Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas in the MTC

Hello everyone! 
Merry Christmas! We can't call home so they are letting us e-mail instead. The computers aren't working very well though so this is going to be a short e-mail. 
Elder Mosdell and I got to break the bread for the sacrament. Elder Bednar was there and he gave one of the best talks I've ever heard! He talked about the true character of Christ and about putting off the natural man and turning outwards as Christ would. It was awesome. I left sacrament today feeling edifyed and uplifted. 
I'm very very excited to able to teach this gospel to the people of Japan in the Japanese language. I know that this church is true and that this gospel is true. I've learned here in the MTC the importance of the Atonement, I've learned how to gain personal revelation through the gift of the Holy Ghost, and I've learned how to teach others and bring them unto Christ in the Japanese language. I want you all to know that I love you and that I'm greatful for all the support you have given me. I know that this is where I need to be. Think about the Savior on the day we celebrate his birth.
I gotta run my time is up. Thank you all for the gifts you gave me. I loved them all!  My district is helping me eat all the food. Tonight we get texas BBQ!! thanks to our zone leader Elder Coleman. 
Love ya'll!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Twas the Week Before Christmas

It's bright and early here in the MTC and Elder Mosdell and I are doing Laundry. We can't go to the Temple today so we're going to take the extra time we have to study.  Our 子灰(kohai - new missionaries) get here this coming wednesday and we have to SYL with them as much as possible. I'm planning to not speak to them in English for the whole first day,  ha ha could be fun. 
Oh, so you wanted to know about our districts. Our district is 2, our Branch is 27, our district is C, so District 27C.  Elder Hogue is in District 27B.  Districts 27A, B, C are currently the new districts, but
our Senpai, mentor/senior missionaries, leave on the 20th, then the Wednesday after Christmas we get our new kohai, junior missionaries,  and then districts D, E, F & G will be the new districts.  Christmas day is our halfway point.

Elder Mosdell and I have been given a special assignment from our branch president. This Christmas Sunday the MTC is holding a 2 hour long MTC wide sacrament meeting. Elder Mosdell and I are one of about 30 companionships who have been asked to pass the sacrament. Cool right?? We're excited we shined our shoes drycleaned our suits and he's getting a haircut today. A General Authority will be in attendance and there is a good chance we'll meet him. We think it's going to be Uchdorf but we aren't sure. 
Thank you all for the Christmas love and food. I have to share with my district there is no way I can eat it all! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. I love you all.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

My District & Other Japanese Missionaries

Working Hard To Learn

My Room at the MTC

Elder Bingham

Elder Flack

My Companion ~ Elder Mosdell

Yep....I make my bed the same way!

One Month

Hello everybody!! so it's been a month!! crazy right? I don't feel like it's been that long, but i also feel like it's been forever, so pretty normal. Things are great here! It's P-day again and Elder Mosdell and I finally finished writing Christmas letters, doing laundry, and prepping our lesson. We even managed to make it to the temple this morning. We have TRC tomorrow morning and we're super excited about that. TRC is when you get to talk to members about real concerns they have. It's an awesome experience to talk to real people on a personal level and be able to help them in the gospel. I feel like now is an appropriate time to share about the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is the best teacher there is. A few weeks ago we had Elder Yamashita spoke to us and one of the things he said was "if you speak from the bottom of your heart, the language will not hinder you and the spirit will carry your message and they will understand you." I testify of the truthfulness of that statement. Elder Mosdell and I are nowhere near fluent but we give killer lessons because we teach by the spirit. And when we teach by the spirit the language just comes. I'll catch myself thinking in japanese. How cool is that? If you keep the spirit in your life you will be blessed beyond measure. just a little info mail here goes off on the 23rd so if you send me stuff on the 22nd i may not get it until the 26th. Thanks for all the love everyone. Take care

Week 4

Hello everyone thanks for all the mail and letters i apologize in advance for the shortness of this e-mail but i'm out of e-mail time. i just wanted to let everyone know things rock here we're having a blast!! the language is tough but i'm learning so much. It doesn't matter what language you speak in, if you speak from your heart and you have the spirit with you the people you speak with will understand you, and you will understand them. take care everyone
p.s. the investigator we we're teaching our first and second week, ひがきさん(higakisan) actually turned out to be one of our teachers. we came to class one day and she was wearing a nametag that said sister mortensen. The MTC is sneaky! totally blew us away! thought i'd mention it because i forgot last week.

Week 3

Well it's P-day on the third week here in the MTC and things are going pretty good. It's hard to believe that i've already been here that long!
The time is just flying by. I've had so many cool experiences here i can't even remember them all. We had a cool opportunity to 
give one of the Sisters in our district a priesthood blessing because of a stomach infection that she got. Elder Bingham did the Annointing and Elder Barney 
our DL gave the blessing. Elder Barney is a great guy he really leads the district in a really positive way. We love him. I love our district. They are the coolest
group of missionaries ever and i love all of the せんせいたち that work really hard to teach us everything we need to know. Thanks for all the letters and packages and
e-mails from everyone, they are a huge booster during the week. I'm sorry if it takes so long to respond to all the mail they are super strict here so i really only get once a week to write. I guess it's ok though. Gotta stay focused right? Well that's all i've got time for today. I've gotta hurry and finish laundry so we can make it to an early temple session.
Do everything you can to feel the spirit more in your life the effects it will have on you are amazing. Thanks again everyone!

Week 2

well this was week 2 and we've already heard form both Elder D Todd Christofferson and from Elder Russel M. Nelson! we even watched 17 miracles yesterday for thanksgiving and did an awesome service project.  crazy right?? things are awesome here, the spirit is so strong and the language rocks. i'm picking up tons of it. Anyway i gotta run again since i'm out of computer time but send me letters on dear elder! love you all!! -G

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

First Week/First Letter

I'm writing you all on the morning of day 3.  It's been crazy the last few days, day 1 was total Japanese immersion.  After check-in we went to our residence halls, then to class.  That's where I met my district leader and my companion Elder Mosdell.  Our classroom instructor is really energetic.  He runs around yelling things in Japanese and it's super funny.  Tonight we have to teach our first investigator in Japanese.  Neither me nor my companion know more than a few phrases in Japanese.  Since I'm senior companion I'm trying to keep Elder Mosdell and myself organized.  We haven't had much time to sit down and pland and stuff yet.  They keep us busy.  After Sunday though we have the same schedule for 10 weeks.  Hopefully we'll get a little time to plan our days, and plan some time to study the language by ourselves.   Our goal is to learn 20 words a day as a companionship!  Yeah, we have high hopes!  Tomorrow is P-Day so I'll be able to go to the temple and stuff.  I love you all.  I hope things are still good around the house and in Florida.  The spirit is really strong here and the language learning is really fast.  I know more and speak more Japanese now than in high school.  I have to write 12 3-5 minute talks.  That's a lot!  They call us up at random on Sundays.  Anyway I've got to go, but I figured I 'd write you and tell you all about the first few days.

Reporting to the MTC

All packed and ready to go.
 Saying good-bye to dad.
 We were a little early so we went to the temple to take some family photos.  
The MTC is in the background of this picture with his sister.
 With Gram
 Family photo

 Entering the MTC
 It's quite the sight to see all the Elders lined up to greet your missionary.
 Last hug!  A little tough...

Off on his new adventure!

Getting Ready

 Picking up his suits!

 Farewell sign his dad arranged.

 Tables at Farewell.

 Friends and family at the Farewell.

Elder Howard after his setting apart.

Getting the Call

The week the call came Garrett was at his last Priest's Camp at Fish Lake. It had been a awesome week for him that ended with a call to his dream mission!