Monday, January 27, 2014

Life is Beautiful

Ohayo-konnichi-banwa my dearest family!
So that is ohayo(goodmorning)-Konnichi(Goodafternoon)-Banwa(The end of goodevning) all in one! So no matter where you are in the world it works :) haha It is just something missionaries say....not a real phrase. My Nihongene companion says it is funny, but DON'T USE IT. haha :) She is cute .
Oh what a week it has been. :) Time just flies by when you are in Japan. You guys should all come here one day. You would really really like it! And the food is good. :) Well some of it....hahha :) This week I tried Natto......It should actually be called NASTY, but I think the Nihongene are a little confused. It is fermented soy beans...... and it is really goopy and stringy and sticks to everything! haha :) But I tried it and kept it down so that is an accomplishment. The Nihongene love it!! haha Crazy... :)
It feels like it was just the other day that I was writing you! haha
Wed: Eikaiwa was so much fun! Okau Eikaiwa is always fun! haha :) Hearing people try to speak English is my favorite and the best thing about being American is everyone always tries to speak English with you if they know it. :) I speak more English then I probably should, but it is a really good conversation starter. ;) haha Anyway at eikaiwa we played "Do you love your neighbor?" and there was this one old man that was just cracking me up!! haha He just thought it was the funniest game. It was great!
Thursday: Zone Conference!! It was really nice and just helped me to feel a lot better about this mission and work and everything. I also ate my first Bento Box. YUM! and we found out we are getting i-pads for sure this Thursday!!!!!!!! :) :) YES!!!! I-PADS!!! MINI ONES!!! The Tokyo and Tokyo south missions are the the test missions for tech. So I think we are the 1st international missions to get them! I am so excited! We all get our very own too!! It will be so nice. This Thursday we have a huge conference to talk about how to use them, and dendo with them. It will be great!
Also on the way home one the train we talked to this nice lady and she loves sewing. In the end she gave both Nakamura Shimai and I a little crocheted Hot pad that she made. It was so nice of her!!! She thought it was great that we were on missions and such. :)
Friday: I really learned that God guides this work. And If you pray for something he will give it to you!! haha :) We weren't having much success and so I prayed that we would be guided to find those who were prepared on a specific street we were on. So we started knocking doors and the first door we knocked on this high school kid came out and was SUPER interested. We talked about the book of Mormon and the restoration and it gave me chills when he read Joseph Smiths account. There is so much power in that! Then 2 doors down we met another kid in Jr. high who really liked the book of Mormon and promised he would read it. 2 out of the 4 doors we knocked on. Which for Japan is HUGE cause door knocking is about the least effective thing you can do here. But Ask and ye shall receive.  You just have to pray and ACT :) It was really cool!
Saturday: I met a lady on Saturday door knocking again who is deaf. She is 87 years old and so funny and so cute. :) She told me... Well I think she told me..... That the War was bad, but now that the war is over it is okay that I am in Japan. I was able to say "konnichiwa" to her because we learned three things in Nihongo Sign language in the MTC, "Konnchiwa" , "Genki desu ka?", and how to commit someone to baptism. I probably should have tried that last one.... but she hadn't really heard our message. We gave her a pamphlet and she started reading it and liked what she read. It was really cool. :) She was too cute.
The word to describe Sunday is Beautiful! It was so good! I met a girl at the park who studied English in Nashville. Her English is amazing. We had such a good conversation about life and why things are hard. I shared with her the restoration and showed her how the Book of Mormon can answer questions She was really interested but is super busy. We are going to try to meet with her again this week I think. It is so GOOD to testify about Joseph Smith thought! Last night was the BEST though! We had dinner at a families house. They had a man from Italy staying with them. YES ITALY!!! haha :) He is here on an exchanged program with the students of his class. He has traveled all over the World and this is his first time in Japan. He has such a beautiful out look on life, people, cultures, food, God, etc. He really is at the perfect place in his life for the gospel. He really thought the Book of Mormon had a lot of good in it. He committed to read the WHOLE Thing and pray to know if it is true. He has been researching a lot of religions his whole life and he really was impressed by us and the Church. It was so cool to hear about everywhere he has been though!! and we ate FARMER-ON-CHEESE (Parmesan) FROM ITALY!!!! So it was a pretty cool thing :) haha
So the under lining theme of this letter is the Book of Mormon and the Restoration of the Gospel is so Powerful! It is what sets our church apart from everyone else. The Book of Mormon is true. It contains the Fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Read it everyday. It has power because it it the Word of God. It has the Power to Change lives. It is for sure changing mine everyday I read it. I love it with my whole heart. My favorite part of the day is Personal Study because I get to read it. :) Thank you for all of your love. I have really needed it! I will always need it though...haha :) I pray for you all everyday and hope school and everything is going well. :) You are all amazing people and I am so grateful for you in my life. :) Never forget how much I love you all!! But let's be honest... Mia is my Fav!
Have a great week!
Love, Hannah Ashby Shimai

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I love to see the TEMPLE I went inside today - Toyko Temple

Dear my Loves!! :)
Okay to start this week has been the best yet hear in good ol' Tama. :) I LOVE JAPAN!!! haha :) It is always such an adventure. I am learning so much.... and sometimes it is hard, but mostly it is just the best. :) To start I am so sorry I am typing fast so my days and thoughts might seem little disjointed as always......hahah :) oh well you get the main idea.
Tuesday: We had Zone Meeting. :) We Learned lots of new ways to Dendo so that we can get more meaningful contacts everyday. Everyday we are supposed to get 10 meaningful contacts. Which means having a 2-10 min conversation with someone and telling them why you are in Japan. :) There are lots of ways to get meaningful contacts but as a mission we are really trying to make them more MEANINGFUL. Last week was the 1st time our mission had over 100% of meaningful contacts. Which means every missionary talked to over 70 people a week. Which is pretty cool. There are TONS of people in Japan and we have to talk to EVERYONE. :) haha Anyway after Zone Conference I went on Splits with Miskin Shimai and man that Sister is on fire. She is the BEST!! I learned a lot from her and she helped me to feel a lot better about my mission and now I am just in the best mind set. Before I went on splits with her I will be honest I was struggling a bit.... but now I really feel like I have my head on better. :) and I am really happy. I got to go live with Padelsky Shimai for a day too so that was a nice Bonus. I sure miss that girl! She is for sure my best friend in this mission which is nice to have when all of your best friends are half way across the world. :) haha
Miskin Shimai and I met some ladies on the road and they were on their way to a Buddhist Temple. They asked if we wanted to come and we were like perfect we can talk to these ladies! It was so cool. We went and they explained a lot of things to us and we made some really good friends with them and were able to talk a lot about the similarities in religion and such. They were so sweet.
Wed: IT WAS THE BEST DAY!! We talked to so many people this day and I met this really cool girl from Australia that only speaks English and so that was nice. She was so sweet and I gave her my tiny English Book of Mormon that I was SO glad I had with me. It was so cool and as I testified to her of the Book of Mormon and God's love for her her eyes got all teary. It was so cool. I could tell that she could feel the power of what I was saying and it is so cool to feel the power of God through what you say. I really hope something comes of it. We also met another lady that is a New investigator. She mainly just wants to learn English and straight up told us that we can teach her the lessons, but that she will never go to church. But she is really cool and sweet and so we are hoping for the best.
Thursday: Lots of Dendoing :) haha I don't remember lots and I didn't write much in my journal....haha :)
Friday: Best part of Friday was Sports Night! It is as the Stake Center and investigators come and anyone that wants to come and we just play games and get to know them more. We play ping pong, volleyball, basketball, etc. It was so fun and it was a miracle cause our investigator came!!! :) She has been an investigator for like 6 months now and this was her 2nd time coming to sports night. She is slowly slowly progressing. But when people have eternity it doesn't matter how fast they progress just that they progress. :)
Saturday: We have started doing Rajiotaiso every morning at 6:30 in the park with the old people. It is the funny stretching thing that Japanese people do. I LOVE IT!! and the old people are so nice. It is a really great way to talk to people and it feels good and wakes me up haha. We run to the park which is all up hill and then run back all down hill :) haha :) Oh and about the cold. To be honest it is cold here, BUT there is no snow and it really isn't that cold. Just since we are out in it all the time it feels colder. But I really am good! This week has been a lot warmer. :) Saturday night we had the Adult session of Stake Conference. President Wada did a presentation. It was great and all about member missionary work. Member missionary work is really the way to go! It is so much better to get a referral from a member and then instantly that person has a friend in the Church which is SO important.
Sunday: Stake Conference! It was great :) all in Japanese, but so great. We sang in the choir and it was a lot of fun.
Monday: I had a really cool experience with my companion. She has been really discouraged lately cause she is only on her 2nd transfer and training already. She told me she feels bad for me cause I don't have a better trainer, and then just broke down. It totally broke my heart. It was really cool though cause as we talked about it I was able to feel the Lord speaking through me to her. I just opened my scriptures and it opened straight to Jacob 4 and I just started reading and breaking down each scripture piece by piece. All I really remember was thinking half way through it all "This is not me speaking." I was learning from what I was saying and I was telling her things and testifying to things that I didn't even know I knew. It was such a cool and spiritual experience. I felt so much love for her at that moment. I thought of Nicole actually at one point. Cause there have been so many times that Nicole has just sat and talked to me and comforted me and felt like I was being sister Nakamura's older sisters right then. I loved it. :) So thanks Nicole. :) God really is guiding this work and I feel so blessed that I have the opportunity to have him work through me to bless others.
I am out of time....haha :) But Love you all so much!
Oh one last thing.... Today we went to the Tokyo temple! And that means I got to go out of my mission.....hahahha :) It is literally in the middle of the city. It just comes right up on you. Like literally all of a sudden you just look up and see the angel Moroni. :) It was so good to be in temple again. It feels exactly the same wherever you are the world. Make a goal to go to the temple this week. It is such a blessing. :) And doing the work for a Japanese Sister was really cool :)
I know that this Church it true! :) I love it! Obedience is the price. Faith is the power. Love is the motive. The Spirit is the Key. Christ is the Reason. :) I love you and hope you have a wonderful week!
PS... the milk here is different but I like it. :) Oh and I drink OJ all the time so I am pretty happy :) hahah :)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Eikaiwa - teaching english

My dearest Dears :)
Well it is P-day again!!! Weeks seem to go by so fast yet somedays are so slow. Epesically when you don't have very many people to teach. But we are working hard to find those people who need to gospel. It is hard though when here people are still trying to figure out whether or not they believe there is even a God. We are meeting so great people, but not many of them seem interested. Since my comp and I are both new, she is only on her 2nd transfer, we are learing a lot of things that we can inprove on. But it is fun to learn and grow. "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" right? :) haha
Tuesday: We got 17 meaningful contacts which is so good!! :) everyday we have a goal of 10 and so it was so happy to get 17!! but we only got the contact info for 2 or them.... :) Which still is way better than it could be. It is so fun to talk to kids. They speak so fast and so a can't understand them but they are so dang cute. I love it! Kids are the best way so start a conversation for me. I just say hi to the kids and ask how old they are and them my comp starts talking to the parents. :) It is fun. hahah
Wed: We teach english every wed. and it my favorite part of the week!! :) They people are so funny and nice. :) The Bishop and he wife are in my class and they are so sweet. Eikaiwa is the best way to get investigaters here. Because we teach it right at the church and pray before and after and people become really interested. There is one lady in our class that we really hope becomes an investigater she is so sweet and seems somewhat interested in the gospel.
Thursday: I met a girl who speaks english and I was able to testify of the Book of Mormon in English. :) She wasn't very interested but she was very nice. and it was really cool to testify in english because I actually understood what I was saying. Later that day we saw her again cause she lives in our apartment builing actually. So hopefully something will come of it. Right now it is kind hard cause we are working hard but not having a ton of success, but I know that the lord will bless us for our efforst. :) He alwasy does, even if it isn't immeditaly. And I know I will look back on the 1st transfer of my mission and smile becasue it made me stronger. :)
Friday: I know we dendoed a lot but I don't remeber a ton. Oh I remember :) We actually taught a less active member that day and it was really cool! She has been less active for almost 12 years I think and we read the book of mormon with her for the first time in a long time. When she held the Book of Mormon in her hands she looked so happy. It was really cool!
Saturday: Saturday I realised that if I just go about doing as much good as I can I will be making a difference. :) So I kept singing the song "I am trying to be like Jesus" over and over sometimes in my head and sometimes out loud. That song has forsure become one of my favorites. I say hello to everyone and "Genki desu ka?" Which is how are you? and they laugh and say "Genki" Cause Nihongene never greet eachother if they don't know eachother....weird I know ;) hopefully I am putting some more happiness in the world just by doing that.
Sunday: I spoke in Church! :) I love my ward. They are so sweet and tell my my Japanese is "Jouzu" Which means good.... but they are all just being nice....haha :) IT was a good day though.
Monday: P-DAY!!! :) we had a mochitsuki today!! so fun! It was a ward party and they made Mochi which is rice pounded into this paste/Dough that is super thick and tastes like rice. But it is okay. :) haha some times they prepare it really yummy and sometimes it is nasty haha but it was fun to try and pound the rice. We also painted some kanji on nice paper. I drew my first kanji and it was "Hikari" which means light. I loved it.
My 2 favorit parts of the day are personal study and when we get to teach, Teaching right now is really rare... we have maybe taught 3 lessons.... So we are really trying to find more people to teach. :) Personal study is the best. It is my time to learn what I can do to help those around me come closer to Christ. :) And Reading the scriptures is my favorite thing every :) I love this gospel and the Book of Mormon. I know that this Church is true and I love it! :) I love all of you so much and I am so grateful for your prayers cause I forsure need them! :)
I pray for you everyday!! :) have a wonderful week!
Love, Ashby Shimai
I don't have pday again until next tuesday casue we are going to the temple that day!! :) I am so excited!!!! :) :) until next week! I will try and send some pictures :)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Letter from Mission Pres.

January 6, 2014
Dear Brother and Sister Ashby:
Your daughter arrived in the Japan Tokyo South Mission on December 31, 2013 in good spirits and ready to commence her proselyting assignment. We had a wonderful time with her.
Sister Ashby has been assigned to work with Sister Nakamura, and they are serving in an area called Tama. Your daughter can receive her mail at the following address (Mission Home address):
Sister Hannah Ashby
Japan Tokyo South Mission
1-7-7 Kichijoji, Higashi-cho
Musashino-shi, Tokyo 180-0002
Attached is a picture of your daughter with Sister Wada and me, of herself, her companion, a group picture of the new missionaries, and a group picture with trainers and Assistants. We have also included a map showing the locations of the various areas in the mission. You can use it as a personal record of her assignments.
By the time you receive this letter, Sister Ashby should be adjusted to her new proselyting area. The positive sustaining support she gets from you at home will be a great blessing to her. May the Lord bless you and your family as you share in your daughter’s mission experience.
President Takashi Wada

Pictures sent from mission home

Ain't nothing going to break my stride! Ain't no one going to pull me down! :)

Dear my Amazingly Wonderful Family!! :)
I am in NIHONE!!!! :) so this week has been crazy!!! and Today was crazy too cause we had so much to do..... That is why I am emailing so late. Normally I will email in the morning. :) Anyway... This week has probably been the hardest yet one of the BEST weeks of my life. Missions are so funny that way. So parts of the day are super hard and others are so happy! :)
Monday: We left for Nihone. We had to be in the there at 4:30 am... crazy early. Then I talked you in at LAX which was the BEST!! and then we flew to Nihone! We landed at about 5:00pm on the 30th So that messes with your brain. It was about 1:00 in the morning Utah time :) and then we went straight to the mission home. We got to drive through the heart of Tokyo though!!! It was so cool! Especally at night with all the lights on for the New Years. :) We ate dinner and went to bed. On a futon!:)
Wed: (Cause I actually didn't really have a Tues...hahah :) We went running around a park, watched the sun rise. Such a perfect way to start the New year! :) I love President and Sister Wada. They ARE THE BEST PEOPLE! AND SO LOVING :) Then we had training all day and did some dendoing :) which is finding and talking to people on the street. It was actually a lot of fun! I was so tried that night though....hahah :) Jet lag, yeah!!
Thursday: We went running again and I actually talked to this sweet Nihongene lady in the park and she took a picture with us and wanted to know more about our church which was SO COOL! :) We then did a lot more training that day and got our trainers! Mine is the Cutest little Nihongene Nakamura Shimai :) I adore her. She is only on her 2nd transfer and we were actually in the MTC at the same time. So that says a lot about how amazing she is! We are in the Tama area which has never had sister missionaries before so we are opening the area. Our apartment is super new! Which is the best! :) Going to our area was an adventure cause we had no idea where we were going and trains are super crazy here :) and they go a million miles an hour... .so it kinda makes me sick sometimes and there are TONS of people!!! hahah :) But that is fun! We got to Tama and went with the Elders to a members house for dinner. It is the Kyomen family and they are MY Favorite family in the Ward. They have 5 kids that are all little and so FUNNY! IT was the perfect way to start off in the field and it made my feel so at home. :) The mom also speaks English very well so that was nice. There are actually a ton of people here who speak English so it is nice sometimes .:) hahah
Friday: We did some Dendoing and passed out Eikiwa (english class) Flyers. Since we are new and the first sisters in this area we have a ton of work to do in finding people to teach. The elders had a few sisters we might be able to teach but it is all kind hard cause they are eternal investigators which means they have been investigating the church for a REALLY REALLY long time and they aren't really progressing. So we need to find progressing investigators. :)
Saturday: We went to a members for dinner and ate some pretty weird food. Sometimes I don't know what I am eating. The elders tell that sometimes it is better not to ask and just eat.....hahah :) But the Lord helped me through it. I was praying a lot though cause in Japan to be polite you should eat all your food, Sometimes that isn't a problem... sometimes it is really hard to.
Sunday: Church was so great! I love this ward. It is really small so we have a lot of work to do, but It has been growing a lot lately. A few months ago there were only 2 missionaries in this area but now there are 6!! :) 4 elders and 2 sisters so it is great! The ward really has Dendo spirit too and they really want to help in the work and strengthen the less active members too. I am speaking in church next week so that will be an adventure...... haha Just mainly a testimony.
I feel like I have so much to tell you and I am running out of time. I LOVE IT HERE!!! oh it is so cold. Kind of warmer then Utah but at night it is freezing and people only heat one room of there house... so it is kinda funny and I am pretty much always cold except for when I eat and sleep. Oh and I love sleeping on Futons! they are the best! :) The food is amazing :) I am really going to try sending you pics but it hasn't been working so I am so sorry if I can't... I really tried :) haha I love this work and even though it is hard and I completely don't understand the people it is okay because it is true and it will all work out in the end. I haven't bought my bike yet.. I will probably do that this week. Oh and I might have to buy a electronic dictionary thing and they are kind pricey but I will tell you more about that later! Happy NEW YEAR! :) I love you all!
One last thought. This is our mission motto and it is my favorite thing ever!
Obedience is the price, Faith the power, Love is the motive, the Spirit is the Key,Christ is the Reason.
My goal is to Live, Sleep and Breath this motto. This Church is True :) I love you all and hope you have the best week ever! Until next week :)
Ai Shite Imasu!
Love, Ashby Shimai

Friday, January 3, 2014

Bus to Mission home - Hannah is in JAPAN !

Dear Parents,
We just want to send you a quick note to let you know that your missionary arrived safely in Japan on Tuesday, December 31, 2013.  President and Sister Wada fed them dinner, visited shortly, and then sent them to bed for a much needed rest.
Today is orientation and training day. On Thursday they will meet their new companion who has been chosen to be their trainer. In the afternoon they are off to their new areas to begin their missionary work. Pictures will be taken and within a few days you will receive another email with these pictures attached.
Thank you for entrusting your missionary to us in the Japan Tokyo South Mission.  We so appreciate all you have done to get your missionary to this point in her life!
Sister Yamashita
Japan Tokyo South Mission Secretary