Because we all have iPads, we also got the newest iOS 10 update. Hey, this thing is nice! We can make memories videos on Photos and text weird black screens with scribbles to each other on Messages and have a consistent sleep schedule on the Clock. The lock screen is super weird, but I guess it would make more since with a phone since they have the touch lock code. Glad I'm not entirely out of the loop, here. The Japanese keyboard got an updated set of emoticon faces, I see. ╰(*´︶`*)╯♡
Ballard is back!! I repeat, Ballard Choro is back!!,!! He surprised us all by expecting us in our classroom Monday morning for class. （≧∇≦）His stomach is all good and healthy as ever; he has to take medications for the rest of his life, but seeing that he wasn't supposed to enter the MTC for a couple months over it I'm not complaining. He's not, either. He's bright and funny as ever, cracking jokes all the time. I've never seen our teacher laugh so hard before--it was kinda weird, actually ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
So the MTC will be singing in General Conference. The choir was selected very sneakily, so that there wouldn't be a storm of false applications. They handed a survey out to the people who usually go to choir anyway, and asked everyone to fill it out for the sake of knowing what kind of people attend the choir as part of the biggest wave ever. Being honest, I put my cite reading as poor and my singing ability as average. Guess that wasn't enough to get in. Rats. But, on the other hand, half of the rest of the district made it in. They're all so gifted musically. They'll be missing class in the morning and some late night district reviews for the next couple weeks. Practice, I'm told, takes priority over everything else we do here at the MTC. Pretty important stuff, eh? (☝︎՞ਊ ՞)☝︎
Kohai and Nihonjin came in on Wednesday; I am officially a DaiSenpai. Haha Senpai notice me! \(//∇//)\ we got three districts; 30 new missionaries, and three of them, at least, are going to Nagoya. We did a total body count across the three branches (the entire Japanese populace as a whole), and found 13 ish missionaries going to Nagoya. Honestly, I think I landed the smallest mission missionary wise. That's cool; just more people for me to save, I guess. And in the countryside! Oh yeah! ＼＼\٩(๑`^´๑)۶//／／
My companion was asked to do Translating for the Japanese missionaries so their companions (who already speak Japanese pretty fluently) could focus on the introductory meeting. So, accompanying him, I met all the new cool Elders. It was great! One is super outgoing, sporty type of person; another is also sporty, but humble about it--he was in the top 16 best basketball players in Japan before he left, BTW; the other is unusually quiet, reserved type of person--he was kinda a gamer (played PoGo and such), but honestly he doesn't talk enough for anyone to know much about him. I found out he likes sports, though he's not very skilled, and we had a great conversation about pizza once (that my favorite food （╹◡╹）♡.)
We had a sub for class earlier this week and did some crazy stuff. She asked us all to take a BOM, or spiritual thoughts or something, take your companion and go roaming around the MTC looking for wandering people. (It was a streeting exercise). Hail the person down, and share with them something you feel prompted to in Japanese. You companion would then translate for you; afterwards you would switch. It was great fun! I meet some really cool people. One companionship was going to St. Louis, had the same family size and situation as I did, and had only been in for a couple days! Good elders; they took the whole situation well. ƪ(˘⌣˘)ʃ
V8 is like cold tomato soup; it's a trap!! Don't drink it, it's gross! Hahahaha ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ
I'm preparing for the final package, Mom. You better prepare yourself for this.ʕʘ‿ʘʔ
I don't think there's a Thanksgiving in Japan. Kinda bummed about that. Wonder if I can start one. Hmmm ٩( ᐛ )و
Some inspired words from my Branch President:
I would like to share a few scriptures and thoughts on becoming disciples of Jesus Christ. Discipleship is when our beliefs and actions are in harmony.
D&C 41:5 He that receiveth my law and doeth it, the same is my disciple: and he that saith he receiveth it and doeth it not, the same is not my disciple and shall be cast out from among you
John 8:31,32 If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples in deed and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
It is interesting to contrast how one of Christ’s miracles was received by the different people. I would like you to read scriptures from John chapter 9 as you finish this letter. I believe there are modern day parallels between the actions of the Pharisees and the actions of the blind man. The actions of the Pharisees are attributes that can plague us from becoming disciples of Christ. The action of the blind man can serve as a template of attributes for us to follow Christ.
Barriers to Discipleship
John 9:16 Looked to find fault, looked to criticize
If we focus on finding faults in others, we will find them. While the gospel of Jesus Christ is pure and the organization of the church true, the members are not perfect and that applies to the leaders and missionaries as well. The Lord instructed us in Ether that I give unto men weakness that they may become humble. We all have plenty of reasons for humility. When we are critical of our leaders or finding fault with our fellow missionaries, we are building barriers to our discipleship
John 9:18 Skepticism, Unbelief
When we question spiritual experiences, when we allow doubts to replace faith, when we rely on our own abilities and don’t seek spiritual guidance, we jeopardize our discipleship.
John 9:22 Exclusivity Cliques
When we treat people differently because of how they look or how they dress, if they are athletic, popular, or wealthy, if they are the same race or gender as we are, we encounter additional barriers to discipleship. When we don't use appropriate titles, continue to call people by their last name or use guys, dudes, etc. it hinders our progress to discipleship.
John 9:28,29 Rationalization
Rationalization is our attempt to justify our behavior when our actions are consistent with our standards. Anytime we try to excuse our actions when they are inconsistent with MTC rules, we are plagued by distractions to our discipleship.
John 9:34 Condenscending, Arrogance
The Book of Mormon is full of examples of the pride cycles that led to ultimate destruction. Once we start thinking we are better than others with our language abilities, baptismal numbers, social skills, etc. we open ourselves to the pride cycle.
Keys to Discipleship
John 9:7 Obedience, Faith, and Execution
Obedience is the first law of heaven. It is the key to receive the fulness of the Father and it is how we demonstrate our love to our Savior. Faith and doubt can not co-exist. Planning, goal setting and hard work are keys to successful execution and productivity.
John 9:30-33 Teach gospel principles, enlighten, demonstrated courage
Teach gospel principles to the understanding of your audience. Teach it simply to that people can see the application in their life and receive the enlightenment. This provides them courage to move forward in faith.
John 9:35-38 Humility, Acceptance, Willingness to follow
Humility allows us to submit ourselves to do the will of our Father in Heaven. When we accept his hand in our life and receive counsel from his anointed leaders, we will follow in the footsteps of our Savior and truly become disciples of Jesus Christ.
I hope that we can be like the blind man and develop the necessary attributes to discipleship. There is not a better environment than being a full time missionary to develop the attributes that will lead to not only a mission dedicated to discipleship but a life dedicated to discipleship. Thank you for your service and being here at the MTC. You truly are amazing!
My love and prayers are always with you,
And there's my time!
Love you all; stay true to the faith
Elder Cardon ☆～（ゝ。∂）