On May 12, 2013 Sister Johnson wrote:
There is sunshine in my soul today!!
Ohayo gozaimasu, hitobito!
Wow, what a whirlwind of a week this has been! So many wonderful things have been happening, and I can't believe it's already preparation day again! This week has truly been a manifestation of God's love for me and for all His other children, and I am growing into the missionary He wants me to become. :)
The most exciting thing that happened this week was that I got to play a cello!! I played once and then decided that I wanted to audition to perform a special musical number in a campus-wide devotional, so that's what I did! The music library had a beautiful arrangement of O Divine Redeemer for cello, so I found a pianist and got to work! My pianist's name is Gass Shimai, she is a music student at BYU and is also going to Sendai! She is in a different district, but we see each other all the time. We got to work rehearsing and then on Thursday, we went into our audition. Sister Nally, one of the MTC mission presidents, is in charge of the musical numbers. She is a very, VERY accomplished musician, so at first, I was a little but intimidated, but she is so sweet. The whole time we were performing, I had a prayer in my heart that I might be able to convey my feelings about the Savior, Jesus Christ, through my playing. After we were finished, not a soul in the room moved until the last vibrations from the piano died away. The Holy Ghost filled the room. I looked up and saw tears in Sister Nally's eyes, and she said, "Wow. You are a definite 'yes.' We usually don't like to use this piece because it's about sin and can be very dark, but you made it soar. Yes, yes, YES!" What a happy moment! I have such a testimony in the Atonement of my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I can share it through music. I can't wait until I get to perform for a devotional; it will be sometime before my departure in June. Yay, cello! :)
As a district, we got to attend a session at the Provo Temple last week! All I have to say is WOW! That temple is positively massive! I have never been in one so big in my life! It is a very pretty temple, but my heart will always have a special place for the Denver temple. It was wonderful to go and feel close to my Heavenly Father and Savior. :)
This week, Tui Shimai and I had two investigators, Kimura-San, and Harukawa-San. They are both great and come from such different backgrounds. Harukawa comes from a Buddhist background, but has been most receptive to our message of Christ. A miracle happened this week while we were teaching him. On Thursday, I got really overwhelmed by Japanese and was so lost. I couldn't speak anything and nothing was making sense and I was so frustrated. My teachers (Todd and Kosaka Senseitachi) gave me some words of advice. Kosaka Sensei said "You can't be perfect at Japanese right now, Johnson Shimai. All you need to do is become a master of the things you already know. Take the structures we've taught you and study those. Teach with those. You will succeed!" Tood Sensei said, "what if, instead of taking all your Japanese phrase books into your lesson with you, you just took some scriptures, a dictionary, and something to write with? What would happen?" That night, Tui Shimai and I practiced very thoroughly the structures and vocabulary and then next day, I was skeptical of what Tood Sensei had said, but I decided to act in faith. With a plea in my heart that I would be led by the Spirit, we entered to teach Harukawa-San. As I asked him how his family was doing, he said that his gramma has been battling cancer, and that his whole family is very sad and confused. He asked me, "Why? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do these illnesses exist?" The next thing I knew, I was bearing testimony to him of the amazing comfort that comes from the Atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ. In perfect Japanese. The words were there. They were flowing from my mouth and they were supported by the language of the Holy Spirit of God. Tui Shimai had a similar experience. At the end of the lesson, we invited Harukawa-San to pray, and he gave the most sincere prayer of gratitude and humility. We invited him to continue praying and to read in the Book of Mormon, and that we would be back. What an incredible experience! I learned so much, particularly that I need to submit to the will of my Father in Heaven with faith in Jesus Christ and He will pour out His love and blessings upon me. :)
I want to thank you all so much again for the letters you are sending me! They always make my day and I really am so grateful for your love and support. Thank you also to those of you who have sent me packages and so many fun things! Please continue sending your love and I will do my best to write you all back! I love you all so much. :)
I want to leave you with a short message, a scripture that Tui Shimai and I studied this week. It is from the Book of Mormon, the second book of Nephi, chapter 26, verse 33:
"[Christ] inviteth them all to come unto Him and partake of His goodness; and He denieth none that come unto Him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and He remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile."
I testify that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a universal message. He lives, and He loves every single person on the face of this planet. He is the Prince of Peace, and He beckons all to "Come. Follow me."
Mina san wa ai shite imasu! Iesu Kirisuto wa Sukuinushi desu! :)
Mom, it isn't letting me attach pictures. I'm so sorry. :( next week!