Monday, February 25, 2013

stretch your boundaries and grow to be the best you can be.

wow haha. Lots of fun stories about paint I guess :P Were you getting the house uppraised because you want to sell it? 
I`m sorry to hear about the forgetfulness and such mom. I understand a little more out here. I survive on my planner. If I don`t write things down in about 3 different places I`ll probably forget. There is so much to think about here! 
I have always wondered about that Stop light thing actually haha. Thank you so much dad! 

It`s good to hear about all the wonderful things happening back home! I`m so excited to see everyone again after the mission! I`m torn though. I didn`t understand what the missionaries meant when they said that they don`t want to leave Japan when I just got to Japan, but now that I`m getting a little bit older and better at the language I understand a lot more. When you start being able to communicate with the people you become a part of them and the culture.
Apparently I woke my companion up a couple times the other night because I was sitting up in the middle of the night speaking Japanese and having conversations with people and shaking my head back and forth agreeing and disagreeing with people...this seems to be a regular occurrence :P I guess when I get stressed I start teaching lessons to people in my sleep haha. I`m 8th transfer now and I guess it`s been happening to me since 3rd transfer! Interesting stuff.
I really have come to love the people a lot more now that I can understand them better.

Well, I don`t have much time because we`re heading to Kushiro today on a bus, but I`ll let you know how the week went.
This week has been crazy and filled with miracles up the wazoo (I`ve started randomly using "up the wazoo" lately and I`m not sure why). We`ve gotten in contact with two of our old investigators who came to church this week for Shibu taikai (Branch conference) and we`ve been having lots of lessons with lots of people and been feeling the guidance of the Spirit a lot. I wish I could tell more, but there is too much I want to tell! Suffice it to say, the Lord is preparing and guiding His children to us and us to His prepared children :) It`s amazing. I`m so excited to keep learning and growing through my tests and trials, my failures and shortcomings, and my experimenting with things I`m not comfortable with. That truly is how you stretch your boundaries and grow to be the best you can be. I feel very stretched sometimes, but I can really see the growth when I look back at how blessed I`ve been to be given this growing experience.

I hope everything at home keeps going well and I`m praying for you! I love you so much and I`m grateful for your support! 

P.S. Thank you for the recipes!!! I`ll see if I can figure out something! Also the box is waiting at the post office for me (supposedly) so I will probably get it Wednesday morning. Thank you!
Bye Bye!!!

Elder Mitchell Perry Sotto

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Apparently I act Majime (serious) here so everyone thinks I`m a pretty serious person

I really enjoyed reading this weeks letter :) thanks mom and dad!

So I have news about the Tenkin call...I`m still in Kitami! and my companion is...22 year old Elder Nielson from Midway Utah! He`s a nice guy and I`m excited to work with him :) He`s 5th transfer and I`m! crazy.

I think I handle the experiences I`m going through better through email as apposed to in person haha. They seem better through email I think :P but I`m doing great and I`m very happy and excited to be out here!
I do want to read my emails when I get home I think. It will be interesting to remember all the things I went through.

I don`t think I`ll look too much older when I get back, but I do think some of my facial features and such have been changing. And I have to shave everyday now. That`s weird :P haha. 
Apparently I act Majime (serious) here so everyone thinks I`m a pretty serious person. I think I`m a little more serious as a missionary, but I still feel like a kid sometimes :)
I love that thought mother! Always progressing. I love that thought and I want to find ways to keep progressing my whole life! One way that I think I will keep up when I get home is Learning different languages. You really start at Base 1 and can just keep on progressing if you work at it. It`s really quite fun :) 

I have really felt the Igen no Tamamono (Gift of Tongues) since my new American companion came. We have had several lessons and I`ve understood almost everything! That and I`ve been able to communicate what I want to our investigators! I feel that the language is really becoming a part of me :)

Well, lastly I`ll put in some miracles and then be off. We went to church and didn`t expect anyone to come, but an old investigator came by himself because he didn`t have work, and then after church another different old investigator (that is my height) came and wants to hear the lessons, and then we met with another old investigator after church that we`ve been meeting with since the beginning of this week and had a great lesson. I felt very blessed by the Lord. There are a lot of people in Kitami that are really prepared to hear the message at this time. I know that the Lord is preparing his children and helping them to accept the gospel. Especially the people whom we as members associate with. It`s an amazing thing :)

Alright, well I better be off! Thank you! Bye Bye!

Monday, February 11, 2013

People deny the fact that there are fundamental truths created by an all powerful and loving God,

Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2013 11:31:20 +0900
Subject: Re: Feb 10

I`ve been out a year already! Ah! Shinjirarenai (unbelievable). It`s going way too fast! It`s actually kind of a scary thought that I`ll be leaving this life after a year. Better work hard! We have our Tenkin (transfer) call tomorrow so I`ll let you know next week if I get transferred or get a new companion!
I did get to go to the Snow Festival in Sapporo! It was awesome! There were a lot of gaijin (foreigners) there but they were all russian I think haha. Either that or I just don`t understand enlish anymore :P
I took a lot of pictures and it was really awesome. They built a snow board jump and slope in the park for boarders to do tricks off of. It was awesome! I`ll probably send my SD card in the near future.

No way! I actually got assigned to give a talk in sacrament meeting for next week on Baptism and the Sacrament. I`m pretty excited :) Tell me how yours goes!

We may go see a little bit of the Kitami Snow Festival as well today so I`ll get more pictures! Also thank you for explaining the meaning of the Kitami symbol. I see it quite often but had no idea what it is haha.

Aww Princess died? I hope Lucky is still around when I get back! He`s getting pretty old so we`ll see what happens, but either way he was a great pup :)
I hope Jill is doing alright! I`ll pray for her! It really is amazing what daughters of God sacrifice to house God`s children. What a sacred calling :)
I`m so excited to meet little Owen and all the other kids when I get back! Tell them I love them when you see them!
I`ve been thinking lately how much the Boy Scouts would help the youth of the church in Japan if they had such a program so easily available, but it`s a little sad to hear that about the Boy Scouts. It`s amazing how things can change. I was reading in the Liahona about that. The world is slowly changing to believe that we as humans decide everything and there isn`t actually right or wrong. People deny the fact that there are fundamental truths created by an all powerful and loving God, Our Father in Heaven. There are fundamental rights and wrongs, and that truth is slowly being lost. Sad but also exciting. The Lord is hastening His work and He will soon come in His power and Glory. Even though times will get tougher, it`s nice that we can look forward to that day with hope :)

It`s always very fun to see the mission calls and such :) Invigorating. 
You and dad both went on missions didn`t you! You really do know what I`m going through! Sometimes I feel like I`m the only one in the world who is going through trials and such, then I step out of my pity box and into reality and realize that everyone is in the same boat haha. We`re all learning and growing (particularly through our mistakes). When I think about that I have a desire to help others more and not think about my own complaints and discomforts. And the greatest thing of all is that Christ knows us perfectly. That`s so comforting to me. I have someone who knows what I`m feeling and knows how to comfort me. That someone happens to be my Lord, A God, my Brother, and He is preparing success and happiness for me if I`ll just trust in him :) God`s plan is so cool! =D

Now for an experience from this week. We have a friend in the ward who was baptized about a year ago and is preparing to go on a mission. My companion and I both had the thought while we were walking to a place we were going to go housing that we should help Ma-kun out with his mission prep because it`s probably hard. So we wanted to meet with him. A couple days later he Teamed up in a lesson with us and afterwards said he was struggling with something lately so we went to the church and talked with him for a while. He`s been having some trouble with something lately and so has been wanting to talk with us. Everything turned out pretty well and he went home a lot happier that day.
The interesting thing that my companion pointed out to me is the fact that we had been feeling the prompting to meet with him all week. We just wanted to help him out with any struggles he might be having, and it turns out he had been having a struggle and wanted our advice.
It`s pretty simple, but definitely the Spirit`s guidance. The Lord guides His servants to those who need help. Those who are humble and prepared to receive the Lord`s help. It was a testimony builder to me :)

I think that`s about it! Thank you so much for everything you do for me and everyone in the ward and in the whole wide world! You and dad have been a real light in my life :) I love you and I`m excited to see you again after a year!
Bye Bye!

Elder Mitchell Perry Sotto

Monday, February 4, 2013

Also, apparently I talk a lot in my sleep when I`m stressed.

Wow, two weeks of emails is a lot haha. A lot can happen in two weeks :P 
I am completely fine! I didn`t mind not having the email. And I`m extra happy this week because Jill had her baby!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That`s so cool! He`s going to be walking by the time I get back!
I can`t believe how fast things change. I feel like I`m changing a lot physically as well as Spiritually. It`s quite the growing experience a mission.

I really want to comment on everything, but that would take forever! So I`ll just comment on a couple things and then tell my news :)

That`s so cool that you got to meet with the apostles! I know that they are called of God to serve his children.
I`m glad you had that experience with the little kids and the church experience as well mom :)

Yes I felt the earthquake. I was doing seiza (praying on my knees) and I fell asleep and then I woke up to the floor moving around at about 11:20 and said "eh! eh! nani!" I was very surprised and my legs were very tingly because I fell asleep in prayer mode haha. But I checked the apartment after that and nothing had fallen. Aparently the Elders in Obihiro had to evacuate their apartment. 
Also, apparently I talk a lot in my sleep when I`m stressed. I apparently was teaching one of our investigators we were going to teach the next day in Japanese while sleeping for about 30 minutes haha. I was in the sitting up position as well apparently, and I ask my companion questions while in that position and it wakes him up haha. It`s pretty bad I guess haha.

The teeth article is very interesting. I`ve noticed that teeth aren`t as big a deal in Japan, but america is huge on teeth being straight! Very interesting.

It`s always so fun to hear the mission calls :) It`s empowering to know that all my friends are in the service of their God right along with me. It`s so much fun to think about. 
yes sisters in this mission will fueru (go up) from here on out I guess. We`ll get about 20 in the next two transfers, so there are going to be a lot more new areas opening up to sisters (Kitami as well probably!)

Elder Sasaki and I go down to Sapporo tomorrow for a Multi Zone Taikai (conference). We will here the Asia Area Psychologist and Health person I guess.

Ok, as for good news...I have great news...Our investigator got baptized and confirmed this weekend!!!!! It was a great experience. There have been a lot of trials this transfer, but seeing him get baptized (by a recently baptized convert that my trainer baptized a year ago) was so great. 
I felt the Spirit very strongly while waiting for him to change and come back into the sacrament hall. Everyone was suggesting and singing hymns while we waited and we started singing "I have a family here on earth" and I pictured us all up in heaven and meeting with him again. I also thought a lot about my family and friends back home, but I didn`t get homesick. I had the distinct thought "There`s no where else in the world I`d rather be." I think about family and friends more frequently lately, but I know that this is where I need to be and I plan to go wherever the Lord asks me to. I got a very special feeling during the baptismal service and the Spirit was most definitely present :)
We actually just got done teaching Ikuma an After Baptism lesson and everyone is kicking a soccer ball around in the other room :)

alright, well I`m so happy to hear from everyone about Jill and Matt and Owen and Evelyn and I`ll pray for everyone and tell everyone I love them!!! I love you so much!!! Have a great day!
Sincerely and with Love
Mitchell ;)