Thursday, July 24, 2014

Week 8: Last Week in America

Hello Family and Friends!                                                                                      July 24, 2014

This week has been pretty great! We had our last couple of lessons with our investigators, so that was bitter sweet. This week has been filled with a lot of lasts. Last week in America, last devotionals, last lessons, last day with one of our favorite teachers. I'm sure you get the point. Sometimes, because it is our last week, we have been tempted to not try quite as hard, or to speak in English rather than Japanese, because it will be the last time for 16 months (since I will be headed home to Sweet Home Alabama 16 months from now).

 Despite all the lasts though, I have been able to reflect on just how much has happened over the past 8 weeks. I came into the MTC with a testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel and a strong desire to share it with everyone I meet, but while I've been here in the MTC, my testimony has grown so much, and has been strengthened every day. I have learned that as you share your testimony with others, it not only helps them, but it helps you as well. During our TuesdayDevotional, Elder Stanley G. Ellis and his family spoke to us. They have 9 children in their family and all 9 of them served missions. The youngest is still on her mission now. Well, each child bore their testimony to us, and shared a short little message. One of my favorites was from one of their sons. He talked about how on his mission he gained a true sense of his potential. He said, "My mission became for me a personal school of the prophets." Something that we are told all the time as missionaries is that our most important convert is ourselves. How can we go and teach others about the gospel and invite them to come unto Christ when we ourselves aren't converted? I have thought a lot about my potential (as I am sure you may have noticed from my email every week) since I have been here at the MTC. A lot about not just what I want for myself, but what God wants for me. It really is an amazing thing to think about. When we align our wills with Kamisama no mikokoro (God's will), we are so blessed. Heavenly Father wants us to be happy and to do all we can to return to live with him someday. So put your life in His hands. Strive to know what he has planned for you. What better hands for our lives to be in than His. 

I love you all so much! I wish I had more time to write more this week, but with packing and last minute things I don't have as much time. 

You are all so wonderful! Thank you for all of the wonderful examples you are in my life!

Next time you hear from me, I'll be in Japan! 

Ai shitte imasu! 
Robertson Shimai (soon to be Robotosan Shimai) :)

Well, for whatever reason, pictures won't upload. Gomen nasai!

(So, a little while later she was able to get a couple of pic's to come through) - The first picture is of her MTC District with Ellsworth Kyodai on one of his last days as teacher. (the tall one in the middle with the white name tag)

On Amanda's P-day (Preparation-Day) on Sister Ashley Peel's first week at the MTC.  

Both Sister Robertson and Sister Peel - From Madison, AL, leave next week for their individual mission area's. Kobe, Japan, and Indianapolis, Indiana.

Monday, July 21, 2014

(snail mail) Teach with the Spirit and Travel plans

Another snail mail letter - 

(Kazoku – Family)                                                                                                    July 17, 2014

I always have so much I want to tell you, and then I always run out of time!  It’s a problem! Actually, more often than not I feel like I don’t have anything to write about, and then I sit down and have so many things I want to say, and so many cool experiences I want to share with all of you, and then before I know it I am out of time. I guess that means there is a lot that Heavenly Father wants me to share with you. J
Let’s see… Okay so one of the cool things that happened this week with Nihongo. Lately I have been struggling. I have good days and bad days when it comes to Nihongo. Sometimes I feel like I know enough to go to Japan, and then other times I feel like I don’t know anything! It’s a struggle. Well, after a week of craziness, I was feeling down, and then during our lesson with Morimoto San, I had prepared so much more (written out what I wanted to say – I had learned new vocabulary that I wanted to use in our lesson, but I knew if I didn’t have it written down, I would forget it).  We were teaching him about having faith in Christ, and how we need him to be the Foundation of our Faith (Helaman 5:12). I was able to share my experience with faith in Christ and how it has helped me. As I was talking Morimoto San made a face (which normally means we said something wrong/weird), but I just kept talking. After I had finished, Eyring Shimai asked him how he was feeling. We knew the spirit was there, and wanted him to recognize that. HE started by saying he was surprised by my Nihongo, and that it was josu (skilled/good). Then he told us how he knew it could help him. It was a cool experience.
The next day, we had skype TRC, and I was feeling less than confident again. Our lesson was okay, but we felt like she was teaching us more than we were teaching her. After we got to class, we had a lesson with Hasegawa San. We were teaching him about missionary work, and I was able to share with him what the gospel means to me. I once again felt the spirit as I was teaching. After our lesson Ellsworth kyodai said that sometimes he feels like we are teaching him too, not just Hasegawa San.  Teaching by the spirit is the MOST important part of being a missionary. It doesn’t matter how perfect my Nihongo (Japanese) is, if I don’t teach by the spirit, it means nothing. So for any of you going on a mission, or perhaps just sharing the gospel with a friend and being a member missionary, never forget the importance of teaching by the spirit. I’ve seen how powerful lessons can be when the spirit is present, and I have seen what I thought would be a great lesson turn out not so great because the spirit wasn’t there.
One of the great lessons we learned yesterday, is to never apologize when teaching about the gospel. (I mean apologize if you say something wrong/mean/offensive, but never apologize for sharing the gospel.  “When you apologize, you weaken the Lord’s message, and you don’t have that authority.” Improve, keep trying, but don’t apologize.

AND – she has official travel plans!  She leaves early in the morning, from Salt Lake City on July 29th.  She will arrive in Osaka Japan in the afternoon of July 30, 2014!    

Week 7: Temples, Tanaka San, and Two Weeks until Japan

Konichiwa Kazoku to Tomodachi!                                                                                                      July 17, 2014

Genki desu ka? Well I hope! This week has been another one for the books. And by that I mean it has been great. Don't get me wrong, there are always rough days, but regardless of the rough days, each week ends up being the best yet! It's a funny concept, but I promise it is true! 

Last Thursday, so a week ago, we got to help clean the Provo Temple. :) The sisters got the AMAZING opportunity to clean the chandeliers! How amazing is that? I never quite realized just how intricate the chandeliers in the temple are. We had to individually take out all of the crystals, clean each one individually, and then reassemble the chandeliers one crystal at a time! Isn't that crazy! We must have had angels helping us, because somehow, we managed to do it without breaking any. I have always enjoyed looking at the chandeliers in the temple, and sometimes, I just sit and am mesmerized by their beauty. Now, I just love them even more. Heavenly Father is in the very details of our lives. Like in the temple, we made sure to clean every crystal individually, He knows each of us perfectly. He knows what we are struggling with, and how we feel. He knows who we can become, and through trials and tribulations he helps to shape and refine us so that we can reach our divine potential. Just like each and every one of those crystals were important to us, each and everyone of you is important to him. I know Heavenly Father loves each of his children, and as we pray for the gift of Charity, we can feel His love for others as well. Charity (the pure love of Christ) is truly an amazing gift.

On Sunday, for Relief Society, we were spoken to by Sister Anne Claig (of the General Relief Society Board). She spoke to us about being missionaries. As missionaries we need to know our purpose, be bold, and expect miracles. This however, also applies to us in our day to day lives. We need to know our purpose her on earth. Why are we here? Where are we going? What do we want to become? And most importantly, who does our Father in Heaven want us to become? We need to be bold, and act on all promptings that we receive. Never ignore a prompting, you never know who it could help. There are many times in my life where I have ignored promptings, and I will never know what I could have done, or who I could have helped if only I had listened. Since I have been at the MTC, I have learned to recognize promptings and to act on them, and every time I am filled with so much love and charity for God's children. Expect Miracles. There are so many miracles happening around us everyday. I promise that as you look for the little miracles in your lives, you will find them, and you will better see the Lord's hard in all aspects of your lives. It is truly amazing!

During our devotional Sunday evening, Brother Heaton taught us about Charity. Often (especially in the South) people think about WWJD (What Would Jesus DO), how often though do we think about WWJF (What Would Jesus FEEL)? We need to know not only what He would say and do, but what and how He would FEEL. We need to be filled with LOVE, COMPASSION, and CONCERN for those around us. It is hard to be upset with someone when you are thinking about how Christ would feel. When you turn outwards, and think about others you will always be filled with love and joy. "Charity always requires sacrifice . . . Charity is who we are. It's not what we do." I know that as we seek for opportunities to serve others and strive to see them as sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father, we will be filled with more happiness than we can even imagine. Sometimes, as we are teaching, or as we are serving the sisters in our zone, I am overwhelmed by how much love I feel for them. How much their Heavenly Father loves them. It truly is amazing. I challenge each of you to pray for charity this week, to see others the way Heavenly Father sees them.

On Monday, our district played a game called Tanaka San. Whoever is Tanaka San can only speak in Nihongo (Japanese) the WHOLE day! The goal of the game is to get the most votes, so even if you aren't Tanaka San, you want to speak in Nihongo so everyone else thinks you are. Are you thoroughly confused yet? Haha. :) At the end of the day, we all vote who we think Tanaka San is. The person with the most votes wins. So, we each draw a name out of the hat (expect we used an empty altoids tin... We make do with what we have. Haha!) and then we start playing when we wake up in the morning. On Sunday night, I drew Tanaka San, so then I had to speak in Nihongo all day long. Let me tell you! It was tough! Sore wa muzukashii desu! Demo, tanoshkatta desu! It was hard, but so much fun! I managed to only speak Eigo in class when we were allowed, and twice to people who didn't speak any Japanese. By the end of the day I felt like my Eigo got worse, but I started to recognize all the things that I do know how to say in Nihongo. When we voted, we ended up with a four way tie (but I was a part of it). It was a fun experience, and I learned a lot. 

Tuesday Devotional, we were spoken to by Elder L. Edward Brown (former Area 70). He talked about the name of Christ, and how when we teach, and testify, and pray we need to be more aware of the name by which we are doing things. Praying in the name of Jesus Christ is not just a way to end a prayer, or to end a testimony or talk. When we do things in the Name of Jesus Christ, we are representing him. We need to be confident and trust in Him. When we teach, or when Priesthood holders give blessings, we are doing it in His name. He shared a story with us of when he was giving a blessing to a friend. He was so worried about not being good enough, and not feeling like he would be able to bless him the way that he needed to. As he was worrying, this is what came to his mind. "Are you going to bless him in your name, or in Mine?" What a powerful and humbling reminder. Are we doing things in our names, or in His? If we are only relying on what we are and aren't capable of, and not relying on Christ then we are not truly taking the Name of Jesus Christ upon us. We need to have confidence in Him, and in and then through Him, we can help bring others to Christ. It was a really humbling reminder. I am not teaching in my name, I am teaching others in the Name of Jesus Christ, and through him I don't have to worry about not being good enough, because He is. And through Him, and his infinite atonement, I can become better.

Okay. Real quick last thing. I am running out of time, and I still feel like I have so much more to tell you! Maybe I will just have to write another letter home with everything else. 

In class yesterday, Ellsworth Kyodai taught us a very valuable lesson, and I want to share it with you. He asked us what we would take home from our missions if we were to go home right now. What would we have learned? I felt prompted to share how important we all are to Heavenly Father. I have learned how much He loves me, and how important I am to Him. I am capable of so much more than I give myself credit for. We are all so important to God. He loves each and everyone of his children. As we were teaching our investigator yesterday, I realized that we had been asking him each week about his girlfriend and how she was doing, but we never asked what her name was. How was he supposed to know that she was important to us, and even more importantly that she is important to Heavenly Father when we didn't even know her name. God knows though, and he prompted me to ask so that I could testify of His love for her. It was a really cool experience and I knew in that moment, that we are all important. We all have so much worth, and even though we may not know it, God does, and through Him, we can feel of his love for each of His children. 

I love this gospel! I love being a missionary. I know with all of my heart that this gospel is true. I know that God loves us, and I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to teach others of His love for them. I love you all! 

Iesu Kirisuto niyotte o akashi shimasu. Amen.

Robertson Shimai

Ps. I have seen Isaiah Nicholson, Thomas Bagley, and Ashley Peel this week! They are all doing great! I would send a picture but I can't get it to work!

Pps. We get our travel plans tomorrow!!!!!

Week 6 - Next Fast Sunday Will Be My First Sunday In Nihon

Kazoku to Tomodachi,                                                                                                                 July 10, 2014

Konichiwa! Genki desu ka? This week has been pretty great. Itsumo subarashikatta. 

Real quick, sorry if you haven't been getting my emails for whatever reason. I guess something happened, and my group list thing got messed up, but hopefully I fixed it. :) I promise I love you all and didn't want to make you feel left out.

Okay, so on Friday it was the 4th of July. :) Being at the MTC we have a very scheduled life, and don't have a lot of time for extra things. Luckily though, we got to have a special fireside. After the fireside they (the MTC Presidency) surprised us with a movie. We got to watch 17 Miracles (a movie about the pioneers). It was so good! By the time it was over, it was already 10:10 (almost time for us to be in bed)! They however told us that we could go outside, eat ice cream and watch the fireworks. :) It was awesome. There were fireworks at the BYU Stadium, so they were just behind the MTC. :) They ended at 10:45, and then we headed back to our residence and got ready for bed. By the time we finally got to sleep, it was an hour later then normal. We were all so tired when we woke up! Who knew one hour of sleep could make such a difference???

One of the cool experiences that I had this week was while we were extending a challenge to our shimaitachi. As STL (sister training leaders) Eyring Shimai and I get to interview the shimaitachi maishu (every week). We like to extend a challenge at the end of our interviews. It is always something that will help us all to become more Christ-like, or to recognize the blessings in our lives. Well, over the week I had noticed how impatient I was getting with myself and especially with others. Little things were really starting to bug me. As I payed attention to the shimaitachi, I realized that they had been struggling with the same thing. I then felt prompted to challenge them to something that would help them to be more patient. I wasn't sure that it was something that everyone needed, but I felt like it was what we needed our challenge to be based on. Eyring Shimai and I decided that every time someone was doing something that was bothering them, that they needed to think about something they really liked about that person. Something they were really good at, and if they felt so inclined, tell the person what they liked about them/ what they were good at. That way it not only helped them to think more positively about the other person, but the other person was uplifted as well. As we were telling the sisters about our challenge, each of them talked about how that was something that they were challenging themselves to work on as well, and that because we had challenged them, they knew they would be more committed to keeping their challenge/goal. :) I knew that Heavenly Father had blessed me to know the needs of the shimaitachi, and I was so grateful that we were able to help them. 

Within the last week we have had so many devotionals with such wonderful speakers! I wish I had time to tell you about them all! Sunday morning we had Mission Conference, then Sunday night we had a devotional with Josh Wright (a phenomenal pianist). Then Tuesday night we had a devotional with Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles! We are so blessed here at the MTC to hear from such wonderful speakers. The MTC truly is the best! :) 

One of the things that was talked about in Mission Conference was an announcement from the First Presidency. As missionaries, we used to only focus on finding, teaching, and baptizing, and then the wards/branches were in charge of retaining and activating. Well, now we are privileged to not only find, teach, and baptize, but also retain the new members, and reactivate those who have fallen away. :) As part of that the missionaries reteach the lessons to the newly baptized members over a 3-4 month period, and then stay in contact with the converts for a year. It's pretty exciting, and I can't wait to get started. Imagine how much the church will grow and be strengthened. In some parts of the world there are wards with 300 active members, and about 800 inactive members! Imagine how many peoples lives would be blessed if those 800 came back to church. I love that Heavenly Father knows each of his children, and he cares about them so much, No one is ever forgotten. It truly is amazing, and I know that this will help Him bring his children back to Him. What an amazing time it is to be a missionary!

Let's see... I'm almost out of time. One of the cool things we got to do this week was skype TRC. We got to skype with Nihonjin members living in various different parts of the world. We taught a man named Taguchi Kyodai. We shared with him a message about Service and Missionary Work. We started out by sharing a scripture in Mosiah that says "when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." As we shared that scripture with him, he told us that it touched his heart and brought tears to his eyes. We were able to talk about the blessings of Service and Missionary Work, and hopefully help to strengthen his testimony. :) He was so sweet, and I loved being able to teach him. :)

Well, I think that is about it for this week. I love you all! You are the best! I love hearing from you!

Robertson Shimai  

Week 5: One month down, one to go!

On Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 10:15 AM, Amanda Robertson <> wrote:

It's crazy how fast time flies here at the MTC! As of last Saturday, I have been here for a month, and we leave for Japan at the end of this month! Crazy! We should be getting our travel plans in 2 weeks I think! That is crazy to think about!

I have so much I want to tell you all, but with the amount of time that I have, I always feel like there isn't enough time, so today I think I am only going to write in English, because it comes so much faster to me and I don't have to worry about how to spell it. Just remember that I am still learning SO much, and my Nihongo is improving more and more each day!

Okay! Now onto my week. This past week has been truly great! I love the MTC, and every week just keeps getting better and better! During class we were able to do an activity called "Demonstrate Teaching" where our teacher was the investigator, and we all took turns teaching him. The investigator that he was pretending to be was named Masuda Shimai (although he pretended to be Masuda Kyodai instead). A little background on her. Her husband found the church, and was a very strong member. She however hated the church, and did everything she could just to spite her husband. He stopped smoking, and she started. Anyways, she was/is a very stubborn lady, but she loves the Missionaries. Her husband got cancer, and couldn't go to church on his own, she had to go with him. The missionaries would come over all the time to spend time/teach her husband. Okay. So as a class we were trying to figure out what we should teach her. I felt prompted to share that we should teach her about God, and how he is our loving Heavenly Father. As I was speaking, and sharing with everyone why I thought/felt like that would help her, I felt the spirit teaching through me. I said something about how that knowledge would help her to feel loved, and help her to know that she's not alone. Well, the important part that Ellsworth Kyodai explained while he was introducing her story to us, was that her husband had just passed away, and that is when the missionaries started to teach her. Talk about teaching by the spirit! I had no idea that he had just passed away, and that she truly was feeling lonelier than ever! Heavenly Father knows his children. He knows exactly what they are going through, and I love the opportunity that I have everyday to be an instrument in his hands!

One of the things that missionaries learning another language are supposed to do, is SYL (Speak Your Language) as much as you can. If you know the word in Nihongo, then you are supposed to say it in Nihongo. If you know the general sentence structure in Nihongo, then you are supposed to say it in Nihongo, with English words thrown in if you don't know how to say those words in Nihongo. Anyways. It is a really good idea/program, and has worked miracles for missionaries (with lots of divine help of course). Anyways. It is great... There is only one problem though. I am terrible at it! Sometimes I just say things in English because it is easier, and I don't have to think about what I want to say. Or I know the word in Nihongo, but I just say it in Eigo anyways. Basically I am the worst at it! Our teacher Ellsworth Kyodai talked to us about it at the end of last week, and afterwards I felt bad for not doing it. But at the same time I just had a really bad attitude about it...
 "Kurasu ato de (after class), we went to lunch and sat by the atarashii nihonjin shimai (new Japanese Sister Missionary - from Japan). She is so kawaii (cute)! I need to be better at talking to others every day. I also need to be better at thinking optimistically. Just like my daddy said, it is all up to me and my attitude whether or not I am happy. Anyways during lunch, we went and talked to Ellsworth Kyodai and he helped me to feel a little bit less hatred towards SYL (without actually saying anything). So that was nice. I guess just the love he has for us, made me feel like he wouldn't tell us something if we didn't really need to hear it."
I have so much respect for Ellsworth Kyodai and Gauthier Kyodai. We really are like a little family! As a district, we spend so much time together, and with our teachers, that it is impossible not to love them all! Our teachers have taught us so much, and they always push us to be better. I am so grateful for them and their sincere desire to help us grow and become better. They truly are the best!

This week I had the opportunity to say the closing prayer in Relief Society (with ALL of the Sister Missionaries), and then in the Tuesday devotional (with ALL of the Missionaries here at the MTC). Talk about nervous! I actually didn't get nervous until right before I prayed! I guess it was the anticipation, and the hour to think about it and how many people were there! It was a really cool experience though, and I after having to pray in Nihongo all the time, I loved being able to pray in English! :)

This week we heard from Sister Neill F. Marriott (Second counselor in the Young Women's General Presidency), Brother Stephen B. Allen (who works for the media department of the church - probably not the right way to say that, but I hope you get the point), and Elder Lowell M. Snow (former member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy Apostles). :) It was a great week! I learned so much from each of them! I wish I could share all of it with you!
One of my favorite things though, was Elder Snow's devotional of Tuesday. He shared with us so many different stories and examples of people who were/are disciples of Jesus Christ. One of the stories was about an Elder who has Cerebral Atrophy, and how everyone he met, could see Christ's image in his countenance. They knew he was a true disciple of Christ. One of the things that Elder Dan Ito said was, "It sounds crazy, but I want to change the world." I know it may sound crazy, but I want to do that too! I want to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone I meet! I want to help them to know that they are loved, and that they truly have so much divine potential. I want others to be able to see His image in my countenance. To see the Light of Christ through me. I want them to open the door, and even though they may not understand a word that I say, want to know more because they saw "the virtue in [my] face." I am so grateful for the gospel, and the blessing that it is in my life. I am grateful for Christ and his infinite atonement. I am grateful for prayer, and I know that Heavenly Father answers my prayers. I know because I have seen it happen over and over again. I have felt so much love and joy as I have made a conscious effort to become more like Him. 

This week, I encourage all of you to find time in your busy lives to pray to your Father in Heaven. He loves you and he wants to hear from you. He wants to answer your prayers and to bless you. I promise that as you pray with a sincere desire, and with real intent he will answer you. He will comfort you in your moment of weakness, uplift you when you feel like no one understands. Be a friend when all you need is someone to listen. I know Heavenly Father will hear you, and he will not leave you comfortless. 

I love you all so much, and I am so grateful for each and everyone of you! You are the best! You are a child of God! :) And he loves you even more than you and I can possibly imagine. 

Robertson Shimai

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

That letter she mentioned. :]

Kazoku! (Family!) 

Alright, now I can finish what I wanted to say when I was emailing.

So! Lots of stories about loving those I serve. On getsukyobi (Monday), when Gauthier kyodai came back, after we taught Wakertsugi Shimai, we got to teach as a class. We’ve taught as a class before, but Gauthier kyodai always pretends to be someone else. We were able to teach him as himself this time. He has been struggling with feeling the spirit since he’s been home from his (mission) dendo. He still seireio kanjiru (feels the spirit) but not nearly as often as he would like. We were able to help teach him ways to more abundantly feel the seirei in his jinsei (I’m pretty sure that means life). I was able to feel so much love for him as we tried to help him with his trials. I have noticed a lot recently how much love Heavenly Father has for his kodomotachi (children). Kamisama wa watashitachi o ai suru to shitte imasu. I know that God loves us.
During our lesson with Hasegawa San kino (yesterday), we were oshie (teach)ing about Junketsu no Rippo (the law of chastity). He understood everything, but was struggling to know why it wasn’t okay to live with his girlfriend. As he was talking to us, and sharing with us how much the fukuin (gospel) has already changed his life, I was filled with so much, ai (love) for him, and I wanted so badly to taskeru (help) him. I knew he was having a hard time accepting the imashime (commandments). We had taught him about the Chie no koto ba (Word of Wisdom) a couple days before, and he was already trying his best to stop smoking, and then to be told that he either needed to move out, or get married to his girlfriend… It’s a lot for anyone to take in. At one point his eyes began to tear up. I was able to say kamisama wa Hasegawa San o ai shitte imasu. Chotto muzekashii, demo it’s worth it. (HasegawaSan, Heavenly Father love you. I know it can be a little hard, but it’s worth it). I told him that Junketsu no Rippa o mamoreba jinoei o shukenfuku suru to shitte imasu. (if you keep the Law of Chastity, your life will be blessed). We were able to testify to him that Heavenly Father will help him. He asked if he could pray, and he inori (prayed) for strength and comfort. When he finished his inori, he said that he felt Heian to nagusume (peace and comfort). Oh my goodness. I wish you all could have been there! I absolutely love being a missionary!  I invite you all to pray this week for charity, so that you may see others the way God sees them. It is truly the best feeling. That is just one small example of how wonderful being a missionary is.

That leads perfectly into Elder Christofferson’s devotional about the Worth of a soul. He opened his talk by sharing the story about 18 month old Jessica who was trapped in a well for 58 hours. During that time there were so many people who didn’t even know Jessica that knew she was precious and wanted so badly for her to be saved. So many prayers were offered in her behalf. “We all sensed the worth of a soul”. Eventually she was rescued and now (all grown up), she has no recollection of her time trapped in a well. The thing that he wanted us to get out of this story was just how much one person is worth to God. The answer is, so much more than any of us can even fathom. We mean so much to Him. We are His children, and He loves us. We each have a divine potential. As we grow closer to our Heavenly Father, and apply the (atonement of Jesus Christ) lesu Kirisuto no aganai into our lives, we can begin to recognize that divine potential that we all have. We are all sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father, and we all have the potential to be like Him and have all that He has. If you ask me, I think that is a pretty incredible blessing. It is important for us to remember though, that we are not the only son/daughter of God. Everyone that you meet is a son/daughter of God. Each of them has that same great potential. As we strive to serve them, and to see them the way that our Father in Heaven sees them, we will be filled with love. Kore was shinri to yakusoka shitte imasu. I promise this is true, and that it will happen. I’ve seen it happen so many times over the past month! “Your soul is precious in the sight of God,” and so is everyone’s you will ever meet.
As I have gotten to know the kyudosha (investigators) that we teach, or the shimatachi that we hoshi (sisters that we serve), or watashi no doryo, or watashi no dendobu kaicho, or the new kohai, or watashi no senseitachi, or the list could go on and on! As I have gotten to know them, and I mean really know them (not just one shallow first impression kind of thing), you will be filled with so much love, charity, and compassion for them. I could go on and on and on about this, because I know it’s true. I know without a shadow of a doubt, that as you strive to see others the way God sees them, You will be filled with so much love, that you won’t even know how to receive it.
Being a senkyoshi (missionary) is the hardest, most difficult, most challenging, most wonderful, perfect, fantastic thing I have ever done. Leaving the people I love so much and having very little contact can be really muzikashi sometimes. But the love that I have been given, by others and the spirit that I have felt, and the love I have felt for others is so very worth it. No matter how hard the gengo (language) is tokidoki (sometimes), or how chotto (little) I wakari masu (understand), it is all worth it. It’s all worth it. The (blessings) shukufuku outweigh the trials by more than I can count. (I am so grateful for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.) Matsujitsu seito lesu Kirisuto kyokai ni kanshu shitte imasu. Lesu kiristu  no aganai ni kansha shitte imasu. Opportunity I have to be a senkyoshi ni kansha shite imasu. Kazoku to tomodachi ni kansha shitte imasu. Ai, to Heian, to nagusume ni kansha shitte imasu., Being a missionary is honestly the BEST, and I wouldn’t trade it for the chijo (world). If you are thinking about serving a mission, just do it! (After you hajime inori of course! – pray first).

<3 Ai shitte imasu!
                                Robertson Shimai