Konnichiwa everyone! So... pretty crazy week! Allow me to explain. First off, I got transferred! About a week before transfers, a young mission who was in my branch at the MTC just couldn't handle the missionary life, and decided to go home. I got the call from President Budge and he asked me if I would transfer down to my near area of... Oyama!! My new companion is Elder Howard, who is from American Fork, Utah. The guy is amazing! He's had some really bad luck with companions recently, but he really has such incredible faith, and is ready to work. He's been out for about a year, so he's my follow up trainer I guess? Not too sure how to describe it, but yeah! Elder Howard is really so great, he's a really nice guy, and super hard working. I was pretty sad to leave Narita, especially saying goodbye to my investigators, but I'm really excited to be in Oyama. The literal translation means Little Mountain, and it's the countryside portion of the Tokyo mission! It's seriously incredible. It's so green, and so beautiful. I'll send some photos soon! But onto some cool experiences that happened this week.
So! The first one was on my last day in Narita. We had a lesson with our Baptisimal date investigator named Chika, and I was really excited to teach her. Her date is in about two weeks, so I should be able to go back for her baptism. But anyways! A little backround, so in my English Class that I teach, Chika comes every time, I always talk a little bit about myself at the start. Random stuff, etc. So this last class period I mentioned that one of my favorite cars is the GTR, and wouldn't you know, Chika got me a stack of GTR magazines for our last lesson! She was so sweet about it, and I'm stoked to check them out... in two years, haha. Such an awesome lesson though, I feel so lucky to have taught her. I'm so excited for her to be baptized soon! But anyways... So the next day, I got up super early, and hard to travel completely alone to Tokyo by train. I got lost a couple times, but Japanese people are all so kind, and helped me find my stop. Overall awesome!
But yeah! Now I am in Oyama, and the miracles are happening here as well! Yesterday after church, Elder Howard and I had a white day (meaning no lessons, meetings, etc.) so we went out and housed all day! It was pretty awesome. I love housing! Seriously. Even when we get a lot of, "Keko desu! Kokoro Sama desu." "A, Dame!! Dame da!" I still love it. Especially when you meet that one person that just makes it all worth it. Which for yesterday was Saito and Uhi! Saito was someone I ran up to and contacted in the middle of housing. We were knocking on doors, and I saw Saito just walking down the street with his headphones in. I used my Gai-Jin powers (meaning foreigner powers) and ran up and said, "Hello!" in English. He was excited, and we started getting to know each other in Japanese. He's a college student, and we started discussing God and some of life's big questions. With the Book of Mormon, I was able to answer one of his questions, and we set up a time to meet. However, we couldn't set a specific date, so he didn't count as a new investigator even though he was super interested to learn more. But! As a missionary, miracles happen everyday. As we were walking home a few hours later, we walked right into Saito on the bridge, were able to set up a specific date, and he become a new investigator! We're so stoked for him.
Uhi was another miracle too! As we were finishing up our housing, I spotted Uhi walking out of the college we were housing near by, and I just waved and said hello in English! But, Uhi runs up to me with a big smile on his face and asked if I was a foreign exchange student. I said I was actually a church missionary from California. He got really excited, and asked if we could meet with him on another day soon, and he said he would bring 3 or 4 of his friends to meet us too. Amazing!! Uhi is from Shaolin China, and we're so excited to see where things go with him.
I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! There are many days when it's just really so hard, but these amazing miracles make it so worth it in the end. 900 doors slams can be made up with that 1 who lets you inside. I miss you all pretty badly because of my birthday coming up, but I know this is where the Lord wants me to be. I'm so thankful He called me here to Japan to teach this amazing people. They truly are so prepared, and so ready for this Gospel message. I'm so thankful to be here, and I'm so thankful for all of the kind words you all send to me daily. The work is hard, but your words and support help me so much. I love you guys! I can't believe we're gonna Skype in about 3 months! Hopefully by then my Japanese will pretty good? Haha, that's what I'm praying for every day. I know that this Gospel is so true, and that this really is a divine work that we are all apart of. By simple things, meaning 18-21 year old boys and girls, the Lord is bringing the Gospel forth. He is placing people in our path, and giving us these great experiences. I love you all so much, and I'm so excited to read your letters every week and hear of all of the great things you are doing. I love you all so much! I pray for you all by name every day. Have an amazing week! Next time we write, I'll be 19! Crazy. Haha, have a great week! Hurrah for Israel!