Family and Friends,
Its week I have zero idea. Four? Five? Six?!? All the weeks are starting to meld together its beginning to be troublesome. I do know that I rank up to DISempi (basically seniors) next Wednesday and that marks three weeks left of this place that they call Paradise. Some people refer to the MTC as Spirit prison but I don't see why that could be because the food here is sooooo good. I had 6 boiled eggs for breakfast. The best they've served yet.
Side Note: This computer has a right clicking feature meaning I can spell check!
Anywho, this past week has been just like the other weeks filled with classes, church and lots and lots of Japanese. Like I said last week I have trying my best to speak the Language as much as possible. The fruits of my labors were evident when during an investigator lesson I was actually able to understand what the investigator was saying, answer her questions, and say things that I think made sense. It was a great feeling being able to Speak somewhat better than last week.
We got a native speaker as a new sensei. Our old one's BYU schedule got changed and Tsukamoto-San took over. She speaks REALLY REALLY REALLY fast. Its kind of crazy but just the few days that she has been with my district has been really beneficial to the group both spiritually and Language-lly. She has challenged us to learn over 60 vocabulary words a day as well as multiple grammar forms. Its impossible but slowly and surely im able to get closer and closer to achieving this goal. Kracken-based grammar has helped the district really grasp hard-to-understand grammar concepts and principles. I'm considering patenting it when I get back. Ill call it hooked-on-Kracken: The easy way to learn Japanese.
The Lessons are in three hour blocks but are broken up into language and Gospel. We spent half our time now preparing to be effective missionaries by learning how to invite others to Christ and prepare ourselves as well as study methods to increase our productivity. Its cool to see how putting the gospel in your life has such a direct correlation to success in other aspects. I'm beginning to see it take shape. Pretty cool. The rest of the third hour block is devoted to Grammar and Language practice. Yesterday we memorized how to invite people to get baptized its both Language and gospel! Unfortunately we mostly focus on the gospel side of language so I can bear my testimony but If i were to ask where to buy milk I would be hopelessly lost. I guess that's why there are Trainers in the Mission field.
I passed the sacrament in Church last Sunday its was a cool experience hearing the prayers one in Japanese. I CAN ACTUALLY UNDERSTAND THE TALKS.I never thought this day would come but I don't just sit in sacrament meeting just twiddling my thumbs and looking up words that I think I heard I can actually get something from them. Its really cool. The way talks work here is that they randomly pick two members from the zone to give the talks on a prepared subject. So every week we have to write our talks just in case. There's a big sigh of relief once the person conducting the meeting has said who is giving the talks. So far I have not been chosen but I'm sure knowing my luck that I will soon!
Life as a missionary here isn't too bad. I don't understand how dad was so skinny when here was here 60 years ago because all they serve is fries and ice cream. Honestly, its a little disgusting. I think on average the District has gained at least 8 pounds. Im trying my best to combat this lack of Physical Exercise.
I have more than Tripled my max pull-ups since arriving. I guess its easier to get big when the Lord is your spotter. That might be a little irreverent. I apologize. One of the gym employees commented that hes never seen a district of missionaries work as hard in the gym/physical fitness center as mine has before. I pride myself in knowing that I nearly kill 11 other missionaries on a daily basis. Today we got up at 0530 to go a lower body workout. Needless to say, it'll be tough for them to walk up any stairs for a while.
Today my companion will get his first haircut from a barber.; He has never in his life been to one. I am so proud of Elder Hernandez for taking this big step into adulthood. Ill see if they'll let me take pictures and document this big moment in his life. Ill make sure to keep everyone updated. They say you grow up in the MTC but I doubt he expected this kind of change.
Because I cant train Plebes at the academy I have taken akin to training younger missionaries. I make sure that everyone is abiding to the standards and the rules set by the MTC handbook. But because this is the MTC I do so in a loving manner rather than yelling and dropping the messed up Elders. That's a big difference between here and there. Definitely the yelling.
I can't think of much else to say, the MTC is great but I cant wait to get to Japan. That's when the fun will really begin. I can't wait. Until then, I am just going to better myself so that I can be the best missionary that Japan Tokyo South has ever seen!