Friday, December 25, 2015

I'm in Japan!

Christmas party at the Saijo Branch

Elder Sherrill, President Egan and Sister Egan

Hiroshima Zone

Elder Sherrill and his trainer Elder Harrell 

Merry Christmas everyone! 

I have made it to Japan! It is so amazing here! So first off the mission president changed my p-day to today (Friday, Christmas) so that is why it has been so long since I have been able to email haha sorry about that. My next P-day will be Friday too because that is New Years here and it is a pretty big holiday for Japan. But then after that it will go back to being Monday so thats just a little heads up.

Anyways! I am in Japan! I can hardly believe it! There has been so much that has happened since my last P-day. I don't have much time to email but I will try and fit it all in and talk about as much of it as I can. So, our last few days in the MTC were crazy busy. We were all saying bye to our teachers which was actually a lot harder than I thought it would have been. We all grew so class as a District together and it was definitely hard to leave all of them. We took some fun pictures together though and those will follow shortly haha. Our last night in the MTC we said goodbye to everyone and then woke up really early to get on buses to go up to SLC to catch our flight. As we go up to SLC it starts to snow! It was snowing pretty good and when we got to the airport all the elders had to unload the bags and we were in the middle of a snowstorm so after we finished (it took about 30 minutes) all of our heads were white because the snow stuck to it and we were all drenched from either the snow or sweat, one of the two haha.

After all that we head to LA on our flight and it still didn't seem real being away from the MTC. But, it got real pretty fast after we arrived in LA and got on our plane to Tokyo. We get on the plane and people start speaking Japanese to us and there were tons of Japanese people and I was surprised to see a bunch of Nihonjin then I kind of think to myself no duh there are lots of them on the plane, I am going to Japan afterall haha. So that is when it felt pretty real for me. After we get to Tokyo it was just crazy because all these new missionaries are in one of the biggest airports in the world and we can't even read to figure out where to go. Luckily, there is some lady who can kind of speak english and she helped us to where we should go. We then get on our flight to Fukuoka and finally get to see our mission president! We were all excited to see them. After we meet them at the airport we head back to the mission home and kind of meet all the staff and get to know each other. Then we all go to bed because the very next day we were told we were going to get to do some missionary work!

That next day we take pictures in front of the Temple and then we go out around the streets of Fukuoka and have to opportunity to dendo for the first time! It was pretty terrifying but also way awesome! We talked to quite a few people and even handed out a Book of Mormon! After that we go back to the mission home and have interviews and it was so nice to be able to get to know my mission president a little better. His name is President Egan and he is amazing, he is a very determined and motivated mission president. I know our mission will be very successful as he helps us. His wife Sister Egan is so nice and just made us all feel loved the second we got off the plane. I am really excited to be serving with them for the next two years. 

After interviews we all finally got to figure out where we are going!!!! I was almost more nervous for this part than when I opened my mission call haha. We all gathered in his office and he went one by one and told us the area where we would serve and who our trainer would be. When it finally came around to me I got called to serve in Saijo! I had never heard of it before but I was just so ready to go and to see everything it had to offer. It is up near Hiroshima and just about a 40 minute bus ride from it. After that I got to see who my trainer would be and his name is Elder Harrell! I was so excited to just get to my area and see my trainer and get to know my area. We all headed to bed because the next day some of us where getting on flights and I was getting on a bus for 4 hours to go up to Hiroshima to meet my trainer.

After I meet my trainer we get to know each other and he is a way cool guy. He is really focused and I can tell one of the hardest workers in the mission. President Egan told me he is one of the hardest working missionaries he has so I knew I would get a great trainer. So we get on a train to Saijo and arrive at our apartment. Before I unpack or anything we go straight into planning and then go out that night to dendo! That first day was pretty rough, it finally kind of hit me that I am going to be in Japan for the next two years and I don't know Japanese and it is pretty cold up here (in Saijo) and there are going to be a lot of people that won't accept our message. Finally, after I settled in for a second though I really got excited to go out and dendo and now I really love it! Especially at night because that is when people are actually home. There are a lot of people that don't want anything to do with our message but we have found about 4 people this week and made return appointments with them! It is always so exciting finding someone who is interested and we get a chance to talk to them a little bit.

In the MTC I thought my Japanese wasn't to bad but boy did the Lord humble me when I got to Japan. I feel like I barely even know this language! I have learned a lot this first week but I still feel like I know nothing. During our dendo I usually just introduce us and our message and then my companion takes it from there and sometimes I will pitch in. That is kind of the same for lessons. I just bare my testimony at parts and explain some real simple doctrine but thats about the extent of what I can do right now haha. So fastforward to first day in church I had to introduce my self and bear my testimony and it was pretty scary but I think it didn't go to bad. I seriously love this branch and all the members. I can barely talk with them but I can just feel their love and their sincerity and I am really looking forward to working with them for the next little bit of time we have together. 

There was lot that happened this week but I don't really have anytime to explain much of it. I will try to explain more in next weeks email but I love Japan! It is so awesome here and the people are great. I am excited to be here for the next two years and I am really excited for my Japanese to improve haha. I love this work that I am doing and I am so happy I can serve in this area of the Lord's vineyard. I love you all and wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

Love, Elder Sherrill

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