Greetings from America.
Here are the highlights of the days of this past week.
Monday- packed my stuff, played some good ping pong, said goodbye to some people.
Tuesday- last work day in Akita. Met with our new investigator- Hayato, the 21 year old english tutor. He's way fun and way tuned to hear the gospel. We taught him about God and prayer. He actually knew quit a bit more than normal Japanese people about Christianity - we found ourselves teaching stuff we don't usually teach, like the difference between Catholics and other Christian based religions from ours. It was a great lesson! He prayed to end the lesson and everything, it was very very good. And afterwards, he introduced us to his friend! Who could also turn in to a new investigator. We had some fun, the four of us went to "purikura" and for those who know what that is, it was only for the sake of BRT (build relationship and trust) :). That was a lot of fun. The rest of the night was a bit of a bummer for me.. we had an appointment with Jerry, our rockin investigator, my last time I'd see him. So I was planning on having a memorable goodbye and all but he called and said he couldn't make it... I was so bummed. Love that guy so much and have grown so close with him but never got to say my goodbye. Hopefully the next time I see him, he'll be baptized and a good, active member. We'll see what God has planned for him.
Wednesday- Took a bus from Akita to Sendai from 10:00 - 1:35. Walked to the church, saw and talked with all the other missionaries transferring and exchanging, reunited with Erickson chourou (in my apartment my first transfer) and walked to our bus stop where I then reunited with Elder Hoskyns! (first trainer). He will be in our zone. He's training a new missionary in Hachinohe, south of Misawa. We took the 3:10 bus to Hachinohe and arrived at 8. Said bye to elder Hoskyns and his new missionary. Erickson and I hopped on a train to Misawa, arrived around 9! Long day of travel thats for sure. Met my new companion, Elder Suzuki.
Thursday, Friday- Got our passes to go on the Air Force base. Ate amazingly delicious, authentic american pizza. Ate cinnamon toast crunch for breakfast. Met new people and had english class.
Saturday- Suzuki choro and I drove to Aomori for the Aomori district meeting. That was an all day event. Got home at 945. Long day full of straight Japanese- exhausting.
Sunday- Met with all the people I could! In the morning, President and Sister Smith came and spoke at the second part of the Aomori district meeting. Luckily, the meeting was held at the Misawa building so we didn't have to make that drive again. That was really good,, got to meet and strengthen relationships with new missionaries I haven't met yet and with the Misawa church members I will be serving for the next part of my mission.
After the Japanese district conference, the Military ward had their church. I LOVE THHESE PEOPLE! Probably because I'm able to express myself now and can actually talk with them since they're all American, but nonetheless, they are still very cool people. The Tokyo Stake President for the military wards in all of Japan happened to be in town, President Madsen. I was able to meet with him and built a good relationship! He knows where Danville is cause one of his companions on his mission was from Danville. He had all 4 of the Misawa missionaries get up and bear our testimonies. Self intros, why we are serving a mission, and how we can get members involved with our online proselyting (Facebook). So it was good to get to bear my testimony and put myself out there in front of the ward! So excited to get to meet with, work with and have american food with all of them! Thats the blessing of Misawa- the only place in the mission you'll get fed every night of the week. Such a blessing. Sunday night we got to meet the missionaries best friends- the Mahlums. We had hot dogs, Dr Peppers, and other fattening foods. To end the night, we held the monthly traditional with them of eating a whole Habanero pepper- straight up. It was BRUTAL. The first 3 minutes are nothing short of h-e double hockey sticks. lava just flowing down your throat. The heat remains for the nexthalf hour, even as we chug down milk to cool it down. Made me drool and cry and all that jazz. The burning lasted all the way to Monday morning when it came out the other end, whoops! TMI. Sorry, not doing that again. I would take that out but I find it necessary information to better inform everyone of the effects of the habanero challenge.
Monday- So far, we've played soccer, which is a weekly thing, with a bunch of moms! Its actually crazy competitive! After a couple of hours indoor soccer we go get lunch at the onbase food court. It's amazing. Taco bell, subway, Charleys, Pop Eyes, and Pizza Hut. And then we go to a members house to email and eat more food. I am going to get fat.
This week there's been some amazing personal revelation which has helped me to better understand the Atonement and why it was truly necessary. Very deep, very exciting doctrine. The talk that enlightened me was called "The Atonement" by Todd Scouses or something like that. Ah such amazing insight. Anyway, if you have time to read it, I highly recommend it, completely changed my perspective on life.
Misawa is great. Im so stoked to be here. My companion is hilarious and doesn't speak really a lick of English so looks like I'll be learning a lot of Japanese this transfer. There's a lot of cleaning up to do in terms of changing some bad habits set by two dying missionaries that were here last transfer, the ones that Elder Erickson and I replaced. But Elder Erickson and I are doing our best to fix things up, stay focused on the work and change things to be more effective with our time. Misawa is a blessing, I'm excited to be here and excited to do my best to turn this place into a better missionary focused area. Love all of you! Enjoy summer:))
Elder Dallin Robins