Monday, August 29, 2016

Land of the Rising Sun

From Japan
August 29, 2016

Well.... Everyone... It's official.... !!!!
I'm in The land of the rising Sun! Everything is better here than America! Hahaha! Except for the prices.. But alas, everything is better in Japan! The people are all so nice, and everything is so clean. The food is incredible, I am going to gain "over 9,000!" pounds. Haha, everything here is fun sized as well. From the cars, to the buildings. The only thing that is big here, are the hearts of the people.

Well first day, we slept under the Fukuoka temple; pretty crazy right? No safer place in all of Japan I'de have to say. My Mission President, Egan, and Sister Egan are very loving and work extremely hard for all their missionaries. I'm so blessed to have the opportunity to trust them, and know them.

At this time I also had to realize I would no longer be seeing my companion from the MTC. I will greatly miss Perkins Shimai! I'm sorry I didn't talk about her much on my other blogs, but gaaaah! She was such a blessing to me in the MTC, and still is a blessing to me. And I know she will bless many many many others. Not only the people of Japan, but her companions and church members. She is such a ray of sunshine.  to call her my friend is an honor. She is currently in Fukuoka right now. And she's an amazing missionary and person. Haha, I tell people all the time that Perkins Shimai is such a good missionary that....people will be filling up their bathtubs by the end of every
lesson so that they can be baptized right away!!

Also, the Fukuoka mission is incredibly unique. It is the largest in Japan, and covers tons of different geography. Literally one elder in my district, he had to take bus, train, plane, and boat to get to his
assigned island of Naze. In the group I came in, people were assigned all over. Like Okinawa and Kumamoto.

Currently I am transferred in Saijo, in Hiroshima! It is one of the northern most missions in the Fukuoka mission. I took a 5 hour bus ride from Fukuoka, and about a 15 minute train ride to get to my destination.

During the assigning of the new mission areas, I also got a new companion. Her name is sister Johnson! She is very outgoing, and incredible caring. I enjoy being her companion and can't wait to learn from her. It's funny too, haha her first Name is Amelia, and last is Johnson.... Haha, names of two of my closest friends from Wisconsin. What are the odds? We are also very similar, in the fact that we both forget things a ton, are very unorganized, and lose things a lot. Hahaha. She is 20, and has been out a little more than a year. She's also joined the church about 3 years ago, and has an amazing testimony of the gospel.

Here's a picture of us :)

Minamoto choro and Shimai are couples missionaries. They are so loving and caring. Every Friday they invite the missionaries over for dinner. Their food is soooo gooood! The sister in the brownish dress is Li shimai, she is from Taiwan and has been in the military before. I think she served for a little less than 10 years. Then the model on the right hand corner is Sato Shimai, she and Li Shimai are companions. She is from Tokyo and 29 years old. She is super nice and cooks really good food as well. Then there is my companion on the bottom left :) next are the chouroutachi. Kakegawa is on the left with the two peace signs. He is from Nagoya, and I saw him a little around the MTC. His English is quite good. Next is Kurosaki/Johnsom choro. He is the District leader and half nihojnin. 

As far as the ward goes, it is very very tiny.  The missionaries make up about half the ward. Haha, I really love the church members though. They are so caring and are strong members.

As far as some fun stuff goes, I tried Natto, and got a fancy new green bike!!

Thanks for listening. And jet lag is real intense.. Haha, my companion has been super nice and allowed me to catch a few zzz's during meal times. 

Wish and hope all is well

Freed Shimai. 

Letter from the Mission President's Wife

From the Japan Mission Home
August 26, 2016

Dear Sister Freed 's Family,

I thought you might like to see for yourself that Sister Freed made it safely and is doing well!
Thank you for sharing her with us!  We love her very much and are so excited and happy to see all the ways she will continue to grow and excel.  She is wonderful!

You now have my e-mail address. If you ever have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me. I will get back to you as quickly as I can.

Thank you again for sending us such an amazing missionary!!!!

Sister  Egan

Japan Fukuoka Mission

From Sasha: That's my sweater, it went to Japan!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Last Week in the MTC

From the MTC
August 17, 2016

Dear everyone,

This is my last P day before I leave for Japan. I can't go into it too much, but I'll be leaving early in the morning to go to the SLC airport August 22nd. From there I am leaving early afternoon to fly straight to Tokyo. After about 15 hours of flying, we have a few ours to spare before we get to Fukuoka in the evening.

Overall my MTC has been a bunch of roller coasters. I've learned that the best thing to do, when things get tough is to pray to the Lord. But only if you want to of course, just a simple invitation. But if you do, there are many promised blessings in store. By depending on Him, you'll be able to overcome lots of things. But He can only help
you if you have faith in Him, and experiment on doing things differently. I found that I needed to accept His answer, and if I found it hard to do that. So I prayed for a deeper desire to follow... And that when one takes that leap of faith, experiments with a different way of thinking, that answers were found to many of my trials.

And as a friend, or family member I know it can help you :)

Being here, I've met some incredible people. My district and teachers have all shaped me in dramatics ways. Special shout out to Melinda,Hutchinson, my douryou and my family. Many of you who are reading this, have also lead up to me being here, so thank you for preparing me for my mission as well. Because of you, I feel like I'm
becoming a better person. 

I'm going to be going "dark" for about 16 months. I will only be able to radio in on this blog occasionally. So as a final tudegra, thank you for your love, prayers, and just thinking about me. You help get me up in the mornings, or keep me from going off the deep end when things get hard.

I gotta lose myself in the work :) I'll write in on when I can though!

As a representative, I want to bare a simple testimony before I head out into the field. I love the Lord, and I know He is our Heavenly Father. I know that Jesus Christ is our brother, Savior and Redeemer. Joseph Smith restored the gospel of Jesus Christ and translated the Book of Mormon. I know that the Book of Mormon is true :) And that prophets seers and regulatory with restored Priesthood keys lead this church.

And I want to tell you all I love you deeply.

If there is ever a time to proclaim the gospel, I guess its gotta be now /)

Furi-to Shimai

Here are some photos for you to munch on as well

P.S. Haha I've gained atleast 5 pounds here. Haha and I might gain 20 lbs when I am done with my mission. But as one of my teachers said. "you start to gain weight, because you care more about the people than you do yourself." Hahaha.

New name tags in Katakana!

Sister Reyes and I! She is Spanish speaking, and one heck of a sister! Super nice and a really fast learner. She is part of the missionaries who just came in.

Regular day posing for the camera.

Haha, this is what we normally look like in the class.hahaha 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Missionary Purpose

August 10, 2016
From the MTC

Dear Mina,

Hi there, who would have thought that time would fly by so quickly! We only have 12 days left before my district heads off to Japan! Hopefully by next post I'll be able to show my cool katakana name tag,
and some info on my travel itinerary.

As of right now, I believe that MTC, or "Empty Sea" as one of my companion's friends says it.. Is at max capacity, it's so much fun to see new missionaries coming from all over the world.

There are a lot of new missionaries here, as of last week we received 3 new districts! For the sisters, we have a Shimai from Australia, and Mexico. Also, from walking around the MTC there are way more ASL missionaries, and that's so cool. I'm seeing way more groups of missionaries that speak different languages inside their companionship. For example, the other day I met a 3 sister missionary companionship, two were Nihonjin and the other sister was from Mexico. It was crazy!

I'm so grateful that I have a companion that speaks the same language. I can't imagine how hard it is to try and make lesson plans, let alone help each other when you can't easily communicate with each other. Plus all the lessons are English based. As in, if you are learning Japanese, but you are from Brazil. You have to translate from
Portugese --> English --> Japanese. Or if you are Russian, you have to translate the material from Russian --> English --> Japanese. It's so so so much more difficult or international missionaries, than it is for me. As well as those for those companionship  that have a language barrier. But the Gift of Tounges is real!!!!! And that these
missionaries are especially prepared for such a difficult task.

As a slight detour, for those preparing for a mission and are called foreign speaking. As far as my experience goes...from being at the MTC I have found... That the only reason why I am learning Japanese, is so that I "can talk to the people"... And if I am unable to bare my testimony, or talk to people in English. My native language. There
isn't much point in learning Japanese. So being here, yes the language is a huge part of why I am here, but also so that I can learn how to bare testimony and learn the language of the Spirit.

Before I leave I wanted to include a small little video of my companion and I reciting the missionary purpose! 
Woot woot!

Missionary Purpose
Invite others to come into Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.

Hope all is well!!!!! 
Thanks for sticking with me!

-Freed Shimai

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Farewell to the Upper Classmen

August 3, 2016
From the MTC

Dear everyone,

On Monday Aug 1st our upperclassmen left for Japan. I will really miss them, and I'm so glad I was able to meet such wonderful missionaries.
Left to right is Elder Nathan,Paskett, Elder Akagi, Elder Tittel, Sister Hill, Sister Barton, and Sister Black! Hopefully tell more

about them later! They were such fun and hard working missionaries!

This is my handstand group. During exercise time I was able to teach Titel,Akagi, and Honda shimai. They all have made incredible progress, and I had so much fun teaching them!

Overall, this week we have a lot of new missionaries coming in as of Aug 3. There are going to be 3 new districts! I our building alone, there will be over 130 Japanese speaking Missionaries. We will only be there upper class man for 3 weeks. As of next week, I should be receiving my travel itinerary.

Thanks you so much for the e-mails! As a spiritual thought. Well more like funny homework. Look up the children's Hymn "Follow the Prophets", and Noah's verse! Hahahaha! I could barely sing I was laughing so hard.

-Freed Shimai