Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Freedom of Choice - July 23, 2013

Happy Tuesday Everybody!!
I wanted to share with you some of my most prized memories/moments of the week. I hope that what I have to say with help those who read. 
  1. I feel like the following is a universal question: Is it me speaking or the Holy Ghost? Here's the answer: Quit worrying about it!! If you are a good boy or girl, keep the commandments, and honor/keep your commitments/covenants, get moving and you cannot go amiss.  Too many members hope to know it's a spiritual prompting right when a prompting comes. If you do that, it will paralize your progressions. Don't just sit and wait for some huge spiritual impression. We all make gradual progress in thinking what Christ would think and doing what He would do. Believe that the Lord increasingly trusts us. Spiritual promptings come when we are moving and doing, not sitting and stewing. Read the story of Nephi going back to Jerusalam-it's the perfect example of this very concept.
  2. Life is like surfing. Lots of people tend to look at their feet because they are unsure about their ability/skills. However, when they look at their feet, thy fall. It is the same with life. If we look at were we currently are all the time, we fall. Lookforward, lookonward, look upward. See your potential like Christ sees you!!
  3. As I read the Book of Mormon every single day, my love for it grows. Do you think Joseph Smith would suffer his people, his family, his wife, and his life, for a book?! No way!! The Book of Mormon is true. I know it! I have been trying to read it throught the lens of an investigator. The other day, I read 3 Nephi 11. I find it very interesting that it takes the people three times to recognize the voice from heaven. Just like this story teaches, we may ghave to teach the same lesson to an investigator multiple times in order for them to understand it.
  4. I love teaching investigators every day!! Now that I have more Nihongo under my belt, I feel like I am able to tailor the lesson to their needs more. For one of our investigators (Sato-san), I brought him some licorice. He didn't know what it was, so he starting playing with it. At one point, he said, "Wingardian Liviosa." So, for a few minutes, I talked with him about how the Harry Potter stories can be related to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We teach people, not lessons!
  5. Not to long ago, I remember Jeffery R. Holland saying that in order for the Atonement to be completed, the Savior had to walk that part of his journey alone. I cannot help but wonder what we did as Spirit children with our Heavenly Father. I would imagine that we all wanted to help Him so bad. I can almost visualize our Heavenly Father saying, please don't look. He's got to do this alone. The Atonement. Let it be something that we study every day. The more we study the Atonement, the more we desire to share the gospel with others.
Mom and Dad, you sound like you are going a hundred miles an hour. Keep up the great work, and thank you from all of us kids to you for being so wonderful!! Kelsey, it sounds like you are super busy with DYW. I'm cheering you on girly! Riley, how's the basketball and rodeo routine this summer. Sounds to me like you're a pro! Keep it up, bud. Reagan, thank you a billion for the letters. I love them sooo much, sweet girl. Rhetter, I hope you had a fun time on the water weenie. Did Grandpa take you for a rough ride? I hope everyone has a wonderful Pioneer holiday. What a wonderful time of year to celebrate our ancestors.
My motto for this week is: "You get to choose." Every moment of your life, you are choosing one thing over another. You get to choose how you feel, how you act, how you converse with others. You get to choose. No one can choose for you. Choose wisely, choose well.
Lots of love all!!
Yamauchi Shimai
DSCN0210: Picture of our Residence Hall door

 Today I got a haircut!! Haircuts at the MTC are free. Cut off about 3 inches.

This is a picture before my haircut modeling my new coat.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Of Things That Matter Most‏ - July 17, 2013

Hi family and friends!
Thank you so much for the packages and Dear Elder letters. I really appreciate it!
I have learned that the most important thing you can learn is how to talk with your God. The best tips on the process of personal prayer and personal revelation:
  • The Spirit only responds by invitation.
  • Don't try to force revelation.
  • Don't expect revelation for every decision you make.
  • Pray daily for the companionship of the Spirit.
  • We have the initial responsibility to solve our own problems and then go to the Lord for confirmation.
  • God reveals Himself to the prepared.
  • Reverence invites revelation
  • When you pray, you are praying to the King of Kings-focus!!
  • It's not the duration of our prayers, but the depth that matters.
  • Ponder before you pray.
  • Approach Heavenly Faither with humility.
  • Be serious when you ask God for help (real intent).
  • When you pray, close out the entire world.
  • Be patient with the answers to your prayers.
  • This is one of my favorites: The Lord never uses a flood light when a flashlight is sufficent. In other words, expecting the spectacular, one might not be open to the small promptings.
  • When the Lord says "yes," he builds our confidence. When He says "no," he prevents us from committing error. When He with holds an answer, it is to beuild faith in Him.
  • You know you're receiving revelation when you know it in your heart and mind.
  • Come seeking and listening.
  • Follow the promptings you receive!!
  • Get a journal and write down scriptural impressions. One of the best ways we can learn the language of the Lord is to immerse ourselves in his words.
  • If you will ask, you will receive revelation upon revelation!!
Here are a few tips for those who are planning on serving missions:
  1. You cannot teach that which you do not know. You cannot explain that which you don't understand.
  2. Are you serving time or serving the Lord?  
Lots of love to everyone. I received a quote a couple of weeks ago that I have decided to adopt as a motto for life: "A good man will endure all things to honor Christ." ~Joseph Smith
May we always give our all to futher His work, for Christ surely gave His all for us-He gave His life.
Lots of hugs and loves,
Yamauchi Shimai

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

My Mission Trek - July 10, 2013

Hi All!!
I hope you have had another fantastic week of life.
This week my message is a message of American Pride. A message of pioneer spirit. A message for life. These are some of the things I have learned as I continue my trek back to my Heavenly Father along with everyone else.
  1. Though the trek was difficult beyond measure, the inexpressible joy was worth all the pain.
  2. Rely on the goodness of God and not the wisdom of men.
  3. I will go on this trek, though I die on the way.
  4. When you feel like giving up, give a prayer of thanksgiving.
  5. What is small and weak may become great and significant.
  6. The Lord calls us in our weakness, but He qualifies us for His work. Sometimes the Lord lifts us low so He can bring us higher.
  7. When you climb a ladder, you start at the very bottom, and then you go one step at a time until you reach the top.
  8. The Lord takes raw material, shapes them, and refines them.
  9. We're not just building a temple here...the Lord is building us.
  10. This is for the Lord-do nothing but the best.
  11. When you are accomplishing the greatest things, the greatest opposition comes.
  12. How do we endure well? We trust in God.
  13. Happiness is what God intends for us.
  14. Every blessing we receive comes through obedience.
  15. It will all be worth, especially if my posterity will follow God.
  16. I do not want your hand until I have your heart.
  17. If we gave our all, then it was for something.
  18. We will do the best we can and go on.
My beautiful group of Russian Sisters left at 5 this morning for Russia.  I woke up at 4:45 so I could see them off and help them with any last minute things. I'm really going to miss all of them. Now that I know my third cousin (Sister Winterton), we are going to be super good friends forever!!
This week I got to be a new missionary host!! It was super fun, and boy did it bring back a flood of memories from the day that I came here. The first girl I escorted at both her parents and two younger siblings in her family and they were all crying. As a host, I was doing all I could not to cry as well. The mothers of a family have the most tender hearts and rest assured that they hug their missionary at least twice before we take them in. I made sure to take good care of the Mom of the family (that's important)!
Mom, you are an angel!! Thank you for all the DearElder letters. They mean the world to me. Dad, I've heard from Mom that you are doing well in the rodeos. I thought of you during the firework show that we got to watch on the fourth. Kelsey, I'm seriously dying to know how you did on the ACT?!?!?! Was it your idea to do a surprise birthday party for Riley. Speaking of, Riley Yamauchi, a very special birthday wish from me to you. I cannot believe you are 16!! Take care of Mom on your first date. I love you, Ri. You are so amazing and have so many incredible qualities. Use them to continue to Lord's work and you will be blessed. Reagan, I'm so excited your are wanting to be a setter!! You will be so good at it because your name is Reagan! :) You asked me for some tips, so here goes: 1) Ask Grandma and Grandpa Yamauchi. They are super fantastic coaches. I am so thankful that I got to go to their volleyball camps over the summer. 2) Work hard. Nothing beats working hard, and I already know you will do that. 3) (My favorite tip) Remember that I love you and so does the Lord! Rhett, my buddy, I've got to do a check up on the horses, calves, and Gracie, so I thought I'd better ask you. Also, I heard you bore your testimony in church. Rhett, I am soooooo happy for you. Didn't that feel so wonderful to do. I know that Heavenly Father is very proud of you and I'm sure that angels were by you as you testified of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
Grandma and Grandpa Yamauchi, thank you soooo much for the package. I just barely got it, and I'm assuming I better wait another couple days to open it, so I will. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Now for the weekly pictures:
DSCN0094: District Picnic Party every P-Day

DSCN0105: Firework show on July 4th!!

DSCN0092: I thought you might like to see what I do every second of every day :)
Yamauchi Shimai

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Spirit of Missionary Work - July 2, 2013

I can hardly believe another week has gone!! All missionaries say that the days seem like weeks and the weeks seem like days. That's a pretty valid statement. Thank heaven for a journal entry every night or I wouldn't be able to keep one day separated from the next.
Yesterday, I had one of the coolest experiences. I love the scripture in D&C 19:9. The Lord has told us that if we have even the smallest desire in our hearts, let that desire work within you. We had the opportunity to role play asking someone to be baptized. The investigator was asked to say that they didn't want to at first and then we had to let the Spirit work from there to tell us what to say so they would want to accept the invitation to be baptized. I role played with Ipson Shimai. I started out as the investigator. When Ipson Shimai asked me if I would be baptized, I said, "I don't want to." I was immediately caught up in the Spirit feeling exactly like an investigator and really recognized how truly hard this news may be for someone. However, our only purpose as missionaries is to make others happy and help them get closer to Christ. We would never ask them to do something that wouldn't benefit them because we love them. I then had the opportunity to be the missionary. I really focused on what Christ would say if He was me. I asked her how she was feeling right now-she ended up saying that her family was very important to her. I asked her why and she said, "I don't know what I'd do without them." What the Spirit then prompted me to do was a miracle. I said, "Your Heavenly Father doesn't know what to do without you either. He needs you." Wow! We both started crying and she said, "Oh my gosh, that was for me." Let me tell you, I have no idea what's going on in anyone's life but my own. We cannot read into anyone's feelings or know what they need and when they need it, but the Spirit knows. Often times, we think we know what we are doing and try to understand our investigators by ourselves. Missionaries must learn their role in this work!! The Spirit has an intricate way of working with people. Everything has to be just right and fit just perfectly for things to work. The Spirit is quite literally like a surgeon. The missionary's job is to hand the Spirit the tools it needs to work on a certain individual. If we try to play the role of the surgeon, we can really mess things up. The Spirit is what converts!!

This week I decided to get a brand new Book of Mormon and write one question inside the front cover. Every day, during personal study, I read it in hopes of finding answers to my question. I'm four days into this process and it has been a HUGE blessing in my life. I would highly recommend doing this if you're looking for a new way to study the Book of Mormon.
This past week, I have started reading the Book of Mormon in Japanese. I'm sooo slow, but I know that I will be able to read faster as I practice and rely on the Lord.
The speakers at the MTC have been incredible. This past week, we heard from Sheri Dew and Janice Kapp Perry (the lady who wrote many famous hymns and children's songs like "As Sisters in Zion," "I love to see the Temple," "The Army of Helman," and "A Child's Prayer").
DSCN00087.JPG: Yesterday was Canada Day. Keith Choro is from Canada, so he had his parents send him lots of Canadian food and we had a little celebration together.

DSCN0081.JPG: Elders of the District (from left to right: Buhler Choro, Wheatly Choro, Keith Choro, Shumway Choro)

DSCN0083.JPG: Sisters of the District (from left to right: Ipson Shimai, Smith Shimai, Dunn Shimai, MacArthur Shimai, Yamauchi Shimai, Tenorio Shimai, Willden Shimai, Cheney Shimai)
I am so grateful for this time of year to celebrate the faith of our fathers. I am so thankful for the many difficulties and triumphs of those who brought America to be. Because of the many events that transpired, our Heavenly Father and Savior of the world appeared to Joseph Smith to restore the truth of His gosepl. The Lord has His hand in this work. He knows what He is doing. May we forever trust Him. Trust in His timing, trust in His grace, trust in his mercy, turst with our faith. There are no accidents.
I love you all so much!! Mom, Dad, Kelsey, Riley, Reagan, and Rhett, you are my everything!! I have THEE greatest support system on planet earth! I know that Families can be Forever. How thankful I am for each and every one of you!
Enjoy the holiday and remember that in the strength of the Lord, we can do ALL things!
Yamauchi Shimai