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

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