Monday, March 28, 2016

03/28/2016 | Transfer Week (Didn't I just barely type that?) and Peruvian Japanese

Hey Everyone!!!! How've you been? Did you have a good Easter? Mine was grand. Honestly it kind of just felt like a normal day, but this season, it has been so much fun to testify, and tell everyone about Jesus Christ, the Resurrection, and his Atonement. Don't get to do that too often, and now this has been my last. It's still hard for me to realize sometimes just how fast my mission is coming to an end. I guess that just means I have to work a little harder right?

Anyway, so something that has been really cool this week. I've been spending a lot of time on the phone, trying to get in contact with people who's phone numbers we have, trying to talk to them, and find new investigators. Well we have some records that have phone numbers, that work, and they say that the people are Golden, but people haven't been able to contact them. They never pick up, or stuff like that. I had about 5 times this week, where I called someone who hadn't picked up in forever, and the first time I called them they picked up, and or called back. I'll tell you about one.

Her name is Jessica. Yes it's not Japanese. We have a record in the Kitami Branch for a member named Jessica, but she doesn't live at the address written. So I decided to give her a call, but was told by my companion, and the members, that she never picks up. So I gave her a call, and she called me back less than 5 minutes later. Come to find out, she is from Peru, and she has lived in Japan for 8 years. She converted back when she lived in Kitami, but then when she left, she never told anyone, and then went down to a prefecture called Aichi. She was so happy to get my call, because she has been wanting to go to church, and wanting to meet Mormons again, but hasn't been able to find them forever. She lost her book of Mormon in the move, and such, but she has continually been praying. We are in the process of letting the people down where she lives know where she's at. The strangest part is, she doesn't speak English. She is a native Spanish speaker, is fluent in Portuguese, and can do Japanese pretty well. It was interesting to talk to her, having to translate some words into Spanish, and do my best to read them (while butchering the pronunciation I'm sure) But she was way chill, and we are in the process of referring her now.

I feel so blessed to be able to contact people like her. It confirms to me that President Nakatsuka does receive revelation, on where we should go, who we should be with, and what we should be doing. All these people that have never been able to be contacted. I feel as though they were being held for me. For some reason, I had to be the one to talk to them. God had prepared them for me. It feels so good to have Heavenly Father use you like that. Even if I am rejected, It's moments like that, when I know that as a missionary I'm being successful. I'm doing my job. I may not have seen a baptism, because everyone has their agency, and sometimes it's not the right time, but as long as I am trying to work hard, and be obedient, I am not a failure. I was looking through some old notes from the MTC and found a quote from Elder Scott "God, and Thomas S. Monson, did not call you to go to Japan (whichever mission) just to fail".  I know that is true. God isn't trying to make this a rough "I wish I'd never gone" experience for anyone. Sure there's hard times, but you need hard in order to have good. It's when I am tasting the good fruit that I realize just how grateful I am for the bad fruit.

Anyway, I guess this is getting a little long, so I'll wrap it up. I know that this gospel, is Jesus Christ's church restored on the earth today. I know that he lives, and loves each and everyone of us so so so much. I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father, and knows each and everyone of us. He is so big, and yet so personal. There is not a hair that falls off of your head that he doesn't notice. He loves you so much, and he wants to help you. Ask him sometime. He told me.

Well I guess that's where I'll be done. Have a great week. Tell someone you love them.

(I Love You)
Elder Eliot

Monday, March 21, 2016

03/21/2016 | Birthdays

I learned this week, that while the Birthday Month is November in my family, it isn't out here... Apparently In japan everyone was born in March. So we've had a pretty good week. We finally had a week, were we didn't have to go to Kushiro, or Sapporo, or Abashiri, so we finally got to work in our area a little bit. We were able to get out and visit a lot of different people. It's been interesting working here in Kitami, meeting a lot of people, that I have already met in the past. It's kind of interesting getting to do so.

Well it has started to become spring. That means, that it is wet. The snow is all starting to melt. All of it. All over the place. There is so much snow everywhere, that sometime's I'm worried the cities gonna flood. I'm trudging around in shoes that are pretty wet recently. But at the same time, it's been really warm, and I've been outside without a coat. And then yesterday we welcomed in spring yesterday, with snow... that was fun... meh. What can ya do.

So yeah it was everyone's birthday this last week. We had 3 members, and 2 investigators (and my sister) with birthday's that we had to come up with presents for. I'm glad I've learned how to do Origami. I was able to give them something that made them all happy. Including, learning a new one. I can make a flower now, and it looks really good.

Well this email is kind of all over the place, so I guess I'll end it with a small thought.

Matthew 5:14-16
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

We all have light in us. We all have the Light of Christ, and you all know someone that is just "shiny". They are some of the nicest and coolest people ever right? Well what if they were to hide that light? Suddenly they get a little darker, and that makes the world a little darker. So what do we do? We don't hide it. Shine it forth. Show it to everyone. Do things that make you want to show God. Don't do those things that would make you want to hide things. And then remember that as a member of the church, you have a special gift that increases your light. That is the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

I love you all and hope you have a good week.
Happy Birthday to my sister Maegen now. 18 years old. Way to go.

(I Love You)
Elder Eliot.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

03/13/2016 | If you don't like it, LIKE IT

Well, I guess It's been another week again. I guess that means I get to write another email to you. I am in turbo mode right now, so if you see spelling mistakes or word mistakes, or really any mistakes, just remember how many time's you have done the same. And if you haven't congrats. 

So we got to go down to Sapporo, for the last Mission Tour of my mission. We had Elder Choi (pronounced Chei) from the Area Presidency, come with his wife, and they talked to us all day. There were a lot of talks that focused on just getting out there and doing it. He talked a lot about how if you just get outside, and open your mouth, God will take over. It was very interesting. One thing that they talked about that I really did enjoy was about our True Identities. It doesn't matter what the world see's us as, we are all son's and daughters of God. He showed us a video that used the Ugly Duckling as a metaphor. We may all seem ugly, and people may make fun of us, but in the end, they are ducks and we are swans. They also talked a lot about the premortal life, and where each of us were in the ranks of the army against evil, and talked about our generation being right up at the front. It was really cool. It gave me more of a sense of who I am, and made me realize, that that is something that we can help everyone out here do as well. It was several hours of really good spiritual learning. It is sad to not have another one to look forward to. But it was a good Finale so to say. 

Then the last thing that I'll mention about it, is something that anyone can apply into their lives. It is the subject line, and a quote from Elder Choi. If you don't like something, Like It. If you live in Seattle and you don't like the rain, you can either continue on and be depressed because it's Seattle, and there is always rain, or you can learn to like the rain, and have a good life. I plan on trying to apply that into my life a little bit more.

We did have some fun this week though. We got to meet a cool kid who is named Yoshida. Just an old investigator record, that talked about how cool he was. We visited, and it was true. He has a job, and usually isn't home on weekdays, but just happened to be home on Tuesday. It was also his birthday on Monday, so it was all just perfect timing. Not to sure where it will go, but I have hope for him.

As for Kudou san, she wasn't able to meet with us this week. She's had some rough things happening, including her brother being in the hospital on his death bed. She also had something happen to her leg that she has been to the hospital for, and she wont get results on that until later this week. For now we are praying for her, and hoping that she does better. 

We finally have a whole week to work in Kitami again, which is good, because there aren't many left.  We are going to work hard, and see a lot of miracles this week. Other than that, just normal everyday missionary life. So I think that's where I will end. Hope everyone has a good week
(I Love You)
Elder Eliot

Sunday, March 6, 2016

03/06/2016 | Back to the Past

Well, I'm almost out of time, so I'll tell you of one of my adventures this week. We got to go to Abashiri, and work there. It was kind of a shock to get to go back and see it looking just like it did last year. I went with my District Leader Elder Tokuzawa, and we went and dendoed (contacting people) really hard. We hit almost all of the main areas. However, despite visiting a few, we didn't get to meet even one person that I knew. But it was nice to get to visit with the few people that we did meet.

As we talked with an NA (less active member), I realized just how much my language capability has gone up. The last time I did Dendo in Abashiri with a Japanese person, it was with Elder Asato, and I would sit there as people would talk, and just kind of daydream, because I had no idea what was going on. This time I was engaged, and understood everything that was being sad, and was able to jump in with my own things as well. It was really fun. It is really such a blessing to be back in these areas that I have been in before, and see where it has come.

I don't know how long I'll be here, but I have a goal to leave the area better than I found it. So far, we're doing pretty good. Despite being out of our area most of the week, we were able to teach some good lessons, and now have 3 progressing investigators, including one who accepted the challenge to be baptized. Her name is Kudou San. She is in her 80's, and still isn't quite sure if the Book of Mormon is true or not yet, but she accepted the challenge, and committed to start reading, and really asking sincerely. She is scheduled to be baptized on the 16th  of April. She is a very sweet lady, and I'm excited to start working to help her to get baptized.

Well I guess that's about what I've got for you this week. I'll let you know a little more of happenings next week, but I hope you are all 元気 (healthy) and having fun.
Have a great week.
Elder Eliot