Monday, December 31, 2012

Thank you so much for your birthday wishes! it warmed my heart to hear all the wonderful wishes from people I love.

Hello again familia! kazoku! Family!

Thank you so much for your birthday wishes! It was weird to read teh names of a lot of people I haven`t thought about in a long time, but it warmed my heart to hear all the wonderful wishes from people I love. I did open my presents and I love them! I wore the white shirt from Grandma and Grandpa the day I opened it and we`ve been listening to the CD every meal haha. I hope it doesn`t get old too fast haha. I love that CD though. It so beautifully portrays the feelings of everyone associated with Christ. My birthday was very wonderful. I really enjoyed it here in wonderful little old Kitami :) Thank you so much!

Wow...I can`t believe it`s already the new year. I woke up and said Happy New Year to my companion in a really big voice and he graciously said "uuumnggg" and rolled over in his bed :P haha. It`s great to hear all the new years resolutions Dad :). We`ve been asking the ward members as well what their Rainen no Houfu (Next years aspirations or goals) are. I haven`t thought too much about it honestly. Time isn`t quite the same in the mission. It doesnt seem real, but this morning during personal study I was reading a talk called The 4th Missionary and it gave me a couple ideas of how I can become a more devoted disciple of Christ. God has truly given us everything. When we serve Him with all our might and strength we are giving back to him things that he blesses us with each day. A beating heart, working lungs, a healthy body. But when we serve him with our Mind and might we are giving to him "us." We have agency and our own thoughts, but when we give those all up to Christ we really become instruments in His Hands and come to enjoy the work we`re doing. It goes from a thing of duty to a desire of our own and we are changed through the Atonement of Christ. God can`t mold us into the best us if we don`t give ourselves to Him. That is the way of the 4th missionary. Becoming a Disciple of Christ instead of a good missionary. So this morning I wrote down thoughts that keep me from being happy and focused (like--I`m cold--) and I wrote them in thankful form (like---I`m grateful that God gave me a body that can feel things like coldness and warmth). I`m excited to train my thoughts even more.

I think it`s inevitable to think about family and home during Christmas, but I`m so glad to be here. It was strange being me (the only English person in Kitami) and my companion during my birthday and new years and the Christmas season, but I was very grateful for it :)

That`s fun that you got to be with the sister missionaries! I didn`t really see the missionaries much in Boise, but I wish I had gotten to work with them some more.

thank you so much for your thoughts mom and dad. Mom`s thought has been on my mind a lot lately. I think of raising kids in teh future and how I`m so glad I`m making mistakes iwth my companions so I don`t make them with my kids haha. But I really do have to rely on the Lord and he will make everything right. Thank you so much for relying onthe Lord and being the wonderful parents you are. Your example is one of the greatest things I had I think. I never saw momand dad fighting even when there are plenty of reasons to fight, so I understand unity a lot better now with my companion. There`s a lot of things I`ve learned from your example and a lot of things I`m learning now.

My fingers are freezing to the keyboard as I`m typing, so I`m going to hurry up and tell one last experience.

Yesterday was "A Day with the Book of Mormon" day for the Sapporo mission. We fasted and woke up, got ready and read the Book of Mormon from 8-6. I was a little scared I would get really tired or a head ache or something, but I was fine! Definitely a blessing of the Lord. I read 9:50 minutes straight and only got through Jacob haha. Your eyes get a little tired, but I learned a lot. Just little bits of hope came to me about the future the more I read. And it seems all the members inthe branch were prompted by the Spirit to bring us some sort of food. They came throughout the day and brought us little snacks and o-bento`s periodically throughout the day. It was a great yuuwaku (tempation) during fasting throughout the day, but dinner was great :) It was a testimony to me that God watches out for His servants and those whom they love and pray for as well.

Well, my hands are very cold now, so I`m going to get going :P but Happy New Years!!! Yoi O-Toshi Yo! I`ll talk to you again in may! I love you all so much! 

Bye Bye!
P.S. I`m listening to my companion play the piano right now and it reminded me of the beautiful melodies Jill always played. Let her know that I miss her and I`m thinking about her! Thank you!

Monday, December 24, 2012

best time in my life up until now.

This last week has been really crazy. I went to Obihiro for a Zone Training Meeting, Abashiri the next day so Elder Sasaki could teach a friend living up there, and I`m going to Kushiro this morning early (its about 5:53 AM here) so I may or may not get to read your email, but I`m excited to get your call tomorrow! I will be in Kushiro when I get it. But I`ll try to check there and see what news you had!
I love you! Merry Christmas!
Bye Bye!!! :DDDD
 Ya sorry it was so early haha. I`ll see if I can`t get anything off later today. but thanks for replying! I`m glad to hear everyone is doing well and tell Will to get excited for his mission. It really is the best time in my life up until now. It`s tough but fulfilling. 
I never got to sing for the ward but I`ve still had plenty of opportunities to sing on the fly wherever I go. I love Christmas music :)
I also opened my presents this morning because I won`t be able to tomorrow, but you can open the box whenever you like! Christmas morning is good!
Alright, I love you and I`ll try and check again later! 
Bye Bye!
Thanks for the Email! I`m in Kushiro now and we`re going to have our Christmas party, so I`ll save all the talking for tomorrow. I just want you to know that I love you and that the Lord is truly guiding our steps. He leads us to those who need us most and we have such a great opportunity to change peoples lives. That`s a role I want to play for the rest of my life :) 
Excited for tomorrow! Talk to you later! Love you!!
Bye Bye!!!

Elder Mitchell Perry Sotto

Sunday, December 16, 2012

If we are patient and cheerful in doing his work, we will surely find the hidden treasures and joys and peace of this gospel.`s all I can say right now. It`s so weird to hear about everyone going out on missions...It`s unbelievable! I`m so excited!!! AHHHHH!!! What a great work this is :) I can`t help but smile as I think of that. What a great work this is!! Good gracious. I am the happiest little boy right now :P
I have a lot of things to do today to prepare for the upcoming week so I`ll keep this message a little shorter. I`ll start with the questions.

I haven`t tried the cake because the zone is getting together for an activity on the 24th and they want to make cake, so I decided I`d make it then with everyone! I`ll try to get lots of pictures! (and yes we have a microwave, toaster oven and stove top :D)

We can listen to any church music including EFY and Tabernacle Choir and anything with a spiritual theme (like Handel`s Messiah). Right now we have 2 CD`s that we`ve pretty well exhausted and I`m excited to open one present that happens to be wrapped like a CD full of Joy and Joyness :P 

I don`t think I`m allowed to skype...but that`s probably because I don`t have skype here haha. I`Ll ask the mission president when I get the chance. Maybe Next year! But this Christmas is a nice phone call :)

Now for my week. I have one experience that I wanted to share.

This week has been really great and we`ve been focusing a lot more on investigators and less active members than finding because that is what the ward wants help with. It`s opened my eyes a lot more to the fact that we as missionaries aren`t just going around looking for "baptisms." It is a very important ordinance in the gospel and central to our purpose, but our job is to build up the kingdom of God and help others come unto Christ in Repentance. That goes for church members as well. We are all living the Gospel and Doctrine of Christ, not just those who haven`t been baptized. We all should be Showing Faith, Repenting, Renewing our Covenants and receiving more fully the Holy Ghost, and Endure to the end. I`m noticing how the Lord can use us more now. I`ve been trying to see things from the Lord`s eyes more lately.
But my experience was in church. Because of all the snow that`s been falling (much more than usual at this time of year) it`s harder for people to get to church, so when we got to the church early for our meeting with the Missionary helper guy...Dendo Shunin in japanese...anyways, we didn`t have our meeting and we just shoveled snow to prepare for church. It was pretty fun :) But during church they didn`t have enough young men to pass the sacrament so they asked the missionaries to help. I got a very humbling feeling when they asked me to help. The only way I can describe it is, "oh...I`m so lucky the Lord counts me worthy to participate in such a sacred ordinance." I felt very humbled and very grateful and I realized all the more how much I need to continue to repent and come unto God. It was a very wonderful experience for helping me realize the power and importance of the Holy Priesthood in our lives. 
Just an interesting thought I had this week :)

I know that the Lord truly is helping us get through this. If we are patient and cheerful in doing his work, we will surely find the hidden treasures and joys and peace of this gospel. Thank you so much for your words and love Mom and Dad. I love you!
Also let my sisters know how much I love them. I spoke with a less active member about being grateful and we got into a conversation about people we respect who were good examples to us, and I brought up my sisters. They have been such a light in my life, and if you could I want you to let them know that I love them with all my heart and I`m so incredibly grateful for their example to me. I`ve been so blessed and prepared throughout my life so that I can give all I can to the Lord. We are his witnesses (Mosiah 24:13-16) and are so blessed to be so.
I have also realized lately the importance of doing things in the Name of Christ would do. so all I say and do, I do in the Name of Jesus Christ. 

Thank you so much for your love and everything!!! I truly am the most blessed person in the world I feel :) 
Well, talk you next week! For real! :D

Love you! Bye Bye!

Monday, December 10, 2012

"worrying probably means our expectations & will are off from what God wants. "

Hello again! I got the Christmas package and we set up the tree and put the presents around (and under it :P). It makes the room so much more festive and exciting! Except lately we`ve had a lot of tempation. We have 2 CD`s that we`ve listened to about 18 million times now and they get really old really that present that is nicely wrapped in the shape of a CD is quite companion told me to give into the tempation this morning after listening to the same soundtrack again like every morning haha. I told him NO! Get thee Hence Satan! he laughed :P
I love my companion. I`m his first American companion and he`s my first Japanese companion so we`re really learning communication skills. The biggest and best communication you can have though is your actions. They really do speak much louder than words. You can tell when someone loves you by their actions. I love my companion :)

I love that song! (Brightley beams our fathers mercy)One of my FHE sisters at college sent me a picture with the words of the song on it and I keep it on my wall and love seeing it. It`s one of my favorite songs in the hymnbook...although I have about 342 favorites in the hymnbook :P ok not that many, but a lot. The Japanese Hymn book has only 200 and Brightly Beams is number 200.

I read the articles!(Dad sends) I promise! I may not always remember them, but I like reading them :)
I did feel the earthquake. I was washing dishes and my companion was cooking and I probably wouldn`t have noticed it, but he stopped me and we both were like...woah...It was really weird because you can`t always tell when it stops. You still feel like you`re shaking for a while. It was only a little shaky in our apartment though. Nothing too big. Nothing falling off the walls or anything.

My interview with Elder Ringwood was very nice, but my questions were all answered during his workshop so we just talked a little. It was very short. He asked me about my family, where I`m from (really Boise or the outskirts like Eagle and Meridian. I told him I was definitely Boise :)). Then lastly he asked me what he could do for me and I presented a question that he had already answered. Ultimately, he just raised my spirits. It`s quite easy to get down after days and days of finding with no results. But we`re laying the foundation of great work to be done here in Hokkaido. I`ve also found that when you`re a little unhappy, change something and get happy. When we are worrying a lot it probably means our expectations and will are a little off from what God wants. We all have worries, but if we trust in the Lord things will turn out the best way they can :)
P.S. His workshop was on the Promise and Requirments of the promise in Alma 26:22. If we do what it says we will do amazing things for God`s kingdom. I love that whole chapter so much. Verse 30 really explains why I`m doing what I`m doing, and more importantly why Christ did the Atonement. It really strikes a cord with me.

Tell Grandpa that I love him too! And tell those in the ward that I`m doing great and I`m grateful for their prayers. I find Elder Ringwood`s talk interesting。 He said that we are the answers to our parents prayers (praying for his success). We could have an elect person walking back and forth outside our house all day and we wouldn`t be blessed if we weren`t obedient and go out and dendo(japanese for approach). I have to do my part to be the answer to your prayers and the Lord will take it from there :) I`m so glad to be a missionary. I wish I could do everything perfectly pretty much all the time, but then I wouldn`t get all the growing experiences. They are tough but are what this life is all about and I`m trying everyday to be more and more grateful for them haha. But know that the Lord lives. If you know that and His character then you know how I`m doing everyday :) I`ll do my best to be the answer to your prayers Mom and Dad :) I love you :)

So as for the weather, in the past 3 days it hasn`t stopped snowing and its shoveled everyday, so the snow right now is up past my ankles and their are piles high over my head on the sides of the streets. While we were walking to the church this morning I actually had a great experience. an older lady was shoveling her walk and we asked if we could help and of course she was humble and turned us down (Japanese people are very humble people). I expected that reply, but I saw another shovel against her house and told her that I would just use the other shovel :P I`ve gotten pretty stubborn haha. So I started shoveling and my companion just picked up big blocks and moved them, so she gave him the other shovel and we finished shoveling her walk. She was very grateful and so she went inside and brought us out some cans of coffee haha. We said we didn`t drink it so she asked about tea and we said that too, so in the end she ran inside and got us some Mikan`s. I just ate mine :) It was one of the few times I`ve ever been able to do service here. A wonderful blessing :)

Will Got His Mission Call!!!!!!!!!!!! AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I`m so excited for him! Tell him how much I love my mission and it`s the best thing in the world. I`ve never grown so much in my life.
Also all the other mission calls...haha...I think I`ve gone on a date with every single one of those people(ie.Kristy Rich, Kristie Hinckley,Amber Leigh Spradlin,Hannah Lutz, Rachael Fuller ??, Bonnie Anderson, Alyssa Harkness ) :P All college friends, mostly from my social dance class and some from my ward :P Good for them!
  Thank you so much Mom!

Tell Jessica( my cousin) I miss her and a mission is the best thing of my life! And I expect to go on adventures with her in the future :) And tell Derick and Tiffany congratulations! I`m so excited to meet her...( baby Jada) when I come back! She`s going to be big along with all the rest of the kids.

Lastly, the ward is great. They all live pretty far away though so they are troopers for coming to church so faithfully. They are strong. It`s actually a branch, not a ward. Little smaller. The music got cancelled until later because of a problem at the old folks home we were going to sing at, but we may sing at the Christmas party this saturday. 

Also I may send some pants back because missionary mall should give me a new pair if mine I need a new pair :P But I should be sending a package today with things I don`t need and some Christmas presents. 

Alright, well, I love you so much!!!!!!! Bye Bye! Talk to you Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

it`s been a tough week of realizing my weaknesses) and it helped me remember the blessings I have and that the Lord knows me and helped build up my drive

Hello again! Ya, sorry about the picture. There is no usb port for SD cards so I can`t actually send pictures from here haha. I guess the next time I transfer I`ll see what I can do about that :P

Kitami has a couple pretty graveyards I guess. We may go see those sometimes if we have time. Today we`re going to a returned missionaries house for an Okonomiyaki party ( a pancake with anything you want in it) and I`m excited :)

It is freezing cold though haha. My hands and feet want to fall off every night. There`s no snow so I`m not wearing boots yet, but maybe I will start. It`s a little mendokusai (obnoxious) to take boots on and off so I haven`t used them yet. Apparently it keeps getting colder till february though.

Thank you so much for the insights dad. I printed it out so I can think about it more. There is a lot on my mind lately and I`m having trouble thinking deeply, so I`ll keep thinking about it haha. It`s nice to have extra inspiration :)

It must be fun having your sister over a lot. I often think of my sisters and family and I`m amazed at how grown up everything has become. It`s very strange even though I`m not even 20 yet :P We are very lucky to have the blessing we do especially from the gospel in our family. Especially the knowledge of things after this life.

Well, a little bit from here. I have a lot of Christmas music to memorize and I`m singing at the Zone Taikai (conference) coming up on wednesday (in an octet). We`re singing Brightly Beams our Father`s Mercy for Elder Ringwood (a member of the 70 that`s coming to visit us). He`s asked us to study Moroni 7 and I didn`t know it was so packed with Doctrine and such. Wow. I`m excited for Wednesday. I`ve also been informed last night that I will be interviewed by Elder Ringwood after the Workshop by him. Evans Kaicho picked some missionaries to be interviewed by him and I`m just lucky enough to be one! It was funny because I got the call after  a really hard day (it`s been a tough week of realizing my weaknesses) and it helped me remember the blessings I have and that the Lord knows me and helped build up my drive :) It`s a tough, fulfilling life out here(in Japanese じゅうじつ Juujitsu) and I love it. 

Well, that`s about it! I`m really excited to call you this Christmas! I love you! Tell everyone I love them! and Mr. Lapp if you see him that I`m so glad he helped me learn how to sight read (lot`s of Japanese music I`m learning) haha. I love you soooooooooooooooo much!

Bye Bye!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

giving all people the chance to accept His love and the hope he promises.

Hello Family! First of all, I loved the pictures! I see that Lucky got a new collar and is still living the high life haha. Thank you :)

Second of all...That Temple Experience Sounds Amazing!!!! I don`t think it was coincidence either. I also think it`s interesting that the Ultimate driving desire wasn`t to be in the Celestial room with President Monson, but to see an old friend. And look how God answered your prayers! I`m completely blown away. That`s I wish I could`ve been there! But honestly, I`d rather be here ;) It`s an interesting thing to think about. I see the family at home enjoying thanksgiving and such and all these fun cool experiences and of course I`d love to be there, but then I think about the opportunity I have to be out here as a servant of Almight God, giving all people the chance to accept His love and the hope he promises. There`s nothing better. Of course my body is always exhausted and there are experiences that I could say are slightly less than enjoyable, but I know in my heart and mind that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I`m giving people the chance to accept true happiness and life eternal. Whether or not I see baptisms is another matter. The fact that I have the opportunity to share the gospel is reward in and of itself. It doesn`t always feel that way, but it truly is an opportunity for us. when I start having hard times it`s usually because I forget that. Christ`s mission was the same. He came for the chance that even one person might accept His Atonement. Just for the Chance. There was no guarantee. He just wanted to make it available so that if we ever decided to, we could have true happiness. I work for the same reason. I`m here for the chance that someone decides to accept Him. I have no guarantee of any reward dealing with baptisms and such and my expectations don`t matter. The joy that I`m always trying to take is the fact that I`m counted worthy to even speak the name of Jesus Christ, let alone speak IN His name. That is reward enough. and of course I want to see "success" and baptisms and more, but when I humble myself I find out how blessed I really am to be a servant of all. I am more blessed than anyone I know :)

Well, that was a nice tangent haha. I was talking about how cool it was to go to the Temple and how the Lord answers your prayers, and I had a really interesting experience yesterday with answered prayers. I have gained a strong testimony that God answers prayers if we pray with faith. 
I prayed that I would be able to give a Book of Mormon out last night, and It was answered! But not like I expected. God has a sense of humor. We met a man in SGI (Sokagakai) who was very passionate about it and was telling us we were wrong and he has better things for us so he told to wait outside (it was freezing!) and he brought back a pear for each of us and some SGI pamplets and told us to read them. After a lot of interesting conversation we ended up giving him the Book of Mormon and he gave us the pears and the SGI stuff...really interesting experience..."you kids get no reward or results from this so join my church and you will for sure see results!" was really interesting haha. But my prayer was answered! So God always answers our prayers, but not always how we expect. I have plenty more testimony builders too but I have little time left.

Lastly I`ll tell you of the changes in my life as a missionary. I just got transferred to...KITAMI! It is very different from Hakodate...very different. It is one of the Most Northern areas in Hokkaido so it is cold! Every night my hands and feet go numb while dendo-ing haha. But its a really nice place full of nice people and the ward is small but wonderful I`ve heard. I met them yesterday and they were very nice! They actually had me practice some caroling stuff after church and the director told me she wanted me to sing the Edelwiess (sound of music) song and White Christmas as a solo because their soloist I became the soloist and the english teacher haha. The director said it was michibiki (guidance) from God that I came here haha. I love Japan and the people :P haha.
Also I became Senpai (senior missionary)! and my companion is...a Nihonjin (Japanese person) that just got out of bean training! So we`re working hard as two young missionaries :) I have a picture I`ll post and then I have to go because I`m taking so long! haha. 

I love you so much and I`ll talk to you next week! Have a great week!!!!!!

Bye Bye!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

tried to get discounts at a burger shop that has connections to Commadore Perry because I was related...didn`t work

Hello Family! My week went quite well :) since our friend got baptized we`ve been trying to find more people to listen to the message, so lots of finding this week, but I`m just very glad to be a missionary :)

I saw a lot of things I want to comment on so I`ll do that right now.

First, I loved the insight dad. Thanks for always sending me things to uplift me :) Also the Japanese stuff is really interesting. I haven`t used to much of it to talk to other people, but I enjoy reading about and learning about Japan :)

Next, what was the Youth event for? Those are really cool pictures! Did I know anyone in it?
I want to go to the Boise Temple so bad when I get back! Who dedicated it?

I did know I was related to Commadore Perry! An elder in our district actually tried to see if we could get discounts at a delicious burger shop called Lucky Pierro because I was related to Commadore Perry and the shop has some connection to it. didn`t work :P 

Ah! I forgot about thanksgiving! They don`t have that in Japan. I completely forgot haha. I hope you have a great thanksgiving! Be extra thankful that we have the Gospel!

Ok, the missionary calls are just making me the happiest little elder! All my friends are leaving on missions! Ahhhh!!! I thought it was interesting that 1 was Africa, 3 were Chile, 2 were Brazil, but the last one made my day.
Spencer Lee is coming to the Japan Sapporo Mission...I love Spencer! I called the recorder in the Honbu after and he said that Spencer would be in in about 5 months. That is sooooooooooooooo coooooooooooollllllllll! I`m so excited to tell him how wonderful the mission is! Let him know over facebook if you can that this is the Best Mission in the World!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow...I`m so excited for him :)

Alright, now for questions:
For Christmas...I can never remember what I want because it`s usually not very important...but anything you think I`d like...probably snacks or good inspiring pictures. There are some things I don`t need, but I did just remember:

As always...Captain Crunch. I love that cereal! It`s also good for companionship kankei (relationship).
I was thinking about how delicious some "Hugs" candies would be too. I haven`t had those in a long time.
Also, there is the most beautiful CD about Jesus Christ called "Lamb of God" that an elder in our apartment has. I don`t really need anything though. I`m very happy as a missionary :) But there is some ideas :)

thank you for writing every week! I love hearing about how everything is going! I`m going to head off now, but thanks for always being so wonderful! I love you! 

Bye Bye!

Monday, November 12, 2012

It was so evident the work that God did and hope. I love being a missionary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hello Family!

It sounds like you`ve had an exciting week! I`m glad you`re enjoying vacation! Mother, I can sympathize with both you and dad. I loved the cruise and all, but I had a lot of time to think about all the things that I could be doing to improve and prepare for my mission. I really loved doing all the things I did and I would love to do it again, but I also love being really productive. I guess that`s why a mission is fun, you`re always planning to be productive and do your best even if you don`t see any immediate results.

I hope that Lisa`s family is all doing well! Tell them o-ban desu (Hokkaido-ben (language) for konbanwa (good evening)).

We did get new helmets and a new bike was sent from the honbu to elder Peterson, so now everyone has a helmet but we still only have 3 working bikes haha. What a week. 
We can`t do nearly as much here if we don`t have bikes, so it`s pretty taihen (difficult) switching off who gets to use the bikes, but it`ll all turn out how it`s supposed to :) If I had to walk everywhere like all the other missionaries around the world that I`m hearing about I think I`d die! no not really, but bikes are nice :) And it`s never about how fast or far you go, it`s that you go by the Spirit and pray that the Lord will put someone who will listen in your path.

Things here are going wonderful :) The biggest news...Our friend was able to get baptized and get confirmed yesterday!!!!!!!!!! :DDDDDDD She asked me to baptize her too, so I felt very blessed and humbled :) It was a very special experience, and her daughter wants to get baptized when she turns 8 in February...very ureshii (happy) right now :D It was amazing to see how the gospel changed her life. She gave up smoking and tea and promised to pay the law of tithing because she knew without a doubt God would bless her. She tried to stop smoking before but couldn`t on her own, but now after she tried with God`s help she said the desire was completely gone. She had no desire whatsoever. She also explained the blessings she`d gotten from stopping and it was amazing! She said the food that she eats is actually satisfying and it wasn`t before and their are loads of blessings she named off. 
It was a really special experience working with her to baptism and confirmation, and now she`s excited to go to the Sapporo Temple when it`s finished. I wish I could describe my feelings, but I really can`t. The closest thing would be gratefulness and humility because of how little I did. It was so evident the work that God did because she was sincerely seeking help and hope.
I love being a missionary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD


chichi arigatou gozaimasu. nihongo de chichi to hanusu toki ni ureshiku narimasu! tanoshii kara kedo watashitachi was nihongo shika tsukawanakattara haha wa dou suru?... :P I love speaking in Japanese :) If you want me to write in all romaji I can too. The computer just automatically turns my hiragana into Kanji.

...on that note (to iu wake de) I`m off! Today we`re having a pizza party at a ward members house so we will start dendo (finding) a little early. Thanks for the emails every week! I love you and hope you get back home safely!

Bye Bye!!!


Dear Mother,
Please Get Better!!!
Dear Father...I love you! and Mom too :) 

Hello! I don`t have a lot of time because we`ve got some plans today, so I`ll make it quick!...I feel like I say that every week :P haha. Anyways.

Jessica got a hedgehog?...huh? haha. I do remember walking the dog around the block as a family one time and Lucky found a hedgehog. That`s the only memory I have  of a hedgehog haha. That`s so cool though!

Ahh! Everyone is going on missions! This is so coooooool!

The electricity thing is a little unnerving because it`s gotten really cold here haha. I`m going out in a sweater, jacket and my outer layer of the ski jacket and still getting cold sometimes.

On the bus was a big mix of Japanese and english because the bishop`s wife speaks fluently. She`s so cool! She`s all the missionary`s best friend :) 
I do have those moments every once and a while though where I get done teaching the word of wisdom and think to myself...I`m in japan...teaching the word of a nihonjin...that`s so cool! or weird...anyways haha. It`s really such an amazing thing.

Thanks for the Japanese stuff! 

Ok, so now for my week. Very short!

We went to Zone conference in Sapporo, had Elder Romney`s birthday, one of our old investigators found us again on his birthday, had a really spiritual lesson on the same day with our friend getting baptized soon (this coming sunday), have been receiving repeated answers to prayers all the time (I have no doubt in my mind God answers prayers. I would be blind if I did :P). It`s all up to how much faith we`re willing to show and the Lord`s will. So trust in God :) That`s my advice for the day haha. 
On a slightly less wonderful note, about a week ago Elder Peterson wrecked his bike into another bike, 4 days ago Elder Romney`s bike light got stolen, 3 days ago Elder Peterson and my helmet got stolen, and this morning Elder Romney`s bike got stolen...and he bought it 3 weeks we looked around the area, went to the bike shop it was bought at, are going to inform the police, and talked to the AP`s. We`re praying that this somehow turns into an opportunity to share the gospel. But It`s all in the Lord`s hands, so fear not dear family! 

Alright, well I better go. I love you so very much! Talk to you next week! 

Bye Bye!!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

receiving blessing from the Lord, prayers are being answered and recognizing it all! The gospel, a beautiful thing.

Hello Family!

I`m sorry your sick mother! I hope you get better soon! I`m a little sick too but getting better :) Just a cold. 
That`s so exciting that Brother Scoggins is the new President! He was my Trek Pa when I was 12 :) Say hello to him for me and let him know that he`s in my prayers! All of the people you stated are really good men (I can`t remember who Brother Bates is, but I`m sure he`s great :P) haha. Brother Christensen`s son is a good friend of mine and I think he`s in Bulgaria rightnow on a mission! His sister was in the MTC with me and is now in Denmark :) I hope they`re doing well! 
I can`t help but imagine what responsibilities the Lord has in store for you in your future though dad. I guess we`re preparing everyday for those things ne (Japanese ne) :)

I`m extremely weirded out right now. I remember getting my emails at the beginning of the mission and there were a bunch of announcements of my guy friends getting their mission calls, but now I`m getting this influx of the girls too! It`s so cool that everyone is leaving off on a mission! The work is really going to hasten :) 

So I think I`ll start with the questions and then tell a story. I don`t have a lot of time today because of an online assessment about Preach My Gospel that I had to take.

I did get the Halloween stuff! Thank you soooooooooooo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I`ll admit it was pretty hard to share the Captain Crunch with everyone, but I figured it would be sabishii (lonely) eating it all by my lonesome. It also helped me give my new companion one of the best snacks he`shad in a long time :P I love captain crunch}!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much mother! I love you!
I`m not sure how long it takes packages...1 0r 2 weeks kana (I wonder)? From the mission office it usually takes no longer than a week It`s pretty quick (maybe even 3 days). 
I`m not sure when the Christmas package would need to be sent. I`m very nigate (not good) when it comes to sending things in the mail. I`m going to try to figure it out one of these days haha.

So for my week now. It was great! Our friend is really progressing with the gospel. Everytime we call her she`s at a new part in the Book of Mormon and has plenty of questions that lead into the lessons we want to teach. She has a 7 year old daughter that turns 8 in february (can`t remember how to spell that haha) that she wants to receive the blessings of baptism too :) She`ll hopefully be baptized on the 10th of November :D So very excited. She`s really receiving blessing from the Lord and her prayers are being answered and she`s recognizing it all :) What a beautiful thing the gospel :)
Now for my story! So yesterday was Steak Conference in Sapporo and Hakodate is a part of the Sapporo Nishi Stake, so we were supposed to take a bus at 3 AM from the church to Sapporo yesterday (5 hour trip). We set 3 alarms the night before for 1:30...But no one Woke Up!!!!!!! We got up at 3:15 and ran and got our suits on and ran out the door while calling some people from the ward and took off running to the church! We got there at 3:30 and luckily they had been waiting for us but they were just about to leave without us.We made it by the skin of our teeth (which is slightly odd because teeth don`t really have skin...anyways :P) haha. then we rode for 5 hours and had conference for 2 hours and rode back another 5 hours...we were so tired and I thought I was going to die just sitting there for 12 hours haha. I haven`t just sat and done nothing for a really long time. But it was a fun adventure and I talked with the bishops wife and a convert from a year ago for a long time (Bishops wife is crazy good at english). We talked a lot about Japanese questions and she tried to have me teach her son english haha. She was a missionary a long time ago and her husband was too. What a wonderful family and ward! I love it here :)

Well, I guess that`s about all! I`ll talk to you again next week! I love you sooooooooooooo much!

Bye Bye!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

P.S. I put a lot of smiley faces so that you know I`m happy...:D Because I`m very happy here haha. I love being a missionary!!!!!!!!!!! :DDDDDDDD haha. See you! 
P.S.S. I`ll try to get pictures on next week!

Monday, October 22, 2012

I`m just breaking the surface of all the potential God has given me!

Hello Family! This week was fantasticallismic! And I can`t remember how to speak english at all anymore! :P haha.

So this week was one of those weeks that you were sad when P-day comes because you`ve been seeing so many miracles! The one that I want to share is about the same person I talked about last time! Our friend who is progressign towards baptism. She got sick saturday and we called her to remind her about church (she`d never been before) and she said she couldn`t come because she got really sick. But the next morning when my companion and I were about to get on our bikes to go to the Missionary meeting with the ward before church she gave us a call and said "I want to try to go to church today!"...I was so excited! I guess that night when she prayed she told God that if her fever was back to normal in the morning she promised she would try to go to church. Then she woke up the next morning and it was back to normal, so she called us and came to church and talked about how she turned down some wrong streets but was guided to church! It was amazing! We got to meet with her for a little bit after church too and helped her realize all the answers she`s getting to prayers and she knows that God is answering her prayers. It was such a good experience! God without a doubt answers our prayers when we pray with real intent to act. 

I can`t even begin to tell you how much I love being a missionary :) This last week was one of those times I just never wanted it to end. I want to do this forever! Even during the hard times I just had this inner drive saying that the Lord just needs a little more time to help someone get prepared or good things were just down the road. It`s a lot easier as well when your companion is as wonderful as mine.
He`s so funny! He`s otaku (a nerd about gaming) and did engineering at college (so his explanations are all from a logical and mathmatical standpoint), but he`s a really hard worker witha lot of faith and we`re seeing miracles everyday. Dendo is fun with him :) Even when no one will talk to you at any doors or on the street for 5 hours straight haha. What a great life :) 
I really have a better standpoint of all the missionaries in the Book of Mormon now. When there`s only one verse about them suffering a few trials and being rejected by the people I have a new view and feelings to go along with those words. The missionaries in the scriptures were Beasts :P haha.

Alright, now for some commentary on the email.

Wow, It looks like both of you had a really busy week! Even when it`s busy though and you want rest, I`ve realized the times when I`m most happy is when I feel productive. Resting is very nice and we need it, but even when I retire someday I want to be very involved in something. I want to keep growing! I`m just breaking the surface of all the potential God has given me! ;P haha. It`s really amazing how fast growth can come too :) fun stuff.

The temple sounds like such a cool experience! I really really really really really want to go inside! Always have. We should go as a family when I get back! That would make me very happy :) I do remember how the front looks and the baptismal font so I`m excited to see the changes.

Wow. I think the BYU jokes about all my friends being married by the time I get back has changed. They`re all going to be on missions! With this new announcement I think that the missionaries in the world with multiply by so much. There are going to be so many more young women serving missions and young men not having to worry about college and what not right after high school. I`m so excited for the time when the Sapporo mission goes from 70 people to like 200 or something! That would be so cool!

Dalton got his Eagle! Congratulate him for me please! The eagle is a sign to me that people can accomplish their goals if they try.

It`s fun when you send words to me and I recognize the Kanji so the word makes sense dad :) I love Japanese. I`m much more comfortable now with it and I`m extremely excited to see how much you remember at Christmas! ;P haha. Start practicing so we can talk some! Before the mission I thought it would be cool if I got called to Japan so I could speak to you in a different language after haha. Now I`m realizing that it`s not that mysterious. Languages are just made up ways of expressing our thoughts to people. It was all created by man. Interesting stuff.

Thank you so much for sharing that experience about your dad with me. I`m praying for him :) That must have been a great experience. 
President Rose is being released? Let me know who is the new stake president when you find out!
 I`m loving it out here.this experience is not worth giving up even if you had a life time supply of the most delicious juice boxes in the world :P This is worth more than anything the world could give. I`m loving it so much and I know that the Lord wants them to receive all the blessings that comes from it too. 

Well I better get going. Off to clean the apartment and talk to a friend about the Gospel of Christ :) Talk to you later! Love you! 

Bye Bye!

Monday, October 15, 2012

It can be hard to be bold sometimes, but when we speak with confidence people see that.

I`m not very skilled in the ways of letter sending (ask any of my friends at home who`ve sent me letters haha).
 As for questions:
Best meal?: Lucky Pierrot. We went there and got burgers and shakes between conference. We go there a lot actually haha.
Funniest thing?: The other Elder in our apartment got a  green being around him and japanese people is really funny haha. He says silly things and he`s way funny :) He`s a great missionary with a lot of faith too. It makes me look back on when I was a bean haha. Fun times.
Church?...aka conference: WAS SO AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Conference is like enlightenment and repentance central. I loved every minute.
Coolest sight?:...I`m not sure new companion sleeping with pluto pillow kana (I wonder)?

Eat poop and smile everyday???...that is probably one of the most hilariously strange things I`ve ever seen haha. I love it! Thank you dad! 
‘Eat Poop and Smile Every Day’ with Cow Poop Shaped Chocolate Mochi Cookies

Thanks Japan!

Anyway, Thank you for the missionary story mom! You`re example has been such a strength in my life. It can be hard to be bold sometimes, but when we speak with confidence people see that. I actually had an experience with that yesterday.
We went to a man`s house that we visited a while back and he talked a lot...I`ve never met a man that talks so much in my life. I asked him for one minute mid sentence and he said `oh...ok!` and I said like 10 words and he blasted off again haha. Then I said `that was like 10 seconds!` and he said...oh...right. douzo (go on). So then I told him we had a message for him and he said to come back. So my new companion and I (I`ll tell in a minute :)) visited him and he immediately invited us in his house and talked...a lot haha. But we started telling him more about us and about how God has a message for him and a lot of fundamental easy doctrine and he told us at the end that he felt like talking with us he had his heart cleaned (and did this funny like scrubbing action around his chest haha) and that he felt like he had something he needed to learn from us. He turned to me and told me though that the reason He knew we werent lying is because I never broke eye contact when I spoke. He said that if I was lying I would look away. I thought that was really interesting. he was such a funny old man! haha. I`m excited to go back and visit him. 
So that`s my story for the week :) and I bet you were a great missionary mom! That`s why you`re so blessed now ;) Plus it`s not about the success in numbers, but how dedicated we were and how much we chose to grow. Plus a lot more I`m still learning. 

Any advice for what I should learn here? Or the biggest thing you learned here? or top 5 :D haha

And as for the other news...I have a new companion!!!!!! He was the recorder (computer guy in the honbu) for the last 4 transfers. He`s so ready to be out and dendoing and has a ton of faith, so we`ve already seen and are going to see a lot of miracles this transfer :) I`m so grateful he`s my companion :) 
I`m so blessed to be in such a nice area of the world.
And everyone is going on missions! AAAHHHH!!!!!!!!! That`s so exciting! Tell them it`s the best thing in the world and gets better and better all the time!!!!!!!!! I really don`t even want to leave. I love the opportunity I have to be out here everyday helping others and sanding the grit on the inside of my temple. I`ve been making renovation plans to replace a few stain glass windows :P I loved all the talks in conference :) 

Thanks for the articles dad! I don`t really know how to distinguish between Japanese people and Ainu(native Indian type in Japan) so I know very little about them but I always wondered.
Also, the poop thing...haha. Loved it. Thank you for being such a goof ball and teaching me how to have fun and work hard!
As for the weather this winter(suppose to be the coldest in history) in Hokkaido...a little worried, but excited too haha. I`ve yet to experience the snow here. It is getting colder though.
I`m sorry work is busy. While I was watching conference though one talk stuck out to me and made me think of you. I think it was elder Eyrings but I cant remember because I left my journal at the apartment haha. But it talked about praying about Job offers and staying at BYU instead of getting a new job. It made me think of your choices and how great a disciple of Christ you are. It makes me think of what missionaries are told in the PMG. "You have been suffered to come here for the salvation of souls" God is allowing you to continue to bless the lives of youth all over the Treasure valley and farther. I could see that very plainly when I was working with you at camp. The Lord needs you there for now. Thank you for trusting in His will and being a loving, faithful example to me. 

Well, I better get going,
Ask  “???”  if she(they) heard that in conference the age for young women to serve missions was lower :P haha. I don`t know if she`s(they’ve) ever thought about a mission, but if she(they) do(es), tell her(them) she(they) won`t regret it and I recommend it above anything else in the world. Even 14 delicious juice boxes (you know the kind you get as kids in your lunch boxes :) haha
I love you all so much!
Talk to you next week!

Bye Bye!