Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Letter to Brittany 9/28/2010


Yes I got your package and it was awesome! Those Japanese candies were way yummy, thank you! And thanks for the pictures and my ipod! And the new wallet! It's nice to have something cool to put all my junk in. I've lost my blue meal card so many times here it's not even funny so this is helping.

So I don't know if you know this but I have less than a month left in the MTC! I am so excited and nervous!! (Ok, if this letter seems weird like I'm loopy, it's because I'm writing this letter at 6 in the morning.) Anywho, I'm going to send you or mom my memory card before I leave so you can see what the MTC is like for me! Should I send it to you, or to Mom? Hmm, probably you. Or mom. I don't know. The MTC is making me crazy, the food is hard on my stomach and the studying is filling my brain. But I am really enjoying it here. I am meeting a lot of cool people and I've seen like ten or fifteen people I know from school/church/home. And I'm learning a lot fo Japanese and a lot of gospel principles. It's a blast.

Hmm, so you want advice about reading the Ensign? Well I had this talk with one of my teachers already about this and he told me that the word of the living prophet is more important than our scriptures because it is modern revelation for us. I don't think it's more important, but I do think that you should read the Ensign each month.

Ah, well this letter has been weird and crazy and I think I need to check my laundry. I just want to say that I love you and I'm grateful for the things you do for me. Keep reading your scriptures and letting me know about the impressions you get.

Love, Robert

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dear Family! September 28, 2010

It's been another great week at the MTC, time has really just flown by. The new Japanese missionaries are here meaning I'm senpai (senior companion), which makes me feel old and wise. But then I remember that I'm not really either of those so it's good. My project to read the dictionary is almost done with. I feel very nerdy but I really think it's going to pay off. I've learned a ton of new words that I know are going to help me on my mission. We have this red book that we call the "Ninja" and it teaches a lot of good stuff, but most of it is gospel related. I'm learning all the words from there as well, but I feel like if I know everyday Japanese it will help me with contacting and such. I'm am super excited to get to Japan and try out all that I've learned. I've learned how to work hard again and more importantly how to plan! This is one of the major lessons I'm learning in the MTC, is how to plan. Dad, i know you always wanted me to plan better, and I guess the Lord saw that it was important enough for me to step in and teach me a good lesson.

This last week the President of the MTC came to our fast and testimony meeting which was awesome, and I got up and bore my testimony in Japanese. I got to shake his hand which was pretty great. Also, I talked with president Harris who's over all the districts here at the MTC and he taught us a lesson in priesthood on Christ-like attributes. He has a list that he got from the Quorum of the Tweleve about the attributes of Christ and it's supposed to be way cool. he said that he wasn't allowed to make copies of it, but that we could come in sometime and write down everything that was on it. I'm going to have to investigate this secret list of awesomeness.

Here's my quote of the week
"Shall we not go on in so great a cause?"
I got that from the end of the Jospeh Smith movie which I watched on Sunday. Joseph Smith was such a great man. I'm glad that he had the faith to pray to God so that he might know which church was true. I can't imgane how my life would be different if he hadn't. My life has more purpose to it now than self-gratification...I can serve my fellow men through teaching the gospel of Christ. Shall I not go on in so great a cause?

I love you all. I hope everyone is healthy and happy! Be happy, try not to stress too much. Till next week!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sept 21, 2010

Hey family! it's good to hear from you again!

So I've have a pretty awesome week. This last week, I taught my first all Japanese lesson and even though my companion didn't say much, I had a blast teaching all in Japanese. I memorized Joseph Smith's first vision a few weeks ago in Japanese and I had a great experience being able to bear my testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith and tell the story of how he saw God the Father and Jesus Christ.

Story time. So the night before the TRC (teaching resource center), I practiced teaching the lesson to a few of the other Japan-going elders. The thing was that my companion was no way going to be ready for the practice, but the teacher made us do it anyways. So I went into the lesson feeling a little mad at my teacher but I started with a prayer and prayed that I could let go of my pride. I taught the lesson, and my doryo (companion) wasn't able to say really anything, but I felt like it was a good experience for the both of us. As the lesson progressed, I had the chance to teach the first vision to my "investigators" and as I recited the first vision in Japanese, I had such a wonderful feeling of peace and love for the Prophet Josepsh Smith. After the lesson, we were all teary eyed and I knew that I had been able to say what I wanted to say through the power of the Holy Ghost. I had felt like I wouldn't be able to communicate, both in the language and with the Spirit, but now I know that if I have faith, it is possible! And that has been the highlight of my week!

I also had the chance to watch the Testaments Sunday night, and I wrote about it in some of my letters to you guys. I just have to say that the very last part of the film moved me deeply. I don't think I can get through the scene where Christ says Helam's name and heals him. I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know that the Messiah has come and He will come again. I know that through Christ we too can be healed, if we believe. I hope you would take the time to go see it, it is so wonderful.
Matthew, you are a wonderful boy.
Miles, you're a stud.
Brittany, you are a little weird, but I still love you. mochiron
Mom, thank you for your letters, love and support! You're great!
Dad, thank you for the wisdom. I'm glad I have you as a father.

I love you guys.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dear Mom

Thank you for the Dear Elder letters! I was really glad to hear from you guys and my roommates were glad for the cinnamon rolls! I hope all is well at home. I've been praying for my family in all my prayers. Kazoku ni kansha shite imasu. Kazoku ga takusan shukufuku o ukeru koto ga dekiru yoni tasukete kudasai. "I am grateful for my family. Please help them receive many blessings." Even though it's in Japanese, I know it still means the same to the Lord.

It's comforting knowing that you forgive me for the mistakes I've made. I've said it once, and I'll say it again (for the rest of my life), I am so grateful for the Atonement.

So I've been here for over a month! How crazy is that? I'm about to hit the half-way point too; I think we're here for about 76 days or so and tomorrow will be 36! I love the MTC but I so can't wait to get out to Japan...I've probably gained a good 5 pounds here and my brain wants to explode! With the help of the Lord, my Japanese has improved greatly. We teach our first full lesson in Japanese this Thursday (Sept 16). All the others have been in English. So this Thursday we'll be having a 35 minute lesson with a 15 minute task all in Japanese. Pray for me!

Last thing and I'll let you go, I finished the Book of Mormon this last week and I want you to know I know it's true. It's God's revelation to us in these latter days and if we're faithful, we can receive the rest of it. These next 6 weeks or so I'll be trying to finish the four gospels and Jesus the Christ before I leave. Not to mention learning Japanese. Wish me luck, pray that God sees fit to help me!

Love, Robert

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Letter to Family September 14, 2010

Watashi no kazoku!

I hope you all are doing great! I've had a pretty awesome week and I'm excited to finally be emailing you. I sent you all letters and so you should get them in 3 days or so.

So you've been wanting to know how the schedule is? here it goes

On most days I have class from 9 to 12:30, lunch at 12:30 and then class at 1:15 to 5:30. Then I have dinner, and then class (missionary directed time) from 6:15 to 9. In the mornings I have gym and on Friday we have shorter class because I have an hour and a half long service project which basically consists of my district cleaning the main MTC building. Thrusdays are fun days. We have a TRC appointment on those days at 4:15ish and during these we teach the first or second lesson to an MTC investigator. I just finished teaching the last one in English, and now the next 6 weeks of the TRC are going to be all in Japanese.

Sundays used to be a lot of free time (used for scripture and language study) but now it's alot of leadership training meetings and such. Being a district leader is a lot of fun though. There's firesides on Sundays and they are always great. Tuesdays are the best days. We have the whole day (it's planned out) to do laundry, go to the temple for an endowment session, writer letters, emails for 30 minutes, and to study. P-day is officially over at 6 pm though, just like in the mission field, and then we have a fireside. I've developed a habit of saying "it's almost Tuesday!" and it eventually comes.

I love everyday here. I'm getting a lot of Japanese down and I'm feeling fairly confident about my first TRC nihongo dake (japanese only) visit. The funny thing is that I know I'm going to be humbled...that's how it usually works. But I'm going to work my hardest and try and get it done!

Have a wonderful week family.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Letter to Dad September 9, 2010

Dear Dad,
Thank you for your support and prayers, I can feel the Lord strengthening me and making me equal to the task at hand. The Lord has made me able to learn Japanese easily and feel the Spirit often. He has His hand in my life and I am growing in my love for Him.

I don't know why this comes to mind (maybe because I strongly wish I could change my past) but I want to apologize for all the mistakes I've made. My pride has caused a lot of heartache for the family and for myself and there's not a day that goes by where I don't think about things past I wish I could change. I'm truly sorry for the hurt I've caused you and Mom. I hope that you can forgive me of my imperfections as countless as they are. I want to be the best I can be and I know that I need to forsake my sins and repent. Pray for me so that God will strengthen me. I know He can do all things and I am so very grateful for the Atonement.

Anyways, I'll move on to something more uplifting. President Bird made me the district leader for the next two months, so I'm learning (slowly) how to lead and to conduct meetings. It's a wonderful opportunity or a subarashi kikai as it would be said in Nihongo. It's been humbling as I have made mistakes but I am enjoying the process.

This is random but I thought I'd mention that I got along really well with one of my teachers. He's way cool and it's nice that we get along because when we do our mogi (role plays) he partners up with me due to the odd number of missionaries in the district. It's nice because we can use more advanced Japanese and I understand most of it. It's awesome having that opportunity because my companion is struggling a lot with his Japanese.

Dad, I love you. I miss being able to wrestle with you and talk to you face to face. As I serve my mission for the Lord, I will pray that He blesses our family. I know that He has all the power. And as Ammon once said, I know that I am nothing (watakushi wa fukanzen desu). Stay safe, keep the faith, love God.

Love, Your son, Robert

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

September 7, 2010

Dear Family
I've been fasting for the last two sundays about dad's business and I know that through the Lord anything is possible! I know you have thanked Heavenly Father many times already for your blessings, but be sure He knows how grateful we all are.

So, how are you feeling mom? Is everything going better with your stomach ulcer? I really hope that you've been recovering...I don't want to even think that my mom is in pain. I'll keep praying!

I think about you all a lot and about the reason why I'm out here. I'm a little sad that I can't see you all, I was actually badly home sick one day this last week when I got Miles's letter. Miles, I hope you know that I love you very much. Your letter brought tears to my eyes, I'm glad I have you as my best friend, you and the family really keep me going. I am so glad that I'm out here doing what is right. I know that the Lord will bless us all if I serve righteously and if you all pray for me and keep me going. I'll let you all know that my Japanese is coming along nicely. I taught the first lesson in Japanese for 15 minutes (at least the first two sections of the frist lesson). I know that if I trust in the Lord and have faith, and continue in obedience, I will be blessed to come to understand the gospel better as well as Japanese. I love you all. Mom, I love your letters. They make me smile and wish that I could be there with you. Dad, your letters and words of wisdom land on my wall in my room. I read them often. Miles, I love you very much. You are one of my bestest (the supermostest) friends. And Matthew, i love you so very much. You are a sweet boy and I can't wait to tell you how Japan is. I'll tell you some good stories about ninjas or samurai. You'll love it. I love you all.

By the way, if you want to send me letters through Dear Elder, it's free for when I'm in the MTC. And I get them the same day! But when i'm in Japan, you should send me real letters! So anyways, check it out, it's nice. And if you send me an email and the Dear Elder of the email beforehand, I can read the email without using any of the thirty minutes I get, and all that time will go to writing you and the family emails!


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Email from Robert, Part Two

Yes! I get the ten minutes of email time back that I lost this morning. The MTC computers are really ghetto and some things glitched out so I didn't get time to email you, but I checked with the tech place and they gave me my time back.'s good to be able to send you an email.

So that package of food you guys sent me was monstrous. Like, I had a lot of friends before but now...haha just kidding. Thanks again, for everything. I'm going to try and smuggle some on the flight to japan. I don't think i'm going to be able to finish it all.

Ok, so I've forgotten to tell Mom the story of the Japanese guy being converted for two weeks now. If you could forward this email to her that be awesome. Here it goes!

In Japan, there was this guy, the speaker, and he was curious about God. Two elders from our church met him and taught him the lessons. He was reading the scriptures and after a few months he developed a strong testimony for them. His parents were hard core Buddhists though and they would not allow him to be baptized. The dad said that he would kill himself with a knife if his son was baptized because of the same that it would bring to the family. So the japanese investigator told the missionaries that he couldn't be baptized. Months went by and the Japanese man continued to read the scriptures. He prayed that God would soften the hearts of his parents. Finally, they agreed to let him be baptized. He was so happy, but there was one condition. He wasn't allowed to serve a mission.

Ah! I'm out of time. I'll finish the story next week!

I love you Brittany. Stay awesome.


PS I haven't had soda for 3 weeks

Email from Robert, Part One

Konnichiwa Watashi no kazoku!

It's good to hear from you guys. I'm writing all of you letters again so I hope you guys are excited. Oh, and I'm sending you guys a package of my's pretty awesome, I think it should be there in about a week or so. Definitely look through it and tell me what you think :D

So this last week at the MTC has gone by really fast. I've said it before and I'll say it again, days feel like weeks, but the weeks feel like days. I'm definitely getting used to food (I've put on 5 pounds or so) but I'm working harder now so I stay in great shape. My class is on the top floor of a building and my room is on the top floor as well. It's my belief that the branch president is getting us ready to be able to ride 15 miles a day. I'm doing a bunch of pull ups to so I can carry lots of Book of Mormon's haha.

WOW! My computer just malfunctioned and I'm having to retype most of the email. Sad day.

Sigh, well, in the little time I have left, I'll just tell you guys that I love you all. I'm grateful for the blessing you are to me. I hope you continue teaching Rick Stevens and continue studying Preach My Gospel. I've learned a lot this week from my scriptures and from Preach My Gospel. It's definitely a one of the best resources I have.

Miles I'm glad that you have a testimony of Joseph Smith. He is our prophet who restored the gospel to the earth. Keep reading your scriptures and write me letters!