Dear Family & Friends,
We are trying to recover from the constant activity of the last week. Monday through Friday we started classes at 8 a.m., stopped for lunch between 12 and 1:30, resumed classes until 4:45, and ate dinner. There were 15 minute breaks about every hour or so, but that was usually to change classrooms. Thank heavens we didn’t have far to walk. On Tuesday was a devotional with Elder Jeffrey Holland (those who want to read a summary of his talk, let us know and we will send it to you). On Wed., Thurs., and Fri. eve. we had Japanese class from 6 to 8 p.m. Today (Sat.) we have been catching up on sleep, laundry, and breathing! Most of the instruction has been how to more effectively share your knowledge the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and how Jesus Christ is so central to God’s plan of happiness for his children for them to learn and be able to return to him. On the internet there are two really great sites to go to, one is about Jesus Christ: www.jesuschrist.lds.org and the other is www.mormon.org where there is lots of great general information about the Church and the ability to ask questions.
Do we regret any of this? No, no, no!!! We have loved it! We have learned so much in the book, Preach My Gospel. It is the most incredible book next to the scriptures. We encourage everyone to start reading it now. It helps so much in understanding the Gospel in the most basic way. It explains things so clearly. Everyone in the Quorum of the 12 and First Presidency over the past 4 or 5 years has had input into it. It is truly incredible. We wished we had started studying it carefully as a manual for learning the Gospel when it first came out. Now we have talked about it, we studied it, and we had to present discussions from what we studied and prepared. We feel much more ready to share the Gospel. And the Spirit we have felt has been unbelievable.
One of the more powerful talks were presented by some returned Senior missionaries: a married couple of about 85 who were first supposed to go to Greece and ended up in Jordan for their first mission and Geneva, Switzerland and Luxumberg for their second; and two single sisters (one of about 65 and the other about 85) who met as companions and spent their whole time in a little town in Australia called Finlay. Their stories were incredible, their missions uncommon, totally out of the norm, and their excitement was palpable. What beautiful testimonies they shared of missionary work.
We have made some wonderful friends. Our Japanese is not great, but we expect to continue to improve. We already told you our travel plans for early Thursday morning. So we will write next after we have arrived in Tokyo.
Thanks for wanting to share our mission with us.
Love, Elder & Sister Hartzell