Sunday, June 28, 2015

06/28/2015 | Exercise Meeting


Sorry I'm out of time this week, so I will just tell you about Saturday. Saturday was one of the better days I have had on my mission. We woke up and did normal study, and then got our stuff ready to head to Atsubetsu. We joined our investigator Matsunogo Yuuki (we call him Ma chan) and the YSA (Young Single Adults) of Sapporo for what is called an Undo Kai. Literally it translates to "Exercise Meeting" but they say "Track and Field" when they translate it. But it is not that at all. Imagine Mario Party. Where they do all the different funny mini games such as pushing a ball around, and knocking other people off of the big tower. It's just like that except a little bit shorter than a big tower. Effectively I played Mario party IRL with the YSA of Sapporo.

After that was done, we returned to the Shinkotoni church with our investigator for his Baptism Interview!!! HE PASSED!!!! We have a baptism this Saturday. Super exited 私. But while he was in being interviewed, we coordinated this week with one of the sisters in our area, to set up a surprise birthday party for him and Sister Barr. His birthday was on Wednesday, and Sister Barrs was on Friday. We were able to pull it off without either of them noticing. And her companion was the one that did most of the work. It was awesome. They both felt very celebrated, and we had several members, and even some investigators there to celebrate with us. It was a complete success. That was our day. It was way good. Sorry I don't have time this week. I'll make more next week! I love you all, and can't wait to report on the baptism this week.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

06/21/2015 | Happy Daddy Day!!!


Kelson's email to his dad!

Happy Daddy Day!!!😄😄😄😄

Hope you had a good one. I know you're really bummed you can't call to me on Father's Day, but it's OK (Dad: Not too bummed, just think 3 times a year would be better than too). The times between calls home go really fast. If you think it goes fast for you just know that I still feel like I just got to Japan yesterday. And also look at it like this. By the next call, I will be senior missionary, and possibly training a new missionary already. So yeah mission goes really fast. Somebody asked me the other day about my dads mission journal. Asked if I'd ever read it and what stories I know about your mission, and I realized, I don't know to much. The only stories I remember are about the plane being "2 years away" and when you were leaving the MTC and everyone in your district got cold feet. Well, I'd like to know more about your mission 😝😝😝
I also found this cool thing in the June... New era... I think... In one of the magazines. I posted the questions at the bottom. Let me know some stuff.お願いします。

Anyway, thank you for being my dad. I know I haven't always been the best kid, and I'm sure part of that is being the oldest, but you always have been a great father to me. I want to thank you for that. I'm sorry I can't always answer all your questions in the way that you want me to, but I am trying. I've decided what I will do is take a video of my apartment for you. Give you an idea of what a Japanese apartment is like. Give you almost a video journal. It's something I've always wanted to do, I tried to do it in Otaru, but my camera died, and it was the day I left :( I'll have to try that again sometime. And then I have pictures of Abashiri, but they are on Elder Francis camera... So that's also an issue. But now I'll get you the Shinkotoni apt. Yay!!!!! 

So back on the thanking you for everything train. Sorry I kind of just train hop a little, I wanted to thank you for all the help you've given me in scouting, school, and all other aspects of life. It may have been just a little taste of what hell is like, but I am now able to go to college 😆😆😆

Anyway Happy Father's Day. I love you I'll get that video to you sometime soon... Hopefully... I want to clean up the apt a little more. I love elder Rostedt, but he is not good at keeping a clean apartment, and he left me a mess to clean up soo yeah. Love you lots.

Kelson's email this week!

I'm not to sure what to talk about this week. Nothing overly exciting happened. We just messed around in Sapporo Train station for P-Day.... Tuesday we had DTM, and then institute that night. That was kind of fun. We go with our investigator to Institute every week. They are studying D&C right now, and honestly... The teacher is really boring... The fun part was after, when all of the YSA's started practicing their music for a concert in a few months. We started singing "Battle Hymn of the Republic" and then I realized. I have sung this before. We were singing the same Motab arrangement that we sang in choir at school. So yeah. That was cool. On Wednesday we just had a normal day with English that night. We teach 2 classes on two days. Which is what we did on Thursday as well. And then Friday we had lunch with 2 investigators, and dinner that night with a cool family in he
ward. They had parakeets, one of them spoke Japanese too. That was fun. Then Saturday we tried to visit several people, but they all weren't home. We did have a sports night that night though, and it was a lot of fun. We mostly just played basketball, but towards the end we did play a Japanese card game that was very similar to scum. Then Yesterday (Sunday) we had a lot of fun. HAPPY FATHERS DAY!!!!! Just by the way. Happy day to all of the fathers out there. Especially mine :)
hope you all had a good day. Anyway so we had church, and had lunch afterwards, but we were able to make an appointment with our investigator, Matsunogo Yuuki kun, for a baptismal interview. I will see a baptism here in a few weeks, and it's my first one so I'm very excited. We also had another investigator come, who we had a lesson with afterwards. His girlfriend is also an investigator, so we did a lesson together with the sisters, and it went pretty well. It was almost a 4 hour lesson though... It was really long. And that brings us back to today.

SPIRITUAL THOUGHT: I have gotten a lot of emails from home lately about the sacrament. One of which I'd like to share with everyone. Usually in sacrament meeting I wind up thinking of just random, literally anything and everything. I try to think a little more about Jesus during the sacrament portion, but especially being ADD its kind of hard. But my bishop the other day sent us an email in which he encouraged us to just pay attention to the words of the sacrament hymn. So I did. We sang the hymn, and then during the sacrament I just continually read the lyrics of sacrament hymns. Wow they are powerful. Sometimes I don't think we recognize the power of hymns. We get so used to just singing them, we don't recognize what the lyrics are saying. I challenge you all to try just reading the lyrics of a hymn after you have sung it. Think about what they are saying. It's very cool.

Well sorry I didn't have the Most interesting letter this time around. Maybe next week there'll be more to talk about. We've got some fun stuff planned for this week soooooo..... Yeah. Until then stay awesome

The slide of slides

Busy packing on transfer day, moving to Sapporo

P-day football

Elder's Eliot and Francis


I love trains!

Eating more!

Sakura Tree (Cherry)

District at flower festival

Found American store!!!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

06/14/2015 | Downtown Sapporo

Note from dad: So we were mistaken on where Kelson is last week. He is in the Shinkotoni Ward (church congregation) but that ward covers downtown Sapporo known as Odori. He has gone from one of the more rural areas in his mission to the most urban. He says he doesn't like big cities, but knowing him, I will grow on him.

Odori Park Downtown Sapporo


Hey everyone. How was your week. Mine was pretty good. How are you all doing. Jaylyne are you doing ok? Hey Lindsay how's college. Elder Goodsell are you doing ok in Finland? Oh wait me? You want to hear about me? Oh ok. Well than I guess I'll tell you about me.

So I haven't been in Abashiri at all this week. I packed up and said good bye Sunday. I went with elder Francis to Obihiro for ZTM at which one of my more favorite missionaries, Elder Brandolino, bore a very powerful parting testimony. He talked about why we are all out on missions, and using Matthew 10:39 and an analogy to mountains, helped me feel the spirit probably stronger then I have ever felt it. Sadly he is now gone. Another batch of missionaries has left the mission. To bad so sad. It seems like they are just dropping like flies as of
late. Soon it'll be me :(

Anyway, trunky thoughts aside. On that same day, we went down to Sapporo. Hung out in the Higashi apt. Then Wednesday, with nothing to do we went to the Hokkaido museum of modern art. It was really cool. One of my favorite pieces was a life sized wood carving statue of a woman sitting on a couch. Maybe it's just the fact that I did woodworking, but I was able to appreciate just how much talent was required. Also on that day we had 2 crows attack us... So that was fun.

I'm now on Turbo mode because I'm out of time, but I got my new companion Thursday, and started working in Shinkotoni. Already seeing miracles. First day we did dendo we went to try to find a OI (old investigator), and they had moved. We pinged anyway and met a cool guy. We asked if we could come back another day, and he said sure. So we asked when would be good, and he said "is tomorrow good?" Heck yeah tomorrow is good. So we went back "tomorrow" (Saturday) and taught him several elements of the first 3 lessons. He says he has interest in religion, so it seems like it'll go good. Then that night we went to the church and had a game night activity in which we played some fun games with some members that showed up. Had a ton of fun. Then on Sunday we went to church, and had fun meeting all the members. Obviously being a new area I gave my testimony. It went well had a very lovely day at church. So members in my district this transfer are Elder Fujisaka, and Me, Elder Birch, and Elder Hishii (the mission headquarters missionaries), and Sister Naganuma, and Sister Barr. That's right I get sisters in my district again. That's a nice change. Well that's about all that has happened to me. Today we went to the Sapporo Train station, and checked out a bunch of stores. Nothing too exciting, but Sapporo is a really cool area. I'm excited to work here. And I know we're being helped. If you don't believe me just read Alma 13:24  ;)

Well hope you all have a lovely week. Love you all.
Elder Eliot

Sunday, June 7, 2015

06/08/2015 | Transfer to Shinkotoni in the Big City of Sapporo


Shinkotoni (Sapporo)
A new Transfer has come :) I got my Transfer call yesterday. First however let me tell you about this week. I'm sorry for not sending an email last week. I was rushed in email last week, because we had a District Activity. The week before was actually fairly slow, and not a lot happened... It was kind of. Bummer week, because we tried hard, but didn't see much from it... Those are kind of hard weeks, but I know that we are still doing what we are supposed to do, and God will bless us, and this area for it. So anyway back to this week, I'll just give you a play by play, day by day.

Monday: This day we went to Kitami for a district activity. On the way down, we met one of our friends that works as a police officer in Abashiri. We talked to him, and were able to teach him about the restoration. After that we got to Kitami, and went to email for 20 min. Like I said I was rushed. And then for our district activity, we went to a recycle shop called Hardoff. We, all using no more than $10, found something interesting, and bought it. Then we brought that back to the apartment, and went to play soccer with one of the Kitmi investigators. It was a lot of fun, but I was reminded of how much I suck at soccer :) We went and ate Ramen for dinner that night. After that we all came back and did a gift exchange, white elephant style. In the end, I wound up with this really cool One Piece (a popular anime series in Japan) umbrella. It has a handle that is swordish, and it's way cool. It was a good day, but I wish I had had more time to email. Sorry bout that.

Tuesday: Had Splits today. I went with Elder Stevens, and we did some housing. Didn't find to much, but we were able to find one person they can teach. It was very awkward though, because she was wearing almost zero clothes. I wound up just hiding behind the door, so I couldn't see her. Then we went back and had English class in Kitami. Fun and good day.

Wednesday: I was on splits again, this time with Elder Tsutsumi. The first thing we did was go with an investigator to an All-you-can-eat place. It was basically just all you can eat meat, while we talked to him about the gospel. It was way cool. And delicious. Then we went and visited one of their investigators, who could talk. A lot. She was a
talker. We wound up teaching her about the word of wisdom, and then talked about crows, and Japanese sign language, and how young I am, and literally just everything. We talked to her for about 1 hour and a half, and then had to go back to the church, for a ping pong activity that the Kitami elders set up. A few of their investigators came, and 2 of the members. We had a lot of fun. One of their investigators had a little girl, that is probably 6 or 7 years old, and she had so much fun trying to play ping pong, and all the other goofy games we made up. Towards the end she started drawing on the board, and I would tease her by making her cats male (I would write the Japanese character for boy on them when she wasn't looking ) She had a blast. That night, before we went to bed, we all played D&D (Dungeons and Dragons) together. I don't know why I haven't played it before, because it is one of the funnest games ever. I currently have a pretty cool Level 3 True Elf Thief. We have taken on several zombies, a Dire Wolf, and a Thunder God. It is honestly real fun (yes I know I'm a nerd. Laugh it up).

Thursday: Today I was on splits with Elder Dobashi. Except Elder Dobashi is dying, so I just stayed at the Kitami apartment all day. I watched some episodes of the Joseph Smith Papers. It is way cool, this project they are working on. Basically they are compiling all the documents they have, that have direct affiliation with Joseph Smith, and they are publishing them. All I know is I'm going to have a copy. They have documents of his journal, and court cases against him, and they even still have some of the original manuscript that Oliver Cowdrey wrote the Book or Mormon on. Way cool. Other than that, I slept about 3 hours, I took all of my D&D characters info and
digitized it (put it on my iPad) and I cleaned their apartment a little bit. I tried to study some kanji, but my brain just wasn't focusing on it so I gave up. Then they came home, and I made Dinner for them. So far the most interesting meal I have ever made was this night. I made fried rice, but they didn't have rice (I know, Japanese
apartment without rice. Crazy.) so instead I used SPAGHETTI. It tasted just fine, and was pretty cool, but it made a huge mess. I made too much spaghetti, and it barely all fit in the pan. So we ate dinner, I cleaned their kitchen (again) and we wrapped up the day with some more D&D.

Friday: Fairly bland day. We woke up, and went back to abashiri. When we got there we got showered, and studied, and then we did weekly planning. We realized, we didn't keep the best area book, or PI records, and we were a little stressed about that so we updated it a little bit, and then we went to English class. I haven't talked about how that works yet so maybe I'll do that. Usually what I do (I teach the more advance classes, so I can speak all in English) I start off with pronunciation. Give them some words that Japanese people have trouble pronouncing that are similar to each other. Like "sludge" and "slush". In that they always want to know what the words mean, and then they are usually pretty good at pronouncing the words, but sometimes listening is harder, so I will cover my mouth, or turn around, and then I wouldn't enunciate, and stuff like that. After that I will teach vocab based off of a theme every week. This weeks theme was "Opposites, and similarities" this one was a little special, and I normally just teach them vocab from a book, and then add a few harder ones myself. After that I do "Conversation" this is supposed to be the main part of the class, because it's called 英会話 (eikaiwa) which is literally English Conversation Class. We just have a topic based off of the theme, and we talk with them about it. Then to finish it up we'll play a game that has to do with English. This week it was special, and for vocab what I did was I had words like "dark" or "white" and then they would have to tell me the opposite, and any similar words for it. We would use them in sentences and such, and then there were really hard ones. Ones that I didn't even know. I had to use the book to find out what they were. They had to figure it out, and then tell me all the words in Japanese so I could learn. At the end of class, I said good bye to everyone. It was sad. They were way cool, and I've been there for half a year and made real friends in that group. It's a good thing I transferred, because if I hadn't, it would've been embarrassing. I mean... What... Who said I transferred.... *evil laugh*

Saturday: Today we went to a further away area, and tried to visit one of our investigators who unfortunately moved. Not only did she move, but she moved to the one area in Hokkaido that doesn't have missionaries currently. Hopefully we got a good seed planted, and when missionaries bang on her door she'll listen again. Then we did some housing, and didn't find anyone, and then we went to our investigators house. She fed us dinner right in her Genkan, and we talked. It was nice. We taught her about the Atonement, and then showed her a Mormon message. The problem with the video though was they didn't have it in Japanese, so I spent the whole morning translating it, and then read my translation as the video played. It was rough, but it was good. We showed her the video "The savior wants to forgive" I think she liked it. Then we went home.

Sunday: Church. Really sad church. My last time in Abashiri. There cats out of the bag. I'm leaving Abashiri. ああマジか... I don't want to leave, but it's time to move on. Anyway at church, I got up and bore my testimony, and thanked everyone for being really kind and awesome, and then everyone else got up and thanked me. I wish I had been able to see something more in Abashiri, but didn't get to. Oh well I was there for something, hopefully I did it. But then after that, we stayed at the church to practice some music, and then went home for Transfer calls, so we could pack and go to Kitami. Well I got a transfer call. Now you are all wondering what it is, so I won't hold
you back anymore. DRUM ROLL *budududududududududududududusududududududududududududum*

I'm going to an area in Sapporo called Shinkotoni!!!! My new companions name is Elder Fujisaka!!! An old district member. I'm excited. I know a little bit about him, and have had the opportunity to dendo with him before, so I'm looking forward to it. And then Shocker for you. Elder Francis is also Transferring. He is going to Asahikawa, as a Zone Leader with a missionary called Elder Horne. Abashiri is being White Washed (all new missionaries.) Luckily one of the missionaries coming to Abashiri has been there before, and actually had a really good relationship with the investigator we were focusing on. So there's that. Yup that happened.

Well. I think that's my email for this week. We are currently on our way to Obihiro, for a zone training meeting tomorrow (that's why we got transfer calls early), and then we'll head to Sapporo, for transfers. I'll email more next week! Until then, everyone wish my uncle (Kyle) a happy birthday. Well until next week. Don't forget to clean your ears out every once in a while :)