11:33 AM

I'll just lead all of you to believe that my lack of "Japanese moments" is due to the fact that I'm totally peda-peda now. (Fluent).

(I'm not).
But really, I'm getting better.
I'm freaking out that if I don't tell some exciting story that everyone will stop reading my emails and then I'll come home and have no friends. But you know what? NOTHING HAPPENS IN THE MTC. I mean, amazing things happen to me everyday, but nothing noteworthy enough for an email. In the meantime, hang with me. I've got four more weeks of this MTC stuff, so just sit tight, we'll get to Japan soon enough.
Yeah, I can't believe I only have four weeks left. It's crunch time! I need to learn ALL the Japanese and ALL the scriptures and ALL the lessons!!!
Oh, the most exciting venture of my Zone (we're a Zone now. There are now 14 of us!) was us defeating the "Tower Challenge" at lunch last Saturday. The Tower Challenge is when everyone participates in downing an entire "tower" or canister/dispenser of cereal. Some loser who shall remain nameless chose Lucky Charms, which is probably the worst possible choice of cereal to stuff your face with. Well, we did it. And I contributed four bowls of Lucky Charms to the cause. We're really productive in here.
Additionally, I gave my first Japanese talk in church last Sunday. Every week, the Presidency chooses a random missionary from the congregation to give a 3-5 minute talk in Japanese. I predicted that I would be the chosen one, and I was. I gave a pretty boss talk on "Enduring to the End" which was made a success by a great Matt Smith quote I shared:
"When the going gets tough, the tough get going."
Oh that Matt Smith was a wise one.
In other non-mission related news, I GOT ACCEPTED TO MY MAJOR AT BYU. Yesterday my mail-drought was ended (HINT HINT EVERYONE) with a wonderful package from my mother. Amongst the great treats and small things that I asked for was an intimidating envelope that held my future post-mish. I had scrambled to get my application together the week before coming into the MTC (with much help from my mom), knowing full well that I wasn't as prepared as I could be and that if I were to be accepted, it was in the Lord's hands.
Well, this kid is going to be a journalism major when she gets back from Japan. And she couldn't be more thrilled. This was a much-needed self-esteem booster at the end of an exhausting week.  Congratulations are accepted via mail. (Soooo, everyone write me letters).
The new "kohai" came this week, too. There were originally two new sisters, but one of them already speaks Japanese, so she was moved to the Advanced Track. That left poor Sister Breck to be a half solo sister in a district of 6 elders slash half companion to Sister Peterson and Sister Silva. She's awesome, though, and I was super excited to welcome her into the fold of the Shimai. It's just tough to be in her situation because she doesn't REALLY have a companion, but she also kind of has us as companions. It was a week of crazy logistics because one of us had to move in with her since she couldn't sleep by herself and we've had to adjust our schedule slightly to accommodate her needs. It's all good, though. I had a lot of busy days helping the Zone Leaders with Orientation.
The longer that I am here, the sadder I become that my district isn't all going to the same mission. Especially Sister Peterson. She and I have become dear friends. However, she is off to join the frozen chosen in Sapporo, while I will bask in the sun in Fukuoka.
Thank you all for your love and prayers. Ganbatte kudasai!
-Sumisu Shimai

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