Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Week 5 - July 30, 2013

Today we got up at five.  I know that's a shocker, but it happened.  We put our laundry in and went exercising until our laundry was done and then just took a nap for a couple hours.  In the end, we really didn't lose much sleep (although I am still not a huge fan of 8 hours of sleep). 
I love hearing about my friends and old roommates going on missions.  It is uplifting and inspires me with the knowledge that I am not the only one going through this, my friends are too. 
So I thought I would talk about a few of the Senkyoshi (missionaries) in my district.  My doryo (Elder Budge), was a baseball player (pitcher) throughout high school.  He is from Mapleton, which is like ten minutes away, so he has grown up around the MTC.  We have three missionaries who have had lots of Japanese experience before the MTC.  Sister Donnely took three years of Japanese in high school and like three in college, so she's almost fluent.  Sister Teney has taken four years and has speaking down pretty well (at least more so than most of us).  Two Elders have actually lived in Japan before, but only one of them has learned how to speak some Japanese.  One, Elder Kotter, live in Japan two years or months (I don't actually remember at the moment) but did not learn any Japanese.  The other is Elder Teney (not related to Sister Teney except distantly) and he lived in Japan for twelve years because his father teaches Japanese.  Now you may be thinking he's the best, but most of the Japanese he knows he learn in high school, which he took here in the US.  So his main advantage is reading, comprehension and not sounding super white.  He always claims he's not ahead of us, but that's not exactly true.  He is also a HUGE anime fan and a decent nerd. 
Since about a week ago, maybe longer, everyday someone puts notes on our desk that have been personalized to each of us.  For instance, one day someone gave everyone a spirit animal.  When we came into the classroom we all got to read what our spirit animals were.  Another day we each received fortune cookie fortunes and another we got Disney Princes or Princes.  Elder Teney and I (who are probably the biggest nerds here) gave everyone a super power/super hero.  It is actually pretty fun.  As a district we have been able to make ways to make everyday different and enjoyable (even though the schedule is almost always the same).  In order to encourage ourselves to SYL more, we made a couple of games.  The first we call Tanaka-san.  Essentially we have a bunch of slips of paper that all have names.  We go around the room taking names out of the container and whoever takes out Tanaka-san has to try their best to SYL all day.  The name you choose stays hidden, so no one knows who Tanaka-san is.  At the end of the day, everyone votes for who they thought Tanaka-san was.  We also pass out stickers all day.  During the day, whenever we decide someone is doing really good at SYLing, we give them a sticker.  We each have three stickers at the beginning of the day, so we have to try to get rid of them all. 
My Senseis are awesome.  They both have very different techniques but they work so well together.  I have learned so much because they are such great people.  The Spirit they bring is so strong.  I learn so much from my teachers, Branch presidency and the devotionals we are able to attend every Sunday and Tuesday

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