Monday, July 21, 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!!!!!

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