Tuesday, October 28, 2014

First week of the MTC!

October 23, 2014: Week 1
Area: Provo MTC
Companion: Elder Hamilton

Hey family!! It was sooo good to hear from all of you! Thanks for all of the packages and letters, they really helped me out a lot and make me feel a lot better about being here. I miss you guys so much! It kinda sucks to look out the window and see the streets I would drive all of the time and that I could basically walk home in an hour. That kind of makes me homesick but I try to not think about that and try to focus on studying and stuff like that. 

So yeah about the emailing thing. This morning we went and put in our laundry (which went fine by the way) and then went to the computer lab to print our emails. Then we can read them while the our clothes are drying and then we can come back and write for about an hour. The computer doesn't shut off but we are told to just keep it to an hour. So I don't have to worry about the computer shutting off which is nice.

I know you already kind of heard from me in my letter but I will kinda recap whats been happening. The first and second days here were pretty rough and hard for me. They felt like they lasted for weeks and it was only two days. I was feeling really homesick and wondering why the heck I just got myself into this. I continued to pray and to read your letters and quotes you left me and they really helped me out a lot. I got a lot of confidence and I felt your love and support. Man you guys are the best! My third day here, me and Hamilton Choro had to teach a lesson to our investigator "Yuki-san". It was so awful but it was pretty fun and kinda funny. We went in there with our script and we were telling him how God blesses us with families and how we can be together forever. I'm sure our "investigator" was just laughing inside listening to our super broken Japanese. OH well we did our best. He then would answer and ask questions and we would absolutely have no idea what he was saying. We would have to frantically look through our dictionary and try to find out what he was saying. Eventually the lesson ended up being one big game of charades. We teach usually every day. We can start to understand him better but its still pretty hard to come up with sentences cause sentence structure in Japanese is so weird. But my language skills are slowly coming along. I'm here for 9 weeks for a reason.

We have language class and study for about 8 hours a day. Sometimes it's hard to keep at it and focus but we try our best. I can already pray in Japanese and I can sort of bear my testimony. It takes a lot of thought and sometimes I need my notes for that one. But I do have praying down. Two days ago, I started to work on studying Hiragana (one of the alphabets). There are about 46 characters and I can recognize about 38 of them or so. My goal is to be able to recognize all of them and sing a hymn in the Japanese hymn book by Sunday. The tough part is that you have to know one of the other alphabets too. Its called Katakana, and they are basically used for foreign words. There are about 46 of those as welll. Then there is Kanji which are pretty much chinese characters and those are basically impossible to learn. There are thousands of those. But yeah Japanese is going okay. Theres some kids in my district that are pretty good at it but I'm trying to not to compare myself to anyone. 

My district is pretty cool. My zone is super cool as well. They are all hilarious! Every night, they come in our room one by one and hug us and tell us they love us in Japanese. It's really cool!

I'm probably closest to Calhoun Choro. Hes the guy from North Carolina. He played basketball and tennis as well. During class, we are always singing Les Mis and other songs all the time. He's kinda of a male version of Kelsey when he comes to that. It's pretty fun. We also play basketball during gym together when I'm not running the track. 

Pictures: I don't exactly know what order they come in so Ill just explain each one.

Two of them are from the temple walk. Apparently there are five poses for Japan and those are just a few of them. I'll break the other ones out later, they are quite perfected! Then there's me and my companion in front of the temple. Then there's one with me and a Japanese lady in there. As Elder Hamilton and I were leaving the temple, she came to us and started speaking to us in Japanese! It was kind of fun. She didn't speak much English and we couldn't understand her some of the time but it was a cool experience using the little Japanese I know and speaking to a Japanese lady. The gift of tongues is real and it is so crazy how much I've learned in just a week. Well family it was great to hear from you! I love reading all your letters! They strengthen me more than you could every imagine. I'm almost out of time so I'll send a letter telling you about the devotionals here. They are awesome! I hope you guys have a great week! Talk to you guys soon!

Ai shitte masu minasan!!
Elder Nathan Didericksen

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