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...

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