Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Saigo made Taeshinobu (Endure to the End)

Hello everyone! It was a wonderful week!
Cooking class.  We made tempura!
First off, we had transfers and Sister Kaneko transfered to none other than my bean area...NAHA!!!! Which is seriously a miracle and HUGE blessing because she can help Oohama Shimai, who is the sister I saw baptized in Naha last July, get to the temple!!
So Sister Mueller, who is going home with me at the end of this transfer and also served in Naha, and I have had this master plan for a while to go through the temple with Oohama Shimai our last day in the field because it will be almost exactly one year to the day since she was baptized. I wrote Oohama Shimai a letter a while back asking her what she thought and she finally wrote me back this week! She said she has been thinking about when to go, but was planning on going to the Tokyo temple instead of Fukuoka since she has friends there. However, she said because of our pleas she might reconsider and get back to us before July 20th! Which means, if a miracle happens, I`ll be able to help the very first woman I saw baptized go through the temple! Doesn`t that sound amazing? I don`t want to get my hopes up too high...but....
My amazing area of Fujisaki
From here on out its just me and my green bean Takabori Shimai. We are having fun doing a special 12 week training and taking extra time to practice teaching everyday, which is really helping her and especially me to improv teaching ability. We are missing Kaneko Shimai but this transfer is going to be amazing! We had a special meeting with the bishop where we heard about what his vision is for the ward, and then took the next day to fast and pray together to know what we should do. The result was that we all felt like concentrating on the area right around the church for finding, etc. will be really effective. We`re planning all sorts of fun activities to get the ward members involved in going finding after church on Sundays, too! We also want to throw some kind of carnival or fair in the church parking lot to get the people living right around the church over to meet the members.  
We also found FOUR new investigators this week. Two of them, Hirata and Kyoko, are long-time Eikaiwa students. The other two are these 11 year old girls, Rika and Marina, who keep coming to hang out at the church whenever they see our bikes in the parking lot. They are so incredibly cute. They came by after church the other day and asked if they could help us hand out flyers, so we took them with us finding! After that we gave them a tour of the church and read about the creation of the Earth from that Bible children`s story book and they loved it all! We even made baptism dates for July 14th with both of them. We still need to meet their parents and get permission to actually teach them so cross your fingers!
Hisada San`s bedroom.....the place where I`m sitting is where she is apparently sleeping at night. I have no idea how she even breathes in there!

Ok, if you don`t want to read about another incredibly dirty house I`m cleaning then please skip this paragraph. We met this lady on the street the other day who was limping and carrying some heavy groceries, so we offered to help and she let us into her apartment. I know this is the third or fourth time I`ve talked about cleaning a hoarder`s house, but this one was like no other I`ve been to. It wasn`t so much filthy as there were just piles and piles and piles and piles and piles of papers, receipts, wrappers, etc. This woman is literally a a pack-rat in every sense of the word. She basically begged us to come in and help her organize. We were a little hesitant because we were on the way to visit a member but when we looked into her bedroom and saw that she had literally 5 ft. of space on her floor, in her entire house, where she had a little blanket and was sleeping we decided to stay and maybe widen that space a little. She has some sort of sickness where she can`t move her arm which is her excuse for not having organized for 7 YEARS but after oranizing a while and having her hover over me, not letting me throw away anything but old tissues, I realized the real problem, haha. It is so sad. I convinced her to throw away a bunch of wrappers and stuff and we put them next to her front door so she could take them out for garbage day the next day...but when we went back a few days later to help out again she had emptied out the bags I had sorted and put everything back exactly where it had been before!!!!!!!! I was literally in shock, haha. Anyway, I don`t think there is anything we can do to help this lady clean her house but we gave her a Book of Mormon and taught her how to pray. Hopefully once she starts learning and living the gospel she will realize she needs to throw stuff away...or something. Haha.
There was a lot more I wanted to write in this email but I forgot my planner today where I wrote everything down! Oh well. I`m sure we will have another great week ahead with more adventures and interesting stories to tell. The gospel is SO true and I am so happy that I get to go out with my companion everyday, testifying and talking to dozens of people! It is seriously so much fun! Having a companion who just came straight from America and is obsessed with pop culture has been an interesting change...haha. I`ve been in a little shock hearing about recent movies, books, music, etc. but it is probably all helping me come back to reality so I`m not a total weirdo when I get home!
Love you all!
Love, Tingey Shimai

Monday, June 4, 2012

Because I have been given much

Yesterday we were surprised when our ward mission leader, Brother
Shiki told us he was driving us up the mountain to eat at this super
delicous restaraunt. He eended up taking the kids on a hike while we
got to bond with his daughter. It was realllly fun. That's his car,
Jasmine behind us.


Well, this week was fun/interesting on many levels. I hope you're
getting each week a little feel of what life is like out here in
Fukuoka, but I doubt my penmanship really conveys what its like here.

Well, lets see...we have been doing a LOT of finding recently because
we don't really have any investigators. With that comes suuuper long
days and tiredness but the plus is that we have many new friends and
contacts who might possibly become people we can start teaching.
Yesterday we were really excited to meet a woman named Ginger who is a
teacher at the International school here. We've been biking around
that area a lot where the foreigners are living so we've had more
opportunities to meet people from all over the world.
View of Fukuoka tower from my favorite spot in our area. <3

This week we started talking to this obaasan(grandma) and out of
nowhere she started singing at the top of her lungs! So, of course,
Sister Takabori and Kaneko and I whipped out our hymn books and sang
'Because I have been given much' for her. She loved it and said she
really wanted to come to church to sing with us! We also met two other
older women who immediately jumped at the invitation to come to
church, which is pretty unusual in my experience. Only one of them
ended up coming but it was really a miracle to have that all happen in
the span of just two days!
Driving around on Sunday with the Reelief Society president, Sakata
Shimai to visit all sorts of members and friends.

One really fun thing this week is that we went housing with this 10
year old named Yuai-chan who is the member of an inactive family. She
took us to the doors of some of her school friends and even went with
us to knock some random doors. It was so cute! I wish I would have
done that when I was ten (Not that I really would have gone...haha).
We made these at a member's house. There is a TV character here
named Anpanman, who is basically a superhero bread roll who fights
evil characters like bacteria and whatnot and the only way you can
kill him is by getting him wet, haha. I've never seen it but its super
popular here and sounds soooo weird and Japanes-y.

A cool experience I had while finding this week was I had marked a
copy of a Book of Mormon to give away with some scriptures I liked. I
ended up marking some verses in 3 Nephi about becoming as a little
child, and some others on that same topic and we just so happened to
run into this lady named Mitoma san who was a teacher for disabled
children and the scriptures I had marked were just what she needed to
read! I was so excited to give it to her and she was the one who
showed up for church on Sunday! The gospel is true!

Sorry this email is brief, but I gotta run. I love you all so much and
I really really feel your prayers out here. Sometimes at the end of a
long, hard day I think to myself, 'How in the world have I done this
every single day for the past 16 months!? I really can't comprehend
it, but I know it is because of all of your help, emails, prayers,
support, and mostly through the atonement of Christ. I love this
gospel and this work and I hope you all have a fabulous week!

Love, Tingey Shimai