YAY!!! Email time is absolutely the best thing ever! I'm so excited to get to write you all today!!!
I'll admit this hasn't been the easiest week ever, rather difficult actually, but on the opposite side of things, I've realized that as you go through difficult days, Heavenly Father is willing to buoy you up with even greater tender mercies. I hope I can detail some of them in this letter.
Our senpai left yesterday. It's crazy how much quieter our Japanese wing is, and how much larger my bedroom seems, with three sisters missing. It's gotten me really excited to get going to Japan! I can't wait... but then realize that I still have so much Japanese to learn! Since we've gotten to the 5 week point, we're expected to be "Nihongo dake", Japanese only, which is one reason this week has been difficult. Trying to say everything I want to in Japanese is virtually impossible, so it's been a struggle. We also are teaching our first lesson in Japanese this Thursday, so it's been slightly stressful preparing for that. I've come to realize though that even if I can't get out everything I want to say, it's okay, because the spirit is always going to be a far greater testimony builder than my words will ever be. I'm striving to just get to the point where I can speak enough to bring the Spirit, and then have the Spirit guide me the rest of the way.
We also had to take a language assessment test yesterday, where we speak into a headset and are recorded on our pronunciation and understanding of the language and then in about a week we'll get feedback about what we need to work on. I think everyone had a rough time with it. It wasn't so bad except for the fact that they let you listen to what you recorded afterward and you notice all these mistakes you made and can't re-record it. Haha, oh well! One really nice thing though, was that i had a interview with Bishoff sensai (one of my teachers) and he just told me that he was noticing just how much us sisters were improving and he knew it was because we were working so hard. That's one of the tender mercies i was talking about. The Lord knew that I needed to hear that I was getting better and that someone had noticed.
Other fun things that have happened: Last Tuesday Devotional Russell M. Nelson came to speak!!! It's the first apostle we've had since I've been here, so it was just so exciting!! One of the great realizations was that he told us the exact same things we've heard over and over again. Something about how he said it though, showed the great importance of each of these things (obedience, teaching lessons not people...) and also was just a reminder about how they may say them over and over again, but they are super important. I've come to know that the things we do here, the schedule, the rules, are all inspired by God. Sometimes I just sit and am thinking, 'wow, someone knew gym time/p-day is a necessity" or "companions are really there to keep us out of trouble". Because of this I don't mind the rules.
Also on Sunday, Sister Adams was asked to give the prayer during the MTC Fireside, so we got to sit on the stand and be on "TV"!!! We call the projection screen a TV! It was so much fun and definitely a highlight, as I got to shake the hands of the MTC Presidency, our speaker, Stephen Allen, and have a full view of most of the missionaries (there is an overflow room, so not all) and hear their beautiful voices as they sang straight towards me...so COOL!!!
Speaking of companions, I don't think I've told you much about either Sister Adams or Lynch, so I'll do that! I absolutely love both of them, and I know I'm extremely blessed to have 2 companions I get along with, sure sometimes it's difficult with 3 different opinions, but it always works out. Sister Adams is from a town outside of Philadelphia, but's been going to BYU-I for accounting for the past 3 years. She's hilarious and totally not what you would expect! She has words like ridonculous and surrrrriously that she always says. Is constantly losing stuff and has one hiccup about every hour, just one. She's the hardest working, most studious person I have ever met, and I admire her so much for that! Sister Lynch is from Mountain Green Utah, has been at BYU for the past 3 years as well and is studying math education. She is the most sincere, loving person ever. She knows basically every sister in the mtc and their history. She can bust out raps like none other about anything you want (laundry, hot dogs, popcorn, people to say the least) and loves hugs. All 3 of us have so much fun together!!!! it's great and I know heavenly father specifically blessed me with companions I would get along with!!!
Oh really quick my name in Kanji means: glory, handsome, beautiful, poem, inlet, stream, crimson. Not sure what exactly that means but I found it exciting to have one of the Nihongin translate it for me.