Monday, February 24, 2014

Mabuchi, the master teacher

Helloo! Wow are you guys today! I'm just doing great!

Dylan is being a bad friend. He hasn't sent me anything or emailed me really! Some of my friends as well! They say they will send me love but don't! it really hurts! I'm actually getting really mad at Brenna. She has had 8 months and not one letter has been sent to me. She has had so many snow days. no letter. I sent her a birthday present for crying out loud! (A VERY long letter from Brenna was sent in the mail last week.)

Anyways, enough of the banter. I want to talk about my week.

So Mabuchi uses strong language to explain himself. (Strong as in straight forward). He gets to the point and it helps actually a lot. If he doesn't like something, he will let you know. That is something that I have just come to love.

This transfer, I believe, is going to be great! Mabuchi is a master teacher and great speaker. I can't keep up in the lessons. He usually will ask me a question so I can help but it is seriously a level up in Japanese. Funny story to come. I figured the way to show him that I want to help him, is through his English.

Since I have told him I want to try to make his English better... I mean I love to teach English. I think that is my favorite part of Iizuka right now. they have an amazing eikaiwa class that I love just telling stories in. For some reason I'm remembering stories so easily. I can just talk for the entire class based off their questions. But anyways, I am actually pouring my heart out to help his English. Today I told him I hope we are together for another transfer so I can teach him more English.

It took me a while to come to this point and it took a lot of talking to gain his trust but I worked him good. I feel like our relationship is better now. But the price of that is that we weren't able to dendo all that much this week. Granted we had a crazy weird week where there wasn't a lot of time to begin with but the fact still remains that we used time to build our companionship unity. I feel bad about that but at the same time it was needed.

So 2 cool stories. One with M. So the whole Japanese level up is extremely hard. We were talking to this 18 year old kid and I knew we were trying to set up a return appointment but the subject changed and I couldn't follow them. All of a sudden the boy opened the door and walked in. Mabuchi followed. I was so confused as to why we were going inside but it all worked out.

Second story is we found a potential investigator the other day. We contacted him like normal. I don't know why I'm reporting on him but I had a strong feeling he will receive baptism. He told us his hobby was eating so that is great. Mabuchi loves to cook and eat. So we said we wanted to eat and talk more. The man said he will see but I have a feeling things will work out!

Iizuka is a little rough. we cant get out much before a "no" from the people, but that's okay. We keep going. Since i have a Japanese companion, suddenly everyone can't understand me. They keep saying "what??? huh??? I can't understand you?!!?" It is annoying but Mabuchi is so awesome it doesn't really matter in the end.

That's all I have really about this week. President came to Iizuka and did weekly planning for the other elders and took us out to dinner. It was good to be there with him!

Jameson 長老

Monday, February 17, 2014

Dendo in Fukuoka

Most of Jarom's email was responding to ours. We started off with questions about his transfer.

1. Where did Rogers go? (Rogers Choro is his MTC companion who has been serving on an island south of Miyako.)

He is training in ishigaki still

2. Tell me about Mabuchi. Is he a DL? How long has he been in Iizuka? 

He is. He is transfer 14. He has 3 more transfers until he returns home. He has been here for 2.

3. In your new apartment, how many Elders are there?

4 elders... it just went 4 man

4. Do you have sisters in your area? Do you know any of them?

In my area, no. But in my zone I know almost all the sisters. There are like 2 I don't know.

5. Tell me about Iizuka. Is it a branch, a ward?

Branch about 20 members

6. Is it cold? Is there a Costco near you? (maybe you can borrow a card and get some peanut butter and protein!)

There is a Costco in my zone but not near me.

7. Please tell me about leaving Miyako.

Will do.

8. Are you happy?

I guess I am happy. I'm so sad to leave the island but this place needs help. There are a ton of potential investigators but no investigators.

 9. Will you be able to go to the temple?

In the future yes.

So on Wednesday and Tuesday I said goodbye to a lot of the members and investigators. I left most of the doorsteps crying. I really have such a deep connection with the people here. They are something really special.

I traveled to Naha, Fukuoka, and then to Hakata train station all by myself. That was about 5 hours of traveling. It was alright but once I got to Hakata I didn't know where to go. I walked around for a bit. I was totally lost. So I stopped and asked a man if I could borrow his cell phone. I had the ap's number memorized so I called them. They told me some directions and I didn't know the area so I got lost again. I borrowed another cell phone and they told me to wait and they will send some people to me. Then I paired up with Mabuchi. He is extremely blunt and honest to the point of saying that my Japanese sucks and that I have a low likelihood of becoming good.

He doesn't really like people according to the older elders in the apartment but once he gets to know you things get better. But all in all I think it will become better. I have lots of hope things will change.

The past couple of days have been great. We had a Stake Conference and we had a zone p-day after it. So we stayed in Fukuoka and did some dendo around there. I went with someone on my transfer and someone on the transfer below me. We found some amazing people, 2 of which said they would come to church on Sunday. It's crazy that if you just try to talk to everyone you can, you can meet someone who will be ready. We met this Australian that used to hang out with the missionaries all the time. He said he would come to Iizuka and talk to us. He used to be a Lutheran Priest. A really amazing guy. Bot only that but I got to see about half of my district from the MTC these past couple days, one of which we have talked about getting an apartment at BYU after the mission.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Transfer news!

Hello family and friends!!!

In regards to transfer calls, I don't think I'll get them until late again tonight. They don's give us much time to pack and say goodbye. That has been the case every transfer. We have been getting less and less time. But I have a feeling I'm done in Miyako. (We got a quick email telling us that Jarom has been transferred to Iizako Japan. He is going to the main land, where it is MUCH colder!)

I was able to meet a group of friends form the MTC this past Friday because of a conference with Aoyagi 長老 from the 70 who did a mission wide tour. So we flew up to Okinawa and we met all the missionaries on Okinawa. Elder Rogers and I have been on our islands for 6 months now and we think we are done. I was on the phone with him last night because we were trying to set up a skype call for today since it is usually done on Tuesdays to have our district meeting. But I have a strong feeling that we are done.

I want to first say sorry with regards to this wonderful Island. It is a great place. We have so many investigators now that I think about it. We have met so many wonderful people and I have been able to see the blessings poured onto this island. It's sad that it took me this long to realize it. But for that reason I think I'm going to be moved. Once you start to enjoy your area... you`re gone.

Jokes aside. I saw some of the elders on Okinawa and how their companionships are. I'm grateful to have Elder Jensen as my companion.

We had that huge conference we went to but from last week up until yesterday night, we had 6 lessons. 3 of which we watched the Joseph smith first vision.

Y. we gave him a Joseph Smith pamphlet to read. We followed up and he had read it but we only had 5 minutes to talk to him. He said he didn't believe the vision but he still has interest so we want to continue to teach around the vision.

M. He is a 19 year old kid that was a son of an investigator who died. We want to teach him and to make an impact in his life. He has a "whatever" feeling to everything he does so we try to ask him some of the most inspired questions ever and he just shrugs them off.

J. the Fiji man. We went to his house and only had 30 minutes so we watched the Joseph Smith First Vision with him. We asked him how he felt afterwards. He said he got goosebumps when Heavenly Father and Jesus appeared to Joseph. We testified that was the spirit.

Next is S. She is the less actives mom. She tends to forget our teachings so we decided to review the first lesson with the Joseph Smith First Vision video. She said she understands our church more and believes that it is true but that she still has some conflict with her husband. He says he doesn't want anything to do with a church that was made in America. He says its an American church.

U. She was the lady who randomly came to church last week. When we met, we thought her knowledge of the gospel was deeper but it seems that she knows little to nothing about our message. But she remembers that when she was little she went to a church and she is trying to find out what church that was so she can once more feel it.

Lastly Y. She is the stubborn investigator who has a lot of potential but has so many questions that its stopping her from progressing. We taught her the importance of coming to church and the Spirit. She said that last week 3 times was enough so I thought of a example of an egg. When you beat eggs you need countless times to beat it in order to make it well mixed. We related that to our testimony. In order to make it "perfect" we have to constantly stir it.  During the lesson I received a thought to give her a promise. This promise is that if she read the Book Of Mormon and pray everyday for the next month, and come to church every week, she can know if this church is true. But only on those conditions. If she can't do it, the promise wont be fulfilled.

Lastly the Fuufu went home and they took us to all these beautiful places last pday. Here are some wonderful pictures!

Jameson 長老

Monday, February 3, 2014

Being wamp

Helllooooooo my family and friends!!! This week was super interesting and a good experience to have.

We had 2 companion exchanges this week. Unfortunately I missed all the great lessons that happened with "my" area.

When Elder Jensen was with our district leader, they went and visited J. The Fiji guy that I talked about a few weeks ago. He is an extremely hard worker so we have not really been able to meet him. But they stopped by his shop at a time we usually don't go and he invited them in. Elder Jensen taught the plan of salvation and the guy kept saying it all makes sense and that he likes it. At the end Elder Jensen invited him to baptism. The guy said he will pray about it and when he receives an answer in his heart he will accept. His back story is that he has been in so many different churches growing up, baptized in 2 other Christian churches. He reads and prays all the time. He has some crazy experiences that make him fear and trust God. One time he was spear diving with his friend in the ocean and this great white shark swam up, barely missed him, and bit part of his friends arm off. Another time is when he was young he drank a lot then took his car for a drive. He wrecked about 10 cars. But because of that experience he stopped drinking and took responsibility. He is looking great!

The other day we had junkai, Elder Jensen had 2 MP lessons and a less active visit. One with with A. Last week we talked about how she wanted to be baptized. Well the lesson went extremely well and she is going to come to our church on Wednesday to watch the restoration film.

Another is with Y. She is the really difficult one but that's because her church answers every little detail. It doesn't let church members really find out for themselves. But she said she has a lot of interest which is a complete turn around from last time. That is amazing and she loves to talk about our message, but she believes her conversion will take over 3 years. So we will ganbaru until then.

E.J. visited a less active who shared a dream he had the night before. In the dream he was in a spirit world. He angered a spirit which he believed to be God. That angry spirit scared the living daylights out of him.  He said after that dream he fears God.

I had a lot of finding success on those junkais. I found a lot of Potential Investigators and new investigators, one of which we talked about angels with. She believes in heaven and in angels and she believes that her children are kinda like angels. We talked to her and set up a return appointment.

Another guy is actually the post man who brings the packages to our house. He saw us and basically said that he remembers taking a lot of stuff to our house. We talked about eternal families and he said he wanted one.

But that isn't what the best part of the week is. 3 people came to church that usually don't come!. 2 non members and a less active. One non member is an investigator of the other chorotachi. But one of which no one knew who she was. I went up to her and by accident I started to speak English to her. That never happens. I'm either all Japanese or all English. It turns out she was fluent in English. Why? She lived in america as she dated some guy. The guy was Mormon. He was less active but she went with the family every week to church. She just moved to Miyako in December and goes to whatever church there is but she knows a lot about the church. I asked her if we could meet again to talk more.... haha she asked if I facebooked. I had to tell her that I can't use it but we exchanged numbers and hopefully this week we will talk to her.

Last night was weird. We went to visit a member who recently broke her wrist so she hasn't been to church in a while (she is 88). But she said she was hungry and wanted curry. We said we could make is for her. But as the conversation was going I realized she didn't have the stuff to make it. I wanted to ask if we could go buy it a different day and bring back that stuff later, but Elder Jensen said yeah we will do it. I thought to myself, if he is okay with it... i guess it is for a good cause to buy something on Sunday. We exit the house to go to a nearby family mart. I said "man this is so wamp (wanpaku-rebellious)." He said how so? I'm like "it's Sunday." We both just stand there and we already committed to it so we had to go and get it. So we bought it. Felt terrible about it. Came back and made the lady curry.

But as to deal with baptisms. (Editors note: I asked Jarom if he felt the purpose of a mission was to baptize or to bring others unto Christ.) That is just a number honestly. As it says in Corinthians, I am called to preach. Baptism is just a benefit of seeing salvation. Every mission is a baptizing mission. Every mission is different. I'm sad I'm seeing this area progress so much because I'll probably leave soon. But I'd rather work so extremely hard and have others say  "man thanks to these elders, we are seeing so many blessings." And we have to remember the blessing of compensation. Our work here with be rewarded how many fold in heaven? Sure I feel Godly sorrow. But that is because I know how strong these people will be. Everyone says family is number one. Everyone is super hard core with their faith. My question of my heart is how can we find that connection to bring all that towards Christ? How can we bring them closer to Heavenly Father? These people are so amazing. I just hurt when I see that I can't help them. But One day I know it will just all click. I know Japan will become a strong people with faith in Christ. Everything points towards that. We just need to find what piece is missing.

Jameson 長老
Flowers from our Flower Shop friend

A broken umbrella


Service for a member. We pulled so many weeds!

Making Curry for break the fast

I love this bean. He is super goofy!