November 19, 1996
We got your letter and I wanted to throw my arms around you. I know just how you felt, and I hope you have learned already that it does get better.
When I reached Tokyo to start my mission, I had been on and off airplanes for about 18 hours. My Japanese was terrible, and we were challenged to give away a Book of Mormon on the train before we reached the mission office. I couldn’t even say hello decently much less offer anyone a Book of Mormon, so I failed miserably at that and felt like a failure when I got to the mission home. Then of course there was the food. They took us out for dinner and I was just starving, and they put in front of me a tray with cooked chunks of beef, rice, and an uncracked egg in a cup. And I could tell that it was a raw egg—I don’t know how I could tell but I could. And I thought, “They’re gonna make me eat a raw egg whole,” and I just wanted to cry. Then I saw other people were using it, and I realized that you cracked the egg, whipped it up, and then dipped your meat in it. And then you would dip your meat in the rice and the egg helped the rice stick to the meat. I was SO relieved. Raw egg in small doses that you could barely taste was WAY better than having to drink it whole.
Anyway, the point is that how you felt or feel is totally normal. It’s disorienting when you get to the field. Every missionary has felt this. But you’re right—food and sleep help. And I hope you got a good trainer. Then it’s a matter of working hard. Working hard helps everything.
Your mother and I pray for you daily. We love you, and I hope by now that you are feeling better.