Saturday, July 27, 2013

MTC week #8

Saturday, July 27, 2013

     I hope everyone is feeling genki and loving life. :) I certainly know I am! It's been a blast here at the MTC, and I'm super stoked to get out and do the Lord's work. I have a whole ONE WEEK to go till I set foot on Japanese soil, and it's going to be marvelous, I know. :) I've learned so much here, and I have grown so much as well. It's going to be a very sad/ happy day come the 5th...It'll be great to head to Japan, but I'm going to miss the great times we had here. At least I get to fly with everyone in my district minus Elder White, since we're all headed to Sapporo. :) So I won't have to say good bye to them quite yet. Everyone else though that I've been over, and have watched grow from their first days here I'm gonna have a hard time saying goodbye too. But! It's ok, we're out here for the Lord, not ourselves.
    This week has been a ton of fun. :) We have been working hard, and we've all been getting along better than we ever have before. Monday and Tuesday were pretty standard days. Lots of class, lots of Nihongo, and lots of fun. :) Wednesday however, we didn't have our regular morning class. Instead we had a special Japanese Missionary ONLY devotional, which was SUPER COOL! We talked a lot about Japan, and the theme of the devotional was about expectations. We talked about our expectations for our missions, and about what we may have heard about the work in Japan about other people. We talked about how the work is rapidly progressing in Japan, and how we need to be open to what the LORD wants us to expect, and be willing to follow his will and guidance. It was PHENOMENAL! Easily the best devotional we've had yet here, it was super special especially though because it was all about Japan. :) It was a sweet experience. Aside from that, the rest of this week has been a fairly standard week, we're just doing our best and we're just saigo made taeshinobimasu! Enduring to the end. ;)
   Friday however, was amazing. ;) We got our travel plans!! Getting travel plans is ALWAYS a big deal in the MTC for obvious reasons. :) Most of the Japanese missionaries have to get up SUPER early to get on their flights, like 1-2 am early, but we lucked out big time on that! We don't have to report to the travel office till 7:30 am, and our flight leaves at 11:15 am. That's like the perfect time to get out, not too early, not too late. It's great. :) We fly on Delta from SLC to Seattle first. Which is weird to me, but hey! I like Seattle. :P We can't leave the airport though, so we get to just hang out and wait for our flights, which is smartest I think. We should arrive in Seattle at around 12:45ish, and then we have a two hour layover till our flight to Tokyo. We leave on Delta again at about 3 pm from Seattle, and arrive in Tokyo at only 4:45 pm!! :D :D The next day. ;) Buahaha! I don't know how long that actual flight will be, but because of the time change that will be the local time we arrive. Darn those international date lines. ;) We have another two hour layover in Tokyo, then we fly on Japan Airlines to Sapporo, which is about a 2 hour flight. And then who knows what we'll do, probably sleep since we get in late. :P I'm going to be a whole day ahead of you guys back home. :) It's going to be funny calling home on Christmas. It'll either be Christmas Eve for you, or my birthday for me!! Lol! :) It's gonna be great. I plan on sleeping as long as I can on the Seattle to Tokyo flight. I am NOT looking forward to the jet lag... So hopefully I can offset it as much as I can.
  I'm super excited for Dana and Cade! :D That's so cool! I've been wondering about them and when they were getting their calls! When does Cade report to the MTC? I bet he's glad he doesn't have to learn a new language. I'm super excited for Dana too. :) It's such a miracle that she got baptized, and is now going to serve a mission. That just blows my mind. :) Tell her I love her choice to serve a mission and that I know she'll do great. :) Thanks for letting me know about that. :) Can you guys find out what Cade's email is so that I can be in touch with him? I miss him! I'm so happy Mikey is finally able to head to Argentina as well. :D He wasn't expecting to go till the next transfer in mid August, but he got his visa early! :D I'm glad Japan is easy visa wise. I personally wouldn't want to be temporarily reassigned, I wanna go hang out with mah Nihonjin! ;) About that also with travel stuff, I don't have my passport, but I'm supposed to be getting all my other travel stuff when I report to the travel office Monday morning. I do have a ministerial certificate though that authorizes me to stay in Japan for that reason, but I'm sure I can't use it to travel with. :P No one else has their passports or anything, so I'm fairly confident that that'll all be taken care of the Monday morning that I leave.
  Thanks as well for all the stuff you've sent me. :D It's been epic, and we've enjoyed all the goodies. ;) I got the toiletries and and journals earlier this week, and they were sorely needed! I was actually out of soap for two days before I got it. :P That was a fun two days. :) And I got all the snow stuff you sent me as well today. The gloves fit fine, and they are SUPER nice. All the Elders are now jealous of my epic gloves. :) The hat, scarf, and thermals are much appreciated too. :) The scarf kinda blows my mind though. It doesn't seem like it would be warm, but I was reading the tag thing mini book thing on it, and it seems pretty cool. Nice and light but still warm, seems legit. :) We're all thinking about getting in all our winter gear one night and taking some pictures of us all bundled up. :P I think that'd be fun. 
    I'll finish getting pictures and what not for this week and then I'll send it home later this week. I've got some good stuff on there. :) 
        Anyways, gotta close now. Thanks so much for everything you guys do. I love you all DEARLY!! :)
               I'll talk to you again soon.
               Ai shite imasu
                   Dialogue Choro

Saturday, July 20, 2013

MTC week #7

Saturday, July 20, 2013

I'm sure the kids all had a great time on trek. :) I know I did, with Jake though anything we do is flippin' fun. ;) He comes home in just about as much time as it'll take me to get out to Japan, isn't that nuts!! You'll have to tell me all about your glorious reunion, and how I wasn't there! ;) I'm not jealous or anything either of your Los Betos... I'm SO TIRED of the food here. Especially without the temple now... It sucks. But!! The food in Sapporo and Hakkaido is the best food in Japan EVERYONE tells me, especially those who served in Japan, and so I'm super stoked for that. I'm SO down for some real food. Even if it is seafood. ;) Haha! Good thing I'm going to Japan, right!  

The MTC is still going great, and I'm really enjoying myself. But I'm SO READY to go to Japan. Nine weeks is such a long time it feels like. Time here is very weird. We feel sometimes like the days just drag on and on, but then you wake up one morning and it's p-day. The days feel long but the weeks fly by, its really a strange phenomenon. This last week has been crazy for Elder Brandolino and I though. We got a bunch of new Japanese missionaries and 14 of them are in our branch. So we accompanied them around for awhile on Wednesday night, teaching them some things, making sure they knew the rules, getting to know them, making them feel loved, that whole shebang. And Thursday night we accompanied them to the meeting our Branch Presidency meeting, and taught them more about companionships, how to have a successful one, and things along that train of thought. The knew Kohai as we call them, are fantastic. They are so excited to be here and seem super ready to start learning and teaching. :) It's hard to believe that just 7 weeks ago I was where they were, it's crazy. And it's even more crazy to think that in two weeks we'll be in Japan. We have a countdown on our chalkboard and the day is getting closer and closer!! I should be getting my travel plans next week sometime, which will be super exciting. :) That's always a big deal on campus. :P For obvious reasons. ;) We've really decided as a district to make these last two weeks our BEST two weeks in the MTC. We are working hard, staying focused, and doing what we need to be doing. We really want to go to Japan as prepared as we possibly can be. One of our new Elder's name is Elder Lutz. Immediately I think of the Uruk-Hai off of Lord of the Rings whose name is Lurtz. He's the one that kills Boromir with three arrows, and then Aragorn kills Lurtz, yeah, him. :P I'm sure Mom knows! ANYWAYS! I asked him if he would let me call him Elder Lurtz. :P Naturally he said yes and so that's what I call him now! :) It's great. He also is a huge motorsports guy much like myself! He has been riding dirt bikes for a long time just like I have, and we have so much to talk about! He's a pretty sweet guy, I wish I could be with him for more than two weeks! But, oh well, what do ya do? :) Just about all our knew Kohai are FRESH out of high school which is super cool. They're some of the first fresh eighteen year olds to be out here and it's really cool to see them here at such a young age. I'm young too, but I have a whole year of real world life experience that they don't! But they have powerful spirits and I know that they're going to do some great things. :) It'll be an especially different change from what they're used to, but it'll be great. :) Elder Brandolino and I have to be especially good examples of what good missionaries are since we're in the Zone Leader position. I've been enjoying that so much. And I know Elder Brandolino has been too. We go and make visits to all our districts and check up on them a couple times a week. Make sure they're doing good and what not, which is great. We also have to interview the District Leaders in every district under us and report on concerns or whatever else to Johnson Kaicho. We're the Branch Presidency's eyes and ears on the ground as Johnson Kaicho says. All the missionaries look up to us and come to us with questions and concerns all the time. I'm glad they feel comfortable enough with us to come to us with those things. And I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to be in this position to serve. :) I am Zone Leader over five districts, for a total of about 60-70 missionaries. There are three Japanese branches, so I'm not over every Japanese missionary. And Whitney is not under my jurisdiction, but that's ok. I see her ALL the time. It's crazy! She is in the classroom right next to one of our Senpai districts, so whenever I go visit them I usually see Whitney. She seems to be really enjoying the MTC and I'm sure the language is coming very easily to her, we all know how much of a genius she is. I took a couple pictures with her and I'll send them your way with my card next week. I also have bumped into Curtis a few times, and he rooms in the building right across from mine! So I'm going to go make sure I get some pictures with him before he leaves!! And some with Xavier as well, that's ICHIBAN TAISETSU! Number one important / most important, getting pictures with those two guys before they leave....before me...after they got here after me... ;) Haha! We all get a good laugh about that. I also took pictures with my two Senseitachi, so you can see who my two newest heroes are. They are the sweetest guys, and both have changed me forever for the better. Cook Sensei had a birthday this week which we celebrated last week since he went out of town this week. And Gregory Sensei has a birthday next week which we celebrated last night because he will be leaving town. We got them cards, and some MoTab CD's, and lots of food, and other sweet stuff like that. We waited till they left and set up real fast and had a surprise party for them. :) We sang Happy Birthday, Nihongo obviously, ;) And opened presents which was fun. We love them so much. :) And I'm really wanting to stay in touch with them, and they want to do the same.

Thanks for the Trek pictures and what not, I'm sure everyone had a great time, and I bet everyone was glad for the shade!! :) I wish I could've gone again with them, I LOVED trek, and I bet they loved it again this time too. :) Glad to hear that Mom was fine with the food situation! Everyone loves the food you prepare, doesn't matter how you do it, it's just always magical. ;) I talk about your food all the time with the guys here and how much better it is than the cafeteria food. Forrester even backed me up on that. ;) So they all want your food now. :) Guess we'll have to have a big party at our place in a few years. ;) Haha!!
Have I told you guys about TRC? I think I have. On p-day we go to the biggest building on campus, 18M, and we teach people that volunteer to come in, entirely in Japanese. So it's like first contacting people, and then sharing a message with them. It's a TON of fun. Anyways, this week we had a special TRC planned, via Skype. :D We were able to Skype to members in Japan and talk with them and teach them instead of American volunteers!!! :D :D That was incredible. Brandolino and I talked to an elderly woman named Ikeda San, and she lives in Tokyo. We had a great time talking to her and we left her with a message about prayer. It was really just the sweetest experience. I felt so good about it too! Even through Skype I could feel the Spirit and I was able to understand basically everything she said to me, and I could find things to say back. It was really SUPER COOL! Makes me all the more excited to get to Japan and teach my Nihonjin! Japanese people, ;) We get Japanese missionaries that come here for a week and a half every 3 weeks to get some training before they go back to teach in Japan. Talking with them is ALWAYS fun. Plus every time we see them we're like, "Those are ours!!!" It's great. :) So getting to Skype with Ikeda San was super special. :) I feel so much love for the people of Japan already, and I pray for them every night.

  About winter gear, I would LOVE to get whatever I could before I left for Japan... I can't get anything there that will really fit, and it'd just be easier to have now. I need some thermal stuff, underarmor or whatever you can find. I don't really know what else I need, but if you can find anything send it to me in the next week or so. Japan is much better about mail than Chile, that's the advantage of first world countries, but it'll still take some time, and I'm going to be getting there right when it starts getting cold. Plus if I'm not in the city, but I go somewhere else on the island, it'll be even more important to have that stuff so I don't die when I get there. Be sure to let me know what kind of winter gear things you might be planning on getting. :)  And I'm not sure when I'll be leaving and when I'll arrive in Japan. I don't get my travel plans until later this week sometime, so I can't give you a definite answer as of right now. My address says the 6th of August, but that's SO subject to change. It likely will be 5th I think. But, who knows. I don't know if I'd suggest you change your plans to accommodate the 5th if it really is the 6th, so just stay with what you have until I can tell you for certain, and hopefully that'll be enough time to change if you really want to or need to. I'll let you all know as soon as possible! Thanks so much for everything you guys do for me. :) It means the world to me. Thanks so much for the blanket by the way, that's very nice to have at night. ;) You sent me Josh's though, not mine. ;) DEMO! Daishobu desu. :) But, it's fine. I won't be able to check my email once I send this email till next Saturday, so have Megan send me a detailed email all about whatever it is she has to say, and have her write a letter maybe just kind of briefly describing it. I can't wait till next Saturday! Love you Megan. ;)
 That's all I have! Thanks again, I love you all so so very much. :) I can't wait to tell you all about my adventures!

 Kokoro kara, aibukai, aishiteimasu! From the Heart, Full of Love, I Love you!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

MTC week #6

Saturday, July 13, 2012

This week has been awesome! We have had TONS of fun, and we're all doing really well. We're all finally healthy and feeling good and that's great. :) This week has been a lot more of the same, which isn't a bad thing. :) We learn lots about our purpose as missionaries, ways we can effectively teach, and how to rely on the Spirit. As well as some Japanese thrown in here and there. ;) That's the coolest thing about the language learning, we don't hardly ever have formal instruction about it, we just use it. And it sticks. It's really quite a miracle. In fact half this week we ran out of time doing ecclesiastical study so we just axed language study during class time, it's nuts! The gift of tongues is a very real thing, that I know. I think sometimes about what I'm saying in english throughout the day and I realize that I can say a LOT of that in Japanese, just not as fast as in english yet. :P I really cannot wait to show you guys all my mad skillz. ;) I'm not that great, but it's coming, which is amazing to me. Everyone in my district as well is doing well with the Nihongo ( Japanese ;)) The goal is to use our mission language as much as possible throughout the day, in and out of class. It's called SYL, speak your language. And as a district we're able to help each other do that as much as possible. It's hard, but like with anything practice makes it much better.
   I'm glad to hear that everyone has been doing great. :) Except poor Christa who broke her finger!! :( BUAHAHA! I couldn't help but laugh at her sitting in the ER bed giving me a mild duck face and waving her wrapped arm, Lol! She's the best. :) I hope she heals quickly. I'm sure she will though, she's a youngin! Have you guys gut any plans for the rest of this summer aside from trek? Been doing any riding at all? That's what I want to do so badly! I was walking back from the temple 2 weeks about and walked past a beautiful Yamaha R1, I died a little. ;) It says specifically in the handbook that I can't ride motorcycles so...shucks. :) I hope everyone is having a ton of fun, and that you're all enjoying your free time, except Dad of course. ;) Muahaha!
    I loved the pictures of the kittens. Brando and I were like.... O_O :D :') THEY"RE SO CUTE! And now we're saying we need a branch mascot, some kittens or a dog or something. That'd be great. ;) I wanna snuggle with them so badly! They're so fluffy! I particularly like the orange one, it seems legit. I love how one is dark and striped, one is orange and striped, and then the third is like a fusion of the other two, it's a funky looking kitten! But uber cute non the less. :) I'm glad you guys enjoyed my pictures, I've got a bunch more that I'll send out right before I leave the MTC. I've captured more pricelss moments. :) Gotta love that. We've become so close, all of us are brothers at this point, and it's amazing.
   Thank you so much for the package by the way. Had a ton of stuff that I needed. Thank you so much! I love the goodies as well, we're always in need of snackage at night before bed. And the Shout stuff Momma, took that blue stain RIGHT OUT of my shirt, SO EASILY. It was deserving of a mighty Yoshi, and so we gave it one. :P Yoshi is now accompanied with a finger snap. Not a regular snap, but a cool flip the hand snap. I'm sure Dad knows what I'm talking about. It's basically an unspoken rule that as a missionary you have to be able to do that, it's just a requirement. :P It's fun. I'll be sure to let you guys know what else I need in the next week or so too if I can think of anything. Thank you so much! The blanket Grandma gave me is fine, I just would like one. :P I'm just using a thin sheet at night as a blanket.
   Mom, I haven't been in contact with Nathan or Adam. I've heard nothing from Nathan, and I got one quick email from Adam about a week after I got here saying he's sorry for not writing. I wrote him back but he hasn't responded. I realize he's busy, but I'd love to hear from him nonetheless. :) I don't get his weekly emails either. So if you guys could forward those to me that'd be awesome! I wanna hear all about his wondrous exploits and adventures in Chile!
  I'm sure you guys heard, but Forrester has been reassigned to the Kansas Witchita mission pending his visa. He's really excited about that though because he says he gets to serve two missions now, and it's right near where his brother served so I'm sure he'll be just fine. :) As for Japanese missionaries, visas are not a problem. I have never heard of a delayed visa to Japan, and the Dai Senpai that leave every three weeks are always out of here without a hitch, so I'm sure it'll be the same for me. :) Our Dai Senpai, those that have been here longest, leave this Monday. They're all SUPER excited, and once they leave I'll be a Dai Senpai, meaning I'll be the most veteran Japanese missionary at the MTC. It's kinda crazy actually. I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around that fact. I leave in about 3 weeks, and I've been here longer than the other Japanese missionaries, it's crazy. The Dai Senpai are really looked up to as examples of good missionaries and good Nihongo, so I better make sure I'm living up to that! I'm so excited to get out of here. :) At about the 4 week mark I was like, OK! Let's go! I can survive! But alas, I must yet wait. But that's ok, can't complain about more practice. :) I'm really excited to be officially a Dai Senpai.
    In light of that, I have some sad news. I was released as district leader a week early. I was so bummed! I was like :( Nooooez!! Why!!!! But then I found out why. Since the Dai Senpai are leaving, and the Zone Leaders are always Dai Senpai, Johnson Kaicho, our branch president, felt inspired to call Brandolino Choro and I to be the next Zone Leaders! :D Yoshi! ;) So really this is awesome news. And I can tell you right now that I LOVE IT! I was so happy to be able to help my district, but now I'm able to do that for my ENTIRE Zone! :D I feel so honored that I get to serve in this capacity, even if it is just in the MTC. We have six districts in our zone. And this week we've been getting to know them all and been providing service for them and making sure that they're feeling loved and right at home here at the MTC. It was pretty funny actually how Johnson Kaicho called us. I was walking to branch council last Sunday, and he stopped me and said, "Elder, I need to have a word with you." All serious like. I was thinking, "Oh crap, what did I do? Am I in trouble??" I was freaking out. He told me to grab my companion so I got Brandolino, who's freaking out now too, and he walks us to somewhere quiet and then tells us the news. It was funny, and really scary. :P I cannot wait to be able to serve my Zone like I was able to serve my district! It's a lot more work than I 've had to do thus far, but I'm ready, willing, and able to serve. :)
   Just yesterday we Brando, Strachan, and myself had what you might call an "adventure". ;) Really it was us being hyper and silly, but an adventure we had nonetheless!! In the Lair, that I've mentioned earlier, there is a corner sealed off with some junk behind it. It used to be the bookstore, but now it's empty and like in mid construction. Anyways, there are these huge empty shelves that we were looking at. We were tired, and thus hyper, so we decided to lay down on these shelves one above the other. We snapped some glorious photos ;) And then hopped down. But we realized that these shelves, weren't blocked, and they went past the barricades. So naturally we get back on them and then slide our way past the barricade to find a HORDE of desks. TONS of desks, all stacked on top of each other. So of course, as is only logical, we decide to crawl under them to the other side fo the room. All the while we're giggling and cracking jokes, and it's GREAT! We make it across, only to find some tables and more desks. We get back under the desks and decide to race to the other side of this corner that we hadn't been to yet, Strachan won. ;) On the other side we found some podium like things, that were hollow, so Strachan and I took more pictures. By now we're way far away from our exit, so we started figuring out how to plan our escape. We saw the shelves came all the way to where we were, so we were like hah! We'll just crawl our way out. And we did. And it was glorious! Along the way we found a WHOLE single starburst ;) Which we split three ways. Once we got out we were all sore from laughing so much and we just hugged each other. It was quite the stress relieving experience I'll have you know. :) Just thought I'd share. ;)
    And also!! On Wednesday morning, I ran into someone I thought I'd never see. CURTIS!!! :D I've been looking for him for forever and FINALLY we found each other! He tapped me on the shoulder, I turned around, couldn't believe who was standing in front of me, and then we had the most epic hug that has ever been had. :) It was amazing. We talked for a bit about the MTC and what not, and I found out he lives in the building JUST ACROSS from mine! Who'da thunk! :D We were so happy and I cannot wait to go hang out sometime with him when the day is over. I can't for the life of me remember where he's going though. :P If you know tell me! ;)
        Anyways, I love you all and I miss you all dearly. :) LOVE LOVE LOVE!!


Saturday, July 6, 2013

MTC pictures

Mike and Forrester

Mike's District

Mike and Elder Strachan

Mike and Elder Brandolino (companion)

MTC week #5

Saturday, July 6, 2012

Hey Family!!!
      How's everyone doing? :) I'm glad to hear that you are all getting over sicknesses, that's rough. We have LOTS of that here at the MTC, but we're all doing better now at least in my district.
Glad to hear you got the photos alright. :) Those are some GREAT memories, and I've got more to send soon. Elder White is the bigger guy, he's from Pesan, Utah, his companion is Elder Strachan (pronounced Straughn), he's from Toronto, Canada. He has blonde hair, blue eyes, very white skin. ;) Elder Goddard is the half Japanese guy, he's from LA, his companion is Elder Shoell, who's the 6'7" guy with the creeper pictures. :P He's really a HILARIOUS guy, and SUPER sensitive to the spirit and has lots of insights and profound things to say. But that's his personality in regards to photos, he just puts on these weird, often creepy faces, and will NEVER take a serious picture, I love him to death. :) And my companion is the shortest guy in our district, black hair, bulging muscles, LOL! I love them all dearly. :) You'll have to tell me what your favorite pictures were. :) We have some great times and I was able to capture some pretty subarashi moments. :)
     I can't believe it's already been four and a half weeks since I reported... time is flying by. Yesterday, the 5th, was our one month anniversary, so we went and got some book marks for all our Shimaitachi and we told them all things we appreciated about them and how they strengthened our district, to celebrate our anniversary and how much we've learned and how much we've grown. It was great. :) I honestly cannot wait to get to Japan at this moment. The MTC is great and all, but I just want to go! I feel like I know enough Japanese to be able to survive, and be able to continue learning there, but we have to wait for almost 5 more weeks still!! We're here longer than any other missionaries, aside from the Chinese and Russian speakers, they're here just as long as we are. We're a very select few though that spend so much time here! It's good though, we get LOTS of time to learn and really master not just as much of the language we know, but also as much of the doctrine and the other missionary concepts we learn here. It's alright, by the time I get to go to Japan I'm going to be fluent! ;) Lol! I wish, but it'll be great! I've been talking to Jake and he comes home in FIVE WEEKS! HOLY COW! Those two years flew by it feels like now... Makes me really hope my mission doesn't fly by so fast, I want to enjoy it for as long as I possibly can! I'm loving being a missionary, and Japanese as I ALWAYS say, is so stinking cool. I can't wait till I can talk to you all and show you my mad skills. By the time I do get to call home on Christmas I'll practically be fluent! One can hope anyways. ;) Assuming I get to call home on Christmas. It isn't really a thing in Japan seeing as how they're historically not Christian. :P
    About the temple, we're all super bummed that it's closed for renovations, but we're not so bummed that we get almost 4 extra hours of p-day to spend how we like. ;) I get extra time to write and read, and maybe take a quick nap. ;) We'll see what happens. And I'll do my best to not get food poisoning, all though it's hard around these parts. Count your blessings that you all get Mom's cooking! I SORELY miss it! :)
    By the way Momma, if I don't get some pictures of those kittens, I'm going to be deeply upset! We all want like a Branch 68B Mascot, a dog or a cat or something, just so we could have an animal. ;) I miss my fluffly feline friends so much! OH! One thing I've noticed about the campus, is that we have NO squirrells, none, ever, ANYWHERE. It blows my mind. But you want to know what we do have? Birds. EVERYWHERE. And they act JUST like squirrells would! They're not afraid of people, they just walk around on the ground instead of flying, (more like hopping, and it's adorable :)) They're these little like 3-4 inch tall birds and they just hop around, and sing for us, and it's awesome. I love walking down a pathway and hearing all these birds singing and skittering about, it's awesome. I'll get a photo of one and send it to you so you can witness the adorableness, and I may or may not have fed them once or twice, or every meal outside. ;) Haha!
    So we had a very exciting day for the 4th. It wasn't anything special or different until around 7:30. We had a special program that started at eight o'clock and we listened to some brief talks, and then we got to watch 17 Miracles, WOOT! None of the guys in my district had seen it, but I had, so I was super excited, and they all thought it was really cool. After the film we got to go outside and watch the Stadium of Fire firework show from wherever we could find a good spot within the fenced part of the MTC. So there was really hardly any good spots to watch the fireworks, but we found a decent spot where we could see past the trees and the show was amazing. We were standing watching fireworks for almost an hour, and it was great. Lots of singing was to be had, and ice cream. ;) Although I didn't really have much. We were able to stay up till 11:30 because of the firework show, which was crazy. We thought it was really funny how we were SO excited to get to stay up till 11:30, lol! Only a missionary is so excited for the little things like that. Laundry is so much fun, and getting a sack breakfast and eating somewhere outside with the disctrict is something we all look forward to every week now, and getting to stay up a whole hour longer is so mind blowing to us, it's hilarious! But to sum up our 4th, it was QUITE fun. :)
   We have found a new place on campus that we absolutely love. It's BOILING LAVA HOT here on campus everyday, and we're always just dying. And of course we can't cool down our class room anymore because our poor Shimaitachi get cold, >.> Bless their hearts. ;) So we Chorotachi have found a bottom floor of a building on campus that we go to for all our study time now basically because it's a solid 60-64 degrees down there at ALL times, and no one knows it exists it feels like. So it's very quiet and peaceful, and we get to feel some real AC. :) Our room in the residence is just as bad, it's SO hot, and we don't have a window that can open. >.> And we have no control over the ac or anything, it's rough. But oh well, what do ya do. This basement floor that we've discovered though is great, some of our greatest times are had down there. The non spiritual highlight of this week took place down there.
There is a lab on this basement floor, and we've dubbed it the Super Secret Awesome Lab of Chill, because it's so cold down there and we love it. And in an anjoining room is the Lair. We go in there for some study time if we're not using computers and we pretend we're a crime family. ;) Nothing crazy, we mostly just talk in hilarious accents ranging from italian,to indian, to japanese. :P It's great. Elder Strachan is the Boss, I'm his right hand man, Elder Brandolino is the sociopathic hitman, and the Elder White is the "comedic relief". Mostly because we just tease him about his HORRENDOUS gas. ;) In the Lair a few days ago we were just talking in all our different accents, and I pretended to shoot the Boss, right? Well he says, "I feel no pain." in his hilarious italian accent. I then said, "Doesn't matter, you can still be killed." And then he says, "Well then, to quote the words of the Great Pat Benetar, hit me with your best shot." We all just started busting a gut, and I'm sure everyone on the second floor was like, what the heck? :D It was great. I love these guys, gotta love mah new bros. We are just getting SO unbelievably close, and I love it.
   Last night we had a huge lightning and thunder storm, and it was just a downpour. So naturally we go outside to hang out in the rain for a bit, which was great. After we got back to our residence for the night the rain had slowed down to a sprinkle, and we just went for a walk outside in our casual clothes barefoot and played in some puddles and what not. ;) We get so much done, and we all build each other up spiritually, but we also just have so much fun together, I love it.
    Also something fun that I think you guys would like to know, is that I'm the Mayor. I've mentioned it before, that my nickname in the district is, The Mayor. I'm still not sure why, but it's stuck and it's a ton of fun. :) But often times when we have some time to kill, they make me go up and give impromptu speeches about just random stuff, and they LOVE IT! It's great, and I make everyone laugh, and my "campaign slogan" now is, Sounds Good to Me. :P They all crack me up! My favorite speech I've given though is one where I related going to the gym, to going to class. I thought it was quite ingenious. Elder Strachan asked me to talk about going to the gym to workout, and so I talked about it, and pain, and what not. But then I turned it into a testimony of how we come to class and experience the same frustrations, and pain, and mental sweat, and that through that, our spiritual muscles can eventually go on and on. ;) It was great, they were like, "Only the Mayor can turn a speech about the gym into a testimony about how if we work hard we can accomplish much!" Made me laugh :) Plus I like the attention ;) I tease I tease!
   Anyways, I just want to say how much I love you guys, and how much I love my Savior. This is trully an amazing work and I feel so blessed to be here and a part of it at such an incredible time. The work is accelerating, and there now is a greater need for missionary work than there has been ever before. Japan doesn't know what's going to hit it :) And I cannot wait to go serve the Japanese people and help them come unto Christ. I love so much everyone that I'm working with, and I know that we can accomplish great things. And I know that if we have the faith to rely on the Spirit and the Lord's Helping Hand, we can accomplish all that he needs us to in Japan. I love this work, I love this language, and I love these people. Thank you all for being so supportive of my decision to come on a mission. I can't wait to get in the field and tell you all about my wonderful exploits! Can't wait to hear from you again!
       Watashi wa kokora kara ai shiteimasu.
P.S. Josh asked me to tell him some things he can say in Japanese, I'll write him some other phrases he can use, but would you tell him now that he can say Yoshi? It's pronounced, [yohsh] The I is silent, so to speak. It is used as like a simple phrase to mean that something is good, or that something cool just happened, or that something is cool. Like how we say epic or legendary about certain things, you would say yoshi in Japanese. :) It's like our favorite word now. Someone says a really complex sentence in Japanese, Yoshi!! Someone shares a really cool spiritual insight, Yoshi. Someone gets a package, Yoshi! It's a fun word. :) Thanks!
P.P.S. Also, I thought I mentioned it, but I guess I didn't. I LOVE the best two years photo you guys did for me. ;) It's hanging up in our room, and it's EPIC! Makes us all giggle. We flip it around to show to First Presidency when someone from our Branch Presidency comes to visit our room.

MTC week #4

Saturday, June 29, 2012

       I got my birthday package on the 26th, but I couldn't pick it up till the 27th. The mail lady said happy birthday to me and I was like, "What? Is this my package?" I had TOTALLY forgotten about my half birthday! LOL! I'm just so sucked up in the Lord's work here, it's crazy! I got the other package as well with my leatherman and maps and pictures, and my EPIC SLC 2013 SX shirt, that I'm wearing right now btw. ;) Respect! :) Thank you so much for everything. I'm dying to dig into the chips and queso tonight....OHHH man I'm so excited. Here at the MTC you get way excited for the little things. Like this morning I was SO excited to go do laundry. :P Haha!! Crazy right? I was like yeah!!! Laundry time!! WOO! Brando felt the same way. :) Err, Elder Brandolino, excuse me. ;) Anything to add some varitey to our schedules we get super excited about. And p-day eve's are almost better than p-day, just because of the excitement for pday, it's funny. :) We all go around wishing each other happy p-day eve, it's great!
      OH! I found some computers here with built in card readers!! So I'll try and send some pictures tonight, if they even work, which I know some of them don't. >.> I'll still send my sd card. There's a few pictures on it. All the other SD cards work, so we're in business there,. :)
        It kils me, when you're talking about all this lasagna, and all this potato salad, and what not. I want good food so badly! The temple food is amazing, but I can't have that anymore after today, I"ll explain why in a second. The food here is mediocre tasting at best, but what makes it so bad, is that we're all so scared of it. Meat is RARELY cooked enough, dishes and sliverware are never really that clean, and the cafeteria is just kinda gross in general. It's nuts. I cannot WAIT to get to Japan and eat all their good stuff...I'm tired of eating here. :P
      About the temple, today is our last temple day for the duration of my MTC experience. It's being closed after today for rennovations, or cleaning, or something, similar to the Boise Temple, and it won't be open again till long after we leave the MTC. So today is my last day at the temple for 2 years... O_O Oh man... I'm not looking forward to that! It'll be alright though, I'll be in Japan serving the Lord and preaching the word. :)
    Speaking about the temple, I just got out of the temple. :) I am writing this in different parts of the day ;) It was fantastic. Went and did initiatories and that was great. I love those promises, pretty powerful stuff.
    Being district leader is kinda crazy, but cool. I have to conduct senior companion interviews and report everything we do basically back to the Branch President. It's a sweet responsibility, and I'm learning a lot about serving people. I've been able to help solve conflicts and help support my fellow missionaries and it's phenominal. I love the revelation I get that specifically helps my district, it's incredible. It's amazing that God cares enough to give me, a pretty non special guy, revelation and direction in all the things I do, as well as revelation that can help those around me. It's just such a testimony to me. Just last night I was talking to one of the senior companions in my disctrict, one of the Elders, and he and his companion have been butting heads a bit the past week and there are some issues there that they need to work through. And as he was talking to me he was saying all these things that he didn't like about his comp and all these things that he doesn't do right, and that he's frustrated by. And I'm listening and offering my input when I get a chance, and all of a sudden out of nowhere, this simple thought pops into my head. And I know it wasn't my thought, but was a prompting from the Spirit to aid me in my calling as District Leader. I challenged this Elder then, as I was directed by the Spirit, to look for the good in his companion, and to focus on those things that he can learn from him. I told him how we're assigned to our companions through inspiriation and that there is something we can learn and become better at through our companions, and I encouraged him to find those things in his companion. It was just so amazing to me, the Spirit is so incredible, and the help it brings works mighty miracles. I get to go to a bunch of meetings though tomorrow because I'm district leader, HAHA! Darn responsibility! ;) I was kinda not wanting to be district leader in the beginning, but I'm so grateful this calling is mine for a few weeks. It is blessing me and through it I'm able to bless my district.
    Elder Brandolino and I are like best friends at this point. Of ALL the companionships in my district, we're the closest. I was kinda worried at first when I met him, because we were quite different, but we have gotten so close, especially this last week. We work really well together, and we see eye to eye on a lot of things and we are just so united in every decision we make, usually. ;) Those times when we aren't it's no big deal, and we find compromises that both of us like so easily. I'm SO SO SO blessed to be with Elder Brandolino. I love him dearly and I'm so glad that I have him for my MTC experience. I was really hoping and praying that I'd get a comp that I'd have no problems with, and the Lord blessed me with him, Huzzah! :) We're always walking around and laughing and learning and having good days everyday, I'm so happy that he's my comp.
  So one big thing that's happened, is that Elder Brandolino, Elder Strachan and I, have started a work out routine. Weights, cardio, all the works. It's going great, We started the end of last week and we're going strong. Brandolino is a freakin champ, the man is a MONSTER in the gym, holy cow. It's sweet that we're all working together to stay in shape/get in better shape. We have our schedule taped to our door so we see it everyday, and all of our committments as well. Things like eating only one dessert a day, eating less, eating better, it's good stuff. And we all keep each other on it which is great. :) The eating committements aren't that hard for me, seeing as how I'm scared of going to meals at this point. ;) Our goal is to be "jacked" by the end of our MTC stay, as Elder Strachan says. Lol, Canadians, what can I say? ;) Haha! It's been fun, I'm feeling great, in a painful kinda sore way, you understand. ;)
  One last thing, you asked about Elder White. He and I were on splits together when I gave him his letter, (splits that I authorized, hoorah DL ;)) And he was SO STOKED. Told me how that was an answer to his prayer and that he was so happy that he got a letter. We kinda teased him afterward about it being from my sister and what not, but it was good. :) Made his day, he's been doing a lot better since. We did write him letters and what not, and we non chalantly pass them out with the mail, that I also get, hoorah DL >.> ;) He also for whatever reason doesn't get any money on Wednesdays like we do, so he has no cash to do anything with, laundry, nothing. And from his meager funds he laminated some sweet pictures that he drew of Brandolino and I, so we went and put a ten dollar bill on his bed when he was out and didn't tell him we gave it to him. Made his day today. :) He's really a cool guy. 
    By the way, can you guys pray for Mikey to get his visa soon? He's hoping he gets it this week, and he wants SO BADLY to go to Argentina. Thanks. :)

   I've also been writing Grandma Lyn regularly, I'm happy to hear from her often. She cut out a newspaper clipping of the broadcast for me to put in my journal, which was awesome. :)
      Anyways, I've got nothing left to say. ;) I'm loving the life, I'm loving my bros, and I love being a missionary. Looking down and seeing my tag is just the greatest feeling. I'm looking forward to another great week and I cannot wait to hear from everyone. :) I love you all!!

      Dialogue Choro

MTC week #3

Saturday, June 22, 2012

First things first! I got the pictures!! Showed them to my comp, we both laughed. :D I wrote you a birthday letter, so I'm hoping you get it soon. I also requested a few other things as well in that letter for you to send me so you can send my leather man with those. I'm glad you had a mostly good birthday. :) I was thinking about praying about you all day! I was sending the best vibes I could your way. :) I miss you very much, the whole family too. I would love to get letters by the way, I don't have ANY time to email it feels like, and I have time to write EVERY night so I do that then. So I'd love some letters. I don't have enough time to email everyone, not to the extent I'd like to email them, ya know? I have gotten a letter from Ben, which made me smile. :) And a letter from my friend Daniel in Alabama. I was very happy to hear from them both. Other than that I've been getting NO mail! :( ;) It's fine! Lol! Elder White in my district has gotten NO mail at all yet, and he's down about it, so we're going to write him letters and tell him how jmuch we love him and all that good stuff, support him ya know? It's amazing how close we've grown together already. It's C RAZY! We're all best friends, not doubt about that, and we love each other so much, we tell each other that all day. The sisters as well are in on this, we're one big family and it's the greatest thing. I'm going to miss them SO MUCH! Hopefully we'll be serving in the same areas occaisonally in our missions so I can at least see them at conferences and what not. :D That'd be EPIC! Maybe even comps with them! :D ;) probably not, but that'd be sweet!! I miss Keoni too by the way, I was getting ready to come beat him up for not writing me, so I'm glad to hear that he did. ;) And my roomies are all the best, no immature ones here. We're the best freakin district in the MTC!! Hoorah! I couldn't have been put with a better group of guys.
   I know I say this a lot, but Japanese is basically the best thing on this Earth. I LOVE IT!! I wish so badly I could show you guys mah mad skillz!! I can call you from the airport though when I'm flying out, so I guess I can show ya then a little bit. :) By the way! About my visa! My first week here I filled out a visa application, so everything should be in order. I'm really not homesick at all. I mean I miss you guys, but it's nothing I can't handle. You know what I do really miss? Google. Google is amazing, and I can't use it. >.<
   Our first day here a sister missionary told us that the first half a week DRAGS on and on and on and on and on, but when you get to that Sunday, it's amazing, and then the time FLIES by. And that is so true! The first half a week was crazy, but Sunday came, our collective mind was blown, and now we're 2.5 weeks in. It's nuts.
   I've seen Xavier every day since Thursday. When I saw him first in the cafeteria he was like, "Elder Dialogue!" I was like, "I know that voice!" I turn around and there he is running to me, and then I'm running to him! Like the skipping through the field of flowers movie scene into an embrace? That's basically how it went, it was glorious. He's loving spanish, Japanese is better though. ;) It's really funny because everytime someone who is giving devotional mentions a hard language, they also use Japanese as the example, and we're like, yup...RESPECT!! ;) It's great. We even have the same pday! Xavier and I. We were hanging out doing laundry together, great times. :D
   I'm going to try and send all my pictures, I don't have time to explain them all, so you can zoom in on the pictures and pick out names. ;) Muahaha! I'll write later who is who if you guys need me to! I love you so much Mother! Have a marvelous time! I'll see you soon. :)
     Ai shite imasu!

By the way, I have more to tell you! I'm officially in the choir for this Sunday, so I'll be singing at the live broadcast for the First Presidency and all the general authorities that will be there. :D :D :D Isn't that so stinking awesome!! We're singing rearranged versions of Called to Serve and Hark All Ye Nations. I'm singing bass with the other guys even though I could do tenor. It's a ton of fun, and I"m so glad we get to do it. :) That's going to be such a sweet experience. We also go to the temple every pday, and so we were going to go do an endownment session, but we were waiting for our しまいたち (sisters) and we decided to go down and observe some baptisms. We for whatever reason aren't allowed to baptize in the temple, I've no idea why, I'm going to check why tomorrow with Johnson かいちょ (president), my branch president, and find out why. So we were just observing them and a temple worker came up and asked us if we'd like to be witnesses. So naturally Brandolino and I jump up and volunteer. He takes us back and we change into some white suits and we start witnessing. And it was PHENOMINAL!! It was just so cool. :) I dunno, Spirit was strong. But what was amazing, and what blew our minds, was that we were able to confirm for the dead also. :D :D That was AMAZING! I felt so good and it was so powerful to do that. I was just stunned, today has been better than words can describe. It's what we'd use すぶらし (suburashi) in Japanese to describe this. It just means fantastical amazing mind blowing eeking of pure awesomeness, super strong word to describe things that were just amazing. So that was fantastic.
    I was also talking to a しまい(sister) and she noticed my name was Dialogue, and she said wouldn't it be funny if instead of writing my name in Katakana on my in field name tag, they just used the kanji for conversation! I was like, that'd be hilarious!!! Let me explain, Katakana is used to write foreign words that have translated into Japanese, for instance, Jesus Christ is: イエスキリストThat's in Katakana, original japanese words are in Hirigana, so Jesus Christ would look like: いえすきりすと But Jesus Christ is a foreign name, so Katakana is used. Since the non native japanese missionaries are foreign their names are written in Katakana, so my name will look something like: ダイアログ But since my name is Dialogue, it'd be funny if they used the kanji for conversation instead. I can't type that here, but Kanji are the super complex characters. So I thought that was funny. :) Katakana and Hiragana are simplified forms of Kanji, and a knowledge of all three is required to be a fluent Japanese reader and writer. It's pretty intense. :) I can read my Book of Mormon in Japanese though. :D It's written in all three forms, but the kanji is broken down into hiragana, so we can read it!! I read it every night before bed to practice. I can't understand much of what I read, just because I need more vocab, but I can still read it! So hah!! :) As I'm sure you know, and I know I've said this lots too, but Japanese is the coolest language. Writing in characters is SO fun, and reading it is awesome. It looks so cryptic to those who can't read it, and it's awesome being like, oh yeah, 私わのイエスキリストおすくいぬしです means Jesus Christ is my Savior. It's just fantastic. :) I'm not sure if I mentioned it or not, but I'm the district leader now for the next few weeks. :) I was called last night. Anywhos, I love you Momma!! 

MTC week #2

Saturday, June 15, 2012

Hiyo Momma!!
  I'm sending letters in the mail whenever I get them done, so expect stuff just randomly throughout the week. Umm, scrictpure wise for Brother Blake, I have no clue, umm... give him the one in Doctrine and Covenants in section 122, verse 7 I think. The one that says that if even the very gates of hell shall open their mouth after thee, know that it shall be for they good, and yada yada. I don't have it memorzied. :P I absolutely LOVE that scripture. It makes me feel so good.
      And I actually run into Forrester a lot! Way more than you'd think, I usually see him at least once a day and we stop and chat for a few minutes. It's super cool :) I don't know anyone else here, but stinking Elder Shoell knows like half the MTC it feels like! He's ALWAYS stopping and hugging someone or saying hi to someone, it's crazy. We're like, "you're so dang popular Shoell Choro!!"
     A normal day for me is breakfast at 6:45, personal study time from 7:15 to 8:10, class from then till lunch at 11:10, then the next few hours till dinner consist of gym or personal excersise time, additional study time, and other random things. Then after dinner it's more class time at 5-8, which is usually us teaching "investigators". We aren't teaching actual investigators, we're teaching some teachers that are playing the role of investigator. They play the role of someone they taught in Japan, and it's CRAZY serious. You get so into it that you forget entirely that we're roleplaying, it's crazy. And they know these investigators so well that they can very accurately play them. It's really quite a sweet experience. The biggest thing I've learned from doing them is that we need to have love for our investigators. Without love we aren't going to be able to have the Spirit there helping us, and that is the single most important thing to have, the Spirit. The MTC is really quite amazing. There is always a Spirit here, anywhere you go, and it's awesome being able to see thousands of missionaries here doing the same thing I'm doing everyday, it's such a powerful testimony to me of the marvelous work we're here to do.
    You asked how the class instruction is, which is spiritual, which is language. Well, it's both, at the same time. Often we talk about spiritual things and what we can do to help our investigators, all in japanese during class time. It's quite epic, if I do say so myself. Sometimes though during classes in the evening if we're not teaching we'll have just language study, but it's usually combined. It's the weirdest way to teach a language, but it's really quite effective. I'm learning japanese so fast, it's crazy. I'm talking in it all the time, I'm writing it even now fairly proficiently, and I'm absolutely loving it. I still don't have that large of a vocab yet, but it's coming, and with the Lord's help I know I can get it all down. The language has three alphabets, Katakana, Hiragana, and Kanji. Kanji has like, 50,00 - 80,000 characters in it, so we don't study that one. ;) Hiragana and Katakana only have 71 characters a piece though, so we're memorizing those. I can write in all Hiragana, and I'm still working on Katakana, I can write some stuff in my letters in the characters if you like. :) It's SUPER COOL! And so much fun :D
  Elder Brandolino, my companion, got super sick the beginning of this week. Some kind of strep or something, and he's getting the rest of us sick!! :O Haha, we're doing all we can to stay healthy and stay strong, but we're all getting sniffly noses and what not, yikes!! We went to the doctor and he prescribed some HEAVY DUTY antibiotics, I mean like three days of meds and your better kind of heavy duty. He's only taken one dose and is already feeling tons better, it's epic. :)
   Today we have TRC, which stands for Training Resource Center, I think, and apparently during that time we teach actual people, not our roleplaying teachers, and it's ALL in Japanese.. O_O I'm kinda nervous, we just go in blind and wing everything, no preparation at all. I have no idea what to expect, it'll be our first time doing it.
        I absolutely love my district by the way, they are so cool, all the Shimaitachi, sisters, and all my Chorotachi, elders. We call ourselves District B13, it's a reference to a movie or something, I'm not sure, but Goddard Choro thinks it's awesome. :P Haha!! We all get along so well, and we all love each other to death. It's only been 1 and a half weeks, and we're already SO tightly knit, I love it :) Every morning and night we pray together in Japanese and that's so powerful. :) I love this Elders and Sisters so much, I have the best district, I'm so blessed. :)
  If you have anything else you'd like to know just ask me :D I love you guys so much and I miss you all dearly. :)
      Ai shite imasu!! Watashi no kazoku o ichi ban desu!! (I love you, my family is the best ;))

           Love, Mike

MTC week #1

Saturday, June 8, 2012

My pday is on Saturday, so I get to email and what not today!! Huzzah!  I'm having a blast here at the MTC. It's CRAZY! We're SUPER busy, it's kinda nuts. And learning japanese is crazy cool. The language is awesome and is just plain fun to speak. It's a very fluid language, and I'm getting a lot of help from the spirit. I'm already really proficient at pronunciation and reading romanji. Romanji is the japanese words in english characters, not the japanese characters. We start learning those, hiragana and catagana, next week. Should be awesome! We also taught our first lesson yesterday, entirely in japanese. That was rough. :P We had hardly anything to say it felt like, because of the language barrier, but even though we're still so new to this whole gig I felt confident and good going in, and I was able to understand much of what our "investigator" said. It was really cool. We have another lesson today and boy am I excited, nervous, but excited. Just need to adequatly prepare and go in with faith, and we'll rock his socks off. It's crazy how busy the MTC is, we had 914 other missionaries report the same day as me, which is the most of any reporting day ever in history!! Holy cow!!! It's awesome. :) I'm loving my roomies. You were excited to hear about my new best friend, but I"m going to have five new best friends by the time this is done, and we're all going to Sapporo! Which is sweet :) My instructor is a return missionary from Japan, he can speak english, and he occasionally will say a word or two in Eigo, english, to help us understand the Nihhongo, Japanese. But speaks 95% only Japanese to help us learn lightning fast. And boy are we learning fast. We aren't super good or anything yet, but only 3 days in and we can do ALL the introduction stuff you can think of, say a prayer, and share a testimony. It's really quite amazing how fast we're going. I'm just blown away by the sheer awesome of it all. I am LOVING the japanese language, LOVE LOVE LOVE! It's one thing I look forward to everyday. The whole Japanese missionary community here is super cool as well. We have ranks. ;) The noobies, us, are Ko Hai, the people who have been here for 3 weeks are Senpai, the ones three weeks above them are Dai Senpai, and anyway that's been here for longer than that is Dai Dai Senpai. So the senpai, including the daitachi, are incredible. They seem like they know so much already, but they're still here, it's kinda weird. But cool :) We learn a lot from them, plus we get some good support, which is awesome.
     Every night before we go to bed we have a district prayer, which is super easy because I room with every elder in my district ;) There's only six of us. We're OUTNUMBERED by the shimaitachi, sisters. It's incredible!! There are a ton of sisters, and they have some amazing power, it's quite the experience that we get to share this journey with so many of them. It's very cool :) We are district 12, and we're epic, I have to say. :) Anyways, we have elder district prayer each night, and even though we've only been here for three nights, I already love them all, we're become FAST friends, and it's amazing. We're all enjoying the spirit together, and enjoying the power of being missionaries together. My companion is Elder Brandolino. He's from Murray, Utah. He's a super cool guy. He's got a strong testimony and has some great insights, I've been really trying to listen to his input and try not to just run away with what I think needs to be done, he's a great support and a real blessing. he did a year at The U before coming to the MTC, so he's in a very similar boat as I am. I love the rest of my fellow chorotachi as well, everyone I room with is amazing and has some great insights and I'm learning lots from all of them. Elder Goddard is 24 right now, and he was inactive since he was 16, but events in his life fell just perfectly that he could make his return to the church, and now he's here with us, learning and growing just the same. It's amazing. I'm constantly blown away by the great things that are always happening here.
   I usually write every night before bed, both in my journal and I've already written and sent a letter home. :) My branch president advised us to do that, so I did. So all of you can expect an individual letter when I get your letters. :) They might come at different times though, ;) Just saying. So there is going to be a huge broadcast on the 23rd, not sure if you've heard about that or not, but it's for every member of the church, there's a lot of bustle about it here at the MTC though, something big is going down. But they want a choir of like, 1100 missionaries, and I'm going to be a part of it! :D :D Shoell Choro and I decided to join the choir, and we can do splits so we can go to choir practice together. I'm super excited for that. :) Anyways, I'm running out of time, I'll talk to you all soon! Love Love Love!

Ai shittemasu!!
Dialogue Choro
P.S. Ai shittemasu means I love you, Choro is Elder

P.P.S. It's pronounced I shtay mahs by the way, in case you want to say it ;)