|Snow in Sapporo!|
Minasan konnichiwa!! [Hello everybody!]
Well I made it to my first P-day [preparation day]! This key board is a little diffifcult to use so sorry for the typos.
So I'm in the Atsubetsu District of Sapporo and I cannot believe this was Dad's first ward. That is so crazy. The church building is huge, two stories, and about 100 active members. It's cold but not bad at all. I guess this winter was the worst in decades, tons of snow and suuuper cold. I'm happy i missed it :D It's not too cold but the wind isn't fun, especially in a skirt. At first I was thinking that I was silly for bringing all of this heavy duty winter stuff, but oh no, my thermals are my best friends. And its true, some girls really do wear 4 pairs of tights haha. Our apartment is actually really nice. Mom, you had me prepared for a super old apartment with cockroaches, etc haha. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. It's just us two in the apartment so that's nice. We have futons, and even a clothes dryer!!!!, and great heaters. Also great news, we have a Costco in our area haha. I thought I said goodbye to Costco last time I was there.
My companion is Nanjo Shimai [Sister Nanjo]. She's great. We haven't spent a lot of time one on one yet because of exchanges, a sister training meeting that Sister Evans holds every transfer to help us be better leaders, and training at the hombu [mission home] our first day. Nanjo Shimai's older brother and sister served in Fukuoka so I'm pretty sure Sho knows at least her older brother. She's been out a year and I'm her first bean-chan [brand new missionary]! There's an elder serving here who was in my BYU freshman ward and a girl who was in my Japanese class. I knew she was still serving but she had no idea I'd been called to Sapporo. The look on her face when she saw me was so great!
I love the area so far. It's city, so not the green hills and nature I was expecting but I like it. When we go house to house, it's about 99 percent talking to cameras. People have cameras on their doorbells, so we just talk to them through that. Kind of odd not seeing who we're talking to but we're still trying hard to plant seeds! There are actually quite a few Christian churches up here, and Jehovah Witnesses missionaries. Missionary work is fun! We've only taught I think 3 lessons so far but we stay really busy. It's incredible how much work there is to do. Working with members, inactives, investigators, and finding new people to teach. I was shocked actually how much missionaries need the ward member's help. It's critical to effective missionary work. So, thank you for helping out our home ward!! Keep helping! Jonathan you too. Doing the Lord's work is an incredible feeling. Even when it's cold, hungry, and no one is interested, I'm still happy. I like this feeling :}
I met the ward yesterday and I wish I could've checked emails to see if Dad had been here, but oh well. I'll get up and bear my testimony next month. Every time I introduce myself and say my last name, people's eyes get as big as mine. I'm clearly not Nihonjin [Japanese] so they wonder. I don't know how many times I've said, "Hafu desu" [half Japanese] haha.
Mom we eat onigiri [rice balls] from 7-11 allll the time. We eat quite a bit on the go so we've gone to McDonalds a few times too. Can I just say that their portions are like half the size of America's. And their ketchup isn't free, nor do they hand it out if you don't buy fries haha.
I love being a missionary. I love teaching people about Jesus Christ, happiness, The Book of Mormon, and eternal families. I lack confidence in teaching in Japanese so my companion does a lot of it but I try to always bear testimony to what she says. I'm working on saying more. I'm trying to think of others more and service. I never realized how often my thoughts drift to myself, or even more often, food. No joke. Even after I eat, I'm thinking about the next meal haha. But I'm working on it. I'm trying to do the best I can and still push myself to be better. But don't worry, I'm not expecting perfection from myself.
I love this gospel. I love how happy it makes me and other people and how it brings purpose to this life. I've wondered how people can go through life and it's trials without knowing why. I haven't figured it out yet but I'm glad I know why I'm here and want to share that. I'm so grateful I get to serve and get to be here at this time. The church is true! Love you sooo much! Thank you so much for your prayers and love and support. I feel all of that, even in Japan.
Until next week!