Thursday, February 19, 2015

Week Two at the Missionary Training Center!

O Hayo Gozeimas! (Good morning!) (I'm not sure If I spelled that right...)

This has been a great week at the MTC. So I told you all about teaching our first investigator in Nihongo (Japanese) during the last three hours of "classroom instruction time" in our schedule. Well last Friday we came into class for that three hour block and the person we had been teaching turned out to be our second Sensei (teacher)!! It was a fun surprise! And also a relief to hear her speak and actually understand what she is saying because she spoke Ego (English) to us in class!! Then she showed us a video introduction of the next person we will be teaching; it is Fitz Kyodai (Brother Fitz) who is the person who has been teaching us this whole time!! It was pretty a pretty fun surprise to find out that we will be teaching our teachers. This is to help us practice planning lessons and then teach the lessons in Nihongo. So now our schedule is that we teach a 20 minute lesson every day. And it alternates between our two teachers Fitz Kyodai and Smith Shimai. 

It's still pretty overwhelming here. But the first week was especially, and apparently they make it that way on purpose! To help teach us to rely on the Lord for our help and guidance. Raines Shimai and I handled it very well I think. The first week we just focused on learning Japanese in class and then teaching the investigator in the evening. Now we learn Nihongo in our afternoon class and then in the evening we learn Nihongo but also we learn about how to be good missionaries, what our purpose is, how we can strengthen the faith of others and help them strengthen their relationship with Iesu Kirisuto (Jesus Christ). So now the MTC is a lot more like I thought it would be, we are recieving a lot more guidance and direction from watashitachi no serei tachi (our teachers), which is really nice. 

Raines Shimai and I are doing so well together. We have really learned how to incorporate prayer into what we are doing. When we are planning for a lesson, or feeling discouraged, or incompetent in our Nihongo, we pray for help and guidance. It has been a truly amazing experience of relying on the Lord, not necessarily to solve our problems, but we pray for peace and guidance and strength. And I know that He has been answering our prayers. I have never felt the Spirit so consistently as I have while I've been here at the MTC. I am so grateful for that. 

Raines Shimai and I are teaching this Sunday's lesson about how to recognize the Holy Ghost. Elder David A. Bednar talks about three different aspects of it that are simple and profound. If you are able, watch them on I'm pretty sure they are entitled "Patterns of Light".
It's been a really interesting experience being at the MTC. We have a service project once a week, which is just cleaning residence buildings for an hour and 15 minutes. It's really nice though because it gives me time to just relax and not stress about making lesson plans or trying to understand Nihongo. It's a welcomed break to say the least. The windows in the residence buildings look out over my dorm buildings that I lived in on BYU campus. And I just had the thought that being at the MTC, or even when I am out in Japan, this experience is the epitome of being "IN the world and not OF the world" We are right next door to a campus full of College kids doing their thing, while we are studying essentially all day about how to invite and help people come closer to Christ. And though it was kind of a funny thought at first, I am realizing how true it really is. Although it is difficult sometimes, this is such an amazing opportunity for me to be able to put aside the things of the world and really focus on serving the Lord without any distractions. And I LOVE it! It's especially nice to be able to talk to someone and not be distracted by a ringing phone or urgent text. It's so great here. The Shimai Tachi are really great too, we help each other stay positive and lift each other when we struggle. 

As far as Nihongo goes, I have a lot to learn! BUT! It has only been two weeks and I think I am doing pretty well considering I only knew how to say Good afternoon and thank you in Japanese just three weeks ago. I have the Hiragana alphabet down pretty well which enables me to be able to sing Hymns in Nihongo as well as Read most of the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is difficult though because all of the characters are right after each other, so it's really difficult to distinguish words; you pretty much just have to know where one word starts and another ends. Next I need to learn Katakana. I'll keep you all updated :)

Anyways, I hope everyone is well, I absolutely love receiving the Dear Elder letters, and I will try to write back to those today. I am so grateful to all of you.

Ai shitte imasu (I love you - that's how you really spell it ;) )
Lowe Shimai (That's how you really spell sister too, I'm still learning :) )

-- Here is the link to the videos that Sarah recommended watching --

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