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

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Spiritual Extravaganza!--Week 3 MTC

[I'm late posting this because we were on vacation without my computer.  Luckily we were able to find internet access to read her letters on Thursday.]

So last week after I emailed, it was the mission president seminar, and they called this sudden meeting for all the sisters at the MTC- rumor going around was that one of the general authorities was going to come talk to us! We weren't sure whether to be excited or scared, or I don't know. Actually the meeting was letting us know we had to MOVE OUT OF 17M. WE LOVE 17M - it's nice and the rooms are big enough and you don't bump into each other every 10 seconds. 

Now the big question, "WHY?" No joke. I did not make this up. Nightmares coming true: BATS. THERE ARE BATS LIVING IN 17M. No one was happy about this move, we just barely moved in last week. They answered questions and it was kind of funny. My favorite was "What are you going to do with the bats?" Like for reals this girl sounded like she was from PETA- (who cares about the bats! What about us??) Anyways, so we ALL had to move back (PS that was almost all the sisters at the MTC- 17 M is huge.) and it was a little chaotic and we said that we felt like the early saints- run! I will have you know I packed in less than 10 minutes. I know, you're so proud- thanks, feeling the love, pat me on the back, etc.!
It was a good service project- everyone helped us move! They had the elders line up and there was staff there directing traffic :) So actually it wasn't too bad, but it's been 3 weeks and I've lived in 3 different rooms. Not sure if we'll move back- apparently getting the bats out will be a little hard because there are more than they thought and they're an endangered species, so they can't kill them. Boo. 

K on to the super cool part- singing at the Mission President Seminar! Amazing. No words for it. Funny/crazy part: I think it was Friday? We went to our sound check, then walked out from the backstage, and in the lounge for the 12, there was Elder Bednar getting makeup touches for the lighting! We were all kind of shocked- you don't expect to walk back and see apostles sitting there! He was really funny and relaxed- told us not to tell...oops! But it was in a joking manner, so it's all good! His wife was with him and she's SO NICE! She said how much she loved the singing, felt like a mom sitting there and wishing our moms could be there. (A few tears shed! We all wished the same thing). They said there's a possibility that they can send us an mp3 recording...not sure yet, haven't heard. Also waiting on the pictures they took and said they'd email, since we couldn't bring any cameras.

They have random mission pres+wife come and teach districts for practice, so the new pres for Trinidad came to my district! He's a fast talker- hard to catch up with him! It was also kind of funny that he and his wife would just interrupt each other sometimes. Anyways they talked about Book of Mormon the 2nd day and it was powerful! The Book of Mormon is full of miracles and I had that "burning feeling", just that it's so true! 

On Saturday, Fonua Shimai was feeling pretty homesick and so we went to the main building so she could talk to a counselor. While she was talking, I waited at the front desk (Sis Hall was there, that was fun!) and they told us that some pretty special people would be walking by soon- sure enough, here comes Elder Holland, Christofferson, and Ballard. They were just walking out from their meeting. They also had all of the women auxiliary leaders that day- forgot to mention I saw them in the morning! But I met Sis Wixom!(Primary Pres) She's the nicest, happiest person I think I've ever met. She personally talked to the handful of sisters/elders there waiting for a companion. Turns out her twin sister used to live in Springville, in our stake according to Sis Hall. 
At lunch, they had Costa Vida- didn't have enough and it took FOREVER. Seriously like I was in line for at least 30 minutes, so they handed out Snickers first (You're not you when you're hungry!), then sandwiches. Then finally we got a little Costa Vida. Anyways, I met the food manager, who recognized me from the choir, and had a picture - he was the one that sent the picture Mom! So nice- then at dinner he found me and showed your response - yay! I love the people here, everyone's so nice and caring!

Sunday: Greatest day. Ever. (Spiritually). We sang this new arrangement of "I Know that My Redeemer Lives" and I love it so much better than the normal one! It was really special and to prep, the choir had a mini testimony meeting before going in to sing. We went in right after they had the sacrament. That room was like nothing I've felt before. All of the apostles that could be there were (I think it was just Pres Packer and Elder Hales not there...but not totally sure), and the whole 1st Presidency. I wish I could adequately explain how special it was to be in and SING in that room. Bro Eggett (choir director) said before we went in, how cool is it that you get to bear you testimony to the prophet in song? Really cool. Really, really, really cool. After we finished and left, the girls in my zone in the choir and I just didn't want to go back yet, we didn't want to lose what we just felt! So we sat and reflected for a while, then went back to RS and didn't lose that Spirit! They were talking about the BOM, but when we came in, they let us share out experience and sharing it just magnified what we felt! The girl teaching shared Mosiah 18:30 and it was PERFECT. That's the closest description of that day. 

So cool. Our choir also got to sing all of the songs again at the devo that night! Can't remember who spoke, but he loves music and used our songs in his talk- he was very interactive and fun! he had everyone sing our Primary Missionary Medley with us- awesome! You guys were sooo right when you said "Called to Serve" is special here, but honestly those primary songs are even more special because someday became now!
 We ended our day with watching "The Testaments". I've never actually seen that movie all the way through, but it was really good! It's the best entertainment we've had in a long time :) There's a little romance in it and the couple kisses- everyone freaked out, oh what a weird place this is! Carr Shimai in my district commented that this would be a great place to conduct a social experiment. No kidding!

So basically nothing else has been as cool as Sunday was, just same old. We got our cafeteria back! Yay for good food and choices! More Japanese - we have lots of songs to remember things, those help! 

I loved the DearElders this week! Thank you! Those are fun! Trying to not get fat here, choir took all my gym time last week, so I guess I just have to make up for it this week- there's just a lot of food! We LOOOOVED the cupcakes! We cut them all up and sampled- once again my district's converted to the food :)

Sweet Tooth Fairy sends to the MTC for free if you purchase a certain amount--very nice. Of course we knew Katya's departure date, which is part of her address, but October was written instead of August. She thought staying in the MTC that long would be a little much.

Have fun in Yosemite! We're having fun here, even if it may just be that we're going crazy...entirely possible :)

Love, Wagstaff Shimai

Can't remember if I already replied, but Nielson Shimai is the one from Springville! Yeah, we figured out the connection, forgot to tell you! Love her! She was one of the Sister Training Leaders and was sooo nice. They left on Monday- she mentioned the Dunns! 

All of the sisters in Katya's zone including Nielson Shimai, also from Springville. 

Started reading BOM again, working on a Nephi attitude+ faith, not doing too bad! Though it's a roller coaster- great, then awful, then really great again! Retention has been the hardest for language- I understand everything, it's just remembering it because they give us so much at once! Though we have the purpose memorized, so that feels good to have that accomplished!

Love you so much!

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