Thursday, October 9, 2014

So It Begins

Week 1

So much happened this week. Feels like it's been FOREVER. It's been a roller coaster of emotions and craziness. When I first arrived it felt like I was a car going through an assembly line being put together. It was fairly organized, but at the same time like I never knew what we were doing. I was just being handed stuff and everyone knew I was a greenie because I was wearing my dork dot. But I met my companion and we clicked pretty well right off the bat. Then we went through a couple orientations, met our teacher, met our district. My companion and I are the only sisters in our district. With eight other elders. We are also the only ones in our room, which is nice. But at the same time is kind of lonely, but I get along with the other sisters pretty well, though. But that night all the other missionaries that arrived the same time as me went into a room and we taught a real investigator. At first I thought they were actors, but as it went along i could definitely tell that wasn't the case. One awesome moment in particular was with a female investigator. I'm not sure if I should say her name. Anyways, we were raising our hand to try and teach her and she was having none of our gospel nonsense. She had been abused as a child by her Father who also attended church. Then she had an abusive husband and her son died from health problems as a baby. I think we as missionaries were trying to understand her situation and make her promises and she didn't trust us yet. Then she saw one missionary shaking his head. She picked on him probably thinking he was going to lash out at her for being difficult, but what he did instead was amazing. He cried and said that he hoped he would never have to experience the things she went through. He told her how much admired her for her strength to still believe in God despite all she had been through. I just lost it and cried all over my cardigan, because I had no tissues. That is currently in the wash.
The next day I had a really hard time sleeping and class and study time just went by so slowly. We had some more orientation, some pep talks, and such. But tomorrow we had to teach a lesson in Japanese to an "investigator" and my companion and I kept clashing on what we should teach. Then we broke off into personal study. I was feeling a bit frustrated, but I said a prayer an asked to be humbled. Then the topic just came to me. I started writing down all my ideas. When I compared notes afterwards with my companion we had written down almost the exact same thing. The lesson planning was just smooth sailing after that. The next day we did mostly translation and class. The lesson went well, I am blessed with a trained ear from my Mom. Very grateful for that. 
The missionary schedule is basically study in the morning, different kinds of studying. Then class in the afternoon. Then teaching in the evening along with study time. I am really trying to enjoy this p-day. 
The next day was conference. We woke up at 6:30 not knowing that we had service at 6:15, so we ran to our building in shorts. When we were supposed to wear long pants. I felt like there were only other elders cleaning as well, so I was very self conscience of my shorts. Then it was time for conference. We were placed in a freezing cold gym in some very uncomfortable chairs, but I felt the spirit. I loved listening to the talks and the music especially. This is the first time I have listened to all 4 session without sleeping. I really loved elder Oaks talk and elder Hollands as well. Then the sisters went and watched the general YW conference. We had a great district devotional afterwards. On Sunday we watched conference again I just loved Godoy's talk and of course President Monson's. My favorite quote I took away from conference was "Walking where he walked isn't as important as walking how he walked." I can just feel his love so strongly, and when he speaks I am overwhelmed with a feeling of peace. Also Elder Bednar's talk. It was just the perfect talk to end with. I felt like he was talking specifically to the missionaries in the MTC, specifically to me. Everything he said was relevant to my mission and I'm so grateful I was there for that. Then I watched a movie about President Monson, which I loved. And I met Maddie Giles and Julia Bunting. I don't have pictures because apparently cords don't work so I need to get something from the bookstore, but they will be coming.
Then the next day we were finally on our regular schedule. Studying, class, teaching. That's basically how it was for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I'm struggling but keeping up with the schedule, language, and gospel principles. Then on Wednesday we saw one of the elders in our district acting down. He had been struggling with the language. So, as the only sisters in our district, we went and talked with him. All three of us cried a lot. He was feeling homesick and inadequate as a missionary. We assured him that we have all felt this way, I bore my testimony several times over. I was crying in front our whole district, and I was embarrassed, but I felt like it was what he needed to hear and see from me. And today he looked a lot better. I am so proud of our district, they are a bunch of incredible young men. They have strong testimonies and a desire to serve, even if in the very next moment they remind me that they're 18 again. But I love our zone, and our district. At first I struggled a bit, but they I prayed for opportunities to serve and to be blessed with the spirit of God's love for all His children. And what a difference I have seen in my own life as I focus on others rather than myself. I'm liking the MTC so far, even with the ups and downs. I know it's a lot this week, but with being new, then conference, it just all had to be said. 

With lots of love,
Johnson Shimai

MTC Companion
Old Friends

Zone Sisters

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