Saturday, February 27, 2016

February 27, 2016 Typical schedule at the MTC, and facilities

Front entrance of MTC with close up of landscape
Front Entrance of MTC

Aerial view of the MTC

Hello Friends,  

My typical schedule at the MTC is as follows (with some variation):

Monday - Tuesday - Wednesday - Thursday - Saturday

6:30am   Arise

7:15 - 7:45am   Breakfast @ cafeteria

7:45am - 10:50am  Classroom instruction / teaching investigators

11am - 12noon     Exercise

12:30pm - 1:10pm   Lunch @ cafeteria

1:10pm - 5:10pm   Classroom instruction / teaching investigators

5:10pm - 5:50pm   Dinner @ cafeteria

5:50pm - 9:30pm   Classroom instruction / investigators,  personal and companion language study, and 5 minutes of planning.

9:30pm   Return to headquarters

10:15pm  Quiet time in dormitory

10:30pm  Lights out promptly, sleep

NOTE:  Every Monday morning we do a service project (so far we have only done cleaning of the MTC facilities).     Wednesday night is TRC.    Tuesday and Sunday night we have a Devotional, along with some choir time.

Comments about the exercise facilities and cafeteria:  (when Kirsten's mom was at the MTC back in the dinosaur age, there was only one cafeteria, and a gymnasium (basketball court) for exercise, which was dominated by the Elders.  So she usually went on a walk on the MTC grounds or socialized with other missionaries.)  Now there are three cafeterias and several sports areas:

Sister Kirsten Parker:  "There are two gyms/gymnasiums here at the MTC.  One has a cardio section with free weights, and workout machines (like a real gym--it's not huge, but still it's a decent size) and then in another building there's the sport gym.  We can play volleyball, four square, basketball, and then upstairs are mats and a staircase.  Then on the next floor up, is a running track and it has a few workout machines on the curves of the track.  Bike machines, elliptical, pull-up machine, other diverse machines.  There are also a lot of food choices in the cafeteria.   I don't know if I mentioned that.   Oh yes-- and dessert, lots of desserts are here." 

Friday is P-Day  (Preparation Day)

6:30am  Arise

7:15am - 7:45am   Breakfast.   We either get a sack lunch or go to the cafeteria

8amish - 11:55am   Go to the Provo Temple which is a couple big blocks away from the MTC

12 noon   Lunch @ cafeteria

1pm - 5pm   Laundry and emails

5:10pm    Dinner @ cafeteria

5:55pm  Personal study

7pm   Study with missionary Companion(s)

8pm   Language study

8:55pm - 9pm   Planning

10:15pm   Quiet time at dormitory

10:30pm  Lights out promptly, sleep


6:30am   Arise

7:15am - 7:45am   Breakfast @ cafeteria

8am-10am   Study / interviews with Ecclesiastical leaders

11am  - 4pm   Church, temple walk (exercise/fresh air), lunch.
Church consists of Relief Society (Sisters/women's meeting) [Priesthood meeting for the Elders], Missionary district meeting, Sunday School, then Sacrament Meeting.

4:10pm  Dinner @ cafeteria

5:15pm   Choir

7pm   Devotional/Fireside

8:15pm  Movies.   They play different, multiple, MTC talks from which to go to, talks that are awesome and also Church movies, often provided in English & other languages.   There was the Joseph Smith movie in Japanese a couple of weeks ago.   We didn't watch it though, because we couldn't follow the Japanese quite well.

10:15pm  Quiet time at dormitory

10:30pm  Lights out promptly, sleep

The following descriptions are from   (this is now a broken link, so I have substituted some new pictures from the MTC's updated website, as of 3/9/2016, as well as other photos from search engine results for the MTC )


There are three cafeterias at the MTC with a combined seating capacity of 1,200 missionaries, serving approximately 8,000 - 10,000 meals per day. Our goal is to provide quality, nutritious, and appealing food to keep the missionaries healthy and happy.


Missionaries study a majority of the day. Their curriculum includes gospel and scripture study as well as language courses.


Weekly devotionals and firesides are held in which General Authorities, Missionary Department leaders, the MTC presidency, and their wives instruct and motivate missionaries.


Each missionary is scheduled for five hours of supervised exercise each week. The gymnasium also doubles as an auditorium that seats over 2,000 missionaries for devotionals and other events.   
There are also opportunities to use an exercise - workout area, and in good weather, to do outdoor sports.

Large Group Meeting

Occasionally it is appropriate for several districts of missionaries to meet together in one large group meeting. This provides interaction between several missionaries under the supervision of one teacher.

Communicating with their families is very supportive for the missionaries. Often handing over 4,000 letters and 500 packages a day, we provide accurate, prompt, friendly and professional service.

View of the famous wall-sized map

Missionaries like to point to where their mission destination is. *************************************

Note:  Our district leader (another young missionary, an "Elder") picks up our regular mail ("snail mail") 6 days/week from the Mailroom.   So yes, I can receive regular mail or a package on any day.   P-Day though, is reserved for writing letters and checking emails and responding to them.

Friday, February 26, 2016

February 26, 2016 - @ MTC, 31st day. Life is hard but miracles are possible

こんにちは皆さん。Hello everyone!

They always tell me at the MTC, obedience brings blessings. Exact obedience brings miracles. So I'm trying to be exactly obedient by being in bed exactly at 10:30 and every morning I wake up at 6:30am on the dot. I'm also trying the follow every single prompting of the spirit I have and repenting daily from mistakes I make. I know miracles will happen. 

Every Sunday and Tuesday we have devotionals. 

On Tuesday at our devotional, the choir teacher told a story that is true about a miracle. There was a man in the church who was a bishop, I think, whose 3-year old daughter got ran over by taxi (if I remember right), and she died. She had severe damage and her head was bashed in and people were going to set up a funeral for her. 

However, this man and his wife had faith that he could heal her through the power of the priesthood which he held.  He was going to do it with some of his close friends and give her a blessings, however, people from all around the neighborhood who heard came to watch. When he started the prayer, he couldn't speak.  The Spirit told him that there were unbelievers among the crowd of people and he would not be able to heal her.  He turned to the crowd and asked those people to leave and they did.  Then he still couldn't do it, so he went home and laid his daughter on her bed with a sheet over her.  The Spirit told him,"not yet." Everyone left except for his closest friends and family. He still couldn't heal her, his tongue was still tied.  His wife asked him, how much longer did they need to wait, and he told her, "Soon."  A few hours later, and then he said that he could bless her. They gave her a blessing that his daughter would be able to hear her parents voice and return to her body and that she would have all of her deep wounds completely healed and would be normal.  Then the parents fell asleep next to their daughter's bed as they waited.  In the middle of the night the daughter got up, without a single scratch on her body.  To this day, she has grown up and has had no brain trauma or any abnormal injuries. 

On Tuesday also, Sister Rosemary M. Wixom (general primary president) spoke to us about utilizing Jesus Christ gospel everyday. 

Everyday, we need to use each principle: faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost, and endurance to the end:

The gospel is as important as the air that we breathe! We don't tuck away our baptism in a little box because we already were baptized and we don't keep the "Endurance" packed up in a box until we get old. Everyday we need to seek to be better and more like our Savior.  The more we seek to be obey God's laws, the more we can see God's hand in our lives.

In choir, we sang a classic primary song, "A Child's Prayer" for Sister Wixom along with some of the MTC presidency's grandchildren. I could feel the love Heavenly Father has for his children as these kids sang!  They are so sweet!! I know that God only wants what's best for his children. We are here pressing to become better people so we can receive our own glory through God's son, Jesus Christ. :)

"John 3: 16 ¶For God so loved the world, that he gave his only
begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but
have everlasting life."

Every person is a child of God.  He sacrificed his first son so that the rest of the world might be saved.  Jesus experienced all manner of pains and afflictions, so we won't have to be over burdened, as long as we believe in his word.  He sacrificed his will to do God's will.  I know God wants all his children to return back to him after this life.  He sobs when we suffer. 

I testify that God loves all his children dearly, just as a parent would love their own child.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way to return back to our Heavenly Father's arms.  To be welcomed home with open arms, "Well done, you have been faithful."

I testify of these things in the name of Jesus Christ, āmen!

Parker Shimai

Artwork of  Jesus raising Jairus' daughter from death, Luke 8 or Mark 5

Kirsten's mother's note:   Kirsten's story about a child being raised from the dead sounds similar to a story (and may be the same) I heard about 10 years ago, about a spiritual Polynesian man (Iohani Wolfgramm), who raised his daughter from the dead.  (I think he also went by an anglicized form, "Johanni" or similar). He lived for years in Utah, fulfilling many callings including Patriarch. I was told that the daughter that he raised, later on as an adult wrote a book about her father.  I vaguely knew some Wolfgramms in San Diego, CA as a young person.

Here is a link to a blog which relates to the story:

Here is a link to Brother Wolfgramm's online obituary (he died in 1997):

Her book:
Iohani Wolfgramm:  Man of Faith and Vision, by Tisina Wolfgramm Gerber

Friday, February 19, 2016

2/19/2016 Sharing Japanese culture: Okay, a friend shared this, but it's awesome! Japan's answer to crop circles

Planting Rice in Japan...

Looks ordinary enough....... but watch as the rice grows!

Stunning crop art has sprung up across rice fields in Japan , but this is no alien creation. The designs have been cleverly PLANTED! Farmers creating the huge displays use no ink or dye. Instead, different color rice plants have been precisely and strategically arranged and grown in the paddy fields.  As summer progresses and the plants shoot up, the detailed artwork begins to emerge.

A Sengoku warrior on horseback has been created from hundreds of thousands of rice plants. The colors are created by using different varieties of rice plants, whose leaves grow in certain colors. This photo was taken in Inakadate, Japan. 

Closer to the image, the careful placement of the thousands of rice plants in the paddy fields can be seen. Rice-paddy art was started there in 1993 as a local revitalization project, an idea that grew from meetings of the village committees. The different varieties of rice plants grow alongside each other to create the masterpieces.

In the first nine years, the village office workers and local farmers grew a simple design of Mount Iwaki every year. But their ideas grew more complicated and attracted more attention. In 2005, agreements between landowners allowed the creation of enormous rice paddy art.  A year later, organizers used computers to precisely plot the planting of four differently coloured rice varieties that bring the images to life!

[Kirsten's Mom:  Sorry, I had to reload the pictures to get them to show up again.  Then some of them didn't upload in a straight, centered column.  I don't have more time to keep fussing with this to make it perfect.  :-( ]

February 19, 2016 -- @ MTC Elders that lighten things up, Testimony

Here are some of my funny district and zone leaders
(Mom's comment:  If you play "Where's Waldo?", could Kirsten be somewhere in the photo??)

So much growth this week. I know for sure that there is a god, and he is our Heavenly Father. There is a Heavenly Father and He does love us. He has a plan for us and it's real. None of this is made up. Everything that happens to us, happens for a reason. I know my trials I experience and will experience are for my benefit so I can be prepared for the life to come, and for the life I'll live in Japan. Jesus Christ suffered all ways of afflictions so men might be saved. He sacrificed his will to God to be able to succor his people. He understands everything we go through; He went through it, too. The things I experience, whether good or bad, will help me to be able to help the people in Japan. I can only truly teach if I have the love for the people I teach, and seek to understand what they need. The teachings of Jesus Christ helps every soul find peace and belonging. We belong in God's fold, and the only way to get there is to come unto Jesus Christ. There's nothing in this world that could make one more happy than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. Salvation may not be cheap, but it is worth everything.
"Man's extremity is God's opportunity." ( Elder Jeffrey R. Holland)

あいしています。love you! That's all for this week :)
Parker Shimai

Monday, February 15, 2016

More From 2/12/2016 -- @ MTC



Hey everyone! I have a testimony of the restoration of the gospel.
Jesus Christ's gospel is true. I know Joseph smith was a prophet.
Through Joseph Smith's obedience, Christ's church was restored. I
believe this church is true. Christ's atonement is important.
Everyday, the Atonement helps me. I know we can be guided by the
Spirit. By listening to the spirit, we can feel peace. I testify in
the name of Jesus Christ, āmen.

I didn't mean to put all those complicated kanji!!

Parker 姉妹 (Shimai)


Here are some more pictures
Provo Temple near the MTC.  Still very cold

Another Winter scene near MTC and Provo Temple

I'm in good company because Sister Burke plays the piano
and Sister Pearson sings!

An Elder in the Aussi zone roundhouse-kicked
the tree and created a snowfall
"We three sisters of MTC are, bearing the gospel we'll travel so far"
(to the tune of We Three Kings), ha ha

Yep, that's my name tag!

Friday, February 12, 2016

February 12, 2016 -- 17th day at the MTC (training center)

Hi, this is me with one of my missionary companions, Sister Pearson.   In Japanese, she is called "Shimai Pearson."   Shimai means Sister.    We are in the laundry room doing laundry.  My other companion, Sister Burke (Burke Shimai) is sitting on the floor.  I apologize for not getting pictures sooner.  I didn't have a card reader for my digital camera.   This picture was taken with an iPad.   More pictures to come soon, if all goes well!    Love, Shimai Parker   (Kirsten)

Okay, this is my other companion, Sister Burke (Burke Shimai).  I am lucky to have two great missionary companions!