Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Japan week #21

Hey everyone!!
  Can you believe it!! I'm an adult finally! ;) (In Japan) Haha! I can't believe I'm twenty. I can officially say I'm NOT a teenager! And that's nice. ;) Haha! Plus people here will take me more seriously now, since I'm legally an adult. Sometimes you tell people you're only nineteen, and then they don't really think you can do anything, kind of frustrating sometimes, but now that won't be aaaaaas big a thing, kanaa?.. :) I've had a marvelous week this week. Sorry this email is getting out a bit late. Our schedule for after Christmas and this New Years Week is different from what we would normally do, and p day got moved to Wednesday!! Hope I didn't scare anyone too much!
   Sounds like everyone had a fantastic Christmas!! Makes me very  happy to hear that! :D Mine was a blast as well! Getting to hear your voices was SO NICE! It felt like I hadn't talked to you in forever, but at the same time it was like yesterday that I called ya in the airport, before I had even reached Japan! Crazy to think that I have been on a mission for six months now, and that this year is OVER! O.O Time is going by way to fast! This being busy on a mission thing is great and all, but boy does it make it go by way too fast! I want to try and cherish every second of it, but it's nuts when you wake up on Wednesday pday morning and realize the transfer... is HALF OVER. O.O My mind. Blown. Made my Christmas a very happy day as well. I was in a happy high. :) And I got shouted at by an old Japanese man, and for some reason that just makes it all the better. On my last day of dendo on my mission I want some really old Japanese man to just let me have it, I feel like that'd be just so great a note to go out on. :) That and seeing lots of people change for the good too.
  I LOVED the Christmas presents. The ring, fits my ring finger.... PERFECTLY. Like, PERFECTLY. It's such a comfortable fit. And I love it!! Do you guys know what the kanji says? It is pronounced 'gee'. And it means righteousness. :) Elder Kozuma is crazy jealous, he thinks it's the greatest thing. I loved all the socks, g's, food, and SHAMPOO! :D I was just about to run out! Saved my life! Thanks so much for everything! The other package got there Christmas night, so I was able to open them both! I haven't had time to watch the dvd yet, with all our crazy schedules and what not, but I'm looking forward to watching it very soon! :D Thank you so much for everything!
   It's basically not possible to work during the time after Christmas, until a bit after New Years. People here get time off from work, which they NEVER have, and it's a huge time full of festivals and what not, and NOBODY will talk to you. And if they do, it's only to yell at you because you're bothering them during the only time they ever have to spend with their families. So, we didn't do much regular work this week because of that, and it's been interesting. So after the phone call home, Christmas was a regular day of work. And my birthday the next day, I went on splits with Elder Sasaki, my Japanese Zone Leader, and that was a blast! I got a phone call from the mission home, and everyone sang happy birthday to me. :) Was way nice. And I got a call from the Obihiro and Kitami sister missionaries, also calling to sing me happy birthday, was very nice! :D Aside from that, my birthday was pretty much a regular day. Didn't do anything special to celebrate it because of splits. We did go home teaching with a member that night though, and I swear we drove to Idaho. Once you drive out of the populated part of Otofuke, it becomes Nampa / Caldwell. Farms everywhere, old broken roads, and cows! Oh man, I was like, THIS IS MY HOME!! The family we home taught owns a dairy farm. Holy cow that felt like home. ;) Hehe! It was great!
  On the 28th we went to Sapporo for Sister Evans messiah concert! And that was a blast. There were so many missionaries there that it felt like a transfer spot reunion. I got to see ELDER LEE! And some Muroran ward members! That was way fun! It feels like it's been forever, but it's only been like, 3 weeks, so it was kind of weird that we were all like! HEY LONG TIME NO SEE! :D :D Attitudes, but it was great none the less. Elder Lee is way bummed that I'm gone. He doesn't really like his new comp very much. And he told me quite a few times to transfer back to Muroran with him. :( I Love that guy, and he has had a crazy roller-coaster mission with companions so far. Every other transfer is a companion that's really hard.
  So, running out of time, so I'll cut to the next biggest thing that happened this week. Two things. We weren't able to meet with our investigator Sato San, who we think will make a baptism date. But we called her, and she told us that she believes it's all true! :D :D CRAZY AWESOME!! So next time we visit, we're definitely going to try and make a date with her. And yesterday was an ALL DAY read the Book of Mormon day. We woke up at 6:30, started a fast, and then read till 9:00 pm, breaking our fast at six. Holy crap. My brain was dead from so much reading. But it was amazing. I wanna do it again. :) I just felt great all day! I've never had so much fun in the Book of Mormon before, it was great to dedicate a whole day to studying it. We also stayed up late for New Years. The Japanese tradition is at midnight to eat Soba. Which is noodles and a soy sauce sugar mix thing. Weird tradition I thought, ;) But the Soba was good, so I can't complain!
     After another day or two the schedule should get normal again. Thanks for everything you do for me everyone! I love you all!
  Love, Mike
 P.S. My biggest challenge so far has definitely been the language. I LOVE to talk, you all know that, and not being able to as easily as I like has been a challenge. But everyone is always impressed with how well my Japanese is for me being here so short a time. So it's not too bad. The start of this transfer was hard, getting used to only speaking Japanese, but I like it. :)

P.P.S. And yes, a ward member wrapped us potatoes. :P
P.P.P.S. Haven't spent any of my birthday money yet, still thinking about what I want to use it on! I'll be sure to let you know! LOVE YOU ALL!

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