HELLO EVERYONE! The MTC is wonderful as usual :) I am loving it here more and more every day. I miss you all and hope you are doing well!
Last Thursday was Pday and it was the best day ever. We have a devotional by a famous singer in Japan who told us his life story and about his conversion and he sang for us. It was amazing and the spirit was really strong. I already love the Japanese people so much. We played volleyball outside that morning, and it was the funniest experience I have ever had haha. We had so many elders and sisters playing together, and nobody could see the ball because it was so sunny out, so we were all just screaming and running around and falling and just having a good time together. I laughed so hard. The temple was really great. I love going to the temple with my zone. I think that it really brings us together, and going to the temple just brings so much peace into my life. It's a good break from the busyness of the MTC.
That night we had class and cute Chapman Shimai began trying to help me plan the lessons. Now, she finds a scripture in the Nihongo (Japanese) book of mormon and shares it in our lesson :) It's nice to have her contributing. She is doing so well and is absolutely blossoming. My district is so supportive of her and I as well, which is really nice because it gets hard sometimes for us. The elders in our district are getting so protective of us shimaitachi, it's hilarious. They think that every elder that talks to us is trying to flirt with us, so they always interrupt the conversation and tell us that we have to go pick up something, or deliver something to another classroom. It's so funny haha they truly are like my family here.
Friday was a great day. We taught an investigator and sang Joseph Smith's First Prayer in japanese and it was so amazing. the spirit was really strong. Every night we stay up and talk with Roney Shimai, one of our sister training leaders. I love her so much haha she is like my sister.Every morning we play volleyball together and later today we are playing two on two against two elders, so that will be fun :)
Saturday was awesome. Gym was really great because it was empty, so we were able to play 3 on 3 and we had a BLAST. Our district leader (elder hardcastle)'s mom sent us cute little Japanese flags haha so we had a photoshoot later that night with them. We are all so proud to be serving the japanese people and are already filled with so much love towards them. Our lesson went well that day, but we were also told that it would be our last lesson that we were allowed to bring ANY materials into, besides the Japanese book of mormon. Now that was a scary thought! i sure did not feel ready at all. That night, Chapman Shimai finally opened up to all of us. She taught us how to dance Tahitian style (I am awful at it by the way) and told us all about her family and showed us pictures and it was just amazing to see her so happy and actually trying to talk. She loved telling us about her life in Tahiti. I want to go there so badly now! It sounds like a beautiful place.
Sunday was my first fast Sunday in the mtc. and I LOVED IT. It might be one of my favorite days that I have had in the mtc. We had a huge 2 hour mission conference and the speakers were amazing. One man said that this experience at the mtc has not only tested our character, but revealed it. I love that, because I think for me, that statement is so true. The mtc president spoke last, President Nally (i love him... He's the sweetest man ever), and he said that when times get hard, to think that the only way to get out of his challenge, is through it." He also talked about doubt and faith. "Whether God rescues me or not, I will stand for Him." I loved the things that were said during mission conference. Around 4 o clock everyone started to get hungry haha and cute Chapman Shimai goes "I can eat 10 chicken!" haha because she didnt know how to tell me that she was hungry. It was so dang cute and funny. She kept saying it hahaha she thought it was hilarious. The devotional was really good that night too. A man came and spoke about investigators, and he brought up 3 recent converts to tell their story and give us advice. It was awesome. We watched Legacy that night and I didn't want to watch the sad parts, so Bean Shimai and I told stories to each other instead hahaha it was quite fun. I had to say goodbye to Sister Golden (Mallory) shortly after though. It was actually really hard for me. I have loved having her here, and sharing our spiritual experiences together. I love her so much and she has blessed me immensely. She will do wonderful things in Raleigh, North Carolina. I love you Sister Golden!
Monday was a greeaaaat day! We taught our first lesson without ANY notes and it went really well! WE ARE FINALLY ABLE TO SPEAK JAPANESE. It is such an accomplishment, trust me haha. Gym is hilarious now. The elders call Bean Shimai and I the dynamic duo. We are always having such a fun time and making the biggest fools out of ourselves. The other day, I made 11 three pointers in a row! I dont know why but the MTC makes me really good at basketball. Haha it's awesome.
Tuesdays are my favorite day of the week :) We taught our other investigator, again without notes, and although this one was harder, we still got through it and were able to get our point across. It gets me so excited for japan when we get to teach the investigators :) We didn't know how to tell him how to be baptized, so we got up and showed him hahaha it was so funny. Our investigator said that he wished he had his camera. But, even though it was kind of awkward and weird, it worked! because now he is getting baptized! WOOO first baptism commitment :) It felt pretty good to have the baptism commitment memorized and to see someone's reaction to it. I just absolutely love missionary work. can you tell? :)
Wednesday was a good day as well, but reallllly long. To break up the hard classes and everything, we had a giant jan ken pon (rock paper scissors) tournament and it was so fun. We always have so much fun together in our district.
My district's favorite word to us is YOSHI but its pronounced YOSH haha we say it whenever we are happy or get excited about something. I love personal study. It is my favorite part of every day. The scriptures have so much knowledge in them, it's incredible. Also, this week i learned my new favorite japanese word: Shiawase. It means happiness :)
I love you all so much and think about you every day. hope all is well. I adore all of you and think you are amazing! Never forget how much your Heavenly Father loves you.
"Dont you give up. Dont you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead. A lot of it. You keep your chin up. It will be alright in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come."
Kasteler Shimai :)