lot, but for our mission it is haha. I'm excited to see us exceed it!

I don't have anything too exciting to update you on!  My appreciation for these people is growing deeper and deeper.  Yesterday as I looked out upon the congregation as I partook of the sacrament, I really felt as if I was in the midst of my own family members. They look nothing like me and we speak completely different cultures, but I felt so strongly that we were all children of God!!  Nothing can ever separate me from that knowledge.  I love these people, I feel strongly that I will return one day for some reason or another and I will be able to continue to do missionary work!  It might be 5 years or 40 years from now, but I will come back. :)  I love you all thank you for your prayers and support!  Keep praying for Nakamoto San that everything goes well! I will talk to you next week :)
Love, Sharp Shimai

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Keeping the Commandments

August 24th

Konnichiwa :)

This last week was a little bit stressful with Nakamoto.  We finished all the lessons and scheduled his baptismal interview for this Wednesday.  When we reviewed the baptismal interview questions with him he told us that a long time ago he had a little bit of a flirtatious thing happen with a woman before and after he was married…he made it sound like adultery but turns out, it wasn't anything.  Ha. When we taught him the ten commandments and taught "thou shalt not kill" he got the most serious look on his face and confessed that 50 years ago he was at a park and was playing with a dog and it fell into some water and he tried to get it out, but it died.  His Japanese is way hard to understand sooo I missed the whole part about it being a DOG, (thought it was a person) and the only thing I heard was "accidentally died…" everyone went silent and so I was freaking out…I turned to Kashiwa and was like "what died?!"  and she whispers…"Inu." Which means dog. hahaha it was so funny.  We had to explain that that commandment is referring to people.  I felt way bad because I kind of started to laugh, but he felt way bad about it.  Long story short, he is well prepared to be baptized and I feel is going to be a way strong member of the church :)

We weren't able to meet with our other investigators this week (its summer break right now for all the kids) so all the parents are spending time with their kids and don't want to meet with us ha.  But we found two new investigators (actually, one is from the elders) and then the other one we found, she is Filipino and catholic, but super nice and actually already had a Book of Mormon, she received it from a friend in the Philippines! So awesome.  So we are going to go visit her tonight. :) Wish us good luck!

There are a total of 8 missionaries serving in the same ward as me, and a family had all of us over for dinner last week, it was SO FUN! The mom actually does massage therapy and when I walked in and saw the table I was like wow…I miss that.  But anyways, she asked all of us why we decided to serve missions and I had a way awesome spiritual experience as I bore my testimony.  It hit me that my mission is almost over and I got really emotional.  I have to speak in sacrament next week and teach gospel principles class…so I have more opportunities to bare testimony to the members which I am happy about.  I always feel the spirit the strongest when I have opportunities to share what I know to be true.

One more thing.  Last week, President came down with the AP's and did interviews.  We have them about once every other transfer.  While president interviews all the missionaries in the zone, we receive training from the AP's.  I can't even describe in words the deep spiritual experience I had in that training.  I don't think I have ever felt the spirit that strong since I have been on my mission.  Kashiwa and I had the opportunity to do a role play lesson in front of everyone, and the spirit was so strong.  Afterwards I had an opportunity to share my testimony of the Book of Mormon and the spirit overcame me. At the end we all sang "more holiness give me."  (In Japanese) and I felt like we were sitting in the celestial room of the temple.  Heavenly Father was in the room. I seriously felt as if his arms were wrapped around me.  All I could do was cry because of the deep love that I was feeling.  It was so amazing!!! I won't forget it.

I love each of you! The church that we are all apart of is true!! It truly is the church of Jesus Christ! Only in this church and in following and keeping the commandments of God are we guaranteed true and lasting happiness.  Don't forget this! Love you all.
Sharp Shimai

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


I stopped this cute grandma on the street. I thought she was beautiful :) she was almost 90! She spoke a little english! yay‏

Random stranger I wanted a picture with. Beautiful Kimono :)‏

everyday views‏

Kwak Shimai

Kashiwa Shimai

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


August 17th


We had a really good week :)  We taught Nakamoto San the word of wisdom yesterday at church, and I was super nervous about it because I knew for sure that he drinks tea, and in the Japanese culture its a really big deal to them so I was a little nervous that there was going to be a problem.  We asked a recent married couple in our ward to join us, they are older, in their 40's or 50's and the husband is a recent convert of 4 years.  He kind of use to be an alcoholic but when he learned about the church, he was able to quit immediately.  We knew that he would bare a strong testimony for Nakamoto…when the lesson started Kashiwa and I were both really nervous, but as the spirit always does, it testified SO POWERFULLY of the truthfulness of the word of wisdom.  Kashiwa was telling a story in the lesson about a friend that struggled with the word of wisdom, and as she was talking i was OVERWHELMED with gratitude for having been taught this commandment at such a young age…an overwhelming love for my Mom and Dad came into my heart.  The deep gratitude that I felt in that moment is going to be hard to explain in words because it was such a spiritual experience.  I thought about the wonderful examples that my Mom and Dad have set for me in being so strong and never breaking this commandment.  Not even once.  And then even more gratitude came into my heart when I thought about the miracle it is that my Dad has never turned to alcohol given the fact that his father did.  God has blessed me and my family SO MUCH.  I felt it so strongly yesterday.  After Kashiwa was done testifying I expressed to Nakamoto how grateful I was for the word of wisdom and I knew that it was given to us from God.  It was given for the protection of not just our bodies, but for the family.  After the witness I received of that yesterday, (and many times before) that testimony will never leave me.  I feel like every commandment that has ever been given of God has been given MAINLY for the strengthening and protection of preserving the Family.  Everything in this church can be tied back to family :) love it.

Teaching him yesterday was such a spiritual experience for so many reasons.  God hears and answers our prayers.  Before we even asked Nakamoto San if he would follow the commandment he said "Mamorimasho!"  which means "Lets follow it" (or in other words: lets do this!)  Yay!!! Was a huge miracle!!  I love him :)

We met with Miyazaki San and it went really well, we are going to be meeting with her at a members house tomorrow, I think her and the member will hit it off, she is the relief society president and is way awesome so I think it will be good!  She felt the spirit really strong when she was with us.  She doesn't really believe in God, but we will change that tomorrow :)

We met with a young mom named Kamiya last week and it went sooo good!  Tears started to well up in her eyes when she expressed her gratitude for us.  We have only met her twice but she said "I want to be like you two! You seem so pure"…she put her hand to her heart and said " I feel something in my heart when you guys come." UMM OKAY SHES GOLDEN!  She's super cute and a way good mom.  Her kids are super cute too!  She told her husband about us and wanted to take a picture of us so she could reassure him that we are girls, not boys coming over haha.  I will keep you updated on her progress.

I can't believe my time is almost up, it doesn't feel real.  Kwak Shimai (MTC companion) is going home this week for school she got special permission to go home in the middle of the transfer, but I was able to see her yesterday for the last time (at least on the mission) and it started to hit me that things are coming to an end.  Super sad.  I was reflecting on how much I love the people that I have met here.  Especially all the wonderful missionaries.  I remember when I got set apart, President Moss said that I would come to love my companions as my own sisters and I would make eternal friendships on my mission.  I have definitely felt that that has happened!!!!!  I love these people and I love my mission!  Coming home is going to be way hard, I can already feel how hard its going to be, but I know that all things have their time and place and my mission will have served its purpose in my life and all the lives I came for and will continue to bless me for the rest of my life…which in and of itself is a great reason for EVERYONE to go on a mission. :)  Maybe I'm selfish haha… Im just excited for all the post blessings as well!!!!

God lives.  He hears and answers our prayers.  I KNOW with all my heart that families are sacred, and the most important thing in this life and in eternity.  I know marriage between a man and a woman is ORDAINED. OF .GOD.  I don't care what anyone says.  That is the truth, and I will testify of it for the rest of my life.  I love this Church.  It is Gods church.  I LOVE the commandments. I love the plan of Happiness.  I love the Book of Mormon.  I love our LIVING prophet.  I love God and his son, Jesus Christ.  I know they love us.  I know they live.
Stay strong.  Be examples and let your light so shine!!!!
I love you all.
Sharp Shimai

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Working Miracles!

August 10th


This week went by really fast and slow, we had some trials, but overcame them! I am looking forward to going to the temple AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.  I think I will get to go through the temple right before I go home, which I am way excited for. I have only gone twice my whole mission, I miss the temple probably more than anything. It is such a blessing!!  

This last week we saw lots of miracles! We found a woman named miyazaki san who we are meeting with tomorrow. How we found her was really crazy! We were looking for a less actives house that we had never been to before- according to our record, this person lived in an apartment in door number 202. When we found the right apartment and checked the name on the mail box of 202, it was a different name than the one of the Less active that we were looking for. WE decided to house the apartment building anyways. We went to the top floor and nobody was home, we went to the next floor and knocked on a door and a really nice woman answered and talked to us for about ten minutes. The first thing she said was `I dont have interest` But as he always does, the spirit filled out mouths with all the right words and by the end she asked US when we could meet her again. She said she really wanted to learn more about our church. Lots of missionaries (from other churches) have knocked on her door and she has always told them she didnt have interest, but she said when she saw us she felt like she needed to listen. YAY for the light of Christ and the Holy Ghost working miracles!!! During our whole visit I felt overwhelming love for her! When we left, Kashiwa shimai turned to me and said `Sharp shimai! She lives in number 202!!!` 

The less active that we were looking for moved out about two months ago and miyazaki san moved in. To the same apartment. Number 202. Miracle or WHAT?

The Lord truly does know us and will place us in peoples paths at the right time and in the right way. I have a huge testimony of this. Another huge testimony that I have is the need for Faith in the Savior Jesus Christ and Repentance. My life has changed as I have recognized my weaknesses and repented of my mistakes since I have come on my mission. I know the healing and forgiving power in the atonement is real. However, receiving those blessings are only accessed upon the principle of repentance. WE need to repent everyday! I am so grateful for the companionship of the Holy Ghost. I would be lost without him. I love each of you and want you to know that God loves you and knows you by name. Call upon him and receive all the blessings that he has in store for you!! He will bless you as you follow the example of his son and seek to love all people and repent when you fall short. I testify that that is true.
I love you all!! Have a wonderful week!
Sharp Shimai