Wilson Shimai and Hamada Shimai
The weeks fly by so quickly, this week has been pretty great! I have learned a ton from so many people! So the Yamate ward is amazing, the ward is so helpful this past week had like 4 mogi (role play lessons) with ward members to try and help improve our teaching skills and help me with nihongo! So we had a zone meeting in which we do a program called 10 week turn around where each week we work on one of the teaching lessons and how we can improve and we go over and over the lesson and then practice it thru out the week, I learned a lot and my zone is super lively and Okazaki choro, my mate from the MTC is in my zone so it was great to see him! We miss everyone from the MTC but are loving the area and the people!!! We visited 7 less actives and have been working on trying to find another investigator, all the investigators that Nakamura Shimai had before are either really busy or gone on vacation, but I’m having a great time getting to know the people and the area.
So here in the city of Yokohama they had some festival I’m not sure what they were celebrating but they had amazing fireworks! We watched the fireworks with a ward member, Anderson Shimai, who made us amazing curry and we were able to talk to her and discuss how to best utilize Facebook for missionary work. She is a great member missionary and wonderfully strong mother. She was so warm and welcoming and has been an example to me of discipleship, I really respect her strength and great faith. We also had a mogi lesson with the sweet Morishita family, and Mori Shimai who have helped me learn to teach. Their patience with my struggling nihongo is unyielding, I am so grateful for all of them!! On Wednesday we got to teach the intermediate class during eikaiwa, we only had one student named Natsuko but she was so sweet, I love helping them learn, Japanese people have a strong desire to always learn and I love it, it encourages me to try harder in learning nihongo to help them. I LOVE eikaiwa, we have a variety of ages and they love playing ‘do you love your neighbor’ it’s the cutest thing!! I know that even though we aren’t able to teach them gospel lessons the spirit they feel here helps open their hearts. On Thursday I went on my first split and was so terrified! I have only been here a week, know close to no Japanese, and get lost everywhere and the sister who I would be put with has been here only two transfers longer than me. It was as President Wada would say, ‘the blind leading the blind’. Nakamura Shimai left and Hotu Shimai, from Australia, came and we had a good day dendoing in a park, Shimashita Koen and met a lot of really nice people. Btw the parks here in Japan are phenomenal!! We also taught a less active member, Saito Shimai, who has a heart of gold. She is so sweet and even though we struggled with the language, the spirit was there and our lesson surprisingly turned out well, despite not having my trainer with me. We also met with Rie Chun who is a sweet 17 year old who is so pure and kind, I was shocked when she said she is 17. We work with personal progress with her and she accepted our invitation to go to a fireside Pres Wada put in, called Questions of the Soul. She is so receptive to the spirit and it’s crazy I haven’t known her very long but I see such amazing potential for her! Nakamura Shimai and I talk after we meet with her and want to one day see her active and get married in the temple. She is a very amazing girl, she’s so kind and we love her and will continue to keep working with her. I love these people so much and have learned so much, I’m not sure if I’m really teaching them or if they’re doing the teaching.
Ok, so a question I have been asked a lot lately, has been, what has been my biggest challenge; the language, being in a foreign place or getting used to the culture? Honestly, my biggest challenge to overcome has been, myself. Getting over admitting and showing my weaknesses and insecurities, allowing myself to struggle through all that I don’t know and learn, becoming more humble and trusting completely in the Lord and his plan for me and the people in Yamate. Resiliency has
been key in my progression, rejection and feeling like I’m not making as much head way as I would like in the language and missionary work can be taxing. Fighting feelings of discouragement with myself has been a big testimony builder and a great learning experience. It sometimes feels like, working out. You are putting in work and your body still feels like jell-o and you’re not seeing any difference, but with patience and consistency you see gradual change. I have had to really focus on this change for myself and even though right now I don’t fully know what The Lord has in store for me or the people I am serving, I will consistently put my whole trust in him and be patient with myself and the Lords timing of everything. I am learning to become a more consecrated missionary, when I feel like I have given everything, I learn to dig deeper, and give the little part of you that you didn’t think you had. My MTC teacher Ellsworth Kyodai encouraged us to never settle for a mediocre experience, make your mission meet all the expectations and aspirations you had.