Last week at the MTC!!! Only 5 days left till we leave for Japan!! AHH!! I'm so excited. So on Monday we're leaving at 2 am to go to Salt Lake City and then we're flying to Minneapolis and then from there to Tokyo and then from Tokyo to Fukuoka! It'll be a long trip but I'm so excited!!
This week me, Purcell-choro, and Smith-choro auditioned with our musical number "If the Savior Stood Beside Me" and we got scheduled to do it for last Sunday's departing devotional. Purcell-choro and Smith-choro sang a duet and I played for them. It was a great musical number and made me kind of sad because of how much I'll miss getting to play the piano and playing for devotionals and sacrament meeting and other things. Hopefully I'll get to play more in Japan!
This week we had our skype lesson where we skype a Japanese person and this time we skyped a Japanese person from like the Osaka area in Japan but he was in Chino Hills, CA for work! It was funny because I told him I was born in Chino Hills and he was excited. For fun we asked him what his favorite food was and he said "In N Out" it was super funny because we were expecting a Japanese food but it was In N Out! I was like "YES" because everyone here is not from California and doesn't like In N Out, it's sad.
Speaking of the Nihonjin (Japanese missionaries) it has been SO FUN with them. They are so nice and fun to talk to. There's about 4 sisters and 5 elders. We play volleyball with the Japanese missionaries and they're all super good. Anyways, it's great talking to them because I can practice my Japanese and I realize how nice and sweet and kind the Japanese people are and I already love all of them.
One time before the devotional we were all talking to the Nihonjin (Japanese missionaries) and then one of the MTC workers came up asking them something about needing translation headphones or something like that and the Japanese elders didn't understand what he was saying so I started translating for both of them. It was pretty fun because I just jumped up and was their translator and I just translated back and forth. Also I told them that a apostle was coming that night (I had no idea I was just joking with them) and they like freaked out and were like "Dare ga kimasu ka?" which means "who's coming" and I had to explain that I was just joking lol.
The MTC has been such a great experience. I'm going to miss a lot of things. I'm definitely going to miss my district so much. I have learned so much from them. Everyone in my district is so strong and such a great missionary and such a great example to me. I admire them all so much. I'm also going to miss my dear teachers who have helped me so much and taught me so many great lessons about missionary work.
I've learned so much from the MTC that if I listed it all and wrote it all down, it would be at least 7 books or something. I've learned so much Japanese of course, but I've also learned so much about myself and things about life in general. I've also learned so much about the gospel too and my testimony has been strengthened so much. However, the two biggest things I've learned from the MTC are about the doctrine of Christ and about loving other people. First off, I learned very quickly that the most important thing that any missionary should be living, breathing, seeking, following, is the purpose. Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. When you look the purpose, you can see that it basically is the doctrine of Christ as explained in 2 Nephi 31. First off, our first step is to invite others to come unto Christ. There are many ways we can do this: by our example, sharing our testimony, showing love to others, serving others, and being Christlike. I've learned that even if people don't end up accepting the gospel, the best thing we can do is love and serve them and invite them closer to Christ. Even if they didn't end up getting baptised, we helped them come closer to Christ. Another thing that I've learned about the doctrine of Christ/our purpose is that baptism isn't the main goal. If you look at the doctrine of Christ, baptism is only the gate that we enter. It's more like the first step in many more steps to having eternal life. Receiving the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end come after baptism. They say that for our investigators, our goal isn't baptism, it's the temple. All in all, the goal for everyone is to eventually partake in the covenants in the temple. I've just come to know so much about the Doctrine of Christ and basically everything in the gospel comes back to Christ. Christ is the center of everything and the center of our lives. Because of Him we can live eternally with our famillies, we can be forgiven, we can start again, we can have true joy. I have a strong testimony of Christ and I know that He lives and that he died for each of us and suffered for each and every one of us. I am so grateful for Him.
The other thing that really was emphasized here at the MTC was loving others, "As I have loved you, love one another." I really have learned such a great lesson about loving others. For one it's really important to love those that we teach. I've learned that sometimes people just need a friend and they need Christlike love from people. We have to have charity for every one of our investigators. Also, I've learned so much about loving the other people that we serve with. Sometimes it's really hard to have charity for others but Christ can help us to love others as He loves them.
I'm so grateful for all that I've learned at the MTC. The MTC is such a great place and I'm sad to have to say バイバイ (bye). But now I'm more ready than ever to take on Japan and conquer. Just kidding, my purpose is not to conquer Japan. However, I'll ride across the country on my bike if I have to. Anything for Nihon! (Japan) Next email, I'll be in the amazing land of Japan. Fun fact, Nihon (Japan) means "Sunrise Land". I'm off to Sunrise Land!!