Guess Where I Am Right Now! 私は今どこにいると思う

Hello Everyone!
Have you guessed yet?  I'll tell you later.  lol Wow, I have been so busy with the mission that I haven't had time to think about Christmas at all!  It was a huge surprise when I got home one night to find that my desk was covered with Christmas packages from everyone!  I think that's the most mail that I have ever received in one day, 3 packages and 2 letters!  That was a great day!  But don't worry, I haven't opened any of the packages up yet, I'll wait until Christmas well except for maybe the rice pudding ingredients.  lol  So about the rice pudding, we are out of rice!  What's up with that?!  I'll have to go buy some more before I can make any.  And for some reason rice is super expensive in Japan.  But it's totally worth it! 
We have been getting lots of snow the past few days and it's actually starting to stick now.  We just recently had transfers and on Thursday when all the new missionaries came to Niigata there was a few inches of snow!  That must have been a big surprise for them when they stepped off of the bus.  Transfers where super hectic!  Especially since we are in Niigata.  Niigata is pretty much completely separate from the rest of the mission.  It takes over an hour to go to the closest area in our zone so it takes even longer for missionaries transferring here.  And the thing was, the Zone leaders were super busy planning so they put me in charge of getting all the new missionaries!  They left me with a transfer 2 missionary (every 6 weeks is a transfer, so a transfer 2 missionary has been in Japan for 6 weeks starting his/her second 6 weeks) and they just left us!  I was pretty nervous because I'm only a transfer 3 missionary and this was the first time I'd been "senior companion".  Luckily it all worked out and I knew just enough Japanese to make sure that everyone got here safely.  The Lord really does bless us! 
So guess what, right now I am on Sado Island!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It's super sweet and it has even more snow than Niigata right now.  We had to take a 3 hour long boat ride to get here and I had forgotten how bad I was on boats.  Let's just say that I had to spend some time in the bathroom:(  But besides that it was pretty sweet!  And don't worry Dad, I got some pics for you.  lol  We are here in Sado because someone is getting baptized!  That's 2 baptisms in Sado in 2 weeks!  That's pretty amazing!  The candidate is actually being interviewed right now by my companion Elder Shibuta.  Hopefully the interview ends soon because we have to catch the boat back in an hour to make it home on time for curfew.  But I'm so glad that I got to finally come here! 
So this Christmas we are going to throw our own ward party.  They are having a Christmas play and lots of singing, but besides that we aren't really going to do anything else besides making rice pudding, Skype, open presents, and bring some more people unto Christ.  What a great day!  And I am so excited to Skype everyone this Christmas.  Yeah that time sounds great!  I'll make sure to Skype you all then!  Hopefully I'll have my iPad by then so I can Skype you from that.  It's going to be soo great!  I can't believe that it's only 9 days away...the time just goes by so fast.  Tomorrow marks the 5 month mark of my mission.  It's going by crazy fast. 
Well I have to go now so that I can catch my ferry.  I love and miss you all so much!  Christmas just won't be the same without all of you here with me.  I'll be thinking about you a lot in the next few week, like I always do.  I wish you all the best.  It's just so amazing to have such a wonderful support family back home.  It's really helps me get through the days.  Love ya!
Eric Stevens


Double-decker McDonald Bus, Niigata, Japan
Famous Painting of Sado Island, Niigata, Japan

Sado Island, Japan


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