Tuesday, October 21, 2014

General Conference Week in Hachinohe

Hey everyone, I finally got to see what everyone was talking about regarding General Conference! The week delay can certainly be annoying, but we`re almost finished at least!

This week has been pretty typical, honestly, mainly because General Conference and going to Aomori for Zone Training Meeting took up nearly half our week. Our investigator has also been difficult to meet with, so we only taught one lesson, and that was to our Free Family English Program lady. She`s really helpful at improving our teaching skills and she has moderate interest, but she needs to both feel and recognize the spirit to progress at this point. The other interesting thing we did was translate the Living Scriptures into Japanese with a member. I forgot how ridiculous and cheesy those videos were! The one where Christ comes to the Americas is honestly quite frightening. Watching these videos was very `natsukashii`, as the Japanese would put it!

Right now, it feels like there`s a lot of stuff that we`re waiting for, but not too much happening. We have quite a few people who want to do lessons, but they have to sort out their schedules still. We also have the huge Halloween party to prepare for. Activities are generally the most effective way to do missionary work around here!

Well, that pretty much sums up what`s been happening! We`re planning on visiting a member`s farm today, so I`ll have pictures of that next week, hopefully! As you may have heard, a super typhoon is heading up our way, so we probably won`t be able to do too much tomorrow (our one activity has already been canceled), but we`ll try to do our best! Aishiteimasu!

Elder Earl

Farm Visit and Typhoon


This week has been a pretty good one out here in Hachinohe.

After emailing you last week, we went to a member`s farm out in the country. While most of the Japanese countryside is endless rice fields, this farm was more Western looking, with a barn, farmhouse, horse-pasture, and quite a few farm animals. It was fun being able to see cats again! We were only expecting a few people to be there, but we ended up holding a birthday party for a nine year old member of the branch! It was fun celebrating with all the members and enjoying the tasty food they had brought for the occasion. I`ll send pictures separately.

Also, we got hit by a typhoon, which actually wasn`t too bad in Hachinohe at least. The roof tiles blew off of a nearby home, which was fairly scary, but nothing too dangerous. We weren`t allowed to ride bikes while it was raining, due to fears of sudden flash floods, so we rode by bus to an area called Korekawa in search of LA`s. As usual, we weren`t able to contact any of them, but we did see both an Eikaiwa student and a Shuwa Circle friend. The shuwa lady was the same one that I had talked to about prayer, but this time we just talked about Eikaiwa, which she expressed moderate interest in. I think that the gospel would probably be of more interest to her, but we`ll see how things develop.

I got to teach two investigator lessons this week, which was the first time in a while. "Bob", the American pastor, pretty much told us that we`re going to Hell despite being good people, due to our belief in the Godhead and the Book of Mormon. He really cares about us, so he tries as hard as he can to convince us that we should follow Jesus Christ correctly. This is pretty much the same way we feel about him. Our lesson started with him talking about Ebola, so the lesson had a rather heavy atmosphere the whole time, but we managed to share our testimonies of the Book of Mormon and help him understand how we actually believe in it. We also taught "A" -san about the Word of Wisdom. Because we had helped him carry rice to his apartment, he was in a better mood than usual. He says that he has to quit smoking anyways, but the other stuff will be difficult (and smoking will still be really hard, even though he has a strong desire to stop).

That pretty much sums up our week! This coming week should be good! Tomorrow is splits with the Zone Leaders here in Hachinohe, on Saturday we have a Halloween Party in Misawa with all the Americans, and Elder Fox is going to Sendai to get his wisdom teeth pulled out, so we`ll be in a threesome for about a week.


Elder Earl

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Busy Transfer Week

Reunited with his MTC companions!

Hey everybody! I hope you had a good General Conference weekend! I will be watching it this week, since we have to wait for the DVD`s to arrive in Japan, so don`t spoil too much!

On Wednesday, we took the long bus ride down to Sendai to pick up my new companion, Elder Hill. When we arrived in Sendai, I met my MTC companion for the first time since January of this year, so we all went and ate some Indo-curry before heading off to the Kamisugi church. When we arrived, there were nearly eighty missionaries there, about half the mission. It was probably the biggest group of missionaries I`ve ever seen, so I was able to talk to lots of different people that I hadn`t been able to meet with for a while. After that, we took the bus to the `honbu` (headquarters/president`s living quarters/Nagamachi elders` apartment) and left our luggage there. Since we went to Nagamachi Eikaiwa last time, we decided to visit Kamisugi`s this time. The big city of Sendai is honestly so different from the rest of our mission. When I first came to Japan, my impression of Sendai was that it was kind of run-down and not pretty, but now I realize how cosmopolitan and modern Sendai is. I would really love to serve there, especially when you consider how busy missionaries stationed there are. They even have a book store with English books, so I got a book to help with learning Japanese. I think if I stayed in Kamisugi for too long, I`d probably be very tempted by that place, so maybe it`s good that it was just for a day!

I went to District Leader`s training the following day, which was really interesting. We got served breakfast by Sister Smith (the president`s wife), which marked the first time I had French Toast on my mission. It was great hearing from President Smith during the training. He discussed how a `tsunami of evil` is sweeping the world. Using examples such as the mission president being kidnapped in Argentina and the wars and problems throughout the world, he made it clear that Japan is definitely one of the blessed countries. However, we need to get the word out to everyone ASAP, apparently. I`ve really come to love Japan more than you can probably imagine. I just want to help everyone out here, but they need to do their part and listen!

Other than that, it was a pretty standard week. We`re doing our best to plan for the Halloween activity, we had one meal appointment with a member yesterday, and we tried teaching Aizu-san, but he wasn`t feeling good so we couldn`t. The other elders taught their first lesson to Ron the preacher, and he had a lot of doctrinal disagreements with them, but it was generally good from what I hear. He`s a really nice guy and I love their family. They were talking about their typical meals, including breakfast of waffles, pancakes, and hashbrowns. That`s the kind of breakfast I miss!

That`s pretty much it! We`ve been doing our best out here and will continue to do so! Aishiteimasu!

Elder Earl