Sunday, July 14, 2013

So, I spent so much time sending pictures that I only have 15ish minutes left, so it's gonna be a short letter. It's okay, a picture speaks a thousand words, so I already sent you one heck of a long letter.

We clearly have the best district ever!  Our elders are hilarious. I love all of the Sisters in our district, but two of our companionships are tight as glue.  Tenney Shimai and I always do everything with Scheffler and Broadhead Shimai.  For some events, like choir and excercise, we even do what we call "Soaring Eagles," or companionship exchanges.  Scheffler Shimai is the most like me, besides her clear tendency towards social butterfly-ness. :)  She's athletic and always fights with me for wearing jeans and sweats whenever we can on p-days.  (For some reason, the rest of the sisters are content to stay in their skirts all day. WHY???)  She also loves country music (and SANG with SHANIA TWAIN when she went to her concert last summer!  JEALOUS).  We both walk really fast.  It's a rough life we live. :)  Broadhead Shimai is my running buddy.  Tenney Shimai and Scheffler Shimai will usually play volleyball, and Broadhead Shimai and I will run a mile or two and do a workout.  Good times.
The fourth of July was awesome!  We didn't know if we'd get to watch the fireworks or not.  We went to an assembly where we listened to some patriotic music.  Then, we got to go outside and watch the Stadium of Fire fireworks!  Here's the real shocker: they let us stay out past our bedtime!  WHOOT!  We didn't go to sleep until 11:30.  We're hard core partiers, we are.  However, we still had to get up at 6:30, so we took a nap before gym.   Also, we've named our residence halls gym, so we can say "We're going to the Gym now" several times a day.

The Japanese is coming so much faster now that I have some of the basic guidelines.  But it's still really HARD!  It's completely backwards!  To all of the Elders and Sisters who get English speaking calls...consider yourself lucky.  They get to go straight out into the field and share what they know with eloquence!  They're the envy of the entire MTC.

Sometimes it's still nerve wracking and frustrating to think about going into the field so soon when I know so little, and seeing how little the dai senpai know when they go out.  I was feeling a little uneasy about it one day when I a came across a scripture in the Psalm of Nephi, I think it's in 2 Nephi 4.  Nephi is talking about how upset he gets when he thinks about his sins or his mistakes or weaknesses, but the saddened attitude hits a 180 when he says, "I know in whom I have trusted."  He continues on to say that His God has guided him through his afflictions and has loved him "even unto the consuming of my flesh."  So even though it's scary, even though I'm weak, even though I have more and harder trials ahead of me than I can even IMAGINE, I need not fear because "I KNOW IN WHOM I HAVE TRUSTED!"  I've got God on my side, coaching me, taking me by the hand and giving me answers to my prayers.  Even if I don't have confidence in myself always, I can have confidence in Him, for with Christ, all things are possible.

I was also reading in 3 Nephi 9, which seems like (and kind of is) a really depressing chapter, but has become one of my favorite chapters in The Book of Mormon.  It's after the destruction of all the Nephite Cities after the death and resurrection of the Savior, and the Lord's voice comes out of the heavens, recounting all of the cities that have been destroyed and what has happened to them.  On paper, it seems so cold and emotionless, but I imagine the Savior's voice chocking back sobs on verse 13:

 13 O all ye that are aspared because ye were more brighteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may cheal you?

Think about it.  This is only DAYS after the Savior of the world completed the Atonement, suffering for the sins of every man and woman who ever was, coming to know them in a way that is not even possible for us to imagine,and loving them even more, including the wicked Nephites whom he has just had to destroy.  All He ever wanted was for them and us to return unto him.  So in this verse, the Savior is saying Please.  Desperately,  please, please come unto me.  Let me heal you.    Because that's all He wants.  He suffered the arrows and the slings, the trials and the sufferings so we wouldn't have to.  So we could come unto Him.  Because He loves us.  And I love Him.  He is all knowing, all loving, and all powerful. And THAT is in whom I have trusted.

The church is true, the book is blue!  Tell your friends!
Aishite imasu!
 Sister Tenney, Sister Broadhead and Sister Harris on their way to exercise.
With so many missionaries at the MTC, finding an open washer and dryer is a major accomplishment.  Here, Sister Scheffler, is sad because she's still unable to achieve her available washing machine goal.
 First day at the MTC:  Sister Donnelly, Sister Harris, Sister Tenney, Sister Scheffler, Sister Colter and Sister Broadhead.
 Whitney and her fabulous companion, from Hawaii, Sister Tenney.
 Leave it to an Elder to photobomb the picture!

 Classroom Mascot.  Missionaries are just like Spiderman = Superheroes!
 The six missionaries in Whitney's district try to match when they dress.  They always find an Elder who fits right in.  It's red day on this day........
 ............and purple day today!
Desert Ridge Middle School best friends meet up at the MTC.  Sister Harris on her way to Japan and Sister Boyack on her way to Nevada, Reno - Spanish Speaking. 
 A beautiful day at the Provo, Utah Temple.

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