Monday, November 24, 2014

39th Week in Japan, 47 Weeks

This last week we spent 3 days in Sapporo and traveling! over 12 hours on the bus! Fun...anyways  Zone Conference was a blast! We were able to hear the Honbu staff (mission office) give talks and testimonies. Elder Getz, senior couple missionary, gave a talk on light and leaves. It was really inspiring. When we are young missionaries, we are like little buds, absorbing more light and learning in order to grow. And the further you progress in your mission, the bigger you become and the more light you can absorb and begin to reflect. When the end your mission comes you change to a different color, orange, red, yellow, and you then give all of that light to others. Sometimes we all feel like buds and that we only learn a little bit and cant really help people out. And sometimes that may be true, but by improving how we absorb light, (personal, companion, and language study) we can reflect that light the rest of the day.So that was the big thing I learned at Zone Conference.

When we got back to Kushiro we did our weekly planning session and cleaned out a bunch of junk from our cabinet in our study room. Their was a whole stack of OI and PI list that no one has seen in 2 years. So I am hoping that in that stack we will be able to find the person we need to direct into the lords kingdom. But besides that we did not get to meet with any investigators. We made one new one but she basically lives in the hospital and we cant see her for long periods at a time. So we are going to try and find a way around that.

So their was and earthquake here and we are completely fine. We did not even feel it in Kushiro but they did sound some big alarms. We are literally next to the ocean so if something did happen, we would have evacuated. But the earthquake did not cause a tsunami so we are ok. 

Later today we are going to take some apartment pictures and christmas pictures so I will try to send those tonight!

This is the beginning of our family tree! So here is grandfather, Elder Mecham, myself, and my son Elder Israelsen!

Bye Bye! Love you!

This is the beginning of our family tree! 
So here is grandfather, Elder Mecham, myself, and my son Elder Israelsen! 

This what we do for PDay dinner now. $5 australian beef!

Monday, November 17, 2014

38th Week in Japan, 46 Weeks

How is everyone doing this fine day? So this week the temperature here dropped... a lot. The cold in Kushiro and the cold in Sapporo is way different. The wind blows through you here and freezes you. No joke. We rode past some puddles on our bikes to an appointment and on the way back five min later, they were frozen. Thankfully, after this week we wont be using our bikes. Tomorrow we head for Sapporo for Zone conference and will be gone for half of the week. But the cool things is we will have some time to dendo in my old area of Moiwa so I want to stop by some investigators!

This last week on monday a member took us to this place called Akan, the most beautiful and ideal place for camping! I really want to go back there someday and do some stream fishing, but we went for a different purpose...(; Onsens!(Hotsprings!) Japanese people love onsens so they have them at hotels and other places. So our ward mission leader took us there and we went onsen hopping! We went to 2 onsens and just relaxed in pools and in saunas all day. It was the best thing ever. Plus at this place they have an Ainu village. Ainu are the natives for Japan. They have white skin, different color eyes and speak a different dialect of ancient Japanese. They are a dying race but we got to go and see one of their little tourist villages. It was really awesome. I am pretty sure Elder Israelsen was super spoiled on his first Pday.

We didn`t get to teach any of our investigators until last night. Kadowaki san is a 17 year old highschool student who met the missionaries and had a baptismal date, but the missionaries dropped him and we dont know why. Nothing was written on his teaching record or anything. It is like the missionaries just stopped visiting him because they did not write anything down on the teaching record. Mendokusai! So Elder Brown and I picked him up and taught him a few times. Last night we visited him and taught him about God`s love and how he could feel that love if he read from the Book of Mormon. It really suprised him and he said he would read from the beginning.  I was soooososos happy! Besides that we have been finding this week.

Being a trainer is so different than being any other kind of missionary. It gives you the opportunity to focus on someone else besides yourself and to really have a point of view from the savior. Doing things so they can grow and become a better missionary, person, and companion. Japanese is still rough but I am getting along alright. 

Love you all and remember send me your Christmas cards\photos!

Monday, November 10, 2014

37th Week in Japan, 45 Weeks

I am a dad!

I became a trainer!!!!!!0: On Monday night I got a call from the APs and was called to be a trainer! So Tuesday after DTM we headed to Sapporo, which is a 6 hour bus ride... but it was nice to be in some warmer weather. We spent the night in Odori apartment and Elder Horne, who was in the MTC with me, got called to be a trainer as well! We stayed up talking about training and what had happened recently in our last transfers. The next morning was really nerve wracking. I didnt know who my bean was going to be or let alone what I would teach him. We went to Honbu at about 10:30am and had a meeting with all the other trainers. Nakatsuka会長 lead the meeting and told us how important our new callings were as missionaries. After the whole meeting was done I was filled with the Holy Ghost and I wasnt nervous anymore, only excited and happy that Heavenly Father trusted me to train this new missionary.

After the meeting we went upstairs to find out who our beans were going to be. The group was 5 Elders and 1 Sister so it was a little hard guessing who my companion was going to be. But I was really happy when I found out it was Elder Israelsen! He is from Casche Valley Utah and has the courage and energy of many beans! He has played Lacrosse for 6 years and is a champ! 

It is really awesome thinking back to when I was a bean and seeing the progress in myself as a person and the language. The gift of tongues and the atonement is real. I havent even been in Japan for a year and can speak to people and kind of understand them now! So I am way pumped!

Thursday we rode back to Kushiro, ate sushi, and went to Eikaiwa. A member who goes to Eikaiwa brought AW Root Beer! I was sooosososoo happy! Friday and Saturday we went out and housed, taught an RC and had lots of fun! Sunday was a mess for a while because I was asked to teach the primary, the young mens, and a bible class. Fortunately we only had to teach the young mens and primary.

Yeah I am way pumped for these next two transfers because we are going to baptize people! 

I love you all!
President & Sister Nakatsuka, Elder Israelsen, Elder Swenson

Monday, November 3, 2014

36th Week in Japan, 44 Weeks

Hey everyone!

How did everyone`s Halloween go? I hope you had a blast! Because we celebrated Halloween last week nothing really happened on Halloween. We even tried to go to McDonalds to try and get the Halloween burger on the 30th, and they had already gotten rid of it! It wasn`t even Halloween yet and they got rid of it to bring some other burger out. I was furious! The burger was purple and it had Squid Ink for ketchup! So I used it as a conversation topic in Eikaiwa and everybody thought it was hilarious! 

Other news this week is transfers and I will most likely be staying here for another transfer. But if I become a trainer (which I dont plan on happening) I will get a call some time today. And plus, we will be getting a new gaijin AP and it might be my trainer, Elder Mecham! But we really don`t know yet. On Tuesday I got a lucky privilege to go on a split with Elder Inoue! I was his last split ever! He goes home this week and I was able to learn a lot from him. 

This week I was able to start reading Acts for the first time all the way through. And I love it. The apostles and those brave Christians after the ascension of Christ suffered a lot for the His name`s sake. But what I love most is the change wrought about in these people and their lives. Peter, a man who denied the Savior 3 times, turns around and will say nothing but His name, suffering through torture and death, but still praising God. Saul, killing the saints, throwing them in jail, and destroying the church of God, changes and becomes one of the greatest missionaries of all time. And the Gentiles, not knowing of Christ, turning unto Him, received baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and speaking with cloven tongues of fire. All of these miracles and people, are in the restored church. I am not saying Peter himself is hear, but Prophets and apostles with the same authority lead and guide our church today. How wonderful is that!

I love you all and please read Acts. It is my favorite book of scripture now:)

Elder Inoue and Sister Holt at their Funeral Party being killed by their companions...

 Oh yes. The beards are in Japan now:)