Tuesday, June 11, 2013

MTC Week 1

Konniciwa Kazoku!!! Meaning, hello family! 

It seems so strange that already a week has gone by since I've physically talked to you all, but I'm so happy to write to you! I miss you all so much, but i just gotta say... The MTC is AMAZING. My district is totally awesome, and my comp is pretty great! His name is Elder Turley, and he's from Mesa, AZ. ;) To answer Mom's question, yes June 5th was the most amount of missionary arrivals in history! I'm apart of history! Haha, but seriously, it was packed. One really awesome thing was that when we met with the MTC presidency for the arrival speech type thing, take a guess what the opening song was? No... Not Nearer my God to Thee. ;) If You Could Hie to Kolob! It was honestly such a comforter to me, and gave me a feeling that I was where I was supposed to be. One thing that they do here which I'm not too sure if they did this for Dad or Tyler, is that it is COMPLETE language immersion. (Spellcheck?) My teacher is hilarious, but seriously he didn't speak English for two and a half days! He just got back from the Sapporo mission, so it gave me some hope for what I want to do after my mission.  Nihongo, or Japenese, is pretty dang tough! Haha, but I can honestly say I have a strong testimony in Igen No Tamamono, or gift of tongues. When you feel the Spirit as you learn a new language, it just begins to flow. The MTC has picked up on this too, as day 2 you teach a lesson entirely in Japanese... Which was pretty intense!

We taught this Actor Investigator named Hirata-San, and the lesson went pretty well although I could barely speak! It was so cool though, after we had finished our lesson I had this strong impression to bear my testimony as best as I could without looking at the Japanese guide book, and the Spirit was SO STRONG! My heart was burning.  It's incredible how when you seperate yourself from all of the worldy things, tv, music, video games etc, you begin to feel the Spirit so strong.  In the past six days, I have felt the love of our Heavenly Father so much, especially his compassion upon 18-19 year old boys trying to learn a language where basically the translation makes you sound like Yoda, haha.

But yeah! My District is seriously amazing, and my overall zone is super nice.  I feel like Dwight Schrute, we're all referred to as Kohai, the Choro's (Elders) that have been here for three weeks or so are called Senpai, and the Choro's about to leave are all called Dai-Senpai. Seriously... Dwight Schrute status. My host is in my branch, and one of the Dai-Senpai! He's been super helpful with all of us Kohai, helping with the language, memorizing Hiragana and all of that.  Last night while we were doing language study the Dai-Senpai came in to give us a little encouragement, as they could tell we had a long day.  Basically 9 hours of studying Nihongo. But they explained to us that apparently the suicide rate in Japan is staggeringly high.  Many of the people there have lost the will to live due to the fact they don't have a belief in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and many live monotonous lives of work, getting drunk, and working more. It nearly brought us all to tears, and we all went home determined to master the language and spread the gospel to the people of Japan. I just want to say really quick, this Gospel is amazing. The last few days I've felt like Heavenly Father has been chipping at my rough edges and molding me into the Senkyoshi he wants me to be. This Gospel has the incredible ability to just bring people together. Ahh, I'm just loving it. I know there will be challenges ahead, but I know that with the help of the Savior, I can overcome them. 

Nihongo is really such a hilarious language at times, and people are all super understanding.  So many little things can totally change your sentence! for instancem, so far two Elders have told their investigator that God is sick all the time, another group said two CARROTS descended to Joseph, and yesterday one group of Shimai (sisters) told their investigator that he was in fact Jesus Christ! It's all in good fun, and everybody messes with everybody. My nickname in my district is Smiley Choro! Go figure, haha. 
To answer Whit's question, YES! We found secret compartments in our room! Apparently, the old Dai-Senpai who just left were in our room, and they left all kinds of awesome treats. Including a little wrapped present that contained some candy, and as well these awesome little easter eggs that had all these encouraging scriptures to help us in times of need. It was way cool. :) I'm a senior Comp by the way! I don't think that really means much in the MTC, but yeah, haha.  

There are very few experiences that we have in this life that teach us to ENTIRELY rely on the Spirit, and have the faith that Heavenly Father will bless you, and that He truly loves you.  I miss you all so much, but I know where this is where the Lord wants me to be. So excited for the future ahead! Thank you all so much for the emails by the way, I really appreciated each one! Love and miss you all!

Justesen Choro.

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