This week I got some really wonderful letters. :) God works the timing of my mail so that I always get it the MOMENT I need it most. Thank you so much for writing! I don't always have time to get back to everyone right away, but I will get you all eventually! Speaking of letters...one of our awesome Elders in my district doesn't get hardly any mail and I was thinking maybe Sara or some of her friends could send him some letters? His name is Elder Kevin Norman and he has the exact same address as me. He was our district leader for the first month and is just awesome. Oh! I don't know if I ever thanked you for those DELICIOUS pumpkin cookies!! :D We loved them!
I met a girl from Poland about a week ago who is a convert of about 16 months. She got up in Relief Society and told her conversion story on Sunday and it was so inspiring. It was fun talking to her since I've been to Poland and know a little about her country. Her English is perfect and she has the most fantastic accent. Tough girl too. So nice but very bold. She is going to be a fantastic missionary. I wonder what it would be like to serve a mission when you've been a member for such a short period of time. I really look up to the converts here. Although, in reality, we're all converts of some sort.
Learning a lot about obedience this week. Someone brought up a quote by President Hinckley that I just love and repeat to myself all day long. "Today I will follow. Tomorrow I will understand." Sometimes the rules don't always make sense. This is especially apparent on a mission, but it applies to everyone who has committed to follow Christ. We don't always understand why things are the way they are, why we are asked to do certain things, or why the Lord guides us in certain ways. I am still learning so much myself about walking into the dark while holding His hand. But the one thing I do KNOW is that He IS holding our hand. If we can't find His hand in our lives, it is because WE have let go, not vice versa. Becoming a missionary is a process I believe and it takes a lot of effort on our part. A lot of effort in prayer. Prayer isn't always supposed to be easy. Aligning our will with the Lord's, converting my stubborn, naive, selfish, prideful, young self to His ways, is anything but easy. But God is with me! And He is with all of you!
Something exciting happened yesterday when Long Shimai and I were teaching. I had nothing in me that could even hold onto stress anymore or be uptight about the language, so I just let go. I dropped a wall I didn't even know I'd been holding up. And I was just myself. :) Can I just say, speaking Japanese is SO much easier when you're not freaking out! I was just Wylie Shimai during this lesson and I was relaxed and genuinely HAPPY and enjoying our 'investigators' company, and because of this I was able to love them so much more effectively and the Spirit was there and I could actually TALK like a normal human being! It was grand. :)
I love you and miss you! And Alex, if my letter doesn't get to you in time, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! MY LITTLE MAN IS TURNING 15!!! :D :D :D
Ai shite imasu!
Your missionary, Wylie Shimai
P.S. Yes Elder Archuletta is here. I have lots of respect for him. Sat behind him at lunch the day he came in. Most of us are just trying to give him his space and let him be a missionary like everyone else.