Monday, April 30, 2012

Crazy Funeral

April 30, 2012

So yes, I know that this is really late and you all will be asleep. We had a stake activity come up this morning and we went to Shizuoka to play softball and have a BBQ. I didn't do as well, but I lost two balls that I hit into the river. One of their members was getting mad at me and I just said to him to get me out in a joking way. Haha it was fun. I hung out with a way cool member from Shizuoka the whole time. We were jumping from grill to grill taking all the meat. Nishimuro Shimai from our district kept trying to stop us. Haha it was funny. She is our district mom, she kept telling us to eat our vegetables last Friday when we had shabu shabu after district meeting. I will get to Skype home on Mother's Day. Your Mother's Day. It will be around 9-11 here. I'll have more specific details next week. Just make sure you get familiar with how to work Skype.

This week was good. We have six missionaries in our district, two sisters and four elders. I have to call the zone leaders three nights a week and the sisters every night and see if they made it back to their apartment safely. We had a pretty good first DTM. It was pretty fun. There are so many boring district leaders, so I'm trying to have some fun too. I'm glad to hear home is going...normal. This week was quite weird. It all started when Taniguchi, the 83-year-old recent convert, died. It was peaceful, she passed in her sleep. We went to her funeral and it was the craziest stuff I have experienced. Weird chants, rituals, incense, man the whole thing was just crazy. Then putting flowers on her head and burning her. All weird stuff.

Tuesday was by far the longest day of my life. It matches up with the first day at the MTC. Nothing happened. I was so tired. It got better. We had a fun Ekaiwa (English Class) and played hang man. The students were getting into it and everyone was having a good time. We finally did the long awaited open house. We had 12 people come. That's like 11 more than I thought would come. That took up like the whole week, preparing and all that not so fun stuff. Everyone in the district came for part of it and helped out. It was pretty fun. We were at the church for 11 straight hours. got three solid potential investigators from it. It was pretty successful overall.

We had a fun dinner last night with like 10 members. Was it hard to get lessons in and try to get referrals for you too, Dad?  I swear, it's so hard to get anything gospel-related done here. And are the Yankees wearing those old school uniforms all year? If they are, I would love to get one. Maybe for a Christmas present. Just put it on hold and I'll get it when I get back. And did you make that CD yet? If not, could you put 'Hallelujah' and 'I Can Only Imagine' two great songs. I love you all and I'm sorry this was late. hope you all have a great week and ill talk to you all later!

Elder Parry

Sunday, April 22, 2012


April 22, 2012

Well good morning on this transfer day! Like last transfer, we came early to e-mail, the calls start in 15 minutes so you should be getting an update in about a half hour or so. It sounds like it was a way fun week! As much as I love my mission, I'm still way jealous. It looks like it was way fun. Did you sit on the monster? Man, that looked so fun. And I'm way happy the Yankees showed who's still the evil empire muahahah.

Well I have something way cool, I went to the waterfalls last Monday! They were way awesome. As awesome as they were, still would pick a Yankees and Red Sox game. But now I have experienced both! We went with a bunch of members and it was so pretty. The day was a bit chilly and cloudy, so we couldn't see Fuji real well, it was still an awesome experience.

This week didn't have a whole lot of stand-out missionary work. I went on an exchange and did have two really great lessons that day. I taught, more like talked, for over an hour with an investigator and members. I'm so talkative in English, I just need to talk in Japanese. If I sound bad, they'll understand. I've been really just trying to be more friendly this past week when I talk to people.

We visited Taniguchi, the 82 year old, and she said she got a letter from Iwata for me and it was in Japanese of course) I don't like that stupid guy. Why did he write me a letter. He was so annoying, then Taniguchi did her evil conniving laugh, muahaha it was pretty funny.

We had interviews! I got to hang out with everyone for the day. In my interview, I went in with the same idea as my teaching and just talked to President Baird. It was so funny and awesome. He promised he would sit down with me and watch a sports game with me when I get back haha. Sister Baird was way awesome and we just talked about marriage and funny pranks for over an hour. It was the best! I also got to mess around with Elder Hollister for a while. It was a pretty great day.

We also had a crazy Sunday. Elder Schade's aunty and uncle called, no one showed up for Sunday School so we 'meditated', an investigator came and brought us katsu and bamboo to eat, kids were all over the place. It probably wasn't crazy, all that stuff seems pretty normal to me now.

Well, that was my week. Calls should be starting up really soon. I can't believe six weeks has passed. I'm already on Transfer 7. Where has it all gone?

Ma, when in Rome, do as the Boob does,
Elder Parry

PS  A few minutes after this e-mail came, we learned that Evan had been called to be the new district leader in Fuji.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, English

April 15, 2012

Dang all of you, I would like to go to the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park too.'s OK, I guess. And where is Jake going for his senior trip? Sounds like the fam has got a lot of great things going on for the next while. Good for all of you. This week was better than the past few weeks have been. It's hard because we keep finding investigators that have no desire to progress, or just drop off the face of the world.  It's even harder because every time we get training from the leaders they always emphasize being obedient and doing everything President Baird tells us and we will see baptisms. Well, I have been doing both for my whole mission, and as of lately I'm not seeing anyone progress like we would like. It's hard of course.

We went to Iwamoto Yama again last week. We went with the Numazu elders and it was very fun. We played football at the top and looked at all the cherry blossoms. It was so pretty and such a great day. The weather is picking up very fast. The next day we were at an unfamiliar part of the area and I had a prompting to go see our recent convert. We went and she needed a blessing bad. I was able to do my first blessing in Japanese! It was crazy. She got better way fast and was able to come to church and everything. Then on Thursday, we visited a member who is going less active. He said the Book of Mormon is hard and that he was having depression problems. I promised him he would get better if he prayed and he promised he would. Then I closed with a sweet simple prayer promising him if he prayed, he would feel God's love. After, I looked up and he was crying way hard. It was a very spiritual and a strong moment for all of us. He was so happy.  We are going to read from the simplified Book of Mormon with him this week.

We had a very fun DTM. The zone leaders came and I made brownies. We finally met in Fuji! It was way fun. We took a lot of goofy pictures after and everyone gave short lessons during it. I love District Meetings. We then had two places we needed to go and ended up biking over 35 kilometers and almost no one was home. That was so fun...not.  Haha it's OK though, that's missionary work. I gave a talk yesterday in church. It sounded great when I practiced. It was awful though, so miserable. Thank goodness I could end at five minutes. Bleh. Then a new member came and she is Brazilian. I speak as much Portuguese as she speaks Japanese. We played Pictionary to figure out everything about her. Then our Peruvian member came to the rescue. It was funny. Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, and English were all over the place.

This week was better. I feel like we didn't get a lot done, but we got a lot done. I love you all!

Elder Parry

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Support From Other Missionaries

April 9, 2012

I'm glad to hear that this week went the way it did. As for you, this was a pretty hard week for me too. I would love to have the CD of the funeral for all the talks. I'm sure President Baird wouldn't mind. Also like you, I tried to get myself away from things and relax and have some personal time to think. God blessed me in several ways this week to help me out. On Tuesday, we got such a bad rain storm and we weren't allowed to leave our apartments. I was able to just relax and hang out for the day. I didn't think too much about a whole lot. I have been so blessed by the love of other missionaries this week. I have received several calls from Elders Hollister, Bardzinksi (District Leader) Hiruta and VanDampen (Zone Leaders) Berrett, and Sister Baird. it really has been awesome. I have felt the love of Christ through these peoples' gestures of simple acts of love. I can't tell you how perfect conference was. I received answers to questions I have prayed about for months, and it was perfect for this time in our family. Elder Eyring's talk had to have been my favorite. Elder Ballard and Scott were amazing too. I have been thinking a lot lately if I should do a study journal, but my lazy instincts have held me back. After conference I ran to the store and bought one and I have filled a bunch out and caught myself up.

President Baird called this week and said he met someone Dad baptized. It was at the Toyota ward, but the member lives in Gifu--I missed the name. Just like the phone call about Monte, I wasn't all there. The member asked where I was and if she could see me. President Baird promised her I would serve near her. So that tells you I will probably make it over to Gifu  sometime haha. We housed this apartment where an investigator lives. I had the door slammed in my face so many times. I came to the last door and was ready to get slammed, but a younger girl in her twenties answered. I gave my whole deal and she said to come back! Almost one hour after we got dropped by another investigator! Then the next day, while I was in Numazu, the elders in Fuji found another investigator! What a blessing it has been this week. Even though this week had some very hard and down points, just those little small, insignificant seeming works of the Lords hand is what keeps us going.

We had an investigator who finally gave a prayer. It was so simple and a straight-up conversation. It made me so happy! We have so many investigators that are hard, jerks, and I just want to drop. It's great to get some new stuff goin on here.

So the new Presiding Bishop, Elder Stevenson, was our area Seventy, he spoke to us last December. That's something cool. We visited an 82-year-old recent convert yesterday. She has been very sick, so we checked on her. While she was talking, she passed horrible gas! Oh my goodness, I got us out of there so fast it was so disgusting, and pretty funny. She didn't even flinch. It was like it never happened. Oh yea, and Elder John Gaskill and Elder David Archuletta were in the MTC choir at conference!

I had to go to a doctor in Numazu this week because he speaks English. He told me my behind was quite large. Haha that was funny. He then told me he had to use an 'instrument' to take a test. I didn't really understand what was about to happen. It was the most awkward and painful thing that has happened. I may or may not have said a cuss word without thinking. I know I swore a lot in my head. I know some of you are getting a kick out of this story.

Well sorry there was no real update last week, here is this week. A bit better. I love you all. Hang in there, watch conference again, it was amazing!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Tragic News

This week, Evan learned the tragic news of the death of his cousin, Monte.  We found it difficult to be so far away from Evan at this time and we are praying continually that he will be strengthened by the Lord.  He sent the following e-mail to Monte's mom and sisters and we are all grateful for his missionary insight, his mature reaction, and for the angels that surround him in Japan.  We learned little else about Evan's week except that he had leadership training, celebrated a birthday and had lots of rain.

Kim, Sydney, and Kari,

I received a call late last night from my Mission President informing me of what happened. He told me to make sure I sent you three a message. I have been praying hard to have the Spirit with me as I choose the words I say. I hope my message is one of comfort, peace, and love. I will not preach, but give my simple conviction and love. You may use this message however you like.

What a blessing it is to be a part of this wonderful, true, and everlasting gospel. I would not be here in Japan serving His wonderful children if I did not believe it were true. As I bare testimony of this gospel and testify that I know that through this gospel, family relationships become stronger and we can live with them for all eternity. I don't think this situation is any different. Through this experience and others we have shared, our family has been able to come together and be strengthened by one another. What a blessing this has been. I think about it and look back on what we have experienced and I still see how strong our family is in the gospel. God, our Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ love us more than we can imagine. We matter to Them. As it says in 1 Nephi 3:7, God wouldn't give us anything if He didn't provide a way. Kim, Sydney, and Kari, I admire your strength and confidence that this plan is true and everlasting. Through we may not have all the answers, we do know the important principles that allow us to face tragedies with faith and confidence that we can have a bright future and that Heavenly Father will fulfill His side of the promise.

I love you three. I am grateful for the many tender mercies I have been blessed with throughout my life. I know that you three as well have been blessed with many. You three are always in my prayers. I have a promise by an apostle of God to this mission specifically, that the names I pray for will be blessed with peace, comfort, and love. I pray that you three may feel the Lord's love. I would like to express my gratitude that now I get to serve alongside Monte, Scott, and Grandpa as God's army. I know they love you very much, I know I love you very much. You three are a real testimony builder for me. Again, I admire you and your example of strength, courage, and love. As the Lord promised, "Peace be unto thy soul, thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment. Know thee, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for they good. The Son of Man hath descended below them all."

I don't send this to brag of how wise I am or to boast of myself, I send this out of a pure love for my family, my brothers and sisters in the gospel. I love you three very much and you are always in my prayers.

Love, Elder Evan Parry