Mom and Dad,
A couple of families had us over for a shokuji since my birthday was this week. Just last Monday we had a birthday party/setsubun party at the dendo shunin's place. He also invited a couple non members from his work over and one of them showed quite a bit of interest in the Gospel. At that shokuji, the family presented me with all the birthday presents that the ward got for me. There were a alot. There's going to be a lot to pack up to transfer.
This week was also freezing cold every day. The weird part is it was actually pretty warm last week--it was at least 60 degrees. We went and housed this HUGE danchi that's 11 stories tall. I counted all the mailboxes in the lobby afterwards: 160 apartments. It actually didn't take that long because a lot of them were vacant. We had anticipated that it would take practically all day to house it, but we ended up with extra time afterwards.
On Thursday we had another shokuji. We got there late because the navigation on this phone doesn't get anything right and one of our PI's calls us a lot at random times--so when I needed to use the navigation, I had to wait for the PI to finish calling, but, we finally got there. They had Google Maps open because they asked the shimai where they lived. I showed them our house then I remembered that the street view of our house has you and Jayden in it, so I showed you to the two of them, as well. Then I showed them the Portland Temple. They were pretty amazed by it. Number one temple! At the end of the shokuji, they presented me with a cake-- It was a Costco cake! A whole Costco cake! I don't think I've been so excited in my life! Since it was a huge cake, after everyone had a piece there was plenty for us and the shimai to take home. We still have a decent amount sitting in the apartment.
At ZTM on Friday, we learned something pretty incredible. Last Sunday, the day the mission had a goal to get 400 investigators to church, 5 baptisms took place. That makes 401 people that came to church! Also, today in the mission email, Zinke Kaicho apparently went around the mission and a couple Stake Presidents told him the number submitted for their stake was slightly off. After getting the correct numbers in there were substantially more than 400 investigators that came! Probably one of the greatest miracles that has happened in this mission!
Saturday. Talk about snow! There was about 4 inches when we got up at 6:30am and about 6 inches when we finished studying! We had a lunch appointment with one of our investigators so we left early to have enough time to bike there. Fortunately, the shimai were walking by as we were leaving and told us that biking probably wasn't the best idea. Lucky they did because looking back I think we totally would've gone through with biking there--so, we walked. I took a couple videos of it, so you should enjoy those. Yes, I'm still trying to get the pics and videos off.
Another great story about Saturday: we have another yakusokusha! It's the GC investigator. We planned a really great lesson using a lesson format the AP's taught to everyone at interviews. His date is for March 23rd.
Sunday, church was delayed two hours. In this part of Japan snow usually isn't a problem, so there's no plow service or anything to get rid of the snow. The two hours before church started were spent shoveling snow out of the parking lot. There are also a lack of snow shovels so we used normal shovels and sled-like scooper thingies. I've never been so sweaty in such cold temperatures.
Sooo, as you probably guessed from the title, I'm transferring. Dang! I'm going to the area that Hiratsuka Choro was in before coming to Kitarokko: Tottori! There's going to be sooo much snow there! I probably won't be using a bike for most of my time there. It's also way out in the boonies, but not quite as much as Nishiwaki. I'm going to be finishing up the training of a 2nd transfer missionary. I'm also going to be the District Leader! I sooo do not feel ready for this. I want to be here in Kitarokko for our baptism on March 23rd, but I'll go where the Lord wants me to go.
My birthday was a pretty normal prep day. We did get haircuts, though. My hair is really short again. The stores we looked at for Nikes were in a shopping complex that has tons of different stores. There are also a couple restaurants there including McDonald's. To save time, we ate there. I don't know if they're doing this in America or anywhere else in the world, but they're running an "American Vintage" campaign where the specials are old-style hamburgers. The current one is called the "Hot n Groovy". It's actually waaay good. You'll have to tell me if they're doing something like that in America.
I got a slip in the mail saying they came buy to deliver my package on the 7th but I wasn't here. So yes, I essentially have received it.
That's all I have for this week. Next week I'll be emailing from Tottori. I'll probably have to watch out because of the crazy weather there. Give everyone my best!