Thursday, September 25, 2014

best times of our lives

hey cool people! You all look so happy and healthy. ...(little jealous of the healthy part...this mtc food is NAST and does crazy things to my stomach. mom if you have any medicine, feel free to send it.) :) anyyywayyy AWESOME week yet again. can you expect anything else on a mission? I mean really. Working with the Sho wakachiau-ing the best messeji on chijou. :) yep that's about the extent of my Nihongo...stay tuned..

So want the bad news first?? ok..shimai don't get to sing at general conference. waaahhhhhh almost cried. Only the Chorotachi get to sing for the Priesthood session. :( super sad.
Anyway, PARKER! Homecoming!! Holy handsome x10000! Wow i would date you. ;) those pics are the cutest. I showed everyone around me. Sisters/Elder I didnt even know i was like, "look at my brother at homecoming!" hahah So darn cute! Shaylee---doesn't he look like a man??! Jaren-- I hear you're a beast in school. KEEP IT UP! That's a great skill. So many opportunities open if you do well in school. Straight A's little man. If you get straight A's, I'll send you something cool from Nihon. Deal? Mom- it was so fun to see the brosnahans! Dana is adorable. tell her it made my whole week to get a hug from her. I felt like i was getting a hug from my own mom. :) and Annie bobannie helped park with homecoming?? love that girl. you found another monarch! YAY! So fun. You're the cutest. Dad--oh my thank you sooo much for the Dear Elder. You and mom always send things at the perfect timing. So one of our investigators (Narita Kyodai), is TOUGH. Kuwahara Kyodai is so awesome. He progressing and i understand the Nihongo in lessons and i always feel the spirit in his lessons. Narita Kyodai on the other hand is super tough. Its super hard to understand him, its very hard to listen to the spirit and to help him because i get frustrated so easily. I feel bad. When we are preparing for lessons we always feel like we are receiving revelation; then when we give the lesson, it never turns out how i thought. Any advice? But anyway, your letter came right after a "bad" lesson with Narita Kyodai and I was pretty sad about it. So thank you. What is amazing though, is that we really do recieve revelation for lessons, good or bad. Heavenly Father cares about fake investigators. How cool is that?! He is so personal and I have developed a very special relationship my Him.

I've learned a lot these short 5 weeks in the MTC. Demo more than the language or teaching, the one thing i've learned the most and have an undying testimony of is prayer. I really love talking with my Father in Heaven. I've never prayed like this in my entire life. We talk, share, cry, and laugh toghether. He is real. He is here. He is waiting for each of us to come to Him. If I can at least hear one person pray for the first time to their Father in Nihon, my mission will be worthwhile. I will be forever grateful that I've come to know this for myself.

We were in our residence hall getting jackets because our classroom is always freezing. We walk in our room and the fire alarm goes off! (obvs it was a drill). All the girls start screaming and running around. That alone was hilarious. My jacket was in my suitcase on top of the closet. So i tear in my room, grab the suitcase, throw it on the ground getting my jacket as fast as i can. Well my companion, Sister Kittaka, thinks that i'm grabbing my suitcase to start packing everything! hahahah so she yells, "Wilcox Shimai, we dont have time! We gotta get out of here!" hahahahah SO funny we were dying. THEN as we're rolling on the floor laughing, this mexican lady pops out of nowhere and in her Nacho Libre accent is screaming "everybody out! no running! there's a fire! Get out of here! Sistas!" So that was one for the books. Good times in the MTC.

I'm about out of time but wasn't the temple dedication awesome?! I love listening to the prophet. This week, Elder M. Russell Ballard came for devo! He said, "I didn't prepare a talk for you today. I want to talk to you as if you were my grandchildren." and he did just that. It was sweet. He actually talked a lot about life after the mission..which is weird cuz i've only been on a mision for a month..i kind of feel like this is my life so it was weird to hear that one day i'll actually get married. and have a family. whoaaaa.

Family, friends, i love you. I hope you are happy. and I hope your happiness is coming from the gospel. from obeying Christ and following in His ways. This week, I've learned how precious even ONE soul is in the eyes of Christ. He performed the atonement for ALL of us. If only one of us was on the earth, he still would have performed the atonement. That is amazing. Never forget how important you are! you are special. you are loved. you are a child of God.

I love you! Ganbatte! Be a missionary!
Love, Wilcox Shimai in the MTC. hahahahah

sorry i look like 200 lbs in this pic. KITTAKA AND ASPLUND ARE MY BEST FRIENDS! like wow its a blessing to be in a trio with them. love them soooo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! no mom i didnt buy this necklace, i borrowed it. we all share clothes here. :)

AREN'T THEY ADORABLE??!! They asked to come take a pic with me and i was stoked. haha i go in their room and talk to them at night and they help me with my nihongo. haha :) can't wait to get to japan.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

yo, yo, yo...

hey fam bam.
hope you're prepared to hear about everything AMAZING that has happened these past few days. ja
1. Sunday afternoon. Relief Society. All the sisters in the MTC meet for Music and the spoken word (which i love by the way). After that finishes, guess who walks in to speak to us.....SISTER STEVENS! (general primary presidency) and guess who just happens to be sitting on the front row?? ME. ohhh my i was so so so sos o sooooo excited! Do you know how much i LOVE HER?! So right before she's about to stand up, and i was looking at her with a huuuge smile on my face and she made eye contact with me and gave me a big smile back. So after she speaks, i stand up and she motions for me to come over and she said, "Thank you for glowing and helping me feel so happy and peaceful before i spoke." I said, "I was so excited to see that you were the speaker! I remember you from Philmont and have been dying to see you ever since!" She looked at me and said, "Ah! I remember you and your family!!" and she gave me a huge hug and her husband waved at me and we talked and it just made my life. Oh and did i mention how amazing her talk was? The first thing she did was hum a primary song. When we recognized it we were to stand up and sing along. Well the song was I'm trying to be like Jesus. As we sang it, tears came to my eyes and I thought of my dad. I will always think of my tender, loving dad who sang that to me as he lulled me to sleep. I love you dad. She then talked about how we can love like the Savior loved and be the best missionaries we can be. I will love as He did. I will care for others as He did. I will rejoice in their happiness as He did. Everyone can experience a complete change of heart and I can be the one who helps them. I want to see the light of Christ shine through a little Nihonjin as the spirit helps me teach. We can do all things through the Savior! Iesu Kirisuto no Aganai ga nakereba, watashitachi niwa dousuru koto mo dekinai no desu.
ps. also she showed a movie clip called My Joy is full in Christ. Try to find it! Helped me feel the love of Jesus Christ, made me cry.

2. Sunday Choir Practice. I LOVE CHOIR. The choir director is incredible. He is a motivational speaker (dad you gotta contact him and get him to do a fireside. not kidding.) oh and he's hilarious. so anyway, he's been talking about this the whole time i've been in the MTC...and on sunday he said THIS.."So I know you all are wondering if it's true or not, so the chances of us singing in GENERAL CONFERENCE...are pretty good...!!!!!!!!!!" ahhhhhhh so ya. I might get to sing in General Conference. How LEGIT would that be. To be in the presence of the prophet and sing for him, and my father in heaven. so stay tuned for that. :) :) :)

3. Sunday evening devo was Tad R. Callister. He did a great job. When we think we have done our best, ask what the savior asked.."what can i do more?" Always try to align your will with God's will. He knows you better than you know yourself.

4. Tuesday devotional. Richard G. Scott. Ok tears came to my eyes when he walked in the room! A prophet, seer and revelator. He is an incredible servant of the Lord. He said he would love to have personal interviews with each one of us. he would love to talk with us, laugh with us, share with us, weep with us,....but he can't. But, someone even better can. Heavenly Father can. That night, I knelt down and had the most heartfelt and personal moment with my father than any other time in my life. He was talking with me! He was weeping with me! He was laughing with me! Prayer has changed for me. I love to pray. I love to talk with my Father. Don't rush the opportunity to talk with Him! The one who created you will be with you always if you ask Him. Dad..he talked with me about this and maybe it could help you with your calling. He said, "NEVER feel you are too unworthy to pray. Do not fear repentance. Repentance is hope." Prayer is something we can always do and something that will always help us. Then Elder Scott said he wanted to bestow a blessing upon us. He said, "As you pray, the Lord will indicate specific things I need to do to be successful on my mission." WOW answer to prayer. So many incredible things have happened at the MTC, I can't get enough. I will be heartbroken to leave this place.

Anyway, my favorite snack has been cavity on a stick. keeps me awake during class. also mom--were you able to see my contacts anywhere? And could you send me my byui sweats/pair of gym shorts/t shirts? Speaking of cavity on a stick..there's this elder that i see everywhere that looks just like dr. flick. IDENTICAL. i always wanna say, "hey Dr. flick choro!" haha So Nihongo update..I haven't been using notes in lessons !!! hooooorayyyyyy. Most of the time.. i can say what i want to say. but its so weird..cuz that only happens in lessons. The Lord blesses me, and its incredible that he cares so much about a fake investigator. ahh i LOVE THIS CHURCH. Also, the first counselor in the branch prez i LOVE HIM and his wife. He told me he wants me to marry his son..ha. soo he says he thinks he's met you dad! His name is Lee Daniels, find him and be friends with him, okay?? thankksss:)

FAMMM hope you're doing so great!!!! Jaren...ok. thanks a lot. dumbo jaren mentioned that he might have cancer in his arm and immediately i started sobbing. was embarrassing. in class. you dweebo. dont ever say that again. i put your name in the temple and have been praying you for everyday. wish i was there with you. parks--HOMECOMING ON SATURDAY! howd you ask her??? i haven't heard from you at all! Im dying here. TALK TO ME BRO. what haveyou done for homecoming week??? shay. can't BELIEVE you're almost done! like whaaat???/ just stay out for a while longer and we'll come home at the same time. also..i've decided to transfer to byu when i come home. so pick a good apt for us. ;)

fam. i love you. you're the best. dad thank you for all your letters and emails this week. they are so encouraging. mom, thank for the dearelder. it makes my day! have a great week! Be a missionary!

love, twit/wilcox shimai/yo fave missionary in the MTC :)

Me and my companions posing like the card that mom sent!!  It is perfect!! Hahaha

week 4 (letter from Sep 11, 2014)

Sorry for the pic overload earlier. sure miss you all! One of our choro tachi in my district blew his nose. and it reminded me of you, dad. cuz every morning you blow your nose and it sounds like a blow horn throughout the whole house. :) everything reminds me of you guys haha. I saw Phil and 
Kathryn Wright! they are so sweet. made me miss heebs! 

This week was the BEST! so many good things. On Sunday President Sitaki from the seventy gave a devo. that was aweeesoomeee. Parker he is from Kenya! You would have liked to hear him speak. He spoke a lot about remembering... Remember who you are, remember the atonement everyday, remember to be grateful, remember all the good things in life--and all those good things relate back to the Savior. How can this gospel not be true?? I've been thinking a lot about trials and adversity. Why are people so against mormons?? why is the adversary so strong?? You know what? Seeing all this adversity strengthens me. Why is the adversary so strong? Because Satan is against us. THIS GOSPEL IS TRUE!! God lives. Jesus Christ atoned for every single person. And Satan is here to bring us down. To bring us down lower than he already is. Why should we ever give into his cunning ways? We can be strong together! We can win this battle on earth. We have Jesus Christ on our side. and He can ALWAYS defeat Satan. Be worthy of His presence. Be worthy of the Holy Ghost. and you can never lose. I am so grateful everyday for my Heavenly Father to know the truth.

I'm about out of time. Park and Jare--read Jacob 5. Its AWESOME.
I love you so much! I have incredible family and friends. Marcene sent me a package with the perfect CTR ring and bracelet. It meant the world to me. And to hear from everyone is so supportive. I'm so grateful to each of you. I pray for you everyday. The church is true!

have a super happy week!
Ai shite masu!
Love, Wilcox Shimai

ps mom have you seen spencers engagement pics they are ADORABLE

hey y'all (letter from Sep 4, 2014)

GOSH okay so much to say so little time. so first of all..
MOM I LOVED YOUR PACKAGE. hahahahah it was so so so cute!!!! you're the cutest mom. i printed your selfie pic with the headband and hung it up in my room:) i love it! also, you look totally adorable in the headband..and i don't have bangs so i might send it back to you. and you should wear it everyday cuz its SO CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!! thank you so so much. its better than xmas getting packages and letters. everyone in the district freaks out and is so happy when anyone gets a package and we bring it back and open it together. haha.
wow 2 new queen beds? also..are the boys still alive?? i've written them two letters and havent heard from them once and I MISS THEM!!!!!!!!!!! tell them to wrtie me. :)
I SAW NOBUAKI! ahhh it was so fun. So we hear that this Nihonjin is coming to give us a devo. and it happened to be on Pday...sooooo we were all a little bummed. k maybe a lot bummed. We heard it was a singer?? so we're like okay this is gonna be good. well..i get there and see this japanese guy, he looks familiar, but i didn't think i would know him! So the guy starts introducing Nobuaki and he's says his name is Nobuaki. I'm like.."hmm i know a Nobuaki." So he stands up and starts talking and all of a sudden it clicks. and i turn to my companions and i was sooo excited!!! It was like my family was in the room! haha so then later after he tells his conversion story (amazing by the way wow i love him), he starts talking about teaching in the MTC. then he says that he roomed with one of his students. THEN he says his name was Elder Wilcox! And everyone turns and looks at me and Nobuaki goes.." I think his daughter is here in this room" and i kind of scream and im like "HIIIII" hahahah it was so awkward. but i was so happy!!! and he looks at me and he's like "wow i feel like a grandpa and my granddaughter is here" or somehtni like that. hahah ahhh it was so fun. loved it. so i went up after and talked to him and was just so stoked. hes like "you were so little last time i saw you!" i said "ya last time i saw you my parents were'ent home and you went in the kitched and started making dinner!" hahahah. anyway, everyone thought it was so cool and he said he saw gma and gpa last night and coming ot see you tomorrow! I'm so jealous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

anyway...Boys--I read your notes in the orange grateful journal. oh my gosh i was so touched and felt so loved. parker that was the sweetest note anyone has written me. thank you so so much. i miss you! More than i could ever say. i miss you. Fam--i just want to thank you. I have thought about you a lot. Dad, wow. I am so in awe with your diligence, obedience, and love for the Savior. It seriously is incredible to me. I look up to you more than anyone. I can't believe you're my dad! Thank you for everything. Thank you for sacrificing all your time for us. thank you for serving out stake. thank you for serving the Lord. thank you for helping me reach my goals. I LOVE YOU! Mom-- ahh. i'm sitting here writing my email crying! you are my best friend. i cant tell you how much i love you. its going to a long 18 months because i wont be with you. thats why it will be so hard. because of you! so thanks a lot. haha. oh my goodness you are so incredible. thank you for raising me in righteousness. i learned more from your example than anything else. you are amazing, don't ever ever forget it. Shaylee-- ahh you're my inspiration! haha you bet i just sang that in my head. you're the best missionary i've ever known! What amazing work we are doing, and we're doing it together!!!! send me your address, i want to write you allllllthe time. i love you i love you i love you. Thanks for putting up with me and being the best sis. parker--You are so GOOD! i mean it..everyone is drawn you to you, you have the most contagious personality and i can always tell that you are a representative of Christ. Never forget it. You are my man! il ove you more than anything. hope you are so so so happy. Jare bear---ah my homeboy! I miss you little dude. I'm going to come home and you'll be a man! Jaren, don't ever get discouraged. with school, xc, friends, church, life, nothing!!! You have so many people who love and care about you. i'm here for you whenever. You're seriously such an example to me, and you've only influenced me for good. i love you sooo much! Ah miss you.

This week flew by! much faster than my first week haha. Yesterday, we taught the BEST lesson. My teacher, Powell Kyodia, (best best best teacher ever ever ever.), is now our investigator. which is kind of awk cuz he teaches things but i forget so fast haha. he probably things im a little challenged. but it was the best. I felt like I understood most of it, and I could speak to him in Nihongo what the spirit was telling me! It was incredible! I know not all lessons will be like that, so i'm soaking it all in (till we teach in a couple hrs) haha but i just prayed and prayed and thanked heavenly father for helping us. it was amazing.
So i need you all to pray for my comp Asplund Shimai. She is having a really hard time, and its affecting our companionship..or it was. Our branch prez has helped us a lot. She has wayyyy bad anxiety. we've had to skip a lot of class for the dr. and for counseling. she's taking a lot of medicine, day and night, and its really affecting her ability to even function. its been pretty hard on all 3 of us. please pray for her. if you would send her notes or something, she'd love it. she doesn't get a lot of mail.
We go Kohai yesterday! They are super overwhelmed haha I feel bad for them. So pray for them too. :)
We might get to sing at general conference! I'll let you know but wouldnt' that be sooo legit?!!!
Choir has been SO FUN! ah the director is hilarious and super spiritual. i cry everytime.
hahaha ok funny story time:
So every morning for breakfast we get cereal, 2 hard boiled eggs, and fruit. So Kittaka Shimai goes to crack her egg and it was RAW. hahah i died. she cracks the other one..RAW. hahahah so I crack mine..RAW oh my gosh we were on the floor laughing. you'd think we'd learn from the first one.
One night, i had to wax my mustache. (i thought i wouldn't mind being hairy in the MTC, buuuuttt beauty hurts.) so I put on the wax and everyone thought it was hilarious! hahah NO ONE else on our FLOOR waxes. so they were like what the heck are you doing??? i couldn't laugh cuz it was hard on my face. so everyone is dying laughing at my and im just chillin with a green mustache. Barnett Shimai had to rip it off for me and it took like 6 tries. lliterally the whole floor was laughing. hahah oh awk.

I hope you are all diligently reading your scrips and PMG. one hour of scripture study is NOT ENOUGH. i never though id love the BOM so much. relates to us so much. everypage you will find somehting amazing. Remember-- the most important commandment for us follow is the one that is hardest for us. So make a goal..and choose to commit to that commandment taht may be difficult. Ask HF for help..He will be here whenever we ask. D&C 31:3..i was so stoked to read that. The hour of MY mission has come. i wrote that in my journal and thought about it a lot. wait..its not even my mission..its the LORDS mission. I am here for Him. I will serve HIM. Oh fam..Wanna do something with me? I made a goal to read the whole BOM by the time i left the MTC. Im in the middle of 2 Nephi right now but you should do it with me! its about 10 pages a day. Dad--i read 2 Nephi (i cant remember the chapter heehee) 17-35. its the best on repentace and forgiveness. Share it with anyone who is struggling with repentance. its amazing. Less actives are not black sheep, they are lost sheep. and lost sheep can ALWAYS be found. With the help of us, the scriptures, and most importantly, Christs atonement.
I hope you all have a happy week. I LOVE YOU. you're the best fam. Pray everyday allday! Heavenly Father is very mindful of all of us.
Love, Wilcox Shimai

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

life is da bomb!

ok so here i am. in the MTC. WAIT WHAAAAT???? crazy time flies and yet i feel like i've been here for a year. ha.....ok i have like no time so i'll hurry hurry hurry.

the first day (wed) was AWESOME. spiritual high, man. My nametag is so cuuuute :) . i love being amissionary. everyone is so nice and supportive. there's a LOT OF LOVE here in the MTC. The spirit is so abundant like wow i love it. ok so thursday...a little different. haha japanese is SO HARD. You bet i had a breakdown my first day. But wow counting my blessings. Being in a trio is great, we get a long super well. Asplund shimai reminds me of jana wilhite. super proper and really good at japanese. sister kitaka is so cute and chill and has a great testimony. mom- to answer your question...NO i do not feel ahead of ANYONE. In fact i feel wayyyy behind. haha pretty much all i remember is hiragana. and a basic prayer. its frustrating, but i'm trying not to compare myself, instead i want to use that to push myself and set goals. all i can do is my best. and i'm seeing tender mercies from the Lord everyday.

so I LIVE in a little classroom. literally. we call it the dungeon. haha fam, if you're wondering what i'm doing "at this very moment" here's a rough outline..
wake up
language study
personal study
companionship study
...yep thats pretty accurate. haha A LOT OF STUDYING. but thats what i expected. and i hope i don't waste any of the Lord's time. we are ALL enlisted till the conflict is over. Be a missionary EVERY DAY!!! It is so important. YOU know the truth--go share it! We have such a happy message to share. And we are all representatives of Christ. NEVER FORGET IT
This week we taught a man named Zukeran Kyodai. He was very nice and very good and hand/sign language. haha we need it...So our first lesson was pretty crazy...i can pick out like 2 or 3 words and try to make sense out of it. Our third time teaching him, i didn't feel like the spirit was there cuz i was focusing SO HARD on trying to understand him. When we walked out of there, i just broke down. It was super discouraging, all three of us were pretty much sobbing haha. we went for a little walk and knelt down and prayed english for the first time. haha Oh my goodness we had such a spiritual, special experience with Heavenly Father. HE IS HERE and listens to your prayers. He cries with you, he laughs with you. He understands what you need!!!! Always turn to Him first. That's what i've learned here. I have to rely on him 100%. I GET to rely on Him 100%. Its incredible what blessings he will give you in time of need. It's not about me, I'm bring souls closer to Christ. I have felt closer to Him now more that any other time in my life. ITS SOO SO SOS OS O AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ya. praying and personal study is my favorite part of the day...(no japanaese) hahah i love love love reading scrips and PMG. PMG is so great. everyone read it.
SUNDAY WAS THE BOMB. best sunday ever. i prayed in church, and really felt the spirit. it was awesome. church is in all japanese. We have to prepare talks in japanese on a topic they assign us that morning. Relief Society was AWESOME. bawl fest. probaby 90% of the sisters there were in tears. We watched music and the spoken word, they talked about leaving your families and played this song called Homeward Bound. Oh my hahah it was so sad. thats when i really started missing you guys. I hope this doesnt sound weird, but there's really no time to think about anything else except Japanese and lessons throughout the week. so sunday, when we get to ponder and hear speakers about families, man sometimes those are sad times. But happy..cuz i have the best fam ever.
Gym time is soo fun. I run for a while, then go play vball. Jeff Murdock and Jackson gordon ahd the same gym time as me. i saw them all the time. I've seen Beau Freeman, colton Mahoney, Zach Reisse and Tim price. They all say they love you parker. :)
Ok so here's a funny story..
So Zukeran Kyodai told us he wanted to be baptized! So the next lesson, our Choro Tachi go in and say, "Zukeran Kyodai, we are so excited you want to be baptized!" Well..apparently there's only one meaning to the word "excited"...and it doesn't mean happy. So Zukeran busted up laughing. hahahahah it was so funny. At night, we are so delirious that everything is funny. Like we were watching our Shimai Tachi do a door approach, and they went to the wrong door, and we thought it was the funniest thing. hahah i was literally rolling on the floor laughing. like my "i dont make any noise cuz im laughing so hard" laugh. ya....hahah anyway, hey boys. you bums. write me! I need to hear from my bros. 

Mom, thank you so much for your letter. oh ok..DEAR ELDERS ARE THE BEST. Marcene sent me a PACKAGE i cried. haha she is the BEST!!!! All three of us got packages that day. it was so fun. letters/dear elders are like 1000x better than email. cuz i only get 1 hour for email. and only once a week. My unit # is 47. WRITE ME ON DEAR ELDER :) :) :) : Mom can you send me emails from my Gmail account?? thx. how are you guys???? I want to hear about your lives. sorry for the long email haha. mom you're subbing? are you enjoying it? DAd--- I've learned not to take myself too seriously. We both have a life of work and church right now. :) And I've learned to really laugh and make the most of the good times. You are such an amazing man! Ah i look at you and am just in awe at all you can do. for our family, for the stake, for Heavenly Father. Don't get discouraged, you are doing the Lord's work and what better work than that??? Where can I turn for Peace? turn to God. I miss the safety and love and comfort and fun we have at home, but the MTC and mission is a great place to be. I am on the Lords errand! OK THIS IS MY FAV SCRIPTURE. ahhhhhhh go read Alma 26:27, 37. This explains how im feeling perfectly. such a good one. "Fear departs when faith endures."

You know what??? We were foreordained for things right?? well we were all apart of the ground council in heaven. the earth is older than 3.5 billions years. so even before that, I knew i was going to serve a mission. dad you knew you were going to be a SP. Mom- you knew you were going to be a mom to 4 crazy kids!! We've been preparing for THIS for a long, long time. We are READY. ready to take on Satan's team and join together with the army of God to win this battle. WE CAN DO IT. Never doubt your faith. This church is SO true. We will experience immediate blessings, and especially eternal blessings..

i love you all so so sso much. thanks for loving me and supporting me. it means the world. I'll see you in 17 months and 21 days. ;) Have the best week.

love, Wilcox Shimai