Hello to the Sweetest Kazoku in the World!
First off, I want to THANK YOU for all of your love and support. Thank you for your sweet uplifting letters, for filling me in on your children's lives, and for all you do for me. Sometimes I just think about how blessed I am. Sometimes I get a little discouraged, and then one of your letters arrives!!! I truly feel like I have ministering angels around me in my life--and they are from you! THANK YOU SO MUCH my family and friends for your sweet letters. How I love and appreciate you and who you are - I feel blessed to associate with you! :)
Second, I hope this letter gets to you before the ER bill. ha ha. I'm really sorry about the cost, I don't know if I told you that I was having a lot of ear pain last week. I went to the health clinic twice and they said it wasn't infected, but finally on Saturday night it woke me up at 2 in the morning, and I went crying to my roommate sister who is in the nursing program. We went to the counter, and since it was now Sunday, the only option was the ER and they wanted to get me on antibiotics. So! We had an exciting weekend... FYI - the ER beds are remarkably more comfortable than the beds here at the MTC... It turns out, it still doesn't look like it's infected but they have me on antibiotics and I was on ear drops for a while and they have helped. I'm feeling a lot better. I got a blessing from my sweet district Elders where I was promised health throughout my mission, and I know that the Lord is with me. I was blessed with faith and I feel Heavenly Father so close to me. I feel so blessed to have experiences that bring me closer to Him and help build my faith and my reliance on Him. **overall, it wasn't as dramatic as it sounds. As great of a story it is, don't worry too much! I thought I should keep you in the loop. ;) Also, I got to the pharmacy and they said I don't have insurance... ha ha. What a night. I really hope that gets worked out, I had my card and enough on it to cover it. But guess what! - we almost got into a missionary discussion with the lady next to us at 4 am on a Sunday morning in the pharmacy line. It's too bad her prescription came when it did or we might have had a great referral! ha ha! :)
Another experience: This week on Saturday the Elders in my district found out I was a little down...so when I came into the room they all stood and sang "There is Sunshine in the Soul" to me. Whoa! The district leader commenced to announce the meeting, and it was all about me. What????? Everyone in our district went around and told me why they loved me. It was during what was supposed to be weekly planning time, so even our Sensei said some very nice and thoughtful things. At first this was very hard for me to deal with. I am pretty proud and I don't like people to know when I struggle, and I felt very exposed. I don't like attention like this when I am not in control.... despite what my older siblings may think about being in the spotlight... ha ha ;) I was mortified! But at the same time, I felt very blessed. Our district has bonded SO MUCH, and this was SO HUMBLING for me. I know that the Lord only gives us experiences we need to bring us higher! I am so grateful for such a caring district! For all of the Elders to make this much effort made me feel so loved. They truly are wonderful, and the Lord keeps giving me these sweet experiences where I am shown very directly of His love. I am so grateful for Him and for all of these wonderful people!
Our district is like family. I feel so close with them, and it is so fun. We really are all so close now. It is amazing to watch people be buoyed up and minister to each other. I love them, and we truly are all in this together. We have gotten SO CLOSE, and I am so grateful to have the district I do. I truly want the best welfare for all of my district brothers and sisters. What great missionaries they will be!
Elder Nelson and Elder Holland came this week to commemorate the MTC being open for 50 years! The renovations were dedicated by Elder Nelson and it was a really amazing meeting. I got to sing for Apostles of the Lord!!! We sang "Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer," and apparently the camera panned us 3 times. One of my goals even since my younger years was to find ways to glorify the Lord with music. I've been studying the role of our desires, and the effects of our "heart's desires" - and the Lord taught me so much about worthy desires through this experience.
Also, on Sunday it was the Senpai (older group) and Nihonjin senkyoshitachi's last day at the MTC. In the middle of the week last week, one of the sweet sisters came and asked me if I would teach her the "kansha" (lyrics) to "Come Thou Fount." She loves it. Maybe I got carried away, but all of the Shimaitachi (Sisters) ended up with a musical number in church. This was mostly for the Japanese sisters... I hope this was a nice good-bye present for them!! They are so sweet.
For our "maze investigator," we added paper flaps that represent the Gospel of Christ on his "maze of life." For our lesson tomorrow, we are planning to bring a cup of dirt and physically plant a seed, pushing it down with a stick that has flags of "prayer" and "scriptures" and "going to church." He's "coming to church" this week! We love getting commitments, but most of all we are just beginning to LOVE our investigators. The days we get to teach it's a little bit like Christmas! It is just so fun to begin to be led by the Spirit, and we have had wonderful opportunities...and it is wonderful. :)
In other news... the other day I wrote "sanbiga" on the board instead of "sanbika" (hymn)... which was just funny... (just believe me...) When we first came, one of the Elders was blessing all of the pirates instead of his family (kizoku v. kazoku), and we had an Elder praying for about a week for the "tongue of food" instead of "the gift of tonges" (tamemono v. tabemono). Life is a little on the wild side! We got up at five this morning to do our P-day laundry, and there I was wearing my autographed sharpie shirt (with all your names and scary art work on it) thinking of how great you all are. I LOVE THIS WORK, and I am loving learning Japanese... the Lord is SO WITH US! We have been testifying like crazy as a companionship goal (in Japanese), and we stop people all the time to let them hear us. Yesterday our goal was 5 and we met it! Woo woo! THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT and the Lord loves you! I love the scriptures and get personal revelation whenever I read. Really. I love them! I love prayer! Through prayer, Heavenly Father ministers to our needs. Apparently I smile a lot when I pray...just who had their eyes open watching...huh???
Have a wonderful week, and know how much you are loved!! The MTC is becoming more and more WONDERFUL, the Lord truly is with us and I am feeling a peace grow in my life I haven't felt before. I know that He is polishing me for this work.
With all the love I can muster!
Anderson Shimai, the very blessed!
Iesu Kirisuto wa ikirimasu!!!!!!!!
are they like this while in Japan, too???