Japan, Sendai Mission

Japan, Sendai Mission

Monday, May 20, 2013

May 18, 2013

On May 18, 2013 Sister Johnson wrote:

Konnichiwa, mina san!

Holy cow, it is the end of our fourth week already! Where did the time go?! I seriously can't believe it is May 18th today. Five weeks to go; Japan or Bust!!!! :)

This last week was probably the most uneventful, in regards to awesome spiritual things happening to me, but there were some exciting things that I will talk about! We have devotionals every week here in the MTC, and this week on Tuesday night, Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came to speak to us! It was great and he offered many words of encouragement. He is a funny guy and talked a lot about being a happy missionary. It was a wonderful uplifting experience. Also, in our Sunday night devotional, the speakers were incredible! I can't remember how they are involved with the MTC, but they were wonderful. Brother and Sister Littlefield were their names. Sister Littlefield spoke about how we need to find joy and be joyful in everything we do as missionaries. She also spoke about mothers and how much they love us. (Mom, she spoke about Heavenly Mother and about how She is aware of everything we do and She hears our prayers. It was AMAZING! She reminded me so much of you, and it made me miss you so, SO much. She was so strong. :) You don't have to put this part on my blog though.) Brother Littlefield then spoke about how each of us as missionaries has the opportunity and right to create our own "mission culture." He spoke about the culture of the MTC and how it can be both positive and negative, but that we can make it to be whatever we want! That was really important to me because the culture here has been SO HARD for me, but I can now create my own! My mission culture statement is this: "In this mission, we rejoice in Jesus Christ!" What a great thing to rejoice in. :)

This week, as a district, we had an S-Y-L workshop, which stands for "Speak your language." Basically, it just means that from now on, I am to speak as much Japanese as humanly possible, both in and outside the classroom! It has been both a good and terrible experience. I am learning so much, and I'm learning more everyday-life Japanese, as opposed to just churchy stuff. But it's hard, because I might not know how to say something in Japanese and I can't figure it out and it's frustrating, but I am still learning. It has been interesting to extend myself and my intellect in ways I didn't think possible. I can't believe how much Japanese I actually know already! Subarashii desu ne!

This week, we got new kohai! That means that we got brand-new Japan-bound missionaries! It means that we are no longer the noobs! Haha. It has been so fun to meet all of them and to help them feel loved and welcome here. They have so much energy and spirit, and I love them all already! It has been said that by the end of July, there will be over 300 Japan-bound missionaries in the MTC!! When I got here, there was only one Japanese branch, and now there will be four! The work is most definitely rolling forth in Japan, and I can't wait to get there!

Tui Shimai and I are doing so well together and we grow closer every day! I adore that girl. This week, we got called to serve as the Branch Music Coordinators! I am beyond excited! It means that we get to go around to all the districts during the week and ask them to play the piano or pick hymns, or to sign up for musical numbers, and it's so much fun! It's right up my alley, and I love it. Music is a wonderful thing here, even though we can't listen to our own iPods (that's a rule that I might break on a kind-of regular basis... haha). I'm excited for the opportunity to serve in my branch here at the MTC.

A couple of days ago, I received one of the best compliments ever. Johnson Shimai (not me, a different one) and I were running on the track in the gym and later she said to me, "Johnson Shimai, are you a runner? Because you have amazing form!" I just laughed and said, "No, I'm not, but that just made my life!" What a wonderful compliment to receive! I have been running a lot here, but I think I need to stop because my cycling shoes are NOT good for running, and my ankles have been killing me. So I think I should just stick to the bikes from now on. I have been lifting a lot too, and as per usual, I am the only girl doing so! I maxed out the leg-press machine a couple of days ago, so now I need to find something a bit more challenging! haha. :) I love gym time here; it's so fun. Yesterday, I played four square with the girls in my district, and I couldn't believe how sweaty I got! Just from four square! It was a fun blast-from-the-past childhood moment for me. There are also sand volleyball courts outside, so we go out there a lot as a district and play volleyball. Gym is the best!

So, let's talk about the food here at the MTC! If you just started thinking potatoes, and rice, and beans, and bread, and every other kind of carb, then you are SPOT ON! It is so hard to be healthy here! Every morning, they have every kind of breakfast food imaginable; however, the scrambled eggs are made from powder. So, I have learned to love hard-boiled eggs! Something that I did not like at all before I got here! But, they are real, so they are real protein, so I eat them every day! I also eat some ham or sausage, usually. Then lunch comes around. Lunch is the best meal here, I think, because they have lots of sandwiches and soups and wraps and lots of other stuff. The chicken sandwich is my favorite because it's real chicken! Everything else is so carb-y. Dinner is always carbs. Always. It's the only option for dinner, which is unfortunate, but I make due. The elders in my district are so funny; they eat about 7 donuts a day each! I don't know how they can do that. The hard thing about the food here is the schedule. We have breakfast at 6:45 in the morning, lunch at 11:10 and dinner at 4:10. That is the absolute WORST time for dinner. I am never hungry, and then I get totally famished when 9:00 rolls around! Silliness. But, I'm surviving!

I am so grateful to be here serving a mission, but I can't wait to get out into the field. My heart is already full to bursting with love for the Japanese people in Sendai, and I can't wait to be immersed in their language and culture and customs, and to share with them my most valued possession: my testimony of my Savior Jesus Christ. I love the Lord, and I love the Gospel, and I love the opportunites and blessings I have in my life.

I love you all and miss you so! Keep sending love! I will send it back. Ai shite imasu, mina san!

-Johnson Shimai

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