Monday, October 27, 2014

高山 Takayama

Hello from Gifu-ken!

I was really sad to have to leave Ueda. That place felt like my home. I already miss seeing M...zumi-kun all the time. But Takayama is really great.

On Tuesday, Elder T...yama and I went to Nagoya and parted ways. He was difficult to live with, but it was sad to have to leave him. He was always a good friend, and I truly grew to love him. But it was time to go. And so he returned to Ueda with his new companion, and I set forth into a new land. Venturing forth to an new journey, filled with new perils, new monsters, new friends, and new weather patterns.

My new companion's name is Elder W. He is only one transfer behind me, so our time at the MTC overlapped a bit. He was in a different zone though, so I didn't really know him at all. He's from a very small town in northern California. And well, I still haven't found much I have in common with him yet. He's already been in Takayama for 3 months, so he is the area senior, but I have the calling of Senior companion this transfer. But there are two companionships in Takayama, so we share an apartment with two more elders. Elder W was actually in the other companionship last transfer, so we are both new to the investigators. But because one elder here threw out his back really badly about two weeks into the transfer, they weren't able to do much for a month, so we are trying to get things up and running again. And there is definitely some slow acceleration that we are going to have to go through before things return to normal again. Last week we didn't get much done. 

One thing that is really nice about coming here, is that I just finished spending all day, every day with a Japanese person who spoke limited English, so I got really good at Japanese during that time. So that is a great blessing from the Lord, and really helpful since my companion is not very good at speaking Japanese. It's a little strange, because it feels like I'm with a missionary who hasn't been out for very long, but in reality, he's been out for only six weeks less than I have.

Our apartment is really big compared to Ueda's aparment. But I don't have a real desk. Elder W and I use two tables and we sit across from each other.

The other two Elders in Takayama are Elder V and Elder H. Elder V spent a long time in Ueda a few months before I was there, so I felt like I knew him a lot better that I did before now (I had only met him once) just from reading his name on records so much. Elder H was just a Bean-chan in Numazu -- my bean area -- so we have a lot to talk about. Elder V is the district leader, and our district is just our area, but he was Elder W's companion last transfer and so he's already helping a lot.

One thing that I really want to overcome this transfer is my aversion to talking to strangers. I have spent too long, both before my mission and during it up to now, being afraid of talking to people that I don't know. Talking to people that you don't know is hard enough for me already, but then that feeling is compounded by the fact that I'm supposed to talk to people about religion, something that most Japanese people do not want to talk about at all (probably because most of the religions here are crazy cults. Like the Ma-hikari who have their big headquarters temple thing just up the hill from our apartment here), and the fact that I have to do it in Japanese, which is a really hard language. BUT! I've been trying to overcome these feelings for a long time now, and this is the place where it's going to happen. I just have to stop freaking myself out. It's all just a mental game.

With love,

Elder Mueller

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