With all of those birthday posts I just remembered that I have forgotten a lot of the names of my friends =P I guess I`ll remember them when I meet them again though! That`s how it has been here in Hakodate. I went to Church this sunday and there were only about 5 or 6 members who`s names I didn`t remember. And they all remembered me and told me how great my Japanese has gotten!
I`m so excited to be back! I don`t know what I left undone, but I`ve had a couple people tell me why they think I`m back. A less active member came to church yesterday because her brother (a church member) passed away a few weeks ago and she came back to thank everyone for all of the support they gave to him. She brought her husband (who isn`t a member) and he mentioned his desire to come to church a few more times and gave me his number and said we could come visit! One member said they think the reason I came back was to meet him and teach him the gospel.
I was also able to visit my convert from a year and 2 months ago and she freaked out when I showed up on her doorstep. She was so happy! She wouldn`t stop shaking my hand and jumping up and down! It was a really good meeting :) Her daughter (who is now 8 and taller than mom) still hasn`t been baptized because she doesn`t like men and won`t get baptized by a man...we`ll see how that goes. But my convert Sister Tomomi hasn`t been going to church for about a month and she told me that maybe I came back to help her re-prioritize her life so she can come back to church. That made me extremely happy =D
She also mentioned to me that if you choose not to go to church even one time, every time after that gets easier. She chose not to come and that 1 time turned into 4 weeks of not coming. We talked about that and I shared with her Mosiah 2:41. She wants to go back to church but she just mentioned how easy it gets to choose the wrong after you`ve done it once before.
That could be one thing that you mention to the ward dad. But I have a good question you can ask everyone. It`s been very important in helping me to stay active and happy and focused on my mission. The question is "Why am I here?" As I`ve asked myself that throughout my mission I`m brought back to why I make the decision to keep working everyday even when it`s freezing outside and few people are listening to me. The reason is because I know that Christ lives and that His promises are sure. I know that because I`m trying my best to live the gospel and I`m receiving the blessings of it. That and I`ve prayed to God to know if the Book of Mormon is true and I received an answer that it is. Because I know that the Book of Mormon is true I know that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ, which means that Christ really did perform the Atonement and Ressurrect, which means that we too will be ressurrected and thorugh following his teachings be saved in the Kingdom of God. There is no reason not to follow Christ if you know these things are true, even when times get tough. Times were tough for Christ and he kept on going. He didn`t give up. He didn`t give up on us so we can keep on working hard (D&C 122:7-9). But that question has helped me to refocus myself and my priorities and given me lots of strength. If people don`t know how to answer it, they can read the scriptures and pray and go to church to find their answers. I testify that with those 3 pillars we will have a strong base that will get us though the hard times, but only if we put God first, for "no man can serve two masters."
There`s my words of advice to the ward. And also tell them I`m excited to see them all again and I love them all :)
As for camp stuff...dou shiyou...I`m split. I would love to work in the kitchen because it`s good work and so fun and great and I love Lisa and the staff! But I would also like to work on the high adventure staff if that position is still open. I feel like in the high adventure staff I would learn how to work with people a lot better and it would be a lot more of a learning experience that would be good for my life and prepare me to be a better father and such...Any advice on the matter from your perspective dad? right now I`m leaning toward the high adventure staff but if that`s not open I would love to be in the Kitchen.
How about I rephrase this...where do you need me the most dad? Where would I be of the most use? That`s where I want to go.
Ya change is interesting mom. I think a mission helps me to get used to it, but this transfer came so unexpectedly that it kind of hit me in the stomach. I didn`t know if I wanted to sing or cry, but I`m happy here in Hakodate :) It`s like a new start. A clean slate. We don`t really have any investigators right now so we`re really starting from zero. My companion is really fun :) He can beat box like a pro and is really trying hard to learn the language. And he is lactose intollerant, but when he told me that I didn`t quite hear it right. I heard "I am black toast and taller." haha. So now we tell everyone that is our band name :P Black Toast and Taller! haha. It`s going to be a fun way to end the mission I think :) He works really hard too and so we`re talking to everyone all day! Miracles are sure to follow around every corner :)
I`m sorry to hear about all of the troubles back home, but if we look at it from a different light it is just another opportunity to be humble, just like you said. If we were never tested with something bad, we would never have the opportunity to develop the godly attributes of patience, love, humility, faith, etc. It is truly a wonderful and challenging thing, but if we`re faithful to the end we will receive eternal life through the grace of Christ :) How Happy A Thought!!! =D
Alright, well thank you for your mail and everything thoughout this whole two years! I`ll keep working hard and then I`ll see you in two months :) Love you so much! See you soon!
Elder Mitchell Perry Sotto
P.S. Tell my sisters I love them and I`m praying for them! And you too! Bye Bye!!!