First off here are some pictures to blow your mind.
Ooooh man! My new nephew Max is going to be such a bomb kid! That'll be cool if he is born really close to my birthday. I'm really excited for him! Sounds like Tohi and Jameson both going to California is way cool! I'm not sure if either of them are going to the same as missions that some of my friends are in right now. Stoked for them! Mara sounds crazy as usual. Mental torture? Oh boy.
Halloween here was pretty chilly! Rainy. All that good stuff. That's way nice of the Fullmers to have a BBQ for everyone. They are way cool. Please keep up with them for me ok? I'm glad you got to play with the nieces too. I bet they were a ton of fun as usual. 10 hours of overtime sounds tough! But I'm proud of you for working hard. I really appreciate your sacrifice for me so very much. I did get my package and it's really good! I can't believe you packed so much stuff in there! It was heavy too. Some of the Japanese Elders were hesitant about the orange oreos hahaha. They actually have a lot of that candy in Japan, but the Reeses stuff was especially nostalgic. The cereal too, but it isn't lasting very long for how much space it took up. For Christmas I want another suit coat from H&M in black and those earmuffs I thought you were going to get a while ago. It would be really tricky to find a suit here and I have enough pants so even one of the not so expensive coats would be fine as long as it's all black.
What's my favorite Japanese meal and treat? That's too hard. Right now I'm eating a fried squid lunchbox and it's great. My favorite things are okonomiyaki and udon I think. They have way good dessert bread (melon bread, etc) but they have no wheat bread which stinks. The coolest thing I've seen here is picture #2. For Pres Evans' birthday we went and took pictures, ate cake, and played sports in a park in Sapporo. Not too bad.
I was way happy to hear about how you are doing with missionary work yourself!! One thing that I am learning very quickly is that members can pretty much do a lot more than missionaries can. When we met someone who has never been acquainted with the church before we have to make their friend before we can actually teach them well. Without members, once we leave, it's incredibly hard for them to stay active. That's why it's so important for members to do all they can to introduce people to the gospel because that friendship makes everything so much easier. Please keep it up and I know the Lord will bless you with people to share with and how :)
SOOOO here is my story of this week.
After partying with the President we ate shabu shabu at a members house which is way good. Look it up! Then on Tuesday we had our Halloween party which was a big hit. Probably around 60 people came including quite a few investigators and non-attending members. There weren't too many fancy costumes (at all), but not too bad of an amount! We had lots of games and candy and it was pretty fun. Us missionaries spent the whole time making sure everyone was having a good time so we couldn't really play anything, but we got people settled pretty well. Way great. It took a while to clean up, but was great. Halloween itself wasn't that eventful. Just went to Chitose to meet with this guy who is really nice, agrees with a lot of our teachings, but not quite humble enough yet to accept religion so we are probably dropping him. He will still come to Eikaiwa lots though. Then we housed a little bit in a place called Megumino and got some appointments and taught a spontaneous lesson which was pretty cool. I'll pause here and send this since you're waiting right now hahaha.
Ok so here's the awesome story.
Thursday the Zone Leaders came over to go on splits with the other Elders and we were having our weekly planning meeting. We started and were worried about our two most progressing investigators. Nakamura who has been sick recently hasn't been able to meet or even respond to calls in a while which is tough and Haramai who is way solid in the gospel, but worried about discussing everything with her husband. That morning Nakamura sent us a mail about how she has been sick, going to the hospital a lot, and searching for a job. She also said she missed 2 days of Book of Mormon reading and felt bad about that. It kinda sounded like she wouldn't be able to meet soon. We moved on in the planning meeting and wanted to finish fast because planning is not as exciting as Dendo at all when all of a sudden Nakamura calls. We almost didn't answer because she likes to talk and it'd probably give us a lot less time to dendo, but we answer anyways. She tells us she just got done with a job interview and is on her way home, but had a dream where she had her baptismal interview and confessed all her past sins and that she saw it as a sign that she should..... GET BAPTIZED ASAP! We were blown away... She has been having a hard time getting to baptism because of various concerns, but this was a total miracle. We asked her what led her up to that point and she told us how since she felt bad about not reading she prayed to God to help her to do better and to teach her the truth. She then read all of Mosiah and found verse 26:22-23 and was really impressed by it. It wouldn't leave her mind. She said that she wanted to help make God's workload lighter by keeping his commandment to be baptized. Crazy. She wanted to get baptized next Saturday, but we suggested this week and she was happy about that. Luckily since the Zone leaders were there one of them could do the interview the next night after zone conference (which was also awesome) which is another miracle because there is no way our district leader would've been able to make that time! So after ZTM we hurried home to the church and she had the interview while we had our meeting with the ward missionaries. Afterwards she passed (Yay!) and we started planning stuff. She asked Elder Hansen to baptize her since he has been teaching her for like 6 1/2 months.
The next day we invited lots of people and had normal dendo housing in Chitose. The baptism was that night and we had a pretty good turnout considering how suddenly we told everyone about it. Hansen choro forgot the phone the first time we went to the church so we had to run to the apt and back when he realized he also forgot his white pants. Nice. So after biking to the apt and back twice we started. The speakers at the meeting were great and the baptism went super awesome too. Afterwards a member named Brother Takasugi gave her the Holy Ghost and a WAY powerful blessing. So incredible. We had to have it that day because she couldn't make it to church the next day. Then she bore her testimony which was crazy amazing as well. She is so strong and has gained a huge testimony of prayer, the Book of Mormon, and serving God. We still need to work with her a bit to help her transition, but she is pretty solid. PLUS Haramai came AND Nodoka convinced their Dad to leave watching baseball to take them to the service! Crazy miracle. We are planning on their baptism next Sunday so I'll let you know about that.
Well I hope that was a satisfying letter because I sure feel very blessed when I think back on how many amazing miracles I've been privileged to take part in. Thanks so much for your support and everything!!! Love you tons and tons!!
and some more pics...