Sunday, April 21, 2013

From the MTC 3/28/2013

MTC companions in front of Provo Temple
This week has been full of many many changes. Our trio is no longer since Sister F left for the field. She's serving in Oakland California and was so excited to leave. Because of scheduling/mission transfers, we aren't flying to Japan until Monday (April 1st). Sister S and I were a little bummed that we have to wait a few extra days but I'm okay with it. We're flying from SLC to Seatac (!!) to Narita to Sapporo. I'll try and buy a phone card so I can call you guys. It will probably be either around 11 when we're at slc or 1-2ish when we get to seatac. So be home so I can talk you! (They encourage us to buy phone cards so I'm assuming it's allowed.) It's going to be a long trip but I'm grateful that my current companion will be with me. Because our schedule ended, we changed districts, so now we're in the Japanese district. To be completely honest, it was hard joining a class that has been together for 2 months but, I guess that's what the mission is all about :) Dealing with change, new people, moving every time you get comfortable. We said good-bye to our old district as they left for the field and said good-bye to our incredible teachers. Brother Palmer, one of my teachers, said something incredible the other day. He's also a perfectionist and told me about his experiences beating himself up his entire mission because he wasn't perfect enough. Lessons weren't perfect, contacting wasn't perfect, etc. He told me that he wasted so much time on himself, worrying about perfection; the time he spent thinking of himself, could have been spent thinking about others. He also mentioned that striving for constant perfection weakens faith, because you're not relying fully on Heavenly Father and the Spirit to make up for what you can't do. I remind myself of that every day because, frankly, striving for perfection is exhausting. 

We read a great talk the other day by Elder Holland. It's about the Atonement and missionary work and it's from the Ensign in 2001. It changed my perspective on missionary work and I highly recommend reading it, be it for ward missionary work or full-time. I feel like every day my perspective on the gospel changes (don't worry, in a good way). I keep learning more and more and I love it. I never thought I would love learning about the gospel all day every day but I really do. Being here in the MTC has really put me in a time warp though haha. I don't even think about what's going on outside (other than family). I heard "normal" music blasting from a car the other day; it was bizarre haha.
Sugihara Shimai and Smith Shimai goin' to Hokkaido!
We've only been in the Japanese district for a day but it was pretty humbling. We were feeling really good about teaching investigators from our first district but that kind of crumbled when we got to our new class haha. My gospel Japanese is still very simple/non existant but it is what it is. I just need to keep moving forward and learning :)

Every day when I'm getting ready for the day, I look in the mirror and see how I look. I jokingly asked if I'm going to look this tired for the next 18 months and after thinking about it for a few seconds, I realized that yes, yes I will haha. But I'm grateful for it. I'm grateful for the chance to learn, teach, and invite people to come unto Christ. It's a humbling opportunity, hard but definitely good. I'm working hard and saying the sincerest prayers I've ever said in my life. I love this gospel and know it's the true church of Jesus Christ. Thank you for your prayers. Love you!! 


Sugihara Shimai

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