8:24 PM

September 18, 2012

Well, where we were once 9, now we are 7. I don't think I mentioned last week that our district was originally 9 members split into two different classes. Well, last week, after day 2, Elder Waddell was too good at Japanese to stay with us bottom dwellers. So he got "transferred" to the International Branch and will leave to Japan in 3 weeks instead of 12. Then just yesterday, one of our other elders had to go home for whatever reason. This 12-week MTC stay will slowly kill off all of us. JOKE. But our class has now been combined. I really liked having just four in a class (it was me, my companion, Elder Norawong, and Elder Shimbashi) - now that there are 7 it's harder to get individual attention. But we're all really good friends, so I suppose we will survive.
As for only having one teacher, we now have two. I guess they do this thing at the MTC where the person that you are teaching at first (our "investigator") is actually our teacher - we just didn't know it. I knew that he was Mormon and probably an MTC Teacher - I just didn't know he was our teacher. So we now have two teachers. Brother Fowers is our new one. He is pretty chill, though it's weird that he's only a few months older than me. (Speaking of which - the elders here are seriously just 19-year-old boys. Sometimes I wonder why this work is the way it is. I feel a lot older than they are. But, let's be real, I can be pretty immature too so it evens out). Anyway, I got off on the wrong foot with Fowers Kyodai (Brother Fowers), because he goes to BYU but he hates it, and he always wears U of U attire. Which, for the record, I don't care, but he GOES TO BYU. So we tease each other a lot. Also, he provoked us on his first day teaching. He's all, "Oh hey, do you guys want me to bring some Wendy's next time?" and we're all, "YESSSSSS" and then he's all, "Oh wait, I can't." Yeah, we were pretty livid.
On that note, I really do hate the food here. Someone said it was just like the Cannon Center. And I didn't LOVE the Cannon Center, but there were definitely a few things there that I enjoyed a lot. At the MTC, they don't even have any of those few things that I liked. Just hamburgers and burned bacon and nasty chicken. So I eat salads a lot. I really look forward to going to the temple if only for the food. However, between that and using the most of my gym time, I have lost weight. And my clothes are starting to get baggy. But I guess there are worse problems.
Probably the most difficult habit for me to break is not calling people "dude" or "bro" or even "guys."
Also, for the record, my "Called to Serve" tally is at 6. (Number of times we sing it).
Sister Peterson and I decided to join the choir. I figure I need to make the most out of this MTC experience, so I might as well choir it up too. My companion doesn't like to sing, so we go on splitsies. I've only been once so far, but I really enjoyed it. I don't know what it is in the last year or so that has really gotten me into singing, but I seriously want to sing all the time! (I'll just blame SarKar and singing in the car and stuff).
This weekend my companion was sick, and so was Sister Sylva so Sister Peterson and I were able to do splits to go to our church meetings on Sunday. It was fun getting to know her better, we have quite a bit in common. Luckily Sister Clingo is getting better now, so we're resuming our normal activities as best as we can. Sister Sylva is hilarious. She hates the food here, but she loves donuts. She asks for donuts every day. "I WANT DONUT!"
So far, I have really thrived here. I feel like I have really been getting a lot out of my classes, I love both of my teachers, I'm getting along great with my district, and I'm loving learning more about the gospel. Yesterday, though, I did hit a tough spot. Because my companion was sick, I spent the morning exclusively doing personal study. I knew that we were going to be teaching that evening, so I tried to center my study around the investigator (our teacher - we now teach both of our teachers). I felt very prepared. Until now, I have written down most of the phrases that I will use, but this time I decided to try the best that I could just to make up stuff from the English notes that I had. I felt confident, for whatever reason. When we got into the lesson, I literally couldn't think of any single Japanese word that I had learned over the past two weeks. I sat there fumbling over words, and couldn't get anything out. It was so frustrating. I may or may not have thrown my pocket dictionary at the wall.
Most of the stuff so far hasn't been unexpected. I thought that I would come into the MTC, learn Japanese as best as I could and then just throw out some sentences to people while I'm talking. I wasn't expecting that I would ALREADY care for the people of Japan. I want to be able to teach them, and I can do that so well in English. We do a lot of role play in English, and I'm very confident expressing myself where the others in my district aren't as much. But I can't say anything in Japanese. So, I guess that part is tough. However, I'm learning to be more humble and recognize that I should not have confidence in myself, but I should in the Lord.
Thank you, Mom, for the package! Everything in there was just what I wanted. I got it yesterday, but I couldn't pick it up until this morning.
One last thing: the Elders are singing "Call Me Maybe" and for once, I totally liked it. #mtcprobs #musicdeprived 
I love you guys!

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