Monday, December 28, 2009

Man, it was great talking with everyone. I think that was the fastest hour of my life. It went by way fast. I can't believe how much Derricks voice has change it made me laugh. It was a ton of fun talking to you all, I thought after I was done I would be way trunkee but I wasn't which suprised me a bit. I do have to admit that it was hard to hang up but it was great talking to you all.

How was Christmas? What did everyone get? Did you have fun? I have to say that Christmas as a missionary in a place that does not celebrate Christmas at all was very different but was still fun. I will talk about it later.

So its been a long time since I last emailed, but we haven't had a whole lot of success lately. All of our investigators at the moment are too busy to meet because of Shogatsu (New Years). Its basically like Christmas and everyone goes out and shops and gets together with family and goes on trips and stuff so its kind of frustrating.

Anyways last week we went out and dendoed a lot but couldn't find anyone. We found a potential investigator which was cool but of course he can't meet until after Christmas. We were outside a store after buying some treats and I felt like I should talk to a guy standing outside the door. I said hey its really cold huh, and the conversation started from there. He said he has a lot of interest in learning english and about the bible. We got his phone number and said we would call him after the new year. Hopefully something works out.

We also had an appointment that night with an investigator but he never showed up. He hasn't payed his phone bill and won't be able to use it until after the new year so we couldn't get a hold of him. His name is Kosei and is a pretty big punk. He has dyed hair and wears gangster clothes and stuff but has come to church before and likes to read the Book of Mormon so we are teaching him. Once we get to the commandments it might get a little hard but we have hope for him. We just need to find a way to meet with him.

We had Zone Conference on Thursday and since it was in Kobe we had to head out to Wakayama to spend the night there. We got there and had rootbeer floats which was awesome. Rootbeer is way hard to find out here and you can only get it at import places. Some member bought them a ton (around 3 12 packs). It was a ton of fun.

Zone Conference was great. We are really going to try to start getting the members fired up and have them help us out a lot more with missionary work. We learned a lot about that and how to work with them more effectively. I got to see some old friends including Akina Choro who was in the MTC with me who I hadn't seen since then which was awesome. After Zone Conference we had a Christmas program which was pretty fun. We heard all these Christmas stories and a few musical numbers. It was really great. Then everyone went and got their mail and packages and headed back. We went back to Wakayama and stayed the night there. We all opened one present and read from the bible. It made me laugh and reminded me of home.

Christmas day was a lot of fun. We all woke up and opened all our stuff. We made Eggs, French Toast (and our own maple syrup) and bacon. it had been a long time since I had had any of that. Everyone talked to their families then we went to Shingu's baptism. It was a great service and awesome to see them get a baptism. After that we headed back home to Tanabe. We rushed to a Yaki Niku place and had the closest thing you can get in Japan to a steak. It was super good. We headed home and Enta Choro talked to his family and Christmas was over. It was really weird, everyone was still working, had school and all that stuff. There was no celebrating of it all which actually made it a little easier I think. I did miss it and it came super fast and didn't really feel like Christmas because well no one had lights or anything up. I had a good time though and it was a blast with the other missionaries.

Yesterday we were able to go to some members house and have a meal with them. It was super good and we had a good time. This week flew by I can't believe it. This week during the New Year we have a big sports meeting for all of the missionaries in the mission. It is going to be a ton of fun. We also found out that Elder Oaks is going to be coming to our mission in February. It should be way cool.

I hope you all had a good Christmas, thank you for the packages they were awesome.

Love you

Monday, December 14, 2009

Side Note from Lisa

I just wanted to share a quick experience we had yesterday. Our home teachers came to visit and had a young man with him. We just assumed he was one of our new home teachers. He had just recently returned from his mission in Japan and wanted to show us some of his pictures. The last picture he showed us was of him and Cameron. Cameron was his last companion. Elder Payne has been home for 3 weeks. Our home teacher's business partner is Elder Payne's father. It was a great surprise!! It was great to hear about Cameron and how he is doing. Before he left he prayed in Japanese (Morgan giggled through it because she thought it was very funny sounding). It was a great Christmas gift.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sounds like everyone is busy like normal. Man I would love to eat a thanksgiving dinner it sounds way good. I would kill for Grandma's stuffing right now.
I got another one of your packages they are pretty fun, I think there is still one more on the way. Thanks for all of them they are way fun. I actually need a few things I swear I always think of them way too late. So we had a way crazy rain storm this week and I forgot to take out my mini Triple out of my Backpack that I bought in the MTC and it totally got ruined. I will send you some pictures but its a Triple (BOM,DC,PoGP) that is way small and has a nice leather binding and stuff. I think you can get it from anywhere but I would love to get another one. I will send you some pictures of it so you kind of know what to look for. Also this is weird but will you send me my retainers if they are still around? I want to see if I can fit them in my mouth still. Yes I know, I know its all my fault but Im just curious. Ok anyways thanks for everything the packages are awesome.

Ok this week

Monday - After P-day we had a lesson with our new investigator Maruyama that we found while we were housing. We were pretty excited to go and got all ready and met our member at the church to head off. He was a bit late which was frustrating so we were late to the lesson by 5 min. We taught the first lesson and it went alright, when I committed her to read and pray about the BOM, she said something along the lines of `I will read and pray when I feel like it not because you ask me to` Kind of weird but whatever. The problem was that our member did not like that answer at all, and he actually kind of got into an argument with her right there at the lesson. Not good. Anyways after that we kind of had to try to smooth things out but the damage had already been done. We got another appointment with her for today but she called and canceled on us and said she didn't know when she could meet again. Kind of disappointing but we couldn't really do much about it. After that lesson our day was over. Hopefully we can get a lesson with her soon.

Tuesday - It was a long day. We headed out and housed for most of the day but didn't really get to talk to anyone. After housing we ate dinner and got ready for Eikaiwa. Eikaiwa was way crazy. We had some people come from a halloween party that Payne Choro and I went to and they were all way little kids. So I taught 2 different lessons at the same time. It was nuts but pretty fun. After that the day was over not a lot really happened.

Wednesday -We did the same thing in the morning as the day before. We went housing and had no real luck. We had to go to Gobo to teach Eikaiwa so we got ready and headed out there. Only 2 people came this week, I think we might have to stop going soon. I am going to talk to president at our interviews to see what he has to say. I would feel bad just totally leaving the Gobo Branch with no missionaries at all but its a waste of our time and mission money. We will see what happens.

Thursday - We had an exchange with the Zone Leaders. They came down and we had a 4 man day in Tanabe. Burton and I went out and tried to do some different things besides just housing. We went to a park, a big study hall, some stores (Including a fishing one) and a few other things. We found one good Potential but other than that not much luck. Cutler and Enta on the other hand found 3 new people to teach. They found a wife and a husband housing and another guy outside the train station. It was pretty awesome and something we really need at the moment. We taught the family last night and it went pretty well. It was my first time teaching a family and is like a missionaries dream. It was awesome. After going out contacting we went to our wards Family Home Evening and had pizza there. Yoshi Nobu came and it was great to see him.

Friday - It was a crazy day. It POURED rain all day and we headed out in the morning in it. There was no one out so we didn't have much luck and I totally forgot about my small Triple so it got ruined. I was way sad about that. We had to be back at the apt. by 3 because our roof started leaking and some people were coming by to fix it. We were in the apt most of the day while they were there and we did DKK (weekly Planning) while they were there. After that we went to service and walked around but didn't really get a chance to talk with anyone promising.

Saturday - We decided to go to a place called Shirahama. Its about an hour away on bike and is really the only other city in our area. We rode all the way out there to find it totally dead. Its pretty much a beach tourist town. Most of the shops were closed and no one was around. It was pretty frustrating because no one was there and we went all the way out there but oh well we know now. After exploring out there we headed back did some housing, streeting, and called it a day Sunday - Yoshi Nobu was suppose to come to church but he never showed up. We called him and he called us back during our lesson so I couldn't answer and haven't been able to get a hold of him yet. Church was pretty normal. Afterwords we did some streeting and housing then headed to our lesson with the Yamanaka family. The husband is Japanese and the wife is from the Philippeans. They are both really great and have a little boy that is around 1 or 2 years old. We taught about the BOM and prayer and we will be teaching them the Plan of Salvation next time. Its really exciting to teach a family and they also have a little bit of a Christan background too. Its really weird teaching someone who already knows what prophets are and who Jesus is and we will have to change our teaching style a little bit but we will figure it out. We have another appointment with them for next week. It should be great.

It was a good week. I wish we could of had more lessons but we found quite few people this week so we are pretty happy. Oh also about phone calls, P-day is being moved to Christmas day so I won't be emailing you next Monday. You will be calling me when it is Christmas day in Japan so I'm guessing the 24th in the States. If you could call me around 12:00 my time it would be a good time I think. Our number is 080-2149-6209. They really haven't told us much about it yet and I just found out this morning. I am not sure what time it will be over there but 12:00 - 12:30ish my time would work out best. Sorry that's probably pretty late over there. I can't wait to talk to you all and will be waiting for your call. It will be great. I am guessing it can only be 45 min to an hour but I am way excited.

Things are going great we just have to keep working hard and we will see miracles.
Thanks for everything
love you tons

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Wow sounds like you guys are getting a ton of snow right now. We won't see any snow down here I don't think but it really has gotten pretty cold. In your last package could you send me my Underarmor top also? I think I have a white one that should work just fine. Also a sweater if you haven't sent one yet already. Other than that I am pretty much good to go.

The present thing is way fun. Its always something I look forward to in the morning. I opened the 3 musketeers bar this morning and the scripture that went with it made me laugh. It was pretty clever.

Sounds like the soccer dinner was fun. Sorry my letter was so lame, I just haven't had enough email time for the last few weeks to think of something good. I am excited to read them all. Its weird thinking that it is Christmas time. You don't really see it that much out here which is nice because it doesn't make me trunkee.
Sounds like everyone is having fun back home, Morgan scoring baskets derrick fishin, Whit doin her stuff hopefully it all works out with this new doc.

So this week was a lot better than last.

Monday - After P-day we went housing like normal. Our last door we talked to this guy who has a bunch of interest about religion and stuff. He was more interested in the thinking part of it and not really the feeling part which was disappointing. We invited him to come to church but he didn't show up yesterday. Hopefully we can get in contact with him.

Tuesday -This was a pretty boring day. We went out and got stood up by our investigator we found the previous week which wasn't that big of a surprise. He was pretty iffy when we talked to him the first time so it wasn't too big of a let down. We went housing for the rest of the day until Eikaiwa. I taught the Eikaiwa classes and called it a day.

Wednesday-We went housing in the morning before going to Gobo for eikaiwa out there. I am thinking of asking president if we can stop going. Its kind of turning into a waste of time with no missionaries out in Gobo advertising it and we won't really ever get someone that wants to hear the gospel out of it so I think I am drop it soon. We didn't have much luck during our housing but when we got home that night we got a call from the Elders in Wakayama. Actually one of the Elder Cutler is the Mosses cousin. He has been to our ward a few times crazy huh. Anyways they found a guy that had interest and he lived in Tanabe. We called him and set an appointment with him for Friday. We were pretty excited and couldn't wait to meet with him.

Thursday - This was a long rainy day. We headed out in the morning and did some contacting but no real luck there. After that we went to a members restuarant called Hachi Ju Hachia. It is a way way good all you can eat restuarant. I love it. It was super good and she made us a dessert (SP?) that was really good. After that we went to a pretty countrysideish area and housed out there but didn't really get a chance to talk to anyone. We headed back home after housing without much luck.

Friday -We decided to try to do some more creative things for contacting so we went out by the train station to try to contact even though its a little town but no one was there. So we went out to the beach hoping to talk to someone but it was dead there too. We went to this giant, awesome park to see if we could find someone but again it was dead, we even went to an art gallery but no one. So we gave up and just went housing again. We had service and after that we got ready for the lesson we had with our new investigator. His name is Yoshi Nobu and is 23 years old. We met with him and talked about the BOM and prayer and it went really great. We invited him to read and pray about it and he accepted. We also invited him to come to church on sunday and he accepted that also. It was a great way to end the day.

Sat.- We housed a bit before our lesson with Kinoshita san. Kinoshita is an awesome family man but we found out this last lesson he doesn't really have any desire to change what he is doing at the moment. He is well off has a small family and is happy. He is always super nice to us and gives us food. It was a little disappointing, we were hoping to be able to have some progress with him but it doesn't look like he really intends to go anywhere. He invited us to come back around the new year and he was going to feed us. It should be way good because new years is the big thing out here. Should be fun.

After that there was a little festival that we went to but couldn't really talk to anyone. We headed out to do more housing and about an hour into it we knocked on a door and a girl answered it. When we talked about our message she started to smile and when I asked if I could share it she said yes. It was the first yes we had gotten in a few days so I was a bit surprised but went on and talked about the BOM. She accepted it and wanted to meet again. We are going to meet tonight and hopefully the lesson goes well. We headed back to the apt. had our district mtg. on the phone and called it a night.

Sun. - We had church and Yoshi Nobu came! It was pretty awesome, we were able to teach him lesson one. When I asked him what he thought God was like he said that he thought we lived with Him before earth and he made earth for us to learn and grow, Then after we die we go back to live with him. Needless to saw we were pretty surprised. The lesson went great, I actually felt like I should talk about Baptism with him and president has been asking us to commit people to it in the first lesson, so I brought it up and committed him to it and he accepted it. I tried to get a date set for it, but it was a bit too much for him but he said he would be baptized when I committed him to it. He has already read parts of the BOM and we are way excited to teach him more. After church and his lesson we went out and did housing for around 4 hours but didn't get to share our message with anyone which was a little disappointing.

So things are starting to look up for Tanabe. We have some new people to teach that look like they have real interest and hopefully we can help them out. This coming week will be busy and should fly by. I can't believe it is already almost 9 months. I haven't heard anything yet about the whole calling on Christmas thing but I will let you know when I find out about it. Have fun during this Christmas time, I am going to miss it but we are doing good.

Love you tons