Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Biorin o hikimashita (played the violin...)


It's been an amazing week here at the MTC!! Last Tuesday Elder Richard G. Scott, one of the 12 apostles, spoke at our fireside! I was able to sing the musical number with the MTC choir--it was a neat experience. I know that Richard G. Scott is truly one of God's apostles--when he walked into the room, we could FEEL his presence and authority! I felt like a 2-yr. old because I was so excited to hear an apostle of God speak to me as a missionary!!! Elder Scott invoked two apostolic blessings on all the missionaries present--the gift of tongues for those who are learning the language, and a blessing of protection from evil and harm. As he promised us these blessings, I literally felt their power rest on me! I felt how much Elder Scott loved me and all the missionaries, and also his testimony of the Savior. As an apostle he bears witness of Christ--and his testimony of Christ was so strong--I knew that he knew Christ is our Savior!

I've already been feeling the blessing of the "gift of tongues"--I've been blessed to learn the language faster than I ever could before. I know this is not me doing this--the Lord is helping me to do it! Last Sunday I said a prayer in church and was able to remember words/say things that I'd never tried to say before--this is this blessing in action!

The language is coming along! I've just finished memorizing the First vision, just in time to teach the first lesson in only Japanese on Thursday! I'm excited to teach in Nihongo for the first time--it is still hard and takes me a while to figure out how to say what I want to, but the more I'm practicing the better I get at it.

One particular day this past week I was a bit frustrated about memorizing something--when I realized something that will help me learn the language!! I realized that learning a language is just like learning to play the violin---and that with the experience I've had in learning the violin, I should apply it to learning Japanese! It took forever to remember a few phrases/I couldn't put them together without taking a lot of time and repetitions...this is like learning a new, hard piece on the violin! A lot of patience and repetition are required!! I hope to apply everything I've learned about playing the violin to learning Japanese!! (Thank you Mrs. Mary for helping me discover these principles on the violin!!)

Speaking of the violin...I played "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" in our Relief Society Meeting on Sunday--all the sister missionaries were there...and Sister Elaine S. Dalton, President of the Young Women's program, was the speaker after I played!!! I loved playing the violin, and bearing my testimony of Christ through music--I know that many listening felt the Spirit. Sister Dalton's talk was amazing!! She is such an example of following the Lord in every situation--she does,and we should follow her example to "Stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places!" She empathized with those of us who are "outside our comfort zones" here at the MTC--but bore a strong testimony that through God, ALL things are possible! She even told us that she starts to get nervous when she is NOT outside her comfort zone--because she wants to learn to rely on the Lord always! She had such an inspiring, positive attitude that I hope to emulate, especially on the days that learning Japanese is hard!

I love all of you so much and am grateful for your love and support. Grandma and Grandpa, and Jamie and Jason, thanks for your Dear Elder letters--and all of you who've sent me letters! I pray that God will watch over all of you--and invite all of you to come unto Christ, and feel the relief from burdens that He can ease for you--because He has done it for me!

Swain Shimai

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