Dear Family and friendies,
Happy Valentines day! Yesterday was the best valentines day ever. I think it was because there were no expectations. Everyone in the MTC was seriously SO genki(happy) haha. It was awesome. With the exception of some poor weepy elders (one in my district) who have girlfriends at home. The mail room was shut down for half of the day becauase they were "attacked" by packages. Two of those were for meee!!! Thanks to Sarah and Annie for sending me such cute packages! I was soooo excited! Sis. Willis and I made these awesome valentines cards for everyone in the district. Yesterday we had each person sign everyone's and then we made them wait until Monday morning to read their own. I cut out pictures of each district member and put it on the card and everyone got a pretty big kick out of it. It was a really good day and everyone loved their cards. We also gave them to our sensei's.
I love love love studying Japanese. I am learning so much. I have learned more here in the past 3 weeks than in the 9 years I have taken it, haha. sad. But a miracle. I love SYL-ing (Speak your language). We make a time everyday where we can speak only Japanese. My poor companion gets so frustrated sometimes because I just speak speak away saying anything I can think of and she has no idea what I'm saying. I wish we could SYL all day long. I want to get to Japan so bad, but I also love the MTC. My heart is being torn in two! We got 7 new senkyoushi (missionaries) who are native Japanese and everyone is so excited to have them here. I asked them to sing in sacrament meeting on sunday and they are really pumped. It was fun trying to get accross the message to them in Japanese but great practice.
I totally forgot to get a musical number for sacrament meeting this week so by the time Wednesday rolled around I realized I needed one and I just decided to do it. I ended up singing "I need thee every hour." First verse english, second Japanese. It was reallly pretty and my roommate Goodale Shimai played the piano for me. Afterward one of the branch president's wives told me my voice quality reminded her of David Archuletta! hahahahahah. My companino was so embarrassed because I started busting up laughing right there in front of everyone (Its even funnier because all of our roommates have been randomly having really weird dreams about David Archuletta singing at MTC firesides and being called to speak to all of the missionaries). Anyway, I can't seem to get away from him here in the MTC, which is funny because I have never even thought about him in my life before this. I guess its a nice compliment? paha
One of our elder's moms sent him a huge Japanese flag so we hung it up in our room. It looks awesome. One of my Elders from Brazil is the funniest person I have ever met. I sit next to him and I haven't heard anything come out of his mouth that isn't ridiculous. I write down pretty much everytyhing he says in my notebook and I'm planning on making an "Elder De Freitas quote book" for everyone in our district. He entertains us a lot. My district is recently obesessed with a game called "signs." Whenever we have a break we play it, and if you get caught with the sign you have to say a Japanese sentence using a grammar pattern we have learned. It's really fun.
I have been playing a lot of four square, volleyball, and SHOOTOUT at gym lately. For some reason I am the bomb.com at shootout. For anyone who has seen my basketball skills, that is sort of hilarious, but I am actually kind of a good shot. Yesterday I got like 6 Elders out in a game and everytime they all started whooping and hollering and making fun of the poor elder I got out. I usually run a mile or 2 at the beginning of gym, too. I love gym time. hehe.
I don't have that much time to write to individual people but I'm going to write handwritten letters today. Sis Willis and I came up with the idea for a "grateful box." everyday each missionary in the district has to write something theey're grateful for and put it in the box, and we're going to read them today during laundry. I decorated the box with pictures of all of us, but they haven't seen it yet so i'm excited to surprise them haha.
We have been going to choir every week and I love love love it. Last week Sis Willis and I got projected on teh big screen when the choir was singing during the devotional and afterward people in our branch were like....we saw you guys on the giant screen!!!!! Hahah we didnt' even know. I hope we didn't look retarded. I'm going to try out for the MTC sunday night fireside musical number on Thusday. Wish me luck! Our district is also trying out singing the Sisters in Zion/armies of helaman duet.
Our senpai (older missionary's) are leaving in two weeks!!!!! I'm so sad. I have made so many good friends in that group, but they are all excited to go. That means that we will become the new senpai...and new little cohai (new missionaries) will be coming in. It feels weird, but I'm excited.
Thank you everyone for your DearElders and letters! Thanks for your Email Sara (Greenwood), the one from Emma! I barely have any time to be on email so thank you everyone who emailed and sent me letters this week. I'll be writing A TON of letters during laundry today. I simply don't have time to write back during the week. I seriously study for 16 hours a day haha. My brain is going to explode.
I found a onesie in the lost and found box in our dorm, and I was running around in it last night. It was awesome. We can't email pictures here, but I made a CD with some pictures and I'm going to mail it to Annie or mom so someone can upload them and put them on my blog. I'm also goign to send a lot of pictures I printed to everyone so you can see my awesome life here in the MTC.
I have a super crazy roommate named sister Burns. She is the weirdest person ever, and we are already talking about rooming together in Provo after our missions. She's going to Korea (figures).
I am learning sooo much here about teaching the doctrine of Christ simply to the people in Japan. Also, teaching with the spirit is crucial. Sis Willis and I pray like 200 times a day to have the spirit. We are in a special pilot program, so we teach twice as many lessons as the other districts. This means a lot of planning, discussing lesson plans, and PRAYER! We have a fake in vestigator named "Naoko-San" who we teach twice a week. She is a progressive investigator, so instead of just the TRC, where the investigator changes every week, she stays the same and we teach her different lessons. We commited her to baptism yesterday and she was very hesitant, but I told her a personal story yesterday and the spirit was SO STRONG she actually started crying, and told us that during that lesson it was the first time she had felt the spirit in her life. IT WAS so amazing. I am really learning a lot teaching her.
One of our elders went home this last week and our district was devasted, but life moves on. We are all praying for him. No word on whether I'll be leaving early. I don't really think I will. Even though I am fine language-wise, I have a lot to learn about teaching the lessons effectively.
I am loving life so much here. I know that it was the right decision for me to serve a mission. I can't imagine my life anymore without this experience. I was made to do this. I am thriving so much and really learning a lot about myself having my companion around 24/7. She is seriously amazing. Last night I found a note on my bed that she wrote me, and it had 10 things she appreciates about me. I can't believe how lucky I got with my comp.
My testimony has grown so much in the past 3 weeks. I know that heavenly father loves all of his children, and that this time on my mission is just for him. I am so excited to be able to think of nothing else but trying to be a good missionary. It is such a blessing . Thank you to everyone who is sacrifi...(she must have gotten cut off because that was it!)