Email from Steph on Sat., July 13, 2013

Saturday, July 13, 2013 9:55 AM
Hey family,
This week went by super fast but the days go by so slow. I can’t believe I have almost been here for three weeks. Thank you for all of the letters and packages. Sunday was fast sunday so we had a misison conference with the whole mtc and the mtc presidency spoke. The president talked about all the new technologies that we will get to use and how with that comes more responsibilities. People kept thinking they were going to come out handing out ipads but that didn’t happen. I don’t think we will get any new technology until we get out in the field but we do have about 6 more weeks left so who knows. That night at the fireside there was a Durrant from American fork who spoke. He married a byu professor and they will be serving in Illinois I think it was. He gave a good talk about being bold and was very funny. My whole district loved the talk.
On Monday we had our first lesson with Watabi. It didn’t go very well. It was hard bcause this lesson we couldn’t use any English. But we learned a lot from it. I was played volleyball and saw some people from the debate world there. It was fun. I also saw Kelsey Rasband one of my friends from high school. It was good seing her. That night our old sister training leaders who are leaving for Japan in two days came to sing to us. There is a song called party in the usa (its like 3 years old) anyway they made up lyrics that were revelant to the mtc. It was hilarious. I am really going to miss them. They are the best but they are all going to Kobe so I am sure I will see them sometime in the field.
Tues are the days we go play volleyball as a district on the field. It is really fun. All the girls duck when the ball comes at them but I am diving all over the place for it. It is really funny to watch. On the way there I was wearing my Utah shirt and I met some fellow Muss Missionaries. It was good to talk to them about this last season and to not be surronded by tds fans everywhere.  We also have the firesides where we go to tds campus that night. There was a couple who are going to a mission who spoke. I can’t remember the name and forgot to write it down. Anyway he gave us a really cool blessing at the end of his talk. He blessed us that we would get help with the language, be diligient workers etc. I don’t think I have ever heard a talk so powerful and one that bestows so many cool blessings in my life. It was a great experience even if it was on tds campus:)
Wed we taught a lesson to Shibatta son and it went really well. We tried doing it in all Japanese to practice for when we taught watabi the next time. It was really cool for me because I felt the spirit tell me to go a different way and I did and the words I studied came into my mind. It wasn’t perfect grammer but it was enough that he was able to understand. It doesn’t matter what is said but that the spirit is there teaching. It was one of the best lessons so far. We also did a bicep burner for our workout and it felt awesome!
Thursday mornings are our service time. We do the same thing every week. My job is to vacuum two floors. We have so many in our zone though that we get done before our service time is up. So we sit and talk with the custodians. They are really cool and have some really funny stories. One of them is Vanessa and mom you would like her because she told us a story of how she rescued a duck and feed it when it was about a week old. It reminded me of you and your whole family. Thursdays are the most crowded in the MTC and they get worse every week. The lines for anything now are huge. I am glad we are already used to getting up at 5 on p days to do laundry because during our allotted time there are no washers open. We also had a food party for the missionaries who leave on Monday. I have pictures I will send later today. Anyway everyone love all the food that was sent so thank you so much! It seems like we can’t put a dent in it though. We eat every night but  we still have three boxes of stuff. Everyone here says to tell you  that they don’t know you but love  you already since you send food:)
Friday it hit us that we have no idea what is going on in the world. I miss reading my post every morning but know that right now this is more important to spend time studying the scriptures. We also gave our 2nd lesson to Watabi and it went so much better! Japanese got really hard yesterday. We started learning when to use which polite form etc. There is a polite scale and different occassions call for different polite forms. I am sure we will get used to when to use which one when we are in the field and as more time in class passes. I also met Nneka Deans first companion in the MTC. This sister had to learn english and then learn japanese. It is amazing how much of both she knows. She is excited to finally be able to leave for the field on Monday. She also said she loved Nneka and misses her. Also the teachers here won’t tell us stories from their mission. So during breaks I keep asking bcause we all want to know more what it is like to serve in Japan. Finally yesterday both teachers broke down and told us stories during our break times. They were really interesting to hear about the train stations and words they got mixed up. My stubborness still helps me sometimes:)
Today I am wearing my Georgetown shirt and everyone asks if I went there. It is pretty funny to see their face when I tell them yes and then say no I just went to a camp there. Anyway this week has been pretty good. Wed we are no longer the kohai (meaning we are the youngest Japanese missionaries or been here the shortest time). We become the sempai so that will be fun. All the new ones will be going to the Northern part of Japan though so not the same missions.
Anyway I am glad that every had a good fourth of July. Happy Birthday Late Robbie! I hope you had a good time in California. Greg I am glad that Cider is back and safe. I am sure she missed you and was very excited. So I hear you are thinking of setting a date later this year, is that true? You better keep me updated!
Anyway I love you all,
Shelton Shimai

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