February 5, 2013 Week 1 Surviving the MTC

Sister Suzanne HunsakerWell, I did it! I survived the (almost) first week of the MTC. After our first day, all the missionaries told us that as long as we made it through the week, we could make it through the rest of the MTC. And boy was that a relief. Here’s a little bit about what I’ve learned/did/felt since I’ve been here.
The first day was crazy. It almost seemed surreal in the moment. The elders taking my luggage, checking in, getting my name tag with all the Japanese writing on it. The first thing I did was check into my room, which turned out to be an adventure in itself because the poor sister who was helping me out couldn’t get my room open for the life of her. After getting three different keys from the front desk they had to have one of the campus police come open the door. Right after I saw my room they whisked me off to class, where my sensei Brinley welcomed me to the district and continued talking to the rest of the class. IN JAPANESE. no English. what. so. ever. Intimidating beyond all belief. After we were in the classroom for about 3 hours we went to a fireside for all the new missionaries, where they talked about the MTC and how wonderful it is. the closing hymn that we sang was armies of Helaman. I think that was the moment when it really sunk in that I’m a missionary. They changed some of the words to the song, so instead we sang, “We are as the armies of Helaman, we have been taught in our youth, and we are NOW the Lords missionaries to bring the world his truth.”. All the elders and sisters singing that was truly incredible. To end the day, we had a group teaching experience where about 50 of us newbies (oh i forgot, i did get a “dork dot” and it was bright orange and incredibly noticeable) and we met three non-members and tried to teach them. It definitely showed me how you need to teach to people, not to a lesson…… and that I still have an incredibly long way to go.
I also met my companion! Mom, remember that woman who called and said her niece/daughter or something was going to Tokyo and that her name is Kimberly? That’s my companion. She’s 21, almost 22, and a Japanese major. Which means she helps me, a lot.
The second day we went to class again, where Brinley once again spoke zero English to us, and taught us how to pray in Japanese. After that he told us (still in Japanese) that we would be teaching our first investigator, Karen Hachiya, tomorrow. in Japanese. And she spoke zero English. Needless to say the first two words that I learned in the MTC were shinko and kiseki. Which means faith, and miracle haha. The first lesson with Karen was incredibly intimidating. I understood zero of what she said, and it was about all I could do to bear my testimony in Japanese to her and say ” Watashitachi wa Matsujitsu Seito Iesu Kirisuto no senkyoshi des”. I have a feeling I’ll be saying that alot on my mission. We have taught Karen two other times since then. And the lessons have gotten progressively better. I can understand most of what she says now, but I still don’t quite have the words to answer her questions. That’s where Sister Harding helps. She bore her testimony the other day in Japanese and it was amazing. It just shows that the Spirit doesn’t necessarily speak English. We are teaching Karen again tomorrow about Joseph Smith, Baptism, and the holy ghost. it might seem a little scattered, but we know this is what she needs to hear right now.
My district is truly amazing. I’ve only known them for a few days, and I love every elder and sister in there. We have 12 missionaries in our district, and all of them are going to Tokyo, except for 2 elders going to Sapporo. Having elders that care for us really makes me realize how important it is to have the Priesthood in our lives. I had to get a flu shot on day 2 of the mtc, and guess which lucky sister was sick as a dog for the past few days? My district leader finally made me go to the clinic. I had to buy some cold medicine at the Bookstore, and all the elders gave me a blessing last night. I’m feeling tons better already. It just shows how important it is to rely on the Lord.
Sunday is probably my favorite day of the week. This week was fast Sunday, so we had a bunch of zone and district meetings, an mtc fireside, and then sacrament meeting at about 4 o’clock. Most of the members in our ward bore their testimonies in Japanese, and I’m surprised at how much I’m slowly but surely picking it up. I can read all the hiragana characters now, which means I can sing hymns and read the scriptures (although I do it incredibly slowly). There are about 6 nihonjin (native Japanese) missionaries in our ward, and the love that I already feel towards them just demonstrates to me how much I’m going to love the people of Japan.
Brinley sensei finally spoke to us in ENGLISH. I thought that day would never come. I think it actually took all of us a minute to actually register that he wasn’t speaking Japanese anymore. He teaches us a lot about the gospel and how to teach, but he’s still teaching us Japanese. So far we can pray, testify, extend commitments and share scriptures in Japanese. right now we’re working on verb conjugations and Japanese sentence structure. The sentence structure isn’t to bad. You just have to picture yourself talking like Yoda. so the church is true becomes the church true is. Or “kono kyokai o shinri des”.
Well, the computer is going to kick me off, and I feel still like there is so much to say! I’ll write letters later today. Any questions about me or the mtc? just let me know :)I love everyone so much! Tell all the kiddos I miss them and that they better write me letters.
Ai shite masu,
Hunsaker ShimaiImage

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Darlene Little
    Feb 13, 2013 @ 00:45:57

    Love hearing about your first week exciting and so sweet 😉 the other beautiful girl besides u from spanish fork is Andreanna Baker fyi lol ~ take care, take charge God Bless Your Soul Zanna!


  2. Mellissa hafer
    Feb 13, 2013 @ 01:11:16

    So awesome to hear about your experiences. The MTC really is an amazing place What you’ve learned already sounds like a lot! Is your sensai Brinley a returned missionary from Japan?


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