December 14, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,
This is the last letter I will write as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Serving a year and a half in the Japan Sendai mission was my dream come true! I cannot express in words alone the gratitude I now feel for the Lord blessing me to come to Japan.
   I`ll never forget only 3 days before leaving for my mission my dad found a paper with my Japanese family history on it. On that paper was information that my great grandfather, Shichijuro Satou, was born in Fukushima-ken, and my great grandmother, Tora Masuzawa, was born in Sendai. The Lord had a plan for me to come here, a plan I didn`t know about. I served in four areas in the Tohoku, upper North part of Honshu Japan. I loved all my areas! Akita city, Hachinohe, Morioka, and last Aizuwakamatsu! I had seven wonderful Japanese companions and love each one of them! All of the members and investigators mean everything to me. Those who I taught and were baptized, Ishida Ryujiro from Akita, Shion Sasaki from Hachinohe, Hirono kyodai from Aizu are like precious pearls to me. I wasn`t able to find my Satou family, but I realized my family was all around me my whole mission! Every where I walked I saw my Japanese brothers and sisters. We are all part of one big heavenly family who lived with God before we came to this earth. Every person we see, meet, and talk to each day is a precious child of God.
      The Lord has always been my best friend, but I have come closer to Him through times of falling down and Him picking me back up. I love the Lord. As I told people every day about Jesus Christ my love for Him tremendously grew.
        This is not the end, this is only the beginning! My time might be completed as a full time missionary, but I will press forward with a love of God and of all men, feasting upon the words of Christ and continue to share with others about Jesus Christ!
     Love,
Butler Shmai
Tori
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