Sunday, June 30, 2013

June 25, 2013 Letter
Dear Family,
It has been another awesome week in the MTC!!! Last week we were so blessed to take all of the Japanese sisters to the temple. There were 12 of them and we did an endowment session. FOr a lot of them, that was their first time going back since they had gone through to receive their endowment. REALLY take advantage of the temple, we all take it for granite. The sisters were so cute!! THey were all crying in the temple. It was so overwhelming to keep track of them, but it was such an incredible/uplifting experience. I love the temple. We grew so close to those Japanese sisters as STLs and they left on Monday, so we were super disappointed that they left. We had so much fun together! We would always act stuff out to figure out what they were saying. We were talking about dancing and they asked how American's dance. So we taught them the chicken dance. Hahahaha so one night we came over to them and they were like "ahhh american dance!"and started doing the chicken dance. SoOoooo funny. Man, do I love those sisters. They are so childlike and love us so much. STL is exhausting, but there is nothing more gratifying than the relationships we are building with these sisters. I'm telling you dad- SIGN LANGUAGE WAS THE BEST THING I COULD HAVE DONE TO PREPARE TO BE A JAPANESE MISSIONARY. With similar grammar (being backwards) and being the BOMB at acting stuff out? Despite your Spanish desires, there was a reason I took that class. Although we do have a sister from Peru coming in today.....
Our lessons have been going AWESOME!!!! Yesterday we taught one of our "investigators" and we have really been wokring on trying to show our faith in our pursuit for the gift of tongues. so rather than writing out/reading sentences while we are in there, we form the sentences on the spot and just have vocab we might need on the paper. It gives the spirit more flexibility to work in our hearts and the hearts of the investigator. As we were teacvhing yesterday, the spirit was sooooo strong. Mai-san (our sensai) started crying and we were like... "Whoa... WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!?!" when we lift. Literally incredible.
WE MET THE YAMASHITAS ON SATURDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He talked in ALL English (loved it, because that never happens). The mission presidents are only speaking in english now in order to get the native speakers to learn english. Crazy huh?!?! He said "I am fluent in Japanese and fluent in broken English." Hahaha. He was super charismatic and totally understands how hard it is to learn a language. He told us how hard it was for him to learn english, so he knows exactly what we are going through. He never served a mission because he was a convert, but all of his family has served missions (including his wife). They LOVE missionaries. President Packer said to him: "president Yamashita, it's your time." I loved that! It's so cool how much his life has been blessed by the missionaries. His favorite scriptures was Ezekiel 34:1-3- he said "am I a good shepherd? am I being selfish with what I know?" That scripture never stood out to me before, but the things he said about it were super impressive. AHHH I just love them. His wife was the cutest thing ever. Japanese women are so delicate, poised, and they have these sweet high pitched voices. She said "I am your new mom!!!!" We bumped into them and she was like "MY MISSIONARIES!!!!" THey love us so much and are so committed to our success. President Yamashita had an incredible testimony and his love of the gospel is without a doubt. I can't wait to serve with them. YOu would have loved them!
It has been so crazy with all of the new mission presidents here! We have been booted out fo the cafeteria and eat in the gym for every meal. It's awesome, but our options have gone down to one or cereal. It makes me think of when you'd say "well, fi you don't like it, have some cereal." Hahahaha WATASHI NO JINSEI (my life). Some of the elders in our district got to give the sacrament to the FIRST PRESIDENCY AND THE 12 APOSTLES on Sunday. Is that not incredible? One of the elders blessed the sacrament and he said jsut being in their presence alone was so humbling. He was so observant with how they took the sacrament and it was just amazing. SOOOOO jealous. Our sacrament was the largest thing I have ever been apart of. There were so many people in this massive room. There were like 5 sacraments tables and they blessed them from one. It was super fast. There are apostles all over the place here! We aren't even allowed to go in the building where they are at. 
In order to be in the choir was a complete and utter BLOOD BATH!!!! We had been to all of the rehearsals adn what not and wayyyy more people did the choir than they were expecting. (if you tell a bunch of missionaries they might be on tv and they are singing for the quorum of the 12 what do you expect?!!?) I think there were like 200 extra people who wanted to be in the choir. we skipped lunch and got some chips out fo the vending machines. We then waited right by the fence in order to get a seat but there was already such a huge line. I was with Cox shimai and micky shimai since we were altos. As soon as they opened up the fence eople were RUNNING as fast as they could to get to the Marriot center. IT WAS INSANE. We were walking fast, but we decided we would rather have our honor and dignity than act like a bunch of crazy people. We BARELY made it. I can't believe we were so far up because we were like an hour early. It just shows how crazy it was. In the choir during "hark all ye nations," if you look at the very top row, I am like 3 women over from the Elders. THe camera was RIGHT BELOW ME. So when it is zoomed out a little bit it gets a little closer and you can kind of see where I am. Let me know if you can find me! It's something right? My debut on television will jsut have to start absurdly small... ;) I am super excited to see how technology will play a roll in the mission field. I noticed they talked a lot about faith and miracles. I loved Neil L. Anderson's talk! "As we act in faith we find that the blessings of the Lord are different from what we expected, but much greater than we imagined." I know that in His own time and in His own way, he will bring about his mighty miracles. Another quote I loved was 'wishing doesn't make it so. Action does." As I am working so hard to learn Japanese I am realizing how miracles come only through faith. As I show my faith in God, he blessed me and gives me the strength to hae more faith adn to try harder. Being a missionary right now is a miracle. I love it. I love it. I love it.
Last week, I received a package from Alicia and Liz! Make sure you let them kjnow how grateful I am for it. I also got the makeup. (thank you thank you!) I have the best support system in the world. Now would probably be a good time tos end the yen to make sure I get it. That would be awesmoe! I might need mom to send me a few of my shirts. SOme of mine are not as durable as I thought and so I will have to think of what ones to send. There is an light orange one that's like 3/4 sleeve that might be awesome. I am so nervous about clothes for teh summer. It is going to be soooo hot.
Well, I lvoe you family. Ganbate kudasai!!!
Crofts Shimai

                                   Sister Crofts and her friend Sister Boman going to Baltimore

                                                   Sister Crofts, her district, and their Sister Training Leaders.

These sisters are HILARIOUS. The definition of genki. 

Sister Murray, Biddle and Baker. 

The awkard photo. Adore them.  

Douglas Shimai. 

The sisters in our branch! This other district goes to Kobe. 


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