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 (:

Friday, June 10, 2016

Visit from an Apostle!

Sasebo week 11 - wk 59 in Japan, wk 68 total

Monday May 23, 2016

This was a really good week.  President Egan asked Madeux Shimai and me to go look at some apartments for the senior missionary couple coming in next month. It was fun, we went to a couple of apartments with a realtor and decided which would be best. Senior missionary couples are so cool. I've never really thought of it when I was younger, but I think it would be the coolest thing to do when that time comes.

During Eikaiwa we taught our students the cha cha slide. It was so funny.

Some ladies in our branch Honda Shimai and Yoshimura Shimai taught us how to cook Japanese food! We learned Nikujaga, Carrot Rice and tempura (fried veggies). They taught us lots of neat cooking tips as well (: apparently, if you can peel veggies with a knife, not a peeler, you can be a good mom. I'll start practicing (;

There is an awesome family in our American branch, the Smalls. We helped them out this weekend; Sister Small had agreed to make cupcakes for her kids prom but also was throwing a pre-prom party and a mission call opening party for her son. So we came over to help with the prep. Ehlers Shimai and I discovered we are quite talented with cake decorating and working with marshmallow fondant (: we made bow ties to put on top.

And to make an awesome week even better, yesterday our entire mission came to Fukuoka to hear from Elder Cook of the 12 Apostles. It was amazing. Sister Ehlers and I literally sat right in front of him. We got to shake his had and hear some council for us. The highlight was his apostolic witness and blessing. Spiritual experiences are sacred and he did not give details. But He told us that He knows, for a fact, that the Savior truly lives. And that He is guiding the church today. I felt the spirit testify that what he said was true. I know that he is an apostle chosen for this day by Jesus Christ to lead and Guide the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints today. And i am so grateful for the privilege I have to be His messenger and to "bring the world his truth" but it's not only the missionaries who have that sacred and special opportunity, it is everyone who has the knowledge
of the truth.

Lowe Shimai

I got to see sister Bearman for the first time in 4 months!

The cupcakes

Cooking with Honda and Yoshimura Shimai

 Just a regular trip to the grocery store! Any takers?


Sasebo week 10 - wk 58 in Japan, wk 67 total

Monday May 16, 2016

This week was really good. We biked up lots of Mountains, spent several days soaked from head to toe in the rain, and made lots of people smile along the way (:

Miyazaki San is doing great! She came to a sports night we had with some of our church friends and English Class Students. We got a letter from a lady we met while we were knocking on doors, on
cold rainy night about a month ago, her nickname is Smiley. That night while riding to another place, my back bike light fell off into the road. We were running late for an appointment so I just left it. But
the light was really important because it was a gift from sister Bearman. So I was a little sad, but we had to keep going. Then our appointment didn't show up even though we had arranged for a friend to
come along too, so they had driven 30 minutes to come with us. It was pretty disappointing. Afterwards I wanted to go see if my light was still where it had fallen, so we rode back up a mountain to find it. We ended up finding it but it was dead, probably had been run over. Not having much time left before curfew, we found a nearby apartment to talk to people. That's when we found Smiley. She was super sweet and turns out her husband had just died three days before. She lets us in and we chatted, she speaks English really well. We testified that she can see her husband again. It was a really pleasant visit and then we headed home.

Fast forward a month later and Madeux Shimai goes back to visit her and she had written us a letter and made us each a stamp. The letter basically explained that she was so grateful to have met me and Madeux Shimai and it had been exactly what she needed. I bawled when I read it. She was one of only a few people we talked to that night, but she was exactly who God needed us to talk to that night. He loves each of us individually and looks out for and comforts us through others. I am
so grateful to be those hands right now.

With Love,

Lowe Shimai 
 Soaked as a district, after biking up a mountain.

Miyazaki San thought we were cute
in our rain suits so she snapped a pic
Sports night! So fun (:
Miyazaki San and us at the sports night (:

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Sasebo week 9

Sasebo week 9 - wk 57 in Japan, wk 66 total

Monday May 9, 2016

This has been a really great week. We had an awesome lesson with Miyazaki San on Monday, her faith is definitely growing! And she took off work so that she can come to church in a couple of weeks. I'm so excited for her!

Tuesday we went to Arita with a member, Hara Shimai. We got to look at lots of cool hand made pottery. Wednesday we helped an awesome American member organize her house. Then went over to a Japanese member's house. He is older and is blind so nurses usually bring him dinner. But this week we (the 6 missionaries) made dinner for him. It was so fun, he was so happy. We literally get to spend all day finding ways to help other people be happy. It's the best feeling.

Thursday we went to Saga where we had interviews with our Mission President. It was so good. It was just a good reminder to me that Heavenly Father loves each of us unconditionally. Even when we feel like we aren't doing good enough, He still continues to love us perfectly.

I say this all the time but, looking outside of ourselves and trying to help those around us really is the best feeling in the world. It can be the cure for homesickness, depression, low self esteem, anxiety, any bad feeling. Because when we serve others we can feel the love that Christ has for us and everyone.

Much Love!
We got matching Pineapple pants!

Our day looking at pottery with Hara Shimai

 Had dinner by the docks on a rainy day!


Sasebo week 8 - wk 56 in Japan, wk 65 total

Monday May 2, 2016

This was a really good week. We met with a lot of members and shared a little bit of sunshine with them. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY.  I love being able to spend all of my time figuring out how I can help others and help them feel loved. We are seeing a lot of miracles, even in the little things.

One of the ladies we have taught before, invited us to come back to weed her yard, which never happens! The Japanese people are very much, "I can do this myself, I don't need help" mindset. So the fact she's letting us serve her is huge! And one of the ladies we are teaching, Miyazaki San, she is really interested in learning with us. She has a lot of questions and a strong desire to find the answers. And one of her neighbors came and told her not to let us come over and teach any more because they didn't want to hear our religious talk. So she said that she'd probably have to stop meeting with us, and it's too far of a walk to the church because she doesn't have a car, BUT! One of our church member friends, offered to have the lessons at the near by auto shop that she owns! Definitely a miracle. And Miyazaki San is willing to walk to the shop to meet with us! I am so excited to teach her.

Also, while we were knocking on doors this week, we found a lady from Zimbabwe, and she wants to come to our fun activity at the church this Saturday! ALSO, another of our church friends, introduced a really nice friend to us yesterday that we will probably be able to teach soon. ALSO, a guy in the navy came to church for the first time in a long time yesterday!

I am so grateful to be a part of the Lords work here in Japan. There is not one person that cannot benefit from the love and support and strength that our Savior Jesus Christ gives to us. I know that to be true, and because of that I go out everyday to find the people who are willing to reach out and accept the gifts the Savior is always so willing to give.


Lowe Shimai

I even love being a missionary when 
we are soaking wet from riding our bikes in the rain

New Companion!

Sasebo week 7 - wk 55 in Japan, wk 64 total

Saturday April 23, 2016

This was another good week! We met with a young mom named Chisa. She really wants to know more about Christ. We met her briefly at her home and she invited us back. We were able to teach her a brief lesson and she wants to learn more! I'm really excited to see how she progresses. Then on Thursday my new companion and Maduex Shimai's new companion arrived safely in Sasebo. Thursday night we had another lesson with Miyazaki San. She is really awesome. She opened up a lot to us and we were able to have a really good lesson about the hope we have because of Jesus Christ.

We have been seeing a lot of miracles as we go out and talk to people. God is really helping us find people who are ready to learn about and follow Jesus Christ. I am so grateful to have this opportunity to focus on helping others in every way I can.

With Love!

Lowe Shimai

 My new companion! Ehlers Shimai, 
from Salt Lake City! She's great (:
 Ran into Kirihata Shimai from Naha at the Temple
 unexpectedly today! So happy to see her!
 I got to hold 4 monkeys at the Bio park!
 District picture

Monday, June 6, 2016

First Earthquake Ever. Good thing I can read Kanji!

Sasebo week 6 - wk 54 in Japan, wk 63 total

Tuesday April 19, 2016

Actually I can't read Kanji and so that was really scary. On Thursday night, right before we finished planning for the next day, our phone started making this really loud, annoying sound. We opened up the phone and it was all in Kanji! Yeah, we had no idea what it said. THEN the apartment starting rumbling. Not really shaking. Luckily it wasn't bad because we just got the aftershock of the one in Kumamoto. Our apartment is perfectly fine. It just felt like what it feels like after you spin around in circles for a long time and you're dizzy and the ground feels wobbly, that's what it felt like. The scariest part was the eerie sirens going off in the background with a man shouting things in Japanese to the city from Town Hall, again we were not able to understand. The joys of living in a foreign country! You all probably know more than I do about the effects it had in Kumamoto. They have taken out the sister missionaries, they are temporarily in Fukuoka. And from what I've heard, church members are camping out at the church. Wards and Branches from all over Kyushyu are putting together care packages with food and water.

So yeah, in other news! This week is transfer week and President Egan called me last night- I'M TRAINING AGAIN! My new companion will come on Thursday and she will have just come from the Training Center in Utah. I am excited! Right now there are two sisters here in Sasebo, but they are going to change it to four sisters, so I will get a new companion and my companion right now, Sister Madeux will get a new companion and we will all be here in Sasebo together! I am really excited! 

This week was a good week. We met with Shimomura San, and taught her about the restoration. She said that she wants to learn more about it! We haven't been able to get a hold of her since, but we will keep trying! 
We were also able to teach Miyazaki San. We taught her about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. She is really interested in learning more. She has a friend that is really sick and wants to know if God can perform miracles. We are meeting with her again on Thursday! 
We also have the opportunity to teach English to three groups of people, at our church, at a community center, and at the Japanese Military Base. This week was the first one at the Base and it was so much fun! We go and sit and they rotate through and practice the things they've been learning in their English class on Base. I love these opportunities to meet so many different people! 

As I have been thinking about Miyazaki San and some of the miracles I've seen in my life, I haven't seen huge miracles, but miracles don't have to be big. Miracles are in the little things too. I have definitely been able to see God's hand in my life every step of the way. And the only times that I have felt lonely or discouraged is when I, even in some small measure, turn away from God. But as I do my best, and try to follow His guidance and plan for me, he has helped me every step of the way. That's not by taking away the hard times, but being with me, strengthening me through the hard times. Those have certainly been miraculous moments in my life and I am so grateful for each one of them. 

Much Love, 
Sister Lowe

Sasebo week 5

Sasebo week 5 - wk 53 in Japan, wk 62 total

Monday April 11, 2016

I can't believe I have been in Japan for a year!  This has been a little bit of a difficult week but I know I'll be okay. I am so grateful for general conference and for everything we got to learn from the Prophet, Apostles and other church leaders.

With Love,

Lowe Shimai
 View from my apartment
 Latricia and her friend!

Cherry Blossoms!

Sasebo week 4 - wk 52 in Japan, wk 61 total

Monday April 4, 2016

This week was really cool, we found a girl who Klein Shimai taught her sister in Fukuoka and now she wants to meet with us! She's sixteen and is from the Philippines.

Other than that we have been doing a lot of talking to people on the street and going house to house. 

My favorite part of being a missionary is just being able share the Savior's love and hope with everyone, even though they don't understand our words, they can still feel that it's special. 
And I am so grateful for that. 
Much Love!
 The cherry blossoms!

  Necklace from Emily! (above)
My desk, with the new drawing from Emily hung up (below)

Sasebo week 3

Sasebo week 3 - wk 51 in Japan, wk 60 total

Monday March 28, 2016

We had a really awesome week. We had training from mission President Egan and his awesome wife. It was so cool to hear about all the miracles happening in the mission.

And a lady in our English class loves exposing us to Japanese culture, so she brought some live fish for us to eat! Ice fish. They were clear fish and you rinse them and put them in soy sauce, and cheers! You just swallow them while they are still squirming. It feels really weird.

Also, last night we had a really awesome Easter. We had dinner with a member from the Military branch ( which I realized I have been super lucky on my mission, I've had Thanksgiving and Easter dinner with American families, which means yummy American food!) and Sister Bergman's friend Emily and her daughters came over too. We were able to talk about the Savior's life and how He suffered for us in Gethsemane and on the cross. And how he rose again on the third day. Afterwards we were able to go over to Emily's house and help her pack for a trip and clean her house! It was so much fun. I love serving others, it's truly the best feeling to know that you've helped make another's load lighter. At the end of the night, Emily told us with tears in her eyes that his is the best Easter she's had in a while. And my heart was just full of love! For her and for my Savior Jesus Christ who loves each of us so much!

This week we were able to meet and teach a lady named Takai. She's really nice. It was cold when we knocked on her door so she let us in and we talked in her doorway. We came back and taught her two more times! She's starting work next week so she can't really meet very often anymore, but we are still going to try to visit her (:  Here is her picture:

From left: Tateishi Shimai (a member), then Takai San.