Saturday, November 9, 2013

E-mail, 11/5/2013

Hello my dear family!

It's been another incredible week here at the MTC! I can't believe it's November! Only a month and a handful of days and I'll be in Japan! Can you believe I've been here at the MTC for a month already?

So, super cool story from last P-day; Mom, did you realize the family names you sent me for the temple were the ones Paige and I did the baptisms and confirmations for while we were at BYU on January 29th? And that last Tuesday, the day Sister Ellis, Sister Smith, Sister Stice and I did the initiatories for them was October 29th? That was so cool to link my family together with all my wonderful friends! 

The devotional that evening was also really cool. The speaker was Carlos Goday of the Quorum of the Seventy from Brazil so he had a really fun accent and was so excited about this gospel. He shared his experience with his conversion and his advice to us to help those we teach become life-long faithful members of the church through a focus on conversion and fellow-shipping. He said the first time he was in a Mormon church was for a youth activity and the game they were playing was "poor poor little kitty cat" (I hope you've heard of this game, it is hilarious) and he said he thought "oh, it's a little weird what they do here in this church" but as he was leaving the Sister Missionaries asked him if he wanted to know more and he said yes because he wanted to know why these people were so happy with nothing. Well, he was baptized and was on fire, but because he didn't have a support group for going to church he stopped coming. But when he finally found a friend when he stopped by the church again a year later, it was then that he was fully converted, and there were amazing blessings because of his conversion. He said he keeps track of his sister missionaries because to them he may be just one of many, but to him they are the only ones, and they are angels to him. Eventually he was able to seal one of his missionaries' son and daughter-in-law together in the temple. He said "It's never one, it's always generations." It was so wonderful. I loved the principles he taught and his enthusiasm for this gospel. It was a wonderful Tuesday.

Guess what cool awesome thing we got to do on Wednesday! We got to host new missionaries for the first time!!!! It was so fun! I loved it! It was so fun to get to do something new and help someone else. All the new sisters I hosted were all so nervous and quiet and scared. Daw. Reminds me of someone else I knew four weeks ago... :) It was so fun to welcome them and try and help their first day start off with enthusiasm and happiness! One was going to Oklahoma, one to Mexico City, one to South Dakota, and another one to Chicago. We got to take them around to get their name-tags, their books, drop off their luggage at their residence halls, and then drop them off at class. It sure was interesting trying to lug all their suitcases around. Since hosting is the only time at the MTC that you're authorized to be away from your companion and we would drop them off at certain entrances of buildings to pick up things and them meet them on the other side, it got pretty interesting when I had 3 huge suitcases and had to try and manhandle them around to the other side of the buildings! I'm sure you can picture how gracefully I managed that. :)

My roommates and I like to use gym time to just run around and play and get out all our pent up energy from sitting around in class all day so actually [we do] workouts when we get back to our residence halls at night (when we have about 45 minutes to get ready for bed). We got this one lunges-happy workout from a Chorro [elder] in our zone that we call the Peta-G (his name). My thighs have never been so sore in my entire life. Haha.

The most amazing thing happened on Friday; we were back at our residence hall getting ready for class after gym when one of the MTC employees came around to do our room inspection. And so as she was checking things off we got talking and she mentioned she served a mission in Iowa. Turns out she just got back 2-ish months ago, met Tyler and my cousins, and loved Grandma and Grandpa! When I said I was a Bellows she said "You look like a Bellows!". It was so neat. She told me a story about how one time on her mission she and her companion were having a difficult time--her companion had just thrown out her back, she was frustrated--and they decided to just stop by Grandma and Grandpa's house because they loved visiting them. She said Grandma was taking a nap and her companion went to lie down, so she was sitting on the couch with her scriptures and Grandpa rolled in, gave her a smile, pulled out his scriptures, and asked, "Where are we reading?" She told him and he opened up to the chapter, shared a few insights, and then just sat quietly next to her, reading. She said it was one of them most spiritual and uplifting moments of her mission. She said his funeral was one of the saddest parts of her mission for her. She had so many good things to say about him and Grandma and it just made me feel: Wherever I go I am constantly blessed because of the goodness and wonderful lives and examples of my grandparents and my family. It was such a special, tender blessing from Heavenly father to be able to meet this sister and hear more about Grandma and Grandpa from her. It made me feel like they really aren't that far away. Her name is Jeanette Tompson. Family, do you have any questions for her or want more info? I possibly might see her again. Or maybe someone could email her and get more stories about Grandma and Grandpa!

So, Saturday I feel asleep for the first time during class, haha. Well, not actually class, just study time. Ellis Shimai and I went into a teeny-tiny study room to read the Book of Mormon in Japanese for Nihongo [Japanese] practice and 30 minutes later we both woke up. We were so tired, haha. I'm surprised it hasn't happened sooner. Another cool thing that happened that day: We got to do TRC for the first time and guess who we were teaching: Yuu T. Bate's father, Brother Taguchi! It was so crazy! Small world des ne [isn’t it]? He had lots of tips for us on our Japanese. Whoops. Oh well... :)

Sunday was Fast Sunday! It meant we had a little bit of a different schedule. No breakfast or lunch, obviously, and instead of Relief Society/Elder's Quorum we had a super awesome, 2 hour long mission conference with the MTC Presidency! I especially loved Sister Nally's talk (Mom, is that the one who Brother Kirkman is related to?). She told lots of awesome conversion stories and related how all of us are in the MTC because of our footsteps on the path of discipleship. It was really wonderful. Everything else was normal schedule for the most part; District Sunday School, Temple Walk, Devotional (I loved Brother Kohlert's talk about the 5 questions he wants to ask his recently RM grandson; Did you learn that all the Lord expects of you is that you do the best you can? Will you keep reading the BOM and renew your testimony of it regularly? Have you learned how to make relationships work? Have you learned how to work through your trials? Do you have a deep love for the Savior?), but no choir. Dinner was delicious, as per the usual result of Fast Sunday. We also had a really cool Zone Sister's meeting with President Mack about how we've changed since coming to the MTC. I fasted for the Spirit and help with Nihongo [Japanese]. We actually had a Nihongo day only yesterday... yup it kind of flopped around lunch time. But I had a 10-serve streak in volleyball and a supes awesome spike! And I ran the last 5 minutes of gym on the track and it felt sooooo goood! And we had TRC againon Monday and it went much better even though my language skills are so limited. It was such an uplifting experience. Oh, and I got a letter from Kelsea English this week! So fun! It made my day!

The other day in personal study I had a flash of inspiration that helped me understand the word "glory[”] as it's used in the scriptures: Glory is power that is recieved by righteousness (like purity and virtue). So when we are righteous we recieve power--which is the glory of God.

Can you really believe it's been 4 weeks? I've grown so much since being here--I thought before that I had a desire for missionary work, but since being here that desire's grown a hundred-fold. I am coming so much to love my Savior and to feel of his love and to realize how little I understand how incomprehensible and complete that love is for us. 

Lauren, send me a picture of your wolf flag! Horne sensai [Teacher Horne] served in Nagoya, Tsukumoto served in Fukuoka--and she's having a baby girl in March! No Earthquake training as of yet, Pops. :) We have a particle song to the tune of "[My] Favorite Things" [from The Sound of Music] which goes: [“]Wa is the subject and ni shows direction, no says "it's mine" and it shows some possession, for 2nd subjects we always use ga, these are the particles we hold in awe! O is the object and gets all the action, mada up until, he general direction, de place of action or by the means of, these are the particles we've come to love! To's a full list, ya's not finished, ka is either/or. Kara is from and to is quotation, and for "also" we use mo![”] I met President Hiatt's cousins(?) at Devotional Tuesday! They're a couple going to Louisville Kentucky. Sister Ellis is one of the 4 missionaries in my district not going to Sendai. :( I will miss her when she's in Tokyo! We've had 2 snows so far! Can you send me my pink peacoat? I met someone going to Anaheim California Vietnamese speaking the other day. Hee--something. I told him to say hi to Elder Lindsay for me. For the Christmas letter... I have no idea. If you send me a preview I'll give you some input! We've taught all the discussions in Nihongo [Japanese]. I'm glad Rebecca's kids got my letter! The Provo MTC is great so tell Riley not to worry. So excited for Ashley! Sore throat is better. Glad the campout went well Dad! Good luck with choir Lauren! I wish I could be there to hear you sing! It would be so funny if we were on the same plane Dad! The shimaitachi [sisters] would love to meet you. :) I hope the Hardy's add a lama to their chicken/cow/goat/giraffe menagerie. Don't give up on anyone! Ellis shimai [Sister Ellis] has 4 siblings who aren't members and we talk all the time about having a perfect brightness of hope for all to come unto Christ and partake of his love--2 Nephi 21:20. Don't give up! I hope you survive your papers Candice!

I love you all sooooooooooooo much! Thank you so much for all the dear elders and emails!!!!!! They truly uplift me and make my days so wonderful! :) I know God is watching for my family. :)

I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!


Your missionary,

Sister Bellows :)

P.S. Watch this Mormon Message! I loved it so much. Reminded me of Grandma and Grandpa: Enduring Love,

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