Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy New Year!

Hello! I am your son! And I am in Japan! For God!! WOW!!!!!

As you might have already assessed, I am very excited to be here. This is an amazing place and I cannot imagine a better place to serve the Lord.

On Monday morning of the 31st, I woke up at 3:45 to get on a bus that took me to the airport. After a short flight and a long flight, I arrived in Japan. And I was so relieved. That second flight was brutal.

The mission president and his adorable wife were there to greet us and take us to the mission home. And we had dinner there. I slept on a futon for the first time that night, had an amazing shower and then we had breakfast and orientation, and Sister Yamashita had us do origami for orientation. One thing I really have liked about Japan is that so many things that would seem absolutely childish in America are just commonplace here.

After that, we walked over to the church building behind the mission home where we met our companions and found out where we are serving. And I am now companions with Elder Gillespie in the Numazu ward. It's on the very edge of the mission and so we took the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) to get here. It was way cool! And my first real Japanese meal (at the mission home they fed us stuff that wasn't really Japanese) was a bowl of Ramen. It was soooooo amazing. And I felt so full afterwards.

The next day, we went and got me a bike which I am sending a picture of. It's awesome. It has a basket. And a nifty light that turns on when it's dark and powered by pedalling, and a nifty bike lock.

Since then, we've done lots of visiting member's houses, because Shogatsu (Japan's New Year Celebration) is like Christmas in America. No one wants to be bothered during it. But now that's finally over.

Japanese people are adorable. Especially the little kids. The Bishop's son in particular is just so cute. I will have to send you a picture of him some time.

I must admit, I was a little unsure if I was actually going to enjoy missionary work. For the longest time, just the way people talk about it I guess and the kind of people who are excited about missionary work, I kind of felt like it was just something you did and if you did it enough you got blessings and you became the kind of person who loves missionary work and you turn into some kind of missionary robot. But I got here and I've found that it really is just helping people. And I want to do that so badly. There are lots of people in Numazu who have really sad stories, and I really want to see them happy. And that's really what this work is about. It's not just riding around on bicycles and knocking on doors and being super 元気(genki (kind of excited and happy and stuff. That's the feel of the word)) about the gospel. And that's something I never realized before.

I am so happy I'm here. I can tell that it's going to be hard sometimes, but right now I'm just really excited. I get giddy over weird things, I can hardly speak any Japanese, and I stick out like a sore thumb because I'm an American (I've seen all of two people in Numazu who are white who aren't me or my companion). I've got a great companion and I'm working hard. Don't worry about me. Do write to me. I love you all.

The gospel is still true,

-Elder Alex Mueller

P.S Sorry there aren't more pictures.

P.P.S This is the address of the mission home. To send a letter to me, it first needs to be sent there. And it needs to have everything I will type for the address.

Elder Alex Mueller
Japan Nagoya Mission
1-304 Itakadai
Meito-ku, Nagoya-shi
Aichi-ken Japan

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