Monday, November 28, 2016

Week #20: Cold, Snow, Gifts, Baptism, Warming Spirit

Sometimes it is really cold here!
(Monday) Today was a normal old p-day but we had some fun, but was the normal; study, groceries, and then cleaning.   We tried to go to a gym to play tennis but its started to rain a little so instead we went to the church and our investigator came - we played ping pong, ate pizza and KFC and taught him about how the baptism works and what will happen. The Chiba Elders came here today and tomorrow we are going on splits with kashiwa churro he is an awesome nihonjin we are going to go to tateyama on train tomorrow and we are going to do awesome.

(Tuesday) Yesterday was splits, so I spent the day with Kashiwa Choro we had an awesome day we spent a majority of it going to visit, our good old friend mizuno shimai she is a strong member that lives far and makes it to church every once and a while. She is so sweet, and always makes us food, kashiwa chorro is nihonjin so he is like super nice and fun and always genki and teaching me more nihongo. The day started with, an earthquake that we felt at 3 in the morning about I think someone said was 7.4 but to us was just a little bit here, just big enough to wake you up a little. Funny enough some members called us, to see if we were okay, we didn't think much of it. Initially, some members told us to not go outside because a tsunami was possible, but turned out it was small and would only cause wave of about 3 meters high, in our mission area.  So all was good, but me and kashiwa choro were going to tateyama on a train and weird enough the train was late, me and kashiwa choro were really confused as I have never seen a train late even a minute, but this train was late by like 40 minutes. Someone said maybe it was late due to the earthquake.   Though all was good and we studied together then headed off, venturing up the mountain, it was funny because kashiwa choro was like do you know how to get to mizuno shimai's,  and I was like ya but I don't know how to explain it, pretty much is you go to the bamboo forest, then right after the scary tunnel, take a left then up the mountainous mountain and bam - we are there!   He said at the end I was definitely an omoshoroi senkyoshi (meaning either interesting or funny missionary) one or the other, it has two translations so the world may never know. Though we talked to mizuno shimai and she was super nice, we shared a spiritual thought on prayer. She was so kind and such a precious soul, we left happier having visited her.  As she is all alone in a mountain, though such a tenshi. Then we traveled back and one of our youth is applying to byu hawaii so we helped him with his application, he is super smart. Kashiwa choro asked how he learned English so well, and he was like television. I was like with subtitles? He said no just television, like how I don't understand but apparently that is how.   He is amazing. We ended the day with teaching eikaiwa (English class). Then on the train ride (training) home one of our investigators called us told us to meet him at moss burger where he bought us a ton of food so nice and an awesome day of splits.

(Wednesday) Today I noticed I had lost my white tie so went to daiso, to buy some nice yasui 1 dollar ties, to get ready for baptism.   We surprised our friend and made food at his house; some egg and bacon sandwiches, and just talked to him talking about the baptism coming up.

(Thursday) Today was a good day, a very cold day.  One of our friends told us today was the first time in 56 years it snowed in November.  It was a very chilly day, we woke up with some study. Then we had our district meeting, it was a good meeting we learned about love and working with members, two of the missionaries came from Tokyo came and had snow on them where it was snowing hard.  Here it was mostly raining hard,  it was definiately the coldest day yet, we could see our breath in our apartment as we sat and planned for the week. We huddled together in a room trying to stay warm, I put my feet in the futon dryer as they were cold.  After district meeting we went to a small restaurant as we entered we were drenched and rain and freezing they gave us some ocha (tea) immediately as we arrived, which we just used the warm cup to warm our hands.   As the day was cold and rainy so we spent most of the rest of the day inside, called people and invited various people to the baptism and eikaiwa class.  Also we got our package today!  I opened it a little and it says Happy Birthday. So I don't know if I'm supposed to open it, but I might have to open it because soon I have a chance of transferring and have to get it sometime. Anyways we put it under our Christmas tree and are enjoying our time, things are going well.

(Friday) So today was an awesome day.  It began with some study as always, always trying to improve. Then we had a knock at the door, it was a package, tons of awesome amazing stuff from the Ward, thank you so much Menifee Lakes Ward for everything.  Many things in the package is impossible to find here, and honestly so awesome so thank you a ton!  Opened it like an early Christmas present and love it, there is a tons of the best foods ever, and tons of socks and ties which I legit need. I'm so very thankful for the kindness and warmness from home. I made a video and took pictures hope they are ok.  After that fun surprise, we headed over to the sister's old apartment, the sisters were moved to another area so that means we have to move everything in the whole house into a moving van, so that the new sisters in the new area wherever they are can have an apartment full of stuff.  The house was very full and the doorways and halls were small, like I have the habit of ducking out of every door I go through and now do it even when I clearly don't need to. Anyways we got it all done and shoved everything into the van and nothing broke too bad.

Then we had a lessons and  eikaiwa class always a bunch of fun.  We just talk about whatever, we taught, about prefixes and suffixes and homophones, and various other things like tenses and prepositions. Really enjoyed the class and they seemed to learn a lot.  After class we visited a friend who made us this crazy awesome sandwich, and this other meat rapped, bacon rapped, cheese and tomato and lettuce filled meatloaf thing. And well anyways it was an amazing Thanksgiving dinner, he is so nice and dang were we full afterwards.   We shared some videos, Mormon messages with him, he said he will do his best to make it Sunday for his baptism, though he doesn't know about his work schedule but we will have to see.  We are always praying for him.  It's still very cold, we are very creative when it comes to staying warm.

(Saturday) Today we started with study then continued into kodomo eikaiwa class.  The kids are cute, and they are fun. Always enjoy Saturday's ton of fun.    We always conclude with kakurenbou a few times, and sing some hello song, and once there was a snowman and various other things the class is fun. Then we set up the font for the baptism tomorrow and we partly blew it up with a foot pump and then stuck it in this wooden box.  It was not something one normally has to do back home in preparing for a baptism.  While there you set up some chairs and fill the font, here we build the font!  We  finished the day talking to our two friends that have baptisms tomorrow.  They are doing great, hope everything is cool and both can make it.

Also i learned i should get rain pants.  I realized this week for when I am riding my bike in the rain and don't want to get them soaked.  Yeah that is something I should get soon.  Will have to have my companion show me where to get them.

(Sunday) Today we saw our friends Yi and Jonivar makes strides towards their Heavenly Father by entering into the waters of baptism.   We were lucky enough to see their growth and had the opportunity to teach them, and they are strong.  I know I will be able to see them again in our heavenly father's presence one day. They have amazing faith and have come unto Christ. They have the kindest hearts of anyone I have ever met, and they show everyday to me that Heavenly father truly does love his children. I'm excited for what they have next in their journey.  Their baptism was a very spiritual experience that I know led them closer to their Savior and God's love. We had an amazing day together, it was a good day full of very memorable experiences. It was a great to be part of their lives and I hope they always keep their Savior strong in their hearts and continue in their path of discipleship.  Jonivar and Yi were amazing and hearing their hearts as they bore their testimony, strengthens me, and helped me know why we do what we do, in following Christ, and serving others.

I love this gospel and know it is true and I am so thankful for it.

God knows us. He loves us. He wants us to follow him, the thing he asks us to do in this life is change our heart. People in this world look at each other and they hear our voice they judge us by our clothes by our car, by our intelligence or intellect.  They judge us by our race, our language how we talk, our appearance. But God he looks somewhere different, he looks at our hearts when he judges us,  he looks at how pure our love is for others, how we think about others and how hard are we striving to change, how sincerely we want to make someone's day a little more beautiful, he looks upon our hearts. He doesn't care about any of that other stuff, yes he has given that to us and they are great gifts. But most precious of all is our soul, our heart, and our love. The love he has given us because he first loved us. I am so thankful for a Father in heaven that I know loves me. He is precious to me and I know he is there not because I have seen him, but because I have felt his love. I have seen his love change those who receive it and allow it to change them. And because of that I will always trust in his love, and always trust in his spirit that leads me to do go. I know he does all things through love he gives us our challenges in love he gives us families in love, and in love he reaches out to us beckoning for us to come to him and follow him and his teachings. I feel this love so strongly this day. And I never want to forget it this day, as at times its easy to doubt. But the love I felt this day as I watched my friends Jonivar and Yi follow their Heavenly Father and bear sincere testimony of him, it makes you feel immovable, it gives you hope, through it I could see his love as if we are as a little child and he is holding our hand to guide us back home. I know he loves us and does not leave us comfortless, but comes to us. These things I know to be true In our loving savior's name Jesus Christ, even the son of the living god. Amen.
Baptism of Joniver and Yi
You don't just fill the build the font.

font built

Kashiwa Choro Splits

Cheesy selfie with Elder Rogers and Jonivar

Christmas gifts from Menifee Lakes Ward!! Thank you!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Week #18: English Muffins, Natto and Christmas carols

Splits and making food with Elder Hirao  and Otani

Lot's has gone on this past week, it's even an extra day since I didn't get to write on normal Pday because we went to the Temple today (Tuesday) so skipped Pday yesterday.  We get to do this every so often.

Here are some highlights:

Last Pday -

  • Clean buy groceries, got english muffins, first time I had seen english muffins so buying those from now on.
  • Karate didn't have...didn't work out.  Maybe next week.
  • As it was fast Sunday last week, members fill a basket full of food for us -  they are so nice to us, so awesome!
  • Went with investigator to moss burger...which is a pretty decent place -normal cheeseburgers and chicken burgers.

During the week we...

  • Had a mother and some from Australia come to our ekiaiwa class...
  • Talked with various friends/investigators, some via video chat lessons (awe the wonders of technology)
  • Flu shots - every missionary must get them, I already had mine back home so I am good this year, that is good to because they are expensive $40 ... I just watched Elder Rogers get his with a smirk and smile.  He was a big boy and didn't cry.
  • Taught more lessons.
  • Went on splits to Inage for Zone leader splits.  I went with Elder Hirao who is an awesome nihonjin.   Super funny and awesome. 
  • Taught a member about the power of reading scriptures and made a ton of food with him, I believe it's called zabe or something like that ... carrots, meat, lettuce, mushrooms, beef, broth biled in a huge bowl.
  • Lots of walking, lots of streeting
  • Finally found some mellon pan . . . as we walked past a bakery couldn't resist the smell, it's a sweet tasty bread and on a cold rainy day it was nice and warm and hit the spot.
  • More walking
  • More teaching
  • Saw an incident/accident at the train station - couldn't see much, just train conductors doing CPR on a man, our train left, I still wonder what happened.  Hope all was okay.
  • Kodomoo eikaiwa - and visited a bunch of schools seeing if we could volunteer at club activities.
  • More streeting
  • More phone lessons
  • Practicing Christmas carols at church as missionaries and members are going to do caroling at the Kisarazu train station in the future to spread teh Christmas spirit.  I think we need a lot of practice.  All but 2 of the songs in nihongo of course.

Side note:I tried Nato for the first time.  Apparently known for not being liked by Americans and makes some people puke.  It is I believe fermented soybeans, some people say it smells bad, but to me, no joke smells like caramel and has this long stringy goo things that hold it together.  Personally I thought it was like just weird tasting beans like a small taste, really nothing special.

Spiritual thought:

1 Samuel 16:7
    But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

Most simply, in applying to us, when it comes to us and keeping the commandments of god for example keeping the sabbath day holy, because one investigator had the problem of having work its said its hard to always make it to church, when you read this scripture you know, the lord can see where your heart lies, and he asks that we remember the sabbath and keep it holy, and as long as we are doing our best to remember him and follow him he understands us, our circumstances and our hearts and for that, he knows even if we are not there at church if that is the desire in our hearts, he will know, and he will bless us. I know he loves us his children and as long as we always remember his day and strive to come every chance you can, he will bless us all, he loves us. And looks upon our hearts as we strive to our best to do what he has asked of us.

Love you all - sending a few pictures your way!

Eikiaiwa Class

My MTC Bud - MTC reunions are the best!
(Tokyo tower in the background so you know I am really here!)