To answer your questions, Lowe Shimai is from Chicago. She knows Sam and Kazia from their home stakes in Illinois.
Sunday. Our zone before our Sempai left (the "Elders" who left for Japan Monday).
Let me explain service. So every Tuesday we are assigned to help take down chairs and put away the bleachers after the Devotional. That is one of our service projects. Every Wednesday morning, we get to clean buildings. Our assignment is to clean a building that is fairly new, but they have to remodel the bathrooms so we have been cleaning it. It is a residence hall, I suppose I should clarify. We have wiped out window seals, and have cleaned bed frames. We have cleaned out drawers and we have swept and dusted stair cases. Yesterday however, it was our lucky pleasure to clean out the lights. Let me explain in detail.
We (Lowe Shimai and I) were given a ladder and rags. I climbed precariously up to the top of the ladder, knowing that the last job in the world that I want is to be on the top of a ladder. We carefully unlatched the hooks that keep the lights covered, and then the cover swings down and we were told to just wipe out the covering. To my displeasure, there were bugs. Real live dead bugs waiting to torment me as I swung the pane down. Yes. I didn't like it. So, if you ever look up at lights in a building, and see dark spots, those are bugs. And some poor person, maybe even a missionary, has the misfortune to clean them out. HOWEVER, it was actually kinda fun, and we got a lot of work done in the hour and a half we were assigned. Also it gave my legs a nice work out. So, service depends on what they want us to do. It is basically just missionaries taking care of the buildings and stuff. So, yep.
Some of the girls in our Zone.
On Thursday night, I forced my companion up to the main lobby and we went to see if Rachel was there, and she was! It was really good to see her. And then to my surprise, President Briscoe came walking by, and I told him I wasn't able to send any pictures earlier that day and it was such a miracle! It was a tender mercy!
Me and Rachel!
Earlier this week we learned a new principle about Japanese grammar. We were introduced to the concept of conjugating adjectives. Umm. Okay. I'm all for conjugating and, you know, learning a language, but that was just way hard to wrap my head around. We were being taught about the word "to want." In Japanese they use it as an adjective not a verb. Its so weird. Also, to make it less of a forward statement they will add, "I think" at the end of the sentence. For example:
I think I want to eat.
Watashi wa tabe tai to omoimasu. (I think that's correct. Just don't look it up and pretend it is.)
Our sensei was telling us that she would talk to people on their intercom's and they would say "I think I want you to hang up" all of the time. hahah it was funny.
We had a chips and salsa night real quick before bed.
Well, what else can I tell you. Oh, so we were teaching our "investigator" yesterday and we had prepared a pretty good lesson, all in Japanese with out any help from our grammar books. We got into the lesson, and it was my turn to bear testimony of what we had taught and I got really frustrated in my head because all I knew how to say was
"Iesu Kirisuto wa taisetsu desu. Josefu Sumisu wa taisetsu desu. Seirei ga taisetsu kanijiru masu." (Christ is important. Joseph Smith is important. It's important for us to feel the spirit.) I wasn't even sure if I had said any of that right or if I had even made sense of the conjugations or if I had even put the words in the right order. I didn't really know what to do with myself when the lesson was over. I felt like I had so much more to say about our lesson and about what I knew to be true, and I felt really inadequate.
However, on Tuesday, Gerald Causse and his wife from the Presiding Bishopric came and taught the devotional, and he had talked about how sometimes it is important for us to feel inadequate. He said that because we are young and because we aren't sure what exactly we are doing we are more pliable and more willing to get on our knees and ask the Lord for help. I was comforted by the remembrance of those words. I felt dumb for thinking what I had said wasn't adequate, because it's not me who teaches, it is the spirit, and as long as what I say is what I know to be true, and I mean it sincerely, the Spirit will continue to guide and comfort and testify to the investigator of the truths that I was able to state.
Lowe Shimai and I had the opportunity to teach on Sunday. We had to teach a lesson to our district. The topic was on the Holy Ghost. We studied chapter 4 in Preach My Gospel and gave our lesson. It was really successful. I felt like we had great team work and that we had good class participation, and had a good discussion. We showed the videos from Elder Bednar "Patterns of Light." Look them up and watch them some time! They are really deep and powerful and yet easy to understand.
I was looking in the mirror the other day, I just had to use the bathroom, but I was thinking "I really love my family." And I was looking, and I could see parts of myself that looked like parts of all of you. Maybe that sounds weird, but I was comforted knowing that our time apart really isn't very significant in the grand scheme of things.
Cute hearts you sent I hung up in my room!
Nothing has changed. I'm definitely used to the MTC. It's funny when people come in, and they are like "Oh I got here a week ago, and I'll be here for 5 more weeks." I'm thinking.... you got here after me, and are leaving before me!! hAhahAhAhhAhAHh JODAN! (joke!) OH I have to tell you something Margaret. The other day we were saying "Jinsei wa muzukashii desu." Which means, "life is hard" because we were all really tired and had just finished our first 3 hour lesson block. And our teacher was like, "Ieh! Jinsei wa tanoshii desu!" Which means, "No! Life is fun!" and then to my utter astonishment he did something so similar to the "jelly fish" that I just laughed so hard. Part of it was "MTC madness" the other part was that it just reminded me of you and your silliness!
Last week on P-Day having lunch.
I have received all of your letters and packages and I LOVED them all! Mom, thanks for keeping me sane. I loved the cookies and the chips and stuff, and all of the history you were able to send to me. Mom, that skirt looks awesome! I can't wait for it to come.
I am sorry I don't have more to say, I love you all and hope you are all happy. I'm praying for you all to get better, and for you to have what you need. Scotty, Happy Birthday, and I hope you were able to get an Amp!
I LOVE YOU
Ai shite imasu!