I'm so glad to finally get a chance to talk to you! It's also great to have a day to slow down and relax a little bit. It feels like it's been nonstop since I got onto the plane. First of all I have to say that I love flying! I'm looking forward to going to Japan.
The first day, most of our classes were in English, but I was so tired from the long night of packing that I was falling asleep all day. The next day, classes were almost entirely in Japanese, which was (understandably) difficult for all of us. One of our leaders shared this saying with us that day: Those called to preach in their own language come back and become scriptorians, those that speak a language easier than their own come back and become linguists, and those called to preach the gospel in Japan come back humble. I can definitely testify to that! Not only am I unable to understand much, I can't even read the language. I have definitely felt the gift of tongues, though, and I have learned so much already.
I have been blessed with an amazing companion (Elder Messick), and a great district. I would send pictures, but I don't have an SD card reader. We have already grown so close, and I can always feel the spirit during testimony meetings and classes. We have an awesome teacher too. His name is Kosaka Kyodai (Brother Kosaka), and he is a native Japanese speaker, so I'm hoping our Japanese will sound pretty good. We have already been teaching a Japanese "investigator", which has been really hard. I don't understand much of what is said, but my comp took 4 years of Japanese, so he is able to help me out.
I have no complaints about the food, they never run out and they have lots of options. I am still getting used to the tight schedule though, there is always something to do and somewhere to be. I do enjoy being forced to go to bed by10:30 though- much better than late nights studying. Our branch presidency is amazing too- here's some exciting news- Kyle Collinsworth's dad is in the presidency (For the uncultured among you, Kyle is on the BYU basketball team and is tied for the NCAA most triple-doubles in a single season and career). I'm hoping he'll be able to come give a devotional to our zone sometime. I haven't gotten to play basketball as much as I would like, but I did get to play with Aaron Piscione (in Wyatt's ward), which was really cool. Wyatt is on a different schedule than me, so I haven't seen him much. He is already leaving next Tuesday, which seems so weird to me.
Anyways, I'm having a great experience here, and they are keeping us all really busy. It's been great to hear about everything that's been going on at home. Wish you all luck, and tell everyone I love them and miss them. Please forward this on to anyone who wants it.