My dear family! Oh I love you. I'm never ever going to stop telling you. I love you so so much. I want you to know that forever.
Mom, I got your letter that you wrote to me even before I left to come to Japan last Wednesday! It was my one week mark in Japan and to get a letter from my Mom was just absolutely wonderful! It was like my reward for making it through my first week.
Mama, how are you? How is your back and how is your shoulder? Chels says your surgery went well. That was a little bit of shocker when I read in your letter that you were having surgery! What did they do? Do you have a brace or cast or something? Are you back at work yet? I'm praying for you a lot!
This week we had a big ward FHE on Saturday evening. We played games and had ice cream parfaits at the end. I was super happy about the ice cream!
Last night the 2 other sisters that we live with came back home from a dinner appointment with the Browne family, who is from America. (I think the Skablunds maybe know them), with a big bag of food from the Brownes! It was full of boxes of mac and cheese and instant
mashed potatoes and tortillas and salsa and muffin mix! I was SOO excited and cheered "Its American Food!!!" We actually eat pretty normal stuff, like pasta and toast and curry, but to have everything in English and look so familiar was so nice.
This week me and Kubota Shimai went and learned how to do calligraphy! A lady in our English class (who isn't a member or an investigator) invited us to her friends house (who also isn't a member or an investigator) for him to teach us calligraphy! We went to his house and he was so kind and eager to teach me. He taught me how to hold the brush just right and then he would paint an example and then I would follow. We painted the words for "spring" "summer" "fall" and "winter". It was so fun!
The mission is a lot different than how I pictured it. I guess that's the beauty of life is taking what Heavenly Father gives us. Sometimes being a missionary means learning about calligraphy because its important to someone else.
I love going to Sacrament meeting here. I led the music in church yesterday, so I got to sit up on the stand. I love just looking out at everyone during the Sacrament and thinking how Christ loves all of them.
I have a couple copies of the Liahona, and in one of them is the most beautiful picture of Christ raising a girl from the dead. (maybe it is also in the Ensign?) I've never really had a favorite picture of Christ, but I think this one is it. I love how weak the girl is portrayed as Christ is raising her up from the dead. Christ's expression is exactly how I hope Christ looks. He looks so loving and so full of emotion as He is experiencing this moment. I love the symbolism too. We are all like this girl. Without Christ, we have no hope of life. But He reaches out and raises us one by one from being dead. If we will hold onto His hand, He will give us life.
The other night I was writing in my journal and the thought came to me that this whole Earth thing is just one huge tender mercy. The whole plan of salvation is a tender mercy. The creation, the fall, the Atonement all exist because Heavenly Father wants us to be happy forever, and be with our families forever. That means so much more to me now than ever before. This week I was praying in our little bathroom, kneeling next to the toilet, so that I could pour my heart out and talk to Heavenly Father. When I was praying, I told Him "Hallelujah" because I am so SO thankful for our beautiful, eternal family!
I love you! Love Kingu Shimai