White Christmas!

Ahhhh! This is the last normal week I have at the MTC ( Missionary Training Center). Next week we have Christmas and New Field Orientation! Where did the time go? 

This week has been great! So on Sunday my companion woke up and she was sick. So we were in the room for most of the day. I had a feeling that I’d be giving a talk so I wrote a talk. I’m not sure if I have explained this already, but the branch president gets up to the pulpit and introduces the opening hymn and song, and then after the sacrament all of the Dai Sempai (people who have been here for 6 weeks or more) start quivering in their seats because a Shimai (sister) and a Choro (elder) get called on to give a 2-3 minute talk in Nihongo (Japanese). Well that morning I had a feeling that it would be me and I was so excited to give one ( the reason wasn’t so that the new kohai ((missionaries who arrived on Wednesday)) would think I am amazing at Japanese) but just because I wanted to get it out of the way. The topic for the day is Faith in Christ. So I wrote my talk, my companion was feeling better and we made it in time for 3:15 sacrament meeting. I ran into Butler Kaichoo (the branch president) in the hall way. And I told him that I was ready to give my talk. 
 
When they annouced that I was the speaker I said an audible” Yes! “Luckily not every one could hear me…. 
 
My talk went well. I was so excited to get up there and start teaching in Nihongo that I forgot to introduce myself! We are supposed to say: Our name, where we are from, and a hobby. Oh well. Everyone already knows me so it would have been pointless anyways. Most of the talk is the usual, Christ is important and we need to have faith. And then I shared the story about Andrew in Primary. When he was doing “Yogurt” (Yoga). I then related that we have to be center on Christ at all times because life is rough and the only way back to Heaven is being center on Christ. 
 
So yeah, I am so happy because I gave my first talk as a missionary and I didn’t even pass out or cry! I’m doing pretty well. 
 
So BYU Men’s chorus came and sang for the devotional on Sunday night. It was so great and spiritually uplifting. Most of the choir is RM’s so between songs, they’d share some experiences. It was awesome. I have no other words to describe it. 2 Elders in the MTC were Alumni from the BYU Men’s Chorus and they were asked to join and sing with them. So that was fun to watch!
 
Monday, Matsusaka Shimai was still sick so we missed most of the day, but we taught Iida Kyodai the restoration of the gospel! So that made the day worth it! Oh and the District Leader went to go pick up the mail and there was 6 letters and they were all for me. I felt so bad. I told them that we could share the letters, but of course they didn’t want letters addressed to me. Thank you for all the letters everyone! My Christmas tree looks great!
 
Tuesday was crazy! First of all we had to go off MTC campus to get Matsusaka Shimai some medication from the BYU Health Center. And then she got called to the travel office. (I’ll explain later see Thursday). Elder Rasband for the quorum of the 70ty spoke to us about gifts of the spirit. And he encouraged us to all write down a gift that we have. And then committed us to share a gift by Christmas. Our testimonies are a gift, so we were committed to share our testimonies by Christmas. Yeah his talk was really great. I received a lot of revelation. 
 
Here is my Gift to everyone reading this:
 
I know that Christmas time is a very special time of year. Not because of the trees or Santa Clause. It is important because of the Savior’s birth. Heavenly Father gave us the first Christmas gift on the first Christmas night. Heavenly Father gave us his best, even Jesus the Christ, and that is why he asks us for our best. He constantly blesses us, even when we don’t recognize the blessings. He loves us so much. The gospel is the most important thing in my life. It has made me the person I am today and I am scared to think where I’d be without it. I love Moses 1:39. For behold, this is my work and my glory — to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Heavenly Father’s one purpose is to bring us back to him. That is why he gave us the Plan of Salvation or the Plan of Happiness. Through living the gospel we can become like Christ. I hope you all invite others to come unto Christ. Just inviting is success. 
 
So after the devotional, we went back to have our district review. And we went around the room telling everyone what their spiritual gifts are. It really united the district. When you see and recognize the potential that others have, you can’t help but to love them!
 
Wednesday Umm 800 new missionaries entered the MTC. My district was asked to host. I think I hosted 10 sisters. I lost track. I’d be walking back to the curb and an Elder would pass the sister to me. (We were a little short handed on Host Sisters this Wednesday). Oh before we hosted. Matsusaka had to go to Smith’s market place to get a check or something. So we went into the real world. I just wanted to talk to everyone while we were at the store, but I had to stay in sight and hearing distance of my companion. So I couldn’t talk to people much. I could feel like there was a little bubble of the spirit around me and I was really aware that others didn’t have it. It made me so determined to go teach people the gospel and make their lives better. The Gospel saves lives! 
 
Thursday, So Matsusaka Shimai had to go to Denver, CO to get her Japanese passport. So she left at 1:30 in this morning. and got back at 1:00 am on Friday. So I was in a trio with Padelsky & Ashby Shimai. It was fun. I was a memeber in their lesson. It was good practice. I feel like something else exciting happened but I forgot… sorry. Padelsky Shimai got a huge package of Nori (seaweed) so we have all been eating it without rice… 😀
 
Friday, we had a great lesson and we talked to our teachers all about missions and they just gave us a bunch of great tips. All of us are starting to pack for Japan. We got our travel plans today! pretty exciting! I can’t believe how much time has flown!
 
I’ll share a story really quick from Clark Kyodai (brother) ‘s mission. (Oh his wife is in Aunt Regina’s ward and he said hi to me from Uncle Cliff and it was pretty great). So when he was on his mission the mission average was 1.1 baptisms per missionary per year. And then Hansen Kyodai ( who went to the same mission and Clark Kyodai but 2 months after Clark Kyodai came back) the mission average was higher and the goal was 300 baptisms a year. By the end of November they had 190 baptisms for the year. So as a mission they just bore testimony in meetings and got everyone fired up for missionary work. By Christmas Eve there  25 people who were baptized and on Christmas day 20 people got baptized. They truly had a white Christmas. 
 
Missionary work isn’t about the numbers, it is about the people. But the more people you talk to the more people who will hear the message. The more who hear, the more that come unto Christ. 
  
Yeah, MTC life is pretty good. I’m trying to finish my goal of reading the entire book or mormon before I leave the MTC. I was in Mosiah 1:1 when I entered the MTC, now I am on 2 Nephi 15. I’m really close. I will finish! I also read the Pearl of Great Price. I’m not trying to brag, I just feel like if I say it in the weekly letter I’ll feel more motivated to complete my goal.
 
Well everyone have a great week! Stay righteous my friends!
 
Sister Hokanson

Japan Tokyo South Mission
 
 
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