Kasteler In Kobe

Kasteler In Kobe

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

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