Friday, January 31, 2014

Week 7 at the MTC

In Keanu Reeve's voice, "woah," because my MTC experience is almost over! This is my second last P-Day, after this weekend we have a full week before we leave for Japan! It's surreal, I prepared so much for leaving home for the MTC but didn't think I'd need to prepare to leave the MTC, at some points I just thought I'd spend 2 years at the MTC in Utah! 


This week on Cade Triffitt Watch, we found another 2 teachers who know the famous Elder. Gregory Kyodai and Pearson Kyodai at two different times after learning I was from Tasmania asked me if I knew him. I think they liked me a lot more after I said I did, and one of them was saying how much of an amazing missionary Triffitt Choro was, and that he was an awesome example, which is really great! That makes... 8 teachers here that know him. Or was it 9? I can't remember. But the myths are to be believed, that's for sure.


This week has been really full on, we got our Japanese name tags which are awesome! I'm back in our original Sannin, our trio companionship with Elder Garrard and Elder Inagaki, the one we were put in for our first 3 weeks at the MTC. We've had some ups and some downs from this week, but all of it has been in preparation for the next 22 months and I can see that clearly. 


For Australia Day, Elder Barr (Brisbane), Cooper (Brisbane), Mahoney (Adelaide), Rostedt (Harvey Bay) and Sister Brown (NZ... yeah, I know, right? Whatever) sat together and we had weetbix (that I traded some Vegemite for, off Elder Watson from Melbourne going to South Korea), vegemite toast, and cold milos. We wore Australia Day stuff, and sung the national anthem and everyone around us was clapping afterwards. It was pretty obnoxious of us, but everyone was laughing and having a good time. For lunch we had a tim tam slam, and showed our branch presidency what it was, as they were having lunch with us. Pretty good!


That night a few of us got together and took some more photos, and I met Elder Petrevich who's family is from Melbourne I believe, they came down and visited Tasmania last year! 


Well that's all for this week, great to hear from all of you who actually write to me unlike slackson and co. 



Haha just messing (not really) Love you all and hope you're all doing well!

Love from Elder Wheeler


Elder Barr and Elder Mahoney doing a spoon of vegemite for straya!

Elder Beatty (from st george) and Elder Barr doing the weetbix challenge on Australia Day Eve

Australia Day Eve

Australia Day breakfast

Friday, January 24, 2014

Jayme having fun at the MTC

One of the things I (his mum) love about Jayme is his ability to make fun with basically nothing. I love his sense of humour and his antics. When he was a kid he pretended the fun side of himself was named Timothy and sometimes Timothy was really silly but always gave us a laugh. He also has the ability to be serious when he needs to be and I think he has the perfect combination of both.
Here are some silly videos of him and his friends at the MTC making fun with something as simple as a drink fountain (bubbler).


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Weekly Gaijinmail

The countdown is on, Nihon in just a few more weeks! Already getting MTC homesick, if that were possible. Okay, maybe just friend-and-teacher-sick. I won't be foodsick, I already am sick of the food. Vegemite Sunday is a thing, in our zone, and it's hilarious when some of my American friends continue to have it every week because they're convinced if they keep eating it they'll eventually like it. I swapped Elder Watson's weetbix for some of my vegemite this week, he's from Melbourne and he's going to South Korea.

I totally started writing that last sentence in Japanese sentence structure, until I realised it didn't make sense... in fact, just the other week I was writing and I literally called out "what's the word for Kyudosha?" In English the word is "investigator." I'd say that's a bit of a rare word to forget as a Missionary!

Elder Rowling's sensei from when he was at the MTC, Holbrook Kyodai, subbed for our class one this week, he's totally cool and Elder Rowling's must have put a good word in for me 'cause he was totally awesome to us. Our teachers are so awesome! I say this every letter but seriously, if anyone had these guys for teachers for school they would love school and never want to leave! I'll get a photo with them all before I leave, but I love them all, they're so patient and caring.
It's great being able to go to the Temple every week, and yesterday we had the opportunity to be hosts, which means we welcome all the new missionaries in and show them to their rooms, take them to collect their materials and then drop them off at class. I met some great people who are really outgoing, and of course I saw lots of people crying! Lots of mothers crying! And lots of people who couldn't get away from their family sooner, funnily enough haha.
I had a weird experience when this person I'd never met or heard of before randomly walked past me, before she had even made it to the MTC office to check in, yelled, "you're Jennadene's boyfriend!!" And I was so dumbfounded I had no idea what to do, while my two friends next to me just laughed. Apparently she's one of Jen's friends who recognised me from photos she uploaded to her Facebook.

Unfortunately no Lost In Translation this week, which I guess is a good thing, it means we're getting better at the language, right?

Last night for TRC we had our first skype call, where we skype someone in Japan for 40 minutes, and share a message with them. Elder Heap and I had the awesome opportunity to talk to Kegiri, quite an elderly Japanese man from Sendai who spoke no English. Our call went for almost 50 minutes, but we got acquainted, had a few laughs and got to know each other before we shared a message about prophets, which unexpectedly led us into prayer. The Spirit was really strong as we each shared experiences and testimonies on both of the subjects, and afterwards we felt so uplifted. Kegiri spoke just as much as we did, so it really did feel like a discussion instead of a lesson. And the fact that we deviated from what we were expecting to talk about the whole 40 minutes really shows that we were guided by the Spirit. I learnt a lot from our time all together, and we had so many laughs. It was really great, we all felt comfortable and our goal was to invite him to come closer to Christ, and I believe we were able to do that by sharing our testimonies on why we follow the Prophet, and on why we pray and how we feel when we do. It was great! I love TRC, it's my favourite activity to do here.

Ja, best be off to get some of that greased up 'Murican food, know what I'm talking about? Hope to hear from you all again next week. Biofuze out.

Love from Elder Wheeler


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Weekly Just Waiting for a Mail

Another day another dollar. No, literally, we get $6 a week, which leaves Sunday.

Last Sunday night we watched the Joseph Smith movie in Japanese (no subtitles) and it was so awesome! The prison rebuke scene is the coolest thing ever! It's like those old Japanese movies that apparently no one but myself has seen - yeah, those! But it was all in plain form, and I only really understand polite form, unless they talk really slow (which of course in the movie they don't haha), so if it weren't for the visual aid and the context I would have not known what on earth they were saying. It made me want to watch more Japanese movies though!

And guess who paid us another visit this week? David A. Bednar, only my favourite speaker! Tuesday night devotional he came back and answered more of the questions we asked him on Christmas, but made a talk out of it. It was awesome and man that Elder is funny! I'd tell you all about it, but secret MTC missionaries club only!

Sister Brown from the other district popped her head in the room, after we had just had an hour and a half of dead silence, and saw Elder Seable standing on Elder Bradley's knees and said, "This is what I think you do.. and it actually is what you do.." and it was pretty funny. Well, not really, but everything that lame is funny when you're at the MTC.

A guy who we shared a message with at TRC the other week came up to me this week and he asked if I knew an Elder Watson from Tasmania who baptised his grandmother 9 years ago. His name was Allen, and guess what.. he knows Cade Triffitt as well! He is seriously famous. I've been asked about him a fair bit here, from people who know him haha.

I met (as Elder Kennedy, one of our old Dai Senpai would say) "straight up Nihonjin" this week! The Japanese missionaries who are serving in Japan, but still have to come all the way here for 2 weeks for the MTC, are so cool! They're hilarious and I love talking to them in my horrible broken Japanese. They joke around heaps which is cool. I hope I have a Nihonjin companion when I'm in Fukuoka!

This week on Lost In Translation:
We got a new investigator (role played by our teacher) who's name is Kabasawa, and to get more information about her before we had a chance to teach her I accidentally said Kamisama which means God instead of her name, so I asked her "How old is God?" instead of "How old are you?" And she looked at me weird and started laughing and I was like "ohhh what did I say wrong this time?"
On the confusing spectrum, Sister Wilde in our Zone got a little muddled in her words and said, "When Jesus died, he became the Church." Hm, very interesting. Also the word for 'slave' and 'companion' are very similar so I can't wait to see what comes from that. Stay tuned for more!

We had a great experience during class this week, when we did some role playing and took as much time as we needed to, to share with someone else role playing as a kyudosha something we felt they would need to hear to come closer to Christ, and the outcome was beautiful. The spirit was so strong in the room, and both myself and Elder Moua (who I was doing the exercise with) were uplifted and it really testified to us that missionaries really are tools and instruments of the Lord. Our teacher said, if Christ were standing exactly where we were, what would he want to share with them, to bring them closer to him? My testimony of missionary work is increasing rapidly, even though we have only taught members and teachers, the spirit testifies every day that this is what I'm needed for, and I'm more determined and motivated each day to share what I know to be true with those who are ready to hear it. Christ lives and I see his influence in my life every day, always for the benefit of others.

Thanks to all those who have written to me, I love hearing from you all! Love from Elder Wheeler


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Week 4 at the MTC

Life at the MTC continues! Everyone's Japanese is really improving, and with our new schedule change everyone's a lot less tired.. but there's still an average of 11/11 people falling asleep during class throughout the day from our district. It's hard, but our teachers are hilarious and always make us feel comfortable even though one or more of us totally just fell asleep on them. Here are some interesting and funny things that have happened over the last week!


During TRC this week, which is when we go and meet with a Japanese speaking person and get to know them and share a message with them (just like a member visit out on the field), I know that I couldn't have said what I said if it weren't for the spirit which we all felt so strongly, because Elder Heap and I were so unprepared (mix up in schedule) but we went in there with the intent to help the volunteer come closer to Christ and from the feedback cards we got back, they really enjoyed their time with us and the spirit testified to them (and us) of the truthfulness of our message. It makes me so keen to go to Japan! I got an email back from one of our Elders from our previous intake (called our Dai Senpai) of him and his companion and already hearing from him makes me so crazy excited to go to Japan! I know there's a lot more for me to learn here though so I'm happy to stay here for a while longer!


This week on Lost In Translation, Elder Lough in our district, during one of his investigator role plays said that his family are able to live in the ceiling, instead of in heaven. Elder Inagaki, however, wanted to say "Through baptism and confirmation we show our commitment to God," however, insead of saying "ketsui" for commitment, he said "ketsu" for buttocks. So yep. Which one's worse, his mistake or mine from last week's email? Oh and did people figure that one out?


A video I watched recently that I enjoyed and wanted to share was 'Leave the party' on mormon chanel, you could probably search it on YouTube, but it's on and it's set in Japan, which makes it cooler! 


I got a letter from Brother Eli Atkinson from Launceston West Ward who mentioned he may know who my teacher, Brother Nic Fowers, was.. after confirmation from my teacher, it turns out that when Brother Atkinson was serving in Tokyo on his mission, he sung at my teacher's baptisim when he was 8! All the way in Japan! How crazy is that, haha. Another instance of 'small world' was when Elder Barr and I both said we had a friend serving in South Africa.. and it turned out to be the same person, Elder Christopher Reid, from Tassie who served in the mainland for a bit before getting his Visa. Also my other teacher, Brother Anderson, knew James Buckingham when they served. So much world, so little small.


It's been snowing again here which is cool! Hope to hear FROM MY FRIENDS!!! LIKE JACKSON CORONA WHO HASN'T WROTE TO ME IN A WHILE LIKE WHAT'S UP WITH THAT!! WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE!! inu desu. demo ai shite imasu! 


I love you all, from Elder Wheeler.
from left to right is elder bahr (arizona), elder goldhamer (LA), myself, elder barr, elder ricketts (nevada), and elder heap on the far right who is my new companion, he's from utah. behind us is sister smith (idaho), sister lozano (mexico) and sister brown (new zealand, flamin' kiwi).

elder barr and I in the middle, the elder with the red scarfe to the far left and the elder laying down and squatting are from our intake, the rest are all our newer ones. we're all really good friends already and I think we've successfully made them feel comfortable and not miss their families cause we're way cooler!

sister lozano, sister brown, elder barr, then in the front elder weir and I, and behind us is goldhamer and bahr

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Happy New Year from the MTC

This week has been really fun, for new years we played bean boozled (where two beans looks the same but ones a nice flavour and ones a gross flavour) and Elder Weir ate three vomit jelly bean and threw up, and I got it on camera!!! Everyone was getting really bad ones except for me it seemed like, I filmed a lot of it. We also had a tim tam slam and just sat in Elder barr's room drinking soda (as they call it here) and talking. It was awesome to just chill out with all my friends. 


During one of our progressing investigator role plays (where our teacher plays a character) and I was meant to say "Mitama wa shinri o akashi shimasu" which means "the spirit testifies of truth" but instead of "akashi shimasu" I said "okashimasu" which I'll leave up to everyone else to find out what that means but I'm sure my Japanese speaking friends will feel my pain. My teacher was trying so hard to stay in character, and he corrected me, but our other teacher behind us observing almost started laughing and until we got back to the class and they explained to me what I had said, I had no idea. But I'm glad it happened to me here at the MTC with my teacher instead of out on the field, because it's not really something I'd want to say to a Japanese person!! 


Elder Taylor in our district who is fluent in Japanese was fast tracked, so I was split up from my two companions and am with Taylor's companion, Elder Heap. He's very knowledgeable in the Gospel which will be a real blessing for his companions out on the field and we're learning pretty well together. Our Japanese is about as good as each others, so our investigator role plays are pretty slow and dry but we're improving with every one! I'm very grateful for the training we have here because I've been able to see how much everyone has improved already!


I also tasted freedom during our service hour this week when four of us were driven to an old BYU campus where we moved couches and tables, which was super creepy, it was like a zombie apocalypse because the campus was left behind (and everyone staying there was moved to a newer one) but there were heaps of random things left behind, like letters and photos, and some of the bathroom lights were still on and everything... it was creepy as. 


Thank you to everyone who has been writing to me, and I apologise again for not replying to everyone, but is the best so get on to that, and I can send back physical letters to everyone if you include your physical address - I have way more time to write physically than on here. Love you all,


From Elder wheeler