Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Easter

Dear minasan,
This week was wonderful. Being able to listen to Conference on Easter Sunday was the best! Conference is always delayed a week for translation so it was fun to hear in your emails last week about the talks that inspired you and how you felt the spirit. I read those and then during conference remembered what you said your favorite parts were, etc. Love my family :).
This week started out with spending our Pday on another wild adventure with Brother Fujitake, first winding up Mt. Shimofuri and saying a heartfelt prayer all together at the tip top, then rounding it off with some tofu softcream and delicious water from the mountain springs. The lady who works at the water stop was interested in coming to Eikaiwa and we were able to talk to her a little about the church! I know that these prayer excursions up the mountain are helping our work here because even though there were typhoo-like winds blowing for half of the week we were still able to successfully find some new people and saw many miracles!
Right now in Japan it is sakura season where the beautiful cherry blossom trees are in bloom. Apparently its tradition to take a blanket and bento (lunch box/picnic) and go sit in the park under the cherry blossom trees with friends and family. We weren`t able to do that, but yesterday Sister Hattori and I decided to take our first trip to a popular place in Ube called Tokiwa park. I was expecting it to be just a little place but it was gigantic, with a huge lake in the middle, a giant white bridge, and sakura trees all around! It was the PERFECT place to go finding. At first we couldn`t find anyone but couples, and they are just way too in love to care about our message, so we stopped at prayed to find someone walking alone, or pondering who would listen to us. RIGHT when we ended the prayer we looked up and saw at least three women walking alone accross the bridge. It was so sweet! We talked to one of them for about half an hour. She told us just right before we stopped her she had been thinking about something that has been troubling her and she felt like we were the answer to her prayers! She took a Book of Mormon and promised to pray to know what to do. We weren`t able to get her contact info but I know if she does that she will receive an answer to her question. Literally right after talking to her we ran into a cute older couple. The woman was Chinese and her husband was Japanese and has read the entire Book of Mormon before! He had the old version, though from about twenty years ago so we gave him a new copy and he said we could meet and talk again! Just those two contacts took up all of our time and we had to head out but we both really felt the spirit`s guidance with those two contacts.
We were able to watch both the Saturday and Sunday sessions of Conference, and my favorite was by far Saturday morning.  I LOVED President Eyring`s talk about building a lasting foundation of faith. I literally felt like he was talking right at me for the majority of his talk. I also enjoyed Elder Hallstrom`s on the need for the Gospel and the Church, as well as Elder Koeliker`s talk about following righteous patterns. It was a spiritual feast! I could have just lasted on that morning session, but had 6 more amazing hours after that. Each Conference I attend on my mission I understand more and more what the speakers are actually saying because teaching the gospel everyday I`m beginning to understand it more and more. It`s a really cool feeling.  I`m sure all of you know this already but General Conference is seriously HEAVEN for missionaries! Haha. Especially if.....your investigator who you love to death comes and stays for both sessions on Sunday! Yep, Komeda an is solid. When we called her the day before to make sure she was coming she said, `I`m so excited!! I was reading the Book of Mormon right before you called me!` She had a really good time and got a little sleepy after lunch but was a trooper. She`s amazing.
This week we have Sisters Conference on Thursday and Friday which we couldn`t be more excited about. It only happens once a year, and last year I was just in my second transfer and didn`t know anybody but my trainer, so this time I`m really excited because I`ll know pretty much every Sister there. All of my companionsso far-Uchida, Yamada, Tagawa, Ito, Hattori, besides my trainer will be there! I was asked to do a 50 minute training on finding which I`m nervous/excited about. I love finding so I`m glad they asked me to train on that but I don`t think I`ve ever stood in front of a group for that long, by myself, teaching something besides English, and in Japanese, haha. Wish me luck! If I teach through the spirit all will go well.
That`s about it for this week! I love this gospel, I love missionary work, and the Book of Mormon! I know that President Monson is a true Prophet of God. As my old companion Uchida Shimai would say, `Everytime he comes on the screen my spirit does a jig!` Haha. I hope you have a great week. Thank you for your prayers and love!
Love, Tingey Shimai

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