#32

10:50 PM

Dear all,


Well, this girl finally saw some Conference. And it was in English. I partied with my American Elder friends and my cute Filipino Dorothy friend. It was a good experience. I loved President Uchtdorf`s and Elder Holland`s. Good stuff right there.

We also had Shimai Taikai this week. It was fun to get together with all the gurlz. I`m not such a big fan of big ``girl get-togethers`` so I wasn`t 100% looking forward to it, but I did enjoy seeing the people I know. There`s a strange pressure that comes with getting together with all these missionaries. It`s hard not to compare yourself to everyone and feel like you`re not doing enough. But all in all, I learned a lot of necessary things and was able to make some new friends. I got to go out streeting with another veteran sister - Sister Hinode`s MTC companion. That was a blast. There are about 80% more people in Fukuoka than there are in Hiroshima, though, so it`s hard to translate all of the things I learned to my daily proselyting. But, whatever. In Hatsukaichi we have to go out with a flash light and search under park benches to FIND people to talk to. In Fukuoka you just walk out your door and there`s a thousand people waiting for you.

The main cool thing I learned that`s going down for the rest of my mission is there are now ``Sister Training Leaders.`` With the enormous influx of sisters, President Gustafson got a letter from Salt Lake that asked to now call these sista-leaders. The responsibilities are basically the equivalent of a Zone Leader. I was beyond thrilled at this development. From hearing the announcement of the age change just 6 months ago while in the MTC to seeing new leadership opportunities open for sister missionaries, I am convinced that now is the best time to be serving a mission. I haven`t always thought that, but I definitely do now. I am not saying this for my benefit and because I want to receive higher status - quite the contrary. But as Sister Dalton said in conference, us women people have a part and our part matters. (The feminist in me is coming out now. My apologies). Anyway, all of these changes are exciting and good. And it`s just plain awesome to be a part of the ``wave`` of missionaries coming in by the thousands.

So at the Sisters conference, Sister Hinode did a training on ``Companion Relationships.`` Sister Hinode had one particularly tough companion quite a while ago, but she came through like a champ. Anyway, she gave a great training on how to show love for your companion when it`s tough and how important it is to work at the relationship. I realized in that moment just how lucky I`ve been to have her for so long. If I learned nothing else, I learned from that Sunrise Sister how to be a good companion. I have a feeling that her example will help me a lot in the year to come.

Also, let`s get a round of applause for our amazing Yamamoto-san. She`s been clean of tobacco for a week and a half! Depending on a few things, she`ll be baptized either this coming Sunday or the following Saturday. Man, it`s been incredible to see her change. Everything is put into perspective when you see that - no matter the doubts or questions you have - the gospel really can bless people`s lives and help them change for good. That brings me a real good feeling. I`m super pumped. Miracles all around!

The best part of my day so far was running into two Frenchmen on the train this morning. I saw them sitting and it was clear they were speaking French. So I went up to them and started chatting. Ever since my run-in with the French family on Miyajima a few months ago (the epic failure one where I could hardly get two sentences out), I have started praying in French every night. (True story. I`m NOT losing my language skills, dang it!) I am pleased to say that I carried on a pretty decent conversation with these two very nice men from Paris, taught them about the Restoration and gave them each a Restoration Pamphlet (they spoke English too). BAM. That`s me. Doing missionary work. In French. Like a boss. 

I`ve been pretty giddy about it all day.

It`s now my goal to find a French INVESTIGATOR and teach them. 

My Japanese has taken over a little (I still had a little trouble remembering certain vocab), but my French comprehension is still top notch. 

That`s my bragging moment for the day. Sorry, I`ll stop now. 

Tell Derrick I`m totally planning on joining him in NYC in a few years. What a dog. Through several stories from Sister Gustafson and listening to General Conference, it`s only been confirmed to me that I want to work in the media somehow. I do look forward to coming home to BYU and writing again. And then I`ll try and be half as awesome as my cousin and make it east with a way cool internship. But it`ll probably only take me half as far. Like to Ohio.

Anyway, it`s been real! I feel like my letters are becoming lamer and lamer. Hopefully this week we`ll have a baptism and other super awesome experiences finding that I can share with you next week. 

A faa`ito`ito! 愛しています!

-スミス 姉妹



1. Me and my ``doki`` (the group I came to Japan with) - Sisters Clingo, Andaca, and Kuribayashi
2. Me and Sisters Buhler and Eddy, whom I also knew in the MTC and have since become pals with.
3. President making eggs. We`re planning on using it as his campaign picture when he runs for President. (He IS a doppelganger for George Bush, is he not?)

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