Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Miracles and progressions

The chances of meeting Nathan are really low. I would have to be in Fukuoka early in the day or have to be in his zone later in the day. It depends on where I get sent next and where he will be sent. (Jarom got news that one of his best friends, Nathan Sherman, was just called to serve in Fukuoka!! Sadly he will arrive in Japan the same transfer Jarom leaves. We are praying that there is a chance they will be able to see each other the day or two they are in Japan together!)

My memory is starting to fail me. I used to be able to remember so much but there is just so much to remember and so much to do. Its impossible to remember it all without writing it out. That and also I think that the sun has just blown up my brain. Jokes aside, I'm just saying I'm having a hard time remembering all that happened this past week.

So miracles and progressions this week.

Monday we just went to work and dendoed hard since we have been told to try to dendo 3 hours each day. It is such a blessing because it just refills our teaching pools, and miracles are something that comes with it. We found a couple of people on Monday night. One in particular is S. An 18 year old that just wants to find God's love in his life. He believes in God and prays to Him by himself.  He wants to find a way to not only to ask God for favors but to also be able to serve God. This kid is way amazing. We met him on Tuesday as well but since then we haven't had luck.

The area we went to go house was this danchi area over by our apartment. We have avoided it all of my time here because we thought lots of missionaries hammer it. Well actually the opposite is true. Lots of people have never met missionaries before and they seem really welcoming.

Tuesday we had our weekly lesson with W. It seemed like the normal lesson with her. Somehow we got to the point of comparing the gospel to food saying that it is the best taste and most healthy thing in the world. Then it changed to how people have different likes. She said at the end, "wait. I don't know what my favorite food is. I don't know what my favorite doctrine or religion. In order to find out I just have to try to eat it and figure it out." Break way. She said she wanted to try out our religion to see if she likes it. Hopefully things will finally get better with that.

Other than that we met some awesome people. I is one. She is this older woman but seemed to just drink in what we taught. I hope that we can review on her next week.

Wednesday. I have absolutely no idea what happened. That day is just gone from my memory.

Thursday we were able to meet K for a second to give her son some cookies we made and just say hello. It was good. I love that family. Her oldest son who is 18 is smoking now. Not a good thing but hopefully we can get to him soon. He loves reading and has a Book of Mormon. Maybe later on after he graduates we can help him.

We then had eikaiwa. It was super good. We are just trying harder and harder to get more people coming. If there are any ideas that would be great.

Friday. We ran around trying to visit a lot of people and because of that we didn't have a lot of time to dendo. We actually had to split because we had too many appointments that we couldn't cover. We visited E shimai. She got in a fight with a member a few weeks ago. It sounds like a different member sat her down and talked her through it. We called another member about a less active and she said that the less active had bad member relationships. I asked if the member that caused the relationship to go bad was still active. she said "Yes, she is a very strong member."

I don't think it is any of our business to dig into who did what. But if there is anyway for us to help the member relationships to become better that would be great. There are so many people in our ward who are less active because of members.

We were able to go on splits and Elder Just and I went to T. He is great. He has a smoking problem but other than that he said that he wants to believe in God so badly. We taught the first lesson. He said that he wanted to believe in Joseph Smith's keiken.

Later we met a member with the intention to meet her less active son. He wasn't there but right before we left he came home and we were able to talk to him a little bit. He is super busy all the time so this was really rare.

We taught H on Saturday. It wasn't all the best because the member there was mostly building a relationship with M. I guess that is okay but we needed to focus the lesson.

Later we were able to visit K. She was sick but we were able to fit in a 10 minute lesson about prophets. She loved it. She loves the idea how prophets are here to guide our families. She couldn't come to church but I'll talk about what happened in a bit.

We were housing and we prayed where to go. The place wasn't really receiving what we were teaching but in the middle of a contact a friend of ours that came to the Halloween and Christmas party showed up. He is a college student and we were able to get his number and get back into contact with him. A rich blessing!

Sunday was great. The two companionships combined - we had 6 people at church. The other elders have been blessed with crazy awesome people. They had 4 come to church. We had M and T come. Not only that but K sent her son to church. The 8 year old boy walked all the way to church and brought 3 of his friends. They were so funny.

After sacrament it was really stressful because we had to figure out what to do with all the people. Elder Olsen and I went on splits, he went with the Branch President and taught T. I took another priesthood and took M to gospel principles. The other elders took E and taught her and put their 3 other investigators in the youth class (since they had one 14 year old girl come). It was really hard to keep them all with someone they knew and a missionary. But I'm grateful that we have this chance to do this. Hopefully this will continue.

We taught M during 3rd hour. He is doing good. He committed to pray and read as a commandment. After this we will head into the 10 commandments.

We later visited J with a member and a youth. We watched the restoration. She said she felt goosebumps all over her. We testified to her that was the Spirit and it was telling her it was true. She said she thinks its true. The only problem is that she said "I'll come to church ever week. I'll come to church things. But do I have to get baptized? I want to die a catholic." We didn't even bring up baptism and she said that. We will have to explain that to her later. She actually doesn't know how to pray without a prayer book. She is Christian but seems to have forgotten a lot about it. This makes me so grateful for the Restoration of the gospel.

Elder J

Monday, January 19, 2015

The slightest breeze brings about change

So This week! It was super fast. With me being sick on Monday, and p-day being Tuesday, I really only can report on 5 days which 2 of them were filled with Elder Pollister getting ready to go home and the other was planning. In the end there is really only 3 days to review for. A little sad but we were able to see some cool things and some extremely frustrating things. I know the work of salvation will move forward, but it seems like sometimes here in Japan, if we are not careful, the slightest breeze could change someone.

Wednesday Elder Pollister needed to get a hair cut. But it turned out really good. We ran into the less active's (who we found on the street a month or 2 ago) uncle's girlfriend who knew about us. She cut
Elder Pollisters hair and told us about Ko. :ater that night he emailed us but he is super busy. I don't know when we can meet him. iIs really sad but it was great we found a connection with him.

Later Elder Tagawa and Olsen taught Wa. She is feeling the Spirit but she has a hard time believing that it is the Spirit. We are thinking how to testify and teach so that she can understand that she is feeling the Spirit.
Elder Tagawa and I went out to eat with an investigator named Ta. he came to church and few weeks ago and has a baptismal date. We taught him about scripture study and prayer (met twice this week teaching these things) He wants to believe in God. He says that he is a bad person and wants to change. He also wants God to help him in his life, with regards to all things, but particularly he wants to find a girlfriend. I'm not quite sure if that will happen so we haven't promised him that he can. We have promised him that if he relies on God, he will receive what he needs.

On Wednesday morning we gave a blessing to D. it was awesome. He was sober for 3 days or so. On Friday we has an appointment with him. He called us and said something about how he was busy. It sounded exactly like when he called his boss saying he couldn't come to work. I was really worried that he broke down. Well, I'll explain that in a second when i get to Saturday.

On Saturday we had some great things and bad things. M dropped. He said some other people who told him that God told them that Mormons were bad. This is the second religious group that has done this to him this week. The JWs and Happy Science. He completely turned on us. Sad but we pray that he will be able to find happiness where he will go.

On a brighter note Ma's lesson was super awesome! We talked about how to study the scriptures better and recognizing the Spirit. We have taught this before but for some reason this time it was different and it really went home. I love this guy so much. He is starting to change and the process is great. He actually came to church too! Now he is qualified to be baptized any time now, just needs to pass the interview and hear all the rest of lessons. He is doing great. The lesson after church was really good too. We are hoping we can build his faith enough so that he can hear the law of chastity lesson. We watched some things the church had about being gay within the church. There are some super strong gay members so we have hope for him as well.

Later we stopped by Do on Saturday. He was super blasted. It didn't surprised me but I just wondered how could I have helped him more. Probably since he was blasted, Ka went out with friends and didn't come to church the next day. He said it was due to Ka asking for money to do things, like to get her medicine and haircut and other things. He made it seem like she was just taking his money and he flipped out and reverted back. IT IS SO HARD TO TALK TO PEOPLE WHO ARE DRINKING. Just straight up difficult. It makes me have a crazy amount of different emotions. I don't know what to do more for Do if he is so conditional on other people. I guess we just have to help try to change the people before we can change him.

That was our week investigators. We are trying our best in finding for 3 hours each day. It is helping so much. We are finding so many cool people. Trying our best to be guided by the Spirit is a hard thing and takes constant effort but the rewards are great. The slightest of feelings could result in someones salvation. I can't imagine why the Lord would trust a 20 year old boy who can't really understand his own feelings. But we are called and we behold the miracles of God. Granted there are lots of people that say no. At the same time there are some people who say yes. As we have been trying hard to find more time to find, amazingly new areas pop out to us/ We recognize new apartments we have never seen before. We explore and find a huge area for finding. Like last night, we climbed a hill looking for something and on top of the hill was many apartments. I had been told there was nothing up there. But we went and there is so much in Nago to do. I just hope I can help find the people that are waiting.

Love Elder J.

PS: We met this old investigator named J. She is from the Philippines. We thought it has been such a long time since we have talked with her that we will just reteach the restoration. She actually had a friend over so we taught her as well. It was a crazy lesson and all these little things that don't ever come up in a normal lesson with Japanese people came up. It was due to a lack of understanding of basic doctrines. Her friend thought Jesus came from the ribs of Mary. It was really bad. But we just said "as humans we don't understand things all the time so that's why prophets are important." Taught the restoration and J said that she believed that Joseph saw Jesus and God. She was testifying by the end to her friend about the truth of it. At the end the friend wanted a copy of the Book of Mormon and was really happy she met us. It was a great experience.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Hello there!

This week has been really weird and flipped around quite a bit. Parts of it I'm not allowed to tell you about but lets just say half way through the week we were put on permanent comp exchange until the end of this transfer. President had to call a few times to talk about what would be best for next transfer. Spoiler alert -  nothing is wrong with Olsen and me. We are going on to transfer 3 together.

So I guess I'll start out with the best blessing of the week which is that 6 people came to church this week! Investigators I mean! 4 of our investigators and 2 of the other elders investigators. Ma, S, W, and K. The other elders had a Chinese girl named E, and an eikaiwa student named T. He and his wife started to take the lessons this past week. Great miracles!

So things learned about our investigators. This week was really rough but great at the same time. We are on the line with Ma and S. Found out some shocking news about H M. K and D are still awesome. C was a bummer. We went to her house and she wasn't home - she has work. Its getting rough with her because it seems like she is running low on money. Her phone was shut off. She is always working. Poor woman. O just want to teach her how she can get through it.

Ma, we met him and he committed to quit alcohol and smokes by the 14th. He didn't come to church because we couldn't set up a ride to pick him up. If he doesn't quit smoking and drinking, we may have to leave him alone for a while. Its a sad thing. We are praying so that he can quit.

S, The elders went on splits and I didn't get to meet him but from what I heard, it doesn't look so good on his part either. He has some kind of problem in his mind where the parts of his brain that are supposed to remember things are failing. So he has an extremely hard time remembering things. He is accountable for things, he just forgets our message. At this point we are trying to figure out how we can help someone who forgets quickly.

M. We were able to meet him 2 times this week. It was super awesome. The first time we watched Finding Faith in Christ. He said that he believes that God loves him and that Christ died for him. The next day we talked about baptism and he committed! February 21st. We will work hard at it. The bad thing is, we have had something tell us since the very beginning that there was something different with him. On Sunday when he came to church, he saw K and they hugged! They are friends! The other elders visited her later on Sunday and she said, "M IS GAY! BE CAREFUL!"

K and D. Dramatic weekend that ends out with a great victory. We did service for them on Friday where we cut some weeds outside their house. Their house is pretty beat up.  It was good to help them. K came to church and said, "I will come every week from now on. I loved it." D and K's relationship is improving and they say it is because of us that it is getting better. Its not really us but rather the Spirit of the Lord they accept when they accept us. K just loves us. She loves the church. She loves the people. She hugs half of the people in the church. Great woman. D is great too. He is just in a dark place. K is trying so hard to get him out. So are we. On Sunday the other elders were able to help D commit to Christ. He said "I know you are here to represent Christ. I know you are  here to do as he does." Then he talked about how Christ told the lame man by the pool to stay and take up his bed and walk. That's what the elders told him to do and he committed to it. He asked us if we practice blessings and asked for one. We will go give him a blessing tomorrow morning.

Monday I was hit with a pretty bad 24 hour virus. I was down the whole day but I'm completely better now.

That's basically our week. We did a lot of finding and found some great people! Hopefully I can start reporting about them next week!

God prepares people


This week was a little difficult because it was new years. All of our investigators were super busy and not a lot of people were home. At the same time we had some cool miracles.

Tuesday we had a junkai and man that was packed with all kinds of miracles. I can't really say much for what happened on elder Olsen's side but they found 3 investigators, 2 in their 20s and this 14 year old kid that wanted to learn more about the gospel. Crazy they found all of that by just trying to talk to everyone. They also met M. He said that he committed to quit smoking on the 14th! He was bent on quitting so that he can be baptized.

They also met S. Poor guy. Not even out of the hospital for one day and he was completely blasted. Elder Olsen said that he got pretty bold with S. It worked it seems. They figured out what were some of things that were holding him back and how to apply the message to him more fully. His desire is to meet his mom. That's the one thing he wants in his life. Nothing else. No other desire. So from here we will focus on that.

They met Ma as well. He is interesting. He said he doesn't really know why he meets with us. We think that by hearing the gospel he will come to understand. Because he didn't come to church Sunday, his baptismal date dropped. That's okay because not we don't need to rush.

On my side, Elder Jolly and I went and visited E. She hasn't come to church for 2 weeks and the other set of elders when they visited her last week, she said she didn't want to come to church anymore.

We visited and checked out what was up. It turns out she got in an argument with a member. I'm getting tired of seeing on less active files "bad member relationships" Anyways, we talked to her about the temple and sacrament. That was really good. She recommitted to coming to at least sacrament meeting!

We did some dendo and talked to some kind people. Then had a great lesson with W. We taught about the restoration because she was saying "I BELIEVE IN THE EVOLUTION THEORY" mostly because there is evidence. Then we talked about the first vision and the Book of Mormon. Great lesson. Now she wants to know why all of this is important. We will move into the last part of the plan of salvation next.

Wednesday we spent planning for the fireside that we will had on Sunday. We tried to end the night with dendo. It was interesting because we were catching everyone right before they left. Over all, pretty good night.

Thursday morning we had an activity where we drove out to a part of the island and watched the sunrise. The Chinese investigator took her friend and she actually wants to learn more about the church now! Actually the other elders are seeing a lot of miracles with that. E is progressing so fast. It's crazy to see how God prepares people.

We dendoed the day away because we couldn't meet our investigators. We met this one guy named J. He lived in America for 3 years and was in an all Christian high school. We had a pretty good talk with him and gave him a Book of Mormon. We will try to meet with him soon.

Friday I honestly don't remember what happened. I think it was spent in weekly planning and finding. Nothing too special happened.

Saturday was really great the members fed us and I've never had a happier stomach!

We were able to meet D and K on Saturday. It was the first time that we have actually taught them as a couple. It was an interesting experience. But it was something that was amazing to see. They were so open with each other and they were saying how they wanted to be a better family and how they wanted to love each other more. Their relationship has improved so much. K is awesome. She forced D to call in sick so that they could come to church.

Speaking of which, Sunday! D, K, and J came to church. It was perfect. The testimonies were perfect for them. K hugged half of the members, the ones who could speak English came up and started talking to D. K kept saying how it was the best thing ever. Dominic really liked it as well. I have the opportunity to translate for him. I learned a lot because I had to focus for him. It was wonderful.

We had a fireside afterwards talking about inviting people to activities and fellow-shipping them there. It turned out really good. We showed what were some good ways of inviting and some ways to fellowship. The members seemed like they had a great time.

Later on we met C. We haven't met her in 2 weeks. We gave her a talk to read about Christmas and she read it! She said she understands how Christ was sent here to take our sins away. She is thankful to God for helping her family and to us for teaching her prayer. She wants to learn more. I love this woman so much and I love these people.

Love Elder J