Friday, July 22, 2011

Yay! Here we are.

Ok so I didn't read any of the emails I was sent and am just going to respond to the Dear Elders. First off thank you for the letters and packages people! They were amazing. It was funny that I was just thinking I could use more clothes and a notebook so that was divine intervention. Anyway let us start telling of adventures.

We taught Satosan (our progressing investigator) 3 times this week. Oh what an adventure that was. So we taught her Monday about I don't even know what and then halfway through the lesson she says she has a question which is terrifying enough because it is hard to understand but then all of a sudden she says she is "Bukyo" which I knew I had heard before then it occurred to me, Buddhist! Well that is fine and all but then she went on to tell us she didn't understand God or Jesus Christ and that it was much easier for us because that is what America has, a Christian background. Well that put a damper on things. We weren't even sure how to respond so we were a little beaten down after that but we committed to more fully teach her about Christ and our next lesson was the Plan of Salvation in Preach my Gospel which we thought that would be a good lesson so we basically read her all of that because it is a lot of information and we don't really know Japanese. Anyway complete and utter failure #2 of the weak, she was super bored and the spirit was no where to be found because it was all just two Americans reading Japanese poorly. Finally yesterday we had our final lesson with her and so we decided although we weren't thrilled with her progress we would commit her to baptism. This lesson also was much more simple phrases that we had learned. The lesson went MUCH better. We utilized the Book of Mormon better testified like champs and then the moment of truth. We committed her. First question is to explain what bapism is. We had explained the ordinance of it but she wanted the physical act so we pulled out every acting skill we had and acted it out for her. She seemed pleased so we moved on. Next she started talking about her feelings about the gospel. It was at this point for a brief moment I understood exactly what she was saying. It was almost as if she turned to me and said "Are you God?" It was crazy, it was beside the point. Anyway her point was that she had learned everything from us and she knew in her mind that it was true but there was nothing in her heart that she felt then she pulled out saying her baptism would be a "uso" I had heard this word before too but couldn't remember so I quickly flip through my dictionary then my eyes rest on the word. Lie. She thinks her baptism would be a lie. My heart ached for her. We were there to testify of the spirit the truthfullness and instead there was no spirit and she thought her baptism would be a lie. A very humbling moment in my life. Anyway we left downhearted. Two of the four companionships got a baptism commitment out of her so I guess we weren't so bad. Then last night we got to see a video of her telling us how we did (still in character but in English) and how she felt about the gospel. This just further put the nail in the coffin but I am grateful for the experience. Anyway we pick up two new investigators next week.

Moving on. I have been asked my Sunday schedule by a few people so basically here is what we do. We study A LOT. Ha All gospel study no language study. No classes. We have priesthood and sacrament where in both we sing Japanese hymns which is super awesome although I have no idea what I am saying. Also in sacrament the whole thing is in Japanese except two of the talks by the branch presidency. Oh and we have to prepare a three minute talk each for each Sunday that we may have to give if we are called to speak from the stand. Its like the olden days where they would call people on missions from the stand. I have seen a lot of Logan friends including Andrew and my friend Zac I lived by so that leaves only Orlando coming in in August and Colten which I don't know where his mission stuff ended up so that has been awesome. So many people I know here.

As for the pilot program we aren't the first to go through it apparently. There has at least been one district before us that did it and they are still here. I kind of like it. I worry that I may not learn as much other stuff about the language but I think we will be better listeners that the other 2 districts that came in with us. Also I believe as of August 1 at least the Japanese program if not the whole MTC will be switching to this new program. Also we were told last Sunday that there will be lot of changes toward more use of computers coming up at the beginning of August so I'm excited to see those. All we have been told so far is that there will no longer be handwritten letters to mission presidents but emails to them which I think is much more efficient.

Kinda sad that you mentioned how much you loved the temple mom because the temple is closed today so we didn't actually go. I think it will be open next week so we should be able to go then. As for your question of when I leave here it is 9/26 so two days earlier than expected. You should see how many books we have! Its like 50 pounds worth of language book and they still have the prices on them so we were able to figure it was like $400 worth of language books. They are super good though. Oh and they have fun names that the teachers even call them like Miyagi san, Samurai, Picachu, Sumo, etc

Yay for fabio, I know you could do it daddy.
Oh last week we sang called to serve in the Sunday night devotional and its this special MTC version and it is super awesome. It makes you just want to run out the door and baptize someone!
As for our exercise time I play 4 square. Which i thought would be pretty chill but these people are crazy here. It is the most political game ever. Don't get someones friend out or they will play dirty with you. Hardest most exercising game ever!

My district is the best we work hard but we have a ton of fun. We basically own our classroom and have to stay there all day so we get sick of studying sometimes and have fun debates like if you could have an animal sidekick what would it be, or which would win 1000 gueini pigs or a dog, etc. So so so much fun. Also we are in an observation room so they have one of those police mirrors where they can see through but you "can't" see back. (You actually can it is just hard) so we have fun when people are in there. Also the room we taught Satosan in had one of those mirrors so we would watch each other teach which I'm not sure we were suppose to but it was educational.
Oh and then there are these boxes on the wall like where a plug would be but there is nothing in them so they are empty but apparently people store things in them. We have found some funny things in them and we are still trying to figure out what to put in them ourselves.

I don't need anytyhing
Elder Clayton is going to Fukuoka
So are the other two elders

Sorry short, This timer is annoying. It also goes away in August thank goodness. Love you. Sum it all up with the part of the song:
"All is well
All is well"

Message for Kris:
That little bugger son of your's had to just go and crawl after I am gone. Hug him for me.

Message for Mandy:
Didn't know you could Dear elder
Devotionals are the bomb
Never actually had the ice cream I have been watching my girlish figure
Elder clayton is from St. george.
I play 4 square.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

SPY (Speak Your Language)

Editorial note: These are being taken from handwritten letters from Kyle. So the interpretation may be a little off. (Kyle is not known for his handwriting skills.)


So much to say and it has only been a few days. Elder Clayton (my companion) is a good guy. Can't remember if I told you but he went to Snow Canyon High School, so 3 of the four of us in the room are from the St. George area.

So much different than expected. SO many rules and no oversight! First off though, it was awesome to get so many letters and the package (my district enjoyed the cupcakes). I earned the name Cupcake Choro (Elder Cupcake). I got a total of 9 pieces of mail that day! Anyway to bigger and better things.

So this is what I learned. My district is part of a pilot program where you start SYL (speak your language) from the beginning which normally doesn't happen until after week 3. So the Senpai (seniors) were a little worried about us. Speaking of senpai, they are the bomb! I thought they would tease us or something buy they are SO helpful. I have had some awesome talks with them and they have helped us with the language.

Anyway, so guess what!!!??? I taught my second lesson today! Oh wait....Did I forget to say...the last two lessons were in Japanese with a person that wouldn't speak any English? Intense! Our first lesson went awesome other than telling her God loves some kind of food...we aren't sure what kind. Also today, we committed her to pray to know if the Book of Mormon was true and she asked if she should do it now and without thinking I told her she prayed right in front of us. It was awkward and a half! Didn't help that Elder Clayton started laughing when he realized what we did. So i was repeatedly saying "your prayer was good" in Japanese of course. It was bad.

Anyway, Elder Clayton and I have been doing good. He is much more athletic than me and also he sometimes just burns out or is hard headed. So sometimes we test each other. All part of the experience. Anyway, I'll email on Friday hopefully. Love you and talk to you later.

Elder Carter