Overlooking the town of Nanao, and Nanao bayHey family!
Wooooooooooooooooooooow the weather here has been something else this past week! Yesterday was one of the most bizarre days ever! We woke up as usual and it was sunny skies with a little bit of grey clouds in the distance and we thought "yes! It`s going to be a sunny Sunday!" but after about 20 minutes the whole sky had turned black, and we started into one of the most intense hail storms I`ve ever seen. We had just walked outside because it was sunny and we wanted to see how things were...and then it turned black and started shooting all the hail down. We were pretty surprised to say the least, but stayed out for a couple minutes with our umbrellas. We were about to head back inside, and right as I hung up my umbrella on the metal lattice outside of our door and stepped into the genkan, there was a HUGE clap of thunder and I heard Elder Larkin say "whoa!!" I turned around and he was staring at the place where I had just hung up my umbrella a second before. Apparently, right as I had walked in, there was the clap of thunder, and then lightning came down and struck the metal lattice right where I had been standing a couple seconds before! Elder Larkin said he heard it sizzle the air as it hit...crazy! It was kind of unnerving to think how close that came to sizzling ME. It`s all good though, I`m totally fine and just a little bit more wary of lightning now.haha. The hail continued for alllllll of Sunday...we would have about ten or fifteen minutes intervals where it would be all sunny...and then the wind of the ocean would blown in another wave of it and hit us with pea sized hail again. It finally cleared up just in time for the appointments in the evening that we actually had to go far for.
Church itself was really good...we had about six people this week due to some people being out of town, and so we ended up speaking in Sacrament meeting, blessing the sacrament, and then teaching the sunday school and priesthood lessons. Apparently that really happens a lot though, so Elder Larkin and I have been planning the next lessons just in case. We had the opportunity to finally meet the first counselor in our branch presidency! He is awesome, he really is. One of the nicest guys ever. Due to various things it`s difficult for him to make it to church a lot of the time, but I`m really looking forward to getting to know him better.
We had a couple really neat finding experiences this week as well! We actually training in Kanazawa this past Thursday, so we had to ride the hour and a half down in the morning. While we were riding the train, this 18 year old Chinese kid came up to us (came up to us!) and starting talking. He was pretty unusually tall, and he had seen me and been curious to talk because of my height. We got talking with him and it turns out that he actually believes in God, and he has been praying to him ever since he was a little kid. He also believes that those prayers can be answered. We thought that was awesome, and asked him if we could meet up to talk with him more about that and he said we could anytime because he is on spring break :) He also invited us to play soccer with him and his friends, through which we hope to turn into an opportunity to start teaching them as well. Actually back tracking to the training...it was really really good, and I was able to see Elder DeMille again! That was really good...first time I`ve seen him since I trained him, and he seems to be doing great.
Oh yeah, one other thing that was kind of interesting! As I`m sure I`ve mentioned in past e-mails, we look for service that we can do every week for people, and opposed to my other areas, we actually have a set up service project here every week. We volunteer at a elderly hospital to change bed sheets and and do other things like that for the people there. It`s quite an experience! A lot of the patients there have pretty funny personalities and speak in extremely difficult to understand countryside dialect Japanese...so it`s an adventure! I forgot to mention that before actually...in Nanao, the dialects are intense! I got so used to the dialects in Nagano that it seemed like everyone everywhere spoke with the same Japanese around me...but I came here and that little world got turned upside down. The first few days here it was really difficult to understand what in the world people were saying...a good amount of words are different, and the intonation is really odd too. Fortunately though I`ve gotten used to it pretty quick and for the most part I understand normally now...but those first few days were something else.haha
I was going to share more, but our time is running short, we have to take care of a couple more things before p-day is over. Sorry! Everything is going well, the lightning hasn`t hit me yet, and we are excited for this next week! I love you guys! The gospel is true!