Plz note: Elder Rindlisbacher will be leaving the MTC for Japan on Mon. Dec. 19, 2011. His Japan address will be added here when we receive it.
Good morning! :)
How are all of you doing? Thank you for sending that package! Thank you Keawe and Keanu for writing! I really appreciate it, I even had your lettters laminated. The pictures are great! As well as the Maui calendar... I think everyone in our branch enjoyed looking through it. I sent a few letters home, to all of you and Keawe and Keanu, so you should be getting those soon if you haven't already. I have some pictures on my camera I need to get printed, then I'll send those your way... probably on Monday.
Biggest news this week is that we received our flight plans yesterday! I don't have them here with me, so I don't know the flight numbers... but we're flying on Delta, leave SLC at 8:30am 12/19/11 for PDX (Portland) arriving at 9:45am , then leave PDX at 12:05pm 12/19/11 for NRT (Narita!) We arrive in Tokyo around 4:25pm 12/20/11. I can get flight numbers to you later, after we get back from the temple. ---The flight numbers are 2189 to PDX and 617 to NRT.
Anyway, It's been a lot colder lately. The outside field’s been closed for the winter. So we're inside playing basketball for gym every day. Temple walk on Sunday was pretty chilly... I'd say high 20's or low 30's. So I bundled up for that. Did you guys get to see the First Presidency Christmas Devotional? It was broadcast to us for our Sunday Fireside. I really enjoyed the videos on Christ, and I think it's great that they'll be available to us to use as tools in our missionary work. If you haven't seen them, they're on the LDS website. The Tabernacle Choir was also great as usual.
My companion and I finally sang in the choir this past Tuesday. They had us sing Silent Night, mostly in unison. We sang baritone because my companion didn't think he could hit all of the bass notes, and I was a little disappointed that the choir director had us singing in unison... but it was really reverent and did a great job of inviting the spirit into the meeting. We heard from Elder Steven E. Snow (presidency of the Seventy) and his wife. They spoke about missionary work and making use of the precious time that we have. They actually focused a little more on how we will benefit from this work, rather than how our investigators will. It was a little change from most of our previous speakers.
Tuesday I also heard a funny line... Japan isn't a big baptizing mission so I like it: "Every door we knock on, someone in S. America is baptized. So let's go knock on some doors!"
My district had the opportunity of 'hosting' new missionaries on Wednesday. So we had designated areas we were assigned at the curb, where we greeted the new missionary and their family and helped them with all of their luggage. Final goodbyes and last words were exchanged and we took the new missionary and their bags to the administration building to check in and get a few important things (meal card, room key, schedule, etc.) The we took them to their residence to drop off all of their stuff, to the bookstore to get their packets (big bags of books for missionaries learning a new language and little folders for English speaking missionaries,) and then off to their first class. We went back to the curb to help another missionary after that. When I entered the MTC, back in October, we had a little more time to say our goodbyes because we came in later and I wasn't hosted. I had to get most of my stuff by myself, but I really liked being able to get pictures and a good goodbye in before leaving. Now I get to help the new missionaries and see them with their families right before they walk away... which reminds me of how great this work is. The MTC is an amazing place. I could tell that every car that pulled up was amazed at how happy everyone was. Smiling, waving, and saying hello! :) I hosted an elder from Texas going to Salt Lake City, another from Syracuse, UT going to Mexico, and another from Zimbabwe going to Boise, ID. I really liked the Zimbabwe elder... he's a rugby player, went to BYU for a year, and has a South African accent.
Well, I've done the count, and here's to day number 66 (today)... with not too many left. It's getting more real now. Soon we will be immersed in the culture and language!
I'll end with a good scripture. You probably know this one, but I really like it:
Doctrine & Covenants 84:81-88
"81 Therefore, take ye no thought for the morrow, for what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, or wherewithal ye shall be clothed.
82 For, consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, they toil not, neither do they spin; and the kingdoms of the world, in all their glory, are not arrayed like one of these.
83 For your Father, who is in heaven, knoweth that you have need of all these things.
84 Therefore, let the morrow take thought for the things of itself.
85 Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man.
86 Therefore, let no man among you, for this commandment is unto all the faithful who are called of God in the church unto the ministry, from this hour take purse or scrip, that goeth forth to proclaim this gospel of the kingdom.
87 Behold, I send you out to reprove the world of all their unrighteous deeds, and to teach them of a judgment which is to come.
88 And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up."
Thank you all for all of your amazing love and support! Trust in your god, follow in the footsteps of Christ's perfect example, and enjoy each day! For his Spirit shall be in your hearts! You are in my prayers! I love you! Take care!
---We're back from the temple! Coakley choro and I did sealings and the rest of our district participated in an endowment session. I really enjoy temple work so much! The reverence and spirit are unmatched. It's amazing. This time we stayed and ate brunch at the temple, since this may be our last chance to get to the temple. I'm so grateful for the many opportunities I had to get work done while I was here!
P.S. Personal revelation/guidance comes from going to church, reading the Book of Mormon, and praying. Be sure to always do all three! :)