This area was just added to our mission in July when the boundary change happened. Before that it was part of the Sendai Mission.
I have to tell you about the famous person in the Branch here! Yoshida Kyodai. He translated the Book of Mormon into Japanese! Yeah, it's a big deal!
I have 2 companions; Sister Jensen from Richfield Utah is my trainer. She has been out for 6 months and is the sweetest girl! Sister Hubner from Hawaii is our other companion and she is great, too!
My first 2 days in Niigata were kind of hard. We did a lot of work, but all the appointments we had cancelled or rescheduled. It seemed that no one wanted to talk to us. I found myself asking "If they knew it was Jesus Christ, would they turn Him away?" I was feeling bad about not doing much good work, but we were keeping a good attitude.
The miracle was that after all of that, on Sunday we had an appointment to meet with Aida-san who had met with the missionaries in January. We didn't know why she had stopped seeing them, but we saw that her neighbor, Suzuki-san was in the same boat. We went to the appointment with a member and were planning on housing (knocking on doors) afterwards to find Suzuki-san. The funny thing is that Suzuki-san came to us! We had just been seated in Aida-san's home when Suzuki-san knocked on the door! She said that she liked the "good feeling" she had when she met with the missionaries before and that she felt that same feeling when she entered the home just then!
It is really rare for Japanese people to be so open. We taught them that God is their Heavenly Father and I was able to testify that he loves them personally. Then I felt prompted to ask them how that made them feel. Suzuki-san said "it makes me want to cry!" (I felt the same way) The spirit was so strong and I am excited to teach them again on Wednesday. We left the home with hugs from both of them, which is also very rare in Japanese culture. It was great!
The Lord is really helping us here and I know that Heavenly Father loves in children in Japan!