Sunday, January 30, 2011


After prep. on Monday we had a lesson with a guy named Yamano. He is an older guy and has read the Bom all the way through. Problem is that he has no confidence in himself and doesn't really have the faith that he can be cleaned of his sins through baptism. It was a really sad lesson. No matter how much we testified to him about the atonement and promised/committed about baptism he just refused to go through with it. they have been teaching him for a little while but we decided it would be best to give him a break since he doesn't really seem like he is going anywhere.

Tuesday - We had lessons with our 2 investigators that have dates. The first one Jindai went alright. He has problems with commandments especially word of wisdom at the moment so we taught about why god has given us commandments and why we have the word of wisdom. He committed to try this week to stop drinking tea and coffee. He has a few mental problems (kind of what you would call slow i guess?) but hopefully he can cope with it and overcome his problems.

Our other investigator was with a man named Hashimoto. He really just wants to be cleaned of his sins and be baptized. He said that a bunch of times and we are helping him prepare for it. He is having a really tough time with some family issues and also smoking but is trying his best to stop. He looks pretty solid right now but might have a few problems with commandments we haven't taught yet but his desire is really strong so hopefully he can overcome those.

We also had Eikaiwa later that night which was pretty fun.

Wednesday - We had district meeting which went ok. Its a little different being DL again but fun. Turns out that alot of ZL's got released this transfer and put as DL's. About half of the ZL's were transferred and 5 were released McBurney was too and put as a DL in Osaka. I think pres. is just trying to prep the mission for when some of the older groups of missionaries go home. Anyways after DM my comp went on an exchange and I stayed with the ZL's for Leadership training. I got to have a temp. comp. that turned out to be Elder Novak who was in my MTC district. It was way fun catching up with him and talking to him about how his mission has been. Out of everyone that was in my MTC District he is the one that I haven't really had a chance to catch up with so it was a lot of fun. We were in Okayama for 3 days but it was a blast. Actually the place where Andrews dad served a mission. I took a pic outside of the mission home and you can send him a copy I am sure it will bring back some good memories for him.

Sat. - We got back to our area sat. morning and started working again. We were able to find 3 investigators and have one lesson with a new investigator named Sakamoto. We taught about the restoration and committed him to read the BOM. Looks like he could turn out to be a pretty good investigator.

Sun - We got a call earlier in the week from a member named Sister Hosoda. She has been a member for around 10 years and has been bringing her mom for quite awhile. Her mom hasn't been baptized but said she would once it warmed up. She had a goal for her to be baptized on the 18th of Feb. and asked for our help. We set up a lesson and taught her mom about temples and how it connects to baptism and how families can be together forever. She said she believed it all and accepted her daughters commitment to be baptized on the 18th. They are already planning the baptismal service and stuff so she looks really solid for that date. We are really excited and have a lot of support from the members. We should see her go through in a few weeks.

After church we went out housing and after an hour of nothing I figured I should say a quick prayer. After saying one, 2 doors later we found a really cool mom that had a lot of interest in families and how Christ can help her make her family stronger. Gave me a pretty good testimony boost of the power of prayer. Also on the way home we were able to find one more guy who is going to try to come to church in 2 weeks. Turned out to be a really good day.

Things are going really well and we are having a great time. I can't believe that we are already 2 weeks into the transfer it just seems to be flying by. We are seeing a lot of success and are really being blessed a lot and I can't wait to see what happens in the next few weeks.

Thanks for everything
Love you tons

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Well, I am no longer in freezing Toyooka but ended up transferring. I am in an area called Sumoto which is a city on the island of Awajima. The Island is off of the coast of Akashi my 2nd area. Do you remember the pictures I sent of that giant bridge forever ago? Well that bridge goes to my area. We are the only missionaries on the entire island so its kind of a cool feeling. Its a way cool place and I am really loving it so far. It has recently been opened around 8 months ago so its still a pretty new area. The branch is really small this last Sunday we only had around 8 people there but they are really excited to have missionaries back after not having them for around 8 years and they are trying their best to help us as much as possible. My new comp. is Elder Schram he is from Midvale UT. He has been in Japan for around 6 months but his Japanese is way better than mine. His mom is Japanese and spoke it to him since he was little so he is way good. We have gotten along really well so far and are going to have a great transfer together. I am no longer a Zone Leader but am back to District Leader. It will be fun doing something different again and I feel like I can focus on the area's a little better as DL so it should be fun.

We have seen so many miracles so far just in the last few days its been way awesome. They had a really good transfer this past one and we have lots of people to teach which makes it really nice. We have been able to find around 4 investigators these past few days and hopefully we can get them to progress.

One of them was a way cool experience. We were out housing and this older lady came out of her house. She didn't say much to us but asked us to come inside, so we walked up to the door step and waited for a bit while she went and talked to someone. When she came back she invited us in and asked us to come into the family room where a man was sitting. He talked to us for a bit and it seemed like he had been or lived in Utah for a bit and knew a lot about it. He knew about the Book of Mormon and word of wisdom and stuff like that. He then told us that he knew he could trust us because we were Mormons and said he wanted to talk to us. He told us his life story about how he got addicted to gambling and pretty much lost his job, and soon will be losing his wife and kids. It was way sad. When he was finished he asked us if we thought that the gospel would help. We were pretty surprised and just testified really strongly about Christ and his atonement and baptism. The spirit was super strong and it totally guided our lesson. We committed him to baptism which he wasn't sure on but he accepted the Book of Mormon and agreed to pray about it. We are going to try to go back next Sunday and talk to him more about it. It was actually the first time on my mission I have ever been let into a house and been able to do a lesson so it was a great experience. The spirit totally guided us to him and helped us teach it was awesome.

We were also able to commit one of our investigators to baptism after church for the 12th of Feb. and he accepted. Right now we have 2 people with dates for the 12th so things are really picking up well. I am really excited to finish my mission here. Its pretty crazy to think that I am now on transfer 15, and that my next one will be my last. I am way excited to be here in Sumoto and can't wait to see what other miracles the Lord has in store for us this transfer.

Love you all tons

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Well, I am sorry about last week. I actually caught the flu...yeah it wasn't too much fun. It took me 3 days to get over it probably the 3 most boring days of my entire mission but anyways I feel 100% fine now so no worries.

Well over the last 2 weeks we had a meetings and lots of different stuff going on.

We had an exchange with the AP's out in Kobe which ended up being a blast. I went with one of them for the first half of the day and while we were out streeting we found a couple that was super nice and fun to talk to. They didn't have any time to meet later that week so we decided to set one up for that night. I ended up going with the other Assistant for the appointment. It went super well and the lady said that she really wanted to be baptized and feel clean again and all this stuff. It was pretty great lesson except for when I committed them to be baptized the lady said she had one question. She then asked us why is Christianity against Gays and Lesbians because she was bisexual and wanted to know. Yeah I was pretty floored on the spot along with my comp. We explained the importance of families and why God has taught that to us. She still felt that it wasn't right but that it made sense. They were suppose to come to church this week hopefully they did. Since stuff like that in Japan is super taboo we were way surprised and on the way home we were talking about how there are alot of people who really need the gospel and stuff.

We were waiting for the bus when this old drunk as all get out old guy sees us and walks up and saw Elder Nielson (The assistant) and his name tag and then asked if we were Gods servants. We told him yes and then he decided to yell at the top of his lungs and tell everyone else around us. He saw that one guy standing behind us was looking at us kind of weird so he decided to get up in his face and tell him as loud as possible that he should respect us more because we are servants of God. We grabbed him and told him to leave the guy alone which he did. He then put his arms around us while talking about how great we are when he decided to take us out for Kobe Beef. We told him no and that we had to catch our bus when it pulled up. The bus was jammed pack full of people and we could barely step on. The buses here are a bit different and the entrance is in the back and we just stepped in and stood there cause it was way full. The guy followed us and stood in the entrance and kept the doors from shutting while yelling in to everyone in the bus that we were angels of god and to never forget it. The driver got up to get him off and he jumped off while yelling that we were servants/angels and to never forget..then the bus took off. We pretty much laughed the whole way home it was awesome. A pretty memorable night.

We took the branch president to a lesson with Kawami on sat. Kawami pretty much freaked out on us and yelled at us for 1 hour straight telling the branch president that we were too pushy and bad teachers and stuff. He was usually way nice but did a 180. Pretty much admitted that he had been lying to us the whole time and just wanted someone to talk to because he is inside taking care of his wife all day. So he is dropped which was pretty sad but oh well. We don't really have anyone to teach now so we need to do some finding.

After those few days we went to Kobe for ZLC which would have been fun but I had the Flu so it was pretty hard to concentrate and learn but it was good anyways. One thing pres. said was that in the next 3 transfers 3/4 of the ZL's will be going home so he will have to release some to be DL and trainers. I think it could happen to me so we will see what happens it would be way fun to be a normal missionary again but we will see what happens.

So for the next 3 days we just sat in the apt. while I was sick. I hadn't been that sick for a really long time threw up and everything but I got better so its all good now.

I had to go out to a place called Maizuru to do a baptismal interview which went great. She passed and was totally prepared and was baptized and confirmed yesterday.
After that we had to do an emergency exchange with one of the companionships. One of the elders has some major depression problems and they needed a switch so we ended up doing that. One of the elders and I have gotten to be really good friends so it was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Later after switching our comps back we had a lesson with 2 high school kids. They both accepted a BOM and a baptismal date for 2/20 but wouldn't make a return apt. which was way disappointing we have their phone number and stuff but we will see what happens.

Kind of had some crazy stuff on Sunday too. So one thing that is a bit different about Japanese and American culture is that Japanese people take being sick WAY more seriously than we do. They freak out about a small cold and stuff like that and are really afraid of the flu. We had to cancel some appointments with members cause I was sick and they knew I had the flu. A few days later I got a call from one of the brothers saying that none of the sisters in the branch wanted me to come to church that week. He had lived in America for a year or so and understood the culture difference and told me that Japanese are way scared of the flu like some people think that they will die from it. He said he knew that it wasn't a big deal and to come to church anyways but had to show them that I was being careful not to spread it. So we didn't teach any of the classes and just sat in the back and I wore one of those stupid mask things that doctors wear in the hospital (They wear them all the time here in Japan) What made me really laugh though is that everyone except for 4 or 5 members came to church wearing those masks because of me. Also one girl sat in a different room and took the sacrament and then took off to take one of her tests for high school but wouldn't even come to the same room as me. Made me laugh pretty hard.

That was pretty much my last 2 weeks. I can't believe I will be going on to my 15th transfer this week its crazy (16 is the last one) I got all those letters this week thanks a ton they were great.

Love you tons

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Well, its 2011 isn't it crazy how fast its all flown by? I can't believe I went all of 2010 as a missionary it went by super fast. It was tons of fun talking to you all on Christmas day. I didn't really know what to talk about but it was a ton of fun.

So yeah we got a TON of snow. On Friday we woke up to around 8 inches of snow. We had an exchange planned that day and started off trying to ride our bikes in the snow. It just didn't work out so we headed back home and canceled the exchange and ended up walking around all day but I got some pictures and will send it to you. It ended up snowing for 2 more days and we got around a foot and a half but it rained right after so alot of it melted but its still pretty crazy. I am staying plenty warm though so don't worry.

It feels like I haven't emailed in forever and have a bunch of stuff to talk about. After the phone calls on christmas my comp was still feeling a bit sick so we didn't get to go out and do some of the fun stuff we had planned but its alright. We ended up having a lesson that night with an investigator and eating Japanese Okonomiyaki (nothing like it in the states) pretty much the most interesting Christmas dinner I have ever had but it was good. It was a little sad that no one celebrates it but a good thing at the same time because you don't get caught up in it all and its easy to forget about it. Way good Christmas though thanks so much for all the candy and presents.

During the rest of the week we didn't really have a ton of stuff going on. We had a LA call us and need help moving some stuff out of her old house. We thought it would be like a 3 hour job and it ended up taking up a ton of time so we spent a bunch of time doing that with her son. Her kids are not baptized so we are hoping that we can help them get baptized once the dad gets a better image of the missionaries and stuff.

We also had a few lessons here and there with Kawami. We were able to set a date with him for 2/13 to be baptized. Hopefully we can find ways to get him to church by then and get him baptized. He is a good guy and wants to be baptized he just has the problem with his wife being so sick and not being able to leave the little 2 room apt. they have.

We also had the sports mtg. which was tons of fun. The whole Kobe side came so around 100 missionaries. I didn't get to see everyone in my mtc group because some are out on the Hiroshima side but I got to talk to Akina and Bureger so it was pretty fun. I played soccer for a good hour or so and man I am feeling it now. It took a few hours to get to Ibaraki and back but it was fun playing sports and seeing my old area.

Man thats crazy to think that Brandon is back home. I would get letters from him usually twice a transfer. It was alot of fun hearing from him and I am excited to see him when i get back. Weird to think that Trent goes home next month and a few other guys too. Man its crazy. I was thinking the other day and I realized that my comp and I are the oldest companionship in the mission. (He is one older than me).

All the Christmas presents were awesome i loved them. I think I will probably gain some weight but oh well. Thanks it was a great Christmas

Love you tons thanks for everything