Week 2: “Toire desu ka?” . . . “Hai!”

This week was a rough one you guys. But a good one.

First off.. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! (I can say that now thanksgiving is over.) I hope your thanksgiving was full of gratitude and the spirit of the Lord as we draw out hearts nearer to our Savior for the Christmas season.

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We taught our lesson on P-day and it was great! Yamamoto San was receptive to our teachings and said shed be baptized once she understood a little bit more and returns to Tokyo this week.  She was so cute she wanted to take a “selfuri” with us. I’ll attach it below. We love her and will miss her.

Thanksgiving was CRAZY!! We had a morning devotional with Neil L Anderson of the twelve apostles and we all got a thank you card from his grand kids

. It was adorable and heart warming. The theme of the day was ” Be grateful in all things. God gave us everything so why cant we at least be grateful?” Later we did a service project and packaged food for children in need. Then we Had another devotional. But it was a fun one. Kinda like…a staged district meeting mixed with a BYUH culture night. It was way cool. We also watched Ephraim’s rescue. Great movie. And at the end of the day we looked at the Christmas Lights hung around the campus!

 

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Thursday was when our district had a spiritual awakening….first thing’s first we got a new teacher. Hahaaha our teacher is Yamamoto San!!! Its way awesome that she is our teacher and not in Tokyo. Her name is Gappmeyer Shimai. I love her. Anyways, We are terrible at speaking Japa-glish (Japanese and English speaking) It was a rough day for all of us adjusting to thinking in two very different languages all the time. I was particularly frustrated with myself because I felt like I could do more. Be better. Speak better. Be kinder. Do more service. Have ALL my vocab memorized. And when my companion and i were preparing our lesson I was so angry with myself i couldn’t speak to anyone. After our class Gappmeyer Shimai came and talked to me by myself. It was nice because I could just vent to her. It was good because she reminded me that I’m doing enough. There always is something more to work on, but we must remember we are not and cannot be perfect.

 

I had many tender mercies that day. Id never felt so much love from so many people. In the mail I got three letters, a package, and a letter from my zone leaders. I cried because i could see the Lord’s hand in my life. We are not alone. Ever. Sometimes it wont be as apparent as my situation was, but there is always someone looking out for us. And if you ever have a prompting to serve someone…do it. Never hesitate on how silly, little, or irrelevant it is. When we are needed, we are needed.

Friday and Saturday kinda bunched up together, i don’t remember much but we got two new investigators, we start TRC on Wednesday (basically a lot more teaching but with actual members), and lots of grammar rules. I love Japanese. It clicks in my mind so much better than even eigo (English). Its just the matter of memorizing it all. Sometimes i get really jealous of people going in-state eigo speaking or spanish speakers. I get caught up thinking “man i could easily do this in eigo but i have to translate my entire lesson into Japanese and it sucks.” But I’m wrong. It doesn’t suck and i shouldn’t be jealous. Our sensei made a good point the other day… “would You get called to serve in a language you cannot learn?” The only thing that is mine on this mission is that I got called to serve in Japan. Not my friend, not my neighbor, but I did. When we are needed, we are needed. And I just gotta put my foot forward and not look back. The gospel is a forward looking religion. And Satan wants us to look back.

Sundays are wonderful. Always. I got to teach the lesson on Sunday about recognizing and understanding the spirit with my doryo, conduct music for sacrament meeting, and say the closing prayer…LOL I didnt realize how much I did. It was awesome. Devotional with the person who is in charge of missionary stuff.

 

Mondayyyy…is great. I love Mondays. Actually i love any day here. To explain my subject for this email I will tell a short story. So we have to speak as much Japanese as we possibly can throughout our day. In the middle lf the day I needed to use the restroom and I forgot how to say it. So I just went off and said to my companion… “toire desu ka?” Which means haha “is you toilet?” And her response was “hai”. Which means yes. Anaha and our sensei laughed so hard because we had no idea what we were saying. It was a good day. We learned head, shoulders, knees and toes and then another cute game i don’t really know what its called. We are prepping for our lesson on Tuesday with a new “investigator”. We have 6 lessons this week. We cant bring any notes anymore so I’ll update y’all on how it went on Tuesday. Basically were all really scared but ready to take it on in faith!

Wow that lesson was bad. But i still felt the spirit. It was rough because i know all these words and i don’t know the grammar and sentence structure is making me go crazy!!!! But I can’t be upset. No use to be. I’m still happy. Just time to work more. Elder Zeballos of the seventy spoke at devotional. The devotional was awesome. It focused on investigators.

Remember to always serve others first. You will be blessed infinitely
for your service to God’s children always…

Xo 愛してまあう、

佐々木しまい

 

 

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WEEK 1 “We’re not supposed to make memes”

こんにちは!Genki desu ka? Genki desu.

I’m alive!! Wednesdays are P-days, sorry this is a long email but its the first week.!!!

Wednesday: lots of orientation. I was so sick that day but aye, I’m all good y’all. Resendes Shimai is my companion and she is great. I’m so glad she is my companion. This day was a blur so I can’t say much but uh I survived. At the end of the day we had computer lab orientation and our zone tech dude was sitting there saying “so on P-day I know we’re not supposed to do this but I make memes” and it was just the funniest thing ever probably because of how exhausted we were.

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MIRACLE OF THE DAY: I made it through the day, still feeling the spirit despite my physical condition.

Thursday: A little more orientation. Food is okay. I just want some bell peppers but the salad bar has got me stoked. For lunch I just ate chicken and green beans and I had never been so happy before. Today we found out we’re teaching a nihongo (Japanese) lesson to a nihonjin (Japanese person, like me!! ^_^). It’s very intimidating but Resendes Shimai and I must go forth I’m faith. We have to do our part to receive those blessings of Christ and the gift of tongues. “The spirit speaks fluent Japanese” -My branch President Weaver. We have our lesson plan. We shall see what happens. I have faith in our promptings. I love the MTC. I don’t get home sick unless I’m reading kara’s emails. ALSO!!! Anne and Tiana will be in my zone!!!!! (Well they better be or I’m probs gonna be sad) All the Dec 7 Nihon missions are OURS!!! Yahhh!!! We have the best zone. Oh!!! And so is Junne Murdock. I see her all the time and our reunion was sweet. (K1 for life) so many Hawaii people in my zone. So much happy!!! So that’s day 2. Literally studying ALL day. Oh ans it snowed so thats cool.

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MIRACLE OF THE DAY: Resendes Shimai and I had all the same promptings or ones that testified of the other. It was a unique experience as I’d never had that before. Grateful for the little miracles, grateful for these tender (like that Chocolate from, the Siples…ARIGATOU!!!!(thanks), mercies of God and the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Friday: Honestly I have lost track of what day it is. I think this day is Friday. All I know is I wake up at 6, follow my schedule, and sleep at 10:30. So if you ever wanna know what happens in the mtc on the daily, we study. Study hardcore. We’re given hours (literally hours) of study time and it’s never enough. 3 hour study periods are my favorite. But still not enough time. We could have the whole day and it still not be long enough. Today we taught our first lesson and it was way cool. The spirit was so strong and I knew exactly what sentences to share with her in the English to Japanese handbook. I freaked my companion out because I wasnt going with the plan. But I felt so much peace in my heart in doing so I didnt care. I knew it was a prompting I needed to follow. I couldn’t understand her at all but we got her to read Alma 18! So much joy. I refuse to get upset easily. I was called of God and I will receive strength from Him always. It was a rough day. The days are long. But im not here for me. I love this Gospel!!

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MIRACLE OF THE DAY: We got our investigator to commit! Made me so happy. ALSO. We finally got exercise time!! We have it everyday before dinner. It’s magical.

Saturday: So honestly I didn’t even know it was Saturday. All the days are the same except Sunday and Wednesday, which is P-day. We got to teach Yamamoto San and the spirit was strong again. It’s frustrating not knowing what she’s saying so I rely on the spirit to identify how she feels and what I should say. Always testify. So important. You can say words that you know you should without the spirit and it will it mean absolutely nothing. To the investigator. She’s progressing quite a bit. We got her to commit to reading the restoration pamphlet, which is so great. She’s soaking it in like a sponge. And I love her so much. I wish you all could meet her.

I did a LOT of Japanese study. My district has a hiragana(one of the 3 alphabets we have to know) test on Monday. All the other zone members are freaking out. I knew it before I left but not very well anymore. So I studied for hours. I didn’t take a break. I was determined to get it. But before I do any Japanese study I make sure to study the gospel, because I won’t be blessed with the gift of tongues without doing so.

MIRACLE OF THE DAY: I did it!! I got hiragana down including the special characters. I can now read hiragana and I’m determined to read the Book of Mormon in Japanese now.

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Sunday: Sunday!!!!! Yayyy!!! We can take the sacrament. I love Sunday’s. they’re really long but good. Our zone is our branch and we have the best zone. Had our temple walk and then sacrament…all in Japanese. Then we had dinner then choir. And devotional, where the memes started to roll in on airdrop. Forreals love this iPad thing. The devotional was amazing. It inspired me so much. It talked a lot about companionships, and how to be charitable and Christ like. My companion and I had during companionship inventory made personal goals, weekly goals, and one together. We then identify a scripture that will help us with these goals. I love it. I’m just livin to feel the spirit at this point. Also I hate the food. I don’t like pasta and potatoes  and my face is fat. I just want a medifast brownie. We also got to watch Characters of Christ for film night by David A Bednar. I’ve actually watched it before. It is a wonderful talk. Must watch. I found it on YouTube and watched it before I left for the mtc. Then after we cleaned the gym (best service ever) Then we got to go to bed later because we cleaned till 10:30. The other sisters in the residence hate our zone, but hey. They’re English speaking so they don’t even have to worry about translating all day long😂

MIRACLE OF THE DAY: I had so many spiritual epiphanies….(spelt that wrong) I was able to receive answers that I needed. Also I didn’t have to speak in Eigo.

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Monday: TODAY IS SO GREAT! WE GOT OUT INVESTIGATOR TO COMMIT TO READING THE MORUMON SHO! I was so happy I hugged her. Probably culturally incorrect but I was way too happy to not to. Yamamoto San is the best and so curious and I can see the spirit touch her heart. Then guess what i did after that? Had more Nihongo lessons. All i do is study japanese. Or eat.

MIRACLE OF THE DAY: I didn’t leave the MTC. Apparently anyone who leaves, leaves Thursday through Sunday sooooo… i was determined to make it by Monday!

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District A

Tuesday: Didn’t teach a lesson but studied all day long. Had a really great devotional by Elder Nielsen and inspired all of us and we all cried at that video. It was an amazing video. We are apart of a great cause and I love it!!! I’m so exhausted but I’m so happy. I love this place. Im never bored always something to do.

MIRACLE OF THE DAY: It was P-day eve. P-day eve is so great.

Wednesday: ITS P-DAY Y’ALL!!!! I woke up at 6, worked out, ate breakfast, did a session, ate lunch and now i, emailing you guys. Its a happy time. I need to prep for a lesson tonight and tomorrow is THANKSGIVING!!! Read the talk Daily Living in Thanksgiving. It’s really wonderful and enlightening. Set goals. Achieve them. And be happy!!! There’s no time for sorrow.

MIRACLE OF THE DAY: I get to email y’all 🙂

Remember to be happy. Serve the Lord with your whole heart, and always remember Christ.

Xo 愛してまあう、

佐々木しまい

Family Pics and Being Set Apart

Because of all the craziness with getting Leigh ready, we hadn’t had a chance to take a nice family picture. At the last minute, we were able to figure out wardrobe, location and even smile for the camera . . . all before we needed to be at the chapel to set Leigh apart as a missionary. Love our family.

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Love all these faces.

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These two will miss each other.

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After pictures, we drove over to our chapel and met with Stake President Rolfe. We talked for a little bit. He asked each one of us to name a quality in Leigh that will make her a great missionary.

MOM – Leigh already has a love for the people she is going to serve and good understanding of the gospel.

Micah – She likes to talk with everyone.

Tyler – She’s good at talking with people.

Kara – She doesn’t judge anyone, she’s accepting of everyone.

Pres. Rolfe and dad set her apart. It was a very happy moment. It was great that our whole family was there to experience it.

img_9370After we were done, we ran into Salcedo’s who were on their way to do the same for Ethan. We said our good-byes to him. He will make a great missionary as well.

We were exhausted and hungry and celebrated with one last meal with Leigh. It was a good night.

 

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