Well, another week down at the MTC, and I'm feeling pretty great! Just want to say first of all thank you so much for all of the care packages and letters I received this week, they seriously meant so much to me, I loved them! Delicious treats and all that jazz really help on tough days. So! Still loving the MTC, dealing with the challenges head on. The language is coming along pretty great actually! I've now learned how to bear my testimony, say prayers, and even teach a short lesson. So really cool experience, remember how I said that we have these "investigators" that we have to teach almost everyday in our mission langauge? Well! Turley Choro and I had to teach this one lesson with him (Hirata-san) and it was going pretty rough. He kept saying "wakarimasen" which means he wasn't understanding what we were saying. I was so bummed!! But, suddenly the Spirit kind of just took over and I could remember the words I needed to say to get my point across. I ended up bearing my testimony on the truthfulness of the Gospel, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ's love for us, and the truthfulness of the Atonement and how it has blessed me. Honestly... I have no idea how the words started just coming to my memory, but I'm so thankful that it did. Hirata-san ended up being our new Sensei (teacher) and his name is Brother Ekins! Guess what, Elder Turley and I got a shout out from him, and he said if we would have committed him to baptism, he would have said yes. Heck yes. It was seriously such a huge confidence booster for me, as it let me know that you don't need to be a master at the language for your investigator to feel the Spirit.
Honestly, I cannot express enough how strong the Spirit is here at this great place. Our recent devotional was so awesome, as it was broadcast from the Wyview Campus, which was the first time in history! The speaker was Elder Allen, who is the creator of all of the "family, isn't it about time" ads. He was amazing! He gave all these awesome inspirational quotes that helped us all feel the Spirit really strong and continue to press on. Another awesome thing that happened this week was we had a whole group of Nihon-jin come to the MTC and be in our branch! Nihon-jin is Japansese, so yeah, we had all of these amazing missionaries from all over Japan (i.e. Tokyo, Kobe, Osaka, etc.) and they're all in our branch! I honestly feel such a strong a strong love for these wonderful people. Kudo Choro who's from... Shoot, I forgot, near Tokyo I believe, has become my good buddy! He really likes that I say, "sweet, sweet" and he says it to me everytime, haha. It was so cool, so they had a special screening of "Testaments" in Japanese, so our whole branch went to go watch it! It was so incredible to feel the Spirit so strongly with all of the wonderful Japansese people, and as well to realize that The Spirit really speaks in a language of it's own. You don't need to understand every word to feel the Spirit.
I hope you all are having tons of fun in Park City!! I miss you all, but yeah... I still think I'd rather be at the MTC, haha. ;) By the way Dad! Guess who's my Branch President? His name is President Mack, and he's Spencer W. Kimball's grandson, imagine that. It's been really cool to hear some stories about his grandpa, and I now somewhat understand why he's your favorite Prophet. He was truly an incredible Prophet.
Tyler, thank you so much for keeping me updated!!! Honestly, we all feel so cut off from the world and our sensei's keep teasing us about events... Bleh. Go Heat!! And that's all I'll say about the matter. ;) I'm way sorry by the way if it takes me a while to handwrite letters back! We are only allowed one day to write letters, so sometimes it can be pretty tough squeezing in each moment of time correctly, but I love and appreciate all of the letters and care packages I have received!
Okay, so I am so sorry I haven't sent any pictures yet... But you may have to wait one more week. One of the Shimai in my district found out how to do it, and she was gonna show me today, but she is nowhere to be found, and I still can't really figure it out. So very frustrating, but I just tried on my own and the computer froze, so... yeah. Haha, but when I figure it out I'll have some great pictures to show you all!
I love and miss you all so much, but I know this is where I am supposed to be. The Gospel really is so true. If you ever want to test your worth and determination to live the Gospel, go serve a mission. It may break you down and make feel so stressed and tired, but it will be so worth it. Throughout my life, I don't think I've ever felt this close to the Spirit so consistently. It's amazing, and to be surrounded by all of these amazing poeple so willing to serve has been such an awesome gift. Especially the Nihon-jin. I honestly love them. It's so amazing to see these young people, many of which are new converts, jumping into the fray, ready to serve their God. They have such a kind Spirit about them, and I feel so lucky to be here at the MTC with them.
So! The other day we were all at lunch, and I just have mention, since the age change... There are quite a few attractive Sisters. So all of us Choros are sitting around the table, and this very attractive Sister walks by. Not even kidding, first word out of all of our mouths was, "What a beautiful daughter of our Heavenly Father." We all looked at each other and started busting up laughing. All the stereotypes are true!! It was hilarious. Don't worry Dad, I'm still mixing in lots of fun with work, at the MTC fun kind becomes different and much more... Childesh. For instance, putting plastic spoons in random Elder's coat pockets without them noticing, tallying up how many spoons you have at the end of the day. Also, filling plastic easter eggs with shampoo and throwing them at each other in the shower exclaiming, "Happy to help you wash Elder!" Yeah... When you put 20 plus 18-19 years olds together and remove TV, Music, etc... Pranks are an everyday occurance. It's all in good fun though, and we all really love each other.The Dai-Senpai all leave and then I become Senpai that following ! It feels so strange, but I'm so excited to be more like Dwight Schrute. ;)
Okay, but in closing, I just to let you all know that this Gospel is true. Commiting all of my time and energy to it has been the greatest gift ever, and I feel so much more ready to go forward to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the amazing Japanese people. I hope they like me. :)
Love you all so much, Hurrah for Israel!
- Justesen Choro (Aka, Devin)