Tuesday, August 30, 2016


They have Kit-Kats here. I almost cried when I saw I could buy a big bag of them. Gotta love American candy. Don't worry, dad, they have snickers too.

SO. I am in Japan. How crazy weird is that? Let me be the first to say it's definitely not Utah. I miss Utah but Japan is beautiful. It's kinda weird, though haha everything is so close it's basically all just stacked together but there is SO MUCH green. Like I don't think I've ever seen so many trees and plants in my life. Just randomly on a pretty new building there will be shrubbery growing from the side. So. Much. Green.

For our last devotional in the MTC we got to see The Nashville Tribute Band again. Yes, I did thoroughly enjoy myself. I love them. I am constantly singing their songs. Poor Porter Shimai has to listen to me all day.. Whoops..

Porter Shimai. She's the cutest. She's my trainer. In the field they call her my "mom". Don't fret, mama, she's just trying to fill the hole in my heart where you belong. But yes, she's great. She is incredibly nice. Seriously. We'll be walking and she'll just randomly pull out her iPad and be like "it's time for a walking selfie". I don't know what else to say about her other than I think she kinda looks like Martina and I love her. Oh, and she's from St. George and we are serving in Hachiōji.

BY THE WAY, shout out to mama fish for the Mormon muffins. You da real mvp, mama fish. Those things saved my soul those last few days in the MTC.

Saying goodbye to people is real hard and I don't like it. First we had to say goodbye to Hansen Kyōdai. Then we had to say goodbye to Gappmayer Shimai (yes, I cried. I love her, okay.) and then we all had to say goodbye to each other. Leaving my district was reaaaaaal rough. I just really like 'em. Saying goodbye to Smith Shimai was awful. I had to just walk away before I cried again haha I think it's clear that I'm very happy she lives so close to us in Utah.

Thanks to traveling, I was awake for a full 24 hours on Monday/Tuesday buuuuut thanks to that I didn't have any jet lag at all. So yay for that!! Traveling was kind of awful though haha I guess I just don't like that part of the adventure. Although, I got to see the ocean for the first time. Granted, it was from a window of a plan but I still saw it! And I also saw lots of rice patties. Welcome to Japan.

Every day I'm pretty much all good and then like 6:30/7 hits and my brain is just like "let me rest!" Trying to understand Japanese is probably the worst part of it actually, it is the worst part of it all. If you ever want to feel alone, go to a foreign country where you are the minority and no one will talk to you and when those few people do, you can't understand ANYTHING and you look stupid. Literally. I love Japan but it's been rough.

Yes, Heidi, my hair has been a giant frizz ball. No, I haven't done anything to even try to combat it. I'm embracing it.

Whenever we go dendō (literally means missionary work) my job is this: "konnichiwa! O-genki desu ka?" And then Porter Shimai jumps in and does the real work while I just smile and nod my head with an occasional "hai!" Thrown in from time to time. I'm so good at this whole "missionary" thing.

Literally, and I don't use this word lightly, right as we got to our apartment and dropped my stuff off the chōrōtachi called us and asked if we could meet them at the church, which is a solid 15 minute walk from our apartment, which normally would be fine but in the humidity, it's always awful.  So we make the trek to the church there is a girl waiting for us. Her name is Miku San and SHE stopped the elders and asked to talk. How great! So we talked with her for a little and she is so great. She seems so interested but she's also soooo hesitant to let herself believe because of the Japanese culture. She told us she doesn't know if she can pray like us or believe in God like we do but we're going to try out best to help her! We're teaching her tonight so fingers crossed it goes well!!

HAPPY LATE BIRTHDAY, HEIDI!!!! I hope it was a great 22nd birthday😘😘 I had real ramen. Yes, it is delicious. We also went grocery shopping today. That was interesting. Japanese food is weiiiiird. Even the packaging is weird. I also bought a ton of Japanese candy. I had too.

Church. I can't tell you how it actually was because we had ステーク タイカイ(stake conference). Oh boy, I thought everyday conversation was exhausting, I was wrong. Staying awake and trying to listen killed me. But I survived. I even understood like 6 words.

Everyone here is so nice. I mean that. SO NICE. The members are the besssst. They offer to drive us everywhere and take us home after dinner and come do member present lessons and give us food and yes. I love them. They're all so cute. There are like a trillion classic old Japanese ladies in this ward and I love it. They are exactly how you'd picture them to be hahaha.

Last night we had some dendō time so we went a couple train stations over and did kubari (passed out flyers for the free English class we teach each Wednesday). And big surprise, it was raining. It's always raining here. And when it's not raining you pray for rain so it will cool you down because it's freaking hot. Humidity is not my friend. Anywho, kubari. It started pouring. So hard. But we were like "we said we'd stay here until 7:25 and we are staying!" So we stood out in the rain and got "keko desu"ed (I'm okay). But I still enjoyed it haha we had a few people stop and talk in to us. These three people I talked to probably only stopped because I am a gaijin but they stopped! They were super surprised when I said I was 19. Everyone is always shocked to find out how old we are. Always. It's crazy to them haha. But yes, kubari is fun, even in the rain.

I'll send pictures in another email:)

D&C 6:36; D&C 84:10; 1 Nephi 3:15; D&C 88:6-13, 40, 49-50, 63-64, 73, 76-80, 104, 118-119, 124-126 (that whole section is good but these are bomb).

I love you all! Getting to talk to you on Monday was the best thing EVER. I hope you all know how much I love you and miss you. Stay safe!!!!!!

I love you. I love Nihon. I love Nihonjin. I love this gospel. I love Heavenly Father. And I love Jesus.

--Fishburn 姉妹

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

9hrs 51mins later ....

Sister Fishburn has arrived !!!  After that flight, and 8 weeks in the MTC, she is more than ready to get some fresh air and start proselyting.

Good Luck Haley !!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Haley's on her way to the "Land of the Rising Sun"  via Portland.

It was great to talk to her on the phone this morning as she waited to board her flight.
Her spirits were up, she was excited for the journey ahead.

Watch out Tokyo

Wednesday, August 17, 2016



K, I'll stop with the caps lock now.. 

So. On Thursday we got our Katakana name tags. We have to get Katakana ones because the Nihonjin can't really read our names in English haha so we get cool ones. Everyone's are so cute and short and cool looking and then mine barely fits on the tag.. Hahaha oh well, I'm just excited to wear it in Japan and hear them call me "Fee-She-Baaan Shimai". 

FLIGHT PLAN FRIDAY!!! Flight plan Friday is the bomb.com. They come in the mail so basically you get them when your district leader feels like going and getting the mail. Our district leader, Schow Chourou, decided not to go get them during study time so we wouldn't get distracted and could focus on what we were supposed to be doing, which I think was a fabulous idea because all the other districts went and got them as soon as they could and then they just "partied" instead of studying. So we got ours like 3 hours everyone else but to me that didn't really matter because whenever I got that paper, I would still be leaving at the same time and that time wasn't for another week. So yeah. But once we did get them, much joy was felt. It was a good day *thumbs up*

Friday was also "Floral Friday" so the Shimaitachi and Gappmayer Shimai took a million pictures in our floral attire but they're all on Carpenter Shimai's iPad and I haven't gotten them yet.. But I can assure you that they were adorable pictures and we all looked super cute. 

OH MY. Taylor Shimai got me sick. I've had the worst summer cold since Saturday. And let me be the first to say that being sick in the MTC is the absolute worst thing to ever happen to anyone. You still have to be happy and teach lessons and study and be productive but all you want to do is curl up and die. But it's all good! I'm getting better and I'd rather be productive and have a good last week in that sense than sit and do nothing and be unprepared to leave. 

The Nashville Tribute Band is coming again on Sunday and I am PUMPED. Seriously, so excited. 

Monday was our last day with Hansen Kyoudai. So weird. He showed us a bunch of pictures from his mission and people he taught. It was cool to hear him talk about it and how much he loved it and the people. It made me so excited to go to Japan and love and serve the people there. I can't wait to meet all the people the Lord needs me to meet! I'M SO EXCITED TO GO TO JAPAN.

Today is day 57 of the mish. And all of those 57 days have been spent in the MTC. Fun fact.

On this week's episode of "Messing With Gappmayer Shimai": We moved to Korea. We had one of the other senseitachi reserve a room for us the floor above us, Korea, and we moved all of our stuff up there. And I mean ALL of our stuff up there. We set it up to look like our classroom and then left for lunch. All we left in our usual classroom was "Come join us! Moses 7:23" on the board. Look it up, you'll laugh. Well, people with a missionary sense of humor will laugh. We knew if we went up the stairs we usually do, she'd see us and know what was going on. So we went up the other stairs and as we reach the third floor and turn the corner to go wait for her in our new room, she comes out of the room, carrying our buckets of stuff, looks at us, shhh's us, and then runs down stairs with two chouroutachi following her with more stuff. She moved all of our stuff back downstairs and totally ruined our joke! But that's okay, it was still funny and we enjoyed it hahaha. This is what 9 weeks in the MTC does to people.

Last night's devotional was by Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson. I have some good one liners for y'all. "With big change comes growth, and growth can be uncomfortable". Genesis 18:14, look it up. "If you put your trust in the Lord, He will guide your footsteps". She said that and I instantly thought of spring concert sophomore year. I know that seems a little far off but let me explain. The theme that year was "A picture paints a thousand steps". That year I had to put so much trust in the Lord because it was rough. Real rough. But when I did He guided me to the wonderful people of Dance Company and that spring concert was the proof that He did guide me. He did guide my footsteps. He's always been guiding my footsteps. And He always will guide my footsteps. Other good insights from the devotional: The Lord loves you enough to cut you down in order for you to grow into what He wants you to be. Your plan for yourself may seem great but His plan is greater. Trust that those moments when you feel small and weak are Him preparing you for something amazing. The Lord has great things in store for us all. 

3 Nephi 28:31; 4 Nephi 1:17; Mormon 7:5; and Mormon 9:37
I pick a scripture every night from what I studied earlier that day and write it at the top of my journal entry for that day. That's how I pick these scriptures for you all to read. Not that you probably even care how I pick them but I thought I'd share that with you. 

I love you, you know that right? I love you all. Every one of you. I miss you all every day but only for about an hour before I go to bed because if I let myself think of you for more than that hour, I'd probably be home and not writing you an email from the MTC right now. But I do miss you. And I love you even more than I miss you. I hope you all know that. I'm so excited to get to call you all on Monday! I'll get to the airport probably sometime around 8:00am and as soon as I get through security I can call y'all! So be expecting me! Also, parentals, do I have a certain amount of time on the phone you sent me that I can use or is it unlimited? And what do you want me to do with said phone once I'm done with it..? And thank you for that!! It's going to be so great to be able to just call you all and not have to wait for a phone! 

Miss you lots and love you more!!
Stay safe. Stay classy. Stay sassy.
Ai shite imasu!
--Fishburn Shimai

Floral Friday

Floral Friday

Taylor Shimai got me sick so therefore I was pouting

Taylor Shimai and I with Hansen Kyōdai on the last day
of him being our teacher😔 also, the awkward pictures
with the male gender have begun and idk how I feel about them. So much awkwardness.. 

"Golda Fishburn" it's always nice to see a DC buddy👍🏻
District 6A with Hansen Kyōdai and Gappmayer Shimai 
Hansen Kyōdai likes to boss us around. Sore wa daijobu desu.

Ashli Jones on her first day at the MTC

Monday afternoon nap

Banks Chōrō is seriously too good

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Konnichiwa, minasan!!

Konnichiwa, minasan!!

We are now moving on to week 8. I can no longer speak English and I also cannot speak Japanese so it's becoming a problem. 

In other news... My life in the MTC is very boring. I mean, you probably already realized that but yeah. It's boring. BUT. I get my flight plans on Friday so WHOOT WHOOT.

I realized that by the time I get to Japan I'll only have four months until Christmas which means four months until I get to skype y'all and four months until my six month mark. WHAAAAAAT? Crazy. So crazy. Especially since I feel like time is going to go even faster once I'm in Japan.  

On Saturday my district was challenged to volleyball by another district. They were talking smack and thinking they were all big and mighty. Well. We played. And we were respectful. And we had a good run. And we won. We were victorious. District 6A are the volleyball champions. 

Sunday was just a good day. Fast Sunday's are long but I quite enjoy them. Especially when we have chicken cordon bleu for dinner:) We also got to hear from Matthew Holland. He's the president of UVU and Elder Holland's son. He looks and sounds JUST like his dad. He basically did a history lesson on Joseph Smith so as you probably guessed, I loved it. After the devotional we got to watch Ephrium's Rescue. OH MY. I really like that movie hahaha and I highly suggest watching it. There are some slightly sarcastic characters in it and every time they said anything Taylor Shimai would lean over and be like "You have to be related to them". It was a good time.

President and Sister Burgess sat by our district during lunch on Monday. That was a fun time. Apparently their daughter lives in the area. What a small world! They asked me where I was from and I said "Kaysville, if you know where that is haha" and President Burgess was like "Oh, we know where it is! We drive there all the time!" So yup. Cool fact. 

Spiritual thought: Prayer is amazing. I was struggling with some frustrations and such and decided that I was not going to be able to get through them alone. So I said a prayer and my heart was pounding and going all crazy and all that jazz and as soon as I said "amen" I was instantly calmed. My prayer was literally answered right as I ended it. It was great. Seriously. I know it sounds kind of lame but trust me, the power of prayer is real and I felt it in that moment. 

"What did they do to Gappmayer Shimai this week?" is probably the question you've all been wondering. Well. She told us she had a secret LAST Tuesday. But then she wouldn't tell us the secret. She just kept saying "I'll tell you in a couple days" or "next week". So since we have no other way to keep ourselves entertained, we came up with our own idea of what the secret was. Logically, she was getting engaged. So we bought her a card and all of us signed it and got almost all of the senseitachi to sign it. The notes were all very heartfelt wishes of happiness and congratulations. We told her that we'd tell her our secret when she told us her secret. So yesterday we had a "himitsu party" (secret party). Her secret was that Elder Andersen was supposed to be at the devotional last night. After she told us we promptly gave her the card to which she laughed so hard at she cried. When we had one of the senseitachi sign it she was like "oh, she's gonna love this!" and she did. I think we have succeeded in becoming her favorite district. Of. All. Time. 

Guess what. Gappmayer Shimai's secret was real! Elder Andersen really did come last night! And since I go to choir, and somehow ended up on the front row of the choir, I got to be front and center for the devotional. He started off by telling us that "missionary work is not complicated... Though it is not easy". SO TRUE. One thing that he said that really stuck out to me was "Don't be discouraged. Be full of courage!" I love that. Gappmayer Shimai was telling me how my first full day in Japan will be finished up by going street contacting and that terrified me. But when I heard Elder Andersen say that I was like "I can do this!" I just need to have courage to open my mouth and the Lord will help me and guide me. I can do hard things!! (Especially with the help of the Lord..)

Helaman 5:45-48, Helaman 8:23, 3 Nephi 5:25-26, 3 Nephi 11:14 (basically just read that whole chapter [3 Nephi 11] because who doesn't love Jesus?)

I love this gospel. I love this church. I love my Heavenly Father. I love Jesus. And I love you.
Stay safe. Stay classy. Stay sassy.

(You can't beat that, mom)

--Fishburn Shimai

Oh, look. I'm going to Japan!

Kind of hard to tell but there was about a million
missionaries on a temple walk Sunday afternoon.

Temple Selfie!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Another one bites the dust... Bum bum bum ba da da da da da dun

Smith Shimai and I with
Gappmayer Shimai (my sensei) nephew
These Chōrōtachi are from Braziiiiil.
How cool is that? They're also SUPER nice.
And with that, week 7 is upon us. And week 6 has bit the dust. (Does that even make sense?)

Hello, FamBam!

How are all of y'all? I hope you're good. I hope all is well in the land of Kaysville. I miss Kaysville. Actually, I miss the real world. I feel soooo disconnected in here and it's driving me slightly insane. I realized yesterday that I haven't been in a car since mom and dad dropped me off. How weird is that?


On Wednesday we had our last TRC where we taught two members from Provo. Taylor Shimai and I got to teach a Nihonjin and a guy with one leg. They were both super cool guys. The Nihonjin read the Morumon Sho so fast. He finished and just laughed at our faces of amazement and said "Watashi wa Nihonjin da kara" meaning he is Japanese. Yeah, we figured that out hahaha. The guy with one leg was super funny. Tonight we have TRC again but instead of teaching two members we are teaching one member. Who is in Nihon. Who is Nihonjin. My anxiety for this lesson is through the roof. AHHHHH. But it'll be fine! The Lord will not let me fail! Well, he won't let me fail too bad, anyway..

Our senpai left on Monday and today we are getting 33 new kouhai! I'm a senpai now!! Wahoo!! And I get my flight plan a week from Friday (I'm not excited or anything to go to Japan). It's starting to get real. Real fast. But yes, much excitement. 

Thank you to my parents for restocking my carnation instant breakfasts. I was worried I would have to eat real food (if you can call the MTC breakfast real food). 

Sunday we heard from Stephen B. Allen again. He spoke our first Sunday here and is great. He asked us to stand up if we'd heard him before and then promptly apologized to us for having to endure it again and for the fact that we've been here long enough to hear him speak twice. He has a wicked sense of humor and I LOVE listening to him. Afterwards, we got to watch the Joseph Smith movie again and I was one happy camper. I love that movie SO much. So much. 

I don't know if I've told y'all about this game but Gappmayer Shimai taught us a game they play in Japan called "Take noko" and you stand in a circle and count one by one in Nihongo and if you say a number at the same time as someone else, you're out. If you're the last one to say a number, you're out. If that makes any sense. So it gets pretty intense sometimes haha. Anywho, I do NOT do well under stress like that at all so I'm usually one of the first ones out. BUT WAIT. PLOT TWIST. I won! TWICE!! I was super proud of myself hahaha 

Last night we got to hear from Bishop W. Christopher Waddell. First off, I love devotionals. Second, he was an amazing speaker. He covered like a million topics but they all worked together perfectly and it was just grand. I wish I had my notes so I could expand but alas, I left those in my classroom. But yes, he was great. After we had a "devotional review" in our districts and oh me, oh my. It was SO GREAT. I think being around the spirit so much as made me kind of take it for granted but last night during our review, the spirit was so strong and it just reminded me to constantly be seeking it. So yeah, seek the spirit always! Don't ever take it for granted!!

I know, you're all just so excited to skip over this part and not even look them up. But I'm sending them anyway:) Alma 37:36-37, D&C 54:10, Alma 48:17, Alma 56: 44-48 (Because who doesn't love the Stripling Warriors?).

I hope you never forget that. Ever. You're all amazing to me (And to Heavenly Father and Jesus so clearly, you're pretty great).

Stay safe. Stay classy. Stay sassy. 

Ai shite imasu!!
--Fishburn Shimai

P.S. Greer Chourou told me that he can't ever tell when I'm being serious or when I'm being sarcastic and it really confuses him. Don't worry, fam, I still got it *thumbs up*.