Thursday, November 5, 2015

おはようございます みなさん

Our last soccer day with our Senpai (taken last P-day)

Our "cop/detective" outfits for Halloween

The lights on Halloween

My doryo and I after the temple walk.

3 weeks down at the MTC! It feels like I have been here for so long. Oh! and I forgot to tell everyone, I joined the choir when I first got here and it has been so fun! Brother Egget, our choir director is so funny and spiritual. Also it is really cool because everyTuesday for our Devotional we get to perform for the General Authority that comes to speak to us. So far this week has been amazing. This past Monday it was sad though because our senpai (Japanese missionaries who have been at the MTC longer than us) had left to go to Japan so we are all really missing them. We got kohai (new Japanese missionaries) yesterday though! We were only able to meet them for a little bit but they all seem pretty cool. They all looked so nervous and scared, I kind of wonder if I looked that scared on my first day or not haha.

So moving onto this week. Last week on Friday we had interviews with our teacher Babcock Shimai. It was a simple interview just to see how we are doing with our stay at the MTC and how the language is coming along. We talked for a little bit just to get to know each other a little better, her still only speaking in Japanese and me saying as much as I can in Japanese. After a little while I started to express my frustration to her that I can't express all that I want to say in the lessons with the investigators because my Japanese isn't very good. After I explained all this to her she asked me to bear my testimony to her. A little confused I asked her "In Nihongo?" She told me yes. Then I told her I just got done saying how I barely know any Japanese how am I supposed to convey my whole testimony in a language I hardly know? She then told me that I know a lot more than I think I know, I just need to have faith and speak from the heart and the words will come. After she said this I just closed my eyes and started to get choked up a little bit and in broken Japanese I bore my testimony to her the best I could and it was one of the most spiritual moments I have had so far in my life. As I bore my testimony to her the words just came to me and I was saying things I honestly couldn't even remember learning. After I finished she was very thankful to me for trying and told me that it had really touched her as well. It was an awesome experience and it really showed me that I do need to put my trust in the Lord more and always speak from the heart because it will help and touch whoever it is that I am teaching.

That next day was Halloween! We didn't do much celebrating here at the MTC but we did eat just a little more candy than usual haha. It was a pretty normal day and we still had class throughout the day. Although later in the day an Elder in my district, Morgan Choro parted his hair right down the middle as to look like Dwight from the Office and so the rest of our district decided to try and do a little something as well. Luckily one of the Shimaitachi in our district had gotten some mustaches from her mom so we put those on and took some pretty funny pictures. I will make sure to send them later!

On Monday we did TRC, I can't remember if I explained that to you guys or not but basically what it is is teaching members like a family home evening lesson. And that is pretty much just getting to know them and sharing a spiritual message with them and committing them to doing something that will help them. We do this every Monday and last week
went well but it was still difficult with not knowing Japanese because of course we teach it all in Nihongo haha. But this week went really well! We taught two different people and in both of the lessons we were able to introduce ourselves and make small talk and then see if we could help them in anyway. After they told us what they were struggling with we shared a message with them and testified of how it could help them. I felt my Japanese was really well in both of the lessons, I tried hard not to think beforehand what I was going to say but just let the Spirit guide the lesson and it worked out great. We developed a real relationship and love for the member we were talking to in just the short 20 minutes we taught them. It is so much fun getting to know people and being able to help them. I am looking forward to TRC every Monday now!

Last but not least we had a really good devotional Tuesday night given by Elder Maynes. He talked a lot on the importance of opening your mouth as a missionary because if you don't open your mouth and talk to others how will you bring others unto Christ? He shared an experience of him at a gas station and seeing some elders walk by him and he tried engaging them in conversation to see if they would talk back to him and share a message with him because the elders didn't know if he was a member or not and after he said hi they simply just said hi back. So he took it up a notch and asked how they were doing and the elders just responded by saying "fine, thanks for asking" and continued on their way and Elder Maynes explained to us that we must not be like the missionaries in the story and instead be proactive and try to share the Gospel with everyone we talk to. Another thing he said that I really liked was, "have more faith than fear". Which I believe will help me alot as I am serving in Japan because I will be really scared to approach people in Japan not only for fear of rejection to my message but also for not being able to say or understand all that they say. I know I will have help though as I talk to the people in Japan and I need to just have more faith than fear.

I still have another 6 weeks here in the MTC but these first 3 have flown by! I can't wait to continue to learn more and more Japanese and prepare the best I can for Japan. I love all of you guys and wish you all a great week!!

Love, Elder Sherrill

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