So, nothing crazy is really happening in the MTC. I feel like i'm in a routine now, which is good. We have 3 hours a day of kojin/doryou benkyou (personal/companion study), 1 hour of exercise time, 6 hours of class time, and then devotionals bi-weekly. It's pretty busy, but it's a lot of the same activities over and over again. It's kind of weird to think that the eigo senkyoushi (English-speaking missionaries) will be getting their flight schedules right now and preparing to leave next week to the field, while I still have 7 weeks left before I ship off to Nihon. I really want to go to Japan! However, I know that there is a lot for me to learn here in the MTC, and I am SO grateful for the time that I have to spend here.
Fourteen days into my mission, and we've already taught 6 lessons in Nihongo! The lessons have been going really well, and I feel like Eddington-choro and I are improving our Nihongo skills rather quickly. This latest lesson was with a new investigator, and it did not go quite as we expected. We had planned out a relatively in-depth lesson on the great apostasy and restoration; however, once we began, we felt the need to change directions and discuss the importance of prayer and testify of the love that Ten no Otousama and Iesu Kirisuto have for him. We had basically only studied the vocabulary and phrases needed to talk about the restoration in our preparation for this lesson. I was floored when we were able to discuss and answer his question about prayer, the role of the Book of Mormon and Bible in our church, and our personal relationships with Ten no Otousama. Open your mouth, and the Spirit will give you what you need to say in that very moment!
We are about to start TRC this Friday, and I'm super excited about it! TRC, as it has been explained to me, is when we get to teach member's lessons and then review it with them after in order to see how it went. So, we'll be teaching two 20min lessons to Nihonjin members in just a couple of days! I'm really looking forward to the feedback that we get and know that it will be a huge blessing for mine and Eddington-choro's Nihongo.
Lastly, I was reading in Mosiah this week during personal study, and I learned so much about repentance! Repentance is literally the coolest thing ever! I don't know about all of you, but when I thought of the term repentance, I used to think about how imperfect I am. I'd kind of get down on myself. Repentance used to be a sad word to me. Oh, i'm not perfect, so I need to repent. I just read Mosaiah chapters 12-16 and chapter 27 again, and my whole perspective has changed.
In Mosaiah chapter 12, Abinadi is imprisoned and questioned by the priests of Noah. They ask him "What meaneth the words which are written, and which have been taught by our fathers, saying: How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings; that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good; that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth" This is meant to be a little bit of a "gotcha" question, because Abinadi has been preaching that the king and his people are wicked and need to repent. They feel like the scripture they quoted disproves what Abinadi is preaching. Little did they know!
Abinadi essentially stares at them and says (this is me paraphrasing) "you call yourselves priests, but do you guys even read the scriptures?" Then, in chapter 13-15, he goes on to explain that the good tidings and the salvation talked about in that scripture is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and repentance! Well, these words really speak to Alma, and we all know that he goes on to be a rockin' missionary and leader in the church. When Alma is the leader of the church in chapter 18 and begins to ordain high priests to go out and teach the the people, he gives them the charge to teach one thing: "Yea, even he commanded them that they should preach nothing save it were repentance and faith on the Lord, who had redeemed his people." Essentially, the good tidings of good talked about in this section of the scriptures is repentance. I'd recommend all of you to go and study the words of Abinadi for yourselves, because they are truly amazing!
I just want to end by saying that I know what my purpose is as a missionary. It is to publish peace and salvation and to bring the GOOD news of the gospel. I know that we can find happiness in this gospel, and that Jesus Christ is our Savior. I know that repentance is literally turning our hearts to the Savior and progressing towards him. It is through following our Savior that we find joy, and therefore I know with all my heart that repentance is joy.