Monday, March 30, 2015

Dendo Hungry

Hello friends!!!!!

This weeks had a huge down but it came right back up and things started to progress really well.

On Monday we talked to this kid named N. He is a 16 year old kid and he is a Christian. The hard thing is he is really connected with his own church. We expressed how we knew that his church was really important  but that is exactly the reason why we wanted to share the message of the restoration with him. We had only 5 minutes. Not much time to do anything but enough time to share the first vision and bear witness of it.

Later on Monday we tried to contact a media referral. She wast home. She visited a visitor center in New Zealand. Really cool miracle except for the fact we haven't been able to meet her.

Tuesday, the zone leaders came and we got some work done. Learned many things and had a chance to talk things over with them about the area. We went to teach Y with a member. It was a pretty good lesson all together. We hammered in how he can rid his guilt through baptism and how his parents would be happy if he was baptized. He really like it and finally he prayed just a little bit about baptism.

On the way home we ran into a less active on the street. At first we didn't know he was one but he said too many things that made me think, "this guy knows way too much about the church to just be a random guy" so I straight up asked him if he was a member. He denied it but then we figured he didn't realize that through baptism you become a member. He was baptized 30 years ago and stopped coming soon after. Sad story!

Wednesday, so we met this really awesome girl named S from Nepal. She actually kind of contacted us on the street. People from Nepal are crazy nice. They reach out and are soooooooo incredibly willing to listen. They want to come to church. They just don't know where to start. So on Wednesday we met her and gave her a Book of Mormon. She doesn't understand English and Japanese is hard. We need to teach incredibly simply.

Thursday, we met Y again. The lesson went really well! We don't know if he is lying half the time but it seems good. He said he would commit to not smoking for one day.  We were ecstatic! We also were able to go finding a little bit and found this really cool 14 year old boy named M. We asked if we could come back to meet his parents.

Friday we went to an area where we haven't gone in a while. Remember W? About 3 weeks ago we met. We visited and he was sick but he said "please come again! I want to listen. I'll be waiting for you." Then we walked across the street and met a lady that we haven't been able to meet since the beginning of the transfer. She was super happy to see us. We set something up for today. Not only that but we met E. Maybe 2 weeks ago we met this 20 year old guy who likes reading the bible. He said he was reading the Book of Mormon almost everyday. We shared the first vision and he said he would pray. That day ended really well.

Saturday. We are trying to start up a sports activity. We had a great day with this kid named A. He really had some fun. So much that he wanted to introduce his girlfriend to us. She happens to go to a Christian high-school. I love how missionaries are so blessed. They are both really good kids and they said they wanted to come to church activities.

Sunday. Great day at church. A returned missionary moved into our ward. He is 24 and dendo hungry. Our branch president is crazy for it too. We had a lesson later in the night with him. After the lesson he talked how he wants more missionaries and he was going to bring it up at the next ward council about how they can get the work going. The branch is willing. They just need the leader who is fired up. I can see Miyazaki blowing up soon. Anyways we housed a little bit and met a woman from the Toitsu church or the unification church. I haven't heard good things about this church and heard they were slightly crazy. I want to figure out how we can teach them better. We taught Y and he is keeping the word or wisdom! We also met the K family. They are reading the Book of Mormon together and we taught them prayer.  They said they would come to church next week. We have around  6 people saying they wanted to come to church next week. Next week should be good :)

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Lord is never disappointed if you are trying to repent


On Monday and Tuesday we were on splits. I went with elder Krebs on Monday and after district meeting on Tuesday we were with  Elder Young and Sato from the other area.

Krebs is a ball of energy. He always has good ideas and he is going to be a great missionary. We had a cool experience where we went by an area and felt prompted to go visit an investigator we both haven't met. We went, it was great and we have another appointment for today! This kids name is N. He has been a Christian for 8 years and wants to learn more about Christ. Such a nice kid. Later we visited another investigator and talked about the Spirit with him. We hammered it hard and asked him if he would like to have the gift of the Holy Ghost. He said yes.  YES!! We set a baptismal date for the 18th of April. It sounds like he has a bad word of wisdom problem. We will talk about that in a moment.

Tuesday we were up in Miyakonojo. The Elders recently found this amazing college student who read the Book of Mormon in a little over a week. He wants to know the path he should follow. I went with Elder Young to visit him. We talked to him about how we want to help him find that path and then told him that path was baptism. We were able to set a date with him as well. It was super cool to spend time with their investigator and be in their area. They are working hard and seeing miracles!

Wednesday. Just a day of dendo. We tried to visit Y again *the guy from Monday night*. But he told us to come on a different night so we went and started to dendo. We met this really cool kid about 15 years old who wanted to learn how to talk with God. Sad thing is he is moving to a different area. Then a little later we talked to a different kid about the Book of Mormon. He said he wanted to study more but.... he is moving to Nago! Lucky Elder Olsen! The past few weeks we have been finding some great people but every one is either from a different area or they are moving soon. I guess that is one way to spread the work of salvation. I'm glad I could help. Just imagine those other missionaries having this guy call them asking to meet. I would want that so we need to talk to everyone!

Also on Wednesday we tried visiting a less active. Its been hard to meet her recently because she only wants to meet the past Elder that was here, saying that he was so kind and wants to meet him. She sent that in a text to us on Friday which we weren't able to respond to. Then she sent one on Sunday saying it would be good if we were to transfer. Hmmmmm..... She hasn't really met me all that much. It kinda hurts to hear that. Oh well, we will try our hardest to get in contact and rebuild that.

Thursday we went and visited Y and the K family. Y didn't keep his commitments. He struggles with it. I have no idea why. He also wants more time to think about baptism. He has been asked since November about baptism and still says its too hard. We think its because he doesn't have a testimony of the word of wisdom. That is a problem. We will make a pro and con chart and show the blessings of not following and following the word of wisdom.

The K family was awesome! They committed to come to church on April 5th! We were also able to give them a Book of Mormon. They said when they first met the missionaries they believed in God about 10 percent. Now its about 40 because they have been thinking about how there are so many miracles these days. We will meet them again on the 24th.

Friday we were traveling up to Fukuoka. We got to dendo a little bit before but nothing really happened. We stayed at the AP apartment and it was good to see how they did things especially for Davies choro.

Saturday we were blessed to hear from Nelson choro. He came down for an iPad training - trying to prep us for receiving the iPad. Lots of things were spoken about but probably my favorite thing is one phrase. "The lord is never disappointed at people who are trying to repent." Sometimes in many different situations as a missionary you feel like you messed up. Didn't do the best you could. That tends to weigh you down. You feel unworthy. But the Lord is never disappointed if you are trying to repent. It seems like a simple phrase but it really hit hard when he said it on Saturday.

We traveled back to Kagoshima on Saturday night. I got to talk with Knighton choro. It feels like not a day has passed since being with him. Good to talk with him and catch up. It was a good bonding for the zone too. We went as a zone and were able to review the taikai as we went. Usually the buses have videos playing so you can watch something. Since everyone at the back were missionaries, we decided to cover up the one TV with paper so we didn't have to watch it. It felt great to use our agency to feel the Spirit more.

A cool thing that happened is we actually had an investigator at church. He has a baptismal date but I
have never met him until yesterday. He says he will come to church next week and all next month. He loved it. BLESSINGS!

Sunday we had district conference for the Kagoshima district . It was great! An area seventy came in and just went to town on member work. Afterwards I was talking to some of the members and they talked about they could apply it to their lives.

We got home from the conference and the branch president called us over for dinner and asked us to help him make a ward mission plan. It was wonderful. I was so happy. In my past areas they didn't really do the plan to the depth we did it last night. It was so nice too because he is American. He knew Preach My Gospel well and was just on it. Ideas were flying back and forth. I feel really good for the growth of Miyazaki under the the direction of Maris Kaicho.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Children soften hearts

Oh buddy this week has been rough but at the same time we saw some great things happen. Of course the Lord will provide. I am very thankful for that. The district is going well too. It has been slow the past few weeks but this week really went well for the other companionships. These other missionaries in my district are so good! I'm a lucky leader :)

Anyways, on to this week.

Monday we visited a man we gave a pamphlet to last week and he said he read it and loved it! He was feeling good from reading it. So happy about that. He wants to review the pamphlet with us on a different day. We also met this guy who is reading the bible because he likes roman history. We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and he said he would read it. Then as 4 missionaries we went to go sing for a less active. It went really well.

Tuesday Just dendo. We tried to meet other people but they fell through. We met this extremely genki woman who wanted to read a pamphlet about God. She said she believes that something created her and wanted to know more about God.

Wednesday we had a great day. Found 2 new investigators on the street. One was 18 and the other 20ish. Have both their numbers. The first was T. He has really long hair and he wants to receive inspiration and be guided by God. We told him how we were guided to stop to him on the street. He said it was luck. The other is To. He wants to be resurrected! Holy moley that was so cool!

Thursday was planning and a little bit of dendo. We got to give a blessing to a member that was sick. Giving blessings is such a great blessing. I remember when I had to give my first blessing at BYU. I was so scared but now I love to help people with blessings. I know its not easy to ask for blessings so I am so glad they asked.

Friday. That was crazy. We brought members to a 67 year old woman and she went crazy on us. She said it was okay to bring people but when they came she freaked out on them. She later called and said sorry but I felt so bad for the members. I was just trying to help her build relationships with the members. Apparently she didn't want that. Haha. We met with an investigator that hasn't been met for a while. He has been praying for a while and likes the church still. He may have a problem with the word of wisdom. He thinks its too hard. We are going to try to build his faith in Christ and help him feel love towards the Savior.

Jarom hasn't been sending pictures. Luckily I found this on Facebook!
Saturday we went to the temple. That was super good. I got to talk to the the members along the way and build a pretty good relationship with some. I was able to ask them about a few past investigators. Since the sisters area was closed here a few transfers ago I was asking about their investigators. One of which a member here still keeps in contact with and when we got back from the temple we went to visit her. She wasn't home but we left a note saying we were thinking about her. The temple was awesome because I was trying to think "what does it mean to be a true disciple of Christ?" Thanks to Adam's example I was able to learn better what a true disciple would do. I want to be a true disciple.

Sunday. The person we went to go visit the day before texted the member and said she was so happy we came by and that next month she will try to come to church. She actually thought about the missionaries a few days ago and was so happy that we came by. I'm so grateful for the Spirit that helps us. I'm grateful for the promptings it gives me.

We dendoed and met 2 great kids who wanted to learn about the gospel. But they live in different areas. We gave them the Book of Mormon and ways to contact the missionaries in their areas. They were so cool! I'm so jealous for those missionaries that get to teach them!

Lastly. Cool miracle. Sunday night we visited an investigator family called K. They let us in and we talked. They said at first they won't go to church because they don't believe in God 100% (they are about 40 or 30). Then the kid busts in the room saying that he believes in God and the dad said "well lets try to go to church once." Yeah for children softening the hearts of parents.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Swimmers and Studs

The highlight of the week is that the other elders investigator got baptized on Saturday!!!! It was so cool. The kid is a stud. Hopefully he can help us soon move the work of salvation.

To be honest, a lot of the investigators we are working with aren't that very strong, they dropped a bunch of people before I came and the ones the had left before I came were on the line. So we need to start hitting the pavement hard to find those people who will listen. In April the colleges start up again so we can look forward to that. But until then there are still millions of people we can talk to!

Monday we tried to visit this one man named W, He talked a lot about what he believes which was exactly what we believed, just different terms and different ways to explain it. He just wouldn't give me the time of day to explain that they were very similar.

After him we did some dendo and found some new potential investigators. Hopefully we can talk about that some other time.

Tuesday we were able to meet with N, our baptismal date. He really understood repentance and the Spirit very well. He is doing well. We asked him if he believed the Book of Mormon is true. He said it was the most correct book on earth so I guess that means he thinks its true. Je is interesting. I'm not exactly sure where his testimony is. It seems like a lot of people liked the previous elder a lot because he was super kind. That's all that people say about him. Its really hard to fill a space that another
Elder has created, especially if that investigator or less active is only meeting us because of that Elder.

Wednesday we met with this woman named M. She is exactly like W from Miyako. Old and hilarious but very stern in what she believes. Which is nothing. Honestly we may just stop teaching her because she isn't really making any progress. She isn't meeting us to know if this is true, but rather because she wants to know why in the world we would believe in something like God.

Later that day we met this cool 85 year old who said he wanted to learn how to have a pure heart. His name is F. We brought a member to meet him on Thursday and it went really well. Hopefully he will progress but he is 85 years old. He has a really hard time walking.

We met this 16 year old on the street that is a drop out working for a painting company. He is super cool. He freaked out that we were missionaries. Also that we could talk to God. We met him on Wednesday and talked to him again on Thursday. He has free time on Sunday but he didn't come to church :( We will report more on him this next week.

Well our baptismal date N hadn't told us for weeks that he has suddenly decided to get heart surgery the week of his baptism. So he wont be able to be baptized since he will be in a hospital. But we gave him all the study things he basically needs to be baptized. Hopefully he will read it in the hospital.

Saturday and Sunday we dendoed. Saturday we had an activity where we played soccer with a bunch of people. We invited them to eikaiwa and some said they would come.

Random thing, I met a pro swimmer on the street. I told him I was a swimmer too and he said that it must be luck that we met. If we ever need anything he will take care of us. People here are so kind!

Sunday we worked super hard and no one really listened until the very last contact. An 18 year old boy who would love to have someone to talk to. Someone to rely on. We told him that he can do that with God and he said he would love that. We will try to meet him very soon.

That's about it for this week. Nothing really happened. The elders in our apartment are hilarious and I'm having a good time. The work is going to start picking up soon!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Transferred to Miyazaki

Well!!!! I'm no longer in Nago. It was quite a struggle to call all the members and say goodbye. Especially since that on the day we got our calls, we set a baptismal date with K. Leaving Nago when we have 3 baptismal dates and the other elders have 2 is really hard. Not because of the numbers but because of the people and the love you have put behind it. But now I am in Miyazaki and its quite a huge city compared with Nago. Its massive. Endless things to do. I have no idea what to do with it mostly since its been only my first week. I'm training again. Elder Davies. I'm with a transfer 2 missionary. Its slightly rough because he has no idea really what was going on with any of the investigators and appointments since he is so new. So its just stabbing in the dark right now. I'm also District Leader for Miyazaki and Miyakonojo. Its really interesting. Looking back on training with Knighton, I was super lucky to have a bean like him. Also I was very lucky to have a companion like Elder Olsen who understood things and we could teach well in unity. Now I have to train all over and think of what I need to say and then think of things the bean can say. The poor guy, he beats himself with the language and dendo. I look back and he is a lot of what I used to be like in the beginning. Well, some things that I used to do. 

Anyways, Monday,

We had one great lesson with S. Y. He was awesome!!!!! He said that he was going to pray to know if God exists. He really wants to know. Sad to see him off. I had a pretty rough feeling that I would leave him.

Tuesday we set a baptismal date with K. We said "would you want to have this happiness through baptism?" She said yes and we told her about a date and she went and wrote it on her calendar saying "what time would be best?" She is a great woman. SO very kind and hopefully she can be baptized on april 4th.

We went and dendoed after that. Set up some appointments for Sat and Friday.

Then we got our transfer calls. That ruined the mood for the night. I wanted to stay and continue the work Elder Olsen and I worked so hard to set up. But I know the Lord needs Olsen there and me somewhere else.

Wednesday we got to meet C. We reexplained baptism to her. She said that the feeling of wanting to get baptized is growing and growing. She also said she came to church on Sunday but was scared and walked away from the front door! Ahhhhhhhhh so close. Hopefully she came this past week.

Then we met M for a little bit then egawa one last time. K came to the church to say goodbye to me. T came too. I finished all my things and I headed to Okinawa city.

Thursday was all traveling. I got to Miyazaki at 6ish. then we went out to eat with the Branch President at 7. The BP is an American! He is so cool. The branch has about 60-80 people in it. So weird to have a big area and more people in our branch.

Friday planning and off to go dendo and visit a less active named I. We got there and she got a letter from her boyfriend's lawyer saying that she was a stalker. She was crying and saying how it was such a bad time for us to visit. But then we testified how Christ knows all her feelings and knows what she is going through. Not only that but he loves her. She said thank you and she said come back a different day.

We dendoed basically all Friday and Saturday. It was a little rough without Olsen. I don't know how to add my bean into the contacts. I would start to translate for him and say, what would you want to say to this? He would just say, I don't know, you take it. hmmmm.

The branch is super cool! I tried to memorize as many names as possible before Sunday and tried to talk to a lot of the members. The branch is hilarious. Very organized. Very warm. Its a really good place.

One thing that did happen is that we had a lesson with a man they have a baptismal date with. His name is N. Mid 40s. Little bit eccentric but a really good guy. He reads everything you give him and he wants to be baptized because he wants to be happy. His date is for the 14th so we need to get through the lessons. I can't really tell you the whole details mostly because I'm not quite sure myself.

We had a meal with members in which we invited that I shimai. She had a blast and kicked it off with the members. She wants to go again and she asked anytime we have a meal, she wants to go. yeah :)

That's all I can really say right now. I hope I can say more next week.

Love Elder J