Monday, March 9, 2015

Awake my soul

The title of this email does come from the scripture in 2 Nephi 4:28 but it more applies to a funny story that happened yesterday during church. I was sitting next to a ward member and I was feeling a little sleepy so I pulled out some mints and offered her some. Lately as time has been creeping for me to come home I have also become immensely sleepier. So lately I've been buying super strong mints. I accidentally poured 2 mints into this members hand and just told her she could have both. She ate them, her eyes got wide, and then she whispered, "awake my soul!" in English. It took all of my strength not to burst out laughing in the middle of sacrament meeting but I did it. I love serving in this ward.

This week was a really rewarding week. We got to see a couple of our investigators progress a little more and found a couple of new investigators. I had a lesson in Portuguese this week! So we have these Brazilian investigators that I've told you all about before and lately we haven't been able to meet with them. But we met with them and Skyped with an office elder who is Brazilian and it went SO WELL. The mom had so many awesome things to say and so many appropriate wonderful insights, it was so easy! It didn't even feel like a lesson, but more like a discussion. When teaching people in Japan trying to get people to say what they feel and think in this country is like pulling teeth. It was incredibly refreshing to just have a really good gospel discussion in a language they could understand.

Then this past week one of our investigators accepted the invitation to be baptized and we had Family Home Evening with her and her family yesterday and it went awesome! Now the whole family became investigators and it is just super rewarding to see how the gospel brings families closer together.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve as a missionary in Japan! I love this place and I love these people.

I hope all of you have a fantastic and happy week!

Love your Japanese friend,
Aulick Shimai,

Monday, February 23, 2015

Mambo #5

Guess who is NOT transferring......THIS SISTER. Nope they are keeping me in the beautiful good land of Akashi. This will be transfer #5 here. Hence the subject. But today we're going to refer to this transfer as mambo #5. The lovely and beautiful Bean Shimai will unfortunately transfer and so Weber Shimai and I will continue to be companions. 

This week was way good. The work is progressing rapidly here and at times it is hard to keep up. We had 2 less-actives and 2 non members come to church yesterday from the sisters side and it was extremely tiring to try to say hi to everyone and make sure every one was happy but luckily for us we have a spectacular ward who are great at fellowshipping. I feel so blessed to be able to serve here. 

We found a new investigator this week who is a 73 year old man. He is awesome and we are working on getting him baptized for this next transfer. When we first met with him it took all of our efforts to keep on track of the lesson. We gave him some Book of Mormon homework to read and when we met with him for the 2nd time he sat down, immediately opened the Book of Mormon and wanted to hear our opinions on the homework. We stayed on track the whole lesson and loves Jesus Christ. But then again, who doesn't love Jesus Christ? The Book of Mormon is a powerful tool to invite the Spirit.

The work is good. My life is happy and I love all of you! Have a happy week!

Love your Japanese friend,
Aulick Shimai

Saturday, January 17, 2015

It's a girl!‏

Weeelllllll transfer calls have come. And I get to train! And I will also be put in a threesome! My other companion is a 3rd transfer and I have already heard super awesome things about her. I am so excited and so nervous. I know nothing about being in a threesome or about training but I am excited for this opportunity to learn and rely on the Lord more than ever before. 

In other news my beautiful, wonderful companion's release date has been moved up and she will be going home this week. She has been sick for her whole mission and has been fighting the good fight for as long as she can. She will considered as an legitimate returned missionary. It will be good because she will get to go home and get better. But it is also a little sad because she is seriously my best friend and I will miss her a ton. But she's got other work to do in America. All is well. :)

This week was a good one. We worked hard and saw the Lord consecrate our efforts on numerous occasions. We were able to contact and make appointments with a couple of potential investigators and was stopped on the street by a random couple so we could exchange phone numbers and come over to their house later. The Lord is truly hastening His work.

Something that I learned this week comes from a scripture that I read in the Book of Mormon this week. It's in Alma 37:34

"Teach them to never be weary of good works"

When I read this, the importance of doing good works struck me with great force. That often times we become weary of doing these good deeds is because we don't see the effects of them. So we become frustrated with the fact that we believe that we may have wasted our time. I promise that no good deed goes unseen by our loving Heavenly Father. And often times the effects of that our beyond our sight. That's one of the things that I believe builds faith. Faith that if we do good things then good things will happen. Because I know they do. I know this because I have been able to see time and time again instances where Heavenly Father has been preparing people to hear and receive the restored gospel of Jesus Christ before and even after we meet with these people. I know Heavenly Father will consecrate our best efforts and deeds if that is what we give to Him with our whole heart, might, mind and strength.

There truly is no greater work than this. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!

Love your Japanese friend,
Aulick Shimai

Monday, December 8, 2014

This Week Was A Good One

Well loved ones, another week has passed and here I am sitting at this computer writing to you all. Time seems to fly faster and faster. 

This week was a good one. Taught a lot and found a couple of people who were so prepared to receive the gospel. The work is progressing here in Akashi and I feel so grateful to be apart of it. 

We had a dinner appointment with some members in our ward. My companion and I were in charge of the spiritual message and so we decided to show them the He is the Gift video. (In case you didn't watch it last week here's another chance ). I have watched that video lots of times. But for some reason when I watched it this time with these people that I have learned to love so much it got me. It was amazingly powerful and I could just feel the love of my Heavenly Father pouring out for everyone in that room. I am so grateful to God for giving us His Son. I'm grateful for the opportunity I have to share this love with the Japanese people. 

One of the people that we found this week was amazingly prepared. We taught her Saturday, she came to church on Sunday, taught her, stayed for all 3 hours, then she called us afterwards to thank us for letting her come to church. When we taught her that God was her Heavenly Father and that this meant that she was God's daughter she said, "sugoi!" Which in English translates to "amazing!" You bet it's amazing! 

I love this work and I love the Japanese people. I hope everyone is enjoying the Christmas season and has a happy week!

Love your Japanese friend,
Aulick Shimai 

Monday, December 1, 2014

24 days until CHRISTMAS‏

First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM. Go big you cutie.

So transfer announcements were this week and....I'M STAYING IN AKASHI WITH CURRENT SHIMAI. I am so excited and feel so blessed to be in this crazy awesome area for another transfer. But our area won't have 4 sisters in it anymore. It will become 2 sisters again but it will still be great. :)

This week we have been getting more and more involved with the members in this ward and I love it. On Sunday we went over to this family's house to help decorate their house for Christmas and have FHE and they invited some friends to come too. We talked about eternal families and it was so exciting to see members get so involved in the work. Also during church on Sunday my companion and the other sisters and I performed a musical number. That went well and it was fun. 

Thanksgiving was so good this week! Current Shimai and I went to our local 7/11 and got some fried chicken, sparkling cider, and then thanks to my mother and her wonderful package that got to me the day before we had stuffing and mashed potatoes. And then to top off the meal we had PUMPKIN PIE...pop tarts which seriously tasted just like the real thing. Super yummy. And then we had members invite us over on Saturday so they could feed us a Thanksgiving meal as well. That was super yummy too. All in all it was a great Thanksgiving. :)

This week was really hard. We had about the worst numbers you could ever have. But I learned a really valuable lesson. I learned how to rejoice in other people's successes. The other sisters in our area have been doing really well and are teaching and finding and I learned to instead of getting envious or jealous to congratulate them and find joy in the things that they're doing really well. I have also really learned to supplicate myself to total humility in sincere fervent prayer. It was a happy, hard week. A week where I learned a lot. And I sure didn't want to learn these things in the way I did but that's not how it works. God is in charge and I know if I let Him take the reins then He will guide me to become someone far better than what I had in mind for myself. I love being a missionary and I know that opposition is necessary for growth. I also love and am so grateful for all of you! I hope you have a happy week!

Love your Japanese friend,
Aulick Shimai 

Monday, November 3, 2014

After the Manner of Happiness

The subject of this email comes from a scripture I came across in my personal study the other day. It's in The Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 5:27. 

"And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness."

This part of the scriptures seems to describe my life right now more perfectly than my own words could ever do. In this part of The Book of Mormon the Nephites are having to start all over. And they are working super hard to build a new life. And shortly after describing their labor and all the work they've been putting into living we have this scripture where it says they were happy. 

This week was much of that. A lot of work. A lot of rain. And a lot of difficult experiences. But through it all I truly found that I was and am living after the manner of happiness. A particular experience that comes to mind from this week was our attempt to find a referral that lived 3 hours away by bike. In my experience of being a missionary for the past year (yikes!) I have learned that there a lot of lessons to be learned from riding a bike. This week I learned that we just have to press on. So Current Shimai and I were riding to try to contact this referral. And we were riding in some interesting places, not really knowing where we were going. It was quickly getting dark. And it seemed that with every inch that the sun would go down the rain would only pour harder. We were lost, and after attempting to try to find this referral, and riding 3 hours away, we never found it. And then it was time to go home. There were many times that night where I could have sat down, gave up, cried, and waited and hoped for something better to happen. But we knew that the only way to get home was to pedal. Even in unfavorable, rainy circumstances. We knew that if we didn't press forward there was no way we were ever making it home. 

I feel like our mortal life here on Earth is much of the same. Sometimes we are bombarded with unfavorable circumstances. We don't know when they will end, and sometimes it feels like they last forever. But I know if we press forward, relying on our Savior, Jesus Christ, that we can make it to the end of our trials and hardships and see that He was with us all along. And I know that even a midst the difficult times in our lives we too can live as the Nephites lived, and live "after the manner of happiness."

I know this church is true. I know Jesus Christ lives for you and me so that we may be able to turn to Him for support in the middle of our afflictions. I testify that The Book of Mormon is the word of God and that it has the power to change lives. I love being a missionary, I love this gospel, and I sure as heck love all of you. Remember to press forward and live "after the manner of happiness" and I can promise that no matter what life throws at you, you will be able to endure it cheerfully. 

I hope you lovelies all have a happy week and remember that your Heavenly Father loves you!

Stay excellent.

Love your Japanese Friend,
Aulick Shimai 


Monday, October 27, 2014

God is in the details

First off I am apologizing for the crappy emails I've been sending lately. I knew they were bad and dull even as I was sending them. I took some advice from my good friend Current Shimai and write about what I learned this week. Hopefully something from what I've learned will help you beautiful people in some way or another. 

This week has been so happy. I love my new companion! Current Shimai is #1. And she's my hero. There's really not much more that needs to be said besides that. It pretty much covers it. And this week marks our 1 year mark of being on the mission. CARAZY. 信じられない. I just can't even believe it. It makes me sad to think of how little time I have left. Yeah I'm not going to think about it. :)

So sometimes on the mission you have these little, what I like to call, "proud mom moments." A couple of weeks ago me and my companion Shin Shimai dropped off some treats for one of our investigators that is always so busy as a surprise. We met this investigator yesterday and she told us that because that made her so happy she did the same to one of her friends a couple of days later. Our purpose as missionaries is to invite others to come unto Christ. When we see those little steps of progress towards coming unto Him, it makes all of those frustrating moments before hand worth it. 

This week I learned just what is the subject of this email. God is in the details. Lots of times we think that because God is all-powerful that He has to manifest himself in these miraculous ways. And many times He does. But oh how sweet it is when we have the eyes and heart to see His little manifestations of love for us in our day-to-day lives. So lately I have been running low on deodorant and toothpaste (mom this is not a guilt trip, just a story) and so one of the new sisters that is moving in is going home after this transfer has more than she needs of both and is more than happy to share the love. It seems stupid but when I found that out I could honestly feel my Heavenly Father's love! Just the fact that He was aware of my situation, even something as trivial as not having a lot of deodorant or toothpaste, helped me to feel it. But the biggest manifestation of His love that I've felt is the opportunity He has given me to be companions with Current Shimai. She's been kind of sick on her mission and so I've been praying for her a lot to help her receive the things she needs in order to get better. When I saw that we were going to be companions tears filled my eyes as I realized that Heavenly Father answers our prayers. It's taken a year to finally put us together but it's happened. And it has been a huge blessing in my life. 

Don't discount yourself or others if Heavenly Father doesn't give you large miraculous manifestations of His love for you. I like the little evidences even more than the large ones. They help me feel and know that He so aware of me, and so aware of everything in my life. Even the trivial things. Life truly is more beautiful when we realize that God manifests Himself in the little trivial manners of our lives. It helps us to know just how much He pays attention to us. 

God loves you. He loves me. He is our Heavenly Father and we can feel His love every day if we open our hearts and our eyes. I am grateful for all of your love and prayers and I feel them every day. 

Have a happy week! #ROYALS

Love your Japanese Friend,
Aulick Shimai