Sunday, February 28, 2016

08/28/2016 | Im back to "looking north" :)

Well I guess it's time to let you know what the happenings have been. I apologize the short email last week. I had things going on that required my time. Sorry :)

Soooo I have been transferred. I thought for sure I had been saved from the winter of Hokkaido, when I was in Muroran. I was so right. I am now in an area called Kitami (literally North, Look) which, I have been in several times before. I was here last year. Back when I was in Abashiri, I was in a district with Kitami. That means, I've been here for DTM's, and Splits, and other small reasons, but it's been nice.

I've gotten to meet a lot of cool people, that I've already met, and get to be friends with them. It's been really fun. My current companion is Elder Vanisi, who was in the MTC with Elder Bailey. He's pretty cool. He is from Provo, UT, and is a Half. His father is Tongan, so he has Polynesian in him, but is way short. Lol. He was a band geek back in High school, and played the Clarinet, as well as the Oboe. He enjoyed it enough to spend over 10000¥ on a Clarinet last Monday, and has been playing it around the apartment. He is really fun.

For the first time in my mission, I am in an apartment with 4 elders. Our roommates, are Elder Tate (who was in the MTC with me, and came out one transfer later) and Elder Murdock, who is also from the MTC with Elder Bailey and Elder Vanisi. It's been fun getting to know them better.

Kitami is a nice area. It is a little more city-ish, but still nothing like Sapporo. More city than Muroran, and Abashiri, but less than Otaru, and Sapporo. If you can picture that... Anyway. So we currently have 4 investigators we are focusing on. I haven't met 2 of them yet, so I haven't gotten to know them to well yet, but the first one is Kudou San. She is an older lady that is honestly trying to find her path in life, and is a legitimate Investigating Investigator. She is very kind, and supposedly feeds us every time we go over.

Next is Yanagida San. She is the mother of our current Ward Mission Leader. He is a convert of 4 years, and just got back from his mission a little while ago. Now his parents are investigating, and his mother is our investigator. Supposedly the parents relationship isn't the best, so we are teaching them separately. The other Elder's teach the Dad.

3rd is Kazama San. She is a young mother that lives near the church, and had seen the missionaries multiple times, and was curious. She has read the Book of Mormon a little bit, and prayed, and apparently has received an answer. I still don't know what that answer is, because we haven't had a chance to meet with her for a good long time. We have an appointment with her this week however, and will hopefully make a baptismal date.

Last is a family named the Nohara's. There is Nohara San who is the mother, she is Japanese, and then their dad is German. He works all over the world as a consultant for something... So he isn't at home, but then they have 2 daughters named Julia, and Emily. Julia is in Jr. High, and speaks English very very well, and Emily is 9 years old, and is better than she lets on. They are a family I met last year when I was here, and they have been prepared for a while. They are extremely kind, and have genuine interest in Jesus Christ. So much so to the point the the 2 times I've met them, we weren't planning on teaching them anything, but they just started asking us all about Jesus Christ, and so we teach them. They have a lot of potential, and are probably some of my favorite people on this Island.

Well I think that about sums up my time. I'm really excited to work here. I get to come see the fruit of the seeds that I helped place here, and I even get to return to Abashiri. I'm going back this week for splits, so I'll get to see that fruit as well. A little sad to leave Muroran, but I am way excited to work up here. I love everyone so much, and yeah. I will sign of now I guess.

See you next week
Elder Eliot

Sunday, February 21, 2016

02/21/2016 | Transferred to Kitami

New Sapporo Japan LDS Temple
I'll tell you very quick about some of the things that happened this week. I got transferred, so I am no longer with Elder Bailey, and I'm no longer in Muroran. I am now in Jeff's bean area, of Kitami. It is the area that I was in a district with in Abashiri, so I've already met a lot of the people here, and I'm really close to Abashiri, and will even probably get to go on splits there this transfer. It'll be a lot of fun. I am still training, I am follow up training an elder that came here at the same time as Elder Bailey. His name is Elder Vanisi, and he is from Provo. He is pretty cool, and I've enjoyed working with him so far. Elder Bailey is now with Elder Santos, who was in the MTC for a little while with me, and is a dang great missionary. He's in good hands. We have a few investigators out here, that have quite a bit of potential, so It's going to be a blast.

I found a cool thing in my studies this week that I thought I would share with you. I am reaching the end of Alma in the Book of Mormon, and have been reading about the Stripling Warriors. One thing that intrigued me, is that there is a part that talks about how they didn't fear death. When I read about that, I thought about whether or not, I'd be willing to go and fight. They were 18-20 years old at the time, and it made me think about how I'm the same age. As I thought about it, I realized, heck yeah. I'd totally be willing to fight. I would grab a sword, and go and fight for my family, freedom, church, and country. Which then made me think, if I would be willing to do that, how come I'm not willing to do the simpler things that God asks me to do? Why am I too lazy. "Oh my son, do not be slothful because of the easiness of the way" As a missionary, I am going to work hard. And in Life, and with various callings as well. I'm not being asked to fight an army, so if I'm willing to do that, I can be willing to do simpler things. 

I hope you have a wonderful week.

Elder Eliot

Sunday, February 14, 2016

02/14/2016 | And... Another Transfer Week!

Well. I apologize upfront for the short email, but we don't have time today. Sorry. It happens when your a missionary.

We've been continuing to work hard, and still haven't seen a lot of outward success, still have the Zero teaching pool, but I've come to realize, that It doesn't matter. God isnt letting us fail. He didnt
call me to come to Muroran, see success, and then fail. That isn't what he does. Everything we do, everyday, is his will. The outcome of what we are doing is exactly as he wants it to be. I don't quite know what the fruits of this work are going to be, but I know that they will be good. I pray that someday I might be able to see them, but for now, I'm comforted knowing that I have done enough. I've taken great comfort in one particular scripture lately (because I was teaching a lesson about developing talents)

Matthew 25:21
21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

I feel like I have been putting forth the effort. As long as I do so, he won't let me fail. I know this is his work. He is at the center of it, in whatever he does. Just because I'm not seeing outward signs of
success doesn't mean there isn't success. I am at peace with what I do. We will continue to try hard, but for now, I put my trust in the one guy that knows everything. Not the worse guy to put your trust in ;)

This week is transfers, so I will let you know next week what happens. I hope to stay in Muroran for just one more. Finish up with Elder Bailey and then head on. I know that this is the truth. This gospel is peace. Anyone can have it. Try it and see :)

Everyone have a wonderful week.
Elder Eliot

Sunday, February 7, 2016

02/07/2016 | The Last Dry Week!

Hello everyone of the world/the people that read this. How was your week. I hear it's cold in Utah. Hope you're all bundling up, and not getting colds or anything. That's ダメ (no good).

So I'll relieve all your worries about my back very quick. I actually just sent my mom an email about this, and it took a while to type, and I don't really feel like typing it again, so I'm just going to cheat,
and copy paste. Don't tell anyone XD So, it's slightly frustrating, because it has been hurting me to the point the it is difficult to move, but I went to the hospital, on Wed, they took and X-Ray, and proceeded to tell me I have 肩こり, which translates to "stiff shoulders"

Apparently what is happening, is that my body is stressed, naturally doesn't have good posture, and it's cold, which also causes my posture to be worse, and all of the muscles just decide to get as tight as they can. There are generally 3 area's in which you feel this pain, and that is in the shoulder, up closer to the collar bone, and right smack dab in the center of the shoulder blades. Essentially my 背筋, or the muscles that are right next to my spine, are just extremely tight, whenever I put pressure on them, I.E. when I stand, or sit, or ever have weight on my back. Go figure. They gave me a bunch of medicine, which has been helping a little, told me I should go to an Onsen (the public bathes they have in Japan) and also recommended me to go get a massage (which is offered at lot's of onsens). However, Onsens are not allowed for missionaries. Even with doctors orders, it's not life threatening, so I just get to deal with some pain. Knowing that it isn't life threatening though, I can kind of fight through it a little better, and we weren't cooped up in the apartment all week. We were able to get out and do some stuff, and we'll probably get to do some more this week!

So yup that about sums it up. I've actually been kind of humbled about it this week. I was at first very frustrated with the results, and almost was wanting it to be worse, just because it was hurting me so
much. But as I sat (laid) down to think about it, I realized just how stupid I was being. I don't want it to be worse, in fact being that it hurts as bad as it does, I am grateful that it is just 肩こり (stiff shoulders) and not something more serious. I am so glad that God blessed me so that I wouldn't be dealing with something that could have damaged me not just longer, but almost permanently. I actually remember on thing that Elder Bailey said when he gave me a blessing "I bless you that your
mission will not be hindered." Or something similar to that. I've realized just how much I have been blessed through this ordeal. I have a nice warm comfy apartment to help me stay away from the pain, a loving companion who has taken care of me, good doctors, that were very kind to help me, great Ward members to support me, and a Loving Heavenly Father who blessed me with it all. Suffice it to say, my broken back, broke me. I definitely  have noticed God's hand in my life a lot more. It really is there all over the place. You just have to look for it. You too can see it.

So this week, with the small amount of dendo time, and pain in my back, we still didn't get to find anyone new. However yesterday during Sacrament meeting, as I was taking the sacrament, I felt this warm feeling all through my body, that took away all the pain in my back, and realized, this was the last week. The famine is over. This week we will find someone. We are going to find some wonderful people this week, and I'm super excited for it. I continue to pray for it everyday, and with everyone else praying for it as well, and the fact that God loves his children, and wants me to find them, we are going to find at the very least 1 new person this week. And I have great faith that it will be more than that. I'm going to take this bushel off of my candle, I'm going to put it on a hill, and I'm going to put
up a big old piece of glass, and turn this candle into a beacon.

I hope everyone had a good week, and is going to have another great one. I'm praying for you all, and hope you can see God's hand in your lives. I love you, and will talk to you all next week!!
Elder Eliot

Picture: I think I forgot to send this last week. This is Ritsuki's baptism.