Sunday, May 26, 2013

MTC Week 8 Update-May 25, 2013

Minasan Konnichiwa!

We're on the final stretch here at the MTC. It's crazy how fast the time has gone by. I really love the MTC but I am sooooooo excited to get into the field. This will be our last full week at the MTC! Only 4 more days of regular classes!!The most exciting thing that happened this week was getting our FLIGHT PLANS!
Here's the low down:

Monday, June 3 (Delta/Japan Airlines)
9:43 AM SLC --> LAX 10:43 AM [flight #1392]
12:50 PM LAX --> Tokyo 4:25 PM (Jun 4) [flight #283]
7:45 PM Tokyo --> Fukuoka 9:45 PM (Jun 4) [flight #3057]

Our whole district is going to Fukuoka and we are all going on the same flights together! We are so excited that we get to travel together and we don't have to say goodbye here! We have to leave the MTC at 6:00 AM Monday (Jun 3) morning. I DONT THINK YOU UNDERSTAND HOW INCREDIBLY EXCITED I AM!!!! We have a layover in Tokyo and I cannot wait to talk to people about the gospel IN NIHONGO (Japanese)!! But at the same time, I need to stuff as much japanese knowlegde I as I possibly can into my brain before I go. I made an intense study plan to have all the vocab from the lessons down and like 50 grammar principles down. Its a lot of work but if I use my time wisely I'll be able to do it!

As I mentioned last week, we got a new teacher. With that new teacher came a new investigator. He is playing a man named Imai San who is 65 and his wife is dying of cancer or some sickness. We've taught him twice and it has been very difficult. I've gotten frustrated because I can understand what his questions are but I can't answer them in Japanese. But as I've struggled with this this week I've realized that alone, I cannot do ANYTHING. I have been humbled and understand that only with the spirit can we teach people so that they can understand and be converted. I feel like my language has been getting better as I've followed some advice from my teacher. He told my companion and I that we should have ALL our prayers in Japanese. Before we would do it like half Japanese and half English. He promised us that our language would get better and we would retain more. When we first started I felt restricted because I couldn't say much, but that motivated me to find out how to say more things in prayer. It is really helping. In my personal prayers I do as much Japanese I can and then fill in the English words I don't know. I find myself thinking in Japanese more and using it more often when I say my prayer in Japanese.

This last Wednesday I had the opportunity to be a missionary host as new missionaries came in. It was really fun! I got to host an international missionary from JAPAN!! I was able to use my little Japanese to help her around campus and find her room and classroom! If you know me at all, you know that this is something I love to do! I helped a few other sisters as they said goodbye to their families and entered the MTC! We get to do it again next wedeneday and I just can't wait!

I had to get another shot here and it was $71!!! Yeah that was not fun..But overall this week has been great! I love the speakers we have come here. We had Marcus B. Nash of the Seventy come and talk to us this last Tuesday. He talked about how we have been preparing for our missions long before we were born. I believe that is true! I honestly feel like I was born to serve this mission. I pray for the people of Fukuoka with all my heart! I love them so much. This week I learned about a talk given by President Henry B. Eyring in the Japan MTC in 1998 and he said that there will come a time in Japan where the members will not be afraid of ashamed to share the gospel. He prophecied that the children of the missonaries in that audience would live in a much different Japan. They would not be ashamed to testify of Jesus Christ and then the gospel would grow faster then it ever has been before during that generation. He prophecied that the Lord would change the image of the Church in Japan and members will be pleased to invite their friends to be taught by the missionaries.  I don't remember exactly what it said but you should look it up if you can! NOW is the time! I'm excited that the work in Japan is pressing forward! If the church becomes stronger in Japan,Taiwan, and Korea then I believe that the chances of China being ready to receive the gospel will dramatically increase.

I love this church. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ and how simple it is. Faith, Repentence, Baptism, The Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. Jesus Christ has asked us to simply, "Follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do." If you have time read 2 Nephi 31 and ponder the Doctrine of Christ. Also check out 3 Nephi 27. I have always liked these scriptures but not until now did I notice how VITAL these are!

To everyone I love so much I echo Nephi and say: "Press forward with a steadfastness in Christ having a perfect brightness of hope and a love of God and all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward feasting upon the word of Christ and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." 2 Nephi 31:20

I know that I am in the service of Almighty God preaching the doctrine of salvation to all that will hear. This is the true church on the Earth. "We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ.." I testify of Him that He lives and He loves us. Through Him and his infinite atonement we can return to live with Him and our Father again someday! I love you all!!


Capener Shimai

P.S. The picture is me when we got our flight plans! I was very excited!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

MTC Week 7

Minasan Konnichiwa!

This week was an awesome week. On Sunday for relief society we had Janice Kapp Perry come and speak to us. She wrote all the best primary songs like I love to see the temple, We'll Bring the World His Truth, I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus, A Child's Prayer....etc. the list goes on. She also wrote the music to as Sisters in Zion. At the end of the meeting she announced a new song she wrote for sister missionaries to the tune of As sisters in Zion called "The Sisters Of Zion" The auditorium full of only sister missionaries stood up and sang it with the words going across the screens. I don't think there was a dry eye in the room. The spirit filled everyones hearts. Sister missionaries are powerful and we are going around the world in numbers larger than ever before. A very special work is about to come forth among the children of men. I know that to be true. After the meeting she said she was willing to shake some of our hands. The line wrapped around the MTC!! But luckily I was in the front. I shook her hand and told her that the song "I Love to See The Temple" made a huge impact in my life and gave me peace in one the the most difficult times of my life. I started to cry, but the line was being pushed along. I think she was able to look through deep into my eyes and see my sincerity.

Then on Tuesday we had the incredible opportunity to have  ELDER RUSSELL M. NELSON of the quorum of the twelve apostles speak to us! He said we need to be ready to answer lots of questions! He said, "I pounded the pulpit on your behalf, telling people to ask the missionaries!!! SO get ready!" He talked about family history work and praying for your ancestors with specific character traits that you're in need of to help you. I thought of Grandpa Bean and his ability to love everyone and his patience and calmness. I pray to attain those traits :) He also said to pray for the ancestors of the people in Japan to lead you to their posterity so that their work can be done!  We stood up and sang "Called To Serve" like we always do and again the spirit was so strong. As I stood and sang that song to an apostle of the Lord I felt like I was singing to my Heavenly Father. Telling Him that I will do everything in my power to serve with all my might mind and strength. I also got to sing in the Choir again for Elder Nelson. I love the choir! Its such a fun thing to teach people through songs!

Not everyday is easy on a mission as I'm sure you know, but the hard days are when we learn the most. I've started a new language study plan that has helped me not only with language but with other aspects of my study. I literally plan out every minute of my personal language study time so I don't waste one minute of the Lord's time. Japanese is a very difficult language but my testimony of the reality of the Gift of Tongues is developing. I know that because of my call from the Lord, I can qualify for the gift of tongues. If I constantly ask for it and do all I can in learning the language I can receive the gift of tongues! One thing that we do as a district to help our Japanese is to do what we call "SYL" or "Nihongo dake". Certain times of the day we can only speak Japanese. If there is a word we don't know we can fill in the English word into the Japanese grammar. It can be really difficult but very helpful! I try to do it all the time! Even if I just add a "desu" or a "desho?" at the end of each sentence.

We have mini testimony meetings weekly after Tuesday night devotionals. This last one before it was my turn, I said a prayer in my hear to know what to say. I had the strong impression to "simply testify of what you know" That is like my new motto. Testify what I know! During lessons sometimes I forget words or how to say what I want to say but then I remember the feeling, "testify of what you know" I know how to testify in Japanese so I do that. It always invites the spirit.

We have a new teacher again! We lost Clark Shimai which I am really sad about because her investigator was progressing so well and had accepted baptism. So we have a BRAND new investigator. I think the Lord wants us to get better at our first lesson. :) The restoration is central to our message and I really want to be able to teach it in Japanese before I go! Our new teachers name is Nitta Sensei. He is half Japanese but didn't learn Japanese until his mission. He has only been home from his mission 2 and a half months! I'm looking forward to the next 2 weeks with him. We also had to say goodbye to a member of our district Broomhead Shimai. She has had knee problems and need to get surgery. We will miss her very much.

Now more than any other time in my life I feel like I am recognizing, receiving, and acting on personal revelation. Having the spirit with you is absolutely essential to missionary work. We have to be worthy to be instruments in the hands of the Lord. I pray for the people in Japan everyday to be prepared to receive the gospel. A marvelous work is about to come forth over there!! Heavenly Father loves the people of Japan so much and I'm honored at the opportunity to share in that love for them. Pray for them :)

I love you! Thanks for you support! Keep those letters coming! We have 17 days till we leave! So that means only 17 more days of free dear elder! Strive to be missionaries, and good examples to those around you! I appreciate all the prayers that have gone to heaven in my behalf. I have felt an added measure of strength in hard times :)

Love you all,

Capener Shimai

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Week 5

Mina san Konnichiwa!

This week was crazy with the entire new schedule. I don't even know what number this e-mail is?? We normally have p-days on tuesdays but it got moved to Saturday! Going that long without a P-day was exhausting!! Along with this new schedule we have breakfast at 6:45 lunch at 11:10 and dinner at 4:10!! SOOO EARLY!! Then we are in class till like 8:00 and stay in the classroom until 9:30. So by the end of the day we are hungry! Thanks for all the packages from Grandma Bean, Aunt Mer and Mom! They really mean so much to me! I also got a box full of chocolates! It didn't say on the box who is was from so I would love to know! Mom, thanks so much for the clothes! They fit perfectly and I absolutely love them. Dear Elders are amazing! Thanks for all who send and please send more! I also wanted to make a shout out to my friend Jana Wutzke who is getting married today, I doubt she see this but I love her.

Like a mentioned last week we have a new teacher Fowers Sensei. WE ALL LOVE HIM!! He is so fun and keeps us awake and entertained the whole time. If we are looking sleepy he makes us all stand up and play the Japanese version of the game Rock, Paper, Scissors. (Jan, ken, po) You can also tell that he was an awesome missionary and continues to do missionary work in every way that he can. We also love our other teacher Clark Sensei. She just radiates the light of the gospel and her love for us! We teach both of them as investigators for practice. Our Japanese is improving more and more each day. I can't believe how much I've learned in the past few weeks.

Everyday is physically and mentally exhausting. I've never slept so well sitting in my life. Everyday we do an hour of language study on the computer. It takes every ounce my self control to say awake during that hour. When I go to bed at night I pass out in like 2 minutes. My fellow shimaitachi (Sisters) are always jealous on how fast I fall asleep.
Here in the MTC I see a lot of people I know. Mostly from BYU but also some people from Illinois! I saw Andrew from Galesburg. I can't remember his last name right now but he has the same lunch times as I do. My BYU roommate Alex Land is just about to leave for Sweden and my fellow RA Fran Djoukeng (sp?) is about to leave for Belgium!

This week I lost my SD card converter. I have a micro SD card and in order to send pictures I need a full sized SD card. I bought mine for the less than $10 before my mission on amazon. So if anyone wants to do that for me I would really appreciate it.

This week my motto has been "Be the missionary you want to become" I just want to start now and keep it a habit throughout the whole mission. There are times where you can wast time and slack off but we have to remember that this is the Lord's time and we are on His errand.

What kind of things do you want to know about the MTC? About what I do? My weeks are pretty much the same. Good, but the same :)

The MTC is a wonderful place where the spirit can dwell. I feel like my mission hasn't really begun yet. I want to be teaching people and contacting people on the street. I can get frustrated with the language when I know what I want to say in English but can't in Japanese. But I have faith that through Christ I can do hard things. I know, that through Christ, I can learn Japanese. I know, that through Christ, I can find people who are prepared to hear the gospel. I know, that through Christ, I'll be able to ride 12+ miles a day on a bike in a skirt. More than ever before I know the importance of faith in Jesus Christ. As we learn more about the doctrine of Christ I realized its simplicity but also is vital importance! Faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. That is the doctrine of Christ. I invite you all to ponder the Doctrine of Christ and apply it to your life. Read 2 Nephi 31 and challenge yourself to be more Christlike in all areas of your life.

I love being a missionary. Every minute and every second of my day is dedicated to the Lord. I know that the only way to receive salvation is through Christ! He lives and I love him! I'm humbled to be one of His representatives. Pray for the people of Japan! That their hearts will be softened and will be ready to receive the gospel! More missionaries than ever before are heading to Japan in the next few months!

D&C 4:1 "Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men."
D&C 4:4-5 "For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul. And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work."

I know that a marvelous work is coming forth among the children of men. All across the world families are prepared and ready to receive the gospel. I"m grateful to be apart of this work.

I love you all so much and appreciate your support and love!

Sister Capener

MTC week 6

Minsan Konnichiwa!

Nothing ever stays the same here in the MTC tons and tons of missionaries are coming in and out each week! Because of the influx of Japanese missionaries they had to create a new MTC Japanese branch. So we got moved into the new branch. But luckily our schedule is mostly the same. In the new branch my companion and I got a calling to be the Music Coordinators! Yaay for callings!
So as I've mentioned in previous letters there are three "levels" or "classes" for Japanese missionaries in the MTC when your the newbies your "kohai" when you're in the middle you're "senpai" and when you're the oldest you're "daisenpai". Our daisenpai left this week so WE ARE OFFICIALLY DAISENPAI!!!! It was really sad to see all of them leave though because we had gotten close to them all. Japan is getting some awesome new missionaries!

The MTC is packed to the brim! Its a mad house in here! Every computer, every washer and dryer every bed is filled!! The lines for meals are long and getting into devotional can be difficult. BUT thats awesome because the World is ready for all these missionaries!! Such an exciting work!

In the MTC we do this thing called "progressing investigator". The first hour of each class we teach our teacher in companionships as they act as an investigator. The first few weeks we just wrote everything beforehand and read it off in the lesson but lately I find myself making up sentences and promises without really knowing how I am doing it! I feel like something just clicked the grammar principles and vocab are somehow mixing together! We are teaching someone named "Meyumi Shimai" She was raised catholic and believes in God and Jesus Christ. Two lessons ago we asked her to be baptized and she said no because she has already been baptized before. In our last lesson we talked more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and repentence and the atonement. As she read Alma 7:11-12 the spirit was so strong, I felt prompted to go off the lesson plan and ask her right there if she thought those verses were true. She said yes! I then told her that I know those verses were true and I know the entire Book of Mormon is true. I asked her if she thought it was all true too and she said yes! The spirit was so strong so again, we asked her to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone with authority to do so. She said was still concerned and asked if she had to be baptized again into THIS church. We explained that we have the proper priesthood authority from God. She asked how and we told her that it was given to Joseph Smith. I felt prompted to ask her if she knew that Joseph Smith was a prophet. She said that because he translated the Book of Mormon, she new that he was. We then invited her again with tears in our eyes if she would follow the example of Jesus Christ by getting baptized by someone holding God's authority. While fighting back tears, she accepted! What joy filled the room!! That is the reason why I am serving a mission! To bring others to Christ! My Japanese isn't very good but the Lord will use me as a tool in his hands if I study and be obedient!

Sometimes at the MTC people say I can't wait until my REAL mission starts, but I know my mission has already begun. The Lord is molding me into to missionary he wants me to be. In 3 Nephi 27:27 is says, "Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am." I replaced the word "men" with the word "missionary" What manner of missionary ought ye to be? Even as I am! Thats the secret to missionary work! Striving to be like Christ is all ways!

We are representatives of Jesus the Christ, who was born of humble birth, who took on the sins, pains, and afflictions of the world and who died on Calvary. I am so grateful for His love and His sacrifice! So as His representative I will smile and rejoice in this life! Rejoice in my God for it is in this strength that I can do all things! Including learning Japanese! I will praise His name forever!

I know that this is where I am supposed to be, the Lord is preparing people in Japan to hear the good news of the Gospel! I can't wait to meet them! Strive to lift others up and bring them closer to Christ!

I love you all thanks for your continual support and love through letters and packages! I appreciate it so much! Keep those dear elders coming! I love them!


Capener Shimai