Our first week at the MTC is coming to a close. We arrived on Monday. We never realized how shell shocked we must have looked until I saw the young missionaries arrive on Wednesday. After we took our stuff to our room we got right to work and had lessens on missionary work. There are 25 couples that are in the class of Valentines DAY 2011. Four sister missionaries are two of the couples. One of the sisters is about 50 years old and has only been a member for 14 months. The couples are all from the US, but are going all over the world. From Ukraine to Australia to New York to South America and of course Japan and two are going to, you guessed it Pocatello ID. We went to the introduction to language training that night and were told that we would be able to bare our testimonies in Japanese on Friday. We laughed. On Tuesday we started to learn the information in the Preach My Gospel manual. We were told that on the Wednesday that we would give a lesson to a person that would play the part of an investigator. This put alot of pressure on us to prepare a 45 minute lesson that afternoon and night. We almost buckled under the pressure until we got alone and said a prayer for HELP. That evening we listened to Kevin Pearson of the Quorum of the Seventies. He gave a very strong, to the point, talk about working hard and obeying the rules.
On Wednesday we worked on our lessen before we left the room at 7 am and again in class for a few minutes before we were lead to the room of the investigator. The lesson turned out pretty good and the Holy Ghost helped us through. After the lesson, we were helped to learn from the experience and were told that we would give lesson two first thing in the morning. That did not bother us us after the lesson earlier that day. We went to our first Japanese class that night. Sister Palmer is our instructor. After working on work sounds, we wrote our testimony and she wrote it out so we could sound it out.
Thursday at breakfast we heard from a couple about the hard investigator that they had to give the first lesson to. We were so glad we had the one that we got, but then when we were lead to the door of the investigator for lesson two we found out that it was the very hard one! Bess carried the lesson until when she turn to me and said"I want to hear from you". The Holy Ghost came through again! The afternoon was spent preparing for another lesson and language class.
On Friday we gave lessen 3 to an inactive family. The people did a great job of role playing. It brought tears to our eye, because one person played a person that was just like a person very dear to us. We pray for this person every day and have faith that they will change. Friday night we had a testimony meeting and yes we bore our testimonies in Japanese!
Saturday we shopped for items we needed and spent the afternoon with Kim and Kent and family and did laundry. The people where we shopped were great. They gave us discounts and free sugar free chocolate!
Sunday 20 Feb. we went to sacrament meeting at 8 am where missionaries sang Love One Another in 9 different languages! This evening we went to a Departure Devotional for missionaries leaving. We went a week early so we could spend more time with family next Sunday. We then went to the Sunday night Fireside where they talked about the effect music has on us and different missionaries in the audience got to share their favorite hymns. This was amazing, to hear 2,000 young Elders and Sisters sing. Music is so powerful! We met an Elder Ward that will be coming to the Fukuoka Mission in April. We think the Mission will be very blessed to have him serve there.
It has been a very spiritual week. Next week we will learn how to be an Office Couple. We will still be with a few of the couples from last week. Each couple has a very interesting story that we love to here! Elder & Sister Merrill from Vernal, Utah are getting ready to serve an MLS mission in New York City. Elder Merrill was released eight weeks early almost 50 years ago from his mission in Norway to escort a very sick Elder home to Utah. He tried to find out how things turned out with this sick Elder but was unable to learn anything but that the Elder was getting help. This week he and this sick Elder, Elder Thompson were reunited here in our Valentine's Day group. Small miracles?
Love Elder and Sister Christensen