(Note: when Braden's mom looked up the name of this city, she was surprised to see that while Nemuro has 14" average precip in December, Iwamizawa has 87")
Hey!!!! That's cool you got to see the transfer list again. I'm in a place called Iwamizawa. It means "boulder overlooking swamp." It's a branch as well, but the church is way nice and huge. My companion is named Elder Hatch and he's a boss. He's a few transfers older than me (he actually went into the MTC with Gandy E) but since we are zone leaders we are both SR companion haha. I'm ZL over Asahikawa zone which goes all the way up to Wakkanai which is the very top of Hokkaido. I really hope I can go because it is a recently opened area with a tiny branch just like Nemuro! I'm also excited to go on lots of splits all over the zone, but it is tough not having a lot of time to focus on your own area. The members here are way legit especially the branch president Adachi B. He is way strong and has tons of dendo fire. We actually haven't done any finding since we got here since he has taken us everywhere (which is nice because the snow was INSANE! Iwamizawa is known for being the snowiest part of Hokkaido). He has taken us to visit a lot of less active members and he also has been doing a lot of planning with us to help out our investigators. Since this area has been a ZL area for a while, there are not very many investigators, but the ones we have seem pretty cool. I'll tell you about how everything went since last week though.
On Monday in Nemuro I honestly spent a pretty good amount of time packing because of how sure I was about transferring. That day of dendo was visiting a few investigators and also doing some finding to give Morgan E more potential investigators to work with. On Tuesday we got our transfer calls. We found out that the next Nemuro missionary is Kina E, the former AP so I'm way stoked about that. We had a good DTM with testimonies and headed to an appt with Kunii. We ate sushi and he promised to read the BoM over his Christmas break! I ate a lot of sushi because it might be the last time I get to eat eastern Hokkaido sushi... T-T After that we tried to do finding, but it RAINED way hard. It wasn't effective/no one was home so we went home and got a call from Ozawa B and Okuchi S and went over to Ozawa family for a final party. It was way awesome. Kinda random, but Okuchi S pulled out her tablet and we skyped with Ishiga E! He is doing pretty great hahaha. Wednesday was eating my favorite food in the world (the chocolate covered cream filled melon bread from this store that's only in Nemuro) and then all day travel to Sapporo. We left at about 12 and got there at about 8:30. There was about an hour in Kushiro (where I said bye to my awesome, grown up bean, Morgan E) but yeah. Crazy. A bunch of members came to see me off. A bunch of other people were going to as well, but the train was too early. At the Honbu I practiced my song with Mecham E (Where can I turn for peace, yeah it should be on Youtube eventually. I don't remember when the performance is). I also found out that Andersen E became a trainer! Way happy for him. He is such a brother to me. I stayed up talking to him for a bit. The next day we had a way long music practice and met all the other missionaries. Stilson E went home which is way depressing. He is also like a brother. It was way awesome to see everyone though. We came back to Iwamizawa that night in time for Eikaiwa which was pretty good. Just like in Nemuro I teach the crazy kids class. Me and Hatch E are also district leaders. We just take turns doing district meeting. Friday we had DKK which is way different as a ZL because it was mostly planning splits and not as much planning for Iwamizawa. We also met a pretty cool non-attending member named N who is pretty nice, but has WoW problems :(
Then we tried to visit a member who sometimes comes to invite him to the Christmas party. It was the craziest blizzard ever :) But we made it there and back w/out any problems. When I first got here there was almost no snow. I send you a picture of outside the church. Saturday was the sweet Christmas party. We did a song with the Eikaiwa students and I played guitar (Silent Night) and a decent amount of people came (I was also Samuel the Lamanite in the play). There is also a deaf member here so I got to use my sign language again! Everyone was way impressed and they want me to translate for her in sacrament meeting... I'll see what I can do! Sorry the space bar on this keyboard isn't very good. This guy named Y came as well. He actually met missionaries 30 years ago and then some stuff happened in his life prompting them that he needed to meet again so he called the Honbu and met up with us. After the party we had a pretty good lesson with him. He really wants to believe and mostly does believe our teachings, he just also wants to believe buddhism at the same time. I think he really has a ton of potential though. We invited him to baptism and he seems like he wants to when he knows everything more fully.
After that we rode w/ Adachi B to another non-attending and it went pretty well. We introduced her to the RS pres so that we will be able to hand her off to the RS soon. Way good thing. Way too many non-attendings for just the missionaries. Sunday went good too! I gave a talk and I wasn't used to only having to give a 10 minute talk, hahaha. The members here are so so awesome. After church we visited another NA w/ Adachi B in a far off area who is 16 years old. He and his brothers got baptized and were way active, but since they moved it became hard to go to church. We talked to him and his mom and she really supports him going to church and worked out a way for him to come up to Iwamizawa more often for church! Pretty stoked for him. His name is Suzuki Kouta B. And that's about it!
I'm excited for all the cool things you are doing for Christmas! I hope everyone gets feeling 100% soon. I haven't written Adam yet, but I'll work on it. I'm glad Mya and them are doing great. That's cool how polite she is! haha Thank you for your testimony and love and support. You are so awesome!!! I love you so much!