Friday, July 12, 2013

I'm leaving for Japan!!

Hey Mom, Dad, Family, Everyone!

We finally got our travel plans last week!  I found out we fly from SLC to Seattle, Washington next Monday morning (July 15th) at 8:20am (I'm sad it wasn't LAX).  Then we board an 11:35 am flight from Seattle to Osaka! :DDDDDD  So, I'm not sure when you'd like me to call, because I get to the airport around 5:30 in the morning my time which is 4:30 am for you!!.  Would you like me to call between the hours of 4:30 to 6:20?  We start boarding around 7:50 Utah time.  So the latest I'd be willing to call is at 7:20 my time or 6:20am your time.  Or, I could just call from Seattle at 10am.  But I'm not sure how much time I'll have because it is a short layover and we need to get to the international terminal.  Anyway, let me know what's good for you.  But I'm excited to talk to you!!!

I'm glad to hear you're doing well.  I will hopefully get all the pictures that you want this week.  I'll send them this Saturday for we get another "P-day" to pack and prepare and clean before leaving for Japan... !!!!!!!!!!  I cannot describe to you how excited I am.

So, something I have been working on lately is memorizing the first vision in Japanese.  It has been difficult for me because I've been trying to understand what I'm reading.  One of the difficult parts about learning Japanese is that they say things completely differently for example if I say I have a question, I say, "Shitsumon ga arimasu"  Shitsumon= question and arimasu=exist.  So they state, "A question exists."  I have been making goals for my language study, I just haven't been keeping them because I've been trying to memorize the First vision :] But I'm going to change that this week.

Recently, Douglas Shimai and I have been having difficulty with teaching because we hit a wall last week.  Both of our "investigators" will ask, "How does this doctrine apply to me?"  We'd give them an answer that we hoped would satisfy them but then they would still ask, "How does it apply to me?"  Yeah.. frustrating.

We get to a point where we don't even know what to teach anymore, because how do you answer a question like that?  But then we talked to our investigators about faith in Christ and we challenged them to read Alma 32.  I think they are posing as investigators who don't quite have the faith to believe that this gospel applies to them.  With one of our "investigators", Shuma, we ended up talking about faith in Christ and repentence because he has been lazy about reading the Book of Mormon. Tsk tsk.  But it was so good!  We told him how repentence was a good thing because it helps us change and to become more Christ-like (which is what he's interested in), and that we can become better people and able to care more for others.  At the beginning of the discussion I was trying out a new grammar principle but I totally butchered it.  I kept pausing and was not very peda peda (fluent).  But it turned out ok anyways.

Sunday night we had a devotion with Sister Susan Easton Black and her husband Brother George Durrant.  I absolutely adored both of them. I want to be a quirky old person when I grow up.  So mom, I don't think I can take a class from her because she is now retired (I just remember you saying that I should take a class from her).  But I loved her talk.  I loved how she told of her experience of finding President David O. McKay.  

She and her friend were staying at the Hotel Utah when she was a teenager. Sister Black had heard that the prophet lived at the hotel in one of the upper suites.  She tried to ask the hotel manager where he lived, but he said that he couldn't tell her anything.  So she and her friend then decided to knock on every door of the hotel and see who was home!

While doing this someone told them that President McKay lived on the top floor.  So they go up and start knocking on the doors of the top floor.  As they are making their way down the hallway they see a cleaning lady getting her supplies out of a closet, so they ask her if she knew where he lived?  She replies, "Of course, he lives just down at the end off the hall." Then things just got real.  So they head down to the end of the hallway and she and her friend came up with this scheme that they would be selling girl scout cookies!

As soon as they knocked on the door her friend runs away and bolts down the hallway, leaving Sister Black to fend for herself. The door opens, and instead of a butler, it was the prophet himself!!

As soon as she saw him she saw every bad deed she had ever done flash before her and didn't feel worthy to be in his presence.  He invited her inside and she smiled and waved to her friend down at the opposite end of the hallway as she walked into the prophet's apartment.  They sat and talked for a while and the last thing he said to her as she was leaving was "Be happy."

I loved this story because she told us that this was a turning point for her and her testimony of the gospel.  She became a new person and no longer cared about being the funniest person around.  Instead she worked hard at studying the gospel and dug deep to find out more so that the next time she ran into a prophet, she would feel worthy to be in his presence.  She realized that if she was uncomfortable in the presence of a prophet, how can could she begin to be comfortable standing in God's presence?

Anyway, I just loved her talk and I loved her.

This week is going to be crazy with packing.  Especially for Mason Shimai because she keeps receiving these huge Costco sized packages from her mother.  I think the tally is now up to 27-30.  We've lost count... So I do not feel bad that she has to go through so much stuff before leaving.

Also, it's going to be crazy with 12 large suitcases in our little itty bitty living space, so everyone is a little hesistant to begin packing. No one wants to turn our room into an obstacle course anytime soon.

One more note, today we have the opportunity to clean the temple as part of our service hours.  I am so stoked to go for the experience.  Not many people get to have this opportunity.  We'll see how it goes :)
Once again, I will try to take as many photos as I can this week.  I'll probably just mail you my SD card before leaving. 

Love you lots,
Bevan Shimai

We had pictures with our sensei's tonight.  We are going to miss them so much!!  They mean so much to us, they have taught us everything and have helped us through so many difficulties. So Willard Sensei is on the right and Todd Sensei is on the left. 

What e'er Thou Art, Act Well Thy Part

Our district is so excited to go to Japan!!

Ellsworth Shimai asked to borrow another district's flag because we had none.  So on Saturday we went out and took a photo.  We took quite a number just to make sure.  So that's my entire district, we're pretty much like family and we are definitely going to miss each other. 

So the photo in the classroom was when the nihonjin arrived.  These were the early arriving nihonjin, they came on Monday.  So these are not all the nihonjin.  I will send one with everybody later.
Happy 4th of July!

This is our bedroom!

Ok, So I forgot to tell you about fourth of july... oops
Fourth of July:  So the day is as usual except that class ended that evening early at 7:10.  We go to a special Fourth of July program in 19 M or the "auditorium" which is really a gym turned into an auditorium with pull out bleachers.  Cool stuff, I know.  Anyway.  So the program included a special musical number which was upbeat and fun and patriotic.  It was a flute and piano duet and they played music from "yankee doodle", "My country 'tis of thee", "The Star Spangled Banner" and every other piece of patriotic music you can think of!  

Then Brother Roach (wonderful name, right?) says, "I notice some of you have some flags..." Douglas Shimai begins to wave hers and then he said, "I must ask you not to wave them during the program."  Everyone in our district sees Douglas Shimai waving her flag and we begin to laugh because she just hangs her head down, feeling a bit foolish.  But I love her for her enthusiasm.  We had a speaker who spoke about his son's experience with escorting his friend's body back to the United States from Afghanistan.  Then we watched the movie, "17 Miracles."  It was about the Willie and Martin Handcart companies.  I cried like a baby.  So much so that my eyes were red afterwards and Douglas Shimai now knows that my eyes turn to a bright turquoise green when I cry.  It was so inspiring but almost the entire time I was watching the movie -  I was thinking, "Of course the MTC makes me cry on the Fourth of July, who else would?!"  
Afterwards, we grab at least 50 glowsticks from our classroom and picked up our ice cream to go outside and watch fireworks from the southeast corner of the MTC.  We were allowed to stay up past our bedtime of 10:30 - lol.  We stayed up until 11:00 watching the "stadium of fire" fireworks show.  It was so much fun and such a nice break.  Granted, the next day all of us were exhausted from staying up so late :P  But it was still fun.  Douglas Shimai went all "lady liberty" with the glow sticks and it was just fun to actually have fun :) and goof off for awhile!
The third photo is a photo of our room.  My bed isn't shown.  It's the top bunk by the window.  But this picture demonstrates what a typical morning looks like... waiting for Mason Shimai to get ready.  Poor Damron Shimai has to wait at least 30 minutes everyday for her companion to get ready.  For she has difficulty making it to class by 7... you could say.  I can send more photos if you like, but our room really isn't all that interesting.  I hung the Japan photos on our door :) - thank you dad!

 So this way everyone knows we're headed to Kobe!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.