In Japanese, dekimasu is a verb meaning to be able to do, and it has been my motto since I got here. Four years of studying japanese was still not even close to enough to make me prepared for going to Japan. But, I haven't been quite as overwhelmed as the other missionaries in my district, and I've been able to focus more on bringing the spirit into my practice lessons. I still can't really do much in the japanese language, but, eventually, dekimasu! God will help me speak the words to touch the hearts of others.
This first week has been very hard. I have to wake up early everyday and my brain is getting crammed full of vocab constantly. When we met our branch presidency, president Colinsworth shared a scripture. I don't remember where it is, or exactly what it said, but it said something about how angels will bear us up as we do our missionary work. So we talked about all the "angels" we have - our companions, our district, etc. But then he looked straight at one of the Nihonjin (native japanese person) and said,"don't you think your ancestors will be encouraging you as well?" And then I felt this chill go down my spine. I could almost hear my grandma (who passed away about a year ago) say,"grandma's so proud of you!" Just like she had so many times before she passed away. I could also feel the spirits of the japanese ancestors I have that I never even knew.
So at the mtc most of what we do is learn teaching skills, nihongo (Japanese), and practice teaching on fake investigators. So the investigator we have now, Eiji San, is going to be our third teacher (probably) and I have STRUGGLED to say anything in japanese to him that makes sense. Last lesson we taught I tried to tell him about repentance, but realized mid sentence I didn't know how to say anything about repentance hahaha. So I said something along the lines of "Jesus wants you to throw your mistakes in the trash" hahahahaha and the look on his face was priceless. I don't know how he doesn't laugh because I say son dumb stuff pretty much everyone I open my mouth :')
So far the mtc has been pretty awesome though! I feel the spirit everyday stronger than I have for pretty much my whole life. My companion (Elder Wolthoff) is pretty cool. He's helped get me out of my shell a lot. In my district there are 12 people, and people keep telling me that's a ton but I don't really know? Were also literally the best district this mtc has ever seen so that's pretty cool too 😎
Elder Dillon is my district leader, and he's actually a friend from byu! We lived on the same floor and it's super nice to have a friend here I already know (Also I thank God everyday I'm not a district leader I'm confused and overwhelmed enough with just taking care of myself hahaha). I also knew Oberg shimai before coming as well (she was friends with one of my roommates). Anyways heres some super kawaii pictures of us (i actually dont think I'm capable of taking a good picture, but daijobu). Also if I use Japanese words, gomennasai just Google translate it I don't even notice I'm doing it anymore 😂
Aishiteimasu, minnasan!Oliver 長老