Everything is really good here. I`m sorry I couldn`t write much last week. So this is a recap of last week and this past week. Here it goes
So I`m healthy and happy here. I get frustrated sometimes though with myself and the language because I don't understand them. but I know that will come with time. It`s different for me because I am used to understanding everything and then have some trouble speaking. With Tagalog and at the MTC I could understand just about everything. But here, I have such a hard time picking up what they say. It`s a daily struggle but I have been gradually improving everyday. I will get it down. So far, that's the hardest thing by far. I'm so blessed to have an amazing trainer though. Without him, I would be super lost, more than I am now.
The area is great. Everywhere is super pretty. It`s mostly country, but there are a lot of apartment complexes and also big houses so it has lots of variety which I love. It`s so humid at times especially when it rains. It rains a lot, probably half of the days I`ve been here, its been rainy. Some nights it gets really cold. So I guess it's a lot like Utah.... except for the rain. I really like Nishiwaki. We don't have much success going housing for the most part. One day, we had been housing all day. It was getting late and we decided to start heading home at about 7:30. But, we decided to do one more group of apartments so we went. We were able to teach two lessons there and they became potential Investigators. That was a pretty cool experience.
Our companionship is great. Elder Harris is really patient with me, which is really helpful. This is his 3rd time training so he knows his stuff. His Japanese is exceptional, so I have a lot to learn from him. He is what a missionary should be and that helps me so much, especially at this stage in my mission. I`m so grateful for him. The members in the branch are so awesome. The Branch President reminds me of Bishop Bowns which is pretty cool. He is awesome. He comes to all of our Eikaiwa (English Classes) and he even took us to Kyoto last week. There are about 50 active members. They love the missionaries. I'm already on their monthly news letter.
There is a lot of older people and a couple families with the cutest little Japanese kids ever and 4 missionaries in the ward; Harris Choro and I and Hood Shimai and Gomez Shimai. Gomez Shimai is half Hawaiian and half Filipino.
|My camera got stolen... Aroha (An exchange student from Washington state who is also LDS.) Gomez shimai and Hood shimai.|
So Kyoto was so cool. The temples of ancient Japan are so beautiful. that was such a cool experience and I hope you can see some of it from these pictures.
|In Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan|
|Beautiful and so many tourists because that day was `Culture Day` a holiday|
|One of the temples in Kyoto. -Kiyomizudera Temple- It was super cool and Classic Japanese Culture.|
On Saturday, the branch had a Halloween party. There were many many people there, about 60 they said. There were a few investigators there which was awesome. One of the sister`s investigators was Filipino so I talked to him. He is 17 and he is going to school in Japan. He knows a lot of English which lots of Filipino people do. I tried speaking Tagalog to him, but I completely forgot how to speak Tagalog. I mix words up with Japanese which I guess is good. But It`s frustrating. I can still understand Tagalog though. the party was really fun. I dressed up kind of. I didn't know what to dress up as because I only have missionary clothes. But I found that I had BYU shirt, shorts, sandals, a tie and a jacket so I just wore all of that. I also bought some reindeer antlers from the dollar store. Let me say, dollar stores in Japan are super cool. You can get so many cool things from them and they are all a dollar! I bought two nice ties there as well. Anyway, one of the antlers broke off so I wore those with one antler hanging down. when people would ask me about the antler I would say, `Halloween node!` which means Because It`s Halloween. They would laugh. that was a fun party, and they fed us lots of food afterwards. This Branch is so cool I love them.
We have had many Appointments with investigators where they would cancel. Its so frustrating, especially when if we don`t have appointments, we would have to go out and do more housing. For example, yesterday, we had four scheduled lessons. Each of them either didn`t answer their door or called and said they couldn`t make it. Hopefully, we can do better in making appointments and them going through with the appointments. the only way they can progress is if they meet with us.
Anyway, things are going very well here. Its so crazy to think that in a couple weeks, all of us will be out on their missions. All of us being me, Weston, Zach and Reuben. It`s awesome, but where has the time gone?? the work is hastening that's for sure.
I`ve grown to love the Book of Mormon since I've been out. I can read it everyday and everytime I read, no matter how small I read, I learn something that I can apply to my mission and to my life in general. I know that if you read the Book of Mormon and pray about it, you will learn so much and will grow closer to your Heavenly Father. Pray before you read and ask for knowledge and inspiration. It won`t just come to you. It could, but it would not be nearly as good then if you ask. Ask and you shall receive. Knock and it shall be opened unto you. The Book of Mormon is so so true. Read it and Pray about it.
I love all of you and I miss you! Thanks for all the support and prayers on my behalf. The church is true, Tell your friends!
|at a shrine thing close to our apartment.|
|My district here. Elder Monson, Elder Gass, Elder Harris, Sister Hood and Sister Gomez|
|This is from the Fall Festival they had last week. They were dancing a famous Japanese dance (I dont know what its called) It was so cool|
|My first try of Sushi here. It was from a grocery store, but It was super good. I am excited to try real sushi from some kind of restaurant.|
|Book of Mormons (Books of Mormon?) in 9 languages in our apartment.|
|The `good luck pole` thing. If you can lift it up, you have good luck. No one could do it.|
|That`s the branch president of the NIshiwaki branch. Takeuchi Kaicho|
|Harris Choro and I with a group of people wearing Kimonos at the temple.|
|The group that went to Kyoto.|
|Awesome sunset one day!|
|The zone after Zone Training Meeting.|