Saturday, September 20, 2014

I Love Taniyama

Mina san!! Ohayou!!!

We got our transfer calls and I am staying here in Taniyama with Klein Shimai till the end!! WOOOOOHHOOOOOO!!!! I LOVE TANIYAMA AND I LOVE KLEIN SHIMAI SO I AM SOOOOOOO HAPPYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sadly this week we had to say goodbye to my STL comp and MTC comp, Olsen Shimai :( but we had so much fun living together and I am so happy we got to spend her last transfer together! My new STL comp is................................KUROKI SHIMAI!!!!! Name sound familiar?!?!?!?!? SHE WAS MY COMPANION A YEAR AND 2 MONTHS AGO IN NAHA!!! WE WERE BABIES TOGETHER!!!!! AHHH I am soo happy to work with her again. It is super weird to be able to understand her and communicate with her in Japanese. I feel like she is a new person! But we are ready to work hard and love the sisters in our zone this transfer!

SInce it was transfer week we had p-day on tuesday. Monday of transfer week is always hard but like I said in my last letter we worked super hard and tried to be super obedient! More miracles came afterwards. That evening we meet a group of koko seis (high school girls) and we stopped them and told them about eikaiwa and our eikaiwa party! THEY ALL CAME AND WE HAD SO MUCH FUN! We are building good relationships with them. THEN two of them came to our Volleyball activity on Saturday! On the way home from the volleyball acticity they asked us about what we are doing as missionaries and promised they would continue to come to eikaiwa (english class) because they are going to a study abroad in New Zealand very soon! Yaaayy!! It was so great to be able to play volleyball too!! hisashiburi!

Mayu is very busy with school right now. She is currently doing student teaching at a near-by junior high school and meeting with her has been super difficult. Sadly, she couldnt make it to church yesterday and we are going to talk with her about rescheduling her baptismal date! SHE IS GOING TO BE BAPTIZED! But it might take a little longer than we hoped at first. She has many friends in church that care about her and love her. I am so grateful for this branch and their love! PRAY FOR MAYU!!

Klein Shimai gave her first talk in church yesterday and did a great job!! earlier in the week we were riding home one night and there was a rope stringed across the sidewalk that she didnt see and rode straight into it, she flipped and her bike flipped over her. She ripped up her elbows and leg, but good think she was wearing her helmet because she hit her head too. It was scary, but before the accident literally like 15 minutes before i felt i should just say a prayer in my head asking for safety as we traveled home. Now looking back i realized that we were really protected. We were close to a very busy road and she didn't fly into the street which is a super great blessing. LESSON: WEAR YOUR HELMET! Klein Shimai is the best ever!! I love her!! PRAY FOR HER!

MIRACLE!!!: Last week I mentioned the Shigemoto family. We were housing (while fasting) and found a family who had received a Book of Mormon before. rememeber? well anyway, we went back yesterday and shared a quick message about how our families can we blessing through the gospel of Jesus Christ. They listened and we were able to set up a RETURN APPOINTMENT!!!!!! WOOOWW!!! PRAY FOR THE SHIGEMOTO FAMILY!!

MIRACLE #2: We were streeting on the way to the Shigemotos house^^^^^ and we stopped a lady who was exercising (speed walking). We briefly explained who we were. She listened and talked about how there were so many churches and wondered why we told her we had the answer. She explained to us that when she was in high school (now she is like 50) she went to Eikaiwa (english class) and she remembered the kind missionaries! Now she says she has interest in learning! We are meeting with her next week!! THE CIRCLE OF DENDO!!! The Lord is preparing people now to be ready to accept the gospel later. Those Elders from all those years ago may not know of the results of their efforts but the Lord does! Who knows maybe one of the girls who came to Eikaiwa last week will someday turn out like Kaori san too!!

The Lord is guiding this work. We are the happiest when we are on the Lord's errand! It is a wonderful, joyous experience to feel that Lord using us as instruments in His hands! This is the true church! I know it!! Thank you for your love and prayers!!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Month 17th and Counting


This week was CRAZY!!! I hit my 17 month mark in 2 that's super weird..but I love my beautiful home here in TANIYAMA! (Mosiah 18:30) We had interviews with Kaicho (Prez) and I am due for a new temple reccommend so was interviewed for that as well. I was shocked when he started asking me the questions and ask I answered with honesty, I just started crying. The spirit was so strong. It was so cool to be on the other side of the table. We had just been preparing the Yamashitas for their interview for baptism but it was my turn now! THIS CHURCH IS SO TRUE! Please pray for Mayu san. She has been cancelling appointments lately and its been hard to meet. I dont think she will be able to make her baptismal date for next weekend but it can happen soon! SHE NEEDS YOUR PRAYERS!

Instead of my normal e-mail about this week I want to share the story of the Yamashita Family:

2 years ago and member of our branch gave the mother of one of his junior high school students a pass-along card, and continued to build a friendship with their family. 2 years passed and our branch was holding an Open House as advised by our mission president. This member was very involved in the planning and decided to invite his former student and her family to our church activity. Thats where we came in. At the open house, near the end, I sat by Yamashita san and started talking with her. Although we didnt really know each other I asked for her phone number to keep in contact. She asked me, "Will i have to join your church? Because I have no interest in that?" We exchanged numbers and invited them to church the next day. Surprisingly to me, they came to church and sat in the very front row. They stayed all 3 hours PLUS and extra 30 minutes for a branch meeting about an upcoming temple trip! THEY LOVED IT! The mom didnt have interest in meeting but we set up an appt with the 16 year old daughter to bake brownies and share a message. In that lesson we invited her to be baptized and she said yes! The following week the mom attended the lesson and we planned to invite them to be baptized on a specific date. When we asked them, the mom asked the member joint, "Does that mean we have to join the church?" I had lost all hope, was sad and frustrated and had made up my mind to NOT commit them to a date. BUT the joint strongly prompted me to testify and commit and testify again. So we did and the accepted!! Since then they have progressed like wildfire! Yamashita san quicked ordered her own triple, bible and Liahona subscribtion. They both love reading and marking their scriptures! They were able to attend another baptism and felt the spirit so strongly! The mom said, "I am so excited to be baptized!" After so many prayers and fellowshipping from the branch they were baptized, mom and daughter on August 30! 

I feel so blessed to have a small part in this miracle. The baptismal service was the most spiritual one I have been to in my life! After the baptism Yamashita bore her testimony fighting back tears and she told how her husband had lost his job and then she met us and prayed, as she had been taught, that he would find work. And HE DID! THIS CHURCH IS SO TRUE!!!
Alma 26:29-30, 35-36
 29 And we have entered into their houses and taught them, and we have taught them in theistreets; yea, and we have taught them upon their hills; anwe have also entered into their temples and their synagogues and taught them; and we havbeen cast out,and mocked, anspit upon, and smote upon oucheeks; and we have been stonedand taken and bound with strong cords, and cast into prison; and through the power anwisdom of God we have been delivered again.
 30 And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some souland we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some.
35 Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, say unto you, there never were men that had sgreat reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all powerall wisdom, and all understanding;he comprehendeth all things, and he is merciful Being, eveunto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on hiname.
 36 Now if this is boastingeven so will boast; for this is my life and my light, my joand my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo. Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people, who are branch of the tree of Israel, and has been lost from its body in strange land; yea, say, blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us, wanderers in strange land.
Thank you for all your prayers and support!! I am filled with joy!! Being a missionary is the best ;)
Capener Shimai

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Perfect Love Casteth Out all Fear

This week started off with junkais (splits) with the Miyakonojo sisters! They are both Nihonjin(Japanese) so it was a day and a half of ONLY JAPANESE! It was so fun only speaking Japanese because I start thinking in Japanese too. Of course I am not perfect and it was tough, it was sooo fun! Miyakonojo is way inaka (not a lot of people) so we just housed a bunch. Are theme for all our Shimai this transfer is Moroni 8:16, perfect love casteth out all fear! When we get over the fear of contacting, we are able to more easily recognize the promptings of the spirit, which leads to success in dendo (missionary work) because we can do NOTHING without the spirit. So if we can acquire charity and love people like Christ does, we can overcome that fear! Cool promise right? We had a cool experience talking to a lady and giving her a Book of Mormon. After the totsuzen we walked away. I wanted to get her info but we didnt. So after walking away, the spirit prompted me to turn around and ask for it. So that is what we did. I hope she can turn into an investigator for them!

Update on Yamashita san and Yukina! On Friday we reviewed and practiced the baptismal questions together. I have never felt the spirit so strongly just going over those questions. I had to hold back my tears as they answered each question with a pure, honest, repentant, heart. I feel so blessed to have a small part of this. Afterwards we tried on their white dresses and they are SOOO excited!! The next day was there interview and they were nervous. We met a little before to review one more time and try to calm their fears. We read D&C 68:6 and it calmed them down.
They passed their interview with flying colors and they are ready for Saturday!! PRAY FOR THE YAMASHITA FAMILY!!!!!!!

Saturday was a crazy day because that night we went with some members, the Yamashitas and our other investigator Mayu, to a huge firework summer festival in Kagoshima. We had to take the train there and because of the festival the trains were PACKED like Tokyo! It was crazy! We got there and the member wanted to dress us up in summer kimonos! So GUESS WHAT?!?!? She did!! We had to leave early and RUN to the train station in our Kimonos to make the train and get back in time for curfew!! It must have been the funniest sight ever! 2 foreigners running in Kimonos through Kagoshima! We were DRIPPING in sweat but made in back in time to ride our bikes (still in Kimonos) home in time :) Obedience is key.

Almost every Sunday now I lead the music in Church (even though I am terrible)! Sundays are the busiest days of my life!! I am stressing out hard-core but I think its somewhat good for me. Just pray that we can be calm this week and everything will go as planned. I am reminded of the same scripture I told Yamashita san to read D&C 68:6. Now it is lifting me :)

I am so grateful to be a missionary!! I love this work!! PRAY FOR MAYU's faith! 

I will take my own advice and FEAR NOT this week!!! I JUST NEED TO LOVE!!! I LOVE YOU ALL!!

Capener Shimai

Friday, February 21, 2014

Konnichi wa

I didn't transfer! By the end of this transfer that will make it 10 months on Okinawa!
And before you know it, I am a transfer 7 missionary. 7 is not too old but then again its not a young missionary either. By this time we should be an "experienced missionaries".... WHAT DOES THAT MEAN??? This language is crazy and I still have so many things to improve on. BUT I seriously LOVE being a missionary. I don't ever wanna be not a missionary...okay i cant speak English either now.. I'm not gonna lie, things can be hard, people are people whereever you go, some are nice, some are not so nice. But whereever you go, the gospel is always true. No matter your situation, the gospel of Jesus Christ will ALWAYS bless your life.

Another sister area opened up in Okinawa so there are now 10 shimai on the island! One of the shimai is a brand new Japanese bean! We picked her up at the airport!! We will get to do junkais (splits) later this transfer with them! 
This week we had a AB (after baptism lesson) with Miyazato Shimai. We were in the church with two other members and we watched the Joseph Smith Restoration movie (the missionary 20 minute version). I prayed so hard (and later found out my doryo, comp, was praying so hard) that the spirit would be there and touch not only Miyazato Shimai's heart but the other members as well. More than ever before Holy Ghost witnessed to my heard that Joseph Smith did in reality see God the Father and Jesus Christ! This story, no matter what language, is so powerful. As I again testified with my whole heart that it was true I fought through tears. I will never forget the spirit I felt in that tiny room, in a small chapel, on a small island of the coast of Japan. It makes me think of the powerful words of the Hymn Praise to the Man
  1.  Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah!
    Jesus anointed that Prophet and Seer.
    Blessed to open the last dispensation,
    Kings shall extol him, and nations revere.
  2. (Chorus]
    Hail to the Prophet, ascended to heaven!
    Traitors and tyrants now fight him in vain.
    Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethren;
    Death cannot conquer the hero again.
  1. 4. Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven;
    Earth must atone for the blood of that man.
    Wake up the world for the conflict of justice.
    Millions shall know "Brother Joseph" again.
Sorry i copied and pasted that and it got all weird but I bolded, millions shall know Brother Joseph again. I remember singing that in the MTC and getting chills and tears realizing how everyone in the room was about to tell the world about Joseph Smith and then flashing back to now, here in Okinawa one more person was able to come to the knowledge of Joseph Smith and the restoration of the gospel.
I had the idea that serving in Japan would only strengthen my testimony of God and because they have neither the bible NOR the Book of Mormon it would just strengthen my testimony in scripture. But my testimony of the restoration of the gospel and the truthfullness and power of the Book of Mormon is what I have gained most thus far. Yes, my testimony of God has been strengthen but it is because of the restoration and modern day revelation that I can know these things to be true.
Sorry I kind of went on a long rant this week and dont have time for much else! We are teaching this mother of 5 kids from ages like 4-19. She loves hearing our message. She is half american but her parents divorced when she was 4 so she never learned English. She is feeling torn between her heritage. She is asking herself, should I be Japanese and Buddhist? or Gaijin (foreigner) and Christian? Pray for her that she can come to church and feel and RECOGNIZE the spirit!!! Her name is Sari.
Thanks again! I love you all!!
Capener Shimai

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Search for a Kinjin


Wow this week just flew by! It was crazy fast I can't believe its already p-day again. So after we e-mailed we went to the Aquarium (3rd time) and then we raced home to pack our stuff! We met up with the Ginowan and the Naha Zone Leaders and took the monorail to the airport. Then at 7:25 our plane took off to FUKUOKA! As we were landing in Fukuoka and I couldnt help but ponder what my last day in the mission field will be like. I looked back on the first half of my mission and really thought about if I am where I want to be. I still have a lot of growing and learning to do but I am grateful for the wake-up call. The other missionaries were all kinda teasing me because I am what they call an Okinawan Missionary. I was born and raised here and I am going on 8 months here. They were all saying "Welcome to JAPAN!" because Okinawa is SOOO different from actual Japan. The AP's picked us up at the airport and we drove to the mission home. Gustafson Shimai was there to greet us and she showed us to our rooms. It was the weirdest thing ever! I SLEPT ON A REAL BED!! I was scared I was gonna roll off it was so high. I have gotten so used to sleeping on my futon on the floor it was a shock! The next morning we woke up early and Iwasa shimai and I went for a walk around the temple. The mission home is located right underneath the temple! Cool huh!? So we walked around and took pictures! Then the okinawa missionaries got breakfast at the mission home (we are the only ones who have to fly in) then it was time for MLC (Missionary Leadership Training) Sooo fun!! It was soo cool to feel apart of the mission. The ZL's from each  of the 8 zones reported to president their progress. There are about one companionship of Sister Training Leaders for every 2 zones. I got to see my beloved doki!! (my friends from the MTC) Sister Kwak and Sister Sharp who I love soooo much!! The training from the APs and kaicho (president) was incredible, but before I knew it we had to be on the plane heading back! We werent even gone 24 hours! But I learned so much!!

Iwasa shimai and I gave two trainings this week first in the Ginowan zone (my old zone) then in Naha zone. Its funny to see the different dynamics of each zone! We had a blast training and interacting with different missionaries!! We talked about finding with faith and being positive and expecting miracles to happen. One new thing that was introduced into the mission was some new standards. AS missionaries in our planner wer have goals. We already have standards to talk to 20 people a day, teach 3 totsuzen lessons(short lessons), give away 1 BofM and invite 1 person to be baptized, but kaicho now gave us a weekly goal for  2 member present lessons, 1 investigator at Sacrament meeting, 1 New investigator, and 1 person with a baptismal date. Even though our week was going to be cut short with our trip to Fukuoka and two days full of trainings, Iwasa Shimai and I committed to fulfill the standards of excellence! Kaicho always promised that if you keep the standards  you see miracles....and we did!!! On friday after our training we were out and about doing as missionaries do and we FOUND A KINJIN!!!!!(GOLDEN PERSON) we were stopping and talking to everyone! Usually old people like to talk but never listen to what we have to say, so sometimes (i need to repent of this) I dont stop old ladies because I feel like it might be a waste of time. BUT THIS TIME IS WAS NOT!!! Her name is Miyazato san. We taught her about the Book of Mormon and the purpose of life, she gratefully accepted the Book of Mormon. We set an appointment to meet with her the next day! We were able to teach her with a member and then she came to church on Sunday!! 

God is a God of miracles. Many other miracles happened as we were showed our faith and worked hard!! I love being a missionary. I honestly cannot think of a time in my life that I was happier than I am now. I love talking to people on the street and testifying of Jesus Christ. Even though people do not accept us most of the time, I trust in the Lord that he is preparing someone for us to teach. We see so many people everyday and we cannot know if they will accept or reject the gospel UNTIL we talk to them... Lift up your voice, share what you know to be true. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the Earth by the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know we are draw close to our Savior through reading the Book of Mormon! Pray and seek for opportunities to bear your testimony! As you do so you will be happier!!! 

I love you all!!

Capener Shimai

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Back to Naha

Minasan Konnichiwa!!!

You will not BELIEVE where i was transferred to.............................................NAHA HIGASHI!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MY BEAN AREA!!! I AM BACK I AM BACK I AM BACK!!!!!
I did not believe the AP when he told me over the phone. I am back here in the same apartment with my new companion Iwasa Shimai. Iwasa Shimai is from Tottori-Ken, Japan which is on the big island honshu. She is sooo awesome. We are "doki" which means we came to Japan at the same time. So I am back in Naha but now working as Sister Training Leader. As an STL we travel the island and do splits and trainings. Once a transfer we get to go to Fukuoka (by plane) and attend MLC (Mission Leaders Council)!! So tonight I am hopping on a plane and heading up to FUKUOKA!!! I have officially become an Okinawan missionary! We are a rare breed (haha) but a chosen few get to be here for longer than 6 months. I have been here 7 months and I am loving it! I am excited to travel up to Fukuoka and see another part of our mission. But I hear its gonna be cold! We dont really need coats here, just a sweater is fine.

So it was sad leaving Okinawa City, I spent 4 months there and grew to love those people. I am going to miss all of the military members, the japanese members, and of course our investigators! I am so grateful for my time in Okinawa! I learned so much! Before Okinawa City, I was terrified to contact gaijin (foreigners, non-japanese people, mainly americans) I couldnt hide behind the fact that I was just a weird American trying to speak Japanese. Talking in Japanese was like a cover, like I could hide behind being an American, but when you talk to gaijin there is nothing you could hide behind. But being surrounded by so many americans I had to get over that fear a share what I know.I got over that fear and two days ago and talked to a gaijin on the street here in Naha (which is a rare occurrence)! It felt natural and it was fun and happy! I love our message and I love sharing it! It made me think of the scripture, Roman 1:16  "For I am not aashamed of the bgospel of Christ: for it is thecpower of God unto dsalvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." 




We had a huge traditional new years feast at there house with all the missionaries in our district. At the end of the night, before we said the closing prayer, they asked me to bear my testimony. I talked about how I was so scared to come into Okinawa as senior at only my 3rd transfer and finish training a 2nd transfer bean. I talked about how I was forced to rely on the Lord and His atonement in order to keep the work in that area going. The Lord sometimes gives us challenges so that we can grow and learn from them. We learned to rely on Him and become an instrument in His hands.

So we got to Naha wednesday night stayed the night and then Hawkins shimai got her new companion, Takei Shimai. The returned to Okinawa and then Iwasa Shimai and I got to planning this week we are going to Fukuoka for training, then coming back and teaching two different zone during Zone Training Meeting. 

Quick cool story: Last monday while we were housing some danchis (big apartment complexes) I realized I wasn't really housing or finding with faith. I had this big epiphany. We NEED to have faith that we will find when finding otherwise we will have no success like we did because I was just going through the motions focusing on being cold. My heart wasn't in it so I just kept checking my watch to see when we could go home. I have made a resolve to change, finding with faith is gonna be my focus and I'm gonna try it out and see the difference it makes. The next day as I was riding my bike I started thinking more about this finding with faith idea and how I would teach it to other missionaries. I didn't understand why I was thinking that though. I jotted thoughts and ideas down and went on with my day. To my great surprise We got transfer calls and I heard I was becoming a Sister Training Leader. I was able to connect the dots and recognize how the Lord was preparing me! Since then I have talked to Iwasa Shimai and we have started a rough draft for our training. We are teaching Finding with Faith.

We may not understand promptings of the Holy Ghost or even recognize them at first but we must always act! We cannot let these feeling pass by without doing them! The Lord is putting His trust in us and allowing us opportunities to grow. As we listen to and act upon promptings the Lords trust in us will increase and He will give us MORE opportunities so serve. 

I love being a missionaries. I feel so much joy in my life. I cannot believe I am half-way done. I love the Lord. This is His work. I know Heavenly Father wants His children to be happy. He made a plan for everyone to return to Him again. Through the Gospel of Jesus Christ and obedience to His commandments, we can return to Him again. If you want to be happy, share the gospel. Pray for the courage to lift up your voice.

I love you all! Thanks for your support!!


Capener Shimai