So Many Feels

This week we went to Kichijoji twice in one week. First, for family home evening with Kyo Shimai. She met one of the other new missionaries, Elder Beckman from Hawaii, and instantly looooved him. This is a 60-something-year-old tiny woman who can talk your ear off. And talk she did. He’s only been in Japan a few months and so had absolutely no idea what she was saying, but that didn’t stop her. Also, after a month and a half, she finally memorized Ibanez Shimai’s name.

Tuesday was packed with lessons, and then Wednesday we had splits and we were running all over the area. I had my last splits ever as Sister Training Leader over Watanabe Shimai, my follow-up trainer from a year ago! She’s going home this Thursday so we we spent the whole time reminiscing about China Town and all the crazy people we met and loved.


On Thursday it was back again to Kichijoji for Mission Leadership Conference. I sang a piece with some others with a guitar accompaniment called “Give, Said the Little Stream” in English. A few people cried. I hope it’s not because we sounded bad.

We had some inspiring training and then President Warnick cracked down on language. From now on, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, and sometimes Monday are SYL – speak your language days – in other words, we can only speak Japanese the entire day. All meetings also must be conducted in Japanese. I expected nothing less from a former Japanese University professor.


We learned how to run some stats for mission performance and then interpret them verbally to help us identify areas we can work on and improve on and help younger missionaries with. It felt good to do math again, even if it was very basic.

Friday was a blur and then Saturday was transfer calls! I made banana bread in the rice cooker in the morning and delivered them to people all throughout the day. It turned out surprisingly well, highly recommend! We went all the way to HakuRaku from Mizonokuchi with a friend to watch the biannual women’s conference in Japanese, only to find out we had mixed up the time and showed up three hours early. Oops. Even monkeys fall from trees. But, I was able to get it to stream on my iPad so we watched it and paused to discuss and it ended up going even better than originally planned!

While we were there we opened transfer calls and I almost fell off my chair because instead of staying in Kawasaki like I had thought and planned, I’m being transferred this week to Tama! So for the first time while being in the “Tokyo South” mission, I’ll actually be living in Tokyo! And at long last I’m retired from being Sister Training Leader, though now instead I’m a Sister Training Leader Trainer. I was pretty torn apart at first about leaving, but apparently there’s lots of hills to bike up, plenty of nature, and everyone who has ever been there has loved it. So I’m getting more and more excited after I reconciled myself to the fact I won’t have been in any area more than five months. Mainly packing is a pain. After we got back to Mizonokuchi we frantically started calling all the people I love to make appointments to see them before I go.

image1I couldn’t get hold of Kyo Shimai, so we went to visit her through this huge maze of narrow streets and she wasn’t home. Disappointed, on the way back we happened to take the exact road that she did and met her by chance! A small miracle, and we were both so happy! We had a dinner at the Yamashitas after and they prepared an entire fish for me to eat, it was so suteki, way fancy.

Today as a last hurrah, all of us headed back to Chinatown to visit an art museum.  Specifically, trick art. When I called to ask permission to go, I only knew the word “bijutsukan,” which means art museum, which it was, although I imagine he pictured something a little different from this:


It was fantastic. Then we feasted on Chinese dumplings and overpriced mango ice cream. Today was a good day.


This coming week we’ll keep going hard until transfer day. We already have appointments scheduled with people we’re working with for nearly every other hour from noon until nine until Thursday! So it will be busy, but busy = good.


Japanese filters – the idea is blur your face so you look better. Righttttt…


That’s all for now,

Smiley Shimai




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