Wednesday, November 13, 2013

E-mail, 11/12/13

Hello my wonderful family!

It's been another week of benkyo benkyo benkyo [study study study]! My head hurts! I don't know how I'm going to remember it all.

It was super cool when we went to the Temple last Tuesday; I had brought the family names for us again and as I was handing them to the recorder for the 6 of us I said "These are the names my sisters and I are going to do today" and then in my head I was like *gasp* my sisters! But that's really how I feel about the shimaitachi [sister missionaries] in our district--they are wonderful and they are definitely my sisters. :) Also while we were in the temple that day I realized that I received my endowments when I was only 18. That's so young! That's going to be strange to tell my kids someday. But maybe that'll be normal by then. 

Devotional that night was so wonderful. It was all about being safe on our missions. I learned so much and felt the spirit so strong. The speaker was Elder Zwick of the 70. He is a very powerful speaker. He said he brought personal greetings from President Monson and that President Monson had told him "I love our missionaries. We must keep them safe, both physically and spiritually." Elder Zwick said that our safety lies in the Lord and that we should know that the choice is always ours, but we can trust our leaders and we can trust the Lord. He gave us three ways to be safe; 1) Follow inspired priesthood counsel, 2) Listen to the voice of the Spirit, 3) Obey the commandments. He said obedience brings us peace today and eternal life in the world to come. He also said hat is [that it?] may require a change of heart to steadily follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit and to be always obediently, but God wants us safe. That's why He sent His Only Begotten Son. 

After Devotional, Ellis Shimai [Sister Ellis] and I were watching Mormon Messages and I watched this one ( about a horse riding world champion and how when she's looking for horses for her competitions she looks for ones that are easily guided--quick to respond to the directions she gives them. And she related that to what our Heavenly Father wants from us--that we are willing to be quick to do His will. I really liked that!

Wednesday was hard. If I had to rate it, it probably would've been my worst day in the MTC so far. Basically I just felt like everything I tried to do with Nihongo [Japanese] I failed at and being at week 5 and having only 4 weeks left before we go to Nihon [Japan] .... didn't feel so great. I was hosting a Nihongin [Japanese] who couldn't speak English and I didn't know the vocabulary to help her, we (Ellis shimai and I) taught our sensai [teacher] and I was the weak link and fell apart, I got a bloody nose right at the end of a lesson, and we had a sub-sensai [sub-teacher] come in and reprehend us for not speaking 50% Nihongo [Japanese]. So yeah, that day... didn't go so well. I felt pretty down. But the bright side of that day was that I saw Elder Kakishata's younger brother--the one who served with Tyler! We snapped a picture but only on his camera because mine was in our classroom--you'll have to see if he'll email it to you. 

And I found Rosa--I mean Sister Garcia! She's the only Sister in her District, lol. She said it's teaching her lots of patience with the elders. :D We see each other at lunch all the time--it's so fun!

And guess who else I found! Tsukumoto sensai's [Teacher Tsukumoto's] husband! She told us one day in class that he works the tech for devotionals and that we should look for him. She described him and said he looks like a 14-year-old Japanese kid and he's constantly asked where his companion is--and he always points to his white nametag and says "I work here!" Haha. So since she told us we've been stalking the sound booth to try and find him and during service on Sunday I saw him! It's totally true, at first I thought he was one of the Nihongin chorotachi [Japanese elders] but then I saw his white nametag and I went "Tsukumoto kyodai!" ["Brother Tsukumoto!"] Thankfully he spoke Eigo [English] to me. (When I told Tsukumoto sensai that she said we all need to speak Nihongo [Japanese] to him because he needs to practice, haha. He was born in Japan but his family moved to America right after. But he served in Japan so he speaks Japanese. He and Tsukumoto both served in Fukuoka.)

Big news of the week: Sister Ellis and I switched desks with some chorrotachi [elders] in our district. *gasp* Lol. You know you've been at the MTC for over a month when the biggest news you have to share is that you and your doryo [companion?] switched seats with another doryo-gumi [companionship?] in the classroom... The elders wanted to be closer to the AC and we were cold so it was a good switch. But it's really funny because now we have a segregated classroom!

We've decided as a district that footnotes [in the scriptures] are hastags [hashtags]: "...and endure to the end, behold they shall have eternal life." #eternal life, #blessings, #righteousness. Haha, when we decided that one of our shimaitachi [sisters] said "I finally understand hastags now!"

In other news, the senior companion switched to Ellis Shimai on Sunday--woot woot! I was teasing her all about how I'm going to run all over the place now and she's going to have to chase me. :) Well, actually I told her I was going to Code 30 all over the place but that means the same thing! (We have codes for everything, it's kind of hilarious. Code Rose is if you smell bad. Code 33 is if you're talking to a chorro [an elder] or a chorro is talking to a Sister. All the numbered codes correspond to the page they're addressed on in the White Handbook [the rulebook for missionaries]; page 30 talks about staying with your companion, page 33 talks about chorro/shimai [elder/sister] interactions. We might read that book a lot or something...)

Smith shimai [Sister Smith] and I go running together. It's way fun! We've decided that if she goes to UVU after our missions and lives in BYU housing then we're going to be workout buddies!

Clark Sensai [Teacher Clark] (one of the other Branch's teachers, she's wonderful! She did our Nihongo [Japanese] orientation the first day--she's so nice and always give Ellis shimai and I hugs since most of all our other leaders are boys and therefore can't hug us. She's so sweet! She always comes and talks to us whenever we run into her. Unfortunately most of the time it's in Japanese so I don't understand everything she says.... but eventually I'll fix that problem!) came over to me yesterday and said she's in the same ward as Zina [one of Katie's freshman roommates]! Apparently they were at a ward activity and got to talking and Clark shimai [Sister Clark] mentioned that she teaches Japanese at the MTC and Zina went--My roommate's learning Japanese there! So Clark shimai brought Zina's personal greetings to me--it was so fun! And I also got a Dear Elder from Zina that afternoon! She's the second of my roommates to write me (but the first was Paige and we'd already had a letter chain going before then, so Zina probably gets the first place prize).

Something our sensai's [teachers] have us do a lot is try to explain complicated subjects in 6 sentences (simple enough to translate ourselves into Nihongo [Japanese]) or less. It's a great exercise! Challenging, but so helpful, because sometimes we tend to over complicate things and it forces us to simplify. It's such a good/needed exercise for me.

Well I love you all! I love getting your emails and hearing about all your adventures! Letters uplift so much! The Christmas blub [blurb] sounds great Dad! I hope your talk goes well! Wish I could be there to hear it! Y'all will have to take pictures of Zach doing rugby and send them to me! I love rugby! Do they broadcast the BYU rugby games? I'm so happy Maria and Tyler are going to Grandmother's for thanksgiving! Candice, I am glad you are not dead yet. And I think you would be a great French teacher! Go for it! I know how much you love French. :) You'd be a fun French teacher. I love hearing about all your YW lessons/activities! I'm glad you're such a good missionary with the sisters. Good for Sister Wood! The weather has been beautiful here this week. Hence the sweet pictures! We love the kohai [?]--they are so fun! I hope basketball season goes well! Have fun in Dubuque Dad! Don't die Tyler! Have you been to any Ruby [rugby] games yet?



Your Missionary,

Sister Bellows :)

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