Thursday, March 5, 2015

Nijonjin Wa Kawaii Desu!

Konnichiwa Kazoku!

 I have had quite the week. So fun, hard, and monotonous. 

           Hirigana and Katakana. They are the same sounds but different symbols.  The top set is Hirigana, I know all of those. I am working on the Katakana!

First of all, the most exciting thing that happened this week was that we got Nihonjin (natives from Japan) into our branch! We got 16 of them! 5 Shimaitachi and 11 Chorotachi. It has been really fun! Sister Lowe and I had the privilege to be their first welcome here to the MTC. Our Sister Training Leaders have been sick, so they weren't able to do it. Basically we tried to speak pretend Japanese, and got made fun of and laughed at but it was great all the same. We picked them up, showed them to their rooms and we gave them a tour of the MTC. We also had dinner with them. That was very entertaining. I somehow ended up sitting right in the middle of the Nihonjin and it was hilarious. They were like, asking me questions and I had no idea what they were saying. They kept trying to speak English and I kept trying to speak Japanese, and it was amazing that we could communicate at all. Watashi wa Nihongo o dame desu ne! (My Japanese is bad!) I had two really funny experiences with the Nihonjin. 

1. We were showing the Shimaitachi around the Cafeteria and stuff, and they were kinda like, unsure about the food. So, I said: "Tokidoki tabemono wa bimiyo desu." (Sometimes, the food is sketchy.) And they just started laughing and laughing and thought it was the funniest thing. Whew. Good thing I knew how to say "sketchy." Yeah... I know a bunch of weird words like that. 

2. There was one Choro who kept asking me and asking me questions and was like trying to teach me words and stuff. And he came up to me right after we had our devotional review and said --and you have to say this in a Japanese accent. "I have a question." So I of course said, "Okay!" and I was waiting for his response, and then he said the following. "Do you want to build a snowman?" .... yes. It was hillarious. Apparently Nihonjin love Frozen too. So, of course, I said "Hai. Mainichi." (Yes, every day.) And they all just thought it was the greatest thing. 

Also, they thought the jello was really weird. It was green jello in a cup, and they all just took like a tiny bite of it and were kinda weirded out. I had a rice krispy treat on my tray and another Choro was like, "what is that?" and I tried really hard to explain what it was and eventually just asked if he wanted to try it. And he was very very hesitant. He eventually took it from my tray. He proceeded to cut it into pieces, took one and thoroughly examined it, and eventually took a nibble and proceeded to tell me it was like something he has had before, yet I have absolutely no idea what he was talking about. It was just the most interesting experience. 

Being with the Nihonjin has sparked this flame of faith inside of me. I honestly can't wait to be able to understand them and communicate with them. It is hard! It is a lot of work to think in another language. But they are just so kind and sweet, every one of them that I've met, that I just can't wait to get out there and teach people, and help people and invite them to come to Christ, like the missionary purpose states. I really just love them. I have this love for the people I will teach already that is indescribable. It feels like I already know them, or something, and honestly, I probably did at one point. I feel almost like I am home when I am speaking Japanese. Its a really weird sensation. It's weird because I don't know it, and I'm terrible at it, and I hardly even know how the words would go together in a sentence, and yet, the more I learn, the more I just feel like it's part of me. I don't quite understand how that works, but it does. It is still amazing to me that I am going to one day (hopefully) sound somewhat like they do when they speak. I am trying so hard to learn as much as I can so that I can meet my goal of being able to sound like they do. 

Honestly, nothing exciting has happened besides that. It's been frustrating because our teachers haven't really been using the class time as effectively as we want them to. I haven't had a Nihongo lesson in probably a week. It's kinda worrying me a little, but I just pray that I'll be able to make up the difference some how. I just want to learn all that I can while I'm here, instead of being just tossed completely out into the wide scary world. I've been trying really hard to use EVERY minute here. It's difficult when everyone else is kinda slacking off or doing other things, or wanting to take more breaks or go and get the mail every five seconds, because it is hard to focus, but I'm trying my very best not to be distracted.

Sister Healey and I both got Pringles from our Mothers.

On a brighter note, I've been reading the Morumon Sho in Nihongo! It is really awesome! The Spirit of the Book of Mormon is the same in every language, but Japanese might end up being just a little bit cooler ;) It's really awesome, and terribly slow. I'm on verse 11 of chapter one, and I've been able to pick out some words like yogensha (prophet) kuiaratame (repent) rihi (lehi) nefai (nephi) watashi wa (I) So shite (therefore) and all that great stuff. I just feel really good that I can read it. I'm even beginning to recognize some Kanji that is used a lot like Kamisama which is God and stuff like that. ChiChi (my father) has been used a few times already in my reading. It's just cool. And hard. There is still A LOT for me to learn. The hardest part about reading in Nihongo is that they don't have spaces between words like we do, so you just kinda have to know what sounds flow in the right way when they do and be a genius. Watashi wa atama ii genai desu. (My head is not good/smart.) 

IT HAS BEEN ONE MONTH and you are very precise with your timing. I got your package yesterday on my 4 week mark! It was awesome! Thank you so much, and thanks everyone else for your letters and support, I love getting letters. You are all doing a very very fine job of keeping me mail-happy :) It is really really good that you are all feeling well. That makes me happy to hear, and thanks for the run-down of Downton Abbey, Mom. That made me laugh. I think Mary just needs to stop being a baby and grow up and realize she has a child to take care of, and Edith just needs to CALM DOWN. Geeze, these people. But I'm so so glad to hear Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes are getting married. I could have told you that. 

I saw a girl I worked with at Macey's here this week, and that was pretty random. Also, Brittany Pierce, my roommate in the Spring is here and will be here for the 12 days, but we have the same meal schedule so we bump into each other often. It's really fun that I am on a mission and that I have friends serving literally all around the world! 

I honestly can't stop thinking about Napoleon Dynamites current event. It is just so wonderful. Also, I realized that he says "Japanese scientist's" which makes it even better. Yeah, I don't know. I just love that movie so much and it is like the one thing I refuse to give up. I can't watch it for realzies but I can pretty much watch it in my head. It just applies to everything. Nacho is really applicable too.

 I made cereal with cookies and milk. It was delicious!

Mom, please do not worry about me falling out of bed. I was being somewhat dramatic when I gave you that marvelous description. True, but dramatic. I am fine. "I have a severely deviated septum. Please do not be alarmed. I am fine." Name that movie! 

I have a few things that I need, but I wrote you an actual letter that I just put in the mailbox, so that will come soon hopefully. I've gotten everything you have sent and it's been wonderful. Thank you very very very very very much. 

9 out of the 12 of us in our district are going to Fukuoka. Three of the Shimaitachi are going to the Kobe mission. Sister Fullmer, Sister Smith and Sister Gibson are all going to Kobe. That's just in my district. 

Well folks, I hope you have a great week this week. I'm praying for each of you individually and know that your needs will be met as you strive to live worthy of Kamisama no shukufuku mainichi. (God's blessings every day.)

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