My companion is Sister Long from Las Vegas. She is absolutely adorable and the PERFECT companion for me. When I walked into the classroom and saw her I knew within moments that we were going to be just fine. There are two other sisters in our residence room, Sister Tanabe from Hawaii and Sister Omen from Altamont Utah. We all get along great. I feel like I can really be 'me' here all the time. I actually enjoy being around these sisters 24/7. OH! Sister Long DID come on the eighth!! So she's been waiting for me for a long time. Another sister came early too so they ended up being companions just for that two weeks. They didn't do any Japanese though, they got placed in the English program with a district going to North Carolina. Sister Long said she was finally getting the lessons down, and now has to switch languages!
Our Sensai (teacher) for Japanese is Brother Black. He served a mission in Tokyo and is now majoring in Japanese at BYU. Day one was absolutely overwhelming as he will only speak Japanese to us and it's the first time most of us have been exposed to the language. But, the Lord is with us, and each day we are understanding more and more. Day 3 was very encouraging as we really started running with our understanding of the language. It's hard to believe how fast we're learning here. I didn't think you could learn a language this way without being surrounded by natives. Oh another exciting thing! A group of Nihongin, or Japanese people, got here the same day we did. Only one or two of them know any English so it's fun interacting with them and a real blessing. They are here for three weeks I think and then going back to Japan. Maybe some of them will be our companions eventually! There are five sisters and they are so cute. Very sweet sweet people.
The happy thing about doing immunizations...Sister Barrington helped me! She put a note on my paper to make sure I came to her specifically. It's so fun seeing people here that I know. Dorene was there when I got dropped off as well. I also finally ran into Heather Shelline yesterday!! I'd been looking for the Russian missionaries everywhere. She looks gorgeous and full of light! The environment here is just astounding, I don't think there is anywhere else like it in the entire world. I am so grateful for this opportunity.
We taught our first lesson yesterday in Japanese. Everyone in my district took turns going to an 'investigator' in another room and teaching her a lesson. It was really completely up to us to figure out what to teach and how we were going to go about it. Our lesson went well until we asked if she would be willing to keep the commandments, and she asked us what the Ten Commandments were.... 0.0 Hm. We frantically flipped through our books to try and figure it out but the only thing we could find was 'We believe God wants us to keep the laws of the land and be good citizens...' so that's what we told her....she said she would commit to that! Lol. We originally were going to ask her about a SPECIFIC commandment but forgot once we got in there, and so ended up asking her to keep ALL of them. Whoops. The practice, or 'renshu', was good though. We were able to understand her a lot more then we expected.
We only have 30 minutes for email here so I am sorry not to send anything individual yet. But I love you all so much! Know that I am happy and healthy and that God is taking good care of me here. Praying as a missionary is one of my favorite things to do as somehow the veil feels thinner. The Spirit is MORE POWERFUL HERE THEN I'VE EVER FELT BEFORE and he guides us in everything we do. I can't wait to tell you more!!