Monday, March 31, 2014

5th Week in Japan - 13 Weeks

5th Week in Japan

Date: March 31, 2014 
Companion: Elder Mecham

Ethan Swenson

to me

So everything is going alright here. I really struggled with the Language this week and Elder Mecham is pushing me so i can learn faster. The weather is definitely warming up. We actually are riding bikes now and my bike is super cool. Tracting and teaching are going allright.  We only have one solid investigator who wont read the BoM and it is super frustrating.But besides that we are housing like a boss.

Okay so if you want to do the blog that is entirely up to you. I dont really care. But I think it is hilarious how you two are emailing each other. And no I wasnt in the videos they did all that about a month or so before I got to the mission.

We do a lot of our own cooking. I have only eaten twice with other people. And the cooking here is most definitely not the same. Here it is speed, rice, and no cheese or meat. And if there is meat it is a small amount. But it still is good food.

I am buying light rain pants today and maybe some other shopping. Plus I am gonna try and call wells fargo for my new pin number. i just dont get it why we signed up for a dual account and they wont let you do it for me. So anyways, if in the package you send me, could you send tortillas as well? They dont have those here and I miss mexican food a lot. I love you and keep working hard. Maybe they will make you principle!:p

Elder Swenson 

Monday, March 24, 2014

4th Week in Japan - 12 Weeks

3rd Week in Japan

Date: March 24, 2014 
Companion: Elder Mecham

Ethan Swenson

Mar 23 (9 days ago)
to me
The house has completely changed! That's crazy! And snap good thing I am writing a letter to Emily this week. And when I sit at Honbu waiting to email we write or talk so it is a good time filler. I am doing good. I am starting to get into the real swing of the mission lifestyle so I am starting to get tired all the time. It is super hard to stay awake in some lessons cause I dont know what is going on and usually people keep the insides of their houses really warm cause the outside weather is super cold.The food is still really good, but they dont have cheese on anything here. They dont sell it either. The cheese they do have isnt real and doesn't taste the same.I got rid of the faux hawk cause I wear a beanie most of the time.
That is hilarious that you are already part of the mission mom group. Have you seen the facebook page we have for the mission? You should check it out and follow it. They update it pretty frequently and you can see a lot of pictures.
Ok so I have requests of thing that I need. I need my retainers cause my teeth are moving a lot and I dont like it, american toothpaste, The music sheets for somewhere in time music, and if you could send parmasean cheese that would be the icing on the cake:)
Yes we really do take our shoes off as we enter every house, and sometimes we put on slippers for guest that they have in order to enter. Weird Japanese customs are:
1. You say before you eat, I will!
2. People do not let you shovel their snow. Apparently they consider it their workout or they just think the snow is theirs and they wont let you touch it.
3. No one talks on buses on their phones or to other people. It is normally very quiet and crowded.
4. Yes we do sleep on futons on the floor and it is awesome i love them. I dont know what sleeping on a bed would be like anymore.
They do have traditional buildings here and they look so kool. But the modern look here is way kool as well. The are square houses made of concrete and have lots of stainless steel.
I love you and miss you too I am having lots of fun and love testifying about you all!
Elder Swenson

Monday, March 17, 2014

3rd Week in Japan - 11 Weeks

2nd Week in Japan

Date: March 17, 2014 
Companion: Elder Mecham

Ethan Swenson

Mar 17
Mina san Konichiwa!

Sorry I am emailing late today we had an appointment that went a little long so you probably wont read this till Monday morning considering its like 12:50 am your time. Anyways, This week was a lot of fun as well! 2 of our investigators decided to answer their doors and let us come in to teach them. I still don't have any idea what they are talking about, but when they start talking about gospel related questions, I can piece together some of what they are saying. 

So Tuesdays are busy days here. Every Tuesday we start off with DTM district training meeting which takes place from 10:30 to 12:00, we go out to eat, and this last one we went to a hamburger place and it was delicious, and then we get to dendo (mission) for a few hours till 5. Next we eat dinner and get ready for Eikaiwa, or english class. The Japanese people love learning english and it is a good way to get people feeling comfortable around us enough to talk about church. I taught advanced class where everyone is basically fluent and was able to bear my testimony about Jesus Christ and His teachings.

Wednesday is a normal day where we get a lot of time to dendo. So  we go housing try to visit investigators, and street contact people.

Thursday we have to Plan for the upcoming week so we are in the apartment until 3 o clock before we can leave to dendo until 8.

Friday and Saturday are both full dendo days as well.

Sundays are the busiest. We go to the ward council and report on our progressing investigators and inactive members. Then its the block. Afterwards we go home and eat at 1. After that we visit a lot of people because they have Sundays off. We dendo until 7:30 to go home eat and report the numbers for the week. At 8:30 we write our letters to the President.

Mondays is obviously P day and we start off by shopping for groceries or cleaning the apartment. Next we either email or go shopping or whatever the companionship wants to do that day. Today we went to the Sapporo Eki which is basically the largest tallest mall I have ever been to. Like it is way big. In fact i believe it is 2 towers. Anyways the stuff they sell in Japan is great! The people here are always trying to be fashionable so they sell super cool stuff that I would like to buy:p I only bought a nice spiritual journal for study. But when I go back I might get other stuff:)

So yeah the reason why I really didn't get more stuff is that there seems to be a problem with my debit card. My PIN is too big for a lot of the ATMs here and the one that did let me put in my PIN wouldn't let me withdraw money. So I have a job for watashi no Chi Chi to Ha Ha, ( my mom and dad) if you could please send me info on what money is in each account and change my PIN number to something that only has 4 digits. Please thanks! 

So last Monday my first taste at sushi was awesome! The salmon was very good! Never get cooked Salmon though it is nasty. Tofu isn't as bad as I thought it was, just mostly overall, food is either better here, or just good:p We normally eat curry rice, yakisoba, pasta, ramen, mabo tofu, and toast at the apartment. Japanese bread is way good. My favorite food so far is jenjis kan which is grilled lamb with rice, cabbage, dipping sauce, and onions.

I am super sorry to hear that you guys got sick:/ And yes I had plenty of ties and I am not technically allowed to chew gum on the mission so we just do it in personal study to stay awake, plus i had no extra weight in my suitcase. I am glad that you all are working hard on the yard! Keep it up and send me pictures of the construction!

So my comp is Elder Mecham not Mecham 2 that was just a typo. So I love you all and send me pictures!


Elder Swenson

Ethan Swenson

Mar 17
And someone please send me what is happening in America like politics or basketball or something! Oh yeah forgot to mention, the only bad thing about nihon is that no one eats cheese. Which made me really sad.

Monday, March 10, 2014

2nd Week in Japan - 10th Week

1st Week in Japan

Date: March 09, 2014 
Companion: Elder Mecham

Ethan Swenson

Mar 9
So my first week in Japan has been awesome! Lots of work to do in Moiwa! It is also very cold. There is so much snow here it isnt even funny. we could skii down the streets if we wanted to. The people here are always ver busy with work and work and work, so it is very hard to have someone talk to you for very long at all. So my short and simple statements I can make are fantastic for them. I have only taught one real investigator lesson, and the other 10 have all fallen through. But that is ok cause I got a lot of extra practice at housing.
Our appartment in Moiwa is a lot nicer and bigger than I thought. We have a study room, a room for sleeping,a washer and dryer, a large shower, a good sized closet, the only thing that kinda sucks is the kitchen and even that is not bad. So we are very blessed here. I am rooming with one other companionship. Elder Inouea and Elder Palomaki. Elder Inouea is Nihonjin and Elder Palomaki is Finnish. We all get along very well and all the missionaries here are very nice. I am very happy.
I might not send back my snow pants considering some parts of the Island can get a lot colder than Sapporo so we will see. I will try to send you all cool food while I am here cause most of it is fantastic. It is so hard to not buy food all the time cause everywhere smells good.
We are not riding bikes yet cause there is still too much snow. But I am buying my bike today and hopefully I will get a Cannondale or specialized so it will last my whole mission with no repairs needed.
I bore my testimony on sunday, and although it was short and sweet, I still could see that the people loved me:) The church truly is the same everywhere. Even down to the same crazy people:p
So I have a little challenge for all yall! President Bednar challenged us to do this at the MTC. Buy a little pocket sized cheap BoM and label the spine with a topic, Preferably a topic from PMG, and only highlight that topic when you read about it. If you choose the atonement first, your book will be highlighted everywhere and you will come closer to Christ. It is an awesome promise from Elder Bednar.
I love you all! Send me pictures!
Elder Swenson

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

1st Week in Japan - Arriving in Japan - 9 Weeks

                Arriving in Japan

March 5, 2014

I am in Nippon! We arrived in Chisote airport at around 8:30 pm (japan time, 4 am your time) and was met by Sister Evans and President Evans. We the drove an hour and a half to Sapporo Mission Home, ate some subway and went to bed. Today we had some workshops, and was paired up with my trainer. His name is Mecham Choro. We are just went out street contacting and actually talked to someone for 15 min! Oh and by the way it is snowing like a boss outside! My comp is awesome and I am going to do a lot of work with him. My first area is Moiwa section in Sapporo, which is the main area. Ok I love you all and will mail you on P day!




P.S. I will probably be shipping my snow pants back to you I will only be needing rain pants:/

Saturday, March 1, 2014

This is our class and a few of our teachers! Watanabe Sensei (girl), Powell sensei, Heaton Sensei, and Huefner sensei (red head) just thought I would say HI and that ill talk to you on Monday!