Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hodson Shimai

Hello all!
First to answer questions:
1. Yes the Ausy missionaries are also going to Japan. All of the Japanese speaking missionaries are going to Japan.
2. I am the only one in my district that is going to Nagoya. There are others in the other districts that are going to Nagoya, but only me in 27 C. The elders in my district are all going to Tokyo and my companions are going to Fukuoka.
3. I don't need the weather report for Nagoya. I do like hearing the weather for home and for here.
4. I am getting along with my district, more on that later.
5. Breck Shimai is now the companion of a Japanese sister (all of the native speakers came in yesterday. I think there's about 5). They both leave on Dec. 31st.
6. I will call from the airport using a phone card. Don't send out a cell phone.
7. Dad, I asked you before I left if it would be ok if I took the MoTab CD's and you said that it was fine if you had them on the computer. You do. Therefore I took them. And your acronymn was hard to figure out. Love you.
8. Good talk, Mom! Wish I could have heard it.
9. I don't have enough time to write multiple letters in 30 min. If you think something should be left out, Claire and the 'rents will have to do it. I won't know the difference.
Now for the week's events here:
I found out why Breck Shimai uses a fork for everything: she has TMJ. So biting into a slab of pizza isn't smart for her. During one of our lessons with an investigator, Miller Shimai made a funny mistake. Seiten (pronounced like we would say Satan) means scriptures. Sahtahn is the word for the devil. So Miller Shimai accidentally said that the scriptures destroy families. We all had a good laugh about that one. Then, the district was cleaning our classroom for the daily inspections. I was trying to reach a high spot when Miller Shimai offered to do that for me (she's definitely taller than me). One of the elders pulls out a chair to use as a stool, but then changes his mind and says "Miller Shimai doesn't need this, she's a giant." Needless to say, Miller Shimai felt a little wounded. The elder tried to extricate his foot from his mouth, with no success. We found out Chiharu Shimai isn't a real investigator. She's a teacher who was playing the part. There actually is a Chiharu Shimai who actually was in that situation, but not her. Her real name is Sandberg Shimai and she is now one of our teachers! When Abraham Shimai found out she threw a fake tantrum, which I thought was hilarious but the chorotachi thought it was real. I am so proud of Abraham Shimai and Miller Shimai. They are answering questions before even I can answer them.
Abraham Shimai drew pictures of the chorotachi as girls and Wyndham Choro drew pictures of the shimaitachi as boys. When our sensei saw it, he laughed a bit and didn't want to erase it. But we had to because we needed the room on the board. The entire zone participated in a "tower challenge." The cereal in the cafeteria is kept in large towers, not unlike the catfood dispenser. The challenge was for our zone and our zone only to eat all of the cereal in one tower. The cereal: Froot Loops. The result: done and done. The sanding part on my foot file started to peel off, so I bought a palm sized pumice stone from the book store for 40 cents. What a price!
Taylor sensei felt the shimaitaichi's hesitance about teaching a lesson on the Atonement, so the three shimai and he did a practice lesson in english. I felt the spirit so much from Miller Shimai and Abraham shimai's comments. I hope that they can continue to express that in Japanese. King choro (the choro from Australia) had never seen snow before, so I cut out paper snowflakes for him. He now keeps them in his white handbook.
Snowed! All of the international missionaries and some from the lower states were elated. One missionary from Hawaii burst into tears because it was his first time seeing snow. We had a workshop on making Church Attendance meaningful. It brought to mind the importance of the sacrament. I wish that I could tell you all that I felt, but it's hard to put into words. I hope that I keep that feeling and knowledge with me so that I will continue to make the Sacrament meaningful. Sandberg Shimai had a good lesson with all of us on focusing not on the language but on making a visit a spiritual experience. She related the story of the brother of Jared this way: " 'Hello, God, I don't have much to give you. I have three rocks. I found them.' These rocks are our talents. We may only have three rocks, but God will touch them. He will take what you can give you." I appreciated that.
Abraham Shimai, Miller Shimai, Breck Shimai, and I had a companionship inventory. It was uplifting in that we could express our innermost thoughts and desires without feeling vulnerable or that they would go unheard. I can see how that will help me and my companions in the future. At breakfast, they only had cereal and most of the cafeteria was dark. I felt like I was getting an illegitimate bedtime snack. At lunch, Sister Mack (the branch president's wife) gave me some of her salad because I have been pining for real vegetables. I felt a little guilty for being whiny enough to get that attention, but grateful at her generosity and for real food. The devotional that night was the BYU Men's chorus. It was quite enjoyable. Afterwards, we watched a recording of Elder Bednar talking to the MTC about 3 years ago. He let his hair down a little which was bizarre. I thought "Who are you and how did you replace Elder Bednar?" He did an impression of the cookie monster and related it to the natural man. I received comfort and answers from that recording. He's awesome.
In PE, I made it to the King spot in four square...for all of one minute. Abraham Shimai and Miller Shimai asked for blessings from the chorotachi. Kramer Choro gave the one to Miller Shimai. It was his first one. I was happy to see how excited and eager the Chorotachi were to give us blessings. We were supposed to meet a new investigator that morning, but the Chorotachi took all the time, so we are meeting him tomorrow. We met with another new investigator, Nishimura Shimai, who is 95 years old (as played by Sandberg Shimai). It went well, but it was mostly me talking. Sandberg Shimai came up afterward and suggested that I not race ahead to answer the question, but pause, repeat, and let the other Shimaitachi have a chance to look up answers and catch up. She said to not be afraid of silence. So, I am going to try my hardest to not be a know-it-all. Miller Shimai and Abraham Shimai have been having trouble sleeping, so we went to the health clinic. The waiting room had a puzzle in it so I was entertained. They were prescribed a week's worth of benadryl and told to come back next Monday. They both got slap happy from it when it was time to go to bed.
I think I have a new cold, although it may be an ear infection. Here's hoping it goes away with sleep. The washing machine in the laundromat didn't spin my clothes out, so they were sopping wet. I had to put them through two dry cycles and even then they weren't completely dry. We went to the temple and I had a quiche for breakfast that had salmon in it. IT WAS SO DELICIOUS! After that we were proxies for children in sealings. I could feel the joy and relief of the people whose work we did. The spirit world was close in that room. I tried out for the Christmas Talent Show. I recited all I could remember of the Night Before Christmas (15 years of Yuletide and I don't have that down pat?). The judges (the wives of the MTC presidency) said that they would print off the rest of the story for me. They asked if I could come back next week with it memorized. They seemed eager to get me in the program. I told them that after a Shakespeare, this would be a piece of cake. I'll let you know how it goes next week. I took a nap and when I woke up my temperature was 100.1. Bleh. If I still feel bad tomorrow I'm going to go to the health clinic, half to get my ear checked and half so I can keep doing the puzzle.

Love you all dearly,

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