Friday, March 9, 2012

Letter from Jenna...

Well that week certainly seemed to blow by! So a few things from this week...we have firesides every Sunday night, and this week we had the one and only Alex Boye come to speak to us. He said it was his first time coming to the MTC. Everyone LOVED him. He told about his conversion story, which was so cool to hear especially since we are missionaries now, and especially because he was taught by sister missionaries! He talks of 'his missionaries' so highly and told us that people will talk about us like that someday. He sang a few songs too which was awesome.
My last couple emails have been overflowing with the spiritual experiences I have here at the MTC. So I think some information about my every day life is in order. (Though the spiritual experiences have anything but died down!) First Japanese teacher! Black Sensei. How to describe Black sensei...well he reminds me of Captain America. Seriously, some chorotachi (Elders) walked up to him on Friday and said "Black! Your arms are as big as my thighs!" hahaha and the funny thing is, he was right! Black Sensei is a beast and our Elders are convinced he's thrown students into the wall before. He has this deep deep voice and is tall and must have been a giant in Japan. Pictures coming soon! He served in Tokyo as well so lots of cool stories from the city I'll be serving in. :) One fact that surprised me was that he said we'll be lucky to get one or two Nihonjin (Japanese) companions in Tokyo, because almost all the missionaries from Japan are from Tokyo and so get sent out to places like Sendai, Kobe, etc. Black Sensei is awesome and really nice and patient with us as we try to pick up this language. He says this is the first time he's had sisters in his district. Speaking of my district....I LOVE THEM. We are really becoming good friends and all the companionships work together so well so I feel we have a great atmosphere. Our Elders really step up to the plate of their calling and in their priesthood duties are we're so proud of them. They also keep us laughing A LOT.
Interesting fact I discovered this is quite remarkable that I landed my mission when I did, because this group is the first one they have tried the nine week program with (which, is actually only 8 weeks) AND...they are going back to the 12 week program right after us! We are pilot guinea pigs for this run around and I think it's incredible that I landed in this group. DEFINITELY not coincidence, but definitely remarkable. I am super grateful to be where I am and think that 9 weeks will be perfect. I want to get out into the field ASAP. Our Senpai district (the ones who came in December) leave on Monday and have been losing their minds all week.
The past few days have been a bit of a roller coaster. Long Shimai and I were really struggling with teaching and didn't feel like we were getting any better. Teaching in English felt so easy but then teaching in Japanese was so difficult and full of awkward silences and flipping through dictionaries. BUT...the Lord is with us, and this week we FINALLY started to figure it out and have started a new way of planning lessons, and our last two have been GOLDEN compared to the first two weeks. We are so grateful and feel like we are actually teaching the gospel now. AND...the language is coming!!! :D :D :D This week we are moving in leaps and bounds. In the middle of a lesson on Wednesday our investigator asked a question and I was able to form a CORRECT sentence in my head about the prophet and what he does without looking at notes and I was like WHAAAAAAAAT and was walking on clouds the rest of the day. I have been so blessed and God is supporting us so much as we work hard and do our best. I can't explain it, but the language is starting to come together in my head and flow out my mouth and I could sing all day it makes me so happy.
I love you all SO MUCH and your letters mean the world to me!! I wish I could express how grateful I am for all your love and support! Thank you for your prayers and your thoughts and your love...I feel them so strongly in my life! My time is up but AI SHITE IMASU! I LOVE YOU!
Your missionary,
Wylie Shimai  

1 comment:

  1. Jenna, it sounds like you're having a total blast over there :D! Wish I could be there with you studying the language and all! That's one of my favorite parts of the Japanese culture and there's so much to learn!!! You're doing awesome, keep up the good work :D!