Well, it's been two months and a day since I left home to come to the MTC, and in just under two weeks I'll be flying out to Japan. It's been quite the experience for sure. Sometimes it feels like we've been at the MTC for way longer than two months, and sometimes it still feels like we just barely got here yesterday. Despite all that, it's definitely been a great experience.
I don't know if there's been anything about it in the news or not, but there's a forest fire that's been burning somewhere nearby for a little over a week now. Every few days when the wind blows in the right direction, the entire valley fills up with smoke and we can smell the fires. It's really wierd to be walking around outside and just smell smoke like that. Hopefully they get it under control soon. Wherever it's burning though, it's far enough away that it isn't a concern here at the MTC.
It's been a relatively quiet week here at the MTC this last week. Just more of the usual routine of studying, teaching, and more studying. One interesting thing, however, was when I met a missionary that knows my Uncle Conrad and his family who live in Missouri. His name was either Elder Travis or Elder Tanner. I can't remember which one, but I'm pretty sure it was Elder Travis. We were standing in line together at the cafeteria and started talking, found out he was from that area of Missouri, asked if he would happen to know Uncle Conrad, and it turns out they're in the same stake. Wasn't expecting that one. The only other notable event from this week was when we found out that one of our teachers, Shaner Sensei, was offered an internship out on the east coast, and yesterday was his last day of work here at the MTC. So, we all had to say goodbye just a little earlier than we had been planning on, but we're all happy that he was able to land this internship and (hopefully) get a jumpstart on his career.
Oh! I heard a funny story that I thought would be worth sharing during one of our meetings on Sunday. The wife of one of the MTC president's counsilors shared a story about one time she had a bunch of little children over at the house for daycare, and they were all around the ages of 3-5. They had started playing a game of "I Spy", and one of the times it was this sister's turn to spy something, she saw a little statue figurine of Jesus and two children. After all the kids finally guessed what it was she had spied, she went and took it down off the shelf and asked the children if they knew who it was in this figurine. One of the little girls, Erin, who was 4 years old, answered "I know who that is! That's Jesus! He's from Australia." Kids say the funniest things, don't they? It turns out that Erin's family had moved to the states from australia not to long before this had happened, so in her mind Jesus was associated with her old home in Australia. The sister has used this story to illustrate the point that regardless of where in the world it is that we are living, the gospel of Christ can help anyone and everyone, and we need to share it.
That's about it for this week! More to come later!