Konnichiwa from Japan!
I hope everyone is doing great! So I`m in Japan! Our first couple of days here, were spent in the misson home to be trained and to know the mission President, President Welch. I really like him a lot. he is fun, powerful and gets things done at the same time. It`s great.
Japan is so beautiful. The streets are insanely narrow. I mean a two lane road here is barely enough space to fit both cars. Some streets look like a one way road, but is two lanes. Anyway, we ate Costco pizza for lunch. They have Costco in Japan! I thought that was crazy. Then we had interviews with the Mission President. then we had dinner with chopsticks. Let me just say that I suck at using chopsticks. this is going to be an adventure. Then we had one last testimony meeting with all the Kobe Missionaries, which by the way is 24 of us. The next morning we ran up the mountain near by and was able to see the whole city which was super beautiful.
|The view from the mountain we ran up|
Then we found out where we were going and met our trainers/new companions. My companion is Elder Harris from Provo. He has been on his mission for about a year and a half and I am so so grateful for him. I`ll tell more about him in a bit. I am serving in a city called Nishiwaki. It's about two hours north of Kobe by bus. It is such a beautiful area. Mountains everywhere, green everywhere, beautiful houses and architecture, I was blown away.
|Scenery while biking|
|Awesome river while crossing a bridge|
I don't understand Japanese. MTC and the field are two completely different places. I thought I knew some Japanese but it's crazy hard. I`m so grateful for my companion because he knows it! He understands all that is said to him and helps translate to me things I don't understand. It will take patience, but I pray everyday for the Spirit to be with me and and to understand the Language. My companion is awesome. He is very patient with me and he is a great example of what a missionary does and should be. I'm so grateful for him.
So on Saturday, my first real day in the field, we went out. My bike already had problems. The tire exploded. It was a very old bike and it was just garbage. We had to go to the bike shop to get it fixed. My first encounter with a Japanese person was with the bike shop owner. I didn`t understand anything except for the word for tire. which is Taiya.
We went housing. Knocking on doors. Harris Choro did the first few houses and then let me have a turn. I froze, I had no idea what to do.That's another reason why Harris Choro is there. I'm learning so much already. Japanese houses have sort of like an intercom system. Most of the time, they only talk through the intercom and rarely open the door. Anyway, that day, we weren`t able to teach a lesson. The next day was Sunday.
|Blown up tire on the first day.|
Sunday, we went to Ward Mission Council. The branch I`m in only has about 40 active members. The church is tiny. but we actually have a building which is guess is rare. We have about 20 investigators. I didn't participate much in the meeting except for the prayer because 1, I don`t know the investigators yet and 2, I don't understand what their saying.
Anyway, all the members here are so nice. I can pick up some basic things of what they say. They all like the fact that I`m half filipino. I gave a talk to kind of introduce myself. It was about 3 minutes long but as I looked at the members, they were all smiling at me and that made me happy. Japanese people are so nice, not just the members. We had an investigator come for his first time. he is 73 and he talks a lot. We taught him after sacrament meeting, my first lesson. I shared a simple experience, which is about all I can do right now. That day, we also sat in on a Home teaching lesson and taught another person who showed up for his first time.
After that, we went housing again. This time, we taught two lessons to people who might be interested. We'll go over there again to teach them more and hopefully they`ll accept it.
I love riding my bike around Japan and looking for people to teach the gospel to. Japan is beautiful, hopefully you'll be able to see some of it through the pictures. The language is hard, but I`ll get it eventually if I keep working hard and praying. I love all of you and your support. I miss you but this is what I`m supposed to do right now. I love you and will email again next week!
|In Japan on the short train to customs. Elder Iverson, Sister Johnson and Sister Poelman|
|Elders Otani, Bateman and Ross|
|On the bus to the mission home|
|Trying to get good pictures on the bus, kinda not very good pictures sorry|
|At the church by the mission home|
|Me with the view|
|The Kobe Missionaries.|
|My new nametag|
|Me and Elder Harris on the way to Nishiwaki.|
|First meal and first time cooking in Japan|
|Views and sceneries.|
|More Japan beauty|