Monday, June 17, 2013
June 15, 2013
On June 15, 2013 Sister Johnson wrote:
ONLY NINE MORE DAYS UNTIL JAPAN! :D I seriously cannot describe with words how excited I am! I am just beside myself giddy! We received our travel plans yesterday, and it made me so excited! From Salt Lake, we fly to Los Angeles (LAX), and then from LAX, we fly to Tokyo, then from Tokyo, we fly to Sendai! WOW! Talk about a long day! But! The best day. I absolutely love flying, and since I've never traveled outside the United States, what an exciting adventure this will be! :D
Yesterday, I had the best day I have had since being here. Given the things that have happened with my family recently, I didn't really feel like it would be possible for me to feel joy here again, but yesterday, I proved myself wrong! It started off with a really wonderful discussion we had in class about women in the Church. Usually this is a touchy subject for me, and I was really worried about the things that would be said. My teacher led the discussion, and he said some of the most wonderful things. We were talking about the authority of our callings as missionaries, and about the increase of Sisters has been incredible. We have been called to be disciples of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and we have authority to act in His name. What an amazing, incredible thing. (Mom, you don't have to include this part in my blog, I just thought it was amazing. You can word it differently too, if you would like. I won't be offended. We talked a lot more about the Priesthood and temples and how women basically already have it. It was fantastic. Some people were uncomfortable, but it was amazing.) After the great discussion, we got our travel plans which was the best. I was jumping-up-and-down, screaming-crazily excited. I still am feeling that way. :D Then after that, Tui Shimai and I went outside and played kickball with some of the other Japan-bound missionaries, and it was the most fun gym time I've had here! The weather was perfect and the people were so much fun, and it was just great. The best part was this sprinkler that the grounds crew had going over this little patch of grass. It was half way covering the sidewalk too. After we had finished playing kickball, everyone was walking back, and I said to myself, "I really, REALLY want to run through that sprinkler." So, of couse I did! With one big loud "YOLO!!!!!!" I ran through, and gracefully slipped and fell and biffed it super hard. I landed and slid all the way down the hill. I wa covered in mud from head to toe, and was laughing my head off. Everyone around me was worried if I was hurt, but I was fine, and I could not stop laughing. It was so much fun. Pretty sure everyone thought I was out of my mind, but that's only because that is very true; my marbles have been missing for a very long time. So yeah, I acted like an idiot, and that was most certainly NOT "quietly dignified," but I don't care because it was crazy fun. I may or may not be a little sore now. :) So yeah, it was a great day.
Earlier this week, Tui Shimai and I got to teach a woman in Japan via Skype named Mariko-San. She was so cute and I love her so much. She currently has a son who is serving a mission in Tokyo. Mariko-San is a member of the Church and has a big family. She has a very cute dog, too. Tui Shimai and I had the opportunity to teach her about prayer, and why prayer is so important. We had a great discussion about how God wants us to pray, and that He wants us to listen and receive His guidance in our lives. We talked about how God loves us so much, that He wants us to turn to Him so that He can help us in our most hard times. After we finished, Mariko-San looked at us, and through sobs and tears, she said, "I am so glad that you sisters are going to be serving in Japan. Japan is so blessed to have missionaries like you. I love you both so much." That was the sweetest experience I have ever had. My heart has never been flooded with so much love, and in that moment, I realized the love that I already have for the Japanese people. What an incredible blessing. I cannot wait to be there soon, serving and loving and teaching the Japanese people about their Savior, Jesus Christ.
Thank you for all the love that you have sent me, mina san. This week was better than last week, but still hard. For those of you who don't know already, my very best friend and brother, Fisher Gould, passed away about a week and a half ago. I don't think I have ever been as sad as I was when I found out. It's incredible the grief that can come when something so unexpected happens, and you don't know how you will react until it does happen. I had never experienced death before my mission, and in the last month, I've lost two of the most precious people in the entire world. It has been so hard. I don't understand why it had to happen. I don't understand why bad things have to happen to good people, but I do know this: Jesus Christ is real, and in the loving embrace of His arms, all can find peace and healing. I know this to be true, and I know that whomever turns to Christ can be made whole. He is the reason I am getting through all of these hardships. I am so grateful for prayer, and for the guidance and peace I can receive when I pray. I hope that my family and all my friends can feel my love. Life is hard, but God is good. Christ is good. We can find peace and healing. Through prayer, we can draw closer to God and to our Savior. They are just waiting for us to turn to them.
This blog post is dedicated to my sweet Fisher, whom I will always love and who will always be a part of me, my heart, and my life. I am so grateful for him, and for his incredible family, all of whom have had such a positive influence on my life, and for that I am grateful.
I love you all! Ai shite imasu! I hope that you have a wonderful week. :)
Love, Sister Johnson.