HEY friends and family!!! I hope you're all doing super well! The computers here are super difficult to type on fast, so bear with me! This week so far has been SWEEEET. Super crazy and insanely busy though! Our teacher F. Kyodai (Brother F.) refuses to speak in English, so against my will I have silently been nominated translator. Apparently it's a new MTC (Missionary Training Center) rule that our teachers can ONLY TALK TO US in the language we're learning. Occasionally annoying but way helpful too! The Spirit here is absolutely incredible. The testimonies of thousands of missionaries make this place a sanctuary for the Spirit to reside. Now into the nitty-gritty-
I LOVE my companion! The second we were introduced I DECIDED I would love her. C. Shimai (Sister C.) is a wonderful, quiet sister from Riverton, Utah! We are WAYYY different, but in our companionship it's a way good thing! My weaknesses in the gospel are her strengths and vice versa! Her mom is a tour guide for church history sites on the east coast, so she is sooo well versed on church history! It's pretty fantastic. We were assigned senior and junior companions for the first half of our stay in the MTC, and I'm junior companion (as I just knew I would be haha). The Lord rarely misses an opportunity to teach us!! She loves to sing and has a beautiful alto voice. We sing some pretty bomb harmonies around here.
I LOVE my district!!! We have 6 shimai (sisters) and 6 choro (brothers). It's funny; with the exception of C. Shimai and me, most companionships are very well matched in height. There are 2 choro that are companions that are SO KAWAII!!! (cute!) We also have an Australian Elder who has a super fantastic accent. Oh, and by the way, YES, my P-day is Saturday!! Kinda weird, but I dig it! People always say the MTC is so crazy or you'll hate it or something, but it's just a very different enviro than what most of us are used to. But it's good; we're here to be prepared and tested. We taught our first investigator yesterday, Kojima-san. It was tricky because he speaks nooo English. We had a lesson all planned out and of course he just didn't understand many of our teachings. My poor companion sat there, super red and embarrassed. I reluctantly explained in Japanese how the Spirit makes me feel inside, then taught him how to pray in Japanese. I tried to incorporate my companion, but poor sister C. was pretty petrified! We have another lesson with him today, and I know we'll do much better!
Okay!! People I've seen so far: Elders: Shumway, Bravo, Yamada, Albrecht, Herring, Stevens, Ostlund, Endicott, Anderson, and I was so sure I saw elder Fleshman on the first day, but I’m not sure if he's left already!!! Sisters: Stoehr, Fisher and finally..........SESTRA ORGILL!!!!!!! (Natalie’s cousin, Katherine, headed to Croatia—that’s the right spelling for sister in Croatian or Serbian). YES, IT'S TRUE. Last night I was sitting outside planning today with my companion, and I hear: SISTER ORGILL!!!!!!! We were SO EXCITED!!! Missed her so much. She is flourishing here! Her companion took a picture of us and I'm sure she'll send it your way!
These last few days have been very trying, but strict obedience to the rules here really brings the Spirit. My testimony of small daily tender mercies has been strengthened soo much. Whenever I think of a scripture I want to read or a phrase I need to learn, the Lord opens it right up for me! I can't even list all the little things He's been doing for me around here. It makes my life here muuuch easier! It's true that missions are difficult, but they're fun too! We played district volleyball yesterday and it was sooo fun. Our tallest choro, Elder B. can spike like no other! It was a great release for all of us because life can get pretty stressful here. The food isn't as bad as everyone says! Just take one entree, one dessert if you're feeling dangerous, and only one glass of delicioso chocolate milk per day and you won't pack on the pounds at the MTC! Mom, I thought you'd be proud to know that I eat fruits and veggies at EVERY MEAL (lots of nanners [Orgill term for bananas, #Allison]) and exercise is my fav part of the day!! Oh also another funny thing that happened yesterday: whenever you pass people, you say hi to them in your own language. So these Filipino elders passed me and said hello in what I think was Tagalog!! I responded in a sing-songy voice: konbanwa! One then sang back to me even higher-pitch: KONBANWA! And thus began the hilarious high-pitch opera singing contest of the word "konbanwa" between us. The sisters and elders here are party animals!
OH! and the necessary shoutouts: Rachel B. you are the greatest and you are going to FLOURISH at the MTC. You're made of a way tough fiber, and that kinda stuff gets you and me through the MTC just fine!! Newsoms, you're the greatest, and I'm saving up for that tasty half of an apple in Japan!!!
Parents, Al, Jon, and of course my awesome bro-in-law John, I love you tons!!! Life is good here, I'm built for this kinda stuff so don't worry about me ;) I'm trying to attach pictures so we'll see how that goes! Ii even included a picture of my jail cell- oh, I mean room!!! There are 6 of us in a room built for 4. But they’re all great sisters and we sing and pray together every night so we have tons of fun!! I can't wait to get to Japan. I love the people already.
To Mom**- Things I would Love to have sent to me if possible: a TSHIRT!!! One w/o too many logos or writing, or I’ll just buy one here! Also, teeth flossers. We packed pretty dang well! I LOVE my new watch by the way.
I love you all millions, and thank you so much for emailing me!! (Becca F....hollaaa)
Yours truly and forever, (in 18 months, that is ;)