Hey! It's been fun being a zone leader, but surreal. It's really cool to work in other areas and with lots of other missionaries. I told you about the Christmas party last week, didn't I? I didn't get any pics so I'll send some from Hatch E's camera. I'm jealous you got the mission CD. We don't get it until Christmas :P That's too bad about Grandma and I hope she gets doing better. Do you think she'll be around when I get back? You work on Christmas eve? hahah That's like Japan. Won't Mara be home then? I'm looking forward to the call too! BTW I have my own phone now as a ZL so we don't have to worry about coordinating time. Therefore, if you want to call earlier than 9 (my time) feel free to do so because I'll have time. After that is district meeting etc, but yeah. I hope your Christmas lesson goes well! Not gonna lie I probably have the hardest time teaching out of manuals... Sometimes they just get too complicated. I'm WAY stoked for Michael!!!!! That's way boss! Nice!!! Also I don't have any addresses on me so I'll tell you next week (Stilson E, etc) Stilson E going home was depressing because he is one of my favorite missionaries ever. He did go a transfer early for school, but yeah.
Also, I got the package!!! The stuff is way awesome!!!! The Sufjan Stevens cd's are way amazing (though there are a bunch of random non-missionary songs on there I have to filter out... same with the singles ward [I think the rm soundtrack was a little less heavy hahaha!], but that's what SD cards are for! :)) Also please give me the track listing for the random blank cd you gave me. I was super super super happy though. Pretty much all my favorite Christmas candy and I am almost done with the last journal I was using so that new one will do great. The sweater is awesome too! I don't know if I was supposed to wait til Christmas, but I'm almost sure I wouldn't be able to wait anyways haha. Thank you tons and love you!
P-day wasn't anything too special. We kinda chilled here, found, and went to Ebetsu in preparation for splits and DTM. Tuesday DTM went great and I went on splits with Brackner E who is a bean and way awesome. He has a lot of confidence so even though he is younger in Japanese and missionary stuff he does his best to participate and learn fast which is way way cool. We had Eikaiwa there that night as well. There are some pretty nice members there too. Wednesday was Mission Leader Conference which was pretty cool. I felt old. We talked a lot about what we'll do for zone conference and how all the zones are doing. Kaicho is such a boss and always answers our questions using the white handbook, PMG, or the scriptures. Anyway that was practically all day. We got to eat Costco pizza for lunch. Thursday we did some finding and then members took us out to sushi and made us eat a ton. It was good, but Kushiro/Nemuro sushi is of course still the best in the world. After that we had a makeshift DKK and then went to meet Yamashita before Eikaiwa with a member. We went over what we taught before and then made a baptismal date with him! He actually chose the date himself because he really wants to get baptized, but also know more about the church and know it's the right decision first.
English class went great and then we headed to Asahikawa. IT'S HUGE! Of course not as big as Sapporo, but I was surprised. BUT on the way there, super miracle. We were waiting for the train and this guy comes up to us and is like, hey I used to live in St George! And we're like what? Turns out he got baptized 30 years ago, but because of bad relations with other people in the church at the time he quit. However we talked to him the entire train ride and he still remembers everything about the church. He basically still has a testimony and stuff. Anyway we told him about how much the church has grown in Japan and he got pretty excited about it. He said he would consider coming to church again and we gave him a new BoM. He lives in Asahikawa so we gave his info to the elders when we got there. Also he looks almost exactly like dad, but Japanese. Even he thought so! (I showed him pics) Asahikawa splits were fun (I went with 4th transfer Strachan E who is Canadian and way strong testimony). We also did Eikaiwa there as well (3 in one week! It's all we can do with so little time to do splits because of the holidays) Asahikawa is a way awesome area though! Saturday we came home and were way tired, but we finished DKK and then headed out to this kinda far away area to contact a referral. There was no map of that area so we asked people in town and they drew us a map and were way nice and everything, but it was about a 40 minute walk a way (on top of almost pure ice, but we're used to that already hahaha) so we started to walk and it was getting dark but there was nothing else we could do. After maybe 10 mins. this car pulls over and asks "are you Mormons? We'll give you a lift!" Turns out missionaries saved their kid's life or something a long time ago. They took us to the referral (who wasn't home) and then all the way back to Iwamizawa! (a little ways away) It was a couple and the mom actually works with some people who are members in Sapporo! She actually invited us to her work party which we are probably going to tonight. It was pretty crazy timing that we met them and they were really happy to meet us.
Sunday was great too. Yamashita came to church and had a great time. After church a way awesome NA named Kazama B came. He used to be in the branch presidency, but had hard stuff at work. Sounds like he wants to try to come more actively from now on though! We got so much stinkin candy in our fruit basket I think I'm gonna pass out, but it's pretty awesome. We had some good cold dendo that night and a great time getting everyone's reports! This work is overflowing with miracles! Christmas is awesome! I feel like I'm really bad at giving material gifts, but I want to be better at giving spiritual gifts or gifts of service.