Well, I'm really glad to hear you are all doing well. I pray for you every day!
I was able to do Initiatory for the first time since I did my own, last Thursday, and that was a really good experience. The temple holds so many blessings for attendance. I know that if we regularly attend the temple, we will have extra strength to become more like Christ. I know that being temple worthy is something that every person can strive for and it should be the deepest desires in our hearts, if we aren't worthy to become so.
Our Branch. The Elder in the front is the one who asked if I wanted to build a snowman. They are all hilarious.
I have successfully completed week 5, and have commenced in the journey of week six. Honestly, nothing has changed. The food, although at first seems quite the enticement has become somewhat of a bore. hmm. What will I have for lunch today? Salad? Or if I'm feeling really gross, cookies with cereal. I've reverted to "Caroline at 12:00 am in the morning mode" and have cereal almost every meal. I love cereal, and it's like the only thing here that I can count on being consistent--as far as food goes. Oddly enough, I have been craving dried apple slices, so, if you have a little bit of happiness in your heart that you are just dying to share, please send me that.
Everyone thinks my mail is funny. Every time I get a letter or a package or anything from home it is COVERED in tape. I think it's cute. That just screams "mom" and it makes me happy, but every one thinks it is funny. You sent me that red box with my skirt and everyone was like, "Why did they send you a happy meal?" Well, I thought it was cute. I am going to try the skirt tonight and see how it works out. It is very very colorful. It doesn't really match my bland personality. :) But I'll try. The shirt is kinda weird. I haven't tired it yet. It is soft and might become a PJ shirt. I don't know. I'll see. I'm kinda skeptical.
Basically the only thing I'm good at with Japanese is actually saying words the way they are said like a Native. I'm not really very good at the actual coming up with things to say part. Oh, did I tell you that Amelia Crandall was transferred into our zone? She got here and realized she already knew a lot of Japanese and so she is going to leave for Japan with the Nihonjin. She was in orchestra with me. She is a year younger than me too, but that's fun. But you know, anyways. Japanese is weird and beautiful and so so very confusing. And I will say it every day of my mission until I come home. I swear I'm trying really hard, and things from the first few weeks are just barely starting to click. Oh well, better late than never.
My tango (vocab)
I had my first really cool experience here. Well, not the first, but it was cool. We had been talking in class about how the Spirit honors all the preparation that you put into a lesson. This meaning, that if I diligently prepare a lesson, no matter how the lesson begins to go, the Spirit will direct and guide you and recall to you information that you had studied. Well, we were teaching one of our "investigators" about the sacrament and we had him read the sacrament prayers and we were talking about them and he asked why the prayer in the scriptures said wine and we actually use water. I was stumped for a minute, not knowing at all in any way how to describe this fact in Japanese, and not wanting to argue about anything and I suddenly remembered one scripture I had read earlier that morning during personal study. The scripture was in D&C 27: 2-3. It basically says that it doesn't matter what you use as long as you are using it in the right spirit etc, and then 3 talks about a new commandment not to buy strong drinks or wine and stuff, and even thought it was kind of a choppy answer, he was satisfied. I felt pretty proud of myself. Bahaha.
Basically everything is funny, or else you die here. The days are all the same. Every day feels exactly the same as the last. I feel like I have just been trying to get through one giant long day here. In life we all have our "ups" and "downs" and I am thinking this is just one of those times. I can't wait to get to Japan. I only have about 3 more weeks here and I'll be on my way. I think being here for so long has kind of given me this weird perspective. I can't really see past my stay here. It almost feels like I'll be done after this haha but I haven't even gotten to the fun part yet!
The Nihonjin are still funny as ever. And they are getting really warmed up and close to us and it just feels really nice. They speak really fast! HOLY MOLEY. hahAhAhAhAHHA I'm so glad I know Japanese ;)
I made some goals and taped them up next to my desk. Oh have I described my desk to you? Okay I will.
I walk into the classroom every morning, a brilliant, glowing smile on my face, not at all concerned about the cares of the day, and I face again, the tragic display of what could be considered my desk. Sadly, I make my way there. Shoved behind the heater vent, behind the shadows of the Elders and completely shrouded by the figures of my fellow Sisters, sits my desk. The steep decline and angle of the desk risks the safety of setting anything upon it. My bucket full of pokemon-named books sits awkwardly on the heater behind one of my fellow missionaries, and I excuse myself every moment as I reach helplessly behind myself to summon Pikachu or perhaps Bulbasaur. Oh the woes and worries of the world. I extend my legs in anguish! I realize to my pity and despair that too close for me to bear is another missionary. My plan thwarted, I humbly compose myself and submit myself to my desk.
Well, that's a pretty good picture of what my desk is like. I'm not complaining, just telling a bit of truth really. Okay I'm done.
Me and mah goals. Just chillin in my corner trying not to suffocate. :)
Alrighty folks, here is something to make you happy. "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thy own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and he shall direct thy paths."
We had Elder Cook speak to us on Tuesday for devotional, and that was very uplifting. My favorite part was he quoted President Hinckley saying, "If the missionaries would have more faith, they would have more success." And it reminded me of what Scott told me before I left to not doubt the potential of anyone when sharing the gospel. We have to have faith that we are doing our best and that the Lord will take care of those who are ready and willing to hear the word and the message that we have to share. It's not my church nor is it my job to tell someone what they should do, but it is my privilege to be able to bear Christ's name on my badge every day and simply extend the invitation to come to Him. He also talked about how one of the last things the resurrected Christ spoke about was preaching the gospel, and I'm doing that!
I love you all. You bless my life and I can feel your prayers. You are all rock-stars. Yeah.
Mom, thanks for all of the love. I have the most loving family out of everyone here!
Ai shite imasu!
P.S. Margaret, you sent me your news letter twice. Also, it was hilarious. I love ya. Also, if someone has a heart, send me a small picture of Pikachu.