Sunday, December 28, 2014

Ibaratsuki Shimai

Merry Christmas!!

This year for Christmas, Mills Shimai, Mackenzie Shimai, Mitsuyama Shimai and I received a surprise telephone call. Or rather, Mackenzie Shimai and Mitsuyama Shimai received the call. As of December 24th, our apartment of four will become an apartment of two. Mitsuyama Shimai and Mackenzie Shimai are transferring to Kyouto and Mills Shimai and I are whitewashing Takatsuki and taking over both wards. So, we have become the Sisters for both the Ibaraki and Takatsuki wards....hence making us the Ibaratsuki Shimai. That phone call ended with a lot of tears on all of our parts, it is really sad for the Takatsuki Shimai to be leaving for the entire ward, and the apartment will be really different with just the futari. It is slightly overwhelming to be learning our way around two areas at once, since Mills Shimai and I are still learning our way around Ibaraki....and also learning all of the member’s names in both wards, as well as adopting the investigators from the Takatsuki Shimai. But, the Lord has a way of stretching our comfort zones and showing us that we can accomplish more than we think we can when He is on our side.

It was a really weird week though...we didn't know when the Takatsuki Shimai would be leaving until Saturday night because we kept hearing lots of different things from mission leaders...but it was finally decided that the Takatsuki Shimai would be leaving on Christmas eve. So, I have re-decided that transferring is a very sad thing...even when I am not even the person transferring!

On a happier note, we had a fun ward Christmas party this week! And we had a few of our investigators come and they all loved it a lot. Also, two missionaries from Ibaraki finished their missions and just came home...which was incredibly exciting because they are really excited about helping the missionaries do missionary work. The members here are really wonderful and super loving especially at Christmas time. They are just such an amazing group of members and they always do so much for us at Christmas time. After church yesterday they gave all of the missionaries a large box of presents for Christmas and it was the sweetest thing ever. (Japanese church members really help you feel super loved all of the time :)

There is nothing quite like being a missionary at Christmas, especially at Christmas time. As a missionary, Christmas just  pops up way faster, for whatever reason. And I have decided that it is because we are focused on "Christmas" every single day for this 18 month period. And the Christmas season just makes it even more wonderful to share why we are out here talking about Christ, every single day - on Christmas there is a light brought into our work. I found this quote on and I really liked it.

"When we keep the spirit of Christmas, we keep the Spirit of Christ, for the Christmas spirit is the Christ Spirit. It will block out all the distractions around us which can diminish Christmas and swallow up its true meaning."

The Spirit of Christmas is the Spirit of Christ, and we may notice it more at Christmas, but we can keep this spirit with us at all times.

Merry Christmas everyone!! I love you all :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

10 days and 11 sleeps until Christmas!

It was a miracle filled week in Ibaraki! It is really throwing me for a loop being back in Osaka, especially since I came back around the exact same time that I arrived in Japan last year. It is so interesting to take a look at how much I have changed since last year. It is also very cool to see that I am able to understand what is going on in the world around me and that I am capable of knowing what is going on in missionary work, at least a little bit more. :)

It is Christmas Time!! I believe that the count down is currently at 10 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!! Hooray hooray hooray!! :) I love Christmas! And it is just a different thing to be a missionary for Christmas, but if anything, I just feel even more excited about the season because of the miracles that pop up right now and because there is nothing better than testifying about Christ during Christmas. 

This week was full and Mills Shimai and I had a lot of fun just going out and working and doing lots of finding :) We found a family that we started teaching that surprised us by inviting us in for dinner! Mills Shimai had actually met the mother the last transfer.  We ate delicious Japanese food with them and the two adorable little daughters performed a dance for us and a song, which involved "Be our Guest" from Beauty and the Beast. And also "Hi - Ho" from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. It was one of the most adorable things - and then we literally sprinted home to make it home on time.

Yesterday we had an amazing lesson in relief society about Christmas! We talked about how we can make sure that we are keeping the "Christ" in "Christmas" and not turning it into "X-Mas." In Japanese the word "Christ" is not actually part of the word "Christmas" (in Japanese Christmas is Kurisumasu and Christ is Kirisuto and those two words sound nothing a like, so there are quite a lot of people who just have no idea at all what the purpose of Christmas is and are very surprised to discover that it is actually a celebration of Christ's this relief society lesson was particularly effective for Japan, but I loved it none the less). It made me think a lot about how important it is to always keep the spirit of Christmas - the true spirit of Christmas in our hearts.

Also, this week I had a wonderful Christmas present because the Ibaraki Church building has a GYM! Which is amazing because it is the only church building that has a gym in the entire Kobe Mission, I think. But, we do a sports night every week. This week, I got everyone playing soccer and I was super happy and I had a giant smile on my face, for about forever, after that wonderful game.

Merry Christmas to everyone from me and Mills Shimai! I am so grateful for my new companion, she is just the sweetest person and she is working really hard to learn Japanese. I am very impressed with how good her Japanese is after only being here for 6 weeks, and that she is still really positive, even though she usually doesn't really know what the investigators or I am saying. She is also incredibly patient with me when I get us dreadfully lost for three hours in the freezing cold :)

Much Love,
Grundvig Shimai!!

And because I haven't told everyone how much I love this video yet, but it is lighting up the world.  I promise that if you give it a chance, it will change you. And you will never view the world the same way again!

Click below to see the video

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Goodbye Tokushima, Welcome to Ibaraki!!

Goodbye My Beautiful Tokushima
My last week in Tokushima was a dream of my life. I loved it so much, it was also the hardest thing of my life to say good bye to everyone and I cried so much. My tears gradually deceased throughout the week as I got used to the idea of leaving, but I still cried a lot at transfer point saying good bye to Chapman Shimai.
On Monday we had family home evening...I told the family we were with about the experiences I had had in Tokushima, and the family and us cried hahaha. It was heart wrenching...and the Elders were really fighting to keep their eyes dry. And they were not too successful at that :)

The week was full of saying goodbye to investigators and members, but it was truly an amazing week. I was able to see how much the Lord had blessed me in Tokushima. It was neat to be able to talk to people and see how much we had learned together in the past seven and a half months. I received a lot of letters that ripped my heart to pieces, but really just left me feeling so humbled knowing that the Lord has blessed so many lives here. I left with a feeling of joy and peace knowing that I had done what I was called to do in Tokushima.

I received one gift leaving Tokushima that just melted my heart completely. From our two college students (who are being baptized soon!!) I received a soccer ball that they had written their testimonies on in English and little thank you notes. It was the sweetest thing ever. They had run to their college English professor to get his help with translation, but they essentially wrote: "Thank you. I am so happy that I met you. Because of you, I know about Jesus Christ." And I just cried a lot about that.

Another moment that melted my heart was saying goodbye to Chapman Shimai. She pulled me aside and told me that she had seen me all of those mornings I woke up early to make her learning tools for Japanese...and that she had cried when I would wake up early because she could see the sacrifice I was making for her. And basically that just also made my heart melt. She left me a note in my suitcase and a necklace from Tahiti that I discovered this morning as I unpacked my bags and it was the sweetest thing ever.

Tokushima is a special place and it will live on in my heart forever. A few investigators and a member came to say goodbye to me at the bus stop and I left Tokushima with some tears in my eyes...after the most exhausting week of my life (waking up between 3:30 and 5 every morning to make sure that the Chouro (Elders) and Chapman Shimai knew the 7 and a half months worth of information stored inside my brain)...and I said goodbye to Tokushima!

So! For the last two days! I have been in Ibaraki! Mills Shimai is amazing! She helped dear Chapman Shimai in the MTC a whole lot, and I am forever grateful for that. Training an American who speaks English is 700% different. My world turned back to normal side up instead of the crazy roller coaster ride it was at the beginning of last transfer. Ibaraki is amazing, the members are super sweet and it is so much fun living in an apartment with four Shimais! I am with Daniels Shimai's trainee, Mackenzie Shimai from New Zealand and she has the craziest conversion story ever, it is way cool!!!

Anyway....I am excited for the upcoming week in Ibaraki and learning a new area and all of the new investigators :) It is a great place and WAYYY more city than Tokushima, which is crazy. I am definitely back in Osaka!!
I love you all!

Grundvig Shimai
Goodbye Tokushima

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Back to the streets of Osaka!

Hello everyone!!

This morning I received the most heartbreaking news....I am leaving Tokushima! I will be going back to Osaka...the Osaka North Zone, where I will be training a second transfer missionary named Mills Shimai. I actually talked to her and her companion on the bus last week when Chapman Shimai and I went to Kobe, and I believe that she is from Utah. She is very nice.

With Chapman Shimai.  I am really going to miss this girl!
My heart is broken into little pieces though to leave Tokushima. I love these people SOOO much! And I love Chapman Shimai soooo much!! When I saw the email this morning I just started crying and Chapman Shimai started crying. But! We both know that this is the Lord's will for us and that He has a bigger plan than I do...and right now the Lord needs me in Ibaraki! The funny thing is that Mill's Shimai's trainer and I are switching Chapman Shimai's new companion is a sister named Hiatt Shimai. She is AWESOME!! I love her a ton, we were in the MTC together and we sat next to each other on the plane ride to Japan. I know that Hiatt Shimai and Chapman Shimai will see tons of miracles together. They will be a dynamic duo undoubtedly.

This week was super great!! We had lessons with our amazing soccer playing, college student investigators and they are so cute. We had Family Home Evening at a members home with them, and that all went really well. They are both praying and they LOVE prayer! When investigators really, really desire to know the truth and they pray from their hearts, they receive answers. 100% guaranteed. Both of these sweet girls are experiencing this. They both shared powerful experience of prayer with the members, and the Elders who were also at the Family Home Evening both shared funny experiences with our investigators that they had had with prayer. Although both of the Elder's stories involved getting lost in mountains (one in Japan, and one in Utah), they both learned that God HEARS our prayers and that He will send help and comfort.

On Thursday Chapman Shimai and I went to Kobe for Trainer Trainee Training. It was super awesome! I loved it SO MUCH! I learned a lot about how to be a better trainer, I am sad that I only had a few days to apply what I learned with Chapman Shimai...but I am excited to go apply what I learned in Ibaraki with Mills Shimai. The miracle of the day was that we did not think that Chapman Shimai would have anyone to translate into French for her...but an elder showed up who is a second transfer who spoke AMAZING French! The cool story behind this is that Chapman Shimai actually knew him in the MTC, and although he did take French in High School....he really could not speak French at all. So, that being said, he came to Japan...and ended up with two investigators from France. Over the course of 3 months he became fluent in French and was able to translate the entire meeting for Chapman Shimai. It was awesome.

Then on Saturday we had this super great American Pizza Party! We have been inviting people to it for a while on the streets and we had a pretty good turn out. The Elders made a ton of pizza for it, and they are great cooks and it was the best pizza I have had yet in Japan. On another note, the Elders looked hilarious in the aprons and matching cooking utensils that they bought from Daiso. It went really well and we also taught everyone how to sing American Folk Songs....including Yankee Doodle Dandee and You are My Sunshine. Needless to say, it was a huge hit.

I guess in closing....some reflections on what I have learned this transfer.I will never forget that day that I picked Chapman Shimai up from the hombu, and the feeling of complete overwhelming-ness that engulfed me as we left Kobe and headed back to Tokushima. When Chapman Shimai fell asleep on the bus, I let myself cry like three tears. I had no idea what I was doing teaching someone how to be a missionary in French. But I learned oh so very much this transfer, it will be one of the ones that I treasure most on my mission. Chapman Shimai and I have forged a deep friendship....that will last despite that we may live far away from each other for the rest of our lives. The Lord taught me that I really have no power to do...anything. He taught me that I am not the trainer, He is...and that my trainee can only really learn through the spirit. The same thing applies to my investigators...and really anyone that I may encounter in my life. Plus, I have seen amazing growth in Chapman Shimai. She can speak ENGLISH!! And her Japanese is coming along too! It was so fun to go to Kobe and for her to see all of her missionary friends from the MTC. They were all completely blown away that she could speak and understand SOOOO much! It made me so happy for her. It was a joyful moment for both of us. It has been a transfer of relying on the Lord, a lot of prayer, and sooooo soooo much joy. But, I know that the Lord lives! He loves us! And He has work for me to do in Ibaraki. So....back to the streets of Osaka I go!

Much love,

Grundvig Shima


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Moving forward by Miracles

Our recent hike to Bizan, which has become a weekly activity for the Ward

The work in Tokushima is moving forward by miracles!
I don't really know how else to explain everything that is happening. This week was amazing.

As a missionary there are a million and one different things running through my head, all of the time...and so there are an unfortunate amount of times where I am thinking about the lesson we are on our way to teach...or how to teach Japanese to my dear companion who is also learning English..or how to help an investigator keep their commitments.....when, all of a sudden I see someone that I need to talk to...and I abruptly stop my bike and say the first thing that flies into my head. Which is usually awkward and sometimes strange Japanese. Therefore, it is always amazing when I hear awkward words coming out of my mouth, and the person I am talking to does not run away from me, but instead looks incredibly interested and continues to listen. This happened quite a lot of times this week and we found a few people around Tokushima who have now commited to read the Book of Mormon after being stopped by two girls on bikes who might have said a lot of Japanese sentences that didn't fully make sense. The good news is that the Book of Mormon speaks perfect Japanese, even though I don't.

Some of the other miracles we saw! Nathalie is doing awesome! She LOVES having Chapman Shimai teaching her in French. And Chapman Shimai is a rockstar teaching her all of the lessons as a brand new missionary. I have very little idea about what is going on during those lessons...however, I did say a prayer in French. Nathalie laughed at my pronunciation (French accent is impossible). Although, when Chapman Shimai and I sing in French my pronunciation gets much better and Nathalie says that she thinks I will one day become very, very good at French. I look forward to this day.....though it may be very far in the future.
Recently, we have also started teaching these two AMAZING girls who are college students in Tokushima. I love them so much! They are two of the sweetest girls, they are absolutely hilarious and we have become great friends. They are very patient with me and Chapman Shimai's Japanese. They are very good at using Japanese that we 100% understand, which is really nice. They are both very nice, incredibly intelligent, and they both play soccer at their college! They are studying psychology and I am pretty sure that we were great friends in the pre-earth life. There is just a bond between the four of us that is difficult to explain. Although all four of us come from different backgrounds, we have connected like we were the best of friends before the world was....which I think that we were. Even more than soccer, or what we are studying in college....there is just an unbelievably strong bond that we truly are sisters and daughters of God.  Teaching them and watching them feel God's love is one of those experiences that I dreamed about before my mission...Meeting that best friend that I had promised, before I came to earth that I would find, and teach. I feel in my heart that these two girl are two of those people, and it has been a joyful reunion.

Beautiful Tokushima
And in closing, I will quote a scripture that I read last week and loved. 1 Nephi 20:10: "For, behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction..." Our trials do not define us, but they refine us. Is missionary work easy? No. Is it supposed to be easy? Also no. But, through the furnace of affliction the Lord prepares the way for not only His work to move forward...but for us to move forward in our lives and in becoming who we want to become. I am grateful for the hardest times, because it is in the hardest times that the Lord's hand descends upon us and raises us up from the things that hold us down.  

Grundvig Shimai.

p.s. We went to the zoo last week and I have never seen anyone as excited as Chapman Shimai was to see all of those animals. It was the best thing of my life. 
At the Zoo

p.p.s. OH MY GOODNESS I ALMOST FORGOT! There was another miracle that basically made my week! On Friday I realized that I couldn't find my USB drive....which has the Restoration Video on it and some other tools. But it also has ALL OF MY MISSION PICTURES, up until four weeks ago on it. So, I called the Elders and they hadn't seen it anywhere. And I searched my desk and I couldn't find it. So then I said a prayer with Chapman Shimai. While we were praying, I remembered that two weeks ago we had gone to a 7/11, and I felt like we should go to that 7/11 and ask if they had my USB drive. We did so, and they immediately pulled it out! They had held on to it for two weeks and I was able to find my mission pictures. Thank goodness Heavenly Father cares about the small my mission pictures :) I felt very blessed and it made Saturday an even happier day!

Chapman Shimai and Grundvig Shimai

Friday, November 21, 2014

Divine Intersections


The highlight of our week was Sunday! We had two girls come to church who are 20 years old and are so much fun! We had met them on the street a few weeks ago, talked to them for a bit, invited them to game night - which they came to this week, and then we invited them to church and they came! They stayed for all three hours and liked it...and at the end they asked us if "maybe it would be OK if they came to church every once and a while?" And we happily told them that that was definitely OK. The members were great at fellow shipping them and it was one of those moments where you feel super happy to be a missionary. Also, a less active member we have been teaching came to church on Sunday and she just looked super happy and it made my life. It was just a great Sunday. I had been very stressed out because I was teaching the second hour of class and part of the third hour....and my Japanese is not good enough to be teaching that many classes in one day (plus I thought I was speaking in sacrament meeting....but that turned out to be a mistake and I wasn't) ...but what began as a rather stressful Sunday turned into a super powerful Sabbath day and the Lord took hold of my language abilities and helped me to teach everything that I needed to in Japanese....and I think that the lessons went well. :)

Yesterday we had Zone Conference and it was amazing! I love Zone Conferences, and this one was even better because Morin Chourou who was in my MTC District and is from Canada was able to translate into French for Chapman Shimai. She was SO HAPPY. And at the end of it she turned to me and said: "It is SO NICE to be able to understand!" I can't even imagine how hard it would be to be a missionary and really not understand a large percentage of the things going on around you every day. Well....I can imagine because I didn't speak Japanese...but I can't imagine not even being able to understand your companion OR anything around you AND learning two languages. The magnitude of what she is doing just blows me away every day!

Anyway, at Zone Conference we talked a TON about using the Book of Mormon and we did lots of Mogis with using the Book of Mormon. AND that was super fun because my mogi companion ended up being Weigl Shimai and she is a super great missionary and it was way natsukashii to mogi with her! It was like a piece of home...but not...all at once because we are in Japan and neither of us is the same person that we were before we came to Japan. On another note, her Japanese is really good. And she promised to say hello to everyone for me when she arrives home in Virginia in just a few weeks. Crazy how fast that time went. Anyway, I learned lots about the Book of Mormon and was reminded of how very powerful of a tool it is. As we have focused on trying to use the Book of Mormon more, as we dendou these past few weeks, we have started to see a lot of miracles. There is a power that comes from that Book! "A man will get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other Book..." (Introduction to the Book of Mormon). 

Another cool focus of our Zone Meeting was seeing how the gospel blesses people’s lives...and sort of seeing the "after story". It was way cool. We watched some follow up videos to the district and some other videos that showed a few families conversion stories and how their lives were impacted...and what happened to them years after they joined the church. My favorite was of a man named Erik from the district. He joined the church in California, and even as he was preparing for baptism he was really struggling with the Word of Wisdom. He had been an alcoholic, his family didn't talk to him and his life was just hard. He was baptized. He completely overcame his drinking problem...and now, just a bit down the road...he fixed his relationship with his children. They served missions. He remarried, and now has a large happy family. The biggest change was in his face. There was a completely different light in him now. It was one of the coolest things. There are moments that happen in life...."divine intersections",  there are people we meet...and one day we will see what happened because of all of those divine intersections. I am excited for that moment.

ALSO! This Friday was National Pickle Day and so our district all wore green and then we went and ate shabushabu and it was delicious.


Grundvig Shimai

p.s. today we are going to the zoo and my companion is so excited because she has never seen elephants or giraffes and the like!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The name tag miracle

Due to lack of email last week...I will try to fit all of the amazing miracles that happened last week into this weeks email!

Chapman Shimai is amazing. I love her to pieces. She is the most fun person to train in the whole
With Chapman Shimai, lunch after softball

Enjoying sushi
world probably and we get along really, really well....despite absolutely hilarious language lapses. We were planning on the bus home from Zone Training Meeting the other day and I had written that we would "ride the bus" from 2:30 - 4:00 and she looked at it and said: "What is the signification of 'ride the bus'?" (Meaning "what does ride the bus mean?")  When she understood what it meant we laughed for a while. I don't know why it was so funny...but it just really was. Another really enjoyable quote was that for the longest time she would say: "I'm scary" when she was nervous to do something (instead of "I'm scared"). When I explained that one we laughed for a really long time too. She is super awesome and willing to laugh at her mistakes, and keep trying over and over again....and she is learning Japanese (and English) really quickly. My French progression is significantly slower...but I have started to actually understand the daitai of what she is saying in French just from hearing it so much. And also because she is really good at body language. Probably, mostly the body language is helping my understanding more than anything....but...every day is a super,crazy, fun adventure.

The name tag miracle
This week on Monday we played softball! There was a tournament in Takamatsu and as a result we didn't have any time to email when we got back. Instead we bought Black Thunders, the most delicious Japanese chocolate bars ever, ate those in a parking lot and then went over to a members house for Family Home Evening. The Elders and I were all very sunburned from the softball games...but my Tahitian Companion remained sunburn free :) Anyway, it was a crazy busy slightly stressful Monday and we didn't end up having time to buy groceries...or really do anything besides eat our chocolate bars (I think the Elders actually lived on rice the entire week...and maybe some packages of ramen), but after our crazy day on our bike ride to the members house for dinner and FHE, Chapman Shimai got run into a large bush by a group of Japanese Middle School Students on their way home after school. So, after picking herself up out of the bush we continued on our way until we made it to the members house. At the members house, Chapman Shimai realized that her name tag had disappeared and she was really, really worried. And, it turned out that she thought that she wouldn't be able to get any more name tags if she lost hers (which I didn't understand at the time, but anyway, she was really nervous about it). So, she wore one of the Elders name tags for the night because that made her feel better, and we said a prayer together that we would be able to find her name tag. The next day we had to bike by the same place she had been run over the night before on the way to one of our lessons, and we found her name tag! It was sitting next to a drain along the side of the road completely untouched and unscratched. She was so excited. We stopped right there, said a prayer of gratitude and continued on our way. My favorite part was the testimony that she bore to me afterwards: "I know that my name tag was protected because it is not just my name that is written. It is because Jesus Christ's name is on this tag, and His name is bigger than mine. This is why Heavenly Father helped us to find my tag." It was super sweet, and I love her powerful testimony. I have learned from her how little the words we say actually matter...because her testimony in Japanese or English comes with amazing power, despite the words being simple or jumbled. Her testimony has touched my heart many, many times in the past two weeks. Her faith is magnificent and tremendous to witness every day.

Last week we had the opportunity to teach one of our investigators about prayer!! And it was a super great lesson :) Chapman Shimai shared an experience in English during it (this investigator is from Taiwan) and it was SO POWERFUL. The gift of tongues is real because I had never heard her speak English like that before. But, she told her a story about when she arrived from Tahiti in California. She was in the airport, she didn't know where to go, she couldn't find her bags and no one spoke her language. She was terrified. But, she sat down and said a prayer. When she opened her eyes, her bags were in front of her and a police officer walked by and asked her if she needed help, and he was able to help her make it where she needed to be. The story was really amazing, her testimony of prayer was super powerful, and I know that it touched our investigators heart! 
Visiting Referrals with Nakamura Kyoudai and elders
This week we also focused on teaching more through the Book of Mormon, and we have been using the Book of Mormon more during street contacts and as a result more light has come into our work in Tokushima. We have been finding more people to teach, our testimonies are being strengthened, and our investigators are progressing more because of the Book of Mormon. The Sister Training Leaders came to do a koukan with us this week on Thursday and they both powerfully used the Book of Mormon. We loved it and have tried to apply the same principle, and found a few great potential investigators as a result, and started teaching a few less actives through the Book of Mormon. Also, the Japan Kobe Mission has set a goal to read the Book of Mormon together by March, and everyone received a new copy in their native language to read. (This was cool because in our zone there were people receiving Books of Mormon in French, English, Japanese, Spanish and Portuguese - our zone is very diverse). We are all super excited about this because the Book of Mormon brings GREAT POWER into the lives of those who read it. It truly testifies of Christ and strengthens our relationship with Him. Anyone who would like to join us in reading the Book of Mormon by March, please do :) I promise that if you do, you will learn of Jesus Christ and His mission and Atonement. The Book of Mormon is the foundation of testimony, if it is true, Joseph Smith is a prophet and he truly did restore the church! Through the Book of Mormon, we can gain our own witness of these things. And that is why I love the Book of Mormon. :)

This weekend we had a District Conference in Takamatsu. (We spent most of our week in it was kind of crazy) BUT I loved the district conference. The district presidency was released as the old District President is moving - which was super sad, because I have really grown to love him and his family during my time in Tokushima. But, it was neat to gather with all of the people that I have been working with her for the past six months...and to see the changes that have happened since the last District Conference in June. There have been a lot of baptisms, and in this conference some of the recent converts spoke. It was one of the most powerful things of my life and it made me so happy to be a missionary. That is one of the best things ever - seeing the changes that happen in peoples hearts. Because it is not just the changes in investigators, but it is changes that happen in members and recent converts and less actives and companions and everyone around us. Change is accelerated times a billion as a is really quite fun. But, I really loved the conference because I just really love these members in Tokushima with all of my heart and I love this island and I love Shikoku. And Shikoku is a super special place....seriously...I don't know what it is about Shikoku but every missionary that comes here feels it. Japan is special, but there is something different about Shikoku. It is a different feel than the rest of the country and I love it with all of my heart and I would like to stay here for the rest of my mission...but that is maybe not possible...kamoshirenai desu.

Tokushima at night.  I love this place!
SO! It was a good, full two weeks :) I love being a missionary. I LOVE the members here! I LOVE Tokushima. I LOVE Shikoku. I LOVE my companion. And I never want to leave :) 

Make it a great week!

Grundvig Shimai

WEIGL SHIMAI is in my zone! That was a hisashiburi reunion! I am sad we never got to be companions, but this is her last transfer which is the craziest thing ever. She is a super good missionary and she is way good at Japanese and she is such a cute person.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

From Tahiti to Japan

This week...has probably been the fastest and the craziest week of my entire mission.

Last Monday night Payne Shimai and I traveled to Takamatsu. We met some members at the Train Station before leaving and ate dinner with Kawano Shimai, and then said goodbye....and left for Takamatsu. It was sad. I teared up as we drove away...those three transfers were truly wonderful. On Monday night I met my companion for the week - Stevenson Shimai. Her dad is American, and her mom is Japanese, but she grew up in Japan and doesn't speak English! She speaks Korean though, which is awesome. BUT! We had SUCH A FUN WEEK! I love her to pieces and I am really excited to see her at Zone Training Meetings and stuff. We learned tons together and spent lots of time trading ideas for how to help both of our areas and she is super awesome and humble and we became great friends and I hope that one day we are able to be companions :) PLUS it was so fun to speak Japanese all week. It made me really, really hope that I have a Japanese companion one day soon.
On Thursday night Stevenson Shimai and I took a bus to Okayama, and then from Okayama we went to Akashi where I stayed the night. On Friday morning I woke up early and we took a train to Kobe...where I was reunited with Violette Shimai and Daniels Shimai! Which was wonderful! AND I met my new companion!

As a preface....I was nervous to be a trainer. I was actually nervous to just become a senior companion. And that was when I thought that I would be training someone who spoke English or Japanese. life as a trainer is absolutely nothing like what I thought it would be. Or what I had prepared for!

My new companion is named Sister Chapman. She is the cutest girl, she has more faith than anyone I have ever met...and she is from Tahiti! And she doesn't really speak English or Japanese. When she entered the MTC she started learning BOTH English AND Japanese. HOW AMAZING IS SHE?? And I can definitely say that the gift of tongues is REAL! It is so real! She learned enough English and Japanese in 9 weeks to communicate enough with me....that we can do missionary work. And her language skills just keep getting better. But, it is definitely a huge adventure.....and I have recently started learning French. And I have to give a shout out to the most amazing District Leader and Zone Leaders in the world who are helping more than anything, and to a district leader who is going to learn French with me so that we can help her learn how to be a missionary. It is kind of a lot of pressure to know that I am helping someone to build the beginning of their mission when I don't speak their native language. But, I know that the Lord will provide a way for us to do ALL that He has asked!!

Miracles are real. We have seen so many miracles just in these past few days. I can't even explain it. I have suddenly developed an ability to remember more kanji and read all the ones that I really need to. And I can also understand a heck of a lot more Japanese than I should probably be understanding. And I can speak more fluently than I could four days ago. On top of that, everyone we see seems to be drawn to us. We have had TONS of good contacts. We were able to teach a surprising amount of lessons in two days....and this morning we got a call from a man and his wife who I met two weeks ago who want to meet with us today and learn about Christianity. Heavenly Father is pouring the blessings of Heaven upon us because this is the hardest thing that either I or Chapman Shimai have ever done.

I can't even express my love for Chapman Shimai enough. She just looks at me and says: "Sister, I want to speak Nihongo. I want to understand. I want God to smile down on my hard work!" And I say: "Sister! He IS smiling down at your hard work! You WILL learn Nihongo! AND English!" And then we laugh and ride off on our bikes into the sunset...but really though. She is so amazing. She has SO MUCH FAITH! To go to the MTC without speaking English OR Japanese! I can't imagine it. She has more desire than anyone to be a missionary! And another quote from her: "Shimai...I can't speak...but the important thing to me is that we wakachiatai!" (The important thing to me is that we want to share!" And I say: "Alright! Then lets talk to everyone!!" And then we do! And it is so good! And it is amazing how many people want to talk to us :)

Anyway...I am out of time....but....all I have to say is that the Lord lives. He WILL take care of you. He KNOWS the hard things that you go through. Anything. And He WILL help. I know that is true. Always, always, always be grateful for the blessings that you have received!
Grundvig Shimai

Friday, October 24, 2014

Transfer 5 in Tokushima...reflections on the last three...and I am training!!

Payne Shimai and Grundvig Shimai

"Senkyoushi toushite, watashitachi wa ichinenhan no katsudo wo shite imasu....Ima, watashi wa ichinenhansugiru shite imasu...." (Payne Shimai).

One of the benefits of being a missionary in the Japan, Kobe mission is that when Zinke Kaichou chose the return dates for all of the sister missionaries after the transfer schedule changed due to the MTC time period being shortened, he decided to lengthen all of our missions by a month instead of shortening them by a few weeks. As such, the Japan Kobe Mission Sister Missionaries serve a mission for just under 19 months. The blessings of serving in Kobe :)

But...those 19 months come to an end. Often on the street people ask why we are in Japan...and how long we have been here. Payne Shimai would then say that we come to Japan for 18 months as missionaries. Which almost always resulted in the follow-up question: " long have you been here then?" To which she would reply....Oh....actually...over 18 months. Which resulted in a lot of really confused people. But even after hearing that over and over again...the idea of not being a missionary never really seems real.

It doesn't seem real when your companion says goodbye to investigators.
Or when the she gives her farewell talk in church.
Or when you look at the calendar and see that it is almost October 20th.

It only really starts to feel real when on Sunday night at 9:30 you are running around like chickens with their heads cut off...trying to pack and clean up the apartment. The good news is....even though we packed up her stuff the night before she left, we managed to fit everything and get her suitcases under weight. (The other thing is that my wardrobe has just about tripled in size). Hard things to explain are feelings of sitting on your futon the night before your companion leaves for Kobe...and talking about your three transfers together. The miracles we had seen....the sad things we had seen, the hard times, the best times...everything! It can be hard to explain the feeling of watching her write out her mission evaluation, and knowing that that time ACTUALLY comes, when my life is no longer the missionary schedule straight out of the white handbook and days of talking to lots and lots of people as I bike the streets of Japan. It is a very surreal feeling.
With Payne Shimai, participating with Mormon Helping Hands

But. What I can explain is what I have learned during these three transfers with Payne Shimai.

The first Sunday we were together she greeted every single person at church with the biggest smile and an even bigger hug.
I was surprised. The members were surprised. Who was this girl that already loved them? She was met with some apprehension, and slightly anxious hugs.

The next Sunday the reception was a little bit warmer. And this time I followed suit! I wanted to show the members how much I loved them too!  We greeted as many members as we could with huge hugs.  I watched our reception become just a little warmer every single time we met with a member. We heart-attacked their doors, we made cookies and left them on door steps. We wrote notes to the kids in the primary. We made more crafts than I have ever made in my life, early in the morning or at night after planning, before plopping onto our futons exhausted. And, we always greeted everyone with hugs. Everyone felt her love, and I wanted everyone to feel my love too. We both worked SO HARD to show everyone how much we loved them. And slowly...but surely...all of those members started seeing us at church and their faces would burst into a smile. They would stretch out their arms and run and hug us. They would laugh and tell us all about their lives. And then slowly, we also started receiving some referrals. Love is the essense of the gospel. That is what we are really about as missionaries.

On Thursday night this week we went to dinner with one of my favorite couples. They are prime examples of service and just pure Christlike people. As we talked about Payne Shimai's mission and their lives, the wife stopped us and said something that I will never forget, that melted my heart forever. She very quietly said - "Ever since you two became companions, Tokushima has changed. This branch is different." I held back my tears...but then I looked at Payne Shimai....and we both teared up. The couple just smiled at us and thanked us for our work. There is nothing like the joy of having a positive impact on people.

Welch Kaichou once said: "If you are in control of yourself, the world around you changes..." Or something along those lines. I might be misquoting this...but that is the general idea.
"The world around us changes." In Tokushima we have seen more miracles than I could ever write about.  There were people who rarely came to church, who after a little bit of love came every single week. And continue to do so.  There were families who became more active.  There was the 92 year old who worked to stop smoking.  There were baptisms.  And the branch became even more of a family.

Anything is possible. The environment we are in can change depending on our attitude and the help of the Lord. The world around us can change.
With Payne Shimai at Japanese Dance Festival - Awaodori

A very profound quote that I once found on pinterest said: "The ones who are crazy enough to change the world are the ones that do." I thought of this the other day as I reflected on my transfers with Payne Shimai. She is an amazing missionary, and will continue to be an amazing missionary for the rest of her life. When she arrived in Tokushima she had a determination to help weaknesses become strengths, good things turn better...and for everything to improve. And oh, how it did. This is what happens when a consecrated missionary like Payne Shimai arrives somewhere. The world around them changes. We may not have changed the world by working in Tokushima, but we changed the world of at least a few people. This is the beauty of missionary work.

Payne Shimai changed my life. She changed me as a missionary. One of the members this week was talking to me and she said: "What have you seen in the past three transfers? Everything has changed since you two became companions, I think, do you think so too?" I smiled. And then I explained that I felt exactly the same way. The area had grown! And I had grown too. I am more loving, more Christlike...and my Japanese is a whole heck of a lot better. A consecrated missionary does not only affect the members, the people they meet on the street...but they have a profound impact on their companion. I can testify of that.

This week was amazing. I had the opportunity to see everything that had happened in these three transfers in real fast review.  It was very, very cool.  We had the opportunity to see who we had touched without even realizing it - and the opportunity to see how many people had touched us. The mission experience is the best.

And so these three transfers in Tokushima come to an end. Payne Shimai is moving on to the next phase of her life. And I move onto the next phase of my mission.....(where I will continue to hug every single Japanese person that I can :) )

SO on that note...I AM STAYING IN TOKUSHIMA FOR TRANSFER NUMBER 5! AND I couldn't be more excited! ANDDDD I am training a brand new missionary.
I am only slightly terrified.
But, as we rely on the Lord anything is possible. Plus, brand new missionaries bring miracles and so, I am so stoked.

I love Tokushima.
I love Payne Shimai to pieces. We will be friends throughout the eternities...because that is definitely supposed to happen.
I love being a missionary.
I love this work.

And I had an awesome quote that I was going to include in here...but I forgot it in the apartment so that is always good.
But, it suffices to say that I love my Heavenly Father. :)

Love you all!
Grundvig Shimai.

Slash P.S. I got this hilarious email - shout out to Camille Helmick - but, I am glad to know that everyone and their dog really enjoyed the story about how I fell into a rice field Back here.....what a great thing to be known for as a missionary!

"Congrats on reaching your one year mark! I love reading your blog! So I was at the Provo Temple the other day and these four sisters came over to me and my friends and asked if they could bear their testimonies in Japanese to us. It was so cool! When they finished I was telling how they should be happy if they get you as a companion! And guess what?!?!? They knew exactly who you are. I guess they'd all read your blog about getting stuck in a rice field. So yeah, I thought that was super awesome!!!  - (Camille Helmick)"

SLASH P.S. DANIELS SHIMAI IS A SISTER TRAINING LEADER IN KOBE! And I am not in her Sister Training Leader Area...but I am really hoping that one day I will get to go on an exchange with her at some point! Yay!! She will be the best sister training leader ever!!!!

Monday, October 13, 2014

When the storms are raging...


It has been a great and busy week. With Payne Shimai leaving we are just working as hard as we possibly can during these last few days. This week is her last one and so we are planning lots of super great dendou activities and I am really excited. Her strong desire to continue on as hard as she possibly can is amazing and I love it. 

We also got to watch General Conference this weekend! It is always kind of funny to watch it a week behind the rest of the world...but it is still just as amazing and inspiring and I love it just as much. One of my favorite talks was by Elder Scott. I loved everything that he said about prayer and scripture study and family home evening and going to the temple...and no matter how well we are doing on each of those things, we can always make some improvements. There is always something that we can do to improve our relationship with our Heavenly Father! 

One neat experience this week was on the train to a lesson with an investigator...we started talking to these girls who were 19, and explained that we are missionaries. They asked us if we knew how to pray. We said we did. They asked if that meant we got to talk with God. We said we did. One of the girls eyes turned so wide and she looked unbelievably excited to hear more. It made me so grateful to be a missionary and be able to share that knowledge with everyone. I LOVED the message from Elder Bednar in conference about why we do missionary work! Because we have a light! If you had the most wonderful solution, something that made you feel better than anything else...wouldn't you also want others to experience this too? I love that I get to do this every day with the gospel, that this is the light I get to share with other people.

In other news there is currently an enormous typhoon and I am a little bit nervous because I think the wind is moving the building a little bit. And we were very nearly blown off of our bikes this we are emailing as fast as possible so we can make it home safely...and so this email will be very short.

The most important thing is that Tokushima is doing well.
I love being a missionary.
Jesus Christ lives.
Heavenly Father loves you.
And through the Lord's power, anything is possible!

Love you!
Grundvig Shimai

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Japanese Funeral

Ahhh, delicious Japanese candy.  A gift from church members!

It was a week full of new experiences! It felt like we didn't have a lot of time to do actual missionary work this week because other things kept happening.

The construction to expand the church building is finished, and so we are able to study at the church in the mornings again...which is wonderful, but also means a 15 minute bike ride to the church before study. On Thursday, when we were studying at the church before leaving for Interviews with Welch Kaicho, we got a call from a less active member. He asked for the branch president's phone number, so we talked to him for a little bit, gave him the phone number and didn't think much of it for the rest of the day. After interviews when we made it back home, we got A LOT of phone calls from every member...basically. This less active's father had passed away, and they were having the funeral for him on Friday. So, I had the opportunity to attend a Japanese funeral. It was much more of a church funeral, so a lot of the traditional Japanese stuff wasn't done. But it was still an interesting experience. The less active family wanted all of the missionaries to sing, and so we sang Hie to Kolob at the funeral. The entire experience made me really grateful that we have the Plan of Salvation. Like any funeral, it was a little sad, but it doesn't feel like an end, it feels like "eternal beginnings" (like President Uchtdorf said in the April General Conference) because we know of our eternal destiny and Heavenly Father's plan for us.

On Saturday I was able to watch the General Women's Broadcast in Takamatsu! And then after the broadcast, which was amazing, we traveled back to Tokushima and went to this incredibly fancy hotel for a branch dinner....because a less active is the chef at the hotel! The food was delicious and the less active told us that he would be seeing us at church soon! 
So, between Interviews, a funeral and the General Women's Broadcast...we only had a few days to dendou. But, Heavenly Father provides for us and helped us to find the people that are prepared for the gospel. We also had a lesson on Friday night after the funeral with two of my favorite investigators in the entire world. We found them by housing right next to our Branch President's house last transfer, and they have been progressing really well! This week we taught them about the Plan of Salvation and they loved it! They are just so eager to learn, and this 12 year old girl and her mother have the best relationship ever and they are so cute and laugh together and make fun of each other...and if one of them doesn't do their reading assignment, then they teach it to the other one. The good news is that they are very good at keeping commitments :) They see the joy that comes from learning about their Savior, Jesus Christ...and they are just so much fun to teach. I have really come to LOVE teaching the gospel as a missionary.

Anyway...all in all it was a very good, eventful, busy week...even if a lot of the busy was spent doing very unusual things. But, the Lord brings those who need to find the gospel to us. I have a testimony of this :)

Also, one quick thought from Interviews that I have been thinking about - I talked with Welch Kaicho about charity, and developing Christlike attributes. He pointed out that if we are to be like the Savior, we must be perfectly obedient as the Savior was 100% obedient all the time. And as we are obedient, we develop more Christlike love, charity, faith, hope, humility...etc. He expounded John 15 and D&C 4 to me and talked about how we can abide in the Savior's love as we are obedient, and become more Christlike, and then more obedient...and it all just spirals. He also pointed out how until we are given the opportunity to develop these christlike attributes...we can't really develop them. For example, if we never have a humbling experience, we will not be humble. This is so much of what my mission has been. Faith building experiences, love building experiences, humbling experiences...
I also thought about the way that the Savior looks at all of us. He loves us all fully. Granted, He knows what is in our mind and hearts...but He had the ability to love us all perfectly. If we remember how much Heavenly Father loves each of His children, and how much the Savior loves each and every one of is not possible to be angry at the people around us. That Christlike love makes up for all of it.

Grundvig Shimai
 American goodies!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A mission is not easy, but it is not difficult.

One of my absolute favorite moments of this entire week was on Sunday morning! We were asked to sing with the Elders in church, so we spent some time practicing and actually sounded pretty good...and for the first time in this ward, I actually received some compliments on the song after sacrament meeting! I think usually....we sound a little rough. But, Payne Shimai and I sang the first half together, and then after we sang our part and the Elders started singing - she nudged me and said "Sakiyama Shimai is here!" And I looked towards the back, and saw that a less active we are teaching had come to church! She hasn't been in ages, but her face was glowing and the members were so happy to see her and she looked so nice. I felt so much joy and it was an amazing moment! 

It has been a super crazy first three weeks of the transfer...the transfer is already halfway over...and I don't know where the time went. Payne Shimai currently has three weeks of her mission left, We have been so busy! Teaching, finding, and being missionaries. But, our relationship with the members is really good! We have spent the past two preparation days out exploring Tokushima with the members and it has been so much fun! Two weeks ago we went to this really old rope bridge (and had a fun adventure complete with a flat tire) and then last week we went to the Naruto Whirlpools...which are supposedly world famous, so I would suggest googling them? I had never heard of them before, but maybe I am just uninformed. 
Rope Bridge

Last week I hit my year mark. Which is a time of reflection. A year ago I was in the MTC! A year ago I was learning how to form a basic Japanese sentence and wondering how on earth I was going to be able to teach the gospel in Japanese.

It has been a year since that time.

I am not fluent....but I can teach the gospel in Japanese. I have seen how it is the small and simple actions over a period of time that add up...and then one day, we are able to do those things that we never thought we could. Setting goals, then little by little, working to fulfill them. 
I was told before I left on my mission that this would be something harder than I could have ever imagined. (Imagine being told that the day before you depart for Japan.) The truth is, this is the hardest thing that I have ever done. But it is also the most joy filled thing that I have ever done. 
After being a missionary for a long period of time you forget that the things you are doing are not normal. I forget that I used to listen to music besides the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. That there was something called a date. That I didn't always have another person attached to my hip. I forget that I didn't use to stop every single person that I see to ask them if they have ever met a missionary before...or heard about Jesus Christ. I forget that I used to be able to chose what time I wake up and what time I go to bed. But the other thing is....that I wouldn't have this any other way. A missionary life may be incredibly difficult to explain in concise and effective words. But, it is truly the most joy filled thing that I can explain. Every sacrifice, every door closed in my face...or rather, the doors that never even open...are worth the ones that do. Or the people that see a light in us. 
Our newly purchased Yukatta's

Yesterday Payne Shimai and I were walking around the Tokushima Castle Park. We stopped a man and his wife on a bridge and started talking with them. He surprised us by slipping into decent English. We had a conversation with him about his life - and we found out that he had once stayed with a baptist man in San Francisco. He talked about the service that this man had given him because he believed in Christ. He then wanted to know why we were in Japan. I watched as this man's face changed completely as we explained who we are and why we are here. That we are not payed. That we save our own money, and that we want to simply help and serve the people of Japan. That this message has brought us joy. He looked at us and then he said: "Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you for what you are doing." He looked down at his shoes and then back up at our faces. "Japan needs people like you. The country is changing." The spirit testified to my heart in that tender moment. There are always people out there prepared and ready for the truth. There are people who really recognize a light in us.

In the words of President Holland - "A mission is not easy. But it is not difficult." My mission has not been easy - it is not supposed to be easy. If it were easy, how much would  I learn? But, I have also found so much joy in every single day of my missionary service. I have learned, or rather begun to learn, that as I rely on the Lord, my trials are much less of trials...but learning experiences. Every new challenge is an exciting adventure. An opportunity to grow my faith and really rely on the Lord. I have learned from companionship (I mean, you are with the same person that you did not choose... every single day, 24 hours a really learn how to get along with people...especially when you spend over 100 days with that person). I have learned from the members...who so sweetly serve everyone around them, and sacrifice so much for the truth that they know. I have learned from my mission president and his wife. Both Welch Kaicho, Zinke Kaicho, Welch Shimai and Zinke Shimai, have changed my future...And set an amazing example of faithful families in the Lord. 

Over the past year I have worked so hard! I have seen things change around me. I have seen the blessings of my work! Sometimes the effort I put in takes a long time to pay off, and sometimes I may not even see the pay off...but I have received countless blessings from the Lord. When I look back on the person that I was a year ago, I see where I have changed. It fills me with a sense of accomplishment - and also a sense of excitement for the six months that I have left to really give my everything! With a companion who is finishing her mission, I can really see where I want to be next April. There is so much growth that we can always do in life. As a missionary, there is growth in the language, in my ability to teach clearly and simply, to become more natural at talking to people on the street. But then, beyond that, there is growth that will come in the person that I am. I can serve more, love more, become more humble and charitable. Full of faith and hope. As a missionary, I have learned to accept the Lord's will. He knows what is going on. He has a plan for me. I am His daughter. I may not understand why....or when...or where....but He does. And His plan is a whole lot bigger and better than mine. 

I love this work so much. I love being a missionary...and I love being a missionary in the Japan, Kobe Mission. Being a missionary in Japan is not easy....but it is not difficult :) It is the experience of a life time. The world around us can change when we change our attitude. 


Grundvig Shimai

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

One Year!

Hello Everyone!!!

Because this week I also have no time again.

Did you know that when you have a companion returning home to America...suddenly the entire world wants to hang out with you?

I would like to think that it is just because everyone loves us a lot...and we have been here for 3 transfers together so we know everyone really well...but that might not be the case. 

We've seen some amazing miracles recently. This week was awesome. Including helping a drunk lady return home on the side of the street, seeing a less active return back to church, teaching some truly heart wrenching, but powerfully amazing lessons...and really, really learning how to study my scriptures. (Everyone should read Moroni 7. I currently love it a lot). I feel like I have finally figured out how to study...and I have been on my mission for a year. I guess I will be saying that for the rest of my life.

But, I love you all!

And I will send some pictures next week.

Grundvig Shimai

P.S. I have officially been on my mission for a year! Which I will write some more reflections on next week. But, this time has FLOWN by. I have no doubt that this last third will be even faster, but, this times results in reflection.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Zero time!!

I am sorry...I have no time!

We had a crazy day. Involving driving to this sweet rope bridge, which I will send pictures of next week...with a member family that I love dearly. And then stopping lots of other cool places. AND THEN we got a flat tire! It felt like a family trip. All parts included - flat tire and all. 

It has been a great week! It is interesting having 6 missionaries in Tokushima...and having 4 Elders is a totally different vibe. But, everyone is really excited. The members are doing everything they can to keep the new elders busy, which is impressive. We have a ward full of great member missionaries! Because opening a new area is probably the hardest thing wouldn't know anyone. Or how to get around. Pray for all those missionaries opening areas. :) 

Basically, it was a great week! I ate lots of Japanese food. Talked to lots of Japanese people. Learned new Japanese words. Testified of Jesus Christ. Loved being a missionary. Said lots of prayers. Talked a lot with Payne Shimai. OH SLASH, LAST PREPARATION DAY WE RAN TO AN INVESTIGATORS HOUSE! And it was the best thing ever. She was so surprised. And I miss running. 

All in the life of a missionary. I love this work. I love Japan. It is starting to cool down, and autumn is coming. And I am in the most beautiful place on the planet for it!

I love you all!
Grundvig Shimai

In celebration of Ariana's year mark out on a mission!  Here are a few pictures from Sept. 2013-Sept. 2014!  Thanks for all of your love and support!  (Ariana's Mom)
The Big day!  Sept. 18th, 2013

Halloween, our own kind of fun in the MTC (With Violette Shimai and Daniels Shimai)

My Mission Bike!

Baptism of Rebecca

First Christmas in the Mission, with Dean Shimai

January Festival

One of my favorite parts of the mission! Out meeting people!  

With Cain Shimai in Osaka

Hiking with Palmer Shimai in Tokushima

With Payne Shimai in Tokushima

I just love this place!