Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Week 3: I can't think of an exciting title... Gomenesorry. (ごめnえさい)

Hey kazoku to tomodachi! 

I hope you are all doing really well. It's been a great, difficult, and interesting week all at the same time. 

On Thursday last week, we had a district beach volleyball game. It was fantastic. My team won! :) Well, we don't actually keep score, but we won. Our district gets along really well, and we always sit together, and pretty much spend all day long together. Mokuyobi and Doyobi are our beach volleyball games. Basically my district is the best. The end. Jodan! There is still so much more to tell you. Saisho though, I have to tell you about my nickname. America Shimai. One day minasan (everyone) was trying to guess each others first names. Some of the chorotachi started guessing my name, and they couldn't figure out what it was. After they guessed some A names, I told them that A was the first letter. Then they guessed Amy and Amber, and I said that m was the next letter. Well, one of the chorotachi yelled out "AMERICA" and that became my nickname. And when we are playing volleyball, everyone wants to be on America Shimai no team (America Shimai's team). Just a funny, or not so funny story. You pick whether or not you laugh. Just remember "It's only funny because there is nothing else to laugh at at the MTC." (Something one of the Shimaitachi said after someone told a not so funny jodan - joke). 

The Temple was great as always! Watashi wa shinden o ai shite masu (I think that is how you would say I love the temple...). Ato de we came out of the shinden and were walking back to the MTC, it was stormy outside. It made me so happy. I miss Alabama Shu thunderstorms!

Let's see. This week I have been getting a little bit better at nihongo. Choto wakari masu (I understand a little bit more). So that is exciting. I am finally understanding the bunpo (grammar) and the bunsho (sentence) structure of Nihongo. Well, most of the time. Not when the sentences get super complicated though, I'm still working on that. Mostly, I am just struggling with remembering all of the vocab and phrases to insert into said bunpo. It's coming though, and I know that as I continue to put my trust in my Ten no Otosama, it will only get easier (or at least more manageable). 

Oh, Eyring Shimai and I are the new STL (Sister Training Leaders) for our zone. That means that we get to be leaders over the other Shimaitachi, and really get to know them and serve them. They are so great, and I am excited to serve them. One of the duties that comes with being an STL is waking up early to help check out the dai sempai (older shimaitachi) in our zone. They left on Getsuyobi (Monday) morning, and we had to wake up 30 minutes early to sign them out. At least it wasn't at 3:00am like some of the other zones! I love those Shimaitachi, and miss them all ready. 

On Sunday, Sister Sheri Dew came for devotional. She was such a great speaker (I forgot to bring my notes with though to tell you what she talked about!!!) I just remember that it was great! Sorry! Wait! I remember! She talked about the Grace of Jesus Christ, and how through that grace we have the power to use the aganai (atonement) in our lives. She told a story about how it was through the grace of Christ that she was able to forget about all the pain and hurt that she remembered about her father growing up (he had a temper, and took it out on his family). While sitting next to him in the hospital right before he passed away, she was able to feel only love for him, and was only able to remember the happy things. The pain was completely gone. I know that through Iesu Kirisuto no aganai, we can truly be freed from all of the pain, and sorrow of our lives. 

As STL and Zone Leaders in the Nihon area we met together and decided that we want to our zones to be held to a Standard of Excellence and to strive to build a Culture of Righteousness. We are all striving to be exactly obedient, and to use our time wisely. After all, we are on the Lord's time. :) And what precious time it is. 

On Gestuyobi we had TRC (I don't actually remember what that stands for) where we teach lessons to members of the kyokai (church). We had the opportunity to teach a member, and her friend (who is not a member). We had prepared to teach about Service, and Missonary Work, but felt like that was not what we needed to talk about. The other Shimaitachi went and taught before us, and were able to teach her about the Book of Mormon, they even gave her one and she was so eager to start reading. Eyring Shimai and I then taught her how to inori (pray). Something we have taught multiple times, but it is always so much more nerve wracking when it is real! While teaching her we were able to say so much more on our owns than we normally can. I usually have to read what I want to say (although I come up with the sentences beforehand) and this time, I was able to come up with what I wanted to say on my own (straight out of Watashi no atama! - my head). It was such a confidence booster, and I know that Heavenly Father was right there helping me. We were able to hear her pray for the first time ever, and it was so sweet to be there during that special moment between her and her Heavenly Father. She is interested in meeting with the missionaries again, and has already started reading the Morumon Sho! I love being a missionary! It is the absolute best to be able to share the love that Heavenly Father has for his children, and for them to be able to feel that love, and that desire to talk to him through prayer. I really love it!

Our investigators that we teach two to three times a week are pretend investigators. Our teachers act out some of the investigators that they taught while on our missions. So although the investigators themselves are not real (because they are just our teachers pretending to be investigators) the stories that they share, and the people that they portray are. I don't know if that makes any sense. But hopefully it does (my mom asked this week about who our investigators were, and I realized I never really explained how that works). I love Hasegawa San to Morimoto San though. They truly are great, and I love teaching them about Iesu Krisuto no Kyogi (the gospel of Jesus Christ). 

One of the funny mistakes that we made this week while we were teaching Morimoto San is that we read the wrong scripture. Finding scriptures in the Nihongo Morumon Sho is difficult, because we can't really read Katakana (one of the three alphabets). We were intending to read Alma 7:11, which talks about Iesu Kirisuto no aganai (Christ's atonement). Instead we had accidentally turned to Mosiah 7:11 which does NOT talk about the aganai at all... Go ahead and read it, and just appreciate that we made that mistake here while teaching a pretend investigator, rather than in Nihon with real investigators! Whoops... We have also said that when we the spirit helps up to feel haian (bronchitis or pneumonia) rather than heian (peace). Learning a new language is fun... Haha!

One last story really haiaku (fast)! Elder M. Russell Ballard came and talked to us on Tuesday Evening for devotional. He talked about staying focused and blocking out the "noise" of the world. Also about how we should never be ashamed to be a member of the church. He said (talking about the Apostles and the first presidency) "We will not, and we CANNOT lead you astray." It was really powerful. Sorry I don't have time to tell you more about it! 

Just a thought, the next companion that my trainer (in Japan) will have, will be me! I will be there next transfer! 6 more weeks to learn as much as I can!

Robertson しまい

My District is the best!

I love these Shimaitachi!! 

Shimaitachi at the Shinden 

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