Thursday, December 26, 2013

picture of Christs manger..."The First King Size Bed"

Thank you so much for reminding me about my blessing dad! I haven't thought about that in a long time! It's easy to let your focus change over time. Thank you so much!

The snow here is extremely late, but today and yesterday it's been snowing a lot non-stop! When it snows it snows a lot. I slipped yesterday and fell pretty hard, but that's winter dendo (missionary work) for you! :P I'm completely fine.

I hope you all have a great Christmas! Take pictures and let me know how everything goes when you call! I'm really excited for the call :) It's been too long. And then I'll get to talk to you face to face soon enough! Until then I'll just keep on working hard :) And after...I'll just keep on working hard :P 
I'm so grateful to be able to work! There are so many older people in Japan and it's hard for them to work a lot. But that gives us a chance to help them shovel snow :) 
Japanese people are so funny though! They won't let you help them do anything! In order to help them shovel snow and stuff you just have to say "hey! What's that in your hand? (pointing at the shovel) Can I see it?" If you say that they're like "oh ya. sure!" And then you take the shovel and just start shoveling :P If you ask to help they say "no no no no no!" But they're very grateful when you take their shovels and just start shoveling :P 

The world is truly getting to be like that ね! It's all about money! But it's always really refreshing to meet genuinely good people who want to do good things and help others. There are still lots out there!

So this week was awesome!

Our church's reformation stuff got finished and we got to go to it this sunday! It was beautiful! It looks like a completely different building! It looks like a temple! And the inside has heated floors for my poor cold feet :P
I got to sing twice for a baptismal service and in sacrament meeting and it was great :) We sang I like to look for Rainbows (Baptism/Children's song) and Hark the Herald Angels Sing.

We had the Messiah Concert Practice for the last time last night and it was great! I'm excited to sing on Saturday! You can probably find a lot of stuff about it on Facebook if you want.

We have been making a greater effort to contact more people and we've been meeting lots of great people! We met two who mentioned a lot of interest in Baptism and we meet another one today!
We're also going to a 5 story Daiso today! Daiso is like a dollar store.

...honestly I can't remember anything else. 

But during my personal study this week I was a little frustrated and so I tried to find the source of my frustration. I realized that my expectations and God's expectations and thoughts were different. I realized that often when we're frustrated with something in the gospel it's because of a misunderstanding. What we think we should be doing is different from what God thinks probably...I can't really explain myself but it was a good personal study :P

Alright, well that's all that I can think of for this week.

I would just end with a small fun joke. I saw a picture of Christs manger today and it had some very great words written above it...It said, "The First King Size Bed" :P
And with that thought, I wish you a Merry Christmas!!! :P Just kidding. A slightly better thought is the calm of that night that Christ was born and they thoughts of all those watching and even Christ himself. I hope that everyone has a great Christmas :)

I love you!
Talk to you Wednesday/Tuesday!

Elder Mitchell Perry Sotto

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

#4-How the Spirit fills the room when children sing (even when they're not on pitch :P).

I didn't really understand a lot of the talks about your missionary life before the mission because I couldn't imagine the real life of a missionary until now. It's so different from what I thought! I have been humbled and lifted up to a much more God like way of thinking. There are too many changes to even believe! I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be out here. All of the stories you told me before the mission have really stuck in my head though. I think about your's and dad's stories all the time now. Thank you for being such a wonderful example to me and going out on a mission when you were younger. I'm glad to say that my parents were both missionaries for the Lord :) It's fun.
It's really weird thinking that it will eventually come to an end though, the lifestyle I'm living right now. I guess I'll just keep taking the days one by one and doing my best every day! Sore shika nai! (That's all I can do!).
You got the letter from Sister Oda! yay! She is such an amazing help to the missionaries. She's great. After she sent the letter she asked me to correct the mistakes in it for her so I got to see it too :) The ward I'm in right now is fantastic. I've been here for longer than most missionaries are in any area and I'm so blessed to be here!
We've been meeting in a far away church building while ours is under renovation, but we got news yesterday that we will be able to go back to it this next sunday! Yay!!! And I've been asked to sing with some other missionaries at a baptismal service and during sacrament meeting! I'm really excited :) And it's Christmas Music! I love Christmas Music!!! I would pick Christmas hymns all year round if I had the choice :P
I guess the new building has heated floors as well! I'm so excited =D No more cold feet!
I'm glad the Christmas Party went well! We had ours 2 days ago and it was fantastic! I've never seen such a great party before in Japan. So many people came! And there was a high school band that played for us and they were sooooo good. It truly was amazing. The church is getting so much stronger in Japan thanks to all the great leaders and members and especially the returning missionaries with fire. I'm excited to see the growth of Japan 30 years down the road when all of my companion's kids start going on missions. It'll be like double the number of Japanese people! =D The Church in Japan has a bright future ahead of it.
The Day after the Christmas Party we had the Primary Christmas Program and I never ceased to be amazed at a few things:
1-How adorable little Japanese kids are.
2-How loud 4-8 year olds can sing.
3-How amazingly patient and loving the teachers are.
and 4-How the Spirit fills the room when children sing (even when they're not on pitch :P).
We're still going to practice every sunday for the Handel's Messiah Concert coming up on the 28th of December.
Oh! We had a cool story this week!
So we had a blizzard on friday and we had planned to go visit an investigator we hadn't seen in a long time later in the night to invite him to the Christmas party...but there was a blizzard! So we started hiking up this huge hill that he lives on (it takes like 30 minutes to hike up to and we had never been there before) and the storm was pretty bad. So we prayed to see if we should go up, and we felt like we should. So we hike up the 30 minutes and start searching for his address at the very tip top of the hill...and the block he lives on doesn't exist...We were pretty komatta (in trouble). But we felt like we should go up there so we prayed again and asked that we would be able to find the house somehow. After we got done praying there was a high school girl just standing in the road behind us looking at us so we went up and asked her if she happend to know where our friend's house was...and she did! Then she walked us about 5 minutes back down the hill and showed us to his house. Also Earlier that day I felt like I should buy 2 pieces of delicious bread at the bread shop. I ate one earlier in the day and I was able to give one to her after she helped us. It was such a blessing! We told her she was an answer to our prayer as well and she just smiled and walked back up the hill to go home. After that we didn't get to meet the investigator but we met his mom and another person from Tailand doing a home stay in Japan and had great talks with them =) It was fun.
So, God really answers prayers and knows our needs from the beginning. If we will just ask in faith I know that God will lead us where we need to be :)
The last really interesting thing is just that on transfer day last week all of the missionaries gathered together and did a big music practice (106 missionaries were there!). That was fun :)
And we went to the Chocolate Factory in Miyanosawa/Kotoni last P-day and it was like Willy Wonka's chocolate Factory! Way fun :)
Alright...that's about all for this week! I'll talk to you next week! For real! Yay!!!
Love you!
Bye Bye!!!
Elder Very Tall  Sotto =D
P.S. No matter how long you're in Japan, you still hit your head occassionally. I'm getting better at dogding the door phrames that pop out of nowhere though :P

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I love the guidance of the Spirit!!!

Wow! Idaho sounds cold! It's been about -4 to 7 degrees lately.  The Snow is really slow ( say slow in japanese :P) too. It still hasn't stuck!
Thanks for the Christmas presents and everything! The gloves are doing me great good dad :) It did say in the warning that people with bad circulation shouldn't use them so that caught my attention but I'll keep using them!
I know! The time is going by so fast! Our transfers are this thursday and then I only have two more left! So weird!
I heard about Andrew and James and their predicament as well.
So my week has been good :) I can't think of a ton of experiences, but we met a lot of good investigators!
One good experience. We have an investigator that wants to believe but thinks he can't believe in God. So unplanned we read Alma 32: 26-28 and when he read it he's like..."ya...I need to plant a seed to know if this is true or not...I need to test this out. I promise that I'll read the Book of Mormon eagerly from now on."...It was awesome! We didn't plan it or anything, but God told us what we should share with him and it stuck in his heart! I love the guidance of the Spirit!!!
And that's about it I think. Sorry it's so short! But I'll call you in a couple weeks!
I love you so much!
bye Bye!!!

Elder Sotto =D

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I still have a lot of fire, but I'll admit that I'm pretty tired

We don't see many of those lantern things here in Hokkaido...or maybe we do but I don't look around much. I'll look more this new years!
I'll give my goals a good look :) I got the Thanksgiving/Christmas Present! Thank you sooooooooooooooooo much!!! It's so useful! My hands are finally warm! 
I guess I'm something called Hiesho (someone with bad circulation) so I have shimoyake (a premature form of frostbite) on my toes. They are red and swollen up a little and they were last year too. Even when I am in boots or have foot warmers my feet are cold. But I'm doing my best to keep them really warm! And It's not really too bad. So don't worry about me!
I also ate my turkey dinner with potatoes and gravy and olives today for lunch and it was amazing!!! Thank you so much! I'll send a picture.
I'm going to try to send home a box as week maybe? But be expecting one!
New Missionaries are amazing...I still have a lot of fire, but I'll admit that I'm pretty tired :P haha. My New Missionary Companion is amazing. He's too exciting for me sometimes and I just stop talking because I don't know what to say :P But if they could get that experience and fire together, it would be something great!
Church and camp and everything sounds crazy! I'm excited to see it all! I'm especially excited to see my own family though :) That's the most exciting thing =D
So this week was really good! We met a chinese guy on saturday and he came to church on sunday and he had a great time! He wants to keep coming and we're so excited to start teaching him!
We also got preached to by two different investigators from two different religions for quite a while. We then got to talk to them about the Restoration! It was amazing to me that they had all of these arguements for why what we were saying was false, but when we testified all they could do was be puzzled. When we bear testimony there is no way we can fail. Even if they don't accept what we say. The power of testimony :)
That's about all that I can remember that sticks out.
Ya! So I'll talk to you next week!
I love you!
Bye Bye!!!
Elder Mitchell Perry Sotto