I'm off to serve an LDS mission in Kobe, Japan from June 2015 to December 2016. My mom will be keeping this blog updated with my latest letters, photos, adventures, etc.! Also I would LOVE to hear from everyone - katya.wagstaff@myldsmail.net

Thursday, June 25, 2015


This morning was the beginning of the Mission President Seminar- SO. COOL. 7 of the apostles were there- Bednar (conducted) Nelson (presided) Holland, Oaks, Anderson, Cook, can't remember the other one. Personally I only saw Elder Holland (wow, what a sentence...). So powerful! We sang a missionary medley, Armies of Helaman makes me cry every time, the others just make me really excited! Also my sad morning - food currently in the gym...always cold and only 1 option. Poor us. Anyways the line was super long and we wouldn't get to choir on time, so we went back to the vending machine. Bought a poptart and it got stuck. SO SAD. But there was junk food in our room, so that was breakfast. So worth it though, to sing in there!

Tomorrow we're singing "Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer", Saturday "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" and Sunday "I Know that My Redeemer Lives". BEAUTIFUL arrangements- all of them are a little different than the hymns and for the better!

This week, Fonua Shimai was sick again on Friday, but the day was MUCH better for me- wasn't frustrated, caught a little nap...accidentally. Studied Nihongo! got to go to dinner and after dinner she was awake and we just talked, showed each other pictures we had, it was really great! also guess what - she and her family love Bride and Prejudice too!!!!! We quoted that for a while :)

I love our zone's Saturday nights because the STLs do interviews (love them) and we watch a Mormon Message- so many tears. We also watched MoTab "Come, Come Ye Saints" my goodness I've never cried over the MoTab like that! So many lyrics take on a new meaning, significance here. Speaking of which, thanks for sending the new SinZ lyrics! Plus that was really cool about author from a women's pull- powerful. I'm still overcoming selfishness and frustration (let's be honest, it'll take a while) I had to wait until Monday to pick up the nail polish remover package- my goodness patience. I love getting mail! It's exciting! But don't worry- you don't need to go crazy :) 

I'm sure Grandma and Grandpa Wagstaff will love this- one of my teachers, Sheehan Kyodai is related! He came in and said Wagstaff Shimai? Kazoku (family)! Then explained in Aigo- English that he's related to Samuel Wagstaff and had been working on family history and read his journal at BYU. 

On Sunday, there was Terry Salad at lunch and dinner!! That was a tender mercy- yay food like home, AND on Father's Day! Never been so excited about the food here! (Seriously though it's not that bad except for last time when literally we got a piece of chicken and a roll. Um what? There were bananas and lots of dessert. We'll be excited to have our cafeteria back). Also on Sunday, Fonua Shimai and I taught RS in English! The topic was Enduring to the End and it was SUCH a good lesson- all we did was gather scriptures, quotes, stories, etc and guided a big class discussion. Discussions here are great because everyone participates and has good comments.

On Sunday nights we get to watch a movie- we went to Meet the Mormons, so good but too rough to watch at the MTC! That last segment...everyone's crying/bawling, EVERYONE. Too soon, but really good.

On Monday we taught at the TRC (member volunteers)- so fun! We aren't even supposed to pretend they're investigators, we just talk about the gospel in Nihongo. First we had these 2 sisters who were so encouraging! After, they talked a little in English (not allowed, but such a blessing!) They were comps in Tokyo South and loved it! They said they were both pretty new and didn't know the language and it was okay! People are so nice and Igen no tamamono is real! 

Tuesday MTC devo- sang "Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer"- same arrangement we'll be singing tomorrow for MP seminar. So powerful! Elder Nash of the 70 spoke- Plan of Salvation- I loved the way he told it! Broke into 3 parts- Act I, Act II, and Act III. We're in Act II- we need to review/ remember Act I (remember who we are, where we came from, etc) and prepare for Act III! I also loved that he said essentially that "Our divine origin is our true identity". 

Did you know GC has a director and producer?! So does the Mission President Seminar- this thing is a BIG deal. They transformed the cafeteria with fake new walls, doors, stage, etc. really cool to see behind the scenes! Special lounge for 12 apostles- plus a makeup table- did you know they sometimes wear foundation for the lighting? Crazy. 

Last night we taught a lesson that was a little rough, but really good practice for Japan. Our sensai talked to us after and said it's common to Japan: their image of the Christian god is scary- they're taught in history about the crusades and then if you read the OT with that perspective, you can kind of find it- lots of killing. So we have to change their understand, not scary! Loving! Eternally loving! 

I finally have Hiragana down- that's the alphabet in the hymnbook, so we kind of sing hymns in Nihongo now! The fast ones are really hard, we don't read that fast, so everything's slow/ mumbled...kind of funny. Working on Katakana right now. Also started reading the BOM again (just finished a couple days ago, then our district set a goal to finish when we leave MTC). Which August still seems like an eternity away, but ah well! We love our new building- 17M is far away but worth it becuase there's more space and the showers are better. Though this morning I found out that some of the showers are shorter than others. Elf.

Love you all so much! Also I wouldn't mind a DearElder.com or two :) We have time to read those- though I do get to print my emails mom! Yay for that!

Love, Wagstaff Shimai

Fonua, ME, Carr, Rees, Smith, Makin, Jesperson, Welte, Hill Choro and Miles Choro

Me and Fonua Shimai- we have fun! We are closest to Carr and Rees Shimai. PS Rees Shimai is from Ashburn, VA! She didn't know the Kotters though :( but understandable, because she didn't actually live there that long. Her dad works for the state dept and she's lived all over the world. Carr Shimai is from CA and is really great! They really wanted us to wear blazers for the Mission Pres Seminar so I'm borrowing from her- so sweet!

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