Herro, errybahdeh! Dis week whas a widdle intewesting!
So in my branch, there are new missionaries that come in every 3 weeks. Thus, we have kouhais (weeks 0-3), Senpais (Weeks 3-6) and Dai Senpais (weeks 6-9). This week, new messionaries came in. I decided to have nothing but a chinese accent for them all. And they all believe me.
Anyway, there was this one kid that started laughing at my accent, which quickly developed into a "coughing fit" (he was a horrible actor).
Anyway, some general responses to letters I got that apply to everyone. First off, my cousin Leanne asked if role-playing (Mogi in nihongo) is weird. I would like to cite Moroni 10: 5 "And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things." The Holy Ghost is a being that testifies of truth, regardless of when or why it is said. Thus, in our roleplays, we can discover the truth of the gospel just as if we were teaching. Well, almost. Hopefully, when I'm actually teaching, there will be a LOT less "Eto" and "Ano"'s (nihongo version of 'um'). But the power of the Holy Ghost is there.
I have an experience about it, actually. So last week, we had TRC for the first time. TRC is where volunteers come and let us teach them the gospel in Nihongo. Problem was, they were short on volunteers, so we just taught another district. What we were going to teach was the gospel of Christ (See 2 Nephi 31, 3 Nephi 9, and 3 Nephi 27). However, partway through the first principle of the gospel (faith), I got a prompting to stay on it and share more. As I took a leap of faith and tried to teach principles that I had not really practiced in Nihongo. But, D&C 84:85 promises that if you treasue up the words of Heaven, you shall be given in the moment what to say. As my companion and I tried to teach, I felt a powerful burning in my bosom. It felt like someone had poured magma into my soul, but it didn't hurt. It continued to expand until it touched every inch of my body. It energized my soul. I loved that feeling. I never wanted to lose it. EVER.
But I'm human. SO i've made some mistakes as a missionary since then. I've gotten a bit upset and offended at things, but have done my best.
Oh yeah! I'm the district leader now.
Anyway, one of my assignments as district leader is to get the mail. There's a couple missionaries in my 13 person district (One Elder's plane got hit by lightning on his way to the MTC, so we just have a tri-panionship) who really, really, REALLY, really, REALLY like their mail. In fact, one of them gets about 6 letters a day and 1 package every 2 days. It's ridiculous. To me, it doesn't make sense, since he's there to serve, not get packages. Anyway, this elder is one of the few who push me to go check the mail as often as possible. Now, in my mind, I consider one of the challenges of my district as being on time. Timeliness and accountability are both parts of being missionaries, so I prioritized that over getting the mail, since checking the mail 3x a day isn't going to change how much mail you get. So Wednesday, I fell asleep during dinner and forgot about the mail, since it was my 3rd day as district leader. After class, I sprinted and got the mail before the building closed. Friday, I didn't get the mail after lunch becasue (and I feel bad for saying this as an excuse, but it's really the truth) my companion ate kinda slow. THen we had gym and PMG study time, which we barely made it in time for. The said package elder and his companion (companion is anti-Sami-shower-Singing man) came in and asked if I got the mail. I said no. They asked why. I said it was study time. Package elder said, "Well you didn't get it after lunch." I said, "I know. I was going to gym time." anti S.S.S. Elder decided to get in on it, and began to slam me for not fulfilling my duty. In my mind, I was. I was attempting to be punctual and Christ-like, serving my district by example, not just by running and getting mail when told to. Anti S.S.S. Elder said something along the lines of, "Just because you never get letters and don't care to get mail doesn't mean you shouldn't go get it for other people." I said, "I do get mail. I get a lot of mail." On this particulaer day, my mail had gotten misprinted and came out of another box, so I had already gotten mine. Thinking this a trum card, Anti SSS elder said, "Well you get your mail otherwise, so you are just not going becasue you don't care." I then apologized and said, "I'm trying my best as a district leader." He then said, citing what had happened on Wednesday, "Falling asleep when you should get mail isn't doing your best."
Now, I will be honest. I was upset. Very hurt, in fact. Tears welled up in my eyes as I heard those words from someone I was trying my best to serve, lead, and love. He then left with his companion, both quite frustrated with my lack of commitment on getting their mail. The natural man in me wanted to get up; to yell; to intellectually beat the living daylights out of the elder that spit on everything I tried to do for him and the district. But I just swallowed it back and studied. Soon, the ex-district leader, Elder Baker, and his companion came in. They said, calmly, quietly, respectfully, and correctly, "Hey, Elder Chun. We all really would appreciate it very much if you checked the mail after lunch and dinner, since checking twice is specifically listed as a duty." I didn't know that, so I apologized sincerely, saying, "I'm sorry. I didn't know I was supposed to check twice. I was just going to check after dinner." I then wanted to get some of my feelings out, so I tried to let them know how I felt without getting upset. "I would also really appreciate it if you elders didn't slam me," (at this point I started crying for real) "for not getting the mail when I'm trying." They quickly apologized, and I told them not to worry, since it was Elders Package and anti SSS that made me feel like an utter failure when I was trying so hard.
After that, I tried studying more, but my being hurt and upset wouldn't leave my mind. I couldn't concentrate on the topic I was studying (The gift of the Holy Ghost). So, as I read about the Holy Ghost being the Comforter, I got down on my knees in class and began to pray. I poured out my soul to God, telling him that I needed Him. I told him, "Yes. I know that I asked you for correction and humility. I know that this leadership position is an answer to that. I know and realize that you want me to turn to you. So here I am. Change me."
And He did. He healed my injured heart and made it so I could study more deeply about the Holy Ghost. I gained an increased testimony of the power of the members of the Godhead. I began to love and appreciate God more than I already did.
I tell you this story because I trust that none of you will get upset at said Elders. Each person has their own trials, and these two have things harder than most I know at home. Thus, if you are feeling upset at them, pray for charity. They're 18-year-old kids that don't realize that a missionary means standing as a special witness of God at all times, things, and places yet. And that's ok. So for those who are aggravated at them, forgive them. For they don't know what they did (see what I did there? :D haha)
Anyway, apparently I have not told enough about my companion, because I've gotten questions regarding him. So like I said, he's a quieter, half-white, half-mexican version of me. So take a recording of my voice, make it quieter, make it lower pitch, and imagine him bigger. Yup. That's Elder Simmons.
Also, watch mormon messages. They are awesome. Especially the Mother's day tribute and Heavenly Father, Eternal Father.
And Dani? You are a びしようじよ
Love you all! Hope you don't think my mission sucks! I love it here and wouldn't trade it for anything. :D