week 5 I am still alive and loving it!

Dear Wonderful Family --- 
Can I just say that I love you all so much.  We just got back from the temple and it was wonderful.  On the way home I though of you, Mom and Dad.  There were a few men doing some lawn work and the freshly cut grass and noisy lawn mowers reminded me of Dad on the weekends and I saw all these cute purple pansies that made me think of Mom all the way home.  Thank you for being such incredible parents and loving me with great love that stays so close to me. 
Heavenly Father really is so aware of our lives.  That's what I have learned this week.   The power of prayer is real, and I feel all of my prayers have been heard and answered from the smallest ones like finding my little ring that was lost in the big volleyball pit this week, to big ones like just feeling such peace. 
This gospel really is for imperfect people, thank goodness for that.  Being on the mission you become hyper-sensitive to your weaknesses, and sometimes think, "can I really do this? Am I good enough to be a disciple of Christ?"  And you can experience such doubts in yourself like these, but then in the very next moment I feel like Heavenly Father scoops me up and dusts me off and sets me straight again.
This week our teacher, Baldwin Sensei, announced that he is accepting a position in Idaho so he will be leaving us as well as Bishof Sensei.  That is sad, but then I realized that I will be very soon saying goodbye to my wonderful district in just 3 weeks and going off to Japan.  I have grown to love them as family. My district is funny, so now that both of our teachers have accepted new positions, we're like "No one wants us!"  And everyone was talking yesterday about who our new teacher might be and one of the elders, Elderrasmasen from Canada is like, "maybe Bishoff Sensei will return to us... the return of the prodigal sensei!!"  There is definitely an interesting/funny sense of humor here.  You start to think that everything is hilarious after awhile.
This week I have tried to be more obedient and be more exact.  President Kruger, our Branch President says that obedience brings about faith and blessings, but exact obedience brings about miracles. I know that that is true.  For example we are supposed to be in bed by 10:30 every night and you know me I love journaling so sometimes that puts me in bed at about 10:35 or something just a few minutes off, but this week I made it a goal to be exact and I felt so much more awake and it just really helped in every aspect of my life here.  It's just a few minutes, and such a small thing, and when you make an effort Heavenly Father really recognizes your efforts.
President Holland said this thing that I have been thinking about all week, he said the difference between hot water and boiling water is just a matter of 2 degrees. Water boils Ibelieve he said at 212 degrees, but without just those 2 degrees it's not enough. 
I really am living my dream life.  You might not think so at first, looking at our tight schedule, but I feel so close to Heavenly father and that is worth everything.
So this week we taught our new investigator "Yamagi-san" and I completely lost control.  I was trying to explain to him the importance of baptism, and then he asked me "how? as in how do you get baptized?"  Since I only practiced saying the "importance of baptism" in Japanese, this was  a bit of a curve ball for me.  So in very broken Japanese I tried to explain to him using the words I knew..
I just said, "zembu (all) karada (body) hita (in) ofuro (bath) ato de (after) sumi ja nie  (sins no more).  Of course I was using lots of hand motions and he was so confused and then we all started laughing/crying because Yamagi-san thought I was instructing him on how to take a bath, and it was just a bit wild.  But that's okay, because after that lesson, I straight away felt very motivated to study how to talk about the ordinance of baptism.
This week we got in the new group going to Japan.  They leave in July and I think they will be here for 12 weeks.   There is our new Shimai (sisters going to Japan) one sister, Sister Dolan will be heading to Tokyo about a month after me.  I saw Elder Larsen from my home ward and he seems happy to be here. So fun to have someone from home! 
What else?  I've never enrolled in a marriage prep class before, but now I don't think I will ever need to. ;)   Having a companion is wonderful, but I decided that I am learning that even with the best of manners, it takes time for both people to know how to step in sync with each other. There is so much to say but I have to go!  I Love you all so much.  I know that Heavenly Father really does hear our prayers, every single one. 
I love you !!!!
Vail Shimai

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