I hope you all had a fantastic week. We're almost halfway through our stay at the MTC! On Monday we will just have 5 weeks left. Last Monday, our senpai all left for Japan. They were leaving at 3am for their flight, so we all woke up to say goodbye. I kinda wished I was going with them, but then I realized that I still didn't know Japanese so I need to stay here.
Our classes have been going really well and I've already learned so much. Japanese is coming really well actually and I'm really grateful for that. I know though that once I get to Japan, it'll be a lot harder because everyone will be speaking so fast, but I'll just be so excited to be there, it'll just be awesome.
We had some really great lessons. One cool thing we did this past week was TRC where returned missionaries from Japan who go to BYU come over and we get to practice speaking with them and teach them. It was really awesome because we got some guys who went on their missions to Japan, and then we got a man actually from Japan who was here at BYU. It was so awesome to talk to all of them and hear their missionary experiences.
So one thing that all of the missionaries going to Japan say is "Yosh!" which means "Yeah!" or "Cool" in Japanese. So, it's fun because when we run into other Japanese missionaries we just all go "YOSH" super loud and throw up peace signs and we just confuse everyone around us. We freaked out because Yosh sounds like Yoshi like the character from Nintendo Super Mario and then one teacher pointed out that Yoshi literally translates to "good" and Yoshi says two things always: "Yoshi!" and "Nihongo!" and "Nihongo" translates to "Japanese" in Japanese. So Yoshi the character says his name and Japanese all the time. Another fun thing we do is say "たたかいましょ！" or "Tatakaimasho!" which means "Let's fight!" We'll just randomly yell that sometimes and it's so funny. Yesterday we got a new missionary from New Zealand who's going to Japan and we told him that "tatakaimasho" means "nice to meet you!" as a joke. But apparently he took 5 years of Japanese so he said "wait, doesn't that mean 'fight me'?" And we were like "dang it". So we have a plan for the rest of the new missionaries that come today, to tell them it means "nice to meet you" so that when they're meeting someone for the first time, they'll say "fight me". Man, it just cracks me up thinking about that. We have a lot of fun in our MTC district and we all become such good friends.
Anyways, so back to lessons, this week we had the chance to teach a woman named Hirose-san who is an inactive member of the church. She became inactive after getting in a really bad car accident. We met with her and taught her about Christ's Atonement and how Christ has suffered all our sins and our afflictions. This includes our pain and suffering. We related it to her and said that Christ knows what you have been through and he knows your pain. We taught her that through the Atonement, all things can be made right and we can feel Christ's love for us. The lesson touched her heart and I could see that she was able to understand that someone else understood her hardships and Christ is there for her with open arms. It was such a great lesson and really bore testimony to me of the amazing power of the atonement.
Every Sunday and Tuesday night me and my distrcit go to the MTC choir practice. It is so awesome because our director is the choir director at UVU and he always has the most amazing stories to tell. For every song he gives the history and background on the song writer, how the song was written, the meaning etc. Like for instance, "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" was written by a missionary! It is always so neat to go to choir practice. Our director also tells us so many inspiring mission stories from his mission and others'. I love singing in the choir because everyone is such good singers and I always feel the spirit so strong when I'm singing with all of them. Plus, I miss being in choir so this is such a great opportunity.
This Sunday was our last Sunday with our senpai and so during our sacrament meeting, they all did a musical number and sang "How Great Thou Art". When they were singing that hymn I felt the spirit so strong and I just thought about Heavenly Father and how much he loves each of us and how much he cares for everyone. I know that God loves each of us and knows us and that we can all return to him someday.
Anyways, I hope you all have a fantastic week!
- Sister Atwood (アトウッド 姉妹)