Monday, May 28, 2012

I already miss the nature and beauty! Sapporo is really beautiful is some areas (like Moiwa) but I'm in the big city most of the time.

Dear Kazoku,
woah! Mixing it up on me. With so much change going on here I don't know if I can handle the change for who emails first :P
Oh no!...I hope he'll be alright.(Richard's dad had a bad spell) I hope and pray everyday that I'll be able to see him again. Its so strange that life is constantly changing, but I guess that's a good thing. Allows us to grow :) I'll keep praying! I'm just so grateful we know about the plan of salvation :) that's so great that you got to give him a blessing though! I can't imagine the feelings in that room. Wow.
I can't believe camp is here already! I already miss the nature and beauty! Sapporo is really beautiful is some areas (like Moiwa) but I'm in the big city most of the time. Because my companion (Davis Choro) is the district leader I go on splits with the Moiwa people once a week! Its a ton of fun and I get to see all sorts of different ways of doing things. I'm so glad for the experience.
That's a great insight. It makes me think about my blessing to receive the Melchizidek priesthood. Thank you for the insight :)(about a blessing Richard gave to his dad)
thanks for the Japanese too!
How fun! you get to teach! Good luck!
As for the questions:
Lessons: We have one sister taking the lessons and she wants baptism but she may be a little sick in the head and not need baptism. We're still figuring it out, but she is as close as we have to an investigator haha. Then there are two other young guys that we've met with once that might become investigators. People here aren't typically very interested in our message or they're scared of us or they just ignore us, but we're always looking for the elect who will accept us.
Ward: The coolest person in the ward (we go to a lot but he's in Shinkotoni) is Abe Kyodai. He's a returned missionary of about 2 months and is a great team up and friend and is still being a missionary in everything basically haha. he's just so chill and fun and cool and helps out a lot. He just received the calling of Elders Quorum president yesterday actually. Also the Maruyama kazoku is awesome. The parents had us come over for dinner yesterday and teach about missionary work and so we just talked about the msision and what we did to prepare and it was really from the heart and the mom really wants to do better as a member missionary. She wants to be a good example for her kids (who aren't terribly interested in gospel stuff it seems) and she's just awesome. It must be hard here for the kids not having many lds friends and such. I've always been so blessed growing up! But slowly japan in changing. In Jacob 5 it talks about how its a process that happens little by little, the good grows and the bad wains.
Area Leaders: My District leader is my companion Davis Choro and my zone leaders are Kogure Choro and Hueffner Choro. Kogure Choro lives in teh apartment with Davis choro and I and he's awesome. he shines our shoes every sunday morning and is just so kind. Hueffner Choro is a red head and is extremely funny and nice. I left my planner at his apartment in Moiwa and he wrote for today in it. It said "tell elder Hueffner He's awesome and that it was his surprise un-birthday party, so this morning we bought him some dallor slippers and put bows on them and sang happy birthday and he was so confused haha. It was hilarious! He was like "My birthday isn't till september! What are you talking about?!" :P
Packages: I wasn't home when the packages were delivered so I have to go to the post office to get them.
I have a favor to ask. If you could facebook laurel larsen and benjamin olsen and ask them for simple easy quick ideas on how to follow up with people and keep contact with them everyday without being weird. Calling people everyday freaks them out but we want to keep contact with them everyday. I need some creative ideas and they're the most creative people I know probably. If you could do that I would be very greatful! Also thank them so much for their friendship! Also if you want to ask anyone for ideas that would be great! The ward, anyone!
So for my week right after the email last time we went to visit a referal Davis Choro's dad sent to him. His dad is an engineer on the Sapporo Temple and he's working with a business here in Sapporo. So we visited them and it was in a huge building on the 8th floor and we were brought to a nice waiting room and when the people came in we introduced ourselves and asked if they had any questions and they had a ton. WE just sat and talked to them about the temple and why it's important and they showed us all the blueprints and pictures of what it will look like and the inside and it was amazing!!!!!!!!!!! We are so blessed and lucky for that! the temple will plant so many seeds for the people in Sapporo. I'm so excited!
The only otherthing that I can remember to talka bout is that Asai choro (my doki) told me "before you arrived you were winnie the Pooh" I was so confused, but he was talking about me eating the peanut butter with a spoon right out of the jar like winnie the pooh haha. I think I told this before...oh well haha. I've felt the Spirit so much this week and I've definitely felt the strengthening power of the Atonement. There was a moment that was pretty hard for me, but when I prayed I immediately felt wrapped in the arms of my Savior. His atonement is real. he lives. And He loves everyone individually. He knows my pains, my trials, my ups, my downs. He is my master and my friend. I wait and wait for others to come to this knowledge and I'll do all I can to help them. Thank you so much for your love and prayers. I feel them and I am strengthened by them.
I can't really think of everything I want to say. There's too much. I guess the most important is that I love you so very much. I can't think of much else that matters to say. Please tell Grandpa Sotto how much I love him and pray for him. I really do miss him and love him so so much. Please let him know this and know that our Father is always waiting for us to come to him with open arms. Always. His arms never fail to be lengthened to us. Let everyone else know I love them too and I pray for them. Thank you so much! I love you so much! Bye bye!
Elder Sotto

Monday, May 21, 2012

Ya! I'm a monkey! haha No surprise there (He was born in the Japanese year of the monkey)

Mom Dad! I don't have a lot of time to email but I'll tell you about things that happened for a little.
Also I can upload pictures here so that's how I'm going to get pictures home!
Woah! Camp starts so soon! I forgot! Time is just flying by here. Tonikaku.
So this week was awesome! Saturday I got back from splits with another Elder named Elder Stuart (awesome guy!) and we had a great lesson the day before where the spirit was sooo strong. I could just feel it so much when he testified. Unfortunately the investigator had to be dropped because he wouldn't except anything. That was the last time they were going to visit. It's sad to see that, but anyways. Saturday we got back and dendoed for an hour and then did service for someone in the Shinkotoni ward. We tore down their big dog house thing and then taught a short lesson. Then we went to the ward building for a ward taikai (event). It was an ongaku fireside! and Davis Choro and I were performing! We sang Book of Mormon Stories with a blanket over our shoulders for a costume and acted it out and everything, then we sang Snowman, then Jesus wants me for a sunbeam, and then Love is Spoken here and it went great! It was so fun! And then we played a game there where we couldn't show our teeth and we kept a beat on our laps and we had to pick a favorite shrimp. We had to tell ours and then anothers in a funny way and try and get them to laugh and show their teeth and it was hilarious! Davis Choro and I were the last two standing :P Awwww ya :D haha. Then we left early because a lady thought we were supposed to meet with her that night and she called everyone to get ahold of us and she was so excited that Christ visited the Americas and she is a wonderful friend that we have high hopes for. Her name is Nishino San and she is 78. So we went over and talked for a bit and then went to church with her yesterday and she looooved it! We're meeting again wednesday and we already invited her to receive the blessings of baptism and she is thinking about it. I'm so excited for the blessings that it will bring to her. I can see her standing already at the temple doors just excited as ever to go in :DDDDDDDDDD Anyways, then we biked about 16 miles total yesterday to get to our appointments and I was so tired, but without fail we got up and ran in the morning todoay haha.  Also right before personal study at 8 there was a partial solar eclipse! It was so hard to see because the sun in so bright but I stared at it anyway and it look like an arch! haha. I coudln't see anything after it :P Also the shading in the town changed and it was jlust awesome :)
Ya! I'm a monkey! haha.(He was born in the Japanese year of the monkey) No surprise there :P Keep excercising! It makes you feel so much better! My legs are already getting larger biking everywhere and running every morning. It's crazy sauce. Anyways, I'm glad to hear everything is going well! Tell everyone I love them! Oh wait! The Questions! Here they are:
I sleep on a futon and there is no trouble getting to bed. After my prayers I lay my head down and I don't move until 6 the next morning every morning. I sleep so good! Like a rock! A very big rock :P Also we've been getting up 30 minutes earlier so we have more time in the mornings so I've been up at 6 all this week. It's so nice and it doesn't make too much of a difference. I'm never tired because we go running every morning. It's great :)
I am sending pictures through this! Tanoshinde Kudasai! (please enjoy! :P)
I think the thing that I miss most about home is Captain crunch. They only have flakes here :P They're good, but nothing beats good old peanut butter crunch :) yumm.
I love you! Until next week! Then I'll love you some more :D haha. Bye Bye!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Keep telling everyone I'm loving it and that it truly is the Lord's work! I'm glad to hear :)

After church yesterday we helped some NA move a fridge and he was like  "I'm definitely coming to church now!" haha. I hope he's serious. Then we went and ate lunch with the singles ward and there was an american sister that got to Japan just last week for studies and she knows one of my doki (elders at the same time in the MTC). She knew elder Geslison! he was in my district. Tonikaku, We ate some super delicious food and there is this member that just got back from his mission that's awesome. We're all good friends. His name is Abe Kyodai and he's like the coolest guy in the world haha. So fun and a great person for member lessons. I'm so jealous of native speakers ability to communicate. Even when you figure out how to speak they still know how to say just the right things like you can't haha. it's ok though, a smile is worth a thousand words (maybe just 100 in japanese, that's why I have to smile extra long!! Then we taughtsome members the first lesson and I led that. It went awesome and you could feel the spirit very strong and they gave us some refferals and it just went great :)
Today for P-day we're going to take the trolley thing in the sky up the mountain and ponder in the woods our lives and great things like why tiny tiny wings on a bug can hold it up while it flies...deep I know. 
     There are big huge piles of brown snow that bulldozers piled up every once and a while, but no random snow. It's all gone. And today is beautiful finally!
There are a lot of different wards we can go to because we're in the middle of the city, but we go to the SHinkotoni ward becasue of a member that was just baptized and they're awesome. There is this old grandma lady that is so funny and sweet and cool that is just adorable and the people are wonderful and really busy usually haha People in Jpaan are crazy busy all the time. And they don't go camping much or do boy scouts or anything! Poor youth!
My bike is a new one that I got for 500 dollars and I've had to get an electronic jisho (dictionary) for 60 dollars at a used store and I'm trying not to spend money! There is just so much stuff I need to start off! It's crazy. But I'm going to try to budget as best as I can for the rest of the time now that I'm getting all settled in.
I did get the leters you sent! It worked! Eurika! So thanks! If it costs a lot of money you don't have to send them too often. I don't have much time to read them right away usually. Just on P-day so whenever you want :) 
     That's soooooooooo expensive!!! I can't beleive you really tried to send me Peanut Butter! haha Thank you! We ahve some right now but it's really low. The Honbu buys it from costco and we can buy it from them so sometimes we can get it. We also have some Nutella right now and I usually have Nutella and Peanut Butter on my toast. Half and half and fold it into a sandwich :) after toasting it of course. It's delicious! 
     Jenny and Julie Greenwood finally got their calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's awesome! Could you facebook them for me and tell them I'm sooooooo excited for them and tell them how great the work is! Onegaishimasu!!!! 
     Thank you for your stories as well. I'm working on better goal setting so I'll do my best! Ganbarimasuyo!
     Thank you for your stories too chichi. I wonder that every once and a while too. With how often we get rejected I wonder sometimes if lpeople even care, but I know that the Lord has been preparing these people to hear this message and it's only a matter of His timing till they receive it. I'm excited to show my faith and hope in that by being happy and optomistic and outgoing and fun all the time :) That's something interesting I learned about faith and hope today with my doryo during our gakkushu. Faith is acting on what you believe and hope is more the feeling. It is how you act becasue of your faith. And by being happy and expecting miracles I'm showing my hope and as I work hard I'm showing my faith. It's a wonderful thing the gospel :) How everythign connects so perfectly :)  
     One more fun thing that happened this week is we went to an ongaku fireside (music) and it was amazing! THeree was a proffessional pianist that played a few songs like clair de lune and they were more than gorgeious. I was hanging on every second waiting at the end of my chair for the next note. And a guy sang danny boy in english and japanese and it was awesome. Then there was a clarinet and saxiphone number that was the EFY Melody with the proffesional piano playing in the back. It was awesome! I love the clarinet and saxiphone! especially the saxiphone. i want to pick it up when I get back. There was a lot more but those stuck out to me and I realized how much I miss being a part of musical things! but I should get a chance becasue Evans Shimai is really musical and sets things up often I hear. 
     Keep telling everyone I'm loving it and that it truly is the Lord's work! I'm glad to hear :)  
   Anyways, I have to go share the good word now! And play on the mountain at the same time. I love you so so so sos ssooooooooooooooooooooooo much@@@@@@@@!!!!!!! (wrong button. I hope everything goes well! I love you! Mata ato de! 
    Elder Sotto (Your Kyujin--giant in japanese) I was called that the other day haha. See ya!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

So this week...hmmm....

Dear Family,
I hven't gotten any mail yet, but I'm still waiting patiently! It's a lot easier to think about home and get distracted when you never have any idea what people are saying. That's honestly the harderst part. I want to accomplishmy purpose and be tyhe best I can be and make friends and teach with power and udnerstand peoples needs, but the fact of the matter is I don't right now and wont for a long time. I'm learning 10 new words a day and 1 or 2 new bunpo a day and hoping that it'll start flowing sometime soon. it's crazy hard, but it will come and I'm excited for the time that it does! Do you have any advice for dendoing?
I would love hearing one or two things you think would be useful leverytime though! It's so fun and interesting. Everyone here loves your mission stories by the way. I tell them as I read and everybody thinks they're awesome haha :) So thank you! I love love love! hearing about things at home and the fun things.

So this week...hmmm....

Well, we were doing service cutting up a bunch of wood at an NA's house and they feed us everytime, but the boy comes out with this big squirt gun looking thing from just a store on the cornr i guess. Turns out it was a flame thrower! Crazy huh! I was scared haha, but they were burning up the grass and we made a little fire and put bricks around it and roasted strawberry marshamellows over it with them for a little. It was so fun! They were so scared of getting anywhere nearthe fire though. Luckily God sent us rain so they wouldn't have to put it out (they were so scared! haha). By the way, the marshmellows here are way better haha.

I've lent a bunch of money to my doryo because all the banks here were closed becasue it was golden week and people don't work duing golden week. So he's taking me out to yakiniku today and I'm so excited!!!!!!!! The food here is so good. I don't know why I worried. I eat noodles and rice for like every meal and it's mixed with all sorts of meat and vegetables. So good. Every morning I just have toast, cereal, and scrambled eggs. Everything is so crazy expensive here! I'm spending so much money for things I need. Today I need an electric jisho and a smaller backpack and just other stuff for my bike, but I hope I don't overdraw! You should probably check my account sometime.
We do have an account here and we're allowed to take out money for food and some things but personal things are the biggest expense right now. I'm not positive how it all works, but it works haha.\

Also this week we ran into a kid visiting from taiwan who spoke no english or japanese but he was so excited to see us! He pulle dout his wallet and showed us a picture of a guy that I guess baptized him and was getting married soon. Then we acted out what baptism looked like to see if he had been baptized and he was excitedly shaking his head yes haha. Funny experience.

This week we have visited a ton of members and had great lessons. We testify about Joseph Smith's experience and the Spirit is always there. I memorized it! an I'm reciting it a lot in lessons. We've been building trust and asking them for referalls and a lot are giving them. Right now we have a couple investigators and I'm not sure how interested they are, but our goal is to help 3 of them recieve baptism this transfer (a big goal here, but I know they can do it!). I'm excited to see how it will bless their lives. I know how the gosple has and continues to bless my life, but they don't see that as often. They don't often think about God and deeping things like that and just don't care right now, but sometimes we find a kinjin.

Well that's all that I can think of right now. Soooo....have a great week and this is my report! Signing out... :P

Elder Sotto =D

P.S. I have very very little time to ever write so I'd love to get letters but I may answer them through you if that's alright. Thank you!!!!!!!!!! I love you!!!!!!!! BYE!!!!!!!!!!`111111111111@@@@@@@@ haha