Dear family and friends,
This week has been really awesome. Recently in the newsletter we receive every transfer President Margett's assistants, Elder Triffit and Watanabe, they challenged us to study about the atonement everyday during personal study and then share what we learned with our companion during the first few moments of companion study. They promised us that if we did that our understanding and testimony of the atonement would deepen. We started last week and it has been really amazing to learn from Uchida Shimai and hear her personal experiences and thoughts about the atonement. It is so amazing to me that although Uchida Shimai and I were raised in completely different parts of the world and have had completely different experiences, we both have felt the power of the atonement and can always connect on that level. I've come to realize that thats why as missionaries we can be thrown into a foreign country and spend 24/7 with somebody we have never met doing the hardest work there is and be happy about it. We all have different backgrounds but we all have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It is this testimony and the desire to share it that gives us this ability.
We had our third lesson last night with the Oyama family, which went really well. The spirit was strong and we talked a lot about baptism and how when we have faith in Jesus Christ, repent, and are baptized we receive the Holy Ghost which helps us to walk on the path that will bring us the most happiness. They are having some difficulties as a family right now and Uchida Shimai and I, as well as the Oyama's father feel like it isn't just chance that we met at this time. Hopefully through our message their family can overcome the challenges that they're facing right now.
This week we finally got out and did a TON of finding. Mostly housing, which isn't my favorite, but we met a 22 year old Chinese guy and just happened to have a Chinese Book of Mormon and Chinese pamphlet about the Restoration with us, which was a compete miracle! We both got kind of nostalgic remembering our days in Okinawa when we used to go housing all day long in the deathly heat and wishing we could jump into a freezing pool of water, and then now we are almost freezing to death waiting for people to answer their doors, haha. I love it. I love missionary work!!
Some other fun events from this week:
1. We went to a member's house and made homemade stamps out of erasers. I made a hedghog (Tiggie) holding a Book of Mormon, hehe. I plan on stamping that like crazy on all of my letters from now on. (I have been telling Uchida Shimai all about Tiggiewinkle and the hairless rats before going to bed and she thinks its the most hilarious thing ever, then the other day while I was doing sit ups next to my futon I looked closer at the quilt I was using as my bed covers and it was Beatrix Potter themed and had pictures of Mrs. Tiggiewinkle all over it! Hahaah. I started laughing so hard, it was just so random.)
2. We were invited to spend Thanksgiving with President and Sister Margetts and their daughter and her family who are visiting from Utah. Unfortunately, we already scheduled 3 teaching appointments on Thanksgiving Day....so we're not sure what wer're going to do, haha. Uchida Shimai has never celebrated Thanksgiving so she really wants to go.
3. I was asked to sing "Amazing Grace" at the ward Christmas fireside on the 17th of December, which is 2 days after transfer calls...so everyone pray that I don't get transferred out of Fukuoka so I can spend Christmas here!
4. We decided this next week we're going to go to this place called "Ohori Kouen," which is this park with a huge lake in the middle where lots of people go to walk their dogs and run, and stand there and play guitar and sing to find new investigators! Dream come true!
Well, my time is up here! I love you and pray for you all the time! Thanks for all the letters and have a Happy Thanksgiving!!
Love, Tingey Shimai
P.S. Peole and things I'm gratful for:
-Annie, Will, Sam and all of my Step-siblings
-My best friend Sarah
-All of my millions of nieces and nephews.
-Stefanie and Franklin
-Serving a mission in Japan
-The Atonement of Jesus Christ!
-My talents that help me share the gospel
-President and Sister Margetts
....and the list goes on and on!
1. Playing some guitar in the mission home on Pday
2. For Elder Ushiro's Bday we went to this place called "Canal City" where there are about 10 ramen shops in a tiny area and you can pick and choose which ramen you want to eat. I got something called "black ramen" which has soy sauce as the base. It was pretty good but not the best I've had. Each of us got a different kind of ramen. Elder Ushiro ordered this GIANT bowl and the ramen wasn't even that good but we all helped him eat it, haha.
3. We had a big cultural festival callled a "bunkasai" at the church on Saturday and we had NINE investigators show up!!! There was a talent show and the Elders did a really goofy dance with a member and her son and Sister Uchida and I sang a song. I only got one way blurry picture of us right when the curtain was closing, haha. Thats what you get when you ask the elders to take pictures.