Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas in Japan!

Merry Christmas!

Okay, love you all!  Have a Merry Christmas, ill send more pics later, we are going to a park tonight that has a ton of lights, so I should have some cool pictures from that!  Loved hearing all your voices today :) Stay strong. The church is true!

Love, Sharp Shimai

This is our first Christmas party!

Cake making contest, I made this one :)
This is Muranaga San! (the one that was referred by her friend as we sang to her.) Her friend is on the far left. Muranagas son is the boy! They all came to the party :)

I assumed that you sent me a horse :)…The branch showered us with presents!!

Christmas morning yay!  Thank you :) Love you all!!!

Sister Pinzon and Katelyn

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

What a Blessing!

December 16th


I was able to watch the Christmas devotional by the first presidency yesterday!  It was soo good, loved all the music!

SO! This last week we were really blessed by the members, they are always so nice to us and they give us so much food! One member always goes to the Costco all the way in Fukuoka and buys us a huge jar of peanut butter, nutella and tortilla chips. Mmmm bless her soul!


We met with Kaneyasu San for a little bit last week, we didn't teach her a lesson we just dropped by to say hello in the Genkon woo woo!  And she doesn't hate us so that's good.  I don't know if I mentioned what happened the last time we had a lesson with her…we taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ again, and brought up baptism and she kept saying that it was really difficult for her to receive baptism because of her husbands family…there was a bit of a language barrier going on when she was explaining this , and me being impatient and assuming that her reason was Buddhism, just like everyone else's excuse, I said 'well, if you know its true, then you should be baptized'…she kept saying that she couldn't, and kept saying something about her husbands brothers and I said THEY NEED THE GOSPEL TOO!…i didn't yell at her at all, but I was getting a little frustrated.  She quickly rapped the lesson up with us and didn't reschedule the appointment like she normally does.

In district meeting last week I found out what a common problem here in Japan is…if a woman is married to the Oldest Son in the family, then she CANNOT be anything but Buddhist because they have to carry on the culture and all the not so great things that come with being Buddhist.  She can't change, or become anything else if the husband doesn't so THAT'S what she was talking about her husbands brothers…he is the oldest in his family, and therefore she can't get baptized or his family will shun her.  HOWEVER when she took the discussions 20 years ago there were pictures of her AND her husband taking the discussions with missionaries.  But I found out that her husband had and probably still has a drinking problem and that's why they stopped the lessons…when they found out about the word of wisdom they stopped meeting with the missionaries. SO CRAPPY. And sad.  We aren't giving up though! We are doing 9 days of Christmas and leaving little gifts on their doorstep…I hope this softens her husbands heart and allows us to get to know the BOTH of them not just her.  Miracles can happen :)

This unfortunate little tradition that is in the Buddhist culture was also the same reason another one of our investigators didn't continue the lessons with us. Her husband is also the oldest.  The most frustrating thing is that they DON'T even believe in or practice Buddhism.  Its sad that they are stuck in something that they don't even believe. I'm grateful for the ones that convert anyway regardless of what their family is going to think.

I am sooo grateful to know the gospel, accept it, and be able to LIVE it because its MY choice.  What a blessing this is in my life, and I hope in the life of yours.  Please don't take this wonderful gospel for granted!  There are many people here who I know would accept this gospel without a blink of an eye but because of cultural pressures, they are not getting baptized.  Breaks my heart.  The good news is that this is the Lords work and he is preparing the way for the elect to be gathered in and those who hear his voice will readily accept it.  They are far and few in between,  but I know they are out there waiting!  I love this gospel, my appreciation for it grows every single day.  I am so blessed. I am grateful for the Christmas season to reflect even more on my blessings and the wonderful gift of the Atonement.  Remember that this is the real meaning of Christmas!  I love you all!

Sharp Shimai

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Lord's Direction


Well, another week gone, time is flying I can't get over it!  Thanks for all the advice on companionships, I am definitely learning a thing or two about effective communication and I'm so grateful for it!  Sister Pinzon and I get along GREAT though, I haven't laughed this much with a companion since I have come on my mission, she is amazing!!

Sounds like you all had a nice Thanksgiving, we had a really fun party with our zone.   We ate chicken, not quite turkey, but it was still good!  Afterwards we went to some members houses and ate more food…wanted to throw up because I was so full, but yeah-such is life.  Happens all the time ha!

WE saw SO MANY miracles last week!  Particularly on fast Sunday!  We had 5 investigators show up to church!!  SUCH A MIRACLE!!!  We are trying to have two baptisms on the 21st…it will be a miracle if we do!

We found a new investigator last week on the street who met missionaries over 40 years ago, she quickly wrote down her name, number and address and said "yeah, if I'm home you can come over!"
we didn't know how to find her house, I new the general area but that was it…when we went to go look for it, by some MIRACLE the lord directed us straight to her house.  We found it, but she wasn't home…we decided to do some housing at some nearby apartments and come back in 2 hours or so and in the meantime we found another investigator!  His name is Fugimoto, he was really nice and he said he wanted to know if God existed.  We gave him a Book of Mormon and we are going back next Sunday!  Afterwards, we went back to the other ladies house and RIGHT as we walked up to the house the car pulled into the driveway.  She let us inside and we gave her a short lesson on the plan of salvation!  She was SOOOO nice, she gave us a bunch of oranges and let us meet her husband who is also really nice.  We are going back next week and she is making us some kind of Japanese lunch.  We are grateful she is so nice and willing to have us back!!!

We are teaching Muranaga tonight (she is the one that met with missionaries over a year ago and already had a Book of Mormon and pamphlets) she is really cute, and I feel that she has been prepared by God to receive baptism, we are extending a baptism date for the 28th tonight. I REALLLY hope she accepts it!!

I don't have much time, but there are many exciting things happening in Ube! I am so grateful that I am still here to be apart of it!  Kaneyasu's lessons have kind of stopped which makes me really sad because I love her so much, but we are going to try and visit her tonight and bring her cookies, we'll see what happens.  I want her to come to church so bad.

Anyways, I love you all so very much! Thanks for all the updates, I have to go!
Love you all,
Sister Sharp

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Count all your blessings!

November 25

Hello! I have no time at all I am sorry, so here are some quick updates!

I am still in UBE!!! I was NOT expecting that at all…for some reason President really trusts me with all these beans…if he only knew how much i was corrupting them maybe he would stop sending them! ;)

She is sooo great! She is 26 (looks 18 though) she was born in Columbia and moved to Tennessee with her whole family about 12 years ago.  She knows perfect English but she has a Hispanic accent and I love it.  She got a degree in Asian studies and lived in Tokyo doing study abroad for about 4 months 6 years ago. She studied Japanese for about 2 years as well and can read a little bit of Kanji which is the best thing ever!!!  She isn't fluent or anything, but she similes ahead of where I was when I was a bean!  She is so sweet and cute.  We get along great, i think it is because of her age.  She brings a maturity to the work that I have desperately been needing to feel I think.  Heavenly Father knows me :) Her name is Sister Pinzon!


We did meet with that new investigator last week! Her name is Muranaga Akami.  She is soooo great, we are meeting with her again tomorrow!  We taught her about the nature of God and taught her how to pray.  Sister Pinzon and I both bore strong testimonies on the power of prayer and we feel confident that she will start praying on her own. She works a lot this upcoming month so coming to church will be difficult, but we know God is going to perform some miracles!  We are meeting with Kaneyasu in about 90 minutes, I am way excited for that, we are going to teach her about the holy ghost a little more and talk to her about coming to church and baptism.  Hope she commits. We saw her at the grocery store today and it was great :) her mom is getting really sick, I guess and she takes care of her each weekend so coming to church is a problem, so we'll see what happens.

WE GOT ELDERS IN UBE!  there are now 6 of us! The elders last area was Okinawa, and he is on his 4th transfer.  The other one is brand new and has no idea what he is doing…but that's ok…hopefully he'll adjust quickly.

Can't believe I only have 11 months left…ahhh don't remind me!  Its going too fast :( I talked to Buhler Shimai on the phone the other day and she is going home after this transfer!!  THAT IS SO CRAZY!!!  Gosh, I love her.

I have to go meet with a member right now and then go to Kaneyasu's, but I love you all! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, count all your blessings!  Thank the Lord that we all know the truth about his beautiful plan of Salvation :)

Thank you for your prayers, they sustain me and keep me going I am sure!  Love you all. HAPPY THANKSGIVING! (we are having a zone party this thursday but we won't be Turkey, oh well, next year!)

Love, Sharp Shimai

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Right places at the right time!

November 18


Don't have much time I'm sorry!  But today is transfer call day and I will be getting a phone call at some point telling me whether or not I'm staying in Ube or going somewhere else.  Last week was crazy, Smotherman had to go home because of her foot.  She didn't meet the missionary physical requirements anymore so she left last week.  Since Thursday Sister Nelson and Sister Southworth and I have become a threesome.

We saw soooo many miracles last week.  Too many to write about.  I have time to write about one!  The three of us were housing an apartment building Sunday night and we met a really nice woman who had been to a catholic church and was a little bit familiar with christianity.  She  talked about how she loved hymns, and so we asked if we could sing a hymn for her in her genkon (doorway) and in the middle of singing she stopped us and said "there is a woman who lives directly below me on the next floor who has interest in hour church!  Im going to go call her right now!" Whhhhaaaat??????? SO CRAZY!!  She called her and two minutes later this woman came up to the floor we were on, and gave us all her information.  She said she met missionaries a long time ago and received a Book of Mormon form them and had some pamphlets.  She talked about watching movie about Christ.  She has four kids and is married!  We talked with her for a little bit and she said that we could probably come back this friday.  We left and I couldn't believe what a miracle it was that that happened.  Heavenly Father never ceases to amaze me, he really does place us in the right places at the tight time.

I know the work is true.  I am a little anxious to see what this transfer holds, I don't really have any idea
what is going to happen but next week you'l all know if I have transferred or not!

Sorry  its so short this week, all the missionaries in my district are traveling to Ube right now and they will all probably want to use the computer too so I'm making it short!

I love you all!

Love, Sharp Shimai

Sunday, November 10, 2013


MTC peeps for life!

Sister Kwak

Little sneak peak into what its like riding on the trains at rush hour SO MANY PEOPLE!!!

Planting Seeds


Another week gone by! I don't have much time to write, so i'll update you on all the miracles we saw last week

We found 3 new investigators last week, and about 4 new young families that all said we could come back if they were home.
We have Nakamura San, Yutani San, and Kyoshi San. Two of them are older men who aren't married. One has a 20yr old in Tokoyo, the other one isn't married and has no kids.  The other one has 2 kids that are 18 and 20.  The one that we met last week at the festival is way nice and he invited us into his home. We tried teaching home the restoration but he wasn't super interested in it…I think he mainly thinks americans are cool ha.  However he said that he wanted to come to church sometime so we will keep in contact with him.  We met his wife and she was really nice too.  We are meeting with the other two this week so I will let you know how their progress goes.

One of the potentials that we met is form Indonesia and he speaks English!! YAY!  He has a young family and is married.  We need to go back to him this week to drop off English materials because he can't read Kanji.  He was really nice though and knew a little bit about Christ.  When we asked if we could come back he seemed more than willing to allow us to drop by. YAY!!! Miracles!!!

Kaneyasu's lesson went really well last week.  We are teaching her again tonight and we are going to ask again if she will find a way to come to church..we also really need to start teaching her with a member so I hope she will allow us to start coming with a member, she will start progressing so much faster!  She kept her commitment form last week yay! She read 3rd Nephi 11 1-17 its when the Savior come to the Nephites.  She understood it, and committed to read the rest of the chapter.  Before our lesson with her started she pulled out some old photos for us to look at and they were the photos of the missionaries that she had met 20 years ago!! The dates on them said 1994, SO crazy!! Her whole family met with them, her kids and her husband were in all the pictures with them.  so that was sooo great to see.  The lord has been preparing her for 20 years.  I was saying last week to sister Southworth how it would be so cool to be able to meet her old missionaries and tell them that their efforts were not wasted, and that they planted huge seed for us..and then she pulled out their pictures and I was so happy!! miracle

Since that experience I have realized that probably more times often then not, missionaries will probably never see the majority of the fruit of their labors.  We are planting seeds that might not start growing until 20 or 30 years down the road when the next missionaries knock on that persons door.  Its comforting to know that the Lord really is in charge of this work.  He knows exactly what he is doing and has a time and season appointed for all people and all things.

I love the gospel!!!

I love you all sorry I don't have more time.  I will send some pictures!!
Love you,
Sharp Shimai

Monday, November 4, 2013

Directed by the Spirit

Mina San Konnichiwa!

Yep, another week gone by fastttt.  There is only about two weeks left in this transfer and then I'll be on transfer 5 WHAT?!  Sometimes I feel like this is going by waaay to fast and I'm not learning everything I need to be learning because time is moving so quickly...and then there are other times when I feel the complete opposite. Mission time is so weird!! Anyways-

This last week we weren't really in Ube, we traveled to Iwakuni and stayed the night there on Tuesday so that we could make it to Hiroshima the next morning by 10 for our zone conference I got to see KWAK Shimai!!!  Yayy!!! I love her!!  I haven't seen her since we landed in Japan- her bean area was Okinawa but last transfer she transferred to Hiroshima.  I was so excited to see her, I saw a few other elders form my district that I hadn't seen yet either, it was so fun! :)  I will send pictures next week.  We were also in Hofu so support them in their Halloween party it was so fun! There was so many ADORABLE Japanese kids...I was having kidnapping tendencies the whole night!  THEY ARE SO CUTE!!!!! Gosh, I can't even talk about it.  Wish I could hold one of them :( JUST ONE!!! Stupid rules...

Sometimes I can't believe I am still in Ube.  Its pretty rare to spend this many transfers in your bean area..but here I am-the work here is slow moving so it gets a little redundant at times and it would be nice to have a change, but I'm hanging in there. Sister Southworth is is opening up little by little so that is good to see.  sisters Smotherman got hit by a car last week and fractured a small bone in her foot so she is out for about 3 weeks or something like that...her and Sister Nelson can't really go out and work because Smotherman is on crutches, so thats a big bummer and crappy for them.  Im not really sure what is going to happen in the next few weeks or how its going to affect transfer calls.  I guess we will have to wait and see.  Oh, and if your freaking out about me getting hit by a car...don't worry its just a part of mission life haha ;) if anything serious ever happens to me I'll let you know. So far I have been very protected, i have seen miracles, angels are watching over us for sure I'll leave it at that haha

Not to much to update on, but last week we taught Kaneyasu the plan of salvation using some cute picture cut outs and it went SO well.  She really really felt the spirit. And I don't think I have ever taught a lesson so directed by the spirit before since I've been on my mission.  Words and thoughts were coming in Japanese, I didn't even have to think about it.  It was such a miracle!! I am learning that the interpretation! I realized I am not going to understand every individual Japanese word that people are saying to me, but the spirit gives me just enough information to INTERPRET correctly what they are saying...I am fine with just getting main ideas!  It was such a blessing.

Last night in Ube there was a huge festival going on and so Sister Southworth and I decided to go out and promote eikaiwa and try to get a foot in with talking about the gospel..we had one man come up to us and ask if we were missionaries and we said yes, he had met missionaries a long time ago and he said we were welcome into his home anytime.  He was so nice, he gave us his number, address and his wires phone number as well.  We gave him a Book of Mormon and said that we would call him this week.  He was really great and unusually nice...we had been praying to teach a family so this answered out prayers, he had three kids.  My only concern is that there is a slight possibility that he could have been drinking because of the festival, and was really nice due to that??  I couldn't really tell, but i guess we will find out this week when we call!  Either way he still gave us his information and it was a huge miracle.

Satan is working hard on the hearts of Japan right now.  Last week was probably the roughest week we've had in a long time while we were out streeting, and housing.  People were really really rude to us...ruder than I have ever seen since I've been in Ube.  It makes me sad and a little discouraged, but there isn't anything we can do to help people who simply aren't prepared to receive the gospel.  Heavenly Father knows how hard we are working and he will bless us for our efforts.  This week will be filled with miracles I can feel it.

I read about an incredible miracle this morning in Ether 3...every time I read this chapter it opens my eyes to the power of faith.  Please read it if you have the time.

I love you all.  Thank you for your prayers, love and support. I am grateful for my wonderful family who is such a great example to me.  Your prayers and faith keep me going.  Thank you!
Love, Sharp Shimai

I love the Book of Mormon

October 28, 2013


This week went by pretty quick.  We didn't have any mind blowing experiences, but we did find a new investigator.  Sister Buhler and I housed into her my first transfer as we were housing around a less actives neighborhood...she was really nice back then, but didn't accept a return appointment.  We were visiting the same area last week and we housed into her again.  I remembered the house as soon as I saw it.  She was home, and she accepted a return appointment for Thursday!  We have to take the train to her house, and then its a 20 minute walk from the station, but she's really nice so it will be worth it.  Tonight we are meeting with Kanyeyasu.  Last weeks lesson went well, except for one small little detail...she ALWAYS goes out of town on the weekends to go take care of her aging mother.  She also mentioned that she couldn't enter into a christian church when we extended the invite for her to come...something to do with a Buddhist belief and is she came she would be betraying her husband, culture, family...etc.  Same old excuse i have heard a million times.  So I am not too worried about it, as we continue to meet with her I know the Lord will soften her heart if its her time to accept the gospel.

Last week we also taught our Chinese investigator.  Nimo San.  We watched the restoration dvd in Chinese and I just say that...I AM SO GRATEFUL TO BE SPEAKING JAPANESE instead of Chinese!!!! AHHHH!!! Things could be harder!  The language barrier with him is still an issue. He does know way more Japanese than I thought though.  He said a prayer in front of us FINALLY for the first time, and it was great.  He said when he knows that Joseph Smith is a prophet he will get baptized..but he doesn't always read or pray so its obviously going to be hard to get an answer.  We are working on that.

We ran into our other investigator Marin on the street last week.  She is back from Hawaii YAY!!  She said she is coming to eikaiwa this Wednesday so we will hopefully be able to set up a teaching appointment with her then, she is busy with work and school but she is still really interested which is great. Hmmm...that is about all the updates I have for you this week!

I read some really great chapters this last week in the Book of Mormon...some of my favorite things were:

2nephi 25 "The right way is to BELIEVE IN CHRIST"
Alma 5 "Are you stripped of Pride?"
Mormon 9 "God is a GOD OF MIRACLES"
Alma 11 "This restoration shall come to all"

I LOVE THE BOOK OF MORMON!!!  It's so so so clear.  It outlines the gospel of Jesus Christ SO CLEARLY and Plainly.  I love it. I encourage you to all look to the Book of Mormon for comfort and answers to life's questions.  I promise you that there is not a single problem in this life that can't either be solved or answered by reading the Book of Mormon daily.  SO PLEASE read it. DAILY.

I love you all!!! Thank you for all the support, love, and prayers!!

Happy Halloweenie!!! :)

Love, Sharp Shimai

Monday, October 21, 2013


                           Fun PDAYS from the last 2 or 3 weeks!

                      This is what the bowling shoes look like in Japan :)

Try not to laugh...this is what Japanese Business women use to wear in the olden days!

           An OLD samurai's house. Sister Nelson, Smotherman, Southworth

                                           Samurai house

This place was SO BEAUTIFUL! Ancient Japanese Gardens...that is a shallow pond behind me

                      HAHA. My zone leader on the left, and district leader on the right

                     I LOVE THESE JAPANESE KIDS!!!!!

Christ is..LOVE

WOW! What a miraculous email!!!

Today in my personal study I read in 1st Peter 2:21-25....

"Christ left us an example that we should follow his steps..he did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth. Who when was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.  (my favorite part)...*FOR HE THAT WILL LOVE LIFE, AND SEE GOOD DAYS, let him REFRAIN his TONGUE from EVIL, and his lips that they speak NO GUILE: let him eschew evil and DO GOOD; let him seek PEACE,  and ENSUE it."

This scriptures spoke so powerfully to me today.  For he that will love life, and SEE good days, let him refrain his tongue from EVIL, and his lips that they speak NO GUILE, let him SEEK PEACE and ENSUE it.

In order to become like Christ, we need to acquire his attributes.  From these short verses we learn SO MUCH about the person Christ is...

1.He did no sin.  2. Guile was not found in his mouth. 3. When he was hated, he turned the other cheek. (he reviled not) how do we act when we are offended or feel like someone has wronged us? 4. When he suffered, he threatened not...(do we sometimes threaten God, or Curse God for our unfortunate circumstances? Do we hate those that wrong us, and seek to make others lives miserable?) 5. He judged righteously.  We must all make choices and decisions in life, but we have been given the spirit of God to judge RIGHTEOUSLY.  Do not judge that which is of evil to be of God, or that which is of God to be evil.  How do we see others? Are we judging them through foggy windows because we don't have all the facts?

FOR he that WILL (emphasis on *WILL*..loving life is an option) love life...AND SEE (seeing with optimistic eyes is an option) GOOD DAYS, let his refrain his TONGUE from evil.

What does this mean to you?

I learned that the number one attribute of Christ is..LOVE. The amount of love we have in our Heart for God and for those around us will be manifest in our speech, thoughts, mannerisms, and deeds.  IT starts in your heart.  Whatever is in your heart is what you will say. Whatever you say is what you will do. Whatever you do is WHO you will BECOME.

Our goal in life is to BECOME like WHO? Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  It's simple. Apply the doctrine of Jesus Christ, and we can achieve all that God sent us here to do and become.

What is the doctrine??  1. Faith in Jesus Christ. 2. Repentance. 3. Baptism. 4. Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost. 5. Enduring to the end.

I encourage each of you to study these sections in PREACH MY GOSPEL for further light on how they all connect and how we can apply them.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is the 3rd lesson in preach my gospel, PLEASE PLEASE read it. After, you can turn to the 'Christlike attributes Chapter' and study that and understand more fully what role the Atonement of Jesus Christ plays in all of this.  Seek  understanding, and the Lord will bless you.


The lord blessed us with a new investigator this week.  Its an older couple and they were a referral from a member. WE have an appointment with them this week! My companion is slowly opening up.  She is struggling with mission life, and I think she would rather be back home 90 percent of the time, but I feel like she will adjust shortly. She is willing, and that is all I care about.  She is going to become a wonderful missionary!!

The lord blesses us and guides us every single day to people who have been prepared.  They are not accepting our message, but so many people are listening.  There is nothing I can do after I have bare my testimony, the rest is in the lords hands.

We are teaching a boy named Nimo San, he is from China, and there is a huge language barrier because he doesn't really speak Japanese or Chinese, but we are meeting with him every week and he came to church for the 3rd time now so i will update you with any miracles we see with him.

We are teaching another woman named kanye Yasu, and she is AMAZING!!! I love her so much! We read the introduction of the Book of Mormon together in our last lesson, and the spirit bore a powerful testimony. We are meeting with her tomorrow, i'll let you know how it goes!

Last Pday we went sight seeing with members, I will attach a few fun pictures! I love you all so very much!!! Thank you for you light, love, and support.

Sharp Shimai

Friday, October 18, 2013

Every member a missionary

October 14th

Sorry this is so late, we spent our whole pday with a family in our ward, they took us sight seeing and we didn't have any time to do anything else- however I LOVE them and their kids so it made up for stealing all our time ha...don't be surprised when i come home with a Japanese baby in my suitcase..I want to kidnap them ALL. They are sooooo cute. AHHHH!!!!

So. Ready for the big news??

On our way to bowling last week (it was way fun by the way) I got a call from my President...he asked me if... I WOULD TRAIN A NEW BEAN AGAIN.  I was so surprised!!!  That was the LAST possible scenario that I would have guessed would be happening.  There were only three sisters coming in this transfer alongside 27 new elders, so I didn't think I would be called upon to train since I had just trained Sister Nelson...however, I was wrong. Ha. My first thought was...'What is he thinking!?' My next thought was...'If the Lord thinks I can...then I I agreed to train agree.

Her name is Sister SOUTHWORTH, she is from Kaysville Utah, is 20 years old and is having a little bit of a struggle adjusting to the mission field I think.  I remember my first two weeks I was so awkward, so maybe she is just going through that awkward transition phase like everyone don't realize how weird you probably were as a Bean until you get to train one. haha :)

Sister Buhler transfered to a place called Kumamoto, it is really far south, almost by Okinawa I guess- I MISS HER. Oh my gosh.  I love her so much!!!  She is the best person ever, I can't even begin to express my love for that saintly woman!!! The patience that she had for me...I hope to one day train as good as she was able to train me.

We were able to meet with our cute little MARIN this last week, we went to dinner with her and talked about the church.  After she gets back from Hawaii she is planning on coming to church.  I love her, she is SO cute.  I will update you on her progress as it unfolds.

Some sad news...our baptism has been called off, due to our investigator having some mental issues...however, I feel very confident that the Lord is extremely aware of her and loves her. I am not worried about her, or disappointed that she is not getting baptized.

GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BEST THING OF MY LIFE!!! EVERY TALK WAS SOOOO AMAZING!!!! I loved every single one, I don't think I had a favorite because they were all SO inspired from our Heavenly Father. I definitely  was touched by Elder Hollands talk as well...I feel like all who were watching related to it in some form or another.
The whole theme  of Conference was MISSIONARY WORK!!!!! I can't even describe the urgency that I felt to hasten our Heavenly Fathers work.  Jesus Christ is coming!!! I hope you all really contemplate and PRAY DAILY for OPPORTUNITIES to share the gospel! Please please find out who the missionaries are in our area and pray for them AND their investigators BY NAME.  EVERY MEMBER A MISSIONARY. That is coming STRAIGHT from a PROPHET OF GOD.

I love this gospel. I am so grateful to a LOVING, KIND, ALL KNOWING Heavenly Father who sent his living servants to address all of his children about his concerns for us. He wants us to be happy, he wants us to understand his plan for us.  Please, PLEASE, search the scriptures daily, DAILY. There is no excuse as to why this cannot be an every day activity. PRAY DAILY, DAILY.  If you don't know why scripture study and prayer is important, I encourage you to re listen to general conference and you will find the answer.  We are all children of God.  We all need the Savior.  We ALL need his grace in order to return back to live in the Presence of our Heavenly Father.  The call has come from God...get involved in missionary work...the Savior is coming.  The end is nigh, even at the excuses.  If your testimony is weak, strengthen it.  If you have made mistakes and need to repent, repent.  If you aren't paying an honest tithe, pay it.  If you don't have a current temple recommend, get one.  If you aren't praying and reading the scriptures DAILY, do it.  If you aren't going to church, or attending all your meetings, go.  If you don't have happiness in life...FIND IT.  Find it through the Gospel of Jesus Christ and his Atonement.  This will solve all problems. ALL problems. DO YOU HEAR ME?! ALL PROBLEMS we face in life can and WILL BE resolved in and through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  If you are looking for ways elsewhere to mend a broken heart, heal wounds, or fix illness...look to Christ.  He will heal all. This is my sincere testimony.

I love you all, I look forward to hearing about all of YOUR miracles in missionary work this week!
My love is always here for you all.  We are all engaged in this work together.

Love, Sharp Shimai

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Heavenly Father works in very unique ways

October 7th

Pday is on Tuesday today- we are having a zone pday in yamaguchi, we are getting food as a zone and then going somewhere to go bowling! Should be fun :)

Sister Smotherman got a call last week from the AP's and they told her that she would be becoming a breaker (thats what they call you if you are not training a new missionary, but you are becoming companions with someone usually who was a Bean their last transfer.) I immediately assumed that she would be breaking Sister Nelson and that I would maybe be getting a new companion or transferring to another area....

Sister Smotherman went to her meeting last night in Fukuoka and they told her that she would be Breaking Sister Nelson, which means I am getting a new companion and I am staying in UBE for this upcoming transfer.  I have some mixed emotions about it, but obviously the Lord knows what he is doing.  I was hoping that maybe I would stay and there would only be 2 sisters in Ube and that they would send Elders here to live in the old apartment so it would just be us and Elders, but from the sounds of it, they are just keeping it a four man Sister area this transfer :( WE NEED ELDERS HERE!!!  Hopefully next transfer...

WE SAW SO MANY! Okay first though, let it just be said that I know I complain about the language a LOT, but its not ruining my life or anything like I probably make it seem.  haha. Yeah, of course it would be nice if I didn't  have to deal with a language barrier every second of my life, but whatever, the Lord has a different kind of missionary work for me to do here...I'm accepting it ha.

In the last month and a half I think I have had 5 flat tires! Two of which occurred in this last week. NOT fun.  However, a really great miracle came because of the timing that I got my flat tire on Sunday...

Sister Nelson and I decided to bike waaay across town to visit a less active member and a few other people that lived in the area Sunday night.  It was probably a 70 minute bike we were approaching a stop light, there was another young teenage girl on her bike waiting for the light to turn green. As we pulled up to the light, I said hello to her, and when I saw her face she looked SO familiar...the the first thing I said to her was 'Have we met before'??  She was like umm... no i don't think so. But you can speak to me in English!  She studied English for a year on her own, and she was so good, her English was amazing.  We began speaking to her in English and told her why we were here in Japan, and she was so happy to find out that we were Christian.  Apparently she is going to Hawaii in 2 weeks for a school trip, and then she is going to New York for a month and a half for Christmas, and is staying with a Christian family.  Her name is Marin, she is 17 years old and she was asking us if she could come to church and we of course said yes and asked if we could meet with her again. We got her information, and gave her a book of Mormon and directions to the church. She was so excited! She said that she was headed to the gym and that we could call her this week...when she biked away me and Sister Nelson were freaking out about how great she was.

When we finally made it to the less actives house, we housed in the area for a little bit and then decided to head back about and hour and a half later...when we were biking out of the apartment complex we were in, I noticed my lovely back bike tire was making a weird sound...I looked back and it was nice and flat :) I told Sister Nelson that we had better start walking back right away if we wanted to be back before curfew...
About 30 minutes later I looked back to say something to Sister Nelson and here comes Marin biking up the same road we are on and asked if she could walk to the bike shop with us to get my bike fixed!! It was like a 40 minute walk from where we were and we were like 'Yeah, but its super far, are you sure you want to walk with us?! she said she didn't mind :) on the walk to the bike shop we told her all about our message and the restoration on the gospel. She thought it was 'so cool' and agreed to come to dinner with us this week at our favorite sushi restaurant here in Ube, (which she just so happens to work at)...

I know that Heavenly Father works in very unique ways, and in order for us to get to know this cute little girl better he allowed my bike tire to go flat so that we would some how end up at the right place and the right time so we could run into her again. It was a miracle.

We have a baptism date! For November 2 with this sweet woman named Suetomi San.  She has been meeting with missionaries for YEARS. She meets with Jehovah's witnesses sometimes too, but she doesn't really like what they teach.  She has some mental problems, so i think that is mainly why she hasn't gotten baptized, but she committed to a date! She came to church last Sunday and bore her testimony in relief society, Sister Nelson and I were so shocked. We went to her house almost every day last week, rain or shine, and she expressed her love and gratitude for us, it made us so happy. We love her. I will give more updates as her baptism gets closer. Suetomi is probably in her 60's...

We have another investigator named Kanyeya Yasu- she is SO CUTE. She is probably also in her 50's or 60's. I really can't tell with Japanese people they all look SO YOUNG. We have been visiting her for 3 weeks now, and she accepted an actual return appointment last week for tonight at 7.  So we are really excited to go teach her, we love her and she is soo nice.  I feel like she is really receptive to the spirit too. So I will give you more updates on how our lesson goes tonight!

Miracles are happening everyday here.  I am so grateful to be here.  I am sorry I don't have more time, but I love you all. You are all in my prayers!!!

Sharp Shimai

Monday, September 30, 2013

Be Thou Humble


Wow, another week passed and gone, I can't believe it. NEXT Thursday we will be getting Transfer calls and I will be starting my 4th transfer HOLY COW!!!  I am sure I will be staying at least one more transfer here in Ube, and after that, who knows what will happen!?  Just rolling with the punches ;)

Hmmm..where to start...the letter you sent was so great, thank you so much.  I feel your love and concern.  I needed the confidence boost! :)  Sister Nelson and I had a little bit of a rough week together...personality issues were arising, and we weren't really talking about it so it was causing some contention between us.  However, we talked about it last night and resolved everything so I think all will be good now!  She is a wonderful person, I am really blessed to be her companion.  She is teaching me a lot about relying upon God through prayer.  She is an optimistic person which is great.  I am trying to be an easier person to be around..when I get in a bad mood, I stay in one.  Haha, you probably remember...SO yeah, working on that, and working on being more humble..I'm not ALWAYS right..just usually. ;)  But in all honesty, I am so grateful to be here.  Satan has gotten a hold of me at times, just like he does with all missionaries at one point or another, but Heavenly Father has always always guided me and lifted me out of the hard times.  I am SO grateful for that.

Missions are so don't feel like you are doing ANYTHING to further Gods work, or you don't feel like you are becoming the missionary he needs your to be in the moment...and then you look back on 6 months and you are able to see how much you've grown. You're testimony of the Atonement is so much stronger than it was..which, is really the most important thing.

All I know is I am being prepared to deal with and overcome trials and challenges now that are going to help me for whatever is coming in the future.  And HOW grateful I am for that!

I know that Satan really is trying everything he can to stop the work.  But he can't.  It will continue to push forward right up until Christ comes...which is really soon by the way!  You don't realize how many sighs Heavenly Father is sending his children to prepare for the second coming until you are right in the middle of it, being the one trying to raise a waring voice.

I know I am doing all that I can.  Heavenly Father loves me, and I am grateful for his patience with me. If you ever need to feel really humbled, just go on a mission to Japan :)

I forgot to mention the most important part of my breakdown that I had last week with the language...
When I had my little breakdown we were out in front of this potential investigators house and we had just finished a short lesson with her...I looked to the girl that could speak really good Japanese and just started bawling because I felt so inadequate. (this girl is also a sister trainer leader, she serves in Iwakuni, and she is Sister Buhlers companion when they travel the mission to other areas...she was born in Japan.  Which means she is fluent ha. And she has been here for over a year), anyways we all decided it would be best if we went back to the apartment and talked things out. And since I felt like the spirit wasn't with me, I agreed to go back for the night.  We were about 30 minutes away from home...the whole way back I cried on my back. (I can't remember how much detail I gave in my last email so sorry if I am repeating anything) as I was riding/bawling/hating Japan and the language...the scripture Ether 12:27 came into my mind as clear as day...not the whole thing, just the first part. IT was really short, but a really CLEAR still small voice.
'I give unto men weakness that they may be HUMBLE.'
the holy ghost whispered this less than desirable thing into my heart...which made me even more upset. At the time I thought I had been humbled enough, I was SICK of being humbled! can see that I have a long ways to go still.  I have a lot more to learn.

When I got home I said the most heartfelt prayer ever asking Heavenly Father to forgive me for being so angry for sending me to Japan.  Afterwards, the rest of the scripture came to mind...and it was very comforting.

'I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my GRACE is SUFFICIENT for ALL MEN that HUMBLE themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make WEAK things become STRONG unto them'

Wow, I could not have asked for a more comforting and powerful promise form the scriptures than that.  "I will make WEAK things become STRONG unto them."
As I have contemplated that scripture, I have come to one conclusion. And that conclusion is this: My strength is weak.  My knowledge is weak.  I. AM. WEAK.  BUT IF I HUMBLE myself before the lord, he will MAKE ALL MY weaknesses into strengths.  What a miracle.
This is the miracle of the atonement.

I love the gospel, I love it.  I love each of you.  Thank you all for your love and support, I could not ask for a more loving and supportive family.  Yesterday in church on of the lessons was on eternal families and we got into groups and talked about our families for like 10minutes, and as I talked about you and dad I almost started to cry.  I mentioned how since the first week of being in the MTC I had heard from both of you every single week.  EVERY WEEK.  What a blessing you are in my life.  And how blessed am i that I am sealed into an eternal family.  I will forever be grateful.  I am so overwhelmed to hear that by some miracle, my letters are helping other family members come unto Christ.  Tell Grandma Terry that I love her, and that the Atonement is real.  Tell her Heavenly Father loves her and that he is anxious for her to come and live with him again.  He loves her.

Real quickly, I will share some miracles...

We found 3 new investigators this week.  One is a 17 yr old girl, another is a former investigator and another is a young mom with a really cute family.  We have appointments with all of them this week so I will let you know how it goes!!

I love you.
Until next time :)
Sharp Shimai

Monday, September 23, 2013

Lose yourself for the Lords sake


So I too don't have much time, I am sorry!  But, this last week had major ups and downs.  We had two people come to church yesterday which was a huge miracle.  We found two promising potential investigators, and we are just seeing miracles everyday.

We had interviews with our President this week, and that was great.  He said that I am changing a lot...which hopefully I am, for the better ha.

I was really humbled this last week.  It was made very apparent to me how much more I need to study the language.  We had a sister down in our area for two days who is fluent in Japanese and English and she was able to produce miracles for us in our area.  HOWEVER after seeing her be here for a day and effortlessly connect with the Japanese people and communicate the gospel so well, I got a little bit angry with Heavenly Father... I may have had a few thought s along the lines of 'why did you send me to Japan..I can't speak this language...I will never be able to connect with these people like she can' and I sort of had a little bit of a break down.

After I had my pity party, I talked it our with Buhler Shimai and she said something so profound to me. She said "Heavenly Father knows exactly who is going to accept the gospel and who isn't, do you really think he is going to suffer a person who would accept the gospel to not join the church just because of your lack of Japanese?!"

She was able to really put things into perspective for me and it helped me a lot.  I was so humbled.  I got caught up in myself, and forgot what my purpose of being here is.

I have learned on my mission that when things start to get really hard its because I have turned my focus inward, instead of outward.  My eyes are set upon myself and not upon the Lords work and will. I have learned that the Lord is trying to teach me something very profound.

*When you lose yourself for the Lords sake, that's when you find yourself*

I often think about Gordon B. Hinckley when he wanted to give up on his mission, and his father wrote to him and said, "Gordon, forget yourself, and go to work".

I am trying to incorporate that attitude in my missionary work and make it an attribute that I carry with me for the rest of my life.  I encourage anyone who loves the Lord to do the same.

Time is running out, but I love you all so much.  I will write more next week.  My love and prayers are with you all.  Always-

Your Daughter

Monday, September 16, 2013

Rely upon Prayer

Greetings my fellow kindred from America,


This last week we had SO many miracles happen!  We have something in our mission called 'standard of excellence' and they are goals set by our mission president, and he promises that if we achieve them each week then we will for sure be blessed with at least ONE new investigator.  Which is such an amazing blessing.  The standards of excellence are having 20 contacts a day, having 3 lessons with people on the street or when you do housing, extending one baptismal invite, and handing out 1book of Mormon.  If we meet those goals everyday for a week straight then he promises us that we will find a new investigator.  Those goals may not sound like a lot for one day, but believe it or not it is pretty challenging to meet that everyday for a week straight.  Sister Nelson and I were really determined last week that we were going to meet all the goals that we set...standard of excellence being one of them because we really wanted to find a new investigator!

Last Tuesday we were biking home and we were approaching two women who were out walking, I decided to stop them even though they looked like they were maybe in a hurry...we immediately started testifying about the restoration and the book of Mormon to her and she was SO intrigued.  She was one of the few people I have talked to that actually had some kind of knowledge of Christ and his ministry..she hadn't really studied the bible but she said she has read some of it.   When we stared talking to her about the Book of Mormon she readily accepted a copy of it.  While we were talking to her, I was blessed with the interpretation of tongues and the gift of tongues.  It was such a BLESSING. I could pretty much communicate everything I needed to tell her about our message.  And by some miracle I was understanding everything she was almost as if we were speaking English to one another.  As I was talking to her, I definitely felt like she was someone that I knew in the preexistence.  She had a really familiar presence about her, I know that she was feeling the same thing towards me..she asked us where our church was and we testified to her one last time how our message was true and she gave me her number and I told her I would call her this week so we could meet again.  As she walked away Sister Nelson and I turned to each other with wide eyes and started rejoicing for how prepared of a woman we had just met!!  That night I couldn't stop thinking about her and how special I thought our experience with her was!  Two days later I called her, she was busy at the time and said she couldn't talk, which made me a little worried that Satan had gotten a hold of her, and she wasn't interested I told her I would call the next day, and we hung up.  The next day I called her around 8pm and she didn't answer...we got home about an hour later and I checked our phone to see that we had one missed call and a voicemail from an unknown number.  It was her!  Her name is Shiraishi San.  She said that she had tried calling back, but she called the wrong number (she called our mission home's number) and they directed her to my cellphone!  When I called her back she answered and expressed how if she had time this Sunday (as in yesterday) she would come to church!  Sister Nelson and I began a fast right away that she would be able to find time and come to church.  She sounded like she really wanted to come on the phone so I was confident that she was really going to come.  After a day of fasting, and lots of prayer that Heavenly Father would send her back to us, Sunday rolled around and guess what!!!...she didn't come.  We waited and waited and waited...she never came, BUT, I kept thinking...there is a reason she didn't come, maybe she'll come next week?  When relief society ended and we were about to go home, one of the relief society sisters came and found me and said that a woman named...SHIRAISHI San was looking for me out in the hall!!!!  SHE CAME! :) :) She missed church! But she came!!!  She was able to meet a lot of our branch members and branch president which was such a blessing.  He is American and can speak fluent Japanese.  He was able to translate some of the things that she said to him after she left.  But while she was there I talked to her for 15 minutes about our experience that we had the other day on the street and she expressed HOW happy she was when she met us.  She said she was so impressed at how good my Japanese was after only being here for a year and a half...I had told her Tuesday night that we serve our missions for a year and a half, not that I had been here for a year and a half, so when we told her I had only been here for like 3 months, and Nelson Shimai had only been here for 2 weeks, she was even more blown away...which is so funny because when we talked to her, it wasn't us, it was the gift of tongues haha, so I can understand why she thought we were 'so good' haha, we aren't .  It was Heavenly Father for sure.  Anyways, long story short, we invited her to come to church next week and she said that she would be in Tokyo so she couldn't make a promise.  She also said that she didn't want to join the church because she is Buddhist but she wants us to teach her.  Which is such a miracle.  She felt the spirit so strong when we talked with her, and she has no idea what it was, but she wants more!  Right now she thinks she doesn't want to join the church...but the spirit is obviously working on her.  So I pray and hope she doesn't reject the promptings of the spirit as we begin to teach her.

I learned such an amazing lesson from all this.
1. I learned the importance of opening my mouth and declaring a bold and fearless testimony.  Had we not had the courage to stop her, she never would have felt the things she felt and be exposed to the truth.
2.  My testimony of prayer and fasting increased so much. Heavenly Father ALWAYS keeps his promises.  He tests our patience and our faith, but if we endure in faith, he will ALWAYS come through.  She showed up :)

I read some POWERFUL scriptures with Nelson Shimai last week about declaring the Gospel:

We studied these on page 158 of Preach my Gospel under "scripture study"
what does the lord say about opening your mouth? what should you teach? what are you promised?

I can't go through them all, but here are the scriptures
D&C 24:12, 28:16, 33:7-15, 60:2-3, 7-8

These scriptures came into my heart with so much force when I read them. Please read them if you have time!  They applied to me specifically as a missionary, they are so amazing. But they apply to all of us as members of the church as well.  We all have the same commission to bare the truth of the gospel to the world as members of Gods true church!

We saw many other miracles this last week.  Our investigator Izumi San is doing well, we had a REALLY powerful lesson with her last week. We taught her the Restoration, and she felt it so strong.  We were all crying.  She is still really struggling committing to come to church and baptism, but its because she feels like her family will fall apart if she does...her and her husband are already having huge marital problems, is she joins a church without him then it will separate him more.  So i understand her concern.  We are going to try to start working with him too, I will let you know how that goes.

I am so grateful to be here.  This last week I really learned how God truly does keep his promises when you are obedient to his commandments at all times.  Stay faithful and rely upon prayer. Before I became companions with Sister Nelson I thought I prayed a lot, but she prays probably 100 times a day ha, she is so amazing.  She has taught me to do the same.  And my testimony is growing stronger and stronger of how much he really does hear us.  Please pray daily...never cease to pray.  Always keep a prayer in your heart.

I love you all. Until next time :)

Sharp Shimai

Monday, September 9, 2013

Pictures from the district conference in Hiroshima

The Lords Will


Yep, another week gone indeed! I'm already on my third transfer and into the second week ahhh! I need to time to slow down.

I am DYING to go to the temple again. Gosh. I want to go SO BAD. I can`t wait to see the new movie. My companion told me how good it is, and I really want to see it!!! Satan is real. So real. He plays a very significant role in the plan of Salvation- he really will stop at nothing to get us to Abuse our agency to make us miserable. Continue to keep the commandments and use your agency for GOOD, and he`ll never have power over you.

This last week we were not able to contact that woman that we found on the street last week. She has not been home each time we go to her house. We will by trying again tonight. SO i will update you on her next week. Our Zone is really pushing for each companionship to have a Baptism this transfer. Its going to be hard to pull that off, but if its the Lords will he will bless us with someone who will be ready to be baptized in 4 weeks..

We are teaching a woman named Izumi San right now- She is so great! Sister Nelson and I invited her to be baptized last week and she said no, but that's ok. She said she needs more time. And I agree- she doesn't really understand Christ or the need for repentance right now, so we are working in first building her faith in Christ so she will recognize the need for repentance and want to be baptized. 

I never thought teaching the Gospel in another Language could be such a blessing and such a curse at the same time! I do feel like if we could communicate the gospel in a clearer and better way, (AKA SPEAK IN MY NATIVE LANGUAGE OF ENGLISH) people would be progressing SO MUCH faster..but I also feel like if I was speaking English, I wouldn't be having to rely upon the Lords strength as much as I am. 

I still only understand about hmmm.. 23 percent of what people say to me, haha, but I am learning more things to say which is good. I wish it was the other way around though! Listening and HEARING and UNDERSTANDING what people are saying to you is SO MUCH more important than being able to speak. Its frustrating, but all I can do is improve and hope for the best.

I am still getting along with sister Nelson, We had a little bit of a rough week last week together, but we talked it out and we are fine now. I feel like her and I are going to be doing a lot of wonderful things together this transfer!!!

Time is running out, I have to go, but I love you all.

I love you all so very much!! Stay strong :) 
Until Next Time :)
Sharp Shimai

Divine Intervention

September 1st


So this last week has been really really great! I was freaking out a little bit the day my Bean was supposed to be coming in, but since she got here, everything has been fine! We get along great. She is super spiritual, and she is really in tune and sensitive to the spirit. She cries a lot when she feels the you can imagine how much crying goes on between the two of us. Her name is sister Nelson and  She is from St.Louis! Turns out that her Aunt was sister Buhlers Young Women's leader..Buhler is From Colorado, so I'm not really sure what the odds of that are but yeah! SMALL world!!

We saw Soooo many miracles this last week!!!

Heavenly Father put many people in our path that we could communicate with- one of them we found as we were riding our bikes home the other was around 830 and i saw this older woman sitting on the curb with a bunch of was raining so I was wondering why she was just sitting there..she wasnt sitting anywhere near a bus stop so it was kind of weird..She looked like she was a little upset so I stopped her to see if she was ok or needed help. Immediately she said she was fine and waved at us to go away..which obviously meant she wasn't ok. So we kept being persistent with her until she started to actually talk to us..She knew we were Mormon's..Turns out she was a Jehovah's Witness- We had a good discussion about how I really want to be friends with Jehovah's witnesses but once they find out I am Mormon they want nothing to do with me..she didn't have much to say about that because umm..yeah..thats the truth, but anyways- we became really great friends with her and we invited her to Eikaiwa- she was speaking English to us the whole time! She never did tell us why she was sitting on the curb with a bunch of suitcases, but we prayed that she would come to eikaiwa this week. If she doesn't, I'm sure we will cross paths with her again!

Two days ago sister nelson and I were biking somewhere, and I stopped this lady on the street- she was SO nice to us and said she believed in God and Jesus Christ. I explained a little bit of who we were and I couldn't really understand what she was saying.. All I got out of it was that she really liked us and that she had a son who studied Christianity..WE felt the spirit really strong with her. So after 15 minutes of me pretending to know what she was saying, I asked her if we could meet again and teach her more about our message. She was like yes! I love you girls! So we exchanged phone numbers and i said i would CALL her on Tuesday to set up an appointment...the only problem was that she wrote her name down and I couldn't read it...gosh.  so flash forward to yesterday:

Sister nelson and I went to go teach another investigator that we had found housing, but to our disappointment when we got there, they were no longer interested. SO as our back up plan I felt impressed to go visit an investigator that we had dropped about a month ago- I couldn't remember where they lived so as I was about to call Buhler Shimai, I Buhler and Smotherman Biking on the other side of the road that sister nelson and I was on- I got their attention and they come over to us, but before I could ask buhler where our former investigator lived, buhler was like `Did you set up a teaching appointment with a lady named murakami for Tuesday at 2 o clock??` I had no idea what she was talking about..the name didn't sound familiar and I would have known if we had an investigator that we were supposed to go teach..but then I remembered the lady that sister Nelson and I had found on our bikes, It was her! But then I was really confused because I was like..we didn't set up an appointment with her?? And How do YOU know her??

This is soo crazy..ready??

Sister Smotherman and Buhler have been going through our record book and have been trying to go find old investigators from previous missionaries..they just look at the address and go find them. Apparently that is what they were doing last night when we ran into them- they had looked up a lady in our record book named `murakami`  and decided to go find her..LITTLE DID Buhler know that that lady was the SAME lady that sister nelson and I had streeted into they day before and got her number! So when they showed up, she answered the door and was like `wait...aren't you girls supposed to be coming on Tuesday??` Buhler and smotherman were sooo confused haha..She said that she talked to missionaries the day before and set up an appointment for Tuesday. WHICH is so weird because WE never set an appointment with her. She obviously didn't understand my Japanese, but I'm so glad that she misinterpreted it, because now we are going to go teach her on Tuesday!! Heavenly father works in MYSTERIOUS ways!! 

TO make the story EVEN crazier...Buhler said that she housed her house a looooong time ago with Eddy shimai. One day they got lost looking for A less active, and she said that her house is the one that they ended up at, but it was the wrong one. She said that they housed it anyways, but nobody came to the door. She said that when her and sister eddy got home to recheck the less active`s address that they were trying to find. it was on the completely other side of town, so they laughed forever about how wrong their directions were...

This story probably made no sense, its hard to type it out. But basically a LOT of DIVINE intervention happened in the last few days so that we could find, talk to, and soon teach this woman named Murakami. She has been prepared by other missionaries/ her progress record said that she was last taught in 2012.  I feel really good about her. 

I am running out of time. I wish I could talk about more amazing things going on, but I don't have time! I am so grateful to be here on my mission at this time. The faith of two completely inexperienced missionaries is working miracles in Japan. I am so grateful for the love and trust that my Heavenly Father has for me and Sister Nelson. There is NO WAY that we could be doing any of this save their was a loving father in heaven watching over us.
I know he lives. I know this is his work.

I love you all.
Love Sharp Shimai

Struggles and Blessings

August 26th

Okay I have so much to update everyone on!
I was having a rough couple of last weeks. I felt Satan was trying really hard to keep me from having success in my companionship. I was getting so annoyed with sister Buhler and sister smotherman. It was making it so hard to feel the spirit. Sister Buhler is honestly a saint though, she is SO patient with me. I have never seen her get mad at me once since we have been companions, so I don't know why I was getting so bothered by her, but I was. Sister Smotherman and I are COMPLETELY different and so its just been an all around struggle trying to work with her.. she has a HUGE fear of speaking to people and it was leaving me and Buhler to do that in and of itself was causing a huge problem- we had a lack of unity big time. Last week I guess I got to my breaking point with it and we called our zone leaders to give me a Priesthood Blessing. They came on a train right away, and gave me a blessing.
After the blessing, I have returned to being my old happy self, and I am feeling to spirit again everyday! I am not struggling with sister buhler or smotherman anymore, our companionship is doing great! But here is the big surprise....
On the same day I got my blessing, we got a call from the AP`s (assistant to the president) and they said they needed to talk to me..
They called me to train a new missionary this next transfer!
I will be staying here in UBE, and I think Buhler and Smotherman will be staying here as well. There will for sure be 4 sisters here in Ube, its just a matter of who!
So yesterday I had to travel to the mission home in Fukuoka to go to the New Trainers meeting with the president and AP`s. It was SUCH a good training, I learned SO MUCH. I LOVE my mission President!! I learned some really great stuff on how to be a good Trainer, and I feel like since I am still such a new missionary I will be able to better help my new missionary make the somewhat difficult transition from the MTC to the Field. It is going to be so fun though, I cant wait to meet her. I will find out today what her name is and what time I will be picking her up from the bus station!
Its so crazy that I am already training this early in my mission. I feel like I have learned a LOT since I have been here, but taking on the responsibilities of being a trainer is going to be a bit overwhelming. I do know that it is going to be so amazing though. After I got the call from the AP`s I knew why i had been struggling so much in the last few weeks. Satan was working on me because he knew that something great like this was about to happen. I have noticed that the lord works in patterns in our lives, and we can start to recognize his blessings, but Satan also works in patterns in our lives. When things get really hard its usually because something really great is about to happen. I will be better at recognizing that next time!!
I am not having any major struggles at this time. The members make me mad sometimes, they are BIG into gossip and drama and it is creating a huge division between many members, but I feel like that is typical, and the Lord will be chastising them soon.
 if they don't stop.
Last week we housed into a former investigator of the church. She ALMOST got baptized 13 years ago, but stopped meeting with the missionaries because she felt like she couldn't live the law of tithing. We have started teaching her again though, and I feel like she will get baptized. Her name is Harata San, and she is SUCH a wonderful person, we don't know her that well but I love her already. She still has all the stuff her last missionaries gave her...she kept a picture of Christ being baptized in her house, and on the back was a long letter from her previous missionaries. Meeting her has been a testimony to me that no effort from missionaries ever goes wasted.  
We housed into ANOTHER former investigator of the church, she was really nice and is allowing us to come back so we hope to start teaching her in the next week!
We are making some progress with one of our less actives named Yamada- she is Buddhist and Mormon, and thinks that there is nothing wrong with that and that they are the same religion...hahah..she is slowly starting to understand that they aren't.
We are meeting with another man named Sasahara san. HE IS SO DANG CUTE! He is in his late 80`s and he LOVES talking about God and Jesus Christ with us. We will be teaching him the Restoration this week, so I hope he accepts it and accepts to be baptized soon. He cant read, (he lived during world war 2 so he wasn't able to get an education) so helping him gain a testimony is going to be difficult when he cant read the BOM, but we are getting creative with it. we gave him a Dvd to watch on Christ so that should help. He has his own cake shop and LOVES what he does. He is so cute. Love him!
I am so grateful to be here on my mission!!!! I am honestly learning SO MUCH. I am grateful for the trials, I am grateful for the people. I love the Lord. I am so grateful for the opportunity to repent, and use the atonement. I love you!!

 I love you. I will need your prayers this week as I will be taking on a lot of responsibility. Please keep doing everything you all can to stay worthy of the companionship the the holy ghost. The Savior will be coming any moment now..please prepare! I love you allllll!!!!
Love, sharp shimai

Rely On Him

      Konnichiwa,                                                                                                                                                                      August 18th

As hard as it is being in a threesome, I am learning a lot about myself and others. I know how much this mission is preparing me for marriage someday. Sometimes the Lord has to allow us to struggle so we can learn to rely on him. That is the purpose of our existance. Every hard thing or trial that we go through is designed to make us rely upon the Lord, exercise faith, repent along the way, gain access to the Atonement, and become new creatures in Christ. What a wonderful plan our Father has extended to us. Through this mortal experience we can draw power from the Atonement, and in the process become changed. We can become like God!  We can become pure even as he is pure. Through every trial we should be learning how to gain more Christ like attributes. If that is the only skill or thing I accomplish on my mission then I will be happy haha. (Learning to rely upon the Lord in every situation!)
Last week was so great. I think I had one of the best days ever. Since Hiroshima was a really far train ride away, we stopped in an area called Iwakuni (they are in our zone) and did exchanges with the sisters there. I went out with a new Bean named sister Willes- We only had three hours to contact/street/house...we saw MIRACLES. We found 2 new investigators for their area, taught 9 lessons on the street, handed out 7 book of Mormons, extended three baptism invites, and contacted into another lady that was from okinawa and would be flying back this week so we were able to get her information and send it to okinawa for the missionaries there.
Seriously. I could not believe what had happened that day. It was so miraculous. IT was miraculous because sister willes and I are so unskilled in the language (OBVIOUSLY..we are still brand new) but it didnt matter. THe lord worked miracles. And its because this is his work. Its not the work of doesnt matter how good of a teacher or japanese speaker you are. You need faith, and an attitude of complete reliance upon God. Then the miracles will come. It was a huge lesson that I needed to learn and experience to believe. THe lord can only work by faith.
I love you, I am grateful to be serving. Its such a blessing. This is God`s kingdom.
 Love, Sharp Shimai