12 June 2014 / Erin

I am so happy that I finally get to e mail all of you! Thank you sooo much for the letters, e mails and dear elders! They seriously make my day. I have set the district record of getting the most dear elders in a day (8) so seriously thank you so much.

This past week was really good and went by fast. We get to go to the temple on pdays, and going last week was the best. I was so nice after a long, busy week and now I love the temple even more and am so excited to go today. Mom, you’re probably laughing because this is the opposite of my first reaction hahahahaha.

We teach an “investigator” every single day. We just got two new investigators and THEY ARE OUR TEACHERS WHO ARE PRETENDING TO BE INVESTIGATORS. The first time we went in to teach them I was so scared. But, it has been going really well! We finally learned how to best use our study time to plan for our lessons, meet the investigator’s needs, ect. It has changed our lessons so much and now I’m excited to plan and teach lessons. Sometimes I really wish I could just speak in eigo because it’s hard to bring the spirit when we’re fumbling with Japanese. But this past week I think I’ve really learned that it’s okay not to be perfect with nihongo, I just need to be confident and show my love for the gospel and my belief in it.

I have the best teachers ever. They are so in tune with the spirit and know exactly what we need. They have both started challenging Talentino choro and I more. Usually the teacher will ask the class to say something in nihongo, and then give Talentino choro and I a harder sentence. I also asked them how I can challenge myself more and what to study. It’s been a huge help and I am so relieved because in this past week I feel like I have gotten where I need to be and am progressing.

So there a big plans to rebuild/ change the MTC. A lot of people have come up to us and asked us for our opinions of what should change, etc (in regards so buildings and rooms, etc.) It made me think of how it might be different for Jordan when he gets here! All of the buildings are so old, our tiny classroom has one small window in it. I’m glad they’re changing things!

I am so grateful that I am on a mission. Even though I’ve only been gone 2 weeks, and it’s just been in the MTC, I feel like I have changed so much, as well as the way I will live my life. It’s crazy.

Mom, are you still doing the oil pull? How is it? Dad, some people here eat their cereal with a huge scoop of peanut butter on top. It made me think of you.

Thank you SO MUCH for the package with food, it was the best. I feel bad that you feel like you have to send another package! I really only need my jeans, some pictures, and my blue slip on shoes if you want to send it sometime. I don’t need it soon. Dad, you a great at picking out granola bars. The other day I ate two of the dove chocolates and the sayings on the inside said: “get a good night’s sleep” and “make time for yourself.” Super funny because those two things are pretty much impossible here.

Sundays are tied with pdays for my favorite day. I can feel the spirit so strongly all day long and it’s the best thing ever. We also get to watch a movie in the evening. Last Sunday our district watch The Testemants. When the lights came back on after it was over the other three shimaititachi were all crying and I started cracking up. Their goal is to get me to cry while I am here. Wilson shimai said she’ll punch me if she has to.

Sometimes Wilson shimai gets me to do weird things. The other morning we both squeezed into Robertson shimai’s closet to scare her. We were waiting for her for seriously 20 minutes and she was still doing her hair in the bathroom so we finally fell out and were dying laughing because we were sweating and couldn’t breathe from being trapped in her tiny closet.

I can’t remember if I told you this but my whole branch presidency thinks it’s crazy that I’m 1/4 Japanese. The second counselor he came up to me and said he emailed our district’s picture to all of his kids and asked them to guess who’s 1/4 Japanese. He told me I was the last guess hahaha. Our teacher saw that I have the Japanese dots on my arm and he got so excited because he hadn’t seen them in a while. Being 1/4 Japanese here is like a claim to fame.
Dad, I am glad you have been reading your journal to us because it’s been such a great example for me. When I write in my journal every night I always end up thinking what I would want my kids to hear and know.

On Tuesday our devotional speaker was Elder Quentin L. Cook and his wife! It was really good and so cool to have an apostle speak here.

In a few weeks there is the mission president’s conference (or something like that) here. It is one of the few rare times where all 15 of the apostles are gathered together in the same place. And the chorotachi in our branch got asked to pass the sacrament in the meeting that the apostles will be in!!! They are seriously freaking out. Eyring shimai is really hoping that she’ll get to see her grandpa.

Mom, the YW situation is crazy!! Good luck sorting it out. I can’t wait until youth conference is over so you get a break. How was Tierra’s mission shower? Dad, I got $20 out of the ATM yesterday and it worked perfectly! Thanks for your nametag pictures, it was exciting to see Gazdik in katakana. I’ll make sure to save mine! Make sure you dear elder me the new stake presidency asap! I am so excited to find out!
Crazy story, but Wilson shimai and I, along with the two chorotachi, ran into a guest here on our way to dinner. He’s from nihon and has been hearing lessons from our senpai for a few weeks. But our senpai are leaving for nihon on Monday so he needs new senkyoshi and he asked us! We set an appointment with him on Wednesday. We thought he was a pretend investigator like all of the other ones, but we just found out he is a real investigator! So we are freaking out.

I feel like this e mail is really boring so I am trying to think of interesting things to say. My sensei said that I sound the least white out of our whole class when I speak nihongo. And then he asked Eyring shimai if she studied spanish because she sounds like a peruvian family he taught in Japan. It’s so funny because without meaning to, she speaks nihongo with her latina accent.

Mom, Wilson shimai also wants a nihongo ,Japanese> middle name. She asked if you could give her one so she could become our triplet. That chart you sent me was so accurate! My life in a pie chart!! This morning I had a nihonjin read the email you sent me because I didn’t know a few of the kanji. He started laughing when he got to the golden hair part. But thank you very much for it. It was subarashi practice.

Dad, I am wearing the in-n-out shirt today and 2 people have already commented on it. You picked the best christmas gift.

Okay well I will send the pictures in another email!!
Thanks for being the best family ever. In all of my prayers i say: kazoku no ai to tegami ni kansha shite imasu.”

-Erin shimai

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