Kasteler In Kobe

Kasteler In Kobe

Monday, October 27, 2014

Welcome to Japan!

こんにちは皆さん!Hello everyone and greetings from the beautiful country of Japan. I am in love with it here. There truly is nothing better. This has been the most adventurous, scary, and 100 percent worth it week ever!

The plane ride was long but so much fun. Everyone on the plane was talking to the person next to them about the gospel. unfortunately, I was in between two missionaries so couldnt do much missionary work haha but I studied a lot, so that is good :)


When I walked off the plane into Japan, and I saw President Welch and Sister Welch standing there, I had this amazing feeling like I was home. I could feel in my heart that I was meant to be in japan and that I was meant to be with the Welchs. Words cannot explain the happiness that overcame me those first few moments of being with them. It was the coolest experience I have ever had. I even started crying haha it was amazing. I am in love with Japan and the people here, and I have never felt more love, peace, guidance, and purpose in my life than I feel right now.


Staying at the mission home for two nights was tons of fun. We woke up each morning and went on a run and then played football in a park. The APs are awesome, one is from australia and the other is a nihonjin, but they are both so awesome and helped us new missionaries out so much. we also did the excercises that the old people do every morning in the park haha we looked so awkward.... a group of like 30 gaijin (white people) trying to copy the 85 year old grandpas haha it was awesome. no wonder the japanese are so healthy and live to be so old! we learned lots at the mission home and I honestly do not remember much haha but it was fun. we met with the president one on one and let me just say that he is the coolest man alive. I am so happy that he is my mission president. I feel so lucky :)


we had a testimony meeting that was awesome. i am so excited to work the amazing missionaries here in kobe. THEN the next morning, we met our companions and got told what area we were going to! It was like christmas. each person was brought up to the front of the room and got told what area and what trainer they had. I got called up and got told that my companion is the absolutely WONDERFUL Scheffler 姉妹! I love her so much and we get along so well. It is her last transfer :( but im happy to have her while I can. she is a great example to me and we have so much fun together. my area is the Kobe Akashi area  :) Scheffler Shimai and I are white washing, or opening, this area so we are basically starting from scratch! It is way fun and we are working really hard to find people to teach.




Friday night, once we got the apartment, I tried Nato...... or fermented soybeans. EW. but hey, at least I tried it right? It was nasty haha a sister who is in our apartment eats one pack every day...... I wish I had that kind of determination. haha but I definitely do NOT.


Saturday was my first full day in the mission field and boy it was awesome. we planned a ton though, since it was the beginning of the transfer. so we didnt get to go outside until around 5:00. we biked over to a place where we were planning on advertising and talking to people about our free english class that we teach on tuesday. then, we both suddenly felt that we were supposed to go housing (knocking on peoples houses/apartments) to try to find a new investigator. we were both looking around and pointed to the same apartment complex and knew that we needed to go there. we had to climb a fence to get there (in skirts this is really hard and probably totally against the rules haha) but we both felt like we needed to get to that apartment complex and we really honestly didnt know why. but we went! and fast! the first door we knocked on was a nice man, who looked japanese. he then invited us in.... which is extremely rare for japan. EXTREMELY. so, we went in and met his wife and his 2 year old son. we quickly started teaching them about the gospel and they loved it! every second of it! it was crazy! theyre from brazil and are the sweetest people ever. they care so much for each other and for their family. the gospel is so perfect for them and they are so ready to receive it! It was so amazing! we showed them a mormon.org video of a man in japan and the husband cried! they are so ready for the gospel. unfortunately, the wife worked this past sunday but we are teaching them next sunday and I cannot wait to tell you more about them. it was a miracle finding them. Like i said, situations like this are extremely rare in japan :)


Sunday was awesome. I love the ward members. They are so sweet and absolutely love us missionaries. I went up and bore my testimony and introduced myself in front of everyone......I was so nervous haha but it went well. literally every single person giggles when they hear my name becuase it means sponge cake in japanese.. haha its pretty funny. last night we went out trying to find a less active and got lost and ran into a baptist church to ask them for directions. I then started talking to a baptist priest about the gospel haha we told him that we are similar in that we are christian. at first he didnt believe me, but eventually he came around ;) i love talking to people about the gospel! my desire to spread it to the people is amazing.


I love being a missionary for this amazing church! there is truly nothing better :) I love japan and the people here are amazing. I cannot wait for the next 16 months :) I hope you all have a great week! I love you!




Kasteler 姉妹


Monday, October 20, 2014

Last Week!

Hello everyone! it has been my official last full week at the provo missionary training center. It is definitely bittersweet. I have loved my time here at the mtc more than any other time in my entire life, and i am hoping and praying that the mission field will not be any different! I leave for Japan on tuesday morning and will arrive in Osaka at 3:00 pm on wednesday. The next blog post/email that I send will be from japan! How crazy is that?! :)
Last thursday: what a wonderful day :) it was a beautiful day, so we played volleyball outside with my "best mtc friends" haha, the Koreans, (i like them so much mostly just because they remind me so much of my family back home haha). We had lunch with them after, and (how awesome is this) they came downstairs from their residence hall and brought me a cake that they made since they were leaving before my birthday! how nice is that?! they asked the lunch ladies in the cafeteria if they cute use the oven, and they let them make me and another korean elder whos birthday it was, a cake! It was just about the best surprise ever. I really miss them and it's sad to say goodbye, but I am sure they are all doing wonderful things in korea! :)

Friday: for gym on friday morning, we played a district basketball game, and it was so much fun. i love my district! we have so much fun together. On friday, chapman shimai and i decided to work on a christ-like attribute each week. So, this week we picked love and charity :) It was a great experience and i would challenge whoever wants to, to do the same. it was great to work on being more christ-like and seeing the change in our behavior and reactions to things. ALSO we got our flight plans!!!!! it was seriously like christmas :) it became so real... we are actually going to japan :)... sounds stupid, I know, but it really is what went through our minds! haha
Saturday: in class, we practiced c
onjugating verbs. if we got one wrong, we had to do ten push ups, and then share an embarrassing story or share our first impression of someone. it was absolutely hilarious and such a fun activity. p.s. conjugating verbs in nihongo is so dang hard. haha but im getting better thank goodness. Our sensei told us about some experiences that he had with people messing up words..... Here is a funny one that should give you all a good laugh. the japanese word for Beloved Son is Onko, but the word for crap is Unko. apparantly people have gotten those mixed up in lessons a ton..... haha so im hoping that i wont do the same! I have realized that my biggest struggle as a missionary is caring for others too much haha. it sounds dumb, but its a problem! whenever i see someone else get sad, I get sad, and all i want to do is go and comfort them and I am not supposed to do that haha so it a by far my biggest struggle as a missionary. but, i think that that is probably a good struggle to have..? :) To cope with this little issue i have encountered, I decided to read one of my favorite talks, "Like A Broken Vessel" by Elder Holland from last years october general conference. I was there in the conference center when he gave that talk and wow, it was amazing. there is one part where he says, "Dont assume you can fix everything, but fix what you can." :) I love that quote.
Sunday: i love sundays at the mtc :) relief society here is so amazing. I loved this weeks talk given during relief society. In it, the speaker said a few things that I really liked:
-my mission assignment is a direct reflection of who I am and what gifts I have
-us missionaries will not only be a servant of jesus christ, but a friend of jesus christ :)
the devotional on sunday was very good as well. it was on technology and how it is helping us spread the gospel. we got to be shown the video that is coming out this christmas, and it is awesome, so be looking forward to it:) we also watched a video called "it was mom," which was made for mothers day this past year, and holy cow i was crying afterwards it was so good! please go watch it if you havent seen it! it made me miss my momma so much and got me so excited to become a mom someday. I know my mission is preparing me to become a better mom someday, and it is so exciting to think about how much serving a mission is going to impact me as a mom. I am so grateful for my decision to serve, and I love you mama kasteler!!!!!!
Monday: The nihonjins (japanese) missionaries are so dang cute. there are two sisters coming to kobe with us on tuesday and we just absolutely adore them. they are so much. but anyways, they taught us a little japanese dance to do with the kids in japan, and now we do it all the time! haha it is so much fun! :) on monday we also had our best lesson EVER. chapman shimai and I taught by the spirit and the spirit was so strong. It was such an amazing experience and it definitely strengthened my testimony. one mess up though... right as we sat down, i accidentally said "owarimasho" which is "lets finish" instead of "inorimasho" which is "lets pray" haha so right as we sat down to give the lesson i told him to finish up! haha pretty funny.
Tuesday: holy cow i am 20 years old! haha it is crazy! thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday!!!! and HUGE shoutout to those of you who sent me packages!!!! youre the best people ever!!!!! i love you:) thank you so much. it was a great birthday! we had a party with my district and it was so much fun. the devotional on tuesday night was the best present ever though. it truly was an answer to my prayers and i needed to hear what the speaker had to say SO badly. Do you ever hear a talk and feel like they gave that talk specifically for you to hear? that is how this devotional was for me. Like i had told the speaker all my thoughts, my concerns, my fears, my struggles, everything, and he was going to give me some advice and tell me what I should do in order to help me. it was so awesome. some things he said that really hit me:
-The devil will target those who have the most potential.
-whenever satan is trying to influence us, follow Heber J Grant's example and say, "Mr. Devil, Shut Up!" haha
-Satan does not know our thoughts unless we tell him/speak them outloud. Dont give too much information to him! Dont gossip, murmur, or complain. Otherwise, he will take notes and he will know how to effect you the most.
-We are never alone or outnumbered. if our spiritual eyes could be opened we would be inspired. we have help from both sides of the veil :) D&C 84:88
-Be kind to strangers. Sometimes they are angels in disguise :)
Another good birthday present was from my wonderful, dear friend, Sister Bean. Goodness you all should see how well we get along. She is absolutely a delight :) anyways, tuesday night she decided to try and hold herself up, in between two walls, horizontally, and fell FLAT on her face. hahaha it was the funniest thing I have ever witnessed, and i was trying so hard not to laugh because it looked so painful. it was too funny not to though :) and she was laughing too so it is daijobu (okay) :) we have too many good moments together like that haha. 

Wednesday: what a great day! during language study, us japanese missionaries had a devotional from an old mission president about expectations, and how we, as missionaries, need to have the same expectations for japan as the lord does. we have to do into the field with the right attitude, and i completely agree and believe that this is so important! :) we taught a nihonjin over skype again and had a really great lesson :) chapman shimai and i are working so well together now! it is sad that we are leaving just as we are getting really good at teaching. but, the lord knows we are ready for Nihon! and we are so beyond excited :) 
I am so excited to enter into the field this week. It will be difficult and i know i am going to struggle, but I have a wonderful feeling about these next 16 months, and I couldnt be looking forward to it more :) i love this gospel and I know that it is true. I know that I am doing what is right by serving a mission, and i am so grateful for my decision to serve. I am grateful for all of you and the support and prays that have come my way; you are all amazing. i love you, and your heavenly father loves you! :) Isaiah 41:13 has become one of my new favorite scriptures. It will brighten your day, so give it a look when you can :)

Have a wonderful week and keep smiling! :) Ai Shite Imasu!
Kasteler Shimai

Sunday, October 12, 2014

One more week till Japan!

Greetings from the MTC! This week has been the best week of my whole life and let me tell you why :)

Friday: Chapman Shimai and I taught Crandall Kyodai who pretended to be a less active member of the church.  It was a really good lesson and chapman shimai and I could feel the spirit very strong, and our japanese was actually really thorough and good. i am finally getting down the sentence structure and memorizing how to form sentences. i have been struggling with that because it is backwards from english haha but now I am finally getting it :) also, on friday i got my pictures!!!!!!! i love my family so much and seeing all those pictures made it so much better! HUGE shoutout to my mom and sister and whoever else for putting together those albums :) if you know me very well, you know that i LIVE off of pictures :) so please, if you feel like you want to, send me some! I love seeing all of you and hearing how you are doing.


Saturday; GENERAL CONFERENCE. oh my goodness. general conference is the best thing ever. saturday morning was the start to a very spiritual week for me. Now i understand why missionaries love general conference so much. i am so humbled and grateful to be on a mission and to be able to watch general conference at the mtc. the spirit here is so strong. we were challenged to write down a few questions that we wanted answered during conference, and sure enough, all of mine were answered :)

 for every session of conference, i am going to write a few talks that I liked and a few notes that I took during it. BUT remember that every talk was amazing, i just dont have very much time to email:)

 for saturday morning session:

 Boyd K Packer: Through the atonement, we are free and hope will replace all guilt. Think of how different the world would be if we couldnt be forgiven. No matter the numbers of the church, the strength is measured by the spirit in each individual member. YOU MATTER!

 D Todd Christopherson: A God who makes no demands is equivalent to a God that doesnt exist. Freedom doesnt come from resisting it, but applying it. divine help is available to us every hour of every day.

 Uchtdorf: God will speak to us in a way that is unmistakable. God cares about you, and he will listen, he will answer. we need to always listen because he will answer in his own way and in his own time. the church is a home for all to come, no matter the size or depth of our testimonies. "If you do your part, it will come, and it will be glorious." if you seek, you will find; anything that seems faint, distant, or out of focus can be made clear and perfect :)

 saturday afternoon session:

 Dallin H Oaks: love all people and be good listeners. although we may not agree, dont be disagreeable. dont show disrespect to anyone. we never need to personally attack someone. we can show love and still be firm in the truth. remember, KINDNESS IS POWERFUL :)

 Niel L Anderson: Dont ever doubt the testimony of God's prophets. we do not discard that which we know to be true for something we dont yet understand. now is the time to adjust our own spiritual masks, so that we can assist others (he was relating this to an airplane, how at the beginning of the flight, the flight attendants do the safety instructions and tell you about the oxygen masks... to first do yours before assisting others). Never let anything take down your flame. there are great and wonderful days ahead. nothing can stop the work of the lord.

 Jorg (my favorite talk for both saturday sessions): what if you had an interview with christ one minute from now? we are pleasing good despite our shortcomings. Do and be your verrry best :)

 Jeffrey R Holland: this talk was on the poor and it reminded me so much of africa. everyone, please keep the poor in mind and in your prayers. (this included the poor in spirit... people who are struggling in any means at all).

 General womens meeting (we watched this saturday night because the men had priesthood session--- which they sang at by the way and sounded SO DANG GOOD! we got to watch it afterwards and loved seeing our choro tachi up there singing such powerful songs. we love you choro tachi!)

 Uchtdorf: ALways remember that you are a child of God. We did not earn it, and we will never lose it. BUT our divine origin does not gaurantee divine inheritance. God knows things that we dont! If there is a commandment that we dont understand, keep it anyway! we are laying a divine foundation that will last our lifetime. Heavenly father is constantly raining blessings down on us. we put up our own umbrellas (sin, doubt, fear) that shield us from these blessings. The choice is OURS! Live the gospel in joy :) Discipleship brings us joy. He knows the times we have felt inadequate and the times that we have sought good. one thing to always remember: YOU ARE LOVED.

 Sunday morning session;

 Eyring, Nelson, and McConkie all talked about prophets! It is so awesome to hear and witness the unity in their talks and how well they connected with each other. It just shows that they do all receive revelation about what they should talk about and what we need to hear. it's so cool :)

 Robert D Hales: god and Christ are literally a father and son. Think about all the times in the bible and book of mormon where jesus christ talks to heavenly father and heavenly father introduces jesus christ as his beloved son. they are "one" because they are united in purpose. not one body.

 James J Hamula: The sacrament is one of the most sacred things we participate in as members of the church. we must declare every time we take the sacrament that from this time forth, we will do better this week (pure thoughts, uplifting words, good attitudes). The single most important event of all time is the atonement of jesus christ.
President Monson: Decisions determine destiny. Walking AS jesus christ walked is way more important than walking WHERE he walked. "I am the way, the truth, and the light." D&C 29: we cant have agency if we arent tempted. but, we can find happiness by walking the path of jesus christ. we can improve ourselves :) put christ at the center of our lived. No other thing can make us what he can. His path will bring us safely home :)

 sunday afternoon session:

 M. Russell Ballard: The prophets and apostles and all leaders of the church CANNOT lead us astray. when they speak in unity, they are speaking the word of God. They are men and women of experience and should provide comfort to us. Avoid become distracted! Our church should lead us to becoming KIND, LOVING, FORGIVING, and PATIENT. :)

 Hugo E Martinez: "He who serves in some thing, is good for something. He who serves in no thing, is good for nothing." The worth of souls is great in the sight of God :) Discover others' needs, then tend to them. "First observe, the serve." Be gentle and loving, serve others whole-heartedly. "when ye have done it unto these the least my brethren, ye have done is unto me" meaning that when we serve others, we are serving jesus christ and heavenly father.

 David A Bednar (my favorite talk for sunday!!!! such a good one):  We are eager to share the gospel because we love the gospel so much. our response is sincere and eager. We want immediately to go give others something that helped us when we were hurt (I LOVE THIS by the way. its so true, and a huge part as to why i am on a mission). :)

 On sunday night we had a devotional by a man who reminded me so much of my dad and made me miss my daddy like crazy. His name is Vai Sikahema, he played in the nfl and now does sports anchoring and he even did it for the olympics! he is so funny, spiritual, and a way good speaker. it was exactly what we need after a long conference weekend. he just told us stories about missionary work in his life (they were amazing ones by the way) and made me realize that there are so many chances in our daily lives to be good missionaries and look for missionary opportunities. he also said something funny at the end of his talk: that he has always told his kids to marry pretty and smart because they need to improve their gene pool. HAHA we thought it was hilarious. he also said that his son, who went on his mission to kobe japan, met his wife through his mtc companion. then everyone in the room starts talking to their companion hahaha and he goes "dont figure it out yet! you all are too eager!" haha it was so hilarious :)


We ate dried fish

It wasn't that great.

 We watched the Joseph Smith movie as a district on sunday night, and the spirit was so strong. My testimony grew so much that night and that weekened. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. that he was a wonderful man, and that Emma was the only woman on this earth qualified to be his wife and to endure their hardships. In the devotional on tuesday, the speaker (Elder neilson of the 70) pointed out that people think we are crazy for believing that a 14 year old boy saw heavenly father and jesus christ. However, it had to have happened that way, because otherwise none of us would know that the heavens are open to all of us- that we can all receive revelation and answers to our prayers. If heavenly father and jesus christ wouldve showed up to the pope, or a priest, or even a 30 year old, we would all think "oh, only the pope, a priest, or a more experienced person (the 30 yr old) can receive revelation from god and jesus christ. But, we all know that this is not the case :) We are so lucky to have that knowledge. It brings me so much confidence and happiness. I am so grateful for the knowledge that I have.

Monday: such a fantastic day. we taught a member of our district, who pretended to be his brother who is inactive, as a district, and it went so well. the spirit was so strong. at one point, all of us shimai were prompted to do the same thing and ask the same question, and this was a huge answer to my prayers. most people would see it as no big deal, maybe even a coincidence, but it shows how the spirit can unify us and that when I go to japan in a week and 3 days, that I will be able to unified with my companion, that we will teach by the spirit and be able to touch the hearts of those who are willing to hear our message :) On monday in my journal, I wrote: "My heart is full of gratitude and my testimony feels so strong. I love being a missionary. my life feels guided, like I have a purpose. It is so awesome haha. My life has balance and I feel peace. I have never been this happy in my whole life. Missionary life is the best life ever. if everyone could on a mission, think of how much better and happier the world would be!" It is so true and expresses exactly how I feel at the moment.

I love learning the piano from Bean Shimai

I am so grateful for this week and the I am so grateful for this gospel and the wonderful things I learn every day from being a missionary. we get our flight plans tomorrow (!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and I am starting to get very nervous to go to japan. I know that I can do it though :) I am so excited and eager to share the gospel with the people of Kobe.

Love my Washington

Here are some funny stories from this week: At gym, I have been teaching two Koreans (actual koreans.... who speak NO english) how to shoot a basketball. they call me coach :) haha it is so awesome. they are so hilarious and every time I make a 3 pointer their mouths drop open and they drop the ball to show that they are impressed hahaha its so hilarious. Another funny story: yesterday we skyped someone in japan and taught them a lesson. chapman shimai and I's lesson was going really well and our japanese was awesome, so we were super confident and everything. I had 9 scriptures that i wanted to share, aka A LOT, and I am not very good at reading the japanese Book of mormon yet, so i wrote it all out in romaji, or english characters, so that i could read the verses faster. so everything is going awesome, then i want to share my first scripture, and open up my scriptures, and realize that i accidentally brought chapman shimai's french book of mormon........... hahaha so i had spent about 30 minutes translating my scriptures that i wanted to share, and couldnt even share any of them... it was so sad haha but hilarious. later, the japanese person on skype said that my face was hilarious when i first opened the french book of mormon. he said he wished he had his camera so he couldve taken a picture of it haha.


Okay, my time is up. I love you all and hope you have a blessed week. Stay positive in all things and know that you are so loved. Youre wonderful!

 Keep smiling :)

 Ai shite imasu,

Kasteler Shimai

We love studying

Hail the Aggies. Haha


"Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out." :)
-Gordon B Hinckley

Thursday, October 2, 2014


What a wonderful week to be at the Provo MTC! Actually, every week is a wonderful week here :) Also, HUGE SHOUTOUT to everyone who emailed and wrote me this past week. I got so many emails and letters from extended family and good friends, and it absolutely brightened my whole week :) You have no idea how much even a simple "hello" can mean so much to us missionaries :) We love you! And appreciate your constant support and love!

Last Thursday: Oh what a fantastic Pday! We played volleyball with the Koreans outside, in the blazing hot sun, and it was so hard to see the volleyball.

At one point, an elder going to Kobe looked at me and goes, "You have these magical things called hands that are meant to put the ball OVER the net...." Haha it was so embarrassing but so much fun :) Playing sports at the mtc is seriously like candy. For lunch, we ate with the Korean missionaries too, and we prayed in japanese and korean! It was way cool. The temple was amazing last thursday.

I was completely attentive and had a really good experience there. It is so nice to relax in the house of the Lord. Thursday night, we decided to read the Japanese Book Of Mormon, and man was it hard. It was a cool experience though. It is so hard to read things in japanese because they dont have spaces between their words, so in order to know where to pause, you have to already previously know the word. It was difficult, but it was nice to know that even though I was a slow reader, I could do it :)

Chapman Shimai fell asleep in class. Again.

Friday: I beat a huge group of elders and 2 gym teachers in a game of lightning/bump. It was so much fun haha the teachers were like joking around and bowing to me. it was pretty funny. Elder Houston, one of my favorite people here at the MTC, is a korean missionary and he slammed the volleyball straight into my face and knocked me on the ground... Flat like a pancake. It hurt so badly but was so funny. Everyone in the gym was dying laughing. Friday, I started teaching Chapman Shimai piano. She is so dedicated to learning how to play one song before she goes to Japan.
Here is one of our elders taking a picture of himself while Chapman Shimai and I were learning the piano.
She has never sat down at a piano before in her whole life! It was so amazing seeing her light up when I taught her how to play just a few notes :) she is a such a delight. Friday night, we decided to go outside and play Colors in the grass, but using gospel terms in japanese instead of colors. And let me tell ya, it was the funnest night EVER. we had so much fun :) it was nice to get our energy out too. afterwards, we had a testimony meeting as a class, and it was so awesome. everyone shared their favorite scripture, and mine was of course, Doctrine and Covenants 84:88. Afterwards, my teacher, Nitta Sensei, brought me aside and told me that he thinks we would be good friends. It was nice to hear that from him because i have so much respect for him. he is such an amazing teacher and has strengthened my japanese and my testimony so much. he has helped chapman shimai and i a TON. he always picks on me and makes fun of me, but he let me know that its just because he thinks we would be friends haha which was awesome to hear.


Saturday: We studied 3 Nephi chapter 17, which is the chapter where Jesus blesses the little children and heals the sick and the afflicted. I love reading about how loving the savior is and how caring and concerned he is for each one of us. Christ is incredible. The things he did for us all are incredible. Christ-like attributes are nothing short of amazing. His love is boundless, never-ending. He is so forgiving that we cannot even fathom it. I still don't fully understand how I am forgiven for all of my mistakes and shortcomings. Sometimes, I feel like I have made so many mistakes in my life and start to doubt. But whenever I think those thoughts about myself, I try to think of how Christ sees me, which is not the same as how the world sees me. I know that I can accomplish amazing things in my life, but only through Christ. I challenge you all to give that some thought throughout this week :)


Sunday: Chapman Shimai and I taught sunday school! Our lesson was on faith in jesus christ. We showed our class the video, "Mountains To Climb" and it brought the spirit so strongly into our lesson. If any of you havent seen it, please watch it! It is amazing and it made so well. Our lesson went so well. The spirit in the room was so strong, and hearing chapman shimai bear her testimony in english/french/japanese was so amazing. She is such a strong person! I look up to her so much, as does everyone else in my district. Sacrament meeting was hard... our senpai, the group going to japan before us and who became our closest friends, were leaving, so they sang "God Be With You Till We Meet Again." Everyone was crying.... and I was no exception. It was so hard to say goodbye to them. Roney Shimai, one of the senpai, became like my sister at the mtc. i already miss her so much and cannot wait to travel the world with her after the mission. You're the best Roney! The devotional sunday night was really good. It was on Doctrine and Covenants section 4. Two things I really liked:


1. Just because we are set apart missionaries, it does not mean that the adversary will not try to get us down. If anything, it will try to impact us even more than it did before.


2. If we start self-doubting and thinking we are not worthy, follow Joseph Smith's example and immediately turn to the Lord.


After the devotional, we decided to go watch Legacy in japanese, and it was the strangest and most difficult thing ever hahaha the room was like empty and we did not understand anything. All of us japanese missionaries just looked at each other with huge eyes, terrified about going to japan haha because they spoke so fast that we could hardly understand the words that we did know, let alone the ones we had not learned yet. Haha it was a funny way to end the day.


Monday: I got a memory foam mattress from on of the senpai! I am so stoked! It is so comfy to sleep on. Lately I have been learning how to play the songs 'Abide with me tis eventide' and 'in christ alone.' I love both of those songs so much. If you have not heard the song, "In Christ Alone," please go listen to it. It is amazing :) We taught an investigator named Kojima Kyodai, and Chapman shimai and I had our first big mess up..... haha we meant to say that teaching him brings us happiness, but ended up saying, "we bring you happiness." haha and then I tried to tell him that I was proud of him, and instead told him that I thought he had a long nose....... It was an interesting lesson haha and I felt extremely dumb afterwards, but hey, its funny right?


Tuesday: So i have decided that a HUGE part of missionary work is your attitude. you have to stay positive and always have a smile on your face. after all, how could we not be happy when we are the Lord's servants? The gospel is so wonderful, how could we get frustrated? I understand that we are all human, and stress and frustration can motivate us, but I have seen many missionaries get frustrated with themselves, and then have their whole day effected by the fact that their lesson didnt go as planned, or that they forgot a word, or something like that. we cannot let that happen to us! Chapman Shimai is a wonderful example of this. she is constantly having a good attitude, yet she has had to learn TWO languages in the past 6 weeks. That is truly amazing if you ask me. Tuesday night's devotional was really great. In it, we sang, I feel my saviors love. I got another close up on the camera..... it's starting to get really embarrassing because now i am known as the choir girl. first the girl in a wheelchair, and now the girl who's always on the screen. haha just kidding. The devotional was given by a member of the 70, Elder Schwitzer and his wife. 3 things I really liked:


1. 2 Timothy 2:3. We must endure our hardships. I am a soldier for Jesus Christ :) Also, 2 Timothy 1:7 has become one of my favorite scriptures since being at the MTC.


2. "Pull yourself together. You can do this. Keep your head up and your shoulders back."


3. How will the world remove our values if they are engraved in our hearts?


Wednesday: We got to teach a 30 minute lesson to a church member in Japan through skype!!!! I am so excited to serve in japan! You have no idea. Chapman Shimai and I LOVED teaching this cute little older lady from japan. she was so sweet and just as smiley as you can be :) Chapman shimai and I are also really starting to feel the spirit in our lessons. we are connecting more with our investigators and it is so nice to truly feel like the missionary spirit is being carried with us. I cannot wait to go to japan and feel that spirit with our real investigators.

got my nametag in Japanese!

They were too big for us, so we compromised!


I love sharing the gospel. If any of you are ever struggling, turn to the Lord. He can remove all heartaches. All sadness. He is all-knowing, and cares for YOU so much. I have felt his love this past week. And at times when I am struggling, I can feel him and his angels holding me up to give me strength. D&C 84:88. I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week :)


Keep smiling :) Ai Shite Imasu,


Kasteler Shimai