Thursday, February 12, 2015

Hola! Oh, I mean, Konnichiwa!

Konnichiwa Kazoku!

Holy moly this has been a really interesting week! I miss you guys so much but I know I'm in the right place! First, I'm in like... a happy prison. Everyone is happy and is feeling the spirit and enjoying our time, but we are like stuck in the same room for hours at a time. I guess I wasn't expecting that. 

On Wednesday when you dropped me off, I was actually really calm. I got a bag that was HUGE that was literally probably 20 pounds of new language materials, and then my Host helped me find my room and drop off my stuff. I was then taken to my class room where I have spent most of my time here. I really like my district. There are 12 of us. 3 Choro (Elder) companionships and 3 Shimei (Sister) companionships. We have a lot of fun together, except there isn't a lot of space in the room so it gets crowded sometimes. My doryo (companion) is Lowe Shimei. We have become good friends already! She knows Sam and Kazia, my roommates from last semester so we kind of had a connection from the start. We get along great and work well together. I'm happy about that. We got into the classroom and they immediately started teaching us. The board was full of Japanese and it was kind of overwhelming. Japanese is hard! 

I'm staying in a room meant for 4 but has 6 girls in it. We just had 2 of the girls move out because they were going to California, so now there is four of us. Me, Lowe Shimei, Fullmer Shimei and Healey Shimei. We all get along great and have been happy most of the time. 

The food is alright, not fabulous, but it's good enough. The more I eat there the less variety they seem to have but hey, they feed me right? 

Friday we had a lot of more study time and familiarizing ourselves with the MTC and Saturday we had our first service project. The four of us in the same room were the only ones who went because we found out later that day we didn't need to go. Hahahahahahaha oh well. Service is service. 

Raines Shimei and Lowe Shimei

Sunday was a great day. It was more relaxing and we were able to just listen to people talk instead of having to study and learn so much. So that was really nice. The sacrament was in Japanese and that was interesting to hear. The hymns are all in Hirigana, so I'm trying to learn that. I almost have all of those characters down so that will be good when I can finally just recognize them and remember the sounds associated with each one. The characters aren't taught to us. We all have to learn those on our own, but they expect us to know them because they use those on the board when they write words, so that's kinda stressful, but hey, I'm learning right?

I'm learning so quickly here, the gift of tongues is a real thing. I'm not the smartest in the class, in fact, probably 90% of my district has taken Japanese before or has parents who taught them some. I know "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes." Thank you Uncle Ray. And I knew "Ganbatte." Thanks Uncle Joel.  Haha. It was pretty impressive when I showed everyone how I could sing that song. :) We also got to go up to the temple and walk around and take some pictures and that was really fun and a nice break from all of the mental stress. 

Saturday and Sunday I started feeling pretty sick. My head was stuffed up and my nose was clogged and my whole head just ached, and I just kept coughing and coughing. I lost my voice almost completely on Saturday and Sunday. I had an interview with the Branch President just because I'm new and I asked him what he thought I should do, and he told me to go to the clinic in the morning. He asked if I would like a blessing, and I told him yes, so the Chorotachi in my branch were able to give me a blessing. None of them had done it before, so it was pretty special and neat. I think we all felt the spirit. It was short, but it was sweet and sincere and gave me the motivation to just keep going. So, Monday morning, I went to the clinic and he told me I had a really bad sinus infection. (I knew it was pretty bad, I would have gone Sunday if it would have been open.) So he gave me a powerful decongestant, a cough medicine for night, and also a new antibiotic that isn't amoxicillin like I had a few weeks ago. I'm feeling better, still not great, but I'm able to do what I need to do. Monday, after my appointment, we got to walk to the Student Health Center like a block away next to Y Mount Apartments, and I felt like I was being freed from some type of cage. Haha it was fun and great and everything, and would have been better had my head not been pounding :) But, I am doing better and the Lord is helping me to do all that I can to make this the best experience that I can make it. Also, on Monday I was able to just take a short nap, about an hour and a half and that was much needed. I'm sleeping fine except for my cough. It just acts up at night for some reason. I feel worse for the girls in my room than I do for myself. I just don't want to keep them up, but they all seem like they don't really mind, so it's good. 

I love getting mail from all of you! I have loved all of the letters, and Mom, thank you so much for the packages! They have made my week brighter! I loved the bread, and it was actually a blessing because I need to eat food with my antibiotic and I wouldn't have any if you wouldn't have sent me that bread! You are an amazing woman, and inspired! I was able to see Sister Taylor, and that was fun just to see a friendly face. I've been up to the Front Desk a few times to see if Rachel was there, and I was told to look tonight, so hopefully I'll be able to do that. 

We are teaching an "investigator" and it is actually really difficult. I guess I never really thought about teaching in another language.... Uh, yeah. Dumb on my part. We have to prepare the lesson, and then we have to translate it so it is in Japanese, and then we have to teach it. And if she asks questions, we have to be able to understand her and that is the hard part. I can only understand maybe like 15% of what the teacher and our investigator say now, but I guess that is more than what I started out with! Also, the lessons are hard to follow because in Japan, and with our investigator, there isn't any knowledge even of who Christ is, or if God even exists so we literally have to start from scratch and come up with our own lesson plans. It's been tiring, but a great learning experience. 

Oh yeah! And on Tuesday morning!! I had gone to bed and my eye was kinda watery, and I woke up and it was like super gross and goopy and nasty. I prayed so hard that it would just go away on its own so that I wouldn't have to waste another morning going to the doctor and to the health center, and I just kept it clean and tried to keep everything really clean around me, and it's gone now! What a miracle! I don't have any idea how that happened, because that honestly hasn't ever happened to me, but it was a little miracle that has happened to me this week. 

I have been lying awake for the past few nights just so excited to tell you what I have done, and now that I am here, maybe I have stage fright? Haha I literally can't remember a lot of what happened, because it has happened so fast and we have done so much studying every day that it seems almost like it hasn't happened. I was sitting in my desk a few days ago and I thought "I'm actually learning Japanese." HAHAHAHAHAHAHA what a jodan! (Joke). I'm like the last person in the world who should learn Japanese, and for some reason God has called me to go there and to teach my brothers and sisters who are waiting to hear the message of the restored gospel. I'm so grateful for the power of prayer in my life. One word we say a lot is "shiko" which means, "faith." Also "Shin pi shinide," which is "Don't worry."

We all are feeling the weight of our callings on our shoulders and the responsibility we have to carry Iesu Kirisuto with us on our name badge everywhere we go. It is crazy how time can fly when we are doing what we are supposed to do. I can't believe it has already been a week! This has been a really long and rewarding week. Oh yeah, and I'm pretty good at praying in Japanese, I just need to learn the rest of the vocabulary to be able to say whatever I want in a prayer without it being the same one that the book has :)

I love you all and can't wait to hear how you are all doing! Let me know what you guys have been up to! Don't worry about me I'm having a great time and learning a whole lot!


Raines Shimei

1 comment:

  1. So glad she is having a good time and learning so much! We love our Aunt Juana!!!!