Elder Mitchell and his companion, Elder Turk.
Week 3 is now history and I have a funny story to start with. Two days after my last email proclaiming to the world that my immune system is perfect, I got sick and ended up spending most of the next day in bed. That would have been Friday. The day after that I was on the fence about whether or not to go to class, but decided it would be better not to miss too much so I went. Later that day at exercise time my companion told me I should try to break the mile record time because it reset on New Years and someone had only run a 5:34 (or so we thought. That was the time written on the wall). I was still feeling a little bit sick, but ultimately gave in to peer pressure and ran a 5:33 to break the time on the wall (Which was not actually the record, they just hadn't posted the new one yet). After that little adventure I realized that I was more than a little bit sick (partly evidenced by my time and partly by the fact that I felt like I was going to die afterwards). My time wasn't helped by the fact that the track that they have is a square with 40m sides on the top floor of the gym building, so you have to do ten laps and go around 40 corners, all of which you have to slow down for because they're 90 degrees. I would guess that the track adds between 10 and 20 seconds to the final time. All things considered, it was a really bad idea, and I do not currently have the record. I guess I'll have to try again sometime within the next six weeks that I'm here when I'm less sick. End of the funny story.
Today our zone is getting three new districts which means that exercise time will be twice as crowded from now on, and that I will have some seniority. Both of those things are a little bit scary. Unfortunately Derek Larsen (one of my Family Home Evening brothers from BYU) is going to one of the two other Japanese speaking zones. He should be arriving within the next hour.
At this point I feel like making it through the MTC and serving a successful mission is possible, at least in terms of the language. Up until this week I felt like I wouldn't ever be fluent in Japanese. I'm still very very far from fluent, but I'm starting to understand quite a bit more, and my speaking has been improving too. I'm not sure that I'll ever have a Japanese accent though.
I'd also like to share a scripture that I happened upon this week that really helped my morale. I was looking for a different scripture (in Doctrine and Covenants 82) but then I had an impression that the scripture I really needed was in the section right before that one. Sure enough, section 81 is pretty much the best section ever. It basically says that if you do the things that you know you're supposed to then you'll be rewarded for it.
Some people have also asked about my schedule. It varies a little bit from day to day, but it's generally something like this:
6:30 alarm goes off
9:30 study time
5:30 class again
9:00 daily planning
9:30 back at flat
10:15 quiet time
10:30 lights out
repeat for 9 weeks
In closing I would like to thank all of the people that have sent me emails. I really appreciate all the love that I've gotten since I've been at the MTC. I hope that you're all doing well.
I love you all,