Thursday, July 30, 2015

Just another day in the life of a Missionary


Guess what!? I cut my hair, I have bangs now! It's so legit I love it. Being a missionary is so cool because it doesn't matter what I do to my hair because no one I know will see me and judge me... ;) Every Saturday and P-Day my district plays sand volleyball. It's so fun. I know this is hard to believe but my volleyball skills are improving so much. I actually hit the ball sometimes! #missionaryskills

Long lost cousin
Funny Highlights: On July 24 one of my companions woke up and yelled "Happy 24th of July everyone!" We all looked at here super weird like what's going on. Apparently pioneer day is super big in Utah and since everyone else is not from Utah we has no idea. She got super sad and then we all laughed. 
The other day I was waiting for my companions outside the bathroom and this elder walked past. I saw Zollinger on his name tag and though what how did he get my name tag, then I saw elder... Long lost cousin say what? We whipped out our family trees and compared. Four generations back this man had two sons who's kin produced us. Pretty cool stuff. One of our sensei's birthday was a few days ago so we decorated the classroom and walked in singing happy birthday in Japanese. It was so fun!

Being a missionary is so great! You really learn who you are as a person and who you can become. Who Heavenly Father knows you can become. I feel Heavenly Father's love for me so much since being here. Every time I'm having a hard time he sends someone or something my way to pick me back up and tell me it will be okay. On Sunday I taught the lesson in Relief Society on the Atonement. One of the sisters said even if you were the only person on earth Jesus Christ would still perform the Atonement for you. I feel that now more than ever. We cannot comprehend the love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for us. Being a missionary makes it so much easier to love people. Like the people of Japan. I've never met them but I already have so much love for them. I love feeling a small portion of the love Our Heavenly Father and Brother have for us by loving the people of Japan.

The other day we walked to the temple and every time we go there is this little obasan sitting on a bench. She loves talking to all the Japanese missionaries. I was reminded how much Japanese I don't know.   Cool story. Yesterday we were teaching a lesson and we weren't as prepared as we usually are. Then one of my companions looked over at me and said "Sister Zollinger, why do we have trials?" I just froze, I knew no way to answer this is Japanese. Then I noticed our investigator had a Plan of Salvation Pamphlet sitting on here deck. I grabbed it and started flipping through the pages praying I would find something in the mess of Japanese Characters that pertained to the question. Finally I just handed back the book and asked her to read the page I had opened. I know Heavenly Father is hastening his work because the page I opened to was the exact page I needed. When she was done reading I looked at her and words started flowing from me. It wasn't much. Maybe two sentences but it was enough. The spirit in the room was so strong, and for the first time since being here I cried. I know I'm supposed to be here at this exact time learning Japanese. I know that with all my heart. It is testified to me everyday. It doesn't matter how much Japanese I know because if I try as hard as I can heaven will reach down and fill in the rest. This church is so true. I love it more than anything. I cannot wait to go teach the people of Japan. 4 weeks and I'm Nihon free!
Hounto Ni Ai Shite Imasu

Zollinger Shimai

Fondue party

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Cute skirt yo!

Konnichiwa Minasan

I can't believe it's P-Day again! I feel like I sent an email like a week ago.. My companions and I decided P-Day actually stands for pants day. Wearing jeans is weird!

My new shirt
Funny Highlights: I was walking in the cafeteria the other day and this elder came up to me and said, "I like your hair" so I said thanks, no big deal I get that a lot. Girl with a fro is kinda hard to miss. Then this kid says, "I just want to cut it off and make a pillow"..What are you supposed to say to that!? Let's just say I ran back to my seat. We were teaching one of our investigators and in Japanese "kawaii" is cute and "kowai" is scary. (they sound exactly the same) So we walk into the lesson and Nozomi-Son was wearing the cutest skirt I've ever seen so I pointed at it and said, "kowai!"...she looked upset. Yesterday we got sack breakfast and went and sat in the grass to eat them. So there we were minding our own business and the sprinklers start to turn on. We all start don't do it, don't do it but then more start to turn on. So I grab my stuff and bolt out of there only to look back and see my companions yelling "I'm not going to make it!" Everyone around us got a good laugh.

Yesterday I got to be a new missionary host. For everyone that doesn't know that's the missionaries that come take the newbies away from their families, lovingly of course. The first car pulled up and the mom opened the door and I yelled, "Welcome to the MTC! How are you doing today?" Then I thought Sister Zollinger you can't say that of course they're not okay their kid is leaving for 18 plus months! But I know that their families will be so blessed from this experience and there is no place they would rather have their kid be, right mom? :) All of the missionaries were so calm and composed. I was super impressed. Their testimonies were so strong. They knew this is where they needed to be and they were ready to put all their heart might and mind into this work.The MTC is the happiest place on earth (sorry Disney).
I got to take a few pictures for some families and instead of saying one, two, three, smile. I said "ichi, ni, san, hai!" I got a few laughs from that. One dad served in Japan and he went off in Japanese and I just stared at him, because I had no idea what he was saying. I loved making their day a little brighter. I took a few elders luggage to the check in and they were so uncomfortable that a sister was dragging their luggage. It was funny. Missionaries are the best! It's amazing all the places they have come from and all the places their going. In my district alone we have someone from Utah, New Mexico (whoot), Nevada, Washington, California, New Jersey, and Maryland. All of us are so different but we're all here for the same purpose. So that every nation, kindred, tongue and people will know that Jesus is the Christ, our savior and redeemer.
For our service project we get to hang up the flags in the front for all the new missionaries to see!
Everyday I learn something new about my mission and my heart just swells. When President Grant dedicated Japan for Missionary work in the prayer he said 'The work will start out slow but it will pick up and someday astonish all nations'. Heavenly Father has intrusted me with a small part of his vineyard and my gratitude cannot be expressed with just words alone. The language is slow coming but I love it so much! The other day I was counting something in class and when I threw my finger down to count I said ichi instead of one. It was a weird moment for me but I was so happy! 

My old Branch President, President Johnson and his wife

I love being here. I have met so many people and made so many friends. I love people's testimonies. They are all so unique and powerful! My district is so great! On Sunday I got a new branch President. He was the mission president in Sapporo four years ago so this is going to be cool!

Thank you so much for your support. Every time things get hard I feel your testimonies from both sides of the veil and I know it will be okay. I just want to leave you with one last quote, "No one was foreordained to fail" You can do anything you set your mind to with a little faith you can move mountains. I see miracles everyday, don't stop stop believing in them for one second. I love you all so much!
Ai shite imasu!
Zollinger Shimai

PS no one here can say Zollinger, no one! In Japanese it will be Zollinja or something like that.. cool right? 
So love,
Zollinja Shimai

Saturday, July 18, 2015

What's a Pine Tree

Konnichiwa Minasan

First of all I loved all of your emails! I'm so glad you're all doing good. Thanks for sharing your spiritual experiences with me! One of my favorite things to do is to look for the tender mercies of the Lord in my life each day. I've seen so many blessings! Please try it, you will begin to see the love our Lord has for you. Once you begin to see those blessings and are thankful for them more blessings will come your way. I promise you that!

This is how you "Pine Tree"
Funny highlights: A few days ago I was walking with my companions and I had to go to the bathroom. On the first day I asked how you say bathroom so since I've been here for 2 weeks now I figured I could put together a sentence. So I looked at them and said "Torie nan desu ka?" Which directly translates to what is toilet. Awesome... I got some really funny looks from that! Last night I was practicing hiragana and while I was guessing all the Elders were acting them out. Everyone was laughing so hard and I was super confused, story of my life. It was great I love my district so much! Lastly we were reading through one of our grammar book in the common verbs section and pine tree was typo ever! So during class we had to make sentences. The sentence we had to finish was "So that I love my companion(s) more I will.." My dearest companion said, "So that I love my companions more I will pine tree." I cried, best day ever! 

I'm a Missionary
The coolest experience happened to me this week! On Sunday at the devotional the speaker talked about how he prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true. He bore his testimony over and over of the truthfulness of it but after awhile the feeling became numb and his testimony seemed rehearsed. So he prayed to know if it was true. He said don't be afraid to ask if something is true. Do it over and over if you need to. Heavenly Father will answer your prayers. So I was like cool story I'm going to try that! So I prayed to know if the Book of Mormon is true. The next day we were reading a chapter from the Book of Mormon in class and every two verses we stopped to apply what he had just read to our lives. The fact that we could do that and how easy it was for us to do is amazing! By the time we were done the spirit was so strong. That's when I got my answer. The Book of Mormon is true. It was written for me and for you. For our families and friends. For our ancestors and our posterity. For everyone. Heavenly Father gave us this book so we would know of his love for each of us. So we could know of the Plan of Salvation, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and so many other blessings. All of this is written down in the Book of Mormon. If you haven't prayed to know about it, please do. If you have prayed, do it again. You will not regret it. It has changed my life. I love this gospel so much, I don't know what I would do without it! I love being a missionary. This place is so great! I can't wait to get to Japan and start teaching people this joyful message!

We decorated our door. I drew all the flowers! It's like the MTC makes your talents come out of no where! Super cool! 

Please keep sending your experiences. Thanks for your uplifting words. You're the coolest cats ever!

Ai shite imasu

Zollinger Shimai

Thursday, July 9, 2015

That MTC Life

Nihongo nametag and scriptures

Ohiu gouzaimasu!

The MTC is the coolest place of my life! I love it here so much. Everyone is so nice and friendly and willing to help everyone!

Funny highlights: In Japanese the way you say scriptures sounds like the English word for Satan. So in our second lesson one of my dearest companions accidentally told our investigator Mizuno-Son that we were going to read from "satan"...whoops. When she realized what she did we all laughed, it was great! The second funny moment: one the Elders in my district was tapping a tune on his desk and didn't finish it, so me being the whistling lover that I am whistled the last two notes. It came out sounding like a cat whistle..Needless to say I am now known as the flirtatious one. 

We matched!! Meadows, Kuta, and Zollinger Shimai
For everyone that doesn't know I am in a tripanionship! My companions are Kuta Shimai, and Meadows Shimai. They are seriously the cutest and I love them so much! It's different being in a trio because not only do you have to make sure one person is with you, you have to make sure there are two. But I love it! We were so meant to be companions! What one person can't do the other two fill in. 

LDS Provo Temple

Nihongo (Japanese) is such a beautiful language. Don't get me wrong it's hard but it's so worth it at the end of the day. Everything about it makes sense and the meanings of words are so beautiful! For example Sukui is salvation and Sukuinushi is my Savior so it directly translates to my salvation, so beautiful!! Sorry I'm in love. 

Being a missionary is so amazing. Heavenly Father is so willing to give you whatever you need to fulfill His work. The other day I was sitting in class and I just felt so sick. Like really sick. I just wanted to go die in a hole by myself. As I was sitting there in my misery I decided to pray to feel better. The most amazing thing happened. It was as if I felt the sickness leaving my body leaving me feeling good. I know that Heavenly Father hears and answers my prayers like I know my hair is curly. He really does listen and if we pray with sincere faith he will give us everything that we need. I testify of that. Tuesday night we had this awesome devotional. My favorite thing that was said is, "if you ever have a question about the First Vision ask God, he was there." Isn't that so true though? Sometimes the most simple things are the ones that are overlooked. Why wouldn't you go to Heavenly Father every time you have a question. He is in every detail of our lives. I know that every time I've had a question I could ask God and he was there for me. It may not have been when I wanted, but it was always when I needed it. Like when I was feeling sick in class. Heavenly Father is real and he loves each and everyone of us. I have learned so much here in the MTC. I knew there was more for me to learn but I never knew it was this much! The church is true!
My district, totally describes all of us
I loved hearing from everyone! If you want to Dear Elder me ask my mom. Seriously it's the coolest and I get to read them right when I get it! It's super easy! 
(To send letters by Dear Elder. Unit number: 38 Country Code: JPN-SAP)

Shout out to Caitlin for drawing the coolest robot picture! (Everyone loved it) 

Last thing I want to say to you is the last thing my mom said as I was walking away. She said "Be Confident" Being in the MTC has given me so much confidence. I know that I am a daughter of God and that he called me to do this precious work. I have never felt more confident in my capabilities than when I am surrounded in the arms of Heavenly Father's love. 

Be confident in who you are because Heavenly Father loves you and if anything else I think you're pretty great!


Zollinger Shimai 

P.S. my spelling was bad before but thanks to Nihongo it's nonexistant.. Please disregard all spelling and grammar errors. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

First Letter

Hi parents!

I'm alive (they told me to say that so you're not scared) Just kidding! Today has been legit! Oh my goodness I want to be a missionary forever! I'm sorry but I don't miss non missionary life at all! I don't get a P-Day tomorrow since it's my second day sorry but I will get to email next Thursday! I love you both like crazy! Pictures to come soon!

Love you Lots!

Zollinger Shimai

And She's Off!!

Zollinger Shimai entered the MTC yesterday.  Her Nana, Papa, sister Jessica, Aunt Nora, Aunt Kaylynn and cousin Zoey drove to Provo to drop her off.  What a fun adventure!!

For those who would like to write to her while she is in the MTC - here is her address:

Sister Emily Marion Zollinger
2007 N 900 E Unit 38
Provo, UT 84602