Friday, December 20, 2013

E-mail 11/19/2013

Hello mine family!

Reporting in on WEEK 6 of the MTC!!!!!! Can you believe I've been here 6 weeks? Craziest thing ever. And in just 3 weeks I'll be *gasp* in Japan! No, I'm not freaking out, are you freaking out? :)

Tuesday was amazing! I loved bumping into you via email Mom! And for Devotional... guess who came... Elder Perry! I loved it! Sister Perry talked all about our pre-mortal familial relationships and Elder Perry talked about being good companions. It was lovely. And so was our devotional review; Brother and Sister Stevensen came (from the branch presidency) and Sister Stevensen mentioned how much she loved the book The Power of Everyday Missionaries! Grandmother and Grandfather have good taste. :)

Wednesday was the most lovely study day ever. Since we have extra time Wednesday mornings because our service is on Sundays/Tuesdays, I used it to study in the residence hall. It was so nice and peaceful. The main light was off, Smith shimai [Sister Smith] was sleeping, everyone was quiet and I got so much out of my scripture study. 

This time around of reading the Book of Mormon I've really come to admire Alma the Younger--he's now one of my scripture heroes (along with Enos and John the Beloved--my all-time favorites). He had just such an incredible devoted life. He was a mighty missionary--a mighty prophet--a mighty minister--who loved God with all his might, mind, and strength and lived it. 

It kind of reminds me of Tyler. (I was bragging on him to my roommates Tuesday.) I just see in him a desire to always do what's right--and I want that! 

I didn't host so that I could study more, so Ellis Shimai [Sister Ellis] and Stice Shimai [Sister Stice] hosted and Smith Shimai and I were doryos [guests? students?]. It was lovely. I love her so much. It was just a peaceful, non-rushed study day. We also got to teach each other during Horne sensai's [Teacher Horne’s] class and I felt really inspired of what to say and share and I felt God's love for her. (We read Mosiah 2:41 together which turned out to be her mission plaque scripture!) It was a really sweet experience. And that's what I want for my kyudoshas [investigators?]; to feel God's love and my love. And it made it much easier to study tango [words] with that perspective of wanting to be able to communicate with them and for them to feel love.

Thursday, I had 1-1 coaching with Tsukumoto Sensai [Teacher Tsukumoto] and it was really helpful. She noticed how I tend to let Ellis do most of the talking during our lessons because I can't always understand what she as our mogi [role play] kyudosha [investigator?] is saying. And she really encouraged me to try and talk more in Japanese in our lessons and SYL as much as possible. 

Also cool experience of Thursday: Ellis shimai and I had felt really off as a companionship all week and I couldn't figure it out. And all of a sudden during TALL when it was just Ellis Shimai and I in the lab, the kotoba [word] for "to apologize" (ayamaru) came up on the screen and as I started writing it down on a flashcard (like I had been doing with all the other tango [words]) I really the impression to do just that. So I slipped the flashcard ayamaru side up onto her scriptures and it opened the way for a beautiful, beautiful conversation and resolution. I was so grateful for that experience! It was truly prompted by the Spirit. 

I also realized something about the difference in our study philosophy as we were talking. (Enlightenment from the Spirit.) For Ellis shimai, studying is fun when she's doing other things simultaneously with studying; like going to a new place and waving/talking to everyone walking by. But for me, studying IS the fun! But we both get our studying done. It just works for both of us completely differently. And that's changed the way I approach our studying.

Our lesson with Mai-san (Tsukumoto Sensai) [Teacher Tsukumoto pretending to be Mai-san] went so well on Wednesday! I finally felt like we were able to help and reach her personally by helping her see how the gospel applies applies to her life! It was a direct result of how I changed as a result of my coaching session. I really felt the Seirei [Spirit] and saw it working in Mai-san--it was so amazing! I know the Spirit can be there, no matter the situation, mogi or not. Like in Horne sensai's class that night; He was doing a demonstrate teaching mogi for the class about prayer with Berkley chorro [Elder Berkley] as the kyudosha (and Hill chorro as Horne sensai's doryo). And they went to Alma 34:17-27 and Horne sensai said "This scripture is from the words of a prophet named Amulek. And he talks in here about flocks and herds because that's what was important to the people of his time but you have other things that are important to you like your job and school and investments." Then Berkley chorro read the scripture and Hill chorro said "Kamisama [God] loves you and wants you to rely on him through everything and whatever is important to you." And when he said that, this quote popped into my head; The way to worry about nothing--pray about everything. And I woke up and went--that's what I need to do! It was amazing.

Oh, and I got a letter from Paige that day. So fun!

Sunday was (as always) amazing. We went to Music and the Spoken word and they sang 2 songs I wasn't familiar with but I loved: "Be Thou My Vision" and "My Song in the Night". It was so inspiring.

Then for the Relief Society musical number there was a piano/cello duet of "O Come O Come Emmanuel"--oh my goodness. Love that song. My heart was filled. And the speaker was so inspired. Sandra Rogers. She said "If you're ever stuck with the language and can only say to God 'please help me,' remember that song. It has the same strength that that plea has."

She talked about being armed with the power of God in great glory and how to receive that; through baptismal and temple covenants, the sacrament, willingness, doing your best, whatever you're doing act as if it will be for years, charity, leaning on the Lord, being bonded to the Lord. Favorite quotes from her talk: When need was paired with willing[ness] the Lord created a miracle. A mission brings our weaknesses to our attention so that we will lean on our Heavenly Father who can make that weakness become a strength. "Thou knowest my inexperience. Please help and guide me." The lord is in charge and wants to bless you in doing this work. She also said "To be God's disciple is my greatest aspiration."

After Relief Society I had an interview with President Mack. I'm so glad I got to talk to him--I love doing that. He had so much encouragement for me and told me that the most important thing I have is love and that investigators will be able to feel the love I have for them and the love I have for the Lord. He also said something after that that was so interesting I had to write it down. He said "You can trust people who love the Lord first." It was an edifying experience.

District Sunday School was also inspiring. Fox chorro and Reynolds chorro taught about recognizing the Spirit. It was amazing. But probably the most amazing parts were the personal experiences that Fox and Reynolds shared. They really brought the Spirit and were beautiful, wonderful teachers. This MTC has grown all of us.

In Sacrament the Dai-Sempai ["seniors"; what they call the oldest district of Japan-bound missionaries] (who left the next day) sang "I Feel My Savior's Love" in both Eigo [English] and Nihongo [Japanese]. It was amazing. Sister Mack talked about missionary work as a visiting teacher. President Mack talked about getting rid of the noise around us that's distracting us from the Spirit. And he said the way to receive the Spirit was to keep all the rules, be on time, and make your bed. :)

Devotional that night was by Mary Ellen Edmunds. Quotes: You have been set apart from things you used to do, say, think. Treat each other with a different kind of respect than you have before. You're doing a holy work that requires holy thoughts. The Holy Ghost is a billion times better than a smartphone. He knows everyone you will meet and what they need to hear. What do you even know about what you can do? You've only been alive 19 years. God's been alive millions. Righteousness never was misery. Love: Your motive one-hundred-percent of the time. Prayer: It's not what you say, it's the feeling. 

It was amazing.

Then we went and watched "Missions are Forever" by President Holland. My favorite part: the poem he read;

Come to the edge he said.
No we'll fall.
Come to the edge he said.
No we'll fall.
Come to the edge.
So we came.
He pushed us.
And we flew.

Trust. God. Extremity--sacrifice, trial, humility--is God's opportunity.

In TRC yesterday I felt how much we've grown in the MTC [Missionary Training Center]. Although I still rely heavily on a lesson outline, I feel the Spirit and power of our calling and felt God's love for the people we taught. We still may have  along way to go, but we've come miles from where we were.

It was really funny though, because after we were walking back to our residence (we meaning the 4 of us roommates) we figured out that we'd all worn our hair in braids that day! So we went back to our room and had to take supes cutie [super cute] pictures. We also realized a long time ago that we're like the start to a bad joke--you know; a blonde, a brunette, a redhead, and an Asian... so we lined up in that order for our pictures! Haha.

Thank you all so much for the sweet letters and emails this week! I love them so much and read them over and over. No matter how long or short, I just love to hear what's going on in your lives and your advice and love. And I'm sure that's exactly how Heavenly Father feels about us. I want to be filled with God's marvelous love because I love Him.

Zach! Send me the code for runes from dragonology! (We like to cover random chalkboards in all crazy different writing systems, haha.) Does our ward have a misisonary plaque? Apparently I do dream about missionary stuff because Smith shimai said that Wednesday night I was talking in Japanese in my sleep really loudly. She said she heard me say "wakaremasen" [“I don’t understand”] and "koto ga dekimasu" [“I can do it”]. LOL. Can you email me the lyrics for Be Thou My Vision, My Song in the Night, O Come O Come Emmanuel and Savior Redeemer of My Soul (the one Grandma Bellows loves)? My farewell talk is on my laptop somewhere.... Congrats to Sister Tucker! And Congrats to Chairwoman Bellows! So excited for you! You'll have to send me pictures of all your gardening projects for your class! Dad you should send me your talk! None of our leaders have gone to sendai, but one of the STL lived there for a few years and says the people there are really nice! Can you ask President Rassmussen if I need to bring boots or buy them? I got the pictures! So cute! Stake Conference sounds like it was amazing! I will miss President Jarvis! So glad he got to set me apart. Sounds like I have some smart siblings! Sweet organizing! My roommates tell me I'm hyper organized... Sweaters: I love the Ivory lurex, emeral isle, and black ones! Volleyball is less fun without the dai sempai but we just have to recruit more people now. :) I haven't talked in Sacrament meeting but I have said the closing prayer. Lauren send me a picture of your glasses! I'm sure they're supes cutie! Tyler, the Elder Holland quote was in the video we watched on Sunday! I loved it so much! Thank you! How many more days until Christmas Lauren? We get new kohai [“freshmen”; what they call the youngest group of Japan-bound missionaries] tomorro wnad [tomorrow and] then we (our district) will be dai sempai and expected to know the most. Not sure I"m ready for that!

I love you all so much! Your letters and emails brighten my day every time I read them! I love you!


Your missionary,

Sister Bellows :)

No comments:

Post a Comment