So I think I'm at week 11 right now. I guess that means I'm about 10% of the way through already. That's a little crazy. I feel like I just reported to the MTC even though it was two and a half months ago.
Last week I failed to share the experience that we had flying to Japan. So Monday morning we reported to the travel office a little before 5 am and loaded up about 25 or 30 missionaries on a bus. The bus actually only took us to the train station and from there we had one other train switch before we got to the airport. From the airport we were able to call home and get some breakfast before getting on the plane. It was all great except that during one of the train rides it started snowing and became more and more heavy as we waited for the plane. So we finally end up on the plane and just sort of sit for a few minutes before they say that we'll need to get de-iced before we leave. At this point the Elder sitting next to me goes to sleep due to the early hour of our departure. About an hour after we were supposed to take off and we've finally been de-iced and are getting ready to get on the runway, he wakes up and looks at his watch and says something like 'hey we're actually going to make our next flight'. He didn't realize that we hadn't even taken off yet. It was pretty funny. By the time we got to SEA we were about 20 minutes after the next flight was supposed to take off and they had just held it for us. We felt pretty special. :)
So my district here is pretty cool. There are seven of us - two companionships of Elders and a trio of sisters. We're all in the first half of our missions except for one of the Elders who happens to be named Elder Mitchell. Before my mission I'm not sure that I knew anyone with the last name of Mitchell that I wasn't pretty closely related to. But ever since the MTC I've seen at least three other Elder Mitchell's and I haven't known any of them. One was from somewhere on the east coast - maybe Maine or something. The one in my district now is from Idaho. I'm not sure how I feel about all of it.
This morning my companion and I went on a run. That was one of our weekly goals, so we're well on our way. We've already got one down and it's only Monday. :) My companion is Elder Free. I'm not sure if I mentioned that in my last email, but he's the son of a member of my branch presidency at the MTC. It's funny because he sometimes says things like 'Yeah I have to behave now because if I don't you'll email my mom'.
A scripture that I really liked this week is 1 Nephi 10:19. It says "For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round." I like how it talks about diligently seeking the answers to our questions and that by the power of the Holy Ghost we can know that they are true. I know that this scripture is true and that we really can receive answers from God.
I hope that you're all doing well,
The bike parking lot by the train station and the tacos we made the other day. The snow was actually quite a bit higher last week, but I didn't think to take a picture until it had melted a little bit. Last week all you could see was the very tops of the handlebars.
Check out the label on the tortillas. . . They are Mission(ary) tortillas for Elders only. :-)
Questions and Answers from the family:
Can you please answer some basic questions for us? We are all dying to know. . .
1. Q: What is the weirdest food you have eaten so far?
A: There was some thing that looked sort of like it might be sweet and desserty so I grabbed one. I then asked Elder Free what it was and he said it was たこやき which has octopus in it. I don't think I'll ever need to eat one again.
2. Q:Where is your apartment/flat? Do you live with a member or just by yourselves?
A: We live in an apartment by ourselves. It's on the second floor. Not sure what the address is. I'll maybe send that to you later. If you have anything that you want to get there fast then you can send it straight there if you know that I'll be there for long enough. Otherwise you can just send it through ほんぶ which is the mission office and they'll get it to me. The address for that is
3-1-5 YAGIYAMA-MINAMI, TAIHAKU-KU
SENDAI 982-0807 JAPAN
3. Q: What are the beds like there? Are they on the floor or on a bed frame?
A: The beds that we have now are pretty normal. Apparently the apartment that we're in right now used to be a sister's one, so we have some nice stuff.
4. Q: What is your current schedule like?
A: Schedule is different every day. But most of it is walking around in the freezing cold knocking on doors or trying to talk to people because we have sort of 1/2 of an investigator right now. We're not sure that he's actually interested in the Gospel.
5. Q: Are you enjoying your new companion?
A: Yes my new companion is great. He's half Japanese but basically grew up in America, so he's really helpful. He can also cook better than I can and can read a lot of the labels at the grocery store, so that's good too.
6. Q: Do you know how missionary families send packages the most quickly/cheaply?
A: It doesn't sound like there really is a cheap way. My companion's dad flies to Japan fairly often and gets airline benefits so he gets a free suitcase. So his family will just get a trashed suitcase from DI or somewhere and fill it with stuff that his dad will bring to Japan and ship from Tokyo or wherever he is for the trip. If there's something that you can get online that would be cheaper than trying to ship something (like if you wanted to order real peanut butter online or real bread or something like that :)) but I think there's not really a cheap way.
I love you the most,