Sunday, December 20, 2015

12/20/2015 | It's Christmas Time!!!


Isn't it a great time to be on the earth. It is such a great time to be happy!!! A time to celebrate the Birth of a Savior who if hadn't come to this earth, we would have no hope, no happiness. This is my
favorite time of year. I hope you all take the time to remember our savior this year. Remember the First Christmas gift.

So a quick update and prayer request for you. Itabayashi san did get baptized. He came in a full white suit, and was really excited. This area has just become the 2nd sign language area in this mission. The missionaries now will have the chance to learn Sign language, because of the RC, and to help with translation things. (There's also a possibility of other Deaf people becoming investigators here soon)
Please keep him in your prayers. He is going to need strength.

Also, The Shibuyas could use your prayers. They have been having a rough time lately with their friends making fun of them, and don't really want to come to church anymore. We cant even meet with them to much as of late, so if you could keep them in your prayers that would be awesome.

Well I've got to get running, so don't forget Christmas. I like the quote that is on a Button Elder Pace got for Christmas. It says "Christmas without Christ is like Hot Chocolate without Chocolate" In
other words, no meaning.

Looking forward to getting to spend some time with my family for Christmas. What will you do?

Well sorry my emails have been shorter as of late. Ill try to figure things out to get a longer one in sometime, but for now. Love me!!!

See you next year 笑
Elder Eliot

Itabayashi San's baptism.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

12/13/2015 | Can't Wright Anything...

So We had a week of which I can actually tell everyone much about. Suffice it to say that this ward needs some help, and we are working on that right now. Not sure how its going to come out, but that's about the info I can give you.

I'm pressed for time, so Ill let you know how everyone is doing real quick, but that's about the time I've got today.

So Itabayashi san passed his Interview, and Will be baptized this Saturday!!! Yay!! He came to church yesterday, and I was translating for Priesthood. Ive discovered that there is a difference between the gift of tongues, and the gift of translating. Translation is not something I've been blessed with. It is very difficult and does not come easy. So I eventually changed the subject, and just talked to him. :) oops. But he is doing great, and Im so glad Ive gotten to work with him.

We havent had any contact with Daisuke san. The last thing he told me was that he was going to try to make it to church yesterday, and he didn't come. So we'll have to try visiting him at his home. But I think he's 元気 so... Thats whats happening there.

Ritsuki kun is as 元気 as ever. Still hanging in there and coming to Church every week. Havent had another opportunity to teach him a lesson yet, but he is doing good.

Sorry there's not a lot to report on this week. Next week we'll have a baptism, so there will be stuff for that.

And I'm out of time sooo....
Try to do something for someone else this week.
Always be mindful of what's going on around you.
Don't eat pig meat raw.
Elder Eliot

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

12/06/2015 | Here we go again...

Thanksgiving Curry Rice Dinner!

Hey everyone. Sorry for the short email last week. Had a lot going on, Didn't really get a chance to write a lot. Love me‼️

So this last week was a harder week. We recently have been seeing so much success here in Muroran, that I feel like Satan has redirected his attacks at us. I guess as long as the rest of Hokkaido is safe, That's OK, but it was a rough week. We didn't really get a lot of acceptance while finding this week. Normally people are a little nicer, and I can get some good communication going, but most people this week just immediately turned us down. We even had a guy tell us to go home in language that if I were to translate would involve lots of swear words, and other vulgar language. It was not nice and left me not feeling very good afterwards. We had to go into a convenience store, and I just prayed for help to feel better. Luckily God is nice. He helped me to keep going. Meh. Sometimes you just have those weeks I guess. Satan is working in the people. We just have to find those he hasn't hit yet, and continue to let a few seeds drop here and their.

An update on some people for you. Itabayashi san is 100% getting baptized. I've felt a lot of help in being able to remember Sign Language and have been picking it up at a rate that shocks everyone,
including myself. I bought a book a few weeks ago to help with my studies and I find myself every once in a while that I have only seen while skimming the book. God really is in this. He is excited for his baptism. He even asked Elder Pace to baptize him yesterday. So we have a program all ready. He came to church yesterday, which means I got to help with translation... That I can tell you is difficult. There is a difference between the gift of translation, and the gift of tongues. Big difference. I was able to struggle through it though and he understood for the most part.

Daisuke san will no longer be baptized on the 26th 😢 We had an appointment with him this Wednesday at which we were planning on trying to really push to get him to church, but he had an appointment with work come up randomly, and couldn't meet with us. I tried to get him to come to church talking with him on the phone, but he already was busy, so hes going to try to be to church next week, but now he wont be able to come to church enough times to be baptized on the 26th. So we'll try to set a new date with him, but I would still appreciate everyone's prayers for him.

Ritsuki kun is continually progressing. He even got up yesterday (being "persuaded" by his friends) and bore his testimony in church, talking about how much he has come to know God and things like that and it was great.

We are doing great. Its cold now. You might seen the insane amount of snow that Sapporo is getting. I am also quite shocked about it, but here in Muroran we haven't gotten much. What we did get already melted.

Well. I've got to go. I love you all. Enjoy the Christmas season and remember the real reason for it.
Elder Eliot

Saying goodbye to a Sister Missionary

Went to a fabric dye factory

Pacific Ocean at sunset

The usual eating!!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

11/29/2015 | Happy Thanksgiving!

Well its been a holiday hasn't it.

What did you do for Thanksgiving?

Sorry I don't have a lot of time email today. We have a lot of shopping to get done, so this is going to be short.

We are working hard here, and starting to prepare for a baptism. Itabayashi san is pretty much ready to go. We could probably even move it up week, but we'll leave it where it is as a cushion. I've been impressed at how fast I've been able to pick up the sign language. I was all ready to translate in church for priesthood yesterday (and then he couldn't come) (long story, no time) but I'm able to talk with him. Its way cool. He's just chugging along, and excited to be baptized. The sisters also have an investigator that is ready to be baptized on the same day, so we are way excited for them!

Daisuke san is also moving along. We've been teaching him commandments, and will start really trying to talk baptism this week. We're meeting at a members house, and talking with him so I think it'll go ok.

Oh by the way I didn't transfer. Still here in Muroran with my son Elder Pace.

Then Ritsuki kun is doing way good. We were able to teach quite a bit to him yesterday, and he's excited to get baptized. We are wanting to meet his parents, and are planning an activity to do so, but it looks like he's going to be able to do it to.

Well as Thanksgiving  comes to a close the Christmas Season opens up now. All you scrouges that have to wait till after thanksgiving, now are required to listen to Christmas music. Suckers.

I can't write a big long anything right now, but I challenge you this year, as all the Christmas racket occurs, try to remember the real meaning of Christmas. Try to remember your savior. He's what its all

Well that's about the time I have for this week. Sorry for a short one.
We'll see you next week!
Elder Eliot

Sunday, November 22, 2015

11/22/2015 | A week. Lots of 手話 (sign language). And Stake Conference.


Hey everyone.
Happy Labor Day in Japan. Hope you all had a good week. Ours was pretty good. We had Zone conference this week and got to hear some great workshops by Pres Nakatsuka, as well as our AP's (assistants to the president) Elder Day, and Elder Yoza. That was fun.

We were able to teach Itabayashi san and Daisuke san this week as well. Itabayashi san is well on his way to being baptized. We taught him the rest of the Commandments, and He was totally willing to obey all of them. We get to go again tomorrow to teach him about priesthood, and temples. Way excited. He is just progressing right along and heading towards the water. As for Daisuke, we were able to teach The Plan of Salvation, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ to him in one sitting. He really liked it, and told us that he is 100% going to get baptized. Said he wasn't so sure about the 26th, and he still isn't sure when, but I don't feel to worried about it. I think if we work hard, and teach him right, he will be able to get all whited out and wet. It was really fun talking with him about just being a missionary. He even straight up gave us advice on being Bold as we teach. It was pretty funny.

Haven't had a chance to do another lesson with Ritsuki kun yet, but he did come all the way up to Sapporo for stake conference yesterday, and we were able to talk with his Mom and get permission to continue teaching him. So he's ready to trudge forward too. The stake (6 or so congregations or wards are under a stake) president even mentioned him in his talk yesterday. He was pretty happy about that.

We were able to have a fun Sports activity this Saturday as well. All the young men and Women and their friends came, and we played sports at a gym near our apartment. I discovered I can push out my diaphragm far enough that I look 3 months pregnant, and it entertained them quite a bit. They all loved it especially when I would push out my stomach and serve the ball, and then fall over in fake pain. It was quite the adventure...

Anyway now that you have that info you probably didn't care about, I just have to mention how much more I know that the Book of Mormon is Gods word. I am now at Alma 31 in my reading in the Japanese モルモン書。I've been impressed that the language is different, but that it, the meaning is the same, the stories are the same, and the spirit is the same. Even across the language boundaries it emanates a spirit that just says, it is true. The wonderful Promise of Moroni works for all people
in any language in any place on the earth even in the little apartment of the Elders of Muroran. Read it. You can feel it to. Be it English, Japanese, Spanish, or Braille. You too can know. I promise that to you.

Well Im gonna be done for this week. This week is transfers, so it'll be interesting to see what happens.

Until next week.
Elder Eliot

Sunday, November 15, 2015

11/15/2015 | The Most Prepared Area in Hokkaido...


So that week went by super fast. I feel like I was just doing this yesterday. I guess that's what happens when you are full, and busy. Everything just goes by like that.... I mean like super fast....

Anyway so how is everyone? Its been a week, any fun things happen? Let me know. I miss all yours faces.

So this week, We have been working really hard, and despite taking time out for sickness, and a Zone Training Meeting, we were able to see a ton of miracles, and we have 2 more people now with baptismal dates. I'll give you a little bit of info on them.

So first of all an update on some people for you. First the Shibuya's. They are just super solid, and are going to grow to be very strong members. They are way excited to go to the temple here in a year, and are diligently trying to read their scriptures, and keep the commandments. They sadly lost a cat this week :( one of their little kittens just passed away. Little sad for them. Youji is going to be receiving the priesthood in a few weeks. So they are both pushing strong.

Itabayashi San is doing wonderful. He is continuing to push forward. Recently he has been telling us about how much he is emotionally moved, and making several other comments that are very similar to the Shibuya's when they started pushing forward real hard. He has definitely felt the Spirit and is acting on it. He has already quit smoking, and is obeying the word of wisdom. He is going way strong, and It's looking like we'll have a baptism here again next month. I better not transfer...

The next guy we made a date with is Daisuke. I think I talked about him last week, but he's the one that we found with all of the cats. We were able to go and talk to him again, and teach him the message of the restoration. He is extremely smart, and frankly just would agree with everything we said. We talk outside just as the sun was going down and the stars came out, making a perfectly beautiful scene before us from which we were able to talk about God. He was so so so cool. Super intelligent, and just knows that their is a God. 1 person. 1 being that governs everything. He is a practicing Buddhist, but still believes in Christ as well. He was very excited to accept a Book of
Mormon and accept the challenge to try to feel the Spirit, and if he does so, be baptized on the 26th of Dec. One week after Itabayashi San. Even in Muroran it'll be a white Christmas. Lol. I'm really
looking forward to talking with him again. I've never had a conversation that has been as fun as this last one we had with him. He is so cool.

The last guys name is Ritsuki Shirakawa (I think, its 白川, which has 4 different readings, so I'm guessing. In the end they all mean White River) He's actually a referral. His family recently moved into the Muroran area, and made friends with a family in the ward named the Kawano's. The Kawano's oldest son, Itsuki, invited him to an activity, and suddenly he started coming to church and any and all other activities we've had. We were able to teach him as well, and challenged him to be baptized on the 9th of January. That date might change because of a temple trip happening around that time, but for now, he is more than willing to listen, and wants to come to church whenever he doesn't have baseball. Which has been these past 2 weeks. We are going this Wed. with Sister Kawano to visit his parents, so that they don't think we are trying to brainwash him, and to make sure they are ok with us meeting with him. He seems way cool though, and has already started reading the Book of Mormon.

Well I guess that's about my time for this week. Hope you all have a wonderful week this week. I now know that I have been placed in one of the most prepared areas in all of Hokkaido. There are so many people willing to listen to us. It is a real testimony to me of the truthfulness of this gospel. It's really cool to get to help people taste the fruit. I know it's true, and I love it, and I love getting to see other people love it.

Love to everyone.
Elder Eliot

Quite the heel!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

11/08/2015 | It's Been Another Week

Hallooween Party
Well, I guess it's time to start writing an email I guess. We didn't really have a ton that I can write about, so I guess I'll try my best!

First I'll give you an update on some people. The Shibuya's are doing wonderful. They have been mailing me frequently this past week asking questions about words in the scriptures, and stuff like that. They are moving on to become good strong ward members. I'm way excited to see the growth in them. The bishop is currently thinking about callings for them, and it looks like next week, Youji is going to get the priesthood. They are solid. Next Itabayashi San, not much to report except that this past week I've really been focusing hard on my sign language skills, and I'm feeling confident and ready for the lesson we have on Wed. (Though I was feeling confident when I got out of the MTC as well, and I couldn't speak Japanese worth crap) I'll at least try. For some reason sign language is easier than the actual language, not sure why. Can't be the gift of tongues, because it's my hands not my mouth. But yeah that's the end of that.

And then one more guy to add to the list. We went down to an area further away last week called Bokoi. While trying to find a PI (which was impossible to find) we pinged on the door of a house that was way out of the way. I figured we should just start housing a little bit, and asking people where this PI might live, and theirs  was a house that I saw and just felt as though I was being pulled to it. Spiritual ropes, or something, but we went and rung the doorbell, and nobody came, so we were about to leave when a cat came out of nowhere, and of course, I couldn't resist. It was a kitten too, so of course I Had to try to pet it. While I was following it around the side of the house, and attempting to coax the cat to me (taking about 5 minutes in doing so), another side door opens, and startles me. A guy walks out, and so of course I say hello, all embarrassed getting caught playing with his cats, and start talking with him. He turns out to be way cool, tells us he is a nurse, and works as a "helper" somewhere. Currently he is in a break from his job to be at school. He has a Bible, and so we talked about the talking donkey (Numbers Chapter 26ish) and then of course the Book of Mormon. We made an appointment to come back, and the whole time he was just being a way cool cat, and He had interest, and really I'm just really excited to go back this week. His name is Daisuke (daheesookeh) Ookoshi (ohkohshee), way cool guy. Totally led to him by the spirit.

Well that's about my time for the week, so We'll see everyone next week.
Love to all!!
Elder Eliot

Sunday, November 1, 2015

11/01/2015 | A week of business, a baptism, and an awesome miracle!

11/01/2015 | A week of business, a baptism, and an awesome miracle!

The Shibuya's Baptism

Well the weeks continue to shoot by like days, and me and Elder Pace are working our butts off trying to use all of our time. So this week was Halloween. Don't have a lot of time to talk about it, but suffice it to say that it was really busy. The missionaries were in charge of the party, so we had to get it all put together and running. There will be lots of pictures to explain the business. OK enough suspense.

To clear all of your fears, I'll tell you right off the bat, we did have a baptism!!! The Shibuya's were safely brought to the font, and have been confirmed, and are now the newest members of Muroran Ward (congregation). They're even already throwing referrals our way. They are way awesome! So so so so blessed to get to see them from the beginning to the end. The baptism went over flawlessly (except our organ died, but meh) and they are ready to push to make it to the temple in a year. I have been so blessed to get to work with them, and am excited to keep pushing them till they are ready to be on their own. I want to thank everyone for your prayers on their behalf. I know that it did help. There were several miracles found for them in getting ready. Thank you very much.

Now if I could ask for your help, this will be where I talk about the other miracle that took place this week. So I don't know if I ever mentioned it, but ever since I arrived in Muroran, I have been studying Shuwa (Japanese Sign Language, or "Hand Talk") because we have a member who teaches it, and we have an investigator who is deaf. Go figure it is easier to learn than ASL, but it's been a lot of fun. So our investigator (Itabayashi San) that is deaf came to the baptism. The member that is fluent in Shuwa translated, and he had a really good experience. After the baptism we had a chance to talk with him, and we taught him about baptism, and The Gospel of Jesus Christ, and when we asked if he would like to be baptized, he said Yes!!! We were able to set a date for the 19th, of December, and he even came to church for the confirmation yesterday!!! He's way solid, and now that we are focusing harder on him, we are going to be learning Shuwa twice a week instead of 1 so yeah. I am going to be fluent in 2 languages when I come home, you know. No big deal. :) But seriously, I really do love this guy. We've been meeting with him for a little while now, and he is funny, fun, and just a loving guy. He is already very Christ-like so I'm excited for him. If you could keep him in your prayers, I would appreciate it. Maybe I'll get to see 1 more baptism before I head out of Muroran. The sister's also were able to set a date for Dec. 19 with their investigator Tsurumaki San who also came to the baptism. If you kept her in your prayers as well, I'm sure they would appreciate it.

Thanks so much for all everyone does. Make sure you don't get too fat from all that Halloween Candy. It goes straight to your thighs. Just ask Aunt Marge from Harry Potter. (Number 3) she'll tell you.

Go have a great week.

Elder Eliot

Eating (a lot) out! (I think you pay by the plate, see the conveyor belt of food?)

Elder Paces first taste of raw fish sushi!
Ouch! More food!

Quadruple Selfie!

Even more food!


Elder Pace and Elder Eliot

Elder someone, Rostedt, Eliot, and Pace

Gotta wash it down!

Elder Pace likes all sodas!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

10/25/2016 | A week of blandness (not to much new)

10/25/2016 | A week of blandness (not to much new)

Bridge in Muroran

Hey all!

It's been a week. Hope you all had a good one. I had a pretty good one. I'm doing pretty good. Training has been occurring, and I almost feel like I'm learning more than him. But Elder Pace continues to advance along. He's doing way good, and I love getting to work with him.

The Shibuya's continue to advance along well. We finished up all of the rest of the lessons this week, and they have both quit tobacco completely. We actually found out that our other guy Kone san hasn't been very accepting of the message and has actually been telling them they should stop. He's being kind of a pain, but he is still very kind to us, and will listen, so we continue to try with him. I actually got a text from him on Saturday, saying that the Shibuyas were worrying about something, and my heart sunk. It almost seemed like he was saying "Hahaha I won!" kind of text message. So I kind of panicked, but I called one of my Zone Leaders for advice, and boy am I glad I have him to help me. I had tried calling them, but their phones were off. It seemed though like they had rejected the call causing me to panic even more, so Elder Heslop, my zone leader, kind of slapped me in the face (very kindly and softly) and helped me realize that I should try visiting them. Duh. Why didn't I think of that.

Well because I had been panicking, on our way over, we stopped at a store, and bought a bunch of expensive fruit to give to them as a present. Something though that Elder Heslop said that helped me calm down and have faith was that "We are on Gods team." I know that, I just forgot it for a while. Well we went over, and it turns out that they were just fine. They had had a question about tithing that we were able to answer and promise them blessings of it, and they were totally OK. And it turns out that the fruit we brought them, persimmons, were their favorite fruit too. We were able to sit down, and plan out the baptism with them, and they both asked me to baptize them. I was kind of expecting it, but when they actually asked me, I was shocked, and just felt this overwhelming happiness, and love. It's hard to describe. Then they also asked me to conduct the meeting, and I realized, I don't know how to do that.... Not Japanese, that's probably just fine, but I don't know how to conduct a meeting in English... lol. I'll probably ask for some help on that one. They continue to trudge along, and as long as they pass their interview (which i think they will) then we will have a baptism this week.

Another cool thing, I got to give a talk in church yesterday. It's been a long time. The last time, I gave a talk I was worrying about the language more than what to say, and this time I was more worried about what I should say. I was still very unsure when I stood up, but I had looked up a few things, and had a skeleton to try to throw some meat on. Well I hadn't been given a theme, so I prayed about it, and felt like I should talk about repentance, and evaluating yourself constantly. I had been thinking about it as of recently. I had been looking at the facsimile in Abraham (the one that has all of the stuff written about how God has not yet revealed what it means) and wondering, when will he tell us this stuff. The last time we ever really heard new doctrine, or new anything in General Conference was when President Monson announced that Missionary age had changed. And I realized, that we aren't yet ready to know new things, because we aren't following the old things we know. 

God gives us everything Line upon Line, and Precept upon Precept, so that we don't get confused. Well if we aren't ready, and keeping the commandments and following the basic principles, how could we comprehend anything new? The 3 basic primary answers seem to be themes of a lot of talks, and scriptures. Pray, Study the Scriptures, and Keep the Sabbath Day Holy. Not everyone is doing these things, and some of us (myself included) could stand to do better. We could pray with more meaning, try to really have a conversation with our Heavenly Father rather than just going through the motions. We could try actually studying the  scriptures, and trying to learn new things, and follow the things we learn as opposed to just reading your chapter for the day because you're supposed to read every day. Sometimes we could do a little more to keep the Sabbath rather than just go to church. Keep the whole day Holy. There might be some people that are doing these pretty well. Their job is to help others to get up to that point. The caution that I gave however is make sure you have pulled the beam out of your eye. In Matthew 7:3-5

3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye

Well a mote, is tiny. It's essentially a splinter. A beam is straight up a piece of wood, used in buildings. Make sure you have taken your own steps, and you've gotten that wood out of your eye before you try to help someone else. Otherwise you'll probably do more harm than good (bludgeoning them with the beam hanging out of your eye while you try to reach for theirs) (just picture that)!

Anyway I guess I'll challenge everyone else. Do and evaluation of yourself. Check to see how big of a piece of wood you've got in your eye, and start fixing that. Then go and help others.

Well thanks for sticking with me. It's insane to think just how fast time has gone by. Already my dad is sending me messages making the end seem a lot closer, trying to get me to be trunky! But it won't work! 伝道 For Life!!! This is God's work, and I love being a part of it. Until next week, see you around.

Elder Eliot

Monday, October 19, 2015

10/18/2015 | My how the tables have turned...

10/18/2015 | My how the tables have turned...

What  a week. Do I have some stories for you. So first of all, there's been a transfer. And Elder Numano has transferred. He has gone over to Kushiro to be a Zone Leader. Why is it that all the companions I leave are always put in a new leadership positions, or go home. Anyway, so I am still in Muroran, and I have a new companion. And guess what. He is my kohai. Guess what else he just barely got to Japan like a week ago. That's right! for all of those who didn't know, I am training this transfer, and have now gone Senpai. All the way from Goshen Utah, (or as I like to call it, The New Jerusalem) My new companion is Elder Joseph Pace. He is way cool. He's almost as tall as me, but not quite :) that makes me happy. And then he also come from a 7 member Family, except he's #2. His older brother is also on a mission in California right now. He likes Singing, and the Guitar, and Of course Video Games. He likes minecraft. So we get along there. And then the really cool one, is that he went to Spanish Fork High School, so our Japanese Teacher, Welton 先生, is the same. He taught both of us in High school, and now we are together, in Muroran Japan. Learning Japanese even more, and getting better than him :) But yeah we were pretty excited to learn about that.

So yeah that happened. Quick update on the Shibuya's for you. Yumiko, the wife, has quit smoking. She has now gone 5 days straight, without smoking at all. Youji San is still struggling a little bit, but we have set goals, and he's optimistic, and we are too, and he will be able to kick tobacco in the butt, and be ready for their baptismal interview which has now been scheduled for the 29th of this month.  They will then be baptized on the 31st. They came to church yesterday, and there was a baptism for one of the kids here, and they got to see it. They said that they 感動した which literally means their emotion
moved, but essentially means that they felt strong emotion. It was very good, and they are working really hard. We will be meeting with them tomorrow, finishing off the lessons, and having fun. They are
solid. We are excited for them. It looks like they will become Kone sans fellowshipers, and help teach him. Lol. Watching them progress so fast though has really helped my testimony grow as well.

Well I guess that about does it for this week. I'm exited to start my first real week of training, and while i do feel slightly inadequate, I know that the lord will qualify who he calls, and help out. I'm excited!!! Well everyone have a wonderful week, and we'll talk to you next week. Make sure some time when you don't feel like it, you smile.

Do it this week. It will help. Trust me.

Elder Eliot

Sunday, October 11, 2015

10/11/2015 | Super Short General Conference Week of business (oh and transfer week)

10/11/2015 | Super Short General Conference Week of business (oh and transfer week)

Welcome to the show!

Well it has been a week hasn't it. Where does the time go. It seems that the less time you have the faster it goes. Literally every transfer has gone faster than the last. And now we are already at
Transfer Week again. I have a pretty high chance though of staying in Muroran, so no moving for me. And as there are 9 new Elders coming in next transfer, it is looking like I will be going Senior, and Training this next transfer. How on earth did that happen. Wasn't I just being
trained like 2 weeks ago? Time really flies.

Well we had a pretty good week Zone training meetings, Splits with the zone leaders, interviews with the president, and to wrap it all up General Conference at the end of the week. Wow it was really good. I sure received some revelation. I personally liked Elder Hales, and (of course) Elder Holland's talks in the Saturday Afternoon session. President Eyring's in the Priesthood session was also very well done. Although they went and released Elder Aoyagi. How sad is that. Have I ever mentioned meeting and talking with him? First I'll say he took the time to prepare his talk, because his English is not all that fluent.
😆😆😆 But I have had the opportunity to speak with him, and he's way cool. Everyone here was way excited for him to be called to the Quorum of the Twelve, and instead he just gets released. Little opposite don't you think? But yeah General Conference was wonderful.

We did get to meet with the Shibuya's, and Kone San again this week. We wound up doing a simple review with them 1 because we have been throwing lots of new information at them over the past few weeks, and 2 because Kone San hadn't heard it yet. But they are once again progressing. Yumiko (the wife) came to General Conference yesterday, and had a real good time hanging out with all the older Relief Society sisters. Youji (the husband) was sick, and couldn't come. He wound up catching a cold, plus he's started having slight withdrawals from quitting tobacco, and so he decided it would be best to sit this one out. Kone San was also busy, so he couldn't come either, but they are all 3 progressing swell. The Shibuya's are looking like they will be baptized on the 31st. Kone San will take a little more time, but he is still progressing. Thank you all for their prayers on their behalf.

Lastly I would like to challenge everybody. Don't know if you remember the member of the seventy that talked about ponderizing scriptures, but basically he challenged everybody to ponderizing a new scripture every week. For details on what it means to ponderize, go read  "My Heart Pondereth Them Continually" by Devin G. Durrant in the afternoon session of Sunday's General Conference. Essentially you get scriptures memorized sort of kind of. But I know that by doing so, you give yourself a weapon against the temptations of Satan. One of the things that we have been councils to do over and over again, is that when we are tempted, to sing a hymn, recite a scripture, say a prayer, stuff like that. Well if you are memorizing a scripture every week, you are adding a new arrow to your quiver every week. That's 52 arrows in a year. Most of them can even be used again. Anyway I challenge everyone, to take Brother Durrants challenge. It will bless your life, and I can promise that to you. I'm going to try it. Everyone do it with me. And feel free to let me know what your scripture is for the week at anytime. The scriptures are very powerful. I know that we can gain knowledge and spiritual guidance if we abide by their teachings.

Well that's going to be my piece for this week. We'll see you next week, and let you know what is happening transfer wise next week.

Remember to eat pancakes with something yummy on top. Otherwise it's a waste of flower.
Love you all.
Elder Eliot

Sunday, October 4, 2015

10/04/2015 | As the days get colder, my heart grows warmer.

10/04/2015 | As the days get colder, my heart grows warmer.

I'm sure that's a quote, hanging on a wall somewhere...

Hey everyone. It's been a week... somehow...  not sure how that happened, but it did. Seriously this week went by really fast. It feels way weird.  Anyway so I had a good week. I'm so stoked right now. We had 2 more great lessons with the Shibuya's. It is so cool to see their progress right now. The other guy, we haven't met with again yet, so we will be trying to visit him at his house this week, but the Shibuya's are just progressing like crazy. It hasn't even been 3 weeks, and already they are just desiring to get baptized. They have gone from not believing in anything, and smoking a lot, to finally having something that they believe in, and strong faith, and they are even quitting tobacco right now!!!

We taught them about repentance, and how it's hard, but worth it, and then from there we started the commandments with them. The first one we did was The Word of Wisdom. It went over really well. The only problem they have with it is tobacco, and they have already progressed far from where they were before. We then taught them about tithing, and temptation yesterday. They have gone from having Zero faith 3 weeks ago to already having such strong faith now. They are diligently reading the Book of Mormon every day, as well as praying, and they have come to church these past few weeks. It looks like we will see a baptism at the end of this month. Which, if I train next transfer will be great for my bean. He'll get to practice teaching with super Golden people, and see a baptism his first transfer. I'm so excited.

It's so cool to see the kind of change that the gospel can have on people. When we first met them, they were just physically unclean, and just from listening to us talk about spiritual cleanliness, they have been outwardly getting cleaner. It's so cool to see how an inward change affects the outside as well. Their apartment is cleaner, they aren't smoking nearly as much. Wow I'm so grateful for the chance to work with them. Watching their progress strengthens my own testimony, and I love it.

As most of you know, this past weekend was General Conference. As as some of you know, I haven't seen it yet :(  I don't get to see it until this next week, because of translation things that have to occur. But... I may have cheated already and seen a few... Shh don't tell anyone

But I do want to talk about the amazing help you can receive from it. I personally have been effected by several different talks over the years that have landed me where I am now. For instance, hearing from the prophets mouth, almost every time "It is a priesthood duty to serve a mission" you get the picture. I want to share one quote from last year Oct. in the Priesthood

session. As you reread the talks, and ponder their meanings, I would exhort that you would ponder this message:

"It was our beloved Savior’s final night in mortality, the evening before He would offer Himself a ransom for all mankind. As He broke bread with His disciples, He said something that must have filled their hearts with great alarm and deep sadness. “One of you shall betray me,” He told them. The disciples didn’t question the truth of what He said. Nor did they look around, point to someone else, and ask, “Is it him?” Instead, “they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?” I wonder what each of us would do if we were asked that question by the Savior. Would we look at those around us and say in our hearts, “He’s probably talking about Brother Johnson. I’ve always wondered about him,” or “I’m glad Brother Brown is here. He really needs to hear this message”? Or would we, like those disciples of old, look inward and ask that penetrating question: “Is it I?” In these simple words, “Lord, is it I?” lies the beginning of wisdom and the pathway to personal conversion and lasting change."

Well hope you all have a good week. As it starts to get colder, be careful, and don't get sick! That's an order lieutenant!!

Love you all!
Elder Eliot

Some kind of squid things!