Well, this week was a fairly normal week, but today has been anything but normal, and it's only 11 in the morning! It's just been another week of studying and learning, and we're all getting better every day. It's really wierd to think that I've been here for a month already, but at the same time it feels like it's been so much longer. I just hope the next 6 weeks are as quick as these last 5 have been, and just as productive as well.
This last week has had some rather interesting events though. The group of missionaries just ahead of us left yesterday morning, so they were busy all week with last minute preperations to head out to Japan. There were between 40 and 50 missionaries in their group that left, including Jacob Knighton from the ward. Our group has 22 missionaries, and 20 japanese missionaries that will be coming soon and leaving with us, and the group after us that comes next week has 32 missionaries. They're definitely either getting ready to split a mission, or Japan is about to take off in a serious way. Either way, I'm excited. The remainder of our stay at the MTC should be relatively quick though. Only one more week until the kohai (the next group of missionaries) arrive, two weeks after that the Nihonjin (Japanese) missionaries arrive, and three weeks after that we fly out to Japan with the Nihonjin missionaries. It's going to be a rather quiet week without the Senpai (the older group of missionaries) around. It feels like our residency hall is empty with all of them gone. It'll be fun though! I'm looking forward to it!
So, for today's adventure that I mentioned earlier, it all started when my companion, our two roomates and I went to the temple this morning. We went at our normally assigned time for p-day, had breakfast, and then did a session of sealings. Besides the four of us, there ended up being two sister missionaries in our branch there, and four other individuals, two of which were a married elderly couple. As it turns out, the elderly married sister is related to me. After hearing that my last name is Blake, she shared with me that her maiden name is Blake. I asked if she had any relations to the Ellicock family, because if she's a Blake that's also related to the Ellicock family, she's definitely related to me. If you want to know the story behind that, as my parents about it sometime. Anyways, afterwards we talked for a little bit, and came to find out that she's actually cousins with my Grandpa Blake. Her name is Helene, but growing up all her cousins would just call her Hellen. She shared a couple stories with us about growing up, one of which was when she was about 10 or so, and there were a bunch of haystacks at the farm that were about 20 feet tall. She was always trying to prove to her cousins that girls were just as good as guys, and they all bet her that she was too chicken to jump off this haystack. She climbed all the way up to the top, and after a little bit of mental preperation, she did it. When she landed, her head went between her knees, and she still doesn't know how she walked away without injury, but she was the only one who jumped. As to whether or not it was stupidity or bravery, I think we call all figure that one out.
So yeah, that's about it for now. Just another week at the MTC. I'll keep you all posted about what's been going on! I'd love to hear from you all as well! Since I only get a half hour to email every week, it would be preferred if you send me a letter through dearelder.com, or a physical letter to me at:
Elder Aaron Joseph Blake
MTC Mailbox #243
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604
More to come later!