This morning we attended early morning seminary, then rode our bikes and had personal, companion and language study on the balcony of the Fukuoka Temple.
Yep, you read right. I have been transferred to Fukuoka! And guess who my companion is?? Oh...just my favorite person in the whole world, Uchida Shimai!! I can't believe it. We have been reunited after just one transfer apart and we couldn't be more thrilled. She is literally my other half. Saying goodbye to my beloved Naha and Yamada Shimai was hard, but when I received the transfer call I felt peace and knew it was ready to move on to a new adventure. I can't begin to list the many things that I learned from serving for half a year on the lovely island of Okinawa. My last days in Naha were just amazing. My district, which included six Elders, and me and Yamada Shimai, put on a concert my last night there after Eikaiwa.There couldn't have been a better way to spend my last night in Naha. The spirit was so strong as we told the story of the Restoration through different scriptures and hymns. I was also able to sing two duets with my best friend Nami Shimai. So many ward members and other friends showed up, including our recent converts Kinjo Mariko and Shuko chan. It was just unreal the love I felt for and from them. I will definitely return there someday.
I arrived in Fukuoka and my first day here we were able to help clean the temple grounds! I have also been informed that this transfer Uchida Shimai and I will be able to attend the temple once!!! We're so excited! Fukuoka is where the Mission Home is located, so were are able to see President and Sister Margetts daily, do lessons with investigators on the temple grounds, and many other amazing things! I feel so incredibly lucky to be serving in this area! Remember the first Email I sent home after arriving in Japan in April, and raving about how incredibly fun the Fukuoka Eikaiwa was?? Well that's where I am serving!!! One of our investigators is a Chinese woman that I actually talked to a lot my first night in Japan, and always remembered and thought about. Her name is Saifu, and she just got married to a Chinese man named Kin-san. They are both investigating the church and I was SO excited when Uchida Shimai told me that we would be teaching them! Its so funny how the Lord works. I never imagined six months ago as I talked to her that I would be the missionary teaching her in this area. Fukuoka is also the area where my trainer Sister McIntyre served before we served together in Naha, so I have heard so much about how much fun serving in Fukuoka is. The ward is gigantic, so I am going to have a fun time trying to learn the names of all the members. One of the biggest blessings for me about this area is that there are millions of little kids in the ward, and I also teach Oyako Eikaiwa (which is English class for little kids and their moms) two times a week, as well as the regular Eikaiwa on Wednesday nights. Phew. Eikaiwa three times a week seems like a challenge, but there weren't very many little kids in Naha so I'm so excited to be able to play with them and talk to them this transfer!!! Gahhh. I seriously am just so happy. Oh, I forgot to mention that my BFF Australian Elder who I served with in Naha forever just became the AP (assistant to the President), so he is also serving here!! So me, Uchida, and Elder Triffitt, who all served in Naha together have been reunited here in Fukuoka! So so so fun.
Uchida Shimai and I have already had a ball talking to everyone we can, and telling everyone we can about Jesus Christ and the Restoration of his gospel. We just love working together. PLUS, the weather is really cold in Fukuoka right now, so you can imagine how incredibly good it feels riding my bike in a chilly breeze after living on the surface of the sun for the past 6 months. Aaaaah. So good.
How was Conference??? We will be watching Conference next weekend as it comes a week later here in Japan. We can't wait!
Well, I couldn't be happier and am just loving every second of serving in Japan. I'm sure there are many challenges awaiting me in Fukuoka but from my experiences as a young missionary not knowing the language and being forced to teach millions of lessons, FHE, speak in church, talking to everyone I saw on the street and communicating with the ward members, I really learned to rely and trust on the Lord, and because of that I was brave and generally pushed cheerfully through the trials that I had. If I could do that as a new overwhelmed missionary not knowing Japanese or how to even do missionary work, I'm confident that with the Lord's help I can accomplish and overcome pretty much anything that the mission throws at me at this point. Knock on wood.
I hope you felt the spirit at Conference confirm to you that President Monson is the Lord's prophet on the earth today and that this is the Lord's true church on the earth! This week I'll be preparing my mind and heart to be opened for the messages that the Lord wants me specifically to hear.
I love you all so much! Ganbattene!
Love, Tingey Shimai
|Presents from little 11 year old Shuko chan who was baptized last week.|
|Celebrating Campbell choro's bday|
|Singing with Nami Shimai at the concert|
|Meeting Mueller Shimai and Uchida at the airport|
|Tingey Shimai, Welcome to Fukuoka!|
|Posing next to the Naha church with my luggage saying a last goodbye :(|
|Me and Uchida Shimai next to the Fukuoka temple sign after cleaning the temple grounds|
|The Fukuoka temple|
|With the Eikaiwa students I teach on Saturday mornings. They're sooooo cute!!!!!|
|Nami and I|
|Nami and I|
|Wearing some giant shoes.|
|Dinner with the Ishikawa family|
|Dinner with the Murayama family|
|More of the shoes|
|doing some finding in a giant park we found|
|Doing study at the temple!|
|Dinner at the Relief society president's house|
|Uchida Shimai looking creepy wearing a weird sick mast she was wearing last night. So Japanese.|