Week 1

Alyssa's first email!
Hey guys!
Wow. I can't believe I've been here a week! I'll be honest the first couple days were really hard. It's true what they say about making it until Sunday! Sunday was long, but super sugoi! (awesome) Church was amazing. I definitely feel like Heavenly Father was helping me through the first couple days.
We had a devotional, which was subarashii! (wonderful) After the devotional we got to watch a talk. It was "The Character of Christ" by Elder Bednar. It was so amazing! If you haven't listened to it, go watch it! It totally changed my MTC perspective. I found myself wishing I was already to that point where I could speak the language. Japanese is super muzukashii. (hard) But he talked about turning yourself outward and forgetting yourself. This is not MY mission or MY time. It's the Lord's and I need to forget myself and do all that I can do to learn. And then he will help me the rest of the way.
Our district is sugoi! There are 10 people in our district. I am the oldest...haha My district leader, Wheeler Choro is 18. But it doesn't feel like I'm older. All of them have strong testimonies of Christ and I've learned a lot from them.
My doryo (companion) is subarashii! I love her already.She is also going to Nagoya. It's amazing how God puts people in your life. I'm finding more and more that we are so similar, which is a huge blessing. She took Japanese for 3 years in high school, so she helps me a ton! She is from Oregon, went to BYU for a semester and decided to serve a misson. We had to teach..in Japanese the second day! It went okay..we had NO idea what our kyudosha (investigator) was saying. It was very intimidating. But our second lesson was amazing. Not because of what was said, but what was felt. We asked him to say a prayer at the end. And when he was done, I was in tears. I didn't even know was he was saying! I know he's not a "real" investigator, (in fact he's a tall, skinny red head..haha) but I am starting to learn what it feels like to help people understand how the gospel can change your life. And that is the greatest. We have another lesson tonight! Wish me luck. My Japanese is not great..haha We are teaching about the atonement! I'm excited for that!
So all the Shimaitachi (sisters) have an option of going to a early morning class. They have aerobics, dance yoga..etc.. This morning we got to dance. The lady is kinda awkward..haha we were like doing dance moves like the sprinkler..hahaha I guess it has to be MTC approved. hahaha
I am in a room with 5 other shimaitachi (sisters). There is Gusman Shimai and Kay Shimai. They are both from Hawaii ( the big island). I love them so much. They are so funny. One night, I noticed Kay Shimai was just staring off into space, eating a doughnut. It was dead silent, and she goes, "Don't mind me. Just eating my feelings away." hahaha It was so funny. They are both from the same island and know the same people but they didn't know each other before they came! Which is pretty awesome. They both are going to the Kobe mission.
Then there's Weiland Shimai and McNoughon Shimai. Weiland Shimai is also from Oregon and McNoughton Shimai is from Arizona. We all get along, which is a huge blessing.
Then the Chorotachi (elders) in our district are Wheeler Choro, he's from California. He looks and talks like the surfers in the Australian Mary Kate and Ashley movie. haha Sometimes he says things...and we are all just confused. haha but he's a good Choro. His doryo is Mota Choro. He's from Portugal. He was called to speak Portuguese! Which is so cool, but he still has to learn Japanese. His English is perfect, which he says he learned from video games. Thanks 'Merica. haha They are both going to Kobe too.
Then there's Ateru Choro, he's from Australia! Super sugoi!! And his doryo, Guiterraz Choro is from Utah. They are going to the Tokyo South mission. They are pretty cool guys. I am glad we all get along. My sensei's are amazing!
One is Edwards Shimai. She served in Tokyo. She's my age, which is kinda strange. But she is so good. And then Kowamura Kyodi (brother). He's from Japan and served in Japan but is going to BYU right now. He's really funny. haha He always says some crazy long sentence and goes easy? We're all like...uh EI (no)!!!!! haha
My doryo and I decided to read the BOM twice by the time we leave the MTC. I am super stoked for that. The language is super hard. I am almost always confused. haha It takes so long to plan lessons because we have to translate it into Japanese. You will all be surprised.. but I have been getting up at 5am to get extra study time in. After ALL I can do right? Everything is good here. The spirit is so strong. We are all here for the same purpose. It's a privilege to serve the Lord with all of these wonderful people! I love it!
Mom: Thanks for the bag and water bottle.. I could maybe use some Poo pourri...haha But other than that I'm dijobu. ( good) Are you at that sewing retreat this week? Love you!
Carianne: I was in the shower this morning and this girl started singing Phantom of the Opera. And I almost laughed out loud. I thought of you. You are so jozu ( skilled) at that song. You were definitely better...haha
I hope everyone is doing well! The time to email goes by so quickly! Thanks for the package and dear elder letter! I cried! I laughed at the card! So thanks Mandi. I could hear her say, "I picked out the card..so...you're welcome. hahaha I love you all and pray for you all the time. Tell me how things are going back home!
ai shite masu! (I love you)
Hirano Shimai

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