WOW! Another week here at the MTC.... only I can't tell you how it feels like time's ticking is picking up momentum! Yesterday we got our FLIGHT PLANS and guess what - I am heading out for JAPAN! Honestly I think I've had some anxiety thinking this would never come, and now that it is here I don't know what to do. haha! A week from Monday I fly out to OSAKA! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I'm going to preach the Gospel (finally!) to a people who I can't completely communicate with in a place I don't know...and the Lord is taking such good care of me. How I love you sweet fam! (we may be able to call from the airport, I'll let you know for sure next week... we leave at 5 am so I'll let you know on that... ha ha). We fly to Seattle and ON TO THE BEAUTIFUL LAND OF NIHON!!!!
I can't believe I'm ok. :) I don't know how else to say that, but I am just so grateful for the Lord's mercies... that I could be here, that I could have experienced the MTC, that I get to go to Japan... even when we are so imperfect! I don't know if I can find words for the mercy I feel. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I love this sweet Gospel. It really is the way to happiness! I love testifying of that. We got to practice street contacting a little bit this week, and I am so excited. (I think that will be the focus of my language study this week... preparing!) Oh sweet Fam, the Lord is so good to us. I wish I had hours to write you of the mercies He has given me. The MTC has been one of the most refining experiences of my life, but missions are meant to be hard. I can't express to you from the depths of my heart how grateful I am that the Lord is making something of me. I read John 17 the other week and my spirit was just SO TOUCHED. Isn't it amazing that the Lord wants to be WITH us and WITHIN us, so much a part of us that He knows what we face and how to succor us... IN and throughout our trials so we grow, and to help us know how to come out on top... and to take away the regret and pain we have so we can learn. I cannot express the depth of my gratitude and love for my Savior Jesus Christ!! I feel that so acutely as I prepare to leave this place. I think the MTC has been a lot for me, honestly. I've learned to say some things in Japanese, but the Lord has made this my personal tutoring grounds. He is writing His law on my heart, and I cannot express my gratitude enough. The Lord sees so much in me, so much in you, so much in each of us. I promise He knows your potential and will SUCCOR you.... I can't express how grateful I am that He succors me; I cannot express how it feels to have the Savior WITH me. I have felt His power. I have felt Heavenly Father's power. I know that grace is real. I want to turn my whole life to the service of My God and My King. How can I express my gratitude?
So: update-ish things.... we got our travel plans (did I mention that?), I'm going to JAPAN!!!!! :) ha ha. Elder HOLLAND came this week for our Tuesday night fireside. He gave a phenomenal talk! A lot of it was about when we return from our missions... about staying on the path, and it was given with all of the Elder Holland fervor... so good. He also talked about the power of the Book of Mormon in conversion, and the role of patterning our teaching "after the manner of the spirit." He asked for volunteers and quizzed them on the happenings from 1 Nephi 1 and the latter point... it was something! At one point he pulled up President Brown's (the MTC president) grandchildren and said something to the effect of...Don't come home and try NOT to look like a missionary. The upcoming generation needs your example - do it for them!! For some reason I saw all my nephews and nieces in my mind as those kids stood up, and I just thought what an even better missionary I want to be for my sweet family. I love you nephews and neices! Know that the Lord loves you and Heavenly Father has a plan for you. Missionary work is awesome!
That night, I had a reminder of the Lord's love. We decided to go sing in the choir, and they sang "Come Thou Fount"... probably my favorite song. It overwhelmed me. The meeting that night closed with another of my favorite hymns, and it was another witness that the Lord truly loves me and is aware of me. He sends so many mercies to me daily. Also, for some reason on Monday I received 10 letters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you my sweet family and friends for your love and your support. It was SUCH a reminder to me that the Lord knows us and is anxious to lift us through other people. I love you family and friends!! Thank you for writing this week. YOU ARE WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guess what! We had coaching with our sensei this week. When we had our meeting, he told me that I was doing really well.... that I spoke fast and sounded really Japanese. He said he didn't know how I had done it (and that I had sounded very American before ha ha) I have really been striving to WORK HARD, but I know how it is done - it is the Lord. The Lord IS with us. His work is miraculous, and His ways higher than ours.
SO! .... I can't believe I'm leaving! ha ha. It's been rough but good. :)
The Work is GREAT and the Lord is with us. We got a new room and I am just trying to concentrate on studying in this time before we leave... WHEW! :)
I love you sweet people. I hope you know that the Lord loves you and is watching out for you!
Love, Sister A.
Making a really big letter for our missionary!