Sunday, September 11, 2016

09/11/2016 - Well This is It...

Good-bye ritual??

Well never thought it would come, but it's here. I'm pretty much done. I don't have to much time left. (81 hours, but who's counting). Sorry I don't have a lot of time to email today. Still have some "funeral arrangements" to take care of. But I will definitely sit down when I get home, and type out some of my final thoughts, and send out 1 last email. This isn't the last! mwahahahaha! "I'm not dead yet... I feel Happy" -Monty Python.

Well as I do wind down, of course, everyone asks, if I'm excited to go home. My answer, of course. Yes. I miss my family and friends, I'm excited to start school, I'm excited to eat a real AMERICAN hamburger, I'm stoked to get to watch all the movies that I've missed, I'm ready to play Minecraft, and other games again, I'm excited to get to date again. I am excited to come home. But honestly, what I have told everyone, is that it is a mix of emotions. Yeah I'm excited, and just like the rest of my family I've got a countdown going on (80 h 53m), but I'm not just looking forward to it. At the same time as being excited for all of those things, I am really sad. I don't want to leave. I love Hokkaido. 

I love working for, and representing my savior. I love the spirit that you can feel in this work. I have so many friends here, the bonds of which are a lot stronger then other friendships. I love the language, I've come to like it more than English and have even come to forget a lot of English (for those that hear my talk in church this Sunday, I apologize). I don't want to leave the wonderful Japanese people here, that are so kind, and so loving. I don't want to go home. I said it. I don't want to go home. 

I gave my final testimony, and remarks in church yesterday, and I bawled like a baby. I don't think I have anymore tears in me. I really don't want to leave. I have so many "Mothers" and "Grandmothers" here in Hokkaido that don't want me to leave either. It breaks my heart to leave them. But, just as I talked about a few weeks ago, Life doesn't end on a mountain. That's for later. I've got to continue on. I've got to come down the mountain, no matter how much it pains me to do so. But, I will not, Cannot forget the things I've seen, learned, and done here. 

A couple of month's ago, a good friend of mine from the MTC (Missionary Training Center), had to go home a little early because of medical issues. He didn't want to leave either, but he did send one last email out, and part of it was this poem he wrote, that I thinks describes my feelings better than I can write, so I'm jut going to use that.

It Won't Be the Same
By: Kengo Adachi

It won't be the same after you go back
On Wednesday night at 6:30 there will be no Eikaiwa(english class) to prep
Monday's won't really be a thing that you look forward to
Thursday's will just become a day and not the day where you plan your week
Lights won't have to be on at 6:30 or off by 10:30
You won't have to check the clock to make sure your lunch isn't going over an hour
You won't have to always have someone within sight and sound
You won't have to play Rock Paper Scissors at the door before you leave
When you meet with someone you won't have to worry about what message you will share
Suddenly no one needs to know about the conversations you had with someone
When you get home at night you won't have to plan your next day
There will be no more reporting what you did that day
The clothes you wear won't be the same thing over and over and over
People will no longer call you sister or elder
Your name will no longer be written on your chest

It won't be the same but that doesn't mean it will not be similar
What will be left of your 18 months or 2 years
Not stats, transfer numbers, how good your language is or, leadership positions
But friends, seeds, influence, example, and change
What kind of mark did you leave on your mission?
Do you have people to follow up with for life?
Will you go back to the life you had before?
Will you waste hours on your phone "liking" life?
Not talk to people around you and seeing who's day you can change?
Will you just worry about what you want and not how you can serve your roommate?
Will you watch what you say and what you do?
Will you jump at a random opportunity to serve someone?
Or will you hesitate and think... I don't need to do that someone else will
Will you read the good word and discuss with God your plans and problems?
Will you go back to a prideful life asking what can I get not what can I give?
Will you take for granted the way of living or the family and friends around you?
Will you view everyone like you did before? Or will you view them as you learned so well on your mission as a child of God?
Will you continue the Christlike attributes you worked on and studied so hard?
Or will you say that's not something I need to worry about anymore?

I hope you keep the change you made and don't lose it
Because even if you changed the place where you served it doesn't mean much if you didn't
If it won't be the same now that the badge comes off did you really change?
Or was it just a good act for a little while
There's much to think about when you go home from your time
But I hope you go back and you don't say I'm excited to get back to my life
But rather can say with confidence... It won't be the same

And then I'd like to add "It won't be the same. It'll be better"

I will not, cannot forget this experience. It will define my life from here on out. People talk about just how much their lives have been influenced by their missions. Mine will be the same. This is God's work. This is his Church. It is true, and I know it. That'll be about it for now. Look forward to my one last email next week. 

Until then, God we with you.
Elder Eliot

PS. Looking forward to seeing all that can make it to my homecoming this week. Love you!
Sunday 09/18/2016, 1:pm, LDS Chapel 259 E Alpine DR, Elk Ridge UT

Plane takes off in 80 hours, and 33 minutes XD

Sunday, September 4, 2016

09/04/2016 | Military Bases, and Disaster Drills

Well this week came and went didn't it. That was really fast. So we had an interesting experience this week. We had found an advertisement a few weeks ago, for a Disaster Drill thing that was going on, and they wanted about 5 foreign residents to join them. Well we are foreign, and technically residents, so we decided. Heck. Why not. So we called them up, met with people, and went on over. So we joined up with a guy from Germany, a guy from Indonesia, and then 3 girls, one Chinese, one Korean, and one Polish, and we headed to the Military base here in Sapporo. I'm pretty sure we are the only missionaries that can say we've been on the base here. That was all cool and everything. So our little group went over to the base, and joined up with a bunch of other random groups that specialize in stuff like that, and even a bunch of Jr. High Students, and learned what to do in the case of a disaster. Apparently there was a really large earthquake, somewhere in Japan on Sept. 1. So to remember that, they do this drill every year. Honestly, I personally didn't learn an awful lot from it, because the 2 largest things they were teaching was CPR (or "heart massage" in Japanese), and how to make a stretcher with sticks and a blanket. It was like I was back at camp again. I even got to correct them on CPR in a few spots. It was really fun though to hang out with those people. Kind of a fun little activity to do toward the end of my mission.

Alrighty I have another interesting thought for everyone today. So I've been reading through the Old Testiment. I want to try to get through the Standard works from cover to cover, so I've started. I just today finished Proverbs. While I was reading through proverbs, a lot of cool parts stuck out to me, but there was one in particular that reall stuck out to me. 

Proverbs 13:7
7 There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.
Of course the second I read this scripture, It brought to mind another of my favorite scriptures

D&C 6:7
7 Seek not for riches but for wisdom, and behold, the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto you, and then shall you be made rich. Behold, he that hath eternal life is rich.

Just ponder this for a second. Think about Jesus. How rich was Jesus? "...foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." Not only was Jesus poor, Jesus was homeless. He had nothing pertaining to worldly things. Yet, did he ever have problems? Now of course, our mission in life is different than Jesus's. And despite always trying to be like him, we won't be. There were some things, that only Jesus could do. But the point is, don't go looking after Worldly things. "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Seek for the things of the Kingdom of God. Think of Solomon, the one who wrote most of the Proverbs. When God says he'll give him whatever he wants, he doesn't ask for power. He asks for wisdom. He had just been made king, and is a little frightened and doesn't want to mess up. But instead of asking for lot's of money, so that he could build big walls, or a large army, or have a really comfortable home, he asks for wisdom to judge righteously. And how does God reward him? He gives him wisdom just like he said he would. Then, because of his righteous desire, he gives him all of the money anyway. Because he did need it. But, he wasn't searching for it. Does that make sense? Don't try to make yourself "rich" Don't Seek for [worldly things]. Seek for the kingdom of God. The last scripture that came to mind after reading and pondering this verse was this.

Matthew 16:25
25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

I think I'll leave my ponderings at that, and now leave it to you to continue to ponder and learn from. 

OK well have a wonderful week. 
I got clarification on my Homecoming by the way. My homecoming will be on Sept, 18 at 1:00. I've even got the address for you here.

259 E Alpine Dr, Elk Ridge, UT 84651

Hope to see some of you there.

Elder Eliot

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

08/29/2016 | Go Tell it on the Mountain...

Well it's been a fairly good week. We've gotten to meet quite a few people, and our teaching pool has gone up. I'm really glad I get to be here to help this area, and hope that when I leave, it will be in a very good situation. One fun thing we found this week was the Sapporo International Plaza. We went in search of volunteer service opportunities, and found out they have this program called "Let's Talk" in which over the course of a week, people gather together to practice speaking certain languages. The two that we joined, were the English, and the Japanese ones. It's super easy. You just go and talk to them, as they ask you questions. In either language it's really easy. Specifically the Japanese one is a lot of fun, because excluding the Japanese Volunteers, My Japanese is better then all of the other foreigners, and then I tell them I've only been studying it for 2 years, and they all flip. They can't believe it. Most of them have been living here for upwards of 5 years, and they still struggle. I guess the while Gift of Tongues thing actually works. They are all really good, though, and it's been fun to meet and talk with them. 

At this last meeting, I got to meet 2 Chinese people, 2 German guys, A couple from Mongol, and a lady who was from somewhere in Africa. They were all really cool, and despite not being fluent in the language, really enjoyed the conversation we were having, and really jumped in on it, and had fun. We even got 2 people that were interested in hearing about the gospel without asking them directly. I think that's way cool. We, also have our information there now, so we have gotten a couple phone calls about our English Classes. It's so cool to find little places like that. So much more fun, and effective then going house to house for 4 hours, when no one is home.

Anyway that's just a cool thing that happened this week. The other nice thing is that we moved. We used to live down next to the old Mission Home, but since the Mission home moved over to the temple, and we didn't even live in our area, which was an hour Bike ride away everyday, we got a new apartment. It's way way cool. Brand new, so there's nothing that past missionaries could have done to make it bad. Now we just gotta make sure we aren't those missionaries. But we have gotten a considerable distance closer to the church. Or in other words, the Church is our next door neighbor. Yeah. It's awesome. Yesterday during church, I had allergies acting up, so between Sunday School, and sacrament meeting, we ran back to the apartment real quick, and I got some meds, came back over, and it was like we never left. Why do I get all of this luxury on the last 3 weeks of my mission... hmm...

So yeah. 

Lastly I want to share some thoughts from some recent studying, and pondering I've done. So the thing that triggered this, was the YSA, and the youth of the ward. They were rather busy in this month of August. So at the beginning of the month, they had FSY (Especially for Youth, with different initials) which they have been preparing for for a while. Then they also had the Cultural Celebration, to practice and perform. And finally the Temple dedication. They had a lot of way cool experiences and, and I got to hear some of them talk about them. Specifically my friend Sanae Maruyama, who is the same age as me, got up and talked about an incredible experience she had at FSY, and was even moved to tears. I'd never seen her do something like that. I'd never seen evidence of her having felt the spirit so strongly before. Well in thinking about it, I wanted her to be able to remember that. 

Then as the dedication came along, and I saw all of the members, and we felt and partook of the amazing experience, and powerful spirit that was there, I thought again. What if we could just stay here forever. That would be nice. Well in pondering, I reflected back to Elder Holland's talk at the last General Conference. If you remember right, he showed us this picture.

Make sure you stop giggling before you go on, but then if you haven't seen what followed, here's this for some more giggles.

OK so he showed us this and talked about how none of us want tomorrow to come. We want to stay in this spiritual experiences at all times. We want to be up on these spiritual "Mountains" forever. Just like Moses, or even Jesus Christ. Both of whom went up to a mountain, and had amazing experiences. I'll bet neither of them want to come down, but the fact of the matter is, life moves on. That's all part of God's plan. We have mountains periodically throughout life, but mountains don't just go up, and up, and up. They have to peak. And that creates a down. Well we can't control that. We have to come back down, to the world. So what can we do so that when a valley comes along in life, we can stay strong? Well we can remember the times up on the mountains. Think about that word. It's used in the scriptures a lot. 

We covenant at baptism to "Always Remember [Jesus]" Think about how much less likely to commit sin we would be if we could remember the spirit that we felt at a temple dedication, or on our missions, or at General Conference. In fact I feel that the only reason we do sin, is because we forget those things. Think about the Israelite's. The Red Sea was parted. They walk through on dry land. The Egyptians were drowned in an attempt to chase them. God literally Miraculously saved them. And what were they saying 2 days later? Just 2 days. "We're hungry" "Why did you bring us here to die" "It would've been better if we had stayed in Egypt" They forgot their God. Or at another time, in the wilderness, when bitten by fiery serpents. Moses raises a snake up on a stick and says "Look." Well I don't know about you, but if it were me, it would've taken more effort to not look. But they didn't remember their God. They didn't remember their prophet Moses. They were prideful, and forgot all of the miracles they had seen. Surely the guy that split a sea, called manna down from heaven, and acquired water by hitting a rock with a stick is pretty powerful. But they forgot those experiences. It's no wonder God was so strict, and stern with them. It's no wonder why the Law of Moses was involving sacrifices daily. 

Why do people in the Church go inactive? There's several reasons, but a large majority of them would be because they forgot the spirit that they had felt before. An interesting note on this from a Japanese view point. In Japanese the word for remember, is 覚える(oboeru). But in the scriptures, when it says remember, it says 覚えて置きなさい(oboeteokinasai). Not only is this a command, but it adds 置く(oku) in to it, which means to place. So the imaginary in my head, is to plant it down in your head, and don't forget it. A little stronger then just remember. But it's true. God commands us to remember. And we know that whenever God commands us to do something, it's not to make an annoying rule, but it's to help us, and to guide us. Next time you're in the scriptures, and you see the word "Remember," remember that it is almost always a command. My plea is for you to remember these Mountainous experiences. Don't forget and fall away. Remember, and be saved. 

 Anyway just some interesting thoughts. I hope you are all doing well. I've now realized, I only get 2 more emails. Can you believe that? Well since it's coming up I guess, if you would like to come, I will be reporting in sacrament meeting on Sept. 18 at 1pm... But I'd love to see you there. Mark it on your calendar. 

Thanks, and we'll see you next week.

Elder Eliot 

If you haven't had a chance to read the article about the Sapporo Temple, go to
The cute little girl that's crying in the picture with her dad is Miku Chan. She is in Shinkotoni, where I'm serving currently. Also, Sister Hosoya, and Sister Sato, are also in Shinkotoni, and are 2 good
friends of mine. Just fun small world stuff for ya.

08/21/2016 | The Spirit of God. Hosanna!‏

This ha been a week that a lot of us have been waiting for for a long time. First off, if you've heard of the typhoon sweeping through Hokkaido, don't worry to much about it. It is Typhoon in definition, but is mostly just A LOT of rain. We're getting very wet, but that's it.
Open Sapporo LDS Temple
So. This week we've had some adventures. We found a new investigator, who is really cool. His name is Papi. If you're wondering it's not Japanese. It's actually a nickname that his friends gave him. He is from Guinea. Not Papa new guinea, but the one in Africa. So he's black. I never thought I would have a foreigner as an investigator, and now I do, and he's black. How cool is that. Anyway he is a student right now over at Hokkaido University. He is working on his doctorate degree right now, and despite being pretty busy, is willing to make time for us. His native language is french, but his English is fluent. Seeing as he has to right his doctorate papers, and thesis in English, he's pretty good at it. But a neat little coincidence, is right now, one of the elders in my district actually speaks fluent french. So we are going to go on splits, and visit Papi together this week.

Temple Waiting Room
Just thought that might be something you'd all be interested it. The other thing of course that was the highlight of the week, was the Sapporo Temple Dedication. The temple was dedicated yesterday in 3 sessions by President Russell M Nelson. He attended along with Elder Gary E Stevenson (who if you didn't know, is the first apostle in the history of the latter days, who is fluent in Japanese), and the Area Presidency. We got to sit in the lobby room of the temple, which is
right below the celestial room, and it was very powerful. Something that stood out to me, was when Elder Yamashita, the 1st councilor in the area presidency, was talking, and he emphasized that bring our ancestors to the temple is very important, but, what about our decedents? 

Baptismal Font
He proceeded to tell everyone to be sure to regularly attend the temple. He told the Priesthood holders, to take their wives to the temple, and to not give up because of trivial things like time,
money, tiredness(in Japanese 疲れているから), or because you have little kids at home. There are lot's of ways around those things, and God will help. He talked about always being worthy of a temple recommend so that you can receive revelation in the temple, for your family. Then as your children begin to grow, to teach them so that they have foundations in the gospel. And to bring them to the temple when they are old enough to do Baptisms for the dead. Help them prepare so that when they are ready, they can go forward and receive their own endowment, so that they may begin to prepare to teach their children, your grandchildren, to be able to go to the temple. He emphasized that the temple blessings, and ordinances are the most sacred and important things we could ever perform on this earth in the mortal tabernacle. It was a very powerful talk. 

Cestial Room
As President Nelson dedicated the temple, their was a sweet spirit that seemed to fill the place the second he said the words "As an Apostle of the Lord, and by the Authority of the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood, I dedicate this temple" I will never forget it. Needless to say, by the end of the dedication everyone had shed some tears. The people of Hokkaido have waited a long time for this temple. It has been in their prayers for a long time. I was able to meet several old friends who came to see the dedication. I was able to meet Elder Rostedt, as well as Elder Asato, and Elder
Numano, who all came for the dedication. President Daniels (from the branch presidency in the MTC) was also there. They were all wonderful reunions. It's been a wonderful blessing, to be in Hokkaido as a missionary at this time. I am so grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord and being allowed to be here. It's been wonderful Well that about fills you in for this week. We move to a new apartment on Friday, so wish us luck.
Also because the mission home is moving, the address will change. I'll try to get it to you next week, but honestly with 3 weeks left, I'll be OK if you want to just send things to my home, and I'll get it then. I'll let you know though.
Thanks much
We'll see you next week. 愛しているよ

Sunday, August 7, 2016

08/07/2016 | Transferes

Well we've had a pretty good few weeks. We finally got settled down from the open house, and have had some time to talk about the mission. It was a nice week. The Sisters were able to see a baptism, on the 31st, who I had the privilege of interviewing. She's just a little miracle, and has a really strong testimony. Something that stood out to me in the interview, was that when I would ask her the "Do you believe...?" questions, she wouldn't just say "Yes", but would say "I believe" (it sounds weird in English, but it sounds very normal in Japanese), which was really interesting to me. She really seemed to be telling the truth as she would say it, and it was the feeling, and conformation I needed to say Yes. Aren't those impressions from Heavenly Father just so cool.

Anyway, we had a transfer week come along. I am now on to my final transfer, and sadly had to say good bye to Elder Plummer. He was so much fun to work with, and really easy to get along with these past 1.5 transfers. He headed on up to an area called Takikawa, as the Senior companion for a fairly new Japanese missionary. He should have lots of fun out there. I'm hanging out, and finishing off here in Shinkotoni. It's been such a blessing to come back to an old area, and see what's happened in a year, and be able to help those that are here. I'm really grateful for the chance to work in this wonderful ward, with all the amazing members that are here.

My new companion is.... *drum role commence for last comp* Elder Thompson!!! No not the same one as the MTC, there are actually 2 Elder Thompsons in this mission. He is also part of the same group that came with Elder Pace, and Plummer, and Thurston. Basically other than Elder Bailey, and Elder Vanishi all of my Junior Companions are part of the same group. He's a pretty chill guy, now on his 8th transfer, he had been out here for about 1 year. He is a video game nerd, so we get along pretty well, and he has given me several recommendations for when I get home.

So an interesting experience from this last week. This last Saturday, we had an experience where we really felt as though we had been led by God. So we started off the day by meeting up with the Sisters, to discuss what we wanted to do for Shinkotoni this Transfer. Well unexpected circumstances caused us to be a little late getting there, and then we talked longer than we had planned. I was a little discouraged since our plans were having to change out of the blue like that, but we continued forward. We then took some time to wash the Baptismal font. Kind of an interesting little "ritual" that the sisters did here these last 2 transfers, that helped them see a baptism each transfer, so we decided to do it too.

After we finished with that, I sat down, found the addresses of some people to visit, and then we headed out to go find them. Well we hadn't gone too far, when a voice behind us said "Hello." Now this happens a lot in Japan. You know when you're a kid, and your learning English, but you never get a chance to do it, the second you see a big white guy, you're going to try all of the English you know on them. However what we usually here isn't "Hello," but "Harro." Therefore when we heard a perfect English "Hello" from behind us, we were stunned. We got to talking with her, and it turns out that she got baptized 17 years ago in Shinkotoni. She's had a lot of things happen in her life, she stopped going to church and such, and may have pulled her records from the church, and currently lives in Korea. Well for those that don't know, Koreans HATE Japan. I'm not really sure why, probably something to do with a war several years ago. So she deals with a lot of ridicule there, as well as her kids, and being really concerned for them, she prays every day. She still very much believes in the church, just... various things have happened to her in the past... We were able to give her a Book of Mormon, since she didn't have one anymore, and she was very happy. Then she began asking us if we had any Korean material so she could teach her kids. Well we didn't, but we just happened to be next to the church, so we went over, and used the WiFi to find Korean pamphlets, and emailed them to her. She was extremely happy, as was I.

It's times like these that I really feel successful as a missionary. When even though it seems we are straying from our plan, God knows where he needs us, and helps us to be there. Getting to help this woman, I really felt God working with her through us. He really does love all of his children. Even those few outlier Japanese people that live in Korea. He sends help to all who ask for it. One of the best feelings in the world, is when you find out that you are the answer to someone else's prayer. That's what a mission is like. On a constant basis.

Well I will see you next week I guess. Thanks for keeping up with me this far, only a few weeks left that you have to deal with my emails. I apologize for the few times I have missed. I will try to make sure that I get off a good email every week these last few.

I love you all so much.

Elder Eliot

Monday, July 25, 2016

07/24/2016 | The End of the Temple Open House

This has been another really amazing week. I don't have a lot of time, so I would just like to tell you one really cool story from this last week.

So first thing I have to say, is that I am really scared to come home. I have lost the ability to talk with any sort of confidence in English to people that don't know Japanese. These last 2 phone calls home that I had I felt it as well, but especially this week with lots of Gaijin (foreigners) being around, it was crazy. When I see a white guy, I immediately start praying that he won't talk to me. Then he does, and my heart immediately starts pounding like crazy, and I sweat, and it is sooooo scary. So basically I'm scared of Gaijin, and I am a Gaijin #missionaryproblems

Anyway so on Wednesday, we were working in the morning, and this white couple walks in. The English tour guide, Hamano Saya chan who had just gotten back from her mission like 4 days ago, goes up and starts talking to them, and gets them over in a video room. I kind of sighed on the inside knowing I wouldn't have to do anything. Then President Nakatsuka asks us to go join them. So we do. Well this couple were not members of the church, and were rather hostile towards it. A member had actually met them that morning, and despite not being able to do English very well, she asked them why they were in Hokkaido. When they said they were just tourists, she asked them if they had been to the Sapporo Temple. She then took them in her car and brought them. 

When they found out it was the Mormon church they just kind of started to roll their eyes. Saya chan really helped. She as extremely positive, and got to be friends with them super quick. But they were still weary to the church. Me and my Companion were just following, just in case the English got hard. My heart was pounding like crazy. As we walked into the Baptism Font, Saya chan asked them if they had seen the church in Holland before (yes they were from Holland) and the guy said that Mormon practices wouldn't be allowed in Holland. He then turns to my companion and says "How many women do you have?" I was in a mood of "I don't like these kind of people. Why do they have to be like this. This is just going to turn into an angry argument in the temple" and I was also super scared to say anything. But then I had the thought, that I needed to have Charity. I needed to love these people. They were also Gods children. They also needed these blessings we were telling them about. I became very humble, and offered a silent prayer asking God to forgive me, and to help me to love these people. 

We were able to explain several things about the church, and by the end of the tour we were best buddies. He even turned to someone on his way out and said "I like these guys." Long story short, they aren't getting baptized or anything, but they do have a much better image of the church. It was very hard to talk in English with them, and I kept accidentally saying things in Japanese, but I pushed through it, and grew to love them. They were way cool, and I would love to get to meet them again sometime.

Well that is my time for this week.
Have a wonderful week.
I love you
Elder Eliot

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

07/11/2016 | 主の宮。聖きを主にささぐ (The House of the Lord-Dedicated to the Lord)

This has been a wonderful and very spiritual week.

Sapporo LDS Temple Open House Info

First off once again an apology for lack of an email last week. We wound up working at the Sapporo temple (preparing for the public open house) a lot this week. We were Scheduled to work Monday, and Saturday this last week, instead we wound up working Monday, and then we were woken up early Tuesday morning. My phone is ringing, at 5:30 in the morning to the zone leaders asking if we were up. My thought of course were "Am I supposed to be? I'm gonna kill you later. You messed with mah sleep boy" and then he proceeded to tell us that the Temple President, President Kikuchi, asked President Nakatsuka for missionaries to come and help clean the temple. So we got up, Showered, ate a small breakfast and ran out the door. 

We got to go in, and change into Jeans... How many people can say that they have been in the temple in Jeans. I even got to see my mission president in Jeans. It was pretty weird. Though he looks good in Jeans... Anyway, I got to go and help with cleaning one of the Sealing (marriage) rooms. I was given a wet rag, and a 60cmX40cm marble wall, and wiped it down. For an Hour and a Half. Yeah that long. They take cleanliness in the temple very seriously. Then once we finished, we were asked to come back and help with the open house that day. Again. Then, that night we got a call, once again to come in and work Wednesday

So I spent most of my B-Day in the temple. It was actually a rather nice place to be on a special day. At the end of the day, we had English class, and a family from the ward, (basically my Japanese family) brought me a small present. Well, Small というか(can't remember how to say that in English It was a ton of fruit (which is waaaaay expensive in Japan) as well as a package of Fruits Granola. Fruits Granola is the best, and healthiest cereal you can get in Japan, and they got me the big one. Needless to say, I felt celebrated. Finally on Thursday we had some time to take a P-Day, and we went shopping for my Birthday. I wanted to myself a present too. I got a new pair of shoes that look way good. Gotta look my best for the temple ;)

We once again worked the temple on Saturday. The Jobs that they had us do consisted of Ushering (when they would tell us to stand somewhere, and look pretty), Helping with putting on/ taking off shoe covers, Tour Guide, And my favorite two, Playing the Organ in the chapel, and Opening the two big doors to the Celestial room. It was really cool to see over and over again the looks on peoples faces when they would line up, and we would open up the doors. This last week was mostly VIP's, So we got to watch the Mayor of Sapporo, or the leaders of certain churches of Hokkaido go in. We even watched some Shinto Priests, dressed all up in their garb come up to the doors, kind of bored. Almost as though they didn't really want to be there, but when we opened the doors, their eyes got wide, and they started paying attention. 

We've been getting a lot of positive comments, and lot's of people that want to know more about the church. We just had someone today come up after the tour and asked what he needed to do to get back in the temple. When I told him just come back another day, he said "No I mean after it's dedicated. I need to get baptized for my ancestors." It has been amazing to partake of the spirit, and watch as others, even those that are not members of the Church partake of that same spirit. Even though it has not been dedicated, it is God's house. He is there, and he is letting everyone know.

Well that's about it for me this week. Thank you for all the Birthday wishes. Thank you for all staying with me throughout the past 2 years. It's hard to belive that it is starting to come to an end. But I've
still got a lot of work to do, so I will work hard. 

Have a wonderful week.
Elder Eliot

If I don't email next week, it is because the temple schedule made us change our P-day.