August 6, 2013
Family and Friends,
This week was exhausting. Between being sick, 6 hours of class a day, trying to learn a new language, almost 4 and a half hours of study time, gym, and having to be completely mentally competent, and all there the whole time really takes a toll on you. There is no way that we could do this every day without the Lord’s help!
I finished “Jesus the Christ” the other day and it is definitely one of my favorite books! I’m now kinda forced, but in a good way to read the other books in the Missionary Reference Materials. I’m already 100 pages into “True to the Faith”!
So Saturday this week we had our first TRC (Teaching Resource Center) appointment. It’s where volunteers come in who speak the mission language, and we go in and teach them a lesson about the gospel in Japanese. It was extremely difficult but I absolutely loved it and can’t wait for our second one on Saturday this week.
One of the sisters in my district reminds me a ton of Katherine! Her personality is very similar so it’s kind of fun to have that little reminder of home. Even though thinking of home makes me miss everyone, it’s still nice! Since it is the MTC there are no dogs, and I miss Cali a ton! Hopefully she’ll recognize me when I get home!
Fast Sunday this week was very uplifting. A few people in my district were worried about fasting until dinner, but I told them, “the MTC is filled to capacity with the spirit already - no other place, except for the temple has the spirit this strong. We fast in order to feel the spirit more strongly in our lives. So fasting at the MTC makes the spirit all the more powerful.” My prediction proved correct, and everyone was completely fine, and the spirit was as close to that of the temple without actually being in the temple as it could possibly be.
Each Sunday we watch a film after the fireside and I watched, “Joseph Smith, the Prophet of the Restoration” again. My conviction to do whatever it takes for the gospel was called to my remembrance and was strengthened so much. This gospel is so important! I know it with every fiber of my being, and hope that you all know it too.
Every 3 weeks in my zone here they switch up the district leaders, so on Sunday I was made the new district leader. It’s really exciting, but it’s a lot of responsibility, so I hope that I do as well as the one before me, but I know that the Lord qualifies those he calls.
I’m sad I missed Trek, but I’m more sure than ever that there was a reason that I wasn’t able to go. Also, the new districts of elders come in tomorrow, so I will no longer be Kohai (underclassmen), but I will be Senpai (middleclassmen) instead. I don’t feel like I should be Senpai yet, but looking back to when I first got here, I really have learned a ton. I’m a third of the way done with my stay at the MTC, which is freaky, but awesome!
It was funny a few of the people in my district have told me I talk like I’m 40 years old. I asked if that was a good or a bad thing and they said it’s not bad, but they just thought it was funny.
I love getting letters, so thank you to those who have sent them! Oh and please keep sending them when you are able to! I love you all and miss you! I’ll write again next week!
Elder Stephen Bickel