|At the conference with my doki Elders (in the MTC together)|
This Saturday Oyama Kunio san is getting baptized!!!!!!! Wahoooo. His wife and two sons will be baptized a little later on but he decided to make the first jump and be an example for his family. His last lesson is tonight, and then he'll have his baptism interview on Wednesday. If all goes well with that he'll be set to be baptized on Saturday, January 28th at 4:00! He is so excited to make life-changing covenants with his Heavenly Father and start his way on the road to eternal joy. As a missionary there really isn't anything more exciting and fulfilling than having someone you teach and pray so hard for everyday decide to devote their lives to following Christ and growing closer to him through baptism...however, I ALWAYS have the same feeling the week leading up to and the day of the baptism. My happiness and excitement for that day kind of fades as I think about more crucial and eternal covenants that will be made in the temple a year from now. That was the way I felt when Ohama Natsumi shimai was baptized. I couldn't help but imagine her and Kotaro kun being sealed as a family in the Fukuoka or Tokyo temple the next July (which just so happens to be the month that I'm headed home...maybe I'll be able to go through the temple with her!). I am feeling the same way about the Oyama family. I'm excited for Oyama san but at the same time my knowledge of the eternal nature of families and the joy that comes through that makes me anxious to see the next step. I always have this problem....just be happy with the NOW! Haha, sheesh.
|Oyama pug shrines. I'll never understand what the appeal of a pug is. Look at those bulgy eyes! Poor Kaede chan...|
|The Oyama couple's wedding picture I found in the bathroom, haha.|
Anyway, this week started out slow, what with being sick and such but the second half of the week picked up and we worked like crazy to make up for the lessons we missed out on. We received a real treat when Elder Ringwood from the Quorum of the Seventy came for a special training conference on Thursday. I was lucky enough to be one of the few missionaries who attended to have a one-on-one interview with Elder Ringwood early that morning (probably because he doesn't speak Japanese and I'm the only American sister who attended). It was a very short interview. He asked me about my family and home town (which is always a tricky question, haha). Then he asked if I had any questions for him. I told him of my growing fear of becoming a trainer soon. I said I felt so inadequate with the language, teaching skills, and just missionary work in general and didn't know if I could do it..but surprisingly he told me that he was enthused that I felt that way, because that is the exact way a trainer should feel! Who would have known, eh? I always thought missionary work was about being confident and knowing your stuff, which it party is, but I'm learning more and more as time goes on that its really about humility and relying on the Lord. He did tell me, however, that the chance to train a new missionary is a sacred calling from the Lord and a very serious matter, because I'll be setting the stage for the rest of someone else's mission...which didn't really give me very much comfort, haha. We all felt the spirit so strongly during the conference and it was especially fun to hear Elder Ringwood's wife, Sister Ringwood talk about stories from her childhood growing up the daughter of Elder Nelson from the Quorem of the Twelve
|My desk, if you were wondering (speaking of which, I don't really have any nice pictures of Dad and Teri to put up...so if you send a package soon be sure to include that!|
I don't think any of you will believe this but lately I have been completely obsessed with cooking; looking through recipe books and finding delicious Japanese recipes I can whip up. This is the first time in my life that I have any interest at all in learning how to cook so pray that this sudden urge doesn't go away, haha. My companion Sister Tagawa has been teaching me a lot, too and we have been having fun salivating over a variety of dishes. Today we'll go grocery shopping again and I'm planning on making two fish dishes, a tofu dish, omrice (omlette with rice inside) and canned kinkan (little tiny orange looking thing). We are teaching a woman named Suetsugu san who is studying a type of cooking called "Yakuzen," and she teaches us new little dishes everytime we go over. I am loving it!
Well I am out of time but pray for Oyama san this week that everything works out and also that his family will feel the spirit at his baptismal service. I love you!!!! I can't wait for Saturday!!!
Love, Tingey Shimai
P.S. This guy walked into kids Eikaiwa the other day named David Haglund and apparently he is best friends with Toni and his brother Roger was best friends with Dad growing up??? Soooo random! I think he is a flight attendant or something and was just staying in Fukuoka for a few days.