“Herroo. I'm fine thank you! This is a pen.”
So the subject line is the English learned by high schoolers here. It's way funny. So obviously it's been another week and it's always a blur. Additionally, this coming week we will be getting transfer calls, which mean I just keep getting closer to going home. Honestly, if my parents weren't coming to take me home I might not ever truly make it back to America, but you know it's all good. I am still working on getting that eternal full time missionary gig. Right now it's kind of occupied by the three Nephites and John the Beloved, so unless one of those guys resign, but don't think that’s happening. The reality is, I'm going to be headed home to America sooner than later. Anyways, off into the week.
Monday ~ So we went to the church for regular emailing and stuff and a member showed up and we talked with him and played ping pong, and then we went to McDonald's and ate some burgers together. From there we did our shopping and stuff. Then we came home and cleaned and put stuff away. After Handley and I went to the church to look up some quick and easy recipes so we could whip up some food for the members. In the end we found a from scratch brownie recipe and an unbelievably easy peanut butter cookie recipe. Like it's just sugar, peanut butter and an egg. If you’re wondering the cookies actually turned out way oishii (delicious). So we then went out and bought the ingredients we needed and on the way home I saw some guys playing soccer so started to talk to them and got us invited to play with them next week. Score! The actual game will be tonight. I'll get to lace up the shoes and get out there. Once back at home we spent the rest of the night baking stuff for the members.
Tuesday ~ Crazy jam packed day. We start with service for our handicapped friends at Kujira, which literally means whale. Afterwards, we came home ate some food and then head out for our lessons. First lesson was with Tetsuya. We worked with him on his problems and getting over them. Talked about baptism and how the Gift of the Holy Ghost completes it. We illustrated this by giving him one cookie and saying that was baptism. Then we gave him two more cookies showing how awesome the Gift of the Holy Ghost will be in addition to baptism, and we did this all while reading 2 Nephi 31. Then we rushed off to apologize to a less active who I had kind of pushed to help the branch out because I was in a tough spot and he could have really helped me, but in the end someone else came through and I didn't need to be so pushy. So we gave them cookies. The brother took it in stride and was like no problem, you’re just trying to get me back to activity and that's good. So we will continue to work with him. Then we went to visit an investigator, obviously we had cookies to give him, but he wasn't home. So we went housing and met some cool people. No takers though. Then we went back to the investigator's apartment, but he must have had a long day because he still was not home. No car and no lights from the inside, mind you it was like 8:15 PM and he was still at work, crazy. So we went off to talk to our favorite recent convert Tou and had fun with him and seeing if there was anything we could do to help him. He said make his work less busy but I can't do that so we just lightened his day by joking with him. But from there we rushed home and barely made it inside on time, but we did it.
Wednesday ~ So we had our morning English class at the hotel in Yokkaichi and as always that was way fun. We then headed out to visit a member in the hospital. He is our ward mission leader and was in an accident last week. It was a good visit and we got to understand what was going on a whole lot better. He has improved a lot and is conscious now, but he doesn't remember a lot, so he will be in the hospital for a few more months for rehabilitation. After that we returned home for our other Eikaiwa and we barely made it back in time. Yokkaichi is about 1 and a half hour by train from Ise. But we got back and had fun at Eikaiwa.
Thursday ~ Planning, planning for the companionship, planning for the area, and more planning. You name it we did it. After that we watched a worldwide missionary devotional that lasted two hours, and took up a lot of our day. We had just enough time for our Japanese class where some people that we had contacted earlier finally came back to class and it was way good. Not only was my Japanese growing but so was our teaching pool. You have got to love those times, as a missionary.
Friday ~ We had a DTM (District Training Meeting) in Tsu, so we headed up there. We ended up getting back home later than we had hoped, because of trains, of course. Trains are way nice, but if you don't catch the right one it's game over on the schedule. Anyways, by the time we got home everyone was hungry, so as Chef Williams I whip up some mobudofu. If you don't know what that is, you can look it up on the internet. After that we did some language study and then we went housing. Finally, at the end of the day we had kids Eikaiwa and it was way fun. The kids are just crazy. After that I had a presidency meeting and to the chagrin of my Mission President it started late and ran long, so we did not get home until about 10 PM, after curfew. I couldn't stop those guys from devouring the plan I had set up for the meeting, so we pretty much covered everything on the entire agenda. It was good though. Then as we were racing home I turn around to see if Handley is still with me, when I see him come around a corner too fast and he tried to slow down by tapping his front brake which led to the inevitable flip over the handle bars. He gets 8 out of 10 on the crash scale because of his scream. Luckily he is alright, there was no harm done. He was just a bit sore the next day.
Saturday ~ We did a branch family home evening, but ended up having only three people come. But it was all good. After that we went to dinner and then to visit people. We also had a meeting with a new investigator, which was pretty interesting and he kind of just wanted to watch a movie with us, but yeah that was stopped and we introduced some church stuff. After that we were out of time, so we headed home.
Sunday ~ So I assigned myself a talk along with the visiting high councilor to speak in Sacrament meeting. So, just the two of us speaking. I was expecting him to go for at least 15 to 20 minutes but he took only ten and so I was left with thirty minutes but hey I've got this, right? Well, kind of. Everyone seemed to like the talk and thought it was good too, but I ran out of prepared stuff at about 20 minutes in. But I made it and it was good. After that we went home for food and then some study and then we visited a member and it turned into a way long talk and after that we went and visited a less active out in the boondocks and got a good contact. We even got a time to go back, way awesome. After that we biked home wet because of rain. When we got home we ate some rice and leftover mabudofu, and that was the wrap for the week.
It's been way fun. I hope you guys had an awesome week too.
久しぶり (Isashiburi) Long time no see!
Hello every one. One more week in the books for me, it's crazy how fast these weeks fly by as a missionary. It's actually unbelievable sometimes. Anyways I'll let you in on what happened in my life.
Monday ~ So we had all the normal stuff of cleaning shopping and emailing. Then at night we had a lesson scheduled, but we felt like we should call ahead. So we did and he sounded sick so we changed the lesson day and then we continued to call around to lots of people to check all of our appointments and get members to our lessons. Also that night we learned some very sad news, our Ward mission leader had been in a car accident and was being rushed to a hospital. The hospital wasn't in our area so we called the elders there and we got them over there so they could give him a blessing. Short of that, there was nothing else we could do.
Tuesday ~ So we had service and as always it was way awesome. Afterwards we came home and ate some lunch and then prepped for our next lesson. Oota Kyoudai (Brother Oota) came and picked us up and then we went and met with the Noro’s. They were way awesome. We had a great lesson and we finally learned why they won't come to church. It's not because they don't want to but rather because the local shrine is being remade and they have enlisted the help of everyone in the area so he is helping out on Saturday's and Sunday's, and he can't get out of it. But as always they were awesome. And that was our night.
Wednesday ~ So we had hotel Eikaiwa and it was way fun. They know the whole rule about not being alone with women so they called a taxi to take us to the train station when there was no one except a lady to drive us. So it was pretty funny. After we returned to Ise, we had lunch and then we went to the church where we got some paperwork for one of our investigators who wants to be baptized. We thought he might be baptized this week, but when we went to deliver the paperwork he told us he had relapsed and was way sorry. We committed him to pray more to try to stop and not relapse again. More on this later. After that we returned to the church and did some preparation for the upcoming Eikaiwa class. Then we had the class and it was way fun. We played a way fun game that night. After all of that, we returned home for the night.
Thursday ~ This was a pretty boring day. We had planning and then I had some Branch President stuff to do that took all day. When I finished, we had to run out the door to go to our Japanese language class and it was pretty challenging because they had me in a way high class, but that's ok. After that we returned home.
Friday ~ So we had a good DTM (District Training Meeting) in the morning and it was way nice. After that I headed back to Tsu with the district leader for a koukan (exchange). So Elder Delis and I had a fun time running around finding less actives and we met a few nice people along the way. Then on the way home, I stopped this guy with his way cute little kid and started to talk to them. We introduced the topic of eternal families and he ate it up and we set up another time to meet. He was a way good guy. After that we retired to the apartment for dinner and some training from Elder Delis. All in all, it was a good day.
Saturday ~ So we had plans to go visit the member who got in the car accident, but we were told by the wife that next week would be better so we changed plans and we went back to Ise. From there we got lunch and I did some last minute prep for Sunday and then we headed out to visit Tetsuya. He had earlier, as mentioned, relapsed on his smoking, so we wanted to check in on him. He apologized for relapsing on the cigarettes. So we set a new date and it looks like he'll make it. From there we went housing and did some member visits and found some new people to teach and made some way good contacts. After that we made our way home, tired and cold.
Sunday ~ So the meetings were good, and the assigned topic for the talks was the Holy Ghost. After that we met as a Branch Presidency and we got things planned for the year. Late start but we are working on it. After that we visited with some contacts and set up some good appointments. We then went to a dinner appointment with an investigator with some way good food. She still is a bit hard hearted to the gospel, but loves the missionaries. It's a weird paradox, but it is all good. We will keep working on it.
Well that's the wrap up from here in Japan. Thanks to all you who sent me messages. Thanks for all you guys do. Catch you next week.
Interviews, finally I received one.
So as the title might suggest I was actually the recipient of a Mission President interview this week. It was really nice to be on the other side of the table. As I will cover later, the mission president came and did interviews with all of us down here in Ise. So it was a good day, but anyways on to the week.
Monday ~ Preparation day came with shopping and all that good stuff. We played ping pong with a member at the church, and it was way fun. After that Elder Handley and I left so I could go get my haircut for the upcoming interview with the president. With that all taken care of, we went to a second hand shop to see if I could nab a little watch or band for my broken one. It turns out that they had a pretty nice looking metal watch for about $35, which was in my price range so I went for it. Thank you Grandma Layden and Grandma Williams for sending some Christmas money, which made the watch possible. After that it was off to lock myself in an office and finish all the reporting on tithing settlement. All I have to say is, it's over and completed, and that was my night.
Tuesday ~ We started out the day with normal studies and then ran out to do some service. After that we returned to the ins and outs of regular missionary life. We had earlier found an area covered in apartment complexes and we decided to give it a go. So we went there, prayed and felt good. Then we proceeded to get shut down by everyone in the first and second buildings. Mind you, they are all about 5-7 stories tall and have anywhere from 3-7 apartments per floor. Do the math and it equals a lot of rejection, some were nicer than others. For instance we met what seemed like a really nice chill guy, but after learning that we were missionaries he told us no thanks to religion and then when I just offered to be nice and do something to help him he told me the Japanese equivalent of get out of my face. Such is the missionary life. When we went to the third building, I had higher hopes and so we started out and got all the way through the building to the second floor with some passed out pamphlets, but not much else. Then we met a guy who was way cool and even said he wanted to try going to church if he liked it. So we set up and appointment to meet with him again and it was way good. That was pretty much the end of our night. So it was a bit rough until the end.
Wednesday ~ To start we had Eikaiwa at the hotel in Toba, and we had a way good discussion there. It ended up being way awesome. We then returned to meet up with a less active at the church, so we could play ping pong together. He was way good and we had a great time. He is trying to come back to the church and we will be setting goals for him to slowly increase his activity. After that we hadn't really eaten since the morning so Handley and I ran back to the apartment for some food and then went to our regular Eikaiwa which is always way fun to teach. So that was the day in a nut shell.
Thursday ~ Dun Duh dun! President Ishii and his wife made their way down here to crack down on all the terrible missionaries’ and bring them all to repentance. Ok not really, they came down here to do their regular scheduled interviews and see how all of us are doing. So we set it all up and the other elders all went first and I was last. If some of you don't know I am a very special case of a missionary, as I dual operate as the Branch President of the church's branch in Ise. Aapparently I am a hot topic of discussion in the mission, as I'm the only one operating in this type of situation. So when it came time for my interview, it turned into an hour long talk of the ins and outs of what to do as a Branch President and things like that. He let me know that he wants me to go somewhere else in the mission and help another area so where that will be, I have no idea. But they are working on getting me out of here and somewhere else, so who knows. After the interview we went to lunch with the Ishii’s and they were way kind and payed for the meal. After that we had planning and lots of it. And then we went to Japanese class. Usually I enjoy or loath this time as it can either be productive or a waste of time. It's really hit and miss sometimes. This time I had a way awesome teacher and we were reviewing for what is known as the JLPT, Japanese Language Proficiency test. She was judging my skills and then asked if I had taken any of these tests before. I have not so I asked her what level I should take, 5 being the easiest and 1 being the hardest, and she recommended I just skip to level three, which is kind of cool. So I decided that I will take this test when I get back to America, but the closest places the test is proctored are in Colorado or California, so yep that's a problem for later. And with that confidence boost, we ended the night.
Friday ~ So we had DTM (District Training Meeting) in Tsu and following Elder Osmond and I had a kokan (companion exchange). If the name sounds familiar it is because his dad is one of the Osmond brothers, the singing Mormons, and brother to Donny and Marie. We had a good time and met with Tetsuya and he confirmed his desire to be baptized soon so we set up an appointment with the district leader to interview him and see if he is ready for baptism. He also promised to come to church. After that we did some contacting and then went to the church for kids Eikaiwa and we had a blast. One of the moms asked about the church and it was a good little intro in hope she continues to ask questions. That was pretty much the night.
Saturday ~ So we ended the kokan and Handley and I went back to Ise for studies and then I prepped for a cold night. I got all the thermals and coats out and prepared for the worst and then we went out and did work. We went to the same area as Tuesday and continued the search through the apartments for the one who wants to listen. While wading through all the “no thank you’s” and trying to keep our feet from freezing, we kept going, but to no avail that night. We did prove to God that we will push through the hard stuff and keep going. We ended the night tired and cold.
Sunday ~ Sacrament meeting was good and Tetsuya came to church and all these good things happened, but the time that I was dreading quickly came, time for Ward Council. Thanks to a couple of unexpected points brought up it turned into a 3 hour meeting. Yep, I was done. I hated meetings before and I still do. I felt like I had a plan to get us all in and out in about an hour but the first discussed topic took an hour. Yeah it hurt. They idea presented was a very rough not hardly thought out and we had to smooth it over and polish it before we could leave the discussion. So, yeah meetings. Then at night we went to an investigator appointment only to find out that we had the day wrong, but she cheerfully invited us in saying that her schedule had randomly opened up and we had a good talk that was just an overall good feeling. And that's how we ended the week. Learning that calling to check up is always better than to assume, something I have had to re-learn many times on my mission.
Anyways that’s all from me. Hope all of y'all are doing well. I would love to hear from any of you guys. Something short or something long, it does not matter. I love y'all and hope you guys have a good week. Peace out.
Three weeks one email
Well here it goes. So it has been a while since I've actually sat down and wrote a real email reporting on what I'm doing. Sorry guys. It's been crazy. So I'll jump back into last year 😉.
Monday 12/19 ~ So this was a normal prep day with cleaning and shopping and all that jazz. We also met with Higashimoto and had some good talks with him, but nothing too crazy. We did however talk about temples and all that good stuff.
Tuesday 12/20 ~ So we had service as usual and helped out with the mentally handicapped people and worked with the workers. As always fun. After that we returned home and had to go to the church to fix some paperwork errors. Yeah I still hate paperwork. Man I'm going to have it rough when I go home. After that we went to visit Tetsuya, our investigator, and it's always interesting to meet with him. We worked with his last few problems. He's working hard to get over them so he can be baptized. After that we visited the recent convert Tou. It was good to see him and we helped him pack a bit because he was going to China to visit his family. After meeting with him our time was gone and we hustled home.
Wednesday 12/21 ~ So we had our hotel Eikaiwa all the way in Toba and it was way fun. We had a good time there. After we came home, made some lunch, and then ran back out the door to meet with the Miyaji family. But as life would have it something went wrong and my bike tire popped. So I was going to run to the appointment while my companion just rode his bike and carried my bike off to the side of his. But since he couldn't manage that feat, he gave it back to me and said that he would run too. So we made the appointment and had a good talk with them. It went really awesome. Then we went to the bike shop and get my tire fixed. From there we grabbed a quick dinner at a little restaurant and then ran to Eikaiwa to teach. And that was our night.
Thursday 12/22 ~ Planning and lots of it!! Man I have a bad love-hate relationship with planning. I hate to do it, but I love it when it's done. Anyways from there we went to our investigators house to help clean and teach a lesson. Let's just say lots and lots of trash bags later we were about half way done. But we had to go and so we promised to come back next week and continue. We then ran home to grab the root beer that I had made for our Japanese class Christmas party. So we hustled on over there and of course when Japanese drinks root beer you hear a lot of people asking if what they are drinking is medicine. But one teacher loves root beer and drank probably half of the pitcher I brought. Once the party was over we had to overcome the torrents of rain that were coming down. Needless to say socks and shoes were soaked but the rest of me wasn't too bad compared to the rest of the people. So yeah go Frogg Toggs!! Therefore we ended the night trying to get completely dry before bed.
Friday 12/23 ~ So for our DTM (District Training Meeting) we kind of just had a giant missionary Christmas party where we were given permission to watch a Christmas movie, animated one of course, I couldn't swing Christmas Vacation or anything. So we watched a movie played some games and had a testimony meeting and then we were off to help a less active with her English Class Christmas Party and it was awesome. Someone made brownies and I ate way too many of them. After that we were feeling sick, because of the lack of real food that we had eaten so went to eat some real food. We then got a call from a member asking us to help him move some stuff around and so we answered the call and finished our food quickly and ran out the door. We helped move a fridge and some beds and other stuff. It was pretty easy moving stuff, but next to impossible if it was just one person. After that we went to the church and prepared to teach all of the little youngsters that would come to kids Eikaiwa. So we got all ready and had a good night with the kids. They are always funny and rambunctious.
Saturday 12/24 ~ So for a Christmas present one of the members took all 4 missionaries out to eat. And we had a way awesome time. He took us to eat at an all you can eat restaurant and we made the most of it. After waiting a while for our food to settle we returned to the church where me and Elder Handley had a lesson with a less active and almost got him to come to church. It was a good little lesson. After that we went and visited the new move-in’s, the Fords, and had a good little lesson with them and then ran to check up with Tetsuya and give him a lesson. After Tetsuya’s lesson we ran home and made it in the nick of time.
Sunday 12/25 ~ Christmas Morning. So we all opened presents. Yeah, it was a good morning. From there we had a special Christmas sacrament meeting where I gave the final talk, I think I did well. Anyways after that we went home and made a Christmas feast and enjoyed it. After dinner we went finding through caroling, obviously not my strong suite, but it was fun and lots of people liked it. Then some members called us to tell us they were bringing us a present so we ran home and were presented with homemade hamburgers. They were way good and we finished off the night with some games at home.
Monday 12/26 ~ So because of Christmas I got to Skype my family and it was way nice. Everyone is getting bigger and older without me, but I guess I can't stop that. Anyways it was way awesome. After that we had a regular day of shopping and all the good stuff.
Tuesday 12/27 ~ This was a mandatory stay in and clean day sent out by the mission. So we cleaned and then proceeded to clean some more. Kind of rough having to clean all day.
Wednesday 12/28 ~ So in the morning we ran to teach Eikaiwa in Toba and had a way awesome time.
Thursday 12/29 ~ All I can say is we did planning, planning and more planning, still that love-hate relationship going on.
Friday 12/30 ~ We had training in the morning in Yokkaichi, so we left early and spent most of the day there. It was a good training and I had the job of translating, so I was not able to take notes, but it's all good and it was way fun. After that we returned home around three and I made some curry for dinner.
Saturday 12/31 ~ Here begins the mandatory “stay in your apartment” days, so the four of us missionaries in Ise decided to read the entire Book of Mormon during these days. We made it all the way through Helaman by the end of Saturday. And that was our entire day.
Sunday 1/1/17 ~ New Years! So church was way good and we had lots of guests and it was way uplifting. I then taught all the young people in the second hour and it was way awesome. We had a good time and after all of this we went home for lunch and to finish the Book of Mormon, which we did and it was a way good feeling.
Monday 1/2 ~ So on P-day we ran down to the giant shrine to check out what was going on. It was way crazy way full of people and the prayer lines were up to an hour long. But we got to see lots of stuff and I bought some really nice looking chopsticks and got my name engraved on them. After that we had a night out with a big dinner to celebrate the New Year’s. And after that we returned home.
Tuesday 1/3 ~ The last of the stay in your apartment days. Because we hadn't done our shopping the day before we decided it was high time we bought some food for the apartment. So we bought some extra chicken and I made katsu, which is deep fried chicken or pretty much any meat. We then put that on curry and it was way good. After that we all felt a bit too full so we waited and then finished cleaning the last hidden corner of our apartment, under the washer. It was nasty but we got it all taken care of.
Wednesday 1/4 ~ So we didn't have Toba Eikaiwa, but we went out and bought some needed supplies to tackle Tetsuya's apartment and I even tackled the job of the toilet, that hadn't been cleaned in over a year and a half. I am happy to report that I finished it and it looks brand new nowt. We got most of the garbage out and his apartment is becoming a place where he can feel the spirit, and we can see the change happening. After that we ate some more curry, a house favorite, and then changed and went to prepare for our Eikaiwa game night. We took all the games I received at Christmas and we had a great time.
Thursday 1/5 ~ We had a long day of planning again and then I made lots of calls and got a lot a appointments set, it was way effective. From there we went looking for some people and we talked to a few. One guy was way awesome, but he was in the middle of a walk so he kind of just left. After we talked with him we bought some hot chocolate, to warm up, and then headed home.
Friday 1/6 ~ So it was a long day. We went and visited some old investigators and LA's (less actives) and then we ran back to the church because I had to do some interviews. After that we had to get ready for kids Eikaiwa, which turned out to be interesting, but always a good way to end the night.
Saturday 1/7 ~So we went visiting lots of people again. Some were home but most were not. To end our night we met with a recent convert and went to an American burger restaurant and it was way good. Mom if you need a burger when you are here, I've got just the place. After that we ended the night housing.
Sunday 1/8 ~ So we had a good session of church and at the end we did some much needed cleaning of the branch president office and I got most of it taken care of. Then we biked about 2 miles to give a blessing. And it rained the whole way here again I wasn't too bad, but Handley was drenched. We gave the blessing and it went way good and by the end Hayashi Shimai, who we blessed, was feeling a lot better. We then went home tried to dry off, ate some dinner, and then went to bed.
And that's the last three weeks all wrapped up. I hope you had fun reading it all
New year. New thrills.
So for all of the people that were sad that I did not write last week, I'm sorry but I'm gonna push the reports back another week. "There is just some much to do, so much to see. So what's wrong with taking the back streets" to quote Smash Mouth. Anyways, I'm alive, I'm happy and it's 2017! And Japan is awesome. I'll send some pictures just so y'all can understand how awesome it is here. Anyways maybe I will get a real email out next week.
Called to Serve in the Japan Nagoya Mission..