January 8, 2012
I love you all so much. Dad, thanks for that little package of love. This week was a super hard week. I wish I could say it was better. It had some really good points, but it was mostly covered by the difficult. My Japanese has seen some improvements. I dunno if people are talking easier to me or if I understand more. People in this area are really relentless with Japanese and wonder why you don't understand them. To answer that question, I really don't know if I will transfer at the end of the month. I think this area will go back down to a two missionary area. This next transfer, we have 16 people leaving and I think only like 5 or 6 coming in. It will take a huge hit. I love most of the people here, but I wouldn't mind leaving. I love the area, I just haven't had the best of experiences and wouldn't mind putting them all behind me.
So let's talk about some good. The Kasugai elders met with Brother Shinoda! I wrote him a letter that they gave him. They were super nice to him. He said he loved the Christmas letter and what you said about him made him feel really good. The elders asked him if he wanted to see Sister Shinoda again, and he said he would do anything...which includes taking all the lessons. He is doing it! Elder Ikdea asked him if he wanted me to perform his baptism, he said "of course if i do it". So, pray for him, it'll happen. It's sad the way it's happening with the death, but this could be a huge blessing.
I started doing word flash cards, it's helping a lot. We had a total of zero show up for FHE haha that was awesome. Something fun, I ate eel this week! It was pretty good, the texture is weird and you can still see some of the scales, but nonetheless, it was good. Everyone in the apartment but me has been sick this past week. Last man standing, me against them, if I get 50 kills, I'm invincible (Halo reference). The game is infected. We had a Korean food party on Saturday with all the youth. It was pretty fun. We ate chijimi.
So I had some really hard days. Almost four days of my companion not talking to me at all for no reason. Three days this week we didn't leave the apartment til 5 because I begged the other companionship to let us come with them. One day I just got on my knees and prayed so hard for help. What I needed to do to help Him and try to get more work going. I apologized that I had never prayed this diligently before, but I needed His help. Everyone went to bed early, I laid in bed just thinking and hoping an answer would come. The phone rang and it was Elder Hollister from the honbu (mission home). He asked how I was and I said I was good, then he asked if everything was alright and i said ya. He just replied with, `are you sure?` I just told him what had been going on and he asked a few questions. At the end, he simply said, `are you being completely obedient`? I said, 'of course'. He said, `That's my boy. Just do everything you can to be obedient and be an example. That's all you can do. The best is all we and the Lord asks of you.` Then right before he hung up I thanked him and he just said, `Of course. I just had a strong prompting I needed to call my son. I love you`. THAT was an answer to my prayers. I just rolled over in bed on my knees and just said thank you. It was amazing. He does answer prayers, we just have to knock and He will answer.
I love this, as much as times can be really hard, I grow from them. I'm excited about you guys and love you. I'm excited for the opportunity of the brothers, and maybe Caroline, of serving missions. This is great. Have fun, don't do anything stupid. Jake, get up earlier
From the man