I went to HAKODATE!!!!!!!!!!! Also it was awesome.
I hope things are going way good. Well it seems like they are! I have had an awesome week. I'm so excited for all the new missionaries! Most of all I'm excited for the new missionaries coming to Sapporo next transfer, not gonna lie... Also Adam! Crazy proud of him. I remember about this time last year being crazy giddy and telling everyone how excited I was about having my call. Thanks a TON for telling me about everything back home though! I'm really proud of Mara with her friend Emily as well. That's crazy cool! :) I'll bet she is starting to feel the missionary spirit quite a bit. Good luck on the taxes! Crazy to believe it's almost Easter time already though. Most Japanese people haven't even heard of Easter actually. I hope I'll have lots of time to think of how great the atonement is and how through it we can overcome death and return to our Heavenly Father as well. Sounds like Dave had a good birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! You're the best big brother ever. I'm really excited to see the Gandy's and tell them thanks again if you have a chance!
So my week was pretty big! Last week on P-day after finishing music practice we had a pizza party and I ate way too much. Costco pizza. Good stuff. After that we went home and met this guy named Ono who loves feeding missionaries! We taught him a little bit which was a little tricky because he initially was only interested in feeding us, but we taught him about baptism and he said it is something that he'd want so that was really cool. The next day in the morning we went to teach Arai with a member named Kurami who is way awesome and strong and close to Arai in age. We taught the doctrine of Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, etc) and he accepted everything. He also accepted the modern day prophets. He wants to get baptized so bad. We just need him to have time on Sunday to come to church. After that we taught Nakagawa who is a member referral and way awesome. We have taught him a bit and he is pretty strong. Not quite sure on whether God is there or not, but once he gets that confirmation he'll progress WAY fast because he understands the doctrine really well. He just needs the faith. That time we taught him the restoration and Joseph Smith. After that we tried to visit some other invs that weren't home then did lots of phone dendo.
Wednesday was an interesting day. It was kind of a big inv exchange with the sisters that are in the area called Odori which covers all of Sapporo. We spent time with them visiting the people we wanted to "exchange". After that we housed a bunch of apartments and met some cool people that used to be investigators. Then we had Eikaiwa and quite a bit of new people came! Way fun and good lesson. Thursday was the ZTM that Yamashita Choro came to. He is from the quorum of the 70 and is WAY cool. He spoke in English the whole time, but it wasn't for us gaijin missionaries, it was for the nihonjin missionaries to show them an example of working hard to learn English! He taught so much amazing stuff to us and it was way fun. I actually went to the Odori zone's ZTM instead of the Hakodate zone because they needed me to play the guitar for the musical number. Because of that I went on splits with my zone leader Olsen Choro. He is a boss and went to USU as well. He played the clarinet in the number. I felt the spirit so strong in the ZTM. Yamashita Choro spoke with so much power and actually reminded me a lot of Pres. Uchtdorf. It was also really fun to meet the missionaries in the other half of the mission. I've now officially met everyone in the mission at least right now. Yamashita Choro focused a lot on member relations, the younger generation, referrals, and lots of other really important things like how the doctrine of Christ ties into everything we do.
After ZTM I went on splits in Higashi which means "east" because it's the east part of Sapporo. It's the zone leader's area. I went with Hatch Choro who was the AP when I came to Japan. We just dendo'd for two hours, but it was really cool and fun. He is going home next transfer. That night we slept over in the Higashi apt and I got to hang out with Sasaki Choro a lot who is from my MTC group and I get along with him waaay good. Anyways the next morning I had to wake up at 5 to make the train to HAKODATE!!! I went with Olsen Choro and the train ride took a little over 3 hours, but it was WAY pretty! Would've been even better if there wasn't so much snow, but still sooo amazing... I'll put lots of pictures on. Anywho we got to Hakodate and rode on this little tram (kinda like in San Francisco, Hakodate has them everywhere) and while waiting met a really awesome high school girl who goes to a Christian school and ended up being WAY interested in the message. We were pretty suprised how interested actually. We passed her on to the Hakodate sisters to teach when they get back. After that I ate a GIANT hamburger at this store that's only in Hakodate called Lucky Pierrot. It was way big and good. Then we went to dendo and had a blast. There are so many cool people in Hakodate and it was really fun with Olsen Choro, because he used to be in Hakodate for 4 transfers. We visited some of his old investigators and one of them fed us! His name was Mikami and he was so cool. He is married with a way cute little kid. I totally forgot to take a picture. He wants to get baptized so bad. He's only been taught the first two lessons and word of wisdom, but he researched the church online and has such a strong testimony he wants to get baptized sooner with his family! He also liked me a ton because of my good Japanese. He wanted me to come back to Hakodate when he gets baptized hahaa.
After that we taught Hakodate's eikaiwa (which is the reason we came. the Hakodate missionaries had to go to their ZTM that day) and it was super fun. The members there are really strong as well. The next morning we woke up at 5 again with plans to eat this thing called the odori ika before the train left. Odori means dance (different from the Odori area) and ika means squid. Yes. It is eating a squid while it is still alive. I wanted to do it so bad because squid is one of my favorite foods. We got on the tram to go there and I met another cool guy who said he was going back to Sapporo that day too and he wanted to come with us to eat the odori ika. We went to the fish market, but the odori ika part wasn't open until later so he told us he would take us to a close by seafood place and pay for us. He was way cool! He had fluent English and lots of crazy stories about being in America. He wasn't very interested in the message, but knew a ton about it and us and respected us a ton. It was an incredible experience having someone spend around 40 dollars on you even though they just met you on the tram. After that we headed back to Toyohira where there was a wedding party for a member who got married in the temple. So much like an American wedding hahaha. Lots of great Okinawa and Hokkaido food though! Then we had a lesson with this kid who is 19 and a member of a church called toitsu from Korea. He doubts its teachings quite a bit and wants to hear how we think. A member who barely got back from his mission teamed up. After that we went to eat soup curry with the member we helped shovel snow before. Crazy day with lots of food! Sunday was great! Had missionary coordination meeting before church and Nakagawa came to church! He had a really good time and afterwards we taught him the doctrine of Christ and he understood it way well. After that was planning session and phone dendo! What a full week. There is so much of the Lord's work to do here it is overwhelming at times, but I'm glad He's pushing me forward to the places I need to be.
I LOVE YOU! AISHITEIMASU!
View on the train
Hamburger at lucky Pierrot
waiting for the tram in Hakodate
Squid that Sasaki bought us! He also bought us bowls of seafood donburi which is just seafood on rice. I got crab, shrimp, and sea urchin
Me, Olsen Choro, and Sasaki
Way cute kids at the wedding