Tuesday, February 22, 2011


The District at the Temple.  What an inspirational sight.  Can you believe there are 53,000 of these righteous kids?
The title of my email means, "let's bounce." Haha. My Elders are obsessed with saying it. In Japanese it literally means "lets bounce something" but they don't seem to care that they're saying nonsense.
I'm so excited it's Pday, mostly because we get to go to the temple today! wahoooo.
Sister Tingey and Sister Willis hard at work
Exciting things that have happened this week:
* My companion Sis. Willis became the new coordinating sister for our branch. The reason this is exciting is because I am the Branch coordinator, and have been required to go to all of the meetings. We were having to go on splits everytime I had a meeting which is no fun because we are basically in love, so now that she is coordinating sister we get to stay together on Sundays!
Is that a halo above Lucy's head?
This past Thursday I taught 2 lessons in the TRC. Usually one is exhausting enough, but my senpai (has been in the MTC longer), Sis. Goodale, asked me if I wanted to teach a full Japanese first lesson with her in the TRC. We taught some of the Japanese sisters that arrived a few weeks ago and I loved it!!!! I actually like teaching in Japanese way more than in English, weirdly enough. Its probably because when I teach in English I have all of these things swirling around in my head and no idea what to actually say, but in Japanese my vocab is so limited that I'm able to just give a concise, on the point lesson about whatever I need to without freaking out. Needless to say, I'm excited to get to Japan.
Study corner with a beautiful view of the mountains
Japanese is really starting to click. I finally understand how to use multiple grammar patterns to construct a sentence. For some reason it just never clicked before. I'm loving it, though, and Sis. Willis and I try to SYL (speak your language) every day.
I'm not leaving early! Phew. The senpai are leaving next Monday, and I didn't receive any travel plans to go with them, so that is a relief. There is another missionary in my branch who has a lot of Japanese experience (he is wayyyyyy better than me) and he basically begged our teachers not to send him out early haha. I can see why. I'm really sad the senpai are leaving, though. I have made lot of good friends, but they are all really excited to go.
If anyone knows what this says, please translate!
I had two amazing spiritual experiences this week. One occurred last Tuesday in the temple, and then another a few days later. The second experience was a direct answer to prayer. I always had a testimony that Heavenly Father cared about me and has answered many of my prayers, but this was seriously the most obvious, direct answer I've ever gotten and I'll never forget it. Major testimony builder!
I ran into Sister Gill the other day!! She works in the MTC now with missionaries who have reading disabilities. It was really fun to catch up with her!
It has been snowing a lot and I couldn't be happier. Sis. Willis loves the rain (ehhhhh), but I am soso sosoos happy when it snows. Mostly because for the next 15 months of my life I'll be living in the tropics sweating all day long. Sis. Willis is going to Sapporo (The frozen chosen) and she is not too happy about it. Yesterday we found this extremely giant red coat in the givaway box and I made her take it sayign she would really need it in Sapporo (knowing it was extremely hideous, hehe). We took it to our room and I made her put it on and it was the most hideous jacket of all time! haha. I'll send some pictures. It looks really awesome with her red hair.
There's always time for girl time!
I'm glad everyone got my letters!! I sent some pictures and I'm planning on printing some more today. I
I'm 1/3 of the way done at the MTC! It's funny, everyone has these theories about how time works in the MTC and it's all true. People always say, "The days feel like weeks, and the weeks feel like days," "The first 4 days are the worst, and then it gets better," and some other things. Well, it's all true.
Love, Tingey shimai

Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Dear Family and friendies,
Happy Valentines day! Yesterday was the best valentines day ever. I think it was because there were no expectations. Everyone in the MTC was seriously SO genki(happy) haha. It was awesome. With the exception of some poor weepy elders (one in my district) who have girlfriends at home. The mail room was shut down for half of the day becauase they were "attacked" by packages. Two of those were for meee!!! Thanks to Sarah and Annie for sending me such cute packages! I was soooo excited! Sis. Willis and I made these awesome valentines cards for everyone in the district. Yesterday we had each person sign everyone's and then we made them wait until Monday morning to read their own. I cut out pictures of each district member and put it on the card and everyone got a pretty big kick out of it. It was a really good day and everyone loved their cards. We also gave them to our sensei's.
I love love love studying Japanese. I am learning so much. I have learned more here in the past 3 weeks than in the 9 years I have taken it, haha. sad. But a miracle. I love SYL-ing (Speak your language). We make a time everyday where we can speak only Japanese. My poor companion gets so frustrated sometimes because I just speak speak away saying anything I can think of and she has no idea what I'm saying. I wish we could SYL all day long. I want to get to Japan so bad, but I also love the MTC. My heart is being torn in two! We got 7 new senkyoushi (missionaries) who are native Japanese and everyone is so excited to have them here. I asked them to sing in sacrament meeting on sunday and they are really pumped. It was fun trying to get accross the message to them in Japanese but great practice.
I totally forgot to get a musical number for sacrament meeting this week so by the time Wednesday rolled around I realized I needed one and I just decided to do it. I ended up singing "I need thee every hour." First verse english, second Japanese. It was reallly pretty and my roommate Goodale Shimai played the piano for me. Afterward one of the branch president's wives told me my voice quality reminded her of David Archuletta! hahahahahah. My companino was so embarrassed because I started busting up laughing right there in front of everyone (Its even funnier because all of our roommates have been randomly having really weird dreams about David Archuletta singing at MTC firesides and being called to speak to all of the missionaries). Anyway, I can't seem to get away from him here in the MTC, which is funny because I have never even thought about him in my life before this. I guess its a nice compliment? paha
One of our elder's moms sent him a huge Japanese flag so we hung it up in our room. It looks awesome. One of my Elders from Brazil is the funniest person I have ever met. I sit next to him and I haven't heard anything come out of his mouth that isn't ridiculous. I write down pretty much everytyhing he says in my notebook and I'm planning on making an "Elder De Freitas quote book" for everyone in our district. He entertains us a lot. My district is recently obesessed with a game called "signs." Whenever we have a break we play it, and if you get caught with the sign you have to say a Japanese sentence using a grammar pattern we have learned. It's really fun.
I have been playing a lot of four square, volleyball, and SHOOTOUT at gym lately. For some reason I am the bomb.com at shootout. For anyone who has seen my basketball skills, that is sort of hilarious, but I am actually kind of a good shot. Yesterday I got like 6 Elders out in a game and everytime they all started whooping and hollering and making fun of the poor elder I got out. I usually run a mile or 2 at the beginning of gym, too. I love gym time. hehe.
I don't have that much time to write to individual people but I'm going to write handwritten letters today. Sis Willis and I came up with the idea for a "grateful box." everyday each missionary in the district has to write something theey're grateful for and put it in the box, and we're going to read them today during laundry. I decorated the box with pictures of all of us, but they haven't seen it yet so i'm excited to surprise them haha.
We have been going to choir every week and I love love love it. Last week Sis Willis and I got projected on teh big screen when the choir was singing during the devotional and afterward people in our branch were like....we saw you guys on the giant screen!!!!! Hahah we didnt' even know. I hope we didn't look retarded. I'm going to try out for the MTC sunday night fireside musical number on Thusday. Wish me luck! Our district is also trying out singing the Sisters in Zion/armies of helaman duet.
Our senpai (older missionary's) are leaving in two weeks!!!!! I'm so sad. I have made so many good friends in that group, but they are all excited to go. That means that we will become the new senpai...and new little cohai (new missionaries) will be coming in. It feels weird, but I'm excited.
Thank you everyone for your DearElders and letters! Thanks for your Email Sara (Greenwood), the one from Emma! I barely have any time to be on email so thank you everyone who emailed and sent me letters this week. I'll be writing A TON of letters during laundry today. I simply don't have time to write back during the week. I seriously study for 16 hours a day haha. My brain is going to explode.
I found a onesie in the lost and found box in our dorm, and I was running around in it last night. It was awesome. We can't email pictures here, but I made a CD with some pictures and I'm going to mail it to Annie or mom so someone can upload them and put them on my blog. I'm also goign to send a lot of pictures I printed to everyone so you can see my awesome life here in the MTC.
I have a super crazy roommate named sister Burns. She is the weirdest person ever, and we are already talking about rooming together in Provo after our missions. She's going to Korea (figures).
I am learning sooo much here about teaching the doctrine of Christ simply to the people in Japan. Also, teaching with the spirit is crucial. Sis Willis and I pray like 200 times a day to have the spirit. We are in a special pilot program, so we teach twice as many lessons as the other districts. This means a lot of planning, discussing lesson plans, and PRAYER! We have a fake in vestigator named "Naoko-San" who we teach twice a week. She is a progressive investigator, so instead of just the TRC, where the investigator changes every week, she stays the same and we teach her different lessons. We commited her to baptism yesterday and she was very hesitant, but I told her a personal story yesterday and the spirit was SO STRONG she actually started crying, and told us that during that lesson it was the first time she had felt the spirit in her life. IT WAS so amazing. I am really learning a lot teaching her.
One of our elders went home this last week and our district was devasted, but life moves on. We are all praying for him. No word on whether I'll be leaving early. I don't really think I will. Even though I am fine language-wise, I have a lot to learn about teaching the lessons effectively.
I am loving life so much here. I know that it was the right decision for me to serve a mission. I can't imagine my life anymore without this experience. I was made to do this. I am thriving so much and really learning a lot about myself having my companion around 24/7. She is seriously amazing. Last night I found a note on my bed that she wrote me, and it had 10 things she appreciates about me. I can't believe how lucky I got with my comp.
My testimony has grown so much in the past 3 weeks. I know that heavenly father loves all of his children, and that this time on my mission is just for him. I am so excited to be able to think of nothing else but trying to be a good missionary. It is such a blessing . Thank you to everyone who is sacrifi...(she must have gotten cut off because that  was it!)

MTC week 2

My second week in the MTC was as great if not better than the first. We all finally settled into the routine of things.  Last Wednesday we were told by our teacher that our district was being put into a special "pilot program." The program is an experimental way of teaching the lessons and language to new missionaries. They want to eventually implement the program into every district in the MTC. It's crazy intense. That day we were told that each companionshiop would receive a "progressive investigator," which means an investigator we will teach twice a week. Our investigator happens to be one of our teachers, but she's a really good actress and she pretends to be "Naoko-san." We were told last Wednesday that we were teaching her the next day on Thursday a 20 minute 1st lesson in all Japanese. You can imagine the whole district's distress. Haha. My poor comp. Nothing seems to really stress me out here just because I have the language down pretty well for what we are doing. It's really nice but at the same time I'm struggling to find ways to push and stretch myself so that I can be just as anxiety-ridden as the rest of my district. lol. So our lessons with her are going really well and we're all learning a lot. 
Emma Charlsey is here now and I bump into her about 10 times a day. Its awesome! Also, For Sarah, I see April Harrison every single day. So random! She's going somewhere spanish speaking. 
Yesterday and today it was realllllly snowy and freezing. I love it because I know in a few months I'll be dying in the Fukuoka mega humidity so I'm just soaking in all the freezing weather I can. 

I was made the branch music coordinator on Sunday and I'm really excited about it. I get to get people to sing and stuff and pick the hymns, and lead the music. Yeshhhh. I'm also goign to try out to do a musical number for the sunday or Tuesday Firesides. Last week my comp and I participated in the choir and it was amazing.
The branch President's wives are the bomb.com. I love them so much.
Oh also I had my interview with one of the Branch Presidents yesterday and he said he wouldn't be surprised if I get sent to Fukuoka early...maybe even in 4 weeks. i'm not sure how I feel about leaving that early because I am in love with the MTC, but he said I will probably progress more out in the field than I can here because of my Japanese experience...so we'll see. I might not be here for much longer, but I love my companinon and my district like crazy so I don't want to leave them.
I love you all! Please write me! I'm doing awesome and I think i'm the only missionary in my district who hasn't cried Paha. Figures.
Tingey shimai.

The "Empty Sea"

Dear family and friends,

The MTC is offically my favorite place on earth! I love it so much here. I've been told I'm still in the "honeymoon" stage because I think everything and everyone is just so great! My friend Curtis told me that being in the MTC is like going to Hogwards, and I have to say I totally agree with him. It really is! Haha. The first day was pretty much a blur and everyone was extremely confused. I got shoved to and fro without knowing what was really happening and I ended up sitting in about 8 hours worth of lectures, demonstrations, etc. By the end of the first day everyone was so exhausted that we just collapsed in bed. I think they do that on purpose. The next four days were pretty much the same as the first. Weirdly, although it has been extremely tiring and difficult for the first week, I haven't had one moment of sadness, regret, homesickness, depression, or desperation. Haha. Lets be thankful for that. I am really having the time of my life. I think it has to do with the fact that 1)I LOVE studying Japanese ALL DAY LONG, 2) I love being lectured about the gospel and feeling the spirit ALL DAY LONG 3) I love my companion and district. What more could you ask for!?

My companion is sister Willis. She's from Heber, UT and I can't imagine someone I would rather be companions with. She is amazing. She has bright red hair and she's the sweetest shimai (sister) on the earth. She has a really great sense of humor, but she is also way more mature and responsible than me, so you can imagine my surpirse when I was made senior comp. the 2nd day! I'm don't think that really means anything besides that we pretend like i'm making the final decision about things (when really both of us mostly agree on everything and make every decision together). We are like two peas in a pod. She has such a powerful testimony and amazing way of teaching the lessons. We work off of each other's strengths and weaknesses and have a great time. She is going to the Japan Sapporo mission.

My district is equally amazing. We have 9 Elders and us two sisters. Two of the Elders are from Brazil: one is going to Fukuoka Portuguese speaking and the other is to Fukuoka Japanese speaking. Weird, eh? They are both super hilarious and always making us laugh during class (which isn't always the best when we're trying to be productive). They have another companion Elder Beckstrand who is with them in a three-some, and they are all three going to Fukuoka with me. The rest of the Elders are going to Nagoya. Most of them are from Idaho, Utah or Colorado. We all have a lot of fun together but we work hard.

Today is Pday which means laundry. Wahoo. One of the best things about the MTC is the exercise routine. The sisters can get up at 6 AM if they want and go to yoga, pilates, kick boxing, stretching and toning, etc. We also have gym time everyday where sis Willis and I usually run a mile or two around the track, lift weights, and then I usually play volleyball for a while. I am extremely pleased that I'm able to continue my love of exercising while i'm here. I was honestly a little worried about it. The food isn't the best, but its edible. Everything that tastes half decent is the most fattening, unhealthy thing I've ever seen, so I have been just sticking with the salads and stuff. We'll see how long that lasts, haha.

I have two other sisters in my dorm. Sis Goodale is also Japanese and she has been here for 6 weeks. She is a solo sister. The other sister is going to Korea, Sis. Burns. She is also a solo sister in her disctrict so they are kind of companinos. They are both super hilarious and fun and we are mostly just cracking up in our rooms everyday.

Lets see......Sunday was the best day of my life. Relief society was amazing, sunday school was amazing, and then during sacrament meeting I got randomly called on to give a talk in front of the whole branch....in Japanese! pahaha. We all knew that they call on 2 random missionaries every sunday to give talks, so we all prepared for it, but everyone said they never call first-weekers so I was extremely suprised when I heard my name in the announcements. I gave my talk and everything went fine haha. People were mostly just amazed that I could speak any Japanese, so I have a lot of people telling me that I'm getting sent to the field early. We'll see about that. Honeslty, I have no preference either way at this point. I love the MTC, but I'm also excited to get to Fukuoka. Whatever the Lord wants!

My time is running out quickly. Thanks for all of your letters and support! Dont' worry about me. I am having the time of my life here in the MTC. I'm the most chipper everyday than I have ever been in my life. I love waking up at 5:50 every morning and dedicating my time to the Lord all day long. Who would have known huh? Haha. I love you all and I hope everything at home is going well.



Tingey Shimai

Saturday, February 12, 2011

How to write to Lucy in the MTC.

Sister Lucy Rebecca Tingey
Japan Fukuoka Mission
Provo Missionary Training Center
2005 N 900 E
Provo, Utah 84604

Her PDay is Tuesday,and her email is lucyrt.myldsmail.net

You can also write her on dearelder.com
MTC box # 126 departure date April 11
If written before noon, it will be delivered to her the same day.