Area: Provo MTC
Companion: Elder Hamilton
Ohaiyo Gozaimasu Minasan!!
It was so good to hear from all of you. Sounds like you all had a good week! Its so crazy to think I am pretty much halfway through. It feels like I've been here forever but it seems like I just got here at the same time. It is kinda weird how time passes in the MTC. I'm starting to get pretty excited to go to Japan though. I got an email from Elder Mike Anderson today and he was asking when I would be flying out. He said how awesome Sendai is and it got me so excited! But yeah I still have a while... My week was pretty good, its hard to come up with excited things to say cause like I said, we do pretty much the same things everyday. But I will tell you about some of the cool things that happened this week.
Yesterday, we were able to host the new group of missionaries coming into the MTC. Apparently last week, they didn't assign enough hosts so they didn't have hosts for the huge groups of missionaries, so this week they made sure to have enough. But it was kinda dumb since there were so many hosts, I only got to host one missionary. He was from West Valley going to Chicago. It was kinda funny that I am his host and he will have been in Chicago for almost a month by the time I leave the MTC. Oh well. It was kinda awkward though cause I think he was super scared and sad that he left home so he wasn't very talkative. I tried to reassure him that he was okay and it will go better. I hope is doing okay. We will probably have plenty of more chances to host though. I guess a huge group comes in next week so hopefully we get asked to host again.
My Japanese is coming along well. It is kinda cool how much we have learned in only 4 weeks. , I memorized the purpose of a missionary in Japanese. I thought it would take forever but it only took like 20 minutes. Now I want to work on memorizing the First Vision. That will be a lot harder but it will be good. I can sing most hymns now which is fun! I think I have both Katakana and Hiragana down and now its just a matter of having them register in my brain quicker, and of course writing them. And me and Elder Hamilton aren't using as many notes during our lessons. It feels awesome when I can say grammatically correct sentences without notes during lessons. Japanese is a pretty cool language!! I can't wait for the day when I can speak easier. But I know I have to be patient with myself and the Lord and it will eventually come later down the road.
So mom asked what my schedule is like. It is a pretty chill day. We have to be in the classroom by seven and we pretty much just study till we have priesthood around . I'm not gonna lie, it is pretty hard to stay awake during mornings! After priesthood, we come back to the classroom for our district meeting or school pretty much for about an hour. After that, we have lunch and more study till Sacrament meeting at 2:30ish. Sacrament meeting is kinda terrifying cause they always call out two people to give a talk. So we all have to prepare a talk each week just in case we get picked. So far, I have avoided it cause most of our Senpai haven't spoken yet so President Butler usually has them speak. But we will see I guess.
After Sacrament meeting, we have the temple walk from about . I love the temple walks! Its so nice to get out of the walls and just walk around. It's also fun cause we always see families and different people walking around. It is sometimes nice to see people who have normal lives. After the temple walk we go back for dinner early so that we can make it to choir. Our whole zone sits together during choir and it is a lot of fun! Then we have the devotional.This past , we sang Mack Wilberg's arrangement of "Praise to the Man" in the devotional as a choir. That song is the ultimate testimony of Joseph Smith. While rehearsing it, our choir director talked about WW Phelps when he wrote that song. You can really tell through his lyrics that he knew Joseph Smith was a true Prophet of God. When we sang that song, it was really awesome!
After the devotional, they have a list of church movies being shown in different buildings we can go to. This past , we were gonna go to a talk by Elder Holland, but it was super packed when we got there so I went with the other half of our zone to some random movie somewhere else. Let me just tell you it was the worst most cheesiest thing I've ever seen. It was a TV show called Road to Zion where this lady goes around to Church history sites and takes tours. I can't even explain how cheesy it was. We were all just laughing the entire time.
Kelsey, I know exactly how you feel about feeling nervous for your mission. I'm not gonna lie, it was really hard for me leading up to it because how close I am with our family. But as I've been here, I have learned so much about the gospel and about myself. I can see why God has things happen the way they do. I can see why I have the companion I have (because before the mission, I lacked a lot of patience), why the experiences I have happen. I have come to see God's hand in my life and I am so thankful for it. I can't tell you to not be nervous and scared because you probably will be; however, I can tell you that you will have awesome experiences when you get started. You will meet some of the coolest people and you will learn and grow in ways you couldn't imagine. I know I've only been out a month, but I have experienced some of those things and I know that it will get even better once I leave the MTC.
Hey Dad!, I love that story you told me about John Moyle. Actually, last week I watched the movie the church put out about him. His dedication to the Lord was remarkable. I can't imagine doing the things he did. He is a great example though of hard work and diligence to your calling. I hope that I can learn from him, because a mission is the Lord's time and i don't want to waste it! I need to continue to work hard and give it my all!
All is well here and I am happy. I am learning a lot about having patience and love for others and I think I am improving. Sometimes I still let things irritate me and bug me though but I am working on it. It is hard to be here sometimes but there is no other place I'd rather be. What Jenna said is right. Missions are great and if I can bring at least one person to Christ, it will be a success. I am just excited to serve those people in Japan. It will be an awesome experience. It seems like everyone is doing well though. I pray for you guys every morning and night! I love you guys so much! I will talk to you soon!
Elder Nathan Didericksen