Mom and Dad,
Since yesterday was President's Day, if you sent something via DearElder.com I won't get it until this evening. I got Dad's e-mail, but I haven't gotten anything from Mom. That's okay though. Things are going great here in the MTC. My birthday was great, and I had a good day. Thank you for the package, and tell everyone who included things thank you for me. I've been so busy and I'm not sure if I'll be able to write a letter to say thank you to everyone. The weather has been growing ever sunnier and warmer, it's such a pleasant change. It's crazy to think that including this week I've got 3 weeks left of my stay in the MTC. As much as I love the MTC, I do wish to get into the field and helping people come closer to Christ. But I don't get annoyed about it because I remember that even though I have been assigned to labor in Japan, the Lord has called me first and foremost to be a missionary. That means I am to do whatever the Lord wants me to do and do my best to represent Jesus Christ and work my hardest wherever I am.
This week I read an amazing talk titled, "The Fourth Missionary" by Laurence E. Corbridge. If you're able to find it, Dad, or have heard of it already, I think it would be so great to share with the young men. For that matter, I think it's a great talk to share with anyone. It talks about how there are four main categories of missionaries, the differences between them, and why they turn out the way they do. It has really helped me to put into perspective what I want to become not just as a missionary, but as a child of God working for eternal progression.
The Ni Hon Go is coming along well. I'm able to communicate better and better every day. Teaching and explaining the Gospel in Ni Hon Go is improving. I can't fully express everything I want to, but that will come with time and practice I'm sure. It is truly the Lord's work that I am called to do, and as such I must study and learn the Japanese that the Lord wants me to. I read this week in Preach My Gospel chapter 7 about language study. In the chapter there's a quote by Elder Holland (I think it's on page 128) about how we need to hold onto the abilities that the Lord has helped us gain. After our missions we need to keep practicing our mission language. He says something along the lines that the Lord has invested much in us, and may have use of those abilities later. So I'm just curious, how do you think your Ni Hon Go is, Dad? How is Jason's Chinese? (Craig probably doesn't have to worry so much about his Canadian.) It might be worth considering and praying about if a little language study would be good for you to hold on to the abilities that God has blessed you with while you were serving Him full-time.
I don't think I need or want anything. Thank you so much for your support. Dad, I've gained a few pounds. I think I weigh 146 now, compared to about 142 when I entered the MTC. I've been running nearly a 20min 5K twice a week, running stairs one day, stationary biking another, and I do an upper body workout on another day. I feel fantastic. Eternally tired, but fantastic!
I love you so much!