Monday, October 14, 2013

Becoming like Christ is like learning to ride a bike

Hello family!
Jan: the picture of Bella is the best thing ever! Oh my, what a cutie! Her eyes are so so beautiful!
Mama: I got a wonderful surprise this week...the photo book you sent me! Thank you for such a fun, unexpected surprise! It was fun to have heard from everyone about the baby shower in our backyard...and then to be seeing pictures of it pretty soon afterwards! Also I love your hand written letters!

Chels and Spence! I can:t believe that Bella is 4 months old! Take 1000 pictures and videos of her growing up! Tell her every day that Aunt Court loves her so much!
So in my area there were 4 companionships. 2 sets of elders and 2 sets of sisters. Me and Kubota Shimai and then Takata and Sakuma Shimai (both from Japan). The four of us sisters all lived together in our apartment. But, last Tuesday, Takata Shimai got in a bike crash, and broke her now she has gone home for surgery and rehabilitation, so now I am in a threesome with Kubota Shimai and Sakuma Shimai.
Kubota Shimai is from Nagoya and Sakuma Shimai is from Mie (near Nagoya)! Kubota Shimai is a hard worker, sweet and patient with me. I:m so lucky to have her as my trainer. Sakuma Shimai is the cutest person that's ever lived on the earth :) She:s so happy and excited about things!
For example, last night she was asking me about my family heritage, like how many generations have been in the church. She said in her family there are 3 generations. I told her that I have pioneer ancestors, like back in Joseph Smith:s time...whoa nelly....she freaked out! She was so excited and blown away! She started rubbing my hand and said "Pioneer no chi!" Which means "Pioneer blood!"
Also another story to go along with this one: one day we visited a member family and had lunch with them, I showed them pictures of our family and the one of our extended family from the last Kerr reunion. The father asked me if it was a ward...I excitedly told him it was my family! He asked if everyone was a member of the church, and I was so proud that I could say YES!
Our family is so blessed! We:ve got pioneer blood pumping through us...we:ve got a lot to live up to!
This week I ate whale...
The other day, me and Kubota Shimai were walking back to our apartment, and there was this cute little group of children walking with their teacher. We waved and kept saying "konnichiwa!" and "hello!" little boy was all excited and was like "gaikokujin!" meaning..."foreigner!" :)
Folks, lets talk about Japanese, eh? Let's sum it with a story or two: The other day me and my companion were out knocking doors and we started talking to this young mom and her little girl. The little girl was only 2 years old I think, and was sooo cute. She was not scared of us at all and just jibber jabbered away in Japanese.  I maybe understood like 1% of what she said. I have more similar moments. I can:t even understand 2 year olds! What a humbling prospect :) 

When its more churchy, missionary conversation going on, I can sometimes understand a little bit! Both of my companions speak really good English, so we can communicate pretty good.
Japanese is so funny, its got all these long hard words, but then sometimes you have moments like this: Me and Sakuma shimai sitting at our table eating some cheese toast and just enjoying the moment. I asked her "how do you say cheese toast in Japanese?" ...."cheesu toasto." Well, its as simple as that sometimes, I guess!
Mama, how is it having the sister missionaries live at home? Do you see or talk to them very much? Have they complained about the squeaky floor yet?
Mama, this week we had interviews with our mission president. While I was waiting for my turn, I was talking to sweet Sister Rasmussen. I was showing her our family picture and when she saw you, she said how beautiful you are and that you are a very special lady! I am so grateful you are my Mama! For REALS.
This weekend we got to watch General Conference. I seriously think it was the best one in our history! I just soaked it in and loved everything.

Then later in the evening I was thinking and came up with this analogy...Becoming like Christ is like learning to ride a bike. Its like a child pleading with their dad, "Please! Help me to be able to just ride the bike!"...expecting instantly to be able to do what their dad can do. But that's not how this all works. We have to be the one who gets onto the bike, holds on tight and tries and tries and tries. We fall, we crash, we get scraped up, scratched up and bruised in the process. But what we may not realize is that our minds and body is learning little by little how to ride the bike. Our dad wipes away the tears and comforts us when we get hurt. He wants us to be able to ride the bike and feel that freedom. But he can:t learn to ride the bike for us. But, he is the steady, loving hand who runs behind us and pushes us over and over, as we pedal. Because he runs behind us, we gain strength and confidence from him to give it all we:ve got. Each time we ride a little farther. And one day, we jump onto our bikes and we don:t have to think about it so hard any more. We know how it feels and what we have to do. 

Sometimes I feel like I just want to wake up one day and be amazing! I don:t want to keep making the same stupid old mistakes. But guess what...learning and growing takes time. And it takes more than just asking for it. Heavenly Father wants to help us, but we have to be the ones to pedal the bike, and give our effort over and over and over again. How truly merciful He is to let us keep trying, so that one day we can experience that  freedom that only comes from learning how to ride a bike!
I love you so very much. I pray for you everyday, morning and night!
Love Kingu Shimai

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