Hey everybody! How are you all doing?
Wow it has been such a busy week and I don't know where to begin talking about it! So the picture I sent you today is the lake that is right next to our apartment at night. I really liked the pretty lights there and I thought that you would enjoy it. But no, I didn't take it during the typhoon. That's crazy to hear that we had a tsunami while I was here. I hadn't even heard about it so thanks for the news. I did hear that we had an earthquake though, but I slept right through it and I can't believe that I missed it! My first earthquake and I totally missed it! So guess what happened this week, the cops pulled me in for questioning again. That's the 3rd time that has happened and I have no idea what they have against me! All I was doing was passing our flyers for our free English class and they came over and took my id card and all of my info. And to make things worse, my companions were at different parts of the train station handing our flyers so I was sorta by myself so I had no one to translate for me! I have no idea what happened but they didn't cart me off to jail so I guess that's good. And I got my id back so I'm safe...for now. lol Also right after that incident I found a new investigator, all by myself, and with the Lord of course. His name is N... and he is a big mathematical person. He is Jewish but not practicing and he wants me to tell him how I can believe in a god at all when there is no evidence that there is one in the first place. So we are meeting him again on Tuesday for a lesson. It was pretty amazing to get a return appointment with a guy on the street without any help from my companions.
So now for the point that you all have been waiting for, transfer calls! And I was totally right, I am getting transferred. They are sending me to the most northern part of our mission, the Niigata area. I will be serving with the two zone leaders who are in that area and it sounds like a lot of fun! Idk why they keep setting me up with zone leaders, I guess I just need all of the help that I can get! And actually one of my companions Elder Kerr is now one of the assistants to the president! It's pretty crazy to think that I was getting trained by that awesome of a missionary!! But Niigata is suppose to be super cold, especially during the winter. Which is exactly when I'll be there. They usually get about 6 feet of snow every winter minimum and I have heard stories of the apartments getting so cold that the water in the toilet freezes! It'll be just like the Klondike derby all over again! lol So if you see a lot of money leave my account today it's because I'm going to be buying a lot of new warmer clothes. Another thing about this area is that it is Japanese speaking!! So I'll actually be able to practice up on my Japanese a little more than in my area right now. The only thing is I will have to leave all of the new friends that I have met in this area. :( I am going to miss them, especially F....
F...is doing super awesome after his baptism. We still meet with him twice a week and he is still super stoked to serve a mission. He says that he wants to serve in a mission in Ohio so that he can meet my family and so that when I get back that we can hang our for awhile. lol He's so cool and now whenever he says a prayer he prays that Ohio State will do well in all of their games. He also always updates me on all of the games that they play. I was actually giving my talk at church yesterday during the Ohio State v Penn State game and every time Ohio scored he'd make a big touch down sign with his hands! It was a little distracting but super funny! I love that guy! After I leave I have no idea who is going to update me on how well Ohio's doing. Maybe that's why they're transferring me! lol Oh and my talk went really well yesterday, so thank you for all of your prayers! I really appreciate it a lot!
Well I have to go to a lesson right now with a guy named A...! He's from California and he is convinced that the crusades took place in the Americas so it should be a very interesting lesson! I have no idea why people can always meet on Mondays but no other day. But oh well! I hope that everything is going awesome for you all and that you have another amazing week! My next email will come all the way from Niigata! Love you all so much!
Elder Eric Stevens
A few extra things...
Ok so I just had a few informational things that I need to share. So first off, I get to ride the bullet train to Niigata! I just found that out and I'm super excited! It a 5 hr. trip by bullet train and it costs like $200 to get there so I hope that I get reimbursed! But I'm still really excited to go. But I'm still really sad to leave my new friend F... behind. It was so hard to call him this morning and tell him I was leaving. He was so surprised and was like "wait, you just got here why do you have to leave soo soon." We are meeting him later tonight and on Wednesday so at least I get to see him a few more times before I go.
And another thing, my companions suggested that I buy an electronic Japanese dictionary before I go to the boonies in Niigata so I am going to the store today to buy an electronic dictionary. They cost like $200 so when $200 disappears from my account it's because of that. So don't be too surprised. But apparently the dictionaries are really fancy and you can even draw kanji on them on a fancy screen and it tells you what the kanji means in Japanese and English, because you can't really sound out Kanji. lol
Well that's all for this week. I'll see you on the other side! Love you all!
Elder Eric Stevens
PS I think that the letter that you sent last week got misplaced. I guess that's what happens when you live so far away. Oh well I hope to get the next one!
Thumb =Tokyo, Index finger=Niigata
Distance 201 miles
Pretty night lights reflexing off lake near our apartment
My New Area
Rice Fields, Niigata Plains
Peak colors: last week of October first week of November
Mountains outside of Niigata, Japan
Max. Operating Speed 200 mph
Fishing Port, Niigata, Japan