Made it to Japan! I LOVE IT
I really dont know where to begin! We woke up to leave Provo at 2:30AM and after a few busses and trains we made it to SLC from there we flew to the Portland airport for my first layover, where I had a very random but awesome moment seeing a good friend from high school (Daniel Paulus, shoutout) It was really great seeing him and for sure a sweet surprise! From Portland was our 10 hour flight to Tokyo and then another layover before our final flight to Sendai. We woke up at 2:30AM Provo time on Thursday and went to sleep at 10:45 PM Japan time on Friday. Nutty time change, they say I`ll have jet lag for another week or so... SO TIRED but genki :]
Anyway, the events started the next morning at 5AM. Headed over to downtown sendai from the "mission home" where we had a conference in which the whole Sendai mission, all the missionaries in northern Japan basically, gathered together in one chapel to hear a training on how to effectively use the iPads we will receive soon. Apparently big meetings like that neverhappen so it was cool to have one on my very first day here! The meeting was sooo good, kinda long being 4 hours but good and I learned a lot. Ok now that I run the rest of what`s happened so far through my head, I see I've gotta kinda highlight things.
First off, whatever they taught me in the MTC was great and all but I can not for the life of me understand what these people are saying! went to church yesterday and all three meetings were great!, but I honestly couldn't tell you what they were about. Haha its been a lot of fun tho and the people are so nice! The Akita branch of 50 people are all amazingly genki, positive and nice! Plus, they are way focused on missionary efforts so its really a great place to begin the mission. I love it already!
My trainer, Elder Hoskyns, is the man. A big white friendly giant, super nice, super chill, fun and definitely a solid missionary. All the people at the big mission conference said I was the luckiest "bean" (brand new missionary) of the group for getting Elder Hoskyns as my trainer. For the next 6 weeks he'll be teaching me the ropes of missionary work here in Japan, leading me, guiding me and most importantly, translating for me;) I live in a small apartment with my companion and one other companionship, Elder's Erickson and Mailes- who are also awesome.
The weirdest food I've eaten so far hasn't been very weird at all. It was last night when an old japanese man wanted us to come over and eat with him. On the way over, Elder Hoskyns kinda warned me about some of the food this man gives missionaries and how gross it can be ie. the pickled insides of a squid. LUCKILY, I didn't have to eat anything close to that, what I did eat was a pastry type thing with what I thought was a big thick block of chocolate in the middle, delish! but it was actually a slab of red bean paste. So ya, not too weird or too gross, but different!
I was thinking the other night about what a crazy adventure this is. Kinda reminded me about the things I used to do back home when my friends and I would decide to go some random place, check it out and aimlessly explore no matter how much we didn't know about the area. In a way it's a similar experience here/ But the differences are big. This is by far more foreign than anywhere I've ever been- the food is different, I can't read much on the signs or stores, everyone is japanese, and I don't know my way around, but the main thing is, I have a purpose here. I'm not here to aimlessly explore and have a relaxing, fun time. I'm here for others, to help people be happier and to tell them about the amazing plan God has for us.
Alright this email is long enough but I want yall to know Im safe, Japan is so so so awesome, this is an amazing adventure and I am blessed.
Look up Akita on google maps。Northwest city in Japan.
Love you all so much and hope you have a great week,