Date

July 11, 2018

Area

, ,

Companion

Halfway through the MTC!

Konnichwa, Minasan!
So like the subject line says, I'm halfway through the MTC! Woohoo! I cannot wait to get out of this place hahaha. We had a noodle party in my district to celebrate, so we just ate cup of noodles and candy together while we wrote our talks for sunday.
Not much has really happened this week. Just teach a ton, practice Japanese a ton, and my testimony continues to grow (a ton)! The group of Japanese missionaries above me leaves this monday, which means that pretty soon I will be one of the people that's been in the MTC the longest. 
Spiritual experience:So this week was actually pretty rough for me. I taught a bunch of really bad lessons and I was feeling pretty down. So I talked to one of my Sensei's and he helped a lot. There are two great commandments, right? Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, might, mind and strength. The second is to love others as thyself. So he said there was actually a commandment 1.5: Love thyself as God loves you! You can't love others until you love yourself. That was something that I really needed to hear. A lot of times I am so focused on teaching others and helping others that I measure my worth by what those people think of me. But everyone has their freedom of choice, so I can't measure my worth by the actions of others. Never forget that God loves you! If I could only take one truth with me for the rest of my life, it would be the knowledge that God loves me.
Spiritual experience part 2:Yeah we literally did nothing this week hahaha so I'll just write more spiritual experiences :P So like I said, this week was pretty rough. After one especially bad lesson I was in a bad mood for the rest of the day. The day after I was sitting in the ponder room (just a room at the end of the hall that has music playing), wondering if I really had what it takes to be a missionary. After all, the one thing missionaries do is teach, right? And I literally have not taught a single good lesson. So I was sitting in the ponder room, pondering, when a thought popped into my mind to listen to the music. I heard a piano version of Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. So I decided to look up the words. Here's what I found:
Here I raise my EbenezerHither by thy help I've comeAnd I hope, by thy good pleasure,safely to arrive at home
I then decided to look up what Ebenezer is. In the book of Samuel, the Israelites and the Philistines repeatedly fight in this place called Ebenezer, and the Israelites repeatedly lose. They had the faith, and they were worthy, but God continually allowed them to lose. Eventually, after many many losses, they won. They raised up a monument (called Ebenezer as well) to remind them that if they place their hope and faith in God, they will always pull through eventually. I have failed sooooo many times in my life, and that doesn't mean I don't have faith, or that I'm not worthy. It just means that I need to continue to have faith, and eventually this struggle can be a monument in my life that God will always bless me if I have faith.
Ok I actually remembered a funny story!In Japanese, the verb "to wage war/to fight" is tatakau. The verb "to spank" is tataku. So I was teaching a TRC lesson and I was telling them about the story of Ebenezer, but I kept saying tataku instead of tatakau. So when they kept laughing I was getting a little frustrated. I finally asked them why they kept laughing, and in English he told me that I kept saying the Israelites got spanked hahahaha. Japanese is pretty great hahaha!
Alright that's pretty much it! 
みなさん,愛しています!オリバー長老
So the first picture is one of my teachers, Miller 兄弟. He's a total goofball and I love him to death!
The second is me and my old roommate, Elder Nielson! He's going to Rio, and he's pretty much the coolest kid in the MTC!




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