July 27, 2016
From the MTC
Dear Minna (Everyone),
So so so so so sorry for not being able to write last week. Things got uber busy uber fast.
I met a wonderful sister named Allen Shimai. She is from Nagoya I believe and had to come home early because she had to have surgery done. She is in Hawaii to finish out the rest of her mission, and she has been a huge example to me. She's in incredible worker and loves the Lord so much. She could have easily stopped serving, but instead. As soon as she was healed, she decided to stay in the field. From her I have found an even deeper love for my mission, and have become more obedience as a missionary. Long story short, she told me how hard Japan was, and as a missionary, that we need all the blessings we can get. One sure way to get them is through Obedience. While we may not always be meeting, and baptizing; at least we have the blessing of a mind at peace. The clear conscious that we are trying out hardest.
This Sunday was a pretty wonderful Sabbath day. My companion and I were able to teach by the spirit and deliver a powerful lesson on Repentance. Then we had thetemple walk and my favorite, movie night and devotional. This devotional was a bit different than normal... We watched a movie called the "Character of Christ". It primarily focused on how Christ was constantly "turning out", in situations where the natural man would turn in. For those returned missionaries out there who are familiar with the movie, know how powerful the devotional is.
After the movie, people started to stand up, and leave for the next art of the devotional. So I stood up, but no one was moving. I looked up at the screen, but no one was on it. I was curious why no one was moving, and... Since I'm a "bit" short, I couldn't see over anyone's head.
I felt his presence, before I saw him.
It was Elder Bednar.
The best take we from the devotional (Q&A session) was the fact, that even if someone didn't get picked on. The question they had in their heart was answered. Or through the people he picked, their answer was found. The Spirit was so tangible, so thick and heavy... That through the power of the Holy Ghost, we could receive our own personal revelation. As missionaries, it's not the message that converts. I mean by gosh, who in there right mind would listen to a pair of 18 or 19 year old kids with a message about golden plates? Haha it was funny, Elder Bednar recounted his experience with asking new members what they experienced from the missionaries. And that they basically said " it was one of the weirdest experiences they had ever felt, and they didn't quiet understand what the missionaries were talking about."
Except. That the feeling the missionaries brought with them, was real, and unlike anything that they had ever felt before. It was peaceful, comforting, and was sweet to their souls. Similar to how our answers during the devotional was answered, even though we didn't ask a question. So too is the way the Holy Ghost can speak to our investigators.
The Holy Ghost changes people. Not the missionaries.
The next part I enjoyed immensely was when Bednar gave his witness.
And when he told us that the power of the Holy Ghost, was stronger than any confirmations his 5 senses could offer that God is our Father in Heaven, Christ is the living son of God, that he Atoned for all our sins, that Joseph Smith restored the Church of Jesus Christ, and that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet.
I thought that was so cool. And while being in the same building as him, and looking at him. There was no way in my mind that I could deny that he was an apostle of the Lord. No way.
Fast forward though. And for Pioneer day, which was also a, the Nashville Tribute band came. It was pretty neat. I don't know who they are, other than that they are from Nashville and sing Mormon Music, but it was good. I guess they are really popular... Well, it was pretty interesting, I never knew that I was going to attend my first ever concert in church dress, at the MTC, on a , and as part of the back up choir. (Which by the way number well over 1,500, haha).
I am entering our 6th week here at the MTC and time is flying.
Here is a picture of my teachers!
On the left, is Chau Shimai! She started teaching us at around our 4 to 5th week here at the MTC. She was doing some work in Africa, for what, I don't exactly recall. Chau Shimai has a lovely spirit, and bares really strong, and simple testimonies. I know that I have already learned a lot from her example.
Next is Strauss Kyodai, he's a student at BYU and he's really helped my companion and I with our grammar. One of the cool things we do in class, is go over the Book of Mormon, and just study it together as a class.
Weddell Shimai is next, and she was the first teacher I ever met here at the MTC. She's lovely as well, and really cares about all her students. I've been able to really get to know her, and trust her, it's been wonderful.
Next is Crandall Kyodai, he's the second teacher I met, and is the only one who is not half Japanese. He's also a great teacher, and tells really good stories and makes us think about the gospel in ways we aren't used to.
My teachers are the bomb diggity, and I'm truly blessed to have them as my Sensei. They all care so much about us senkyoshi, and each bring very unique attributes, teaching methods, and styles to the class. It's kind of funny too, for instance. There are about 3 other districts in our Zone. And out of those three other districts, they only have 1 Japanese teacher... Haha, but we have 3 just in our district. It's so helpful to hear them speak, since they are native, or at least grew up in Japan. We can learn how to pronounce certain words, and get used to hearing how "real" (haha) Nihonjin speak.
Well, that's pretty much all for now. Our upper classmen are leaving for Japan next week! So things have been pretty crazy, and next week, we are supposed to get new missionaries! So a lot is changing, and I only have a few more weeks here at the MTC before going out into the world!
Wish me luck, and I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!