Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Trust in God, then go & do

Minasan, Konnichiwa! (Hello Everyone!)

3 more weeks until I head to Japan!! I am definitely nervous!! I can say very simple sentences in Japanese, if you give me a couple minutes :P It is still difficult to understand the native speakers, but I am able to understand more than I could 6 weeks ago, so that's good! I think that when I get to Japan I will learn more quickly since I will be immersed in the Language, and forced to speak it (: 

So this Tuesday Night devotional a member of the Quorum of the 70, Ron R. Clarke came and spoke. He was an amazing speaker, very engaging, very loving, and invited the Spirit. He talked to us about some important principles that missionaries should be aware of. Some of the points really stuck out to me. One was the Holy Ghost. Through the Holy Ghost we are able to receive divine comfort and revelation. This will help us overcome the greatest trials in our lives. In order for us to receive that guidance, we must be doing good, exercising our faith, and trusting the Lord to guide us. He said "Revelation comes when you're on the move" it doesn't come when we are just sitting around waiting for God to tell us to do something; he wants us to use our agency and do good, then he can guide our actions. He also posed the question " Will you overcome your obstacles or allow them to discourage and break you?" It truly is up to us to decide. That is one of the most sacred gifts He has given us is our agency. We get to decide who we want to be. That's kind of a heavy concept but the amazing thing is that we don't have to do it alone. We have a Savior who loves us beyond comprehension. And He wants to help us. So when we feel weak and feel like whatever obstacle is staring us in the face will truly break us; we can rely on the Lord to strengthen, uplift and comfort us. I know that this is true because He has done that for me. 

Thank you for all the love and support!!
Ai shitte masu!
Lowe Shimai

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Week 5 at the MTC

All the Shimai Tachi at the Temple
Minasan, Konichiwa!
(Hello everybody!)

It's been super cool to have the Japanese Missionaries with us! Some of them know English pretty well, and they are all super nice and super funny!! It's been really cool to try to communicate with them, which is pretty difficult still. But at the same time, I think by showing the effort to try to communicate has really fostered friendship between us all, despite the language barrier, which is super comforting.

Other than that, I've just been studying the gospel and learning Japanese! I have really enjoyed being at the MTC and having this opportunity to prepare to share the Gospel in Japan. On Sunday, Raines Shimai and I watched a devotional given by David A. Bednar a while a go. It's titled "The Character of Christ" it is an amazing talk about how we can come to understand who Jesus Christ really is. Elder Bednar really focused on how Christ always always always reaches out to others instead of being concerned about himself.

http://www2.byui.edu/Presentations/Transcripts/ReligionSymposium/2003_01_25_Bednar.htm (text)

http://scottwoodward.org/Talks/Audio%20Talks/2-Prophets-Apostles/Bednar,%20David%20A/BYU-Idaho--Ricks/BednarDA_CharacterOfChrist.mp3 (audio)

When we study the New Testament we can see this happen over and over. I know that as we reach out to serve and comfort others, we can become more like Christ. Even though it's going to be difficult in Japan, speaking the language and teaching people about Christ, I know that Christ qualifies who he calls. I know that as long as I am humble and trust in Him, relying on Him for my strength, that I can be an instrument in His hands to bless His children, or "Feed [His] Sheep" as it says in the New Testament. I am so grateful for this opportunity that I have to put myself aside and serve the Lord. I know this is where he needs me right now.

All of my love!!
Lowe Shimai
How many missionaries can we fit!?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

1 Month Down!!! 5 Weeks Left at the MTC

Ohayo Gozaimas! (Good Morning)

The highlight of this week was that Raines Shimai and I subbed in for the Sister Training Leaders who were sick. We had the opportunity to welcome 16 Missionaries from JAPAN! on Monday and Tuesday. We ate dinner with them and showed them around the MTC campus and sat with them during the Tuesday night devotional. The shimai tachi (sisters) are SO ADORABLE!! and super sweet as well! Raines Shimai and I felt pretty incompetent when it came to communication though. At this point we are getting pretty good at teaching simple lessons about the church with the vocab we know, but we realized that we know very little everyday conversational words!! So it was fun to try to communicate with them in our broken japanese. Some know quite a bit of English which helped out. 

It was really funny, there was one Choro (Elder) that was asking Raines Shimai questions throughout the day about the MTC and what not. After the Devotional on Tuesday he came up to her and Said "I have a question" ... "Do you want to build a Snowmaaaan?" It was SOO Hilarious!!! then he was like "Do the magic! Do the Magic!" it was so great. Apparently Frozen is big in Japan too!!!

Yesterday marked 1 month here at the MTC. The more I study the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more I want to share it with everyone! The message of the restored gospel is absolutely beautiful. I know that anything is possible when we put our trust in Jesus Christ. I know that if we have faith in Him, He can help us overcome anything, and accomplish anything. He has definitely been helping me here as I am learning the Japanese language, it's hard! But I know that I can do it with Him beside me. 

I love you all! thank you for the love and support and letters!!
Ai shitte masu!

Lowe Shimai (:

Monday, March 2, 2015

Week 3 at the MTC! 2/26/15

Not much has changed here at the good 'ol MTC. The schedule is still crazy busy and the language is still tough, but I am still doing wonderfully! Our week is broken up very nicely with Devotionals every Tuesday Night, Service project on Wednesday mornings, Thursday preparation day, and Sunday night devotionals.

This last Monday, our teachers told us that we could not use our language books while we teach the investigators. That was really nerve wracking at first because we relied a lot on them! They told us they were taking them away a week early because they were so impressed with how well we already understand Japanese, and they feel that in relying on the language materials during our lesson is just holding us back from progressing even more. So that's pretty cool that we are doing so well as a district. I have definitely noticed a difference in our lessons without the crutch of the Language Books. So now, in order to prepare a lesson, Raines Shimai and I write out the English of what we want to teach and then look up the words that we don't know in Nihongo (we can use our language materials to prepare for the lesson just not while we teach) Then while we teach, we are able to form (VERY BASIC and guaranteed grammatically incorrect) sentences!! It's pretty exciting to be able to do this! Our sentences are simple but they teach the truth. I have been amazed by the spirit and feeling of comfort and peace we experience when we teach now. 

Healey Shimai in my distict and Hunsaker Choro
So much has happened in these past 3 weeks, I cant imagine whats in store for the next 6 here at the MTC and 16 months after that!! I am so grateful for this opportunity I have to serve the Lord. I have already learned so much here. I am also so grateful for the Dear Elder letters, I don't have a lot of time to respond to them but I am trying! Keep them coming because I love hearing about everyone and I feel so loved!!

Thank you so much for all of the support!
Ai Shitte Imasu!! (I love you)
Lowe Shimai

Sunday 2/22. Our zone before our Sempai (elders) left for Japan Monday
Some of the girls in our zone. (L-R) Raines, Lowe, Healey, Fullmer, Gibson, Smith, Madeaux, Thompson​

  Hymn in Japanese!! Which I can read because it's in Hiragana :)

My object lesson for teaching the Atonement

My name tag - It's Katakana so i can't read it yet but I will soon!

 Our classroom, we spend at least 10 hours a day here!

 My desk with all my study materials!

This is our bedroom; between getting ready in the morning and then at night before we sleep, we
spend a total of 2-3 hours in here each day 

My Aunt Laura sent chips and salsa; she knows me well (: the shimai tachi loved it!!