Wednesday, January 7, 2015

E-mail, 1/5/2015

My dear wonderful family,

Happy 2015!

Oshogatsu [Japanese New Year] was great! No seeing sunrises or pounding mochi [rice cakes] just sleeping at regular hours, eating mochi and going to a very simple jinja [shrine] with a few Eikaiwa [English class] students. Very simple and wonderful.

Last Monday I got an awesome Christmas package from the Walsmans in the mail!! It had self-made CDs and messages. It was awesome!!

Tuesday we got up early and went to another early morning market with Kon-san. This time Sae-chan (another Eikaiwa student) came and it was so yummy! Favorites: Gyoza stuffed bread, bean donuts. Delicious! Then we had a lesson with Sugiura shimai [Sister Sugiura] (recent convert) and did some housing.

Wednesday we did New Years Cleaning!!!! All day! SO NICE!! 

Thursday--2015!!!!!!!--it was snowing A TON so we walked to the church (about a 40 minute walk) and met everyone to go visit a jinja (shrine). Kon-san, Shogo-san, Sae-chan (Eikaiwa students), and Yoshiyuki-kun (member's cousin, Phillipino, investigator, learning Japanese) came. We went to a small closeby jinja and then came back to the church and played games with them. They all really seem to love the atmosphere at the church. When we were walking back to the church Kon-san asked me about a few mission rules (curfew, contact with family) and was just astounded by them and then said "I just really respect you missionaries so much and want so much to help you. Is there anything I can do to help you?" Looking back at that now, I totally should've asked him for a referral right them but I didn't, I don't remember what I said. But I was really touched by that. He can tell that we're trying to do good things! That afternoon all the missionaries had lunch at President Kanazawa's home. We ate lots of mochi. Then we went home and read all of 3rd Nephi. I love 3rd Nephi. The Savior really taught the Nephites so much. So amazing. 

Then I set New Years Goals!!!!!

My goals:

·  Finish the Book of Mormon in Japanese
·  Think: What would Jesus do?
·  Create and follow a Spiritual well-being plan
·  Create and follow a physical well-being plan
·  Read the Book of Mormon everyday
·  Study and improve my prayers
·  Repent better
·  Talk with as many people as possible each day
·  Be bold with love and unafraid
·  Recieve and recognize revelation
·  Faith, hope, and charity, with an eye single to the glory of God
·  Voluntary, whole-hearted obedience
·  See one more baptism
·  Journal daily

(for after mission, not all necessarily in 2015:)
·  Create and finish 2 mission memory books before going back to BYU
·  Go to the temple once a month (NC) and once a week (BYU)
·  Work May through August
·  Develop my talents and hobbies
·  Become a ward missionary
·  Become a temple worker
·  Run daily
·  Sign up for a 10k
·  Serve
·  Keep in contact with people from Japan
·  Learn excellent cooking and make a recipe book--give or send it to missionaries
·  Manage my time
·  Pursue a major and career
·  Prepare to go back to college by studying
·  Declutter

I didn't do goals for the family yet--sorry!

I don't know if mine are really good but I tried to ponder really deeply about them and receive help and revelation. I want to and hope I can achieve them!

Friday we had District Training Meeting with training on 'baton passing' from the Zone Leaders. I translated for Hansen choro [Elder Hansen]. So fun! Then we walked to a less active grandmas house and did a lesson in her genkan [entryway]. She loved it.

Saturday we had a District mogi taikai [roleplay tournament] at the church with some ward members--did several mogis [roleplays] and a lesson with a recent convert. Really good! Then Eikaiwa--no kids came so I helped out in beginners.

Saturday was Fast Sunday. Translated 3rd hour (combined Relief Society and Priesthood) for Yoshiyuki-kun. Fun! Then we did weekly planning.

Sounds like it was a fun week with the cousins! 
Happy birthday to Grandfather and Grandmother!
Sorry to hear about Uncle Wes.
The reindeer at the party are the Elders.
Thank you so much for the Christmas presents! I love them!
Yeah, it's the year of the sheep here in Japan...
We didn't really say much to the Buddhist missionary, she did the talking. Just said "Wow, that's interesting. Thanks!" kind of a deal, haha.

We will be traveling a lot this week; Tuesday and Wednesday are Mission Leadership Training Meeting in Nagamachi. Friday is Zone Training Meeting in Aomori. We have to prepare a 14 minute training to present tomorrow and a separate 30 minute training to give on Friday. We're going to be really busy!!!

Well, my hope for this year is for it to be filled with happiness!!!! I love happiness!! I just always want to be happy. And I know that keeping the commandments of God and building a relationship with him and receiving the guidance of the Holy Ghost is the way to true happiness in this life. This gospel and Christ's teachings give me the perspective I need to have true happiness and to have joy. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ and so grateful I can share this message with everyone!

I love you!!!!! Looking forward to hearing all the goals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have a great week!!!!!!!!!!!!

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


Your missionary,

Bellows shimai :)

P.S. Sorry if the pictures are weird! I am having trouble with the camera. I think it might be dying.

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