This is it. The final countdown. I leave the MTC on Monday in the wee hours of the morning. I will arrive in Japan on Tuesday at 4:25. There's like a time difference so that adds to the amount of time, but I'm honestly going to be traveling for a long time!! I'm so excited to go to Japan, even though I am honestly going to miss the MTC so much. It has been an incredible experience for me. I'm going to miss my district so much!
I did sing in the Relief Society General Broadcast. I didn't however get a pan over or a closeup. Apparently I'm pretty tall so I got stuck in the top corner which gets no screen time. But honestly, my level of stress over that is minimal. It was an incredible experience to add my testimony through song to that of a prophet of God. I know this is the true church, and I love our latter day prophet Thomas S. Monson. He loves us! I am so excited to hear from him at conference this upcoming weekend!!
Sadly, because of the broadcast rehearsals, I didn't get to play volleyball this week!! Devastating right?! But yesterday I did get everyone in my district to play together one last time which was really awesome. The Nihonjin elders (Japanese) played with us and I scared one of them when I spiked at the net. You could say I'm pretty intimidating.
An elder in my district is from Kaysville, UT and went to Davis high school. THere are a ton of people here from his high school so he' s always saying hi to people. The other day I went up to him and his friend and acted like I was from their high school. The elder bought it hook line and sinker. To this day, he still thinks that I graduated from Davis High a year before him and was a Student Body Officer there. I don't consider that lying, just having a little bit of fun! :)
On to more important things, our lessons with Ishikido San and Sousa San are coming to an end. They have progressed so much and are so willing to learn. It amazes me that even though these aren't real investigators, I can still feel God's love for them in our lessons. Our Branch President's wife came to a lesson with us and she acted as a member present! Her added testimony about family was so powerful and just what we needed :) If anyone has an opportunity to help the misisonaries and add your testimonies to theirs, do it!!! The Lord works through everyone as long as we are willing to live worthy of His guidance.
I've been really finding so much joy in reading the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is a witness of our Savior Jesus Christ and through reading it and praying about it, we can come closer to him. This week, my testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith has strengthened as I consider his work in bringing this restoration to pass. I know that it is through him that Jesus Christ restored His true gospel upon the Earth. I know that Joseph Smith endured unending trials in order to bring about God's work. His pure faith and knowledge of the Savior is what led to the First Vision. These are simple words, and yet I know that they are true!!
I'm reading "Our search for Happiness" by M Russel Ballard. Everyone else in my district has already read it, so I decided that it was my turn to find happines (thanks for laughing at my lame pun) :) If anyone wants to understand the basics of our religion, I highly reccommend this awesome read. It teaches the basics, and promotes understanding not conversion. He starts by saying that it is through understanding that wars can be avoided, disagreements are overcome, and social problems are solved. Those are some pretty serious promises! But do you want to hear a secret? It's true!! :)
There are new Japanese Missionaries in our zone. FROM JAPAN. They are so cute!!! They are really patient with my Japanese, and ask me for help with English. I love them so much!! Their testimonies are so strong and they help me realize that I can make it in Japan :)
In the end, I just want to say I love you all!! Everyday at the MTC I remember that God loves his children so much, and I feel that love for you all everyday. This gospel is one of love, which sounds silly but it's true! God sent us to this Earth because he loves us and saw our eternal potential. In turn, we chose to come to this earth because we love God and trust that we can return to Him. However, we can't do it on our own. So again, because of love, God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to atone for our sins. The atonement is Christ's ultimate exclamation of love and honestly, none of us can ever comprehend that pure love He put into it. Everyday as I repent of my sins and strive to be a little better, i am reminded of Christ's atoning sacrifice. He lives! And through him we might live with our families for eternity!
Mina San, ai shite imasu (I love you all)