Saturday, June 28, 2014

Week 4: Filled with taksan ai (Filled with so much love)

Ignore the fact that taksan ai literally translates to  many love... Haha. Oh well, you get the point. :) 


Genki desu ka? I'm doing subarashii! The MTC is still great, and I love it so much. The only thing I am getting tired of it the food, but that's alright. :)

Last week Wilson Shimai had her birthday. She got about two packages every day for a week. She was so nice and shared all of her cake, brownies, cookies, pastries, cupcakes, and cinnamon rolls with us. It was all so good, and it was so awesome to celebrate her birthday with her. Thursday night before we went to bed, we had her close her eyes for 10 minutes while we decorated the room. And then we made her keep her eyes closed until she woke up the next morning. :) We didn't want to ruin the surprise, and with the schedule of a missionary, there isn't much (actually there is no) alone time, so we had to make it work while she was there. Eyring Shimai had to help her get to her bed. (She sleeps on the top bunk, so it was a little bit of a struggle). It was so funny though, and we all had a good laugh. The next morning it was like Christmas, we all waited patiently to see her face. It was a wonderful day. :) And I loved being a part of it and helping to make it special for her. 

One of the other zones has two new kohai (new missionaries) that are shimatachi. They are so sweet, and I love seeing them around. I can't wait until we have kohai of our own. We still have 2 more weeks though before that happens (At least I think...). There might only be one more week. Time is chotto okashi (a little strange) sometimes here at the MTC. The days go by slowly, but the weeks fly by. And so do the months!

I love our teachers! They are the best. We see them everyday except Sunday, and we miss them when they are gone. When we haven't seen them for a day, it feels like it has been forever! Well, Gauthier Kyodai left for a camping trip the end of last week. We had a substitute, and although she was great, she wasn't Gauthier Kyodai. We get so used to the teaching styles of our teachers, and when they aren't there it is harder for us to understand. And some of the ways the other teachers teach aren't as effective for us (well, they aren't as effective for me). Ellsworth Kyodai (our other teacher) was subbing for a different class at the same time that we had a sub. He told us that the whole time he was there he was wondering what we were being taught, and why we were in separate classes, where we were going, and what we were doing. He felt so protective of us, and wanted to make sure we were being taken care of. He even came and checked on us through the peep hole in the classroom door just to make sure we were doing alright. He is so sweet! We survived without Gauthier Kyodai though, and he was there on Monday to teach us again. While we had substitutes, we practiced street contacting and door approaches. With street contacting, you only talk to the person for about 1 - 2 minutes, and you have to teach about a simple principle that you think will apply to their lives, and interest them in knowing more. Then you schedule a return appointment. With door approaches, you have about 5 minutes to teach an entire message. It can be a little bit stressful, and you always feel rushed, but I loved it, and it was good practice for when we get to Japan. 

I am getting much better at Nihongo, and can say a lot more without having to think to hard about it. During one of our lessons though, I wanted so badly to say something, but I honestly couldn't remember how. I think I struggled thinking about it for 5-10 minutes, and ended up not being able to understand anything that was happening. I quickly learned, that it is so much more important to listen to the kyudosha, than it is to spend 10 minutes trying to say one thing. 

On Sunday, the New Mission Presidents Seminar began (Well, actually it started on Saturday...) Anyways, Sunday it was going on, and as a result, one of the main buildings on campus was closed (all week long). The First Presidency and the 12 Apostles were all in attendance on Sunday, and I think Monday as well. As we were going back to our class (and me to a meeting) we were able to see the First Presidency as they walked to their cars. It was pretty cool. They were parked just outside of our classroom building, and we were able to sit and watch them from a distance. 

For Sunday Devotional, Janice Kapp Perry was our speaker. She is a singer/song writer that has written many of the primary (children) songs for the church. Our devotional was kindof like a musical fireside, because there was a lot of singing. She had us all sing a medley of 6 of her primary songs (A Child's Prayer, I Love to See the Temple, We'll Bring the World His Truth, Love is Spoken Here, and two other songs - that I can't remember). It was so beautiful, and the spirit was able to testify to me of the simple truths in each of the songs. At the end, we sang the EFY Medley (As Sisters in Zion/We'll Bring the World His Truth). Instead of the regular verses, we sang 2 of the new verses she wrote for As Sisters in Zion, special for missionaries. (You should be able to find them online. They are amazing. We sing them every week in Relief Society). I loved being able to sing, with all of the missionaries. It was a wonderful devotional. 

I'm running out of time!!!

Okay. I'll type fast! There is still so much more to tell you!

This week I have been filled with so much love for every one around me. I didn't realize I could love so many people SO much! It is the best feeling!

One of the times that I have been filled with love, is when we have taught lessons to our kyudosha, teachers, and less active members. We taught a sweet 80 year old sister (teacher pretending to be a less active). She had stopped going to church because she felt like the other sisters in her ward were judging her because she couldn't read Kanji. We were able to share with her the love that her Heavenly Father has for her. It was so special, and I was truly able to see her through God's eyes. I was able to see a little glimpse of her divine potential. I love being a missionary!

On Tuesday for Devotional, Elder Christofferson spoke to us. He talked to us about the worth of souls, and about our divine potential. One of the many wonderful things he said, "Your soul is precious in the sight of God." It was so wonderful, and I wish I had time to tell you more! Maybe I'll write a letter and Rebekah can post it to my blog. :)

I was also able to meet my Mission President and his wife this week! They are wonderful and I am so excited to go to Kobe, and to serve with them. Also, a little bit of good news, my mission will be getting ipads, along with the rest of the missions in Japan! It will be amazing to be able to have more resources as we teach. I'm excited. 

One last thing, really quick! We have been learning about how to better teach people rather than lessons. As we taught each lesson this week, I could tell that the spirit was much more present when we taught to the needs of our investigators, and listened to what our investigators needed. I love teaching by the spirit, and everything about being a missionary. It is great!

I love you all! Sorry about the crazy sporadic email. I feel like I always have so much to say and so little time to say it all!

Robertson Shimai

As Amanda Mentioned: 
The Sisters of Zion

Words and Music by Janice Kapp Perry 

The sisters of Zion are called to God’s labor
We willingly serve Him with spirit and might
We go to the nations with truth everlasting
We teach of the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ

We thank thee, O God, for a prophet to guide us
We trust in His words and our purpose is clear
The angels of heaven are walking beside us
We’ll share our glad message with all who will hear

We go forth enlisted with Helaman’s Army
In numbers much greater than ever before
With power and spirit we’ll faithfully witness
The heavens have spoken, and truth is restored 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Week 3: I can't think of an exciting title... Gomenesorry. (ごめnえさい)

Hey kazoku to tomodachi! 

I hope you are all doing really well. It's been a great, difficult, and interesting week all at the same time. 

On Thursday last week, we had a district beach volleyball game. It was fantastic. My team won! :) Well, we don't actually keep score, but we won. Our district gets along really well, and we always sit together, and pretty much spend all day long together. Mokuyobi and Doyobi are our beach volleyball games. Basically my district is the best. The end. Jodan! There is still so much more to tell you. Saisho though, I have to tell you about my nickname. America Shimai. One day minasan (everyone) was trying to guess each others first names. Some of the chorotachi started guessing my name, and they couldn't figure out what it was. After they guessed some A names, I told them that A was the first letter. Then they guessed Amy and Amber, and I said that m was the next letter. Well, one of the chorotachi yelled out "AMERICA" and that became my nickname. And when we are playing volleyball, everyone wants to be on America Shimai no team (America Shimai's team). Just a funny, or not so funny story. You pick whether or not you laugh. Just remember "It's only funny because there is nothing else to laugh at at the MTC." (Something one of the Shimaitachi said after someone told a not so funny jodan - joke). 

The Temple was great as always! Watashi wa shinden o ai shite masu (I think that is how you would say I love the temple...). Ato de we came out of the shinden and were walking back to the MTC, it was stormy outside. It made me so happy. I miss Alabama Shu thunderstorms!

Let's see. This week I have been getting a little bit better at nihongo. Choto wakari masu (I understand a little bit more). So that is exciting. I am finally understanding the bunpo (grammar) and the bunsho (sentence) structure of Nihongo. Well, most of the time. Not when the sentences get super complicated though, I'm still working on that. Mostly, I am just struggling with remembering all of the vocab and phrases to insert into said bunpo. It's coming though, and I know that as I continue to put my trust in my Ten no Otosama, it will only get easier (or at least more manageable). 

Oh, Eyring Shimai and I are the new STL (Sister Training Leaders) for our zone. That means that we get to be leaders over the other Shimaitachi, and really get to know them and serve them. They are so great, and I am excited to serve them. One of the duties that comes with being an STL is waking up early to help check out the dai sempai (older shimaitachi) in our zone. They left on Getsuyobi (Monday) morning, and we had to wake up 30 minutes early to sign them out. At least it wasn't at 3:00am like some of the other zones! I love those Shimaitachi, and miss them all ready. 

On Sunday, Sister Sheri Dew came for devotional. She was such a great speaker (I forgot to bring my notes with though to tell you what she talked about!!!) I just remember that it was great! Sorry! Wait! I remember! She talked about the Grace of Jesus Christ, and how through that grace we have the power to use the aganai (atonement) in our lives. She told a story about how it was through the grace of Christ that she was able to forget about all the pain and hurt that she remembered about her father growing up (he had a temper, and took it out on his family). While sitting next to him in the hospital right before he passed away, she was able to feel only love for him, and was only able to remember the happy things. The pain was completely gone. I know that through Iesu Kirisuto no aganai, we can truly be freed from all of the pain, and sorrow of our lives. 

As STL and Zone Leaders in the Nihon area we met together and decided that we want to our zones to be held to a Standard of Excellence and to strive to build a Culture of Righteousness. We are all striving to be exactly obedient, and to use our time wisely. After all, we are on the Lord's time. :) And what precious time it is. 

On Gestuyobi we had TRC (I don't actually remember what that stands for) where we teach lessons to members of the kyokai (church). We had the opportunity to teach a member, and her friend (who is not a member). We had prepared to teach about Service, and Missonary Work, but felt like that was not what we needed to talk about. The other Shimaitachi went and taught before us, and were able to teach her about the Book of Mormon, they even gave her one and she was so eager to start reading. Eyring Shimai and I then taught her how to inori (pray). Something we have taught multiple times, but it is always so much more nerve wracking when it is real! While teaching her we were able to say so much more on our owns than we normally can. I usually have to read what I want to say (although I come up with the sentences beforehand) and this time, I was able to come up with what I wanted to say on my own (straight out of Watashi no atama! - my head). It was such a confidence booster, and I know that Heavenly Father was right there helping me. We were able to hear her pray for the first time ever, and it was so sweet to be there during that special moment between her and her Heavenly Father. She is interested in meeting with the missionaries again, and has already started reading the Morumon Sho! I love being a missionary! It is the absolute best to be able to share the love that Heavenly Father has for his children, and for them to be able to feel that love, and that desire to talk to him through prayer. I really love it!

Our investigators that we teach two to three times a week are pretend investigators. Our teachers act out some of the investigators that they taught while on our missions. So although the investigators themselves are not real (because they are just our teachers pretending to be investigators) the stories that they share, and the people that they portray are. I don't know if that makes any sense. But hopefully it does (my mom asked this week about who our investigators were, and I realized I never really explained how that works). I love Hasegawa San to Morimoto San though. They truly are great, and I love teaching them about Iesu Krisuto no Kyogi (the gospel of Jesus Christ). 

One of the funny mistakes that we made this week while we were teaching Morimoto San is that we read the wrong scripture. Finding scriptures in the Nihongo Morumon Sho is difficult, because we can't really read Katakana (one of the three alphabets). We were intending to read Alma 7:11, which talks about Iesu Kirisuto no aganai (Christ's atonement). Instead we had accidentally turned to Mosiah 7:11 which does NOT talk about the aganai at all... Go ahead and read it, and just appreciate that we made that mistake here while teaching a pretend investigator, rather than in Nihon with real investigators! Whoops... We have also said that when we the spirit helps up to feel haian (bronchitis or pneumonia) rather than heian (peace). Learning a new language is fun... Haha!

One last story really haiaku (fast)! Elder M. Russell Ballard came and talked to us on Tuesday Evening for devotional. He talked about staying focused and blocking out the "noise" of the world. Also about how we should never be ashamed to be a member of the church. He said (talking about the Apostles and the first presidency) "We will not, and we CANNOT lead you astray." It was really powerful. Sorry I don't have time to tell you more about it! 

Just a thought, the next companion that my trainer (in Japan) will have, will be me! I will be there next transfer! 6 more weeks to learn as much as I can!

Robertson しまい

My District is the best!

I love these Shimaitachi!! 

Shimaitachi at the Shinden 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Week 2: My nintai was tried, but my shinko was strengthen​ed.

Ohayo Kazoku to Tomodachi (Family and Friends)

This week has been subarashi (great), and muzikashii (hard) all at the same time. My nintai (patience) was tried over and over, but overall my shinko (faith) was strengthened. :)

On Thursday, after we finished emailing, and Laundry, we went to the shiden (temple). Dai ski desu! I love it there! Being in the temple always helps me to relax and wind down from the hard week. We get the opportunity to go to the temple once every week (every Thursday), and I look forward to it more than anything. :) Since I won't be able to go to the temple while I am in Japan, I am trying to enjoy it as much as I can now. :)

I am SO grateful for my senseitachi this week. They are always so nice and nintai with us. They push us to be better and to learn more mainichi (everyday). Kino (yesterday), my distrikuto was having a particularly rough day. We were all at our wits end, and were getting choto (a little bit) stir crazy! Ellsworth Kyodai realized our needs, and decided that we needed to have class outside. It was just what I needed. To sit in the grass, listening to the sounds of nature while studying about inori (prayer) and the keigi (revelation) that we can ukeru (recieve) through prayer. It was wonderful. Even though I was feeling so stressed and incompetent before, after class I was feeling so much more relaxed and knew that I could (can) do this. 

On Sunday this week, the shimaitachi (sisters) got to watch Music and the Spoken Word before Relief Society. I thought about my family a lot and Sunday mornings. :) My dad always turned it on while we were getting ready for kyokai (church). Although we generally complained, and wanted to listen to other church music, we had it playing in the background regardless. Now that we watch it in the MTC weekly, it just makes me appreciate it that much more, and makes me feel a little bit closer to home, knowing that they are watching it at the same time. :) For Relief Society, Sister Robin Boham (from the General Relief Society Board) spoke to us. She taught us a lot of great things, but the one thing that really stuck with me was a story that she shared of her grandchildren. Her granddaughter had taken her grandson's candy, and her dad told her that she needed to apologize to her bother. He also told her that if she did something nice for her brother, she could have a piece of her own candy. Well, the next day came, and she still couldn't think about what she could do for her brother. He suggested that she draw him a picture. And so she sat down and drew a simple yellow line. He asked what it was, and she didn't know. He asked if it was Superman's streak and she said OF COURSE! Well, although it may seem simple, at the time that simple yellow line was all that she could do. "Sometimes all we can do is a simple yellow line, and it's enough. That is enough." As long as we are trying our very best, it is enough. Even if that day, all we can do is a simple yellow line. That really helped me because learning Nihongo is the hardest thing I have ever done. I never feel like I can remember anything, and I have been feeling so incompetent. Sometimes all I can do is say one thing, and sometimes, that is enough. 

Eyring Shimai and I also taught/led our district meeting (Sunday School with just our district). We taught about having Shinko in Iesu Kirisuto no aganai (Faith in Christ's atonement). It went wonderfully, and the spirit was so strong during that meeting. This is what I wrote in my journal that night. 
"As we were discussing faith in the atonement, my love for my district grew even more. We have such a strong district. Everyone has such strong testimonies, and they are so strong in the gospel. I am so grateful for them and how they taught me during our lesson. As Wilson Shimai shared with us her story of how the atonement strengthened her after her Father passed away, I knew that what she was saying was true. I then bore my testimony of the atonement. I know that the atonement is real. I know that through it, we can be forgiven of our sins. But I also know that it is so much more than that. When I have been at my lowest of lows and felt so alone, and like no one truly understood what I was going through, I knew that Christ did. He still does. He suffered every sin, pain, affliction, everything for me personally. He knows exactly what I went through and how lonely I felt. And through his infinite atonement, I was brought so much peace. I have felt that love and peace over and over again. No matter what is wrong, or what I have done, the healing powers of the atonement of Jesus Christ are always there."
I am so grateful for that knowledge. It has brought me so much peace over the past two weeks, and I know more now than ever, that when I am struggling I can turn to Christ for peace and strength. 

On Tuesday, we had Elder Quentin L. Cook of the twelve (Quorum of the Twelve Apostles) speak to us. :) He focused a lot on feelings of inadequacy as well. He said "You are good enough!" He shared with us a story from when he was on his mission. His companion was a shy guy from Utah, and barely spoke any of the language. All he could say was a simple prayer, and he could share a simple testimony. One day they asked some of their investigators when they knew that the church was true, and they all said that it was when that Elder prayed, or when he bore testimony of Joseph Smith that they knew it was true. Even though he could only say a few things, the spirit that he had when he prayed or bore testimony was so powerful that it brought more people to the gospel than the Elder who taught 95% of the lessons. Even though we joke all the time that all we know is how to pray and bare our testimonies, when done with the Holy Ghost present, the lessons become so much more powerful. Just because that is all I feel like I can do (well) right now, does not mean I am inadequate. The spirit is a powerful teacher, and when present, it doesn't matter what little I can or can't say. Before he left he left us with a special blessing to ignore and set aside feelings of incompetence. I know that what he shared is true, and it was a nice reminder for me. 

We taught one new investigator this week. His name is Hasegawa San. :) He is really nice, and teaching him was a great learning experience. I love teaching. We hadn't taught for almost a week, and I really was starting to miss it! I mean, sharing the gospel is why I am here. I am excited to teach him again, and to teach Morimoto San this week. :) Hopefully I'll have a little bit more time to share more next week. We also had TRC this week, where we taught lessons to members. :) We taught completely in Nihongo (like always) and they were really sweet and encouraging as we struggled to find the right words to say. I love nihonjin (Japanese People). :) They are all so sweet, and they make me so happy! I can't wait to live in Nihon and teach them. 

I am out of time now. Ai shite masu! I love you all! 

Robertson Shimai 

Ps. Here are some scriptures that have really helped me out this week. Alma 36:3 and 2 Nephi 4:15-35 Read them. They are the best. :)

Pps. I can only read my email once a week, but we get mail two times a day. :) There is a website called and it is the absolute best. :) Just in case you feel so inclined to send me something. :) I love hearing from you all! Thanks for all the love and prayers!

Ppps. Sorry no pictures this week... I'll try to send some next time. 

Pppps. You are the best! You are loved! You are wonderful sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father! Don't forget that. :)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Week 1: We'll Bring the World His Truth

Konichiwa Kozoku and Friends!

Genki desu ka? I'm doing pretty great! Loving the MTC!

Well, first I'll tell you all about my companion. :) Her name is Eyring Shimai and she is from Bountiful, Utah. She is pretty awesome and we pretty much laugh at everything. She is super athletic, so we play lots of sports during our gym time. I really like her, and I am grateful that she is my first doryo! (companion) We share a room with two other Shimaitachi. Their names are Wilson Shimai, a Samoan from California, and Gazdik Shimai, also from California. Gazdik Shimai has a twin sister who is also serving a mission. She entered the MTC on the same day as us, and is serving in the Japan Fukuoka Mission. She is in a different zone though. The four of us Shimaitachi get along great and spend a lot of time laughing. Our favorite thing to do is sing, and quote movies. :)

My district is made up of 6 chorotachi (Elders) and the 4 of us shimaitachi. :) We have Talentino Choro, Lunt Choro, Boody Choro, Moa Choro, Christianson Choro, and Seibach Choro. All of us are from all over the US, except from Moa Choro who is a Tongan from New Zealand. I love being with Polys again! It makes me miss Hawaii! Our district is awesome, and we get along really well. We also laugh all the time! :) SO don't worry. I am super happy, and don't think I have laughed so much in my life! 

We have two sensei (teachers). Gauthier Kyodai, and Ellsworth Kyodai. They are really great teachers and have taught us a lot. I can't believe how much Nihongo I already know in the short time that I have been here. I can already bear my akashi (testimony) and say a inori (prayer) all in Nihongo. We have also been teaching our first kyudosha since Friday, and we taught our last lesson Keno (yesterday). Our first lesson was a little bit tough, because we had to speak completely in Nihongo! We had only been learning for a day and a half, so we weren't quite as prepared. It still went well though, and Koyama San told us that he believed in Kamisama, which was pafekto for us because he didn't know anything when we started teaching him about Kamisama (God). So that was great. Our second lesson went a little bit better (although before we taught was really rough!). With each lesson we have gotten better and better, and as a companionship, Eyring Shimai and I have learned what works best for us. On Tuesday we committed him to Baputesuma! So that was exciting!

Senkyoshi (Missionary) life... I'm adjusting pretty well. We wake up every morning at 6:30. most days we are at the gym by 6:40. After gym, we get ready for the day, and have breakfast at 8:00. Then bankyo (study) alot (individual, companion, and nihongo). We have 6 hours of class time a day, and sometime during that we teach our kyudosha a lesson. Oh, and at 12:50 we always eat lunch. Dinner is at 5:25 and then we are back in our rooms by 9:30. Our days are completely filled with things to do, so we don't get a lot of down time, but I love it. Yesterday we did service in the morning, and didn't have class until after lunch! I felt like my day was so unproductive! Anyways, at 10:15 we start quiet time, and then lights out is at 10:30. Every morning I wake up so tired. And I go to bed feeling the same way, so I know that I have been working hard. :) Although being a senkyoshi is very muzikashii (hard) at times, it is SOO worth it!

Devotionals are one of the most exciting parts of our weeks. We had a member of the seventy come (Quorum of the 70 Apostles) speak to us on Tuesday. Elder Schwitzer was a great speaker, and taught us about being a missionary and finding the lost sheep. He reminded us that as senkyoshi, we need to become friends with the members, and really care for our kyudosha. Ultimately, they are going to care more about us caring, then they will about our ability to speak perfect Nihongo. That made me feel a lot better. I know that I have already learned so much, but there is still so much more to learn! 

I think that that pretty much sums up my week. 

Iesu Kirisuto wa watashitachi o ai shite imasu da to shitte imasu. Iesu Kirisuto wa watashitachi no Sukuinushi to Aganinushi da to shitte imasu. Iesu Kirisuto o shitagau toki ni shiawase o kanji mas. Kamisama wa watashitachi o shitte imasu. Kamisama wa watashitachi no Ten no Otosama desu. Kamisama o ai shite imasu. Iesu Kirisuto no mina niyori, Amen. 

Robertson Shimai

Translation: "I know Jesus Christ loves us. I know Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. Following Jesus Christ brings happiness. God loves us. God is our Heavenly Father. I love God. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen"

Shimaitachi in my distict

MacKenzie Shimai and I (both going to Kobe)

Eyring Shimai and I

My District