Monday, July 27, 2015

There And Back And There And Back Again

Evening Sports Fans,

One long day.  We spent the whole day going up to a famous/popular mountain called 美ヶ原 (Utsukushigahara).  We biked a solid, brutal 13 miles uphill and then hiked another two miles to the top, but it was all worth it.  On the way down one of our ZLs had a gnarly crash while going 25 mph downhill while trying to break.  We are all ok so I guess our prayer of safety and the beginning of the journey really worked.  It shouldn`t have taken us all day, but the member who took us up is a rather chubby guy and he was absolutely dying.  

Last weeks P-Day adventure was pretty fun too, but only Elder Hobdy (a ZL) and I went.  We biked 35 miles south to a town called 木曽福島 (Kiso-Fukushima).  It was a super fun ride and saw a lot of the area.  We rode the train back to 松本 and realized we were fried.  We both had 2nd degree burns on our arms and we have been rather uncomfortably blistered throughout the week, but now we are OK.  

The other adventure for myself this week was going on exchanges with Elder Jones in Suwa/Ina.  He was with me in the MTC and is a super fun guy.  We went into Tommy/Butters old area Ina that got shut down back in January.  No missionaries have really been there to do any work since it was closed.  Since I heard so many stories from my good friends Tommy Eadie and Anthony Butters, I begged Jones to let us go to Ina and give it a shot to visit some less actives and former investigators.  I got permission to call Tommy and learn who to visit and then we were good to go.  While we were there we didnt`t manage to meet anyone, but had a ton of good experiences talking with people on the train there and back and I can see the area being re-opened again within six months to a year.  I would really like to serve there.  It is very similar Cache Valley and it is gorgeous.  It`s super peaceful and I would love to give it another shot.  We didn`t have much time there and had to race to catch a late train out to get back to the Suwa apartment by 2130.

Other than those adventures not too much happened this week.  We couldn`t really meet with our current investigators, so we went out and found new ones!  Our area has become really successful on the finding/teaching side.  The member side of the area is a story for another day, but let`s just say it`s just as bad as when I got to Toyota and things need to be changed again.

Alrighty folks, stay cool out there.  We`re about to die of heat stroke it`s so hot and humid.  Take care and thanks for the prayers!




三線 (Sanshin) It`s a banjo from Okinawa

Two of these bad boys landed on the base next to the church

Monday, July 20, 2015

Sweating Like a Dog

Good morning Sports Fans,

This has been one of our best weeks up here in Matsumoto. We saw a lot
of cool stuff happen up here in the Japanese Alps.  We taught more
lessons this week than in weeks previous and I have fulfilled my
mission dream of teaching a family! Also the whole mission besides my
zone and Kanazawa Zone got shut down because a typhoon! Here's how it
went down:

On Tuesday we had exchanges with the Zone Leaders (who also live here
in 松本) and I went with Elder Hobdy in his area and Elder Tuakoi went
with Klein in our area. While in our area Tuakoi went through our
phone and called a whole bunch of former investigators and one said
they'd called back and one said they'd come to church. All of this is
happening with Klein. Hobdy and I had two canceled appointments and
visited some PIs.

The next day (Wednesday) in the morning the phone rings and it was one
of the FIs who Tuakoi and Klein called so I tossed the phone over to
Klein to see if he could get an appointment. In the end we scored a
30/30 English teaching appointment at the church on Saturday where we
teach 30 minutes of English and 30 minutes of Gospel. The person
was Chinese by the name of Enny and Klein told me she could speak
really good English. Now we just had to wait for Saturday. On Saturday
in the morning Enny called and changed the location of the appointment
from the church to her home. She told us to wait in a park and her
husband Ken would pick us up. It all sounded like a big spy movie of
meeting people we never met before to guide us to places we've never
been. Anyways, Ken meets us and we go over to their home. It was so
much fun! They have three little kids and they asked if we we could
stay for lunch and we said yes and while Enny was cooking we practiced
English with them. They are both very good at English and are perfect
in Japanese. After we ate we didn't want to take too much more time,
but they wanted to keep us there and wanted to speak more English. We
did so and then Kelin and I shared a lesson on prayer in Japanese and
it was so good! I was a little worried that Ken wouldn't be super
interested, but he was engaged and told us he believed that praying
every night is a super good idea and they want to try it! We gave them
a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and Enny pointed to it and said, "I want
to learn 30 minutes of English from you and 30 minutes of this!" They
are so golden! When we left their little kids were chasing us down the
road. I have never felt such an outpouring of love from an
investigator before.

The rest of the week was pretty normal. We taught the Plan of
Salvation three times to our investigator 吉野(Yoshino). He has his
baptismal date for the 9th of August and we are trying to finish all
the lessons with him. It's going to be a bit of a squeeze, but we are
confident we can make the date. He's a really shy guy and has great
interest in the Gospel and we are trying to be his friend. Last P-Day we
went with 吉野 and the ZLs and their investigator to eat some
ridiculously spicy ramen. 吉野 didn't eat it, the rest of us did. I only
got a level 2 and it was still crazy hot. They make the broth out of
what is called Death Sauce (imported from the U.S.) and it sears your
lips. The ZLs investigator got a level 20 (the highest) and was told
by the chef that he would get sick if he ate it. He still got it and ate
the whole thing and was miserable the rest of the night and, from what
we heard, next day.

Speaking of heat I am tired of the humidity and sweating all the time.
I am so glad I am not in Aichi Prefecture anymore because I know it's
worse down there. Luckily I'm in Nagano Prefecture, but I hate waking
up in the morning feeling like I just worked out. Stay cool where
you're at please!

That's about it for this week folks. Elder Hobdy and I are going to
try a 6 hour long bike ride today, but we don't know if it will work out
based off of safety and other factors, but we'll be safe!

Thanks for everything! Love y'all!



The night of the Typhoon. We didn't get rain but the sky was nuts!

Super Red

塩尻! Shiojiri

Monday, July 13, 2015

One More Year!

Good afternoon folks,

Well as seen in the subject line I have about a year left until I come
home from the Land of the Rising Sun. You all may be wondering, "How
can this be since the wee lad left in August of last year?" Well, with
full faith that I will get reaccepted back to USAFA I will have to
come home six weeks early from this adventure, thus coming home in
about one year. This knowledge, however, is not slowing the 松本 boys
down. Here's the download:

This week went by super fast. We had a great conference with our new
mission president, President Ishii. He and his wife seem a little
nervous for this tremendous calling, but they are really nice people.
At the conference he talked a lot about unity and working together as
companionships, districts, zones, and as a mission. I got to hang with
Tommy and he gave me some of the download from his last couple
transfers. It was a good little reunion.

We had a lot of good first lessons taught this week. We have been able
to set up a good little teaching pool and are trying to help them
progress towards Christ. We invited one of our investigators, Yoshino
(吉野) to baptism and he said yes! If all goes well he should be
baptized on the last Sunday of the transfer. He is 21 and kind of shy
but is super nice and polite and interested in our lessons.

The rest of the week was a lot of housing. We knocked on about 180
doors and found only one new investigator. This week we're planning on
heading to a different city to work in for a change again.

I'm sorry I don't have any unique, exciting things happen this week.
It just went by really fast and saw some good results.

Hope you all have another fantastic week! I put videos on the D-Box! 愛しているよ!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Hello From Gokiso

Hello Sports Fans,

No you all must be bamboozled due to the fact that I am not in
Matsumoto right now. I am actually in the heart of Nagoya in an area
known as Gokiso. This all must be very confusing to you back home,
but don't you worry it's temporary. We (the Matsumoto elders) are in
Gokiso for the day and night so we can be on time to a conference we
have tomorrow welcoming our new mission president in an area called
Fukutoku. President Ishii entered the mission last week on Tuesday. It
has been really difficult to see President Yamashita go, but life
moves on. President Ishii is actually super rare because he is from
inside our mission boundaries in Toyohashi. It's a city that was in my
last zone. This conference is our opportunity to get to be in a
different area and meet the new president. I will also get to see Tommy
for the first time in several months.

It's been a long week but we managed to get some of the good work
done. Monday after emailing we went to 松本城 which was super cool. It is
the oldest castle in its original form in Japan. Afterwards Klein and
I finally found a new investigator by visiting someone who used to
meet with the missionaries several months ago. On Tuesday we went to a
different city called 塩尻 (Shiojiri) to dendo. The city's name is
actually kind of funny because the separate kanji means "salt butt",
but the kanji together means cone. Anyways, we spent the whole time walking
because we didn't have bikes. We ended the day housing and the one
small apartment building we found two new investigators! Finally!

The rest of the week was more finding and visiting less active
members.  One less active wanted to go out to lunch with us so we met
up and went to an Indo-curry place. It was good, but we had a slight
problem in the end. I made the mistake of assuming the guy who made
the appointment would pay for us. I hadn't had any time to pull money
out of the bank (Japan is a cash only system) so I had zero money in my
wallet and hoped Klein could spot me some money. Well, Klein forgot
his wallet so neither of us had money so when it came time to pay the
guy who took us out to eat just stared at us when we finished. We had
to ask the shop owner if we could go to the bank and pull money. To my
surprise he let us (only in Japan would they trust you to do that) but
it was super embarrassing.

For the Fourth of July we had a BBQ with the ZLs at their apartment. We
did it 焼肉 style, but it was still super tasty eating nothing but steak,
chicken, and some pork. Or barbecue was a decent enough replacement
for making barbecue but I hope you all had fun back in the states and
shot lots of guns and watched fireworks for me. On Sunday, a member and
friend from Toyota came to the  Matsumoto ward because his family
lives there. That night we had dinner together and his mother made 200
gyoza for us. We ate so much food it was ridiculous. It was really
good to see some friends from Toyota again.

Well that's about it for this week folks. I hope you have a great week
back home and I hope you're staying cool. Best of luck! I love you