Thursday, January 29, 2015

MTC Week 2

Hi everyone!!

Hope everyone's week was amazing and full of joy and wonderment. This week was a roller coaster- lots of ups and lots of downs. There's a sister in my district named Sister Ailupo. She is an amazing, bright and dedicated missionary. Nobody knows anyone that wants to serve a mission more than her and she's just the awesomest person, and like you have all heard before, sometimes bad things happen to good people. The first few days, Sister Ailupo was vomiting for no apparent reason so her and her companion went to the health clinic to get checked out. They ended up taking a blood test and finding that her blood was not at all normal. She took some medication for a few days but had to go to an actual hospital to get testing done, testing of her bone marrow- yep, the big thick needle getting stuck in her hip bone. Awful enough right? Nope. After a week and a half of tumultuous waiting for results, she receives the results. And they were not good. They found she has a type of blood cancer, not life threatening, but as of Tuesday, her future as a missionary in Japan is doubtful. The hardest part is, she doesn't know what is going to happen to her. Whether she will be able to go to Japan or if she'll be able to serve here in the states or if she'll have to go back home to Australia. It's been tough and she's had a very tough time dealing with it emotionally, as expected, but we know God has her best interest at hand and whatever happens to her will be for the best. 

The rest of my week has been good! Elder Barr and I have been battling the flu these past few days in addition to the craziness going on with the sisters in our district, our teacher kind of sat the four of us elders down last night to assess the situation. He recommended Elder Barr and I go back to the apartment to get a jump start on sleep so we can recover faster while he works with the other two elders on their Japanese. That was way sweet! First time I've had 8+ hours of sleep since the 13th! I've been learning a lot everyday and am starting to get the hang of the language a little bit which to be honest is what I needed. It's a challenge to not compare yourself to others, especially if your companion is a genius at Japanese and everything else haha he whips out the randomest facts...  always entertaining. Still a pretty strange kid and yes we're still polar opposites but we work pretty well together. He wants to be an astronaut which is awesome! Alright sorry for that tangent. This Monday, all my Senpai (a term for older missionaries that have been at the MTC longer than you have) leave for their respective missions in Japan! Im so pumped for them but probably not as much as they are to finally be able to actually get to Japan. Their Japanese is so good! I hope by the time I leave I'll be half as good as they are! In a couple of weeks, I'll be a senpai to the new missionaries that get here.

Alright well sorry for the sad story! I have plenty of funny stories to tell but it's kind of a you had to be there type of thing;) Oh! The two new Japanese districts got iPads this week! We are a pilot group for the Japan districts and they want to see if they're effective enough in our learning to get everyone an iPad. We get to use quizlet and google translate and stuff and it is SO much more efficient than writing down vocab in a notebook! Super exciting. All the older missionaries are jealous that they didn't get one. All I know is the processed food is only getting better and those nihonji are still laughing full blast at anything we say, and I'm still running the court every morning. I'm having a fun time getting to know all the Japanese missionaries better. Everyone has such unique personalities, its fun to kind of use my personality to pry them open and seed a new relationship<3 8<] 

Hope you all are doing fabulous and enjoying yourselves this January. Remember you all can send me care packages with candy, ties, fun socks, and heartfelt notes. Or maybe if someone that goes to BYU could manage to drop off some chick fil a one of these days that would be amazing. Haha alright the sending address is:

Elder Dallin Sune Robins
2007 N 900 E Unit  12
Provo UT 84602

Love you all, have a great week and remember God loves you and is there for you!

Elder Dallin Robins

Thursday, January 22, 2015

MTC Week 1

Hey Everybody! 8^)

Gonna define some missionary lingo before I begin. 
MTC: Provo, Utah Missionary Training Center. Where I'll be for the next 8 weeks learning Japanese and how to teach. 

Companion: one of the most important rules for a missionary is that they have to be with another missionary of the same gender literally 24/7- within sight and sound. So your companion is kind of the other half of your life as a missionary

Elder/ Choro (japanese) and sister/ shimai: Our new first name. Sets us apart from normal dudes as we represent the Lord. 

District: A group of missionaries serving in the same area. ie- My district consists of one other Elder companionship and a companionship of Sisters. This district works, learns, and hangs out with eachother most of the day.

Investigator: They will be real people when I go to Japan but for now, the MTC gives you people to practice teaching to, usually return missionaries that know the language you are studying to speak. You are to prepare a lesson to teach them in the language almost every day.

P Day: Thursdays for me. The day we have time to chill and do laundry and basically not learn all day. 

Man oh man where to start. The MTC has felt like a whole different life from before. It feels like I've been here for a 40.5 years. I've learned so so much in this past week I hardly even have time to think! Most of it just flies over my head, in one ear and straight out the other but Its kind of cool to have a focus that intense.

The food we are served here is the highest quality processed food I've ever had the opportunity to eat, often times featuring powder potatoes, bagged chicken patties, and the highest quality angus beef. Also featuring straight out of the bag peas, carrots, corn, and french fries! its wonderful. For beverages, you get to choose between high quality non caffeinated sodas, a plethora of minute maid juices, and the best of the best chocolate, 2% and skim milk, straight from the cow. Truly blesses to be fed such an eloquent meal 3 times a day, all you can eat.

My companion... oh boy. Elder Thompson is the name, building robots and making corny jokes is his game. Haha kind of a geek but he's great for me cause he's like my own personal tutor for japanese and is very motivated to do the work. Basically the exact opposite from me so its chill. He has been suffering from a mild case of nausea in the early mornings.

My schedule goes as follows: 
Get up every day at 6:30. Go to the gym at 6:40- 7:35 to ball out on all the other elders- you know i do work. Shower and get dressed. Breakfast at 8:20 or something. The rest of the day we study the language, the scriptures, and prepare to teach our investigator, Yuki san, in Japansese. Lunch is usually around 12:30. Dinner is around 5:30.  Back in your room by 9:30. Lights out by 10:30.

Learning Japanese has been such a struggle but it's coming along. I now know how to construct simple sentences in my head and can do a little more complex sentences when I write it out. My Japanese accent is money!

Real Nihonji missionaries (japanese people) showed up 2 nights ago. I laughed out loud when we took a picture of them they all said "peeeaaaaceeee!" and did the famous trademark peace sign!!!! And they laugh at everything we said like a pack of wild monkeys- super high pitched and would wake up a den of hibernating bears. Very entertaining to make fun of while they aren't looking!

Yesterday in our lesson with Yukisan, I said "seiteki" when trying to describe prayer. What I should have said is reiteki which means spiritual. But you all know how those asians like to do with their language and make just one letter change the meaning significantly. Seiteki = sexual. So good for me, I said prayer is a sexual experience hahaha.

Love and miss you all, hope you all have a great week!

Elder Dallin Robins

PS: Congrats to my two main home boys Ryan Nearon and Aaron Christensen for getting their mission calls to Berlin, Germany and Luonda, Angola (Africa). SO COOL!

The Elders I room with in front of the temple.

My district in front of the temple. We strive every day for excellence in executing the Japanese trademarked peace signs.