Friday, November 27, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

View of the sunset from the MTC the other night

2 of the Japanese alphabets :-0

So, sadly we don't get a P-Day today since it lands on Thanksgiving
day, but we do have a pretty awesome day ahead of us! We will have 3
devotionals today and since it is a holiday there is a good chance one
of the devotionals there will be an Apostle speaking! So we are all
excited for that. During one of the Devotionals the whole MTC is going
to gather together to do a huge service project. We will be preparing
approximately 320,000 meals for needy individuals and families here in
Utah County! It is an awesome opportunity to be apart of such a great
cause that will help out so many people this Thanksgiving.

So onto this week, I actually had a pretty cool experience last P-Day
that I was unable to share in my general email because it happened
later in the day. Morgan Chōrō and I were walking to the bookstore to
grab some stuff and our companions were back at the residence taking a
nap. As we approach the bookstore we see this woman who is in her
young 20's wearing this gold name tag. The gold name tag represents
someone who is playing as a non-member of the church. We are
encouraged to go make conversation with them as if they were to be
just like a random stranger you would come across in the street on
your mission; get to know them and share a message with them to see if
you can help them in any way. As we both pass her we say hello and
look at each other and ask one another if we should go try to teach
her or not. A little nervous we decide we both should go for it. We
walk back towards her but us both being unsure how to begin talking
with her we pass her and don't say anything. We stop up ahead of her
and are quietly talking amongst ourselves to quickly try and think of
a way to initiate a conversation with her. Right as she is about to
pass us again thankfully we think of something to say and ask her if
she could take a picture of us in front of one of the statues outside.
After she takes the picture we ask her where she is from and begin to
get to know her. As we talked with her and began to understand some
things she was struggling with we were both able to share some
personal experiences that I could tell really touched her heart. As we
left her we invited her to pray to God to receive his guidance in her
life and to also receive his help. Even though she was a member of the
church just volunteering and acting like a non-member when we taught
her it felt so real and I know the spirit was guiding what Morgan
Chōrō and I were saying to her. It was such a cool experience to be
able to get to know some random person and evaluate their needs and
bring them a little closer to Christ. I am stoked that I will be doing
this exact same thing in Japan for the next 23 months!

Just this past Sunday guess who got called to give a talk in sacrament
meeting!? Yeah, you got it right, the one and only Elder Sherrill
haha. It is actually kind of funny how it all happened. I can't
remember if I have explained it before how they choose people to give
talks on Sunday but just in case I haven't I will quickly explain the
process. So, on Sunday we have sacrament meeting as normal except
instead of having people pre assigned to give talks the presidency
just tells everyone to prepare a talk. Then shortly after the meeting
begins they will announce the few different people that will have to
give their talks. They do this so that by the time we all get to Nihon
we will have many talks written that we can choose from in case we
ever need to give one as well as it helps us prepare talks and better
learn the language. Anyways, this past Sunday right as they were about
to announce who will be speaking one of the sister missionaries got up
and was beginning to leave the meeting and it just so happened that
right before she left they called her name. She looked back and said
she didn't feel good and had to leave; then she continued and walked
out of the meeting. So the presidency called the other two speakers
out and said they would choose who should be the third speaker since
the Sister who was supposed to speak had left the meeting. Just a few
seconds later I hear President Stevenson say "Sherrill Chōrō". I look
up at the pulpit with a huge smile that was expressing half scared to
death to give a talk in Japanese and half thinking it was a little
comical because I knew out of the group of 30 or so people I knew I
would get picked haha. It was ちょとむずかし (a little difficult) but I was
thankful because I able to gain some experience giving a talk in
Japanese (which I will be doing lots of in Japan haha). Plus it wasn't
nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be, I had a lot of fun
delivering my talk and I knew a lot more than I thought I did when I
began to speak. When I bore my testimony at the end I felt so much
more powerful as the words just came to me and I knew what to say, it
was such an amazing feeling.

Last night we had TRC but it was just a tad bit different. Instead of
teaching two different people in person we instead just taught one
person for half an hour but it was over Skype! The person we taught
was a Nihonjin and is currently living in Japan! So, it was a pretty
cool experience to teach a native and see how much we could understand
them, which was surprisingly a lot more than I thought we would be
able to understand haha. Although afterwards all the volunteers kind
of scored our zone and the other zone and they said our Japanese was
at a week 3 level. Which really kind of frustrated us all and made us
a little upset because we thought we have improved so much. Our
teachers reminded us that instead of getting upset at the criticism,
work harder and rise above it and have it motivate you to do better
next week.

I want to close with a scripture, it is 2 Nephi 4:20, "My God hath
been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the
wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great
deep." I feel we can all learn from this scripture so much. We must
always rely on God and Jesus Christ, no matter the trial we are going
through. The second part of the scripture I love even more. During a
devotional this past week they explained to us the story of when the
Apostles see Jesus walking on water and all the Apostles are scared at
first because they do not know who it is, but are soon relieved when
Jesus says "it is I, be not afraid". After this the apostle Peter asks
if he can come on the water as well and Christ bids him to come. After
a short time of walking on water he becomes afraid and begins to sink.
He asks the Lord to save him and immediately Christ extends his hand
and saves him. Our speaker reminded us that Christ will always be
there to extend his hand to help us no matter how deep we have sunk.
He is waiting to help you. I love this Gospel and I know that Christ
lives. His love is real and he is waiting to bless each of our lives.
I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy the time with
family. Please remember to be thankful for all that we are blessed
with. I love you all!

Sherrill ちょうろう

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