Thursday, June 19, 2014

MTC - Week #3

Konnichiwa! Actually it's still morning so I'll say Ohayo gozaimasu!

Ok I'm going to try and be better this week about writing what happened because I feel like last week I forgot everything that happened to me and didn't have a lot to say. 

So my biggest news for the week is that I'm in the special choir that is singing for the new mission president's seminar this coming week. Basically all of the First Presidency and the Twelve will all be here this coming week. So I didn't tell you last week because I wasn't sure if I would get in. And even now apparently we have too many people but hopefully they won't cut any of us at this point. There's about 36 of us. We had to fill out a survey saying if we had ever done choir or voice lessons, and how good at reading and memorizing music we were. I guess all those of years of choir and voice lessons came in handy after all:) I wasn't sure if I should do it at first because that's adding more time to my busy schedule and taking away from some of my class time. But I really wanted to do it and luckily I was selected so a group of us altos had to sing and the choir conductor listened to us and then told us he would let us know. And a couple days later I got a letter saying I had made it in! The practices are really intense, but super fun. Basically, we need to sound super good because we will be singing for all of the new mission presidents and the twelve apostles and the First Presidency. No pressure right?

For devotional this week we got to hear from Sheri Dew on Sunday and Elder Ballard on Tuesday. Both of those devotionals were awesome. Sheri Dew spoke about grace and the power of God. She is really an amazing woman. Probably one of my new role models. Then Elder Ballard spoke about missionaries focusing on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and learning it, loving it, and living it. Then we will want to share that love with others. And when the times come where we have to defend our faith we can stand strong and say I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ (quoting Paul). You really learn so much in the MTC every day. 

Mom, thanks so much for the candy!! My district loved it. I think they all love you now. I can't remember who asked me but it's true that your district does become your family. We really rely on each other and want to help each other with anything. I love it. It's going to be so hard to leave them in six weeks. I would also include some of our teachers in that group. They're like family and it's going to be hard to leave them too. Our favorite teacher Clark Kyodai we found out he is leaving to go to Rome three weeks before we leave the MTC and he won't be back in time. So that made us all really sad that we will be without him for the last three weeks. I may cry.... Anyways, our dai senpai left on Monday which was sad. So senpai means the group above you and dai senpai is the group above that. Basically, you would call them our grandparents. They all left and now our residence hall feels empty since they were right next to us. They were such a great group and really fun. Some of the pictures I send will include them. But at least we still have our senpai. Now we really want to get some kohai. In other words, new missionaries! We didn't get any this week, at least not in our zone, but maybe in two weeks we'll get some!

As far as language goes, Japanese is hard but I really love learning it. I pick up the words pretty fast, it's just a matter of sentence structure/grammar, so putting all of the words in their correct order. In Japanese it goes subject object verb instead of subject verb object. Plus a whole bunch of other things to consider. I'm also learning Hiragana right now because the hymns and the Book of Mormon are in Hiragana. That's the one where each symbol stands for a syllable like ma, te, or ko or 43 other ones. It's coming along. I know all of them. Now it's just a matter of working on speed or recognition. I haven't really studied Katakana symbols yet. Those are the ones used for English or foreign words. But I want to. I don't think I'll pick up any Kanji in the MTC. It's just way too complicated and there's like 2000 of them. We're teaching our new investigator Taira-san. She's super nice and sweet. It's just a matter of figuring out how to make our lessons apply to her needs specifically and extending commitments to her that will help her find out for herself that our message is true. It's harder to do than you think, but we are learning.

This is random but I've realized over the past 3 weeks that I'm cursed. Whenever I'm in the cafeteria and I voice out loud something that I want to eat, they run out of it. Or I have to wait for a while to get it. I'm not making this up. Chun Shimai agrees that I'm cursed. It happens at least once a day. Whether it's the flavor of ice cream, or some other dessert, or the ice machine, or the extra side dish, or the soup, or whatever it is. I am not allowed to voice out loud what I want to eat or they will run out of it. It's funny. I let Chun Shimai decide now so that we can get our food in a reasonable amount of time.

Another curse I have is to do embarrassing things in front of the MTC presidency or their wives. I never thought I would meet them personally. But Chun Shimai was accompanying this girl for a music audition one day and it was P-day. So I'm not dressed because it's P-day and I'm not the one auditioning. Anyways we walk into the room where it's held and all of the MTC president's wives are the ones who listen and decide who gets to perform. Needless to say I wanted to disappear into a hole because I knew I wasn't dressed right. If I knew it would be in front of them I would have changed. Then one of them walks up to me and says "Are you new here?" I say "Not exactly" because I've been there for two weeks now. Then she politely informs me that I'm not allowed to be dressed like that in the main building 1M because they have ambassadors and other important people who come there and they want everyone to look nice. I knew we had to be dressed to go in the cafeteria but I didn't know we had to be dressed no matter where we are in 1M. Anyways, I made a great first impression I'm sure. The sister who doesn't dress up for auditions. Anyways about a week later I come to choir rehearsal and realize I forgot my name tag which I've never done before. And who should walk in but the MTC president and his wife? And then she talks to the sisters about dressing appropriately for the performances and wearing our name tags up high and moving our hair from that side. And she's looking at all of us as she says this. I'm like 99% sure she noticed I didn't have my name tag on. But luckily nobody said anything and after rehearsal I hurried away to get my name tag. So I've learned that if I do anything embarrassing the MTC president or his wife will show up. Great.

Well I'm so happy to hear from everyone! It sounds like things are going good. Dad has his chickens so all must be well with the world. I hope you guys have a fun weekend with Dev! 

And my spiritual message for the week: Study the Doctrine of Christ (Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end) and learn to love it and live it. Iesu Kirisuto no Fukuin wa hontoni taisetsu da toshittemasu! (I know the Gospel of Jesus Christ is really important).
Ai shitemasu minasan!

Malone Shimai

Sister Malone and Sister Porter
All of the Shimai in our zone

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