10:49 AM

Japanese moment of the week:
Me: "Have you ever heard Adam and Eve?"
Investigator: "No..."
Me: "Oh! Well, they were our first parents."
Investigator: "Oh, well, I've heard ABOUT them..." (with a huge grin)
HOLY CANOLI I have never wanted to call home so badly as I did on Saturday! I just wish you all could have had the same experience as I sitting in a room full of missionaries when President Monson announced that young women could now serve at 19 and young men at 18. For all we know, he could have next said that we were practicing polygamy again because everyone erupted into applause, chatter, and all around buzz. We'll never know what he actually said. I cannot remember a time that I have been so excited. I have had COUNTLESS conversations with friends about how it didn't make sense that girls had to go later, etc. This means so much for the church and for women!
All around this means more missionaries... more missionaries means more missions... and more missions means more members! This is big news, kids. THE WORLD IS CHANGING.
This news has caused me to really reflect and think about my life and the events that have led me to be at this point today, at age 21. I've especially thought of my last two years at BYU, where I met some of my greatest friends in the world (Sarah Karlinsey), where I grew in independence, where I figured out what I wanted to do with my life. I know that I needed to serve a mission on September 5, 2012, at age 21. This is the right time for me. My time in Tahiti, my time at BYU, the things that I've accomplished, and Dad dying have all helped me become the missionary that I needed to be. So in many selfish ways, I can say that Heavenly Father made this change to accommodate my personal needs. I am SO excited for the upcoming young sisters, but I know that that wasn't supposed to be me.
It's weird to think that I'll probably have some 19-year-old companions! And that I am among the last generation of had-to-be-21-year-olds.
And, like, what is going to happen to the dorms at BYU? Are people going to actually marry people their own age? This changes how Young Women's teaches about missionary work. And this means that missionary work is much more of a priority for youth in general. This changes the whole culture of writing a missionary! So many questions. 
Oh man. Mom, I'm SO excited to be able to call you in a month. And then we can talk about this, and it will be awesome. Start writing stuff down now.
I'm also curious, where did you watch the Sunday session? When we sang "Called to Serve" I was trying to picture where you would be at that moment and whether or not you were singing with me.
Seriously though, I'm so pumped. And forever more, I'll be able to say, "When IIII was in the MTC..."
Anyways. This weekend was seriously the greatest. It's like a party here. We had no class, we just got to watch conference, have free time, write in our journals or write letters. I loved so many talks. President Uchtdorf's was defintely one of my favorites, as was Elder Holland's. I also loved Elder Nelson's talk about missionary work. "Just ask the missionaries! They can help you!" (to which I leaned to my companions and go, "We can help them with all that?")
The other great thing about Conference Weekend is I got to spend some time with my wonderful cousin Derrick's girlfriend - and my dear friend - Mackenzie. I finally ran into her on Friday, and then on Saturday/Sunday we kept crossing paths. I ate a few meals with her. It was so nice to have a friend from the outside world to talk about the news and discuss General Conference. It's been a real blast.
Our District is now 8 again. Elder Waddell who was going to leave early didn't actually leave. They forgot to buy him a ticket. Sooooo, he's back with us. It's whatever.
We celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving yesterday by eating pumpkin bread and sparkling apple cider on a blanket in our hallway. Classy.
Mom, I actually ran into Sister Tae at the MTC the other day. I didn't know her in Tahiti, but she recognized me. I'm glad you had a good experience at the reunion, I was thinking about you. Elder Norawong makes fun of me all the time for knowing people everywhere. He came up to me by the mailroom yesterday and goes, "OH MY GOSH, IT'S SISTER SMITH. CAN I HAVE YOUR AUTOGRAPH???" and then everyone started looking so I just yelled, "Yes! I know everyone at the MTC! It's cool!" He says the reason I don't miss Facebook is because all of my friends are actually here. He has a point.
Also, Megan, if you're reading this, I literally sent you a letter the day that I got your letter. I didn't have your address, though, so I sent it to my mom. I'll write you back again.
I love you all, ai shiteimasu, and keep writing and praying and stuff!
-Sumisu Shimai

You Might Also Like


  1. This filled my heart with all kinds of good things and made me emotional. I guess that's just the state of being for a boyfriend in waiting -- even when MacKenzie gets just one paragraph my day gets made. Love you Lauren!


Like us on Facebook