Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Fukuin wa jinsei desu (Gospel is Life)

Well another week down and another great letter.  I am just so happy to hear that Alyssa is loving the MTC and the people she is with every day.  I totally understand the reference to Groundhogs Day because I remember feeling that as well.  The big difference though is that most of what she is experiencing is positive rather than crazy like the movie.  And it looks like the Japanese is coming along nicely.  Google translate isn't my friend when it comes to Japanese so hopefully you all have better luck figuring out what she is trying to say some of the time.
I am going to post a short message from her letter to me because it seems to sum everything up in a simple phrase:
Hi Mommy!
I am doing super well.  I am so tired and sometimes crazy frustrated with myself and the language, but I am also always happy.  I didn't consider myself an unhappy person from before, but I don't think I have ever laughed or smiled more in my entire life here.  Living with the spirit is really the best way to live.
I hope we can all remember that living with the spirit is really the best way to live.  It is obviously working for her :)
Now for her letter:
Konnichiwa minasan!
Ogenki desu ka?  Genki desu, and I am still super pumped and happy to be here!  I just wanted to take a minute and say thank you for all of the prayers, the love, and support that I have been receiving and feeling. It means the world to me and is a great motivator when things get rough.  Also to everyone that has sent me mail, THANK YOU!  Mail might be the lifeblood of the MTC (secondary to the spirit, of course), and it makes my day like 900 times better when I get to hear from all of you.  If you don't know what Dear Elder is also, investigate that, because it is a beautiful free mail service that delivers to the MTC no charge and you just type it as an email.  If you want to let me know what is up throughout the week, that is the best way to do it!  Anyways, thank you all again so much!  Aishiteimasu!
This week was super great, although admittedly my days are starting to blur together here a little bit because we do so many similar things.  My district and I decided that our MTC experience is a mixture of the movies "Groundhogs Day" and "The Village", and if you have seen those movies, there is my life in a nutshell right now haha.  I seriously love it here though.  The spirit is incredible and we have had so many amazing opportunities!
My companion and my district are still great, we really are kazoku here.  All the choros call me mom because they forget to do things like 24/7 and I have become the voice of reason when they want to do things like dare each other to eat a whole stick of chalk (which they did anyways, because I was teaching my kyudosha and wasn't in the room).  Overall we are still having so much fun though!  My branch is also great, and we are the "special" Japanese branch because we get all the native speakers in our branch.  This week we got 6 Nihongin in our branch, and I love them!  They are so funny and nice and their testimonies have been inspiring to me.  The Nihongin people are amazing, I just love them so much already!
Tupuola Shimai and I had some great lessons with our kyudosha this week, and the last one in particular was super powerful.  It was the first time we shared personal experiences in Nihongo and the Seirei was very strong and we all cried, and then she asked to offer the prayer, which she did and it was a very tender experience that made me love teaching even more.  You can only imagine our surprise when the next day to find out that "Takahashi Shimai", our cute little investigator, was actually our 3rd Sensei, Kawamura Shimai.  Plot twist of the week right there! We all laughed about our experiences as we failed to teach what we wanted to, and she gave us some great feedback.  I seriously love her, she is so cute and awesome.  On that note, we start teaching 2 new kyudoshas this week, and it was kind of a spiritual experience finding out because it is just our senseis acting, but they are acting as real investigators that they taught on their dendobus.  They just bore their testimonies of the realities of these people, and how much they loved them, and they plead with us to love them so much because they are Ten no Otosama no kodomo.  It was a very special experience to "meet" them.
Oh! I finally know hirigana know (one of the Japanese alphabets), so that is very very happy!  I can finally read the hymn book and sing in sacrament, as well as read things that sensei writes on the board, so it is wonderful.  Nihongo is super tough, but I am really loving it.  All of my prayers are completely in Nihongo, and the gift of tongues is soooooo real.  Such a blessing.
Finally one more experience/thought, this week at Sunday night devotional we had the chance to hear from Sister Janice Kapp Perry and her sweet husband.  They were too cute, and serious relationship goals.  She spoke about song and testimonies and the importance of being involved in our missions with our whole hearts.  We sang a medley of her songs, and then at the very end we sang the EFY Medley, and I have never felt the spirit so strongly through music.  I had chills and everyone was crying and it was amazing how the spirit chooses to testify.
Well, that about sums up my week!  I am so happy here and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.  Being a seknyoshi is such an amazing experience, and I encourage EVERYBODY reading this to be a missionary, whether full-time someday or in their daily lives.  The Lord has so many people He wants to be blessed, and He needs all of our help to share His light and His love.
Watashi wa Iesu Kirisuto ga Sukuinuishi da to akashi shimasu.  Watashi wa Kamisama a Ten no Otosama da to akashi shimasu. Watashi wa Morumon Sho go shinjitsu da to shitte imasu.  Watashi wa Josefu Sumisu ga yogensha datta to shitte imasu.  Watashi wa fukuin ga shinjitsu da to akashi shimasu.  Iesu Kirisuto no mina ni yotte akashi shimasu, amen.
Sister Pickering

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