Thank you SO MUCH for the package AND the cupcakes, both were super amazing!!!!! What a sweet surprise:) Allison, I'm so sad I missed you at the Marriott Center as well! I talked to Jake afterward and he was like, "Oh, you didn't see her?" And I was like,"NO I FLIPPIN' DIDN'T!" So sad!! It's okay about the temple, by the way. It would probably just make the goodbye so much harder! Oh and speaking of the Marriott Center and the broadcast! If you wanna see me, go to about 2:24 (I see that Dad has already found me....sasuga [as expected].) And you can see my melon sticking out of the back!! Booyah! I guess you could have my autograph if you REALLY wanted it;)
On Tuesday nights we have devotionals, now held in the Marriott Center (BEST. DAY. EVER.) And this week was Janice Kapp Perry. She didn't say much, but we sang a lot and the Spirit there was amazing. Singing the primary songs about how we couldn't wait to go to the Temple and be missionaries, and realizing that that dream is now a reality was SURREAL. Also singing with 2000 musically trained missionaries is a pretty incredible experience. Her and her husband are 74 and 78, but they are total sasses!! he came up in the middle of her talk and kissed her SMACK on the mouth!! After recovering she said, "I know that man like a book, but today I don't know what page he's on." It was glorious! Just brightened my day. I ran into lots more missionaries entering the MTC this last week (to Brittni Howard's family, she's doing awesome and rockin' Japanese!!) and I found my best friend Jakey (or Elder Hirschi) and we took a picture together, with the awkward third wheel companion! Pictures to come:) Hmmm not so many individual events happened this week, but again just many themes persisted throughout the week that blessed me so much. Our kyudosha (investigator) committed to baptism, but it's rough for him to give up smoking. But he's doing great and we believe in him!
I saw the Edgrens (mission president and wife of Warsaw, Poland) in the Marriott Center!! It was so great to see them, love them tons!! Also, thank you so much for the Yen and sweet note you left for me at the front desk. It was wonderful! I got pretty sick for a day this week, and this is how I KNOW the power of prayer. My whole district was praying for me really hard, and it was amazing how I could feel the effects of their pure faith. They're all such great examples to me. There was a BAD bout of food poisoning this week (I TOLD you the food was sketchy!!) from under-cooked meat and whatnot. But now everyone's better and a little more wary of the mystery meat, but now Richins Shimai can proudly say that she's lost 4 pounds at the MTC hahaha! Now THAT doesn't happen everyday!
Something I love is our daily hour of personal study. You can always tell when one of the choro tachi (group of elders) is really tired because they're in our classroom, reading their scriptures standing up! It's pretty funny to see. Lessons are going well. I finally think that I have enough basis of the tango of nihongo (vocabulary of Japanese) to go into them with little or no notes- sometimes unintentionally. This week I was a dummy and we walked into the lesson and I realized that I had COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN to bring my lesson. I'm such a dingo (new word courtesy of Clark Shimai). But it turned out to be one of the best lessons we've had with Kaiki-san. Without notes I was free to speak from the heart and talk about what Kaiki truly needed to hear, not what I needed to say. Oue two Senseis are Fowers and Nitta Kyodai, and we love them both! They both served in Tokyo, and Nitta Sensei got back only 4 months ago! His Nihongo is totemoooo jyozu, his Eigo is now....ma-ma (His Japanese is very skilled, his English is now so-so). It's great watching him struggle to remember the English word for "recommendation" or something like that! Our two senseis (teachers) are SO different, Fowers is seriously, slightly concerned-looking, all business and very experienced. And Nitta is a goof who refuses to ever speak in English and makes us laugh so hard! Their teaching styles complement each other extraordinarily, we feel lucky to have our senseis.
I came to understand the fundamental importance of the Book of Mormon this week. If we do not have a testimony of the Book of Mormon, it is hard to stay faithful in the church. It teaches us so much of Christ and how to become more like Him. I just read Moroni 10 again, and I just love that last chapter. It tells us that all good things come from Christ, and to deny not the gifts and power of God. That was something I really needed this week, it gave me so much solace to know that the Savior is walking beside me this whole time, and he will carry me through the hard times. This week had difficulties spiritually for me, but in my 1-on-1 interview with one of my senseis I was able to express (in Japanese, of course) how i was feeling and what was troubling me. His own experiences gave me so much comfort and hope that only what he specifically could have told me. I know that Heavenly Father places specific people in our lives to bless us, which helps my testimony that I have been called to serve the people of Sendai for very specific reasons which I may not understand until much later in life. Our own personal experiences and faith can help others along with the gifts that God has given us explained in Moroni 10. It is our duty to use these gifts to lift up the hands that hang down and help those that need helping, whether it be physically, mentally or spiritually. I love this Gospel and I know that it can bring impossible and inexpressible amounts of joy to our lives as it did to Alma the younger when he came unto Christ.
Mom, it was the Belgian dark chocolate bar that I loved, but I love all Trader Joe's and dark chocolates!! Dad, some of the Sendai peeps left at 4 am, the rest at 11 am on Monday. And the rest of the districts are split, mine is the only district that is 100% Sendai or any dendobu (mission) really. Everyone LOVES their notebooks, they use them for their atarashii tango (new vocabulary)!!
Anyway, I love you all SO MUCH and I thank you millions for your prayers. I can feel the blessings from them daily.
Love you forever, ( and THANK YOU for the letters and DearElders:)