I can't believe it is already P day! Time here is so trippy, each day feels like a hundred years but the weeks just fly by...it is already almost February, that is absolutely insane!
This week was super good but also super difficult. Some random highlights include:
-Breaking the MTC record for sisters in the soccer juggle and mile run (I am not going to even tell you my time or number on either one of those because they are embarrassingly bad, but hey I was bored in gym one day. The moral of the story kids, is don't get out of shape after high school!!!) My name is on a board and it made me happy and pretend to have a regular life for two seconds.
-My companion and I got pulled out of class one day to be in a photo shoot for a new missionary website...basically we went out by this random tree and pretended to pray in the snow, but hey, look for us on the world wide web now!
-Sister training leaders! Tupuola Shimai and I were made the sister training leaders of our branch this week which basically means we are the sister equivalent of zone leaders. We are over all the sisters in our zone and it is a lot of fun and a great opportunity to serve, I love it a lot. We get to train and teach and interview people and it is wonderful. I cannot wait until we get new missionaries in next week!
-Our senpai left this week to Japan, so we are now the oldest missionaries in the Japanese zones. It was really sad because they were so much fun and we loved them a lot, but it was time for them to move on to bigger and better things.
-Celebrating a birthday of one of the choros in the district. Some moms smuggled us in cake and martinellis and we really had a party. Super good time!
Okay those were just some random happenings of my week, so now on to the good stuff: the Nihongo update and the Spiritual stuff.
As far as the Nihongo...it is really hard. I kind of hit a wall this week and there was one day where I was just like "I do not even want to be doing this anymore." But, through a lot of prayer and reading the Book of Mormon I was comforted and reinvigorated and I have actually learned a lot. It is easy to get discouraged because I feel like I don't know anything, but then I just take a step back and think about where I started. The gift of tongues is real and it manifests itself when I have the courage and the faith to actually open my mouth and attempt to speak in Nihongo. I have learned that the Lord will ALWAYS help you with the language when you are attempting to testify and teach by the spirit. It is such a blessing, and I know that someday I will feel confident in this language so long as I try and always have the spirit with me and rely on the Lord. We still have plenty of humorous experiences with the language though. Earlier this week Tupuola Shimai and I accidentally mislead our Buddhist investigator Asakura Kyodai and told him that essentially we lived as scary ghosts in the premortal life, and the entire lesson we basically just preached that we lived as monsters with God up in the clouds before this life #apostasy #falsedoctrine. When we got out of the lesson we laughed for a solid five minutes because sometimes you can either laugh or cry, and we choose to laugh. I also accidentally testified to my district that this church doesn't receive revelation or have priesthood authority. Yeah it was an interesting one but luckily I am not the only one to make such ridiculous mistakes and we can laugh it off. I really am learning and I really do love Nihongo, especially praying. It is SO cool getting to pray in another language. I love it so much.
Okay this week was also crazy spiritual and built my testimony so much. Last Wednesday we had the opportunity to listen to the Worldwide Missionary Broadcast and I learned SO much. We got to sing "Called to Serve" altogether and it was neat knowing that I was singing that song with my homies all over the world whether they be in Peru, El Salvador, Indiana, Lousiana, or anywhere else I can think of. The broadcast was of the importance of teaching repentance and baptizing converts, and what really stuck out to me was the idea of reactivating less active members. Japan is really struggling with inactivity right now especially among their youth, and I am super fired up to go and love them and try and bring them home. Every one of those individuals is a child of God and was somebody else's convert, and I want to do everything I can to bring them home.
Another very spiritual experience I had was yesterday when I was preparing a lesson. We were going to teach on eternal families because our new investigator Nagau Kyodai lost his wife to cancer and is feeling very lonely and sad. We prepared this whole lesson and it came time for me to write out my testimony of families in Nihongo. As I struggled and did it, I felt the spirit testify to me SO strongly that families really are forever, and what a blessing that is. Through this gospel we CAN be with our loved ones again. I was struggling this week with missing my family, but as I prepared this lesson and testified of its truth, I was so filled with comfort as I was reminded that I left my family for a short season so that I may help others be with their loved ones for eternity.
Watashi no mokuteki wa, hitobito ni Kirisuto no moto e kuru yo susumeru koto desu. Sono tame ni watashi wa Iesu Kirisuto to Kirisuto to aganai, kuiaratame, baputesuma, Seirei no tamamono o ukeru koto, saigo made taeshinobu koto o toshite, karera ga kaifuku sareta fukuin o ukeirerareuru yo tasukeru no desu.
I love you all so much, and my prayers are with you. This church is so so so so true, and I testify that it WILL change your life if only you allow it to.
|Westlake cross-country peeps.|
|Sisters from her Zone|
|Missionaries from her zone that are on their way to Japan. Alyssa's group is now the "oldest" Japanese speakers in the MTC.|
|I never knew a planning meeting could be this much fun.|
|Some kind of Japanese product|
|Candid shot with mouth open as usual|
|Tupuola Shimai and Pickering Shimai|
|Apparently Alyssa has as phone now that she is a Sister Training Leader. I am not sure who she actually calls with that phone though.|
|The early bird captures the worm or at least the washing machines in the MTC|
|Pure joy that comes from receiving a package full of your own socks from back home.|