Last week in the MTC.... Next time you hear from me, I'll be across the ocean in a country that I still feel like I know nothing about!
It's kind of funny to think about- Asian language learners are here in the MTC for the longest of anyone... except those who are learning 2 languages. So except for the slim number that are learning Tahitian and French, or Mandarin and French, I have been here the longest! I've watched all my friends come and go! I've watched the people that I met on day 1 come and go... but it's finally happening for me! I'm going to JAPAN!
It's still not real yet... yesterday we had a huge in-field training that was 9 hours long. Even after that, it's still not quite real. I don't know when it will finally become real! Maybe a year into my mission!...
Think about it... I've never been across an ocean! The only place I can even remember traveling to is Vancouver Canada! This will definitely be a shocker...
But enough of that nostalgic stiff...
This week something cool happened! An elder from the first quorum of the Seventy came and spoke to us! Elder Zwick! Turns out, he was the man responsible for building the Portland Temple! He gave an excellent talk. It really got my thoughts turning about how lucky I am that my family was able to be sealed in the Portland Temple so that when I was born, I always knew I could be with them forever! It was so interesting to learn about all the challenges that popped up while the temple was under construction. I'm so glad that they persevered and saw the whole thing through. I'm also glad that my parents were persistent and made being sealed in the temple a priority. I had never thought in depth about how lucky I am to have an eternal family until that night. I really am the luckiest person in the whole world... because I have the best family I could ever possibly imagine having!
Another not quite so serious thought... I'm learning Finnish... kind of random... but I met a Finnish elder here and he's been teaching me Finnish!!! I'll probably forget it all by the time I've been in Japan for a month... but at least for now, I can have a very simple conversation- in FINNISH!!! It's kind of cool... I've also learned some Portuguese... It's a lot like French, so that's fun too! Man... sometimes I think I learn more about other countries than I do about Japan! But it's not because I don't try hard. There's just so much ethnic diversity in the MTC! I study Japanese for 10 hours a day and then I pick up a ton more tidbits along the way! It's so much fun. I just ADORE my foreign friends.
Oh yeah! I got my Japanese name badge this week! It says Sister Roberts in JAPANESE!!!!! Ro-ba-tsu Shimai!!!!
Wow... in 2 days I'll be flying half way across the planet. I can't stop thinking about it! Time has just flown by here! I wonder how it will be in the field. I still have 16 months... weird. I won't see you all for so long!
Japan... I still don't know why I'm going to JAPAN. But I definitely know why I'm a missionary- I love this gospel. So much more now than ever before. I love sharing the very essence of who I am with whoever will listen. I don't know why Heavenly Father thought Japan was the right place, but I know that I'm going to love it and I know that there are people who need ME. That's so strange to think about. People have been prepared to hear what I have to say, from my mouth, with my experiences! Someone (or multiple someones) need me right now. I'm going to go out there and find them!!! Even though my Japanese in imperfect and even though I'll probably offend everyone with my ignorance of Japanese culture, I'm going to trust and hope and pray, and I know I will be lead to the people who are ready to receive me!
I also know that people are prepared to hear the gospel from YOU. You just have to look around yourself and find them. Someone needs YOUR light. We all have a purpose and a gift to share =) We just have to find the ones who need ours particularly. I know that Heavenly Father will lead them to you. Just don't be afraid to share.
Wow... am I a missionary or what? A year ago all that would have never occurred to me... I have a glorious feeling that my life is about to change for the better =)
I love you all, and I pray for you.