How are you all? Life in the MTC is the same for the most part. All of our kohai are here. Elder Hee is living just two rooms down from me. He's in 431 and we're in 435. I'm sure these past two days have been long for him, but it seems like he's doing really good. I haven't had a chance to meet with all of the kohai yet, but they seem like a good group of missionaries. I thought that they would remind me more of myself when I came in, but I guess every group's different and brings a different feel to life here. It is fun to see where there Japanese is now and know that they will be speaking in no time.
This past Sunday at sacrament meeting I was asked to translate. There was only my district and the two others that came in with us, since all of our sempai were gone. A few family members of one of our Branch Presidency members attended and didn't speak or understand Japanese. It was an amazing feeling being able to translate a few talks from Japanese to English for them. I know that my language skills are continuing to progress and it's exciting. At the same time, I know it will be super hard to train my ear when I actually get to Japan... and that's intimidating.
Elder Tad R. Callister spoke for our Tuesday Devotional. We decided not to sing in the choir this week because we needed to get a lot more studying in before our test on Wednesday. So instead of going to choir practice we studied. Tuesday night, my companion and I were the first ones in line so we were able to get enough seats for our district, about 6ft. from the pulpit. It was a good meeting about the Apostasy and Restoration, and has motivated my district and I to teach the Apostasy to our investigators a lot more fully. Oftentimes we don't go too deep into it because it's difficult to explain in Japanese... but it is super important.
Well, we've made our residence room really clean and it feels nice. It wasn't anything bad before, but now it really feels like a place of learning more than a place to sleep at night. All of our kohai are rooming on the same floor of our building as us, so we're their example in all we do.
Our test went okay. I think it was a wake-up call to some. I did really well on the oral and vocabulary portions, but not so well with grammar. We have yet to see our overall scores though.
I'm on my second planner... it's crazy to think that I've filled the six weeks in my other one up already. Time is still picking up speed. Some days are really long, but weeks definitely fly by.
The weather's been off and on. It's really cold some days and warm on others...just Utah weather I guess. We haven't had any real snow though. Which I think is a little surprising as it's already the middle of November. But, who's complaining?
I'm really grateful for the opportunity I have to serve as district leader. We receive training twice a week, and it's really good. It's hard at times, but I enjoy seeing my leadership skills grow.
Anyway, is there anything anyone wants to know? I really hope you're all doing great. Keep on keeping on. Thank you for all of your love and support! Thank you for writing and keeping my updated with what you’re doing back home. This work is good and keeping me busy. I'll write more when I get back from the Temple. Take care.
It's now 10:55am. We did sealings this morning. We got to the temple around 7:30am and got into a room around 8:15am. It was really good... having never done sealings before I didn't exactly how they went. It's amazing to think that I was representing people who have been separated from their families for so long. And that I am able to perform ordinances that will allow them to be together again and receive exaltation. Just to think that husbands and wives have not been able to be with each other or their children for hundreds of years in some cases, is crazy. The ordinances performed in the temple are so important. I know I've heard this a lot. But hearing names, birth dates, and birthplaces made it a lot more personal. I'm grateful for the opportunity I have to be in the temple each week and perform ordinances that people are in dire need of. And, it blesses myself and each week I have here. It's a weekly reminder that my purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ... through the entire gospel of Jesus Christ. Not just faith, repentance, baptism, and receiving of the gift of the holy ghost... but going to the temple and enduring to the end as well. And this purpose applies to us, as members of this church, just as much as it does investigators! Always strive to come closer to Christ. Live his teachings, SHARE his teachings, and endure to the end.
This past Sunday, my companion and I, taught a lesson to our district on enduring to the end.
D&C 14:7 "And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God."
2 Nephi 2:25 "Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy."
Both are scriptures that we've heard many times before... but which illustrate the point that enduring to the end is a glorious thing! It isn't a mundane and sorrowful thing. A person enduring to the end has qualities of happiness/joy and love! A simple message, but one with power and conviction. I know that this is true. I know that if you walk in faith, you will receive true happiness. A missionary in my district shared a quote, which I thought illustrated this point: "You need to step into the dark before you can turn on the light." Heed the voice of the spirit and develop your personal relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ. I love all of you with all of my heart. Strive to love and show love to everyone around you... and have a great week!!