My Dearest Family,
This week has been one of blessings. That means it was a hard one....haha but one that showed me how blessed I truly am to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-days Saints. This gospel and the knowledge of who we are and WHOSE we are is the happiest thing in the world. (Thanks mom....haha I stole that from your letter ;) As it is the best holiday of the year this next week I am going to focus on the blessings part of my week. :) Cause EVERY DAY we are SO blessed. Especially as missionaries... and then I will tell you all about how flippin AMAZING my Thanksgiving is going to be!! hah :)
Saturday: I am grateful for my Companion P. Shimai :) My companion is seriously such an amazing person. I wish I could tell you all that happened that day, but it is kind of a lot. (I wrote a letter to nicole about it and so you can ask her.) She showed me how truly important that work we are doing here is and the importance of not forgetting who you are and what you are here to do.
Sunday: I am grateful for the gift of the holy ghost. Have you ever really thought about how having the precious gift of the Holy Ghost has changed your life. We taught a lesson on Sunday to our District about the Holy Ghost and all the ways that it influences our lives. IT WAS SO GREAT!! It is SO much easier to teach in Ego (English) Vs. Nihongo (Japanese)....haha :) The Spirit was so strong we watched a Mormon message about the spirit. I cant remember what it was called.... so just go watch some of them... I am sure they are ALL good...haha :) That night we said goodbye to all the Sisters from are branch that were leaving. We sang hymns and prayed together. Again the spirit was so strong. God puts people into our lives for a reason. We can learn something from EVERYONE we come in contact with. Look for the good in people. These Sisters truly changed my life. They showed so much love in ALL that they did to EVERYONE they came to know. I love them and will truly miss them all they will be amazing missionaries.
Oh side note.... haha So every Sunday night we get to watch a movie.. and last Sunday we watched "legacy" It was great... that movie is so cheesy. But it really made me miss you guys.... some of the lines... oh man I was just dying. Or the part were the wagons pop up on the horizon and the sun is going down... hahahha :) yeah it was great! Oh and the devotional that night was given by Mary Ellen Edmunds. SHE WAS SO FUNNY!! like so funny and such an amazing person!!
Monday: I cant really remember Mondays... haha it is always a blurr..... :) But I am grateful for 8 hours of sleep. That night was the first night I didn't got to bed at 10:30 and boy do you feel it when you have a long day. hahaha
Tuesday: I am grateful for the power of the priesthood. So one of my roommates got sick this week. She just had a really bad cold. She was able to receive a blessing and it was so cool to watch the elders in my district give one too her. My companion also received a blessing of comfort and peace that day with all that she has been going through. It was amazing. The Priesthood power is real!
Wednesday: I am grateful for my weaknesses. Wednesdays are always the hardest day of the week for us....... You would think is would be Thursday because we have like 6 hours of class in a row... but no it is Wednesdays. We taught a lesson and it didn't go very well. We learned a TON though that day. My brain hurt...hah :) It is amazing how many weaknesses I have.... I have so much to learn and sometimes it gets discouraging to think about all I have to become to be an effective missionary, but then I remember that the lord only requires your best effort. My dear friend Katie Parker sent me a letter yesterday that had a cool poem in it titled "After all we can do" by Robbie Pierce. Read it. It is really good. :) But it just reminded me that the lord will make up the rest. We just need to do our best and leave the rest to him. He will help you and shape you into the person he needs you to be if you are willing to give yourself to him.
Thursday: WHAT A GREAT DAY!!! I am grateful for SURBARASHI SENSEIS!!!!!!! I have the BEST teachers here at the MTC. But really they are amazing. Two of them actually knew Jared Hall and lived with him while they served in Tokyo. And Another one of them served with Jackson Healy and Adam Day in Kobe. Small world. They are all such different teachers but so good at teaching the gospel and Nihongo. I love it!!! :) And they are pretty Hilarious. We have a great time in class :) it is SUBARASHI!!! (wonderful)
Friday: I am grateful for the wonderful language of............. JAPANESE of course!!!! You weren't thinking I was going to say english... I mean english is a hideous language... hahahha ;) The power of praying in Japanese is so cool. Yesterday we learned different ways to say things in our prayers in Japanese so they were the same all the time. My Sensei shared a story about how it was when he made the decision to pray only in Japanese on his mission that the language really started to come. I am really trying to do that but sometimes it is hard cause my mind just starts speaking ego to me and I am like STOP.... I am called to speak Nihongo... not ego... :) but I am getting better so don't worry. :)
Saturday: I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR THE TEMPLE!!! :) So today is my last day that I will go to a temple in Utah for 1 year and 6 months... :( I am sad but so grateful for the opportunity to have been able to go while here at the MTC. It has been such a source of comfort and peace and a chance to just get away from the MTC and breathe. Sometimes after you have been in the MTC for 4 weeks you kind of want to see what the world looks like outside of the tan brick walls and blue carpet.... hahaha :) I love the MTC though so no worries. But go to the temple this week if you can!! It will bless your life more than you know. :)
So THANKSGIVING!!!! we get to have a general authority come... Most likely a member of the 12 and we get to watch Ephraim s rescue!! and do a service project and all this other fun stuff!! I am SO excited!! :) Even though I will miss all of you so much I guess this is the next best place to be. right?
Always remember I love you and pray for you every day!!! :) The Church is true and the book is blue. Read the Book of Mormon every day!! :) Trust in the Lord, out your will inline with his and he will bless you. These are all the things I am learning everyday.... and boy do I have a lot more to learn!! It is a happy time to be alive. Have a great week!
Ai shite imasu!! :) (this is the correct spelling I learned this week ;)
Love, Ashby Shimai