I Think I’m Turning Japanese! It’s About Time:)

This is it!  The moment I thought, "I think I'm turning Japanese:)  Mayo tastes great on everything!

This is it! The moment I thought, “I think I’m turning Japanese”. Mayo tastes great on everything:)

My last zone conference.  I just love this girl!

My last zone conference. I just love this girl!

I totally played the accordian...kind of:)

I totally played the accordian…kind of:)

Look at my noble steed withstandn' the winds and tempest!  Know why?  It's because he's build upon the Rock!  It's true!  This is actually Blazer...my new companion is shorter so she is riding Janke Randall:)

Look at my noble steed withstandn’ the winds and tempest! Know why? It’s because he’s build upon the Rock! It’s true! This is actually Blazer…my new companion is shorter so she is riding Janke Randall:)

Message

Konnichiwa!

Hellooooooo Mina san!!!!
SO, this week was pretty fun! We spent a ton of time working with Cho Kyoudai. He has been reading every day from the Book of Mormon this week, only he just has the most interesting ideas about it sometimes. He believes it`s true, but at the same time has some trouble believing that all of what the prophets say is true. SOOOOOO…..WE`RE LEARNING ABOUT PROPHETS TONIGHT AT FHE! Woo!
Another big part of the week was spent preparing for the Thanksgiving party we had on Saturday! We made some super cool pinatas!! One of them was a clown and it looked super legit!!!  The party was SO much fun!!! It was just FULL of nonmembers! Again, way more than members! By the end of the night, our voices were just shot! But it was super cool because about an hour before the party, we stopped by the little 88 year old obaachan`s house to invite her and she was like, `I don`t think so…..` and she was telling us all these excuses like, `I`m too old!` or `I`m a grandpa` or `I`m Buddhist` and we were like 1) you are 88 and still ride a bike everywhere! You`re cool! 2) YOU ARE A GRANDMA! and 3) It`s turkey, not your baputesumakai!!! haha! And we were kinda teasing each other back Iand forth but we told her we would come back for her in an hour and she said she would decide then if she was going or not. So we got to church and quickly decided we needed to Watabe Choro`s charm to convince her to come! hahaha! and guess what!? SHE CAME! and LOVED IT!  I can`t remember if I told you, but she is the champion of talkers! Hands down!  But I had a lot of people I had to go talk to….so as soon as Cho Kyoudai came over, I was like `Heeeey!!! Brother Cho!!! Do you know my friend here!? She`s 88!!! Have a seat!` and she started talking to him and I just kinda bounced out. I looked over like 20 minutes later and she was still goin` and I felt so bad! hahaha! Totally threw him under the bus, but she kept telling me afterwards that it was fate that they met! hahaha! Well done, Brother Cho, well done!
Forgot this last time, shout out to Sister Jarvis!! I finally had my `I think I`m turning Japanese` moment! haha! I figured out the key! So we had a lot of random leftovers and I had to figure out some kind of meal to put together. So it kinda turned out like this – cabbage, 1 1/2 week old refried beans, chicken nugget chunks, and cheese. Then I was like Hmm….what should I put on top? And the first thing that came to mind – MAYONNAISE! Welcome to Japan, my friends! That is like the #1 condiment here! And you know what? It was delicious. In fact, I recommend you all go put some of that together right now! HOWEVER, the mayo here is a little different. But what the heck, just go crazy! It`s great! 😀
Also had a lesson with Ochi Shimai`s neighbor, the really really sweet one who we met last Sunday. SHE PLAYS THE ACCORDION! like CRAZY GOOD! Oh my goodness, it`s nuts! She`s like one of those genious` who taught herself! And can just listen to something and figure it out and play it perfectly! And she`s only been playing 1 year! ah! It was so cool! So we`re meeting with her and she`s so sweet. I love her! and she makes me happy!
I feel like my brain is all over the place. Please forgive me! OH MAN! We also taught one of the craziest people of my life. She kills me, she is so hilarious! We met her outside of a grocery store and she led us to her apartment and I seriously couldn`t understsand a WORD she was saying like the whole time! I don`t think words can sufficiently describe all that went down at that lesson. But…….all I have to say is that she calls us. Every day. Straight up from 7 AM all the way til 10 at night! Her record is 7. We can`t really take all those calls but she just likes to call us and say stuff like, `Hey! I went to karaoke! I`m singing a song! I went 3 times today! Kay bye!` or, `Hey! I`m at the mall! I`m having credit card problems! Kay bye!` and we`re just like `what? okay? bye!? it is always too fast to say anything! hahaha! Oh man……Heavenly Father must just laugh at us sometimes! Or all the time! I hope so, cuz I know I do!
Also, went with Cho Kyoudai to a baptism for the Niihama Shimaitachi`s investigator yesterday! We were running a little late, but God answered my prayer and we were able to see her literally JUST as she was going under the water in the font in the middle of the parking lot! haha! It was awesome and Cho Kyoudai was like `I felt blessings today! I`m jealous of what you have!` and we were like `YOU CAN HAVE IT TOO!` …..it`s a work in progress…..but I know it`s possible!!! He can do it!!! He`s making progress!!
But anyways, it`s been a great great week! and Oh my goodness…..I think this is my last email to you……..this is unreal. What is life? What happened? Oh my goodness!
I don`t even know what to say…
I feel happy in my heart. 🙂 I love Japan. I love my Japanese brothers and sisters. SO MUCH! I still cannot believe how blessed I am to be here, preaching the gospel in Japanese. (even though I totally butcher it haha) It will always have a tender place in my heart. I don`t want to go. As I look back on who I was when I first came to Japan…..it feels like day and night difference, but then again, the same. And then to think that I went through the MTC before THAT, I REALLY can`t rememember who I was before I came on my mission, But I have learned SO much! and I have come to LOVE my Heavenly Father and my Savior and this gospel more than I can explain. Sure, I look back and realize there have been some times where you just have to say a prayer, and rely on His grace, that your best will be enough and He`ll help you make it through – then just hop on your bike and laugh! But I love those times! Just as much as the happiest times in the world when you see the light bulb switch on and people just get it! There`s a scripture I really love that I read this morning! In 2 Nephi 2: 2 Lehi says to his son, `Nevertheless, Jacob, my first-born in the wilderness, thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain.` I love this! Just because I have learned so much and been able to come to know my Savior so much more through all of the experiences I have been blessed to have and it`s not like I have suffered really, but they have stretched me and tried me and helped strengthen my faith and my determination to serve my God to the end! All those hard times and challenges – the joy is WAY GREATER than them. A MILLION TIMES GREATER! I have never been happier than on my mission, sharing the gospel with others! And it doesn`t have to stop after the mission! It can continue! This work doesn`t stop! This is the Lord`s work! And we can all feel that joy as we strive to share the gospel with our famly and friends and uplift those in our wards and branches and serve others! Ah! It just makes me excited!
I don`t have much time left so I have to go! But I love you all!
You`re all rockstars.
Don`t forget it!
Ai shite iru yo!…..oh that makes me sad. Last one….
Howard Shimai
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