Here you’ll find all the latest pictures and info for Cooper’s Mission in Japan Sapporo. If you’d like to receive his weekly updates please just click on the ‘follow’ button on the right hand side of the page and enter your email address. Scroll to the bottom to learn more about Japan!
This week has been kind of long. It started off with a Zone training
meeting, which really felt like it was kind of just slapped together
at the last second, and then a lot of knocking doors and streeting
the rest of the week. Throughout the week there were a couple of small
miracles that we saw, and a few people with potential said that we
could come back later and stuff, but the only real investigator we had
dropped himself until about may. He’s involved in a long court case,
and feels like if he focuses too much on jesus he’ll lose and then his
life will get really hard, or something to that effect. He said we
were all good to come afterwards, but it will take about three months.
It’s a little sad, but at least it’s not a permanent drop.
It’s been kind of weird being back. All the missionaries that i saw
come into the mission have now been there longer than I have, and it’s
super weird. The other elders in the apartment always comment on how I
feel like an old missionary, even though I only have one or two
transfers on them. It’s kind of a weird feeling, but they’re all still
fun guys. It was also kind of hard to get back into the swing of
things at first, but i’m figuring it out again pretty well.
That’s about all that’s going on out here. My Japanese is coming back
real quick, and I can still mostly understand everything anyone says.
There’s always the occasional old man that slurs everything that he
says and is totally impossible for everyone but japanese to
understand, but for the most part, It’s going pretty well. I’m down at
the very bottom of the Island, and it’s starting to warm up right
about now. All the snow is melting, but it’s making all the roads kind
of hard to walk on, but I expect it to be mostly gone in the next
couple of weeks. Even though the roads will be good, we still won’t
get bikes until the same time everyone else will, in about April. I
don’t even need to buy a bike though. An elder my size went home early
and left his bike, and the Mission president says he’s just going to
send it to me for free when we can ride them again! That was super
helpful, because It might have been hard to buy a used one because of
how far away from the mission office I am. Miracles everywhere. Let me
know how everything’s going over there. It’s always nice to hear from
you guys. Miss you and love you,
Elder Smith (the first)
So my flight was pretty long again. I went up to Seattle, and actually
met up with the next group of missionaries going to Japan! I didn’t
think that I’d be able to because I thought that they’d take the same
route every time, but this time was different. When I finally got
there President nakatsuka was super happy to see me, and we actually
rode in his car all the way back to the new mission home. He told me
where I was going and who my companion was.
I’m in Hakodate, which is basically the warmest part of the mission.
Way down south at the southern tip of the Island. There’s not a lot of
snow here, but all the roads are super icy. The people and ward here
are also super awesome! My companion and I have passed out something
like six copies of the book of mormon since we started last week! We
just introduced and gave them to people on the street, so we don’t
know if a lot will come of it, but we’re working hard and seeing lots
In terms of Japanese, I’m not half as bad as I thought I was, or maybe
the gift of tongues is super real. I can still understand about as
much as I could when I left, and talk just as well, but of course the
time I spent with you guys in America did bring me down a little.
People here are still super patient with me though.
This week will be super crazy. On Wednesday, there’s a huge broadcast
conference we’re going to watch, which will take up a lot of our day,
as it pushes back study and stuff a few hours, and then we’re all
going to Sapporo ( me and the other three elders in my district along
with the sisters) for mission conference. I’m super excited because
I’ll get to see everyone that I came with! I’m super excited for that.
We’ll come back down on Sunday, and the next day we’ll head to a place
called muroran for a zone conference. So basically, starting friday
and continuing to the next Wednesday we won’t have any time to work.
Just travel and conferences, but after that everything should calm way
down. It’s going to be a great time.
Today, for P-day, we’re going to “the red brick warehouses” which is
apparently the biggest tourist attraction in the city. I’ll be sure to
take lots of pictures, and I’ll probably have to get them to you guys
next week, but they’ll come eventually.
That’s just about everything. I really miss you guys, and want you to
know that I’m super happy that I was able to make it back here. I’m
already back into the swing of things and feeling super good. My knee
is doing fine, haven’t had any spills or anything, it just gets a
little sore after walking on it all day. This is definitely a lot more
work than anything I did at home, but it’s still totally fine.
Miss you guys, love you. Hope you guys are all having a good time even
though I’m not there. I’ll send some pictures with my companions and
stuff in just one second, but the warehouse ones will have to wait
till next week. See you guys later.
Hello everyone, welcome to a possible first and last email at the same
time. I was going through my old email list to make sure I didn’t
forget anyone, and there were some names that I don’t know if I’ve
been emailing or not, so this may be a little awkward, but, I’m coming
back. Yes for a period of 6 or more months, I will be back in the good
ol’ US of A. In the bike accident that I told you about last week, I
tore my ACL up pretty bad, so bad that I need surgery to get a new
one. Thus I am coming back to you to get surgery, get rehab, and if
everything goes well, come back to Japan. I truly would do anything to
avoid this, because this it the best time of my life, and there’s
nothing else I’d rather be doing, but God, has seen fit to call me
home for one reason or another 2 Nephi 2:24 all things have been done
in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.
Other than that, I really have no news. I will hopefully be able to
return to missionary service by next year, and with a little divine
help, I’ll totally be able to do that. The goal right now is to get
better, and not forget Japanese. Any help with either department would
be much appreciated.
Thus ends my report. I’ll probably end up seeing you in the next
couple of days. Yes it’s a little disappointing, but I’ll make the
best of it, and it’s not like I can’t go back, as I intend to. See you
Hello everybody. I’ve got a little report of my life from the past
week, and it was fairly eventful in terms of stuff to talk about,
unfortunately in terms of the work, not a lot happened this week.
We were unfortunately unable to meet with any of our investigators
this week, so we spent a lot of time knocking doors and doing stuff
like that, but also we had members feed us almost every single day
this week. Monday-Thursday every single day we were eating at least
one meal with a member, unfortunately I have no pics to show that it
happened, and because of those the time we had to work was a little
limited. We didn’t really get to see a lot of success, other than one
young mother who may or may not have met the missionaries before. We
have an appointment with her on Wednesday that I hope that we’ll able
to go to (reason why in just a second), but other than her, not really
too much on that front.
On the fun things front, we had a district activity! I forgot to
mention this last time I thin, but all of the week preceding last
Monday we were having a candy fast. I don’t know why, but it was
really hard, as soon as I said I wasn’t going to eat it I got the most
insane desire to, which I found pretty weird. Seems like as soon as
you decide you can’t have something you want it way more, but anyway
after the fast was over, we had this thing called a tim-tam slam.
Tim-tams are these little hollow cookies that come from Australia.
What you do with them is you bite off one corner from the two opposite
sides, and drink hot chocolate through it. The hot chocolate melts it,
so you have to suck it into your mouth really fast to avoid it
splashing everywhere. We did it as a fast breaker because the cookies
are actually quite bad for you, and when you mix it with a ton of hot
chocolate and eat 9 of them (the sleeves have 11) you kind of
overload. We spent the rest of the time laughing at and singing our
countries’ national anthem. It was fun because the Americans all
patriotically sang the star spangled banner together, and then when it
came to the other people (two Japanese elders, an Australian sister, a
Peruvian sister, and one Canadian elder) They barely even knew theirs.
Americans totally won that contest, also, my companion tends to talk a
little about his martial art skills, and likes to show off sometimes,
but got super taken down by the three elders in this pic.
This Transfer is about to be OVER!!! It went by so fast, and it was a
pretty good time. We saw a lot of miracles, and a lot of good times.
For example there was the week that we got 7 new investigators, and
then the next week (last week) we were able to meet with two old
investigators that were really good back when they were being taught.
Their names are Yoshida and tanimura San. Both love Jesus and think
that God and religion are super important, and both happen to
understand English really well, so I’m looking forward to actually
really teaching them. What it seems like during our first meeting they
both have little problems and stuff, that they were a little hesitant
to talk about, but they’ll probably open up as we meet more, here’s
hoping they’ll progress.
Also there was this super nice lady named Takahashi San, and she went
to church tons of times 30 years ago, and then gradually got busy and
moved, and we were able to accidentally find her again about two weeks
ago. She still remembers the church, and wants to come back, so we’ll
see, but then while we were talking, she says she may or may have not
gotten baptized! She doesn’t really remember, as she’s 70 and hasn’t
been to church for again, about 30 years, but nobody in the ward
remembered her, and her name may not be in the records, but we just
need a little more info, and then we’ll know. We gave her a copy of
the Book of Mormon which she was super excited to read, and are
getting ready to go back and visit her again real soon. Either way, I
hope she feels the spirit and decides to either come back, or join the
In terms of fun things we did, we went to a little festival out by a
shrine in the city last p day. It was super fun, and had all kinds of
food I’ve never seen before, for example, a big squid on a stick. It
wasn’t all that bad, and we went with one of the members. It was so