Japan, Sendai Mission

Japan, Sendai Mission

Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday, August 19, 2013

Oh, how I am feeling the love!!! Sarah is seriously the best for making cardboard-Shakira. I am tremendously thankful for that and for her wanting to make sure I was included in their wedding day. She is the best sister I could ever ask for!
It looks like it was a beautiful day full of joy! With the time difference, the sealing started at midnight my time, Saturday night. So needless to say, I didn't sleep. At all. Church yesterday was rough. But as I was laying on my thin, thin futon, I tried my best to teleport my spirit to the temple. I pictured in my mind the sealing room and all our precious family gathered around a little Sarah and Iver. My mind raced back to when the four of us were sealed for time and all eternity in that same temple. I still remember kneeling across the altar as a four-year-old and seeing the joy and the light in the faces of you and Dad. That was the same light and joy that I pictured to be in the faces of Iver and Sarah. It was so nice, even though I was tired. :) I am so happy that Iver and Sarah are married. What joy that brings to my heart! We have the best family! Someday, I will add to it, too!

Thank you for sending me pictures. They are so beautiful and I can't wait to see more! Can I be honest? I'm really glad the wedding is over. Now, I have absolutely nothing tying me to home. I no longer have a reason to be sad. I no longer have a desire to run away and get on a jetplane to come home! This is a great blessing. Now, I can move on. I can forget myself and finally GO TO WORK! I am grateful.

You think Denver is hot? Try being in 109 degree weather with 100 percent humidity, and then bike up mountains! Then tell me you're hot. I seriously can't believe summer here. I have never sweat so much in my life, but it's okay because EVERYONE is sweaty. All the time. I stick out because I turn red when I sweat, but that's okay. People understand.

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for the birthday love!!! It was a really great day! I woke up and opened the package from you and Dad and Iver and Sarah, and I love everything you sent me! Thank you! After that, I had a lot of people show me a lot of love. We had district meeting, and our zone leaders were there for training, and after the meeting, they rolled back the curtain of the stage in the church and there was a huge white board with birthday love on it, and then they all decorated me with a lei and a tiara and a plastic sword, and then they showered me with gifts and cards and they sang to me! It was the best!! After that, President Rasmussen and Sister Rasmussen called me and sang happy birthday to me. Then, we went on splits with our new sister training leader, who is this cute Japanese girl. Her companions are two of my best friends from the MTC!!! So I got to spend my birthday with Gass Shimai and Johnson Shimai. That was wonderful. Later in the evening, the APs called and sang to me! They are two fantastic elders named Uchida Choro and Takase Choro. They are so fun and they are great friends of mine. Both of them think I'll be the first sister AP, haha. That would be cool. ;) But after that, my companions presented me with a homemade ice cream cake and homemade pizza and all this other wonderful food! Overall, it was a good day and I'm so grateful for the love that I felt from so many people. I definitely needed it. Also, please tell everyone thank you for me for all the birthday love I got in the mail! It was a good week for mail.

This week, we were able to participate in SMYC. I'm not sure what that stands for, but basically, it's EFY (Especially For Youth) for Nihonjin youth! President Rasmussen gave a big presentation, and about 50 of us missionaries got to go and work with the youth and teach them about the Book of Mormon. It was awesome; there were about 600 youth there, I'd say! So many Japanese Mormons! The conference was about three hours south of here, so I got to see a little more of Japan too, which was great. Lots of mountains and forest and rice. Lots and lots of rice. It was a good day.

This week, we were able to teach two lessons to our investigator, Kawamura San! It was good! We taught the plan of Salvation and we talked a lot about the Book of Mormon and how it could bless his life if he applies the principles that are within the Book of Mormon. After the lesson, Kubota Shimai asked him if he had any friends that would be interested in the Gospel, and Kawamura San said, ``Yeah, my friend Hayashi Koji San!`` So funny story. About seven weeks ago, we were standing on a street corner handing out flyers for Eikaiwa, and I met someone with a guitar and he was really cool! He said that he wanted to come to church because he wants to find the truth. Guess what his name was? Hayashi Koji San!!!!!!!!!! I was so surprised when Kawamura San said that!! It was so awesome! I knew there was a reason Koji San was in my thoughts, even though we were never able to contact him! So, Kawamura San is going to bring him to his next lesson, I think. Japan is a crazy-small world! It was a great experience!

My tongue is being whipped into shape! I have taken on the role of translator for the gaijin missionaries in my ward, and wow! My Japanese is skyrocketing! It's good. Bits and pieces of dreaming (when I actually sleep, that is. Insomnia sucks. It's never been this bad before) in Japanese now! So that's good. In my setting-apart blessing, I am blessed to come to know the beautiful language of the people. That is the poetry. I will learn soon.

So yesterday, we taught Gospel Doctrine, and we taught about temple baptisms. Did you know that Joseph Smith revealed to the saints that ordinance on my birthday in 1840? I didn't until last week. Super cool. But, it was a really great lesson. We read a lot from Doctrine and Covenants 128, and I read it in English to the class, and verse 22, I shouted! I yelled with joy! To match the words in the verse! The spirit was so strong in the class, and even though they couldn't understand the words I was saying, the Japanese members were all smiling because they could feel the joy, too. It was a great connecting moment for me and the ward members. I was grateful for it.

Yesterday, after church, I got to see my first baptism in Japanese!!! An 8-year-old boy in our ward got baptized by his Dad, and it was a great service! The baptismal and confirming ordinances in Japanese are so cool! I have never felt the Spirit in the way that I did yesterday before. It was a way cool experience, and I can't wait until that will be Kawamura San standing in the font! What a great day that will be. Hopefully I'll be here still.

Well, that's about it, I think. I hope you know how much I love you and miss you. I hope that I will get to hear from you in the mail soon!

I love you!
-Johnson Shimai

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