Monday, October 20, 2014

Well, I just wrote the subject for this email and suddenly got sad :( So I will not dwell on the fact it was my last, but rather on what was discussed. 
It was a great opportunity to get all caught up with all of the protocols and standards in this mission. I love being here, and President Choi is wonderful! Something that was very much emphasized was the difference between sacrifice and obedience. What the Spirit taught me is that sacrifice (in a mission sense) is passive, and not active. We all decided to give certain things up when we decided to serve- school, family, the world. But what matters right now, is being active, which is exact obedience. I have gained a testimony of exact obedience on my mission and now love it :) This presentation by President Choi was impressive though. He just put everything into context, and honestly it just makes sense. He is a great teacher and I am honored to be here in this mission to be tutored by him. 

One of my favorite experiences was this last week with a member named Nate. He is really fun to be with, and I felt impressed that we needed to commit him to comply with one of the mission rules- to sing hymns in the shower. You should have seen his reaction! He totally did not want to, but after being coaxed for a while he reluctantly agreed. Nate is a champ, and did it for quite a few days this week! 

On Wednesday I was able to go out to lunch with Irene- a friend from High School! I love her so much, and it was great to catch up. Also she is willing to meet up occasionally and help us with our Chinese language learning. She is from Taiwan, and so might as well get tutored from the expert!

We had a miracle this week. We have been needing a new binder for our Area Book, and the Zone Leaders had not been able to get it to us yet. So, we pestered them a little bit, and they told us if we were able to get 5 member present in a lesson with an investigator that day,  they would hand deliver it. Well, little did you know but I have developed skills with bartering on my Mission (I have been to China town quite a bit here ;) and so we bartered them down to three. Which by the way, would still be a complete miracle We knew that we could get at least one that night, but had no idea for the others. So, we were trying to find a member that was hanging around in the Institute to go out contacting with us, when we walked into the Library and met Shaelee. She is a non-member, and wanted a Church tour! So of course we took her on one, got to know her, and we were going to end in the Chapel. Well, right at that moment Michael (who was the perfect person to be friends with Shaelee) is walking by with his long-board and so we invite him to come along. Michael bore a pure and perfect testimony to her, and the Spirit was very strong. Shaelee wants to learn more, and we are so excited! Total miracle that we met her, and then the fact that someone was able to walk by, with time to be in the lesson, and who was as perfect as Michael? God's hand everyone, God is involved in our lives!
Michael and Shaelee are very hipster, and so Sister Wawro and I had a good time after the lesson trying to explain what a hipster was. "They like to wear ugly things, and try to be original but are really just like everyone else... because everyone else is doing it." "Seesters, that does not make sense!" "We know Sister Imai, we know!"

We had a great lesson with Makaela this week. First off, she surprised us on Tuesday night by just showing up at the Institute with her boyfriend- best surprise ever! We had a lesson scheduled but at least we were able to visit with her. Then, in our lesson it turned into a lesson entirely on the Atonement. I love the feeling when I know that the Spirit is talking, and not me. Normally afterwards I can only kind of remember what I said, and mostly I just remember the feeling of peace and warmth. I love being an instrument in the Lord's hand and being able to share personal experiences to help strengthen others.

Chinese- eeeehhhhhhhh baby steps! I can now pray, and ish understand. In Mandarin Sunday Schoool, Elder Zhao would look back occasionally and just giggle because he thought it was so funny how I did not understand anything. At one point in the lesson, they asked in English if I had anything to add to the attributes of Christ that was not written up on the board. In reply, I said, 'Well, if I could understand what was already written up there then I would totally share something very insightful buuuuuuttttt....." and then all of the Chinese students just laughed. Good thing they all understand English! 

We had a great experience with an investigator named JW. He is getting a Master's in Music at the University of Washington, and is very sensitive to the Spirit. He actually called out to us on the street on our way to an appointment, and we were able to set up a time to meet with him. For our first lesson, we decided to teach the lesson through song. A particular highlight was to the song, "A Child's Prayer". I had remembered your challenge to us at the New Missionary Training Meeting to use this song, and the result was quite wonderful. We were on exchanges with Sister Brooksby at the time, and so she was playing the piano while Sister Wawro and I sang it for him. The music was out and we invited him to sing along when he was comfortable. After one time through, he asked if we could sing it two or three more times! He said that he felt, "moved upon by the Holy Spirit!" We testified to him that he was feeling the Holy Ghost because it's role is to witness of truth. JW truly can receive answers to his prayers, just as it promises in that song. We sang it another time, and he was overjoyed. Another moment was when we sang "Joseph Smith's First Prayer". Before we sang, Sister Wawro explained the story, and recited the First Vision. Then, I played the piano while Sister Wawro sang a solo for the first verse, and we all joined in on the remaining verses. JW was visibly touched and we are looking forward to setting a date with him next time we meet. 

Our service this week was editing English papers for the Chinese students. Ha! It has been so long since I have done anything like that, but it was a great refresher. It just cracks me up that that is what we are allowed to do as service here. I worked on one girl's essay for about 3 hours! But, it is now finished and she has her application to the Public Health program submitted :)

Moment on Saturday with a member "Eh, after about 45 min I just mentally went, 'I'm counting this as service!' " 

Yesterday girl in the YSA Ward got her call to Jacksonville, FL where Sister Munro is! I told her to email Sister Munro and get all of the details. There, one of the Ward members brought his friend Abdul, and Abdul wants to meet with us. Poor guy, he has been in the 

funny moment:  Sister Imai tells everyone that I am old. She goes up to people and says "she is thirty!" "twenty SIster Imai, twenty!!"

teaching Sister Imai how to say her R's. One of the cutest things ever!

Love you all! Have a great week!

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