Konichiwa my sweet kazoku (family)!
WOW! What a wonderful whirlwind it's been here at the MTC. I don't even know what to start with! My companion is Fasa Shimai (Sister Facer), and she is from Salt Lake. She went to BYU-I and was majoring in Elementary Ed, we get along really well and haven't had any problems. I'm actually adjusting pretty well! It seems like it has been 3 weeks since we came... I can't BELIEVE it was just Wednesday when I got dropped off (4 days??) I know this is going to fly by, we are already learning so much and FEELING so much and having so many experiences... I love it!
Last night we taught our first discussion in Japanese. (ahhhhh!) ha ha. We learned to bear our testimonies yesterday. We received probably 10 books from the MTC for language study the first day! AHHH it is so fun. I've been very open in writing about the MTC experience, and I want to be with my kazoku and friends--it's definitely not easy! We work so hard. The first few days we've been to the gym every day, we get ready so fast, we study language for sometimes like 6 hours... but it is SO AWESOME. The Spirit is wonderful here. I found all of your sweet notes (Mom, Jana, Annie, Mook)!
To my sweet nephews: it is SO WORTH IT. I watch how Elders in our district and some of the older elders learn and change, I see myself changing--and I just love missions! Please put your eye on the goal of going... it is SO WONDERFUL. I can't even explain to you how wonderful a mission is. I truly know that this is what God wants for his sons, and some of His lucky daughters that have the privilege to serve.
We learned to pray in Japanese a few days ago, we can bear our testimonies, today we are learning more about conjugation. We do get some chances to work with language software in a lab about once a week at our own pace, I am really excited. My shimai and I are working to understand each other more, but we truly get along well and we are working hard. It is fun to learn how missions work!
I feel like I have been here 3 weeks (or 2?) and I am growing so much. I plead for my charity to love my district and my companion, and all of those I meet. It truly is so wonderful! Our sensai is awesome and he is really helping us pick up the language. Yesterday, I felt like I was understanding a lot of what he said... and it is our 3rd day! I am so excited. At the same time, I have opportunities like teaching where I KNOW that I cannot do this alone. It is so wonderful!!! I feel so humbled to be on a mission, but a lot less hard on myself than I thought I would feel. Letters and my setting apart blessing have truly helped me realize .... (Thanks for all of your advice Nate! It has helped me so much already and I look up to you so much. Thank you!) I know that I am not alone. Last night, I was reading Matthew 8:24-27 and Matthew 14:29-31. I love these experiences, because the Savior was with both of them the whole time. The boat was in the midst of a sea, "COVERED" with waves. How I want to be covered so I can emerge again better! I know even if we are faced with many trials that we can come out clean, a new person, a stronger tool to work in the service of the Lord. My heart longs to serve Him all of my days. How I love the scriptures! I know that there is so much power in them.
Thursday we had a meeting with our Branch Presidency in which all of the new Shimaitachi and Chorrotachi got to bear their testimonies. It was so neat to see all of these young men stand up and cry over their families, to say how much they wanted to set good examples, to hear how many wanted to serve the Lord, to hear how many sisters and elders knew that this was what the Lord wanted them to do. It made me realize that everyone has things we are going through that we can't see (again I learned this!), and that we should always love everyone as much as we can because we don't know what they are going through.
I also read last night the story of the five loaves and two fishes (don't worry Mom, I'm reading the Book of Mormon too) :). I shared this with my district, even though maybe I shouldn't have... what can I say, I've been a camp counselor for too long. I know that the Lord is helping me learn and I am earnestly feel that He is shaping me!!
So! We taught our first lesson to Mori Moto San. It definitely was not what I expected and it was ROUGH. I think both of us were kind of shocked, but I recovered pretty fast. We just couldn't understand him! We get to teach him again today--I know our district was a little digruntled. But, truly, I am so grateful that the Lord qualifies us. I know that this is the way it is supposed to be. (Thank you for your sweet letters Mom and Dad!) Near the end, even though I couldn't really communicate, I just kept saying "Kamisama ga MoriMoto San ai shimasu. Kamisama ga MoriMoto San ai suru to shitte imasu. Ieso Kirisuto ga MoriMoto San ai shuimasu..." Even though I couldn't communicate with him really, I truly had this sweet personal experience where I knew that the Spirit transcends all boundaries, even language. As I tried to speak to him of how much God loves him, how much the Savior loves him, my eyes welled up with tears. We fumbled in and fumbled out and fumbled through, and he probably couldn't understand most of what I was saying, but I know even if it was for that moment that the spirit encompassed our room and tried to give all of us a hug. This work is true, and I know this is how this is supposed to be! It is so wonderful that the Lord lets us work and grow and learn. I feel like every time I fall, it is just an opportunity given to me for the Lord to take me higher. We bounce higher with the Lord when we are thrown! How I love Him, I know my complete dependance on Him and I am so grateful that, like the Savior on the boat and Peter on the waves, He is with me.
I love you sweet fam!! Thanks for your love (Mom, will you send this on to fam, and maybe post to FB or to a blog? Only if you have time.)
LOVE YOU ETERNALLY, thank you for your love and light and examples--this is the Savior's work and He is at the helm. You are in my thoughts and prayers--press on and enjoy this glorious work! How I know that He lives!
Love, Andasan Shimai :) (Sister Anderson)