Tuesday, May 27, 2014

From Experience


My current companion will sometimes send her weekly emails home, entirely in Japanese because her family can read them...and that just takes way too much time and I would die. So I think that two sentences will suffice. The above says: "Hello everyone! I love you all! I love my new companion and Tokushima! I want to live here forever, but I will eventually transfer." Or at least that is what I tried to say...who really ever knows! It is all Japanese! 

This week was SO amazing. We had the most packed preparation day of our entire lives last week and I was exhausted by the end of it. We went hiking in the morning, biked to email, went shopping at daiso, we need more daiso's in the United States. いつか. And then we went to this cultural center place where we watched awadori, which is the traditional dance on Shikoku and I love it. 

Awadori - the dance that Shikoku is known for. I wish I could send home the video it is legit

The Cake that we "made" for Palmer Shimai's birthday
 English is becoming hard. I just proof-read the prior paragraphs and made quite a few corrections. 

After our packed preparation day, full of biking and tons of fun we went and visited a less active lady who talked to us for about 45 minutes! She was super sweet and invited us to come back, so we are visiting her again tomorrow! It was an insanely busy week. We had a few days where we were gone for the entire day - leaving our apartment at 8 in the morning and not coming back until 9 at night, completely exhausted, slightly tanner and maybe a little bit sunburned and very sweaty. We were able to teach quite a few lessons this week and I just love all of our investigators with all of my heart. Our French investigator this week asked us when she could be baptized, we don't think that she really understands a lot of what we say though...so we are going to continue teaching her at a slow pace to make sure that she really understands why she wants to be baptized. I talked to one of the Elders (the french one from Canada) in my doki this weekend at the Christofferson Taikai (Conference, Elder Christofferson ) and he told me that he could get me some French teaching materials, like the chart, in French, so that was a life saver. 

On Sunday we had a lesson with a girl who has come to a few activities at the church with us, but had not actually become an investigator yet. Basically I love her and she is completely 金人 there is no doubt in my mind about that. I love her so much. We taught her that she is a daughter of God and a little bit about prayer and she asked the most amazing questions. She took notes throughout the three hours of church and made a ton of friends and by some miracle, her off day of work is Sunday. I love this girl. She wanted to know how to pray and if we keep a pray in our minds all the time. She was a little bit confused about why we don't pray to mountains and stuff...but we explained it pretty well. She asked us about experiences that we had had where God protected us, and we both shared experiences from our missions thus far about times when the spirit had warned us of danger, or protected us from crazy drivers while we are biking hahahhaha. 

Some of the highlights of this week were the taikai with Elder Christofferson and one of my follow ups with my zone leaders. Basically, I just really love follow ups. I get to hear amazing stories and miracles from my leaders and they are super inspiring and all of my zone leaders have just been the most inspiring people ever. Anyway, I was talking to one of our zone leaders and he told me about a guy who walked into the church while they were studying and he is going to be baptized soon. Basically, this guy was studying to be a monk or something like that and then the leader of his little shinto sect was on his dying bed and shared this secret with him that he had known his whole life. So the secret was that Christ was really the leader of this shinto religion but they had called him by a different name and so no one knew that Christ was this religions leader, and this little monk guy on his death bed was like: "The truth is in Christ....." or something like that. So then this man began his search for truth and walked into the church while the elders were studying! He was telling me the story and I was like.....this is the craziest thing I have ever heard in my life, but it is so cool.....miracles happen. The Lord sends the people that are searching for truth to us!

And then the Elder Christofferson Taikai. Oh my goodness I just loved it so much. I felt like I prepared myself really well spiritually for this taikai because I did not want to miss anything. I felt like I did not spiritually prepare myself well enough for General Conference and so I did not receive all of the revelation that I could have, had I gone into the conference with a more willing heart and more humility.  So I have been keeping this conference in my prayers for the past...month or so...and I fasted before it and prepared a lot of questions. Every single one of my questions was answered and the spirit was SO strong. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. It was so neat to be gathered with the entire mission in Ibaraki right before Zinke Kaicho and Zinke Shimai (mission President and his wife) go home. They have been so AMAZING...it was so good for them to see the whole mission all together. I have never seen all of the missionaries so well behaved either...but everyone was super quiet and serious and reverent and it was amazing. Pretty much, everyone was there like two hours early and spiritually preparing. We traveled for an entire day, and stayed overnight in Sekime (in Osaka) before the conference and then woke up at 5 am to make it on time. He spoke so powerfully and left an amazing blessing upon the mission. It was beyond words to shake hands with an apostle of the Lord, with a man whose testimony caused the room to essentially catch on fire with a vibrant spirit. And if this mans testimony could make Zinke Kaicho cry (I never thought I would see Zinke Kaicho cry, but he definitely did as he bore testimony to us). And Zinke Shimai cried too. I can't imagine how they feel leaving...because basically I just cry whenever I think about them leaving. Christofferson Choro said that this taikai was the Lord's way of thanking the Zinke's for their amazing service, it was His way of telling them that they have done all they can and done His will. He told us that the Lord sees us as worthy, that we are obedient and that we will see miracles here because we are true disciples of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. There is nothing quiet like getting that confirmation from an apostle of the Lord. His testimony of the Savior was amazing. I noticed two words that he used in particular that I just loved: "I know that Christ lives. I know that He is our Savior. From confirmation and from experience, Jesus Christ is our Redeemer...." 

This weekend was amazing. This week was amazing. And it went by way too fast. Somehow the transfer is nearing its halfway point....and I don't really know how because it just barely started....

Oh and I also translated Sacrament meeting again. And then I had to translate Sunday School. My Japanese is improving and the gift of tongues is real because I can understand Japanese and I don't really know when on earth that happened. And sometimes I can even speak Japanese which is craziness.

Have a great week!
Grundvig Shimai

 I have decided that I am going to take a picture of this rice field every single week on preparation day so that you can see how much time is really passing based upon the growth of the rice. I hope that you enjoy. Unfortunately I forgot to take the picture last preparation day, so this was on Thursday. But I remembered today! Thus the following picture


Basically those pictures looked exactly the same.....but.....there will be slow but sure differences throughout the weeks hahahah.

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