Hey everyone! It's been a gnarly week of transfers, but I finally made it to my new area of Tsukuba! It's such an awesome area, and I'm getting so pumped to get to work here. So some really cool things about Tsukuba area! 1: I'm in an apartment with one of my Dai-Senpai at the MTC! Elder Hardin, who was in the District of Elder Peters who picked me up at the MTC curb, is in my apartment! It's been way fun joking around with him a bunch about the good old days at the MTC. Also, my Bishop here in Tsukuba is awesome! He served his mission in the SAN FRANCISCO mission back in the 90's, and he speaks perfect English! He actually speaks a lot like a Californian, it's pretty awesome. As well, Tsukuba is a ward that has 8 missionaries, and they're all so awesome! The Davis family as well is so great, and actually we know a few same people back in Utah which was way cool. Connections everywhere! Haha.
But overall this week has been pretty awesome! I love my Zone so much, and I'm getting so stoked to help out as best as I can. I was doing some study today, and I was studying about how I could be a better leader here in the Matsudo North Zone, and I came across the story of King Benjamin. I always remember how much Dad refers to King Benjamin, and as I read through I could really see why. King Benjamin was the perfect example of a great leader. He showed the way to his people, and he got down into the work with them. I've really been trying to apply that so much to this transfer, and I'm so excited to be a true servant this transfer. I feel really so blessed with this calling though, and I'm just pumped to work with all of got, and be a missionary just always ready to serve. I love being a missionary so much!! I can't believe I'm almost at 8 months, but I'm so thankful for each and every one. It's changed me so much from the person that I used to be, and I'm so thankful for that. President Budge is always urging missionaries to be that, "Follow Me" type of missionary, and I've decided that's the missionary I really want to become. I just want to serve and help as best as I can, and I'm just really humbled and really so thankful for this awesome chance to serve in this Zone. :)
Another awesome thing about Tsukuba... They have a Costco! Yup. Just right on the outskirts of town, we have a genuine Costco. My awesome companion Elder Dunbar has a Costco card, so we made a four man trip to Costco and all I can say... It was pretty awesome. Costco pizza after 7 months of no pizza is pretty awesome. As well they had so much American food, and we all went pretty crazy. I was able to pick up some of my favorite Tortilla Chips, and it was just a really fun time being with my awesome apartment. Also! I'm sorry I've been taking so much personal money out! I needed some money for transferring this week, and as well I picked up some new white shirts today at Costco! I've been really needing some for a while since my old ones fit pretty baggy, and they had them for really cheap at Costco! Hope that's okay... Just wanted to make sure! I may have to take out just a little more next week due to some pants issues. So President Budge has asked all missionaries to move away from wearing the UniQlo pants because they look too fashionable, and so I may have to buy a pair of slacks or two that are pretty cheap, but within the standards. Sorry about that! Elder Dunbar is really awesome at working out every morning, and I've started losing weight again! Haha, I'm sorry though, I hope that's okay! I won't take out too much I promise, just need some of those things to not look like a baggy, or grungy missionary.
As well, the Lord has really blessed us with some really awesome miracles this week. First one being we found some new investigators really quick! We white washed here into Tsukuba, and it was a pretty hard area last transfer. I was talking to some of the missionaries, and apparently this area has been proselyted in very hard for quite sometime that finding has become really hard. But the Lord has already blessed us with some really awesome people! One of which named Cho, an awesome college student from China! We were riding back home from Stake Conference, and the four of us rode post Cho and I waved and said hello! He smiled really big and said hello back, and as we went past, I felt we really should go back and talk to him. Next thing, Elder Dunbar says, "Hey! Let's go back and talk to that guy!" So both of us feeling that impression, we went right back to go talk to him. He had some really strong interest, and he really had a great desire to learn more. He told us it's really hard for him to believe in God, but he wants to try. So we met with him today, and he's just so awesome. We started talking about God being our loving Heavenly Father, and Cho whips out his notepad and starts writing down what we're telling him. It made me feel so thankful to be a missionary, and as well it showed me how people are truly so prepared to hear this great Gospel. Cho was really excited to start reading the Book of Mormon, and he really just seems so prepared. If you guys could pray for Cho, that would really mean so much to me! He's going to China this weekend, so we're not going to see him for a while, but when he comes back we're super excited to continue with him. He just seems so prepared, and we're working hard to see some really awesome miracles this transfer.
Also if you could keep praying for Luis! I called up Elder Tu'ua today, and it sounds like he's having some trouble kicking some word of wisdom issues, and it's kind of holding him back from being baptized. Just keep praying for him. He and I had a really long conversation the night before I left for Tsukuba, and Luis has such strong faith. He just has never made a lifestyle change like this before, and he may just be getting kind of nervous. Just keep him in your prayers, and I know we'll see some really amazing miracles. :)
It sounds like you all are doing so well, and I just want to say thank you so much for all that you do for me. Your prayers and thoughts always keep me going, and I feel really so thankful to have such an awesome family. You guys really are the greatest, and I'm so thankful and happy about all of the blessings you are all seeing so much recently. Just always look to Heavenly Father, and show that thanks, and I promise that those blessings will keep coming. It truly is how the Lord works, and when we trust in Him, and kind of just let go of our will, we can really find that greater peace and happiness. That large step is just letting go, but I have seen it bless the lives of others, as well as my own. Serving as a missionary has completely changed my life, and I'm so thankful to every second of it. It has it's ups and downs, but the Lord has given me so much in these past 7 almost 8 months that I can't not give all I've got to this great cause.
I love you all so much! Mom, feel better! Know I'm praying for you, and Dad you too! Happy birthday by the way!!! I'll be sure to take a moment and sing happy birthday to you in Japanese. :P Alexa, keep being awesome and go learn some surf down in Santa Cruz!! I'm way jealous dude, but go catch some gnarly waves for me, a'ight? Haha. Tyler! Feel better too man! I'm so excited for you going to Europe! That's gonna be such a blast. Just remember to call mom and dad a lot okay? Somedays I really wish I could talk to them as much as I used to. Don't take advantage of that, and call them a lot just to say you love them. Whit! Keep being awesome you dream catcher you. Haha. I'm so excited for your Iceland trip!! Just keep working hard, live the CA dream, and do those simple things of actively feasting on the words of Christ, praying daily, and seeking out ways to share the Gospel. As you do those things, the blessings truly come. :) You guys are all so awesome! Thank you so much for everything, have an awesome week!!