Monday, February 21, 2011

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 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

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