First, I had an important realization at last Tuesday night's devotional. Let me give a backstory first. All my life I have felt like I don't really have any talents. When in young women's we were asked to make a display of something we were good at, I had to get really creative because I honestly could not think of anything. I am a nice girl who can't sing, dance, paint, draw, and I'm not even particularly athletic. The lack of those things has come to my notice even more at the MTC because it seems that everyone here is talented at all those things!! Cue realization: I am kind of good at one thing though. I become invested in other people's success, and I honestly love getting to know people. Never would I have thought of this as a talent, but on Tuesday I was prompted to know that this is a talent that God has blessed me with, and He has a reason for it. I know that this talent will help further His kingdom and that I can help others come unto Christ through this talent.
Along with this realization, I decided that I needed a outlook on how I use this talent! I could no longer think of myself as simply a friend to all. I'm more than that! As a missionary, I am set apart by a prophet of God to preach his word. I am no longer that friendly Renae girl who creepily remembers everyone's names. I am Sister Feist, a representative of Jesus Christ, and I remember others' names because people are important. I can feel God's love for the people of Japan, and I know that He know's each of them individually. I hope that through me, they can feel his love and know of their importance.
I've been working on goals a lot lately, and have been making kind of mission statements in order to help me know what I'm working toward. I though I would share with you all my vision for when I get to Japan. I'm well aware that it might sound terribly cheesey, but it's honestly helping me with my focus in study times...
My Vision For When I Get To Nihon (Japan)
I will leave the MTC with lifelong friends. People who I helped come closer to Christ, and who have forever touched my heart. These people will know how they have influenced my life and how great they are in God's eyes.
I will leave being able to have a conversation with someone on Nihongo. I will be able to lovingly learn about them so that I might know what Christ needs them to know through me. This includes asking inspired questions and (hopefully) understanding the answers.
I will be able to simply and effectively teach gospel principles through scripture. I will know that the Lord needs of me in order to teach, and I will constantly follow His promptings.
Guys, this is what it's all about!! This is what I'm working towards right now, and why I am serving. My purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ, and Japanese is a tool in making that happen! I am receiving the Gift of Tongues. I can speak so much Nihongo, like I'm not perfect at it, but it is coming and I know that I would not know any of this if not for the Lord's help. I am also understanding a lot these days! Funny story time:
Along with me wanting to know everything about everyone, my Sensei does not tell us anything about his personal life. He won't even like live life for us or watch movies for us. But this week he shared a really personal story with us... In Nihongo. So the entire time I'm like understanding it kind of and being sympathetic and stuff. Well, at the end of the night all of the Sisters were talking about it and WE ALL HEARD DIFFERENT STORIES. The funny thing is, we all thought that we had heard the right story too! So the next morning we talk to one of the elders who knows really good Nihongo and he said that my companion's story was right. So then that night we are talking to our Sensei and he says that it was my story that was actually right!! The whole situation was just so awkward and comical that it's hard to properly convey through an email.
I'm getting so good at volleyball. Five days a week we get gym time with the elders and while my companion runs, I play volleyball with the elders from other districts. It is so much fun!! I've been working on my serve, and I keep it so that the elders don't get to competitive. But in all honesty, I'm probs one of the most competitive people there. It's just so much fun!!! Berube Choro (Mom, you know his mom!) and I are the best from our district. We pretty much own.
Finally, I have a really exciting surprise for you all!! I have been selected to sing in a special sister missionary choir at this upcoming General Relief Society Broadcast. So yeah, the girl who has never really sung in her life will be singing in an international broadcast. Live on the internet. So you should all probably watch it so that you can see me. Singing 2nd alto. Which is a range I didn't even know existed. But yeah, if you want to see me wearing my awkwardly required jewel toned collared shirt you should watch the broadcast this Saturday.
I'm sure there's more I need to say, but in all honestly, typing just does not really fully express the emotions I am feeling. I am so happy and love where I am in my life. Keep writing, since I leave for Nihon in 2 WEEKS!!!!