June 29, 2015


Kurayoshi, Japan


Hatch Shimai


Transfer calls came today, and there are definitely a lot of mixed feelings- I'm transferring to the big city! WHAT! I'm out of inaka (countryside) and into tokai (city)! I love Kurayoshi and the people I've met here, and it's so sad to leave. But when my trainer Violette Shimai and I came to Kurayoshi together, she had just spent 8 months in a little area of a big city- Higashi Osaka. I have heard story upon story of the amazing people there- so when I saw where I would be heading, I felt like I knew the area already! This next week will definitely be bittersweet, what with saying goodbye to these people that have helped me and taught me so much- but I'm so excited to love the people of Osaka. (and the food. I`ve already accepted that i`m going to have to diet when I get home. Life is too short not to eat Japan`s amazing food)

That being said: top ten lessons I learned from good old Kurayoshi!
1. Love for members and investigators and a desire to do all you can for them is real, and it is powerful.
2. There are teenagers out there who are ready to hear this gospel, and will accept it and go on missions and become church leaders. (This branch has so many amazing young single adults who were baptized at age 17,18,19... And then went on to serve missions. They are so young and fun and I am so lucky!)
3. Even if it takes a while, this gospel changes people.
4. Hugs and smiles are powerful! And everyone needs them.
5. Life is better when you trust the Lord and don't sweat the small things.
6. It's easy for people to be lost along the way, and no one should experience that. Jesus focused on "the one" and so should we.
7. All things that seem hard pass with time! If you have a bad day, bad week, bad month, bad year- just hang on. "Night never had the last word. The dawn is always invincible."
8. The gift of tongues is 100% real, and God works miracles despite our many weaknesses! (Like the fact that even the best of us can't really speak Japanese)
9. Every opportunity you have to meet someone new is a privilege, and should be treated as such! And if you are prompted to say or do something to help them- don't ignore it! You never know if you will have another chance to do what you can for them.
10. My time as a missionary to make a difference in the lives of these people is SO SHORT! I am 1/3 done with my time in this amazing land, and I don't have a second to lose!

Kurayoshi and the people here will always have a special place in my heart. I am so blessed to have spent such a good amount of time here! The first 6 months here have flown by and I hear that it only goes faster- I'm ready to work even harder to love and serve these amazing people! Big city- here I come!

1. I mean i had to go to the pear museum one last time.
2. Tanaka San. She is a gem.


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