KONNICHIWA!!!! The MTC is absolutely amazing and wonderful!
I have very little time todfay (Myldsmail was down this morning. My doryo and I threw a hissy fit of massive proportions)
DASNIE SHIMAI WA DORYO DESU! (Dansie Shimai is my doryo!) IT IS TOTALLY AMAZING! We are a lot alike. I mean, scary alike. I will have to put down a list of everything later. But needless to say, she is awesome! She is a far better companion than me, so I am trying to be better at listening.
My district is ABSOLUTLEY PHENOMENAL. Dansie Shimai and I are the only shimaitachi in our district, but that's okay. The chorotachi are so much fun and very focused! Someone did make a Studio C reference, so we got a little distracted on that end. About 1/2 of our district took professional Japanese courses before coming, so I am a little behind. Yet, my meetings with Meyers Shimai REALLY helped!! I would be so behind if I didn't look at those.
The first day when I stepped into my classroom it was just me and a choro with the teacher,. While waiting for everyone, our sensei spoke to all. All Nihongo. All the time. It was very overhwhelming, but he gestures a lot, so that helps. I was really freaking out about the language until on the second day when our guest teacher and sensei were doing a practice discussion and we were all basically close to tears, the guest sensei stopped and looked at all of us. He then said the first full English phrase. "Japanese does not convert. You don't even convert. The Spirit converts. So Japanese does not matter as much as the Spirit. Japanese is just a tool." That really hit me. I remember saying many times before I left, "How can I teach the people if I don't know the language?"
Dansie Shimai and I had our first meeting with an investigator yesterday. His name is "Mansan" and he is really a returned missionary portraying someone he taught on his mission. I was so nervous that I would mess it up. We prayed A LOT before hand! Dansie Shimai was very understanding when I was freaking out. During the lesson, I...okay, I really had no idea what he said,. but the meaning came through so clear. I tried to see Mansan as the Savior would. We wrote up a whole lesson plan and basically threw everything away half way through when he started asking questions. Mansan didn't like himself, felt guilty about a lot (which I think derives from his parents fighting), was "Chinese" and knew nothing about Christ. I looked at him near n the end and I realized that there are millions about people out there that don't know God loves them and that they can feel peace. Not self-reassurance, but an actual peace from an outside being who cares. After he said the most beautiful prayer (by then I was a mess) I told him God loved him. I don't know if it meant a lot to anyone else, but it meant a whole lot to me. I gave him my Morumonsho in Nihongo and left (which is a problem because NOW I don't have one to study off of) I've been thinking about that; I knew I was giving him something I needed badly, but I had absolutely no problem with doing it. I think I felt the love of Christ for him. We are meeting with him again tonight (ahhh) and I am quite nervous. BUT you can bring your notes in, which is good.
I remember once hearing that Rosetta Stone wanted to buy the MTC's way of teaching. Well, I will tell it to you. And you can share it. It was not what I expected at all. It is something modern psychology cannot exalpin and cynics cannot question: unrefined people come in here, got to classes by themselevs, do things, on their own, and then become master teachers.
You walk in. And they tell you to pray. They tell you to pray until you have nothing left. They stick you in a room for six hours a day with a teacher speaking nothing but your language and then, at the end, you kneel on the floor and beg for the gift of tongues. Ans then you go around and try to speak it. That's it. No smoke and mirrors. Just priesthood power and shinko (faith). A lot of shinko.
I am surprised at how much I have retained. Of course it's not as much as I would like, and I am trying not to compare yself, but I do feel blessed. I am learning the Japanese IA need, but not the one I want. (It complicated, but it's really cool when you think about it) Shinko, people. Shinko.