December 18, 2011
So this week sounds like it was a crazy one for the fam. It was also a very crazy one for me. To start, I'm so sorry about Sister Shinoda. I was shocked to see that email. She has called several times since I have been in Kariya. She wanted to go get food. I hope Brother Shinoda still wants to, we would love to take him.
So as I said, this week was crazy. Elder Kishi became the comesarian (supply elder) so he left on Wednesday to get special training at the honbu (mission home). So I got put with the other two elders in my apartment until today. I'm staying in Kariya. My new companion is the one Kishi is replacing, haha yes he is nihongin (Japanese) too. He is very cool. I've met him several times. This should be very fun. I know he will wanna get right to work since he has been in the honbu since before I started my mission. He goes home pretty soon too, so more motivation to go! and my Japanese will continue to improve.
Well, we kinda had a funeral too this week. Sad to say that now. Elder Kekauoha is going home today, so for district meeting we did an awesome testimony meeting and had a little funeral party. It was fun, we left and got some food afterwards. Oh ya, and since Kishi left, I had the phone. I didn't want it but I had it. I ended up talking to Elder K like every night, it was awesome. I will miss him, he was so fun and an awesome missionary.
We had two Christmas parties on Saturday. One for the ward and one for a member's school. She teaches English at a school for like 4th graders age. So we had some fun playing games and helping her out. Our ward one was like any regular one in Utah, not too special. And actually we had another party on Wednesday for a Homes Without a Father Organization. It was great to introduce the church to them and just to give service to them. We had to make almost 200 sandwiches for the party.
Talked to Sefa yesterday at church for a long time. Talked about his mission. He gave each of us a Mon ($100) for Christmas haha, I might go buy a new suit. It was pretty awesome. I'm glad everything at home is going great, I love you. Here's the info for calls next week. Either we talk on mine or your Christmas. Yours would be better. The call can only be about 45 minutes. So there you go! Let me know!
Thursday, December 15, 2011
December 11, 2011
Are you kidding me?! Pujols to the Angels!?!? That is just crazy. That's not as big of a deal as I thought he was gonna sign for. He's in the AL now, tough goin'. I want the AL to come back and be the best league again. I'm done with this NL crap haha, sounds pretty exciting. I had no idea that Europe was even on anyone's minds. A ton of Japanese people here want to go to Germany. I think that's a weird tourist attraction. But whatever, they all want to.
I'm glad everything at home is going well, this was for sure a week to remember. We had Elder Gary E. Stevenson come talk to our mission last Wednesday. We all got to meet and talk to him before. His wife is a Higley (Sam's teacher's husbands are her brothers) so it was a great connection. They said they love the area where we live. She wanted to move there, but he got called an area 70 so they live in Tokyo haha, quite a difference. The meeting was amazing though. I seriously have the best mission president anyone could have. He brought the spirit in so strong and it was so great to listen. Elder Stevenson was the best too. He said a lot of things that were answers to my prayers. Those experiences are ones that I will never forget.
So next a quick sidenote, I was looking at the conference Liahona, and Dad, is that your friend Henry from Colombia? It's in the first half. I saw it and knew it looked familiar. And another thing, some people from the Okazaki Ward yesterday said you were in a Liahona years ago and that you are famous. What is this?! Awesome, my dad is famous everywhere.
We had a pretty fun ping pong party with some investigators and recent converts. I am getting so good haha, it was a lot of fun though. Japanese are way good at it. They consider it a sport, pathetic.
Elder Heo got a $150 package of kimchee the other day. It smells awful. He was so excited. He said it was real. I had it and it tasted no different from any kimchee I had had. Everything smelled so awful. Yesterday, I had a drink of milk and it tasted like kimchee. I got super angry. You know what I do when I'm angry, I took all the kimchee and threw it out on the deck and said to him in a raised voice to never bring the kimchee back in the apartment. He was bummed and angry all day, but the other elders were really happy I did it too. Japanese people are too conservative.
I went on a pretty fun exchange on Friday. I went with Elder Kekaouha. He is from Hawaii and he goes home next week so I was his last exchange. It was a lot of fun. He served in Kariya for a while, so we visited people he wanted to see and did TIM TAM SLAMS! Best things ever.
Saturday, I had to take him back to Nonami, then go to Toyohashi, then to Meito and back home. So since you don't know how long this is, it was about 7 hours on a train and almost $70 of train tickets. It was a very long day. But it was fun to go around and see places. I have been to every area of this zone. Pretty cool.
We went to go watch the Christmas devotional yesterday. Good thing we only made it for President Monson's talk and I was the only English speaker. It kinda made me angry, Japanese people have the worst sense of time. Yes, worse than Mormons and Polys, haha oh well. As you can see it was a pretty fun week. I love you all, haven't got the package yet. Enjoy Europe and home, talk to you soon!
December 4, 2011
Sounds like a very exciting week! I do wish I could've been there to experience it and help out (major wind storm and clean up). That would've been fun to do. But to be completely honest, not a lot happened this past week. We started out by going to an all-you-can eat sushi place last Monday and using the Sefa Mon. It was amazing. Have you had ebiabocado? It's shrimp, lettuce, mayo and avocado. BEST THING EVER!!! I loved it and it was sooo good. I had probably 10 plates of just that. So yes that was very fun. One of our ward members gave us about 200 oranges, so we made homemade orange juice with them. We ended up with about 6 or 7 gallons, so that was fun too haha.
We had a six-month party last Thursday! I can't believe how fast it has gone. It has been one awesome ride. We had ton katsu and homemade orange juice, of course. I cooked dinner five times this past week! I made some way good sweet and sour chicken but the nihonjin said it was too sweet, haha it was really good though.
We have been getting a lot of calls from the APs this past week about my companionship, one of our investigators and a lot of stuff. It is crazy. I feel like we are in the middle of everything in the mission. Even President Baird has called a few times. In this situation, as a missionary, I don't like having the spotlight like this. Usually the spotlight is great, but not like this here. It's hard, but I think it will stop this week and things should improve. Transfers ends at the end of next week and I can't believe it, I swear it just started.
So I had an argument with the other elders on what is better, American or Japanese girls haha. Obviously it's American haha, it was pretty funny though. We had some fun meals on Saturday. We made this way good chicken, then this member called and said he was coming over to pick us up and take us to a less active's house. So we ate way fast, but it was way hot, so we kept burning our mouths and just going haha. It was a funny scene. Then when he came, he had Big Macs for us, so we struggled through those. Then this family took us to an all-you-can-eat Italian Restaurant. We struggled through that. Yes, that was a difficult day haha. The member ended up taking us to a vinegar museum. Ya, it was weird. I didn't know vinegar deserved a museum, but when the tour ended, all the nihonjin ran for the store and bought a bunch of vinegar. It was entertaining.
Well, that's the update from the big easy over seasy! I hope things clear up over there. Sounds like an adventure though! Love you all so much!
Sunday, November 27, 2011
I had a fun idea someone told me about, their mom gave them a scavenger hunt for the mission. A list of things that the missionary has to get a picture by, I thought that sounded fun. So I'm glad things at home are were really fun! I guess it's not really home, but whatever.
Thanksgiving was great, remember how I said I went on an exchange that day? Well guess what? It was with Elder Hollister in Kasugai!!! Haha it was so fun. President Baird asked us to do three things: service, have a nice meal, and write home. So I did all three. We helped this guy clean his car yard again. That was fun until the sun went down and Elder Hollister and I only had shorts and a t-shirt on. It got down to 6 degrees celcius. Haha, we are morons, it was very fun, and on the bike ride back we were struggling haha. We went to the church to make the dinner. That was really fun. We failed on the yams, and I forgot the jello, but it was amazing. Actually, there was so much food, I prepared a second dinner on Saturday for the Kariya elders with chicken, and the Jello and a success for the yams. It was so awesome. I had so much fun in Kasugai.
Actually, Elder Hollister came to do the baptismal interview the next day and our investigator got baptized! But he came and did it and we all hung out all morning. Making a Mission Impossible video (because that's the only song I remember from all my years of piano haha) and played some ping pong. Elder Hollister`s companion was in Kariya for 10 months, so ward members came to be with him. It was a lot of fun.
Saya got baptized! It was great. The meeting went great, except she was really loud and distracting at times. I feel that Japanese people mature slower, but whatever. It was great. She made it on the first dunk, so Elder Hiruta called it a 'first round knockout'. I guess their last baptism took like three times haha. We had a party after with her family and some ward members. We made okunamiaki, tacoyaki, Korean food, and cake. Cake isn't the same, not at all. But it was really fun!
So things with Elder Kishi were tough this week. I feel like my MTC experience was very good for me, because the patience I learned there is helping me now. It's tough, he's not nearly the worker Elder Hollister is, and it's hard to lead when you don't know the language like your companion. This ward is different too, people think I know way more Japanese than I do and are just relentless. It's kind of a downer sometimes. But luckily I got give other gaigin in the ward!
Things are awesome. I'm thankful to be on a mission and to have a great family that loves and supports me back home. I love all of you and wish for the best! I hope you enjoy the letter that will come from this neck of the woods.
Wanna know something cool about being in Japan? I am a gaigin, which is translated to foreigner. I have this thing call gaigin power. I am bigger than almost every one, and I stand out like pee in the snow. People always move out of the way for me haha. I bumped into someone and said excuse me because it was my fault. They looked up and saw I was a gaigin and were all sorry and scared haha. But because I have gaigin power, everyone wants to talk to me so that really helps! Even though I can't speak well, they just love listening to me and they think it's crazy I know any in the first place. So yes, that is awesome.
I just want to say Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and how thankful I am to be out here serving a mission. I officially hit my 6 month mark and time has flown by. I am 1/4 done and I know it will go even faster now. I am thankful to be out here together as a band of brothers doing our Savior's work for Him. As President Eyring said this last conference, 'Push yourself beyond your endurance. Work past the point others would've taken a rest.' Do the work and have fun. I am thankful for this short opportunity. HOIZA! (Hope of Isreal Zion's Army)
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Things are quite different here in Kariya. I have only met like three investigators. But one of them is getting baptized this Sunday! It's so cool. And Elder Kishi makes me teach most of the lessons to her so I actually feel like a big part of this one. Her name is Saya and she is about 18. Her mom is less active and the rest of her family are like non existent members. But through her baptism, hopefully the rest of the family will come back to church!
Yes I got the package. That was for two people? Gosh, there's enough in there to feed like six. I'm going on an exchange Thursday (Thanksgiving). I don't know where or with who. I have a good possibility of going to Kasugai! Which would be awesome. I don't know what's going on yet though. Thursday is President Baird's birthday actually. He said proselyte in the morning and have a nice meal in the afternoon and be thankful for what you have. So that will be fun.
So this week, Elder Kishi has decided to put carrots in many random spots that I frequently go to. So that's fun seeing those all over the place haha. I also wrestle at least one of the other elders every night. It's so funny. The Korean is so weak its funny. I lose respect every day for Koreans because of him. He always uses my loofa! And my body wash! I know it's the rule 'what's yours is mine' on the mission, but that's personal! And he doesn't ask before he uses anything!
Oh my goodness, these elders can really cook. It's amazing! We`ve had so much I don't even know the names of. They are making me learn to cook so I can do all of it too. I started making a recipe book too haha.
So, I met the coolest ward member yesterday. His name is Sefa. He's a returned missionary, Tongan. Yes, I was rejoicing that I got to see a Polynesian. He is probably 6'4" and about 280 pounds of pure muscles. By far the biggest guy I have EVER seen. No joke. I can't explain it. He loves the missionaries. He plays professional rugby here which is so tight. He said he would play with us sometime. He also is so rich he just gives us mons ($100) every time he sees us. I guess they are called Sefa Mons. Haha.
Things are different. I get really frustrated sometimes with Elder Kishi. He likes to hang out at people's houses for too long. I have been praying hard this week to know what to do! I love you all and am so thankful for you all! Have fun in the dirty AZ!
You are so dumb, for realz,
Sunday, November 13, 2011
November 13, 2011
OK, so this is gonna have to be quick because we get less time to email here in Kariya. Kariya is pretty great. Elder Kishi is a complete goof. If Ramsey were Japanese, he would be Elder Kishi for sure. He is a goof and it's fun to work with him, he's not as hard of a worker as Elder Hollister is but we`re gonna make it! The apartment is awesome. We have four people that live in our apartment, a bean and Elder Hiruta! We were in the MTC together and I love him, he`s so awesome and funny. It really is way fun. Japanese all the time is tough, but I can already see improvement. They speak very good English though, so if I can't get a sentence I just say it in English and they understand most of the time. It's all fun though. the apartment is very big, 7th floor, has a park across the street we go play like soccer, basketball, catch, and frisbee every morning, but there is a train track behind the apartment that goes off all the time. Other than that it's great. They can all really cook, so that's fun. and there's a workout room so that's a bonus. I actually really like nato! Everyday for breakfast: nato, tuna, and rice haha.
Last Monday was a complete frenzy, I was running all over packing and writing meishis (notes on the back of business cards) for people. It was a mess. I already know a few things I left behind. Haha that's ok though, it's not too hard to get.
So since I have 3 roommates who can't speak much English, I had to teach eikeiwa (English class)! It was a literal disaster. The people in the class can't speak English at all so they didn't help at all. And the elders didn't tell me how they do the class, so the whole time I was just wingin' it and the class people had problems the whole time. One very nice lady said that I just barely got here so give me a break. That was nice. I was so frustrated haha. I can already see improvement in my Japanese. its hard in lessons because they speak Japanese to each other and it's hard to keep up. But it will come.
So Friday was Pocky day (11/11/11)! So yes we had a huge party. I would send pictures, but it's a public computer so I can't connect it. Sorry. We had so much Pocky (chocolate covered pretezel sticks). Like $20 worth. We played ping pong and ate Pocky with an investigator. It was way fun. Nihonjin (Japanese) are super weird, but it was way fun!
We had stake conference yesterday. President Baird and Elder Stevensen of the Seventy spoke. I got to see people from Kasugai! It was awesome and a pretty fun, relaxing day. So as you can see, besides moving and the people, nothing special really happened. I was told something really cool by Elder Hollister. He had someone tell him that right when he gets off the plane from Japan to go to the temple. He said after the session to report how the mission was and just talk to the Lord. That was something really cool that I wanna do! I love you all, thanks for all the love, support and prayers!
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Sounds like a great week from home!
OK, transfers were this morning, drum roll......................................................I got transferred to Kariya. Kinda disappointed, but I know I am supposed to go there. I got a companion who speaks no English....yes, NO English. I don't know what to do haha. But the Lord knows it will work out, so I'm just gonna do my best.
Other than the baptism, I can't really think of anything that really stands out for this past week. We went and blew up air bags at a members house, that was fun. They go flying haha!
I'm doin' pretty good though. Pretty nervous for the next six weeks. It will be baptism by fire. I don't really have a solid ground in Japanese, so I'm really nervous. I'm just gonna be packing today and trying to write letters I haven't been able to write for a few weeks. We have had to wear suits and it's still bloody hot, so that's no fun. Man, me and Elder Hollister had a great time. I was praying we'd stay together this next transfer. It's ok though it will work out.
Sorry this email isn't as long, I don't have a lot to say. I love everything a lot and miss y'all!
Sunday, October 30, 2011
This week was absolutely amazing! First off, we taught 25 lessons in all, 20 of them to investigators! We received 622 referrals at a fireside we ran yesterday at church, and we had a baptism! It was so awesome. Nakamura Kyodi bore his testimony after his baptism on the love we have for him as missionaries and how quitting smoking has been the best thing for him. We bought him a white shirt and tie at the dollar store, but the bishop and some other members brought him enough stuff to have a suit, two white shirts, and two ties. Our stuff was crappy compared to it, so we didn't even try haha. It was so awesome and he was so happy!
So as you can tell, we had an extremely busy week. We didn't even get a p-day. We taught five lessons to all the investigators that day! We have to give ourselves some relaxing time throughout the week. We got to see President Baird on Friday because he did the baptismal interview with Nakamura Kyodai. Afterwords, Nakamura said that President Baird was big, tall, and that's the first time in his life he has been hugged by a guy. Haha, it was so funny. Japanese culture is way different. I see why Dad doesn't like to hug people.
This week was so awesome. I had many moments of little by little testimony growing. It was amazing. I also noticed I`ve never been involved in changing such a huge part of someone's life. Nakamura Kyodai qutting smoking is huge. It's crazy. He said he smoked two packs a day for 15 years and this week he tried to light up but the lighter didn't go off. He said it was a sign from God. Ya it is! That was so awesome and I know that God's hand literally is involved with all the work.
We have another baptism planned for this Sunday for Tan Kyodai. He`s Chinese and he is ready to go! He loves coming to church and says he has so many more friends because of the church. He has been here for 10 months and said he left his apartment to see people like five times, now he does it every day. I love it and the work is just waiting and ready to boom.
We had a huge ward Halloween party. It was crazy haha. There was a haunted house that made little kids cry I guess. We did some crazy games. We were in charge of the fishing game which turned out to be the craziest game of them all. Tons of people, including almost 20 non-members, came.
It's chilly and rainy here now, today is our last day to wear short sleeves, not excited to have to wear a suit every day. We both think Elder Hollister is transferring next week, crazy things happen though so who knows. Most likely one of us will not be here after transfers . My favorite thing about Japan is how nice and humble the people are I think. Haha, it's hard to say my favorite thing. I look at Japan a different way as a missionary. I`ve seen the Shinodas like twice this transfer. Every time we call he says he`s sick. It's kinda sad. He called them my `Japanese grandparents`.
I'm glad to hear everything at home is great, I pray for each one of you every night. Thanks for all the love and support!
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Actually, all my shirts poof out the sides and I have a major mushroom shirt. Haha that's OK though. Couple quick things though, can you send me Blake and Bradley`s address? It's great that everyone is sending Dear Elders from Dad's account, except I know no one's return address. Could you also send a copy of my mission call? And Dad, two things: The Itos have time October 27 from 4-6 and they really want to meet. They said they`d call when they got there. They're staying at the Courtyard. I think a run to Temple Square would be good for both of them. He didn't get baptized. And I met a Kumiku Ide and a Tooru Ide. She said she served with you and he said he knew you. They both recognized the name but not me, they said I am MUCH bigger haha. They seemed to love you a lot and she said to find her on Facebook and come back to Japan. He also told me you said we were related to the Admiral Perry....are we?
So I absolutely love the people of Japan. I never thought I would. I really do, they are all so different, but look the same pretty much haha. They are so humble and generous, I love them. I was able to really have a growing experience this week. We watched the testaments on p-day. The whole time I had this feeling like `Christ did heal the sick and blind` then when He healed Helam at the end and they were so happy with tears and I shed some. I know Christ lived. He died for us. My faith and testimony have grown so much, little by little, that's the mission.
So we taught Nakamura Kyodai the Law of Tithing and his baptism is on Sunday!!! But we asked Ina Kyodai to explain it. So this was his example, `Tithing is like pooping, if you hold it all in, you`ll explode! So when you eat food, you need to poop out a little bit. If you keep pooping, the Lord will bless you with more food.` Hahaha that was so funny. That's the best explanation of tithing ever.
We had a less active take us to the Marriot Sky Lounge of the Marriott in dowtown Nagoya. It was so good we just went crazy and got so much food! We had a view of everything too. I can officially say that I have seen the Nagoya castle haha. I took some pictures that I will send you. His wife is an investigator, but he says she is too stupid to learn anything, so that's a shame.
We got another baptismal date! It's on November 6! He is a Chinese guy we found on the street, Tan San. We taught him the whole first lesson and committed to him and he was like, "of course"! Yesterday at church, I had to go teach him all by myself and I was able to give him a 45 minute lesson on the commandments, it was crazy. The Spirit was so strong and I loved it! This is great! We are so blessed to be a part of this gospel! Let's go find some more of Christ`s children and bring them back!
p.s. Jake, I love you. I love you too Sam Isaac and Caroline, but Jake, hang in there. You have a great attitude on life. Better than I did. You are blessed for that. I kind of had a breakdown this week realizing I might not see you for like 3 years
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Sounds like an exciting week of sports! I'm so glad things are working out for Jake. Even though I grew a lot and learned a lot, I still wish I could`ve played a little. It's so fun to hear about everything.
This week didn't have too much going on. We helped this member of the Fukutoku ward named Hall Kyodai clean up his car yard from the floods. He is from Canada and served in the Utah South Mission. He loved it, he was so awesome and we did service in his yard for about seven hours. He was way nice and hooked us up with a few people to contact.
We had shabu shabu again, it was as amazing as ever. Right after our district meeting, we didn't have two of the elders show up, so we decided to go haha. Could you do me a favor and get me Matt and Ryan's addresses? Thanks for the package! And the newsletters! I was really happy to receive both of them. Looking at the pictures it looks like it was a lot of fun and things are going great. Isaac already looks bigger.
We went to a matsuri on Saturday and also had a ping pong activity. I won every game easily. I felt kind of bad. I tried to lose sometimes and still won haha. One of the members was giving me crap for the Yankees losing and I couldn't tell him back that the braves lost a huge lead in Japanese, so I beat him 11-0 haha. I didn't feel bad at all. But for the matsuri, everywhere we went, people were looking at our tags and all the people were trying to yell at us in English, pretty entertaining haha.
So we have two Chinese investigators now, Ryu Kinton and Tan. Good thing we have someone that speaks English, Japanese, and Chinese fluently haha so they have to come help with our lessons. It was really fun yesterday, they both understand the reasoning for prayer, so they both prayed in Chinese and even though I understood even less of that than Japanese, I could tell it was sincere and the spirit was strong. It was amazing.
I finished Alma today, aren't the wars just the coolest thing!
We don't do a lot of door to door and no streeting at all. President Baird has a lot of finding techniques that don't involve those. We do a thing called 10x, where before or after a visit, we go knock on 10 doors. God will put someone there if we really are supposed to be there for the lesson. We don't have sisters in our area. Yesterday, I realized that conversational Japanese is very hard desho. All I`ve been taught is how to teach which makes it hard to just talk now. I can put together a lot gospel wise. It's also harder for conversation because it's hard to understand haha. Yesterday was hard, I was missing baseball so much for some reason. thinking back on memories and wanting to play it again.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
So we have to go to this thing at Gokiso today and that's why we are emailing early and I'll only be on for like 30 minutes. I'll be back on tomorrow and I can email more. So I'll quickly say a few things. I got my first haircut in Japan. It took 45 minutes and doesn't look any different. I've decided that I'm going to bring home a futon with me.
One of our investigators with a baptismal date is having trouble quitting smoking. So we told him that I would eat melon pan and Elder Hollister wouldn't eat peanut butter 'til he got baptized. Man has that been hard haha I love melon pan.
We had interviews this week with president Baird. It was so awesome. They take on average of like 6 minutes and he spits out the best advice. I told him I was having trouble not thinking about home. He said it's natural to have feelings, people and places from home you long for. He then said I need to squeeze everything I can get out of it because I will have those same feelings for Japan when I go home. I love President Baird. He is truly led and called of God.
We had yakiniku with the Shinodas, they had us eat cow tongue haha. She said Dad doesn't eat it haha I thought that was funny. They were really nice to us. That night was awful because we had two dinners and the second house infested their food with carrots. I told them I had an allergy so the dad told me to pick them out. It was like cooked in, I couldn't pick them out. It was miserable.
We went as a district and took puricura pictures! Haha they were so funny and ridiculous, it's like a teenager girl photo booth. But it was fun to go and mess around and have some fun.
So I figured out conference is amazing when you listen and watch all the sessions. My favorite talk was Elder Cook's. Elder Holland and Elder Eyring in priesthood were way good too. So tell Jeff May that when you guys say your favorite talk. I was able to receive a lot of answers and I am truly blessed.
Tell Keith and Malena I say hi! I have had shabu shabu, we used dad's money haha. I think either me or Elder Hollister will get transferred this next transfer. Most likely him, he's been in Kasugai since the earthquake. We will see. We have a baptism on the 30th for Nakamura Kyodai.
For the J-mission yesterday, we were promoting missions. There were only 10 missionaries there and Elder Ellsworth and Elder Ashcroft were two of them! Tt was awesome to see them. We got split up into districts and companionships. I got paired up with two nihongin who didn't speak English, go figure, it was so hard. After doing some role plays and listening to presentations, we went out and did housing and streeting for 3 and a half hours. That was long...but we made it. yesterday was a Japanese confidence killer haha but oh well, it'll come!
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Elder Parry and Elder Ellsworth (from his MTC district)
Elder Parry at his apartment eating nato--it's gross!
Why does the best night in the history of the MLB have to be while I'm gone? Like I wanna cry that sounds like it was so exciting and fun :) OK, this week didn't have much, but I have a lot for Dad. So we got to go to Meito and do a training and my whole doki (travel group) was there! So I hung out with Ellsworth and Ashcroft Choro all day and that was super fun. Elder Dinkel said someone came up to him at a stake conference and asked if he knew me and said that they were baptized by dad. Ya crazy. Then we met the Fukutoku bishop and he said he remembers dad! And last night someone came over at like 10:00 and said they were baptized by dad! It's the Kitagima family. He said because of dad, he went on a mission, married in the temple, and have two kids in the gospel. That was an awesome meeting and I was so happy and they were so happy. They want missionary pictures of dad to see him, so could you send me some of those please?
A couple things for the next package quickly, could you send me this little book called The Missionary`s Little Book of Inspirational Stories.' Elder Hollister has it and its sweet. Some teri sauce, mac and cheese, and that picture of me and Ramsey from my farewell? And any other picture you want, I like the hard copies because I can have them.
So I finally had nato this week and that was pretty gross. We had an entertaining eikaiwa (English class). They started talking about bath houses and we said we couldn't go so they talked about us being naked. Awkward. And we started talking about Ricky Bobby and Talladega Nights hahah. And they wanted to learn slang, it was a really funny class.
We had this American move in. He loves to be involved with the missionaries...like really bad. We`ve already ignored some of his calls because he`s turning into a pest. He's cool and has a great testimony.
So when we taught the Ito Kazoku this week, she works for Nuskin and did this facial cream on us! Haha it was so funny. She put all these lotions on and just had a fun time. And Kan got the priesthood! It was way sweet and he said he wants to serve a mission! Crazy stuff.
Love you all!
Aisuru musuko yoriElder Parry
Sunday, September 25, 2011
September 25, 2011
Yes, the typhoon was ridiculous! Haha we had to stay inside all day Wednesday. I never left the apartment, it was miserable. But last Monday night when it started, we were about 12 miles away from the apartment and it started before we headed back, so ya we got soaked haha. And on Tuesday we went to visit a less active and went through a puddle about 18 inches high and the less active was like 'What are you doing here!? Are you idiots? Go home!' Haha it was funny. We had to do some volunteer work the next day because the river next to our place overflowed (it had to raise 20 feet to overflow) and that's not even the end of the river. Haha, it was pretty crazy but fun. So that's the typhoon
Moshi moshi! How is everyone?! Things are great here in the Land of the Rising Sun! Last week I had my first baptism! They are the Ito family and they have been investigators for seven years. They are the ones we committed in my first lesson. It was awesome and they were just so happy. The mom was tearing up when she received the Holy Ghost. Let me tell ya, church will never be the same until I go home. People are all over the place, it's all in Japanese (big surprise), we had a drunk guy come (he became an investigator) with his barking dogs. It's so crazy, and hot haha.
So remember how we had to teach a lesson during p-day last week? He committed to baptism! So it was worth having a shorter p-day. He was so happy and excited to do it. The baptism is on October 30. We taught him the Word of Wisdom and he said tobacco would be hard, but he really wants to do it. He is just so happy and willing. I taught the Word of Wisdom and it was awesome. My Japanese made an improvement this week.
That makes me so happy Jake'ss friends did that, haha (Jake's friends made Becky go out on the dance floor at homecoming, where she was chaperoning, and they made a circle around here while chanting her name). I'm so happy to hear everything from home is going so great! We had a way fun district meeting in Nakatsugawa. We had to wait for some elders, so we went to the undo kai (school field day) and it was fun to watch! We met some investigators who were so funny and joking around. They were so nice, they paid for us to go get yakisoba. One of them arm wrestled Elder Hollister haha it was way funny. He was doing all those pointing and tapping tricks I do to people! It made me way happy haha
Me and Elder Hollister went and got indo curry this week, bad news. Luckily it was right before the typhoon, so we were forced to stay inside because it wrecked our systems haha. We were struggling all day.
I really saw the hand of God work this week. Ito Megumi finally called us and we met her at the Tacoyaki Ojisans place. It was a rundown shack and he was cooking dangoe and tacoyaki (octopus) all day haha. He also was slapping flies and getting way into it, he would grin when he got one. On Friday, we were housing (tracting) and we had 15 minutes til we had to head home. I said let's go to this house and it was this older lady who wasn't interested. I was prompted to bear a testimony on Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. She got interested because she told us to come back! Then I said lets go to this last house, and a college kid answered and we just quickly told him our life purpose and the Plan of Salvation and he was interested too! We`re seeing them Friday, so I hope it works.
Thanks for all the prayers, love and support I love you guys!
Sunday, September 18, 2011
September 18, 2011
We had the Ito Kazoku baptism yesterday!!! It was awesome! I was able to do Kan`s baptism. It was a great experience. They have been investigators for seven years and they said they were both extremely happy yesterday after and during the meeting. It was so awesome. It is truly a blessing to see someone enter through the gate on the path to eternal life and better things to come.
We taught an investigator whose husband is inactive. And the whole time he was saying that she could never understand the scriptures and the church just drags you in to make you do work. he said you can't run away from the church. I thought it was ridiculous. I was actually very frustrated. But I guess that's how it is.
So we had an adventurous day on Wednesday. We had a zone training, so we went to the honbu (mission home) on our bikes. Halfway, Elder Hollister's chain broke in half and we had no idea where an eki (train station) was, so we walked and asked people for about an hour and a half and finally made it. It was extremely hot that day. We got to the training like 2 hours late haha it was crazy. I did teach a lesson to a nihongin (native Japanese) there, so I had to do it in Japanese or nothing, it went great! I taught so simply, because I had too haha, but it went amazing. He asked me what transfer I was on and I said first and he gave me a huge hug. It was an awesome experience and blessing.
We had a member, Fukunaga Kyodai, need a blessing. So we gave him one and he healed like right up! He was so happy he took us out to a big dinner. We had udon and tempura. Love that stuff. He was so awesome and he's way awesome. He works with cars and loves football. I would think he was Hawaiian before Japanese.
I did get the package thank you very much! Next one, could I get some teri sauce? Sweet, thanks haha, it was great though. Sam`s room looks so awesome! That's so much better than mine was haha. Could you send a picture of Matt and Celeste for me for my album? Thanks. And could someone PLEASE tell me how my Pirates team did? It's been 4 months and I've asked 5 times and nothing.
Thanks for everything again! This is amazing and love it!
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Sounds like a lot of fun in the dirty UT haha. I'm pretty much lovin' it here. This last week was a huge increase from the week before. Before I tell about this week, I want to say some cool stuff I've done. President Baird challenged us to read the Book of Mormon and mark in red pencil every time it refers to Christ. Oh my goodness has it been awesome! I am getting so much more out of reading it and I can completely follow the storyline! When he gave us this commitment, he asked us to read from the Book of Mormon everyday for the rest of our lives. So I promised. right after, and he said, `Elder Parry, there will be a day from now in the future. You will get up around 3 in the morning and go on a boating activity with the young adults in the ward. You will probably be Bishop. After a long day of boating, eating, and fun around the camp fire, you will be gettin' in bed and trying to tell everyone to go to sleep. It will be around midnight and you'll be on a hard ground and miserably tired. Then you`ll realize you haven't read the Book of Mormon. That day, will you reach in your bag and read from the Book of Mormon?` Ya I better freakin' read that day. Haha that's crazy! He is called of GOD! I love my mission president. We`re going to the mission home today so I get to see him.
Thanks for the newsletters! They made me so happy. So last p-day we went to the botanical gardens and had lunch which was way fun. We also played catch with a member in the ward. I was throwing like half speed and him and Elder Hollister were still like in awe haha. We had a former investigator take us to get shaved ice. It was amazing! Probably better than Matsumotos. So good.
I went on my first exchange Friday. I went with Elder Jackson to Seto. It was really fun, nothing special happened. He did have chicken katsu and peanut butter milk shakes haha. Some interesting things I've noticed, people in Japan have awful teeth. Dad, I had mobudofu, it was pretty good, but not my favorite. I am officially making holes in my belt now. Haha I'm down to 195 as of today. Could you guys send me a list of `Minute to Win It` games? I think those would be fun to do for FHE throughout the mission. OK who the heck is Admiral Perry?! Everyone asks me if we`re related. It drives me nuts cuz i have no idea who he is. We watched someone do a live paper slide show. It was way fun and he was so into it. People here know more about the US than I do, it's crazy haha.
Church will never be the same til I come home. People are running around all over, I have a Bishop who I can't stand but have to, it's all in Japanese. And yesterday we had dogs running around with a drunk guy yellin. Funny thing about it though, is he`s a new investigator haha. Speaking of them we got three this week! A less active`s wife, the drunk guy, and some Chinese guy. It's so awesome! The work is moving along great and I'm so excited to see where this all goes from here. We have a baptism planned for this Sunday, my first one! I also talked to the Allreds. The Mom doesn't wanna speak to missionaries, but I talked to the one who's my age for a while. He was surprised as much as I was.
So Japanese is extremely difficult. Just have a prayer in your hearts for me. It's coming but very slowly. This wouldn't be a mission if it were easy. Hope you enjoy the letter!
Sunday, September 4, 2011
September 4, 2011
How's it goin? I'm drippin' pourin' in rain (Typhoon Talas rolled through Southern and Central Japan yesterday). I tried to start some Eminem lyrics, then thought twice about it haha. But the typhoon isn't too bad up here. It's extremely windy and rainy haha. Dad, I've talked to the Allred family twice! The mom is WAY hantai (opposed) against missionaries. And the dad lives in Riverton. They have a son my age, and we visit him and their older brother. That's so crazy. We haven't gone sightseeing yet. There's not much in Kasugai to see. We might go to a castle next week. Sounds like everything is goin' great at home! That sounds like a lot of fun. In a package, all I can think of is like a baseball and batteries. They're expensive here.
So this week was very up and down and bittersweet. We started with dinner at the Tozaki`s. We had okonomiaki [Japanese pancake made of egg, flour, seaweed, soy, cabbage, ginger and octopus], which is way good, but he gave me 24 pieces of it. I felt sooo sick after, I had to be polite...grrr. It was way fun and good though. He finally agreed to read the scriptures with his wife because we all shared our favorite scriptures. He loved it.
We did some volunteer work. We did some landscaping for a bunch of old ladies. It's really different doing that for old ladies and with a companion, rather than for a Polynesian and working (wink wink) with them haha.
So there is this way awesome guy in our ward, Aoyama Kyodai. He's like 70, has no teeth, and speaks great English. He is a hoot. He loves to mess around. When he came with us one day, he was hopping fences! Haha it was crazy. I showed a picture of our family to him, he looked at Caroline and said, "she's just my type, she is the sunshine of my soul, tell her hi for me." hahaha it was so funny.
So I did it, the KING challenge. First tho, on the way, I swerved out of the way of a truck and when I tried coming back up onto the curb, my tire didn't make it over the lip, so I started falling over. Before I even knew it, I was standing on two feet, it was crazy! Haha I just reacted and didn't even notice. But the king challenge, it's a bowl of rice and thin slices of beef. It's about the size of a strainer. But every missionary in this mission has to do it. It was so hard haha.
We had a fun district meeting. It was Elder Jackson's birthday, and dad told me to take us out to lunch. So we went to a shabu shabu tabihodi [all-you-can-eat boiled meats and vegetables in different sauces]. Sooo good! Everyone kept thanking you dad, it was awesome thanks a lot.
So Sunday was way bittersweet. We met Kanda and he said he loves the scriptures and knows it's true, but he doesn't have time anymore. And he had a baptismal date. So we got dropped. The Shinodas came to church, but jetted out right after and blew their appointment off. We got a new investigator, who gave us the wrong number. We met with a less active, but his wife who's a nonmember didn't show up. That's pretty bittersweet if you ask me. Haha.
Well I'm super glad to hear how everything is. That's the update from the wonderful area of Kasugai!