Monday, February 23, 2015

52nd Week in Japan, 60 Weeks

Hey everyone!
So this last week I did my first Workshop as a District Leader! It was way fun! Got to talk about how to properly start of first contacts! It is cool to see others feel the Spirit and be edified!
So last monday I went for a follow up appointment with Shingo san at the dental office and the the Hygienist who was working on my teeth told me that she was LDS and had not been to church since she was a little kid! That blew my mind! Heavenly Father used my teeth to find His lost sheep! Yay! So the bad thing was, after she said that, she started to work on my teeth so I couldn`t say a whole lot...but I go back again Wednesday for the final appointment! So I will invite her to come back and visit church! This last Wednesday we went to the borders of our area. There we went and visited a PI who is now an Investigator! Toriumi san. She is an 80 yr old woman who loves religion, and is super genki(energetic)! She moved to this place we went to about 20 years ago and tried to find a Church to join, but it is such a small place that there weren`t any churches out there. So she just waited. Now she is listening to The Jehovah`s Witnesses and us. (Jehovah`s Witnesses is a bigger religion in Japan than in America. They do almost as much missionary work as we do.) So we are gonna teach her let her feel the Spirit! Then we went to this place called "Sweden Hills" in Futomi. The place was just this stereotypical Sweden place. Blue horses, viking helmets and Antlers on all the light posts and bridges. Thursday, all of our appointments canceled on us...which kindof stunk. So we made Steak. Thanks Australia for the cheap beef! Friday was the cool day/
One of our Eternal investigators Nakazawa san has been listening to the missionaries for 4 years. He will take any reading commitment but has not said a single prayer in 4 years. So we thought about it and he always uses the excuse that he is Buddhist and that he cant. So we asked him about what buddhism was and what is the blessing or outcome in the end (heaven so to speak). But he couldn`t answer. Then we asked him about his specific class of buddhism that he is aligned with and it`s main essential requirement is prayer to Buddha. So we asked him if he was doing that and he said no. The whole lesson really got his brain going into thinking mode and it was fantastic. Then we promised him blessings and talked about what God has in store for us if we follow Him.
So this week was awesome and hard. We walked so much that my feet split open on the bottom. (I am fine). But the joy that I feel fromt the Holy Ghost is priceless. Ok I love you guys and keep moving steadfast in Christ!
Elder Swenson

Then we went to this place called "Sweden Hills" in Futomi. 
The place was just this stereotypical Sweden place. 
Blue horses, viking helmets and Antlers on all the light posts and bridges.

So we made Steak. Thanks Australia for the cheap beef!

Monday, February 16, 2015

51st Week in Japan, 59 Weeks

This week was super busy! Tuesday we had the doctors from the Asian North Area come and talk to us about a bunch of health tips and concerns. They were a lot of fun and gave us some good info on how to be healthier missionaries. Next we had some workshops and testimonies from some soon to be returning missionaries. And then, we were finally able to watch Meet the Mormons! It was so good! It really was like a documentary but really fun and true.  And the fun didn`t stop there! Next we went to go and see my first and last Sapporo Snow Festival! Their were so many gaijin there! I am not used to seeing so many people who arent Japanese unless they are missionaries. So that was fun! On the way home some Europeans were on a train trying to speak in English to this Japanese guy so I joined the conversation and Dendo`ed everyone! It was really weird teaching the gospel in English to people who knew about Jesus Christ and stuff. So if your ever in Latvia, France, or a small Russian speaking village near Romania, Talk to people about the gospel and it might just be someone who I talked to here!

The next day we had Zone Training and that was a super cool experience. The ZL`s asked us to mogi or roleplay teaching obedience to some of our investigators. Everyone felt the spirit so strongly, it was crazy! So the ZL`s told us to mogi again and try to improve. And we felt the spirit again! It was awesome!

Investigator wise we are working with a few Eternal investigators here in Shinoro. Dino and Nakazawa san. Dino is from Philidelphia and has quite a strong opinion on the church. He loves Jesus and likes to do good stuff, but wants to do stuff his own way.  Nakazawa san will keep any reading commitment you will give him, but chuch and prayer are impossible. I do not know what to do with them, but the Lord is really helping out.

Friday I got to visit one of my old investigators from Moiwa, Shingo san! He is a boss! Unfortunately, he had to fix my teeth:( He squeezed me in between some appointments to try and get everything done, but he got too busy and told me to come back today. And luckily thanks to the Socialized Medicine in Japan (Dad dont shoot me for that sentence) Everything only cost me $20. So yay!

Saturday when we were out, it was just about time to head back to the train station, but we hadn`t gotten our minimal contact goal of 10, so I saw the most family looking house and rang the doorbell. As soon as a did a lady and her friend opened the door and walked out to the cars and I was just like, ok that is akward, but she told me to talk to her husband. So I did but my Japanese was really weird and stuff, but I did not know why.  It turns out that he had been an English Class student 20 yrs. ago and had just recently been thinking about coming back! So we invited him and he said he could start coming in April! Go goals!
Ok I  hope you all had a good Valentines Day and keep having fun!
Elder Swenson 

Monday, February 9, 2015

50th Week in Japan, 58 Weeks

I am in a Ward!

So my new area is 篠路 Shinoro! My new companion is Elder Hishii and I am the District leader! But you want to know what the funny thing is? Their are no Elders in my district only Sisters! So I don`t go on splits at all! Shinoro is the dreamland for missionaries. Nothing but houses. It is like the Suburbs of Sapporo. I really like it. Plus, I am in a ward! I love wards! So many people to talk to and all I have to worry about is dendo! Yesterday I gave my introduction in Sacrament meeting, and whenever that happens I usually say something funny. I started to talk about how I like to camp, and camp is not in the Japanese language so you say it in Katakana. So I said kanpu. But I guess in "correct" katakana camp is kyanpu. So everyone thought I was talking about kung fu for a while. It was funny because after church some of the Sisters from the ward came up to me and asked if I learned Kung fu in America. That was a good first day at church.
Well for the most part this week was transfers and a really long leaders meeting. When you become District Leader for the first time, you go to the Zone Leader meeting at the mission home and talk about the condition of the Mission, what needs to be changed, and some workshops from the STL`s, AP`s and from President Nakatsuka . That takes about 8 hours to complete. But the good thing was that we got to eat Costco Pizza!
Tomorrow the doctors who are over the Asain North Missions are going to do some workshops and stuff at Zone Conference. Plus we get to see "Meet the Mormons" and go to Yuki Matsuri (That is the festival where people dance and their are huge building size ice sculptures) ! So tomorrow is going to be a blast!
Ok Love you guys and remember, Valentines day is coming! SO dont forget to show some love to your moms!
Elder Swenson

Elder Israelson

My new companion is Elder Hishii

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Monday, February 2, 2015

49th Week in Japan, 57 Weeks

Where will I go? I informed tomorrow.

Yeah transfers this week! I will most likely be transferring from Kushiro to another area. But of all the the transfers I have seen, this is the craziest one ever. I really do not have any idea where I will go. I cannot even guess. So if you wanna know go to FB and look up the Sapporo page! 

For Dendo report, this week we found a new cool couple to teach! We were housing earlier this week and found them and they listened to us at the door and said we could come back on Saturday and share our message! We went back Saturday and taught them about the Atonement and Jesus Christ. They listened and asked questions and had interest. When we challenged to be baptized, they said they needed time to hear everything. So we have 2 new investigators! They are so nice and kind! I really hope that even after I leave they will continue in learning about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how it will change their lives. 

Thursday we had interviews with President Nakatsuka. I was able to sit down with him and talk to him about a lot of things but one thing he truly showed me was how we can all be saved. We forget sometimes to look at the big picture and focus on our imperfections and shortcomings instead of our lifelong progression. Whether it be an investigator or me, everyone has been given this life as a probationary state to prepare to meet God. This life is more than just the 2 years one serves on a mission. 

Monday we went to go see Japanese Cranes that only can be seen in Kushiro. It was pretty nice to get outside of the city and see wildlife. Plus while we were housing we saw a couple of deer and 2 foxes in one day. Seeing Heavenly Father`s creations reminds me of how much he Loves me and everyone else.

How is the Super Bowl going? Lemme know! 

Elder Swenson


Got goached to a really good fish grill place and ate 
oysters, scallops, and lots of fish! 

Brother Kunigo is the strongest member in Kushiro!
He reads his Book of Mormon because he Loves it!