Weekly Update – February 8, 2015

The Land of small barrel.

Hello everyone!

So this week was really good! We had a lot of things happen. First I
want to tell you about Tuesday where I had kept on studying and
praying and searching for what my district needed to hear the most but
only got very minute things, it was not like last time. I was
wondering why and then during the training meeting we have a
discussion where people can ask me questions about rules and such so
that the leaders of the mission can be more focussed in the mission
leader council. This discussion was long! Everyone has some questions,
luckily I was able to answer them all but it really took a lot of
time! Right before the meeting I got an idea for a game where you have
to find candy (investigators) in the places where I hid them. The
sisters went out and found them SO FAST, it was astounding. That night
we had originally had an appointment with an investigator but he could
not make it so the member who was going to team up with us made us
some pizza! Then we watched a less active members magic show which was
really good! She had always wanted to do it since she was a kid but
she only started practicing about three years ago.

On Wednesday we visited an eikaiwa student and we talked about many
things with him, he even offered us some roasted green tea so we had
to teach him about the word of wisdom, it was good because he
understood us and why we do it. We committed him to read the Book of
Mormon which he had already owned for some reason even though he is
not an old investigator. He said that he was too old to change but I
told him he had time and that he is not going to die anytime soon.
That night we had another lesson with the bishop and another
investigator of ours. He really opens up to us and just speaks his
mind which is really good because then we can teach more to his needs.
He seems to have a lot more interest in the message now than he did
before. He also has started to understand our teachings and sees how
much we care for his progression. It was a really good lesson.

Thursday was not really that much stuff except for our weekly planning
session, some service at a youth center and then our English class.
This time some young moms with their cute kids came and the sisters
taught a kids class, it was super good! It brought so much life into
the classroom. It surprised me so much when they just kind of appeared
in the hallway. I think I am figuring out how to talk to girls more
regularly now seeing as there are six sisters in the district and I
have to call them basically everyday for something or other. It’s fun
though but sometimes seriously exhausting.

Friday was probably the most relaxed day of this week with no major
event other than me cutting my finger while cutting cabbage into super
thin slices and then bashing my head into the threshold of the door at
the youth center during service, it’s funny though because they wanted
us there from an early time but we finished an hour early despite my
injured hand, good thing I am ambidextrous! The most impressive thing
was how round I managed to get the takoyaki when I was making them
that night, they were big balls of yummy goodness!

Saturday was our strange day, pretty much nothing happened other than
for our blitzkreig assault on the city with our English class flyers
we had gone out to a place called otamoi which is pretty far and the
map said that there was around 62 danchis there which are gigantic
apartment buildings if you didn’t know but we go and other than four
of them they were all either boarded up and snowed in or replaced with
regular houses, so much for handing out thousands of flyers….but
it’s ok because that night we went to a family where it’s a single mom
and five kids plus one friend of the kids house for dinner and we had
cheese fondue which was super good, I think I’ve only had that one
other time in my life! The kids really enjoyed us being there and we
also did some snow shoveling for them, which was a blast!

Sunday had our wonderful blitzkreig assault on the city for flyers, we
handed out about two thousand of them, me and elder Thompson even did
splits with the members. Also a visitor came, a certain shaw couple
who are from the same stake as sister Barton the new missionary here,
I’m sure she was surprised, they were here on some kind of business
trip and dropped by. The rest of the day was kind of hectic with lots
of planning and making sure that we had good goals set because today a
lot of things came up and we pretty much had to replan the whole week.
It’s ok I can flow with the punches so I was up for it. Tomorrow I am
going to have a zone conference in Sapporo and afterwords we going to
the snow festival, it’s elder Thompsons first time, he is probably
nervous and super excited, I’ll send pictures of it next week!

I hope that everyone gets to see something cool this week!

See you next time (cool sound effect)

Elder Call

 

 

Oh I made a cake and they really liked it, it was a sisters birthday
so I was excited to make it. Also  the Otaru sisters found those ear
mitts and gave them to us.

 

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Weekly Update – January 31, 2016

Week 5 in Otaru.

This week was really cool. It’s funny that I start my email with a
common and not really important phrase, let me try again.

おはようございますわたしのメールへよこそういらしゃいました。

Have fun with that. ^.^

So, let’s start off with what happened on Tuesday, we had instead of a
regular district training meeting, a worldwide training broadcast,
labeled preach repentance and baptize converts. Sounds really good to
my ears. I thought that I should split my notes in half and make one
section for information and the other section for the commitments that
the leaders of the church gave us, guess what they were almost even!
The leaders of the church have given us so much trust and expect us to
be trying our best and always trying to improve.

We tried to apply those teachings and tried to seek referrals from a
member and she gave us three of them! We contacted those people and
they seemed super nice, I was surprised to meet such nice people, I
hope to help them come closer to Christ if even just a little bit by
meeting with them in the future. We also went and did some proselyting
with a member from the ward on that day, let me tell you, traveling by
car instead of foot, bus, and train, is SUPER FAST! It’s maximum
effective!

Wednesday was the day that my companion and I labeled the day that I
got “you cannot でんどうitis” I basically layer down all day while elder
Thompson worked super hard on the phone trying to wrangle in some
investigators. I’m all better now so it’s no big deal but yes I had a
lame day on Wednesday until the evening where we met up with an NA and
the sisters and went out to eat together at a sushi restaurant. It was
really good but the crazy part was the shear amount of plates that we
ate. I’ll send a picture. By the way it was sister Barton’s first time
eating sushi and she had a hard time or so she says but with our
constant scripture quoting (particularly Alma 32) but I cannot write
an hundredth part of the things that were spoken at that time.

Thursday was our wonderful day of weekly planning and English class.
It’s funny because I feel like I had just done our weekly planning
yesterday and then all of a sudden I am doing it again, it’s not a
good feeling when time escapes you. During English class we had our
school themed lesson which was super cool! We did classes and even had
our students find out the volume of a triangular prism! They did it
but had no idea what it was in English. They all really liked the
game, which was 20 questions, it was funny to see them try to guess
what it was by question five when all they knew was that it was food.
I kept on telling them to make it smaller so they can guess better but
they were stubborn, it’s ok because they got it the second time.

Let’s see Friday, what happened on Friday? Oh yeah! We went to a non
active members house and she made us this spray for our shoes to smell
good and it also disinfects so that we aren’t smelly missionaries.
Then we went to a youth center where we panned service activities with
the girl who was in charge, it was really exciting to talk about all
the things that we can do. I’m considering making enchiladas for them
so it’s super exciting for me. After that we headed over to a members
house where we did duty to God activities with a youth of the ward,
then they fed us and elder Thompson did a practice lesson which was
really good! Somehow he managed to teach the plan of salvation in
under ten minutes, it was astounding.

Saturday was kind of a weird day, it had all of the crazy things
jammed packed into it. So firstly, would be the call we got from the
zone leaders. They said that since the name badges we received at the
beginning of our missions are actually not ok to be worn since they
are not the church’s company but they are using its logo, it’s not
allowed. They said for missionaries that don’t have their MTC badges
can work without having their badges up. That’s so wild right?! So
today we did not have our badges on! We also went bowling with our
English class students and also our scores were terrible, I am super
bad at bowling, it’s really embarrassing. Anyway that’s basically it
for Saturday.

On Sunday we had lots of visitors come to the ward from all over and
we all got to hear the 2016 area plan made by the area presidency,
which is elder whiting elder yamashita and also elder Wong I believe.
It’s super cool and we got really nice calendars for this year, I’m
gonna take it home with me! We had an after baptismal lesson with our
recent convert and also a really good lesson with our investigator
named takeuchi. He really talked from his heart and told us exactly
how he feels and was honest with us! Because of that we were able to
have a really good lesson and teach him about the importance of Jesus
Christ and also of making correct choices in our lives. Anyways that’s
it for now I hope you all have an awesome week

Ps: if any of you have had an experience where work was not allowing
you to go to church and you overcame that, please tell me about it!
Also does anybody have a recipe for herb chicken? Perhaps one that
uses a ton of herbs! The more the better right? Thanks so much!

-Elder Call

 

 

 

Weekly Update – January 24, 2016

Welcome to the land of everyday snow.

So I hear that everyone is having a wonderful time with all the weird
weather that’s been hitting other places. Here’s it’s been snowing
everyday except for one day where we just had really heavy wind. By
the way it’s really bright when the sun is out here because the snow
acts as a second sun.

When it snows it’s sometimes more like little balls of hardened snow,
not hail but snow balls. This week did lots of members work and we did
a ton of things for the bishop and we saw lots of miracles but only
found one new investigator. I really want to find more people but it’s
difficult out here it seems, I just need to be more obedient and work
super hard and I’ll see those miracles.

I don’t know what to tell you all, lots of things happened but I don’t
know what to tell all of you!

-Elder Call

Weekly Update – January 18, 2016

Spicy chicken.

This week was super cool and lots of things happened. The atonement is
changing me and I am being cleansed by the spirit more and more. We
had a zone training meeting and also interviews with president
nakatsuka and don’t forget a super cool beginning of the year party
where I made kochi for the second time in my life and also played that
game called hyakuninsho and I did better than some Japanese people!
The gift of tongues is like cheat codes for real life, the people
there were all saying that if I’m not careful I’ll turn into a
Japanese person but I’m not all about that stuff. The apartment is
getting cleaner and cleaner as I continue to spend more time cleaning
things even though I don’t have a ton of extra time for things.

I tried to visit the ward mission leader again but he wasn’t home,
this time I made a rice ball with a piece of fried chicken that I made
in there, the best part was that I put habanero powder in the mix of
the batter so it probably made him spit fire but who knows maybe he
liked it.

During zone training meeting we had lots of cool activities that
happened and I was able to get a picture of my district because we ate
lunch together afterwords! The coolest part was that my whole district
participated somehow in the zone conference. I got so much revelation
regarding them and how I can help them and also how we can really
accomplish the super big goals that have been set for us and by us.
There was when I had an opportunity to bear my testimony and I was
able to teach everyone my feelings about this amazing work we are
taking a part in.

This week I have eaten more junk food than I have probably in my whole
life and I have cooked a total of three meals this week, one of them
was the chicken I mentioned earlier, another was instant ramen, and
the last was a meal I made for the sisters and us on Thursday since
they had interviews with president nakatsuka right before English
class.

Oh yeah did I forget to tell you about the earthquake? It was a 6.5 at
the origin and a 3.5 where I live. Biggest of my life. It was super
fun and needless to say the sisters in the district were awfully
shaken up. Hope you all had a great week too!

-Elder Call

 

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Weekly Update -January 10, 2016

New Transfers.

Dear fellow loved ones,

This week was kind of hectic seeing as I got my transfer call on
Tuesday and I really wanted to mail my luggage on Wednesday though I
spent about two hours packing and got to sleep pretty late. Yes that
means I transferred the place that I transferred to is insert drumroll
here, Otaru! Yes it’s the place that I have never been to but once on
a fishing trip with my investigator when I was living in White rock. A
few of my past companions have served here and also a lot of
missionaries that I know have served here so it’s very interesting to
finally meet all the members that they always talked about. They would
always say that there are a lot of angels that live in Otaru. By the
way this place is right next to the ocean so I get to see the ocean
every day it’s super beautiful and not really it’s just really dark
green water. But for some reason I still like looking at it something
along the lines of living in a desert for 18 years straight I don’t
know. It just kind of rings a bell in my head wait a minute there’s
not supposed to be that much water in one place but I also love this
place because it’s almost always snowing it’s never piling up a lot
but there is always snow falling in the sky except for right now
because there’s not a single cloud.

So my new companion is an elder Thompson he is the second other
Thompson to come to this mission so it might be difficult for certain
people receiving this email but he is transferred three and I am his
breaker and I am also a first time district leader which means that I
am over the District here which is six sisters and two elders that’s
right six sisters and two elders it’s a little bit difficult. Since
there are only two elders in the district that also means that I am
going to be having a little bit of well how can I explain it, just
think of it on the two boys and six girls and I’m the type of person
that kind of becomes like the people that I’m around very easily so I
could end up becoming a sister missionary by accident do you know how
bad that is?! I’m going to work very hard to try and make certain that
I am a manly man by the end of this transfer. One of the sisters has
already told me that it’s OK if I become a sister missionary but I am
going to keep trying hard to be an elder. So right when I get into
this area all of the members are already serving us and on the very
first Sunday that I served the coolest thing happened no I’m not going
to tell you about it but I will send you a picture that will kind of
explain my feelings. We had a kind of many ward council meeting where
we all grouped up and also the presidency of all the Korems were there
and we watched the district videos just about a five minute video and
then we discussed it and decided what the members are going to do with
the missionaries and it was really cool because the myth the members
did almost all of it and we didn’t have to worry about anything. Even
one of the return missionaries who is a ward missionary here told
everybody about something that happened while she was on her mission
they would handle a list to everybody and they would write down on the
list what times they were available and what they were available for
and they would do that every week and she said if we did that here
than the missionaries would be able to work in coordination with us
very easily and that went through my head and I thought wow if we had
that we could have team ups at any time with anyone and it would be so
easy to make new events because if people have coinciding free time
then we can make something happen within that time like table tennis
or basketball or just sitting around eating spaghetti. Anyways I love
this place.

Is the first time that I’ve had to do translation in the middle of
church but it was super cool and I felt like it was an excellent
opportunity to test my language even know one of the members how to
talk and she talks only about her job that involves flowers and travel
and very specific vocabulary which I got very lost on and then another
person decided to 80% scripture so here I am trying to quote scripture
and English and it was difficult, but hey it was OK. By the way
there’s this really cool thing it’s called members that by your stuff
all they have is little Post-it’s and you put it on the board and they
buy it for you apparently so pretty much we don’t have to do shopping
instead we just write down the things that we need for that we can put
it on the posterboard and they’ll deliver it to us like fairies.

-Elder Call

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Weekly Update – January 4, 2016

Long time since I wrote you guys!

Since we had New Year’s before we had P-day so I emailed you
about three days ago and there’s nothing really to update. Transfers
are coming up either today or tomorrow and I’m not sure what’s going
to happen because I’ve been in this area for four transfers. The most
fun thing we did was today we went to a place called Takino and we
went to do the tubesledding again.  It’s kind of too bad but this time
my camera was dead so I could not take any pictures but it was very
fun and even the bishop was there. I hope all of you had an
adventurous weekend after I finish this email time we’re going to go
to a members house for a meal which is now on the fifth day in a row
that we have had meals from a member constantly. The toughest part
about being here is having to eat so much food that they bring out and
then they say are you OK can you eat more and then we have to say yes.
Then they bring out the big guns and we have to eat those too. Elder
Manzano and I have been having a lot of adventures and I would like to
tell you all about them but it would take quite a while but I will
resolve with just telling you that we have decided to no longer talk
about any uninspired media. Since it’s New Year’s I’m sure all of you
have made a lot of New Year’s resolutions and I have made some as well
but I would like to hear what some of you decided to do this year in
order to make it a better year! I’m not nervous for transfers but I am
concerned. By the way the temporary adoption child for my investigator
is very cute and he seems to like us now so I’m happy.

 

Weekly Update – January 1, 2016

Hello!

Dear everyone from nearby

This week was really fun. So today being Friday it’s been about ten
days since I emailed you all last so there’s lots of things that I can
tell you about but firsts things first happy New Years! Now let’s see
what did I do this week? We went out in a blizzard to go visit a
member because she wanted to give us some cake and fried chicken for
Christmas. I really love all the members here, it’s super fun, and
everyone does so much for us. We have been visiting some members
because we cannot do too much of regular proselyting these days but
the members love it when we come when it’s cold outside. We visited
this one member who said the elders had never visited her before
because she lives a little far from the apartment. I am really happy
that the members here want to help us now. Now we just need to help
them to know how to help us out, or rather teach them how to do
proselyting as a regular person. Coming up this next week is transfers
so basically it’s already here. I almost officially only have four
transfers left. But the coolest part is that I get to spend New Year’s
and the first week of January still in this area so I’m happy. Today
we went with our investigator and his wife as well as two other
members and our investigator just got a temporary adoption child and
he is so cute. We went to go do tubes lighting near the very bottom of
Sapporo. I’ll just send you a bunch of pictures because I don’t really
remember what happened. Love you guys! Give me an update about what’s
going on!

-Elder Call

This is the kid they adopted his name is taijyu pronounced like tie
then Jew. He is so cute.

 

Weekly Update – December 21, 2015

Christmas merry!  Feliz navidad

So this week lots of stuff happened but I think I’ll just tell you
about what happened on Saturday. After going around trying to share
with everyone the new Christmas video that came out, which by the way
is awesome and is on Mormon.org, we went to the church for the
Christmas party. Someone asked me if I needed to practice what I was
going to do, I told that member that if I practiced then I wouldn’t be
able to do the real thing. At the party I did around 250 push ups.
Right after the other, I would get done doing ten, sit down, then I
would have to do 10 more. Anyway, the members didn’t cry and I didn’t
really have that hard of a time, but everyone was commenting on how
red my face got while I was doing the push-ups. After doing the
push-ups we had the bishop come up and he asked everyone, who by the
way was all members and a couple of NAs, testified to everyone about
the atonement of Jesus Christ. Let’s see here, oh yeah then after that
the members had made a present box for us, and it was completely full.
We got some much stuff that we waited to open but could t help it and
opened it all. We also got packages from home and opened those. I got
a bunch of cool little games, right at the time that I was going to
follow the rule of avoiding all world entertainment. Oh well I can
still look at it and maybe even give it to someone who will use it,
even though it in English. I do love the gifts though thanks so much
to my family I got super cool sticky notes that I will no doubt use!
We had plans for uraie San to be baptized during this next week but he
wants to push it again to the ninth of January which for that I am
probably going to be transferred out of the area for that. I hope that
all of you can remember that on Christmas Day is the day hat everyone
should take a particular time to remember our savior and to share the
love that he gives to all of us freely, I hope that all of you can do
that. I recommend also watching that video on Mormon.org with the kids
in it, it’s super cool. Go ahead!

Love
Elder Call

 

 

Weekly Update – December 14, 2015

Just kidding I’m not in a desert but I am in White rock. This week
with my companion Elder Manzano we walked around a lot.  Walked and
walked and walked and then we walked a little bit more.  Almost every
time we try to set up an appointment or to visit someone suddenly they
were not you want to meet so our numbers this week were very low. But
despite that fact we still have an investigator who is preparing to
receive baptism on Christmas eve. Today the reason why I am emailing
you also late or rather so early is because we spent the whole day
with one of our investigators. We went to probably all four of the
farthest corners of sapporo.

I would love to send you all the pictures but there are probably
hundreds. I will tell you a short story from this week. So there is a
less active member named Komatsu and he had his birthday on Saturday.
So basically we decided that we were going to make him a cake, and we
made the cake taking those little amount of time as we possibly could,
but I’ve no avail it still took about an hour and a half because we
had to go shopping for multiple things in order to make it. So back to
the story on Saturday after doing our studies we headed over to his
house but right before I visited him I got a pain in my stomach so I
went to the bathroom at the nearby church. Their elder Manzano and the
bishop talked to each other while I was busy in the bathroom. As we
left Bishop seems to be very happy that we were going to go visit
brother Komatsu , And his face when we showed him the cake and the
card was very good that is the non-active brother. He was very happy
that we visited him on his birthday and he said thank you so much for
making this time fun for me. By the way during our zone training
meeting this last week I did translation so I wasn’t able to absorb a
lot of it. But one thing I remember is that we needed to work with the
bishop and tell him what we are doing and how it ended up and it was
very good to let him know that we were visiting Komatsu. So it was
very good I just got here is an excellent opportunity for us to serve
the bishop and alter also to serve a member who does not have a whole
lot of friends to celebrate with.

So when the story comes to a close I just want to tell all of you that
the work is real and we are in it this last week I was able to make
some serious progress on a lot of things that I wanted to but there
are also things that I needed to improve on a lot, that is why humans
are so awesome because we can always improve. So I have a challenge
for all of you! Write up a list of the things that you did write this
year and then the things that you did wrong this year then compare the
list and if you were list of things that you did right is bigger than
the things that you did wrong then congratulations you’re awesome but
you can still improve. For the other side of the story every single
one of those points the things that you did bad or you weren’t able to
do you can improve on those and you can become more proficient in
those things, that is what I think God wants all of us to do, to
become as perfect as we can, even as he is. I love everyone and I hope
that you all have an awesome week me and my companion are going to
work hard and try not to get sick so please let everyone know in the
areas that you may be that I said hello this is Elder call tuning out.

-Elder Call

 

 

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Weekly Update – December 6, 2015

Round two of transfer 12

You know what that means everyone I only have six months left on my
mission. You know how much that sucks? If I think about it this is my
last Christmas my last winter and probably one of my last areas. This
is crazy there’s so many things coming up there’s going to be a
Christmas party this week not this week but the next week there’s
going to be a baptism this next Sunday there’s going to be another
baptism and the week after that there’s Christmas New Year’s. Don’t
forget about zone training meeting and probably a little apartment
Christmas party were going to have there’s going to be so many things
coming up this month.

So instead of telling you everything that happened this week I want to
tell you about one story. So it starts out with a regular day we are
inside the apartment and we do our morning schedule and it’s really
good and I have a really good study and then we eat lunch and I wanted
to make a cake for a member’s birthday for which we would celebrate
that night. I had a thought that I should start preparing the cake
right now like cutting it and making the whipped cream. Once I started
cutting the cake I realize that a part of the center of it was not
cooked so I started planning I started working at it. With the help of
my companion watching the toaster oven while I created everything else
we were able to get the cake made but it took three hours and I looked
at the clock and thought wow I wasted so much time making this. But it
was all for a member and they were very happy about it so I’m happy
too. After that we decided to go out finding to place where Elder
Manzano had pointed out on the map the day before. So we started
walking in that direction and once we get pretty close I get a thought
hey there’s an investigator that we contacted the other day and he
hasn’t met her yet maybe we should go try and visit and see if you can
talk.  Kind of a random thought because we weren’t talking about
anything I was thinking about other things but I thought oh well it’s
a good thing so it’s probably the spirits guidance. So I followed it.
We get to her house and we pray before pinging her door but she said
today is impossible I can’t meet with you.  That’s strange I thought
when you get guidance from the spirit and you follow it you’re
supposed to get rewarded weird.  But I didn’t give up at that there
was another investigator that was close by so I said OK just as a last
thing just to kind of push it as hard as I can let’s visit another
person even though I didn’t get revelation for that person. We go and
we are able to contact her she’s willing to talk to us and she was
very open and she told us her doubts and all of the things that she
had learned and I tried to help her with that. She is now a new
investigator because we were able to commit her to read the book of
Mormon and it was the first time that I had talk to her longer than 30
seconds. And that was all of the time we had so we headed back to the
apartment.

Moral of the story above, keep your ears open I’m not saying to be
listening all the time but I’m saying be willing or rather ready to
receive something from the spirit guidance from the spirit. When you
do that you will be walking down the road and you will get a thought
to visit a certain person or to talk to a certain person you may even
get a thought of something that you need to study or something that
you studied before suddenly comes back to you and it makes sense. This
is all the spirit working in you. That’s what I want to share I was
able to get revelation and we were able to make a new investigator
even though I did not think that we were going to make a new
investigator that day. I don’t want to make a super long email but I
just want to let you all know that it snowed last night and there is
more snow now and I am pretty happy about that. In tomorrow we have
our zone training meeting and I’m looking forward to it. Just
remembered that when ever you need help you should ask heavenly father
because he will help you God does love you and he will guide you
through the Spirit. It’s an amazing gift given to all of us and I want
to make sure that all of you are properly using it because it is
totally undervalued and under estimated. Anyways I love all of you and
thank you so much for the recipes if you have anymore please send them
to me because I would love to make them. Shout out to Elder Rostedt
for giving me giant pancake mix recipe it was super good.

-Elder Call