Oh how I love you! Thank you for your sweet notes and encouragement! The MTC is so fun, and such a growing experience. This week I had a thought that if life is typically a Religion 103 class, this is like the 508-1023 level, or higher - depending on the day. It is so wonderful! I don't want to be anywhere else. I can't imagine learning Japanese any place else! I feel the quickening of the Spirit as I study and deeply immerse myself in Gospel principles. I love it! I've really been trying to craft my study around our investigators and learning the Preach My Gospel lessons. It is amazing, the Lord is so with us.
This week I envisioned walking into a train and seeing people of Japan, sitting, not knowing the potential they carry as spirits of infinite worth, souls with loving Heavenly Parentage.... and my heart swelled with love. I was overwhelmed at the love I felt for these people I don't even know yet! Unfortunately I will not see any of our Nihonjin sisters who came here to the MTC for three weeks. They are all going to other missions - not Kobe.
This week we taught our lesson to Yoshi San with the cup of dirt and... we planted cheerios! ha ha. He really enjoyed it. We put little tags on the pen He used it to push the cheerios down with... including prayer, reading the scriptures, going to church, and faith. We read Alma 32:28 and 33:23... and the Spirit was truly with us. He prayed this week and it was a WONDERFUL experience. HE PRAYED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!! We were so happy, our district has been working so hard on that with him. I testify that the Spirit helps us. We were so excited. Our lessons get quite elaborate sometimes, but simply elaborate. :) We love making our lessons personal to our investigators. I love it! This week I tried to explain the Great Apostasy in the context of a baseball game for Sasaki San. hmmmmmmm.... it is a lot easier in English! ha ha :)
Funnies: I was counting the tabs on our pen in our lesson with Yoshi San, and I said: "Ichi... Ni... San... HAI!" He was laughing so hard. Instead of saying "four," I said: "Yes!" I guess I take too many pictures...you know, "look at the camera...one, two three yes!" As we were leaving our lesson yesterday with one of our investigators (teachers) Sasaki San, I bowed to him and instead of saying "Yoroshiku o-negai shimasu," which means I look forward to our friendship, I said, "Yakusoku Shimasu" which means " I look forward to our promise." haha. I also prayed in front of our district about how grateful I was for expectations.... instead of "opportunity." (kikai and kitai). These things happen and all we can do is laugh - which we did for...for like 2 minutes. The MTC is so fun and funny! Last night the four roommates, got off on something and laughed like crazy. Stress (studying) relief syndrome????
Can I just tell you how much I love writing you. :) At night in bed I think about all the things I want to tell you, and I usually only remember a fourth of them and usually that fourth will switch a little bit... but i want to say it all! It used to seem like 2 or 3 days between P-days, now it seems like 1 day. Also, this week we went to instructor led P90X for the first time! It was awful!!! Ha ha. I am STILL SORE. It seriously worked us!
This work is true. I think I came on my mission expecting to be the perfect missionary, subconsciously thinking how much I wanted to employ all of the advice I'd been given. I think it surprised me when I was still just... me! Just one daughter of God who really loves the Gospel. But I am amazed at how good He is to us. I've realized how completely mortal I am, and I think learning to embrace our "weakness" (like it says in Ether 12:27) is fundamental. I've realized that Heavenly Father doesn't want us to be perfect NOW. Part of the process is learning to laugh with ourselves and grow! This Gospel is not for perfect people, it is for imperfect people involved in a perfect work. I am amazed at how the Savior changes us and makes up the difference--even IN our imperfection! I am still learning so much, but I am also feeling so relieved in a way. The Gospel is SO WONDERFUL. This is the ONLY WAY! I testify that as you kneel to pray you are heard by a loving Heavenly Father. He is always there. We got to teach our district about repentance this week (I love repentance!), and tears came to my eyes as I testified that the Savior will come wherever we are to bring us to Him. How He loves us! The church is true. The Book of Mormon is the WORD OF GOD, and can shape our testimonies and build our faith.
I got to bear my testimony in Japanese this week in fast and testimony meeting!! I LOVED IT. I know that the Spirit speaks every language. How the Lord loves us, my sweet friends and family! I promise you He knows the end and the beginning for all of us.
We leave the MTC 4 weeks from Sunday! Ahhhhhhhhh!!!