Everything has been great. I can't believe that it has been 1 week already. Oh hey, I just wanna say that I did not forget to email you, our Pdays are on Wednesdays but we had a whole day orientation last Wednesday so I was not able to email you. Gomennasai (Sorry). Anyway, I am emailing now and I have a lot of stories and experiences to share.
ARUCHIBARUDO SHIMAI (Sister Archibald)
Archibald Shimai is my Doryo (companion). She is just the best. I got called a lot into the information desk because I still need to give them my papers, answer some forms and give them my passport etc. My doryo was so patient. We both like to study and read the scriptures so we get along so well.
The food in the MTC is 50/50. Why? Because I miss my rice!!! HAHAHA The MTC has great food like pizzas, sandwiches, salads, ICE CREAM and COOKIES (I'm still not gaining weight, don't worry hahaha) but I guess I just miss my rice. Last Saturday we had Orange Chicken, Brocolli and rice and I was so happy. I miss my Lolo Pando's rice.
GIFT OF TONGUES
I can testify that the Gift of Tongues is real. We started learning Japanese. Yes, it is very muzukashii (hard) but step by step, our district is learning. I just wanna share one of my experiences when I felt that the gift of tongues is real. On Sundays, we have sacrament meetings and we sing the hymns in Japanese. The hymns are in Hiragana (Japanese Characters). I was so surprised because before the opening hymn started, I prayed to Heavenly Father to help me and I will try my best to read just as many as I can and just go with it but when the first note hit I just started singing in perfect Japanese. I was so surprised that I could read the lyrics and stay on beat at the same time. And as we were singing, I felt that strong Spirit in the room.
SNOW AND COLD WEATHER
I finally experienced snow. Yay! I like how beautiful the snow is but not how cold it is. Hahaha whenever I'm inside I am enjoying how the snow falls to the ground but whenever I'm outside I don't really enjoy the snow on my head and on my jacket and how it makes me dripping wet hahaha l still love it though.
HAPPY TEARS ON SUNDAY
Sundays are the best! My first Sunday here was a fast and testimony Sunday so most of us are on fast and many of the missionaries in my branch shared their wonderful testimonies. Their strong spirit while bearing their testimonies touched my heart and made me cry a lot. Happy Tears on Sunday! I did not give my testimony yet. Maybe next week hehehe
SPIRIT'S PROMPTINGS + USHERS
So last Saturday we had to make a decision to join in the choir or not. Before coming to the MTC, I really wanted to join the choir but last Saturday I had a prompting not to join the choir this week and have my scripture studies instead. My Doryo (companion) agreed to follow my prompting. We had a really nice companionship study. Then yesterday, we had a Tuesday Evening Devotional. We decided to have our companionship study in T3 (a building in the MTC that has beautiful murals) while the other missionaries practice for the choir. Then, a man approached us and ask us to be ushers. Woah! Ushers on our first week?!! We were like "Yeah! Sure!" So we were ushers and assigned to guard the door to the choir's seat. It was so nice to meet different missionaries who are in the choir and tell them "Welcome to the devotional". That's not the best part yet, the ushers have a reserved seat for them at the front row. Woot! Woot! Front row seats! We were able to see the guest for the devotional up close. It was Sister Jean B. Bingham, the General Relief Society President. I think she even smiled at me. It was such a memorable experience. If we had joined the choir we would be sitting at the back and not be ushers and not experience this. I am so glad to follow the Spirit's prompting. Maybe we'll join choir next week though. We'll see :)
BOOK OF MORMON READING CHALLENGE
Our Branch President challenged us to read and finish the Book of Mormon while here at the MTC. I am now at Day 6. Reading the Book of Mormon helps me get comfort, peace and answers to my question. One of the things that I really liked was - In order for us to read and study effectively we have to have a question in mind before we read, pray for an open heart and mind and the answers and promptings will keep pouring in as we read. I encourage you to really read the scriptures as well. Reading the scriptures is a blessing.
I miss you all! Hope you are doing fine. I know that the Lord is always on our side. Don't forget to pray. Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us. I love you all!
p.s. you can email me at this email anytime. I can read your emails everyday but I can only answer on Wednesday here and Thursday in the Philippines. Please email me. Arigato Gozaimasu. Aishitemasu.
Love, Manalo Shimai (Sister Manalo)
マナロ 姉妹 | Japan Nagoya Mission