Happy Birthday!

Konnichiwa! How is it going in your various locations? It is going quite well here in the MTC. This is the second week, and it has been wonderful! I am having quite a good time here. Thank you for the cards, Mom and Dad! Everybody at the MTC looks forward to receiving mail. I also received my package today; thank you very much!

Before I forget to ask: Kimball, you don’t happen to know the Nally’s, do you? Apparently President Nally (the MTC President) served as the Mission President in Perth sometime in the late 2000’s, but I don’t remember what years he served and I also forgot which years you served there. 😦

I have a few pictures this week. The first is of our district.

They are (from left to right): Madsen choro (me), Chung choro (my companion), Roth shimai, Lambert shimai, Powell choro, Gappmeyer shimai, Wilcox choro, Moreno choro, Andersen shimai, and Bowler choro.

Wilcox choro and Powell choro were called as Zone Leaders this Sunday. Wilcox choro was our District Leader, so Chung choro (my companion) was called as our new District Leader.

The second is Chung choro (Elder Chung) and myself.

I am hoping to get a picture with our district and senseitachi (teachers) sometime soon, so I will probably send that picture next week.

Wilcox choro and Powell choro were called as Zone Leaders this Sunday. Wilcox choro was our District Leader, so Chung choro (my companion) was called as our new District Leader.

Today Chung choro accompanied two shimaitachi (sisters) from our zone, Gappmeyer shimai and Hermann shimai, as they auditioned to perform in a musical number. Unfortunately, Hermann shimai lost her voice a bit today (kind of like what happened to Michael a little while ago) and she wasn’t able to hit the high notes, but Sister Nally (who is the "judge" of the auditions) still liked it and asked them to audition again next week when Hermann shimai is feeling better. I thought it went well despite Hermann shimai losing her voice, and it should be even better next week!

I also caught a cold (surprisingly enough), but it has nearly run its course. I am just hanging on to a little cough, which (hopefully) should be gone soon. Before you ask: yes, I did go to the clinic, and the doctor said I don’t have bronchitis (yet) but if it gets worse then I should return. That was a few days ago and it feels like it’s getting better, so I should be fine. Everybody in my room currently has a cold. We were unable to go to the Provo Temple today (because we are all sick), which is unfortunat. Until this week I had been to the temple at least once a week since my endowment in December. Oh, well. We should be able to go next week. Apparently the temple was closed for the month before I arrived, so it is a great blessing for the temple to be available each week!

I forgot to say last week: congratulations to Tanasha and David! Also, congratulations to Sarah Karren/Birch! I am glad that Lacey and Adelaide were able to go to Spokane for her wedding. Which reminds me: thank you for the pictures! Adelaide is very cute. It has snowed a little here (which I think I mentioned last week, since Chung choro had never seen snowfall before; he has now seen it three times), but we have not yet received as much as Spokane. Chung choro wants to build a snowman sometime, but the snow has just been powdery (nothing wet enough for packing yet). Hopefully he will be able to before we leave in March. He sings Do You Want to Build a Snowman? (from the Disney movie Frozen) quite often. πŸ™‚ So does Gappmeyer shimai, who has the entire song memorized.

By the way, something else I forgot to mention is that the other missionary from our stake who is going to Japan is actually in my zone (and I also kind of knew him before)! His name is Noah Strain (Strain choro). Kyle knows him better than me, since they were in band together. He is actually the reason that Kyle did marching band the year that we moved to Spokane: Strain choro was playing mellophone in marching band and was unable to go to one of the performances, so Kyle had to fill in for him. Anyway, it’s cool that we are in the same zone. His district is actually leaving for Nihon (Japan) next week. They will be missed, but after 9 weeks at the MTC most missionaries can hardly wait to move on to the mission field.

On Sunday we had a mission conference (since it was fast Sunday), in which the MTC Presidency and their wives spoke. One of the things that I stuck out to me was from the first speaker, Sister Lindahl. She spoke about trials and tribulations in our lives, and said that we cannot get where we need to go if we only seek smooth waters. In other words, our Heavenly Father provides rough seas (trials) to help us achieve what He knows we can achieve. She pointed out the the Jaredites in the Book of Mormon did not get to the promised land through smooth sailing. They were blown there by the wind, and often were plunged deep into the ocean in their wooden vessels, and were traveling in that manner for a long time. However, they did make it there, and it was worth it. The price we must pay to become acquainted with God is worth it.

There were many other great talks, but unfortunately I do not have nearly enough time to enumerate all of them. 😦 The MTC is great! I have already learned, felt, and experienced so much here, and look forward to the next 7 weeks!

I hope that everybody has a wonderful week and a superb year. Sayonara!

Love,

Madsen choro

p.s. My mailing address apparently is technically slightly different. Instead of "MAR25" it should be "MAR24". It doesn’t seem to matter very much as I have been receiving my mail/packages, but I just thought I would let you know. That also means that I will be leaving the MTC March 24, not March 25.

p.p.s. If anybody has a hankering to do so, you can send "mail" to me any day of the week (except Sunday) through www.dearelder.com (while I am at the MTC). I had forgotten about this (and haven’t really used it, so I don’t really know how to), but you can look it up if you so desire. The way it works is that you send your letter electronically and it is printed out in the mail room and placed in our mailbox. So, if you would like to write something to me but do not want to wait for Thursday (which is my Preparation Day in the MTC, when I can check my email) and/or do not want to send it physically, you can send it through Dear Elder! (Only while I am in the MTC, though.)

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