Sunday, September 22, 2013


Dekimasu in Japanese is the verb for "can do" and it is pretty much the slogan for my entire district. The first day in the MTC is not a slow day whatsoever, but I actually really enjoyed it. We learned a little bit of Japanese, and even though it is hard to learn -- and teach in the language -- I have only been here for three days and I can already pray in Japanese and I have already taught a 35 minute lesson (which only needed to be 20-30 minutes). I am not very good at the language, however, my companion is.  My companion, is from Hawaii, and is incredible. Our personalities are different, but that doesn't matter because we are both here to serve the Lord!! The MTC has a spirit unlike any other place on earth. Everyone is so welcoming and so helpful. We are united in our cause, instead of competitive in our cause. It doesn't matter who is good at the language and who is not, because we all teach each other. My companion took five years of Japanese in high school and she remembers more and more of it every day. I think that it is good that she knows a lot of the language; we are good for each other. We balance out each other’s strengths and weaknesses. 

With Brynne T.
Just before entering the MTC
Daniel Shimai (Ariana's close friend from BYU... who was also called to serve in Kobe, Japan) is in my room. It is the hardest thing EVER to call her "Daniel Shimai" instead of "Meg." But we are slowly getting accustomed to it! There are four sisters in my room, my companion and me and then Meg and her companion. It has been such a comfort to have her here! I have found that even though all the people in our district have different personalities, (and there is a definite difference between the 18 year old Elders and the 19 year old Sisters) we all get along well and just love each other so much because the task at hand is so HARD and so OVERWHELMING! That sometimes the only thing we can do is laugh and sing Called to Serve in Japanese. 

I love learning Japanese and the gospel simultaneously...we have to go back to the basics of the gospel because we can't say anything complicated at all!! I am able to say "Kamisama wa Watashitachi no aishte imasu..." and then variations of that in our lessons. (This means God loves all of us). Another funny thing is that my German seems to be coming back to me - and I have heard that there are a lot of German speaking people in the Kansai region of Japan, so I believe that there was a reason that I took German in high school. Although by the time I go to Japan I will have learned far more Japanese than German, I will be able to use my German at some point. 

I just LOVE the MTC. It is not easy, but that is only because it is a lot of work, study and effort -- but with this effort and study comes great rewards. I know that through Christ and the gift of tongues I will be able to do this! I have already seen the gift of tongues manifest in many ways -- sometimes I just KNOW what people are saying. Although I can't reply, I can just feel what they are saying. And I know what they need to hear, but I can't necessarily say it. I am also able to sit through over six hours of Japanese lessons per day -- days in a row -- and I still love it! And I am still able to focus! I would never have been able to do that in high school or without the spirit! Miracles happen every day. I have so much to learn, and I know that I can improve a lot as a missionary -- but I am so excited for the future and for the rest of my time at the MTC! I am so glad that I am here for nine weeks because I just can't imagine having to teach real investigators in this language takes a lot of faith (SHINKO!) to know that I will one day be able to teach in this language...but then I see the missionaries who have been here for six weeks and they can do it! My teachers (who all served missions in various areas of Japan) did it once too, so through the Lord, this is possible. 

I love you all! Aishte Imasu! 
Grundvig Shimai 

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