Monday, September 30, 2013

Nauvoo Memories and my Fireside

Konnichiwa Kazoku

Instead of a long email today I sent a million pictures home!

This week we had splits with the sister training leaders which was really fun! I was paired with Takabori Shimai who is a seriously awesome missionary! One short experience I want to share. We planned to visit an investigator but when we went to her house she wasnt there. So we decided to street for a little then come back and try again before our next appointment. We were not sure where to go so we decided to say a prayer. After the prayer we headed in a certain direction. We connacted a few people and didnt have much luck. Then we spotted two ladies taking a smoke break in a building parking lot. We decided to talk to them. The talked to them and they were very interested in church and baptism. We got their numbers! Then we decided to head back to our investigators! Right before we got there we found her and her children walking away from there appointment we stopped them and share a quick message and set up another appointment. I know the Lord guided us to those two women and then gave us a tender mercy by showing us back to our investigator just in time!!

YUHO CHAN ACCEPTED BAPTISM!!! I should have said that sooner!!! I wasnt there at the meeting because we were on splits but she really wants to be baptized! We set a date that is very soon because she is just so excited. We made is clear that we had to keep meeting almost everyday before her baptism. She is doing well accepting commitments and the commandments. We were nervous to teach Word of Wisdom, but she is so faithful! Despite her love for tea, she has committed to living the word of wisdom. She is 21 and she loves to learn!! I LOVE YUHO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Last night I gave a talk/presentation on Nauvoo in NAHA!!! I got to go back to my old area to my old ward that I love so much a tell them about my experience in Nauvoo. I started off by saying that you can learn a lot about the history of Nauvoo through books and the internet, but I want to share my experience, or my story of Modern day Nauvoo. I focused my talk on the temple. I talked about how I remember being in the Nauvoo ward building when President Hinckley announced the rebuilding of the Nauvoo temple. People gasped and stood and hugged one another. I started to cry as I told these people of Okinawa, that someday a prophet of God will announce a temple in Okinawa. I told them that no matter where I am, I will be with them standing, hugging my loved ones, and crying tears of joy. I also told them about the dedication of the temple. I got to sit on the third row in the assembly hall as a 10 year old girl. As we sang The Spirit of God I felt the presence and the voices of those pioneers beyond the veil who sacrificed so much for that temple. Then I testified that everyone there was a pioneer. Most of Japanese members are 1st or 2nd generation members. I ended with my testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith. I think when I was young I didnt realize what a blessing it was to live in Nauvoo. I read D&C 135:3

"Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated!"

I had the opportunity to walk where Joseph walked. I am grateful for his selfless sacrifice. I know he was a prophet of God. 

I gotta go! I love you all! The church is true! I LOVE OKINAWA!!!!

Nauvoo Fireside
Capener Shimai

Monday, September 2, 2013

Transfer to Okinawa City-I am now training!


where I am......................OKINAWA CITY!! Okinawa City is like and 1-2 hours north of Naha. I DIDNT HAVE TO LEAVE OKINAWA!! But guess what?!?!?
I AM TRAINING!!! AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I AM ONLY ON MY THIRD TRANSFER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She is a second transfer bean named Hawkins Shimai. She is from Washington State and is blonde. We get a lot of stares! She is incredible though! She is confident and uses as much Japanese and she possibly can! We are both BABIES STILL!! 

When I got the call on Tuesday I was very shocked and speechless. I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders and felt very very inadequate. I poured my heart out to Heavenly Father in prayer about my concerns and worries. I knew that we would be responsible for that area of the Lords vineyard. I felt that I was not ready to lead out in lessons and member relationships in Japanese. I cried unto the Lord (literally) asking Him to mold me into the missionary He needed me to be, and asking for comfort and strength. I decided to ask our zone leaders for a blessing. In the blessing he promised my tongue would be loosed so that I could communicate with the Japanese people and people of other nationalities. I felt encircled with arms of love from a loving Heavenly Father, although leaving my comfortable place in Naha as a bean was hard and scary, I knew the Lord had a plan for me to learn and grow. 

The very next day, after a quick and sad goodbye I was on the road up to Okinawa City. I learned that here I would be working with 3 wards. The Okinawa ward and two very BIG military English branches. They call them branches because people are always moving in and out. They each are bigger than the Japanese ward. I feel so blessed to be working with these American families that are so strong! Saturday morning we found out that the Gushikawa branch was cleaning that chapel so we quickly got on our bikes and over to the chapel to help. That was a perfect opportunity to start meeting members. We meet our branch mission leader who has been out of town for so long that he has never even met my companion. We told him of a new English speaking investigator we just found the day before! That got missionary fire burning in him again! We met a member of the relief society and invited her to fellowship our new investigator and church. We talked to a young woman who is befriend a less active teen and we were able to plan an FHE at the young woman's house! We were able to meet many members and get to know the ward a bit. My trainer Sister Black taught me what to do when you get to a new area. Contact the Bishop, the RS president, and the mission leader and praise the ward! So I have been making lots of phone calls and getting to know members in the area. Sister Hawkins first companion was Nihonjin who could not speak English. By not fault of her own, the military branches have been a little neglected by the sisters just due to the language barrier, BUT WE ARE HERE TO CHANGE THAT!! I know can see miracles here in these branches

On Sunday we went to the Japanese ward and then the Gushikawa Military Branch! They fill up the entire chapel! It was fast and testimony meeting so I decided to share my testimony. I thanked them all the for sacrifices they were making and the wonderful people they were, I thanked them for their testimonies and their strength. I testified that as members and missionaries worked together, we could see miracles. It felt very strange speaking in English and hearing the sacrament prayer in English (last time was in March) That evening we went to a goodbye party to someone in the ward on BASE! There is no proselyting allowed so we have to take off our name-tags. I literally felt like I stepped into America. American food, American people, American houses, AMERICA AMERICA AMERICA!! GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!! I am grateful to be working with these people who sacrifice for our freedom! 

As soon as I got here, Hawkins Shimai and I went out to work! We have seen miracles! Just since I got here we found 3 new investigators! Two of those are English speakers! During study time, we came up with a transfer theme. We were talking about how much we need to rely on the Lord this transfer. We know that if we are exactly obedient and do everything in our power to be great missionaries, the Lord will fill in the gaps. As we were talking and bearing testimony, I thought of a scripture in D&C 100:4-6,8:

 "Therefore, I, the Lord, have suffered you to come unto this place; for thus it was expedient in me for the salvation of souls. Therefore, verily I say unto you, lift up your voices unto this people; speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, and you shall not be confounded before men; For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say....And I give unto you this promise, that inasmuch as ye do this the Holy Ghost shall be shed forth in bearing record unto all things whatsoever ye shall say."

We both cried a little as we picked this as our theme. I know the Lord with fulfill His promises as we simply lift up our voices! The Lord will not suffer us to fail.

I want to testify of the Savior. I know He lives. He loves us so much that He sacrificed for our pains and afflictions. I know through Him, we can find more joy and happiness than we have ever experienced. I am filled with joy! Bringing other unto Christ brings true happiness. 

Thank you all for your prayers, keep em coming :)


Capener Shimai