Temple visit

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At the temple

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In my room

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The district

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February 26, 2013 Week 4- the Refiner’s Fire

Companionshappy p day everyone 🙂
This week was definitely a roller coaster ride at the MTC. Hence the title to my email.
I’ll tell you all about my awesome investigators first. Our teacher Brother Brinley dropped the bomb on us last week that we aren’t allowed to take in our Japanese books anymore to our lessons. Which means a lot of thinking on your feet, and thinking how to say the sentences without writing them out. That being said, the first lesson we had without notes was a little hard at first, but I found that when our investigator asked a question about sin and repentance, I could answer it without notes. surprisingly my grammar wasn’t too bad either. But my favorite part about that lesson was bearing testimony of prayer at the end. Everything I said was unrehearsed and from the heart, and I know our investigator felt it. (Corinthians 2:4 all the way) Shimada san is still committed to baptism, and he went to church with his son on Sunday 🙂 we have a lesson with him tomorrow. We had an amazing break through with Hitomi san. She said she felt like God was answering her prayers because her husband asked her if she wanted to go to church on Sunday. That lesson we taught her a little bit about baptism and repentance. She attended church on Sunday and agreed to be baptized on the same day as Shimada, March 2. (side note, both investigators are our teachers here portraying real people that they met while on their mission in Japan.)
I’m glad you got that picture mom! We had TRC on Saturday, which is definitely my favorite part of the week. It’s where members/real investigators volunteer at the MTC for the missionaries to teach them. This week we taught an RM from Fukouka, and the Watanabe Family.They were both such sweet people.
The language is hard, and our teachers have reverted to only speaking in Japanese (for the most part) and I think all of us can feel it. It’s hard to imagine why you have been called to Japan when you don’t understand class, or when a lesson goes wrong, but when you feel the Spirit testify through you, it’s amazing. I’ve already had experiences here where I started saying something to an investigator, and didn’t even know what I said until after I had finished speaking. The Lord really does answer prayers.
Crazy news. This week the church created 58 new missions (i think), bringing the grand total to 405 missions world-wide. That being said, some of these new missions came from old ones being divided, dissolved and reformed entirely. The Tokyo mission was one of them. In July (ish) there will be the Tokyo North mission (which will include part of the currently Sendai mission), and the Tokyo South mission. None of us have any clue whats going to happen when we get out there. Chances are we will be in Japan for a bit before the change happens, and then we will be reassigned to either the North or South mission. It’s a little crazy to think about. Our district was a little upset about it, just thinking that we could all end up in different missions entirely. It’s funny how close we’ve gotten in just 4 weeks.
Whats even weirder to think about is that we will be the head missionaries for the Japanese branch in 13 days. Our “senpai” leave for Japan in 2 weeks, and we’ll be in charge after them. I don’t feel like I’ve been here nearly long enough for that. But at the same time, I do. Days seem like forever, and then before you know it the week is over.
Tuesday and Saturday are my favorite days of the week so far. Tuesday because its p day, and saturday because we get to have TRC.
Congrats on your pageant Lace! I’m so proud of you 🙂 I made everyone look at the pictures that mom sent. Also, you look to grown up. Stop it. not allowed. And I’m sure Carter is definitely going to be taller than me in a year.
OH! I almost forgot. The kids will appreciate this one. So the Japanese have a lot of onomatopoeias that they like to use in sentences. Like “peko peko” is the sound your stomach makes when you are hungry, and “waku waku” is what you say when your excited because your heart is beating fast. So get this. The sound for something that SPARKles is “pika pika” and the sounds that a mouse makes is “chu chu” hence, the pokemon pikachu literally translates to “sparkly mouse”. That definitely made my day when our teacher told us.
I bought a card reader at the Bookstore the other day, so if I get the time when I’m doing laundry I should be able to send some pictures. Sister Reusser has this little red and white sock monkey that we have been putting in all our pictures almost like a where’s waldo type thing. Keep an eye out for him. We are also taking suggestions for a sweet Japanese name for him, since he is still nameless.
This Sunday Sister Harding and I get to teach the Sunday school lesson on having faith in Christ. Which I’m pretty pumped about, since faith is one of my favorite things to talk about 🙂
We also made a paper chain in our residence for how many days until we take off to Japan. (assuming that we all get our visas in time) If everything goes according to plan, we have 34 days left in the MTC. Sometimes it feels like I haven’t been here long at all, and other times it feels like EONS. Especially when the missionaries across the hall that got here two weeks after us are already gone. Go figure.
But other than that, everything is swell 🙂 I’m no longer diseased, haha. Tell Serena congrats on her mission call! That’s awesome 🙂 and tell the kids that I wrote them letters so they all better write me back !
love,
Sister Hunsaker

February 19, 2013 Week 3 Feeling The Spirit

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Sister Hunsaker with Uncle Joe at the MTC drop off

Hello everyone!

It’s  great to hear from you! P day is officially my favorite day of the week. It’s  honestly the best. Especially since we have service on Monday mornings at 6 am.
Some updates from this week:
Dad, the key card thing on my waist is a card to get into all the buildings, and you have to use it for your meals too. basically keep it on you at all times and hope that you dont lose it. otherwise it could be problematic.

Mom, for Relief Society the other day Sister Reeves came and spoke to us! The one that used to be over the Riverside Mission but now she’s in the General Relief Society presidency.

We have gym time 4 times a week in the gym. The other day is “personal exercise” which means basically do a workout in your room because you can’t  use the gym. But the fitness center is great. They have a bunch of workout machines, and then they have televisions that play church movies like the Joseph Smith story or Prophets talks that you get to listen to. But thats all the media you get.

Also, thanks for the Valentine’s Day bouquet! All the elders in my district were jealous. I just told them my family is awesome.

As for our investigators:
We have 2 investigators. One of them is Shimada Yuki. He’s golden. We have taught him two lessons so far. On our second lesson we taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ and he accepted the invitation for baptism. His date is set for March 2nd I believe.

Our other investigator is Nagashimada Hitomi. She’s a lot harder to teach. She’s married to Keita, who is an inactive member of the church. She likes listening to the missionaries, but she isn’t actually one for keeping commitments. It’s hard because she doesn’t want to do anything without her husband. So we can’t really commit her to go to church or anything like that. She wants to be baptized so that her and Keita can go to the temple and be sealed as a family with their daughter Nanaka, but she won’t set a date. She just says… someday. sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooofrustrating sometimes.

(Side note: our investigators are actually our teacher here at the MTC, Brother Brinley and Sister Clark. Both amazing missionaries.)

The language is coming along a lot better. I finally feel like I’m starting to tread water instead of just doggy-paddling along. Late last week I finished memorizing the first vision in Japanese, and in our first lesson with Shimada-san, I was able to tell him about Joseph Smith and recite the first vision to him without notes. The spirit in that room was amazing. I’m here to testify that it definitely doesn’t have a language barrier.
It’s still difficult to learn, but I can bear my testimony without notes now, and form sentences that are pretty basic. Of course I still understand so much more than I speak. But that’s definitely the gift of tongues in action.

Devotionals here are also amazing. The last one we had was on faith and miracles. Something I know has a strong correlation. Since today is Tuesday, we have a devotional tonight that will probably be by someone in the 70, or maybe even the 12 eek! Everyone says the Prophet has to come eventually, just to see how jam packed the mtc is.

Doing laundry honestly takes 3 hours, and you have to be vicious in trying to get washers. I  jumped over a table this morning to get to a washer before someone else. Haha the  joys of p day!

hmmm what else… I’m completely recovered from the cold, but I’m pretty sure one of the elders in our district gave me pink eye. I’ve had to wear glasses the last few days. No swelling or anything, but my eye is super bloodshot. Looks a lot better than yesterday though. The MTC is honestly germ heaven. When we first got here they told us not to shake hands with anyone because of the risk of spreading the flu. It’s like a zombie apocalypse. No joke.

Tell the kodomotachi they better write me back soon. I sent all of them letters. Of course we haven’t got mail for like the last three days, so maybe they wrote me.

I saw Sister Jones again yesterday. She left this morning! how crazy is that! We took a picture together, so I’ll try to send you another email with some pictures in it. Maybe the computers will behave today. We shall see.

There’s also an older Brother and Sister Hunsaker that are Branch Presidents here. I didn’t have the chance to talk to them though.

So any updates from home? anything interesting/exciting going on? Just so you know…. letter are like Christmas around here. just saying. 🙂

So maybe just a little piece of a lesson that we shared the other day on prayer:

Kamisama wa watashitachi no Ten no Otosama desu. Inori ni yotte, Kamisama wa watashitachi o hanashimasu. Kamisama ga inori o kotaemasu da to shitte masu. and… my time is up. I love you all! I can’t  wait to hear from you again 🙂 6 weeks to go!

ai shitemasu,

Sister Hunsaker

P.S. we get new missionaries in the Japanese branch this week. yay!

February 12, 2013 week 2 “what language was that?”

Hey fam bam/ others that I love!Nametag

So Michael McKhann  is going to Scotland speaking mandarin Chinese??? Wow. Did not see that one coming. But it’s crazy the amount of people I’ve run into at the mtc that speak all these weird languages. The other day an Elder said that the mtc is like the tower of Babel because no one can communicate with each other. It’s too true. Speaking of running into people at the mtc, I’ve run into Jessica Noelle Jones a few times since being here, and some old roommates and friends too. And family! There is an Elder Hunsaker here going to Mexico that I met the other day, and there is another blonde Sister Hunsaker here that is going to Korea. Both of them trace their heritage back to Abraham Hunsaker. How awesome is that?

District Missionaries
The mtc just gets  better the longer you’re here, I promise. The Japanese is slowly but surely coming along. We just got a huge influx of missionaries the other day, so now we have a bunch  of German speaking missionaries across the hall from us. Some of them are going to the Alpine mission. You’ll have to tell Gentry Phillips that when he gets here there’s a pretty good chance he’ll have class right next to me. Anyways, the other day I was talking to some of the German sisters and they told me that whenever they freak about because of the language or get overwhelmed, they just walk by/talk to the Japanese sisters, and say at least we aren’t  them. Not quite sure how to take that one. But, I know I’m supposed to be in Japan. So now I just have to work hard. I’m not sure if I told you in my last email about Karen, our investigator. The last lesson we had with her she accepted the invitation for baptism. 🙂 Proudest missionary moment yet. And the next day we were sitting in class and she walked in. We all knew she was a teacher at the mtc, but we had no clue that after we all taught her for a week that she was going to be OUR teacher. Her name is Sister Clark, and she served her mission in Nagoya. She’s the sweetest. So now we have two investigators, Shimada Yuki, and Nagashimada Hitomi. Both portrayed by our sensei. It’ll be interesting teaching them. Companions

Practicing for Japan literally is sweat, tears and in my case bruises. The language is a lot better, but this week we started working on sitting “seiza” which is how the Japanese people sit on their knees. At first it felt like I was going to dislocate my ankle, then you lose all feeling in your feet and legs, so when you finally get up, you hobble around for a good little while. And the other day I realized my ankles/feet are a little bruised from sitting on them. But, it’s getting easier every time we do it. Hopefully it wont be painful anymore.

hmmm what else…

I’m pretty much recovered from the plague. Just some sniffles now. We get to go to the temple on Tuesdays so that’s always fun 🙂 Awkward moment of the day actually. We were at the temple this morning in a session and they needed more people for the prayer. A very nice returned missionary got out of his seat and asked if he could “escort me” . I had to tell him I was a missionary. After which he said oh. okay, and some old lady took pity and went with him. I don’t normally blush but I’m pretty sure I was bright red. And all the elders from my district were practically falling out of their seats because they were trying so hard not to laugh.

I got all your letters! It was great to hear from everyone 🙂 It was kind of funny because I literally wrote everyone letters probably the day before and sent them, and then I got yours. Funny how that works. Thanks for Joe’s address, I’ll be sure to send a letter his way.

I love hearing from you all, and letters are like Christmas, so keep them coming! Please 🙂

Also, I joined the mtc choir. It’s pretty fun, and you get awesome seats for Tuesday night devotionals. All the missionaries are hoping that the prophet comes to speak to us soon because the age change has had such big effect on the mtc. Tell everyone I miss them. And tell Taylor and Carter I loved their very interesting letters. And Lacey that I love her.

Iesu Kirisuto wa watashi no Sukuinushi desu. Kono kyokai wa shinjitsu da to shitte masu. Morumon Sho wa Kamisama no kotoba desu. Watashi wa kazoku ai shite masu.

Ai shite masu,

Sister Hunsaker

P.S. if I don’t get a chance to write you all, Happy Valentine’s Day!

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