Hi everybody :) I love you all so much and was so grateful to receive all of your letters. I don't get very many compared to everyone in my district, but they are from the best people so that's ok. I should probably try to write my friends if I actually want to hear from them so I'll definitely try to make time for that today.
The MTC really is so cool. It is so great to be surrounded by other Elders who want to obey the rules and become closer to Christ. I don't know if you know the purpose of missionary work, but it is on page 1 of preach my gospel and it goes - "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel of Jesus Christ through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end."
I think it is the coolest thing and definitely an inspired purpose. We have been having so many amazing devotionals and talks in sacrament/priesthood meetings that have really helped me to realize more about who Christ is and it is amazing. I wish you could hear these amazing talks because they inpsire me so much.
There is this big thing going on in the MTC in the last week and for a few more days because the new mission presidents are having training in the main building of the MTC. It is pretty hectic because there is hardly any access to that building and the cafeteria is cut in half so meal time has been chaotic, but it's because pretty much every single general authority is here in the MTC helping to train the mission presidents. I haven't seen any of them except one, (I'll talk about that in a sec) but you can really feel their presence and it brings a great spirit here. The general authority I got to meet was Elder David Evans from the first quorum of the 70. He actually went on his mission to Japan back when it was just the Asia north mission. Since then he has visited Japan many times and was the area authority over all of Japan for quite a while before becoming a general authority. He is also head of the missionary department! Anyways I think my district got lucky because one of our senseis is his daughter-in-law so he came with his wife and visited us during class in our tiny little room! It was such a cool experience. He talked to us a little bit about how important eternal marriage to teach to the people (as well as to ourselves after we return from our mission:]) "Marriage is He also asked us if we had any questions at all and I couldn't think of a single thing :( The other missionaries in my district asked him some good questions about the language and what Japan is going to be like and he gave some really good and really amazing answers. About learning the language he showed us some really cool scriptures in D&C 33 about just opening your mouth and the words will come to us. I really hope that I can try to speak a lot especially because the Japanese elders arrived from Japan yesterday!! They are so neat. I hope everyone didn't scare them because when we got back from class and saw them in the dorm everyone was so excited to meet them. It was kinda crowded, but after everyone dispersed I tried to talk to them and it was neat, but I realize more and more each day that I'm here that I don't really know Japanese THAT well yet. I am learning a lot about how to say things that I want to teach during lessons, but I need to speak more and learn more and more. Talking with the Japanese missionaries will be a great opportunity for that.
My everyday life at the MTC isn't too interesting at least I think. I just wake up, get ready, and go to class. Then I have meals at the normal time you'd have them. We have an hour of language study on our own and another hour with this rosetta stone-like program called TALL that I am still warming up to. Everday we have an hour of personal study of just gospel stuff in our native language which I really love. We have companionship study during the time that the other missionaries are teaching to get prepared to teach our own investigator. Then we have about two hours evening and night that we spend learning specific language or teaching fundamentals. We also have time to plan our day out and additional study time peppered in where they have empty spaces. It really is important to try to work towards something at every moment you have. Everyday we teach an investigator in Japanese either morning or night. We aren't teaching our first investigator anymore. We actually found out that he is actually a sensei for the Japanese elders. It was really cool to meet him after and learn his real name. Our next two investigators will be our two current senseis which will be interesting, but cool. They pretend like they are one of the investigators that they had on their mission.
About the orange juice I have no idea. I see other missionaries drink it all the time, but I don't dare. I'm glad that you have been able to do so many fun things! So did you just go to a bees game for your anniversary? You oughta do something more special than that! Just kidding. I'm sure it was really neat! I'm glad that Adam's play is settling down and that it was fun to see. Hopefully he will have time to do some really great stuff like his eagle project. I really hope that he can get that done. Time is going by so fast and he'll be 18 in less than 20 days! Wow! That's so great that he took the initiative to get the job though. I'm glad he pushed towards that. I just hope that he is able to be more patient with it than I was. It'll seem like the best job ever during training, but once you actually get out on the floor it is just stressful and boring (at least I think so. Missionary work is TOTALLY different, because it's ALWAYS awesome!).
I am pretty sure that you can send me pictures, but I can't send them through email at all while in the MTC. I will have to try sending you a cd with Andrew's thing, but I have hardly taken any pictures anyways.... As far as the blog you can do whatever you'd like. I can't read anything on them no matter what, but you could always copy and paste them into an email that you send to me. Keep working hard and getting chores done. That's cool about Jacob. I think he will be an awesome missionary and that going will be really great for him and a huge blessing to his family. I will try to pray for him too. I am very glad Steve has been doing better as well.
I'm glad that everyone at Church is excited for me and I hope they know how much I love them and appreciate their support and help to get me this far! I am always going to try my best to be a Christ-like example and hopefully I will be able to help everyone in my district. I love being a district leader because it gives me a great opportunity to work hard and show my love for the missionaries in my district.
Love you! Aishite imasu!