To My Dear Sweet Family!
Oh how I love you! I have been pondering what to write in this email, time is so short! This is what I came up with: last night I had a dream about monastery soup from that random cookbook we have at home, and I woke up super happy. I also think there were some people asking other people if they understood, in Japanese. ("Wakarimaska?"). Love you guys! :)
;) ha ha. So Annie gets baptized this week!!!!!!!!!! YES! I am so excited for her! (all of the above is actually true though... I think I miss cooking, ha ha!)
This week has been a whirlwind, but so growth promoting. I wrote in my journal that I feel a purifying fire in my heart, just cleansing and even changing my soul. I FEEL the "great Molder of men" molding me, and it is like a consuming fire. I never knew what that felt like in this way. We taught 3 times this week. I've realized that I never could haveexperienced my dependence on Him to this extent in English. I already love teaching and testifying so much in my native tongue. This experience is truly teaching me that the Savior is always with me, and that we truly are dependant on the Lord. I feel so grateful! I never could have had the "time and experience" needed (Joseph Smith) to know the mysteries of Heaven... I was thinking of that quote this week and I am so grateful that I get to have that experience. It truly is so humbling, I've never been in a state where I knew that I needed Him more. But I know He is here. It is so beautiful that I get to have this chance--I feel like I have testified so much of needing my Heavenly Father and my Savior, of knowing our dependance on He on high, but I have never LIVED it like I am living now. Things like this truly are the gateway to purification.
We got a new sensei! We LOVE him. He is Japanese, our other Sensei was just a substitute but we didn't know it... our new teacher is hilarious and SO GOOD. I felt this confirmation our first lesson with him that he was supposed to be our teacher. He writes everything on the board in hiragana, not romanji, and he speaks much more like a native Japanese speaker. He is so good at teaching and he pushes us a lot, our district is amazed at how we are growing. I am so happy to have SUCH an incredible teacher, and it just confirms to me that the Lord is in charge of getting us ready. I just feel so privileged. The MTC does a great job of providing wonderful assets to help us learn. He had mensetsu with everyone (interviews), and really helped me hone in on what I want to be able to do. I feel excited about Japanese, even though it is so hard not to be able to testify fluently of all the things in my heart. I've never had that. I am so grateful that the Lord is humbling me!
We had a devotional this week and it was INCREDIBLE, not to mention our Sunday meeting. Oh, if I could only tell you what we are taught! I wish I had two hours. The director of all of the international MTC's came to speak to us and told us story after story of amazing missionaries, so humble and focused on the work--an elder who was over seven feet tall (7' 8" I think?) who had shoes made from reeds or bamboo his whole life, and slept on the floor in the MTC, saying it was ok... the boy who came with only the shirt on his back because his mother had moved away to work for his mission clothes, sent them to him, but they were stolen... and that same boy who received all of his clothing before the MTC president was even aware of it from all of the other missionaries. There is such a special spirit here.
Elder O. Vincent Haleck came and it was INCREDIBLE. We had a district review after the meeting. This talk, among so many others, has changed (and is changing) my MTC experience. Just when I think I'm figuring things out, the Lord opens heaven and pours out a blessing that helps hone me and change my very innards. It is INCREDIBLE, the work the Lord does. I felt so impressed that the Lord knows us better than we know ourselves, that He knows our capacity and is teaching us, HONING us into what He wants us to become. I think sometimes I intimidate my district, I have to apologize very frequently but the Lord is shaping me so much. Sometimes we remember that the boys are just 19, but they are growing so much--all of us are. I know we are going to be such a close district when we leave, and I love it! I just love testifying of the Savior and my positivity sometimes makes me want to shoot down negativity ha ha. Our meeting was SO GREAT though, everyone's testimonies in our district meeting were great! Our meetings on Sunday were incredible too, wow. We had a Fast Sunday MTC meeting and the talks were INCREDIBLE. One of them was about remembering to put our faith in Jesus Christ, and not in ourselves, with symptoms of that. I felt like every talk had something beautiful! You wouldn't believe how many pages I fill up in my scripture journal every day.
I feel like I didn't even know myself before, and I truly feel Him inside of me, working so hard to "build a palace." (C.S. Lewis). I am so humbled and grateful (earnestly) that the Lord takes the time to chastise me and mold me.
I thank you all for your letters! They are so fun to receive!!!! I think the thing I miss the most is just getting updated! Thanks Mom and Dad for your faith promoting and sweet letters, they are so fun for me and help me feel close. I really love updates just on how people are, we don't have time any other day but P-day (dad my p-day is friday!) to write, but I love hearing things!
LOVE YOU! The work is true and rolls forward without inhibition. The Lord is sure working on us to purify us to "match the message." (Elder Scott) The work is true and wonderful, know this week that I am praying for you and that I am taken care of... and that God loves you! Thinking of Annie this week of her baptism!
A Blessed Sister Anderson