So. A BRAZILLIAN asked me what ethnicity I am. Then he apologized if he offended me. He didn't. He actually made my day. My life, maybe. But clearly, if a Brazilian asks what ethnicity I am, I don't look all white, even during the whitest summer of my life. Yatta! Haha. So this Brazilian, Sizilio Chourou is one of two new Elders we had added to our district (giving us a record-breaking 16 members of our district in such a tiny little room). He had knee surgery, and his companion has had visa issues. Sizilio Chourou is a Brazillian who speaks Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese, and English (which he learned from 8 months of watching House), and he understands Chinese. Holy cow.
Lessons with investigators are going great. We've finally begun to connect with our investigators! Sasaki-san has finally begun sharing his concerns and hardships, and we're able to help him with them! He's begun reading The Book of Mormon and is probably feeling the spirit, but is having a difficult time applying the scriptures to his own life. So, we had him choose a chapter (1 Nephi 3) and then read through it with him (him in Japanese and us in English), and help him apply it. It was awesome! And then we invited him to be baptized. His response: Baputesuma wa nan desu ka? What is baptism? Oh, right. Yeah, I guess Japanese people don't know what that is. So we invited him to "another investigator's baptismal serving" and are going to follow up with him tomorrow. There might be a baptism very soon! Things are also going well with Suzuki! We were able to connect with him and talk about our lives before our missions. He said, "I didn't know this wasn't your job. You're real people." We sure are. We're out here, taking 18 months to 2 years out of our lives because we KNOW this gospel is true, and we know the blessings that it can bring to others. We're here because we love the Savior Jesus Christ, and we want to invite others to come unto him.
We also learned from a TRC Volunteer, Ikuwa-san, that Japanese people respond best to stories and experiences to help them apply the gospel to their lives. We are definitely going to work on this. (But sharing experiences in Japanese is hard!) Black Sensei (who plays Sasaki) also said something I loved in class. He said, he gets the impression that a lot of missionaries think "I'll be a better missionary one day, when I'm in the field, when I know Japanese, etc." WRONG. The Lord sent us here to be successful. With His help, I can be effective from Day 1. There is nothing holding me back from being a great missionary NOW, even though I know practically no Japanese.
On that note, I feel like something finally "clicked" this week with Japanese. It's amazing. It's easier to speak (though I still have a difficult time understanding, but it's better now). We went to watch The Joseph Smith movie in Japanese...BAHAHA! Oh gosh. Is this even the same language? Just kidding. It was clearly Japanese. And sometimes I could understand entire sentences! Let's just say that even though I've seen the movie before, I often had no idea at all what was going on. One day. One day. :) We have, however, been SYL-ing (speaking your language) SO HARD this week! It's so difficult, but worth it in the end. And in 3 weeks, SYL-ing is the only languaging I'm going to be able to do at all, especially if I get a native companion. And it's August! We're 2/3 of the way through, and Dai Senpai at last, only 3 weeks away from flying to our beautiful Japan! It's so scary, because we know nothing, but so exciting, because JAPAN! I already LOVE these people, and I can't wait to teach and serve them!
I spent too much time sending pictures this week, so I'm almost out of time. But I'd like to share some power scriptures and invite everyone to write me a letter or dear elder with their favorite scriptures as well!
3 Nephi 22:10
1 Nephi 4:1
1 Nephi 4:6
1 Nephi 7:12
1 Nephi 11:17 (my plaque scripture)
1 Nephi 15:24
1 Nephi 17: 50, 51
2 Nephi 4: 19-21
2 Nephi 7:7-9
2 Nephi 22:2
3 Nephi 31:19
Luke 1:37 or 39, I can't remember
Philippians 4:13 and Alma 26:12 This set is a scripture chain.
I love you all!
The church is true, the book is blue.
ga dai suki
A picture of a screen on sister Donnelly's camera that I just had to send. Who knew cameras were intended for such dangerous purposes?
Me and Tenney Shimai with Edwards and Palmer Shimai, some hilarious and wonderful dai senpai we love. Sister Palmer told us to pet a tiny deer, some of which apparently reside in parks in Kobe. I readily agreed. She was jealous I petted a sloth.
I'm a good daughter! Guess who I just saw while going to print off pictures? Sister Daniels! It was good to see her. I made both of our lives a little more awkward by insisting that we have a picture to make our moms love us. Yay awkward. It seems like she's doing great! We both agreed that we don't look anything like our pictures.
Here is a picture of Sister Harris and Sister Daniels when they were preschool and kindergarten friends while living in Temple, Texas. It's wonderful who you run into in the MTC!
Here's the story about this picture. Sister Scheffler locked me out of my room. I was MAD. Haha. After 5 minutes of incessant knocking, she slid this paper underneath the door (without the picture yet), saying only "What's the password?" THEY DIDN'T GIVE ME ANY PASSWORD! Basically the drawing is my illustration of what happened. I knocked and whined and moaned for 10 more minutes before Tenney Shimai came along, knocked, and said "Bikuri!" (surprise) and got let in. Dang that Sister Scheffler. (I got a little revenge by locking her out with a different password--unicorn. It's a scriptural word. Until Sister Colter insisted it was too contentious and let her in. With which I entirely disagree. This revenge will continue another night. Beware Scheffler Shimai.)
We matched again. Green day!
Our district acting out Ammon and King Lamoni. I'm Abish, praying in gratitude for their souls or the like. Jensen Chourou is Ammon. Donnelly Shimai is the wife of King Lamoni, saying "To me, he doth not stink."
My name tag! Putting this on every day is SERIOUSLY the best thing. I'll send it home when I go to Japan. I'll get a new on with my name written in Japanese Katakana characters! YAY! Harisu Shimai has a nice ring to it.
Tenney Shimai, me and Sister Scheffler.
A panoramic picture of part of our district, taken by Sister Broadhead.
A picture of Sister Harris and her companion, Sister Tenney. Thank you to Sister Tenney's Mom for the great picture!