Monday, June 25, 2012

in reality you're just freaking them out

Howdy Everyone! Before i reply to anything i want to tell you about how great my life is :D
This week was fantastic! When you become a missionary its almost like your brain falls out and all social skills you ever knew have gone away. You just kind of go up to people and start spouting off stuff you know about the gospel and hope they feel the Spirit, but in reality you're just freaking them out :P Today my companion and I really realized the importance of being yourself and being a real person living a real life with a realllllly good message. We've been being a lot more real with people and letting them know that we just want to shokai our message and stuff. We make friends and talk about their lives and when the right time comes we say what we're doing and what the gospel can offer and the success has been phenomenal so far! These are the 3 big miracles for this week.
1-We met some Jehovahs Witness missionaries proselyting the other day and just got into a conversation about missionary work and how we do it and how they do it and told them about our promises (well actually God's promises ;)) and just talked to them like we were really good friends. It was way fun! but then we gave them a Book of Mormon and got their number (at first the girl didn't want to take the book but the guy was like "take it" and they gave us some of their stuff). So We called the man later (Kitagawa san) and set up an appointment to meet at the Asabu eki (pretty far) but then while we were on our way he changed it to Maku's (McDonalds). So we met him there and he bought us both chocolate shakes and we just sat down and talked like old friends would (but before that he payed with his phone! They have these cool little white pad things that glow when you lay down the right kind of phone on it and it just takes money out of your account through your phone! it was sooooooo coooooooooooooolllllllllll!!!!!!! :P haha). So we just talked for a little and then he started asking questions about our message and stuff, and it led right into the plan of Salvation because his grandpa died. so we taught him about that and just told him what we believed and he was so interested! he wanted to learn more and more and more so we taught him for an hour and a half at Maku and it was great! He is so intelligent. He signed up to be a missionary and go where ever to start a new life and job and to be a missionary for like 6 years because his religion is so important to him. He knows the Bible like nobody's business and we just had discussions about things written in the Bible and our teachings and it all seemed to make sense to him. So that lesson was just wonderful and was such a blessing and the Spirit guided both us and him in questions and answers.
2-yesterday we had Steak taikai (conference) and Elder Uctdorf, Oaks, and Sister Wixom and another man spoke (via broadcast) and it was great! But the best part is what happened after. I need to give a little intro first. So once upon a time...tonikaku haha.
So Davis Choro met a cool guy named Daisuke with his old companion and he was really freaked out with the fact that Missionaries wear suits haha. he was like "my friends don't wear suits." He actually speaks german and english and japanese (nihonjin dakara) but he's been to america and germany. Anyways, he said he wanted to learn through the example of the missionaries how to live a better life, but they kind of lost contact and never really met with him because he was never very interested. But when I first got here, Davis Choro and I just met him on the street tekito ni (randomly) and invited him to come play basketball sometime. So we did and he had fun, and we lost touch again for a while. but the other week I felt like we should invite him to basketball because we had another friend going so I did and he came! On the way home we just talked like friends (he has great enlish) and he mentioned he was trying to get a job in english so i told him I'd pray for him. He thanked me and told me sometime he wants to come to church with us on sunday (basketball is at the church but he wanted to come for a meeting on sunday) so I told him that'd be great! So we planned to go the next day (sunday) but we couldn't get ahold of him and we didn't go (zan nen nagara--unfortunately). so we called him that night and he was really sorry but he was busy and said he wanted to go next week, so we made plans to call him back and go. When we called him back saturday night I asked him about his job thing and he was bummed because he didn't get it but he was really happy that I asked. Then he said, "would it be rude to pray to your God to ask for a job?" I was blown away!!!!!! I said heck no! (not really) but I told him he should try it! and that was it. So the next day we planned to meet him at the church 30 minutes before. We called him and he said he was on his way by bike (we thought he was coming by chikatetsu--subway) but we waited as long as we could and then went in to watch conference. We kept calling him throughout but never could get ahold of him. Anyways, during conference we were a little confused and frustrated at that but then we look up and he's just standing in the back, so we go say hi and talk to him. He had wandered around on his bike for two hours and felt awful because he was so late but we were just friendly and told him it was fine. Then because all the rooms were being used for meetings we went outside, sat down, and asked him about his prayer. He didn't pray and so we were going to explain and we just ended up answering his questions. We taught him Most of lesson 2 and 3 and all about god and The gosple of Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End) and it just made sense to him!!!!!! He was like "I see why baptism is important." So in his own timing as he learns about this he wants to get baptized but he wants to be sure he believes it. It was such a miracle! he also understands why the sacrament is important! He asked if we got baptized everytime we wanted to get rid of sin so we talked about the sacrament and the importance of church. It was soooooooooooooooo amaaaaaaaaaaazzzzzzzziiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggggg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love that man. I really do. So he doesn't want to meet formally or read much right now but he really wants to learn more so i'm way excited for him. Also he's going to start praying every morning and every night (and he said an amazing first prayer with us). It all made sense to him and I could tell that he came closer to Christ. I felt it. It was such an amazing experience! We're praying that he finds a job soon too (that will allow him to keep listening and going to church and possibly with a member :P). That would be ideal :) so that was a miracle.
3- This morning Davis Choro and I realized that we just need to love the people and live life like it's normal, not like it's the end of the world. Live life and enjoy it. If you just have charity and love your investigators and the people then you don't have to plan and worry for things as much because you'll just naturally do good things. It's a wonderful thing :) So then we planned on doing that with a lesson we had this morning with a nice man i found on splits the week before (Katsuo Mae). I taught him a little about God's plan for us and he had questions so we made an appoinment for this morning and just talked to him. He asked us about his question and we led it right into the plan of salvation, and from there his questions allowed us to explain everything. Then he asked to come to church and we are all becoming great friends! He loves english so we speak it a lot together to help him practice. Way fun :)
Good gracious...I love this work Mom and Dad :) I really do. It's so wonderful :) it's still hard to understand and say what I want to a lot but It's getting easier and is just a beautiful thing. I'm coming to love these people and I love this gospel soooooooooooooo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
so yes, those are just a few of the miracles I've seen this week :) Now for the replying.
Notebooks help so much! Sore wa watashi no susume desu yo! (That's my recommendation!) Get a notebook and journal and record all your feelings! Then God gives you more becasue it shows you're treasuring them.
Oh Lucky haha. I miss that mut :) How is he doing? Getting older?
What!!!!!!! You saw the bear!!!!!! Were you scared? I'm glad you're ok!
Oh I miss Jessica so much! I haven't gotten any letters from her yet. I've gotten one or two from other friends, but less and less as the months go by (as expected haha). I'm going to try harder to do my part to write people back, but I've been writing our extended family a little. I've been talking with Brian Dougal. he's awesome! I sent him one of my MTC Japanese books to help him with it. If you see him ask him if he got it! And tell him hello!
Another weirdo like me! At camp! Everything should be fine this year then :) I'm doing my best to smile even when I'm asleep on my bike :P I think kore kara (from now on) I'll be way more happy jsut living life and loving people!
Oh I have to go! We're going to eat Indo Curry and Nan! but tell Kellie I loved her letter about !
Bye Bye!!!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Oh I miss Lisa! And Ari! And Mary! And even Daniel! Great friends :) I miss the boating and the place and the atmosphere. The thought of camp is so nazukashii!


On Mon, Jun 18, 2012 at 1:51 PM, Mitchell Sotto <> wrote:

Hello Family! This week has been so crazy! I've seen more miracles than I can even remember! (mostly because I left my journal at the apartment) But I'm going to try my best to remember them!
First of all replies:
Mom! I love saying that! MOM!! Do you miss me saying that really loud asking for toast? I have toast like everyday haha. As much as possible :) Your job sounds really fun! i hope you're enjoying it! It's too bad you don't get to visit dad, but soon enough!
Oh I miss Lisa! And Ari! And Mary! And even Daniel! Great friends :) I miss the boating and the place and the atmosphere. The thought of camp is so nazukashii! I love how Japanese has that word! We don't really have that word in america, or doki. It's quite benri (useful). It's weird how the language just starts coming after a while. It's quite fun! I miss it but I wouldn't skip the opportunity I have for the world :) I'll tell you some experiences soon.
Dad! Thank you so much for those counters! I have so much trouble with counters! Zen Zen Wakarimasen! But I'm glad I can learn :) Thank you! I have a good one for you! Ura Niwa Niwa Niwa Niwa Niwa Niwa Niwatori ga aru (There's two chickens in the back yard and two chickens in the garden). Soshite, Sumomo mo momo mo momo no uchi (plums and peaches are both peaches). My Nihonjin tomodachi just taught me after I showed him yours haha. So funny! Really weird :P
I love learning and going deep into stuff like that. It's so interesting! I'm not sure it always helps me with my investigators questions though :P At the top of my journal I'm writing questions I want to go deeper into after my mission haha. I reallly really love seeing the wonders of the scriptures. Having them unfold themselves to me. The Spirit really connects everything together after a while and as we consistently study. Things all come flooding back to memory. But yes! AFter the mission I'm excited to talk about all these questions with you! The most recent was about Alma 40:11 and about us going back "home to that God who gave us life." I wonder what that means because of a lot of things and the Plan of Salvation. Anyways, for the week!
This Week:
I wish I had brought my journal! But I'll do my best.
Funniest moment:
When you're biking full spead down the sidewalk and a car pulls out all of a sudden and your breaks aren't fast enough to stop you haha. Amazingly the car didn't have a scratch, my bike was great, and I'm quite dandy :) There may have been some smudge marks on the drivers window from my face though :P
Amazing Moments!
There were too many to count! We had an investigator who stoked us and we haven't seen him for about a month and we saw him the other day and he wants to hear the lessons again! He didn't see why he needed the gospel and now he thinks he might need it so we'll be working with him! We found him while we were fasting too! I have a way stronger testimony of fasting now. It has changed my seikatsu (everyday life) here. Miracles come from fasting and prayer.
We also have a friend from some other missionaries that is turning out to be wonderful. He wants to get an answer about the Book of Mormon and he's read the whole thing plus 1/2. We're really trying to help him do that now. I've been thinking about him so much and I'm always so happy that God blesses my mind with revelation for how to help him during my studies.
Also, Asai and Yanez choro (same apartment elders) their friend got an answer to his prayers about the Book of Mormon and their story was amazing! The Spirit guided everyone! The Lord really is working \with this people and Japan is going to see great joy :)
Other than that we just have been learning a lot and doing our best!
Tell everyone at camp that I love them all and miss them! Tell Hannah and Liz I wish i could see their skit! Have them record it and I'll watch it when i get home! A little ways aaway, but I'm sure it will still be funny in two years :P Also, ask Hannah how her pinky is doing. She got it stepped on by an ice skate a while back...partly my fault...Tonikaku!
Make sure everyone learns to make the best of the situation they're in. Learning to be happy in every position is so hard but it is such an important skill to learn! I've never been so worked in my life, but I'm loving it with the Lords help. The funniest thing is the times when I'm the happiest is when I'm thinking of others. What a great work :)
Well, I'm off to make some Nan (I have a good joke that I used at an Indian Curry restaurant: "Kore wa Nan desu ka? Hai, Nan desu" Get it? haha. For mom's sake, here's the interpretation. The bread is called Nan but Nan in Japanese means "what" so I'm asking "Is this Nan?" but it sounds like "What is this?" hahaha. :P
Alright, I'm off! I love you all! I'm praying for you! And don't worry! I'm safe and seeing more miracles than I ever expected everyday :) God lives and He is leading this work. I'm so grateful He's allowing me to help :) I love you! Bye Bye!

I've eaten octopus and sticky goo-ey booger looking stuff and all sorts of random things, but my favorite thing is Indian Nan. OH MY GOODNESS!

Minasan Konnichiwa!
It's good to hear your wonderful typed words said in my brain this day!
This week was a little taihen at first, but it turned out much better at the end. I got into the rut of saying " I cant do that" when my doryo assigned me to do things and I was just miserable because I was scared. That went on for a couple days and i read about faith during my personal study and I decided that I was sick of being scared, so i changed my attitude and now anytime I have even a hint of fear or get assigned something I just yell "I CAN DO THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" It's way more exciting and fun that way. So that was the thing I overcame this week.
I was talking with Davis Choro about my neices and Nephew and they're going to be so old and big when I get back! It's crazy! I'm so excited to see them though. Tell Everyone i love them!
Hmm...well I'll definitely be praying extra for Grandpa. It's good to hear about everything else though.
One thing I really miss is the grass and gardens and stuff like that. I'm in the biggest part of the biggest city of Hokkaido and it's really cool, but I'm excited for the time I get to go out into the back country of Hokkaido. For now though I'll enjoy the joys and excitements of the city. It's a different kind of beautiful, but beautiful none the less!
So you wouldn't even recognize me anymore if you saw me eat. Something changed when I came here and now I can eat anything. Literally! I've eaten anything put in front of me and usually I love it! I think I just love eating so much and I'm always so tired from working that I can eat anything in any amount. I've eaten octopus and sticky goo-ey booger looking stuff and all sorts of random things, but my favorite thing is Indian Nan. OH MY GOODNESS! Nan is so goooooooooooooooooood! We ate it the other night with a possible investigator and a ward member that just got back from his missin (Abe Kazutomo Kyodai) and it was so fun! We met at the church and showed him around right at first then went and ate and it was the best thing I've ever eaten. No joke. And what's even better, He wants to come to church! He's busy on sundays and stuff (his name is Sugawara Shin San) but he totally wanted to come. We're going to play basketball with him saturday thougha nd hopefully get a lesson in.That was the highlight of this week.
Actually! On tuesday Davis Choro and I went to this big meeting thing for a company called JCI at the Prince Hotel and it was soooooooo cooooooool! It was an Omoiyari meeting (like, open thought and speaking to encourage giving other peoples ideas a chance. Learning to accept others ideas kind of a thing.). It was so big! Like 300 people and my companion and Iwere at different tables talking to people. There were like 25 tables with 10 people at each table and a bunch of big CEO type of people and geijins as well. It was very interesting and didn't get too much chance to share opinions, but through their activities we got to show leadership and my companion spoke in front of everyone like twice and told his table about God and it was just an amazing opportunity. Crazy stuff. The whole meeting was just a beautiful thing because it was Japanese people trying to be more open minded so that they can change the world through understanding each others points of view. Amazing how the Lord is preparing people.
Other than that this week was pretty interesting. All of our lessons fell through, but we found 17 people we're going to talk to this week so I have high hopes for that! We were so blessed by the Lord in finding this week and now we have to do our best to hold onto our fruits and help them recieve the blessing of baptisms!
It can be pretty tough and frustrating with a new language sometimes. Your thoughts have to connect from what you want to get across to putting it into english to translating it to Japanese and that can be way taihen. But slowly I'm learning and doing my best! I'm learning 6 words a day and constantly practicing and talking to people and teaching all the time. Its so crazy and awesome!
A lot of weird things happened this week for transfers. An elder in our apartment had to leave (Kogure Choro) all of a sudden and we got a new Elder who is so crazy! My companion was his junior companion when he was still a really young missionary. He is always talking whether it be to us or himself and is always such a genki fellow! I love him! haha. His name is Yanez Choro and he has ADD and slight Terrets so he clears his throat a lot and his eyes twitch quite a bit but he's such a blessing! His genki-ness is contagious and makes everything very light hearted :) Love him. It's interesting for Asai Choro as his new compnion though. 3 geijins and him as the only nihonjin but his english is great and we're always talking to each other and helping each other out. last night we had a great talk and helped each other out with the language and right before we went to bed I shook his hand laying next to each other on the floor and felt such a strong bond. So we ended with a meaningful "Ai shite imasu" and went to bed with a smile :)
I love this :) It's so incredibly hard sometimes and I've been pushed beyond what I feel I am capable of quite often, but when that happens I just find out what foundation is really supporting me. It's a wonderful life it is. Constant trial and growth leading from grace to grace and greater and greater things. I love you all and I miss you so much! Take time to slow down and smell the roses while they're still in bloom! The Lord made this world to be enjoyed so find a way...Just sang happy birthday to Yanez Choro and didn't even know it was his birthday...tonikaku haha. Take time to look around and be thankful for everything. It will bring so much happiness :)
Love you family! Till next time!
P.S. My companion and I clean every P-day while the others go shopping. It's a good system :)
Also, to Dad, I know that the Lord has guided you to where you need to be because you constantly seek his guidance. I've seen that looking back in my life. I was always where I needed to be because of your willingness to follow the Lord so thank you so much :) I love you!

Monday, June 4, 2012

With all the love of a very tall Elder,

Hello Mother and Father! Will you please tell Grandma and Grampa Perry I was so happy to hear about their week, but I can't write them back unfortunately. Just you and my sisters. I'm so excited to hear about the beans and everything though! Honestly! haha. I want to help out in the garden when I get back. I miss that. And I miss the card games too! But we'll have fun after I've served my heart out to the fullest :)
They talked about making a family picture book of adventures, but I don't have any pictures so I can't make one! But tell them I think it's a great idea! I would love that if someone got bored and wanted to make it for me :P
Replying section:
 I wrote some of the phrases down and I'm going to try to be more polite now! Thank you! I too am trying to come to love everyone and it's pretty hard when you don't understand them, but I'm trying! I can't believe camp is here. I"ve said it a hundred times, but it's just crazy sauce. I hope you have a great time! Thank you for the Isaiah scripture as well! Thats a really great scripture. I tried to ask someone about the year of the dragon thing but I had no idea how to use the words and I tried! haha. It was fun.
I can't believe that everyone is all gradiated and such now! That's so weird to think about! Congratulate the Hansens for getting into BYU and tell them it's going to be a blast! (And yes I got their cookies and they were yokatta (great :)) Cookies are a beautiful thing. We're going to try to make no bakes soon so i'm way excited!
I'm glad the veterans day thing went well! I really enjoyed that every year.
Questions Section:
I did get the cookies! I loved them! So did all the other Elders :P haha.
Mother...I can't tell you how much I love you. When I saw that peanut butter in the package I've never smiled so big in my life. It was like heaven sitting in a bag for me to stare at. I'm so excited to eat it because we just finished off our jar! Thank you thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I didn't get any other packes though. Just the peanut butter with the news article.
My week:
 Awkward moment: So first of all, this morning there were only two eggs and I wanted them both, so I went into the other room with a serious face and said...Minasan...Tamago ga hoshii... which means...Everyone...I want Eggs... haha. I meant to ask if they wanted the eggs but I just awkwardly told them all seriously that I wanted eggs and they just looked at me really funny haha. Awkward!
Wonderful Moment: I did splits with an older missionary and we did a lesson trying to bring each other closer to Christ and both of us ended up having a super spiritual experience. He's actually sitting next to me right now (Hueffner Choro--crazy red hair :P). I also did the same thing with my companion the day after and the same experience happened. The Spirit really guides us when we ask for it. Christs atonement is the center of everything. When all the comforts of the world are taken away, you find that your foundation really is Christs atonement, and that's why you can carry on through anything. It was an amazing thing :)
Investigators: We have an investigator right now that we're hoping will receive baptism. he doesn't understand a lot right now but he's keeping his commitments and I know that He will feel the power of God as we teach him.
Well...that's all I can think of right now. If you can think of any easy snack recipes that I can make I'd love that! I love you all so very much and I hope you are well!
With all the love of a very tall Elder,
Elder Sotto :)