Monday, October 27, 2014

35th Week in Japan, 43 Weeks

This week was a lot of fun! Our branch had their Halloween party and it was pretty fun. I was Shoku pan man, a kid show character in japan who is a man with a slice of bread for his face. Elder Brown was Gomi man, the garbage guy (that is why he is wearing a garbage bag with an ugly sweater). The party was really slow and not very interesting at first, but when we pulled the pinatas out, everyone had a blast!

Concerning dendo this week, we were only able to teach 1 lesson. That is not good. But on splits with Elder Strachan, we were able to teach 3! And get a lot of contacts in. So that was a good day.

Elder Brown and I had a long talk about learning the language (considering he is the best gaijin at speaking and reading Japanese in the mission right now) and I asked him what I should do to learn the language more effectively. He told me some of the stuff that he used to do to learn the language and he is crazy! The amount of time and effort he put into the language was double that of an ordinary missionary. He would wake up early and study, study during exercise, during language study and during free time. The amount of time he put in was ridiculous. It was above average for any missionary. Then I made a connection to myself. I have usually or always just been average at everything in my life. Average student, average athlete, average member of the church, average was just who I was. Then I started reading the scriptures and  looking at all the men who are in them. The Savior chose average men to be his disciples. They were common fisherman living average lifestyles. But when the Savior entered into their lives and into their hearts, nothing could stop them from improving and progressing until they became men who are even to this day talked about in history, religion, and by every people because of their boldness and hard work. When you work hard, the Lord can enter into your heart, and change you. I found out my effort needs to increase and I need to let the Savior into my heart to learn the language. 

This is the last full week for this transfer so Elder Brown and I will be traveling all over Kushiro so I can memorize the place. And hopefully next transfer I will be prepared to maybe go senior comp. 

I love you all and send me pictures of all your guy`s Halloween!
Our branch had their Halloween party and it was pretty fun. 
 I was Shoku pan man, a kid show character in japan who is a man with a 
slice of bread for his face. Elder Brown was Gomi man, the garbage guy 
(that is why he is wearing a garbage bag with an ugly sweater).

 River in Kushiro

Monday, October 20, 2014

34th Week in Japan, 42 Weeks

Hey everyone!

This week we had ZTM and District conference(Branch conference)! Because I am in Kushiro(釧路) we hosted all the missionaries at our apartment for these meetings. So we had like 16 missionaries in our apartment. We all slept very close to each other that night... Saturday we had ZTM and Interviews with the President. In my interview I learned a lot. Effort is something I need to work on. Our President is the hardest working person I have ever known. And through his hard work and 100% effort he puts into everything he has come close to the Lord. So he asked me to try and put just a little more effort into everything that I do, and through that the Lord will be able to purify me and turn me into the person I want to be. That and a few other things I was able to learn in 10 mins. from him. Next I listened to all the workshops that all the ZL`s, STL`s, and AP`s did without translation. I got just about 90% of everything! and the other 10% were things I was able to look up in my dictionary! So this ZTM for me was just amazing. After ZTM we went on scramble splits with everyone in our zone and we were able to give out 3 Books of Mormon in our first 3 contacts! It was just a day of miracles! On monday we made Pinatas for our Halloween party at the church! Halloween isn`t celebrated as a Holiday in Japan so sometimes you will see decorations or someone might have a party at their house, but besides that no one does anything. So it is a great way introduce investigators into the church. Elder Brown and I were not able to make any new investigators this week so next week will be all finding again. 

Until next week !
Elder Swenson
We made Pinatas for our Halloween party at the church!
 President Nakatsuka`s birthday presents!

 This is our picture for Nakatsuka Kaicho!

Monday, October 13, 2014

33rd Week in Japan, 41 Weeks


Ya! We got to watch general conference! I flippin love it sooo much! I am pretty sure conference is just as good as Christmas is. This conference they really focused on three things. 1. Giving to the Poor 2. The Prophet has been called of God 3. Families need to stick together and parents need to show righteous examples. Looks like when I become a parent Ill study this conference really well. 

So this week was a little slow dendo wise. We were not able to meet with any of our investigators or any of our appointments. So we just housed. Thankfully last night we were in the neighborhood of a random PI and visited and she was home! So we were able to make one new investigator and that was the blessing of the week. This week we have a few other appointments so we will see if we get a few more! 

This week we had an action item from the AP`S that said make your companion his favorite meal. Unfortunately, both of our favorite dishes were rather hard to make so we just went out and bought some Pizza! Japanese pizza definitely has some weird toppings, but it was soo good! Then we had to buy a bunch of snacks for General conference so this month will be a little tight on money...but we will survive! 

I appreciate all the pictures that everyone sends me! I love seeing gaijin! (only when they are not in Japan. Here if I see gaijin I get really scared...) SO  please keep them coming! And if you feel so inspired to do so, tell me your testimonies of the gospel so I can use them in my dendo! 

 Spiritual Stuff: This week was a big anticipation for conference so personal study was aimed at making questions for conference but I still learned a lot. Prayer is so important. When we pray to our Heavenly Father and tell him about what we desire, feel, struggle with, and hope to become, He has the opportunity to talk back to us. I know that God wants us to learn something every day from Him. I have been seeing this stick out in my studies for a month now. It looks like I need to have a one on one with the man upstairs. 

I love you all and keep the commandments! Don`t be scared of men, just love God!

Elder Swenson

 Brown Choro with our PIZZA!

Monday, October 6, 2014

32nd Week in Japan, 40 Weeks

Yeah I Transferred!

Hey everyone! I am now serving in Kushiro! I am on the east side of the Island right next to the ocean! Kushiro has the best sushi in Japan which also means the best sushi in the world! I am so lucky! I unfortunately dont have any pictures as of yet...sorry. My new companion is Elder Brown. He is from Orem Utah, 1/4 Japanese, can speak the language perfectly and can read kanji. So I think this transfer my language skills will be able to grow a lot.  He is really cool and it is really nice to be able to talk in English and Japanese together. Another really cool blessing about this transfer is that Elder Matsuhashi and I are in the same apartment again! We have been in the same district  up until last transfer, and for 3 transfers we were in Moiwa apt. together. And we both came to Kushiro together. So that was really awesome. I havent met any of our Investigators yet, but we only have 3 right we will be doing a lot of finding this transfer.

Things I have learned recently
1.You don`t need a lot of clothes as a missionary, it makes transfers a pain in the butt.
2. If you use your MSF(MissionSupportFunds) wisely, and you get transferred to Kushiro, you can buy fantastic sushi.
3. Heavenly Father wants to answer my prayers and give me everything that I desire, but His plan will give me what I need most right now. 
4. General Conference is the best thing in the world. We don`t get to watch it till this saturday and sunday.
5. Scriptures are only as effective as you want them to be. If you take the scriptures seriously, Heavenly Father will seriously bless you.

So I will have a lot of pictures next week but this picture is of Elder Brown and Elder Matsuhashi 3 transfers ago in Sapporo. Left side of the table 2nd and 3rd person.

I love you all and keep having miracles!
 Elder Brown and Elder Matsuhashi 3 transfers ago in Sapporo. 
Left side of the table 2nd and 3rd person.