Things are going well here, and it has been a very good 24 weeks.
On Tuesday morning, at about 6:50am we got a phone call announcing whether or not we were going to transfer. Elder Hashimoto stayed in Nishinomiya. I got transfer out of Nishinomiya. I transferred to Fushimi, which is the cool part of Kyoto. Tokyo is the capital of Japan now, but anciently the capital was Kyoto. So, Kyoto has all kinds of cool castles, and Japanese temples, and crazy stuff like that. It`s awesome here. I get to be here for Christmas and Shogatsu (New Year`s, it very big in Japan and everyone goes to Buddhist temples and stuff) for sure. And, if I stay here for a little while, I`ll get to be here for the cherry blossoms too. It`s a very cool place. It`s much colder here than in Nishinomiya. Kyoto is one of the coldest parts of the mission. Some say it`s the coldest. But, it hardly snows at all. It rains often. I don`t understand how it rains when it`s really cold, but it does.
My new companion is named Elder Maesawa. He is Japanese, but his English is really good. I wish my Japanese was as good as his English. He is tiny. I`m a bit taller than the average Japanese person and he`s a little shorter than the average Japanese person. I`m probably a foot taller than him. When I got here, he kept saying "dekai!!!", which means huge. I never thought of myself as a very big person, but the longer I`m here, the more I`m starting to believe that I am a giant. Elder Maesawa is very energetic. He`s always making jokes and playing around, but he still works hard and he`s a good missionary.
The funniest thing happened. On the day that I transferred, we took a train to go to a meeting location. The train was super packed. Everyone was pressed up against everyone else. They were all squished together super tight, but there was like a five inch space around me. The Japanese people were all trying hard not to get to close to me. It was so funny and weird.
We had a baptism here in Fushimi. His name is really Zhang Hao Yun, but he doesn't go by that. He`s Chinese. He always goes by his Japanese name, Cho, or when he meets English speaking people he uses his English name Lawrence. I think it`s weird to use a different name in other languages, but all the Chinese people I've met do it. He`s a very fun guy. He`s a good addition to the ward, but he`s going back to his home in China in a few weeks.
The mission is great. I've seen many miracles. I see the Lord`s hand helping me all the time now. I don`t know if he`s helping me more because I`m a missionary, or if I`m just noticing it more now. It`s probably a combination of both. It`s incredible. He always provides me with just what I need right when I need it. It`s not always when I want it, but everything I need is taken care off. It really feels like He`s watching me and taking care of me. It`s a wonderful feeling.
That`s all I have to say for this week. I`ll write again next week. Bye.
-Elder Isaac D. Swift