Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Now that my twenty or so sample pages are done and are doing their work pitching the book for publication, I've begun the daunting task of scanning all 600-something pages. With a trusty old scanner and a nice, long audiobook, I've got my work cut out for me.

This morning I completed my MTC journal entries and most of my first transfer, the most contrasting two sets of pages in the whole book.  Going from laughing every day with two dozen friends and a supportive learning system to being thrust into the missionary field where I couldn't understand anything or anyone was a shock, and the effects of it took toll on my journal-keeping. I've so many times thought about why I had the initial training experience I did, and if nothing else, it taught me the kind of person I don't want to be the rest of my life. I may have had a really rough time in my first area, but it made me try harder the rest of my mission to get along with others and make do.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Another comic update

Over two years ago, I got the envelope from Salt Lake City that changed my life. To celebrate, I'm still working hard on preparing comic pages for print!  By request, I'm preparing a sample of  more "spiritual" pages that will probably end up looking like this:


Monday, September 16, 2013

Comic update

I'm moving into the long and arduous process of preparing my journal pages for print: scanning and cleaning up the artwork, re-doing the lettering (shortcut: custom font of my hand-writing), and working on print-only content like the image above. It's tedious and tough on my wrists, but it's also been fun reviewing all the old pages and reliving some of those memories.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Comics Aug 7-9 2013

This is the very last batch of missionary comic pages! More updates / more comics by Brittany will be on her blog at

Comics July 29-Aug 6 2013

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Last letter home as a full time missionary

Hi family!
Sorry this email is a bit late...this week's schedule is crazy and my LAST p-day got shuffled around a bit. But I read all of yours! Thank you for the fun photos of Belize! I wasn't picturing such a tropical beachy scene when I read your emails, so that was fun to see. Sorry for not sending more photos of my time in Japan to help you visualize, but in my defense I was busy drawing a 500-page book.
My last week in Japan. It's been really weird, and it doesn't feel like I'm leaving. Sometimes I'm really excited to come home, and other times I just feel sort of sick and have no appetite (which you'd think would work for a diet plan but doesn't, unfortunately). Preparations for leaving my companion as a new trainer (!) come Thursday have been kind of crazy, and I'm sure the next few days will be extremely busy as well, so say some extra prayers that I'll have a cool head and remember everything!
Thanks for making plans to meet the Stake President after I come in. But why did you schedule "three hours of crying, hugging, etc" ? Mum, you don't know me at all!
Anyway, you asked some questions about RM Day so I'll go ahead and answer those...
As far as Friday night dinner goes, will that be like a normal family dinner with just us or like a Big Family Dinner? Judging by the experience of going from the MTC to Japan, coming from Japan to Vegas will leave me stinky, incoherent, and utterly exhausted, so I don't think I'll feel like staying up and answering questions that same day. Scheduling a welcome home dinner another time would be better I think. Then I can help orchestrate a big Japanese food night, maybe even after Tyler gets home so he can be there too. This Friday night I want to eat what I've been craving and unable to find the last 18 months: cheap, unhealthy, drive-thru Mexican food. Laugh all you want.
As far as what I'll do once I'm actually home, I'm still not sure but I know the Lord will help me figure it out. Whatever's ahead in the next chapter of my life will just have to wait until I'm done pouring my heart out in Japan. I love these people. I don't want to leave them. They have taught me so much, and I'm excited to share it with you.
Well...This is weird. I'll never sign off an email like this again.
I love all of you!
Long Shimai
P.S. I didn't get time to complete any comic pages this week to email, but you'll see the real thing in a few days. Thank you for everything!

Letter July 30

Hi family,
Thank you for the emails! It really makes me feel appreciated and loved. You're the best!
Today I went to Tokyo for my very last temple p-day in Japan...It was weird saying goodbye to almost everyone. The ones who got the most teary-eyed were the mission president's wife and the office sister who will see me again this week anyway. After we complete a temple session as a mission, the tradition is to assemble in the chapel next to the temple to chat, exchange meishis (business cards with personal notes on the back), and make lunch plans. It's always awesome to be surrounded by so many friends who are all hard-working dedicated servants of the Lord. I love missionaries. For my last p-day lunch in Tokyo I picked my favourite pizza restaurant and everyone made fun of me for not choosing Japanese food, but we all had fun. On the way back to the train station, we passed a puppy store with huge windows, which was dangerous for everyone. My companion had to drag me away before I went inside and completely lost it.
Missionary work in Oyama is still going steady. We're struggling a bit to find investigators. We're making lots of friends, but we're trying to focus our efforts on people who want to hear about forever families, the gospel, and eternal life. We always appreciate your prayers in behalf of the missionaries! This week we followed some of Trina's advice and talked to shop-keepers, people window-shopping, people in community centers, etc. It sure beats knocking on doors where nobody's home, but we have to be a lot more casual with our approach, so there are always new things to learn. I wish I could just put up fireworks announcing God's plan of happiness and have people flock to the church, but missionary work is a lot like the rest of the gospel: it happens one at a time, to individuals, at the time they need it and in the wisdom of Heavenly Father. I'm glad He's in charge.
My favourite scripture this week was 3 Nephi 13:8. We shared it with a lot of less-actives. Heavenly Father knows our needs before we even ask Him, but He wants to hear from us in prayer. He loves us. He rejoices when we ask Him for help or even just talk about how our day went. I'm grateful for a God who knows me and who knows everyone I serve.
I love you all and wish you a great week! Look out for my email next week talking about miracles, because I know we will see many!
Long Shimai

Comics June 27-June 2, 2013