Thursday, June 27, 2013

Missionary Choir at Worldwide Leadership Broadcast

Natalie can be spotted in the missionary choir at the top of the screen at about 2:23 in the opening song, "Hark, All Ye Nations!" at the recent Worldwide Leadership Broadcast.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Week 3 - MTC

Hey Fam and friends!

I hope today's email doesn't seem as scatterbrained as last week! Less little snippets and more broad-spectrum highlights from this week. Let's start with Sunday night!!! I sat with Kat (cousin going to Croatia) for the devotional, it was amazing!! So great to be here with her. I'm sure she'll send you a pic you can put on the blog (especially since these computers are FAILING) It was especially nice because it was Father's Day, so it makes being away from family so much better!!

Kay so some of the funny things that happened this week:
The door shut behind us and made a peculiar sound. I looked around in shock, absolutely POSITIVE that I had heard a chicken!! I was SO DISAPPOINTED when I figured out it was just the door! Also we did splits for choir so Richins Shimai (my best friend forever!!) and I both sing soprano so we were sitting together and I looked over and said something to her and apparently she didn't hear because she yelled, "A GAY MANDOLIN??" Bahaha awkwardd. We got hushed by some girls going to Florida haha. Oops!

With Richins Shimai and two photo bombers
We were doing jikoshokai (self-intros) for our substitute sensei and we had to say our favorite flavor of aisukurimu (ice cream) and one guy said cookies and cream and so did the next guy. The first guy rolls his eyes and said, "copy neko!" I about died (copycat, of course).

The whole district
Also this morning, I saw an elder doryogumi (companionship) sprinting back toward their apt. The one in the back, clearly lagging yelled, "Elder! There's more than one shower!!" At which the elder in front yelled back "There's only one GOOD shower!!!!" There's one big shower in every bathroom hahaha. MTC problems! Speaking of MTC problems, the food is pretty unhealthy and it makes a lot of us sick!! The greatest thing I've heard all day is an ode in Jeremiah to the MTC food: it's Jeremiah 4:19-21. Go look it up and enjoy!!!

Something that was a huge theme for my doryo (companion) and me this week is the power of the Spirit.  Clark Shimai and I were asked to give the District lesson on Sunday, and the topic was Faith in Christ, my absolute favorite!!:) She and I had this fabulous lesson prepared, but when we got to the front it all seemed wrong. Out of all of my notes, I said two of the teeny bullet points I had on the page. It appears the Spirit had a different lesson in mind. We began to teach, testifying about how faith promotes us through our hardest trials and lots of other stuff that neither of us can remember! I hoped it was a good lesson, but we sat down and I thought no more of it. The next day one elder seemed to have perked up considerably. That Monday night, when I was really struggling with some stuff internally, he turned to Clark shimai and me out of the blue. "Thank you for your lesson yesterday. You saved me."  He continued to express his gratitude for our lesson. It made my day and answered my own pleas with Heavenly Father. I am here for a very specific purpose and there are lives that Heavenly Father wants me to bless significantly with the Spirit. When he thanked us, I told him "Don’t thank me, thank the Spirit.  I don't even know what we taught." Miracles happen truly every day on the mission.

Something I've been thinking about a lot this week is the gift of tongues (igen no tamamono). Out of the blue, something hit me: we as missionaries are all bestowed with the power to access the gift of tongues and other gifts of the spirit. The gift of tongues is not to speak with perfect fluency or to sound smart in our respective languages, but rather it is the gift of knowing WHAT to say and WHEN to say it. What a wonderful thing. The Spirit knows our investigator's needs better than they know themselves, and that is amazing to me that THAT is how we help people come unto Christ. The Holy Ghost knows their needs and knows their hearts, and we can help testify of how Christ's Atonement covers for not just sin, but all sorrows, weaknesses, and imperfections we have.

We went to an all-girls meeting for ALLL of the shimai-tachi (sisters) going to Japan! There were a lot of the native Japanese sisters there who don't speak English, so the meeting was 100% in Japanese. And I understood ALL OF IT!! Happy day!! Ah it made me feel so much better about my efforts to improve my language skills. The Nihonjin (native Japanese) are sooo kawaii (cute)!!! I just love them, they are the sweetest!!

Anyway, this week has been amazing, I love and miss you all, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE hearing from you!! I print out you emails and read them later so don't be afraid I don't have time to read them!!
Heian to shukufuku (peace and blessin's) Forevaa!

-Orgill Shimai

Selfie in front of the apartment door

Letters home

Natalie seems to have time to write letters (on paper!) during the week, even though she seems very busy.  Her emails are sometimes a little scattered, so I thought I'd add some of her thoughts from these letters, this one sent 6/22/2013:

Wee (Jonathan), I'm sorry you narrowly escaped a beating!  (He brought in the mail last week and neglected to mention to the parents that there was a letter from Natalie in the mail).  Love you little man.  You're going to be an amazing missionary.  You and I (and Al!) are build for this kind of work.  We don't bend under pressure because we're made of tougher stuff.

Something the Spirit whispered to me this week--the gift of tongues is not the gift of perfect fluency or having flawless Nihongo (Japanese), but rather knowing what to say and when.  The Spirit knows people's needs better than they know themselves, and if we yield to it, we can help people more than anything else can.  Christ heals all wounds through the Atonement, it's not just for sin.

Mom, we pray A LOT!!  Let me see... at least 13 a day, usually more.  On Sunday the praying is out of HAND haha!  Like probably 25.  But I avidly try to feel the Spirit every time, the language is coming easier now (yes, I always pray in Jap. now) so it's easier to focus on the Spirit rather than the words.  I feel my Savior's love for each of us.  I feel it for my investigators.  Dad, you know how once you were ordained to be a bishop you held the keys to care for the people of the ward, and suddenly you loved all of them much more than you thought you'd be able to?  Well, same as when I was set apart as a missionary.  I have been divinely given gifts to help people come to Christ, and as I'm finding, I now feel Christ's love for those I teach and interact with.  I love the Nihonjins (Japanese people) already, truly.  We had a sub yesterday, and after some practice door-contacting, he sat us down and told us we all have excellent Nihongo.  Better than his when he left the MTC after 12 weeks, and now he's a sensei (teacher)!  Gives me great hope for my potential.  Thank you again for the package and the sweet letters - they mean more than you know.  It's a little spot of sunshine in my day to keep me going when times get tough :-).  I just love hearing about your lives!

One of the sisters' dad wrote to her the other day.  He told her that her decision to go on a mission caused her younger sister's heart to soften, and for her to change her ways and follow in the footsteps of her sister, and now the younger sister is going on a mission!  We truly have a much stronger effect on people than we know.  In D&C 18:10-16 it talks about if you bring but one soul unto God, how great will be your joy in the life to come.  I now realize it isn't referring to how many you baptize or convert.  If we only bring our own one soul to Christ, we will be blissfully happy in this life and the life to come. Our own conversion is the one that matters most, because we must be converted before we bring others to Christ.  I sometimes don't have time to include these thoughts in my email...I love you tons, I'm sorry I couldn't email this morning, even P-days are insanely busy!

I know that when we teach with the Spirit we teach to people's true needs.  It's not about the lesson I'd planned for hours or what I think investigators need to hear, the Spirit always knows best.

Oh!  And I just ran into Sister Jezel Cutia in the laundry room!  She leaves next Monday, the punk!!
Sister Clark demonstrates the laundry room

Finally, I just love that the missionary purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ.  We are his dai-hyosha (representatives) on Earth, and if He were here He would invite everyone to abandon their sorrows as He once did.  I love you all very much, and I thank you for your unwavering support and prayers.

Love you forever!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Natalie at a missionary choir practice

Natalie's cousin Kat is going to Croatia/Serbia and is in the same massive missionary choir.  You can see Natalie in the  middle of the picture near the first set of railings.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Nat's note to her big sister

Letter to Allison from Sister Orgill:
Hey Al and John!! I loved your cute letter, I'm keeping it forever! I love your Dear Elders!! ( They get printed off and given to me that day! I love hearing about your lives, it's good to know the world is still turning outside of the MTC!! Saturday (P-Day) is the greatest day ever! I can write letters and go to the temple! The temple is a great getaway from the MTC, but they're both wonderful places where the Spirit resides. I'm really enjoying the MTC, and I can't wait to get to Japan! I love you and the Shums so much! Tell Abbi (John's little sister) I say hey :).
Anyway, the language is coming along with diligence and the spirit, and I'm learning every day that humility has many more facets than I thought! The Spirit is certainly the most excellent teacher around! I sat with Kat (our cousin going to Croatia) today at the Sunday night devotional, which was nice for both of us, as it is Father's Day and we're both away from our families. Love seeing her though! I hope everything is going great! I hope to hear from you and I love you!!
With love,

Week 2 - MTC

Dear Friends and Familia!!!!!!
Now I'm into week 2. Woohoo!!!

I wanna start off by saying I love you so MUCH!  Life is so busy, but so productive!  I've been here for 5 days, and I've already taught 3 lessons 100% in Japanese, said dozens of prayers in Japanese, and bore my testimony many, many times.

The food isn't as bad as everyone says it is.  Super easy to gain weight so noooo chocolate milk for Nat!

I've been so good with obedience, it helps to have a companion who is into it.  We work well together.  I miss hugs more than anything.  Not my phone, but hugs.  It sometimes feels a little lonely surrounded by daryo that have little in common with me, but the Lord shows me tender mercies every day to remind me how much He loves me.  I love my Savior and all He has done for me, and at the end of the day that is truly why I'm here.

Hmmm so I'm just gonna start word barfing so that I can tell you all about the past week! To start off it's been AWESOME. Way fun. We don't pray in English anymore...EVER. Party party! Teaching investigators is wayyy intimidating because they only speak Nihongo (Japanese) and they talk super fast.  At times like those my companion tells me how grateful she is to be doryo (companion) with the translator;)

So one of the sisters in my district is Richins Shimai. She's the other tall blonde, and she goes to BYU-I. She's the BOMB. LIKE WE'RE SERIOUSLY BESTIES.  She and I play a lot of volleyball here, she's way good! So you know when I was home my dear friends and I loved Snapchat and because of that I have a pretty insane talent of making ridiculous faces. So at random, Richins Shimai yells "aaaand SNAPCHAT!!!" and then we make our most excellent faces.  It's pretty rich.

Just some random stories and thoughts today:

Hmmm we ladies tripped the breaker the other day and caused a power outage in our apt the other day...oops!

Favorite quote from this week:
B-Choro- "The way to checkmate an elder: surround him with sisters!"

My whole district matches on Wednesdays (pictures to come) because it's our "anniversary".

In beach volleyball, B-Choro went to spike the ball, missed, hit it with his head, and we still got the point because it went over magnificently.

Smith Choro has the greatest impersonation of the President's wife here of how we young ladies must pick up what we've dropped: He puts his hand on his chest, flicks his invisible mane, and bends down from the knee with elegance. It's remarkably graceful for a big guy!

B-Choro once backed into me by accident and screamed:"Aaaaaah!!!" like a little girl because of the no contact rule between choro and shimai (men and women). It was great.

Someone got a package the other day and the packaging looked like a snake. Smith Choro kept whipping it in my face and I exclaimed in aggravation. Then King Choro said: "Women are always beguiled by serpents!" He's the funniest hahaha.

YES I’m in the MTC choir!! Kat and I sit together, and her doryo (companion) is soooo funny. It's way fun… look for me on June 23rd (streamed video broadcast from the Missionary Training Center for all church members)! Yes Allison, Jake (her brother-in-law) is in a different district; my district is actually all missionaries headed to Sendai! But I still see him tons!

To my BYU buds: this week I've seen: Lund, Eves, Blackhurst, Bonney, Moomey, Merrill, Montgomery, Marler, Bang, Rupp, Nguyen and Blackner! It’s basically one big party all up in the MTC.

The DearElder letters are printed and given to me THAT DAY!!! They're truly the greatest, they make the rough days much better J.   Just tell me about your day, I'd love to know that the world is still turning outside the MTC walls.  If someone could please get me Brother Parker from BYU's address, I'd be so grateful!!!

Dad, will you save the pictures I send you, or should I just not delete them off my camera?? I've got plenty of memory for now!

One of our investigators, "Kojima-san" is now our Sensei...AND HE SPEAKS ENGLISH!!!! I feel so betrayed. The MTC is the reason I have trust issues. But he's great! He's actually Nitta Kyodai (Brother Nitta), and he served in Tokyo and he's half Nihonjin (Japanese). OH! Funny story. So while he was still our investigator, "Kojima", I tried to ask him to draw what he was talking about since I had no idea what he was saying. I pointed to my paper and said, "Korewa kaite kudasai" (“Please write it”). The punk looked at me, intentionally misunderstanding and says: Kaite? Kairu??" and I thought to myself, well that’s not how you conjugate that but sure! Kaeru. I nodded and he took the paper. It was dead quiet for 4 minutes as he drew something really small. He handed back the paper and said, " Hai. kaeru." I looked down and said, Shimai, he drew a frog. She goes: no way he didn't.  She looks at it and goes....that's a frog. We about DIED laughing and now that he's our sensei we both get quite a kick out of it. I even colored it for him; I'll send you a picture.

Fowers Sensei (Teacher Fowers) told us he was about to leave his apartment to come to work and someone told him "cute tie!" He looked at them. "Cute tie? CUTE TIE?!?! What am I, in PRIMARY?!" He went right back inside and changed it.

Lessons are getting better, Clark Shimai and I spend more time preparing about what we want people to feel rather than what we want to say, and that has made a huge difference.

Oh Clark Shimai sometimes panics and forgets Nihongo (Japanese), so she responds in Spanish. Fowers Sensei threw down his stuff and yelled SPAINGO WA DAME DESU!!!!!!" (Speaking Spanish is not allowed!) what a drama king.

Anyway, I love my companion, we work so well together. Life is good and my district is like a family away from home. The spirit here is incredible, and I love you all.

 Forever and always,

Orgill Shimai

Another "selfie"

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Week 1 - Missionary Training Center

HEY friends and family!!! I hope you're all doing super well!  The computers here are super difficult to type on fast, so bear with me! This week so far has been SWEEEET. Super crazy and insanely busy though! Our teacher F. Kyodai (Brother F.) refuses to speak in English, so against my will I have silently been nominated translator.   Apparently it's a new MTC (Missionary Training Center) rule that our teachers can ONLY TALK TO US in the language we're learning. Occasionally annoying but way helpful too! The Spirit here is absolutely incredible. The testimonies of thousands of missionaries make this place a sanctuary for the Spirit to reside. Now into the nitty-gritty-
I LOVE my companion! The second we were introduced I DECIDED I would love her. C. Shimai (Sister C.) is a wonderful, quiet sister from Riverton, Utah! We are WAYYY different, but in our companionship it's a way good thing! My weaknesses in the gospel are her strengths and vice versa! Her mom is a tour guide for church history sites on the east coast, so she is sooo well versed on church history! It's pretty fantastic. We were assigned senior and junior companions for the first half of our stay in the MTC, and I'm junior companion (as I just knew I would be haha). The Lord rarely misses an opportunity to teach us!! She loves to sing and has a beautiful alto voice. We sing some pretty bomb harmonies around here.
 I LOVE my district!!! We have 6 shimai (sisters) and 6 choro (brothers). It's funny; with the exception of C. Shimai and me, most companionships are very well matched in height. There are 2 choro that are companions that are SO KAWAII!!! (cute!)  We also have an Australian Elder who has a super fantastic accent. Oh, and by the way, YES, my P-day is Saturday!! Kinda weird, but I dig it! People always say the MTC is so crazy or you'll hate it or something, but it's just a very different enviro than what most of us are used to. But it's good; we're here to be prepared and tested. We taught our first investigator yesterday, Kojima-san.  It was tricky because he speaks nooo English. We had a lesson all planned out and of course he just didn't understand many of our teachings. My poor companion sat there, super red and embarrassed. I reluctantly explained in Japanese how the Spirit makes me feel inside, then taught him how to pray in Japanese. I tried to incorporate my companion, but poor sister C. was pretty petrified! We have another lesson with him today, and I know we'll do much better!
 Okay!! People I've seen so far: Elders: Shumway, Bravo, Yamada, Albrecht, Herring, Stevens, Ostlund, Endicott, Anderson, and I was so sure I saw elder Fleshman on the first day, but I’m not sure if he's left already!!!  Sisters: Stoehr, Fisher and finally..........SESTRA ORGILL!!!!!!! (Natalie’s cousin, Katherine, headed to Croatia—that’s the right spelling for sister in Croatian or Serbian).  YES, IT'S TRUE.  Last night I was sitting outside planning today with my companion, and I hear: SISTER ORGILL!!!!!!! We were SO EXCITED!!!  Missed her so much.  She is flourishing here! Her companion took a picture of us and I'm sure she'll send it your way!
 These last few days have been very trying, but strict obedience to the rules here really brings the Spirit. My testimony of small daily tender mercies has been strengthened soo much. Whenever I think of a scripture I want to read or a phrase I need to learn, the Lord opens it right up for me! I can't even list all the little things He's been doing for me around here. It makes my life here muuuch easier! It's true that missions are difficult, but they're fun too! We played district volleyball yesterday and it was sooo fun. Our tallest choro, Elder B. can spike like no other! It was a great release for all of us because life can get pretty stressful here. The food isn't as bad as everyone says! Just take one entree, one dessert if you're feeling dangerous, and only one glass of delicioso chocolate milk per day and you won't pack on the pounds at the MTC! Mom, I thought you'd be proud to know that I eat fruits and veggies at EVERY MEAL (lots of nanners [Orgill term for bananas, #Allison]) and exercise is my fav part of the day!! Oh also another funny thing that happened yesterday: whenever you pass people, you say hi to them in your own language. So these Filipino elders passed me and said hello in what I think was Tagalog!! I responded in a sing-songy voice: konbanwa! One then sang back to me even higher-pitch: KONBANWA! And thus began the hilarious high-pitch opera singing contest of the word "konbanwa" between us. The sisters and elders here are party animals!
 OH! and the necessary shoutouts: Rachel B. you are the greatest and you are going to FLOURISH at the MTC. You're made of a way tough fiber, and that kinda stuff gets you and me through the MTC just fine!! Newsoms, you're the greatest, and I'm saving up for that tasty half of an apple in Japan!!!
 Parents, Al, Jon, and of course my awesome bro-in-law John, I love you tons!!! Life is good here, I'm built for this kinda stuff so don't worry about me ;) I'm trying to attach pictures so we'll see how that goes! Ii even included a picture of my jail cell- oh, I mean room!!! There are 6 of us in a room built for 4. But they’re all great sisters and we sing and pray together every night so we have tons of fun!! I can't wait to get to Japan. I love the people already.
 To Mom**- Things I would Love to have sent to me if possible: a TSHIRT!!! One w/o too many logos or writing, or I’ll just buy one here! Also, teeth flossers.  We packed pretty dang well! I LOVE my new watch by the way.
 I love you all millions, and thank you so much for emailing me!! (Becca F....hollaaa)
 Yours truly and forever, (in 18 months, that is ;)

Orgill Shimai

Natalie dropped off at Missionary Training Center, Provo, UT

Natalie dropped off by big-sister Allison, brother-in-law John, Grandma and Grandpa McAllister.
... after being picked up at the airport by Grandma and Grandpa

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sending Quick Notes to Natalie Until Early August

Update:  Snail-mail through Saturday, August 3rd. messages through Friday, August 2nd.

Natalie can only send e-mails for a brief time on Saturdays, but she can receive letters or quick e-mail notes throughout the week via, selecting "Send Stuff \ Provo MTC (Free)" on the left-hand side.  They will print off your note and deliver it to her the same day if you send it before noon.  You'll need some information about her mission, noted below, to make sure it gets to her:

Natalie really enjoys these mid-week notes.  Once she gets to Japan, she'll be on the once-a-week schedule.

Her mailing address is:

Sister Natalie Orgill
Missionary Training Center
2007 N 900 E Unit 10
Provo, UT  84602

E-mail address is under her contact information.