Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Goodbye Japan

Sasebo week 24 - wk 72 in Japan, wk 81 total

Tuesday August 23, 2016

Time has flown by so fast. I seriously can't believe this. It doesn't seem real, and it probably won't until I'm back in America.

This week has been awesome. We were blessed to be able to have an amazing lesson with our new friend Naomi. She's a young, awesome mom that is working really hard for her daughter. During our lesson she said that this was one of the first times in her life that she has felt that God is there. It's such a special opportunity to be able help people find Heavenly Father and the Savior Jesus Christ. I will cherish these experiences for the rest of my life.

When I first came on a mission, my scripture that I chose to be my theme was proverbs 3:5-6
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." I have seen this come true so many times in my life and even more on my mission. There have been so many times when He helps us know what to say, what to do, where to go, and who to talk to. And I know that as we rely on Him in our daily lives, He will in the same way guide us to find the most pure happiness.

As I've been serving as a missionary another scripture has become really meaningful. It's in the Book of Mormon, a prophet Moroni testifies of Jesus Christ: Moroni 7:41 "And what is it that ye shall
hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise."

This is the essence of believing in Jesus Christ: it's the hope that we can have in this life because of Him. Hope to overcome our mistakes and weaknesses. Hope to become better people. Hope to be able to find happiness in this life. Hope that there is so much more than just this short life on Earth.  I am so grateful for the blessing and opportunity I have had for these precious 18 months to help people develop and strengthen that hope in the Savior. And I don't plan on stopping! Being a missionary is a life time opportunity. We are so blessed to know of Jesus Christ and the ways He can and does help us each and every day, and so we have an equally awesome opportunity to
help those around us experience those blessings too!

Thank you so much for the love support and letters.
See you soon!
Love, Sister Lowe

 Yes, these watermelon cost $38 each

Monday, August 15, 2016

Still alive!

Sasebo week 23 - wk 71 in Japan, wk 80 total

Monday August 15, 2016

Sorry no group email, I just didn't have enough time.  Here are a couple of pictures!


Lowe Shimai

Week 79!

Sasebo week 22 - wk 70 in Japan, wk 79 total

Monday August 8, 2016

Sorry I didn't write a big email today, I spent my time confirming plans with friends in Maeburu and Nagasaki for when my mom and aunt come to Japan!  But here are a couple of pictures.


Lowe Shimai

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Over here in Sasebo

Sasebo week 21 - wk 69 in Japan, wk 78 total

Monday August 1, 2016

This was a good week. The people we were able to meet with last week weren't able to meet again, which is sad but it's okay. We met some cool people. And our friend Phoung came to church, she's really interested in learning about Christianity.

This week I was able to give a talk in Sacrament meeting about the personal blessings I've received from Jesus Christ. It was a really neat opportunity to reflect on the many different times I've felt the
Savior's strength, love and forgiveness. Some of the experiences are small, some of them big, but each of them are the foundation of my knowledge that the Savior lives. I know that He loves each of us perfectly and unconditionally.  I know that when we reach out to Him, it opens the path for Him to come to us.

Love Sister Lowe

There is a restaurant here in Sasebo where you can eat somen (a type
of noodle) in a cave! We went with our English Class Students this week.
Beautiful views of Sasebo!


Our friend Phoung came to Church yesterday! She moved here from
Vietnam to study Japanese.

Honda Shimai taught us how to make all kinds of things this week,
 she is so good at cooking!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Miracles all week!

Sasebo week 20 - wk 68 in Japan, wk 77 total

Monday July 25, 2016

Looking back on this week, I can't believe that's it's only been a week! We've seen enough miracles for an entire month! Let me walk you through it:

Tuesday: we went to the mission headquarters for Training in Fukuoka. That was really fun because I got to see some really good friends that I won't be seeing for a long time. It was a long day, training from 10-4, with one 45 minute break for lunch. But it was really good, we discuss concerns that everyone is facing throughout the mission and how we can try to help. We talk about what we can do better as leaders of the mission and representatives of Jesus Christ. All in all its really uplifting. When we got back to Sasebo around 7:15, we hurried and biked to an appointment with Miyazaki San! Sound familiar? She was taking the lessons, progressing really well and came to church about 2 months ago, but after that, stopped answering our phone calls and texts. But! We felt prompted to invite her to church last Sunday and she actually responded! She said she couldn't come but when we asked if we could stop by again she said yes! So yeah, on Tuesday, we visited her at her apartment. She's been sick for the last week, and we could tell she's exhausted. Turns out she's just been jam packed with work and literally has no time to think about meeting. We shared with her a scripture from the Book of Mormon, Mosiah 24:15-16 which basically says that the Savior will bear our burdens so they will be light even in the midst of difficult experiences. We promised her that she could feel that relief through Jesus Christ. And she set up another appointment all by herself! So we are really excited to keep working with her.

Wednesday: A Senior Missionary couple came to Sasebo on Wednesay. They will be here in Sasebo for 2 years. President Egan asked that we go and decorate their apartment door to help them feel welcome. As we headed up to their apartment, we ran into one of our investigators who hasn't answered the phone since she came to church two weeks ago! Fujisaki San! She's the one who was walking her dog in front of the church. We chatted for a bit and she told us she's just going through a hard time and isn't sure what to do next in life. We were able to set up an appointment for the next day! After welcoming the missionary couple, we did some Streeting in the limited time we had before our next meeting. The last person we talked to was Sari. She was waiting for her friend after work. We told her a little about the Book of Mormon, and she wanted to read it! Her native language is Tagalog though and so we set up to meet her a gain and bring her a Book in Tagalog! And her friend came up while we were talking, and asked for a Tagalog and an English Book of Mormon (she's married to an American).

Friday: we made lunch for Miyazaki San for her to take to work, because she always brings her lunch since her works cafeteria is too expensive. She was home when we brought it over and she invited us to go to a summer festival with her and! She said she could come to another of our friend's baptism in a couple weeks!

Saturday: we were able to meet with Sari and she brought another of her friends. Sari had read the part of the Book of Mormon that we asked her to (which never happens) and she really wants to learn more. She said "I feel peace in my heart when we talk and when I read this" there is a bit of a language barrier because Japanese is her second language but, we will also be meeting with her again this week!

There were several more, but I don't have enough time to explain them all! It's been amazing to see this this week. Honestly weeks like this don't happen very often, where people are actually interested, or actually responding, or doing what we invite them to do (pray, read scriptures, come to church) and it really isn't anything me or my companion has done differently. I really think that the Lord is at the head of this work and we are His hands. And as long as we continue to put our trust in Him, He takes care of the rest. If things aren't going well right now, that's okay. Press forward with Faith in Christ. Faith that He can and will take care of you, and I can promise that everything will work out for your good. Even if that means you have to get a few bruises along the way, it's all worth it.


Sister Lowe

 Sari is on the far right, next is Helen in the blue polo 
and my new companion Sister Shibayama on the left
 Training at Mission Headquarters, 
me with some really awesome sister missionaries
Little fuzzy, but an awesome view, high on a Sasebo mountain top :)

Trust in the Savior

Sasebo week 19 - wk 67 in Japan, wk 76 total

Monday July 18, 2016

This was a good week, sent sister Ehlers to Okinawa. I know it'll be an adjustment but she'll do great. My new Companion, Sister Shibayama, is really awesome. I am really excited to work hard these last 6 weeks with her. She is a really awesome missionary.

I love Sasebo, I love Japan, I love being a missionary. I know that when we trust in the Savior, everything works out. Life is still hard, but with Him it's possible.

With Love,

Lowe Shimai

Fritchen Shimai and Olsen Shimai 
waiting with me for my new companion to arrive!

My Last Transfer Week!

Sasebo week 18 - wk 66 in Japan, wk 75 total

Tuesday July 12, 2016

We got transfer calls today- Sister Ehlers is going to Okinawa! She'll be in Shuri, which is the smallest area of the mission, right next to where I was in Naha! So that's exciting! My new companion is a Japanese sister who actually was in the MTC with me and we sat together on the plane ride over to Japan! So I'm excited for that!

Our highlight of this week is on Wednesday. We didn't have a lot of time in the evening to go out and talk to people, but on our way from one appointment to another, we stopped and talked to a lady who was walking her dog in front of the church. We invited her to church on Sunday and she said yes! Gave us her number and said we could call her. And guess what! She actually came to church! And she wants to learn more about the church! We have a lesson with her tonight and are really excited to teach her.

My spiritual thought for this week is from the Book of Mormon, Alma 5:33 "Behold, [the Lord] sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you."

I love this so much because it just shows how simple the Saviors invitation to all of us is. With His arms outstretched, he invites us to repent, or in other words to align our actions, thoughts, desires
with His perfect actions, thoughts and desires. And when we do He receives us, he helps, loves, supports and comforts us. All He asks is for us to try our best.

All my love!

A local member and her daughter visiting from Utah 
took us to a restaurant that specializes in Salisbury steak!

Friday, July 8, 2016

So grateful for Mothers

Sasebo week 17 - wk 65 in Japan, wk 74 total

Monday July 4, 2016

Unfortunately I did not receive an email from Sarah this week.  However, I did receive emails from two members that she has met in Japan.  One woman relayed:  Your wonderful daughter is serving in our Branch right now.  She is a wonderful young lady and has been a blessing to our Branch and family.  When we first met her she had a big, friendly smile on her face.  My 15 year old daughter was happily impressed with Sis Lowe!  Awhile ago, Sis Lowe offered to come to my house to help me organize.  She and the other Sisters have come at least three times...maybe four, to help me go through things and purge!  It has been such a huge help to me.  We have had such fun!  I love your daughter.  She has been a wonderful example to my soon to be missionary son (leaving for the New York, New York North mission in Sept) and my impressionable 15 year old daughter. Thanks for sharing your wonderful daughter with us!

The other woman wrote:  I am currently visiting my parents in Sasebo until mid-August. I met your daughter so I took pics of her and her companion and sending them to you. They were on their way to go teach English to a community in Ainoura.  Let me know if I can do something for your daughter. The missionaries are really loved here. There's a church member who feeds everyone after church finishes at 4 almost every week and I saw them eating and smiling as well. Last Sunday she served miso soup and hashed beef and rice. I have a son serving his mission in the Philippines. He left in November :) So let me know if there's anything I can do for your daughter.

--Ok back to me, I am so grateful for this Church. For the Gospel.  For the mothers in Japan who are watching out for my daughter.  For the opportunity to watch out for other mothers' children when they serve missions where I live. 

Hopefully we will hear from Sarah next week, but I am glad I was able to share this experience with all of you.


Sarah's Mom

God loves each and every one of us

Sasebo week 16 - wk 64 in Japan, wk 73 total

Monday June 27, 2016
There were a lot of really really rainy days this week. Which makes for a lot of sweaty, sticky, soaked to the core, on a bike, kind of days. Buts it's all great because, when else am I going to have the opportunity (or desire) to go out and ride my bike in the rain, talking to people on the way? Never! So I am soaking it up now (:

We visited Ikegame San for the last time this week. His wife said he absolutely cannot learn about any other religion besides Buddhism, and he wants to keep peace in the home. Which is what we want too. It was really sweet though because he said that he feels a lot of peace whenever we visit him. I know that God loves him and will watch over His family even though we can't teach him right now.

We met Riko San last Sunday when she invited herself to church. She's in her 20s and studying acupuncture right now. We had lunch together on Wednesday and she told us she wanted to know more about Jesus Christ. We are really excited to be meeting with her.

The Elders are teaching someone who decided to be baptized this Sunday, so we are really excited. He owns a little cafe where high schoolers go and can eat food while they study. The sisters are teaching a couple of people who are really interested in learning about the gospel.

It's really exciting to see the work moving forward.

I really love this quote from the last general conference. Elder Holland talked about how much God loves each and every one of us. He said "first great truth of all eternity is that God loves us with all
of His heart, might, mind, and strength. That love is the foundation stone of eternity, and it should be the foundation stone of our daily life. Indeed it is only with that reassurance burning in our soul that
we can have the confidence to keep trying to improve, keep seeking forgiveness for our sins, and keep extending that grace to our neighbor."

Sometimes this is the only motivation we do have, that God loves us and because of that, no matter what everything will be okay.

Love Sister Lowe

Sunday, June 26, 2016

This week

Sasebo week 15 - wk 63 in Japan, wk 72 total

Monday June 20, 2016

This was a good week! Not a whole lot happened but it was good. We got to pull weeds for one of our friends. We also had an activity baking cookies with some young people. And had dinner with the best family ever, the Smalls. They are leaving for the summer next week which is sad. But it's okay, there's lots of awesome people here in Sasebo.

Love you all, love  the support, thank you!
Sister Lowe
We had an activity where we made cookies! It was so fun!
 The best family ever, plus Sister Fritchen (:
We went to the BioPark again!

 ... A monkey pooped on me! And we got my reaction on video! Haha enjoy!

Titles are hard to think of sometimes, but this week in Japan...

Sasebo week 14 - wk 62 in Japan, wk 71 total

Monday June 13, 2016

Nothing too crazy this week. But still really awesome. This week in our English class, we learned shapes and colors. For the advanced students, we acted like we were in a hair salon and they had to do our hair. It was a lot of fun, we had wigs and bows and clips, they got to try out the blonde wigs.

Also this week a member, Sister Mori, took us out to a Thai Restaurant. On the way there, I asked what kind of car she was driving. She said it isn't hers, it's her husbands. It's the only one he lets her drive. It's an Audi! She said he has five other  cars too, one of which, only 100 were made in Japan. That doesn't sound cheap! Anyways, the food was absolutely amazing! The owner is from Thailand and is really funny. Sister Ehlers got a sweet (not spicy) curry. He came by and said "the kids in Thailand don't even eat that!" Referring to how everyone, even the children eat super spicy things.

On Friday, we helped sister Small get ready for her sons graduation party.

On Saturday, we met with Marco San. We met her about 2 months ago, she's Japanese but spent 55 years in America (married an American) but has retired to Japan. She's Baptist, so we talked about her experience converting to Christianity and what that means to her. It was just refreshing to talk to someone who believes in Christ. She said she would read the Book of Mormon, after she's caught up with her Bible reading of course.

Those were some of the highlights this week (:

I love being here, I love it more and more everyday. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and because of that, he is with us every step of our journey. Good and Bad, he's always there to help lift, encourage and help us.

Sister Lowe
Cool plants at the restaurant
 Mori Shimai and me at the restaurant (:
The Thai food we ate this week! It was so delicious!

They love beans here. A member gave us muffins and we thought there
may nuts or chocolate inside, but...they were bean muffins.
 Our zone this transfer
 Dark hair is Marco San
 Awesome youth in our American branch (:

Do you like bugs? (Mushi ga suki desu ka?)

Sasebo week 13 - wk 61 in Japan, wk 70 total

Monday June 6, 2016

This is a rhinoceros beetle. We went to visit someone we met last weekto see if he would be interested in learning about the gospel. Turns out he's not interested but! He was really nice and as we chatted he, out of the blue, with a mischievous grin, asked, "do you like bugs?" I was a little confused, and wasn't sure if I had heard him right, so I asked " you mean the things that live outside?!" And next thing we know he takes the lid off a huge tub, and picks up this giant rhino beetle to show off! Turns out, this one was born that day! He bought
the parents last summer and now has a tub of 40 rhinoceros beetles in his entry way. He gives them away as presents, he offered us one but we aren't allowed to have pets! 😋 I asked him if he would build them a house in his yard if there got to be many more, he said no. So yeah, that was the craziest thing that happened this week.

In other news, we biked an hour up a huge mountain to visit a member, and were exhausted the next day! Also Sister Madeux Transferred down to Futenma in Okinawa, and Sister Olsen took her place here. Sister Olsen and I lived together in Naha so it's been fun to talk about Naha and be together again (:

Also, we met a really nice older gentleman last week and went back to visit him on Tuesday. We were able to get to know him a little better and share a little bit about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon. He seems really interested in learning more, though his wife seems to not like religion very much. He's busy with work this week so we are going to try to see him next week.

I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and for the opportunity I have to be His missionary right now. I am learning so much about His love for us. Also how I can be a better follower of Him by always looking for opportunities to help and serve others. We don't know the details of people's lives, but He does. He know us each individually, so when we pray to know who and how we can help, I know he can and will answer that prayer.

Sister Lowe

Feeling lucky to be in Japan

Sasebo week 12 - wk 60 in Japan, wk 69 total

Monday May 30, 2016

Everyday that America gets closer, Japan I appreciate Even more. It's such a beautiful country, with awesome people, awesome food. I am so grateful to be here as a missionary, the best part is how many different people I have the opportunity of meeting. This is the one time in my life that I literally spend all day everyday talking to complete strangers about their lives, with my only purpose to help them experience more and more happiness through Jesus Christ.

There were a couple of really rainy days at the beginning of the week, which made for some really wet days. I can't even imagine how funny we look to people, walking around in the pouring rain, soaked head to foot, talking to people about Jesus Christ who haven't ever even heard of Him. And we do it voluntarily, we do it using our own money, we do it asking for nothing in return. And I love it! In the pouring rain, or the scorching, muggy heat of Japan, I absolutely love what I have the opportunity to do. Because I know that we have a Savior Jesus Christ, I know that He loves each of us individually and I know that no matter what we may be experiencing right now; despair, disappointment, guilt, depression, stress, pressure, He is there. He can help. I know this because He has helped me. I know that as we learn about Him in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, and as we pray, He will be there to pick us up when we fall down.

Our friend Miyazaki San was finally able to come to church on Sunday! She took work off a month ago so she could come. She's been so busy that we haven't been able to teach her for 3 weeks, but she was able to come to church! She's still really busy, but she is taking the first, very important steps to learning about and following the Savior Jesus Christ, and I can't wait for her to start experiencing the love He has for her. We were also able to have a really fun family night with a friend from the Japanese congregation, and her friends' family (not members but interested in Christianity), at an American member's house. It was so much fun to be together, and play games. At the end we all talked about how our family can and has been strengthened through Jesus Christ. It was a great experience to be able to see how Christ can help us in every aspect of our lives.

Sister Lowe

Our big family night with the Barnhill, hamaguchi and hashiguchi families
Mills family from Idaho, they made us their family famous pizza!
  Miyazaki San at church!
Yesterday, an old man pulled up next to us in a pink car, waved us
over, gave us cake through the window, waved us away and drove off.
Not a word was said. So weird! But it was good anyway (: