Thursday, January 12, 2017

Missing My Shimai - Perfect Timing For A Hug

I received a text today from one of my dearest friends and member of my bunko group. Her youngest daughter is heading on a mission and today was the day they delivered her to the training center for a week before she heads off to her destination as a missionary.  

Imagine the joy when she pulled up to drop off her daughter and PRINCESS FOUR walked behind her car headed to the dorm area! Literally within feet of the car so she was able to give her friend a hug and make it SO much easier for her mother to let her go knowing she had a friend to walk her in! 

It would be hard to drop off your youngest child knowing you won't see them for 18 months. I think I have had it easier because I do have someone home still keeping me busy so I don't think about it as much but I think it will be harder when the youngest goes. 

My friend said she gave Princess Four a kiss on the cheek for me as well so that makes me feel so much better knowing Princess also had joy in her day as well! Princess also sent two pictures this week of two of her other friends she has run into while there. I included them as many of you will know them.

As a missionary, they get one day a week that is called a "preparation" day where they get to do their laundry and clean their apartment, go shopping and write family. As she has a ipad, she can get emails and pictures anytime but she can only reply on her preparation day which happens to be Wednesday until she goes to Japan. So, today we got an email. She wrote how weird the timing was that she just happened to walk across the street and behind a car only to find out it was her friend! 

Princess sent this email to her us today and is getting excited as she leaves for Japan on Monday! I am getting a bit nervous and will be happy when I know she has arrived there safely. Here is her email:

"Hello, Hello, Hello you beautiful spirits you! 

This week has been a little nerve racking with preparing to leave the MTC next Monday at 4:10 AM! What? How has it already been 9 weeks? I absolutely love it here. I'm not sad to leave, but I will miss this place. The MTC is good, and the mission will be good too. I'm glad I was able to stay here for such a long time. I have been able to hear from many wonderful speakers, learn lots about Japan, and gain such a beautiful testimony about our savior(sukuinushi) Jesus Christ (Iesu Kiristo).

Yesterday we heard from an Apostle of the Lord! What, What! It was Elder Anderson. We were able to hear from him on Thanksgiving (I'm super grateful I was able to be here during the Holiday season). We have heard from Elder Anderson, Elder Holland, Elder Oaks, Elder Anderson again, The Piano Guys, The BYU Mens Chorus, David Archulletta, a ton of  amazing 70, and people who serve in high positions in the MTC. They are actually switching out the MTC Presidents all over the world, so they are all here. That's why we were able to hear from Elder Anderson again. Which is fine by me!! We also heard from Elder Uceda, the 70 who spoke about Machu Picchu in the last General Conference. He was asked to be a Mission President with 0 notice. Like they only had 24 hours to pack and leave. Oh man the church is so cool.

I want to tell a story about this week. God really cares, and He hears and answers prayers.  Even the ones that we think are silly. I received new scriptures for my mission. I was trying to figure out if I wanted to color code them, and just how I want to mark them. I decided to split it up by time. So for the first chunk of my mission I'm using a pink crayon to mark scriptures, so It's kinda like a journal. I'll probably use blue for my second chunk. I went to class one day, and I couldn't find my pink crayon. Now this is a very high quality roseart twisty crayon that has been in my house for ages, but it isn't waxy in my scriptures, and it doesn't smudge. So I could have bought another pink crayon, but the one I had was just so nice. I looked for it in my room after saying a prayer, and while I was leaving to go check a couch I studied on, I said another prayer. Guess who found her pink twisty crayon? It was this Shimai!! 
I know I probably could have found that crayon without praying, but what if someone had taken it, what if fell in the couch so that I couldn't find it, what if I didn't think about checking the couch, or just pushed the thought of looking there aside? There are a million reasons why I could have not found my pink crayon, but God knew that it meant a lot to me. So he helped keep it safe, and prompted me so that I could find it. I was talking to a sister who didn't want to pray about something small because she thought God didn't care about something so small.... Let me tell you. If it is important to you, it is important to God. He loves you more than you can even imagine. He wants to pour out blessing on you, but sometimes you have to ask for those blessings. He has helped me  with a lot more things than finding pink crayons, but He is ready and wanting to help you. What good father doesn't want to help his children?

I also want to share another story that happened one of my fist weeks here. I feel like I may have told it, but it really meant a lot to me. I received my room key without a key ring. I was told I could get one in the book store. I found them. There were a lot of small items that all had price tags on their containers. The key rings didn't have a price. I assumed they were free because of the label. I felt like I should ask to make sure, but we were leaving, and other people had received keys with key rings, so I just took one. THE GUILT WAS EATING ME ALIVE PEOPLE!!! I asked a disenpi if they were actually free, and they told me they were 6 cents.. Oh boy. I couldn't handle it. I had to go back and tell the store people what I did. I told my friend that I had to tell them what I did. She said I should just pay for it, and not tell the cashier what I did. But that isn't how repentance works. We are supposed to make restitution. We are supposed to apologize to those we have wronged, and ask for forgiveness from them. I think today a lot of people would say, "It's 6 cents" "You didn't know" "They should have labeled them better", but there are no excuses. I took something from a store without paying for it. I stole a 6 cent key ring. I might not have known, but I knew I should have asked first. The guilt I was feeling over 6 cents was terrible. But I went back, told the cashier what I had done, and paid for the key ring. I made that restitution. I felt a lot better about my life after I did that. I asked God to forgive me too. That's one of the most important things I had to do. God, through Jesus Christ's Atonement, can help us feel relief and forgiveness. I know that this is true. 

So I hope you enjoyed those fun stories... haha I am so stoked to head to Japan. Like What? Ive been waiting months for this to happen, and it's finally here! Oh gosh I love this church. I also love that my only responsibility is to invite people to come unto Christ. No math tests, no group projects due, just serving the Lord with all my heart, might, mind, and strength. It's the best. I hope you all have a week that will be as good as mine! Lots(takusan) of prayers(Inori) are appreciated(kanshia shimas is grateful, so close enough).

Kyokai wa shinjitsu desu. きょかいわ真実です。The church is true.

Aishiteimasu! あいしてますね I love you!
 Shimai (姉妹) ️ "

She is so cute and I truly have enjoyed getting her letters the past 8 weeks and hope to be better at sharing her pictures and emails. I LOVE that she is so excited to go! I also love that she has faith to ask Heavenly Father for her wants and needs and that she is honest down to 6 cents! I have wonderful girls! I am truly BLESSED!

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