I'm Not a Popsicle Yet...

Hello Everybody!  How is everybody doing?  Things are going pretty well in Niigata and we are getting a lot done!  I was able to buy some more jackets and stuff before I left and that's a really good idea about the electronic blanket.  I'll have to get one.  I'll ask my companions what they think about getting boots and what else they suggest I should get before winter comes.  But we have some really nice heaters in our apartment so we usually stay nice and toasty during the days.  The nights can get a little cold though. 
So on to my new companions.  Their names are Elder Hall and Elder Shibuta.  And they are super chill.  Elder Shibuta is actually from Brazil so I'm sure that he'd be super good friends with Elder Dallin Toronto.  Luckily for me he speaks fluent English, Japanese, Portuguese, Italian, French, and Spanish so I can understand him when he speaks English.  Elder Hall is from Utah, of course, and he is on his 12th transfer so he's also a pro at Japanese.  And we all love soccer!  There's a big soccer stadium 5 min from our apartment and we go over there to play soccer every morning for our exercise time.  We also are going to meet some of our investigators there on Saturday next week and we are going to play some soccer with them.  Soccer's super big up here and they have a really good pro team that plays all the time.  Actually one of our investigators is going to get us free tickets to one of their games that is coming up soon.  I'm super excited and we are already inviting other investigators to come up with us.  I really like this way of doing missionary work. lol  I'll make sure to send a lot of pictures of the games and of the practice field that we play on.  Oh speaking of which, sorry I didn't send any pictures this week, (actually he did send one picture, see below) it has just been so busy with all of the unpacking and everything that has been going on this week.  I'll get some to you next week.
Niigata is so beautiful.  It really reminds me of Beavercreek because there are a lot of shops and malls but there are also beautiful parks and fields and forests everywhere.  The only thing that's different is that we are right next to the Sea of Japan so we get a lot of salty sea air.  So I have something to tell everyone, Japanese is harder than I thought it was. lol  We have taught a few lessons in Japanese and I always feel totally lost!  They just speak so fast and it sounds like just one big word.  Whenever my companions speak I can understand them because they talk slower but the Japanese people just talk way too fast for me to understand, yet.  But I will continue to study a lot and hopefully I'll learn the language soon.  We went to Church yesterday and I even bore my testimony in front of everybody!
About N... the mathematician, he actually missed our appointment so I wasn't able to teach him because I left Tokyo the next day.  But I heard that the missionaries that are in that area now have set up another appointment to meet up with him so I'll try to keep in touch.  We have an amazing investigator in Niigata whose name is T... and he's super golden!  He's getting baptized on the 16th of November and he is really excited.  His family actually completely disowned him so he's living and working for himself.  It's a really sad story but I know that the gospel has really blessed his life and made him a lot happier.
Well I hope that everyone back home is doing well and having fun!  Make sure to have another awesome week this week!  I love all of you.  Hope to hear from you soon!
Love Eric Stevens

Soccer in Niigata City

Soccer Stadium, Niigata City

Niigata City
Elders Stevens, Hall, and Shibuta
(Soccer Stadium in background)


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