Monday, January 6, 2014

December 21, 2013

So, I suppose I will start off with some of the funniest things that happened this week. 

Sometimes, I feel like the longer we have been here, the funnier our mistakes become.

For example, we were skyping with a Nihonjin Kyookaiin on Wednesday. She was so sweet! Her computer had abslutley horrible connection, though, so it was freezing every couple of seconds. So, when she asked us to tell her about our families, I said, "Watashi wa sanin musuko to hitori musume ga imasu." And then the computer froze, and she hung up. I was feelign all proud of myself until Dansie Shimai looked over ta me and said quietly, "Did you just say you had three sons and one daughter?" I stared at her blankly. "No...wait...dang it..." Then it took a whole five minutes to get her back! I had thought she hung up on us in confusion ("Well, I guess these are not Mormon missionaries. Who have I been talking with for the past 10 minutes?") Thankfully, she came back on and we could joke about it. The Nihonjin I have met (and the ones i have heard about) are very nice and loving people. They will giggle at Gaijin a lot when they make mistakes. Or, in very rural areas, just come up and touch Gaijin. One of my blonde teachers was asked by a child if he was an alien. 
I think I like Nihonjin already. :D

One of the best moments of the week happened after class one night. Dasnei Shimai no kazoku sent us some yoyos. So I was trying to make it work in the hallway when Ashby Shimai (one of the cutest people I have ever met) walks up and says, "Wow, you're pretty good." "Oh, thanks!" I said.
"Do you yoyo?"
 I didn't know "yoyo" was a verb! at that moment I had this strange realization- "Have I ever known the English language?!" 
"Do you yoyo?" 
"Not professionally..." 
"Do you?"
So then  I gave her a yoyo and all of a sudden she started doing tricks! And she whipped it up and down lightening fast! It was one of the coolest things in the world, even though she was trying to be humble about it. 
So, moral of the story: Yoyo is a sport. And a pretty cool one.  Tell your friends.

Three of our teachers have left by now. We will be losing the other two when we leaving for Japan in LESS THAN A WEEK! When we were saying goodbye to some of the dorkiest, coolest, funniest returned missionaries in the world, it was actually very sad. Listening to them speak them language and explain it so easily, listening to stories about spiders and grandmas and kyuudosha, gives me a lot of hope. Knowing that they went thorough what we did and the Lord helped them to thrive. I hope to be a missionary like they were. 
And I won't even think about saying goodbye to the other ones. I feel so blessed to have/had such great teachers! I believe our teachers are inspired to help us- because their teaching style works so perfectly with my learning ability.

Finally, I would like to end on a somewhat serious note: My brother got married yesterday. I saw the pictures! It was disgusting and adorable and beautiful. 

I was a cardboard cutout. What a lot of people (who are members of the LDS church and who are not) don't realize is that missionaries give quite a bit up to become missionaries. It may seem like Mormon kids just go on missions because they are supposed to or to go live in other places. But that is not the case. And I am so glad that it is not. 

My brother got married yesterday, and I would have loved to have been there. However, there is a quote from Elder Jefferey R. Holland I have heard while staying at the MTC: 
"Why is missionary work so hard? Because salvation is not cheap. It cannot be easy. It is worth too much."

So, as we approach Christmas, one of the most dual meaning holidays in the world, I would like everyone to remember how important the Savior is. He means a lot to me. And I know He can mean a lot to you. And to everyone. And I love the people of Nihon (isn't it weird you can love someone you have never met?) and I know He can make them happy. I testify of that.

I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be a missionary. I am not perfect, or even relativity close. But I know that, as I try to follow the Lord, He will glad me to people that need Him. And hopefully He can work through me to help them. That would be the best thing in the whole world.

Ya'll are totally awesome! Keep being so. And Merry Christmas!

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