August 5, 2013

Well, we are on the three week countdown to Elder G’s sendoff to Nihon.  He is so excited and talks about it all the time in his correspondence.  Just a reminder, he does ship out of the States in a few weeks, so if you want to mail him any letters or packages, now would be the time before international shipping rates come into play.  I know that I am definitely taking advantage of the coast to coast shipping rates and I am currently saving every penny so that I can afford to mail him a Christmas card.  I just looked up the shipping rates, and to send him a little something for Christmas, its going to cost a flat fee of $23.95.  And that is for the small international flat rate box!

Anyways, before I share this weeks letter, I just wanted to shout out to all the followers and viewers who have taken the time to visit the page.  I saw on our stats that we have even had a view from Denmark and Australia!  SO welcome to our international viewership.  And of course, we love all the friends and family participating and experiencing this journey with us.

Here is Elder G’s current letter…

Hey everyone, here I am writing on one of my last two or three p-days here at the MTC.  Exciting eh, three weeks and I will be going to Nihon, woot!  I am actually now part of what we call the dai-senpai, or the group that has been here the longest of the future Japanese going missionaries.  I am actually due to get my travel plans in about a week or so.  Just writing this is surreal because at times it still feels like my first p-day; time really does fly by.  

The Nihon-go is starting to come together.  As said in previous letters, the grammar is a tough subject for me, but I know with the help of the Lord I will be able to learn a lot in three weeks.  And I know that He will widely increase my knowledge of the language over in Nihon.  


 Elder G is hanging with a few of the Japanese escorts who come and take the next group over to Japan.  This was from about three weeks ago, when the previous dai-senpai was gearing up to leave.



 Look at how tall he is.  He is going to tower over a majority of Japan, I think, in stature anyways lol

On Sunday, we had a mission conference.  Since it was fast Sunday, we were able to hear talks from our branch President and his wife as well as a counselor from the MTC Presidency and his wife.  We also heard from President Nally and Sister Nally, the MTC President and his wife.  Also on Sunday, we had a devotional given by Sister Backer, one of Elder Dallin Oaks’ daughters.  It was really cool because it was talk/musical program.  She played the violin and was accompanied by someone on the piano.  Her talk was about spiritual gifts.  After that, as per MTC tradition, we got to watch a movie.  We also have the option to watch a talk previously given here at the MTC.  This last Sunday, I watched the talked and was so glad that I did.  It was entitled, “Doctrines, Invitations, and Promised Blessings” and was given by Elder Bednar of the Twelve.  He talked about how often we answer the questions posed without helping investigators understand the doctrines vital to their personal success.  He said that we need to help guide investigators or people who have questions to their answers whether that means inviting them to church to pointing them to the answers through gospel study.  That way, those people learn for themselves and its better engrained in them.  I found it quite interesting. 

No, Mom, haven’t spent to much on the card.  Been doing great and I am well stocked for my upcoming travels, so don’t worry.  I am so excited that the Provo Temple will reopen next week so that I can attend a few times before I leave.  

Let’s see, I have memorized the “Our Purpose” in Preach My Gospel Manuel in Nihon-go.  I know about 3/4 of the First Vision in Nihon-go and I am working on the baptism invitation right now.  It is so cool when you start understanding the language thoroughly and you are able to think and write in that language.  I am looking forward to being able to better write in kanji; right now, I can write in Hiragana and some in the Katakana.  And just think, in two years, I will be speaking and writing this language like a native.  I will just have to help Mom or Josh in whatever way I can when I get back because explaining the grammar is not something that can be done over email.  

Everything is awesome here and I am just so excited to get this mission started in Japan.  Enjoy the photos.  Know that I am well and that I am having a blast.  Love you all.”


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