Monday, March 30, 2015

Transfer Calls...Again

Good evening ladies and germs,

So another week is gone and it ended with transfer calls.  They were a week early because President Yamashita has to go to General Conference this week. So I`ll tell you what`s going on.  I  am....................................................................................STAYING.  This will be my glorious 5th transfer in Toyota.  I am the only elder that is staying in Toyota.  Everyone else is leaving.  I got surprised with my next companion.  Next Tuesday I will become a trainer.  My bean-chan is not a brand new missionary (right now he is transfer 1) so I will just be finishing his training.  I hope I am ready and up for the challenge.  I heard he`s a cool guy.

Elder Correa`s situation got a little better.  Our DL Elder Sato has been his companion for the last week and he will be Correa`s companion to the end of the transfer.  Penny-chan really screwed up this area by running away.  Pennington (as far as we can see) is staying on his mission and got transferred somewhere.  Running away was not a good idea...

This week has been hard to meet with investigators.  A lot of them all dropped their appointments (including my Peruvians).  The best lesson of the week was with a lady named Fujikawa.  She is a single mother with a 6 year old son.  We she had actually read all of our pamphlet and asked us about why we believe in God.  We taught about God and prayer and gave her a Book of Mormon.  She is a super good investigator and really needs to feel God`s love in her life. 

This is going to be a rough week for Elder Tramacchi.  Since President Yamashita is headed to Salt Lake this week he has already done his final interviews and Tramacchi is essentially a dead missionary.  I hope he will be willing to struggle on for 6 more days.  The end is nigh for him!

Well that`s about all I got for this a week.  I love you all.  Sorry I can`t respond to all of you every week.  I have been super busy that last couple of P-Days.  Hopefully next week will have more down time.


Pic 1- I love when they try English.  They probably love it when I try Japanese...
Pic 2- Sunset in 日本


Sunday, March 22, 2015

No hable Espanol

Good Mornig Sports Fans,

Freaking crazy week this week.  One of the most busy and satifying weeks I have had here in Toyota.  We taught eight lessons this week which is a lot for this small corner of the world.  It was one of the best stat weeks I have ever had.  We als had a Mission Conference this week to prepare us to recieve iPads next transfer and it was super good.

One of the big lessons of the week was a lesson with a Peruvian family Tramacchi and I found through housing three weeks ago.  The two kids speak Japanese, but the mother speaks Spanish.  When we housed them originally we gave the son a Book of Mormon and so I tried leading a lesson on teaching about the Book of Mormon and the Restoration alone.  The mother realized who we were and that we were Mormons and told us that she loved Mormon temples in Peru and said that they were the most beautiful buildings she had ever seen.  She also asked us for a El Libro de Mormon.  The lesson wasn`t the greastest (from my teaching skills) but the miracles seen were super cool.

During the lesson we were getting a crazy number of phone calls so Tramacchi decided to answer the phone so I could keep teaching.  When Tramacchi came back he told me that we needed to finish our lesson immediately and get back to the apartment because Elder Correa (the Brazilian with the new bean-chan)  was alone in his apartment.  So we rushed our lesson ending and biked five miles back to the apartment as fast as we could.  We get there and learn from Correa that while he fell alseep during language study his bean and left the apartment and took the train back to the Mission Home in Meito all by himself because he wants to go home.  The kid is super young (18 barely) and has only been in Japan for four weeks and managed to get back to the Honbu.  Anyways President Yamashita has convinced him to stay on the mission for now, but he is not companions with Correa right now.  Our district has been reshaped and Penny-chan is with on of the Zone Leaders right now.  For the past two days Tramacchi, Correa, and I have been in a threesome, but today our District Leader is becoming Correa`s companion.

I has been really good to see a lot of progress in this area this past week.  The more the trial, the bigger the blessings.  The problem is that I am kind of getting attached to this stupid area.  The members, the people, the area are getting really familiar.  I need to transfer before I get too attached.

Thank you everybody for everything.  You are all the best!


Pic 1- Nothing stops us
Pic 2- Rice field


Sunday, March 15, 2015

``Though Hard to You This Journey May Appear``

Good Morning ya`ll,
It`s been a long week here.  Lots of struggles on my attempts at teaching lessons.  I have been trying to lead lessons like I am supposed to as senpai, but I fall apart while teaching.  I forget what I want to say and then get embarassed (even though I have made lesson plans) and then that screws up my grammar.  I keep asking older missionaries what the key is to become a better teacher and they all say it just takes time and after you have taught something a million times it gets easier.  I am practicing teaching with Tramacchi and I am keeping at the language study.
This week we had a lot of investigator appointments that canceled on us this week.  It`s the first time that has happened to me in a long time.  I hate having to reschedule my day and fill in time.  Wetried visiting a ton of less active members and we only found/contacted 3.  We found out yesterday that our records are old and we have lists of people who don`t live in Toyota anymore.
Nothing really exciting happened this week.  Mom and Dad have been wanting me to talk about 英会話 (Eikaiwa), so I guess I`ll do so now.  英会話 is our free English class that we teach every week.  We have about 10 students, but only about 5 come a week.  We hand out flyers everyday and even though it`s free not many people come.  From what I`ve heard Japanese people are afraid of free programs because they think there is some underlying thing they have to do.  I used to have to teach most of 英会話 everyweek, but two weeks ago I had the bean-chan start teaching the class to break him in.  英会話 means English conversation, so that`s what the class is.  We pretty much just conduct a conversation and teach a little bit of phrases, vocab, and pronounciation.  It can either be really fun or really slow depending on the week and topic from our Mormon Helping Hands text book.
Spring is coming and there are a lot of flowers blooming in the parks and it`s really pretty.  We have also had a ton of fly overs by Japanese Air Force C-130s and KC-10s.  Yesterday was a pretty historic day for the Church in Japan.  Elder Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came to Tokyo and did a devotional last night.  The significance was that it was broadcasted to every ward in Japan from Hokkaido to Okinawa.  That has never been done before.  It was super good.
That`s about it for the week folks.  We are looking forward to another week here in 豊田.  Something I learned this week was although things are tough and life can suck, the day will eventually end and you get to start a whole new one the next day.  The Key is to try to make the next day better than the one before. 



Pic 1- Ume
Pic 2- More ume

Monday, March 9, 2015

Random Food & Jesse Davis

Good afternoon ya`ll,

It`s been another week in the ghetto we call 豊田.  We had a pretty busy week since we had to go to Okazaki twice for Zone Conference and District Meeting.  We did a lot of teaching this week.  I have been trying to lead lessons and it is super difficult to focus on teaching without worrying that the language I am speaking is understandable.  President Yamashita came to our Zone Conference was super good.  He and the Zone Leaders talked a lot about teaching effectiveness and finding which is exactly the advice I wanted to hear in order to fulfill my purpose as a missionary and Senpai  

There have been some things I`ve had to get used to by becoming Elder Tramacchi`s companion.  Somehow he has the innate ability to attract food from random people.  It`s kind of crazy actually because he doesn`t ask for it, it just happens.  For example we visited a less active`s home (the one who came to church last week) and we were invited in by her non-member husband and we were talking with them and then ended up going to the close by mall and they bought us lunch.  Then today again we went and visited a less active and they fed us udon.  Crazy でしょう!

One of the big miracles of the week was Jesse Davis.  On Thursday we had just finished a lesson with Morimura and went to my favorite curry place for lunch.  We walked into the shop and I heard a voice in English say, ``Hey Elders.``  I swung around and there was a WHITE GUY sitting at the counter.  I went over and shook his hand and sat down next to him.  It turns out he was a engineer for Toyota Motors and had been in Toyota for the week and was going home the next day.  It turned out that he was a member of the church and was a returned missionary who had served in Germany.  He is now 28 and travels the world for fun and with Toyota.  Jesse was a super cool guy and after we finished eating we took him over to our church and OYMed with him on the way.  He comes to Toyota every year so he wants to go to church here next year.  The next day on the train to Okazaki, who should appear again out of nowhere, flipping Jesse Davis again!  I thought it was pretty cool.

Elder Tramacchi and I have been working hard out here and have seen miracles.  I am trying to help Tramacchi have his last transfer be his best transfer here in 豊田.  Things are going as well as they can be for us.  It is by no means a cake walk, but things are good.

I just want to truly thank everyone again for all of your love.  I don`t feel like I can truly pass along my sincere gratitude. 


Pic 1- I won`t be going here...
Pic 2- Jesse Davis!


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Who Put Me In Charge?

Good Afternoon Sports Fans,

So I just finished my first week as Senpai.  It was a long week, but really good things happened.  I don`t know if I properly introduced my new companion.  His name is Elder Tramacchi and he is from Brisbane, Australia.  He is on his last transfer here in Toyota.  

We had a good first week together and found three new investigators through housing.  One of them is a Peruvian who was born in Japan and has better Japanese than Spanish and we gave him a Book of Mormon and set up a next appointment and then he asked us if his sister could join in on the lesson and of course we told him that would be alright.  It should be a good lesson.  I personally don`t really like housing, but lately it`s been the best thing for our finding in Toyota.  

The event that happened this week where I felt the most successful was we got a less active to come to church!  She is a super nice Filipino lady who married a Japanese guy (who`s a dead beat).  She had a baby back in November so getting to church with the baby alone has been hard. Butters and I visited her twice last transfer and started building a good relationship with her.  Tramacchi and I went on Saturday and invited her to come back to church.  Then on Sunday, she came!  It was almost as exciting as getting an investigator to church.

This week has felt like it has lasted a long time.  Being a Senpai is super challenging.  I got to worry about all the planning, leading lessons, phone calls, and reporting to the District Leader.  I have been waking up an hour early to get an extra hour of language study in so can improve my abilities.  This is a good challenge because it is getting me completely zoned in on the work.  I am certain I will see miracles this transfer with Elder Tramacchi.

I hope everyone is doing well.  Thank you for all the e-mails and support.


Pic 1- Saying bye to Butters in Maori style.
Pic 2- Look Mom I can cook!
Pic 3- My city at night.