20 more days!

Aloha family
Each day here is unique, even though it seems "we are in a routine" going to class each day and having set schedules, each day holds great promise, and there is always so much to learn from my teachers and though everyone around me.  I remember reading in the book, the Alchemist, I think, that when we are bored with life, we are missing the drops of oil on the spoon.  Failing to notice the beautiful details that sets each day apart from the next. 

Our Nihonjin, our sweet Japanese missionaries, came in last night.  Sister Rogers, my companion, is the coordination sister so we welcomed them all.  It always makes me want to cry seeing all the missionaries in their pressed clothes, their polished shoes and combed hair.  They are so far from home but they just look so fearless to me.  Such an inspiring sight.

I love the Japanese people.  I have seen them around the MTC today, and I don't know why, maybe because I've been in Hawaii so long, that it always runs through my mind that they are on a tour group, but really I think they have that air about them because they always seem to be enjoying themselves, taking delight in even the smallest things and also always taking care of each other, making sure no one gets left behind.

Yesterday there was a rather smelly situation over here.  The yard workers decided to cut down the tree in front of our residence, and along with it accidentally cut into a sewage line so the sewage backed up so it was VERY bad.  So one of the first things I said to the Nihonjin was "watshi no tatemono wa totemo kusai!" which means "the building I live in smells very bad."  They thought the whole situation was very funny and had good attitudes. 

Only 20 more days to go and we all will be leaving together!  This makes me both sad and very excited.

I purchased the Book of Mormon stories for children this week with the pictures.  I tried reading it and it feels so great when you can read just a sentence in Japanese. I was reading pretty slowly, like a kindergartner who is sounding out words, but I love it none the less. Not to be cheesy but learning is so fun! 

My teacher, Baldwin Sensei, who has been "Yoshi"  our investigator that we've taught 13 lessons to, left for his new job in Idaho this week but he took us all aside and told us what we did well in our teaching.  He is half Japanese too and always tells me when I'm feeling less than confident,  "It's in your blood!"   He said the one thing he really liked is that when we were teaching him about faith, I compared it to surfing since that's what he likes.  And my friend Lindsey used an analogy like this once in her class.  Thanks Linds!   I told him "you don't know if there will be sharks, or a tidal wave, or lightning, but you just go because you love to surf and that makes it worth it."   You have faith that you will have a great time just like baptism is an act of faith, you trust that your life will be better because you chose to follow Christ.

 Anything we do in the gospel really is an act of faith, sometimes we don't always know how Heavenly Father will answer our prayers, we just trust that he will.

Faith is just trust.  It is when your doubts are outweighed by knowing that something greater is at stake.  Yoshi said he felt loved and that, even though some of my examples might sound silly, that he felt loved and that we cared about him. 

Elder Christoferson came to speak to us this week. He said this that i really liked,  "when you go to people's homes, you bear in your hands the kingdom of God"  and that repentance is more than just stopping this or that, it is devoting yourself to him.

Mothers Day was this week.  I thought of you, mommy, and all the things you have taught me.  President Kruger, our branch President, said that the greatest gift we can give our mothers is to always follow the holy ghost for the rest of our lives.  I am trying to do that.  Even though I am here learning so much, I learned that really the gospel is simple --- so simple that a child should understand. 
So I guess mainly we're just here to kind of get organized.  All that we need is within us.  I forget that sometimes. I've just been trying to think this week,  "what does this person need to feel and how can I help them know how special they are."

The message of the gospel is great, it is more then a hope, it's a knowledge that we have that Heavenly Father really is our father and wants us to have the happiest lives ever. 

Also, I've been thinking a lot about how a lot of us have our life story so concrete and cemented in our minds, like  "I am this way"  or "that way"  and that's good to know yourself, but sometimes it can be a trap, because we box ourselves up, seal ourselves closed to change.  And the more I study and live, the more I know that the purpose of this life is to change, grow and progress.  Lately I've been praying that Heavenly Father will make me into who he wants me to be because if I hold on too tightly to who I think I should be, I may miss something. 

I hope some of this makes sense, I just have 30 min once a week to remember the whole week.
I love you each so much and I hope you are all enjoying the beautiful time of year.  It's my favorite! 
clarky        hope you are safe and sound!  Hope Thailand is so fun!
Momi        hope you are feeling better. I love all those pictures!
Stephie!    I just got your address will send you something today

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