Letter from the MTC: Week 2

Aloha family!
Oh there is so much to say and so little time.  The greatest thing I think I learned this week is that this is a gospel about becoming.  We think of repentance so often as like a medicine, something we need to do when we have done something wrong.  While this is true, this gospel is one that invites CHANGE.  We don't just take part in it because we are sick, we take part in it because it nourishes our ever hungry spirits. 

In order to change we have to have a willing and open heart to change.  It takes humility and to admit we are not perfect.  This week we taught about 5 lessons in Japanese, and sometimes I wanted to cry because I just so badly wanted to share with our investigator but didn't know how to make the words come out right.  I loved this that my teacher said, that helped me  a lot. "A lesson is not a presentation.  It's a conversation".  This put me way more at ease.

So Happy late Easter everyone!  It was such a wonderful day.  I sang in the choir in the front row and Boyd K. Packer came to speak to us on Easter Sunday. I love him so very much. He said "I didn't serve a mission. I marched away to war. I graduated as a pilot, that was my mission"  but I felt he spoke right to me when he said, "You are adequate. And all the power of heaven is with you. "  This week Ive been feeling like, can I really be a great missionary?  I can barely speak Japanese.  Am I worthy enough to bear his name?  Sometimes I just rub my finger over  my name tag and look at Christs name next to mine and it gives me strength to know that he really is on my right hand and on my left.  So I loved President Packer's words.  He challenged us to find out for ourselves how Christ performed the atonement and why.  He told us to "decorate our life with goodness" He said you just go out with great courage. Fear is the opposite of faith. I have felt the power that you hold."

He said you will make a mistake, or two or three or four, How do you fix that which is broken? You can't. You can't go back and repair that.  A ransom must be paid.  I thought   a lot about the Savior and I know that the atonement is real and even if you were the only person in the world who needed the atonement, Christ still would have done it because he loves you that much. I have felt his love every day and the most when it is the hardest. 

I have come to realize this week that you don't have to be a general authority, or a prophet, that each of us has the potential to teach. 

Every day seems to get better and better and go by faster and faster.  The first few days I felt like I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off.  I love my district. They are hilarious.  We study together all day and this week  a lot of us got Easter packages so I'm pretty sure we were studying on a sugar high.  Our teachers are so amazing and I they look at us sometimes and say "You are it! You are Heavenly Father's missionaries.  You are how the people of Japan will hear the gospel".  It makes me feel  a lot of pressure but also so very privileged to do this work. 

I shared my testimony this week with our investigator Yoshi-san and I thought  a lot about how I acquired my testimony, and then I corrected myself in my thinking.  One doesn't just "acquire a testimony" like coming across a lucky penny, testimonies are like water.  I think they can evaporate with time if we aren't constantly replenishing them.  So I shared with him the very beginning of my testimony, like the bank of a river I guess, where it all started flowing from.  Each step forward is a step toward a new life.  And that is what life is more or less about I think, What we become
What else?  I love Sister Rogers.  She is really different from me, but in the best way. I found out she actually took 8 years of Japanese and is already as good as many of the missionaries who have been here for the whole 9 weeks.  So at first I felt a little bit inadequate, but I see how Heavenly Father really wanted to put us together, because we can strengthen one another.  

My district is so awesome.  The elders are always trying to eat more then each other, sometimes eating 3 whole plates of the main course for dinner.  We auditioned to sing in front of the MTC yesterday.  We thought it would add unity to our district.  I love singing.  I have been trying to learn Portuguese from two of the Brazilians in my district.  They are my favorite.  I love this line "prontos semreprontos!" It means "ready always ready!" (in called to serve)

I already have to go.  But I love you all so so very much and am grateful for your love and support. 
I loved this last thing that President Packer told us to "decorate our life with goodness."
I know you already do and I love you all!

Vail Shimai

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