I had no idea that he would be able to send emails from the MTC - but evidently he can. I'm looking forward to them. Here's his first one:
How are all of you doing? I'm doing great here at the MTC. Let me just tell you how a typical day here goes, you can skip this if you want. I wake up at 6:15 AM in an attempt to get in the shower before a line forms. I dress and then head over to our classroom on the 5th floor by 7 AM to study/read for 45 minutes. Breakfast is at 7:45. 8:15 is Missionary Directed Time for me which means my companion, ElderAndrews and I choose what we wish to do. Options during this time include personal study, companionship study, Japanese Study,practicing teaching a lesson to volunteers, the referral center, or attending a skills workshop on something like companionship study. At11 AM it's off to gym or field. The gym includes some exercise machines, a track to run around, basketball, volleyball, and even four-square. At 12:30 it's time for lunch. 1:15 marks the beginning ofclass for the day. We are either taught about teaching lessons or Japanese. At 5:30 we eat dinner, then head right back for more class at 6:15. We have class until 9 PM and then companionships go over their plans for the next day. We arrive back at our residence at 9:30.Go to sleep at 10:30 PM, rinse and repeat.
I haven't told anyone the scripture I want on my missionary plack at home so I'll do so here. Proverbs 25:25 " As cold waters to a thirstysoul, so is good news from a far country."
Other things I found interesting was that our zone's sacrament meeting was mostly in Japanese. Everyone in the zone writes a ~3 minute talk in Japanese the week before and right before sacrament the Presidency asks 2 Elders to present their talks. I plan on joining the missionary choir here so hopefully that's fun. I haven't recieved any letters yet so I'm sad about that. :(Hopefully someone will write me soon. I mentioned www.DearElder.com to Dad but I'm going to guess he forgot about it. If anyone goes to that website they can easily send me same/next day mail for free. It's as easy as email but I can recieve that anytime of the week rather than just during my 30 minutes of email time. (If 30 minutes pass I'm automatically signed off even if I haven't sent my email yet so please use DearElder.com for now) I think you just have to select the Kobe Japan Mission. If needed I'm in Branch 27 District C. If you ask me questions I'll try to respond to them in my weekly email. I still have 10 minutes left so it's time for a funny story.
E-mail is very popular among the younger generations nowadays. Many missionaries are a little unsure or confused when sending their first letter. One missionary in my district accidentally mixed up the return and send addresses. So when he got mail his second day we were happy for him, when we found out it was from himself we all just had to smile. If anyone is interested in how Japanese study is going I'll tell you here. The second day we were here, our first day of class, we learned how to say simple prayers in Japanese. In essence they're Dear Heavenly Father. I thank thee for _____. Please bless _______. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. We're learning gospel words in Japaneseand it's pretty hard still to memorize them all. This Thursday we're going to be walking around and have 3 5-minute conversations in Japanese introducing ourselves. And then I believe we're supposed to teach the first discussion in English. They throw a lot of material at us in class but it's surprisingly easy to pay attention, unlike school. My district came up with a goal of rereading the Book of Mormon by the time we leave the MTC on September 29. I personally hope to finish it by August 10, reading 25 pages a day hopefully. We'll see how that goes.
Elder Andrew West.
P.S. I'm sending this to Nathan first because his is the only e-mail address I actually know, so please forward it. I'll send any other requests I have in a letter today.Also please mail me. You don't even have to pay for postage with DearElder.com. The MTC president told us a story about how one of his sons didn't send a letter for 3 weeks and his wife was so worried about it. When the letter came, their were 3 letters in it with a little post-it note saying "I saved 2 stamps". So please don't make me save my postage as well. Just kidding, love you, goodbye.