Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Week of Hope

This week has been a week of hope, and recognizing success.  In the MTC, progress is extremely rapid, and learning is an accelerated process.  Besides learning Japanese, I am also learning SO MUCH about the gospel - and how to teach the gospel.  However, a lot of times I don't recognize this progress because I am so focused on the language, and what I don't know how to say, or teach or do. 

Grundvig Shimai, Violette Shimai, and Daniels Shimai
Our Awesome Distict!
This week, our district was chosen to host and to usher for a devotional AND Daniels Shimai, Violette Shimai and I were chosen to represent "How to Begin Teaching" for all of the new missionaries on Wednesday night.  Our teachers had recommended us, and it was an incredible experience.  I didn't know how far I had come, until I got to see all of the new missionaries teach.  It was so hard to watch - I recognized the investigators needs, and how to teach them...and I have learned so much from when I was in that room full of new missionaries teaching one investigator.  Our job, as the "example missionaries" was to come into the investigators "home" and demonstrate the beginning of a lesson. We got to know them, and directed the lesson to the very perfect point (the point where we realize exactly what we need to teach and how to teach it).  At that point, the director/ moderator says: "Pause."  That was the most frustrating thing ever, because this is where the new missionaries would take over.  No joke.  One time, we were talking to the investigator about his goals in life, and we asked him if his life had a purpose.  And he said: "you know, I hadn't really thought about it..." He proceeded to tell us about his goals in school, but he also discussed how he didn't know what his long time life purpose was.  So, right as I am about to say: "The purpose of life is...." the moderator paused us.  I made an audible huffing sound into the microphone and the entire room of new missionaries laughed.  It was incredible, though, to see how much the new missionaries learned even from one lesson to the next. They were able to understand all of "the how to begin teaching principles" in a few hours, and by the end of the night, one of the investigators was so touched from their lesson, he was moved to tears.  It was incredible - and a bit like stepping back in time to my first night at the MTC. 

I also LOVED hosting this week!  They asked for a host who could speak Japanese, at least a little bit, and I volunteered.  I hosted a girl who was from Japan. She didn't speak very much English, and she told me that my Japanese was very good.  I think that she was just flattering me...because I was so excited I wasn't saying very many things that made sense...but it was so awesome that I was able to understand anything that she was saying, and that she could understand anything that I was saying. Sometimes I feel like I am learning a fake language in the MTC...so when people who actually speak Japanese (besides my teachers) understand me, I get really excited.  We also did Skype TRC on Wednesday (yes..Wednesday was a VERY full day.  We taught like three lessons, hosted, and did "how to begin teaching" and we went to about 500 meetings.  So, no big deal). I LOVED Skype TRC! The lady that we skyped was in Kobe, and she also told us that our Japanese was good (I think that maybe she was actually being sincere?) but it was a neat experience.  I love speaking Japanese! It is hard, but I am excited to go to Japan and be completely immersed in the language.  Or at least, more immersed. 

In other incredibly exciting news - WE GOT OUR TRAVEL PLANS.  Our Chorotachi all made fun of me because I was super excited that we are going to Japan...they said: "Where did you think we were going..." and they thought they were sassy and stuff.  But, sometimes I feel like Japan is not a real country and I will be in the MTC for the rest of my life...so it is crazy to think that I leave this place in 9 days! I also think it will be very strange to not be in the MTC...and see...like cell phones and stuff. And sometimes maybe hear music?  The other day we had to walk to the health center and we saw a movie poster.  I forgot that movies were still coming out, so, that was weird. 
With Branch President and his wife
Anyway, we fly out at 2:30 in the morning on the 18th...so that should be fun!

I love the MTC! And the time here has FLOWN by.  Ah! It is crazy! I love the new girls in our branch, they are just the sweetest ever.  We visit each girl and talk to them every night (this is part of our Sister Training Leader Duties) and the other night we were a little late coming to their rooms - and they came to visit us!  It was so sweet!  We get really excited that they like us so much!  Ah!  I just love them! 

This week has been spiritually uplifting in so many ways- Wilkes Kyodai, and some of our other teachers have started sharing stories with us about Japan.  And it has just made everything feel so much more real.  In two weeks, I will be riding a bike around Japan, speaking Japanese with Japanese people.  Do you know how legit that is?!  I love it!  Wilkes Kyodai has really been pushing us to work our hardest these last few days in the MTC - but also to recognize that even though we do not have perfect Nihongo, we can make a difference the moment we get to Japan.  I know that the Lord will put people in my path for me to reach, because this is His work, - and I am His servant. This is the work of Salvation, and it will move forward! 
Aishite Imasu!

Grundvig Shimai

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