Sunday, February 22, 2015

Week 38 - Faith, Trucks, and Pixie Dust.

Heavenly Father must trust me, and he must trust me a lot, because this next transfer, I will be training a brand new missionary straight from the MTC (missionary training center). Welch Kaichou (President) must trust me too. Although I have no idea how to be a trainer, and I feel completely inadequate, I know that Heavenly Father will help me every step of the way. 

This week has been so packed, and we have been so incredibly busy! I hope my trainee is ready to get to work! We have been teaching anywhere from 2-3 lessons almost everyday. This week we taught 11 lessons. We also had a kokan (exchange) with the STLs (sister training leaders) this week, and we had Zone Conference (members were invited to come, which was so cool!)! It has been wonderful though, and although it is hard sometimes, I love that we aren't just teaching lots of lessons, but we are teaching Heavenly Father's children, and that itself is the best. This week we had so many lessons where our investigators finally just understood. Something that they had been struggling with finally clicked. Those are some of my favorite moments while teaching. We have been working really hard to understand the needs of our investigators and to teach by the spirit. This week I had a couple of really cool experiences where I felt the spirit teaching through me. I wish I could share them all with you. Besides the fact that I can't remember all of them right now (don't worry, I have been writing everything in my journal), it would take hours and hours to tell you about all of the cool experiences and stories, and things that I am learning. 

I do want to share one experience with you though. Recently I have been focusing on charity, the pure love of Christ. As a mission, we have been learning a lot about charity recently, from our leaders, our mission president, and from some of the area general authorities (leaders of the church here in Asia). I have been thinking a lot about charity, and although I feel like I have some charity, I realized that there are areas in my life, and in my dendo (missionary work) where charity is lacking. Especially when it comes to talking to people. I don't have a really hard time loving the members or our investigators, but when it comes to random people on the street. After thinking about it, I realized the problem. If I think of Heavenly Father's children as random people on the street, it is almost always difficult for me to get up the courage to talk to them. When I stop and think about it, and see them as children of our Heavenly Father, it makes it much easier to Open my Mouth and speak. Although finding is one of the parts of missionary work that I struggle with the most, it has progressively gotten easier, and some days I even have enough courage to stop people while we are biking (although so far that has only happened once). Missionary work is hard, and without charity it is almost impossible. Without charity, we have nothing. "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. . . . Charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever." (Moroni 7:46-47) Charity is so important. It doesn't matter how perfect your Japanese is, or how good you are at talking to people, or how wonderful of a teacher you are, if you don't have charity for the people, if you don't truly love the people, then it is impossible to effectively do the work of the Lord, and truly bring others unto Christ. I am so grateful for my Savior, and for all that He has done for me. One of my favorite parts of being on a mission, and reading the Book of Mormon, is how much I have learned about my Savior. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and Redeemer. He knows us, and He loves us. I know that through Him, and His atonement, we can do all things. "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever." (Alma 26:12)

I love you all, and I am so grateful for all of your love and support. You are all incredible, and I am grateful for the influence you have each had on my life. 


Robertson Shimai

Ps... I guess I should explain the faith, trucks, and pixie dust. It is just one of those things that you end up saying when you don't speak English anymore. :)


 1. In Japan, all of the school children ride the trains and go to school all by their selves. Even when they are only four years old... Japan is SO safe. This is one of the little signs on the train platform. It says, "Elementary students, please wait here for the train." 

2. Happy birthday present from one of our investigators. She is so sweet!

3-5. One time we decided to do a gyoza challenge, and each eat 60 gyoza... it was a bad idea. I only ate 34 before I felt like dying... 

6. Inori kata no sanduwichi (Prayer sandwhich) - we used this to teach one of our investigators about prayer, but mostly to entertain her 2 year old son. It was a good idea. :)

7-8. I'm training!

Week 37 - Count Your Many Blessings

name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done. Count your many blessings... (I'd write the rest of the song, but I don't remember English anymore...)

This week we have been thinking a lot about our blessings. Can I just express even a tiny bit of how much Heavenly Father loves his children? I love being a missionary and playing a small part in their lives. This week we were blessed to be a part of so many blessings that just keep on coming. One of our sweet investigators A has been having a hard time recently. She is about 8 weeks pregnant with her second child, and the morning sickness has started to get really bad. Not as bad as with her first, but still so bad that she can't really cook without getting nauseous, and she is having a hard time getting out of the house and to the store. On Monday she said she spent the entire day at home in her pajamas. So sad. We went over on Tuesday and she was feeling a little bit better, but still sick. We ended up reading 2 Nephi 31 with her, since she wasn't able to read it on her own this week, and then we felt like we should still teach her about the Priesthood and Priesthood Blessings, so we did. And she said that she really wanted one. We planned with her to have the Elders give her a blessing after Eikaiwa (English Class) on Wednesday. After our lesson, we went to the 7-11 around the corner from her apartment for a quick snack, and bathroom break, and decided to take turns calling people while we eating. The Elders had called for some reason, so we called them back and then told them about how A wanted a blessing after Eikaiwa... Well, the Elders told us that they weren't going to be able to make it to Eikaiwa, and that they could give her a blessing some other time. We were trying to figure out when, and then we explained where she lived. The Elders just so happened to be walking 10 minutes away, and knew exactly how to get there. We felt like we should call A and ask if now would be okay, since she wasn't feeling too good when we left, we were afraid that maybe she would tell us that now was not a good time. Well, she told us that G had just fallen asleep, and that we could come over with the Elders. When we got there, it was so perfectly quiet. G wasn't running around, and it was the perfect atmosphere for a blessing. The Elders then gave her a blessing, and the spirit was so strong. Afterwards, the first thing A said was that she felt so peaceful she almost fell asleep. She told us that she just felt so warm and good inside. She was very easily able to recognize the spirit, something that we had just reviewed in our lesson about half an hour before. I was so happy when we left, and she already looked like she was feeling so much better. A few hours later, she texted us and said that she was so grateful that we came back, and that she was even able to go to the store after G woke up from his nap so that she could buy some apples (one of the only things that helps to calm the morning sickness). I am so grateful for Heavenly Father and His love. Just something as simple as going to the store and getting some apples really meant so much to A and I know that she was able to feel Heavenly Father's love for her. 

I love you all so much, and I hope that you had an incredible week. You are amazing, and I know that Heavenly Father loves each and every one of you. 

Robertson Shimai

1-4 Fushimi Inari

5-8 Making mochi with N Shimai and H Chan

9-21...ish Ward Miso Tsukuri (Miso making party)... Weirdest experience...

22-24 We got heart attacked. :)

Valentine's dinner date with my companion

We heart attacked A. :) 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Week 36: Family history, I am doing it. My genealogy

My dearest family and friends,

How are you? I hope you are doing well. It sounds like so much is going on back home with people getting home from missions, and people getting married, and other people having babies! Congratulations to all of you! It sounds like there are going to be a lot of new people to meet when I get home in December. 

Missionary life is still the greatest. I am still loving Katsura, and working with Larkin Shimai. I can't believe that this is week four of this transfer already! Time is going way too fast! This week we had a lot of different things happen. We had lots of lessons, zone training meeting, interviews with President Welch, and our Stake had a Family History Fair. :) What a great and busy week it has been. One of the things that I really enjoyed learning about this past week, was working with the members and the wards. Every week, we get an email from the mission (like a newsletter) and there is always a miracle that happened in our mission over the past week. This week, the miracle was about our Stake Family History Fair. "A Zone had a Stake Family History Fair on Saturday. Hundreds of people came to the church for it. One Less-Active member brought his non-member wife and they committed to learn about their ancestors and go to the Temple to perform their ordinances. Another member family brought their less-active daughter, their non-member daughter and her family. They taught the children about their family, and they decided to do family history, as a family. Tons of people came to the church for the first time, and left holding a Book of Mormon. This was a fantastic start to the Ward and the missionaries working together." The members did such an amazing job, and the fair went so well. Recently we have really been trying to focus on families and family history when we are out finding. The people here in Japan really care about their families, and when you start talking about their ancestors, they are usually more open to listening to our message. We were able to bring one of our investigators to the fair, and she said she learned so much, and it was so fun to hear all the stories she was told when she was growing up about her grandma. Learning about how to do her own family history, really opened up her heart, and she wants to learn even more. As I have been doing my own family history, I have been amazed at all the things I have been able to learn. I've learned that I am a lot more like my ancestors than I thought I was. I have also been able to learn more and strengthen my relationship with my own mom. I realized that I really didn't know that much about her parents, since they both passed away before I was born. And, while I was growing up, I never really knew that much about them. As I started working on my family history, and trying to learn more about my ancestors, my mom started sharing more stories. I learned that my grandpa and I cut apples the same way, and that my grandma loved little children owned a preschool. I learned that my grandpa was baptized when he was in college by his best friend. I have learned so many things, and I can't wait to get home and ask all of my family, my dad and my living grandparents, and my aunts and uncles. I know that as we do our family history, our relationships with our relatives who are still living will be strengthened. I know that we will feel the influence of those around us who have already passed on. The more and more I learn about my family, the more excited I am to meet them and to be with them forever. 

I love you all and you are in my thoughts and my prayers. I hope that you have an amazing week. 

Robertson Shimai

1. Makizushi - On February 3, you have to eat makizushi facing south south west (except the direction changes every year) and make a wish.    
We ate so much sushi that day! Luckily ours was really just fried rice. :) Sushi isn't my favorite.

2. We heart attacked one of our investigators who was sick.
3. Sometimes you have to eat things you don't like... Like dango (a kind of mochi). I have eaten so much mochi in the last 3 weeks it is ridiculous. This particular one is from when we went finding on Friday after Zone Training meeting, and talked to this lady. She said that while she was talking to us she started feeling much better, and that she wanted to do something for us... So she bought us dango. People in Japan are the greatest. :)

4. It snowed a little bit last week. Winter in Kyoto reminds me a lot of winter in Alabama. Super cold, but with no snow. Just frozen, and bitter to the bone cold.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Week 35: What a Wonderful Week it has been...

What a wonderful week it has been. Although, it all feels like a big huge really fast day. Time is a really weird concept when you are on your mission. Sometimes we get to Monday, and I feel like Monday was just yesterday. It's too fast! But, I love every minute of it. Even those times where it is freezing cold, and you can't feel your fingers (even though you are wearing two pairs of gloves), and you are riding across a bridge, next to a river and it is windy, and you are being pelted in the face with snow. It's the best. Really though, although sometimes you are really cold, or really tired, or really whatever, those few times a day when someone actually wants to talk to you, or you are able to teach a really powerful lesson, those times make up for everything. My favorite part of being a missionary, is teaching people the gospel, and the times when we are able to do that are the best part of my whole day. 

This week we were able to be taught by such amazing women. We were supposed to be teaching them, but I think we may have learned even more from their faith and their examples then we did from what we taught. One sister, O Shimai, has been less active for about 20 years. She has come to church once or twice since then, but not in a long time. The members all know and love her though. She is a mom of three, and lives with her Husband and his parents, but the three of them are all hantai (not very happy with her for wanting to go to church). The sister missionaries have been teaching her for much longer then I have been here, and she has been invited to church many times, but never come. We have just been studying the Book of Mormon with her, and helping her to understand it a little bit more. This week we studied 1 Nephi 8 with her, about Lehi's dream. As we were studying with her, I was amazed at just how much faith and desire she has. We were able to help her to understand that she can receive revelation and guidance for her children. At some point we were talking about what the fruit from the tree of life represented. We talked about how it represented the love of God, and asked why she thought that was the most desirable thing, and why we would want to share that with others. I really wish I could remember what she said, but I remember that it was an amazing answer. I just remember being so filled with the spirit during that whole lesson, and being so grateful for the opportunity to learn from such an amazing woman. We then talked about how one of the ways we can feel God's love, is through taking the sacrament, and then we read Moroni 4 with her (the sacrament prayer). 

There wasn't anything that we said or did, but after she read that scripture, something just clicked. After all these years of not understanding why we go to church, and why everyone kept inviting her, it finally made sense. We go to church to take the sacrament. To renew the promises that we have made with Heavenly Father, to take upon us the name of Christ, always remember Him, and to keep His commandments, and in return, God promises that we will always have His spirit to be with us. What an amazing promise that is. We are blessed that we will always have the Holy Ghost, the third member of the Godhead, with us, as long as we are doing the right things. We don't ever have to feel hurt and alone, or scared, or lost, because we are never alone, we always have the spirit with us, and we can always feel God's love, and receive answers to our prayers. How amazing is that? I am so grateful for the sacrament, and for my Heavenly Father. After she realized the importance of the sacrament, we invited her to come, and to bring her children. She said that she would. On Sunday, she wasn't there, and I was a little sad, but then I remembered how difficult it is to bring three children to church all on your own. About 15 minutes into church, they came. They made it just in time to take the sacrament. I can't even express how happy we were to see them. 
I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am also grateful for the joy, and happiness that it brings me. I know that my Heavenly Father loves me, and I know that He loves each and every one of His children. I am so grateful to be able to feel just a little bit of that love as I serve His children here in Japan. 

I love you all, and I hope that you have an amazing week.



We found the source of all Nintendo! :)

 This is from last week when we went to Kiyomizudera after emailing. There is a man with a little store at the top of this big hill that engraves rings, and all the missionaries that serve in Kyoto have one. They say 真の弟子 (True Disciples - which is the old mission theme), and 共にあゆまん (Walk with me - our new mission theme)

 It was pouring rain by the time we got home, so we sat in our warm apartments and had lunch. 

This in U Shimai (except U is her maiden name, so she is really N Shimai, I think I talked about her last week), and her son H. We taught her how to make Tacos, and got to play with H Chan. :)

 This is Black Thunder Ice Cream, only available at 7Eleven in February. It is the best ice cream.