Monday, July 15, 2013

Celebrating the 4th in Japan

Minasan Konnichiwa みなさんこんにちわ! 
As I have been serving I realized how little I actually know about your missions, mom and dad. I want to hear stories and see pictures! Mom, if you have the chance, I would love some actual pictures from your mission like snail mail ones I can have a show people. 
It is HOT in Okinawa! People here say the UV rays are really strong...Would you mind looking that up online and letting me know? Everyone wears long sleeves and hats and when they see me in short sleeves the tap my arms tell me to be careful (and a bunch of other stuff i cant understand). But on Monday after our p-day at the beach I was very burnt. Our whole ZONE had a hard time recovering. Everyone got burnt, one elder got heat stroke, and one elder actually broke his arm when he got hit by a car on his bike on the way to the beach. My companion stepped on glass at the beach! So we had to go to the doctors and get it out! We were very physically exhausted! Unrelated to the beach, a companionship of sisters got their bikes stolen :( its been rough, but the works goes on!!
かみざと姉妹 (Kamizato Shimai) is progressing towards her baptismal date which was moved to the July 19th. The gospel is changing her. We can see it in her eyes. She loves the primary program and how her children are responding to the gospel. I just love her so much. She understands everything so well! 
We had an awesome Sunday yesterday. Along with Kamizato Shimai coming on time dressed up with her children, a nonmember woman just showed up to Sacrament meeting. Awhile back she got an English Class flyer with church times and information on it. We briefly talked to her and then we were able to sit by her in Sacrament meeting. Our ward is so loving and welcoming! Kamizato Shimai was able to sit by a family that has been fellowshipping her so we could sit by this new lady, Kaneda San かねださん。Another member sat on her other side and whispered explainations throughout sacrament meeting. After sacrament we lead Kamizato Shimai and her children to where they needed to go then we taught Kaneda San the first lesson!! She loved it, as we testified of the Book of Mormon, モロモン書 she quickly asked, "Can I have one?" AHHHHH!! OF COURSE!!!! It was so great to see someone so prepared! We will be meeting with her again this week!
This week was the Fourth of July! In Japan its just like any another day :( But we all wore red, white and blue in celebration of our native land! God bless America!! 
We did splits this week and I was pared with Clingo Shimai from Springville, Utah. We all live in the same apartment so it was funny just switching places with Kwak Shimai. Kwak Shimai went with my trainer and I went with hers. My area is Naha Higashi, but on Friday I worked in Naha area. Naha area is bigger with more tourists and shopping! It was cool so see that area of Naha and learn from Clingo Shimai. She is an awesome missionary! Together we were able to testify to some in English and give out an English Book of Mormon (always be prepared) It is so nice to testify in my native tongue! Then we found a new investigator! I am sad I wont be able to teach her but she seems really awesome. She is Christian already and committed to praying about the Book Of Mormon!
The weeks fly by here! I can promise you that when you lose yourself in the service of bring souls unto Christ, you will find joy!! Many reject us and slam the doors when they see our gaijin (foreign) faces, but I know that I am offering them to partake of the greatest gift of all, eternal life! A missionary once related it to offering everyone we see $100 bills! The funny thing is its worth SO much more than that! I know more than ever that God is in reality the father of our spirits. He knows us and loves each of us individually. He has prepared a plan for us to return to live with Him and our families for eternity. I know its in and through the Gospel of Jesus Christ that we had find a happiness in this life! I have grown to love my earthly family so much more than I ever thought was possible. I pray for you. I love you.
Pray for opportunities to be a missionary. Invite nonmembers to your house and invite the missionaries. Carry around an extra copy of the Book of Mormon and read it in public. When people ask you about it, give them one! Always be prepared to stand as a witness of Christ. Think about the families you know who have recently moved, just had a baby, or experienced a death in the family. President Monson has said that people in those situations often have many questions about life. We have those answers!  Share what you know! 
I love you all! 
Capener Shimai

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