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Senior Missionaries

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Eugene and Shigemi Oshima

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Shigemi lived alone in Hawaii in her condominium. At age 60, she had just been told that she had cancer. She was despondent. Since her divorce, she had not been attending Church regularly for almost ten years. But she still had faith. She sought out Elder Yoshihiko Kikuchi who was then serving as the president of the Hawaii Honolulu Mission and asked him for a priesthood blessing.

After the blessing, she felt some assurance. She decided to become active in the Church again. She traveled to Japan to visit her mother. Returning to Hawaii several weeks later, she went to the doctor again. There was no sign of the cancer.

In 2001, she met Eugene Oshima who was also divorced. Eugene served in the Northern Far East Mission as a missionary in Japan from 1960 to 1963. His last assignment was as district president in Okinawa. Eugene had served as a scoutmaster and bishop in Hawaii. A graduate of Church College of Hawaii (BYUH), he taught third grade in the public schools for 24 years before he retired. He wanted to serve another mission, but was unable to do so because he was single. Within a short time after they met, Eugene asked Shigemi to marry him so they could serve a mission together. She agreed.

After sending in their missionary applications, they were called to serve in the Tokyo North Mission as the office couple. When this mission ended, after a few months they applied almost again and were called again to Japan, this time as proselyting missionaries in the Nagoya Mission. When this mission ended, they applied again for missionary service and were called as temple missionaries in Tokyo. Before this mission ended they had applied again for a fourth mission. This time their call came to serve as family history missionaries in Salt Lake City where they are now serving. 

What a delightful couple they are, full of good cheer and anxious to do the work of the Lord. Eugene has a delightful sense of humor. He tells of his own baptism as a twelve year old living in Lanai, Hawaii. His older brother, already a member of the Church, had invited Eugene to a scout activity at the beach. The missionaries were also there. His older brother called him from his swimming and told him he was going to be baptized. And that is what happened, no lessons, no interviews, just baptism. However, this baptism did not lead to inactivity, but to a life of faithful service in the Church. Shigemifs beauty is enhanced by a truly lovely smile and an anxious attitude of service. She radiates goodness, kindness, and faithfulness.

The Oshimas are a wonderful example of a couple who have their priorities straight and who know Him whom they serve. WWF 

Here is what they submitted about themselves when they began their Family History Mission.

Shigemi Uchiyama Oshima

I was born in Owase, Mie Ken, Japan on January 1, 1936. I have three brothers and one sister. All of us plus my father were born in Owase while my mother was born in Nagashima, Japan. I have very bad childhood memories. I was an extremely quiet child with hardly any friends. One day when I was about eleven years old I had a bad accident. I slipped and fell alongside a steep cliff and seriously hurt myself from my hip down. I was bed ridden for about a year. Those were the saddest days of my life. My mother took me to so many doctors/hospitals and spent so much money, but none of the doctors were able to find a solution to my injury. I suffered a lot during those years. I was not able to go back to school at all but fortunately I loved to read. I read any and all the books I was able to get a hold of. This reading habit have helped me a lot in my later life.

While living in Tokyo I met a caucasian serviceman serving in the U.S. Air Force. Both of us were rather young when we got married. We lived in Nagoya for about two years. My first two children were born there and my third child was born in Denver Colorado. Because my husband was in the military we moved a lot. We lived in Japan, New Jersey, Virginia, Colorado, Japan again and then Hawaii.

I never heard anything about Jesus and the Christian religion until one day when two missionaries came to our home and taught us the gospel when we were living in Virginia. After about a year of receiving discussions I was baptized and a week later my husband was also baptized. I referred to the missionaries the address of my mother and two brothers living in Tokyo. Later all three of them joined the church; one brother served a mission and the other brother later served as the stake president of the Tokyo stake.

While I was living in Hawaii I really wanted to become a travel consultant. In order to become one I had to go to school and pass the test. Since everything was in English I had a very difficult time but I persevered. I was so very happy and proud when I passed the test and received my certification; indeed that was a great accomplishment in my life. I know I could not have done this without the help of my Father in Heaven.

Unfortunately after living in Hawaii for about two months, we became inactive. Much of it was due to the fact that we were not firm in the gospel and the ward wasnft too friendly. After living this way for some time, things got worse and our marriage ended in a divorce. Later on my father in Japan became very ill so I flew to Japan to visit him. The doctor considered my father dead but my two brothers who held the Melchizedek priesthood annointed him with oil and gave him a blessing. He became well and lived over a year. After seeing this miracle I decided to become active again in church. I later took out my own temple endowments and later worked in the Laie, Hawaii temple as an ordinance worker for four years.

After being single for about ten years I met Eugene. Three months after Eugene and I were married we decided to serve the Lord on a mission. We received our first mission call to serve in the Japan Tokyo North Mission office. Because I was single for a long time and because I love to go shopping I had accumulated a lot of things. After it was certain that we were going on a mission I sold my beautiful condo in downtown Honolulu. I also gave most of the things I had to the poor (to my supervisor in the temple who had a large family). I took heed to the Saviorfs words, gGive all that ye have to the poor and come follow me.g So now we are ehomelessf but we have no regrets.

After serving three missions in Japan we were called to serve on this SLC Church and Family History Mission. We spent most of our married life serving on missions and have enjoyed every bit of it. Heavenly Father has really blessed us. We have received so many blessings since we got married. We have a firm testimony of our Savior, His Atonement, the Plan of Salvation, the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Restoration, the Book of Mormon, and President Hinckley as our true living Prophet. Life is Good our joy is Full.

Elder Eugene Torao Oshima

I was born on January 20, 1938 on the tiny island of Lanai, Hawaii. I have three brothers and two sisters. My dad was born in Yamaguchi Ken, Japan and immigrated to Honolulu, Hawaii when he was about sixteen years old. He later married my mom who was born in Puna, Hawaii. They later moved to Lanai and spent the remainder of their lives there, raising all six of their children on that island.

Because my dad had only a third grade education he really emphasized the importance of getting a good education to us. As a result all six of us kids graduated from college. In looking back I cannot help but believe it was a big blessing for us to be raised on a tiny island (a population of 2,500) and to be poor. Because we were poor it became imperative that we work together and help each other. And because we were poor we could not afford to purchase any toys so we made our own and played a lot of fun games. We went on many hikes, camps, and fishing trips. We were active in church and in the scouting program. We had so many fun times on Lanai; perhaps more than the erich kids.f

My oldest brother joined the LDS Branch Boys Scout Troop 43. He was then baptized and later all of us kids and mother joined the church. We were all very active in the branch.

My close friends and I had planned on joining the Army after we graduated from high school and make the military our career. However, just before I graduated from school my branch president had encouraged me to serve on a two year Labor Mission (help build the Church College of Hawaii in Laie, Oahu). I really wanted to go into the military with my good friends but I decided to accept this calling which turned out to be the best thing that happened to me in my life up to that point. Upon completion of my mission I attended the CCH which was a junior college then. Just before I graduated I received a mission call to serve as a proselyting missionary in the Northern Far East Mission (Japan) for two and a half years. I was very happy to accept this call. I really worked hard on my mission and enjoyed it very much.

Shortly after I returned home from serving on my mission I volunteered to serve in the military (Army) for three years. They sent me to Fort Ord, California for basic training and then to Fort Gordon, Georgia for schooling. I was then stationed in the United States European Command (USEUCOM) in Paris, France for the remainder of my military service. I was most blessed for serving there under such favorable circumstances.

After I was discharged from the military service I continued my schooling at the CCH where I lived in the dormitory. After one semester I got married in the Hawaii Laie Temple and lived off campus in a duplex close by. I accepted a teaching position at the Kahuku High and Elementary School after I graduated from CCH. I remained in that school until I retired twenty-four years later. We lived in the teachers cottage on the school campus for three years. While living there I built a house in Laie which we later moved into. All three of our children were born in Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii and raised in Laie. I served in several responsible positions in the ward/stake/community.

After being married for thirty four years and having three good grown children our marriage ended in a divorce. I then moved to Lanai and lived with my brother Stanley and his wife, and my brother Edwin. We had a very enjoyable time on Lanai until my brother Edwin passed away.

Three months after Shigemi and I were married we served on our first mission in the Japan Tokyo North Mission office. Several months after we were released we accepted another mission call to serve as proselyting missionaries in the Japan Nagoya Mission. About a month after we were released we were called to served in the Japan Tokyo Temple. Finally after about ten weeks after our release we accepted to serve on this our fourth mission, in the SLC Church and Family History Center. We spent most of our married life on missions and have enjoyed every bit of it. Heavenly Father has really been nice to us. We have received so many blessings since we got married. We have a firm testimony of our Savior, His Atonement, the Plan of Salvation, the Restoration, the Book of Mormon, and President Hinckley being our true living Prophet today. Life is Good; our joy is Full.

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