Monday, March 30, 2015

Miracle Week!!

Picnic at
Minumahikawa Park - 3/30/15

Minumahikawa Park - 3/30/15

Picnic at 
Minumahikawa Park - 3/30/15

Picnic at 
Minumahikawa Park - 3/30/15

Picnic at 
Minumahikawa Park - 3/30/15

Picnic at 
Minumahikawa Park - 3/30/15

Miracle Week!

Konnichiwa Kazoku! 

Wow what a week! Thank you for all of the emails. I'm glad you all are doing so well and seeing so many blessings! We seriously saw so many miracles this week, I love my mission! So on Tuesday we had a district meeting and we talked about gratitude and working with the members. It's definitely hard working with members and trying to plan lessons when both the investigator and member is available, but it definitely pays off! After our meeting we had a lesson with Silvia and Morita Shimai. Silvia is from Hong Kong but she speaks Japanese well and Morita Shimai is in our ward. I was feeling so frustrated in the lesson and I felt like I wasn't following it at all and I just wanted to be done. Well, Sticht Shimai suddenly asked me to bare my testimony about God and all I could get myself to say was "I know that God is my Father in Heaven and that He loves everyone and He wants us to pray to Him." I thought I did an awful job and I was so upset but then I looked over at Morita Shimai and she had tears coming down her face! I learned in that instant that it doesn't matter at all about what I say, the Spirit is the one who touches the hearts of those we teach. Even though I had broken Japanese and I said very basic things, it still touched her and even though Silvia might not of felt anything, Morita Shimai did and I'm grateful for that. 

The next day we biked a lot and went to go visit an investigator who used to have a baptismal date but she got pretty sick and she hasn't been taught in a while. On our way we stopped and talked to this Filipino woman and she spoke English and she seemed pretty interested so we are going to try and set up an appointment with her soon. 

So throughout the past couple days I've really been wanting to connect with someone and effect them and to really find a friend. I was just feeling kind of down and I wanted to be able to truly help someone. Well, the prayer of my heart was answered! When we went to Eikaiwa (English class) There was a new face there. Her name is Liu Fang and she is from China. She is about 30 but she looks 20 but anyways she found out about Eikaiwa online and so she came. After class we played bingo and we were getting to know each other more. We are seriously instant best friends! I love her so much! After we said the closing prayer she was asking about prayer so I was telling her a little bit and I asked her if she believed in God and she said no but she thinks He might exist and then she said, "maybe you could tell me more some other time." That's something every missionary loves to hear! I invited her to sports day on Saturday and she came! We had fun playing ping pong and then I was playing with 3 Chinese people! They hold the paddles like us dad!! It was intense but they said I was good and they seemed a little shocked. After we were all finished I started talking to Fang more and she had a lot of questions. I was telling her the basics of what we believed and I packed a Chinese Book of Mormon in advanced and I gave it to her. She said she'd have a hard time believing it all because she's always been taught that she is the only one who can help herself overcome things and not to believe in a god but I told her just to try praying and reading. I asked Steve (a Chinese recent convert) if he would show her where the introduction to the Book of Mormon was and he ended up explaining things a little better in her native language and he told her a little bit about his story. (Just a side note: I really want them to get married. There's just sparks whenever they talk.) The downside right now is that her parents came into town from China so they are going to be traveling around for about 2 weeks so I wont see her for awhile but hopefully after they go back we will be able to meet with her again. (Another side note: I think I've taught more Chinese people than Japanese. It's nice because I get to speak English but then I feel like my Japanese isn't improving. Chinese people are Kinjin! Golden)

So Thursday was insane! Nothing went according to our plans but it was definitely God's Will. We kind of left our apartment later than expected but just down the street there was a mother with a little girl and a baby. We started talking to her and then when we were talking about Jesus and eternal families her little baby started smiling and reaching his hand out towards us! It was the most adorable and spiritual experience! Her baby knew! Also, during study time we did a mogi (role play) of if we would meet a Christian and how we would react and how we would want to talk about eternal families. We'll we went to the church and had to do somethings but Sticht Shimai forgot her planner, iPad and the phone so we decided to leave and drop off thank you notes at members houses. On our way we saw a lady from Africa and decided to talk to her. She spoke English and guess what? She's a Christian AND she went to a LDS church before in Tokyo! She has a daughter and she loved when we were talking about eternal families. I'm glad we decided to practice that morning! Next, on the way to visit a member, we saw a lady who has kind of been investigating and talked to her for a while and we said how we were going to go visit the Takahashi family and she wanted too come. We ended up all talking for a long time and it went really well. Then we got home and decided we should probably go to the church and finish up things we didn't do earlier that morning, it was getting kinda late but we decided to anyways. We got there and two sets of elders were there and Sen. Sen is from China but very fluent in Japanese. We asked him why he was there and he said he just felt like he should come. He started helping me with some Japanese words and Sticht Shimai was on the phone. Suddenly he got a voice mail and his face just dropped. The day before he had said that his dad is pretty sick and in the voice mail he found out that his dad died... Sticht Shimai and my first instinct was to hug him but we couldn't and finally the elders did after they realized what happened. It was so sad but we were able to all pray together and comfort him. He lives alone and isn't a member. I know that Heavenly Father knew we all needed to be at the church to help comfort Sen and I'm glad we all listened to the promptings of the Spirit.

This week has been amazing and I've learned so much. Oh, I had sushi. It was practically a sushi sandwich. 3 of them. It was edible but the seaweed got to be too much. I survived though! I love you all so much! Thank you for all your prayers and support! This work is hard but I know that when I have faith, and act upon that faith, have a positive attitude, and follow the spirit, I WILL see miracles! I love you all! Aishitemasu!

Love Lacey Shimai

Sunday, March 22, 2015


Brooke's quote about this picture, "Yup. No words to describe"

In front of the Church building in Urawa, Japan 
Shimai Lacey and Shimai Sticht

The new missionaries and their trainers

A typical street in Japan (Brooke says its
pretty scary riding bikes on them)

Am I Really in JAPAN?!?!

Konnichiwa Minasan!

I have no idea where to begin! So way back when, in the MTC, we left at 4 in the morning it was hard to say goodbye to our other district who left a few days after us and then our flight left at 8:45. We had a little layover in Portland and then off we were on our 10 hour flight to JAPAN! That day was the longest and most tiresome travel experience of my life. I probably only had about 3 hours of sleep total. It was awful. We were chasing the sun so it was never dark outside. Time traveling is a rough thing. Flying over the ocean was so cool though. Towards the end of our flight, Hubbard Shimai and I handed out a Book of Mormon to a Japanese girl who spoke pretty good English. It was fun! 

Japan is something else. As soon as I stepped off the plane it was a little difficult to breathe because it was so humid. (I can't imagine what summer is going to be like.) Everyone is in a hurry to get everywhere. It's ridiculous! When I get home I'm gonna be the fastest speed walker ever. After we were all done with baggage and things the Assistants to the President met us and we went on a long journey to the Mission Home. I was exhausted during the long train ride, but I didn't fall asleep because I wanted to be able to sleep good that night. I love President Budge and Sister Budge! They're awesome and so fun! It was a really busy next couple of days. We had dinner and interviews and then went to bed and we had to leave early in the morning to go to a conference with ELDER NELSON! I got to shake his hand! I felt like he just looked into my soul and I felt like he loved me so much even though it was less than five seconds. The conference was about technology and proper use of it. So apparently they're taking away facebook right now and maybe giving it back in a few months. I'm not sure why.. Anyways after that we went back to the mission home and were supposed to have a four hour training or something but they made it only about two hours. 

So my new companion is Sticht Shimai. She is awesome! She has bright red curly hair so we're quite the pair and we stick out like a sore thumb. She's about 22 and only has two transfers left so we're hoping we get to stay together for the rest of them. My new area is Urawa. I love it so much! It's a city pretty close to Tokyo and its kinda in Saitama. There is an amazing ward here. Sticht Shimai has only been here for one transfer so she doesn't quite know everyone yet. We have one of the biggest wards in the mission and there are 8 missionaries in the ward. Sticht Shimai and I and 3 companionships of elders. Its pretty fun and interesting. Sticht Shimai's Japanese is amazing. Half of her companions have been Japanese. She's really patient with me and encouraging, so that's helpful. You know how everybody says "this isn't the language they taught me in the MTC" well I disagree. This is definitely the language they taught me but I just didn't learn it. I felt like when I was in the MTC I could understand a lot but now I can't understand anything! They talk SO fast. My teachers in the MTC probably slowed down speaking about 75% compared to how it is now. Oh well. The thing that keeps me going is almost everyone who has heard me speak says my pronunciation is perfect. I disagree, but that helps me keep my confidence up. 

I've had 3 official lessons so far. Sticht Shimai has taught quite a few lessons over the phone. The first lesson was with a less active sister. I have so much love for her. She knows the gospel and wants to be a part of it but she has a hard time feeling God's love and recognizing her self worth. I only said probably 2 or 3 sentences but I think she understood what I had to say. She likes taking notes and she took notes on what I had to say so I think she got something out of it. On Sunday, Maki Choro (district leader) gave her a blessing so hopefully that will help. Our next lesson was at a member's house with Keiko who just got baptized the Sunday before I got here. She is so cute and amazing! We taught about the restoration and Sticht Shimai said I did good and was able to say what I we practiced earlier. We had a lesson with Chen yesterday. She just got back from China and she speaks great English so I was able to say more. She has a beautiful image of what she hopes God is like but she has a lot of doubts. We talked about prayer and at the end we asked her to pray but she said she didn't feel like it. Sticht Shimai said that when you don't feel like praying that is when you definitely need to pray. So, she did and it was the most honest prayer I have ever heard! She said how she wants to know if god exists and if he loves her and to help her know. We also had told her that she may not get an answer right away but as she continues to pray everyday she will feel God's love. 

I love Eikaiwa. (English class) Everyone tries to speak English so its great! After it was over we played the game "do you love your neighbor" and man do they get into it. I almost got tackled a few times running for a seat. We also teach Kodomo Eikaiwa (English class for little kids) and they are adorable! The subject was animals, so we all drew pictures and the mom of one of the girls asked to have my drawings so I put my name on it and gave it to her. It was so cool. Also, something funny. I have a nickname. You know how we call new missionaries Greenies? Well they call them Green Beans here and if your talking to little children you add "chan" at the end of it because it makes it cute so a lot of people call me "Bean Chan" Its pretty funny.

I love being a missionary. It is so hard and I wish I could understand the language because its hard when I say something I know how to say and then they respond but I have no idea what they said. I know it will come with time and as I continue to have faith and trust in the Lord and follow the spirit. I love to say hello to everyone I meet because a lot of people in Japan are so sad. They don't have a purpose for life and they look so sad. I love saying "konnichiwa" to people and seeing their face light up. People either completely ignore us, get scared, or are so happy. I love the children here! Whenever I say "konnichiwa" to a group of kids their eyes get all big and they say "HELLO" its so cute. I bet people get so confused seeing a blond and a red head riding around on bikes. We must be quite a sight. Speaking of bikes, its terrible riding in a skirt, but I think I'm getting the hang of it. The streets here are scary but I'm getting used to it. Oh! Also, our stake president is American and he knows Andrew Thorn! He took a picture of us teaching Chen yesterday so maybe you'll see it. Small world eh? 

Well, I think that's all I can put together right now. My brain is so full. I feel like there are not enough hours in the day for everything we need to do. My companion is sick right now so hopefully I don't get sick either. I love you all so much! It was so great to talk to most of you on the phone. Mother's day is coming up so I'll talk to you all in no time! Thank you for all your love and prayers. This gospel is amazing. There is such a difference between members and non-members here in Japan. They're completely different people. I know this gospel is true and I can already see it starting to bless the lives of so many people. I LOVE you all! Aishitemasu!

Love Lacey Shimai

P.S. I've eaten at two members houses and so far I LOVED the food. There hasn't been any seafood yet though...

Thursday, March 12, 2015


Lacey Shimai and Jack Shimai

Travel Plans!

Cleaning the classroom

Konnichiwa Kazoku!

Well, this is it! Today is my last P-day at the MTC. I have so many mixed emotions. I feel like I'm back at home about to leave for my mission. My district and zone have pretty much become my family and I'm sad to leave everyone but I'm excited for whats ahead.  The MTC has helped me so much. I grow every single day and I am growing so close to my Savior. 

On Thursday I had an amazing Spiritual experience.  I was feeling a little troubled that day and I just needed some help from the Lord. When we were at the temple, I was sitting in the Celestial room and I said a prayer and asked Heavenly Father to please comfort me and help me feel peaceful and like I'm being a successful missionary. Well, after I waited for a moment I opened up The Book of Mormon and the first verse I read was in Alma 31:32 and this is what it says, "O Lord, wilt thou comfort my soul, and give unto me success, and also my fellow laborers who are with me- yea,... even all these wilt thou comfort, O Lord. Yea, wilt thou comfort their souls in Christ." My eyes were filled with so many tears!  I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father answered my prayer so quickly. I know He knew I needed that right then and there. 

Okay, so I got my flight plans! On our paper it says we leave straight from Salt Lake to Tokyo..! Woah! I'm kinda freaking out. It's gonna be interesting flying over the Pacific ocean, especially because I've never been on a flight over 3 or 4 hours! I love my Branch Presidency. On Sunday I had a really good talk with Butler Kaicho (president) and he said he was so proud of me and that the language is improving a lot. I also talked with Sister Shultess a lot on the way to the temple and then at the temple and all the way back I was talking to Sister Kazairian. We had such great conversations and she really reminds me of Julie Reichmann. And then, during Sacrament meeting, I sat next to Sister Butler and had fun talking with her. Lets just say I miss mom and all my young women leaders I used to talk to all the time! They are all amazing. 

So, guess who spoke on Tuesday..?? Elder Quentin L. Cook!! It was so awesome!  We started off the MTC experience with an apostle and ended it with another one. And apparently Elder Nelson is going to be in Japan next week, YAY! Elder Cook talked about the missionaries call and how they are assigned. He shared the quote from President Hinckley which states, "If you have more faith you will have more success." I needed to hear that. Faith is so important and you cant accomplish anything else with out it. He also said that if we exercise our faith we will be more willing to follow the promptings of the spirit. I also liked that he said missionaries are not the marketing arm of the church, they are the builders. We are not selling a product, we are here to help build the Kingdom of heaven. 

I have learned so much here at the MTC. There have been frustrating times but also amazing experiences. Jack Shimai was telling us the other day that we need to remember that the Lord has a plan for us and even if something doesn't go our way, it'll turn out good in the end. Olson Kyoudai has some good quotes. He said, "God does not call us on a mission and say, 'good luck!' He is with us every step of the way." He also said how we need to focus on the race that is ahead of us and not have regrets. One last thought, President Butler sent me this quote from President Eyring. It says. "There will be times when you will feel overwhelmed. One of the ways you will be attacked is with the feeling that you are inadequate. Well, you are inadequate to answer a call to represent God with only your own powers. But you have access to more than your natural capacities, and you do not work alone." John 8:29 says, "...He that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those that please Him." I love you all so much! I cant wait to talk to you all! Take care! Aishiteimasu! 

Love Lacey Shimai

Friday, March 6, 2015

Video saying hello to our Japanese exchange student!

               Sister Lacey and Sister Coughanour sent a quick message to our Japanese exchange!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Week 7!!

New name tag!


Konnichiwa Kazoku!

Less than a week and a half and I will be in Japan!! I am so excited! We get our flight plans tomorrow and I can't wait! Thank you for all of the emails! I'm glad you are all doing great! Say hello to Umi for me! I wish I could meet her. Did you all watch the video "Choose this Day?" If not you really should! Another good one is "Earthly Father, Heavenly Father."

This week was full of ups and downs! I was feeling kind of down for a little while and on Friday I broke. Throughout last week I was being hard on myself like I wasn't a good missionary and that I needed to be better but I wasn't accomplishing that. Well, during our evening class we were separated into pairs and had to switch off being the
missionary and the investigator. I was paired with Junot Shimai and she was the missionary first. She told me an experience she had and that she had been feeling hard on herself but then in the temple Kirkham Shimai shared a scripture with her and it helped her realize she was doing her best and she should be proud of herself. She shared
it with me and I can't even remember what it said but it helped me so much. I couldn't even get through my lesson to her because I started crying. She told me that before she taught me she prayed to know which experience to choose to share because it was between two and that is the one she chose. I know she was inspired to share that one because I needed to hear it and I needed to know I wasn't alone. 

The next day we did the same sort of activity. Since there is an uneven number in our district, I as with Olson Kyoudai. We had to teach whatever the spirit prompted us to teach. I was so nervous because I had no idea
what to teach! I know he's about to get married but I don't know too much about him but then the thought came to me, "how do you feel when you pray?" So I decided to ask him and then he said how he was embarrassed to say but he hadn't been praying as diligently as he should. Earlier that morning I decided to read my scriptures during
gym time while I was on the bike. While I was talking with Olson Kyoudai I remembered a scripture that I read in the morning about the importance of prayer. Wow! Isn't that awesome?! I committed him to pray more diligently and he told me to follow up with him. When it was his turn to teach me he asked me what I think my spiritual gifts are.
I told him some and then he asked me how I think I could develop more or increase those gifts. I told him some of my concerns and struggles and how I wish I was more confident and not fearful. He told me that I was a great missionary and he doesn't think there was a time where he didn't see me smiling. He then told me something that I really needed to hear. He said, "Lacey Shimai, stop thinking of what you can't do and start thinking of what you can." And he said, "people need your light and you need to share it." He shared a quote from someone about how we are all children of God and we need to always remember who we are and be confident about it.

Fast Sunday was really good. Earlier in the week Cook Kyoudai challenged me to bare my testimony in Japanese and so I did! I shared an experience in English but then I bore my testimony in Japanese! I felt like it flowed really well and it came so easily to me! I was so happy! Afterwards President Butler said he was really impressed. This language is so hard and I wish I could be fluent already but I know that the gift of tongues comes in the Lords time and I just need to remember that I have only been studying this language for just under two months and I can already do so much! For choir we sang one of my all time favorites, "Be Still My Soul." It was amazing! 

In our devotional we were talking about how we need to be united in our companionship and Elder Evans shared a story that was about couples but could relate to companionships but I feel like challenging you guys. To make a long story short, he said that couples should wake up and have breakfast together no matter what time and where one person is going. So I encourage you all (Mom and Dad, Clay and Krystin) To have breakfast as a couple every morning! Dekimasu! You can do it! 

Well, I am so grateful for this gospel. I am so honored to be a missionary and to dedicate a year and a half to serving the Lord.  This gospel is so true.  This week I truly realized that "Satan is a real being set on destroying [us]." (Elder Holland) He knows our weaknesses and try's to drag us down. But, the Holy Ghost and the Lord have way more power than him. We need to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost because we never know when the smallest and most simple thing can help someone. I love you all so much. Thank your for everything you do! Aishiteimasu!

Love Lacey Shimai