Monday, December 16, 2013

                                                                                Taken December 14, 2013
                                                                    We received this from someone who happened
                                                                                      to see them walking

SO much has happened this week! Last week, Stephen talked about getting into a groove at the MTC, and it has totally happened. Now that we have a very basic understanding of Japanese and (believe it or not) know most of what our sensei say, it is becoming much more fun. The real problem at this point is staying focus on the work instead of telling jokes with the chorotachi or learning to sit like a Nihonjin (more on that later) It is difficult to remember that in 2 weeks (OHMYGOODNESS) we will be in Japan and will have no idea what people are saying. So we are trying to SYL as much as possible so we won't feel as lost.

As I flip through the pages of my journal to decide what to focus on, I am finding there is so much I want to say, and so little time to say it. Words on a screen can barley convey all that has happened here; but I will try my best.

Okay, so:

We saw the Christmas devotional! It was SO cute! We all vole how Russell M. Nelson's grandson winked at the camera. But it was adorable! And President Monson inspires me SO much! If he can be the prophet and do all of his duties even while missing his wife and feeling ill, then why should I complain about waking up at 6:30 every morning?

In PE at the main MTC campus, you can do the following: run on track, use exercise equipment, play basketball, play volleyball, or do four square. And when I first arrived, I thought: Man, four square is so lame. All of those senkyoshi look like fools. A few days ago, I was feeling kinda icky, so I decided to play four square as a low impact sport. And do you know what? That is the coolest game in the world!! Cool kids play four square. Seriously. A;though it can get kinda competitive. And I am kinds good at it... :)

My district and I have grown so close. All of the chorotachi are so amazing! We are trying not to think about leaving them. Although yesterday we all sat like Nihonjin while studying

Here is a how to guide:
1.kneel. Do NOT cross you feet
2. Sit with your back straight.
3. See how long you can go
I have found that after the first 20 minutes you can't feel half of your body. After 30 minutes you question your will power. At 45 minutes (the highest I have gone) you stand up like an old woman and make weird noises. 
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. It is quite an adventure. I would recommend trying it. I would love to hear times!

We got kohai! (New people) I love them so much! Right now they are going through the most difficult week of their lives. But once they make it through the first Sunday, life becomes easier. And so much more awesome! They all have so much faith it is really inspiring! They are all doing very well and the shimaitachi are such examples to me!

So, one of our teachers I think my brother Stephen would have a ball with. He is a total word nerd,and likes dissecting Eigo to Nihongo. So on Monday, he said we were going to do something a little different. And he opened up to a scripture in Japanese and we went through it line by line to figure what what scripture it was. So we did. That was cool, but that is not the most important part of the story. The scripture was Doctrine and Covenants 6:34. In that scriptures says "If ye are built upon my rock, ye cannot fall" and in English we always interpret that as "we need to build upon Christ's gospel". But in Nihongo, the word is translated differently. The word for "build" is passive, so the literal translation is "If you are built by someone upon this rock, then you cannot fall". 

Sometimes we think we have to do it all on our own: manage stress, accomplish things, even live the Gospel and commandments. But, in reality, the Lord does not want us to do that. We need His help to be built upon his rock- to keep His commandments, to have enough faith. He doesn't expect us to pull it all out of sheer will power or pure determination and hope we have it inside of us. It is through Jesus Christ and His Atonement that we can be made to do these things. I testify that that is true. God wants to help us be better. He does not expect us to navigate life alone. 

Ever Onward,
Molen Shimai

Hello everyone! ( Konnichiwa, mina san!)

I hope no one in California is freezing in 50 degree weather. As for me.... On Tuesday morning we woke up, shoved out feet in some shoes, and went outside into FALLING SNOW! My trudge turned into a frolick, while Dansie Shimai's trudge remained a trudge. She says snow is pretty, but she doesn't like to ice or cold. Daijobu- she's nice enough to let me have my fun!
The only downside is that I am cold. All the time. Last gnithI was feeling quite icky and went back to the apato early (worst thing in the world- I didn't like the feeling) But after a full 9 hours of sleep, I am feeling better now :) 
And, yes, I saw Sister Metzger and Elder Gomez. It was for about 3 seconds on their first day, but both of them looked so pumped and excited it made me want to do so much better! Both of them looked super stoked! Hopefully I will see them again before they depart.
Japanese update: WE GOT OUR NAMETAGGGGSSSSSSSSS!!!! We are highly encouraged not to wear them at the MTC (I barley know what it says- how can I expected others to know?) But that doesn't stop me from holding ti and giggling like an idiot (I have now shame, ebacsue frankly, it is that awesome) My Japanese name is Moren, which was expected. "Mo" means "seaweed" and "ren" s a ream of paper. Or it could be "More-n" which is a lake with embarrassing left over "n". I am so happy- except for Dansie Shimai's name- Danshii. It means "man." But she will write in to try to get ti changed. Our names are not actually translated into words, but they do kind of sound like them,. Which makes me feel bad for Bennion Chōrō, who's name sounds like "Four toilets".
It is insane to think that we will be going to Japan very soon. I don't feel very prepared. My brother Stephen said there is a point in the MTC where you get comfortable there, and I have hit it. At this point,  I really really really really really really to teach the people of Japan about how they can be happy- Just as long as they come to the MTC.  And if they spoke 1/2 Eigo. Yet, if we are comfortable, no growth ever happens. And the Lord needs me in Japan. So, even though the first little bit may be uncomfortable, it will be SO worth it!
Looking back, I have learned so much. I do not know an awful lot, but it is a far cry form the first day when I stared at  my first teacher and thought, "I wonder if he is speaking real words..." Now I can basically understand my teachers- if they speak slow and pull from my bank of 200 words. 
Which reminds me: I had a creepy thought. Sometimes I forget that my teachers have access to the outside world- therefore, the Internet. So, if any of them have found this blog: HI! I love you! ....This is kinda weird, but you are awesome.....
Okay, that strange moment over. 
Funny story of the day: we have an investigator named Nagashimada. So, we can either call her, Nagashimadashimai or Nagashimadasan. The downside is, during our lesson on Monday, I kept calling her Nagashimadasanshimaisan. She was very nice about it, though. And ti sounds like a rap.
I love it here so much! At the MTC, I have never been more humbled in my whole life. But I have never felt the strength of God more in my life. I know that God wants me in Japan to help certain people. Lean ring the language is only part of the process. And refining me is part of the
(And another happy Birthday to Josef)

ai shite masu!
Moren Shimai