Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sister Crofts first letter from MTC-
KONNICHIWA KOZOKU!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Hello Family)
I MISS YOU ALL SO MUCH IT IS UNREAL!!!!! When you dropped me off it honestly took everything in me not to turn around because I would have cried my eyes out like a baby. Thank you so much for the e-mails/letters- they honestly are like magic rays of sunshine when I'm feeling blue. My first few days have been absolutely overwhelming! As expected, when I showed up my sensei only spoke Japanese.. And this has continued... I won't lie, it took a lot to submerge the murderous feelings I had to him. Hahahaha I would ask him a question and he would answer in Nihongo (japanese), I was like SERIOUSLY BRO I DO NOT SPEAK THIS LANGUAGE!!!!! Not to worry! I now love him and am so grateful for hwo guided by the Spirit he is.
So my companion never showed up. So there are 3 of us and it is so hard to be on the same page all of the time. I am not even to Japan yet and I am a GIANT!!! All 5 of my roommates are so short. They come to my shoulder and I tower over them. I guess it is a little prequel to my sequel.
The first night we went to some mock missionary thing. So I don't know if they were real investigators... Anyway, there was one I talked to in a big group and I was bearing my testimony and he said "Seriously? You are like a commercial. You've just had a perfectly life and you wouldn't know anything." Everyone laughed and it kinda made me sad... But I was like whatevs, this fool has nothing on my testimony. So I went up after everything was over and I told him that he was wrong. That my life hasn't been perfect and that I have had my fair share of trials like anyone else, but I am happy because of how I delt with the trials. I had the strength/peace of the Lord. So then I shared 2 Nephi 32:3 with him and told him how I feasted upon the words of Christ during my trials and they brought peace to my soul and joy to my heart. I bore witness of it. He said there was no way I had read the BOM, and I told him i have multiple times and I wouldn't tell him about it if I wasn't convinced it was essential to his salvation. He seemed to be kind of impressed. Ultimately, he was kind of silenced (I guess is the word) by my testimony and then said.. "You know, I shouldn't have said you were like a commercial. It's just.. You know when you are in a dark room and somebody turns on the flashlight and everyone squirms away from the ligth? well, yeah.. that's you. Your light/brightness is almost overwhelming. And all I'm saying is it might rub some people in the wrong places." I still don't know what that means or how to take that. I'm too happy for the world I guess? Hahahaha people never cease to be ridiculous. I felt like I at least made him leave thinking, even though he was kind of rude to me. Whatevs, the joy of missionary work. Prepare AS MUCH AS YOU CAN NOW!!! You never know what you will need to know while on your mission. :)
Nihongo (Japanese). Holy. Sweet. Mercy. This. Language. Is. SO. HARD.
Let me give you an example...
watashi wa     Josefu Sumisu       ga          Kamisama        no            yogensha              de aru koto o         shitteimasu.
I                       Joseph Smith                         God                of             prophet                     is                        know.
That means I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. CAN YOU SAY WHAT?!?!?!? Hahahahaha Can I just tell you how frequently I have to laugh because of how absurd the grammar is to learn? Don't worry, I am working my butt off, but that doesn't change how hard it is. Let's also throw in the whole 3 alphabet factor, not my cup of tea. I am trying so hard to be patient and trust in the gift of tongues. It is hard and I am relying so much on God to give me the strength to learn this language. So many people in my district speak FLUENT Japanese and I just think to myself... You have got to be kidding me. I am kind of holding myself to the same standard of them and so it is hard to not be discouraged. I need to just look at my personal progression and work hard and do my best and I know the Lord will bless me. That doesn't change how hard it is though. Hahahahaha Japanese.
Friday we taught our first investigator. Let me remind you that I knew like 12 words in Nihongo and I was somehow required to teach a FULL DISCUSSION and understand her questions. she would ask something and we would just sit there and say "uh....." hahahaha so funny. It was terrible. absolutely terrible. I had so many things I wanted to share/bare witness of, but the whole "I DO NOT SPEAK JAPANESE" thing was a huge issue in the language barrier. We left and all just bust up laughing because of how pathetic it was. The next day we arranged the discussion so that there was the minimal asking of questions on her side. I mean yes, it is important to know the investigator's needs, but if I don't know what the heck she is saying? THERE IS NO WAY I CAN HELP HER!!! It was tons better though and the spirit was so strong. Like Trent said, we have to have her read the scriptures because it is so hard to read them on our part. I can read it, but it takes 5 minutes to get through one verse. We taught another lesson to her yesterday and we were SO PROUD OF OURSELVES because we were able to answer some of her questions. We would listen for one word she said and go off of that. I felt like it was really driven by the spirit and we were able to help her. I was so grateful that the Lord blessed me with understanding. We are clinging to Preach my gospel and the Ninja (book of phrases) because we don't know how to say anything else, but I am so excited fo rthe day when I can actually tell the investigator of my personal conversion and how strong my testimony is.
I can now pray in Nihongo and bare testimony in Nihongo and give an overview of the lesson in Nihongo. So I guess that is a start.... I am kind of restricted to the format of the book, but it is some form of foundation I guess? This language is really testing my strength.. I won't lie, I so wish that I could go out now and just share my tesitmony with people and bring them to Christ, but obviously God wants me to suffer a little bit before that is possible. ;) Oh! We have this guy from Australia in our district and he is hilarious. Anyway, we have a list going of things Aussies say and things Americans say. For example: he says "fairy floss" we say "cotton candy" ahhaha. so funny. (of course this happens during lunch time) So in australia their swearwords are different then ours. So basically he kept swearing and I was like ... wa??? There was one point where he said "D*** D*** D***" & everyone just stopped in their tracks and was like whaaaaaa??? Then his comp was like ELDER YOU CAN'T SWEAR!!! Hahahaha it was so funny. So we are slowly educating him. I love my district so much! We have lots of fun together, but we also motivate each other and inspire each other.
The spirit at the MTC is so strong and I love being united in cause with all of these wonderful elders/sisters. It is such a blessing to be here! There are Japanese natives that just got here today that will be here for 2 weeks so we are all pumped to test out our Japanese on them!!! (Which is not much) I am so lucky to have this opportunity to grow closer to my Savior. I rely on His strength to get me through the hard times and I honestly don't know what I would do without Him. I love our Kozoku so much! I miss you all!!!
Sister Crofts
The best district:) 
Preparing for our first lesson. 

The post-first-lesson break down. 

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