MTC de benkyo suru koto wa subarashi desu. I'll start this week's email by explaining what we typically do each week:
1) Practice teaching: In my opinion, the main purpose of us being here at the MTC is to 1) increase our conversion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, 2) get better at teaching, and 3) learn Japanese. Almost everything we do here fits one of those three purposes. Every day or so, we teach one of our two teachers who act like non-members interested in our message. We always teach as companionships (so I'm always with the Australian). Once a week we get to practice teaching real members of our faith. For the past few weeks, they have been local members who speak Japanese. This past week, however, we got to Skype an actual member in Japan! She was an older lady who got me super excited to go to Japan. She spoke very simple Japanese for us, but I was shocked at how we could actually have a conversation and teach her something in Japanese. We chose to talk about faith in Christ.
2) Study, study, study:through , we typically have two 3-hour language classes that focus on learning the Gospel of Christ in Japanese. In addition, we have another four hours each day to study on our own (well, with our companion within sight and sound). It is set up for us to use one of those hours for personal Gospel study, one hour for companionship study (planning for lessons, talking about sustaining and improving in the companionship, etc.), and one hour for personal language study. The fourth hour is to be used to study what we choose. So, we study for about 10 hours a day. I honestly love it, especially because there are no grades or official tests.
3) Go to devotionals: Everyand night, all 2000+ missionaries at the MTC go to a devotional where one of the leaders of our church speaks. Thus far, we've have some incredible speakers with inspirational messages, including President Russell M. Nelson and Elder Dallin H. Oaks (both living apostles. Yes, we believe that just like Peter, James, and John from the New Testament, we have apostles on the earth today). Both incredible men who have devoted their entire lives to serving the Lord and others.
4) Work out: Each day we have 50 minutes of gym time. I typically do volleyball two days a week, then lift/do some sort of cardio the other four days.
5) Eat: Three solid meals a day. The food here is actually not that bad. It's buffet style so I normally stuff myself.
Pictures this week
1) My roommates (plus a friend) before two of them left for Brazil! We had just finished playing basketball. Pictures from left to right: Elder Johnson and Elder Rowe (Fukuoka, Japan), me, Elder Porter (Nagoya, Japan), Elder Bauer (my companion going to Nagoya, Japan), Elder Sant and Wyatt (somewhere in Brazil).
2) One of my teachers, Chris Crandall, and I on his last day with us. He got switched to a new distract, sadly. He's the man.
Video for the Week:
The video from this week is about the importance of spending time with others and showing our love for them. If there is anything I've learned from both sets of my grandparents, it is that family matters most. As a kid, I asked my Granddad, "Granddad, are you rich?" He smiled at me, and replied, "Rich in love, Kevin. Rich in love." I hope I can say the same when I'm his age. I challenge all of you this week to call up a friend or family member and let them know how much you appreciate them. Maybe even apologize to that friend or family member who you haven't talked to in quite some time. It doesn't have to be weird or awkward. People appreciate being told they are loved.