Sunday, April 26, 2015

Half Way

Good Afternoon Sports Fans,

Well we are now half way through the transfer. Flip. I think I need to transfer. I think... Anyways it was a pretty good week I guess, so who wants to here about it?

So the big event for the missionaries in the zone for the week was getting iPads. On Wednesday we had a Zone Conference and we receieved our iPads from the Mission President. They are pretty slick tools, but we don`t really know how we are going to use them in our dendo. I am kind of traditional and I don`t want the iPad to be a necessicity. Also a lot of stuff isn`t translated to Japanese so we are learning on our own how to incorporate it into our dendo. The mission is now in a new phase and everyone is working on the best solution on how to use them. As of yet, no I do not have Facebook. We should get it in about 12 weeks. And yes, I can receive e-mails during the week and read them now. I am only at the church on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays so if you feel inclined to send an e-mail to the Eternal Toyota Elder, please do.

President Yamashita came to our ward here in Toyota yesterday. It was a super great experience. He is an awesome leader and the people in Japan really look up to him a lot. He speaks and teaches very slowly and plainly so that all can understand. He is coming back to Toyota tomorrow to do some practice lessons and training with the four Toyota missionaries. It should be a really good experience.

Nothing super exciting is planned for this week. Big struggle here is getting keeping our investigators. They are disappearing and are getting hard to contact. We ride the highs and trudge back uphill from the lows. Lots of work ahead it seems.

I just want to let you all know that I know that we all have a Father in Heaven who loves each and everyone of us. I have felt His love. Because of this I can testify to these people that He loves us.

Thank you for all your love and support and prayers. It is felt and dearly appreciated.


Picture- A guy we talked to OYMing. He gave us eacha bamboo plate so I gave him a Book of Mormon in exchange. Too bad he didn`t want anything to do with us.

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Grind

Good afternoon sports fans,

Another week has been checked off the calender.  It started off pouring this week and I thought I was never going to see the sun ever again.  We rode 20 kms in the rain on Tuesday going out to another city.  It was crazy the amount of water we biked through.  At USAFA we had a massive rain storm roll in similar to the one here and people died in landslides.  It was just crazy all of the water.

This was a terrible week to meet investigators.  We only met with three of them, but at least we were able to contact all of them.  The times we did teach were awesome.  The first really good lesson of the week was with a Brazilian named Fabricio who comes to our Eikaiwa class.  We teach him in English which is a super cool opportunity.  We taught him the whole Plan of Salvation (using Ralph, thanks Dad).  Fabricio has a lot of interest and wants to find truth. 

We taught our 約束者(investigator with a baptismal date).  He is on track to be baptized.  His name is Takahashi and we taught him the 10 Commandments and Word of Wisdom.  He committed to both of them even though he knew they were hard.  He is really trying to be prepared for baptism and he came to church and got fellowshipped really well.  The ward he has done a good job helping him out.

We also taught a lesson to our Chinese investigator Rei on Sunday about the importance of reading the Book of Mormon.  It was an awesome lesson and we had a returned missionary sit in with us.  He bore such strong testimony on the Book of Mormon (being a convert himself).  I love the Book of Mormon and I know that it`s true and that it brings us closer to God.

I`m sorry.  Not too many super great adventure stories from this week.  Just a lot of finding and working.  Coleman and I are getting better at working together.  I had a great convesation with a guy that started by me telling him that his scooter looked cool.  That conversation got us to be good friends.  He didn`t really take interest in our message, but he respected us a lot.  I really appreciate guys like that rather than jerks who will ignore me on the street.

Well that`s about it folks.  Have a great week because we`ll definitely try.

Love all of you!

Pic 1: The kanji says ``God Horse``
Pic 2: Rocking Training

Monday, April 13, 2015


Good afternoon from a very rainy Toyota City.

No joke, it has been rainy everyday for a week.  It`s been a long week here and everything here has changed.  The sakura is gone, everyone has transferred, but me, and I have a bean.  It`s been pretty crazy.  I have had to get the three new guys adjusted to the area and help everyone learn where everything is.  It`s been a long week of briefing people and getting them all up to speed.

My bean`s name is Elder Coleman.  He is from Gilbert, AZ and he has more dendo fire than the whole mission.  He is very obedient to all the mission rules and it kind of shocks me.  My previous comps were pretty chill guys.  We followed the rules and all, but my bean is the next level.  It`s a good thing, just a bit of an adjustment.  He came from a rather successful area up north in Toyama so it kind of shocked me this week when he started giving ME all sorts of advice on how I need to change my area even though I have been here for six months.  It has frustrated me a lot, but it`s teaching me humility to learn how to except new ideas and turn down others.

This weekend was our General Conference and what I got to watch was awesome.  I watched all of the Saturday Session and I loved Elder Renlunds talk and what he said about being a saint.  That`s been something that I struggled with last transfer.  I felt like all of my talents and abilities haven`t really prepared me to be a saint.  I am far from perfect and am not the best teacher of the gospel.  Elder Renlund shared this quote that I think qualifies my now as a saint.  ``A saint is a sinner who keeps on trying`` -Nelson Mendella.  If this is a saint then I think I can qualify.

Yesterday was crazy busy for me.  We were making phone calls all day, waiting for investigators to show up, and I messed up a investigator meeting by not understanding a phone call.  I was smoked at the end of the day.  I still have five more weeks of craziness of training.  We are going to hopefully have a great week ahead of us and I hope I don`t screw up too much. 

I am so grateful for all of your prayers, e-mails, and love.  I really do appreciate it and it lifts up my spirit.



Sunday, April 5, 2015

Here Comes the BEAN!!


Today is the start of Transfer 5!  Holy crap a lot of stuff happened this week and has guaranteed that next transfer will be a super busy one for me. 

Today Elder Correa and I said good-bye to the trail weary Australian, Elder Tramacchi.  He got on the train this morning and will be heading home to Australia tomorrow.  It`s crazy to think that both Tramacchi and Butters are going home tomorrow.  Their group of missionaries was one of the best in the mission.  They will all be missed.

So this week we committed two people to be baptized!  Both have dates in May.  One is a lady that Elder Butters and I found together named Tsuzuki (she made us fudge last transfer) and the other is a hand off from the other elders because their area is getting ``white washed`` (both elders are getting transferred).  The second guy`s name is Junpei Takahashi.  was found on a companion exchange last transfer with Elder Correa and I.  He is super cool and really wants to prepare for baptism.  We have a lot of work to be able to meet the dates that have been set.

This week has also been the best time for 花見 (flower viewing).  The Sakura (cherry blossoms).  The spring time in Japan is absolutely gorgeous.  The flowers are really beautiful, but they only last about a week.  Right now it is snowing sakura petals.  Our ward had a 花見 BBQ that was super fun on Saturday.  One of our investigators came with her mother and she seemed to have had a good time. 

Tomorrow Elder Correa and I head to Nagoya Eki to get our new companions.  I pick up my bean, Elder Coleman, from a USAFA Prep-schooler, who became Tommy`s companion.  I then have to go to trainer`s training and help the two new elders who are taking Correa`s area back to Toyota.  Should be an exciting time.  It`s super weird being the only missionary staying in Toyota.  This week is 6 months in this area.  I am the ``zone senpai`` meaning I have been in the zone longer than anyone else.  That`s cool I guess...  I just need to do awesome this transfer and not worry that I am in the same area.

Alrighty folks you all have a good week out there.  I just want to do a shout out to Major Kano and say best of luck on your deployment.  You will be in our prayers.


Pic 1- Me with sakura
Pic 2- I am an artist
Pic 3- The last one standing