Monday, October 29, 2012

receiving blessing from the Lord, prayers are being answered and recognizing it all! The gospel, a beautiful thing.

Hello Family!

I`m sorry your sick mother! I hope you get better soon! I`m a little sick too but getting better :) Just a cold. 
That`s so exciting that Brother Scoggins is the new President! He was my Trek Pa when I was 12 :) Say hello to him for me and let him know that he`s in my prayers! All of the people you stated are really good men (I can`t remember who Brother Bates is, but I`m sure he`s great :P) haha. Brother Christensen`s son is a good friend of mine and I think he`s in Bulgaria rightnow on a mission! His sister was in the MTC with me and is now in Denmark :) I hope they`re doing well! 
I can`t help but imagine what responsibilities the Lord has in store for you in your future though dad. I guess we`re preparing everyday for those things ne (Japanese ne) :)

I`m extremely weirded out right now. I remember getting my emails at the beginning of the mission and there were a bunch of announcements of my guy friends getting their mission calls, but now I`m getting this influx of the girls too! It`s so cool that everyone is leaving off on a mission! The work is really going to hasten :) 

So I think I`ll start with the questions and then tell a story. I don`t have a lot of time today because of an online assessment about Preach My Gospel that I had to take.

I did get the Halloween stuff! Thank you soooooooooooo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I`ll admit it was pretty hard to share the Captain Crunch with everyone, but I figured it would be sabishii (lonely) eating it all by my lonesome. It also helped me give my new companion one of the best snacks he`shad in a long time :P I love captain crunch}!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much mother! I love you!
I`m not sure how long it takes packages...1 0r 2 weeks kana (I wonder)? From the mission office it usually takes no longer than a week It`s pretty quick (maybe even 3 days). 
I`m not sure when the Christmas package would need to be sent. I`m very nigate (not good) when it comes to sending things in the mail. I`m going to try to figure it out one of these days haha.

So for my week now. It was great! Our friend is really progressing with the gospel. Everytime we call her she`s at a new part in the Book of Mormon and has plenty of questions that lead into the lessons we want to teach. She has a 7 year old daughter that turns 8 in february (can`t remember how to spell that haha) that she wants to receive the blessings of baptism too :) She`ll hopefully be baptized on the 10th of November :D So very excited. She`s really receiving blessing from the Lord and her prayers are being answered and she`s recognizing it all :) What a beautiful thing the gospel :)
Now for my story! So yesterday was Steak Conference in Sapporo and Hakodate is a part of the Sapporo Nishi Stake, so we were supposed to take a bus at 3 AM from the church to Sapporo yesterday (5 hour trip). We set 3 alarms the night before for 1:30...But no one Woke Up!!!!!!! We got up at 3:15 and ran and got our suits on and ran out the door while calling some people from the ward and took off running to the church! We got there at 3:30 and luckily they had been waiting for us but they were just about to leave without us.We made it by the skin of our teeth (which is slightly odd because teeth don`t really have skin...anyways :P) haha. then we rode for 5 hours and had conference for 2 hours and rode back another 5 hours...we were so tired and I thought I was going to die just sitting there for 12 hours haha. I haven`t just sat and done nothing for a really long time. But it was a fun adventure and I talked with the bishops wife and a convert from a year ago for a long time (Bishops wife is crazy good at english). We talked a lot about Japanese questions and she tried to have me teach her son english haha. She was a missionary a long time ago and her husband was too. What a wonderful family and ward! I love it here :)

Well, I guess that`s about all! I`ll talk to you again next week! I love you sooooooooooooo much!

Bye Bye!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

P.S. I put a lot of smiley faces so that you know I`m happy...:D Because I`m very happy here haha. I love being a missionary!!!!!!!!!!! :DDDDDDDD haha. See you! 
P.S.S. I`ll try to get pictures on next week!

Monday, October 22, 2012

I`m just breaking the surface of all the potential God has given me!

Hello Family! This week was fantasticallismic! And I can`t remember how to speak english at all anymore! :P haha.

So this week was one of those weeks that you were sad when P-day comes because you`ve been seeing so many miracles! The one that I want to share is about the same person I talked about last time! Our friend who is progressign towards baptism. She got sick saturday and we called her to remind her about church (she`d never been before) and she said she couldn`t come because she got really sick. But the next morning when my companion and I were about to get on our bikes to go to the Missionary meeting with the ward before church she gave us a call and said "I want to try to go to church today!"...I was so excited! I guess that night when she prayed she told God that if her fever was back to normal in the morning she promised she would try to go to church. Then she woke up the next morning and it was back to normal, so she called us and came to church and talked about how she turned down some wrong streets but was guided to church! It was amazing! We got to meet with her for a little bit after church too and helped her realize all the answers she`s getting to prayers and she knows that God is answering her prayers. It was such a good experience! God without a doubt answers our prayers when we pray with real intent to act. 

I can`t even begin to tell you how much I love being a missionary :) This last week was one of those times I just never wanted it to end. I want to do this forever! Even during the hard times I just had this inner drive saying that the Lord just needs a little more time to help someone get prepared or good things were just down the road. It`s a lot easier as well when your companion is as wonderful as mine.
He`s so funny! He`s otaku (a nerd about gaming) and did engineering at college (so his explanations are all from a logical and mathmatical standpoint), but he`s a really hard worker witha lot of faith and we`re seeing miracles everyday. Dendo is fun with him :) Even when no one will talk to you at any doors or on the street for 5 hours straight haha. What a great life :) 
I really have a better standpoint of all the missionaries in the Book of Mormon now. When there`s only one verse about them suffering a few trials and being rejected by the people I have a new view and feelings to go along with those words. The missionaries in the scriptures were Beasts :P haha.

Alright, now for some commentary on the email.

Wow, It looks like both of you had a really busy week! Even when it`s busy though and you want rest, I`ve realized the times when I`m most happy is when I feel productive. Resting is very nice and we need it, but even when I retire someday I want to be very involved in something. I want to keep growing! I`m just breaking the surface of all the potential God has given me! ;P haha. It`s really amazing how fast growth can come too :) fun stuff.

The temple sounds like such a cool experience! I really really really really really want to go inside! Always have. We should go as a family when I get back! That would make me very happy :) I do remember how the front looks and the baptismal font so I`m excited to see the changes.

Wow. I think the BYU jokes about all my friends being married by the time I get back has changed. They`re all going to be on missions! With this new announcement I think that the missionaries in the world with multiply by so much. There are going to be so many more young women serving missions and young men not having to worry about college and what not right after high school. I`m so excited for the time when the Sapporo mission goes from 70 people to like 200 or something! That would be so cool!

Dalton got his Eagle! Congratulate him for me please! The eagle is a sign to me that people can accomplish their goals if they try.

It`s fun when you send words to me and I recognize the Kanji so the word makes sense dad :) I love Japanese. I`m much more comfortable now with it and I`m extremely excited to see how much you remember at Christmas! ;P haha. Start practicing so we can talk some! Before the mission I thought it would be cool if I got called to Japan so I could speak to you in a different language after haha. Now I`m realizing that it`s not that mysterious. Languages are just made up ways of expressing our thoughts to people. It was all created by man. Interesting stuff.

Thank you so much for sharing that experience about your dad with me. I`m praying for him :) That must have been a great experience. 
President Rose is being released? Let me know who is the new stake president when you find out!
 I`m loving it out here.this experience is not worth giving up even if you had a life time supply of the most delicious juice boxes in the world :P This is worth more than anything the world could give. I`m loving it so much and I know that the Lord wants them to receive all the blessings that comes from it too. 

Well I better get going. Off to clean the apartment and talk to a friend about the Gospel of Christ :) Talk to you later! Love you! 

Bye Bye!

Monday, October 15, 2012

It can be hard to be bold sometimes, but when we speak with confidence people see that.

I`m not very skilled in the ways of letter sending (ask any of my friends at home who`ve sent me letters haha).
 As for questions:
Best meal?: Lucky Pierrot. We went there and got burgers and shakes between conference. We go there a lot actually haha.
Funniest thing?: The other Elder in our apartment got a  green being around him and japanese people is really funny haha. He says silly things and he`s way funny :) He`s a great missionary with a lot of faith too. It makes me look back on when I was a bean haha. Fun times.
Church?...aka conference: WAS SO AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Conference is like enlightenment and repentance central. I loved every minute.
Coolest sight?:...I`m not sure new companion sleeping with pluto pillow kana (I wonder)?

Eat poop and smile everyday???...that is probably one of the most hilariously strange things I`ve ever seen haha. I love it! Thank you dad! 
‘Eat Poop and Smile Every Day’ with Cow Poop Shaped Chocolate Mochi Cookies

Thanks Japan!

Anyway, Thank you for the missionary story mom! You`re example has been such a strength in my life. It can be hard to be bold sometimes, but when we speak with confidence people see that. I actually had an experience with that yesterday.
We went to a man`s house that we visited a while back and he talked a lot...I`ve never met a man that talks so much in my life. I asked him for one minute mid sentence and he said `oh...ok!` and I said like 10 words and he blasted off again haha. Then I said `that was like 10 seconds!` and he said...oh...right. douzo (go on). So then I told him we had a message for him and he said to come back. So my new companion and I (I`ll tell in a minute :)) visited him and he immediately invited us in his house and talked...a lot haha. But we started telling him more about us and about how God has a message for him and a lot of fundamental easy doctrine and he told us at the end that he felt like talking with us he had his heart cleaned (and did this funny like scrubbing action around his chest haha) and that he felt like he had something he needed to learn from us. He turned to me and told me though that the reason He knew we werent lying is because I never broke eye contact when I spoke. He said that if I was lying I would look away. I thought that was really interesting. he was such a funny old man! haha. I`m excited to go back and visit him. 
So that`s my story for the week :) and I bet you were a great missionary mom! That`s why you`re so blessed now ;) Plus it`s not about the success in numbers, but how dedicated we were and how much we chose to grow. Plus a lot more I`m still learning. 

Any advice for what I should learn here? Or the biggest thing you learned here? or top 5 :D haha

And as for the other news...I have a new companion!!!!!! He was the recorder (computer guy in the honbu) for the last 4 transfers. He`s so ready to be out and dendoing and has a ton of faith, so we`ve already seen and are going to see a lot of miracles this transfer :) I`m so grateful he`s my companion :) 
I`m so blessed to be in such a nice area of the world.
And everyone is going on missions! AAAHHHH!!!!!!!!! That`s so exciting! Tell them it`s the best thing in the world and gets better and better all the time!!!!!!!!! I really don`t even want to leave. I love the opportunity I have to be out here everyday helping others and sanding the grit on the inside of my temple. I`ve been making renovation plans to replace a few stain glass windows :P I loved all the talks in conference :) 

Thanks for the articles dad! I don`t really know how to distinguish between Japanese people and Ainu(native Indian type in Japan) so I know very little about them but I always wondered.
Also, the poop thing...haha. Loved it. Thank you for being such a goof ball and teaching me how to have fun and work hard!
As for the weather this winter(suppose to be the coldest in history) in Hokkaido...a little worried, but excited too haha. I`ve yet to experience the snow here. It is getting colder though.
I`m sorry work is busy. While I was watching conference though one talk stuck out to me and made me think of you. I think it was elder Eyrings but I cant remember because I left my journal at the apartment haha. But it talked about praying about Job offers and staying at BYU instead of getting a new job. It made me think of your choices and how great a disciple of Christ you are. It makes me think of what missionaries are told in the PMG. "You have been suffered to come here for the salvation of souls" God is allowing you to continue to bless the lives of youth all over the Treasure valley and farther. I could see that very plainly when I was working with you at camp. The Lord needs you there for now. Thank you for trusting in His will and being a loving, faithful example to me. 

Well, I better get going,
Ask  “???”  if she(they) heard that in conference the age for young women to serve missions was lower :P haha. I don`t know if she`s(they’ve) ever thought about a mission, but if she(they) do(es), tell her(them) she(they) won`t regret it and I recommend it above anything else in the world. Even 14 delicious juice boxes (you know the kind you get as kids in your lunch boxes :) haha
I love you all so much!
Talk to you next week!

Bye Bye!

Monday, October 8, 2012

He Lives. That is enough to turn a life in the pursuit of Him

AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That`s sooooooooooo coooooooooooooooooooooooooooool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When I heard about the missionary age limit thing I just thought of all my friends who are probably preparing now to go on The work is really moving forward :) It`s almost unreal. Tell Megan Hopkins I`m excited for her and this is the best work in the world! 

I loved your comment on continuing throughout our lives to serve God like the Apostles. This isn`t just a 2 year thing. It is our life that was so graciously given to us by a Loving Father in Heaven and Saved by His Only Begotten Son.

Tell them I love them all so much when you get the chance! And I want to come visit them when I get back! We`ll go have another warm day at the beach! And even if its cold I`m sure I`ll still swim :) 
I understand the humidity thing grandma was talking about. It`s a little annoying during the summer here though. You come home and you`re just sticky. Kinda gross, but shoganai (can`t be helped). It`s not so much now that we`re in fall and it got a lot more suzushii (cold) here lately. It happened fast.
I`m praying for everyone there! Tell them I love them all and God is watching out for them!

Our lives were very different father dearest haha. It`s so interesting to imagine you as a teenager. My life has been so different and I`ve been blessed with more things that I could ever ask for and more. A strong testimony being one of the biggest blessings that came from other blessings. It`s so easy to see how the Lord has guided my life, and especially how he is guiding it now. 
This week was probably the most fantastic week of my mission. The past two transfers have been very slow, hard work with little results. Not too many people to teach, but that`s been building up slowly, and this week we found a ton of people who will listen to the message. One lady particularly who we met with yesterday and made a baptismal date with. We knocked on her door and usually she wouldn`t talk to people like us but she just felt like she should and she`s at a hard time in life. We taught her about the Spirit and Joseph Smith and all of lesson 1, and she has so many experiences that she openly shared with us of times she thought God must be there and when she might have felt the Spirit and how the Gift of the Holy Ghost could have helped her at different times in her life. She understood so mluch and wanted to learn so much. She told us that she knows we were guided to her and she understands we are the Lord`s servants and want to help her strengthen her relationship with God. She really is so prepared and we`ve been so blessed. We were also able to make a baptismal date with another older investigator that seemed very unlikely. It`s so amazing how the Lord has guided us this week to the people He`s been preparing. I realize that nothing is done by my power more and more everyday. I truly feel like a tool in the Lord`s hand. 
Another funny part of yesterday, the lady has a 7 year old daughter that is the most hyper kid I`ve ever met. She was climbing all over us the whole entire lesson haha. Very natsukashii (nostalgic) nephew & nieces. 

I`m so excited to see conference!!!!! We get to see it this weekend on video in english at our church! But tenkins (transfer calls are tomorrow, so I may be somewhere else). Either way I`ll be at a church watching it this weekend. The feelings you felt dad is the Spirit of hope that gives us a glimpse of that happiness that awaits us beyond this frail mortal existence. I`m sure you understand that much more than I do, but I know exactly the feeling you described. Thank you for always being a worthy and righteous father that is able to receive promptings such as that. I would and have gladly follow(ed) anywhere you decided to go with our family because I know that you follow the Lord, and He will never lead us astray. Thanks dad :) 

Tell Grandpa Hello and how much I love him and thank him for the sacrifice he made and is still making everyday for me! I did know about the donation, The sacrifice on my behalf from everyone is such a humbling thing. I see that here when the ward members do amazingly loving things for us. I can only think to myself how blessed they will be for their desire to help the Lord`s servants...19-25 year old servants. How blessed we are to be in this day and age where we can participate in this, the Greatest Work of all time. This is God`s work. He Lives and Loves us and my faith is strengthened everyday. I know he will always...ALWAYS, answer our prayers. I`m seeing that everyday. I don`t know what else to say other than He Lives. That is enough to turn a life in the pursuit of Him. I love being a missionary so much dad :) The hard times come, but I`ve never felt so happy and empowered. I know I`m where I`m supposed to be :) Thank you mom and dad! I love you sooooooooooooo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Talk to you next week!

Bye Bye!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

We can trust in the Lord because we know He loves us, wants us to be happy, and only gives us things that will help us grow.

Can I start by telling you that it`s great being a servant of the Lord :) Yesterday was very interesting for me. Everyone we talked to was pretty rude and the only people that wanted to talk were older men who wanted to tell us that we`re honorable young men and that everyone can believe what they want. And yet through all of that, I felt an odd sense of peace yesterday. I just really understood that no matter how much I improve my skills, this is all in the Lord`s hands. It`s not about how well we can prove the gospel is right, it`s about who we find and teach through the Spirit of God. He really is preparing people, and our job is to improve every day and diligently work to find them. 
These last two transfers have been a very big growing experience for me. I`ve been very challenged and tried and struggled a lot, but I can see all the growth that has come through it. The Lord gives us adversity because he know it will help us to become what he wants us to become. Yesterday I felt like I understood that better, and now I`m doing my best to keep acting as Christ would. It`s hard to get out of the bad habits of selfishness that we have, but it can be done. One choice at a time :) What a blessing it is to be out here.

It was fun hearing about your mission again dad. I know how you feel about the streeting thing haha. I was very blessed to be in a place with nothing but streeting when I first got to Japan and a trainer who was a hard core talk to everyone kind of missionary. Through that we saw miracles and has helped me to continue even when I don`t want to sometimes. 


We do cook. It`s usually a bowl of rice with curry or hayashi on top. We cut up vegetables and meat and put it in. That and Yakisoba and Udon. I can`t really make anything still :P Slowly learning! We cook on a stove top and we have a toaster and microwave. The microwave apparently as an oven too, but I haven`t done that yet.

So now for some commentary.
So, looking at all the pictures that Collette sent me was sooooooooooo weird! Who are all those little girls walking around in the pictures? They`re not the cute little babies that I remember! They`re little girls!!!!!!!!!! very weird. Being a missionary is very weird. You literally feel like nothing else in the world is changing but you. Everything goes by so fast too. It`s kinda freaky honestly. I don`t feel like I`ve changed too much in looks or anything either, but everyone when they see my drivers license or other pictures are like `wow, you look so young`...and I`m just confused. Crazy stuff, time.
I think one of the best ways we can help the Lord`s work progress along is taking bigger and bigger steps with friends. Inviting them to hear the missionary`s message or to an activity or dinner or a family home evening. I pray that  I`ll still have as strong a desire to share the gospel with my friends when I get home as I do now. I think of all the simple things I could have done to let them know that God is there and loves them and that we can receive the fullness of his blessing through his true church and the Doctrine of Christ (most important of course). I take comfort in the quote of Joseph Smith though...
"no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing...persecutions may rage, mobs may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth Boldly, Nobly, and Independent, till it has penetrated every continent, swept every country, and sounded in every ear till the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the Great Jehovah shall say `the work is done`"
As long as we`re doing what we`re supposed to (reading the scriptures daily, praying always, going to church, seeking the spirit, going to the temple) things will happen how they`re supposed to.

Dear Father, I love your rambling...:D
Also, I admire you so much for your willingness and desire to follow God. It has been such a good example to me in my life. Had it not been for you and mom`s diligence in following the Lord, I may have come home from my mission by now. It`s not easy out here and if there is not a strong testimony to support a person out here, they will have a really tough time, but I have been provided with everything I could ever want and more to succeed in anything through this life. Thank you so much for the example you`ve shown unto me.
I was reading the adversity section in True to the Faith this morning and it made me think of that. We can trust in the Lord because we know He loves us, wants us to be happy, and only gives us things that will help us grow. We choose of course how much we grow, but the Lord gives us the chance. We must be willing to follow Him and give up what we want sometimes though. Coming on a mission has just introduced this to me haha. Thank you so much for being that example that I can look to when I don`t want to talk to anymore people or I`m tired and don`t want to work. It`s held me through a lot of hard times already and will never cease to be an unmovable foundation in my life. 
I`m sure it`s an unneeded exhortation, but I would exhort you to continue trusting in the Lord for he will bless those who trust Him (Alma 36:6). Things are constantly changing. The hard times that we have now are not what they will be in the future. Things will change, and those spiritual good moments that we have are merely a glimpse of the ultimate joy that awaits us :) I look forward to that day with great hope :) Thank you for providing experiences for me to feel that hope throughout my life. 
Lastly...I love you soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo so so so so so so much...much :D

Thank you so much!

I`ll try my best to learn the baseball stuff, but I can`t promise anything. There is a lot of stuff I`m aware that I need to learn, so we`ll see how I end up prioritizing. I`m wondering if I should start seriously studying Kanji right now. Just get the basic 2000 or something. Prioritizing is hard haha. Thank you though! I love it all :) 

Well, I`m off to do some sight seeing and maybe go in the Goryokaku tower! Talk to you next week! Love you! Have a great week! tell the family Hello!