Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Second Transfer, Second Week

This week in his letter to me, I felt as if I could hear Alex talking to me. It was nice because I miss his voice. He sent more photos, but only one with him in it. Someone please go over there and teach him how to take a selfie!

Well, I am glad to say that the transfer week didn't kill me (it's easy when you don't have to go anywhere), and I am getting along with the new elder just fine. I can't say that too much has really changed besides that, but I am fine with how things are!
Elder O.

In this email, and in future emails, I am going to start to include a Japanese word and the pronunciation of the word with every email.
This weeks word is: 聖書 Seisho (say-show), meaning Bible (Literally Holy Book).
And now for the synopsis of the week.

Monday: After emailing, we went to one of the local dollar stores. The dollar stores here are a lot different than in America, because they have basically everything you need at a decent price, and is all a dollar unless marked otherwise. Form there, I got a pen that writes like a brush, a fountain pen, earmuffs, slippers, a pencil sharpener, and rechargeable batters and charger for my electronic dictionary.
When we finished with that, we tried to catch a bus, but we were just barely late, so we had to walk all the way over to the church for a lesson. All in all, we got there in about half an hour (at a very quick pace).
There we had a lesson with Mr. Hasebe, and talked about the scriptures and how to study them effectively. After his lesson, we tried to visit a couple of people and find some people to teach, but those we planned on visiting weren't there, and we didn't find anyone either.

Tuesday: We went up north to a restaurant called Tonpachi for lunch, in honor of the leaving missionary (Elder W.). It was his last day in Yonezawa, and was worth the trip up there.
When we finished that, we went to the local mall to do some language study and prepare an english class lesson before going to visit an investigator who lived in the area. In the meeting with him, we went over more of the basics of how God is our Loving Heavenly Father, and why prayer to Him is important.
We then did some follow up on pamphlets we had posted at an apartment complex closer to our apartment. We didn't get too much from that, but we did get one girl to think about one of the questions on the pamphlet, and she said she'd read it.

Wednesday: We went to go visit a less active member, Brother Seino, with a different member Brother Hiroshi, and we talked about how we need to pray earnestly, from the heart, and with real intent on doing what you get as an answer. He seemed to be very touched by it.
We then had a lesson with Mr. Hasebe again, so we went back to the church, and talked about keeping the Sabbath day holy. We had a member there, Brother Keiichi, and his daughter. He said that he would keep the Sabbath by not purchasing anything on Sunday, and by not doing regular "weekend" activities, and also said he'd come to church.
After that, we had our English class. The class was normal, and all the usual students came. The only difference was that the new missionary came and I got to meet him before class started.

Thursday: We went to Sister Taira's house, and had a little role play lesson with her. We got some improvement points from her, and then talked for a bit longer about how she was doing, and so forth.
We then went to the closest bus stop, and sat there for a few moments before I looked at the bus schedule and noticed that we had missed the bus by 20 minutes because we had looked at the wrong bus schedule when we planned the day, so we had to once again walk back to the church for yet another lesson with Mr. Hasebe.
While we met, he asked us what kind of things were appropriate to pray for, and so we talked about that for the whole time. We also found out this week, that he will be moving to a different city at the end of the month, and so we will not be able to meet with him after that. But the missionaries in that area will be able to pick him right back up where we leave off. :D
I think we should start making more art with our snow in Utah.
Next we tried to visit a potential investigator who lived a fair distance away from us, but when we got there, they said that they'll check out our english class when they had time, and they'll see what they want after that.

Friday: After our weekly weekly planning session, we took a train up to a neighboring city to visit a less active member at her work. We got up there, and discovered that we had come to work during her off times (she works the evening and night shifts), and so we couldn't meet with her. We then took a train down to a different neighboring city, to meet with Sister Yoshida with the other two missionaries. She had prepared a nice dinner for us, and we did some role playing with her and her daughter to practice talking to friend about their religion. They did a really good job, after they got into the groove of things.
Me and the new elder (Elder P.) discovered that we both like a lot of the same things (including the japanese board game "go"), and so we talked a lot on the way back to the apartment about those things.

Saturday: We went to the Goto families house, an old couple who are both members, and talked about why we came on missions, and gave a priesthood blessing to Brother Goto. I got to anoint him with oil, and I did it in Japanese. Elder O. did the blessing for him.
We then went to the church for a lesson with Mrs. Momozono. We taught her in the english part of our lesson how to make a recipe, and during the gospel part talked about how the gospel can be such a blessing for her and for her kids, as well as any family, and how through prayer and this gospel we can raise our children to be happy and appreciative just like Nephi was of his parents (see 1 Nephi 1:1).
We then tried to go play basketball with a different less active, Brother Shimura, but he wasn't answering his door for whatever reason. The other two missionaries were waiting for us at the activity center, and so we called them and asked if there was anyone who wanted to play basketball with us there. There were some high school boys who said they'd like to, and so we rushed over. The game was really fun, although we lost by 2. As is customary to the Japanese mind, once you do something with foreigners, you need to get a picture with them, so we did just that.

Sunday: A very normal Sunday, it was. We got to the church, and were waiting for Mr. Hasebe, but he texted us to let us know that he couldn't make it after all because he needed to shovel his grandma's driveway. Besides that it was really nice being able to partake of the sacrament.
Afterwards, we taught a class to some of the members on how to be member missionaries. It was fun, and I got to bear my testimony to them about how the Lord will help them as they try their best.
We then went to visit Mr. Kato. With him, we talked even more about the basics, and did a follow up on how he was doing. He is still struggling to stop drinking alcohol, so we helped him with that.

We also tried to visit a couple of families, but they weren't home. On the way back to the apartment, we walked by one of the community centers and noticed that there was a festival going on. We walked into the building and were surrounded by kids and adults, and they were all asking us questions in english and in Japanese. Someone even bought us some soup so we could try it (we explained how we don't buy things on sunday).
After that, we walked back to the apartment, and had a regular night. I did get to play a game of go with Elder P. though, that was fun!
Hope you enjoyed the tales of Japan according to Elder _____. Tune in next week for more!
Love you all from the bottom of my heart!
 Elder _____

Over where?

"Earthquakes are actually quite common here in Japan, and in some areas get them almost every single day. It's nothing really scary, it just feels like a rocking, like you're on a boat or a ride of some kind. It's not really that scary to me. Most of the earthquakes that are on the news over there are, I hear, not really that big of a deal over here. In other words, what freaks people out over there in America really doesn't effect anything here."

When I asked him about his morning exercises he said, "In the mornings, it is usually very cold, so we stay indoors. We usually do stretches, and sit-ups and push-ups, and he sometimes does planks. That is the morning routine. There really isn't too many four square opportunities, and ping pong is definitely a cold option :P I'm glad that it's been warm there! It's been pretty warm here too, but I think the high was 3 degrees Celsius (~37°F)." 

Alex and his companion

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