Monday, I took my trainer back to the mission home. It was really weird and I had a bad feeling weighing me down as I left. I was really sad to see him go as he has pretty much taught me everything I know about being a missionary and he is a mission legend at that. For the last 2 days I was with another elder whose trainer also went home. So that meant that the two of us had been in country a combined 4.5 months. We were on our own in his area and I didn’t have Elder McGuire to rely on anymore so I had been really praying that the Lord would give me the gift of tongues and He really did! I didn’t always understand everything they said but I found myself understanding a ton clearer and when I spoke it was very clear and the pronunciation was much better! I talked to as many people as I could and was amazed every time I did.
Today I got my new companion, Elder Kindt. He is really cool. I had met him earlier this last transfer. I’m staying in the same area--which is exciting because we have 2 baptisms scheduled for this month. The language improvement has stayed like I prayed it would. It has given me a lot more confidence so I really think that Heavenly Father put Elder Miller and me together for those 2 days so that he could help me with my language and confidence. I have been talking to a lot of Japanese missionaries today and they are all really surprised I have only been out 3 months. I’m really being blessed for sure. Just like in my blessing when I was set apart as a full-time missionary I was told I would be able to speak like a native, it’s starting to come to pass one day at a time.
For the 4th of July we went onto the American air force base for about an hour and I had culture shock. We go on the base quite often but only to members’ houses and we don’t see many people, but there were tons of people and they were way loud and it was really weird, to be honest. Also, when I see Americans out on the streets I don’t like it, but the teenage kids I hate because they do way dumb stuff that is offensive to Japanese people and are just way obnoxious and then Japanese people associate us with them and think we’re up to no good.
It’s really super hot over here and humid too. I think the rainy season is almost over but summer is just beginning, I’m told. August is supposed to be killer.
I don’t know how much longer anybody will be driving the way gas is going up in price. That’s ridiculous, for sure. I’m just gonna ride my bicycle everywhere, I guess. Speaking of bikes, you wouldn’t believe what it’s like riding a bike around here. Sometimes the 2-way streets are literally one American lane wide. The bus drivers and dump truck drivers are nuts and swerve in and out going way fast and cut into the bike lane to avoid hitting each other. Sometimes you could reach out with your elbow and touch them as they whiz by. One of my buddies here got hit by a car this last week, crazy huh? Don’t worry though I’ll be safe.
Things are going really great here. The other day I spoke in Sacrament Meeting with Elder McGuire and I spoke about the Atonement and he about missionary work and I was getting nervous because I didn’t think I had enough material, but when I looked at the clock I had already gone 10 min over my 15 min allowance so I had to cut a bunch of stuff out. But it was really good, I think, because McGuire said he felt like he needed to talk about something a little bit different anyway.