On Christmas Eve (Christmas for Victoria), we got to see and talk with each other. We were having our annual family Christmas Eve gathering and everyone was so happy to see our missionary. We are all so proud of her!! Her parents, sister, brother-in-law, niece, four nephews, two aunts, two uncles and a cousin were all able to see and talk with Victoria. Oh yes, and she got to see her kitty Ivory. What a happy joyful end to our Christmas Eve celebration. Victoria, her companion, and a ward member sang Christmas carols to us in Japanese in three part harmony. It was so beautiful and we truly were able to feel of the Savior’s love that night as we gathered to celebrate Him.
Sunday, December 15, 2013
Ok, forewarning- this is going to be a very short email.
How are you all doing!?
Everything is great here!
This week was filled with lots of drama in the ward... Everyone has been pulling us in different directions. Our relief society president is telling us not to speak to certain members, but our ward mission leader is telling us not to speak to the relief society president. There's members going around telling the less active members and the recent converts that the church isn't true. People refuse to come to church until other people agree to leave the church! Drama drama drama!
It's times like these that I have to remember that The church is perfect, but the people are not...
I love the story in the Bible where the Savior says that the reason he hung around sinners is because it is the sick who are in need of a physician... Well there are certainly a lot of people in this church in need of the Savior's healing grace... That's where it actually works out. Even though we're all a bunch of imperfect sinners, the Gospel and the Doctrine and the Teachings can help us ALL to become BETTER! I love this church!
Ok, but that's about all I have to say... Hopefully next week will be less dramatic.
Love you all! Have a great week!
Pray for Miyazaki branch so that everyone will get along and stop putting the missionaries in the middle of everything!
Sunday, December 8, 2013
I wonder how everyone is doing in the little old cold Tri-Cities...
As for Miyazaki, it's still warm! Miyazaki is the warmest place in Japan right now except for the little southern islands! I heard there was supposed to be rain today, so resentfully pulled out my coat. I haven't really needed it so far... but maybe winter is finally coming after all.
This week our brand new investigator Masako chan had 2 lessons with us! She is just doing so well! For my birthday we all went out to a neko cafe. Let me just tell you... Neko cafes are the best thing in the whole world. Neko in Japanese means 'cat'... yep. It's exactly what it sounds like- A cafe where you can go play with cats while you're waiting for your food to come out! I think I want to open one in America someday. Discovering the neko cafe was the best birthday surprise that could have possible happened to me! And going there with Masako chan made it even better =)
Also this week we kind of dropped Ray... she's turning into a little too much trouble and we kind of passed her over into the Branch President's hands... Her problems have become too big for the missionaries to handle...But it's bitter sweet...
On my birthday when we were out talking to people we found this old knitting lady who is apparently really famous in the knitting community... she invited us over to lunch... so we had lunch with her, and what do you know, she didn't care or want to hear about religion!... So we sang her a hymn and left and haven't gotten in touch with her since... it's a little hard to teach people when they hate religion.
Also this week I had a little miracle... I got a little down in Tuesday when we went to district meeting... Our district leader was giving us some training and he shared a story about some missionaries in France. Every time I hear about missionaries in Europe it's like someone has just punched a little sore bruise in my heart. I wanted to go to Europe so bad, but I was sent to Japan on my mission... so when I hear about missionaries in France or Italy it kind of makes me mad. The story our district leader told kind of put me over the top. I was so angry that God had stuck me in Japan and not sent me to Europe, where it would have made sense that I should have gone...
So I was mad... I just kept thinking of all the reasons I hated Japan... Japan can be fun... but it really is hard sometimes, when everything is so unfamiliar and you can't speak the language and you always make mistakes... So I stewed and got mad and just kept thinking of all the reasons I would rather be in France like the missionaries in the story Elder William had told...
But then I got this idea! I decided to make a notebook of only things that I LOVE about Japan that I couldn't have possibly experienced anywhere else! At first it was really hard... I only wanted to write sarcastic things that just made me even more resentful, but as I tried really hard to not write anything negative I was all the sudden filled with a huge amount of happiness! It was incredible! All the sudden I couldn't find enough room on the paper to write down all the things I realized I love about Japan!
Since then I have not had a single thought about wanting to be in France.
I think God really blessed me that day.
Every day I continue to write more and more things that I love about Japan and the funny thing is, I can't even think of anything negative anymore!
That just shows when we try to count our blessings, the Lord makes our trials easier to bear!
Gosh... I hope you all have a wonderful week.
I still love you all!
Don't let any of your toes freeze off in the cold weather!
Love Roberts Shimai!
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Well, it's another beautiful week in Miyazaki! Sometimes I have to remind myself that it's winter... although some parts of the world are right in the middle of basketball season, in Miyazaki it is the season for beach soccer! In fact, today our district is going down to the beach to play some right after this!
Miyazaki is glorious.
This week we were able to see so many of our investigators. First we met with Ray... still having a hard time with her... Then we met with Ozaki-san, whom I had never met before... He has purple hair. Then we saw Hashimoto-san- one of our newer investigators, who is actually the daughter of one of our other investigators, Orimto-san, who came to church yesterday! This week Orimoto san took a trip to Tokyo and went an got a lobby tour of the temple! She plans on being baptized this May. Also yesterday we found a brand new investigator when we were out on the streets talking to people!!! She's so cute. She's a 25 year old names Masako-chan! At first I decided to talk to her because she was wearing the most bright green tights I had ever seen! Then it turned out she was really nice and loves religion and wants to learn about ours! She also is pretty good at English... which makes me happy, but doesn't matter all that much for Suzuki shimai!
This week was Thanksgiving! We got to eat dinner at one of our American members' house! It was so great. Eating normal food was so wonderful. It was the first seaweed-free meal I've eaten in probably 6 months...
Also we got to go up north to Kagoshima this week for a zone meeting... which was cool. We had to get up at 4 am to catch a 4 hour train there! It was so so cold up north. I didn't wear my coat because it's so warm down here in Miyazaki! But it ended up snowing while we were there! Only a little bit though...
Oh, last thing! Something cool about this week is that it's Elder Holland's birthday on the 3rd! But it's also my birthday on the 4th! But since Japan is a day ahead of America, Elder Holland and I will be having our birthdays at the same time this year! So, I think that's pretty awesome.
Other than that, nothing else really happened this week! Still working hard!
Hope you all have a wonderful week!
Oh, and Elder William wants me to say hi to you all... though I don't know why... Australians...
Anyway! Love you all!