"Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever." -Alma 26:12

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Final days in the MTC - 9/17/2015

Konnichiwa Minasan!
    I can't believe the time has already come, I'm off to Japan in less than four days! We got our flight plans on Friday last week, and I thought they had made a big mistake. My groups' flight plan says that we are flying from Salt Lake to Seattle, then from Seattle to... SEOUL, KOREA?!? They sent me to the wrong country! But then we go from Korea to the Osaka airport. I'm not sure why we have to fly over Japan into Korea and then back, but it sure is cool to say that I've been to Korea. I just hope we don't get lost over there, I know even less Korean than I know Japanese. We leave the MTC on Monday at 5:30 in the morning, and we will get to Japan at about 8:30 at night. It's going to be a long flight.
     So much has happened this week in preparation to leave, and we've been pretty busy trying to learn as much Japanese as possible, pack, and say goodbye to all the amazing friends we've made here. We still find time to have some fun, though. Yesterday morning, our branch president came to play basketball with us. I figured he would probably surprise us, but he has to be in his late 50's or early 60's, so we weren't sure what to expect. He absolutely destroyed us! He was so good, and he wasn't afraid to play a little rough. One of our elders hurt his finger when he was trying to catch a pass from President Daniels, and when he went to the doctor to find out how bad it was, he learned it was fractured. I feel so bad for him, especially since we are leaving so soon, but he is being a great sport about it. And how many people can say their branch president broke their finger?
     Also, this week I got to help give a Priesthood blessing to one of the members in my district. He has had some health issues in the past, and was worried that they were starting to resurface. He wanted to receive the blessing so that he would have health in Japan. His companion gave the blessing, and I felt the Spirit so strong while he spoke. After the blessing, the elder that was receiving the blessing said that so many things he had worried about were answered by the blessing. I am so grateful for the power of the Priesthood, and the miracles that it can perform. 
     It feels so weird to be leaving already. Everyone here shares the same feelings; we are excited to go to Japan, but sad to leave such a great place. The days feel long, but the weeks feel short. I have learned so much here, not just about the language, but about the gospel and about myself. I wish all of you could have the same experiences I'm having now. Missionaries always feel sorry for us when they hear we will be in the MTC for 9 weeks, but we are the lucky ones. Wish me luck, I'm definitely going to need it!
-Elder Winegar

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