Kobe, Japan

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Week 2 - Lord, Save Me

Ohayo Gozaimasu!

I've never been asked "what should I wear" or "How do I look" as many times a day as I do here! Living with girls is a whole new experience in and of itself! I love being surrounded by my sistahz here at the MTC they're all so amazing! Time here is crazy. Some days hours feel like years but it feels like only yesterday was my last PDAY. Last Sunday was subarashi (awesome) because I got to see my Sikahema family. I'm grateul that they were here, seeing my Sikahema family almost TOTALLY cured my homesickness. It helped that Aunty Keala let me drench her shirt with my tears too (sorry aunty! But thanks!). Being with my beautiful cousin Lana and the rest of the gorgeous Sikahema clan was the boost I needed to get ready for this week! The Lord always blesses us right when we need it.

Housty congrats Hunnaaayyy!!! I hope your game was full of opportunities to learn. Winning is great but learning from mistakes is what's really important. You know that you're the handsomest, smartest boy EVER! Just think: every time you fumble or miss a catch (like soph year) your future wife gets uglier...that should make you hold onto the ball! All joking aside, you're my favorite football player but also my favorite future missionary!

Mom...PICK UP HARRY! You only have one child in Elementary so it shouldn't be hard to remember to pick him up! I don't want to hear that he's not getting picked up on time -- that was my job when I was home and I have to say I was great at it. I hated Elementary (but Harry probably loves it) and having to hang out at school longer than needed is probably one of the worst things in the world.

Helam, yo. Your letters are too short. Write longer, more descriptive ones.

Thank you thank you thank you for the packages my dear family! I actually don't miss you guys that much anymore. I'm really starting to miss the guitars and my independence though! Having someone with you at all times is quite a change for me, good thing my companion is super sweet!

Here's how my week's been, overall I feel like I learn more every week than I did the previous week but only half of what I learn goes to my brain...and the other half is soaked up by my heart.

Devotional this Tuesday was fantastic as usual! Elder and Sister Maynes were the speakers and Sister Maynes shared her conversion story...her husband actually taught and baptized her after his mission! The longer I'm here the more I see all these adorable couples that are training for their missions and it gets me so excited to serve with my husband one day too! I guess I should finish this one first before thinking about the next one though, right?!

Elder Maynes really zeroed in on something I've never thought before: Joseph Smith represents any and all investigators. In the grove, Heavenly Father and Christ appear to him and they were essentially the first missionaries of this dispensation. What big shoes to fill!

Elder Maynes talked about how our love for those we serve -- and serve with -- should be that of the Father and the Son. As we are serving we should always have in mind that Heavenly Father and Christ are who we need to emulate as we continue to serve faithfully. As usual, I was super pumped when I heard that! And then, by the next Nihongo class, I thought, "Woooaahhh...never mind...I can't do this."

Since my chorotachi and shimaitachi in the district are my family, just like I would at home, I turned to the chorotachi for advice. Black Shimai and I wanted to know what helped them study effectively. They all offered amazing advice! Their thoughts about not stressing out and their ideas of effective study were...interesting but helpful! Hyde choro is from Layton and he told me that I study too much.

We also have Cope Choro, who is absolutely brilliant! Gonzalez Choro, Isaac Choro (from Bountiful) and Page Choro are a trio that I sit next to. Those three are amazing examples to me. Tomas Choro and Culverwell Choro are the other set of Elders and those two crack me up! Every single one of these chorotachi have impacted my stay here so much and I know without a doubt that the Lord puts certain people in our lives for certain reasons. If any of their mothers happen to be reading this, I have to compare your boys to the Stripling Warriors who learned everything from their mothers.

Your sons are doing a marvelous job here and I know it's all thanks to you! I'm just the proudest Obasan (grandmother) in the world!

This week has been insanely eventful but I've been praying that the Lord will help me see his hand in my daily life so that I can learn to be more grateful. You know how everything in this world relates to the gospel? (read Moses 6:63) Well everything in my world relates to the ocean. Last night as I was attempting to study I had a weird mental block going on...I couldn't quite focus and I didn't feel like I was really internalizing anything. Thursday's Nihongo class was pretty rough for me and last night's class kind of added on to the stress. As I was trying to study on my own after class before we leave to go back to our residence the apostle Peter popped into my head. I decided to look through the New Testament for the story of Peter's fear when Christ was walking on water. (See, anything that has to do with a large body of water I absolutely love!) In Matthew 14:27-31 it says:

27. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
28. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
29. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
30. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.

I felt like Peter at the end of verse 30. As I study the scriptures and our nihongo books I know nothing can help or save me like the Lord can. Every day my faith grows a little bit more, sometimes I have to remind myself that I'm in the MTC that this is a TRAINING CENTER. Isaac Choro had to remind me of that. We shouldn't expect ourselves to do everything perfect. I also keep forgetting that I've only been here 3 weeks and not everything can be learned in 3 weeks.

31. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

These past couple days I've felt like Peter. My 'boisterous winds' are times when Nihongo just doesn't make sense or when I'm tired and I don't think I can wake up ever again. I've also felt I've had to cry out "Lord, save me" more now then I ever have in my life leading up to my mission. But at the end of every single day Christ stretches forth his hand and catches me. I'm so grateful for this knowledge and for the simple truths of the gospel.

I absolutely love my mission. I haven't even gotten to Nihon (Japan) yet and I'm already in love with the people.

Dad, thanks for making such a great name for us. Whenever I meet someone they say, "Hmm..Heimuli, huh. Did your dad play at BYU?" then I say, "He did...in the prehistoric times, but you look way too young to know who he is." Without fail, that is the beginning of almost every conversation I've had with any adult I've met here.

Boys, I love you!

Housty & Harry keep being my favorite boys in the whole world. Do something sweet for mom today! Normz thanks for the sweet letters! Hemz, I'll write you soon. Miss you. I'm the luckiest girl alive to be raised with 5 of the most talented, handsome, sweet men on this Earth. 

Can't wait to see what this next week will bring! Aishite imasu!

Heimuli Shimai

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