Dear Family and Friends,
Once again another week has flown by here at the MTC! My "sempai" companion, Sister Nielson, leaves to go to Toyko in a week! I'm definitely going to miss her. It's crazy to think that soon I'll be a "Sempai"--senior/older missionary instead of a "Kohai"--junior missionary! I'm crossing my fingers that at least one sister will come in after Nielson Shimai leaves, so that I won't be the only sister in our branch!
That's exciting that school's started again! Good luck Michael, Becca, and mom with school. Mom, that's so great that you passed the theory entrance exam and don't have to take all those extra classes!!! I'm not surprised...you've taught me a lot of the music theory I know:). And David, yes, there is yogurt in the MTC cafeteria at breakfast time:).
The language is coming along well! I've realized the importance of making small goals each day and meeting them, in order to prepare for the Teaching Appointment each Thursday--and learn the language! This is how I will learn the Japanese language...one step at a time. I'm happy to say that each day I'm learning and practicing more, and am confident that as I continue to set and keep specific goals each day I'll be ready to give my first all-Japanese lesson--two Thursdays from now!
Last Friday all the Japanese branch got together to hear Nobuaki Irie's conversion story--he was visiting the US from Japan. We learned he's a celebrity among the church musicians in Japan--Janice Kapp Perry, after hearing his conversion story, wrote a song for him that he's recorded. He sung this song--(something about sharing the light within him--about his desire to share his knowledge with his family and others) and another--"My Friend, My Brother" (about the strong ties made when helping others--inspired from the special place in his heart that he holds for the missionaries that converted him). The Spirit was so strong as he sang these songs, and told us (in slow Japanese, so that we could understand) his conversion story! Once he'd found the truth, God had helped his family to allow him to join in miraculous ways--including his brother later getting baptized.
He challenged us to do all we could here in the MTC to learn the language and be prepared to teach, so that we would be ready to change the lives of the people as soon as we get out into the field!! I've really tried to take this to heart, and don't doubt that as I do my best to learn here in the MTC, and exercize faith, I WILL learn the Japanese language and everything else I need to know to be a good missionary! And I know the way I can do this is by accomplishing small goals each day...
I also had a chance to attend a broadcast of the Oquirrh Mountain Temple dedication. It was held in one of our buildings--and my district was asked to usher! It was a neat experience to be a part of--I especially felt so strongly how families can be together forever, through the ordinances of the temple! I know this is true and it brings me so much hope and happiness in my life!
I had another neat experience at the call center yesterday--I talked to someone on the phone for 40 min, who knows he should get baptized but is afraid to. It was so wonderful to share my testimony with him of how my life's been changed since I've been baptized--in fact, my baptism into this church makes up who I am today! I tried to help him recognize the answers to his prayers that he'd received, and pray that he will take that leap of faith and get baptized. I've been realizing more and more since I've been here how much the gospel of Christ has really done for me in my life--it's so wonderful, the help, peace, knowledge, and answers that we get through this restored church!
I know that this is God's true church on the earth. He is our Father in Heaven, and loves all of us, his children, so much!! He wants us to be happy, and through His gospel, and baptism, we can be happy in this life and return to live with Him. I know these things without a doubt and hope to do everything I can to qualify to live with God again, and invite all of God's children to so as well!