Dear Friends and Family:
I don’t have a whole P-day, so I unfortunately must be brief.
I am in the MTC and doing great! After I was dropped off, my host guided me through the proccess of getting all my things (including the greatly-coveted nametag) and helped my bring my bags to my residence. My residence is on the top (fourth) floor of the residence hall, and my classroom is on the top (fifth) floor of its building, so I’ve been getting a lot of exercise!
At the classroom I met my companion: Elder Da Silva （ダシルバ長老). He’s from Brazil. We are both very excited to reap the promised blessings of obedience, even when the rules don’t make a lot of sense.
We had a big meeting of all the new missionaries. The hymns we sing here are slightly different. For example, in the Army of Helaman we sing “And we are now The Lord’s missionaries.”
On Thursday our Japanese instructor was a substitute. All our teachers are very knowledgable, but I prefer our regular teacher because we don’t get major overload.
At first I got the feeling that there was not a lot of organization going on. I did not know where I was supposed to be, and when, and what I needed to bring there, what I was allowed to wear and do there and things like that. But Thursday night we had a branch meeting that addressed these concerns. We had a long and very spiritual testimony meeting! The native Japanese elders and sisters have a unique and powerful spirit about them! They make up a little more than a third of the branch, but about 75% of the spirit that is there. I think our branch contains all the Japanese-speaking missionaries. We also found out in this meeting that the MTC is divided into two (member) districts, A and B. District A has about 25 branches. We are Branch 22. The branches are divided into Zones and (missionary) Districts. The branch presidency called and assigned (as opposed to set-apart) the zone and district leaders at this meeting. We also learned companionship inventory and daily planning. Elder Da Silva and I made it our personal goal to read the white handbook by Sunday, and to maintain “irrational optimism” throughout our entire missions. We had no conflicts to resolve. This companionship was clearly inspired.
We group taught our first faux-investiators the first day. It was choppy at first until we learned the power of testimony. The Spirit does not seem to care whether or not the situation is staged. Yesterday we taught our first investigator in Japanese. Yoshi-san. It was not so much our language ability that tripped us up as our bad referral information. We relied upon it too heavily for our questions. We must become skillfull enough to get to know our investigator before trying to teach him. The Spirit will not be there if we do not love him, and we cannot love him if we do not know him and are not able to have him share his experiences with us.
This is not the nightmare I was led to believe. In fact I am having the time of my life 😀 I love you all and I look forward to having a better chance to send you news. My clock is ticking down so I need to go now. May The Lord keep and bless you.