(Hirigana symbols) Remember how I kinda thought I wouldn’t really need to learn this? Yep. I was wrong.
I can’t remember if I said this in my first email home or not, but I want you to know that I love the Book of Mormon! I decided to start at the beginning and have a purpose as I read it this time. I chose my purpose to be to learn/understand about having faith in Jesus Christ and through His Atonement. I have been amazed that as I begin and end my study with prayer and as I read with this purpse, the Holy Ghost helps me to learn about faith, even when its not directly talking about faith in the verses. I think personal study time is one of my favorite times of my day! Here are some things I’ve learned from the first 10 chapters from 1 Nephi:
- · Sometimes the Lord will have us leave our homes in Jerusalem (our comfort zones) and have us journey through a wilderness (a trial of our faith) in order to lead us to a promised land (to help us become who He wants us to become).
- · This is just something I was thinking about during my study earlier today: I’ve been thinking about my Heavenly Father and Brother Jesus Christ. About how they are real. When I pray I want to feel genuinely that I am talking with my actual Father in Heaven. Not like a prayer that feels distant and half-hearted, but real. I really want and need to be close to Them.
I wonder what They look like. I keep remembering Bishop Mann’s eyes when he told me goodbye in the hall at the stake center after I was set apart. I remember his eyes looking just like a father’s eyes should. Loving, proud, hopeful. He looked me straight in the eye and told me to “be brave.” His eyes have wrinkles too, which shows wisdom and worry about those He loves. I like to try to picture Heavenly Father’s eyes when I pray as Bishop Mann’s eyes. Heavenly Father is an actual being who works to help His children. When my prayers are answered, He literally hears my prayer. He’s not just sitting around in Heaven. I like to picture Him walking around, busy, as He brings to pass His work and His glory.
I pray for you every day and I hope that you’re happy and making lots of good summer mems!
So far we have 3 teachers here at the MTC. Our first teacher Kosaka Sensei is Japanese and we all love him and we sisters might kinda have a lil’ missionary crush on him. But he’s left to visit family in Japan for a couple weeks, so we have Oshima Sensie who is also Japanese.
Willard Sensei is another one of our teachers who is super good. Oshima Sensei and Willard Sensei are also our “investigators” that we teach lessons to in Japanese. Willard Sensei has taught us a lot of good stuff in class, but he’s taught me a lot from his example, he is genuinely kind and he smiles a lot.
…So the news is that my companion is probably going home. She misses her family and doesn’t want to be here. Let’s just say that these first few weeks of my mission have been special.
I love love love your letters and to hear what is going on in our family. I love you all so much! Send me a THOUSAND pictures of little Bellamy! I LOVE YOU!!
Love King Shimai