Monday, May 30, 2011

Japan - Week 1

こんにちわみなさん、(konnichiwa minasan - hello everyone)
This week has been long and short at the same time!! So, on Tuesday we flew to Oregon. Sorry everyone I didn't get to call you. My companion had a prepaid cell phone his parents sent him and he said I could use that after him. And normally he doesn't like to talk much but when he called his brother they talked for a really long time. Plus, our first flight was delayed a little bit and they started loading the plane to our next flight super early!! So I only had a chance to call mom before I had to go.  SO SORRY:'(  Maybe it happened for a reason so I wouldn't get too homesick when we left for Japan. I think God was watching out for me so it wouldn't be so hard. Anyways, we had about a 10 hour flight from Oregon to Japan and couldn't watch any of the movies cause they were bad and we didn't really know what to do. Some people slept, or studied, or even tried finding people next to us to talk to about the gospel and such. We even met a guy from BYU going to China for study aboard program there. He was really nice and offered to buy some food for us but we graciously declined. Anyway, we gave some pass along cards to people and stuff, it was super fun!! :D

So we get to Japan and get our luggage and go through customs and such and see Pres. Albrecht  who is kinda short and stumpy but a nice guy. Loves to just always be doing something, he can't ever just relax and not do anything. So we take a bus with all our stuff to the mission home and on the hour and half trip he tells us we have the opportunity to go up into Sendai area and do some service and cleaning. All the missionaries in Tokyo Mission are going, there's about 160 of us. Super awesome to get to see what happened for ourselves. We also found out that all the missionaries are coming back in to the Tokyo area. So everyone who was moved to other missions from Tokyo are all coming back. So we get to the mission home and eat some delicious food and go to bed at like 8 from traveling for 24 hours. We wake up to the sun at 4AM. The sun is up so early here, it's ridiculous. We all thought it was 7am because of how much sun light there was. So we go to get breakfast and go to some orientation meetings and such. And at about 3pm all the missionaries start arriving at the mission home. Slowly and slowly they arrive more and more to the church next to the mission home. We have a huge dinner for everyone as a welcome back party and afterwards we watch a video of what happened during the earthquake. It was insane to see all the destruction from so much water. And to hear not a single missionary or member was killed or lost is amazing!! After that we had a massive slumber party with all the Elders on futons in the culture hall. All the Sisters were in the mission home. We got up the next morning and had a few more meetings about training and such. And find out who my trainer will be!! It's. . .  are you ready . . . Elder Shitami!! He is full Japanese from Hokkaido, Sapporo area, and doesn't speak very much English at all, so it is kinda hard to communicate but luckily in our area we have a lot of people who know English in the ward. Ohh, and I am in the Sagamihara area, it's kind of southwest of the Tokyo City. Super cool but we both have never been here before so we don't know the area very well yet. So we kinda just stay on the main streets. There are about 145 members in the ward of the area we're in and there are two other missionaries here with us. One of them is my Senpai, or group that was in the MTC before I arrived, so I know him which is cool. They had two baptisms on Saturday and they have only been here for three weeks. So its sounds like a good area and hopefully we can have some of that success too. We  have done some knocking on doors and nothing yet, but they will come. Should be fun. Well got to go do some shopping, grocery shopping that is. Send emails, dearelders, or letters they all get here!! Keep in touch!! 

Love you all!! ai shitte imasu!! <3<3<3<3<3
Elder McKinney (マッキーニ長老)

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