Monday, December 29, 2014

Study and prayer


Yeah I still haven't gotten my package yet. Its a bummer but I mean, that's not what Christmas is about. (We have tracked the package to Japan. They attempted to deliver it twice. USPS suggests that someone from the office go to the post office and see if they can retrieve it. They do not believe a 3rd attempt will be made. After 30 days, it will be sent back to sender.)

So this week was really fast and crammed with a bunch of stuff. Well that's how the past 3 weeks have been. Elder Olsen and I haven't had time really to do weekly planning these past 3 weeks. Not only that I haven't had a good language study. Its been pretty busy. But that;s a good sign at the same time. We are trying super hard to set more time aside to get more finding done and fill up our teaching pool more.


Monday we visited M, and he was super happy to see us. We cleared up some of his worries and set another baptismal date for the 31st of Jan. He isn't going to stop drinking by himself. That is a huge problem. On Tuesday and yesterday he gave us 2 different referrals of his best friend, K who wants to become more healthy, and his son who studies the Book of Mormon with him. Hopefully they they have interest and they will help us help M.

Later that day we met a 27 year old man named U.T. He said that he wanted to believe in God because he thought he could get a girlfriend with that. That's not exactly the right reason but he said he wanted to learn to pray.

Then we met with this guy named H. He is a 19 year old boy that has a lot of interest in religion. He is super busy though. He might come to a upcoming activity and he said he will come to church when he has time.

I would like to do a quick review of S. He might have some kind of memory problem. He can't remember anything to save his life. We just have to teach him simply and have him reteach us what he was taught. Eventually he will get it. We may have to change the baptismal date with him. He doesn't really have a motive to life right now so we are trying to remind him of baptism so that he can have a reason to live and drop smoking and drinking. We got through all the first lesson and hopefully we can move past that.

Tuesday, we had a pretty good lesson with W. I said most of what happened on my last email. We got through the first part of the plan of salvation. Its weird. We already taught that and yet she completely forgot it. I don't understand how so many of our investigators forget so quickly. I guess that means we are doing a bad job of reviewing. So anyways we reviewed and she liked it. Something was different. She kept asking, "how could you believe something like this? How did you come to know this?" Simply put - study and prayer.

Later we had a gyoza party. A lot of people came and it was really fun. The members got to know our investigators a little better and their relationships are building.

Wednesday. so I'll review over H. M. It turns out that he has been baptized before into a different church of course. On the other hand he says that the restoration is true, that God exists, and that he loves Him. But there is something missing. He still doesn't know if he should be baptized. He said that he needed to pray in order to know. That's a good step. Next week we will talk about what kind of answer he needs to look for.

On Wednesday we met T. He came to church! He is progressing. He is into second Nephi already. He prays before the reading assignments. He understands the reason of prayer without us even teaching it. We actually haven't taught him much. He just reads the pamphlets and learns by himself. We can't meet him often so this is a great trade-off. He loved church and he wants to go again. He is looking really good right now.

We went caroling as a branch. It was super good. We met so many people and got to share the Christmas spirit. I look back and not a lot of Japanese people know what Christmas is about. Being able to share a little of that through song makes me happy.

Christmas day was wonderful. I didn't have a great Christmas with regards to presents or material things. The meals we had were by ourselves. But I did get to see my family. I got to see S in the hospital and spend some time with him. We gave directions to a man from Kyoto. We went bowling with an investigator. It was simple but fun.

Friday. We had a lot planned but somehow it all fell through. Probably the best thing was D though. We visited his family on the 24th for caroling and it was awesome. They were so happy. In fact, this time when we visited D, he wasn't drunk. He was completely sober. We told him that K wanted to change, learn the gospel, and have her and J be baptized. He took it really well. He was all for it. We asked him to be a part of the lessons as well so it would be a family thing. He agreed and said that was a good idea. Things are looking great with them.

Other than that we filled the gaps with finding and planning.

Saturday. Good day. M was completely blasted out of his mind. He wouldn't come to the door. But his friend K came by. As we started to talk to him, M came out. The friend turns to M (as he was smoking) and told him to stop. He said that is was lame. The friend really wants to come to church and learn more. He seems like he has his head on tight. He can be a good help to M.

Later we happen to find S on the street. Okay this is probably the most ridiculous situation. So he goes into the hospital to drop smoking and drinking, but the hospital allows them to go outside for at max 3 hours of time without supervision. So S goes out and smokes. They don't stop him. Anyways, we found him, walked with him and taught him. It turned out pretty good. He might progress if we can get into that motive of baptism. He seems to forget it often. But he does say that he wants it.

Later we met T. He is super funny. He said he is a Christian during Christmas. We invited him to church and he said he would come.  We taught him quickly what prayer was and headed on our own way.

Sunday, We had planned for K, J, a members mom named H K, M, K, T, and S to come. Well K had a headache, K disappeared, M and K weren't home when we went to pick them up. On the other hand, S and T came!!!!! poor T. We didn't tell him what to wear so he came to church wearing a Santa suit. Poor guy. It turned out good, A lot of the members came up and said merry Christmas because of that. We were able to sit down and teach a lesson. We asked him if he had questions. He has been to a church before so he knew most of what was happening. He wanted to know what the bread and water were. (He to the church right as the sacrament started so we didn't have time to explain it.) It led into baptism and forgiveness. We asked him if he would like that and he said yes. At the same time he said, "but I don't think it is that easy to receive forgiveness." Then we taught the rest of lesson 3. We were able to set a baptismal date for Feb 14th. He is such a good kid.

The sacrament meeting was super great! They basically had all the youth give the talks. The talks were all so simple but yet great. The speaker system was back in and everything was heard clearly. Yokatta ne.

We later went to K. The man she drinks and smokes with was there. He was being the devil on her shoulder. We would ask her things and he would feed her things to say. Last time we were there he lied and told us he was her brother and that she was sick. Well no relationship and she was completely fine last time. I really hope that this friend would not come back to this house. We will try to come by later in the week to talk to her.

Other than that this has been a great week. With new years coming up I wonder how busy some of our investigators will be. I remember back to last year and it was really hard to meet everyone. But we will put our faith into and try our hardest.

Elder Jameson

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas 2014

Okay So I will probably only review everything that has happened up until Monday. There has been a lot that has happened and my poor memory is failing me. Please forgive me if I leave things out.

This past week has been a repetitive cycle of visiting all of the same investigators. It has helped a lot and it helped us figure out more of their needs.

On Monday we had p-day and it was packed with things. It seems like our p-days don't really allow us to rest. Anyways, we got a lot done and started to teach our investigators.

It would be best if I just review the things that we did over the entire week.

Met H M. He was doing really good. We talked to him about the spirit, what it feels like, and it seems he really took it in. Over the week he has started to say more heart felt prayers. Not exactly asking the things we asked him to say but he is becoming more sincere. Towards Friday we brought a member with us to a lesson it went super good. He is understanding the plan of salvation. Recently since S hasn't been understanding the lessons all that well, we have been making follow up questions that teach and test their knowledge at the same time. M has shown some great progress with this.

S. Man this guy is up and down. It seems like we have to start over with each lesson. So we started to teach a different way. Granted we should have probably started teaching this way in the first place - setting up questions for him to teach us what he knows. That really drives home. We teach him by drawing pictures and when we ask him to explain it, He starts to draw the same picture. We were able to cover prophets and Christ right before he came to church on Sunday. He wants to change but he doesn't really have a motive. This past week we worked hard trying to find out what his motives were and it was a stressful progress. He wanted to quit smoking and drinking but after he got in the hospital, he thought that it was still okay. Since his personal beliefs don't require any personal commitment to obtain a greater happiness, he doesn't care. We testified that there was something more to life and that the prophets taught it. It hit home and he is starting to open up more. It was a really hard thing to figure out.

We have been so blessed this week. We have prayed of when we should visit S each day. Everytime we go he either has just left the hospital or just went back in. He keeps saying "How do you keep meeting me? This is crazy." We respond "because we prayed to know when to come. God is watching you S." He responds,"oh you guys are dangerous." Then he laughs. I love this man so much.

M. Oh dear. He basically dropped because he was drinking and smoking all the time. The story becomes better though. We met him on the street and he said that he can't join because of the attendance fee or every week he has to pay. We told him that wasn't the case and we were able to reset a baptismal date for the 31st of Jan. Also he referred his friend and this coming Friday we will teach them both.

C. We visited her and prayed with her quite a bit. We set up an appointment but she called an hour before with sudden change of plans. She did this 2 days in a row. She is such a great person but meeting her is soooooo difficult. If we were able to meet her and get her to church, she would progress so much. She is praying everyday. Since her sister has gotten better from cancer, her testimony of prayer has gone up. She always asks us to pray and she said she would pray for us.

W. This week was a pain. The lesson was really hard. On the other hand we decided just to teach her the doctrines for now and lay off on the commitments. We have been teaching her for about 3 months now and she hasn't really heard much of the lessons because we have taught so much about prayer and reading. The 23rd we taught her part of plan of salvation and she thought it was interesting. She asked "why do you believe something like this?" Well its simple, we have been talking about prayer for quite a while. We prayed to know if this was true and we felt peace and comfort telling us it was. She responded "that sounds too easy". This message isn't supposed to be hard. Its actually quite simple. All we need to do is act and have a sincere heart and pray. The rest comes.

Y. This is sad. He dropped but he had great progress. We taught him about the restoration and he said that he thought it was true. The next lesson came around and he didn't really seem all that happy. We taught him prayer and invited him. (He is pretty tight on time. He said he only had 15 minutes so at 12 minutes we asked him to pray.) He sat there for 3 minutes and said "well I don't have any time." We asked if we could meet again. He said "I'm pretty busy." As we all know by this point, when a Japanese person says they are busy, there are 2 things that are possible. They are really busy or he doesn't want to meet.  Y doesn't have a job, friends, or hobbies. He goes to a park and sits there all day. He isn't busy. Hopefully our paths will cross again.

Eikaiwa! Man our eikaiwa is exploding. We split into 3 classes and we are preparing more and look what happened. The class went from 5 to about 18-20. We have a pretty cool story and miracle about that.

About 4 weeks ago I talked about his guy named K. He recently moved here and he met missionaries in his other area. Well he came to eikaiwa and his English is basically fluent. During eikaiwa, some of the students in the advanced class started to ask church questions. So it turned into a church discussion. It turns out that K is actually a less active. He said it was good to hear the gospel again. He was baptized 3 years ago and went less active. Now he wants to come back! Miracles!

Our Christmas Skype
D and K. Wow. Well we learned again that its best not to let people talk about sins. He doesn't even give us a warning. He says "hey I have something to tell you." Then bam. Well.... Lets say he has some bad things in his life. The good thing is that he wants to turn away from that. BUT the situation is really difficult. Because of his past sins he was cast out of his church. Now he has some pretty strong feelings against that church. Every time we bring up the gospel he always avoids it. He can talk about stories from the bible all day long. But when you try to apply it to life he turns and says "man you guys need to loosen up." Pops a can of beer and lights up some smokes. He is obviously hurt and Satan is pulling him hard away. On the other hand, K is ready to progress. She basically said that she wants J and her to be baptized. Of course she wants to study it first but for her experience from our church (coming to the Christmas party) and others, she really likes our church. J loves us for some reason. We see him playing outside all the time. He yells for us and says "MISSIONARIES WAIT!" Runs and gives us high fives. K is holding strong for the family and knows that it is because of the beer and smokes that D is turning bad. She wants him to stop but she admits she lashes out at him too. She said she would try better at that this next week.

Elder Olsen and Elder Jameson
She said she really wants to go to church with D. Again D isn't seeming like he is budging anytime soon with his standpoint. So we we are going to go at it from a different angle. We are still planning that but we hope it will go well.

Church. S and T came to church. The other Elders had one investigator come. An old investigator came as well. 4 people at church. No one really came to say hello. There are lots of things the Branch needs help doing. We are going to do a dendo fireside this next Sunday. Hopefully that will change things up a bit. Over all the work is going well and I'm excited for everything to progress.

Listening to his RM sister challenge him to finish strong!

We LOVE these Elders!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Gospel of Jesus Christ can help

Hello friends!

This week wasn't as amazing as others but we were able to still meet a lot of people and share a little bit of the Christmas spirit with them. I am trying so hard to love them more and try to become like my Savior. I really am hoping I can become the missionary the Lord needs me to be.

On Monday last week we had the Christmas party. Since it wasn't well prepared it didn't go super well. BUT the people there felt the spirit of Christmas and enjoyed the time there. I asked one of the members (who works at the college) to find a Chinese investigator. I don't know why I asked her but I said I wanted to teach one. So she did! But I was still prepping things and didn't have time to talk to her sadly. The good thing is the other set of elders attached themselves to anybody they didn't know. They were really good at that. From that they got an appointment with the Chinese lady named E, and some other people as well. It is quite impressive they were able to get all of that done. On the other hand, K came to the party. She came with J and they had a great time.

Overall things went well! I'm sad that Elder Olsen and I didn't have the chance to talk to the Chinese woman but I know she is in good hands.

Over the next week, we had the same appointment schedule everyday. The afternoon we visit M, S, and try to fit in Mo.

We taught M the work of wisdom. He said he would follow it. For some reason a lot of people couple smoking and drinking with "their hobbies" so when those things go, they don't have anything else to do. M said "if I stop I don't have anything to do." Its hard to get people to stop when they have a lot of free time and when their children own a tobacco and alcohol store.

S is doing good. He is trying to pray. He has some heart felt prayers. They are really simple but they express so much power. He doesn't feel them yet but I know he will get there soon. This whole week we have just tried to visit and build his trust in prayer. I admit we probably spent too much time just talking. We probably could have saved time and gotten more lessons. We are going to work hard to not have that happen this week.

Wednesday we met this one man that had the same exact problem as M. He said "if I stop I have nothing to do. I'm going to die in 10 years anyways. I'm not going to stop." Its really sad to see people hurt themselves. They don't understand the eternal things. I guess that's where the gospel comes in. So many things about the gospel will change the nature of people.

We were on the street and we saw M walking. I saw a bag that he was carrying and it was kind of bulky. I turned to Olsen and said "I think that's beer." So we hunted him down. He said yesterday that quitting alcohol and smokes was easy. But he said that he drank that morning. He just sits at home drinking all day long. We told him to try better. Then we asked him if he went shopping. He said yes. we asked him what he bought. He ignored the question. Asked again. He said it was a secret. Once more we asked and he said it was alcohol. We told him to throw it away. He said he would but we didn't believe him. Its starting to become really shaky whether he can receive baptism or not.

We met some nice people and were able to share the message. We weren't able to talk to many people this week due to focusing on these people written before.

We were able to meet C just for 5 minutes and to see how she was doing. She has a cold and is sick but her sister who has cancer is getting better!!!! Yay for prayers! She is so wonderful and we love her to death.

Thursday we had zone training meeting. It was super good.

Eikaiwa was great. In all 17 came. We made 2 classes and next week we will have a 3rd. When we prepare more and try harder to stay more active, the Lord blessed the class. Now we hope we can start teaching some people from this.

Friday we tried meeting M. He was gone. It was weird. So we went to S. Did I tell you the hospital he is staying at is on the top of a huge hill? Its so hard biking up there. Well its okay but its not fun honestly. Its so worth it because he is doing good. We talked about God and how He will help him overcome his problem. He prayed and asked "God, will you please help me overcome this problem? Is there a way out?"

We came back around to M and he said "why are you here so late?" We explained that we tried to find him but he wasn't anywhere to be found. He said "well I was drunk so I was sleeping!" Man its really rough. We are trying hard to get him going.

Quickly visited Mo. He is doing great! He is kinda praying, but that is a start. We asked if we could visit him on Saturday and he said yes.

Then we headed to K and D. Woah.  I'm not going to say what is going on in that family because first off it is probably best not to. Second off there is too much to say. D straight up told us all his sins. We didn't have time to tell him not to say it. He just went for it. Poor guy is torn up. The family is a mess. The only thing holding them together is their son. (Interestingly enough, the oldest son who is just K's son from a different marriage, we met on the street and gave him a Book of Mormon 2 weeks ago. Crazy small world right?) Just basically a constant fight.

We are working to understand who is telling the truth. On Saturday we sat down with K and heard her story. Both have problems and we think we know how to help. But ultimately it is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ that can help this family. Actually all families. It will teach them the right principles of how to love, teach, and protect your family. How to prepare them to be an eternal family.

Saturday, M is starting to not go well. He is always drunk. But he said he would come to church on Sunday if we picked him up. S said he can leave the hospital. But he said he was going to leave to smoke. Ahhhhhh no! We tried super hard to have him not smoke. He is so addicted.

We met Mo. Watched the restoration. He said it was true. The reason why he said its was true is because it was on a video. Hmmmm I haven't had that response before. He would be a great priesthood holder. He prayed at the end to know if it was true. He felt peace and we told him what that was.

Again we visited D and K. We talked to K this time. We are trying our best to help.

Sunday, we went to pick up S, he said he couldn't come because of some rule. Then went to pick up M, he was drunk. He couldn't come. Super sad but that's people's agency.

The Chinese girl came! They taught her a lesson and she is super awesome! That is going well. The other elders are working great together and getting work done.

We worked the rest of the night. Met Mo and taught him a little bit. Then met C to ask her if we can stop by for the next few days before Christmas. I love these people so much. They are crazy awesome! I hope we can help them feel the Christmas spirit and eventually come closer to Christ.

Talk to you next week!

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Lord really does love His people

Well I'm still with Elder Olsen but things are awesome because 2 more Elders came to Nago! We are super blessed. The huge wave of missionaries are going home but we asked our president if we could have 2 more. Mostly because we have no time to do any kind of member work. The members need a lot of help. Both of the missionaries are old. One returns after this transfer and the other returns after next.

Tuesday we met with W after we received news that the other elders were coming. We were super happy. W isn't doing so hot. She isn't following our commitments and its starting to get rough to teach her. Things may have to stop soon if it won't get better. We showed the Finding Faith in Christ video. It was super good. She began to understand that believing in Christ was a slow process. We then related it to the seed in Alma 32. She says she might actually start following our commitments.

We met S on Wednesday at the hospital. Man, He was messed up pretty good. He looked awful. He said that this place was a jail and hated it. All he wanted to do is smoke and drink but he couldn't. I was happy that he couldn't. Still it was super heart breaking to see him so down. We gave him a Book of Mormon and told him to read it in his free time.

Up until dinner we have to prep the apartment for the new Elders. After that we dendoed the night away.

Thursday we went to visit a man who we were able to set up a baptismal date with last Monday. Other Elders have taught him but because his family was hantai he couldn't be baptized. He also though when you are baptized they hold you under the water until you die. A little funny that he had that thought so that is not okay. We taught him and he has about half the baptismal questions down. He is good to go. He can be baptized on December 23rd.

The rest of the day was planning and teaching eikaiwa. Eikaiwa was better this time. More people came and we did more activities. We are trying super hard to make it better. Its not that good right now. It was in a rut when we came here.

The other Elders came on Thursday. They are great!

Friday. The Lord loves his people. Let me tell you that. I am completely amazed at His timing. We had a lesson drop and we were sad. We started going to our next appointment. We stopped this guy named K on the street. He is stinking fluent in English. How is he fluent? Studied by himself and MISSIONARIES from the Tokyo mission. He was amazing. He moved here a week ago. Asked for directions, our number, and if he can come to church, Christmas party, and eikaiwa. this guy was a miracle.

We then taught H M. We wanted to build more relationship with him so we sat down and talked about our lives and our families. That really helped. He said he would come to church (which he did) and said he would pray. He is so kind. I wish you can meet him.

We met this man named Y on the street and set up an appointment in a park. We thought he wouldn't show. He did! Not only that he is super cool. He doesn't like reading the Book of Mormon because apparently the characters on the front cover are wrong. A little silly but we challenged him to try to find all the wrong things in the book. We also challenged him to help us do stuff at church as well. He accepted. He couldn't come this Sunday but he said he would come to the Christmas party tonight.

Saturday. We met H M again. He is doing good. He keeps progressing. That's what I find interesting. All the investigators we have progressing rapidly are the ones who have dates. The rest are kind of idle. It shows the people who have that commitment truly receive the blessings from heaven.

We then went and visited S. Completely 180 turn. He was playing ping pong. I have never seen a 55 year old man move like that. It was amazing. He is doing awesome. He has read until 1st Nephi 15. Said he didn't understand it but said "I think if I read this book my heart will change." Him being off of the tobacco and the beer is so amazing. He is so happy and genki. Now we just need him to start praying and reading, which he said he would do.

After dinner we went on a slight junkai to introduce some of investigators we gave the other Elders. Elder Tagawa and I went to visit a less active. I have tried to visit her so many times with no luck. We met her! It was super awesome. The kids loved Tagawa and we had a good lesson. Afterwards we did the same for the N family. We gave the other Elders the family because there wasn't much we could do. Both elders are good with people and kids. It turned out really well. I'm super happy about it.

Sunday. Both Hs came to church. The Ward was still pretty dead. The testimonies were dominated by 2 sisters that together took about 35-40 minutes of the meeting. Not the best. After the meeting the members passed by the investigators. We went around and asked them to say hello. They said okay and some just went and sat down in the other room! So I chased them down and asked them again. All of them went and said hello but it wasn't their first thought to do so. really upsetting. M said "wow today was a lot better than 5 months ago. No one said hello and everyone seemed sad." Its a work in progress. We have all of these great investigators. We need the Ward to have a spiritual meeting. The best meetings we have had is when Stake leaders come. The best I remember was when 2 sons and a dad came from Naha and spoke. That was awesome. Elder Olsen and I talked about it quite a bit and are glad the second set of Elders can help the Ward.

We set up for the party after church.

Then we were on our way to an appointment but the person called us to cancel. We turned around and went to K's house. man crazy huge miracle. Blew my mind.

We get there with some chocolate balls we made. We hear her laughing and music playing. We knock and the son sees us and freaks out "MOM THE AMERICANS ARE HERE!" Then some time goes by and then this lengthy creepy man stepped out. Says that he is K's brother and that she has a cold. Therefore she is sleeping. We looked at him and my thought was, "we heard her laughing and talking 30 seconds earlier." I didn't argue with him and started to explain that we made her chocolate balls. At that moment D came home. He was super happy to see us. He completely broke down and went almost into an all caps rage. He was so mad about the lengthy man. Apparently it is some gay guy that comes and drinks and smokes with K. They do it in front of the son. D is super protective of the son but K doesn't really care. He said "before I came home I prayed to God to help me not get mad when I came home. I came and saw that man's shoes. I was so angry and so I decided to go through a different door. That's when I saw you here."

I don't want to say that we were the answers to his prayer. But God truly lines people's lives up so that we can feel His love. We talked with this man for over an hour and he is trying so hard to be a good God fearing man. His relationship is terrible. We were able to share some scriptures from the Book of Mormon he received 2 years ago from other missionaries. Also gave him promises about how if his family was centered on the gospel of Jesus Christ, they would be strengthened and problems can be resolved. He wants us to protect his son and to surround his wife in good environments. He told us to come over whenever and teach his wife. They might come to the party tonight.

The Lord really does love His people. I am very happy and humbled to see that fact every day. As Christmas draws near I reflect on the fact I am a representative of Christ. I have this amazing chance to do as he would do, teach as he would, and try to love everyone as he would.  Let's all try to be like D and try to have the light of Christ pour out in every part of our lives. That way the world can see the true meaning of Christmas.

Until next week!

Elder Jameson

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Heavenly Father prepares His children

We had a crazy week. I don't have much time but I'll blast through it.

Monday was a half p-day because we were had Thanksgiving with the military. (Which was amazing. We have left overs. :-) )

We visited S and we taught him to pray. He has no self confidence and doesn't really have a motive to do it by himself so we basically have to have him do it for him. We wrote down a prayer and he did it.

Later that day we went to a new area we found. We met a lot of college students. One girl actually brought up a new reason not to trust in God. She said "people say when ever they do good things they owe it to God. I want to compliment myself sometimes." It was interesting but missing the point. It took a few moments to build a case against it but in the end it shows that God really is the only thing that will succeed in the end.

Tuesday we had a our last district meeting. Since some missionaries were going home they were able to bear their testimonies. The former AP, Dolbin Choro gave a great testimony. It showed how much love he had for the Savoir and how much he has learned from serving him. If every missionary was more like him, each mission would change for the better.

We had our lesson with W. She isn't really progressing anymore. Sadly she isn't keeping her commitments which is making it hard for her to know if this is the truth. We keep telling her that. Hopefully this next lesson she will keep them. But this past lesson we talked about why there is war and how can we resolve it. It all is based on the gospel of Jesus Christ and loving our neighbors. When these two things are not followed, then bad things like wars start to occur.

After W we had our lesson with S. It was a good first lesson. She has so much potential. Since she is married to a member, she can really learn how to apply the teachings to her everyday life. She seems really bright and willing to learn. We just started off with basic things and we set an appointment for Thursday.

Wednesday! We met with this man named H. M. We met him last week. He wondered why there were so many sects. So we taught the first lesson and he said "Wow I'm relieved. Now I understand why there are so many churches." We were able to continue with that and he said that he thought the Joseph Smith keiken was true. SO with that we set up a baptismal date for the 17 of Jan.

We did some dendo and made it to C. We planned super hard for her. During the lesson we were teaching the power of the atonement. She has so many hard things in her life. We wanted to help her understand that the atonement can give her strength to endure. We were wanting to set a baptismal date at the end but some reason things kept coming up. Half way through the lesson a family member called and said they needed her over. We had to stop and leave it there. Its interesting how God works sometimes. He places things in the way because there are sometimes missionaries that are going the wrong way so he needs to stop it. Based off the lesson, she wasn't prepared for that invite. But now we will be more careful to help prepare more.

Thursday. We had thanksgiving and a lesson with S. Great lesson! Our unity was almost perfect it seemed. Everything was great! We even invited her to baptism on the 25th of December to which she said yes... but! This is were things get messy. It turns out she is actually a few months pregnant. If you do the math they were married a month ago. Before the member came back, he was way less active. Like not going to church since he was 12 less active. Turns out that he isn't very strong. When we offered the baptismal date he freaked out saying that he doesn't even understand the message so he thinks she should take things slower. We told them it wasn't any pressure but more of a goal. If she were to come to know by that date, she could be baptized. If not, no big deal it will be moved. Well he felt offended and pressured even though it was her decision. Turns out a few days later we were told by his parents they thought we came to their house randomly and then forced the baptism on them. (They completely forgot about the appointment.) Even up until now, the member will not answer our phone calls. He didn't come to church either. A little upsetting and really frustrating. He is slowing the process instead of helping. A little bit of a bummer.

Anyways. On to brighter and more awesome news. Friday we had junkai. There Elder Ho and I were walking and this American almost hit us in his car. For some reason I just started talking to him at his window. I asked him where he was from. "Philly." I about freaked out. I told him I used to live in limerick and we kept talking. We invited him to our Christmas party. He said he was busy but he said he would have his wife and son J go. For some reason my mind went "wait.... J... K had a son named J." K is an investigator who we met about 2 weeks ago. She is awesome, super genki. But she got sick and we wanted to give her bananas to say we were sorry and for her to get better. As fate had it, we didn't have time to stop by her house that day.

So i asked him "how old is your son." "8 years old" I thought, K's son is 8. Then I asked what his wife's name was, he said "K." My mind exploded. Heavenly Father really does prepare his children. The best part is that he said that we can come over when ever we want. He said his wife is going through a rough time and he wants her to be around good people. So therefore "come over whenever, you don't need an invitation." Super awesome miracle.

Saturday was just filled with work. Nothing too exciting happened.

Sunday we went to go pick up S for church. As we pulled him outside his apartment his boss was waiting there saying "we need you at work" so they drove off. Elder Olsen and I were dumbfounded. But it turns out to be good. We went by his house later that night and caught him as he got home. He is going into rehab to fix his drinking and smoking problems. He said we can come to visit him when ever we want. This is a great chance. While he is off the beer and smokes, he will be more open to the spirit. We are hoping things can shape up for him :-)

Love Elder Jameson

Monday, November 24, 2014

Christ, Family, and Joy

So This week is full of awesomeness and miracles. I don't have lots of time but I'll try to get through it all.

We had a Family Home Evening thing on Monday where the youth and their friends gathered. One friend came and while he was there he kept saying "This place is nice. It feels good. Its peaceful. Everyone feels happy and like a family" That's what the gospel of Christ does for you. We will work with him soon but he is pretty busy.

Tuesday. We had a wonderful zone conference. It helped me and Elder Olsen figure some things out that can better help our dendo. Especially in our family history. I would like to get stories of dad, mom, grandpa, grandma (both sides) and their parents if possible. I would be super happy if I could get some stories.

We made it back in time to try to meet W but she completely forgot about our lesson. So we went and dendoed the night away.

Wednesday always seems like the day we pack our lessons on. We had 7 lessons planned. Some of them were not strong. The not strong ones fell through and some of the investigators dropped. But the ones who want to listen, we were able to meet. Last week I said we met this guy named T.  We went and visited him. Mostly we just talked to him and talked about his plants. He liked that we showed interest and he said he would come to church. He forgot to tell us that his wife had her birthday on the 23rd so he will end up not being able to come.

After this man we went to meet T. Well he is awesome as always. Busy too. Elections for Okinawa just passed and I think there is a larger scale elections that his friend is competing in. He is supporting his friend therefore extremely busy. We were able to tell him to pray before he reads the Book of Mormon, which he is loving.

We got a lesson with W. She is regressing because she isn't keeping our commitments. She said "I feel bad when I hear all of the members and missionaries stories of good feelings and experiences. I don't have them. I mean I feel good when i pray but I don't feel like this church is anything special." I turned to her and said "well have you prayed to know if the church is true?" She responded no. I said "that's why. You havent been doing what we asked you to do. We know you will feel it if you do it. But you aren't doing it so therefore you aren't feeling it." After that she said she would pray. Hopefully she is praying and things will turn around.

Thursday. Man I really don't like planning and having eikaiwa on the same day. For some reason this area has eikaiwa on Thursdays. Planning and then eikaiwa just kills you. Our classes have not been good because we have been so dead. Its not good. It also kills our Japanese too because we spend a whole day not speaking it. I wonder what we should do to fix that.

Friday. We start off with E. She has such a bad problem with forgiving. That is probably her only problem. We need to help her with that. We need to get the members more involved in her teaching. After her we went to S's house. Last week when we visited, his bike tire was flat. There was no way he was getting to church on that. So we went when he wasn't home and fixed his tire punk. Tt was super fun.

Remember that woman that walked into the church saying she wanted to repent? Well she completely dropped off the earth. She only gave her home phone number. But the cool thing is, in the phone book, it gives addresses to home phone numbers. I felt like a stalker but we found her house and visited. It turns out she is in the hospital and won't get out for a while. So that's, I guess, the end of her story for now.

We returned to S. He was super happy we fixed his bike. He was beaming when we visited him. We sat him down and talked about baptism. He said he would like to be cleaned from his mistakes and bad things. He has a hard time understanding so we have to teach simply and slowly. But we set a baptismal date for January 18th. We are super happy about that!

Saturday we spent sometime finding. It was super good. We went to an area that Elder Bevan andIi found. Apparently its really new. Almost every house was new. It was super awesome. Everyone seemed to be really genki and listen to us. This man named H.M. really seemed interested in our message. He talked about how God and Jesus appeared to Joseph. We asked him is that was believable and he said yes. My favorite part was when he stepped out of the house and randomly hugged me. It was awesome. We will meet him soon. There are a lot of amazing people we met. I wish I could say more but time limits me.

We had a lesson with C.  It was so good. She has so many life pains and loves to pray because she feels good when she does. We taught her that feeling and told her to try to recognize it and understand what if feels like. It was a short lesson but it was what she needed.

We went to the N's with a member. I was super scared that it was going to be bad. It was super awful at the beginning because the kids were all over the place and the mom seemed like she wasn't in the mood.Bbut the member suddenly started to play with the kids and bam. the spirit came and we had the best lesson we have had with N. We figured out her understanding and cleared a lot of basic things up. Members have some amazing power. Our relationship with N is better now.

We went and visit N. It's been a while. We didn't teach anything but just to get back on base. It was super good and we figured a time where we can meet her.

SUNDAYYYYY!!! So I was super stressed about this. 5 people said they would come. One couldn't because he had his wife's thing. 2 more randomly got sick! One frankly didn't show up. But one of the people, J the lady from the Philippians, called me on Sunday and told me she was feeling better and she would come. So S and J came! They had a great time and felt like they were at home. I was a little upset about the fellow-shipping though. People just passed right by them. Not cool. But they felt the spirit. That's what matters. At the end, we talked to the wife of the recently reactivated member. She said it was okay to start lessons. Her name is Si. We think she can progress really quick.

After church we had ward council. For the past month we have been trying to set the Christmas party up so we can start planning for our open house. We also told them about the mission goal of the 250 people at church. They brushed off the goal. They just said "Elders, good luck." (Not all of them said it but some did and others kind of hinted it. They are really passionate about the work. So me and Olsen will try our hardest to get them going) We think we can pull in 5 or 6 investigators. There are some young members that can bring some more. We think we can get in total 15. Lots of prayer and work is needed.

After church we spent some good time finding. We found this one man that said "sorry its because I'm Japanese and its our culture to be Buddhist." I turned to him and said, "if you let the culture control who you become, you are choosing to let people control who you become. This message has no culture." It turns out he wasn't even Buddhist. The only reason why he doesn't listen is because he doesn't understand. His father and sister are actually Christian. and he lived in America for a long time. He said "well then in 3 topics, what is the message?" That kinda threw us off. We haven't heard that before. I said Christ is the center of the message. It is made for our families so that we can over come sadness and find joy. Christ, families, and joy. There are probably better ways or better words to explain it. But it was what he needed to hear and so he invited us back on next Saturday.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 17, 2014

That's Good enough For Me

I'm totally okay with whatever you send for Christmas, really. I just want to receive some letters. I haven't really gotten anything the past 3 transfers. Last week was awesome because I got 3 on one day and daddy's letter a few weeks ago. I just want to hear how people's lives are doing. And eat some peanut butter m&ms.

So this week wasn't as awe inspiring as last week due to reasons we don't really know or understand. We have guessed the reason of why it wasn't as good, but we are just going to try to push through it. A lot of the appointments that were set up fell through to sudden events. We worked super hard but I'm guessing it was for purposes we can't immediately see. We will have to be patient.

Monday we were supposed to have our lesson with M. She didn't come! So we were sitting at the church with 2 members and it is super awkward to tell the members that the person probably won't come. We decided to dendo instead. There was this slightly drunk man that let us into his house. He was super nice and funny. He said that we could come over and eat at his house whenever we want so we might take him up on that. Maybe teach a lesson as well :)

Tuesday we came back after district meeting and tried to get as much work done before our other lessons. We tried to hit up houses that would have people home in the afternoon..... but that usually means that those people are either really old or house wives. Well we hit all the old people with their Okinawa bend. Super hilarious. We finally had our lesson with E. She is going great. We need to find a way to get members more involved with her lessons. She is about half way done with the ab lessons now. I think she will stay active.

After wards we had our usual service with W and lesson. Really, doing lessons in the chapel is the way to go. It has such a great spirit. We talked about the plan of salvation up until the atonement. We talked quite a bit about agency because of wars. A lot of people are really concerned with wars especially with all the American bases near by. Apparently they are planning on building another one about 5-10 miles east of the city. A lot of people have been asking our opinion about it. We just say that that is their choice and we have a different purpose. It gives us a great chance to talk about agency and the gospel though. So we talked about that a lot and had a great lesson with that.

Wednesday. We had the chance to have 6 lessons. 3 member present and 3 others. But sadly, for reasons not known to us, or based off of ineffectiveness, they fell through. On a brighter note 2 lessons came through! That's 2 more than completely not having any at all!

The first one that fell through was the mom that last week said she wanted God to exist. We came to the house and the husband came to the door. I really don't like men here in japan. Granted, I love the Japanese people, But the men sometimes get on my nerves. Especially in this case. We introduced ourselves and briefly stated what we talked about last time. We asked if we could talk to both him and his wife because a lot of the time when we talk to both, they both say yes. But if we just talk to the husband after talking to the wife, for some reason, 9 times out of 10 they never let us talk to the wife and just reject us! It's really sad. He told us no about talking to his wife but we taught him instead. He wasn't interested so we just moved on.

After that we had a pretty cool miracle to make up for that. We met this lady who was super into Christianity. She named her son Joshua. She wanted a bible but it was too expensive. So when we told her we are giving out the Book of Mormon for free, she gladly accepted. She invited us back without us asking. She said "you guys need to come back and teach me." Well, my friend, we would love to do so. Her name is K. Super nice woman. She said she would try to come to church on the 23rd to hear me give a talk.

After some other appointments dropping we finally met this man named G. He is older but he took the challenge to pray. He has such a kind heart but he is a little slow. That isn't all that much of a problem. As long as he is willing, that's good enough for me.

We had another lesson with W. When planning for it, I had this bad feeling. Every time I have this feeling, its telling me that what we are planning for isn't going to come about or that isn't what is going to happen. So when we got there the lesson started. She had a question from the last lesson of "why are there wars and how through the Book of Mormon can we avoid them," perfect question. But we got there and the lesson never touched on that. We had a double check on prayer and strengthen that. It was a super good lesson. The joints did an amazing job. I think she may continue to pray!

Thursday we were doing just weekly planning and eiwaikai. There was a member who I haven't met who called us and asked for a blessing. I'm a little concerned with how much the ward asks us for blessings instead of their priesthood leaders. This is now my 4th one in about a month or so. I'm honored that they trust the missionaries, and all the other priesthood are busy. I'm not sure if they should always be asking us.

Friday we just went to work and hit it hard. Nothing really big came up. We were off balance. I was saying weird things, So was Olsen. That day was just really hard. We did find a man to give a Book of Mormon to. He had some decent interest. We will visit him soon.

We called a member who recently came home from Fukuoka. He was less active up there but came back after feeling he needed to change. Well, when we called him we were talking about the basketball activity we had planned for Saturday. He said "oh I have my wife. Can she come" When he said that we were so confused. He got married within a month of coming home. It turns out it was a girl he was dating before he came here. I'll talk more about that in a second.

So Saturday we tried to dendo more. We didn't have any appointments so we hit the pavement hard. We handed out 3 copies of the book of Mormon in one day! That's pretty good for us. Super blessed. We visited a less active in the area of where we were working. It turns out he died last week or something like that. There have been so many members that haven't been in contact with the church in such a long time. I feel bad but the Branch Priesthood is so busy all the time they don't really have time for Home Teaching. Not much less active work is getting done unless it is by the women or us. We are working with the branch to set up a plan on contacting or working more with less actives.

We met this really nice man named T. We asked him, "if you can ask God one question, what would it be?" He said, "how can I be more happy in this life?" Well it turns out that we are just sharing exactly that. So we set up a return appointment for Wednesday!

We had that basketball activity. S., that came to church last week, came. He had a lot of fun. He had plans for Sunday so he couldn't come but we had a great chance to build more kankei with him.

Sunday, we went to pick up S. We knocked on his door and he told us to come in. He was completely blasted out of his mind. But he was soooooo funny. We tried to help pick him up and man it is so hard to try to pick someone up who can't control their body. we called one of the branch members to come pick him up but seeing how it was 20 til the start of the meeting, they couldn't do it. But he said he has lots of interest and wanted to come. Next week we will visit him on Saturday so he won't be drunk in the morning.

So that guy who got married brought his wife to church! She was so kind and all dressed up for church. I was super impressed. I think she had a good time and the man is really wanting to get married in the temple. So I think he is trying to teach her the gospel. Things might be really good with that.

Some of the members told us that a less active was trying to eat with us. We didn't quite understand what that was supposed to mean. As we were talking to a member right before the third block, the less active just appears out of no where and gives us some kind of pizza. He has an addiction to tobacco. We sat him down and asked him if he likes smoking. He said "No. Tobacco is not good tasting." Recently I was emailing my friend Andrew and he said that he used Helaman 5:12 to explain how we need to rely on Christ and not tobacco. We did that and he gave us all of his tobacco. It was super cool! I felt super sinful with them in my pocket. It felt really weird. But he wants to change. That's always the first step.

We worked hard and pushed all day. We met this lady who met the missionaries about 20-30 years ago. She straight up told us she listened to the missionaries because she liked them. I think in a romantic way. Now I don't think that is a problem. She is like 60 years old now with a grandchild. We had a great talk and she took the Book of Mormon and said yes to learning more. She said "I WILL NOT ENTER INTO YOUR CHURCH, but I do want to listen to what you have to say." Well, that's good enough for me. As long as there is some kind of desire, that can change.

Till next week!

Jameson Choro

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

This Church is Amazing

Holy moly, this has been a crazy week. I'm sorry if I forget details or skim over stuff. This has been one of the best weeks of my mission.

Okay Monday was a great day. We were housing and this guy came out and immediately said no to us. Somehow we brought it back around and he talked about he believes in being born again. I said, "when you are born again, you still suffer pains and have hard times again and again. What would you think about only suffering during this life and having nothing but happiness after this life?" That seemed to perk his interest and we set up a lesson for Sunday.

Tuesday we met with W again. The lesson was talking about how the liahona is our guide to happiness. We related that to the Book of Mormon. She seemed to like it and she was interested in becoming happier. She is happy but the idea of becoming happier excites her. Later that night we had a prompting to visit a old investigator. He was home and he let us in. He had every addiction that is possible.. at least it seems like that. He had beer cans in the corner. Tabacco and pills on the table. Porn on his couch. He just has a rough life. He said he wants to change. He turns to us after we said he can change and said "what advice do you have for me?" We then shared baptism and told him to come to church. He agreed!

Wednesday was sooooooo crazy cool. First we met with M. He is starting to become a dropped investigator. He is slightly mental but that is not the problem. He isn't keeping our commitments and he doesn't remember anything. I feel bad since he is mental but there isn't much we can do about that. We can keep trying but we may need to give him a break.

After M we met T. Man, this guy is incredible. The other elders found him on splits and we needed to visit him again. So he had cancer in about April of this year. At that time he came really close to death and saw a light. He pondered about his life and what that light was. When the elders came by, he saw that light again and felt warm inside. So he wanted to learn what we had to offer. He read the restoration pamphlet twice but didn't fully understand it. But on the back of the pamphlet it says "what should I do?" and under it it says read the Book of Mormon. So he said to us "I would like a Book of Mormon please. I like reading and I would like to know what kind of book this is." In all honesty we didn't teach really at all in this lesson. We jointly testified and he told us his concerns. He is a cram school teacher and after this huge test the college students have, he will arrange his hours to come to church and eikaiwa. This man is amazing.

Afterwards we had a lesson with W again. This lesson was about knowing if Jesus is the Christ and prayer. She was so upset because she prayed to have it rain. well.... it didn't rain. We taught her the importance of patience and understanding when you wait for prayers. The member we brought there really helped her. Also we did our lesson in the chapel. We told her that she would feel the Spirit there. At the end of the lesson she said I feel warm here. I feel like something is surrounding me. Well W, that is the Spirit. We challenged her to pray. she said she would

This is still on Wednesday. It was really jammed packed. and we still have another lesson with a new investigator named C. She said she wanted to believe God and wanted to pray. So we brought the Branch President and taught her prayer. Great lesson!!! She said she wanted to pray all the time and that she wants to come to church. Especially since her kids are wamp and skipping out on school. Her sister too is going through cancer. She wants to pray for help. It goes to show like in the 32 chapter of Alma that people that are in bad circumstances are attracted to the blessings of the gospel. I'm so grateful for the power of prayer.

Thursday we only had eikaiwa. Not much happened.

Friday we went to a new investigator who dropped after the lesson. Just a old man complaining about how God didn't exist because his life was terrible. He wouldn't listen to our explanations. Se tried but when you harden your heart, you won't understand the gospel.

After all was said and done we went finding and found another 2 moms that were really interested. Super super blessed. One said she wants God to exist. the other one said that she wants her family to be happier. We have an appointment on Wednesday with her. The other mom said she will come to church maybe next week or the week after.

Saturday we had to take the language assessment exam. The computer was really old so we had problems. It took a huge chunk out of our day. Not really happy about that. We went and talked to some people and then we tried to visit S. That man with lots of problems. He recommitted to come to church.

After him we visited the N family. They aren't progressing. The mom keeps saying she forgets. The main reason she started the lessons was because the kids were interested. She said that they weren't really interested now. I asked her if they were doing anything we were asking. She said no. My thought was, of course the kids don't have interest, you aren't doing anything with them that will help them. We can only meet them once a week and we give them things that will help them through the week but they aren't following it. And they aren't progressing. We may need to give them a break.

Afterwards we met this guy who dropped after we taught him. He is a great guy and believes in nature. He believes God made nature but thinks nature instead of God. We tried to work with that but he said "I'm okay with how I'm living now." This is another thing that is opposite of the people before. The people who aren't compelled to be humble or who are not humble, are hard to teach. How can we teach these people and have them accept it?

Sunday, we went to go pick up S from his apartment. He came to church with us. He felt really good and said he might come next week. Not only that, but our members friend came again to church! We taught him during 3rd hour and the lesson was really good! After church, Elder Olsen randomly said "lets go downstairs." I thought that was random but said okay and went. Down in the lobby was this random woman named M. she said "where is the priest? I have something to confess." It was random but we grabbed the branch president. They talked for about 30-40 minutes or so. The BP gave her a Book of Mormon, taught her how to pray, and then had us set an appointment with her.... for tonight. :) She wants to change and wants to learn. Her husband's sister is a member of this church living in America so she came to our church for help. The church is soooooo amazing.

We headed out and met up with a member for a lesson but that person wasn't there. So we headed over to a less actives house. The less active wasn't there, but their daughter... (the less active's sister's daughter. The sister died so they took in the girl) was there. She was super cool and she wants to come to an activity soon!

After that we headed to that appointment with that man from Monday. He was good. We learned a bunch about him but he asked about almost the resurrection of animals, if we believe in aliens, and things like that. Some deep stuff. We taught and even though he was firm in his faith, he said we could come back. Things may change with him!!!

Over all this week was amazing. We just worked hard and the Lord did the rest. Elder Olsen and I teach with great unity. We are looking forward to Christmas with our hopes that we can give Christ and Heavenly Father some of his children.

Elder Jameson

Monday, November 3, 2014

Fasting Brings Miracles

This week was great. Elder Olsen is a great missionary. His work ethic is great and he has a great desire just to make this area explode. It's exactly the kind of companion I need. We had some great things happen this week and we are looking forward to this transfer.

Monday we were to have a lesson with a man that the other missionaries found on a junkai about 2 weeks ago. Since Elder Bevan transferred I knew nothing about this man. So we went. He was super cool and has lots of interest. He had cancer a few years ago or just recently. He almost died so he wanted to know more about God. He was busy because he was in the middle of his job but we set up an appointment for Wednesday. Later that day we found this lady who is half Christian and half Okinawa religion. She believes in Christ when she is sad. We told her how believing in Christ can help us become even more happy than we are now. We set up an appointment but it seemed like she wouldn't be home at that time. We had only a little bit of time left so we prayed and received instruction to go to a near by apartment and hit one door. We talked for about 3 minutes and she said we could come back!

Tuesday we worked hard. We met a new investigator named M. He is slightly handicapped but he has a pure heart. He believes in Christ but doesn't really know him at... all. We taught him some basic things and he said we could come back. It was a good lesson. We talked to a member after that about her 21 year old granddaughter and 19 year old grandson. We had a member's son come home recently and he seems to know all the less active youth in the area so it looks like there might be a chance that he may help.

Later that night we did some more housing. Lots of great people. One man said God doesn't exist because his life sucks. We told him if he trusted in God it can become better. He told us "I won't trust God" it was really sad and it made me think "this is the hope of our message. If your life sucks why wouldn't you try to rely on something that can help. Your life is going to be the same if you don't do anything about it."

We met this one man who said we could come back and teach about how he and his children can live together after this life.

Wednesday was basically spent setting up for the Halloween party. Brother M helped us all day. I love that guy. He helped so much. We got most of it done. T called and said he was busy but we will meet him next week instead. I'm looking forward to that.

Thursday we had zone training meeting then we returned and started to prep for the party. At first it didn't seem like a lot of people were going to come. A member brought her husband who wasn't a member. They used to live in America and he wanted to be baptized but he came across some people who were anti-Mormon and he eventually stopped. He hasn't come to church in 15 years she said. So this was a great chance for him to come back. Around 7:20 or so, this one college student that we meet a few weeks ago came. He brought 10 of his friends. Then other members brought some of their children and children's friends. At the end there was about 35-40 people that came! It was super awesome. The party was great and a lot of them said they wanted to come to our Christmas party. Things are looking good. If we have activities like this, I think more people will become more used to the church and eventually join. That's why open houses are so important.

Friday we had weekly planning and some dendo. We went to visit a lot of the people we had planned from earlier this week but they all weren't home :(. We did meet this one lady who said she wanted to believe in God. Se asked her why and she said "there is a feeling in my heart." That was the spirit testifying to her about this message. She has 2 sons that she wants to listen to this message. They both are of age to receive baptism.  We will meet her on Wednesday.

Saturday we finished some planning and headed out. We housed a bit but nothing really happened. We didn't meet many people because every place we went to, there was no one home.

Sunday. Fasting brings miracles. One of the members here, M is a college student. He is the So awesome. He brought one of his friends to the party and asked him to come to church. At the end of sacrament meeting, that friend came! And he stayed for the rest of church. He is pretty cool and he accepted the Book of Mormon at the end of church. But I had a feeling we should have took him out of Elders Quorum. Those lessons are always boring. No offense to the teachers. Basically it was a 30 minute discussion on how we need to prepare the sacrament better. It wasn't prepared at all. And I feel bad that he sat through that. I looked over at M during the lesson and we both just had this thought of "hmmmm I wonder how he is taking this"

BUT it looks like he might come back. Next time we wont take him to Elders Quorum.

After church we talked to some members and are getting a better idea as how to start a mutual program where we can invite high school students to activities. The Branch President said it was okay for us to do this.

We started to dendo afterwards. No one opened their door!!!! It was so frustrating. You slowly die inside going door to door, waiting. But when someone answers the door, there is some energy that enters into you. I was super tired and hungry but this one college student answered his door and man we had a great lesson. We will come back on Sunday.

After dinner we went by and visited a less active. It was his birthday and we went to sing. It was great and we can come again this week to bring cookies.

We went and dendoed again and met this 17 year old girl named M. I think a bunch of her sisters and mom live in a house together. I only saw girls there. So many. It was weird.  But she said we could come back and explain God to her. I want to teach the whole family.

Afterwards we met this German. This guy had funny English. He was shinto and he wouldn't let us talk about our religion. He was super nice and he might come to eikaiwa.

Lastly we talked to the N family. Had a great lesson on prayer and why we ask them to pray. I felt so much love for them and told them I loved them. I told them I want them to pray because I want them to feel the way I do when I pray. At the end we pulled out a copied part of the 2014 October Liahona on the prayer sandwich. It is super easy to follow and we gave it to them. She said "we will try to pray everyday." Please pray so that they find time to pray!

Have a great week!

Elder Ho!

Elder Ho and the DL

Halloween party

Monday, October 27, 2014

Real Intent

Hello friends!!!!

Elder Bevan did get transferred out and I have a new companion named Elder Olsen. He is a half Japanese, but he didn't know any Japanese before the mission. His Japanese is really good. It kind of makes me feel bad since people turn to him and only really talk to him. He is a great missionary but really quiet. I'm looking forward to working with him.

On Tuesday we had a lesson with W again. When trying to fix Elder Bevan's bike, we met a member who we invited to the lesson. After we gardened with her outside the church, we taught her about the Godhead. Last time we taught her the time line of the Book of Mormon. Now we taught her what the Book of Mormon would teach. So we taught the Godhead and their purpose (Moses 1:39 For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. ). She brought up Satan by herself so we explained him and how he works. It shows such a great change in her. She seems to soak everything in and she keeps saying she is excited to read the Book of Mormon. She even hand made a cover for the book to protect it. I asked if she could make one for my Japanese scriptures and she said yes! She said she was happy I asked. Next time we will teach her how to apply the teachings. It's a slow process but it is well worth it.

Wednesday, was spent getting all the things in order for Bevan Choro. We did get to meet E one last time. other than that we went home and got everything ready to go.

Thursday I spent most of the day with the district leader and his comp. They did weekly planning while I studied. Elder Olsen came in and we headed to Nago. We taught eikaiwa and returned home.

Friday we had weekly planning. iI was really hard to do everything by myself. Granted me and elder Bevan didn't always agree on things but it allowed for ideas to flow out. This one was all just my ideas. I don't think they were all correct either. I'll talk about that in a bit.

We went to visit E and had a short lesson with her. That was good. Later we had to walk a pretty far distance to get to a lesson with an investigator. First off ,walking is so ineffective. Second off the guy wasn't even there. We just wasted time. A cool thing that happened is that E introduced the gospel to a friend and he wants to come to church!

Saturday we wanted to visit N but she wasn't there. The lesson plan didn't feel right anyways. I feel like I over think the plans and plan the wrong thing. I want to make it more simple but somehow I always make it too complicated. I even use the things Kaicho has give us to help for planning. Its not healthy for me to completely plan by myself. We did some finding and got things done there. I used to be really persistent when I was a younger missionary. I always had bad experiences with that. So I'm not as persistent as I was before. Elder Olsen is pretty good at making sure everyone has a fair chance to hear the gospel. He is good working his way to a lesson. I need to work on that more.

Saturday night all our plans feel through because of things popping up and walking while waiting for Olsen's bike. But we helped a member with some of her cat problems? She asked us to pray for her cats? I mean we were next to her house so we visited. After that it turned into a good mix where we talked about how she can introduce the gospel more. This morning (Monday) she went and talked to a kid and he said he would come to the party on Thursday.!

Sunday after church we talked to some members about less actives and got their opinion on things. It was super good and our relationship was built more. The bad thing is, since our ward mission leader is inactive, we don't really have a way to exchange our information with the ward. The president just says, please activate him. We don't have a top 5. We don't know a lot of the members all that well and the branch vision at all. Elder Olsen and I are going to go to work on that this transfer and try to build the relationship with the ward. It will take effort and time but it needs to be done.

After that we went to teach K family. This time it wasn't as good. It may have been from the start they didn't have interest but this time they seemed to not enjoy our visit. I felt bad because I thought "is it because of my planning?" All of my planning this past week took a nose dive. It was so weird. My other plans with Bevan worked well. These just crashed. Maybe it was needed for us to focus on other things. But still it hurts inside to see things fall through.

Later that night we had a little time so we knocked on a door. This lady came out and was the usual Japanese "I'm this so I'm good" response. I don't know how Elder Olsen did it but he got around to a lesson. The lesson wasn't all that great but again we got around to giving a Book of Mormon out. I want to be more persistent and better molding to situations so that people have a better chance accepting the gospel. I feel like I go into gospel mode and only talk about the gospel. He is good using things around us and getting to know them. I used to do that so much before. I want to be more of a real missionary. Real intent and real heart. Really trying to help these people. I think back to that talk at general conference of "are we doing what we need to be doing now for us to become what the Lord wants us to become." I think about that a lot. It worries me if I am the missionary I need to be. What can I do to be more like Christ and a concentrated missionary? How can I work harder and love more? How can I give more of me so that these people can find Christ? I want to be the me I need to be. I will keep working on that.

We are looking forward to a good transfer!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

They will always be there for us

There has been a lot going on this week.

Last Monday, we had this crazy cool activity with a bunch of college students. One member in our ward is an English teacher for a college. She gathered a bunch of students and had a cooking English class. She invited us as well. It was so much fun! We became pretty good friends and some said they wouldn't mind listening to our message!

Tuesday. We came home from district meeting and there were some awesome people we met on the street. One guy wasn't from here but he was telling us he believed God was real because of how complex people were. Not only that, but how every snow flake is different. Interesting man.

Later we did our gardening activity with W. She read the intro to the Book of Mormon and had lots of questions. We answered her questions and she said "well I'm looking forward to reading this book." We will see how it turns out. Later in the night everyone we wanted to visit was busy but almost all of them told us to come back on a different day. One of which is the K family. I'll talk about them on Sunday.

Wednesday. We started to watch conference right after lunch since we haven't seen it yet. The next 5 days we will do the same thing to watch it.

We met with a  member and she said she would help us with our Halloween party and hand out flyers. Later we met with Egawa and she is going great. After dinner we went to visit a less active we visited last month. Real quick, up until this point we have prayed many times, and truly the Spirit will guide you if you seek it. We felt we needed to visit this less active again even though she rejected us. We actually wanted to visit her daughter. She was 13 and it was weird but we wanted to invite her to our Halloween party. We were scared her mom would not let her come but it turns out only the girl was home and things were great! She was super excited and said she wanted to come.

Thursday was planning and going to sing happy birthday to a less active. She wasn't there so we went to another who wasn't home. So in turn ,we went back and she was still not there. As we were leaving we saw this old lady walking and I had a thought "that's her." So I stopped and started to talk to her. Well it was! She said she wanted to come to church but her husband is hantai and wont let her come. She wants, but again she cant. AHHAHAHHAHAH people.

A new high of 13 people came to eikaiwa. That's the most this area has seen in a while. Things are looking great!

Friday we needed to finish up some plans for less active work. The girl I mentioned above and another less active's daughter are the perfect ages to be befriended by the young women. This is in part why I want the U family to come to our ward instead of driving 2 hours to Okinawa. They have a 12 year old daughter that would help so much. Anyways, both girls are 13 or 12 so we talked about how the girls could reach out and befriend them. After dinner we went to find a different U. We couldn't find the house but on of her neighbors helped us find it. She moved like 15 years ago and the neighbor walked us to the new house. Really nice man.

Afterwards a member called and said their eye was swollen so they needed a blessing. We had a meeting with the Branch President near that house so on the way we swung by and were able to bless the woman. It was a great opportunity. I'm glad I was worthy to be able to do that.

That plan I talked about earlier, the branch was all go for it so we will soo put that into affect.

Saturday. Our less active ward mission leader had his birthday so we went and brought him a small cake. He wasn't home but later he sent a text saying thanks. We met this cool middle school student who accepted the Book of Mormon. I have found that a lot of teenagers want the gospel. Almost every single one who doesn't blow us off from the beginning has said they wanted to learn more and study Christ. But almost all of them can't meet again because of life. It's so rough. Hopefully they will come to the party.

Later this night we visited a family called the N. They were the family we gave the prayer challenge to the other week. There was something different with them. They did it for 2 days straight but fell off. The thing was, when they opened their home, there was a different feeling there. More happy and peaceful. The kids liked to pray. The mom seemed happier. There was more love there. Prayer helps families. We will see how they turn out. Later that night we met this really cool mom named N. She was not letting her belief of bukyo (Buddha) go away, but she listened. She was just saying that a lot of what we taught was the purpose of her religion as well. She said we can come back on Monday.

Sunday was spent trying to prep for the K family. They wanted an eikaiwa lesson and a short gospel lesson. We went... they weren't home! We were so sad so we started to write a note and they came home! Then we started to teach. We said we wanted to start off with a prayer and the little boy said something so innocent and profound. He said "why are we saying someone else's name? Is someone here?" It shocked me. I don't know why but it was a great chance to teach. God really is there and He is listening. I'll come back to that it a bit.

We taught and it was great! The boy said "come again next week" so the parents had to respect that. They are a great family and I have high hopes for them.

Monday. Crazy junkai. I got to go with Ho Choro and we had a blast. We went to this one area where apparently there were less actives just a stone throw away from each other. There about 7 or 8 of them there. One of the first had someone that was born in 1922. I said she would probably be dead. We got there and there were so many people at the house..... well.... she died a few days ago. Really awkward on my part but the less active said we could come a different time. The process happened again and again. A lot of these people haven't been visited in a long time. They were some of the first people baptized here. They were surprised we came.

We found this great 23 year old kid that listened and took a Book of Mormon. He was awesome and we will visit him again on Friday.

It was so great to be with Ho Choro. Everything we did just flowed together. I love that kid so much and it was so amazing to finally dendo with him. We have been waiting for this moment since the MTC.

After, they had to go home early, we went to visit N. Man that lesson was epic. But what was pure revelation was the prep and what happened before the lesson. Elder Bevan knew so well what to teach her. We got there and she wasn't there. We were so sad. We prayed to know what to do next. We were standing there. and I prayed 3 more times. I wasn't getting anything. I turned to Elder Bevan and said, "I don't know. I don't feel like we should anything around here." So we waited and were about to pray again when she pulled up. She got out and we talked. A great lesson. A really heart felt lesson. All about purifying hearts because she said that is what she likes the most. She said in the lesson, "we teach the same thing. When I read the scripture (Moroni 7:45) we teach the same thing." Then later she said "your faces are glowing and I can see that your hearts are pure" We said to that "it is because of the message. We promise you if you apply this message to your life, you will receive this too." A little while later the husband came out and yelled at us to leave because it was late, but she told us to come again and wanted to learn more.

On the way back last night Elder Bevan was hit by a car. Complete change of story, yeah I know.  But the lady didn't see him. He is okay but his bike needs new tires because they are warped. She was freaking out but Elder Bevan was so loving. She said "you people are good people." I said "to show we have no bad feelings, we want you to come to our Halloween party!" She accepted and said she would come to our party. Who knows? Maybe she needed to hit Elder Bevan to be introduced to the gospel?

Lastly I had a really cool experience last night while praying. There is a picture of Christ on the wall and I have seen it many times and know it is there. When I was praying it was dark and I looked up at the picture. I couldn't see it but I knew it was there. The same thing can be applied in our lives. We can see Christ and God's hand in our lives when things are lit up and you can see well. But when things go dark and you feel alone, you have a hard time seeing them. Like the boy from the K family, we can't see them, but you can know they are there. I promise they will always be there for us. Even if we can't see them.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Surviving Vongfong

So the 台風 (typhoon) killed a lot of time so i only really have things up until Thursday.

On Monday night we met this really cool lady. About 3 days before I learned the word for evolution theory. It proved to be helpful because she said she believed in evolution. This is the first time this has happened. She was so confused how we can be here and yet there are still monkeys. She thought "there must be something that made us." It turns out that she cuts hair for a living and one person that came in was an Jehovah Witness. They talked to her about the gospel for a bit while a haircut and she started the lessons.

Okay side step, this blew my mind. people of other faiths are doing better at member missionary work than we do. I don't want to be mean but we meet new people everyday. How many get the opportunity to hear what we have to say? We limit the Lord because we don't let people know. We don't know if people will be interested in the gospel if we don't try. Well this devote Jehovah Witness figured it out.

Anyways she has interest. But since she is studying with the JWs she doesn't want to betray them. We will try to work it out.

Tuesday was a weird day. We had district meeting and afterwards we met with E, who is doing great, and another member who's name is Miyagi. They are both awesome and doing well.

We didn't eat dinner at 5 but went to do service with this lady named W. Elder Bevan is good with working his way to gospel topics during things. I'm just blunt and go straight to it. Last week he asked her if she wanted to study the Book Of Mormon. She said sure. Huge miracle because she said she would never study. The Spirit works with people. We had a great lesson but when we showed her the pictures of the prophet, she was upset saying there were no girls. That was super hard to explain in Japanese. It was good at the end.

Monday night we had a good miracle happen during planning. I asked Elder Bevan who we should visit. At that moment I had a feeling to visit a person that we haven't visited in a while. Elder Bevan said that it wasn't a good idea because he isn't home all the time. I looked at him and said "lets pray about it" so we prayed. After the prayer he said we can visit him but on the way back home. Again I had a pressing feeling to visit him but with a exact time of 7 pm. I told him and we made a schedule around that. We went at 7 to visit him. He said he just had returned home.  We talked about general conference and he said he would come to priesthood. (Which was cancelled because of the typhoon but still awesome.) After we left we said a prayer of thanks. He came walking by about 3 minutes later saying he was going on a walk. If we had visited him at a different time, we wouldn't have met him. After that we prayed again to see where to go and we met this couple from Hong Kong. We found out the hard way how to speak to them. They look Japanese so we spoke Japanese back but they spoke broken Japanese with a hard accent. Then we asked in English if they spoke English. They did and fluently. It was super cool and we invited them to visit to see how this message can help their life.

Wednesday was crazy. We went out early to dendo because we had a late lunch appointment, which also pushed dinner back and it became a weird day.

But we visited this lady named N. She is basically fluent in English but she has some past mistake that haunts her so she doesn't come to church. She was active for a long time. We are trying to think of ways to help her. We went to eat afterwards and we dendoed around. Things were sparse. We did meet a mom that was concerned for her life after this one. Maybe things will progress with that. We eventually were able to meet the high school student from the other week, M. We met outside McDonalds. He thought hard about the question of a perfect world. He said, "if I kill someone and get a good lesson from that, is that okay?" Not quite. We taught him about repentance and the Book of Mormon. Repentance through the Book of Mormon actually, and the Godhead. He is such a great kid and he is the top student and president of his class. A really smart kid. He invited us to an activity he is planning for the 25th. Maybe this will be good :).

Thursday was filled with weekly planning and visiting E. She has changed so much. It fills me with so much joy to see her changing. She even keeps a daily journal for the things she prays for. How many of us members do that?

Friday, stuck inside planning for things. Then the typhoon started. It wasn't raining and the winds weren't that strong so we got some work done, some return appointments. Yeah! If we don't die in the typhoon!!

Saturday and Sunday were spent in the apartment. A lot of time with Elder Bevan. A lot. It turned out well. Our relationship is great. We worked on the area book and less active book to organize it in a way to be helpful for other missionaries coming through this area.

Honestly being in a concrete apartment is awesome. The storm didn't do anything to us. Completely safe inside. The power went out for like an hour but that was at night.

That was our week. We need to still watch general conference. I'm still looking forward to it!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Daily doses of chocolate

This week was filled a little bit of disappointments just because we didn't get everything accomplished that we wanted to. A lot of appointments fell through and some new investigators dropped.But I would rather have them drop early than to see them go through the whole process and still reject it. Still, it hurts to see someone accept and then reject the teachings of the Savoir.

On Monday we got a text from the Korean saying that she got really sick from the EMF thing so she was sick allllll week. Nothing. Sad, but I'm in the process of sending her an email talking about general conference. I think she might like that.

Monday evening we also had an appointment with the boy from Friday. He was busy so therefore that appointment dropped. We did a lot of finding because of that. We met this man who met the missionaries before and has the Book of Mormon. He said we could come back but I'm not really sure if he has interest. We will visit him tonight.

Tuesday, we had 4 appointments fall through!!!! It was so frustrating! We tried super hard to find and make up the time but things weren't working out for us. Later that night the zone leaders came and we went out for about an hour and a half. Me and elder Wynn went and did some finding. Tuesday was just a rough day and people weren't very responsive.

Wednesday we had a day full of awesomeness, but we didn't follow the plan really at all. The first thing we did is we went to the member who is struggling with E. She came out and she was really happy. We talked and had a great meet. Then she apologized for being mean to me last week, but she has some hard feelings.

Then we had a lesson with a member that the Ward makes us teach because they fear he will go crazy. He is a little mental. He was baptized a year ago but the Ward makes him meet with the missionaries each week. When I say Ward, I mean the few members that got offended last time. But anyways, he has such a kind heart. The old lady completely racked on E but this man defended her and said so many nice things about her. It shows that the Branch accepts her, and only a few don't.

Afterwards we went and dendoed a bit. Going here and there, lead by the spirit talking to people. They either talked a lot or not at all. This old man said he was Christian but also that he did the island religion. It confuses me when people say they are Christian and another religion. They really don't understand what it means to follow Christ. That's why I'm so grateful for the restored gospel to give us direction.

After we talked to him he showed us a near by place to eat. Elder Wynn and I ate dolphin. It was like fish steak. Or as Wynn said "charcoal with bitterness." Literally the whole thing was black. No color.

After dinner we went and continued on, trying to make our way back home. We met this cool 19 year old name Y. Hopefully we can meet him soon. He has weekdays free.

Thursday we went down to Naha to get training. It was wonderful and I learned a lot. It was great to see the other missionaries and talk to them. Especially the ones from Miyako. Miyako is doing great and it makes me so happy!

Friday and Saturday were not the greatest again. We tried going to appointments but they all fell through. I felt so bad because I felt like we were wasting time almost. We spent some time though to think about our investigators and to better help them. We thought of two families who we can barely meet. "How can they feel the spirit without us being there?" We thought of one of those daily pill boxes for morning, lunch, and dinner pills. We put candy in some and scriptures in others. That way they can have incentive and a way to pray and read the scriptures as a family.

This weird selfie is for my sister, Kylie.
We were able to give them out on Sunday. But that's all the time we had to give. Hopefully we will be able to see some results from daily prayer and scripture study.

Sorry there isn't that much this week. Things were a little rough not only in dendo but with our relationships as well. I guess the Lord wants me to learn things and they are not fun lessons. But if the Lord wants me to learn them, I will follow His will.

Love you!