Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July 9, 2013 letter 

I am now on my LAST week of the MTC!!!!!!!!! I feel like I've been here forever, in fact I'm struggling to remember my past life before the MTC;) Just kidding. The sense of time is crazy here, people should honestly study it because it is the most fascinating thing I've ever experienced. Time is FLYING BY, but NOT. I will be in JAPAN before I know it!!!!! Can you believe it?!?!?!?! Ahhh I am so excited/scared/nervous/excited/whoa/EXCITED....
I leave for Japan on the 15th of July! So I need to be at the travel office of the MTC at 5:30. We then go to the SLC airport and we'll probably be there at 7 AM. Our flight is at 9:00, so you can expect a PHONE CALL FROM ME between 8-9 that time. I am so excited to talk to my beloved family! Unfortunately we didn't plan our timing as well, so I won't be at the SLC airport at the same time as you at all... However, I am kind of grateful that I won't see you because I feel like it would be really hard to focus again and it would be insanely ridiculous to say goodbye again. I am in the missionary "zone" and seeing my family for a few short seconds would kind of break my heart. Weird how that works right? Anyway! I am so excited to talk to you on the phone though, that will be absolutely wonderful! I am on delta so I will try to do the sky miles. My flight numbers are 2348 & 629 I then fly to Detroit Michigan and will arrive there at 2:28. We then leave detroit at 3:50 and then arrive in NAGOYA at 5:50 on July 16th.... So technically speaking I will be having a 48 hour plane ride... But in reality it's between 18 and 19 hours of travelling, which sounds like complete and utter misery. You know that I struggle sitting still on our one hour drive to Park City, so pray that I'll be able to endure this absurd amount of suffering! Hahahaha it's honestly unreal. AND THEN, not to mention, we arrive in Nagoya and begin proselyting IMMEDIATELY. When I start thinking about that, fear the size of 2 universes begins to creep into my soul. Hahaha I'm SO scared. It's going to be one rude awakening, that's for sure. But you know, I've worked SO hard in the MTC! I really feel like I've dedicated myself. Maybe I could have spoken Japanese more with my companions, but either way it's still going to be so rough when I get to Japan. I am excited though! When I need to speak fluent Japanese, I will. Because I am an instrument to GOD!!!
This week has been so awesome. I have never experienced the Spirit so constantly, and so strong. I love the power of being a missionary. Last Wednesday (i think) it rained and all of us sisters just played outside in it for stress reliever. It was honestly hilarious and we were dying of laughter. I have grown so close to these sisters! We all are always laughing and going crazy together. It's so fun because we're all just the greatest of friends and we push each other to be better missionaries. Each of these sisters are so incredible and I love them with all my heart! When I get home from my mish, I think I am going to room with Micky shimai. So I gave her your e-mail (dad) and her mom will talk to you when it's closer. I'll keep you posted if the plans change. On the 4th of July, it was honestly like being at BYU during Halloween. EVERYONE was wearing super over the top red, white and blue all day saying "I LOVE AMERICA!!!" Hahahaha it was absolutely unreal. It blew my mind how prepared everyone was to celebrate the holidays. We really do appreciate the little things as missionaries. We went to a devotional that night and the guy talked about how we have a message that will literally "FREE" people and it was awesome. We then watched 17 miracles. I had never seen it, but it honestly changed my life! I never want to complain again! I am so so so lucky. So if you've already seen it, watch it again. When they announced we were watching it everyone was screaming "A MOVIE!?!?!" My comps turned to me and said "Crofts Shimai, you are going to BAUL." Boy were they right. It was so good. All I have to do is what the Savior asks and give others everything I have. I am putting my whole heart into this work and will not hold back anything from God. After that, we went and watched fireworks at the back of the MTC from the stadium of fire. All the missionaries were singing patriotic songs and it was hilarious. We were out there until 11, and then we were allowed to go back to bed. And I thought, you know... The fireworks were great and all, but I would have rather been in bed early. I can guarantee we ALL never thought those words would ever come out of my mouth. I am SO good at waking up in the morning! Be super proud of me... ;)
We were released as Sister Training Leaders on Sunday... To say I was sad is the understatement of the century. I really love those girls. When they announced it in church all of the kohai sisters turned to each other and were like "noooooo!!!!" They still come to our room every night anyways. Gosh I love it! As always, I'm like besties with all the Nihonjin! We just laugh and make fools of ourselves and it is so fun. I feel like my face just has a permanent smile on it all the time.
When we teach our investigators, our lessons honestly go SO GOOD! We don't need any notes except for looking up the occasional word, and we just teach! The Spirit is always so strong and I can't help but think how lucky I am. We have really been focusing on the "WHY." A lot of times we worry about what they know, but if they don't feel and do anything, what's the point? As we  have done this, the strength of the Spirit in our lessons has been unbelievable. We always leave our lessons completely speechless, unable to say anything but "wow."
Last week, I was having a hard time not freaking about leaving for Japan this Monday. In fact, I was trying not to think about it because of how scared I was. I was praying so hard to help my heart be filled with peace and comfort. As I was reading during personal study, I came across D&C 67. PLEASE READ IT IMA (NOW). It talked about how "my prayers are heard, my heart is known, and my desires have come before Him"  "fears are in my heart and this is the reason that I did not receive" and then verse 10 just sends it all home. It was like a smack in the face, but it was SO UNBELIEVABLY GOOD!!!! Holy cow. That definitely humbled me a lot. Being afraid is not going to get me anywhere at this point or ever. All I can do is continue forward in faith. I DO have faith in the gift of tongues. I have a super long journey ahead of me, but it's all part of the fun. Next week, I am probably going to experience every type of shock known to man, but why not enjoy it? THis is a once in a lifetime opportunity! Ever since I read that scripture I have really been trying to strip myself of my fears and it's been amazing how much the Spirit has been with me since. I am so excited! AH!!!!!!
This church is true. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS GOSPEL!!! God knows each of us so personally. He will help us if we ask for help! Kazoku, this is going to be my last e-mail from the US. Next week, I will be e-mailing amongst the Asians!!! GAHHHH. Please freak out for me. Okay! Ai shitte imasu!!!!!
Crofts Shimai
OUR SENSEIS. Tsukamoto, Holbrook & Beazer. 
4th of July fireworks! 

Teaching us the first vision! 

Crofts Shimai featured on the door! 

Devotional at the Marriot Center. 
Hosting for new missionaries! 
The sisters from my apaartmenat complex Glenwood!
McCall, Kelson, Emily Yankura, Michele,  Michele Norton. 
Candid shot. 

 Some of the sisters we got to serve:) 

Cute Sister Ito. 
Ellsworth Shimai. 
Mason Shimai. 
Sister Takei is from Nagano! 
President and Sister Mack! 
Sister Yamaguchi
Sister Edwards 
Sister Harris

Sister Scheffler
Sister Tenney
Sister Wilson
Sister Chenney
Sister Donnely

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