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, July 9, 2015

Week 4--MTC Konnichiwa!

This week Fonua Shimai and i changed the way we plan lessons and it's been MUCH better - sensei even commented that it worked really well! Yay for praise! Sheehan Kyodai asked us to demonstrate our understanding/listening for another district because he thought we did so well in the last lesson - that was a little scary/ great compliment! What he meant wasn't that our Nihongo was amazing, because it's not, but that we took the time to listen and understand, which involved a lot of repeating and charades. I play a lot of charades. 

4th of July was so much fun! First I got to finally wear the outfit I'd been planning for forever and everyone else had fun dressing up too!! I won for our district b/c I looked like a flag- woohoo! It's the little things here :) We had a special devo that night on religious freedom, the restoration and sharing the gospel with the whole world (since they didn't want to leave out the missionaries that weren't American). Started with a parade of flags and that was really special- carried by natives (if there was one here) and accompanied by a missionary going to that country. It's still crazy to think that we leave from here to literally all over the world! Talked about the history of freedom and religious freedom (So basically things like Magna Carta, Protestant Reformation, Dec of Independence, Restoration of gospel, etc) I think it's really interesting. ONly downside was that they speaker (who I can't remember) talked forever- like we were there ab 2 hours and I slept through half of it. But the beginning that I heard was really good!! New goal has been to not fall asleep through meetings...
After the devo we got to go out to the parking lot and watch the fireworks! We got to stay up last for SoF- woohoo!! So fun! 

Sunday - practically felt like I've never really fasted before coming here because seriously it's exactl 24 hours from dinner to dinner. We had Mission Conf in the morning (whole MTC) and members of MTC Pres plus wives spoke. Everything was really good- a lot of emphasis on the Savior and Atonement. What stuck out the most to me was Pres Burgess talking about the Savior and Peter walking on water- we are Peter and in order to keep walking on the water we need to stay focused on the Savior- I like that image of being Peter and seeing the Savior standing there, arm stretched out to help!
So lots of devos lately! The Sunday evening one was Jenny Oaks Baker! I was so excited and it was soo good! Seriously she's good. I knew she went to Julliard, didn't know she went to Curtis for undergrad (which from what I've heard from Catherine and Kylie Lincoln - is a big deal!). She performed with her kids, who just happen to all play instruments. Really good! Sidenote: Mom, she really likes Kurt Bestor stuff. Meh. They played "Song of the Children" - kids were cute, but WHY does everyone do the same awful scoops?! Rant over. It really was good overall. 

This week one companionship in my district has been having major issues getting along, which has kind of pulled the whole district down. But Wednesday afternoon they seemed to be doing better - yay! Now we have a good environment and normal classes again, woohoo! Lesson for everyone: don't make assumptions, just talk to the person and figure it out! Also chill out. It's not a big deal, world's not ending. :) 
One afternoon while sensei were trying to help resolve their problem we all read and discussed Alma 34 together. EVERYONE should do this - there's so much in there! Always something to improve. We also talked about gratitude, sensei turned to Numbers when the Israelites complain about manna and so the Lord gives them quails and there's something about quail coming out of your nostrils? We laughed about that - our new phrase is be grateful or else quail meat will come out of your nostrils!! Sorry it's gross, but funny! After we went off with our comps and make lists and talked about what we were grateful for- loved it!

Yesterday I got the package from D T and Dad, Thank you! LOVED it! Also Catherine...Sister Miller (U roommate) and I performed Savior Redeemer of My Soul for the new missionaries meeting. I sang, she played - went really well! Thank goodness because with our schedules there really isn't time to practice. Over 500 new missionaries - this place just gets busier and more crowed. Not a big deal, just means longer lines for food and you have to get to devos pretty early for a good seat/ seat at all now because they opened up an overflow room. 

I know I don't mention a lot about Nihongo - it's coming, slowly. Some of my favorite new words/ phrases:

ii funiki (guessing on the English spelling- basically everything's in Hiragana characters now): it mens "good vibes" and "vibes sounds" like Twinkie with an F - really fun to say!!
Also "wamp" is slang for troublemaker. We learned the real word too, just can't remember! 
My district has a LOT of fun together: we like to celebrate, so everyone was given an MTC birthday, and we're celebrating our half-way mark tomorrow (WOOHOO 1 month down!), plus MTC Christmas is on July 23rd (We know, it should be the 25, but the 23 is P-Day). It's the little things, guys. We also call our district the Island of Misfit Toys, well District of Misfit Toys! Sheehan Kyodai told us: I don't think you're misfits! I think you're psycho desu! (SYL!) However he didn't tell us which langauge he meant - psycho in Nihongo is essentially "the best". Both definitions work :) We also have a quote wall of funny things people have said. Other people probs don't think it's funny, but we think we're funny and that's all that matters, right?

Basically I'm just really happy here! Really REALLY happy! Yeah, Nihongo's hard and focusing is hard sometimes too, but it's so great! The gospel is good, we have fun, make lots of mistakes! We sang Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes the other day and Norawong Kyodai started laughing really hard because apparently I called my knees pizza. Oops. Ah well! Everyone says Nihonjin are really nice, so I'll just let it slide and hope I don't say anything offensive accidentally!

Love you all!! Aishiteimasu mina san (I love you everyone)
Dekimasu (you can do it!)

- Wagstaff Shimai

Unrelated, they have some unique hymns we don't have! Everyone loves "Sowing the Reapers" or something like that, look it up! Also "Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam" is in their hymnbook!

Katya with Jesperson Shimai.  She will be serving in Fukuoka.

Katya with some sisters in her district on the 4th of July.

Katya with her full district.  They were excited that they got to see the fireworks from Stadium of Fire.

Katya and Catherine, her roommate from the U.  They did a musical number for the new missionaries. Catherine is a music major and plays the piano.

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