Monday, March 30, 2015

Week 43: Because He Lives

I am grateful this week for my Savior. This week we have had so many
crazy things happen. One day we had our investigator change her
baptism date, but then within a few hours, more trials hit her, and
she decided she doesn't want to get baptized at all. Then another day
we got a call from some of the other sisters saying that they were
going to be staying at our apartment for the next couple of days
because their apartment had been broken into. Then we got a call from
some other sisters saying that they needed to stay the night before
Zone Training Meeting, so one night we had 7 sisters in our little
apartment. Along with all of that and so many other things, it has
been quite the week. But despite it all, despite all of the
challenges, I am grateful to be a missionary, and I am even more
grateful for my Savior. I know that He lives and I know that He loves

This Easter, there is another video out about our Savior. It is called
"Because He Lives." Because I know that Jesus
Christ lives, I know that I am never alone. Because I know that He
lives, I have found so much peace and happiness in my life. Because I
know that He lives, I know that I can do all things. Because I know He
lives, I know that my family can be together forever. Because I know
that He lives, I know that death is not the end. We too will live
again. I am so grateful for my Savior, and for His atoning sacrifice
for me.

This week we were able to teach A Shimai who we haven't been able to
teach in a couple of weeks. We taught her about God. She knows in her
head a lot of the principles of the gospel, but she has had a hard
time knowing that what we have taught her is true in her heart. We
felt like maybe we needed to take a little but of a different
approach, and really try to help her see how God applies to her
personally. To know what He means to her, and how His existence
affects her. We asked her questions, and were really able to talk
about how important God is. Without God, there is nothing. "And if ye
shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye
shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no
righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness.
And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment
nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there
is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no
creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore,
all things must have vanished away." (2 Nephi 2:13) While we were
teaching, something was finally starting to click. I asked her how she
was feeling, and what she was thinking, and she said that she didn't
know how to describe it. We talked about how that was the spirit, and
how that was God's answer to her prayers. One of my favorite things
about being a missionary is moments like that. When something finally
makes sense, with they recognize an answer to their prayers. When they
first feel and recognize their Father in Heaven's love for them.
Heavenly Father really does love each and every one of His children.
That is why He gave us His Son, Jesus Christ. "Everything that is
unfair about life can be made right through the atonement." I know
that is true.

I love you all so much, and I hope that you have a wonderful week.

Robertson 姉妹

The cherry blossoms are starting to bloom. :) I love spring.

These pics are from Kinkakuji, or the Golden Temple

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Week 41: I am so grateful for my Savior

What an incredible week. I feel like I say that every week, but I really mean it. It has been an incredible week, in a lot of different ways. The thing that I learned most this week, is how grateful I am for Jesus Christ, and for His infinite atonement. 

This week we have had a lot of opportunities to share my love for my Savior, and my gratitude for the atonement. Often when we talk about, or think about the atonement of Jesus Christ, we forget about just how much the atonement encompasses. I think that we just think of the atonement as a way to be forgiven of our sins, and transgressions (those things we did that were wrong, but we didn't know at the time we did it). Often we forget about all the other things that Christ so lovingly and willingly suffered for each and everyone of us. I'm sure that at some point in the last 9 months I have shared this scripture with you all, but it really is one of my favorites, especially about the atonement.
11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
 12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.  (Alma 7:11-12)

I love this scripture. Jesus Christ suffered every single pain, affliction, temptation, sickness, and infirmity that we have, and ever will face. He understands perfectly what we have been through, and what we are going through now. He knows each and everyone of us, and the best part, is that He knows perfectly how to "succor his people." We don't ever need to feel alone, and we don't ever need to feel like no one truly understands, because Jesus Christ does. I have had many experiences in my life where I tried to do things on my own, I tried to deal with the craziness that life throws at us all by myself. Although I was able to deal with it, kind of, there was always this constant load, this giant weight that I was carrying. It was like I was on a hike, and the farther I walked, the more rocks I picked up, and before I knew it, I couldn't go much farther on my own. I needed someone who understood. I never divine assistance that comes only through the power of the atonement. As soon as I stopped trying to pull this load on my own, as soon as I asked for help, and asked for my load to be lightened, I felt this giant weight just lifted off of my shoulders. I felt so much lighter, and like I could run for miles. I know that it is through the atonement of Jesus Christ that I received that strength. It was at that time that I knew Jesus Christ truly is my Savior and Redeemer, and that He loves me, more than I can even put into words. Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ, really love me. And the love each and every one of you. 
Yesterday in Relief Society, we talked about Jesus Christ, and about His atonement. As we talked, I couldn't help but be filled with so much gratitude and love for my Savior. Even just thinking about it brings me so much joy."We may never understand nor comprehend in mortality how He accomplished what He did, but we must not fail to understand why He did what He did.

Everything He did was prompted by His unselfish, infinite love for us." (Jesus Christ, Our Savior and Redeemer) I am so grateful for my Savior. I know that He loves each and every one of us with a perfect love. I know that as we strive to become like Him, our lives are filled with so much joy and happiness. I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to do His work every single day. I have never been happier. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church on the Earth today. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith. I know that through Joseph Smith the true church, Christ's church was restored. I know that through the power of God, Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon. I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and that we truly can get closer to God through reading it and abiding by its teachings than we can by any other book. Recently I finished reading the Book of Mormon, and as I ponder the things that I was able to learn about my Savior, and about my Father in Heaven, and how we can become more like them, I am so grateful. I wouldn't give that knowledge up for anything. If you don't yet know these things for yourself, I encourage you to turn to your Heavenly Father in prayer, and ask Him. Read the Book of Mormon, and do all that you can to abide by it's teachings. Try every day to be a little bit more like Christ. I promise that you will come to know for yourself. I know that this is true, because I have done it myself. Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. I testify that these things are true in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.
I love you all so much, and I am so grateful for you. Thank you for each of your love and your examples to me.
Robertson Shimai

Birthday party at the N's house last week. :)

We had a kokan (exchange/splits) this week. :) It was pretty fun. 

Week 42: Where do I even start?

As I started to write "where do I even start" I started thinking about the hymn "Where Can I Turn for Peace." That has been the theme of my life this week. It's been a rough week, but despite the hard things going on with our investigators, and also not being home for my sister's wedding on this past Saturday, there have also been so many moments of peace and happiness. You often hear about how your mission will be filled with some of the happiest, and the saddest most difficult moments of your life. I never really understood what that meant before, but it's true. It is like this constant roller coaster, and something can change in a matter of minutes. 

This week went a lot like that. One of our investigators has been having a rough time, and it seems like everything has been thrown in her way since she decided that she wanted to be baptized. One day, we felt like maybe we should do something special for her. I had the thought that maybe we could make her paper cranes, and then write all the things that we love about her on them. So, that is what we did. We made 100 paper cranes, wrote on the wings in both English and Japanese, put them in a jar, and then brought them to her.

 I wish I could even begin to express just how much she has been through this week, but I think the hardest thing, was when she began to question if God is even real. My heart hurt for her, and at the same time, it hurt to have her question the one person who loves her more than anything, and has been blessing her so much. We have been trying our best to really help her feel loved, and to know that through Jesus Christ and His infinite atonement, she can find so much peace. And we have been praying, and praying and praying. On Sunday morning, the Elders asked if she was coming to church, and as much as I hoped she would, we had been trying to help her come to church for months, and something always came up. This week we had actually talked to her about church, and she had said that she didn't really want to come, and she hadn't said anything about coming, so we told the Elders that she probably wouldn't come. Well, in the middle of a meeting, I felt like I should check the phone, but I thought no, that would be rude, and I am probably just hoping. After our meeting, I checked the phone, and we had a missed call, and a voice mail. She said that she was coming to church, and wanted to meet us outside the train station at 9:45... well, at that point it was 9:53, and I knew there was no way we could make it there when it took 15 minutes, and we were already late. I prayed that somehow it would all work out, and then called her. It was too loud and I couldn't understand what she was saying. I was so afraid that she had just turned around and went back home! I told Perry Shimai, and we ran out the door to go find her, letting the Bishop know that we might be late to church. When we got outside, I looked down the road, and there she was! She had come to church! She had come to church all on her own! What an amazing feeling that was. That joy completely outweighed any of the frustration and hard things from the week. 

When we got into the chapel, and were going to sit down, I saw some of the children of one of our Less Actives that we have been working with. Another person who we had no idea would be coming to church even though we had seen her the day before (another crazy story that led to an adventure down random roads, and then we passed her house, not even intending to visit her, but we felt like we should stop by anyway). Yesterday we had 9 people come to church 5 of our investigators and 4 of their children come. 

The Elders also had one of their investigators come to church. Heavenly Father is really working miracles here in Katsura. I think at the end of every day, there has always been some sort of way that Heavenly Father has showed His love for His children. I am so grateful for the gospel in my life. And I am so grateful for the joy that it gives me. It really does far outweigh all of the bad. 

I love you all so much, and I am so grateful for each and every one of you. I hope if you don't get anything else out of this really unorganized email, that you know that God loves you. And that by following Him, you can find more happiness in your life than you could ever imagine.  I testify of that in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Robertson Shimai

She's My Sister

Over the past weekend Amanda's older sister got married.  She married a friend that Amanda actually made before Rebekah met him.

Amanda was understandably sad that she would not be able to be here for the wedding while she's on her mission, but she was happy for her sister and for her friend.

The week before the wedding Amanda wrote a special message to her sister and sent it to Tanner and had him print it out and give it to her to read on the wedding day.  I thought that was very sweet that she would have thought of that in advance and planned to have Rebekah get to read a special message from her.

Well, if that wasn't sweet enough, unbeknownst to either Rebekah or myself, she had also prepared a series of pictures and sent them to her dad and her next younger sister, Sariah, and asked them to put them into a slide show with music.  Dad found a playlist that Rebekah had made for Amanda one time on the computer, and he found THE Perfect song for the two of them.  After putting the slide show together he sent it to Sariah, he asked if she thought the song was too cheesy. :)

The morning of the wedding, while we were getting ready, Sariah sat down in front of Rebekah, pulled up the slide show on her phone and held it in front of Rebekah.  I didn't know what was happening. Then I heard the song...

The Sister Song is an original Barney Song that first appeared in My Family's Just Right For Me

  Sometimes we're real close friends
  We stay awake and talk at night.
  Other times we do't get along
  There are even times we fight

  But I know she's always there,
  And I know she'll always care,
  She's my sister. I love my sister.

  I've given her a great big hug
  When she was feeling bad
  And then again I've said some things
  That have really made her mad

  But I know she's always there,
  And I know she'll always care,
  She's my sister. I love my sister.

  But I know she's always there,
  And I know she'll always care,
  She's my sister. I love my sister.

  She's my sister, I love my sister.

I took a couple of pictures of Rebekah watching the slide show, before I moved and went around behind her so I could see what the actual slide show was.  It was the sweetest thing!  I just cried.  Of course I had JUST finished my make up, so then after I stopped crying, I had to fix up my make up.  Luckily, Rebekah hadn't started on her make up yet, so she didn't have to start over...

I was so touched by the thoughtfulness that Amanda showed for her sister, to arrange for something so special to let her sister know how much she loved her and to want to wish her the very best on her special day.  It certainly helped us to feel as though Amanda was a part of the day.

You might be able to find the video by following the link below.

The Barney show Sister Song -

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Week 40: Where do I even start?

It has been such an incredible week. I don't have a ton of time, but I want to share two of the really cool miracles that happened this last week.

On Tuesday, all of our normal lessons were canceled, and we had plenty of time on our hands. Which meant we had lots of finding time (lots of time to knock on lots of doors, and to talk to people on the street). Usually I am not super excited about finding, because with finding comes a lot of rejection, and lots of hours where you don't always actually find anyone to teach. This particular day though, I was ready and we were excited to find some new investigators (people to teach). 
We spent an our or two looking for some less actives members, and were able to find where one Brother lived. The address that we had for him was for a lock-out apartment, so we couldn't get past the front desk. There was no one at the desk though, so we couldn't call him. As we were writing a note to leave for him in his mailbox, a man (one of the building managers) came up to us to see if we needed help. We were able to ask him if he knew this man, and if he still lived there. He told us that he had worked there for the past year and a half, and the whole time he has worked there, a woman lived there, and so he told us that the Brother we were looking for must have moved. After that, we started housing (going door to door). We weren't sure where to go, so we said a prayer, got on our bikes and started riding. As we were biking, I felt like we should turn, so we did. And then I felt like we should go down this other road, and so we turned again. We were trying our best to follow the spirit. We came to this apartment complex, and I felt like we should try housing there. So, we parked our bikes, said a prayer, and then started housing. The first two doors that we knocked on, no one answered. The third door though, a sweet lady in her 30s answered the ping pong box (security camera thing), and so we introduced who we were, and that we wanted to share with her a really important message about families. I then told her that we believe families can be together forever, even after we die. We asked her if she had ever thought about that before, and she told us to wait just a second. Then, she hung up, and came to the door. She told us that she had been reading/searching/learning about Jesus Christ on the internet and was very interested in what we had to share. She told us that she had time, and so then we taught her the entire message of the Restoration of the Gospel. We taught her about Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ. We taught her about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, and we were able to pray with her. I was so grateful that just 2 days before, I had taught Perry Shimai the same lesson while we were studying, so we were prepared. Perry Shimai was able to bear her testimony of Jesus Christ, and of the truthfulness of the gospel, and of our message. We were all beaming from ear to ear, even A Shimai. We asked if we could come back and teach her more, and she said that she would like that, so we set up an appointment to teach her again this week. I am so grateful for my Heavenly Father, and for His gospel that brings me so much joy. I am grateful for the opportunity that we had to share that joy with one of His children. What an amazing experience that was. It is something that I will never forget. I know that Heavenly Father will help us when we need Him the most, and that if we do our best to study and prepare, the words will be given in the very moment when we need them the most. 

The next experience that I want to share is another moment that I will treasure forever. One of those experiences you never think you will have. One of our investigators Y Shimai, has a great desire to be happy, and to be with her family and her dog forever. We have been teaching her for a couple of months, and at one point, she had accepted the invitation to be baptized. Because of various different things though, she was not able to be baptized, and she told us that she no longer had the desire to be baptized right now. She still wanted to learn more though. I love Y Shimai. She is one of the sweetest little ladies I have ever met, and you just can't help but love her. She is incredible. The day before our lesson, she texted us and was saying that when she was baptized into her previous church, she didn't really feel happy. I asked her if she knew why, and then we talked a little bit about the priesthood authority. Which we had just talked about last week. She said she didn't really remember what the priesthood was, and wanted us to teach her about it again. So, the next day when we went over, we taught her about the priesthood, and how it is God's power and authority. We talked about how when we are baptized by the proper authority, we can really feel happy. We are cleansed of all our sins. We then talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that through faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end, we can return to live with Heavenly Father and our families again. We will be perfectly happy, and will live in a never ending state of happiness. We had taught her all of this before, multiple times, so none of it was new. We asked her if she had any questions, and she said know. We asked if she understood, and she said that she didn't understand everything perfectly, what each of the steps mean, but that she understood what we need to do in order to be with our families forever. A couple of hours later, she texted us saying that she had read from the Book of Mormon, and that she had started reading from the Gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet that we had given her. She then asked, if she could really be happy forever with her family and her dog. And we told her yes, that she could. She told us how wonderful she thought that was, and then she asked us when we were having a baptism in April (we had just invited her the week before to be baptized in April, and she told us that she couldn't/didn't want to). I was so surprised at her question, but told her the same date we had invited her to be baptized on the week before, April 25. She replied, telling us about her day, and all the other things, and then she said, "I've stopped drinking coffee, and I want to be baptized!" I have never had someone ask to be baptized before. It reminded me a lot of my dad walking right up to the missionaries and asking to be baptized. There was nothing new that we had taught her, but something finally clicked. She finally understood, and realized the wonderful blessings that she can receive from being baptized. It is such an amazing feeling when your investigators finally understand something, when they finally have the desire to do what you ask of them, and more importantly, to do what Heavenly Father asks of each of us. 

I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to be here, and to be such a small part of Heavenly Father's work. He really does love each and every one of His children, and I promise that if you ask, He will lead you to someone, a family member/friend/co-worker/etc who is ready and prepared to here the gospel. I promise that you too can feel the joy that comes from sharing the gospel with those around you. I love you so very much, and I am so grateful for each and every one of you.

Robertson Shimai

Ps. Just a funny Japanese thing that I learned yesterday. Words in Japanese are very similar. Sometimes the word is the exact same, but because of the kanji, it can mean something completely different. Yesterday I was trying to remember the word for living, so that I could tell someone that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love all living things. Well, the first word that came to mind was ikeru. Which is really close, it even has the same kanji. Well, I was really grateful that I was just texting it, so I was able to check and make sure before I sent it. Ikeru means to arrange/to plant. The word that I wanted to use, was ikiru, which means to live/to exist. Although they look and sound similar, the meanings are completely different. Japanese is hard sometimes. :) But it's okay, only 29,999 more mistakes until I can actually speak Japanese.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Week 39: a heart full of gratitude

Thank you for all of your love and support! You are each so incredible. Thank you for helping to make my birthday so incredible. I love you all!  

What an incredible week it has been. I think that only word to describe it all is how grateful I am for everything and everyone. Training is an adventure, but I really love it. I can't even express how many times in the last few days I have just felt so grateful. Grateful for my trainer, and each of my previous companions. Grateful for my Heavenly Father and for His love and trust. Grateful for the gifts of the spirit. Grateful for each of you. Grateful for this adventure. Grateful for my mission. Grateful for Perry Shimai. Grateful for so many more things than I can even express. One of the things that I have thought about most this week, is how grateful I am for the opportunity that I have to serve a mission. Missions are the greatest, and I have learned more than I could every say. Just take my word for it, missions are the best, and Heavenly Father really does love you!

I want to share one story about a lesson we had on Friday. It was Perry Shimai and my first full day together, and our first lesson together, and we were getting ready to teach K Shimai, a less active with really difficult to understand Japanese... To say I was a little worried doesn't quite explain how I felt. But, I tried my best to not think too much about it, and just love her. So, that's what we did. We tried our best to just love sweet K Shimai. And the coolest thing happened. I started to understand almost all of what she was saying. And she really opened up to us. She had brought, broughten, brung... English is hard. this big huge photo album with her that she wanted us to see. She was telling us about her family, and mentioned that her twin had died when she was a baby from cancer. As we were talking with her, she opened up and expressed how she feels guilty, and like it was her fault that her sister died. She has been sitting with 60+ years of guilt, for something she had no control over. As we were talking, I felt prompted to share one of my favorite scriptures with her. Alma 7:11-12. It talks about the atonement of Jesus Christ. 

11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictionsand temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loosethe bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
We don't ever have to feel alone. We don't ever need to feel like no one understands, because Jesus Christ understands perfectly, and through Him, we can overcome anything. I am so grateful for my Savior, and for all that He has done for me. And I am grateful for the gift of tongues, so that I was able to help understand and discern what K Shimai needed.  And I am especially grateful for Perry Shimai's pure and heartfelt testimony. I love new missionaries. :)
So, I am training. :) My trainee is Perry Shimai. She is from Utah, and came straight out of high school. She is 19 years old, and incredible. I am so lucky and privileged and blessed to be her companion. I have already learned so much from her! :) She is amazing!
I love you all so much! You are incredible! 
Robertson Shimai
1-2. Sushi with Larkin Shimai... I ate 5 plates this time, and I only gagged once.

3. One of our investigators made a goodbye cake for Larkin Shimai. So sweet.

4. G chan, our investigators son. :)

5. Perry Shimai made me half way mark/birthday breakfast! :) She is so sweet.

6. Perry Shimai   
7-8. Birthday package. :)

9. Robotosan Shimai

10-12. Presents and cards from members

13- Birthday dinner with the S Family. :)