Japan is awesome! (and a little intense…)

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They don’t call it the “Land of the Rising Sun” for nothing! A view from Charlie’s window seat on the plane: The sun rising (view from the plane) Charlie left the MTC early Tuesday morning (Feb. 11th) at 2:30 a.m. and arrived in Osaka, Japan late Wednesday afternoon on the 12th. Long trip! After a quick e-mail to us from the mission home to confirm he was still alive (“I have arrived and am super excited to be in Nihon! It’s the best!”) he settled in for a couple of days of training, good food, and a bit of rest before being sent to his first area. He’s bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and eager to work hard. He’s so enthusiastic about everything–we hope that doesn’t wear off! Here are a few excerpts from this week’s letter home:

It`s a beautiful day in the land of the rising sun! Where should I start? I guess with where everyone went. Barr Choro stayed in Kobe. Goldhamer Choro went to the faraway land of Matsue. Weir Choro went to Kochi. And I went to Kawachinagano.

Elders Barr, Goldhamer, Weir, and Bahr in the Kobe mission home before departing separate ways (sniff, sniff...)

Elders Barr, Goldhamer, Weir, and Bahr in the Kobe mission home before departing separate ways (sniff, sniff…)

Charlie on the streets of Osaka in the snow

Bring it on! Charlie on the streets of Osaka in the snow.

Kawachinagano is right in the heart of the massive Osaka-Kansai cityplex. It`s kind of a sub-city area, but nonetheless I am in Osaka. It`s awesome! and a little intense. Everyone is so hard to understand here. For me understanding what people are saying is going to take way longer than becoming proficient at speaking. And it has been freezing! For my first two days here there was a few inches of snow on the ground. My trainer is great. His name is Marquez Choro and he`s from Chihuahua Mexico. He speaks fluent Spanish (of course), fluent English, and really good Japanese.

The back side of Marquez Choro, Charlie's trainer.

The back side of Marquez Choro, Charlie’s trainer.

Time to pull out the winter boots...

Time to pull out the winter boots…

Check it out! It says "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" in Japanese. Yep, this is the place!

Check it out! It says “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” in Japanese. Yep, this is the place!

I`ve already taught one Eikaiwa [English conversation] class which was a blast, and I`ve taught one lesson with a GOLDEN investigator. Kanojo wa honto no kinjin desu yo ne! [She is truly golden!] She`s really open to the gospel and has been coming to church on her own all the time. She will probably be baptized before the transfer is over. Did you know that the Kobe mission is the highest baptizing mission in Japan!? It`s because Zinke Kaicho [President Zinke] really knows how to set up missionaries for success. One thing we do here is pray really hard about each area to see how many of God`s elect, prepared people [who will open their doors to the missionaries] live there. And yes, each area has an “elect number”. Our goal is eight in Kawachinagano. Eight people need to be baptized, because there are eight who [we feel] are prepared in our area that we need to find! It`s awesome. It really gives missionaries the confidence they need, because they know that these people are actually out there. The ward here is HUGE and all the people are really nice. Church yesterday was definitely an exercise of my Japanese more than anything else.

Hang in there, Charlie Choro! You’re going to be amazing. And now a few pictures of his apartment, because why wouldn’t you want to see those? The more pictures, the better!

This is where Charlie will study each morning in his first apartment in Kawachinagano

This is where Charlie will hit the books each morning.

Sleeping quarters in the apartment

Sleeping quarters in the apartment (so easy to make your bed–you just fold it up!)

Charlie's first apartment in Kawachinagano--hey, who left their dishes in the sink?!

The kitchen–hey, who left their dirty dishes in the sink?!

Nice smile, Charlie!

Nice smile, Charlie!

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