Monday, April 13, 2015

Ohayou Gozaimasu!

Seaweed Salad

Japanese Raman Noodles :-)

On exchanges with Gates Shimai

Snow in April!

Packages from home with American Food!!

Rain Gear!


Hey everyone! This week went by so fast! It's kinda scary how fast the weeks go by.. Only a couple weeks left until transfer calls! I don't want to leave Urawa. I went on exchanges the other day and it was fun but I felt home sick for Urawa. I'm starting to know my way around and I love my old apartment and the people here are amazing! It was funny, when I was on exchanges with Sister Gates, we taught a recent convert and she gave me some foundation that's supposed to protect your skin because she said I have a lot of freckles haha. Oh, and I thought California had bipolar weather, nah. It was snowing early this week and then it rained for two days and then today was bright and sunny... Yeah, times like that is when I realize I'm on an island in the middle of the ocean! But I do love it!

So, I finally had my first Japanese conversation all by myself! It was awesome! We were on the train and Sister Sticht sat down by a girl and started talking to her and I was across from them. There were two ladies sitting next to me and one was having a conversation with someone and the other was just on her phone. She was wearing all black so I wasn't sure how to compliment her because that's the easiest way to start conversations. So I saw her bag and said I liked it and to make along story short, we talked about where we were from and what I was doing there and a little bit about God. I gave her an Eikaiwa flyer and asked her to come. I didn't understand much, but we were able to have a couple minute conversation and it was definitely a confidence booster.

We had zone P-Day and we went bowling and I got 4 strikes and two in a row! I had a million gutters but still! We also decided to go shopping and we had a great time. I love Sister Sticht. She just makes me laugh and she's very entertaining. The next day we had zone conference and that was cool to see President and Sister a Budge again. Sister Budge talked about how music can bless the lives of people and help bring people unto Christ. I need to work on my musical abilities... President Budge talked about light and how we are nothing without God and if we choose the light we will be more like Him. Something I really liked was he said, "if we almost keep the commandments, we almost get the blessings." The conference was a lot about light and then just the other day I was reading about how Christ came to the Americas. When Christ was crucified "there could be no light...and there wasn't any light seen.." Then they heard the voice of Christ and He said "I am the light and the life of the world." Then there was light back on the earth after the three days were over and then Jesus came to them and said again "I am the light and the life of the world." Then He said "I give unto you to be a light... Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in Heaven." I don't know why but my mind was blown just reading all that and making the connections. We have the true knowledge of the gospel and we need to share Christ's light so all may see it and come unto Christ. I love The Book of Mormon so much and my knowledge of my Savior is growing immensely.

So Fang came to FHE last Tuesday and we studied the Book of Mormon. I love fang so much!  I was so happy to see her and she said before the class she thought praying was selfish of people but after that she realized it is for thanks too. I taught her how to say a basic prayer and said she should pray to God to see if He exists. Also, I showed her the Because He Lives video and told her just to focus on how she feels because she doesn't have any religious background and she may not understand everything. Afterwards she said she felt warm and she felt like crying! I love her so much! I also asked her if she wanted to learn from us consistently and she said yes! I asked her to come to General Conference on Saturday and she ended up coming to the second session! She didn't understand much and she asked what it meant to "stay by the tree." I told her about Lehi's vision and how the tree of life represents eternal life and we need to stay by the tree and make right decisions and not go away from it or we won't be able to live with God.  I read the first and last two paragraphs of the intro to the Book of Mormon to help her understand it a little more. She said that she didn't like how the bible and everything seems so forceful but we told her that we have agency but if we listen to God we will be able to return to live with Him, but it's completely our choice and she liked that explanation. I asked if she ever came to find out for herself that this church was true would she join and she said yes! I invited her to try praying again and to come to church and she said she would think about it. She still thinks it is really difficult to understand everything but she thinks it's all good. I can't describe how much I love her and how well we get along. I keep making sure to tell her my purpose and why I'm here so she knows I'm not just here to hangout but I'm here to help her come unto Christ and learn about God and she seems to understand that well. She is so Kinjin! (Golden) I think one of the reasons I like teaching Fang so much is because I've been the only one who has taught her so far. Sticht Shimai is usually talking to a Japanese investigator or she's been playing sports and Fang and I just sit and talk and she's still been interested and its with my teaching, so it helps me realize I can do this and I shouldn't be so shy in other lessons. 

We had dinner at the bishop's house and it was taco rice! Yummy! (Instead of taco salad they have taco rice here; my rice cheeks are coming in nicely). We had a really nice time and they are great! Thank you all for everything! I pray for you always! We are so lucky to have the gospel and we need to make sure we don't hide the light we have but share it so everyone can see the joy we have with this gospel. I love you all! Aishiteimasu yo!

Love Lacey Shimai

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