Surprise! My P-day is actually on Fridays!
Last week they just gave us the Saturday as a P-day so we could get our lives in order and such, but from now on I'll be writing today. At least while I'm in the MTC. Fridays must just be fantastic everywhere! And just so you know, it's typically the only day I have to write paper letters too, so if you don't hear from me for a week just know that I still love you. Thank you so much to everyone who has written me through Dear Elder! It makes me so happy to hear from people! Amber, maybe you should do a bloggy thing letting people know how to use it since it's free? Both the awesome Annie and wonderful Melissa seem to like using it a lot. I like it too because it means I get things fast! It's almost like texting or facebook. Almost.
Yesterday we got a little surprise -- Harukawa San (San is like Mr. in Japanese), the investigator we had been teaching since our second or third day here (I already can't tell the days apart at all...), is actually our second Japanese teacher! He was going to come knock on the door of our classroom and surprise us (we finished teaching him the day before), but a few of us actually ran into him in the hall because we needed to use the room he was in and ruined the surprise (I want to see how many times I can use the word surprise in this paragraph. Also, parenthesis). It was pretty funny, because at first we were like "Harukawa San! We love you! We never thought we'd see you again!" And then we totally saw his teacher badge. It turns out that his name is actually Todd Sensei (sensei = teacher), and he's from Utah (dad you might like this, he's from Roosevelt), not Sapporo. But he did serve his mission in Sapporo, as did our other teacher, Thurber Sensei. Brianna Northrop Shimai and I totally lucked out to have both of our teachers be returned missionaries from Sapporo, because in our class there are missionaries going to Nagoya and Fukoka too! There are twelve people in our class (there are three twelve person classes of missionaries going to Japan who reported the same day I did, just fyi), and only four of us are going to Sapporo -- Northrop Shimai and I, plus Stilson Choro (choro = elder in Japanese) and Galeria Choro. I think their companionship is kind of funny because it's the oldest guy missionary in our group, Stilson Choro who is 22, with the youngest missionary, Galeria Choro who will turn 19 in the MTC. But that is entirely beside the point. And I already feel like we're a really great group, but I'm probably biased.
But anyways, back to the investigator (which if you didn't know, by the way, is a person who is interested in learning about the Church) who turned out to actually be our teacher. Apparently Todd Sensei had been responding to our questions and lessons as an investigator he had during his mission who was named Harukawa. And even though it wasn't necessarily "real," it was still a great experience, and it felt pretty real. It gave a glimpse of how awesome it will be when we have investigators in the field who respond the same way-- on our last visit we committed Harukawa to be baptized next month and it was just so happy because we know how much joy that can bring to a person's life. We also learned a lot of what we can do better, i.e. for me things like being able to speak Japanese functionally. But I somehow doubt they expected us to be fluent the first week... I hope. And from now on our teachers will be taking turns acting as one of their investigators did, so we should be able to learn a lot more.
Overall, things are still going really well! We made it through our first week, which everyone says is the hardest in the MTC so that's good. It's an adventure! I hope all of you are having lots of awesome adventures too. If you ever get bored you should write me! I promise to write something awesome back. I might even draw you a cool picture too.
Love you all,