Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Hello Family and Friends!!
Updates!  My Harry Potter scratch has scarred!!  UGH!!  It's horrible!  It goes right down my forehead!  The senpai (senior missionaries) and the nihonjin (Japanese natives) left yesterday.  :(  It's eerily quiet at the residence hall now, and the laundry room is pretty empty today.  We're next!!
Funny Moment: Yesterday in class we tried to sing hymn number 130 Be Thou Humble and we failed three times in a row.  We couldn't get the second line right because the wonderful Elder Duarte (who always sings loud) kept getting it wrong.  It threw me off (everyone always relies on me for melody) and then we just couldn't get it right.  It was hilarious because Elder Duarte is just the most loveable Elder ever.  We just stood there laughing because we kept failing to sing it right.  We ended up skipping the song and moving on to More Holiness Give Me (we got that one right).  Good times.  :D
Cultural:  Japanese is so cool!  Japanese has something that English doesn't, called honorifics.  In prayer, we use archaic words to honorify God.  In Japanese you can use archaic words but you can also change the verbs into their "honorific form."  There are three ways to "honorify," you can: humblify yourself, honorify someone else, and we haven't learned the third way because it's too hard.  Just by conjugating the verb differently you can really express the seriousness of God and His gospel just with honorifics!  It's so cool!!  Japanese is totally my language!  :D
Ah-ha: I re-read and listened to President Utchdorf's talk from Priesthood session on pride.  I love the line in it: "Humility isn't thinking less of yourself; it's thinking less about yourself."  That helped a lot.  Confidence is key to humility.  I really needed to hear that this week.
Spiritual:  Elder Nelson was the speaker in our last devotional, and it was incredible!  Every single line was inspiring!  It was great!!  The best part was the devotional review afterward.  We always have a testimony meeting after the devotionals, and it was incredibly spiritual.  I promise it's in my journal; for real.  I have an awesome district.
Sister Beeson is this bubbly old lady here with insane musical talent.  She served in the MoTab for five years and she is in charge of music at the MTC.  I auditioned to her last week for a musical number in a fireside.  It was SOOOOO much better than singing in sacrament meeting.  Sister Beeson made me feel so comfortable and I sang so natural and relaxed!  It WAS GREAT!!  I will let you know what comes of it!
I love you all!!  Thank you for the prayers!!  Don't hesitate to send Cliff Bars and Mint Water!!  :D
Forward, pressing forward,
Elder Preston Jenkins

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lesson on humility

Family and Friends!
Yes, I got the email and package and yes, I did a dance when I got the package!!  I LOVE Cliff Bars.  :D  (Don't get the cool mint chocolate ones anymore, they have caffeine).
Funny Moment:  Lee sensai saw a pumpkin this week with a Harry Potter scar on it and he said it reminded him of me.  My harry potter scratch is almost gone but it still gets me weird looks.
Cultural Moment:  The nihonjin shimai (native sisters) are hilarious!  They are so nice and supportive and we can get them to laugh about anything.  Lee sensai confirmed to us that almost all Japanese people are like that: genuinely nice. It is a comforting thought.  :)
Spiritual Moment:  I have been reading my partriarchal blessing A LOT.  The Large Group Meeting we had yesterday was another spiritual meeting in which the Spirit just testified to me of principles I had discovered the day before.  I know that I have been soooooo blessed.  I have been prepared for a mission my whole life.  It was great to get that confirmation from the Spirit again.
Ah-ha moment:  I got the package on thursday and I sang in sacrament meeting on Sunday (I told you I wanted that book).  IT WAS HORRIBLE!  I almost passed out, I forgot the japanese words, I was shaking uncontrollably afterward, and I felt so messed up afterward.  I realized yesterday why i felt so horrible.  I did it for the wrong reasons.  I was prideful and I was humbled with a trembling experience (like in the Book of Mormon).  It was horrible but necessary, but I won't be singing again on my mission.  Sorry.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Elder "Potter"!

To Everyone:
Life is so good!  I have never been at more peace with who I am than I am now.  My testimony is growing at an exponential rate and I LOVE it!  I learned a lot this week!  Here is the update:
Culture moment:  The nihonjin (native japanese) missionaries came this week and it has been really fun watching them and practicing with them.  Lee sensei said all Japanese people do something they call "nice guy pose" (said with a Japanese accent).  They make faces and symbols with their hands when they take pictures or when they are happy.  It was really funny because the next day we were at the temple and all the nihonjin were making nice guy poses.  It was great.  I wish I was Asian.
Funny Moment:  Um. . .  This is embarrassing.  I cut my forehead with my name badge; as in there is a huge red line right down the middle of my forehead.  Everyone has been calling me Harry Potter, including the nihonjin!  The first two days looked like a red sharpie mark and yesterday and today it looked like a maroon sharpie.  I am so embarrassed!  I don't have anything to hide it with either!  I always tell people I'll curse them if they call me Harry potter.  We have been yelling spells at each other all week.  My district is such a group of nerds.  I love it.
That stupid cut goes into my hair! :(

Spiritual Moment:  Yesterday was one of the most spiritual days of my life.  I literally felt the Spirit all day yesterday.  It confirmed to me four times about four different things.  I promise it's in my journal, but know this.  I now know what it truly feels like to learn from the Spirit and communicate with God through Him.  Yesterday was such a beautiful day!!
Ah-ha Moment:  My ah-ha moment is also another spiritual moment.  I have read my patriarchal blessing a lot since entering the MTC.  I realized something this week.  I have been holding back.  I have been ashamed of my testimony because I feared it was stronger than those around me.  I realized i was forsaking my gifts by doing that.  I recommited my self to never hold back my testimony.  I have a testimony of this church and i am not ashamed of its strength!!
Basically, I AM SO FREAKIN' HAPPY!!!!  I feel the Spirit ALL the time!  I cherish it!  I love you all and I have to go!
Best of wishes for all,
Elder Preston Jenkins

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

MTC Week #3!

I LOVE the MTC!!  Conference was incredible and I love my sensaitachi (teachers)!  Really quick:
Spiritual Moment:  I read my patriarchal blessing last Wednesday and for the past week I have been really thinking about what I want for my future family.  During general conference I wrote in the margin of my notes five things I wanted to do for my children.  Two talks later Elder Lawrence gets up and recites the EXACT same list.  I started bawling!  It was such a testament to me that I was doing the right thing and preparing in the proper way for my future family.  It was my favorite talk.  The Lord is mindful of us.
Funny Moment:  The zone leaders are both Australian and they are awesome.  Elder Bardjinski is AWESOME!  The other night he came into our room talk in the voice of the gatekeeper-lion-head-thing from Aladdin, you know (touch nothing but the lamp.)?  It was hilarious but then he started speaking in Japanese in that voice and we (at least I) started crying because we were laughing so hard.  It was great.
Ah-ha Moment:  Same as last week.  You can say anything you want in Japanese.  It is actually a complete language!!  :D
Cultural Moment:  The nihonjin (japanese natives) came yesterday.  They came and talked with our district.  It was while one of them was talking that I realized that the gospel is true in any language.  The elder in front of me had a testimony just like me but he just said it different.
I have no time left so I have to go!  I LOVE YOU ALL!!
-Elder Preston Jenkins