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