Happy Late Thanksgiving

So this week has been great! The only stressful thing about the MTC is trying to get into the choir. Everyone wants to get in it. Especially when there is a general authority speaking. So we have practice on Sunday nights and then again on Tuesday. We sing during the Tuesday devotional. And then this week we had another practice after the devotional because a special person is speaking on Thanksgiving morning. Then we had practice before the Thursday Devotional and sang during the devotional. Lots of singing. OH! Fun fact. Every time a general authority speaks it gets broadcasted to the other MTCs around the world.

Tuesday devotional we got to hear from Elder Teh from the first quorm of the seventy. He talked about his experience last year when the prophet made The announcement. He was pondering why. Why now? His thoughts were because the youth of the church are more prepared. They have re-done the Duty to God, and Personal Progress Programs. They have re-done the Sunday school lessons. The most important part is that the teachers are speaking less, and the youth are speaking more. It gives us opportunities to teach. The more you share your testimony, the more you grow. All of these reason made him believe that, that is why they changed the age.
To his disappointment he was wrong. Elder Holland held a meeting and he said (well I am paraphrasing), I bet you all think that the mission age change happened because of the youth of the church. It is simply because the Lord is Hastening his Work in these Latter Days. He has been slowly preparing the people for this miraculous change. The work force is ready and heeded to the call.
It was a great talk. Speaking of listening to the call of the prophet. We sang a beautiful song for Russell M. Nelson who spoke to us on Thanksgiving morning. A new arrangement of Hope of Israel that has never been sung before. It was wonderful. On the Organ is had an intro starting with a trumpet and then more trumpets (as if they are calling the workers to the field). And then a choir (bigger than the Mormon Tabernacle) came in and sang Hope of Israel, Zion’s army, Children of a promised day! Yeah it was awesome. I have no other words to describe it! I was told that I was on the camera. I hope it didn’t look like I was about to pass out. Some of the notes we held were for 3-4 measures! (Don’t worry I was breathing while singing).
Elder Nelson spoke about missionary work. He said that our number one friend in the ward should be the Ward Mission Leader. And the second should be the Ward Family History Consultant. So many people these days are interested in their families and what better way to invite them to church than by promising them we can help you find the names of your eight great grandparents!
I’ll talk about Thanksgiving more next week. I sent a letter to the family and I want them to read it before I spoil all the fun. I will say that it was one of the best holidays I’ve ever had! (Aunt Regina, Hermana Hokason says Hi!).
Friday was really good! We were teaching our investigator Iida kyodai about baptism. And I committed him to baptism saying this: Shu ga Iida kyodai no inori ni kotaete kudasari, kono meseji ga shinjitsu da aru to kanjiru toki ni baptesuma o uke Iesu Kirisuto no mohan ni shitagate kudasaimasu ka.  (my spelling is awful in romaji)
It translates to After praying and receiving a heavenly response, will you follow Jesus Christs example be baptized?
I was kind of confused because he responded and said , I already know it is true. So I was like is that a yes? Anyways he is getting baptized on Dec. 31, 2013. That is the goal! Pretty exciting.
Oh earlier this week one of our sensei’s taught us how to commit people to baptism in sign language and that is the only reason I was able to have it memorized! Thanks Fower Kyodai. Oh fun fact. I found out that Fower Kyodai and I had a class together at BYU. He was the guy that always wore University of Utah clothes. (Kristil and Devin will remember him).
I attached a photo of Thanksgiving Dinner. We had a Thanksgiving Lunch and we had sack dinners.
The temple is closed until next year, so now we have a lot of time on P-days. The weather is nice today. I am so thankful for all the letters and emails I have received! I am so thankful for the gospel it has blessed my life in so many ways. Since I am a missionary now, I am super thankful to Miklia Choro who baptized my mom in Japan! Without that I wouldn’t be on a mission now. Thank you! I am so grateful for my family and friends who have encouraged me with my mission decision. I am so thankful for all your prayers! Have a great week! Mina-san Ai Shitte Imasu.
Sister Crystal Hokanson
Japan Tokyo South Mission
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                                                                Thanksgiving lunch or dinner with the district.
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                                                          Sister Hokanson in front of  Provo Utah Temple
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