Saturday, June 29, 2013

I was on TV!! Does that make me famous?

Saturday June 29th

The MTC has been pretty crazy this past week! We had all of the new mission presidents here for a conference. So security was extra high becuase all of the Quorum of the Twelve and the first Presidency were here. They have taken over the main building here where the cafeteria is so we have all had to eat in the gym. I was a little worried that we would be having cereal and sandwiches everyday, but they did a pretty good job - one night we even had steak and potatoes! Talk about fine dining! :) The best part was last Sunday when we had the Worldwide Missionary Broadcast! It was broadcast from the Marriott Center on the BYU campus which holds about 22,000 people and it was pretty full! 11 of the 12 Apostles were there and it was so sweet becuase I was sitting in the chior which is behind where they were all sitting. So before the meeting started Elder Nelson looked behind to look at all of us and he just gave us a small wave and then all of us waved back! It was so awesome! I don't know if you could tell on the TV, but the chior was huge!! There was about 1200 missionaries and about 900 members! Could you imagine trying to direct a chior that big?? Anyway, me and my companion, Sister Butler, picked our seats in the choir very carefully. We sat right in the middle and right next to the guys and we were so hoping that we sould get on TV. After the broadcast we went back to our classroom and one of the elders in our district said that he saw us so of course we had to go look it up and sure enough we were on TV for a good 10 second and it was pretty close up. We just watched it over and over again!! :)
Another cool thing about this week. So every Tuesday we have a devotional where someone comes and speaks to us about a spiritual topic. And this last Tuesday Sister Janice Kapp Perry came to talk to us. She is a song writter for the church. She's written a lot of children's songs and she wrote the words to "As Sisters in Zion". And since there are so many missionaries we jave to go over the Marriott Center to hear the speaker. In the beginning she was telling us about how her and her husband met and the first line he ever said to her was in a music class and she was playing the clarinet. He leaned over and said "those lips look like they were made for more than just playing the clarinet" We were all laughing and then he ran up to the microphone and kissed her right there!! It was so cute and absolutely hilarious!! Anyway during the meeting she had all the missionaries sing the EFY medley which is a combination of the songs "As Sisters in Zion" and "Helaman's army". The spirit was so strong and as we started to sing everyone stood up. I was crying so much as I was listening to the words. We truly are the Lord's army of missionaries sent out to bring the world his truth! Best devotional so far!
As for the language, it's coming slowly, but surely! Whenever we go to a teaching appointment I still usually write out a couple of sentences in Japanese of things that I want to say, but for the most part I'm not usually reading. The past week I have really tried to focus on the spirit and just let the Holy Ghost guide me in what I should say. I'm praying all the time in Japanese and sometimes it can be hard becuase I only know so many words in Japnaese, and I feel like my prayers are oftentimes repetative, but that just means that I have a lot more to learn!! It's crazy to think I've only been here 3 1/2 weeks and I can pretty much carry out a conversation in Japanese - it's a very short and slow conversation, but hey it's something! :)
Hope you are all doing well!
Morrison Shimai

P.S. I don't know if I've shared with you all my favorite scripture, but I love the promise at the end. It's Proverbs 3:5-6
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowlede him and he shall direct thy paths."
I know that if we have faith in Jesus Christ then he will guide our lives! I'm grateful for the guidence that I have already recived and I love being a missionary and the opportunity that I have to be able to share the message of Jesus Christ with the people in Japan!

Here are the words to the song Jazmyne referred to above.  If you would like to listen to the song, here is the link.

As Sister's In Zion:
  1. As sisters in Zion, we'll all work together;
    The blessings of God on our labors we'll seek.
    We'll build up his kingdom with earnest endeavor;
    We'll comfort the weary and strengthen the weak.

We'll Bring the World His Truth (Armies of Helaman):

We have been born, as Nephi of old,
  1. To goodly parents who love the Lord.
    We have been taught, and we understand,
    That we must do as the Lord commands.
    We are as the army of Helaman.
    We have been taught in our youth.
    And we will be the Lord's missionaries
    To bring the world his truth

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Jazmyne's District

Saturday, June 22nd

It's really hard trying to figure out what I want to tell you about each week.
Just to warn you I'll probably say this every week, but this week was SO crazy busy!!!
We've been getting ready for the worldwide Missionary Broadcast that will be held in the Marriot Center tomorrow (Sunday June 23rd). All the missionaries from the MTC will be there and there will be a lot of other people from around Utah who will be in attendance. The whole arena holds about 22,000 and they were telling us that they expect it to be full!! Isn't that so incredible?!? Probably the coolest thing though is that the Prophet will be there along with all the members of the Quorum of the Twelve. There will also be a huge choir made up of missionaries and other members from around Utah. I will be one of the people in the choir, which isn't necessarily saying anything special because there's about 1200 missionaries in the choir and about the same number of members. It will be a really cool sight! So if you get the chance to watch it look for me and I'll be wearing a green shirt!! Haha. :) This weekend has also been a little crazy because it's the Mission Presidents weekend. So the apostles are all here for that, plus about 160 Mission Presidents, so it's a little crowded, but it's working out quite nicely.
So I have to tell you that one of my favorite parts of the MTC is that we have a specific gym time everyday for about an hour. We can either go the indoor gym where they have a track and a basketball court or we have the option of going to a big field. Me and Butler Shimai usually prefer going to the outside field. It's so nice here - sunny everyday, with a light breeze. And after being in class learning Japanese for 8-10 hours a day, being outside feels really good. Some times we just run around the field, but lately we try to get a group together to play games like sand volleyball, or kick ball, or track ball. But if you know how uncoordinated I am, this is sometimes a little challenging for me. Embarrassing story of the week right here: We decided to play kick ball and I was trying to throw the ball back to the pitcher and I definitely hit him on the head. And then later as I was running to first base, I was running towards the girl who was guarding the base and I realized that I was running right after, but I couldn't stop myself in time and I definitely tackled her to the ground trying to get to first base. I think I should maybe stay away from contact sports because I just can't help it.... Haha. :)
Japanese is coming along slowly but surely. I wish it was coming a little bit faster, but I'm starting to realize that if I work hard and rely on the Lord then I know that he will help me to learn the language. It can be so frustrating at times, because I want to share my feelings about how I know that Jesus Christ is my savior and that I know he knows my pains and he knows what I'm going through. But it's hard to express that when you don't know the  language. One of my teachers, Workman Sensei, was talking to us about this very thing a few days ago. He told us that we have to remember that it's not neccisarliy the words that we use that is going to help people come to a knowledge of Christ in his gospel, but it's the Holy Ghost, the Spirit that they feel that will help them realize the truthfulness of our message about Jesus Christ. So as long as we are trying to communicate with people, they will be able to feel our testimony.
Hope you are all doing well! I miss you and love you all!! Thanks for everything!
Morrison Shimai

Sunday, June 16, 2013

MTC Cafe

June 5th, Drop-off at MTC

June 15th

A little information about the MTC.   

There are 2 districts that came in on the 5th. One of them has 12 people (6 sisters and 6 elders) all going to Sapporo, Then the district that I'm in also has 12 people but 9 of them are giong to Sendi and 3 of us are giong to Sapporo. In my district there is 4 elders and 8 sisters. A district is the same thing as a classroom. We spend a lot of time with them! But it's all good becuase we are really close and I really love them all. It makes me kinda sad that I won't be serving with them once we all get to Japan. :(

   Church is the best here at the MTC!! It's so nice and relaxing! We have a lot of personal study time where we just study the scriptures and we can prepare the lessons that we'll teach next week. At 9:30 all the sisters gather to watch music and the spoken word (which is where we watch the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing and there's usually a spiritual message to go along with it). Then we have Relief Society all together and we have a speaker. Last week Sister Anne Clegg came and spoke to us about how our purpose as missionaries is to invite everyone to come unto Christ and that we should always expect miracle becuase they are all around us. It was a really good talk! Then we have more personal study time and around 3 we have Sacrament meeting and everyone speaks Japanese! I'm not to the point yet where I can understand what they are saying, but I can definitely feel the spirit of their message as they talk. Then we usually take a walk up to the temple then come back and have more study time <--- see lots of study time!! I also joined the choir here so we have practice and then we go to a devotional.
   So I've been learning Japanese now for about 10 days and it's really hard, but it's coming slowly, but surely! I think I told you about our first investigator, OnagaSan, and we taught him a few more times this week. They went good, but it's a little slow since there is so many things I want to tell him, but I just don't know how to say them in Japanese. It can be a litle frustrating at times. Best surprise ever though: OnagaSan is now our teacher! His real name is Workman Sensei, he served him mission in Japan and now he lives here in Provo. He has a wife (she's Japanese) and he showed us a picture of her and she is so pretty! And they are expecting their first child!! It was a little strange when he taught us for the fist time, but I really like him as a teacher. He'll continue to pretend to be our investigatior, but I feel like we already have a really special bond with him!
Love you lots! hope all is well!!
Morrison Shimai

June 8th

Hello from the MTC!!

I've only been here 4 days and it feels like I've been here for a few weeks now! It's a little weird how I start to lose track of what day it is.... :)
But anyway, it's been great here. There are so many missionaries here! This last Wednesday, when I got here, there were 900 new missionaries! It's the biggest group they've ever had! It can get a little crazy sometimes just becuase there is so many people all trying to get to different places at the same time, but they've been able to work it out pretty well. There's some people that they have moved to the west campus (wyview and raintree) but most of us are here on the main campus.
They are serious when it comes to learning languages. On Wednesday, I wasn't even here for 20 min. before they put me in my first Japanese class! The teacher didn't speak any English the whole time, so it was pretty overwhelming. At first I thought that maybe she was just speaking Japanese to get us used to hearing it and that eventually she would start to teach us in English, but I was wrong. I've only ever heard say a couple words in English so far. I have a feeling that she really will just speak in Japanese the whole time I'm here. I was talking to some people in my class who said they took a little bit of Japanese in High School snf they were saying that they've learnied more in the past 4 days than they did in High School. It's a little scary, but hopefully it will be good in the end and it will help me learn the language faster since I have less than 2 months to learn it. I found out that I leave the MTC on August 6th. Which means I'll be in Japan in less than 2 months!!
My companion is Sister Butler. She is super nice and very thoughtfull!! She's 21 and she is from Eugene, Oregon! Isn't that weird? We figured out that we probably live only 30 min. away from each other. I love her so much already! I think we will get along really well. We also got the chance to teach our first investigator on Friday night (after only being here for 2 1/2 days) We had to teach the whole lesson in Japanese!! It was SO hard! We scripted out everything we were going to say, but I couldn't understand really anything that he was saying so I couldn't answer any of his questions. But hopefully it will get better!
Well that's all for now! Love you!
Morrison Shimai