Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Happy and Healthy!

Hello Everyone!

I can't believe I've been in the MTC 3 weeks--time just flies by! Last Wednesday I got a new roommate--a solo sister going to South Korea. She is part of Nielson Shimai and I's companionship, so we do a lot of things together. Sister Rees is from Kansas and is great!

I'm happy to say that I'm completely over the sickness I had. I'm grateful to be feeling back to normal, and better able to do the work! My Japanese is coming--I can now form sentences! I still read Hiragana slowly but am getting better, and I'm definitely getting extra help from Heavenly Father to learn the language.

My violin audition went well--I'll probably play "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" in one of the firesides/devotionals in September. It's always a treat to be able to play my violin for a little bit...I didn't realize how big a part of my life it was until I came here and can't do it all the time. But I am happy to sacrifice it for the Lord and am soo excited to be doing missionary work!

On Sunday we had an amazing fireside--Terry Watson, head of the Proselyting Department, spoke to us about what our message is REALLY about--bringing people to Christ! So when we go and knock on doors and share our messages, everything we say should invite them to come to Christ--helping them change their lives through the principles of faith, repentence, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. After his message, I've recommited myself to have EVERYTHING I say go toward this purpose!

I had wonderful experiences in the Refferal Center yesterday. I chatted with two people through the Mormon.org website who were struggling with different trials, and I was able to help them feel better by bringing them to Christ! I told them how to find out more about our church, and hope that they will search out our church because I know that the principles in it are what will change their lives and help them overcome life's trials. I was grateful for the perspective I have because of the gospel--of the plan of salvation, knowing why we're here on earth and that we're working towards living with God again. In our class we've been studying the 2nd lesson on the plan of salvation--as I've learned how to teach it it's been made clear to me how inspired the plan is--and how much God loves us for giving it to us!

Each week we work towards our TRC appointment, where Japanese-speaking volunteers come to the MTC and we practice teaching them the lessons. These past two weeks we've started the first 15 min. in Japanese, practicing our "door approach," or just meeting someone for the first time. I do this with a companionship of Elders--one of them used to live in Japan, so he helps us out a lot! Last week we taught the first lesson to a middle-aged Japanese woman. It was amazing--even though she had loads of questions and still had doubts about what we were teaching her, the Spirit was strong and she felt that we loved her and wanted her to find joy in Christ! I could tell it'd affected her, afterward she asked for a picture of us. I wish I could adequately describe to all of you the joy that comes from missionary work, from helping others come to Christ!!

Sister Stevens, my old college roommate, leaves tomorrow for the Los Angeles Spanish Speaking mission! I've loved having her with me in the MTC, and will miss her. She's super excited to go--and I'm excited for her! It's crazy to think that that'll be me in a little while!

Yes, they do have dessert in the MTC...ice cream every Sunday and some kind of cookie/cake every meal. I think the desserts have been my favorite so far.

That's so exciting that Becca will soon be in Pittsburg! Good luck, and have an amazing time with all your new roommates!

Swain Shimai

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