Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Years!!

At Shabu Shabu with District 

Opening gift from Secret Santa

A bird pooped on him! :-)

Sweet ride... with HUGE basket!

Hello everyone! I hope everyone had a great Christmas and will have a fun time celebrating New Years. This second week has been a lot of fun and I have a lot to talk about again haha. First thing first I forgot to tell everyone about something I got to do last week; I got to go to a Buddhist funeral which was really interesting. They have a lot of little ritual things they do throughout it and it was kind of interesting to see how different it was than normal funerals I am used to in America. So I had Christmas with my District! It was a lot of fun! After emailing we all went to the store and did secret Santa for each other. I got these sweet pink night shades that you will see a picture of in my email after this. Then after we exchanged gifts Egan Kaicho gave us permission as a mission to watch a Disney movie if we wanted to so we all watched Frozen! All the other missionaries thought it was weird because they were not used to seeing movies but I have only been out for like a couple months so I didn't think it was all that weird. That following Monday I had a really good experience and a really kind of "crappy" one too. As we were dendo-ing we walked by this tree and I felt something fall on my shoulder and I figured it was like an acorn or something and as I looked up I saw a bird fly away and then I looked at my shoulder and saw a nice little pile of bird poop on my shoulder.. Yeah, so that was kind of funny haha I had my companion take a picture so you guys will be able to see that as well. But, after I got cleaned up we went and knocked on some doors in the local neighborhood and didn't have much success till our very last house. We met this lady who was so nice and so open to hearing our message. We shared a Book of Mormon with her and she had told us she would read and call us if she would like to know more. Right before we left she told us to wait and ran inside of her house and grabbed us some chocolates and hand warmers! She was so nice and it made my day because before that we were just getting kekko'd which just means like "no thanks" at all the doors. Later that day we had dinner over at the missionary couples home and they had lots of Japanese food for us. They are both Nihonjin and so awesome! While I was there I tried nato, the famous Japanese food. It was probably one of the worst things I have ever eaten. It is like these weird fermented beans. Then after that I tried some other stuff, I think it was like fried tofu and this one gelatin like meal. I didn't like those either haha. But they did have curry and sushi so I just ate those and both of those are way good. That next day we went out to an Indian Curry place as a district and it was so good! I am really liking most of the food here in Japan. Especially the candy! The candy here is way good. On Christmas we went to Shabu Shabu which is a place where they put hot water in front of you and a bunch of different uncooked meats and you cook the meat yourself then eat it over rice with soy sauce. It was probably my favorite meal I have had so far. So more on this week we were able to go visit less actives on Wednesday with a member in the branch and it was a great experience! We got to know him a lot better (his name is Kanchika) as well as some people that are struggling in the branch that hopefully we can begin to help. Afterwards he bought us McDonald's too and surprisingly it was better than the McDonald's in America! But still not that great haha. To finish up I want to talk a little bit about the area here and members. This area of Saijo is known for seeing a lot of miracles and I know I am going to see some while I serve here. Just 2 and half years ago this area had 2 members and no missionaries here. Then they brought in a couple missionaries and built it from a group to just becoming a branch! They have had 26 recent converts that have been baptized in the last 2 years and just this last Sunday at church we had just over 40 people there! We have been promised by a General Authority that Saijo will become a ward someday and to do that we need at least 80 members. I really hope before I leave my mission Saijo can become a ward, there are so many prepare people that live here. We are teaching two people right now mainly and the first one is Yuichi and he is set to be baptized on January 16th! He is an older man in his 50's and is a lot of fun. I love meeting with him and teaching him even though I can barely understand his Japanese haha. Our next main investigator is a man from Iran who teaches English here and he has been visiting with the missionaries for a while and is so ready to be baptized! He comes to church every Sunday and is practically a member already. He wasn't able to be baptized yet for some confidential reasons but I believe he will be baptized within the next month or two. We teach him in English which is a nice break from being confused all the time, which is a plus haha. So that is about all for this week! I miss everyone but am very excited to be serving in this area! I know I will see miracles while I am serving here and I am so grateful I have been entrusted to be a missionary in Saijo. I am grateful for this opportunity to serve and I know I am becoming more Christlike each day as I give my all to the people here in Japan. Till next week! Love, Elder Sherrill

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