Oh Dearest Family! Hello! I love you!
My world in Yamagata is so beautiful right now! Everything is bright apple green!
On Saturday we had our first lesson with Tess Shimai:s granddaughters! They are 11 and 8 years old. We knew that we would be teaching the 11 year old, but it was a surprise that the 8 year old came too! We were so excited and had practiced and prepared really good for this lesson, so I felt completely calm. It was probably my favorite/best lesson in my whole mission so far. The 11 year old, Koko chan, WANTS to hear the Gospel, so it was so much more fun to teach someone who really wants to hear this glorious message, instead of just kinda half heartedly meeting with the missionaries.
We started at the very beginning. Heavenly Father. We taught them that He lives in Heaven, that He is a Being like us, that we are His children, and that He loves us.
We taught how we used to live with Him, but now we are on Earth learning, so that one day we can go back Home and live with Him again. We taught them that we can talk to Him by praying. We taught them to fold their arms, close their eyes, and bow their heads. We taught them how to pray, and they took notes in their little notebooks, and asked questions like: if you always pray outloud?, or if you can pray in your heart; and if you pray in your heart, are you still supposed to close your eyes and fold your arms?
We read Alma 37:37 together, and taught them how to write down a scripture reference...the book, the chapter, dot-dot, then the verse.
We committed them to pray that night, and then taught them `I Am a Child of God.` And then Tess Shimai said the sweetest closing prayer, being so grateful that her granddaughters were here, wanting to learn.
Everything was so simple. There is sweetness and clarity in simplicity. Believing that you are a child of God. Then learning how to close your eyes and fold your arms, and then believing that you can just talk from you heart and pray and actually talk with your Heavenly Father, and that He`ll listen.
During my personal study, every month I pick one Christlike Attribute from PMG and study it throughout the month. In March I studied Humility, in April I studied Charity, and now for May I decided to study Hope. I feel like hope is going to be a wonderful thing to study this month! Here are some of my thoughts that I wrote down this morning as I thought about hope:
- This month is a big month for our family! This month Mama will get re-married, a tender mercy to our prayers and hope for sweet Mama.
- To be hopeful, in a way, really, is to be vulnerable. But its good to be vulnerable, because if you don:t hope for anything, then your heart becomes a little tired I think. I don:t think being hopeful means always wishing that the current moment/circumstance would change and become better...because I believe in just being, just loving each glorious moment for what it is, being tickled pink by the simple goodness or just being alive and doing the Earth thing. This is something Micail wrote to me a couple weeks ago about this idea of being content:
"Mamma J says hi to you! And she just showed me the loveliest scripture, oh my heck, it's so good. So we're going to tell you about it right now:
1 Timothy 6:6-8- "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content."
Isn't that beautiful? I loved that- we brought nothing in, and we're taking nothing out. It's like when you came up to work without your purse. So free. We just showed up on the earth, just a naked sweet little soul, and then we're going to die, not taking even ONE thing with us. Oh, that's so free! And everything we have here is just a gift, but it's just a gift for a while to enjoy, then..ta ta! Off to heaven! Be content in life cuz it's just a temporary thing, and it's all a gift."
I love that we are so free! Free to live and love life and do the Earth thing!
But I know that sometimes life is plain old hard, sometimes its monotonous, sometimes we struggle to feel like life is meaningful and spiritual, and sometimes we are tested and given trials and are called to walk through the Refiner`s fire.
So I think that:s where hope comes in. I don:t quite understand hope, so thats why I want to study it more this month. But I think what I:m trying to say is that life is beautiful, we should just soak it in and be content and love the simple moments more. Love praying, love waking up in the morning and opening your eyes and seeing the world, love breathing and feeling your heart beating inside of you, love eating food, love being a human being, and love loving people. And when Heavenly Father calls you to walk through a test of your faith,.....keep walking. Keep believing. Remember that Christ is real. He is awake and alive. He is going to take care of you. Believe in that. Trust in that. Find the goodness in life for where you are right now, and be perfectly grateful, and believe in good things to come. I think that:s hope.
My family! I love you I love you I love you! I don:t know if I will every be able to tell you how much I love you! I can:t wait to see you in ONE WEEK! Yes, I think we are still good to skype Sunday at 8:00 pm your time, and Monday 11:00 am my time. See you then! Please invite Micail and Katie to come!
Love Kingu Shimai