1:02 PM

Here is a recent conversation between me and one of my teachers (Brother Fowers):
He was trying to tell me, "Next week, is there anything you want to practice or review?" (In Japanese)
In trying to guess, it went something like this on my end: "Grammar. Review. Review and practice. Now. No? NEXT. Next, next week? Next week we'll review! No? Oh, want. Want. Want to practice now? Later? Review. Vocab. Speak Japanese. Want to eat. Want it to be next week. You don't want to teach us anymore? You do, but next week. You want us to practice more. You want us to be quiet. You want to practice. Oh it's a QUESTION! Do I want to practice more? Do I want to review now? Tomorrow you'll review - no, TOMORROW'S SUNDAY! Oh, right. Next week. We'll practice. We won't? You want us to practice. You want us to quit! You don't want us to practice anything until next week!"
My Japanese is real good.
Right now, our Branch has about 40 missionaries. In two weeks, all of the "Sempai" (the older missionaries) are leaving, which leaves just the seven of us in the entire branch. There will be more in the Branch Presidency than there will be missionaries. That will last for two weeks, until the new "Kohai" (new missionaries) come. But there will only be seven of them. So our branch is going to be tiny from here on out, and our district will have to up the responsibility pretty soon. It will be so lonely!
This week we also had the Japanese missionaries come for their three week stay until they go back to Japan. Most of them don't speak very much English except a few of them. It's fun to practice on them, though. They are very nice. Sister Silva's favorite word is "tomodachi" which means friend and she goes around shouting "TOMODACHI!" to all of the Japanese missionaries all the time. She kills me.
This past weekend we had our first experience with the TRC. It was good, though people sometimes forget to give us ample instruction. We're so used to teaching investigators that we didn't know we would be teaching the volunteers as themselves - or in other words, already baptized and active members of the church. So we had to teach one of our teachers, and I got in there and had absolutely no idea what to say to him. "Do you believe in God?" "Yes." "Oh... well that's good..." (And by "that's good" I mean, "excellent!" because that's my fall-back phrase). Oh well, we'll know better how to prepare next time.
Besides Tuesdays, Sundays are my favorite day. I especially enjoy going to the firesides at night, they are always good talks. Though, I swear, every single talk since I've come in has had at least one story about death. I'm getting a little tired of it. But besides that, Sundays are very spiritually uplifting and encouraging. And the only thing that's in Japanese is our Sacrament Meeting. We did get to watch the Brigham City Temple Dedication Broadcast too, and that was fun. We also get to watch a movie or an old talk in the evening. I saw the Joseph Smith movie for the first time on Sunday. That's as close to partying as it comes here.
Tuesdays, however, are the best day. It's nice to relax, write emails and letters, and go to the temple. And by go to the temple, I mean eat the temple food. Because it's boss. My District all makes fun of me because I always see someone I know. I saw Elise Black in the temple today. And I keep running into more and more teachers that I knew from BYU. It's awesome, I love getting even the smallest taste of home.
Sister Peterson and I have started playing basketball during gym time. We both played in high school, so it's fun to play against each other. The downside being that she's six inches taller than me... so I get pwned a lot. But apparently the Elders are all talking about "those two cute sisters who are really good at playing basketball." Word on the street. We'll pretend that it's appropriate.
I am going to try to send pictures later today. There are only a few computers in the laundry room that are able to, so hopefully I can snag one later this afternoon. So, watch out, or whatever.
Lurves and hurgs to all.
Susmisu Shimai

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