Elder Samuel Mischa Chun
Japan Tokyo Mission
4-25-12 Nishi-ochiai,
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

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Week 3 - August 3, 2013

Herro, Mina-san! 
Itu iss nah weeku suree. I aready hafooh a Japaneso axe-scent-oh. The language is coming along pretty great and I am loving it here.
The toughest thing at the MTC so far is that there's this kid in my district that told me he'd steal my towel if I ever sang in the shower again.
o.0? I thought I was past junior high school already, but... apparently not! Guess I'll just have to run around without a towel until I leave the MTC! (You're welcome for that mental imagery. I'm sure you all wanted it).
After that amazing story, I'm going to share an experience I had!
So for many of you that know me, you know that I am a pretty talented individual (not trying to be vain). Things tend to come really easy for me. For those of you that know me better, you know that this talent has a downside: a lack of patience. For those of  you that know me REALLY well, you know that this talent also made me not want to try new things, because I was worried about what I'd do if I really couldn't learn or master something.

Problem? Yes. Especially with Nihongo.

So I hadn't really been trying my hardest with learning the language. I figured writing down what to say during our Mogi (roleplay) would be enough. Then, we had a devotional.

The devotional was given by a former member of one of the Quorums of the 70. His devotional was all about the sacred nature of missionary work, and how it could be hard; how it SHOULD be hard. As I listened to him talk about missionaries giving their all until failure, and about how even the Savior asked if the bitter cup could pass, I examined my stay at the MTC and immediately became so disappointed with myself. I had not been giving my all; I had not been entirely diligent; I had not been what the Lord called me to be: my best. So I decided at that moment to wrestle with God (Like Enos and Jacob did) in order to call upon the powers of heaven to exercise a changing power upon my entire being (note the Joseph-Smith-esque eloquence). After the Tuesday night devotional, each district has a "debrief" of sorts, where everyone takes turns and shares what they learned. For most of the Elders and Sisters in my district, their notes went as follows:
"I am very happy to know that others are having a hard time, too. I thought I was the only one that stayed up at night, looking at pictures from home and weeping. But it's good to know that we are struggling together."
Here is what my mind said during their comments.
"What. Are you serious? You are taking comfort in the fact that other people are struggling? What is wrong with you all? We aren't supposed to take comfort in that! We are supposed to invite others unto Christ! But who am I to judge you? I haven't even tried hard and I am doing better than most of you in the language. I have grown complacent, and in doing so, have failed my God."
SO! My turn to share came around. I told everyone that I didn't typically like sharing my innermost feelings because when I had done that in the past, I had gotten laughed at, scorned, and rejected. Thus, I told my district that I would trust them. I told them about my inner frustrations at not being diligent in serving the Lord, and I told them all I would try harder to be the very best, like no one ever was. To study is my real test. To invite is my cause. I would travel across Japan; searching far and wide. Each Japanese to understand their royalty inside.
MTC! (To tune of pokemon theme song).
Ok. So I didn't actually say the pokemon theme song part. But I did tell them about diligence and whatnot. So that night, as we had residence prayer, one person had a spiritual thought (we do this every night). This person was Elder Poff. He said he had been studying Christ-like attributes, and assigned one to each Elder in our residence. As he went around the circle, I said to myself, "I am going to laugh if he says I have diligence." Aaaaand he did. His actual words were, "Tonight, as you shared what you learned at the devotional I thought 'What the Heck! Elder Chun is the most diligent of all of us!' Every time I think of you I think I need to work harder and study longer!"
I thought about that and realized that (for the Elders) he was right. I was the most diligent of all of us. But I was not the most diligent I could be. So I want to give a general shout out to all my leaders, ward  family members, and friends. Thank you very much. But more than that, I want you all to know that the reason I have such a high standard of work is thanks to my Dad and my Anii-San (older brother). Every time I begin to slack off, I think of their work ethic and how much I respect and love them. Thus, I work harder.

Thank you, Christopher.
Thank you, Papa.
I love you all!
Hope you all enjoy life. Because it's not worth it if you aren't enjoying it.
Elder Chun
P.S. I await more letters.
P.P.S. you can address me as Elder Sami. Being called Elder Chun by you all is... oddly disorienting.

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