Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Sister Pickering Is Learning To Be Humble: MTC Week 4

My favorite missionary loving the snow

P-day couldn't come fast enough this week.  I am grateful for so many pictures of my daughter's beautiful face and the wonderful people that she is with every day.  Even better was to receive a short video of her sharing her testimony in Japanese.  I can't hardly believe it is her speaking.  The video is at the bottom of the post.  I hope it works so that you can all be amazed as much as I was hearing her speak in Nihango.  I love that missionary!!!

Konnichiwa Minasan!
I hope that everybody has had a wonderful week, because I sure have! Happy February too, holy cow this year is already going by so fast. And I hear that the groundhog didn't see its shadow, so that should hopefully mean an early spring for you guys as well unless I was lied to!
Where to begin this week...well everything is still good!  I am happy and alive and well.  I am not going to lie, my days are starting to blur together like a lot so I am sorry if these emails become really boring for the duration of my time here at the MTC...we just do a lot of similar things and are with the same people all day, but I will try and look for new material to spice it up for you!
Teaching has been going really well.  We had our first lesson with Nakau Kyodai, the brother who lost his wife to cancer five years ago and is taking care of his ailing member mother, and he is looking for hope.  We taught him a lesson on eternal families and it was AMAZING and the spirit was so strong, teaching is honestly the best. Yesterday we had another lesson where we taught him about the Plan of Salvation, and it also went well.  I was able to practice my super amazing artistic skills, so that is always a good time. He is progressing very well, so we are excited.  Our other investigator is sort of a trial for me, not going to lie. He is Buddhist and doesn't really have any desire to change his lifestyle, and can be pretty stubborn at times. Our lessons have been going okay, but nothing special.  The most frustrating part is that he doesn't understand why Christ is important to him, and so trying to get him to understand that has been a challenge, but it has also been a very neat experience. I love getting to bear my testimony of the Savior, because the Spirit will always testify so long as you are doing it properly. Although sometimes I still want to grab my investigator by the shoulders and just yell "Bukhyo wa shinjitsu dewa nai!" which essentially means that Buddhism isn't true, buuuut my companion thought I should probably refrain from that, and with good reason. The moral of the story is that I LOVE teaching though, and I cannot wait to get out to the field and hopefully do some more of it.
The Nihongo is coming along, slowly but surely. This week we learned SO much and I felt like it was finally starting to click to a degree.  Then yesterday I found out that we have to have 96 verb conjugations memorized by Friday and my morale lowered a little bit, but I have gained such a strong testimony of the gift of tongues, and I know that Heavenly Father will help me out as long as I remain worthy to qualify for the gift.  Japanese is actually a beautiful language and I am really starting to love and appreciate it, even if I don't know what I am saying half of the time!
Spiritually it has been a big week for me too. I have learned A LOT and have had some really high highs and some really low lows. I have learned that having the spirit with you is ESSENTIAL, especially as a missionary because you cannot do anything without it. I am literally so weak, and CANNOT do this alone, and it has been a very humbling experience. I have learned that it is really easy to lose the spirit whether it be through getting easily distracted or messing around or whatever, and it has really given me time to think and reflect on the amazing gift that the spirit it.  I invite everyone to do whatever they can to be constantly worthy of the spirit, because it is wonderful.
My testimony of prayer was also strengthened exponentially through personal experience and through a devotional that was given last night by Elder Zwick of the 70 and his cute wife. He talked about how necessary it is for us to pray even though God already knows our hearts, because He is our loving father and He is just waiting to love and bless us. He testified powerfully that our prayers will always be answered on behalf of our own interest, and sometimes that requires aligning our will with His, and not the other way around. That was something that stuck out hard to me because sometimes I struggle with that. I have been told that I can be a fairly stubborn person at times, and I like being in control of what happens in my life. However, I don't know best. I have a loving God that is here to put me through the refiners fire not because He doesn't care, but because He loves me more than I can understand, and I know that is true for every single one of you as well. Humility is definitely something I am working on, but I know that with the Lord's help, it will come.
You have a Heavenly Father that lives and loves you. He knows your trials and your joys and everything in between. He loves you so much and wants so badly to bless you, and sometimes you need only ask.
I testify that God lives and loves each and every one of us.  As we pray, and seek to align our will with His, we will see miracles and changes and happiness in our lives that we never thought possible.  This gospel is so true, and it will bless and change your life if only you allow it to, because I surely know that it is changing lives.
I love my God, I love my Savior, I love this gospel, I love being a missionary, and I love all of you. Thank you for the prayers and the love, because I surely need and feel it. Have a wonderful week, everyone!
Sister Pickering 
Alyssa's District including her Branch President Daniels Kaicho

Alyssa found Ben Christensen, a friend from Westlake

Apparently there is a record board in the MTC and Alyssa is on it twice.  Nice to see she is still her competitive self.
So all those years of soccer practice paid off just to get her name on this board.  She was on there for running the fastest mile but then some sister beat her out.  Not to be dismayed,  Alyssa then ran it again and "crushed her"  (her words) and will be back on the board soon.

Putting her artistic skills to good use -  The Plan of Salvation
The view from her classroom window

Her District studying hard in their classroom.
Her main man, Samual H. Smith

Love the Selfies


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