Monday 31, 2014
Konnichiwa from Okinawa :)
Sister Capener was in my same MTC district and we were way good friends :) Love her to death! We have already had a ton of fun together. Sister Kwak is doing great, she transferred to Okinawa to a place called Urasoe. I sat next to her on the plane coming here :) yes, we took a plane. I took a bus to Fukuoka and then a subway to the airport and then flew here with 7 other missionaries. It was about a 90 minute flight. I have heard that Okinawa is over 1000 miles away from the main island. Crazy! Sister Kwak was also a Sister training leader in Yamaguchi Zone which was my first zone. Sister Olsen (she was also in our MTC district and was Sister Capeners companion) also transferred down here with us and she is serving in Okinawa, Okinawa. She gets to work with two huge military branches! Im so jealous! I want to serve in a military branch so bad!! The good news is Sister Capener and I get to go on exchanges all over the island with all our Sister missionaries that we are over, so I will get the chance to see alot of places besides mine. The feel of Naha is way different then where I have been. The people are waaaay nice. Everyone we stop and talk to on the street listens. Even if they don't have interest they kindly listen. The people here are TINY, TINY. I thought normal Japanese people were SMALL...but these people are like 4 feet tall. Okinawans kind of have their own little culture, they are still very much Buddhist, and they sort of have their own language. Its still Japanese but there are some words that are COMPLETELY different... for example, chuuganabira means Konnichwa which means hello. HA?! So weird...I haven't really heard anyone speaking in this dialect, but if you ask if they speak it , they will. It will be fun to learn some of their new lingo..I guess. Haha. I am living with two other Sisters. Sister Burgon (who i lived with in Ube my first transfer) and her companion Sister Lewis. They are both way fun and hard workers! I feel like I'm back in the MTC with how many of us are here. Only 3 people from my MTC district aren't in Okinawa right now! Crazy!!
We already have found two way good potential investigators since I got here. One speaks WAY good English, so I'm excited to see where that goes! We are hopefully meeting with her this Saturday. As of right now, we don't have any progressing investigators but that's going to change real quick!
I'm serving in a ward here and its HUGE compared to what Ive been use to in previous areas on my mission. There is probably about 80-100 people in the ward. Learning their names is sort of a nightmare but I will eventually get it. The names are WAY, WAY different here. Takamiyagi is the name of the bishop. I'm used to names like Kojima, Ikeda, Fujimoto, Tanaka. To you they probably all sound way foreign but names here are super weird to me, I have never heard them in my life!! But yeah, love it here!!! The weather is way nice. I got pretty sunburned my first day, so I'm going to be lathering on the sunscreen from now on. The sun is SUPER strong here.
Saying goodbye to Marina Chan in Shimizu was way sad...I love that girl so much. I really hope that she accepts a baptism date before she moves to America. Seguchi San is super cute too, I'm going to miss the both of them :( I loved Shimizu it really was a great area, so many miracles are happening there, it was sad to leave, but I'm way excited to be here!
Conference is coming up!!! I AM SO EXCITED!!! I can't wait. In these last two transfers I think I experienced some of the hardest moments I've ever had on my mission and even in my life maybe...but i look back now and I am SO GRATEFUL for them. I was able to rely on prayer in way that I never had needed to before. My testimony of prayer is stronger than it ever has been before. God Lives. He hears our prayers. I read in the Bible dictionary the other day under the word 'prayer' and it has changed the way I look at prayer. I encourage you all to look it up and study and ponder that explanation that is given there. It has so many amazing things! I am grateful for all the trails, the Lord knows what he is doing. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have been doing this for a looooong time. I am positive now that they know exactly what they are doing. I don't even think twice anymore. I just go and do...even when it doesn't make sense. I know that his ways are higher than my ways and I don't need to lean unto my own understanding. He knows all. He loves us all so much.
Don't ever doubt, only believe. And when you do doubt, pray. I love you all so very much!!! I am so grateful for your love and prayers. They keep me going. Talk to you next week. Love, Sharp Shimai
p.s. I forgot to answer this in the last email. On Junkais (exchanges) if I am going to another area my companion always comes with, and then we split in their area. Last transfer was different, we met them half way and then split. That's why I wasn't in my area for earthquake haha. Don't worry, I'm never traveling alone!