Guess what?? I only have two more p-days after today in the MTC! That means you'll receive two more emails from here, and then all of a sudden my emails will become infinitely more entertaining because they will be sent from Japan.
But for now I'm still in the MTC. So here we go:
The biggest news of the week is that the new Japanese missionaries, both Nihonjin and Kohai (people who have been here for less time), are officially here! There are actually more of them than we had originally been expecting. I think there's like 69 of them all together, but I'll get back to you on that. We haven't been able to talk to them very much yet because the first week is an intense enough adjustment that they don't really want all of us who have been here longer freaking them out by asking them tons of questions, but they seem cool! And it's cool to see where everyone is coming from -- I still don't know where most of them are from, but I do know that we have Kohai from Taiwan, Germany, Brazil and Australia! The church really is worldwide.
This week for our Sunday Fireside the Provo MTC Mission President, President Brown, spoke to all of us and he focused mostly on being a hard worker, but he also mentioned a little something that I, as a journalism/new media type person, thought was really cool. Apparently four missionaries were interviewed by Al Jazeera last week for a documentary they are going to show in April, so he started by having the missionaries come up and talk about their experience with being interviewed, and then he talked a little bit about how the ways we can share the gospel has evolved since the church was first organized. He said that we are in the midst of an internet revolution, and that the time the internet will be used on missions is soon at hand -- and that he suspects it will happen during the time we are on our missions! He mentioned that we could eventually use iPads and other glorious things... I would like that.
There are actually missionaries who use the internet a lot already. Here at the MTC we have missionaries who serve in what we call the Referral Center. These missionaries are typically people who because of physical limitations probably wouldn't be able to serve a mission in the field, but thanks to the internet can reach a lot of people! They spend all of their days on Facebook as themselves chatting with people who have questions about the church, or they chat with people on Mormon.org who have questions and I think they use twitter to answer questions too. It's pretty cool because they get to teach entire lessons to people, just online. You should totally pop over to Mormon.org or Facebook and say hi! Sometimes we're jealous of them since they get to be on Facebook when we don't...
Um, I can't think of much else that is different this week. Well, yesterday Northrop Shimai had a chiropractor appointment and while we were waiting to be called in I got to sit in a really fancy back massage chair, so that was fun. But that's pretty much all I can remember! I'll write something exciting next week, I'm sure. Because on Thursday we get our flight plans!!
Love you all lots and lots. Aishte imasu!