Thank you so much for your birthday wishes! It was weird to read teh names of a lot of people I haven`t thought about in a long time, but it warmed my heart to hear all the wonderful wishes from people I love. I did open my presents and I love them! I wore the white shirt from Grandma and Grandpa the day I opened it and we`ve been listening to the CD every meal haha. I hope it doesn`t get old too fast haha. I love that CD though. It so beautifully portrays the feelings of everyone associated with Christ. My birthday was very wonderful. I really enjoyed it here in wonderful little old Kitami :) Thank you so much!
Wow...I can`t believe it`s already the new year. I woke up and said Happy New Year to my companion in a really big voice and he graciously said "uuumnggg" and rolled over in his bed :P haha. It`s great to hear all the new years resolutions Dad :). We`ve been asking the ward members as well what their Rainen no Houfu (Next years aspirations or goals) are. I haven`t thought too much about it honestly. Time isn`t quite the same in the mission. It doesnt seem real, but this morning during personal study I was reading a talk called The 4th Missionary and it gave me a couple ideas of how I can become a more devoted disciple of Christ. God has truly given us everything. When we serve Him with all our might and strength we are giving back to him things that he blesses us with each day. A beating heart, working lungs, a healthy body. But when we serve him with our Mind and might we are giving to him "us." We have agency and our own thoughts, but when we give those all up to Christ we really become instruments in His Hands and come to enjoy the work we`re doing. It goes from a thing of duty to a desire of our own and we are changed through the Atonement of Christ. God can`t mold us into the best us if we don`t give ourselves to Him. That is the way of the 4th missionary. Becoming a Disciple of Christ instead of a good missionary. So this morning I wrote down thoughts that keep me from being happy and focused (like--I`m cold--) and I wrote them in thankful form (like---I`m grateful that God gave me a body that can feel things like coldness and warmth). I`m excited to train my thoughts even more.
I think it`s inevitable to think about family and home during Christmas, but I`m so glad to be here. It was strange being me (the only English person in Kitami) and my companion during my birthday and new years and the Christmas season, but I was very grateful for it :)
That`s fun that you got to be with the sister missionaries! I didn`t really see the missionaries much in Boise, but I wish I had gotten to work with them some more.
thank you so much for your thoughts mom and dad. Mom`s thought has been on my mind a lot lately. I think of raising kids in teh future and how I`m so glad I`m making mistakes iwth my companions so I don`t make them with my kids haha. But I really do have to rely on the Lord and he will make everything right. Thank you so much for relying onthe Lord and being the wonderful parents you are. Your example is one of the greatest things I had I think. I never saw momand dad fighting even when there are plenty of reasons to fight, so I understand unity a lot better now with my companion. There`s a lot of things I`ve learned from your example and a lot of things I`m learning now.
My fingers are freezing to the keyboard as I`m typing, so I`m going to hurry up and tell one last experience.
Yesterday was "A Day with the Book of Mormon" day for the Sapporo mission. We fasted and woke up, got ready and read the Book of Mormon from 8-6. I was a little scared I would get really tired or a head ache or something, but I was fine! Definitely a blessing of the Lord. I read 9:50 minutes straight and only got through Jacob haha. Your eyes get a little tired, but I learned a lot. Just little bits of hope came to me about the future the more I read. And it seems all the members inthe branch were prompted by the Spirit to bring us some sort of food. They came throughout the day and brought us little snacks and o-bento`s periodically throughout the day. It was a great yuuwaku (tempation) during fasting throughout the day, but dinner was great :) It was a testimony to me that God watches out for His servants and those whom they love and pray for as well.
Well, my hands are very cold now, so I`m going to get going :P but Happy New Years!!! Yoi O-Toshi Yo! I`ll talk to you again in may! I love you all so much!
P.S. I`m listening to my companion play the piano right now and it reminded me of the beautiful melodies Jill always played. Let her know that I miss her and I`m thinking about her! Thank you!