Saturday, June 28, 2014

Japan week #45

Hey Everyone!! First off, as I'm sure you're all aware by now, transfers have happened!! And my world got flipped upside down. I've moved from being a hardcore countryside missionary, to a Sapporo missionary! And to make it even better, I didn't just move to the city, I moved into the HEART of the city. The Odori area is the heart of downtown, and it's flipping crazy. I have no idea where anything is, and it's nuts! Dang changing areas!! But before all that, I had an amazing last week with Elder Horne.
   We saw some really cool things, and had a blast visiting for the last time together all our investigators and the Otofuke members, it was all really sweet. I got to see Sato San one last time. I texted her asking her if she would let me come visit because I was transferring, and she said she had been really wanting to see me, and so we made an appointment and headed on over. We spent a long time catching up on what's happened the last two months, and it was just amazing to see her again. She's still doing really well. Reading the BoM everyday, praying everyday, and still keeping all the commandments. She really is flipping amazing, I just wish I could have found a way to help her get out to church. But I still know that I played a part in her conversion, so I can be happy with my efforts. This whole week has been puncuated with just a pervasive feeling of happiness and content. I feel so content with all my work in Otofuke. I didn't see a baptism or anything, but I've been able to feel that my work has been accepted of the Lord, and I've done my part to set up Elder Horne for a solid transfer with his new companion. Who by the way is Elder Goddard! :D My man from my MTC district! He got mah bean!! :D He's way stoked to work with Elder Horne, and I'm glad that Elder Horne got a new comp who I know is a hard working outstanding man.
   So, now we're in the heart of the city. Dendo as I know it is changed forever, and I'm having a blast. I do miss my nature, and I still love the countryside more, but there's lots to love about the city. Just this week, starting the day I got here is the Yosakoi Festival. Describing it in words really doesn't do it justice. It's basically a week long dance party, and it's amazing. Teams from all over Hokkaido assemble and gather in Sapporo and just dance all day everyday for a week. And the coolest part is that it is all ancient Japanese themed. The floats, and costumes, the music, the dancing, all of it. It's FLIPPING COOL. And WAY FUN. We spent some time watching it, and I took a ton of video. It's way fun. Honestly more fun than the snow festival I think. ;) HAHA!!
   And working with Elder B has been interesting. He's from Elder Horne's MTC district, and so he's still fairly young. But he and Elder Horne are a night and day difference. Elder B is from Washington, and he's a mega shy super nerd. :P And I love him! He has a lot of struggles, and he doesn't make friends easily, so I'm so happy to be his companion, and become his best friend. :) His last companion was Elder A, who is notorious for being a lazy and less obedient missionary...So I came into this area, and found out that we have nothing. No investigators, no good potential investigators, and I found out that they did NOTHING for a transfer. Just played with an inactive member all day everyday, and did nothing productive. So I have an interesting transfer ahead of me. Elder B thinks I'm probably really strict. :P But that's how it is out here! We can play when we're done working! So this transfer I've really made my goal Elder B. He needs some good experience actually working, and I want to make sure that he knows that he is loved and appreciated. :)
  So the intersting thing about the Odori area, is that we aren't confined to one area. The ENTIRE city of Sapporo is our area. So we can go anywhere we want, and go to any ward we want, and work where ever we want, it is way cool. Elder B and most of the previous missionaries of the last year or so have been focusing in the Shinkoto area of Sapporo. It's in the northern  part of Sapporo, and it's way cool, so I'm thinking we'll continue working out there. The ward is way cool, and I love them already. My first Sunday in the ward was a blast. I got to meet a ton of members, and had some quality time to talk to all of them. This ward in the past used to have a dedicated pair of Elders in the ward, but after having a string of bad elders, they decided they didn't want Elders in the ward, so now there is only sisters in it. We go, but that's because we're Odori Elders, and we can do what we want. ;) But so because of that the ward has a hard time warming up to Elders. So I did my best to make a great first impression, and I think it really worked out. I had a lot of fun with a bunch of members, talking after church, and I had one brother invite us over to dinner sometime because he liked talking to me. And after talking to the ward mission leader, I really think another reason I'm here, is to strengthen this ward, and show them that I'm working hard.
  So, I'm INCREDIBLY excited to be here. Should be a transfer filled with LOTS of hard work, and some great times. :)
    Love you all, and I appreciate all of your prayers and support on my behalf. :D
  Love, Mike 

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