First off thank you Mom and Dad for the letters! It’s so great to hear how everything’s going back home! I’m glad Mom’s surgery went well, and I hope that she recovers very quickly! It may have been a good learning experience, but I think that it’s time for you to be better! I was very sad to hear that you also hurt your thumb and I really hope that also heals quick! Just take things slow! Enjoy your time and don’t rush through things. We’ve learned here at the MTC that when you rush things the Spirit isn’t with you. Also, people are more important than schedules, so that includes you!
Also Mom, thank you for sending me a copy of your talk! I thought it was great! And I agree that Dad probably just didn’t want to write as long of a talk. : )
Well this was another great week, no surprise there. On Wednesday I made a goal to be even happier (a better attitude, etc.), and I was going to see what happened. As it turned out, I felt happier, focused more, and didn’t worry near as much. So attitude really does matter! You can always have a better attitude so always try to improve it. Also, on Tuesday, the night before, the choir director said something that I thought was really cool! He said, “Women are up there with God. They are the only two beings who can create life.” I think that ‘s pretty awesome so all women should feel special, and be treated as such. I also finished all of the missionary reference library.
Thursday was a pretty good day and had only a few hiccups. I saw Elder Graham, and some other good friends! That night one of our Sensei’s was pretty hard on us though. Luckily everyone popped back and is doing great!
Friday we decided to make up a game to get us to SYL (Speak Your Language) more, so we created Ryunushi, which means Dragon Lord, so that’s very fun and is cool to try to win. Basically one person draws a paper to become “Ryunushi” but no one knows, so throughout the day, everyone tries to SYL as much as possible so that everyone votes on who was Ryunushi and if you drew it, and everyone voted for you, then you win.
Saturday went well when we started out with TRC (Teaching Resource Center) again. The language was really coming well on Saturday and I basically shared the entire Restoration in Japanese by myself so that was an amazing miracle! It also turns out that the McKinleys agree that I talk like I’m 40…We’ll see if that ends up helping me or not later on. : )
Sunday was awesome again! We sang an arrangement of “Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer” which was absolutely amazing! I’ll find out who arranged it tonight so you can listen to it if you have time, but I really thought it was beautiful. Also Dad, you’ll be jealous about this, but Vai Sikahema spoke at our fireside on Sunday! I was a bit disappointed though because he wouldn’t allow anyone to take notes.... But he told an amazing story about his mission and how he converted a man there who has ended up being a lifelong friend, and they went on a family reunion together last week.
Yesterday was pretty great! We played sand-volleyball with the Nihonjin (Japanese) Elders and Sisters and they’re great! I found out that since there are 3 Japanese Zones, the other two have the same schedule, but we get the Nihonjin every 2 weeks for 2 weeks! I think we have the better deal personally. I realized also that every lesson can be taught to an investigator’s needs. The doctrines and principles all apply to their problems no matter what! We just need to show them that when we teach.
Yesterday I also experienced another miracle. Katakana (the 2nd alphabet) was really giving me a hard time, but yesterday when I went through it, I got every single one. God’s power is amazing. With God on your side, you can do anything.
Today has really just been writing letters and doing laundry since I decided to write this earlier. So I hope things are going well, and I’ll write again next week!
Elder Stephen Bickel
Elder Stephen Bickel