Footnotes (Marked by asterisks **) and italics have been added by his family.
The words in the brackets that follow italicized words are the translation of the italicized words preceding it.
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I’m finally in Japan!
I got here on Friday… I would have gotten here earlier, but my visa was delayed, so I had to spend a few extra days at the MTC.
My companions in the MTC have been really great!
Now that my time at the MTC is over, I can give a way more coherent overview of the experience.
Almost every day was filled with classes. It was a lot of work, but it was also really fun!
We had gym time every morning, but they didn’t have tennis or badminton or ping pong. 😦
I did find out that I’m decent at volleyball, though!
The big focus during classes was on teaching simply. If we can teach something simply, that means we really understand it.
I think the big themes during my stay at the MTC were work and obedience. In my first interview after I got to the MTC, a member of the MTC presidency told me that successful missionaries have four things in common–they’re obedient, they work hard, the have the Spirit, and they have fun.
Speaking of fun–
I got to play the cello in Sacrament meeting!!
It was so great! I never imagined I’d be able to play the cello on my mission, much less in the MTC.
Anyway, there was a sister in my branch that plays cello, so we did a duet of hymn 335 ‘Brightly Beams our Father’s Mercy’.**
I hope I’ll be able to play cello again soon…
**”Brightly Beams our Father’s Mercy” is Elder Houseknecht’s favorite Hymn
The church in Japan is so connected!
One of the teachers at the MTC is Kawamura kyoudai [Brother]. Yes, he’s *Kawamura chourou’s [Elder’s] brother! And of course I saw **Norawong kyoudai.
Also, one of the shimai [Sister] (Omisaki shimai) in my second district was at ***Kita Rokko ward when we had our concerts.
**The Houseknecht family met both *Elder Kawamura and **Elder Norawong in Misawa,
Japan while they were serving as a full time missionary there.
Brother Norawong now works at the MTC as a Japanese instructor.
**We had a concert tour in Japan Kobe Stake in year 2013. ***Kita Rokkou is one of the ward that we had a concert at.
I flew to Fukuoka…
and got there around 8pm or so. I was picked up by the APs (Assistant Presidents), and I spent the night in their apartment.
One of them has some sheet music that may or may not have Mom’s name on it. I didn’t get to ask what song it was, but he said he recognized Mom’s name. I wonder,,,
Anyway, I woke up, had some training (mostly bike safety), then I was interviewed by Gustafson kaichou (President Gustafson) to be assigned. I got my assignment, then caught a plane to my first area.
I’m in Okinawa!
I’ve been assigned to a gunjin (Military) branch, so I’ll be speaking a lot of English. Oh well, so much for practicing Japanese XD
My new companion is Garrard chourou (Elder). We’re getting along fine.
Not a lot is happening in our area right now, but we’ll be doing our best to get things moving!
I really miss you all! But I’m having a lot of fun, and it’s great to be here doing the Lord’s work.
I love you all!
Have a great week!!
P.S. I’m not sure how to attach pictures on the church computers, but I’ll try to send some next P-day.