Sunday, February 12, 2012

2-10-2012 Email: A Day in the Life

Konnichiwa Minasan!! (that = hello everyone)

Ok, confession. I literally cannot think of one specific especially email worthy thing to say about this past week. So, since I feel like I should still write something I've decided to just give you a little run down of what an average day in the MTC is like. Here we go!

1) Everyday we have to be out of bed by 6:30 a.m. For all of you who know me even only decently well, you should be well aware of the fact that it is clearly a miracle that I have been able to wake up by then everyday so far. Seriously, there is no way I would have been able to pull this off if I was at home. Some people come back from their missions all excited about how they've been waking up early or something and then proceed to wake up at 6:30 a.m. for like everyday for the rest of their lives, including weekends. Let me assure you that this will not happen to me. But, I'll be able to tell stories about how I did it for a year and a half!

2) At 7:10 a.m. we go to breakfast (except for Sundays when the schedule is a bit different). We eat all of our meals in a big cafeteria where they typically have several different lines with different options. The best mornings are when they have pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes. I live for those days.

3) From here it varies a little bit in the order of things, but everyday we have the same few blocks of things that make up the day. The activity that we have the most often during the week is Personal Study, during which we have time to just study the scriptures (Book of Mormon, Bible, Doctrine and Covenants, etc.), Preach My Gospel (which is an awesome book that helps us prepare to teach investigators) and other mission approved books. It's really nice to just have quiet time (assuming it's a day where the Elder's are decent at focusing) to remember what is really important and why we are here. Plus, if we don't know what we are teaching and have a testimony of it we would be pretty terrible at teaching. We typically have about two hours of Personal Study a day, and about 14 hours (assuming I can count right...) a week.

4) Another big block of our schedule is classroom instruction, which we have either once or twice a day for three hours each time. We have two teachers who alternate class periods, Thurber Sensei and Todd Sensei. They're both students at BYU and are really cool.  When we're in class we usually learn about Japanese grammar for an hour, and then we get to teach our progressing investigator (I think I referred to this in one of my first emails... Bascially we get to practice teaching about the gospel to our teachers, who respond how one of their investigators on their mission would have acted. Right now we're teaching Iwane San and Saito San) in Japanese. During the third hour we usually learn about more spiritual things and how to effectively teach them or have coaching missionary study where teachers will come help us with our lesson planning and such.

5) During the day we also will have another hour or two just for studying the language. Once a day we go to TALL in the computer lab. TALL is essentially a Rosetta Stone-like program that helps you learn the language by learning vocab and phrases and listening and that kind of stuff. There's this really fun game called "Whack-a-Ji" that is basically like Whack a Mole except you hit the Kanji characters for the sounds they say. I am a champion.

6) My favorite time of the day is gym!! I LOVE it. It's so wonderful to move around after sitting in the classroom for a billion hours. I run three miles everyday on the track or on one of the ellipticals (depending on how lazy I'm feeling) and then do crunches while watching everyone else play four-square (which may sound lame, but everyone gets so intense into it that I find it really hillarious). I'm going to miss having the gym when I'm out in the field... But I'll be in Japan so I think I'll be ok. And I'll get to ride bikes all of the time there! I love bikes.

7)At night we have an hour to get back to the room and change and all that and then be in bed by 10:30. Which I generally dislike almost as much as waking up at 6:30 a.m. since I'm such a night person. But laying in bed after a busy day is quite nice!

As you can probably tell, every moment of our day is always packed, but I like it that way. It helps keep you focused, and being in your room is really boring anyways! Partially because there aren't any Elders there goofing off to entertain you. There are a few fun changes to the average day -- like on Fridays we have our preperation day where we have time to send emails and write letters and do laundry, and on Thursday mornings we get to do service (aka cleaning another residence hall's toilets, which is surprisingly fun here since it's a change of pace), and on Tuesdays we have devotionals, and Sunday nights we get to watch church morvies... It's a nice way to spice things up!  It's really funny to me to think that I drove past the MTC all of the time when I was at school, usually on the way to the Dollar Theater, and had no idea that I was driving past this entire world. There are like 2,000 people here at any given time learning and living their lives! It's pretty cool.

Ok, I'm way out of time (got to stick to that schedule!), but I think you're all awesome!
The end.

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