Monday, August 5, 2013

I'm Coming Home!

Hey family! So here we are. Last email, I feel like there are big hopes for the last letter so lets see what we can do. It was actually a pretty fast week. Also kinda felt like it was my funeral for a week. No wonder they call going home dying. We had a goal of getting 5 people to come to church this week leveraging my going home and stuff. In order to achieve that we did some interesting things like house around the church and just introduce ourselves as the neighbors and talk (as neighbors as much as we could) neighborly about what happens in that big white building next door. Didn't end up with anyone coming to church but yeah. I felt it was still good. So I guess I will get the depressing stuff out of the way. So today was transfer calls which I have been looking forward to because I was excited to see Elder K get a bean and all that. Well the zone leaders got the call first and so we heard about everyone else first and that was ridiculous. Huge changes! Some we knew about. Majority had no idea and seems to have no idea why. Then we got the call. The Assistant (not president makes these calls which is weird to me) talked to me and.....well yeah. Then it goes to Elder K so we are all excited listening in to hear about his new comp and........*You are being transferred to Oyumino!* There was just perfect silence as we heard that. WHAT THE HECK! Not just that there are no elders come in our place. They killed my companionship. So yeah. This week was fun. We had splits and stuff and then Saturday they want returning missionaries to deep clean their apartments so we spent a day cleaning and packing so that was interesting. This week probably wednesday I will head to Tokyo. Thursday interviews and temple meal with returning missionaries. Friday I meet you guys. After being on a plane forever! So yeah. I feel like I should have more to say but not really. I will talk to you this week anyway so yeah. I guess we will call that good. Love you. See you this week.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Senior Week

Hey family! Second to last letter! Wow! Still not sure if I completely understand that. But nevertheless here we go. So this week was Elder K's "Senior Week" where I handed over the keys and phone and he became the senior companion and saw how it was. The first day he didn't really take it seriously until I chewed him out and told him he was wasting a good opportunity and my time. Ha. I try not to yell at my comps much so I think it made an impact. He did good. Not anything super crazy today but still a good week I guess. Went to various far places and visited people. He also gave away 2 Book of Mormons which he has been wanting to do since he has come out. Ha. I guess it will all work out. This week as you already know from the pictures we had a baptism in Niigata of the zone leaders investigator. He's a good little member. He was a self-referral after reading a members comics that include church doctrine. It was very well attended. We had every missionary in the zone there which is impressive considering how spread out we all are and that they were able to find investigators willing to go so far to see it. It was a good baptism though. Other than the fact that when we all went to the font to see him get baptized our ward mission leader who was baptizing him just looks in and realizes the drain was not all the way on and that the water had drained down to like 2 inches. Ha. Oh well. So they refilled it. And after that all went well. Then lets see. Yesterday was district priesthood meeting so president B was there and it was pretty good. He is actually way good at Japanese. That was the first time I had seen him speak continual Japanese. Oh and we haven't actually been able to get a hold of the investigator on Sado or really the branch presidency either. He was suppose to watch "The Restoration" DVD with the first counselor yesterday but we don't know if that ended up working. Hopefully this week we can skype. That's an interesting calling that the two of you received. Didn't know that calling existed. So we will just keep working hard this week and next week is probably going to end up being very little actual missionary work so we will see.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Third to last

Hey family! Third to last letter, how crazy is that! Still really hasn't occurred to me that it really is almost over. Again another week of nothing too eventful. You would think I would have gotten better at all this writing jazz by now but not really. Hope your guys` trip went well. Mandy definitely has a fun mission area. Ha. To be perfectly honest I don't know what we would do if we all came to Japan together. I would be fun for me just being here but don't know about you guys. Oh well. So lets see. Monday was P-day so that was pretty chillaxed. Also Monday night when we were housing we met this super mean guy that didn't say no but just was way rude about everything. He used a lot of hard Japanese so I ended up passing it to Elder K. Little by little Elder K got irritated and then the guy said the Book of Mormon was just good for firewood(which totally reminded me I think its Moroni that talks about how the actual gold plates are worth nothing, its the record that is off worth) and that may be the closest I have ever seen my companion to punching someone. He was so angry at that point. We ended up stopping there and just biking to the coast and drank "orange juice"(They are like the tiny oranges, I cant remember what they are called in English)(which is the thing Elder K's home "state" is known for). Strange night. Then the next day was splits in Sanjo. Spent most of the day at district meeting, service for the branch president, and seminary. Oh well. We had a BBQ with the branch which was fun. Japanese BBQs and American BBQs are quite different but still good and fun. You probably got some pictures from O-kyodai of that. (How many pictures has that man sent at this point anyway?) And that was basically it. This week the Zone leaders investigator is getting baptized so that will be fun. He's a way good guy, already like a member. Then next Sunday Elder K and I are talking in church, the next week probably bear my testimony in testimony meeting, and the next week report in Sacrament meeting. Wow! Lets see. I got your *You put up the good fight, you have finished the course* letter. It was funny because I read it and then Elder K looked at me and said, *Its a don:t get trunky letter isn:t it?* *No, its a good job, you did it letter* *Did it!? You aren:t done* Then he banned me from reading it and just started mumbling about you after that. It was way funny but it was a very nice letter thank you parents. So I couldn:t get the go ahead with going to Sado weekly so that was too bad. We have gotten things lined up so we can Skype lesson him on Sundays but its getting kinda hard to find time to do it. Also President B has all but told me that missionaries are going to Sado but doesn:t look like it will happen this next transfer. Therefore another like 8 weeks. Sigh. Nothing you can do I guess. So I guess thats it. Until next week.

Monday, July 22, 2013


Hello family, there are only a few of these reports left aren't there. This week had it slow and boring parts and its fun and exciting parts. No one wants to hear about the slow parts so yay for sharing the exciting parts. So the first one was Monday night. I was finally able to eat dinner with a member I have always wanted to. Brother Yoshida! Why do you ask? One sentence. The man translated the Book of Mormon into Japanese! No he is not Alma O Taylor but he did the big rehaul of the Book of Mormon back in the day. He is awesome! Way funny too. We spent the night eating delicious food and talking about his adventures in translating and other crazy things he did. Its just not a normal conversation when you hear people say, “When I was translating as Pres. Hinckley dedicated the Fukuoka Temple...” But also just plain funny things like, “So you know the whole, ‘I Nephi being born of goodly parents...’scripture?” “Of course”“Its actually ‘I COMMA Nephi’” “Ok?” “We spent a day trying to figure out how to translate that comma. Turns out it doesn't mean anything” And for the record, “This is my beloved son, hear him” Also apparently took a day to translate. So that was fun. Then on our way home got a call from an unknown number which is always kinda fun as a missionary. It turned out to be a member of the Sado branch's branch presidency. After expressing pleasantries “So.....I want you to come to Sado this week” turns out one of the Old investigators we visited last time has started coming to church and he wanted him to hear the lessons again. So that led us to yesterday when we met the man. I-san. He came to church and it was wonderful. He is a very private, quiet man but I like him. We did a lesson with him just to figure out how much interest he has and he actually has quiet a bit. Already believes in God and Jesus Christ and apparently he had a baptism date until his older sister and mom were against it. We’re still not sure how we will teach him but we will find the way. Especially after his prayer. He gave one of the most sincere prayers I have heard an investigator give let alone a first lesson investigator. Asking for the power to change himself for the better and that his sister and mom and recognize that change and accept it. Way cool. So yay for new investigator. Other than that not a whole lot to report. Rest of the week was fairly boring. Got my going home packet from Tokyo which included flight plans, still haven't checked it with the others but probably the same, way crazy that its so close. Cant believe it. Other than that not a whole lot to report. I:m sure you already realized this but as of.....well yesterday for you. I have been a missionary for 2 years! Crazy right! This little while will just fly by I think. I will probably email you later today when I can look at both of the flight plans to tell you if they are the same. Probably are. Get home at like 5 or something. Sounds like you all have a fun week. Keep having fun. Well thats all for this week.

Laptops and Google Maps

So this was quite the week. I feel like there is a lot to say but also not sure what to say but I will do my best. So Monday was the day of doom, we became Tokyo mission. There could be heard wailing and gnashing of teeth as the Niigata zone missionaries woke up. Then we just went about our day normally which included a nap which was WAY nice! Anyway we headed to the church that night. I had my interview with President B which was fine, he is VERY different than president R, much more business man. And then from there I tried to leave to go out and work but the assistants had already learned too much so they told me to set up all the laptops before I left. After 5 minutes I had it all over. So time for me to nerd out here. So we have these pretty old laptops that are falling apart which is basically what I expected and of course they gave our zone the garbage. Then they have 4G Mobile HotSpots (I said nerd out right?) So put simply they pump through money like no ones business. Anyway. That made it for Monday. Oh and President B basically told me Elder K is training next transfer, there are so many missionaries coming and only a few Japanese missionaries to begin with. Poor K-choro.But anyway. So the next day was zone conference which turned out to be different than I expected. It was basically the same 6 hour talk that they give new missionaries coming in. Which I think is kinda brutal to make them go through but is fine because they have minds for molding. When you take in another mission you cant treat them like new missionaries because, well they aren't. I realize normally the senior comp teaches a lot of the practical stuff but that's not the luxury we have here. Up until now there has been no districts in Tokyo mission, this is their first one and I don't think they quite understand. When Elder M went to Tokyo for meetings this week he said President B was in awe of the stats. No babies, basically no Aaronic priesthood, 4 member branches, etc. Sigh. Anyway life goes on. The joke that I always tell Elder K when he is complaining about something is, "well I go home in a month so..." he never finds it funny. :-) The rest of the week was super humid and rainy, I miss my arid Utah. Feels like we have spent the whole week wet. I also ended up teaching Eikaiwa alone because all the other missionaries were in Tokyo for meetings. Oh yeah and then the new sister that came with me to Niigata got suddenly transferred to a spanish branch(yep, Tokyo has those) because she can speak spanish. Met again with H-san. Again he came to the lesson whiskey in hand and as we were kinda chatting before the lesson he told us he had looked up the church online and he asked us if we really didn't drink alcohol. So the lesson changed to Word of Wisdom. By the end up the lesson he said he would rather go to the Terrestrial kingdom than give up his whiskey. How depressing is that! His real problem is he has no faith so to be honest he has no reason to follow. He thinks that drinking alcohol is perfectly healthy. We will give him a little more time considering he is the only thing we got right now as far as investigators go. The laptops are cool. There is only one in our apartment so its kinda a pain to try have 4 people use. K-choro doesn:t even touch it. Yesterday I was showing him how to work on the online area book (I seriously wanted to shout halleluah when I heard that existed) and he told me that it was the first time he had touched that computer. It isn:t as stripped down as I thought it would be but still....yeah. Although I was able to put all the LAs and Active members on a Google map within like 15 minutes of work which we had been planning to put pins in a map we have on the wall for awhile but it would have been like a 72 hour project and this map you click the marker and it shows you all the details about that member. I:m kinda super prideful of it. Just saying. Yesterday we went home teaching with the district president who may have become my favorite member. He is way funny. He was talking about these mission meetings that he will need to go to from now on and he was talking about how the mission president, stake presidents, temple president, etc will all be there. All old men with there big old man glasses on and then the way he explained it it sounded like he would be in the corner kicked back in his chair as the 35 year old punk kid and as he put it *Keyless* *everyone has keys but me!* Ha. probably his favorite phrase. *I don:t have keys* We were praise him for being such a great leader and he would respond with *Its easy. Branch president is hard, they have keys!* Ha. I feel like I will use him in a talk someday when I need to talk about priesthood keys. Just not quite sure what I:m suppose to learn from his talk. Well talk to you next week

Monday, July 1, 2013

From the Sendai Mission into the Tokyo Mission

Hello family! How was all of your peoples week!? So this week marked the last week as part of the Sendai Mission so as of today we are officially Tokyo mission. As always it feels like I didn't get that much accomplished this week. We tried to visit a billion LAs but a lot of them were not home and some had moved. Its been a while since I have met an actual LA when visiting them randomly without an appointment. Not sure what to do if I actually met one. So transfers got a little more interesting with one of the third transfer sisters here suppose to become trainer as of President R's transfer call, but then all these things happened without hearing any details and that sister got transferred out and the other set of sisters in Niigata got another bean. Crazy. In the Sendai mission every sister but two is in a three-some with two of those three as new missionaries. This last transfer also opened up like three areas with new types of missionaries (elders going to sister only areas and vice-versa). The work moves on. From there there is not too much to report. Tonight we have interviews with President B and then tomorrow is the zone conference with Tokyo. We have gotten a call from the Tokyo assistants and that was weird. The broadcast, well last week for you but yesterday for us, yesterday was awesome. If you didn't watch it, you should. Church is moving forward with this missionary work thing. Way cool. I'm already an old style missionary with moving forward with internet missionary work and the such. Should be a busy week so well see how it goes. That's crazy with the iPads with the new missionaries. I really feel since yesterday when we watched that broadcast that I am already an obsolete missionary. Already too old, throw him out, bring in the new type. I should be excited and I kinda am but kinda don't like it a lot too. Church comes out and says that the way we are doing missionary work right now won't work but that's all I've got and all I have done. I know it hasn't been a waste but still. I hope you get what I'm trying to say.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Final time with President and Sister R

Hey family! How are all of you this day! So this week has been a busy one. Started off Monday getting ready for zone conference and the FHE that night. Before FHE I had a temple recommend interview with president which was interesting. He used the phrase, "This isnt your final interview but if it were I would say...." and then say something to me. It was nice to have that time with president. He gave me my "white book" which has all my returning stuff. So yeah. That was sad to know it was the last one but yeah. From there we ate together and just had a jolly old time. We had various musical numbers. It was interesting to sing our, Ill go where you want me to go with the version that Sister Stubbs made because it was kinda sad but the last verse was sweet. Then we had ice cream which went to like 9:40. Then the next day was zone conference. That went well I think. I was put in the translation position which was basically all Japanese to English. I have secretly always wanted to do the translation but yeah. Man is that harder than it looks. Its not that I dont understand them it just that its hard to listen and speak at the same time, let alone put it in naturally sounding English. Oh well, we had the area doctors there and they were very nice about my translation. Its kinda funny because I knew who was wearing the headsets so I could play with them. Mostly Sister Rasmussen. President always set me up good when he would talk about his wife. She knows he is talking about her but not what he is saying so her reactions are very delayed. I also had my "Last Testimony" which was kindof an erry experience. Especially since I still remember my first zone conference in that same building over a year and a half ago with my zone leader giving his last testimony. We gave President and Sister and R a book we put together of pictures of us and little notes to them. Then it was over. Then president and sister R stood up in the front and said they wanted to shake hands with and hug us. Kinda a strange feeling. Thankfully I have mothers emotions so no crying from me. Strangely the biggest tomboy sister I have ever met, Sister S, just lost it. She just hugged Sister R for like 3 minutes straight crying into her shoulder. A touching sight. Then we cleaned up and everyone left, as I walked out of the church and I looked back and waved goodbye to President and Sister R for the last time and that was it, I dont know the next time I will see them. The rest of the week was more uneventful than the rest. We got passed an investigator for the sisters. He is a man so they try not to teach men and they gave him to us. Hes an interesting guy. His name is Hさん. Now the whole lesson I thought his name was H. Very unfortunate name I thought but oh well. Still find his name very dangerous to say. We still arent sure why he is meeting with us. He absolutely LOVES beer. As he walked into the lesson he was finishing a beer and we had hardly said "amen" in the closing prayer before he opened a new one. And this lesson was at 11:30. The Word of Wisdom will be fun. Yesterday at church Brother S from Aizu came to Niigatas church. He is the first counselor in the mission presidency and so he is making the rounds but it was nice to meet him one last time. He even mentioned Elder K and I in his talk as the miracles of missionary work because we could actually speak Japanese now. Ha. This week doesnt have anything too crazy. Next week will be the interesting one. Monday night we have interviews with President B, the next day is another zone conference where we are to put up to speed on what Tokyo is all about. Then Friday is zone training meeting. Oh and this Sunday is a satelite broadcast from somewhere at the Niigata church so that means Joetsu the farthest area in our zone will come three times to Niigata. Probably going to cost them over 200 dollars. Yay for effciency! Oh and today was transfer calls. Of course no changes to me but some of the people of the zone escaped the switch to Tokyo and a few more new missionaries are being thrown into TOkyo three days after coming to the Sendai mission.