Week 3 at the MTC

Aloha my dear family
This week has been probably my favorite so far.  I finally feel like I'm getting the MTCthing down.  It's kind of hilarious how the hierarchy system is around here. 
It's funny how aware Japanese people are of "status" and how aware the Japanese-serving missionaries are of it too.  There's even a name for the older missionaries, or the ones that have been here for 9 weeks as opposed to our group (the 2 weekers).   The seniors are called the "sempai" and we are referred to as the "kohai" which literally translates to inferior person or junior in Japanese.  It's funny who  the seniors are in this caste system.  Who is of the higher rank.
The elders continue to be hilarious.  We are all studying hard, but they are always talking about funny things like how they can't wait to get to Japan and get Samurai swords.  Me and my companion, Sister Rogers, sometimes feel like the den mothers. 
One of my favorites is Elder De Silva from Brazil.  He's always saying profound things.  The other day he said, "You know what I feel when I learn Japanese Grammar?  Freedom."  So true :)
When you're new, everyone kind of acts like you know nothing, and then if you have been here more then 3 weeks, you're suddenly an oldie.  This week they were short 40 host missionaries so me and my companion, even though we are only 3 weeks in, were able to host.  It was great.  The first day I was all starry eyed so I could actually see what the first day is like from an outsiders perspective. 
I could see from the new Hermanas' eyes how surprised she was at everything.  People hustling and bustling to classes speaking different languages, holding doors for you, being so kind. 
I am still loving my district.  They are so funny and so ready to learn.  After our district meeting this week, our District leader is like  "okay so any suggestions? or things you'd like to see happen in our district?"  Elder Rasmesend from Canada, who eats like 3 plates for dinner and lots of candy, suggested we make a pinata on P-Day. 
We have two investigators we're teaching, Morimoto-san and Yoshi-san.  I'm learning how to be more simple in teaching.  It's so true, for those of us who have been raised in the church, its like a surgeon trying to explain a surgery to a normal civilian, you have to use really simple terms, and the gospel really is that way, so simple. 
David Archelleta has been here at the MTC with us.  And just left to Chile, I think this week. I have seen him around a few times but I never want to make him feel weird.  He sang to us this week at devotional and he really does have the voice of an angel.  M. Russel Ballard spoke to us and I loved it.  He said "look people in the eye and be yourself" .  He said above all else is our ability to connect and relate.  He said social media is wonderful but "you will never be replaced"
He talked about Joesph Smith and how he was not yet 15 and was still so teachable and reachable and wouldn't hesitate to follow God. I have been thinking about that a lot this week.  My teacher, Bishoff Sensei, gave us great advice. He said some missionaries come here and they are determined not to change.  They are afraid of becoming weird, but "I would encourage you to be as open to change as possible."  He said that Heavenly Father really does want us to become something, but we can't do that if we cling so tightly to who we think we are. 
Sorry this is all over the place, we only have 30 minutes a week to email.  I love you all so much and feel you here with me. 
This is my favorite scripture from this week:
For verily I say unto you, great things await you -D&C 45:62
Vail Shimai

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