Friday, February 26, 2016

MTC Email #5

This week was interesting. There's a new district of Japanese missionaries. They are native speakers though, so they'll only be here for two weeks. They are a lot of fun to chat with though, and between our somewhat broken Japanese and their somewhat broken English, we can actually have some fairly meaningful conversations.
As far as my health is concerned, I have a very faint lingering cough, but other than that I am better. I only cough once every couple of hours. Unfortunately, I seem to have split some cartilage in my lower left ribs earlier in the week during a coughing fit, so it now feels like an angry dwarf welder took a blowtorch to my ribs any time I cough. On the bright side, I'm coughing so little I usually don't notice.
I (and much of the rest of the district) have been struggling a little bit with one of the zone leaders, but his companion at least manages to rein in most of his questionable ideas. That is all I am going to say on the subject, mostly because I am still unhappy about his latest idea and, as Thumper so wisely said, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."
Something amusing that happened this week is that I now feel like a pirate when getting ready for bed. My dad sent me some eyepatches at my request, since I tend to use a trick pirates used to use. Basically, you cover one eye with it, and when you need to see in the dark, you switch it to the other eye, making it so you can instantly see in the dark. Pirates would use it when boarding ships so that when they went below decks, they could see and fight effectively. I use it so I can go to the bathroom in the middle of the night without obliterating my night vision. The best part though? Turns out that my companion brought dice, so we've been playing Liar's Dice while I wear my eyepatch. Hence why I feel like a pirate. :P
One of the other missionaries bought a journal this week. Doesn't sound strange, until you hear the reason. He's making 'The Plates of District 6A'. Basically, he's been recording the funny things we say, and plans on passing it down with the rest of the inheritance. Maybe I can get ahold of it next week and send a few 'verses' as part of my weekly email.
In other news, Ive been hearing that people want to hear about the spiritual side of things too. So, I'll now introduce... Blackjack's Spiritual Stuff Corner! <Ron: Blackjack is Thomas' gamer tag :/> I'll come up with a better name later, I was feeling lazy. Besides, it needs to have a cool acronym, and BSSC isn't one.
This week, I was studying primarily in 1 & 2 Nephi, and I noticed something cool. In 1 Nephi 13, Nephi is talking about his vision of the future, specifically about what is going to happen in the Americas. I was reading it, and saw these verses: 
17 And I beheld that their mother Gentiles were gathered together upon the waters, and upon the land also, to battle against them.
18 And I beheld that the power of God was with them, and also that the wrath of God was upon all those that were gathered together against them to battle.
19 And I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles that had gone out of captivity were delivered by the power of God out of the hands of all other nations.
It's talking about the revolutionary war! A nation in the Americas, fighting off their mother nations, and being free from 'all other nations'? That's the USA! I thought that was the coolest thing.
Another thing I noticed was in 2 Nephi 29. It was talking about the revealing of the Book of Mormon, and it said this:
12 For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it.
13 And it shall come to pass that the Jews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites shall have the words of the Jews; and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes of Israel; and the lost tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and the Jews.

Now, what really interested me was that last verse. We have the words of the Nephites and Jews, but not of the lost tribes. If I remember the definition of lost correctly, it means you have no idea where they are, and I'm pretty sure I have only the Bible and the Book of Mormon. So it makes me wonder if maybe we might get more scriptures later. The Lord has stated He has more information for us.
Anyway, as always, anyone who wants can feel free to email me at any time. I can only reply on Fridays, but I can read it any time. Also, I tend to write reactively. If you send me an email, I will reply. I just only rarely start a conversation is all. So feel free to write me!

Ja, mata! (Cya later!)
<Ron: The following paragraphs are excerpts taken from letters to Melanie and I this week>
<Ron: about language study>
We aren't too far from where I left off in college. Out of my two years, we've made it about 1.33 years through it. So glad I had some training beforehand, otherwise there is no way I could possibly keep up. My speech is improving. While I'm not learning too much more except for the missionary vocabulary, I am getting much better at conjugating sentences much faster. I've never been good at being able to come up with sentences quickly, but I am getting faster. I can hold a fair conversation and teach the gospel fairly effectively in Japanese now!
I've been getting to the temple every PDay. Did Initiatory this morning, although I've done endowment sessions before. Haven't done sealings yet, but I'll get to it eventually.
Companion study has been fun. We mostly spend it creating lesson plans though, so not a lot of 'studying' happens as its more planning than anything else.

Elder Harper
"Failure is simply the fuel for success"

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