Thursday, December 3, 2015

So close to Japan!

Black and White picture of the Provo Temple

New name tag!

The whole zone after a walk to the temple

Provo Temple

Laundry with the zone on P-Day

Christmas Lights at the MTC

Hey everyone! My time here at the MTC is almost over! We get our flight plans tomorrow and our whole district is so excited. We have about 10 days left! So moving on to this week.. Not going to lie, this past week has been pretty rough. There was a lot of ups and downs.

To start off positive though, last week for Thanksgiving we got to hear from an Apostle! Dallin H Oaks came and talked to us. He gave us a little mini history lesson on thanksgiving but the main part I really liked about his visit was his family that did a few special musical numbers for us and they were all so amazing. His daughter, Jenny Oaks Baker performed for us and so did a few of his grandchildren. Later that day we got to participate in the service project I mentioned in last weeks email and it was so much fun! After we had all finished, we had made a total of over 357,000 meals!

On Sunday I was assigned to teach a lesson for our district, the topic was The Book of Mormon. I was a little hesitant on giving the lesson because I'm always so nervous before teaching a lesson especially to a big group. However, right after the lesson starts I end up loving it and always run out of time and wish I had more time to teach haha. I was able to share some personal experiences with the Book of Mormon and I think the lesson went really well. I also shared a short video of Elder Hollands talk titled, "Joseph and Hyrum's testimony of the Book of Mormon". It is such a powerful video that testifies of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I would like to invite all of you to see it!

On Monday we taught Akiho San as usual and the lesson went fantastic! It was only our second lesson with her but as we were trying to commit her to read the Book of Mormon she talked about how she didn't understand the importance of it. I relayed my experience about feeling the same way as a convert when I first heard about the Book of Mormon. I then told her that as I began to read with faith I felt peace and guidance enter my life. I bore testimony to her that the Book of Mormon could help her and shared the scripture Ether 12:6 that she will "receive no witness until after the trial of her faith". I believe my teachings really struck home with her because after I had
finished talking she had agreed to read the first chapter of the Book of Mormon and pray to know whether or not what she was reading was true! I love to teach and see our investigators progress. It was probably the best lesson I have taught so far in the MTC!

The rest of the week was pretty uneventful and much didn't change from our regular schedule of studying. Although on Wednesday night we did have Skype TRC again and this was probably the worst lesson we have
taught so far in the MTC, which was definitely an abrupt switch from Monday. It was pretty rough and definitely didn't go as well as previous TRC lessons. Which was really surprising because we usually always have a positive experience when we teach TRC. We taught our lesson to an older lady who is currently living in Tokyo. Her name was Kyoko San and throughout the lesson I think the reason why we struggled so much was because we didn't build a strong relationship with her in the beginning. That made it hard to let the spirit help and guide us throughout the course of the lesson. Also she spoke really fast and a lot in "old" Japanese so there were quite a few words we didn't quite understand or were slightly changed so that didn't help either haha. Overall though I did feel like I learned a lot from the lesson. In order to properly teach someone you must first build a solid relationship with them and then the spirit can guide you as you teach them.

Last thing I will end with is the importance of relying on Heavenly Father. Throughout this week I have been having a hard time with putting the language together in the correct grammatical format so that it makes sense. Right now I am speaking like caveman Japanese my teachers like to call it because I know all the vocabulary but I just jumble it up in the sentence and use the wrong particles so sometimes it won't make to much sense. Yesterday, Babcock Shimai was coaching me and told me I think about it to hard and wouldn't let the Nihongo just flow through me like I should be doing. She picked up my Japanese Book of Mormon set it on my desk in front of me and told me to testify to her without thinking so much and focusing on the language. Trying as hard as I could I didn't stress about the language and just tried saying all I could say. To my surprise I started using a grammar structure I had never even used before and the Nihongo flowed smoothly as I testified of the Book of Mormon to her for a few minutes.
Afterwards she looked at me with a smirk and said she knew I could do it. Then she told me that I need to have that same confidence and implement that kind of power in my lessons and not worry so much about the language, which is definitely something I need to work on.

Sorry the email came so much later than usual today! I had a pretty busy day but it was amazing. I was able to go to the temple and do an endowment session for a family name for the first time! It was a great experience. I am learning so much here in the MTC and it truly is great to feel the spirit constantly. I love this church and am so
grateful for the many blessings that Heavenly Father has blessed me with. I love you all and hope everyone has a good week!

Sherrill 長老

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