Tuesday, August 28, 2012

So here`s a list of some miracles this week

Dear family,
Hello!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This past week was very good :) Things are all going well and life is good and I`m so happy to be a missionary! Its amazing how different times in your life can be easier or harder when nothing really changes too much.
Well, tommorow we get our transfer call. I expect to stay here, but you never know! It`s an exciting time :) We go out to eat every tuesday after District Training Meeting (DTM) at a place called Lucky Pieros and get our Tenkin calls. You would love it there! They have pictures and movie posters of all these old movies and pictures of elvis and other classic actors and singers. It feels so much like an old american burger place. Very fun :)
I`ve never been to a pig roast! It sounds way fun! I`m glad everyone enjoyed :)
I`m actaully going to go up the ropeway for Hakodate Yama tonight with our district (4 elders, 2 nihonjin sisters) and the ward SA`s (young single adults, just single adults here because sometimes they`re not young :P haha). We get to see the night view and President gave us permission to stay out a little later because its one of the Elders possible last days in Hakodate and he leaves home after next transfer, so I`m way excited!!!! I`ll let you know how it goes!
Thanks for the picture by the way! Natsukashii! Everyone looks great, except Dan...he needs a hair cut :P I hope they`re all doing well. I keep telling my companion that`s my kitchen back there and he doesnt seem to care :P
The singing performance went great! We have a proffesional guitarist that just got baptized and he was awesome. Him and Endsley Choro made a couple songs each and played them. I got to sing a blues song and it was hilarious. I finished the song the day of, so I didn`t memorize it and we ended up just winging a couple parts. So there were some really funny parts but it was way fun! and it sounded good :) One of the ward members kept telling me over and over again how good it was haha. Then the sister missionaries asked us for our signatures on their programs. Way...way fun ;) haha. I`ll talk to Evans Shimai about getting it posted on facebook or something. It probably won`t be for a while, but I`ll see what I can do!
So here`s a list of some miracles this week (I started writing them down because there are so many and I never remember them!).
1--We went to visit an old investigator and he had moved but the man there invited us in and gave us ice cream and frozen soda stuff (super delicious!) and he was wonderful. His goal in life is to leave a good effect on everyone becasue he feels that when we die we become nothing (normal Japanese belief) but our eikyo (influence) still lives on.
2--One of our elders was getting very sick (bad throat problem) and he was the main performer in the performance we were doing and he got a blessing of healing, and the feeling was amazing. Whenever I`m able to take part in a blessing I feel this overwhelming humility, but there is also an indescribable power. What a wonderful gift from God.
3--We were talking to a gardner we met for the second time and there was a possibility it was going to rain, so I prayed that it would rain and we could go inside his house and teach him or something, and it started raining! I guess I`m not really surprised, but I can testify that God hears and answers our prayers. So don`t forget to pray! (also when we got to this mans house he started telling us how religion and planting things isn`t really different. If you plant a seed and nurture it, it will grow and eventually it becomes a tree that produces fruit...Alma 32 anyone? It was amazing! So yappari (as expected) we talked to him about Alma 32 that day ;P).
4--The concert was fantastic (the healing blessing showed that it had worked because the elder had never sang better) and one of the Shimai`s investigators that came is getting baptized on saturday! yay! She`s 13 and awesome. She comes to our Eikaiwa.
5--Immediately after our concert we talked to a really nice man and got his number so we`re going to try to meet with him soon!
6--I just said Hello to a man living directly across from the church and at first he didn`t want to talk, but as I kept talkinga bout the weather and stuff he came over and started talking. Not really much interest, but still talked with us about what we`re doing and what not. It was great!
7--I downed 3 cobs of corn extremely fast because an investigator gave us a ton of cooked corn on the cob after our lesson. Another elder did it with me and I destroyed him by a whole cob. I was way faster ;) You should be very proud of your son haha.
And that was my week! What a great week :) Every once and while I`ll just stop and look around me and think...`what a beautiful life`...thank you so much for your support and I love you so much!
Random thought time.
I`ve been having a lot of dreams lately about old friends from home. Like 4 or 5 for the past couple nights. It doesn`t affect me really, but it`sjust interesting that the same people have been in my dreams lately. Any thoughts on dreams mom or dad? Its mostly about people that I feel like I haven`t resolved small problems with and such.
Alright, well I better be off. Thanks for all the news! I love you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Take care! And don`t forget to read the scriptures every day and pray a lot a lot!
Bye Bye!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Never Fear, The Lord is Near! First you cry, then you fly!..

Hello Mom and Dad :) Thanks for your advice. It really does help. This week actually may have been worse than last week haha, but there`s a lot of hope for the future. There`s always an endless amount of hope :)
I`ve let a lot of unimportant thoughts get to my mind lately and I haven`t been the best in solving problems in the companionship. All in all I`ve just let the desire to learn and work hard get in the way of understanding and loving others. I may have been a little too gung-ho and expected too much of others. That`s how I`ve felt at least. But the beautiful thing about the gospel is it`s centered on the Atonement which means that we can repent and change. Actually the Kanji for Repentence in Japanese is pretty special I think. It`s Kuiaratame. The first Kanji means to feel bad, and the second Kanji means to change. We can`t change the past, but we can for sure change how we act now, one action at a time. It`s been quite the learning experience. But I know this is for my blessing. This is one of the crown points of the Atonement. The ability to be relieved of zaiyakukan (guilt) and change to conform to Gods will. The better I understand that, the better I can help others :) I don`t know if there is a greater blessing I could have than this opportunity. The chance to really experience the powers of the Atonement so I know how to help others better :) It`s amazing the things we go through that help us grow ;)
I have a purple paper that the MTC gave me that might be of some importance to the stitches dealio. As for the Power of Attorney, I`ll do whatever President and the AP`s need me to do. I haven`t been informed yet, but it`s not really a bother. It`s just a small thing :) It`s so interesting to think about all the stresses and worries we face in life and then think about how small they`re going to seem in the eternities.
Thanks for the historical stuff! We haven`t gotten to do any sight seeing yet because we`re really busy on P-days but this is the last busy P-day (I`ll explain more a little later). Next P-day we`re going to Jujigai and Hakodate Yama (mountain) though! I`m so excited!
 I understand how you feel though. Fear and doubt can occasionally find their way into our lives, but we can`t let that stick. I`m in the middle of unsticking some things that have built up recently, but one thing that always helps me is taking 5 minutes before something, going somewhere quiet, praying and then getting everything straight in your mind. That`s always brought a lot more confidence and invited the Spirit to take over everything. Trust the Lord always :)
As for the questions:
The members here are so incredibly wonderful. They do everything for us! We`ve only been fed a couple times, but we have something called fruits basket where the ward members bring food on sunday and we take it home to our apartment. But they`re the best ward in Hokkaido! Everyone says so and I see why! They`ve all become really good friends and work hard to do their part.
We have a great ward council with a mission leader that`s hilarious and really great.
We`ve been preparing a concert for the past couple P-days that a missionary and a recent convert are putting on (the missionary returns home after one more transfer). I`m in the finale singing a missionary blues style song that I still need to make up :P haha. We sing this saturday so next P-day is free though and we`re going to go sight seeing as a district! Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I haven`t been implementing too much from the letters I get, but I love hearing the stories. There`s already too much I need to implement :P haha. I might be but I may not notice it. Doing things in your own language is a very big blessing I`m noticing. You can immediately apply things in your own language. Implication in a different language takes a little more messing up and finding out how to do it well haha.
 Ah! The shimai are invading so I`ll finish this a little later! See you for now! I love you! Never Fear, The Lord is Near! First you cry, then you fly!...I can`t think of any more rhymes, but I`ll see you after I have some...good times! :P Love you :) Bye Bye!

Monday, August 13, 2012

I hope the thought of that puts a smile on the face of everyone who hears. I know it makes me smile...See!--------->=D haha.

Hello everyone! I have a lot of stuff I want to talk about so I`m going to get right to that.
So this week was zone conference so everyone came by train and stayed down at our apartment in Hakodate. We had 14 missionaries in an apartment that barely holds 4! We had futons laid out all over the floor and running into the kitchen. Needless to say, but sleep didn`t come easy that night haha.
The next day I went on splits with one of the AP`s (Kogure Choro--I used to live with him in the Oodori Apartment so it was way fun!). We walked around all day and got 3 peoples numbers. Still working on teaching them, but hopefully soon!
It`s so fun to hear about all the different experiences of my fellow elders around the world. I`m amazed at the different experiences going on thoughout the world. As I compare my experiences with all that I read I`m just blown away by the differences. I`m so happy to hear about all the success and all the people hearing the gospel. It`s very different here though. This transfer has been pretty tough here. My companion and I have been working in Hakodate for 4 weeks now and we taught like our 4th real sit down lesson yesterday at the church. People aren`t very inclined to listen here, but I know that the Lord is preparing people in every area for us to teach. Our friend Sato san is a testimony of that. We taught him yesterday and he left the lesson with a different light in his eyes. He wants to learn everything from us. That`s what he told us when we asked him what he was expecting. He said he wants to learn Zenbu (everything). Honestly I was feeling a little down during the lesson because I was having trouble teaching well, but it still turned out great :)
This whole week has been a little bit like that. I`ve been given a lot of time to realize how little I can do without the Lord. The Lord gives us periodic check ups to make sure that we know by whose power we`re doing this work. We have the privelege to be here. Not the responsibility, this is one of the greatest opportunities that anyone could have, and it just so happens that every once and a while we need a reminder. But I know that this is such a great work. Even when nobody will listen and you feel like your abilities aren`t good enough, If you trust in the Lord he will bless you. What a great life :)
Some other little things, there was a huge thunderstorm the other night and 3 of us in the apartment woke up to this huge BOOM! at like 2 in the morning. We all hopped right out of bed and went to the window. Didn`t see anything but it was sooooooooo loud! Still haven`t felt any earthquakes though.
I love that story about the power outage! The Lord is definitely there and mindful of us. No doubt about that :) The story reminds me of the time at camp that we had the really hot day and a microburst came from the lake and knocked down the trees over the electricity wires and we had to cook and clean using no electricity! Yikes! demo Natsukashii.
Oh tell brother Hulme and everyone hello for me! I love that man! He made such a great impact on me and everyone. Please let him know how much the Lord loves him and how greatful He is for inspiring the growing generation. He may not know it, but the things he says and the smiles he gives everyday really do inspire everyone around him to be better people. Please let him know how much he is loved by me and everyone and Especially the Lord.
That`s too bad about the car, but always remember that the Lord only gives us things that will help to build us up. Always look for the good that will kanarazu (definitely, for sure) come.
Do they have that matsuri up here in Hokkaido? I sure hope not :P haha.
By the way, I was reading about how everyone`s english abilities are going away and I completely understand. You say the darndest things in english when you`re learning a new language haha. Its a really interesting thing. You get to the point where you can`t really speak well in either language (or think) haha. I understand why babies cry all the time now though. Its so frustrating not being able to express yourself! Hang in there babies!
Mom, Dad. I have never been so challenged in my life. This has for sure been the most challenging thing I`ve ever done, but I wouldn`t trade it for the world. I`ve never felt so burnt out, so challenged, so stretched in my whole life. I for sure haven`t ever cried so much in my whole life :P But I will tell you one thing. I can feel the presence of the Holy Spirit as I`m writing this. I know that God lives. It doesnt really explain in detail the trials that the missionaries in the scriptures faced, but they had the same testimony as I. There will be hard times. There will be times that make you wonder exactly why you need that specific trial, but the Lord will never leave you. NEVER! And the hard times are all swallowed up in the joy of that thought that you worked your hardest to bring even just one soul unto Christ. The Atonement is real. My testimony has never been stronger about that. You realize what`s driving you out here and it`s the Lord Jesus Christ and His Atonement. So never fear :) What a great work :)
I`m sure there will be hard times ahead, but I`m excited for the growth and I look forward to working hand in hand with my Master and my Friend. I hope the thought of that puts a smile on the face of everyone who hears. I know it makes me smile...See!--------->=D haha.
Alright, well I better get going. It was great to here from you! Tell everyone in the ward I love and miss them and to trust in the Lord!
Until next time!
Love you :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

If I could give you any words of wisdom it would be this. Believe that God has all power....

I wish I could have been there with you dad!(hike to a lake) That was such a great time we had :) I really enjoyed the advice and the talks. I felt like I should start opening up to you and mom more during my senior year and Im glad I did.
How did your knees handle the hike by the way?
I also miss the late night talks we used to have about everything and anything. I still remember the time I got my Patriarchal Blessing from President Klomp. After that is when my real drive to go on a mission came. I really felt Gods love and I wanted to share it.
See! God does answer prayers! :P thats a pretty funny story.(DAD prayed the other day that somehow he would be able to make budget this year at camp.  It’s always pretty hard.  Well, last Sunday night, Camp Bradley in Stanley was evacuated due to a fire and he got 50 of their campers.  That added about $15,000 to the bottom line!  Didn’t do Bradley any good, but his prayer was answered . . . .)   Im always amazed at how the Lord does answer prayers though. Everything works out perfectly to benefit us the most.
It`s so weird that all of my friends right now are out around the world serving in the greatest and one of the most challenging works in the world. Its a wonderful thing :) I`m excited for what the future brings!
My new ward is amaazing! They`re the best I`ve seen yet. theyre so nice and a lot speak english and theyre very willing to help. Were actually getting goched (fed) tonight.
I love it here so much. Im still in the city, but its much much smaller and the ocean is close by and its just a nice place. Everyone calls it the retirement home of the mission haha.

There are 4 of us in the apartment and theyre all great. One of them has insomnia so its a little harder to get to bed on time haha. Its also a little hard for them to get up sometimes so I find myself running in place alone quite a bit, but theyre trying their hardest. Great elders. The insomniac is really crazy skilled as well. The best in the mission at japanese from what I hear and see. Tonight we`re going to have 12 people in the apartment for Zone Conference tomorrow though so that will be really fun!
This week has been a rollercoaster. I got really stressed because of a number of things going on in the apartment and all the change going on around me and such and so we had an apartment inventory to sort things out. Very tough, but it worked out great. The rest of this week has been great though. We had 2 people come to church yesterday which was great! One is a little odd so our team up on wednesday is going to tell us if he`s seishin byo (mentally ill) after the lesson.
But guess what! My investigator in Oodori got baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When I heard the news I felt very humbled and very grateful. He got baptized a week ago :) And Im very excited for him. Theres a lot of stuff I want to say and tell you and everyone, but right now I should be going. Lots to do, lots to see! I can`t wait till Christmas so I can tell you all in person!...well sort of :P
I do have a little advice I could use. My companion is a little scared of streeting and I`m doing my best to help him learn to be bold. I`ve tried loving approaches and kibishi (strict) approaches but he`s just very scared of talking to people. He`s a great teacher and very bold when he knows people but just meeting new people can be hard for him. How can I help him come out of his shell? I feel like I`ve tried it all and its been pretty tough streeting by myself (especially because my langauge abilities are still small). I`m trying my best to show love, but I could use some more advice if you have any! Thank you!
I love you all so much! I`m excited for the time I can tell you about all the miracles the Lord is giving me in person. Until then, Kyotsukete! (Take care!)
If I could give you any words of wisdom it would be this. Believe that God has all power and is working to help us grow at every turn. Look to grow and Believe. Don`t fear. Just Believe. And go forward with faith. Hymn 81 is my favorite for that reason. I feel upbeat and ready to go forward and face the world. So to all who read this, Just Believe. All else will come from that :)
Thank you so much mother and father. I love you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Bye Bye!!!!!!!!!!