Wednesday, March 25, 2015

week 1 in Japan

 Sister Hubbard with her mission President and Sister Budge 
Sister Hubbard's new companion, Sister Trent
New Bike getting adjusted to fit Janae :)

Dearest family,

Ah! I was so excited to hear from all of you today! There are so many
things happening with all of you! I'm really excited for all of your
news. :) I love you all so much. Thank you for your letters. I have so
much to tell all of you, so I will try to write really fast. Let's
start from the beginning...

My last 12 hour plane ride was really, really long! It was good
though. I sat on end of one of the middle sections in the airplane, so
I had people on both sides of me. One of the 2 people sitting next to
me was Japanese and could speak pretty good English. On my other side
there was a couple who were from the Philippines! ( by the way, there
are so many Filipinos in Tokyo! The cultures here are very diverse,
but most people speak Japanese ) They were an older couple, but they
were so nice and they could speak a little bit of English too. By the
end of our trip, I am happy to say that I did place 2 book of Mormons
with God's help! It was a really great experience. I gave the older
couple my email address too, so I guess we'll see what happens. :)
When we arrived at the airport, my whole district was amazed by how
amazing Japan looked. Everything was so big and different looking!
There is kanji everywhere! ( Chinese writing symbols)
I was so excited to see everything and to meet my mission president.
After going through customs and exchanging money, we were met by the
two APs inside the Narita airport. They were really nice and they
apologized for president Budge not being there. He had to go to a
meeting and was not able to greet us. He was in an important meeting
with Elder Nelson! Pretty cool right? I thought it was. It just made
me even more excited to meet my mission president. :) From there, we
loaded our luggage into a big van so it could be transported to the
mission home, and then we took a bus, and 3 trains to the mission
home! As we road the bus, all I could do was look out my window. I
didn't even want to take pictures of anything. Everything looked and
felt so amazing! As I continued to look at all of the building and the
people passing by, I remember thinking and feeling at peace with
everything. I felt the spirit witness to me that I was in the right
place. It was really amazing. :)
The train stations are huge here, and there are so many people
everywhere! I think seeing how many people were everywhere was the
biggest shock to me. The culture shock hasn't hit me yet. I don't
really think it will... I feel at peace with everything that has
happened here in the last week. I know I am where the Lord wants me to
be, and I feel his strength just as strong as I felt it in the MTC. It
is a huge blessing.

As you have already heard, yes, Elder Nelson was in Tokyo! He spoke to
all of us missionaries my second day here, after spending the night at
the mission home. ( by the way, president budge and sister budge are
awesome! They made us a really yummy dinner the night we arrived, and
helped us feel at home) Anyway, all of the Missionaries were able to
shake Elder Nelson's hand and his talk was really special. He promised
us some amazing blessings, as do all of the apostles, and I loved
hearing him speak. It was a tender mercy for me to feel the spirit so
strong and to know that the Lord was with me. Even though his talk was
amazing, I learned more from the spirit I felt in the meeting then I
did from what he said. I'm really grateful for that.

That morning, I was really worried about how it would be to say
goodbye to everyone later when we each met our trainers. I was
optimistic of course, but deep down I was genuinely worried. Not so
much about what would be happening, but about saying goodbye to my
district. I've learned that goodbyes will probably be the one of the
hardest things I will have to face on my mission! It was difficult at
the MTC, and at this meeting, and I'm sure the pattern will follow as
I continue my mission. I may not see most of the people I will meet
here in Japan again in this life, ( I might ) but I really look
forward to the time when we can all meeting in heaven together. How
amazing that will be! Anyway, that is something I have really thought
about during my trip here and on this 2nd day. As I waited for my turn
to be called to the front of the meeting, I saw members of my district
meet their trainers. They were literally picture perfect! Every single
group companionship! I wondered who my trainer would be as I looked at
the remaining trainers. When I found out who my trainer was, I did
feel peace about it. Sister Trent is my trainer! She is from American
falls Idaho (by Pocatello Idaho) , and she is great! We hugged each
other and one of the APs took a picture of us. ( I'm not sure if they
sent that to you as well, but I will try and send you a picture of
her.) anyway, that is pretty much the shortest part of the story,
haha. I can never say everything that happens out here because there
is so much!

When I learned where my area would be, I felt really good about it.
The Spirit confirmed to me that it was the place I needed to be. So,
right now I am in Koiwa! It is in Tokyo, and it is a really neat
place! Everything looks so different everywhere, but there is a really
neat feeling in this area. The members are amazing! They are all
amazing missionaries and they try so hard to be examples to their
friends and to invite them to activities. Elder Nelson actually came
and spoke in our ward yesterday! Every member of the ward tried really
hard to invite their friends to come and listen to him speak. Sister
Trent and I tried really hard to invite everyone we talked to on the
streets, and to have our investigators to come to church to hear him
speak. We had so many people at church! It was an amazing missionary
experience all around. There were so many people with questions after
the meeting. There is about 200 active members in our ward, and there
are lots of less actives we are working with. There are 3 sets of
missionaries in our Koiwa ward, but we were all really busy after
answer people's questions. There are two sets of Elders, and then
there is Sister Trent and I. :) it was great. We were able to meet
lots of people and to teach lots of people. I tried my best to talk to
people in my broken Japanese, haha. Everyone is so nice here. I am
amazed at how amazing our ward members are. All of them are wonderful
fellow shippers because they genuinely care about others. They
genuinely want to share their testimonies with others and have their
friends share in their the joy the gospel brings them. It's amazing.
There were some amazing musical numbers in our ward yesterday in
preparation for elder Nelson to speak to us. The primary is really big
here, and they sang the song, "I know that my savior loves me." As
they sang, I was so overcome with love for all of them. Japanese kids
are the cutest ever in the first place, but as they sang, I felt the
presence of angels. In their little Japanese voices, they sang, " I
know he lives.... I will follow faithfully. My heart I give to him. I
know that my savior loves me.." As long as I live, I will never forget
their little voices and the spirit I felt in this sacrament meeting.
It was truly a sacred experience. Then, Elder Nelson spoke. Similar to
the last time he spoke, I learned a lot from the spirit and about my
responsibility as a missionary. One of the first things he said was,
"as long as I live, I will never forget these children's voices." -
the exact same thing I was thinking. Our ward is so amazing. I wish I
had time to tell you about all of the ward members I've met, and how I
feel a familiarity with them and their families, but I need to tell
you about some of our finding experiences and investigators.
Also, I need to tell you a little bit more about my trainer and our apartment!

My companion, sister Trent, and I are the only missionaries in our
little apartment. It's about 10 minutes away from the church, which is
nice. We cleaned our apartment really well today. It's a pretty old
apartment and we had a lot to do! There was lots of dust everywhere
and we had to chuck a lot of things, but it is in good shape now. :) I
was happy to clean it, because it was driving me crazy since the time
we arrived here. I only have one of my suitcases currently, as the
other one is lost somewhere ( hopefully at the mission home) haha. I'm
sure it will turn up soon. :) I'm not worried, I'm just glad I put
clothes in both of them before I left the MTC!

Sister Trent and I have a goal to have 1 baptism every week for the
month of May. We have enough investigators to do it, so we are both
working really hard with the members to try and make it happen. We
hope that as we work hard that we will be able to see this miracle.
Sister Trent only has 2 transfers left, ( I'm her last companion) so
we are working really hard. I'm grateful for a hard working trainer.

I'll have to tell you about our investigators some more next week. I
have been able to teach some lessons in the time I've been here. It's
been really neat, even though I don't know what's happening all of the
time and can't say very much. I'm excited for the time when I can say
everything I want in Japanese. I know God will help me learn this
language. :)

It's been a good week. The food is awesome here! The crows make weird
noises and they sound like people... It's kinda scary, haha. Oh, and
last but not least! Japan has a really different smell. And yes, it
was one of the first things I noticed after getting off the airplane,
haha. It's been a wonderful and difficult week, but I know God will
continue to help and strengthen me. He always provides a way. I do
feel His love and His strength. More than not, I feel peace about
everything, which is an amazing blessing and testimony to me of Gods
love. :)

I love you all so much.
I pray for all of you.
Love always,

Hubbard Shimai

Monday, March 9, 2015

Week 8

 Another zone pic :)
Funny district photo at the temple :D

Zone photo

Hey Family! :)                                                                                                                                                   March 5, 2015

This week has been really great! It's been full of many adventures just like others ones have been. I never know where to start with everything, haha. 

This week I've really gained firm testimony of everything happening for a reason. I've said that most of my whole life, but being on a mission has really put this into better perspective. 

I know everything happens for a reason.  There was another Sister in residence all day because she was not feeling well. I didn't realize this until her companion came running into our room later in the evening. She said she wasn't sure what to do with her companion and that she was really sick and was acting weird. I felt impressed to go with this sister into her room and look at her companion. So, Sister Chapman stayed in our room with Sister Leung-wo who was sleeping, while I went with this Sister to her room. I would like to say that the Spirit authorized me to go on "splits," because as a general rule, we are always supposed to be with our companions. It was really neat. I felt really good about leaving them, even though I wasn't sure why. When we arrived at this Sister's room, I saw her companion on the floor in a cold sweat, breathing very heavily, moving in pain. I asked her companion many questions as I tried to figure out what was going on. I could tell right away that this Sister needed medical attention. She began Shaking uncontrollably and said that she felt really Hot. I told her companion to go use the residence Phone and tell the front desk about the situation. She did so. When she came back, between the two of us, we were somehow able to get her down two flights of stairs and about 500 feet to the front desk. When we got to the front desk, I wasn't super happy about their emergency response actions (that should suffice) and so I'm glad I was there to help this Sister.  While her companion was talking to the front desk, this sister began to breath really fast in and out. I relieved to say that I was able to help her and keep her calm. She was so pale and looked like she would faint, but by some blessing she didn't. It was a huge adventure! She was given a blessing, and afterwards she was lots better. I know they took her into the Clinic, but I'm not sure what happened after that. I'm grateful I was in the right place at the right time to help this Sister though. Sister Leung-wo (My companion who was sick) was perfectly fine the next day. I can't help but think that she was sick so that we could be in the right place at the right time. Amazing! I love how the Lord works. 

My Japanese is coming alright. Everyday is different. Some days I am amazed with myself and everything I can say, and others I feel like I'm not progressing very well, but I do continue to trust in the Lord and in his promises to me. 

I will be receiving my travel plans tomorrow!!! My guess is that we will be leaving sometime during the middle of the night on the 16th (Monday). Our sempai left around 3:30 am for the airport a few weeks ago, so I think it will be similar. I'm really excited!!! I'm finally going to JAPAN! :) 

Well, I'm just about out of time. I'm excited to tell you all about my flight plans next P-day, which will be my last one here before leaving the MTC. I leave here in 10 days.. wow! I'm really excited to leave. The MTC has been amazing, and I will have a really hard time saying goodbye to everyone I've met here, but I know that I will see them all again. If not in this life, then in the next. This is one of the wonderful joys in the gospel; we can know the people we meet for eternity! What a blessing this is. I wish I could say how amazing being a missionary is. It is the most amazing thing I have ever experienced. I know God will continue to lead all of us to the people, situations, and learning experiences that we need to become like him. This life is time where we are meant to bless each other. Everyone we meet is either meant to bless us, or we are meant to bless them in some way. Everyone around us is placed there for a reason. It is our job to always listen to the Spirit and to discern the needs of others. 
I love you all so much. Thank you for all you do. 
Oh, one more thing! We skyped with a Member who lives in Japan and only Speaks Japanese. She Shared a scripture with us that I really liked. It's helped me this week lots and lots. D&C 78:17-18 I know that this church is true. There is no way it can't be. I love this gospel so much, and I love seeing how it touches others. It makes me love it even more. 

There are no mistakes in God's plan and how our lives play out. Keep trusting in the Lord and he will ALWAYS provide a way for you. 
I'll send some more pictures next week. :) 

I love you all so much. 

-Hubbard Shimai   

Week 7 MTC

 Our zone at the temple- our Senpai left this week, and now we have new cohai! :D

 Our companionship!!

 The skirt I am wearing was altered a little bit by the lovely sisters
in the alteration room! It's now my favorite skirt :)
 my companion held her books all the way back to our room! She's crazy! I love her so much haha. 

 our Departing missionaries-They left on monday
 on our walk to the temple
 Sister Chapman and another Sister from our district-Sister Clark-She reminds me alot of Jaelynn. :)

 I got my hair trimmed this morning :D It was super fun! I can't wait to have my hair cut by Jaelynn when I get home! 
The lady who cut my hair :) She was really nice. She only took a few inches off-no worries! :) 
The Japanese girls I always talk with. They are so cute!! :)

Konnichiwa minosan!!! 

Watashi wa senkyoshi desu! Watashi wa shinjimasen! 

watashi wa MTC o aishitimasu. MTC wa subarashi desu! watashi wa MTC o hontoni manabimasu. watashi wa sensei ga sugoi! Sensei wa ii o oshiemasu. Watashi wa sensei o aishitemasu. 
Kyo, watahi no p-day. Watashi wa letters/emails o yomimashita. watashi no kazoku ni kanshashitemasu. watashi wa kazoku no ai ni kanshashitemasu. watashi wa kamisama no ai ni kanshashitemasu. Kare no ai o tukemasu. 
watashi wa kamisama no tuskeru o inori toki ni, watashitachi o shukufukusururaremasu. 

Hey Family! My week has been really good! :) Thank you for all of the love you have sent to me in all of your letters! They really make my day. On p-days, we print off our emails in the morning and read them during breakfast in our room. On P-days we get the sack breakfast which is a "grab and go" kind of deal. I'm happy with the sack meal as long as I get a peanut butter sandwich- which I did today, so all is well! I am really getting sick of the food here, but every once in a while there is a nice surprise and I'm excited to eat again, haha. The salads are still pretty good, and I'm always look forward to papa johns pizza on Fridays. 

Mom and Josh, thank you so much for the dear elders! They really make my day. I love reading about everyone and what you are all doing. Josh, I'm sorry to hear about your foot! I hope it feels better and stops being puffy-how annoying! 
Also, I have received dear elders from a few people in the ward. Since I don't have very much time, would you please thank Sister Passey, Sister Taylor, and Sister Schipper for their lovely letters. They really have given me encouragement and I really appreciate them all. 

I'm really excited to go to the Temple today. It's always an amazing experience!! I love it. Also, we will be receiving our travel plans next Friday!!! I can't wait to see what our journey will look like. I've pictured leaving and flying for so long. I'm sure my experience will be lots different than I am thinking, but I'm really excited all the same. 
Last night, my companions and I were able to skype a member of the church who lives in Japan and is fluent in Japanese. It was really neat talking with this Sister. I love these people so much already! I can't wait to be in Japan with all of them. 

We leave in 18 days. It's crazy to think about! I'm so excited! 
The district above us (Our senpai) left on Monday, so we are now the oldest district in our zone! We leave next!!! :D Yesterday, we received a whole bunch of new cohai. I'm really excited to get to know them all. :) They look at us like we know everything, but we really don't, haha. Anyway, it will be nice to have some more missionaries in our little branch. 
I'm excited to hear that you are all taking my challenges! I promise the Lord will bless you as you search for people to help around you. Elder Eyring promises some amazing blessings in his talk too. Pray for opportunities in share the gospel. "The Lord sends prepared people to his prepared servants." I've seen this so much! It probably seems a little weird, but I've had countless opportunities to share the gospel with non members/less actives here. Now, you're probably all thinking, "Who in the world would you be teaching in the MTC??" I'm happy to say, that God prepares people no matter where you are. 
Yesterday during our early morning service project, I met a person who was a Sister missionary who returned home from her mission about a year ago. As we worked with her, asking her questions about school, work, her plans, and her mission, she shared some really personal things with us.  She is the sweetest person ever! Anyway, as we talked with her, I could tell she wasn't happy with herself. Before she told us personal things, she talked about her mission being the best thing ever, and how she was a sister training leader for most of her mission. She loved it, and she loved seeing the change in people as she served. She said this was her favorite thing about her mission. I asked her why she served a mission, and she told me that she wanted others to feel the saviors love in repenting. This really touched my heart because this is one of the biggest reasons I have decided to serve. Anyway, Sister Chapman asked her if the people she taught on her mission were still active? She told us that most of them were, and that she still talks to them sometimes. As she replied to this question, I could sense some emotion in her. She then told us that she had not been active in the church for the Last nine months. This Sister then told me that she wasn't the same person. She didn't say very much, but she didn't have to. I could tell exactly what she was going through. I could see it in her eyes and in her emotion. All of a sudden, I felt an instant connection with her. I felt God's love for her so strong, and all I wanted to do was tell her how much God loved her. God loves her so much! It was an indescribable feeling. As we were there alone in the room, I was prompted to tell her of God's love and of my testimony of his redeeming power. As I spoke she had her head down, and I wasn't really sure what her reaction would be, but I've learned here that I ALWAYS need to follow the promptings I'm given. After I finished, She lifted her head up, and looked me in the eyes. She had tears in her eyes and she said, "I know... Thank you.." It was an amazing experience. This was a missionary experience! They can happen anywhere... Even in the MTC where everyone is preparing to serve a mission. God will always prepare people for us to bless, and they are all around us! It is our job to look for them every single day, and in every single place we go. God will send his prepared people to his prepared servants. I know this is true. 

One of the sisters in our District went to the Hospital a few nights ago. She is okay now though. She was having troubles with her intestines. I guess her body has always had a really hard time digesting food. Anyways, I gave her some drops and some of the Natural enzymes Dad packed into my suitcase. It's crazy how healthy this girls eats too! All she eats is Salad and fruits and veggies. Anyway, she is doing better, and we are all really happy she is. :) 

There are so many things I wish I could tell all of you. I wish you could experience some of the things I do here. The church is so true-there is no way it can't be. There are no coincidences. Everything happens for a reason, and I believe that with all my heart. 
Thank you all so much for your love and your prayers. I encourage you all to look for the people you are meant to bless each day in your lives, and follow the spirit when you see them. Pray for God's love. Pray for Charity. This is the greatest work in all the earth, and I'm so blessed to be apart of it.  

I love you all so much. Thank you for everything you are and do. 
love always, 

-Hubbard Shimai