Sunday, November 23, 2014

Yup just another regular ol' week in Otaru‏

I've already been here 4 weeks now. I'm really starting to feel like a missionary. We have had some cool stuff happen this week. 

On Last Monday after I sent stuff out, We got to go to my Bishops house for FHE (Family Home Evening). He has 3 kids, and they are all so funny. They made some delicious curry, and then we sang, and the sisters shared a spiritual message with them. I showed them my singing in General Conference, and they were amazed. They thought that was soooo cool.

Tuesday, nothing too exciting happened, We did some Dendo (dendo is a way of saying mission, so when I say Dendo it literally translates to ''we missionaried'' but probably a more accurate translation is proselyted. Please remember that throughout my mission, because it is a very common thing to say here and I get really used to it and will probably include it in more of my emails without even realizing it) We made cookies to give to people, and that was about it.

Wednesday we had Zone Conference (there are 5 zones in the Sapporo mission with about 20 missionaries in each. The island of Hakkaido, which is our mission boundaries, has 5 million people with 110 missionaries). We actually didn't join anyone from our zone. Our Zone Conference consisted of 2 other zones, and then our district (about 7 districts per zone). How funny. Got to learn some really cool stuff from there, and I had my Bean Shower (welcoming party). I'm not going to explain what that was just in case anyone else get's called here, or if they do it other places in Japan. It will get to be a surprise. You'll just have to wait till I get home to know what it was.

Thursday. This was the highlight of my week. I had been getting a little discouraged, and wasn't too happy with our work. Our numbers were low, and it didn't seem like we were doing all we could to get them higher, but at the same time we couldn't figure out what we could do to make them higher. But Thursday night, right after English Class, I went to talk to some students. First I talked to Abe san. (pronounced Ah Beh not Abe like Abe Lincoln) and asked him a bit about him coming to English class, he had been coming for a while, and I asked him if he would like to meet with us about the church. He said no thanks. More discouragement. But then I tried talking to Yoshi san. I wasn't to sure about him, because he always seems really shy and I didn't think he would want to meet with us just because of that, but I thought I'd give it a try anyway. I asked him the same questions, and he must of sat there for about 2 minutes just thinking. Just staring at the desk thinking about it, and then he said ''Yes I would meet with you'' BAM so awesome. I just got my first appointment, and I got to do it in English. It was soo cool.

Friday. This day was pretty cool to. We went Housing out away from our house a fair amount away, and of course per usual we got rejected at every door, but this one lady was really kind about it. She told us thank you for all the hard work we do, but that she was really happy with her life and didn't need our message about happiness. So we left her and went down to the next level, and she came down after us like 5 minutes later. She brought us Oranges. How kind. She took time out of her day just to give us oranges. She still didn't want to here our message, but she did want to give us oranges. And then after that, she came back down again, to give us tissues for when our fingers get sticky from the orange juice. So kind. I've never felt so good about being rejected. And then this same day, we were streeting, and a guy stopped, but as soon as we said we were talking about Jesus Christ he reached into his pocket, smiled, and gave us both candy and walked away. My mind is just blown as to how kind the Japanese people are. Every once in a while you get a rude rejection, but most of the time it just makes me want to teach them more. Because they're so kind. I just want them to have this gospel. So difficult. 

Saturday We had our lesson with yoshi san. It turns out he has been to over 60 countries. He brought his photo books in which he had collected a bunch of currency from the different countries to look through. He also told us his story of climbing the pyramids of giza. He and his 3 buddies went out at like 2 in the morning, and climbed over a couple walls just so they could climb the pyramids. They got caught, but they all had fake ID's that got them out of trouble some how. So funny. We found out that his main interest in listening to us is to practice his English, but that's ok. He will still be hearing what we are talking about. He told us he would call about when we could come again, but that most likely we'd talk about it at the next English class. He was really cool. 

Sunday We got to sing for Sacrament meeting. It was a cool song that Elder Rostedt's older brother wrote called ''The Triple Testimony'' It takes scriptures from 2nd Nephi, Alma, and Moroni about Nephi, Ammon, and Moroni Testifying about Jesus Christ. It all weaves and intertwines together and sounds great. I got to sing Moroni's part. It was so cool. We had the mission president and his wife in our ward that day. I also got to give my testimony, and give a short Self Intro, and only messed up one part. I was trying to say I had a loud voice which is literally "Big Voice" but instead mixed it up and said "Tall Voice" which means High pitched. Little different Language is still coming along.
Well I'm out of time for this week

Shout out to my Dad, Aunts, and Both my little brothers, who all had birthdays this month and I haven't had time to write them anything yet (sorry)

Well until next week minasan
Ai Shite Imasu
Elder Eliot

PS It's cold here :)

Otaru Canal Walk with Blue Lights

Sunday, November 16, 2014

All Feet On The Ground

Kelson's email this week discusses his limited ability to digest his limited time and computer access for emails.  He only has his preparation day (p-day) to view and send emails (Monday's).  He has to go to the church and this week the printer wasn't working.  He likes to print off all the emails and read them during the week and reply the following week. He sounds good.  He is in Otaru, Japan.  It is a city of 120k population (size of Provo, UT-city only).  It is a beautiful place with the mountains looking a lot like Utah.  The city is perched on the side of these mountains that go into the Sea of Japan.  It is a tourist area with a cruise boat port. And it has been raining and snowing all week.  Being on the sea, they get a lot of snow, 260 inches a year!!  Here is a link to a webcam that shows the cityscape weather conditions every hour:

Thanks for following his journey.  Sounds like he is already making a difference.  He emailed us tonight (it's the next day for him, 16 hours ahead of Mountain Standard Time) and wanted cookie recipes to make cookies for friends and investigators.  I guess they don't have Cream of Tartar or Sweetened Condensed Milk in Japan so we had to hurry and make quick fixes for the recipes.

As he mentions, he loves emails, letters are good too, if any are inclined to send him a Christmas letter, package, etc.  To get to him in time you would need to mail it by December 1st.  Sure proud and excited for him. All is well.

Kelson's dad, Shawn

Otaru Canal Walk

Where do I begin. First of all I have literally zero time. Our printer wasn't working today so It took time for me to read all the emails. Don't let that deter you from sending emails though, I will be able to do it, and it makes me very happy to have an Inbox with 28 emails in it every week. Also don't worry about length. I just love getting them, and usually I will have printing abilities. If you have questions, or something I need to include in this big email, put it at the beginning in big bold words, because I don't even look at emails until I have printed them and am back at the apartment.

Well Japan. This country is just amazing. I love being in Otaru. It is a little big city for my taste, but it still feels like home. The mountains remind me of Utah. We got a fair ammount of snow this week. I almost died like 5 times while biking. Its scary, but its a thrill. It is beautiful out here though. The  mountains are so full of snow. And crazy thing I found out today that Elder Rostedt told me. The roads here are HEATED. How awesome is that. If only roads were heated in Utah. That would be nice.

The people. I cant even begin to explain the kindness of the people here. One of the Less Actives in our ward (congregation), her name is Sister Matsumoto. She calls us up the other day to tell us that she bought us a bunch of stuff and to come by to get it. She bought us gloves, neck warmer things, and a ton of food. They didn't look cheap either. She is so cool. She is about 4 feet tall, and has an amazing voice. Its so funny, and hard to understand, but she is so cool I love her already. Its fun to take advantage of the whole Senpai Kohai hierarchy here. Basically if someone is higher than you socially (for the most part just age) and they try to stop you to talk to you, you stop what you are doing and listen to them. Its fun to take advantage of that and stop a lot of the high school students. It gets us a lot of contacts, and a lot of people that we are hoping will come to our English classes. 

The food. I love it, but I do miss American food. There I said it. I had pizza yesterday for lunch, and lets just say I want regular pizza again more than anything. But it is still pretty good. I've had a lot of rice, and noodles, and bread. The bread here is something that is very amazing. 

Well I dont have a ton of time anymore, but I would like to ask you all to keep 2 of our investigators in your prayers. One of them is named Hirai san, and the other on is Domu kun. I cant go into to many details, but they are probably the closest ones we have to getting baptised, but both cant because they both have 1 thing holding them back. 

Thank you all for supporting me in being out here.
I love you all so much, and miss you everyday. Im not trunky though. I love Japan
Sorry I didnt get to talk about to much. Ill try to do better.
Ai Shite Imasu

Elder Eliot

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Well, I'm in Japan!


Japan at first sight!

I'm in Japan
How awesome is it that I'm actually in Japan.
I'm typing this on a Japanese Keyboard (which is super annoying because all of the punctuation marks are in weird places) 
I am in Otaru Hokkaido Japan.
I am breathing Japanese air.
I am eating Japanese Food.
I am (trying very hard) speaking the Japanese Language.
I am relieving myself on Japanese Toilets (which are a whole story in and of themselves)

It is so amazing here. The town is beautiful, the people are so nice, and the weather is great. Its apparently already snowed here a few times, and its been raining today. It is so cold even in the church right now. It is hard for me to type because my fingers are frozen. I LOVE IT SO MUCH.

It has definitely been a culture shock. All of the Native Japanese I've ever heard came from TV shows, and the Ni Hon Jin that came to the MTC. So when I got out here and everyone voices were different, I couldn't understand a thing. Not because its a different language, but imagine someone that has learned  English from someone who speaks with a British accent, then they come over to america, and the here someone with a southern accent. It's not accent but it is different. I've already gotten used to it. 

I'm already fluent in Japanese though. I can speak to anyone anytime anywhere, and I can read everything, and pay for anything. I'm well set. 

JK I'm actually struggling so hard core. I am more prepared than I expected to be though, and that's been a huge blessing. For those of you who didn't hear, my trainer's name is Elder Rostedt. For those of you who don't understand the significance of this, when I got my call in May, and was super excited, my dad was even more excited. He started checking everything out about this mission, and eventually found someone on the Facebook Mom pages that just so happened to be Elder Rostedt's dad. So his dad sent my dad a PDF of all the emails he had already written, and then proceeded to forward the rest of them to me. So I have known Elder Rostedt for a few months now. When I got to Japan I started talking with Nakatsuka Kaicho and the AP's (Assistants to the Mission President) about people that I already knew here, and when I mentioned Elder Rostedts name they were shocked. Eventually on Wednesday the announced our trainers, and when I was told that I was going to be with Elder Rostedt, my heart leaped with Joy because I already knew how awesome he was.

Most of our get to know you time has been him getting to know me though, because I already know quite a bit about him. He is wonderful though. I'm loving getting to work with him. His testimony is So Strong, and he is a very Spiritual Person. 

Well I'm out of time this week. I did get to see Elder Roylance at the Transfer spot this week. I'll Send pictures. I'll talk about Nakatsuka Kaicho a little bit next week, as well as explaining some different things about Japan.
As for now, I will be done.
So until next week everyone.
Elder Eliot

Final farewell from Provo

Yes, we're really doing this!?

Bud, Elder Jack

Getting on a big plane in Salt Lake City

Second sighting of Japan

New companion Elder Rostedt from Austrialia
Add caption
This is Elder Roylance, Kelson's friend from Elk Ridge.  What a miracle they are serving together.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A new companion and a new city


Otaru, Japan
Wow, this is Kelson's dad.  A lot has happened in a short time.  Kelson got to Japan and was welcomed warmly.  His parents are calling him the Golden Child.  We have explained that it might not always work out the way you want and he says don't worry it will!  We have been all following Elder Baden Rostedt's emails he has sent from his mission.  Kelson has been every excited to learn of his journey (Elder Rostedt has been very descriptive in his communications and it has been fun to follow him).  Kelson wanted to be his companion sometime on his mission.  When I talked to him the other day for the airport, I asked him is there was a certain city he wanted to live in within his mission and he said Otaru.

Well.......guess what!  The Golden Child got it all.  He is companions with Elder Rostedt and he is assigned to Otaru!  We are soooooooooo excited for him.  Someone in Otaru is waiting for this kid to touch their life.  At least 100 people!  As you can see in the photos below, he is all smiles (as is his family).

Here is the email Kelson sent us after getting to Japan....

Hi family. I'm safe in Japan and I'm loving every second of it. I keep being baffled looking at the buildings wondering where the heck I am. I keep thinking it's Salt Lake. Then I see Kana (Japanese writing). It's so so so awesome. Well I don't have a ton of time, but I will tell you the coolest thing ever. You will never guess who my Trainer is. Elder Rostedt is my trainer. Whoever would've guessed it. When I told him that I had gotten and read all of his emails, he said "Yup that sounds like my dad" not surprised at all. Also we are in Otaru. Somebody is watching out for me and caring for me. I love you all, and was so glad to hear your voices. Love you a ton.
Elder Kelson Eliot


Elders' Eliot and Rostedt

All smiles

Kelson's companion and Mission President and Sister Nakatsuka

The last supper! Now we go to work...

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Watch out Japan, Elder Kelson Eliot is here!


Kelson's dad here.  Well he has made it to Japan!!!  His journey took over 24 hours (it makes me about as tired has he probably was!)  He got up Monday morning at 3:35am to start his journey to Japan.  He left the MTC (Missionary Training Center at 4:40am to take the Front Runner train from Provo to the Salt Lake City International Airport.  His flight left Salt Lake at 8:30 and he landed in Seattle at 9:30 (Pacific Time). He left Sea-Tac Airport at 11:30am for the long flight to Tokyo, Japan. He arrived in Tokyo at 4:15pm the next day (12:15am Utah time). Then he had almost a 5 hour layover and left on the next plane to Sapporo.  He got there at 8:30pm (4:30pm Utah). I hope he got to bed soon after.  

We will find out soon (I hope) what city he will first serve in and who his companion will be.  His P-Day (Preparation Day) is Monday so we should get an email to share Sunday evening.  Can't wait!!!

Here are some photos taken by his Mission President of him arriving in Sapporo and eating (they post a lot of photos of people eating!)

Welcome to Sapporo Japan!!

Yummy Breakfast.  Hope there was squid!

All new missionaries sign this wall carpet.

Getting his marching orders!  

Monday, November 3, 2014

On the way to Japan

Kelson's Dad Here, talked to my Elder Kelson Eliot twice today on the phone from the Salt Lake and Seattle airports! He is on his way to Japan as we speak! He is really excited, as are we! He is so ready for this adventure and I couldn't be more proud of him. God Bless you Kelson!