2012 05 15
The world says hello!
So reporting on another week. First of all I’d like apologize to all for my delayed responses last week. I was sick last P-day and spend most of my would-be letter writing time in bed. Even the few letters I was able to write were delayed, since I couldn’t get them mailed right on P-day. If you have not yet received a response, it is not because you were forgotten and doesn’t mean that I don’t love you.
Second of all, I need to update the prank count. Last Tuesday as I was walking past my good friend Belnap – Shimai at lunch, I noticed that her salad just looked a little bland. Luckily, she was sitting next to the salt shaker. Desiring to provide what the missionary handbook refers to as “an unplanned act of service”, I promptly and thoroughly provided my friend’s salad with the missing ingredient, in abundance. Aren’t I a wonderful friend?
At the devotional last Tuesday, my Dorjo really wanted to sing Press Forward Saints, but it didn’t happen. So I promised him that we would sing it together in Japanese when we returned to the classroom. Much to my dismay, however, I discovered that Press Forward Saints is not in the Japanese hymnal. Desiring, however, to keep my promise to Da Silva choro, I composed my own translation of this beautiful hymn. It took several trips to the copy center, and my Dorjo was becoming annoyed that I wouldn’t tell him why I kept dragging him there after every meal. But at last I was able to provide him with a laminated copy of Press Forward Saints in Japanese. Here is what it looks like:
I’m actually very proud of my translation! the title is pronounced “Kirisuto a ShinJiru Shinko” “Faith in Christ” or Faith to believe in Christ”. Here is a literal translation:
1. Saints who press forward though faith in Christ Love God and mankind! Alleluia! Alleluia!
2. Press forward so that ye taste (feast on) the words of Christ. Receive (his) name and light! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
3. Proclaim and endure in the ways of Christ Behold! Eternal life! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
In other news, we lost another teacher. Baldwin – Sansei decided very suddenly to move back to Boise to start a marketing research consulting business. His model sounded two parts genius and three parts fun. It made me miss my business classes at school. We were sad to see him go, but we learned a lot about miracles and missionary work, and even some Japanese from him before we lost him.
I’m almost to the point now in Japanese where I can spontaneously give a lesson. This is the point I’ve been yearning for since I got here, because the Spirit can’t be there when you script a lesson. Being able to alter a lesson plan on the fly allows us to better teach to the needs of our investigators. It also allows us to spend more of our preparation time reviewing the doctrine, as opposed to preparing a detailed plan, deciding who says what and reviewing vocab.
Here are some other highlights of the time since my last update:
Remember how I asked ya’ll to quit sending treats? Yeah. This is why.
Always need to update you on the latest district 27 phrases.
My Doryo reading Book of Mormon Stories in Japanese. If you zoom in real close can see the the characters look like. The written characters, I mean – not the Nephites with the ugly ’80’s haircuts. Although that too.
I inherited some pairs of chopsticks from our departing Senpai. Belnap-Shimai was eyeing them so I snuck a pair onto her tray while she was praying. Now we both can use them for almost every meal.
Romero -Choro and his banana Luger. He’s actually a pretty good shot with it.
Ludlow – choro, sometimes called “Super Senkyoshi”
Got my Japanese scripture engraved at the bookstore. Suteki desu ne?
This one is just cool.
Blue tie day in Branch 27. Suteki nekutai chorotachi!
Also pirate Sunday.
Other than these shenanigans, I’ve been doing my duty in a fairly routine fashion. I pray. I study. I teach. But I can sense that these routine practices are part of something bigger. Yesterday I copied the baptism and confirmation prayers into my study journal in Japanese, complete with the phonetic pronunciations. I am humbled to think that I will take part in the healing and salvation of souls who desperately need to experience the pure love of Christ. The Japanese are a wonderful people, with a unique and loving spirit about them. But they are a people desperately searching for purpose. They have a spiritual need for meaning in their lives, and it is a need that nothing other than the restored gospel of Christ can completely satisfy. That is why I am doing what I’m doing. It’s not because my parents want me to; it’s not because I’ll make new friends or have meaningful experiences or have an adventure, though all these things are true. It’s because I know something that saves lived and heals hearts, and the world doesn’t have it. But give me two years.
I love you all! You are always in my heart and in my thoughts and in my prayers. You’re in the Lord’s hands