Hey Mom (and Everyone Else),
It's crazy to think that I have been here for four weeks already! To answer your questions, I have had my hair cut, and I will be going again before I leave. My companion's name is Elder Nukaya, and he is from Idaho Falls, Idaho. We get along pretty well, as does everyone in our district, and I am very impressed that no one has had a bad fight yet. I think that we have all been blessed to put aside our differences, and focus on the important job we have to serve the Lord. I have seen Cami around on occasion, but normally just in passing. It looks like she's also enjoying her time here, but I guess I don't have any concrete evidence to support that. As a funny story, she also knows Elder Smith from my district, because he is from her aunts ward in California. Its crazy how small of a world we really live in. We never get to leave the MTC, not even on P-day, unless we are going to the temple, which is right across the street. So I haven't left yet, but similar to how everyone is getting along, I'm perfectly fine staying on campus. We really don't have enough free time to get bored. Lastly, I don't know exactly when I will be leaving for Japan, or when I arrive. Flight plans are normally given to the missionaries about a week before we leave, so I might figure it out the end of September, but Elder Brown's family works in the Church, and we might get them sent indirectly earlier. If I were to guess, I would think we leave here on the 4th or 5th of October, right after conference, and get to Japan the 5th, 6th or 7th.
Last week we got our new Kohai, which was fun for all of us 'experienced' missionaries. The highlight for me was seeing that one of them was from North Carolina, because the closest person to home that I had known was from Kansas, and its just a little different. Sadly, as it turns out, this missionary is from Raleigh, and is a Tar Heel Fan, so ties were quickly severed. The Kohai also lived in a different building for the last week, so we really couldn't talk to them to begin with, but we have now moved in with them, so I expect that we'll become friends. Another problem that might pop up is that most of the new missionaries have already taken Japanese, so instead of us teaching them, its the other way around. But everything is great! We have new members of our branch, new faces, and a whole lot of fun left in Provo.
A cool experience from last week actually happened right after I emailed. We get to go to the temple every P-day, and normally we just do some of the names that they have there. However, last week, as we were going in, a lady stopped us and asked if we could do some of her families male names for her. Of course we said we would go through for them, and she gave us the names. The cool part was that when I looked at them, the first ordinances had been done in the D.C. Temple! I forget the sisters name, but as it turns out she has a sister-in-law in NoVA, and for one reason or another the names got sent out west to be finished. It was great for me, because as I said earlier, I haven't found many connections back home, or even to the east coast, and so I was just really touched when I saw that. It also helped me to find a lock screen for my Ipad, which I have attached. Sadly, I wasn't able to watch the temple dedication in Sapporo, but the temple looks beautiful. If it was any closer, I would hope that we could go sometime on our mission, but I know that the people of Northern Japan have been waiting and will be very pleased with the temple they have.
I guess the last thing for this week will just be a quick introduction of my district, because I don't think that I have told you about them yet. We had 12 people, but our two sisters, Sister Martin and Sister Reyes, were transferred out yesterday so that Sister Reyes, who is from Mexico, could have a companion that spoke Spanish to help her learn Japanese. So now we have 10 elders left. In one sentence each, they go as follows. Me. Elder Nukaya, engineer-to-be from Idaho. Elder Walter, who reminds me a lot of Sam Childs, from Oregon. Elder Pierce, the soft-spoken yet large muscled Texan. Elder Jo, one of the smartest in the district, but one of the hardest to figure out, from Utah. Elder Chesnut, Sheppard Sontaggs friend who runs, from Utah. Elder Smith from California, who is on of the best story tellers I know. Elder Brown, who looks like, acts like, and is a wrestler, from Utah. Elder Coleman, smart, flirtatious, and witty soccer player from Utah. And Elder Jackel, the small soon to be business man from Washington. To help you, we drew a picture one day which I am sending. Good luck identifying who's who.
If you have any more questions, just send them to me. I love emailing home, and sharing whats going on. Its crazy how much happens, and how little I can send home. Love you all!