We received an email today from Katelyn and i would like to share some parts of it!
SO this last week was a MILLION times better than the week before (emotionally) with the language. I have dad so much revelation come to me on how I can study the language more effectively. I fasted on Sunday and received a confirmation that if i re-read the book of mormon all the way through, I will receive the strength i need to speak japanese. Sounds like a weird thing, but I have gotten that impression over and over again, and on Sunday that was confirmed. So it's only uphill from here!! I am starting to love the language more each day... in the beginning I hated it and cursed it every day haha.
Yesterday my companion and I had our first little "fight"...it wasn't really a fight though. Things were awkward between us for maybe 20 minutes and then we were able to talk it out. I realized HOW IMPORTANT it is to shun contention. When we get offended by something that someone says, we should always remember that we have probably done something that has been offensive as well. AND EVEN IF WE HAVEN'T, its always better to be Christ like in the situation, and acknowledge OUR imperfections, rather than point out the imperfections of another. When you seek for forgiveness from someone (even if you weren't in the wrong) there is a spirit of humility that comes into your heart and you can come closer to God. I experienced that with my companion last night. We went from not really wanting to talk to each other for a little bit, to ending the night in tears and hugs and nothing but love because we BOTH took responsibility for what had happened, and the feelings that were hurt. In short, that is what the gospel is ALL ABOUT. LOVE. REPENTENCE. MERCY. AND FORGIVENESS. I truly believe that God is God because he has mastered those principles perfectly. He is so merciful, so loving, and SO FORGIVING. We too, should strive to be that way. We are SO MUCH happier when we are meek and humble and full of love and mercy towards others. On a different note- I am doing so good, and even though I have bad days with the language, I want you to know, there hasn't been a single day go by that I don't thank Heavenly Father for giving me trials. I am totally okay with struggling, I know it is for my good, and there is something to be learned. So don't worry, I know you wish you could comfort me in those times, but i PROMISE you that I have never felt so much love, peace and reassurance in my life from my Heavenly Father every time I get discouraged.
My district has been such a strength to me as well. All the Elders are wonderful and very encouraging. We all lift each other up and its amazing. The elders (chorotachi) surprised me with a BROWNIE CAKE and sang Happy bday! My sweet companion stayed up past our bedtime making signs for me, so that when i woke up, I woke up to them taped all over our dorm. I also got another cake form some other Elders in a different district. I LOVED the things that the kids made me, I taped every thing you sent me to my wall. Including that picture of Christ and my baptism picture. THANK YOU SO MUCH! So overall, I had a really great b-day!
On the third night i was here, my district held a testimony meeting, and one of the elders (elder smith) bore his testimony on how he KNEW angels are here with us and assisting us in the work. He shared a story about how he knew his uncle was with him...when he took out his endowments he had that confirmation. When he was baring his testimony the most beautiful spirit came into the room, and i just had an overwhelming feeling that Grandpa Terry was with me and that he loves me and is so proud of me for coming on a mission. I read his patriarchal blessing the other night and teared up multiple times. I know he is watching over me.
I am receiving SO MUCH spiritual and physical strength beyond myself since i've been here. It's amazing to really feel how much help i'm getting from heaven. Not just with the spiritual aspect of things, but physically as well. It truly is a miracle that I am able to GO AND GO AND GO AND GO and never get tired or physically weak. There are times i'm really sleepy, but i'll get a random boost of energy out of nowhere and i'm good for the rest of the day. I know that this is coming from a source beyond my own. There is no way I could be doing this on my own.
I love you all, and I hope you are all staying strong and doing what is right. Say your prayers every night. PLEASE PRAY EVERYDAY. I truly testify that God hears us. He knows us, and is saddened when we don't communicate with him. Keep a prayer of gratitude in your hearts always. Don't complain. Christ didn't perform the atonement so that we could complain every day about things that go wrong in our life. He performed it so we could have a way to ESCAPE the burdens of life, and live in peace. I know that this gospel is the only true gospel. When we apply and LIVE the doctrines found in the Book of Mormon, there is an incredible JOY that will come into our lives that will not come in any other way. READ THE BOOK OF MORMON DAILY!!
I love you all, I pray for each of you individually every night.
Love, Sharp Shimai