Saturday, June 11, 2016

Goodbye Hello

Konnichiwa Kazoku,

This week has been a whirlwind of sad and happy. I have been
transferred from Saijo and I am in Hatsukaichi. I can honestly say
this is the happiest I have been in a long time. Sister Brown is
amazing, a great example to m, and we have been having so much fun. We
both don't know what we are doing and it is amazing. There are two
other sisters in our apartment, sister Willson  who is training Sister
Volgelsburg who is fresh out of the states. I can almost smell it on
her. She brought a bag of Reese's from home and I wanted to eat them
so bad, and she offered, but I don't want them to be gone for her. She
doesn't know what's ahead. No Reese's is a tough life. Also, we had a
very good discussion about cereal and I am dying for some Cinnamon
Toast Crunch.

On Monday night President Egan called, released me from being an STL
and told me I would be whitewashing into Hatsukaichi with Sister
Brown. It was a shock for me. I didn't know what to think, and it made
me kind of sad at first.

Sister Lai and I spent Tuesday and Wednesday letting me pack and
visiting people. I said goodbye to our investigators. Mase San let us
come down to the University and we got some pictures. I bought a shirt
(it's not even very cool, but just for nostalgia) and then we are
Okonomiyaki together at a fancy place. It's like Stans almost but for
Japanese food. It's sooooooo good. Anyway, I was able to share my
testimony with her and she was really sad. She didn't want me to go,
and I didn't want to stop teaching her either. But I said bye to her
and it was okay. I said bye to Shunka Shimai and Yiwen Shimai too. I
really love the people in Saijo. They really are special.

On Wednesday night they threw a party after Eikaiwa for the
missionaries who are leaving. Me and our district leader were being
transferred, so it was for us this time. It was sad. It's just hard to
say bye to people you put so much love into. But it was really nice
and they all were very kind. Actually, the old man that Shibayama
Shimai and I found, who the elders are currently teaching told me that
even though the other missionaries are awesome, he really felt like I
had a strong testimony and he said I really helped him a lot. He said
when he saw me at church he felt happy and wanted to keep learning. I
don't know, it was just kind of nice to hear. I really connect with
the old people. Haha.

Anyway, early Thursday morning I transferred. I had to stay in
Hiroshima on Junkai with the Shimai there and wait for Brown Shimai to
get in. I could already feel a difference after I transferred and I
felt so much good energy. When Sister Brown and Sistee Volgelsburg
came in I felt so happy for some reason. Sister Brown and I hit it off
great and we haven't been able to stop talking since. She just had a
Japanese companion as well, so we both haven't had English in a while.
My three transfers in Saijo were all Japanese and simple English. It
was exhausting but so good, but we both just can't stop talking.

We got to Hatsukaichi late Thursday and on Friday we kind of tried to
clean up our space in the apartment and organize ourselves. We bought
a new map, found the church on our own, and just started working. It's
been amazing. Her Japanese and everything is very good and we haven't
had to really stress about how we are going to work together, it just
works somehow.

I have only been able to say prayers of gratitude the last few days. I
feel like I am just able to relax. I think this is the least stressed
I have felt my whole mission. I don't know why, but God really is
blessing me. Sister Brown and the other sisters in my apartment are
hilarious, fun, sweet and it has been a great week so far. I can only
just wait to see how great this transfer is.

Sister Brown on the left.

We had church on Sunday and the members here are incredible. They have
so much missionary spirit and fire and they want to help us so much.
Sister Brown and I have already received some referrals to help us get
started! They are amazing! I can't believe I am here. Sister Brown was
just in a really hard area as well, so we are both a little confused

Hatsukaichi kind of reminds me of Taniyama. Right on the coast.
There's flat all along the coast and then just big old hills as you go
more inland. But I am so happy to be here.

The Elders took us to a good Dendo place last night and showed us
where they did and told us we could do the rest. It was really kind of
them. We still haven't found someone very interested, but this lady
let us come in, we prayed and taught her about God and Christ and
families and it was our first lesson together and we didn't even have
a plan! It went really well and I felt the spirit so strongly as we

God really does know us. I keep thinking of the talk by Elder
Christofferson about the bush that gets cut down and at the end he
says to the Gardener, "Thank You for loving me enough to cut me down."
 It truly has been a humbling past few months. I am still so
imperfect, and everything I do is nothing without God, but I feel like
I have been given the opportunity to change. I feel like my mission
has been slowly shaping me, a person who likes to stick to old ways.
It's been amazing. I look back at who I was about a year ago and I
can't believe how much I have changed. Maybe you can't see it but I
can feel it.

Thank you for your prayers. I love you so much. Mom, don't worry about
others opinions! It doesn't matter. The Lord knows the truth. I love
you so much. You are the best mother in the world. I really mean that.

Have a great week!

Raines Shimai

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