Saturday, January 4, 2014

Week 4 in the MTC - The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!


Thank you for all the letters I received this week! They were wonderful!

This week was a blur! I honestly do not remember when what has happened. Some days feel like two and other days I blink and they are over. But, I still have 4 1/2 weeks left; so time could always move a little faster.. Don't worry though, I am still enjoying being here at the MTC. The food has gotten old. But I think that happened a few weeks ago. Everyone in our district has gained a couple pounds...or 15! I don't think I've really gained anything. Sometimes I'm a few pounds more, but other days I'm the same weight as before. I've also taken up running- just to be on the safe side. I can run over a mile!! It is quite the accomplishment. Between not having run in a long, LONG time and the altitude. It's great.
I learned a new phrase this week...well I've learned lots of new phrases this week...but this one is just for my mother. "torei ni iku hitsuyo ga arimasu." It translates. I have need to go to the toilet. Very useful! Well, despite my leaps and bounds in Nihongo I still have been making some mistakes. Here were my favorites of the week:
- Dopp Shimai and I went to pick up a package for her. The guy at the package office served in Japan so we always have a little Nihongo exchange. Anyways, he asked Dopp Shimai where she was serving. Then he asked me. Except I didn’t know what he asked so I said "Ma ma" It's like come ci come ca....kinda like so, so (something that doesn't really exist in the English language) Universal answer. Demo, not for where are you serving! His face was priceless. And he told me I needed to work on my Nihongo. Dopp Shimai and I got a really good laugh. Especially when she told me what'd he'd asked.
-During one of our lessons with an investigator, I was telling her about church. I meant to say "during sacrament meeting we partake of the sacrament and then church members speak to us," Instead, I told her that we take the sacrament and then none of the members will talk to us." Luckily her face clued me in on my mistake and I fixed it. But it was still pretty funny. And that's better than Dopp Shimai. She enjoys teaching false doctrines such as god is the spirit of the trees and we start our prayers "dear Jesus Christ." Super funny. 

Remember my earlier story about cookies?? Well, yesterday I learned what coo-shoo-ki (the way I had pronounced cookie) meant! It means strange. So when I thought I was offering a box of cookies that my family sent I was really saying "here is a box of strange. It's from my family" hahaha it's a classroom joke now. 
Good news with our investigators! Tominaga san has committed to baptism!! Now we just need him to stop drinking... And Katayama san came to church! It's so excited that, despite our weaknesses in the language that people still feel the spirit and have a desire to come closer to Christ! 
I learned something new about priesthood meeting (last hour in church where all the men meet) this week! Apparently in WA they are told "the more prayers you say the prettier wife you'll be." Now that is a fantastic way to get people to pray! Poor Elder Jensen didn't even catch what he said. So that made it even funnier. I'm sure he meant to say "the more prayers you say the prettier YOUR wife will be" demo English is no longer anyone’s strong point. 

Dopp Shimai and I are in charge of picking music for sacrament meeting and priesthood meeting for our branch. This past Sunday we picked "sweet hour of prayer" for the closing song. But, when I wrote down the hymn numbers I switched the English and Nihongo the poor Elders sang some strange song only sang in Japan. I heard it was pretty funny! I'm glad I wasn't there!

Last P-day Dopp Shimai told me the greatest thing ever. Apparently our first week here she was VERY concerned about my happiness! She was so sad that I was so unhappy here. All I did was complain. Then she realized I just enjoy complaining. Regardless of if I truly mean the complaint or not. hahaha she had been praying so that she could find ways to make me happy! But, she realized that I am one of the happiest people she has ever met. It makes me laugh every time I think about it. Poor Dopp Shimai.

Ok now for something a little more spiritual. And I will try really hard not to botch it up this time!
Eder Quentin L. Cook came and spoke to us Tuesday!! He was amazing. He is one of my favorite speakers so far. He spoke completely unscripted! I think since that doesn’t happen in General Conference his talk has more of an impact on me. He spoke about the mission assignment process. It was really cool hearing about it! They don't throw darts at a map!! He said each prospective missionary comes up on a big screen and they look at our picture, read about us and read references from our Bishop and Stake president. Then, they look where missionaries are needed and they get a prompting! The cool thing is that there are different promptings!! It's not just oh she should go here. It's "the people of Japan need her" or "this missionary needs this mission president" or "this country will become important to this person sometime in the future". How cool is that!!! And he said sometimes they pick the wrong place and go back and fix it! He finished telling us about the process by saying "You are going where you should go to do things only you can do." Very inspiring!

Also cool, it took 175 years to hit 1 million missionaries sent out. Within 25 years we will hit another million sent out! Elder cook talked about how special our call was and what we have been sent out to do as missionaries. The last thing I have written that he said is actually a Gordon B. Hinckley quote concerning missionaries "If they have more faith, they will have more success." I LOVE that! And I think that it applies to everyone. Not just missionaries. If we have faith all things are possible. I know this to be true.
I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas (and Holiday) season! Eat lots of sugar cookies for me! And don't forget the true meaning of Christmas. We are celebrating our Savior's birth! 

I love you all,

Molinari Shimai

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