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!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Lord is blessing Nago

This week was pretty epic.

Monday, we got a call from this random Japanese lady who saw the free English classes sign outside our church. For some reason she thought we could reverse that and teach Japanese so she called to tell us a Korean lady was living with her and she needs help. The lady came on the phone and she is completely fluent in English and a hard core Christian. She wanted to study both Japanese and the bible with us. Pretty awesome. We also met this man who recently converted to a different religion. He said we could come back but he is still trying to find out if this religion is what he wants.

On Tuesday we had an awesome day. We were dendoing and found this lady who used to live in Idaho and took lessons from the Mormon missionaries. She is Japanese and her English is wonderful. She rejected to listen again mostly because she didn't have time but we asked her help in teaching the Korean. She said yes!

We met this family on the street and we asked them if they could receive help from God, would they want it. They said yes! We set up an appointment.

Later that night we had a random appointment come up and we taught this lady named J. She is awesome. Her and her friend N are from the Philippines. We can come back soon.

Wednesday we met this lady named T. She has such a pure heart and she asked us why there are so many bad things in the world. We shared Mosiah 23:21-22 ( 21 Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith. 22 Nevertheless—whosoever putteth his trust in him the same shall be lifted up at the last day. Yea, and thus it was with this people.) and said we can become better people because of it.  We will meet her tomorrow.

Thursday we finally met the Korean. Holy Moly. I don't have the time to talk about the things she is in but just look up EMF. She talked to me about it for 40 minutes and how terrible it is. But basically she came to Japan to escape EMF and to get closer to God. She said that God is leading her where she needs to go and that she is praying more than ever. That sounded like a perfect intro into the gospel. She is hard core about health and asked if we had a health code..... why yes... yes we do. I taught her the word of wisdom and a little bit of the restoration. She said she wants to come to church and to learn what the church has to offer.

Friday we met this high school student on the street. He said "how can God exist? There are so many disasters in the world." Up until this point and because of the landslide in Hiroshima, I have heard this so many times. I just looked at the boy and said "look, if your life was perfect, would you believe God is real?" He sat there and kinda mumbled eventually saying "I don't know" We were able to teach him how God gives these things to us to grow and He will help us. He got super excited and we have an appointment with him tonight.

Saturday we met this old lady who was hard core into her religion and wouldn't move. But she talked about her daughter moving to America and converting to Christianity. I don't really remember how we got to prayer but we did. We said she can hear God through prayers. She freaked out. She said "that's what my daughter said too!" Eventually she wanted to talk to her daughter about church.

Stole this pic from Elder Bevan's email. Oh Jarom!
We met this guy named O. He is a college student and a super chill guy. We talked to him about God. He said "lots of people say there is a God but since I haven't seen him I don't know." I did the same thing that I did a while back and stood behind the door and asked him if he knew I was still there even though he could not see me. After that we asked him if he wanted to know if God is real. He said yes.

Sunday. The people offended by E completely blew me off. I went to shake one's hand and she looked at my hand and walked by. I'm tried of drama. Just get over it. She is baptized now. She is a different person now.

Last night we met this really nice old man. He said we could come back. He believes kind of in all religions but its something we can work with.

All in all this week has been awesome. I'm sorry I could write everything or put more detail but basically it was filled with the Spirit and the Lord is blessing this area.