Saturday, January 14, 2012

1-13-2012 Email: Native Speakers

Hello everyone!

Lots of things happened this week. You probably could have guessed that without me telling you though, so I´ll fill you in on the more specific details. I even tried keeping a list of some things as they happened during the week so I could remember to put them in this email. Aren´t you proud?

But first, a pet peeve. For some reason the Spanish speaking missionaries like to do something on the computer that deletes English from the list of possible languages to operate the computer in. So I had to use some of my precious 30 minutes to change it back to English so I could type. Ok, now we can move on.

This biggest thing that happened this week was probably the arrival of the Nihonjin (nihonjin = Japanese person). They closed the MTC in Tokyo a little while ago, so now they send the native Japanese missionaries who are going to serve in Japan here to get trained, but since they already know the language they only stay here for 3 weeks (compared to our 12). It's really cool to have them here! There are four Japanese sisters and then eight Japanese elders. The four sisters are living a room right next to ours so we get to attempt to talk to them a lot. Notice the word "attempt." Even though I can understand most of what my teacher says in class and what our investigators say, apparently I am totally incapable of having a remotely functional conversation with an actual Japanese person! Like one sister tried to start up a friendly conversation about it being really cold and where I came from (or at least I think that was what was going on?) and I couldn't think of a single thing to say! But they are so cool that I still love them anyways. And hopefully I'll know more soon! We'll get another batch of Japanese missionaries three weeks before we leave for Japan, so hopefully by then I'll be able to say more.

Speaking of speaking in another language, I gave my first sacrament talk in Japanese this week. I can't remember if I ever mentioned it before, but every week our entire church meeting is held in all Japanese. And every week every single missionary is supposed to prepare a talk on the same subject, and then two seconds before people speak, as in after the sacrament, they announce who out of all of us will be giving the talk. And of course I got to be the very first one to do it out of the newbies (last week was fast sunday, so we didn't have talks). Usually that would totally freak me out, but luckily I had written out a talk the day before and was feeling pretty good about so I literally just went up to the stand and read it and then sat back down. I think it sounded decent. I've decided I'm going to keep it though so I can read it at the end of my mission and laugh at how terrible it is.

The other really cool thing that happened this week is that for our Tuesday devotional Elder Russell M. Nelson, one of the apostles of the Quorum of the 12, came and spoke to us. He talked about the gathering of Israel and it was super deep, but still really cool since the gathering of the 12 tribes of Israel is what we're participating in right now. One of my favorite things that he said was that all of the prophets have been looking forward to this day, so isn't cool that we get to be a part of it? I took lots of notes because I do that compulsively after being a journalism major.

Um, what else. In case any of you are wondering how I'm doing without tv and movies we occasionally get to watch fun videos in class and on Sundays like "What is Stress" (which actually just ended up stressing all of us out by reminding us how stressed we were) and "The District" (which is like a church made documentary that follows missionaries in San Diego to show us what life will be like) and they help fulfill my TV watching needs. Plus, on Sundays we can watch things like the Joseph Smith video or old talks and I love it. Sundays win.

Oh also, I just heard about The Daily Universe becoming a weekly and some of the craziness surrounding it from Amber, who saw it while performing her sisterly facebook duties. And it hurts my heart so much. So if any of you are still in the know (being in the MTC is like as far out of the know as you can be) and have more information about what is going on you should totally pass it on to me. Because I like knowing things. Especially about the DU, where I spent the last few years of my life.

Ok, I'm out of time. Love you all so much!

Crofts Shimai

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