Fireworks, Friends, and Fukuin = Fantastic Fun‏

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Konnichiwa Minasan!

How is everyone?!?!!! Ok this has been one rocking week! Well, last P-day we had a picnic with our district and of course topped it off with some beach volleyball for some pre-4th of July celebration, it was great! It reminded me of when Daddy used to take us to Plavan Elementary School and we would just hang out, play ball tag and eat! On Friday, (Happy 4th of July everyone) I was thinking about how much I love 4th of July at our ward, I hope everyone had a  great day at the scout pancake breakfast, I always loved those, I really loved when Bro. Wallace used to give talks about veterans, he was such an amazing man! Well Friday was special, we had a great fourth of July special devotional, with lively musical numbers and an awesome talk about ‘Real Heroes’ not only those who sacrificed to enjoy these freedoms of our country, but also those who sacrificed for this gospel. It was beautiful, after we got to watch 17 miracles, I balled the whole time, I am so thankful for the sacrifice of the pioneers and their lasting influence in my life! Right after our movie, we had ice cream and they let us stay up past curfew and watch the fireworks from the cougar stadium! It was awesome, Thank you sooooo much for the awesome 4ht of July decorations, Gaz (Gazdik Shimai) and I really got into the spirit and I shared the love with my district, I think the chorotachi had more fun dressing up than we did! We also had 3 Nihonjin who celebrated 4th of July with us, Mom they are the sweetest people in the world! I Love them! It was such a fun night to have fun and enjoy the celebration of our country, we were obviously dead the next morning, but it was so worth it, Gaz and I couldn’t stop talking about how much fun we had! 

On Sunday we had a great Mission Conference, even though the speakers did not collaborate together, a common theme was the importance of Preach My Gospel and how each of us as missionaries needs to be a Committed PMG Missionary, they also explained how truly inspired it is! Pres. Hinckley was concerned that the Lord wanted baptisms doubled, but the approach in which they were going about it needed to be refined and that is what snowballed PMG, and the general authorities all helped to contribute to it and give us one of the best tools for missionary work, we should all study PMG and try to incorporate its teachings in our lives, it is not only for full time missionaries, but I know it can help member missionary work! Also PRes. Nally announced that a few changes would be made as in effect by the first presidency: (Justin this affects you, so listen up!) 1. all missionaries now havee to teach the 5th lesson: Laws and ordinances before baptism 2. missionaries will take lead in teaching all lessons 1-5 after baptism 3. missionaries will work closely for 3-4 months with new member after baptism and remain in close contact for at least a year with new members. After he spoke this I became a lil anxious wondering how on top of learning a language and everything else for lessons, I will need to incorporate these new changes. After a moment, while I was thinking I asked in my heart for peace to be able to encounter these new changes with confidence, almost immediately, the words Rise to the Challenge popped in my mind and I felt at peace, I know the Lord is hastening His work and this is the time for me to step up to meet the Lord’s standards. During sacrament meeting, I bore my testimony for the last time in english, we had a great meeting with our branch, I am so grateful for all the senkyoshi I am privileged to serve with! Btw I also got to see Hermana Keil!!! Love her! She is already a spectacular missionary and speaks killer spanish! We watched the John Tanner Story and the story of John Rowe Moyle (this was my fave) If you have not seen the stories, I highly recommend it! John Moyle’s story really hit home for me! He was a dedicated servant who lived in what is now Alpine Utah and was a stonecutter for the temple, he would wake up at 2 in the morning just to get to the temple at 8 Am when all the other workers got there (i wont spoil his beautiful story, but this is an incredible man of faith and diligence in the Lord’s work). Mom, He also reminded me of Daddy, how hardworking he is and how early daddy would wake up to go to work to provide for us and even during his calling when he would get up to fulfill his calling in Sundays and even until his last day on earth, he spent his time fulfilling his calling. I am so grateful for their examples! Sad day on Sunday, the sweet  Nihonjin left for the mission field Monday morning, we will miss them terribly! 
Ok so on Tuesday we were privileged to hear from Elder Neil L. Andersen and his sweet wife, they spoke on Being Still and gifts of the spirit which we are entitled to. He spoke of each gift we can receive if we ask in faith and live worthily, my favorite was the tongue of Angels, I know Angels play a vital work in hastening this work and need us to work together with them and rely heavily on the spirit to find and assist those souls in coming unto Christ. I also realized that as I am able to recognize more miracles I am able to expect more, he read a quote from a missionary he  had met in France who said, “There are souls to save and Miracles to find!” He also encouraged us to let our hearts be open to believing and conviction and the spirit will work in you. He bore a powerful testimony and we were lucky to sit 4 rows from the front and as he bore his testimony it was awesome to feel of his love and conviction in the Savior and you could see it in his eyes. After he spoke, the apostles normally immediately leave, but he sat still and said nothing, the entire auditorium was silent other than the organ, he let the spirit saturate within us and really let the spirit touch our hearts and he did not even have to say anything. It was a powerful experience and the spirit was so strong it was as if it was tangible. I know he is an apostle of the Lord and speaks on his behalf for our betterment…..On a lighter note, as Gaz and I taught Ellsworth Kyodai (aka Hasegawa san) I seem to always pronounce things wrong, like what date can you stop smoking, but instead said what race can you stop smoking, or saying utagi instead of utagai and looking at him like he’s crazy cause he doesn’t understand my broken Nihongo! Haha well it must have been too much because he burst out laughing, it was so bad that he broke character and had to leave the room because it was uncontrollable! After he returned we actually gave a great lesson, and it turned out to be one of our fave/ best lessons…so a lil comedic relief is always good for the soul! 🙂 Btw Everyone LOVES your quotes mom! #alwaysonpoint #mymommabekillin’emwiththatinspiration! #upliftment #momsrule #MyMommaIsTheBomb-a 
Ok Wednesday was great, we got to host and it was a blast as always the new missionaries are so eager and the families heartbreaking tears, oh the horror! Eyring shimai’s bro came in, made me small kine jealous my baby bro comes after me (speaking of which he hasnt written or talked to me, small kine cut but i will remember this when i bring home gifts jk jk Kepp focused on the Lord and preparing baby bro!) Ok so good and sad news, so Gaz and I missed our first opportunity to skype with members in Nihon 😦 for trc, but we missed it because we got to help with new missionary orientation, ‘People and my Purpose’ (justy you get to do this when u come in, it is awesome, one of my fave memories at MTC) So basically there are a bunch of different rooms with real investigators or recent converts and they portray their real selves and Gaz and I, our jobs are to be the initial contact with them, we get to know them, invite the spirit and set it up in order for all these brand new missionaries maybe 20 or 30 missionaries sitting behind us to take over and teach this investigator. (Btw Hoku was the officiator who kept things rolling for my group) We dont do a whole lot, but it was an awesome opportunity! As we went in I was thinking alot about my time here in MTC, I looked at the new missionaries, their awkward/painful, ‘what have i gotten myself into?’ faces and realized that was me 61/2 weeks ago and realized, whoah this is me now and then while looking at the investigator that’s where I need to be and what I am working towards these investigators and helping them strengthen their relationship with Jesus  Christ and Heavenly Father. It was a crazy good experience to be with them and I learned a lot from these new missionaries! This work is marvelous and I am grateful to be on the Lord’s errand. I love all of you! Thank you for the constant prayers and outpour of Love from all of you! 
Ai shite imasu,
Wilson Shimai
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