Monday, January 6, 2014

Transfer Call!!


Yep, I transferred! Its the farthest city south on the Kyushu Island…anymore south and I would be going to Okinawa.  Its pretty warm, not hot (I definitely am still wearing tights and my coat, but its not windy like it was in Ube so I'm way happy about that!)  I traveled for about 7 hours in total by bus on Thursday and I caught a way annoying cold so I have been sleeping the last 3 days to get my strength back.  My new companions name is Sister Heaton, she came from a city called Nagasaki, she actually was living with Eddy Shimai (the same one I lived with my first transfer) they were not companions though.  Oh, guess what, Sister Heaton and I have both been called to be Sister trainer leaders over the Kagoshima Zone and the zone next to us which is called the Kumamoto Zone.  We are over about 10 other sisters…which is going to be interesting because most of them are all on their last transfer and way strong missionaries so I feel weird only being on my 6th and Sister Heaton is only on her 5th so we are both WAY young to have this calling, but it should be fun.  Taniyama is a WAY bigger city than Ube, but there are still not a lot of people out on the streets.  Fun little fact about the area…we live RIGHT next to a VOLCANO!  It smokes every single day, and there is ash all over the streets because of it haha. CRAZY.

We haven't done a lot of proselyting yet because I've been sick, and our bikes aren't transferred here yet.  So i don't really know anything about the area or what it really looks like, but to come and do email we have to take a 25 minute trolley to get here so I saw a little bit more of the city.  I think there are going to be lots of prepared people here to find!  Our bikes should be here tomorrow. Today we have to go all the way back to Fukuoka for a training in the Honbu  tomorrow, so we really won't be able to get working until Wednesday.

Sunday was way awesome though, the members are sooo nice here.  There is a HUGE family named the Kaneko family, there are eight kids and they are all basically married with a bunch of kids, they make up most of the branch.  They are all amazing though and way willing to do missionary work so i'm way excited.  There is just Sister Heaton and I here in Taniyama with two other elders, Sister Heaton and I both white washed so we have no idea what we are doing…this transfer is going to be an adventure eh?!  The two elders that are here are way new to the area also, one of them is on his 11th transfer and his companion is a BEAN, so yeah, we are all pretty much brand new to the area.

I don't have much time, but I just wanted to update you all on the crazy news.  I miss Ube, transfers came up so quick and I miss Sister Pinzon, but a Japanese girl replaced me which I was WAY happy about, Ube needs a JAPANESE speaker for SURE!!!! Im excited to be in Taniyama and see all the miracles that lie ahead.  Continue to keep me in your prayers, I will need them. I can feel that this transfer is going to be way humbling because I feel like a Bean ALL OVER again…but the Lord will help me, not too worried. :)

I love you all!!
Love, Sharp Shimai

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Why wouldn't you?

December 30th

Happy New Years Eve!

Today is transfer call day, everyone thinks I'm getting transferred but I bet I stay for one more here in Ube.  I don't  really know whats going to happen.  If i have a chance I'll send another email before the day is over letting you know the news.

We spent a lot of time with members last week.  We have one member named Nakamura and he loves the missionaries, he took us around caroling to a ton of members houses and that was way fun! Im not one for caroling but all of our members appreciated it a lot so it was fun to bring them the love of the Savior through music!

Last week we went to Kaneyasu's house and Masuda's house and caroled the both of them.  They both seemed way happy to see us so that was good!  We still haven't taught Kaneyasu for a long time but we occasionally drop in to see how she is doing.  If I stay in Ube for another transfer we will definitely push for the lessons again. We love her :)

We were able to teach Muranaga last week and it was SO good! We read from Alma 30 together and she understood everything!  This is one of my favorite chapters since I have come on my mission, Alma's testimony of God is so powerful!  It is way useful in teaching people that God does exist and that he is our Father and that Jesus Christ is our Savior.  She said that she would try to come to church in 2 weeks if she can get work off, YAY miracles!!!

I have such a strong testimony of the importance of church.  I think about the significance of the Sacrament and why it is so different than from any other church.  I am not even sure if many members in the Church understand why the sacrament is so important?… Yes we go to think about the Savior, but its our opportunity to receive a remission of sin and be cleansed from all transgressions from the previous week.  Do we really understand what a sacred opportunity that is??  As missionaries we spend weeks, months and sometimes even YEARS preparing ONE person for baptism so that they can feel READY, PREPARED and  WORTHY to take upon them the covenant of baptism..they have to first have faith in Christ and have repented of all their sins.  We wouldn't spend so much time with investigators if this process of repentance didn't matter!  Would we baptize anyone into the church if they hadn't repented first?  Baptism means nothing without a broken heart and a contrite spirit…so like the sacrament, would we go to church not having prepared at ALL to renew the SAME exact covenant that we took upon us at Baptism?  The blessings and promises are the exact same. We need to come with a broken heart and contrite spirit every week to church or the Sacrament means nothing, and we cannot receive the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.  Just like Baptism to the unrepentant sinner does nothing (as far as receiving a remission of sins goes) so does partaking of the sacrament unprepared.  I pray that each of us can understand what a miracle and blessing it is to renew our covenant of baptism each with our Heavenly Father.  ONLY in this church can you come to worship the Savior, AND feel the cleansing, redeeming and forgiving POWER of the Atonement.  That is why we are so unique and blessed to be members of this true and living church with Gods priesthood authority that can actually confer the gift of the holy ghost, and bless the sacrament.  Both are critical for salvation and both are critical for salvation and both are critical in our journey to becoming like our Savior and Jesus Christ.

I am SO grateful for the scriptures and the light that they bring into my life.  Without them I would know NOTHING of spiritual truths such as the importance of the sacrament.  I am especially grateful for the Book of Mormon and the powerful witness of truth that it is.  It bares record of the Savior on every single page.  Don't take this book for granted pllllease!  Read it, STUDY it, ask questions, pray, and ponder.  Feel its power come into your life as you begin to repent and partake of the sacrament each week.

As part of our Heavenly Fathers plan of  salvation he has given us the gift of agency, or the gift to CHOOSE for ourselves between good and evil.  We can each choose to walk various paths, but there is only ONE path that guarantees happiness, peace, safety and eternal life.  This path is called the gospel of Jesus Christ and it includes having faith IN CHRIST, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the holy ghost and enduring to the end.

I know that this is the ONLY way.  There is only ONE Savior.  He loves us all and is beckoning each of us to get on the path and stay on it.  If we stray off this path during the week, we can get back on it each Sunday, AS WE repent. What a blessing a miracle of GRACE.  I know this is true!!  Please pray and ask Heavenly Father to teach you this wonderful truth of love, repentance and forgiveness.  He will, and your lives will continue to change and improve! You can feel the love and peace of the gospel in your life every single day.  Why wouldn't you?

I love you all!  Have a good week!
Love Sharp Shimai