Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Christ is the reason

Dear Family,

I can't believe this is it. The last email from Japan. My thoughts and feelings are all over the place so I hope this email makes sense. This past week has been amazing. :) Sunday was one of the best days of my
life. I feel like my heart is bursting with gratitude for my Heavenly Father and love for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I know there are many thing and experiences I want to share with you. Many feeling, stories, experience, Etc. But I feel I should just bear you my testimony. Last chance I have to bear my testimony to my family as a full time missionary and representative of Jesus Christ so I am going to take the time to do that. :)

I know that Heavenly Father is real. I know that we are His children and that He loves us individually. He knows us perfectly. I have felt that more this week then ever before in my life. He knows all of His children perfectly. He guides us all. He is over all. He watches over us and leaders us everyday to the places we need to be and people we
need to be with. He make miracles happen in the lives of His children. He changes hearts. He shows us perfect love. I know we are His children and we will one day return to Him. I know that the purpose of this life is for us to prepare to meet Him again.

I know that our loving Father in Heavenly restored the Fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to this earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith through the priesthood power of God translated the Book
of Mormon. I know with very fiber of my soul that that is true. I know that Book of Mormon is the word of God. I have seen it change people's lives. I have seen it soften hearts and create in people a feeling they have never had before. I know that through reading the Book of Mormon and abiding by its precepts we can get nearer to God then by any other book. I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon. :) I have become nearer to God through reading the Book of Mormon. I love the Book of Mormon and I love God.

I am so grateful to my loving Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. I know Christ is our savior and that through Him and His atonement we can become clean, pure, and even innocent again and one day return to live with God in full glory and Joy.

I am so grateful for my mission. Every experience has been a step up. A step toward God. Even though sometimes I didn't feel myself moving. I look back and see miles of progress. But I know it was only possible because of the Savior Jesus Christ. He is my strength and my song. He helps us when we feel we can't go on. He helped me when I felt I couldn't go on. I know I will never regret the decision I made to serve as His representative. I know it has helped me to become the person God wants me to be.

That is what this gospel is about. Becoming. God wants us to become like him and every experience, every trail, every joy, brings us closer to become that person. :) A being full of perfect love, joy, peace, and everything else that is good in this life. 3 Nephi 3:17. Everything good is of God and when we follow God we natural feel
goodness in our lives, even though the hard. :)

I could go on forever I feel. My heart it full of thanks for the gospel. :) Thank you to all of you. Thank you for your love, I couldn't have done this without all of your strength and testimony. You all make me strong. You are also my strength. I love my family!!! :)

Love you! Thank you. :) see you when I see you. :)
Love for the last time from Japan,

Monday, May 11, 2015

Happy 母の日!!

Dearest family,

久しぶりですね。 It was so happy to see you all on skype today! I have learned that happiness is family. :) But really!

This week has been great!! We saw a lot of miracles and I am so grateful for The hand of God guiding this work. I know I shared some miracles with you on skype today but here are a few more.

This week we had the opportunity to visit and teach a lot of less active members. On Wednesday we visited a sister who has been recently coming back to church because her mom passed away. That visit really taught me the power the spirit has to change hearts. When we had visited her before, her feelings towards God and the church were a little negative, but this past week she felt so happy and calm. You could tell she had a desire to change and trust God again. We talked about baptism and the covenants we make at baptism and you could tell she felt the importance of it. She shared with us also how her 8 year old son wants to be baptized and asked us to teach him and help him prepare for baptism. It was really great! Gods timing for people is real. He is not only preparing those who don't have the gospel but also those who have once had the gospel but have turned
from it. Her heart has truly been softened and it is really amazing too see God working on her and her family. :)

On Friday we were fasting. We have been doing a 40 day fast in our zone to become more consecrated missionaries. Every companionship fasts one day and our day was on Friday. We had our plan as we were heading out the door but I had the feeling we needed to just stop by and visit a less active on out way to visit other people. We stopped by and she was home!! Miracle..... She is never home! We shared with her about prayer and were able to learn more about her concerns with the church. She told us she had been trying to find her Book of Mormon recently but couldn't find it anywhere. We also had the opportunity to
give her a new Book of Mormon! She was actually really happy and I know that God guided us there to give her that Book. I love helping less actives and visiting with them. They too are kept from the truth because they have forgotten where to find it. :) and we can help them
see the way again.

I am so grateful for all I am learning about God, the gospel, the atonement, and love. I can see the power of the small improvements and changes we make in our lives. They really make all of the difference. God loves you. Never forget that! Make the changes you need to to feel that love more. :)

Have a great wonderful week!! I know I will!!! It will be the best week of my mission so far! :) pray for me please....



Atsugi Ward missionaries, president Wada, our Ward mission leader and
bishop! Best Dendo team ever!! :)

Monday, May 4, 2015

Spanish, English, Portuguese, Japanese....I actually don't know what language I am speaking.... :)

Dear family,

Sorry for long title.... :) haha but because time it short today this one won't be long. :)
So currently I am serving in Atsugi. Atsugi is the best place ever! And there are people from around the world who live here! Sometimes I forget what language I am actually speaking. Recently I have started to learn Spanish! We have a recent convert who speaks Spanish and she has been needing help lately. I love her so much!!! We also have a recent convert who speaks Portuguese. And we have been helping her! My companion as you know is Japanese!  I am English..... It is the best feeling in the world though to be sitting with these two women in sacrament using Google translate to help them understand what is going on. They both can speak a little bit of Japanese and we have the best conversations. The spirit is truly there when we speak together. I have felt that the gift of tongues comes in many ways. I always thought I would receive the gift of tongues on my mission to speak
Japanese. But recently I have learned that I was wrong. :)

Yesterday another Wonderful person was baptized into Atsugi Ward.  He is from Cuba and he speaks Spanish. His baptismal service was in Japanese and Spanish. :) It was so beautiful. 9 investigators were there  and 3 recent converts. All different races. It was so amazing to be there  apart of it. The spirit was so strong. I learned this week that the gift of
tongues might not always be to actually understand the language, but maybe to feel the spirit of what a person is saying in the language that they are speaking. I felt that spirit yesterday at the baptism and I am so grateful for that. :)

The church is true and the spirit touches hearts whether you speak Spanish, Japanese, English, Telugu, Chinese, Portuguese, etc. The spirit speaks the language of our hearts. I am so grateful for that. :)

I love you all so much! That you for your love and support!! Happy may!! :)

Ashby Shimai