Konnichiwa Kazoku to Tamodachi!
This first week in the MTC has been a blur, it is amazing how fast everything moves here! Well the first day in the MTC happened so quickly, when my family dropped me off at the curb, reality did not sink in. It didn’t even sink in when I moved my entire life into the dorm room. It wasn’t until the MTC presidency was welcoming us and going over orientation business with us and we were singing the closing hymn, ‘We’ll Bring the World His Truth,’ and started singing the chorus, “We are as the armies of Helaman, we have been taught in our youth, and We Are Now The Lord’s Missionaries, To Bring The World His Truth!” these simple lyrics really hit home and made me realize throughout all my youth I have been taught these gospel principles and the beauty and blessing this gospel is and now I am a missionary of the Lord, the spirit was so strong as we sang this and it gave me great confidence that we are on the Lord’s errand. It feels amazing to be surrounded by others who are all striving to achieve the same goals and be apart of something greater than ourselves! The MTC has been such an awesome blessing, I have been able to learn so much more about my Savior and his atoning sacrifice for us and have been trying to catch onto Nihongo (Japanese).
So the first few days of MTC life have been a whirlwind, Our senseis drilled Nihongo into our brain and taught us simple phrasing like how to offer a prayer in Nihongo, and how to testify. One thing I thought was pretty interesting is the Japanese word for atonement is aganai, which sounds like agony. This made me realize and reflect on the savior’s aonement and the pains he bore and I felt peace to know that he is with me every step of the way. As I have been here I have been able to grow closer to the Savior and utilize the atonement in my life and rely on it for strength. So everyone here keeps telling us all the first week is the hardest and just get to sunday and you’ll be all right and we were a bit confused why sunday was the marker, that all is well. Well, we made it to Sunday, not gonna lie our bodies were physically and menally drained from the information and mainly emotionally drained. Lucky for us, it was Mission Conference hen we arrived, so we got to listen to he MTC presidency and the Hemmerts speak. It was awesome to all gather together and to be edified by the talks spoken. I have a estimony that the leaders of the church are truly called of God, when they expressed their and concern for each of us, you could really feel the sincerity and feel of God’s love for us through them. It was awesome! The overall message that I took away from mission conference was that there are precious souls that the Lord has prepared for us and it is our duty to fully prepare ourselves now to be in une with the spirit so we may recognize these souls and bring hem unto Christ. They gave an example of a return missionary, who from the ouside perspecive would seem like a typical lost girl, her outward apperance wouldnt match the descripion of someone who appears like they would be inerested in the gospel. But this sister saw her for not only what she could become but what the Lord sees in this oung woman, she taught her patiently, and she was soon baptized. Later on the sister missionary’s family fell in love with this wayward young girl and helped her get on her feet to go to college. Her name is Christine (newly baptized investigator), Christine then went on to gain her masters degree and serve a mission, he siser missionary who had taught her the gospel, fast forward a few years later was now able to attend her friend’s temple wedding/sealing. Both of these women were at mission conference and they stood up and it was aweome to see the fruits of this young sister missionary’s labo and how incredible the Lord will bless us with opportuniies to share the message of the gospel eith all those around us if we will just work hard, be obedient and try to look at others not as who they are but as who they can become and the eternal potential the Lord sees in them. I left mission confernce with a goal to look at others I come into contact with through an eternal perspective and see them as the Lord sees them!
My companion is Gazdik Shimai! she has a twin here going to the fukuoka Japan mission, how awesome is that!! I love her she has been a huge blessing to me!! 🙂
We also were able to watch an awesome video from Elder Bednar entitled, ‘Character of Christ’ he talked about how the Lord turns outward in love, compassion, and service, when the natual man inside each of us would turn inward in selfishness, self centeredness and self absorption. He said turning outward like he Lord is the journey of testimony to true conversion of the Lord. This talk was great, it really helped me to self-evaluate and realize what I can do to improve myself to develop a character of Christ in myself. I know I have a long way to go, but I challenege all of you, to turn outward in love as the Savior did when others turned inward and betrayed him, he looked beyond himself and reached out to others. We can all learn to be more like our older brother, and we should learn of him not about him.
Ok so to be honest, Japanese is kicking my behind, and I know I have only been here a week and everyone says dont be so hard on yourself and to give it time, but I want to learn and internalize so much it just feels overwhelming at times. It has been frustrating for me to know what I want to say in our lessons with our investigator Koyama san, but I feel as though I open my mouth and I cant communicate what I feel or know to be true. But I have been hard on myself with Japanese to push myself so I can be of great use to the Lord and sometimes I feel like things just aren’t sticking. Well, I know the Lord hears our every plea and knows us so well individually, because I always hear exactly what I needed to hear from him at the exact moment I need it. The MTC president brought up a lil story about 7 missionaries who were called to Russia and had been here for 4 weeks learning Russian but because of the controversy going on, they were not sending anyone out there. So guess what? These missionaries were reassigned to not another Russian speaking mission, not even an English mission, but they were assigned to Spanish speaking missions. My goodness, how tough would that be to be immersed in a tough language only to have to learn a new one, and because they went spanish speaking, they had to move to the West campus, how crazy. After hearing this story, I realized what great faith in the Lord these missionaries have! Not one of them was begrudged about the situation, they happily accepted their new task and went forward in faith! That was a humbling experience for me! I know that things are going to get tough, and many times things will happen and I wont know why they are happening, but I need to be grateful for these trials because the Lord has such great faith in me knowing that I can handle them, I just need to have more faith in myself! I truly do love this gospel and know it is true! I love you all!