Monday, November 26, 2012

日本の冒険!Week 19: A lifetime in a week. 一週は一生

Wow. Well. Here I am. Were I to attempt to elaborate on the events of the past 7 days, I would suffer a miserable defeat. This week has contained sorrows beyond the human capacity to comprehend and joys beyond the most incredible imagination. Regardless, I shall make the attempt to best tell these past events to you all.

Tuesday. We met with an investigator whose name I will leave out. He pulled out his Book of Mormon. He told us he read the whole thing. Then he told us he could not believe. It was too hard. It was a rough experience for me. We had been teaching him for a while and he had progressed very well up until that point. He had a stressful past couple of weeks at work, though, and he told us he just couldn`t do it. We tried everything we could just to meet with him again, but he was done.

That night we had thanksgiving dinner with a member. It was great! It was quite the feast. They had a huge chicken (no turkey in Japan) , and it looked just like thanksgiving turkey. There was salmon and fruit salad and homemade bread. I had forgotten my camera, so no pics, sorry. We had pumpkin pie, cheese cake, and everything! It truly was a thanksgiving feast. Delicious!

Wednesday! Brother Futakuchi received baptism. It was an incredible experience! I performed the ordinance, and it was a great spiritual experience. I am so glad I got to see it happen. The Spirit was strong, and brother Futakuchi bore a strong testimony. Almost the whole ward came to see it, and it was a great chance to see the ward one last time.

Yep, that`s right! I`m not in Joyo anymore. Thursday was spent almost completely in travel on trains. I am in the distant land of Fukuyama 福山, in Hiroshima! It is the only area in the mission in Hiroshima, on the very western edge of the mission. It is a huge area, and is a bigger city than Joyo was. Tons of big buildings and lots of people.

My companion? want to take a guess? I`ll give you a hint, we`ve been companions before!! haha. It is Hunt 長老! We were companions in the MTC! haha. So we are both pretty young missionaries, actually the youngest companionship in the mission. We get along really well. ^^

Also, I am District Leader over Fukuyama and Kurashiki areas. District leader. You know what? For some reason I thought there would be some sort of training or I would have been a missionary long enough by the time I became district leader that I would know what to do. haha. There is no such training, and I am the youngest missionary in the district. I am responsible for the communications with my district and the zone, as well as keeping updated and updating the zone leaders on the district`s investigators, and I am completely in charge of District meetings. woah. So it will be an adventure. I can tell it is going to be very good for my progress, though. As district leader, I have to make lots of decisions, be in tune with the Spirit when planning trainings for meetings, and be an example to the district and zone.

On Sunday we had 3 investigators to church, all of which had never been before. This area is doing pretty well! haha. 2 of them have baptismal dates before the end of the year. If everything goes well, I think they can make those dates.

Yesterday we did home teaching! First I was like, what....? missionaries do home teaching....? But it is a little different in Japan. Home-teaching means dinner and a spiritual message. So I am OK with having a home teaching assignment. haha! ^^ We had Tacos! First time I`ve had tacos in forever! There were several members there, including a family, a couple, and 2 YSA. It was way fun! The father of the family, brother Hirokane, is WAY funny and he even speaks English! haha. It was just a crazy fun night. It felt like Family Home Evening.

Well, hope all is well back home! it`s crazy to hear that Spencer has returned from his mission!



I just had to get one of these finally. You can buy them anywhere.
Actually pretty tasty. Good lunch for the middle of 2 long train rides.

Fukuyama is beautiful! The scenery is incredible!

From the top of an apartment building we were knocking. at night. Big city.

The apartment building in Fukuyama

Me and my new companion. Does he look familiar? haha

Home teaching! It was way fun!

Futakuchi's baptism!!

Almost the whole ward came! well at least half. ^^
It was a great meeting. I love Joyo ward!

A day of Trains all the way to my new area.
The scenery was incredible! Fall in Japan...... is magical.

日本の冒険!Week 18: Transfer calls. 転勤発表

November 18, 2012

That`s right! Its Transfer week! And guess what? I don`t know if I`m staying or not. haha. Transfer calls were delayed one day. Transfers is still on Thursday though. So next week I might be in Joyo still, or I might be anywhere. crazy.

Well, it was an incredible week. First of all, here is an excerpt from my letter to president:

It has been another fantastic transfer. I really love this area, the ward, the people, the places. It seems impossible that I could love the work in another area as much. But I haven`t served anywhere for longer than a day so I don`t really know, haha. I`m sure that God loves all the areas, so it will be an incredible experience in any of them.

As usual, miracles are abounding here in Joyo. ^^ The elect are being found, and they are bringing their friends along with them. This Wednesday, 二口兄弟 is going to be baptized! No, it is not just because it is the last day of the transfer. haha. It just so happened to be the day everything worked out. This week is already looking like it will be something I can remember as a great moment in my life. The ward is really excited, and the work is about to explode here in Joyo. God knows the potential this area has, and it is great.

I went on another 交換 this week. With Meyers 長老 this time. He is a great Elder. He is always upbeat and positive, and together we were able to feel the power of revelation in Omihachiman. We were guided to a home in which the father had passed away recently. They need this gospel, and they are willing to meet with the missionaries occasionally. Overall, it was a great, faith-building exchange.

Well, I await transfer calls tomorrow, and I know that the Lord has great things in store for me, as he does for each that he calls.

So yeah! Baptism! This Wednesday! \(^o^)/  If I do transfer, it will be on the last day of the transfer! I wonder if the reason I go to my next area will be as obvious as this. I found 二口兄弟 on my first day here in Joyo, and I`ll baptize him on what might be my last day here.

This week all the return appointments went really well! We have quite the good group of investigators! ^^ One of them even brought a friend who is interested. Things are really going well. Our new investigator appointments were a little flaky and only one of them ended up becoming a new investigator, but he is awesome! He speaks super super formally and in a deep voice and he is just really epic. He is also a genius  We would tell him something and he would connect all the dots and be like, so that means ---------, right? uh.... yes..... it does...... are you elect? haha.

We gave our Christian investigator ( we call him Hiro, he was one pictured a couple weeks ago) a Book of Mormon, and he asked us, is this true? Yes, it is. Than I have to study it, right? uh...... yes. yes you do. haha. The people we are finding are so prepared!

Well this week I will be going to a 焼肉 place with an English Conversation Class student (today), Thanksgiving dinner with a ward member tomorrow, and a Baptism on Wednesday followed by transfers on Thursday! So it should be pretty exciting! You all should probably just wait by the computer all week to find out what an awesome week I had!! haha ^^. Don`t actually do that though. Do something useful. haha.

Love you all! 愛しているよ!


These fish are so cool! haha.
 There are some cool colored ones sometimes too.

A small garden we found in the middle of the city in Shimogamo. Way cool.

 This bridge was pretty awesome.

See, sometimes cool colors. 

We went with the Zone leaders and the Sisters,
and I was the only one who had already been there.... I think.....

秋。 Autumn in Japan is incredible.

Yep, went back to the same castle. 

日本。Good morning. Here is the rising sun.
And I`m among the first in the world to see it here in Japan.

城陽。 Oh Joyo.  What if you could look out the back window and see this?
It would be awesome. I know because I did. haha. ^^

日本の冒険!Week 17: Revelatory power. 啓示の力。

November 11, 2012

Hello Everyone! Hello to my parents and brother in South Africa! ^^

Lets see. 7 days. How much can really happen in 7 days? Well, its a lot more than I can tell you about.

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas! stores are all decorated and I am hearing Christmas music EVERYWHERE. haha. Taught a lesson with a new investigator in a restaurant with soft Christmas hymns in the background.  Very nice. ^^

This week started to get crazy on Thursday. We went to Osaka for Zone meeting!! WOW! Osaka is awesome! It is very very different than Kyoto. The way that I`ve heard it is `If you want to sight see, go to Kyoto. If you want to play, go to Osaka.` and That`s the truth! It`s a HUGE city, just crammed with people. Maybe it was just me, but there seemed like there were a lot more people than Kyoto. The Zone Meeting was awesome. It was also over Eight Hours Long. haha. Way inspiring though. Basically we were told to do everything we do through revelation. Then we will be able to see several miracles a day. We were even invited to seek specific revelation, like a name or an address of someone we are supposed to find. I`m excited for the miracles this will bring. ^^ On the way back from Osaka, we went to a McDonalds by Osaka Station, and it was definitely the coolest McDonald`s I`ve ever seen. Gosh, probably one of the coolest places to eat I`ve ever been in. Pictures to come. haha. ^^ I hope I get a chance to serve in Osaka in the time I`m here.

Friday, we went on an exchange in Ootsu. Also a really cool area. No where near as big as Osaka obviously, but definitely more city-like than the area I`m in. Went across a bridge on my bike across the biggest (?) lake in Japan. Way awesome place. Every time I go on an exchange, I see how much I`ve learned from my Companion. I`m able to help out quite a bit. ^^ Working with a previous assistant to the president is quite the awesome opportunity. He is a great Guy.

Saturday we returned to Joyo. We were SOOO tired. We got a call from a member who lives about 35 minutes from our apartment by bike and so we went over to help her with something. It was already dark out, since we got back from Ootsu in the late afternoon. Afterwards we were streeting nearby. But we were zombies. Zombies don`t make good missionaries if you ever wondered. Nobody really wanted to talk to us and we had no energy. It was actually kind of funny. Probably just because we were tired though. haha.

Sunday we went to Shimogamo for Stake Confrence! Way cool to see all of Kyoto Stake. But we were even more like zombies. haha. Traveling around so much really wipes you out. Last night though we asked for a specific location of where to find an Elect. We went to the place we felt, talked to a guy, and set up an appointment for Tuesday! The power of revelation is no small matter. ^^

Well, next week we have appointments set up with 4 new investigators and 4 return appointments, and its only Monday. Looking like a pretty great week! ^^

Until next time,


OSAKA. Right off the Station.

McDonalds. I know,right?
 McDonalds is always where the cool people are. haha.

I love Bamboo......

Got to get to the next appointment........ haha.
This is like 2 minutes from our apartment.

Can you blame us? it`s a pretty tempting shortcut.....

In Osaka Station. It is HUGE like Kyoto station, but not open like Kyoto.

THE BRIDGE!..... no, of course I`m not taking pictures
 while riding! That would be crazy!

Me being excited about the bridge.........
Don`t worry, I cut my hair yesterday. I don`t look like that anymore. haha. :P

Pretty fun to ride across. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

日本の冒険!Week 16: As the cold sets in, the fire still burns bright! 寒くなているのに、火事が熱心に続けます!

 (ok,ok, I know the Japanese is probably bad. give me a break.)

So it has began to drop in temperature rapidly here in 京都, down to temperatures around 11 (C). Feels great actually, since we have to wear a suit coat anyway! ^^

Monday we met with new investigators. They are awesome! We were planning to bike with them from a 7- 11 to the church, about a 20 minute bike ride. but.... they didn`t bring bikes. We explained to them it would take an hour to walk to the church. Alright, lets go! and so we went. haha ^^ . We walked with them all the way to the church and gave a tour and explained to them about God and the purpose of meeting with us. They were excited to meet with us and we set up a return appointment for last Saturday! One of them is Christian, and he brought his Chinese friend to the lesson with him. Both of them are now progressing investigators and doing well! It is test week this week, but we will meet with them again after that to answer more of their questions. (They have awesome questions! most people just tell us they have no questions.... which is a bad sign.)

Tuesday to Wednesday was an exchange! I went to 近江八幡, which was..... fun? haha. The elder I was with was on a small bike because his bike had a flat, and after riding from the apartment for 15 minutes, he got a flat on the small bike. So we walked it back. After that, we got some good time in, but it started raining and the elders there don`t know the area very well, having just white-washed it. So it was kind of a rough night, but fun all the same. ^^

Wednesday was Halloween! I actually didn`t realize until I was back in my area around 6 O`Clock by the mall. They were putting up Christmas decorations. I was like, What, it is not even....... oh wait. Today is Halloween. And they are putting up Christmas. hmm. cool? haha. The only costumes I saw were a couple girls in Santa attire. haha. so it didn`t really feel like Halloween. But Christmas is better anyway, so I didn`t feel like I was missing anything, haha.

二口兄弟 is still stuggling getting the faith to be baptized. Hopefully something will change soon, he is trying to make things work, but he thinks some things to be hard to overcome as of yet. Hopefully he`ll be back on the right track soon.

Well, Another week awaits! This week I get to go to Osaka for a Combined Zone meeting! And I am going on another exchange, but that happens every week now. haha.



Our 2 new investigators!

Lots and lots of biking.......

English class!

Oh, I forgot to say we talked with some people while eating on campus at a university......
uh....... make up an interesting story for that one.

We caught them taking our picture. My companion fought back. haha.

The college in our area! way cool place! it is a christian school

Spencer sent me this! Don`t understand meaning yet?
 but looks awesome! hanging by my desk! haha. ^^

The Japaense moon. Looks very different from the American moon. Was it a full moon on Halloween over there? It was here! and it  was red! but I didn`t get any pics of it when it was red.......

Zone conference in Kyoto! (yes, we are having 2 in a row. crazy right?
 next one is a joint one though, so more people)

Another great day planned. ^^

and finally...... I had my camera while next to this fantastic establishment.
Baby Face Planets. We have 2 of these in my area.
 Never been inside, but it is easily my favorite place. haha! ^^