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.
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.
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.
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,
|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