Saturday, January 4, 2014

Week 2 in the MTC

2 December 2013 MTC Provo, Utah, USA
Technically, this is week three according to the MTC... but I am trying to ignore how fast the weeks are flying by. So, for me I'm calling it week two.

We woke up to snow today. BLAHHHH. I'm wearing my rain boots though so it is all good. No slushy nastiness is making my feet cold. I've been getting lots of compliments on my boots too! Makes me forget about the snow.

This past week was lots of fun! Once again excuse me for grammar/ spelling/ any other kind of error. These keyboards are awful and I just want to type as much as I can in the limited amount of time I have.
Happy late thanksgiving!! Thanksgiving here was great. We had a real thanksgiving dinner too! And there were mashed potatoes and gravy so I was happy. That is the best part of thanksgiving to me. We had a special thanksgiving devotional where Elder Nelson came and spoke to us. Elder Nelson is one of our leaders of the church, under the prophet- so someone special. He spoke about what we need to do as missionaries and who we should be making friends with as soon as we get to a new ward (church ). We need to be working with the ward mission leaders and the family history coordinators. They will be the most help to us and help us be as successful as we can be in finding others to bring unto Christ (or in some cases bring back too). There was a special musical number by the choir. And guess who was in the choir???? This sister missionary right here!! WE sang a special rendition of Hope of Israel. It was really cool to sing because WE are the hope of Israel! And I'd have to say the coolest part about the whole experience was that the devotional was being broadcast worldwide to the other MTCs around the world! I was on tv! So while we are singing the camera pans around the choir and we are told we can NOT look at the screen. After being told you can't look at the screen it makes it 100 times harder not to look! There is so much pressure!! Especially since if you are caught you get kicked out of the choir! Gahh!

After the devotional we got to go on a temple walk. It is sooo nice leaving the MTC grounds. We are surrounded by buildings and cement so it is sooo nice to walk on and smell grass haha. After that we did a service project. It was really awesome. I can't remember what the organization is called, but they make meals and put them in backpacks for kids to bring home because those kids aren’t fed when they go home! We (as in all the missionaries in the MTC) made over 350,000 meals!!! There are a couple articles about us in the news too. I found one on Mormon news room...I think. It is linked through too. It was so fun getting to do service. I loved it! 

My companions and I also took pictures in front of the famous map. I'll be sure to actually send some pictures today. Last week got a little crazy and we never got the chance to get back onto the computer.
We finished our thanksgiving day with a fun little fireside where missionaries where selected to act out the first thanksgiving. It was super funny. And then we got to watch Ephraim’s Rescue. For those of you who haven't seen that movie-watch it! It was great. I loved watching it as a missionary too. It had a much different meaning to me and I took a lot of different things out of it. I am sooo grateful for the pioneers and the faith they had to cross the plains to get out west. And I am amazed by the faith they had that allowed they to perform miracles and have miracles happen to them. 

Ok...other fun things... here at the MTC we have real investigators who volunteer their time and then we have pretend ones...I think I told you about Suzuki San in my last email. She ended up being our teacher! I wasn't too surprised. Between Kristoffer and Blake that surprise had been ruined, But watching some of the other member's in our districts faces were priceless. They were sooo shocked. I'm so glad she is our teacher too! She is adorable. And she in from Japan so I'm hoping I can really listen to her and get accents right.

As for the real companion and I made friends with one of them! Her name is Sarah. She is from Tennessee and she is the sweetest lady ever! I love her. We sit with her at lunch time and I love it! We get to share the message of the gospel with her without sharing doctrine. We get to be an example to her and show her we can be happy. She always tells us how much she loves our smiles and it amazes her that so many missionaries can always be happy! It is great. She makes me feel like I am actually being a missionary. In class that doesn't happen as often. She also brought us pie! It was her happy thanksgiving present for us. We had apple and pumpkin pie and both were MUCH better than the MTC version on thanksgiving. I am sooo grateful for her. She has had such a hard life too and all I want to do is give her a hug and tell her the gospel can make that better. But I think that is what everyone tells her so instead I am just trying to be a friend. 

Ok, last highlight of the week. Dopp Shemai and I taught on Sunday. We did our version of Sunday school for our district. We were assigned to talk about Faith in the Atonement. We really didn't want to go the regular route of "you can be forgiven of your sins through the Atonement of Jesus Christ." So we pondered and prayed and finally Sunday we had a brain blast! We taught about the healing power of the atonement instead. And that through it we can be healed of our heart ache and the holes we feel can be filled. It was a fantastic lesson. We used stories from the New Testament of Christ healing people to show that all we need is faith. Christ does the rest. It was fantastic! It was exactly what a few people in our district needed to hear. We could really feel the spirit so strongly. I'm so grateful that it turned out so well. Everyone is joking that the bar has been set to high now haha.

Ok, here are a few funny stories. First, every week we meet with one of our leaders over our zone(all the missionaries going to Tokyo). We (my doryo and I) get asked how we are doing and if we need help with anything and such. Well, Dopp Shimai and I are doing awesome. WE still love each other and we LOVE teaching with each other. Dream come true. I was totally worried I wouldn't like my companion. Anyways I told our leader that the only thing that I was having a hard time with was sitting ALL day. And that my butt hurt! Oh how I wish there had been a camera there to get Dopp Shimai's reaction. She looked like she might die. She got really rigid and her eyes got soo wide. Of course that made me want to laugh but you should all be proud of me! I kept it in till we left the room. hahaha it was great! She proceeded to tell me afterwards that they do not use that word in her house, so between that and me using it with one of our priesthood leaders she was beyond shocked. I loved it ha.

We learned how to bear our testimonies this weekend. I am SO happy. I was feeling pretty down about myself and Japanese all week because I couldn't share how I really feel. Well, now I can. Simply, but that is ok. Anyways, we were practicing bearing testimony and just to make sure we had it down really well we practiced with other words. Here are a few of my favorites:
"I know that the goats are trying" -Dopp
"I know that your insides are red"- Me
"I know hippopotamuses are true"-Me Sadly the word for hippo in Japanese isn’t as funny as it is in Eigo. It’s Napo or something boring like that.

Needless to say we were giggling away in our corner that evening. But here is a short, more serious sample of what I learned.

Ten no Otosama ga minna son da ai suru to shitte imasu.
Mormon sho ga shinjitsu da to shitte imasu to
watashitachi wa kamisama des kodomotachi to shitte imasu

I love you all! Thank you so much for your emails and letters. They mean so much to me. I am loving it here. I learn so much everyday and I am so grateful for this opportunity!

Molinari Shemai