Thursday, January 30, 2014

야마가타 장로

So Today is my last pday at the MTC and as I reflect on my time here I realized that I have grown a lot since I've been here, yet I have a lot more to go!  I have become a person that people look up to and want to become.  Lately, I've been passing around my transfer journal and having all of the missionaries in my zone sign it, and some of the things that they say are really profound!  I'm grateful to have made all these friends here at the MTC an hope that I can see them again.  Another thing that I realized is that the spirit definitely guides us every day!  As Elder Jarrett and I teach and get taught, I realized that some of the times (most of the times) we weren't the ones speaking!  Sometimes we would go into a lesson feeling like we couldn't do it and as soon as we start to speak the words come to us, and sometimes we hit a bump in the road that wasn't accounted for, but it seems like we always know what to say in order to get the conversation back on track.  I love it!  But enough about me you probably want to hear about my week!

Well the reason I'm on so darn early is because we are packing our bags today and didnt want to have to wait until 1:20 p.m. to start doing laundry.  So Elder Jarrett and I got up at 4:55 and came over to the Laundromat to do our laundry before temple that way we can just come back and start packing.  It has been weird these last few days though as our MTC time winds down.  We have approximately 9 hours of class left, which isnt even that much!  Today is Pday then tomorrow we have InField Orientation all day until Dinner at 5:00.  Saturday we have two class times (our last with our teachers! So Sad!!!) and one last study time and then we relax and finish packing sunday night!  All of us that are leaving are so excited though because we are on the same flight to Detroit and to Seoul!  There is going to be 44 korean speaking missionaries on one flight??? These people are crazy! 

Anyways, This week hasn't been very eventful.  We have not had any awesome Apostles or General Authorities come through for the Devotionals.  And the only things we do in class now are cultural games and experiences to get us ready for what it is like in Korea.  Our teachers say we most likely will be going to the bathhouse our first day there!  I'm so excited! 

Yesterday though, Elder Jarrett and I did some roleplaying of teaching the Law of Chastity lesson in English.  What an interesting experience!  We took turns being the investigator and teacher, and played  가위바위버  to see who would teach first.  I won so he started teaching me the lesson.  As he taught, I tried remembering what it was like to be taught the lessons before, and tried mimicking that.  It was definitely interesting to see how he reacted as my body language and tone of voice started to change as he taught me.  He adapted quite well to certain situations and bore his testimony at the end of the lesson.  He taught very well and I thought he did extremely well for never teaching it before!  He asked me to teach but at that point only had about 5 minutes left for me to teach, when I knew it would take 20 at least for me to teach him.  So I spot taught and hit points that I would do much differently than how he did it.  He told me the lesson became more personal and like a conversation when I taught.  Like I was a friend trying to give him help, not a missionary teaching him a lesson.  I thought that was huge that even in english I can teach with the spirit and make it so its not a instructional lesson with no questions and no feeling, but something that the investigator can see as a friend trying to give a friend some help to move in the right direction to follow in our Lord and Savior's footsteps. 

Im definitely grateful for that experience and all the other ones I have this week and these past two months here at the MTC.  It has been so humbling and makes me realize that I have a lot of work left to do, a lot of room to grow, and a lot of people to teach!  But, I cant focus on myself.  The growth will happen when I focus on the people of Korea and teaching them the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  Allowing them to be with their families forever, and I know that in the process, Heavenly Father will help me grow into what I need to be to be a successful missionary. 

I love this gospel and I love this church.  I love all the people that I'm with all day long, especially because almost all of them are missionaries!  I love the feeling of being guided by the spirit to do the things that are most important, or teach the things that are the most important.  To bring all of us closer to Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.  Im grateful for the Atonement and the power it gives all of us to do what we need to do, overcome what we need to overcome, and grow and learn so that we can prepare to return to live with him once more.  I know the Father never gives us anything that we can't handle, unless there is a way prepared for us to take. 

I probably wont write for a while, seeing as I get into Korea the day after P-Day.  So Everyone be safe and I will probably have a lot to talk about next time!!!  I love and miss all of you so much!!!!  Pray for all the missionaries in the world!!!!

-Elder Yamagata

 Me and Elder Jarrett at the Temple
Me ( from left to right)  Elder Gildea, Elder Taylor, and Elder Eagar
 Me and Elder Bryan at the Temple
Me and some of the new 동기 at the temple, with some of the Mogolian Missionaries in the back!
 Part of our zone at the temple!  We were missing around 15-20 people!
Me and Elder Kahng the night before he left to his mission in New Jersey  ( Elder Kahng was supposed to leave a week after he got here because he is fluent, but because of a broken foot had to wait over a month!)
My new Nametag that is fixed!!!!!

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