Monday, December 22, 2014

43rd Week in Japan, 51 Weeks

メリ クリスマス!

Hey everyone! I hope wherever you are at in the world, you are having a great Christmas experience! This week was a little different than any other week I have had in the mission. 1. Transfers were a day early and I made mochi the old school way!
2. Went caroling in Japanese
3. Transfers and dendo was cancelled due to storm and blizzard conditions outside.
4. Shoveled snow like a boss all day for dendo the next day!
5. Had a ward christmas party where there was a hip hop dance crew that performed.
6. Saw lots of miracles Sunday! And got a little Christmas from the Kushiro Branch!
So yeah this week was pretty crazy. Had very little dendo time. Fortunately Kushiro Branch is finally getting its gears rolling and they are starting to create a Dendo plan for the branch. Once we get a ward mission plan everyone will be able to work a lot better together and see more miracles, re activation, and baptisms! So I am really glad I was sent to Kushiro! 

This week I took the Christlike Attributes test and realized that my hope was needing some improvement. I have been studying it all week and thinking about it a lot. Hope is something that is related with faith and scripture study. In Jacob 4:6 I learned that through reading the scriptures we gain hope and our faith becomes "unshaken". Reading and applying the scriptures gives us the hope we need to perform the work and miracles of the Lord.  This Christmas we all can read the scriptures and grow our hope in Jesus Christ and His infinite loving Atonement for mankind. Because of His gift to us, we need not fear death, for He overcame it. We need not fear for our souls, for through Him we can be saved. We need not mourn, for He is there in our sorrows. The Lord of all the Earth and Heaven above loves and cares about all of you and wants you to trust in Him. See that ye do!

Elder Swenson

Monday, December 15, 2014

42nd Week in Japan, 50 Weeks

Got my transfer call early!

OK everyone I am staying in Kushiro with Elder Israelsen! I get to finish all of his training! Yes! I would have hated to have only had one transfer with him. Plus, that means I get to stay in this area for Christmas! YEAH! Our zone is literally the best zone in the mission! 

This week our hope in Satoh san died a little bit. She said that she couldn`t and doesnt want to act on our message, so we might be dropping her:( But something really cool did happen to us this week. We were housing and some guy immediately let us into his house and showed us around! He said he met the missionaries 30 years ago on bikes and talked for a little while. But when he let us in we were able to teach almost the entire first lesson and he said we could come back anytime! I flelt the spirit so strongly while we were teaching the lesson, it was great! So we are going to meet with him on tuesday and give him a Book of Mormon!

This last monday we had the zone activity and it was awesome! We played nerf so hard that someone put a hole in the we played 人狼 or  mafia after that. But I am pretty sure that no group in the world can have more fun than 24 missionaries with nerf guns on a P-day! 

Something I learned spiritually this week. I was reading in "Our Heritage" about Zions`s Camp and how all of them were put through many trials and hardships to go and defend the saints in Missouri. But when they arrived the Governor denied them the right to defend the saints. So they traveled there and went back to Kirtland.   The Lord then revealed that the point of Zion`s camp was to see who would follow the Prophet and obey his words. When we are finding, or teaching, or even just living the normal member life and things get rough, the lord is seeing if you will keep the faith, obey the Prophets, and be loyal to Him. These are opportunities to prove to the Lord how much you love Him. 

I love you all and hope all of you are having a wonderful Christmas season!

Monday, December 8, 2014

41st Week in Japan, 49 Weeks

Hey everyone! 

So the week started off with a district activity of Kushiro Combat! Our district of 8 with 1 investigator gathered together at the church, grabbed some dart guns from a $1.00 shop, and had a blast! That was the closest thing I have done to paintball in a long time.It might have just been one of the greatest district activities in a long time:) Oh and we ate a rare food in Japan right before we did it. スパかつ!(Spakatsu) It is basically a type of fried meat on top of spaghetti and you can only, as far as I have been told, get it here in Kushiro! It is a way good thing that Elder Israelsen and I got called here because we love to eat good food!

The rest of the week we did a lot of Finding and tried to search out some NAs but our search was not very successful.  We did however make a new investigator, Satoh san, an 83 year old grandma who is very genki! She took the Book of Mormon and said she would start to read it. When we came back she said she had read a little bit which made her a progressing investigator!(Yeah!) This week we are going to try and get a church tour set up and we will see what she thinks of the church building! After that just a lot of walking, and walking, and a little more walking. I have already lost my biking legs:( But my calves will be looking pretty fantastic by the time Christmas roles in;) 

Our eikaiwa is starting to grow a little bit week by week, but unfortunately because of Shogatsu/New Years coming up, our Eikaiwa will start to get smaller as the holidays role around. But just recently we housing and found this lady who spoke to us in english from the door. So we told her about eikaiwa and from that point on I really couldn`t understand her. But two weeks later she came to eikaiwa! When she came we definitely found out that she is not "all there" so our classes have become a little interesting. But having a bigger Eikaiwa makes me happy! 

Yesterday the Andrus Family fed all six of the missionaries in Kushiro dinner and it was awesome! Chicken wings, sloppy joes, and a potatoe, cheese, and meatsauce lasagna!(lasagna noodles are really hard to find in Japan so she used potatoes!) It was so good! And it was pretty American! Yeah! Next she gave all of the missionaries christmas gifts! For the elders she handmade a bunch of christmas ties with her professional Brand patch on the back! It was awesome!

In 伝道  (missionary work) I have discovered the secret to becoming a PMG missionary! It is planning and creating goals! If you can really sit down during weekly and daily planning sessions and for real plan out your days, your success and growth rate will increase quickly and shoot way high. I had the best weekly planning session this week with Elder Israelsen because we followed PMG and did what they do in the district! It was really awesome!

I love all you guys and remember send me some christmas pics!

Monday, December 1, 2014

40th Week in Japan, 48 Weeks - Thanksgiving in Japan

Hey everyone!

I hope that everyone had a great thanksgiving this week! In Japan, no one celebrates it at all! In fact we forgot as well. So we just made tacos from the taco kits I got in some packages!(Thanks fam bam!) This week was busier than usual. And by busier I mean not time effective. All of the Elders in the mission sent their bikes to Honbu to have them stored for the winter. So this week was our first week without bikes and all of the areas that we want to focus in take an hour to walk to which is really not effective. So from now on we are either going to have to be very fast walkers or I need to figure out how the bus system works here! 

This week we also had to do some hometeaching and I found out that my teaching skills have gone to poop:/ I havent taught in such a long time...but thankfully the members are really loving here and still give us nashi;)  To thank them Elder Israelsen and I took a funny picture and made them some bread and delivered it to them! Plus we were able to go to a Hockey game! The Cranes which is Kushiro`s hockey team is the best in Asia! It does not compare to NHL and any sense but it was still pretty awesome! This week when I went to a members house they showed me my facebook and some of my old pictures and I freaked out! It is so crazy to think that I have almost been gone for a whole year now and I can definitely see the difference in myself! It is way cool to see what the gospel does to someone over long periods of time!

On Sunday a missionary returned home from serving in the Colorado mission and he is so awesome! Not only is his English fantastic, but he is really a cool guy and became the ward mission leader the first sunday he got back. He also wants to get the ward reading PMG together!  These next few transfers will be really awesome! Plus ( Alec Gibelyou please pay attention) he served with Elder Gibelyou in the same Zone while Elder Gibelyou was ZL. So now the ward mission leader and I have a connection:) 

So we werent able to meet with any of our investigators this week again and I am getting tired of it. So we are gonna go hard and do our best to meet with them and find the other elect in Kushiro! While eating tons of sushi at the same time!  

Love all you people and dont forget, whatever your are experiencing now, it will be for your good later! D&C 122!
This is Brother Ryo! My new Ward mission leader!