Saturday, November 29, 2014
I know you were probably wandering what happened to me and why I didn't email on Thursday, the day I normally email. The MTC Presidency switched our Preparation Day (day we email everyone, and do laundry, and get ready for the week). So I have the opportunity to email now. Just a heads up to everyone, I will not be emailing again until next Monday, December 8th. Then my emails will be coming much more regularly.
Thursday 20th 木曜日
Our whole district went to the temple which was awesome! I really enjoyed going one last time, the next time I will go is in Japan!
Friday 21st 金曜日
Flight Plans ga arimasu! We received our flight plans and I leave Monday December 1st for the land of the rising sun! WAHOO! I arrive in the Narita Tokyo Airport at 3:15 local time the 2nd (which is still the first for you all living in the Americas). I have no idea what is going on after I arrive, I know I will meet my mission president at the airport and that is about it.
Saturday 22nd 土曜日
My companion and I prepared to teach district meeting,which is like Sunday school, for Sunday. On Saturday Nights the teachers go home, so some MTC buildings are abandoned...literally. We went on a walk to discuss our companionship and decided to go into a building where there usually is a lot of people but on Saturdays there is no one, so studying was nice and quite.
Sunday 23rd 日曜日
My companion and I taught district meeting, it was amazing. We focused on just asking questions and leading by the spirit it was way awesome. Stephen B. Allen came...again. When we were singing he got up, went to the microphone, and said we needed to sing faster we were putting him to sleep. He spoke on the importance of choice. It was really really good, he said that parents who let their children choose from an early age have the ability to make important decisions later in life. We watched Unto the Mountain of the Lord which is a movie about the Salt Lake Temple, it was really good, and I learned a ton!
Monday 24th 月曜意
I studied Christ's Life and Ministry in personal study, I am constantly amazed at what He did for all mankind. I have taken a liking to Basketball oddly enough, I just shoot hoops alone for the hour we have for gym, it is a good way for me to unwind and think. Brian sent me an awesome package! SUMO THUMBS! They were awesome! Cook kyodai (one of our teachers) talked about his mission for the entire 3 hour class period.. The stories he told were really really good! It made me super excited to go to Japan.
Tuesday 25th 火曜日
Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came to speak. He was awesome and super enlightening about why we serve and how to be effective missionaries. I really like what he said to the senior missionaries, He said that they should not try to recreate their bountiful wards where they serve but rather to help the wards flourish wherever they are assigned. For Thursday we practiced our choir song, it is come thou font of every blessing, which has never been sung at the MTC before, it was really really good.
Wednesday 26th 水曜日
I had coaching with Fowers kyodai (another one of my teachers), we worked on memorizing the first vision in Japanese...talk about a tongue twister. I will be an expert at tongue twisters when I get home, the entire language is a long tongue twister. I feel like that if my mission is anything like these past few weeks have been I will have a very very busy mission.
Thanksgiving 27th 木曜日
We woke up early for choir practice, then had a devotional right afterwards where Elder Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came and spoke. At the beginning of his talk he brought up his granddaughters who were very happy to see their grandfather on thanksgiving. He then said he was going to do something different, and he did! He passed out 200 cell phones to the audience (we don't have cell phones here) and put a number up on the screen which was connected to his Ipad. He then said we could text him any question we wanted to and he would answer it! There were some really good questions asked and answered. After the closing song, I was siting next to Jennings Choro an elder in my district, and a man came right up to us and motioned for us to follow him, he then went up to two sister missionaries and did the same thing. We obeyed and were brought into the lobby where we met Elder Bendars family and were interviewed by the Church News over the event! It was pretty cool, we didn't get to meet him there though, they rushed him out pretty quickly. "Thanksgiving Dinner" was next and man was that sad...I just sat there and stared at my plate for a minute and thought to myself "this is where I'm supposed to be". We then had a service presentation about the church's humanitarian work and we were involved in a huge humanitarian project where we packaged meals for needy families. The goal was to beat the record set last year of 350,000 bags, we will find out soon if we did. After this we had a Thanksgiving presentation about why we celebrate the holiday, it helped the international missionaries understand what and why we celebrate the holiday. After that we watched Meet The Mormons and they gave us popcorn! It was a really good movie! After that the Presidency told us there was a surprise for us waiting outside, when we went outside to see all the Christmas Lights!
Friday 28th 金曜日
In-Field Orientation...Welp that is all that happened..Literally. We spent 9 hours in a devotional about involving members in missionary work. I wish I could say there was more exciting stuff than that but there really wasn't.
Saturday 29th 土曜日
I figured I could go over today as well since it is almost over. We did our laundry early this morning and are gathering everything together for leaving Monday. Today we had our last two classes with our teachers and took pictures with them. I can't believe I am already leaving!
I will email you all next from the land of the rising sun!!
Elder Nathan Dunn
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Here is my Week in review!
It snowed for the first time this fall in Utah! We got about 2 inches it was pretty awesome. I got Grandma and Grandpa Dunn's package which was Skyline Chili! It was amazing! We ate it within an hour of opening it. Opening it was a little tricky we had to use a pocket knife but miraculously it worked. I took some family names to the temple which was awesome, definitely a sweet spirit about that work. If you haven't tried before I'd recommend that you try out familysearch.org, it is super user friendly and it is amazing how much of your family you can find out.
We had a one on one chat with the teachers today to see how we were doing and to talk about our Japanese. I was interviewed by Peterson Kyodai who served in the Nygoya mission> It was a great interview and we ended up taking up half of the three hour block of classes just talking. He said that I have picked up pretty quickly on Nehongo and is impressed at my hard work (its the farm I know Dad). I have begun to learn a Kanji a day so I will have a lot more under my belt by the time I get home.
It was my Companions birthday! He turned 19! One of the other Elders in our room was sick so they stayed behind and decorated the whole room! it was pretty awesome! We would win best room award..if there was such an award. We had a substitute, his name was Sheenan Kyodai, and guess what. He grew up on a raspberry farm too! He gave a neat lesson about giving our investigators experiences and how important that was. He also studied abroad in Japan after his mission, I think I may want to look into that too. I have also been getting really into the Bible videos that the church has put out. You can tell how much thought and dedication was put into them in order to make them what they are. I'd encourage everyone to watch one or two of those as well.
I had the opportunity to lead the music in Sacrament! Lets just say singing in Japanese and leading music is a lot harder than I thought. So I led the first hymn in Japanese then found an English hymn book for the rest. I took some neat pictures at the temple. That night our speaker was Richard I Heaton who is the administrative director at the MTC. He spoke about Moses and the serpent which was put on the cross and how it ties into modern medicine with the symbol we most often have in The medical field now. WE read as a group how the serpent and cross are in each volume of scripture and how it relates back to Christ. It was really neat.
We taught the Plan of Salvation to our investigator and I wrote out all the Kanji for the lesson on the chalkboard! It was pretty awesome to see it all together in a foreign language. When we taught the lesson we did awesome it was our best lesson yet, our teacher after the lesson said we did a good job. I got the package today with the shirts, it turns out my arms are a lot longer than most, but I think it is fixed now. I love getting the letters from the boys they are always so thoughtful and entertaining.
In choir we sang Jesus Once of Humble Birth, it was a really good arrangement. We found out for the devotional on Thanksgiving we are singing Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, which has never been sung at the MTC, so we are making a little MTC history on Thanksgiving. WE had President Linda K. Burton, who is the General Relief society President, come and speak. She quoted John 3:16 a lot and spoke of the importance of bringing others unto Christ. I said goodbye to Brandon, it was such a weird feeling, I keep looking for him around campus then I realize he is in California, he is going to be an awesome missionary there.
We hosted again, there were 700 missionaries that came in! It was crazy! While I was hosting I was walking back to my place to pick people up then a young woman walked out of the front entrance of the MTC, and it was Diane Garrett! It was neat to see her, it turns out she just got a job at the MTC and will be working in 2M, which is like the mail room, store, barber, and like everything else like that. So I will Probably see her around. We Skyped TRC again WHich was awesome! She was from Fukuoka! She was super nice and it was great to talk to her, and I was amazed with how much I was able to understand and say to her, it was awesome!
I am supposed to get travel plans tomorrow! So hopefully my next email will be my last before I arrive in JAPAN!!!
Love you all, and thank you for your support and prayers,
Elder Nathan Dunn
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Life at the MTC Has been good this week. Here is my recap!
In class we talked about our families, and the importance of them. We had the opportunity to introduce our family in Japanese to the class that was a fun lesson. Brandon came to our room, and we gave him a box full of candy, so that should last him for a little bit and it made a good dent in our reserves.
I learned 70 words today, granted most of them were the medical words but it is still a big vocabulary boost. I feel like words will come quicker as I am fully immersed in the culture. We learned the days of the month and played a game with it. It was a great way to learn the days quickly. I am baffled at the amount I have learned.
I woke up with a killer sore throat. I set a goal to wake up at 6:00 everyday of my mission from here on out. My teacher said that he did it and noticed huge blessing from doing so. With that kind of promise it was too good to pass up!
I was released as district leader, and my companion was called as district leader. It is nice to not have to worry about it anymore. Being just a missionary is such a great calling, you can focus on the work and only the work. My throat was a little better. I had the opportunity to bless the sacrament...in Japanese! it was super hard! I thought it was hard in English. It will take some time for me to even sound coherent in Japanese. The speaker was Spencer J. Conide who was formerly in the seventy. He was very animated in his speak and gave great advice, he said, "speak slowly and distinctly." I hadn't thought of that before. How true is it. We understand slow speaker just as well in English why couldn't they in Japanese.
My companion was sick, so I was kind of attached to different companionship's throughout the day. I stayed behind for the evening class so we could work on some Nehongo together. I have been doing family history every so often. It is a lot of fun! I have found that my generation has a thing with computers and searching. I have fallen in love with Kanji, these are all the complex symbols. They are the meat of the sentances, so effectively nouns. They are pretty cool. The average high schooler knows about 1500 Kanji, and the average newspaper has 2000 Kanji, so even the Nehongen need dictionaries to read!
Before I forget! Yoshi means Good, and it is a common phrase is Japanese, only we say yosh, and make the I silent. One of our teachers taught a great object lesson with the mountains, they really are amazing out here. We sung an arrangement on Praise to the Man in Choir, it was amazing!! BIshop Davies came and spoke, you can eally tell that man loves his wife. For the closing hymn him and his wife sung a duet to us, then had us join in the last verse. He testified of the prophet and told us of a neat story with him and President hinckly regarding the Vancouver temple.
I hosted again today, I hosted an elder from canada going to France speaking Chinsese! That was pretty crazy. We got new kohi(people younger than us) I can't believe I have been here as long as I have. WE GOT TO SKYPE A NEHONGEN(Japanese Person) she was super sweet and loved talking to us. I was surprised how much I understood, you could tell that she was very patient with us. In fact we couldn't find a word in the dictionary for the life of us. so she looked it up and translated it for us! What a sweet sister. I am so thankful to be serving in Japan. What an amazing place it truly is.
Thursday, November 6, 2014
子に痴話 友勝ち と こずく！
WOW! what an intense busy week it has been!
Busy P-day! We went to the temple, and taught a lesson. Our teacher has been really impressed in the way our companionship has been going. Mom sent me an awesome package, chips and cheese....it lasted half an hour but was delicious.
Halloween at the MTC! Our district all wore either black or orange ties during the day. I have found of Lds.org that we are able to make notes so I have started to mark up conference talks and save them on there. Then that night my doryo dressed up as a ghost by putting a sheet over his head, Phillips choro dressed up as a scarecrow, and I dressed up as a Ninja in honor of Japan. It was awesome! We then went "trick or treating" as best we could at the MTC, which turned into the shimaitachi in our district giving us a huge bag of candy. we. have. so. much. candy. O.O.
Marked one month since the beginning of my mission! I can't believe how fast it has gone. I'll blink and be in Japan and before I know it i'll be headed home after 2 years. I learned probably one of the most important things about being a missionary; we teach people not lessons. We have to love our investigators, and really understand them. That night in our dorms the elders going to Brazil were having wrestling matches. My doryo and I were watching, then my doryo egged me on to go and wrestle...I gave in and wrestled the elder. He had a lot cleaner technique then I did. Granted I haven't wrestled in 6 years. As I was being him to the ground he barrel rolled on me and I got really bad rug burn on my face...it so happens that the elder has a scholarship for wrestling. Needless to say I learned that lesson pretty quickly.
My first Fast Sunday! We had a mission conference for 2 hours and were blessed to hear from a lot of really neat speakers. The mission president of the MTC spoke, he talked about fearing no man. Then called a sister from right out of the stands to come bear her testimony. Then he had 4 other missionaries re-sight the First Vision in their mission languages it was amazing to hear them, but what was more amazing was the fact that the spirit is still felt as strongly in each of them. That night we had Russel. M. Nelson's wife come and speak, she was really neat, and encouraged us to spread the gospel to everyone. She also shared with us new hymn she wrote.
Our sempai (group that has been here longer than us) left at 3 am for Japan! One of the sisters wasn't able to get her Visa in time so she had to stay behind. She was heart broken, it was really sad. She is from Brazil, so my teacher had an ingenious idea to help her. He had her teach the class how to pray in Portuguese! I am glad I am speaking Japanese! Those words are harder to pronounce than Japanese words! We do this home teaching thing every Monday night and are rated by our teachers on how we do. We had the opportunity to teach someone from Japan! He was way cool, and super nice. He said that his son is in our mission and wrote in the comments of the review that he was excited that two awesome missionaries are going to his sons mission. WE cleaned and sanitized our room. Everyone except our room has gotten sick, thank goodness two of us have OCD and have to have a clean room!
We got a really special invitation to leave the MTC Campus! It was so nice to go outside! We went to BYU for a devotional at the Marriott Center! I ran into Katherine and Andrew! It was neat to see them. The speaker spoke on tenacity, what a neat word. I definitely will strive to have more tenacity in my life. That night we were told we would have an apostle come and speak but it turns out they didn't, we had Christoffel Golden of the seventy instead. He is from South Africa and has the coolest accent! He spoke of being a great missionary, and how how he knows we are called ambassadors.
BRANDON. HAS. ARRIVED. I wasn't able to host him but I did see him that night. He is doing well. His P-day is on Tuesday. Turns out that he is in the same residence hall as me, we are planning on catching up later tonight. It has been really really good to see him. Our district hosted again! I hosted 11 people! I was flying through them, it is fun to see them all excited about this great work. I found our language program has medical words on it! Needless to say I have memorized those pretty quickly! We found out that all the other buildings on campus have nicer chairs than we do! So we moved a few over to our room that were not being used. On of our teachers didn't notice, but the other one did..he made us move them back and told us to put a suggestion in the suggestion box. The box in now filled with suggestions.
Please do not send anymore candy. We have a drawer full of candy to the point where we are giving it away.
Thank you so much for your love and support!
P.s. I am putting all of my pictures on my blag.