Monday, July 25, 2016

07/24/2016 | The End of the Temple Open House

This has been another really amazing week. I don't have a lot of time, so I would just like to tell you one really cool story from this last week.

So first thing I have to say, is that I am really scared to come home. I have lost the ability to talk with any sort of confidence in English to people that don't know Japanese. These last 2 phone calls home that I had I felt it as well, but especially this week with lots of Gaijin (foreigners) being around, it was crazy. When I see a white guy, I immediately start praying that he won't talk to me. Then he does, and my heart immediately starts pounding like crazy, and I sweat, and it is sooooo scary. So basically I'm scared of Gaijin, and I am a Gaijin #missionaryproblems

Anyway so on Wednesday, we were working in the morning, and this white couple walks in. The English tour guide, Hamano Saya chan who had just gotten back from her mission like 4 days ago, goes up and starts talking to them, and gets them over in a video room. I kind of sighed on the inside knowing I wouldn't have to do anything. Then President Nakatsuka asks us to go join them. So we do. Well this couple were not members of the church, and were rather hostile towards it. A member had actually met them that morning, and despite not being able to do English very well, she asked them why they were in Hokkaido. When they said they were just tourists, she asked them if they had been to the Sapporo Temple. She then took them in her car and brought them. 

When they found out it was the Mormon church they just kind of started to roll their eyes. Saya chan really helped. She as extremely positive, and got to be friends with them super quick. But they were still weary to the church. Me and my Companion were just following, just in case the English got hard. My heart was pounding like crazy. As we walked into the Baptism Font, Saya chan asked them if they had seen the church in Holland before (yes they were from Holland) and the guy said that Mormon practices wouldn't be allowed in Holland. He then turns to my companion and says "How many women do you have?" I was in a mood of "I don't like these kind of people. Why do they have to be like this. This is just going to turn into an angry argument in the temple" and I was also super scared to say anything. But then I had the thought, that I needed to have Charity. I needed to love these people. They were also Gods children. They also needed these blessings we were telling them about. I became very humble, and offered a silent prayer asking God to forgive me, and to help me to love these people. 

We were able to explain several things about the church, and by the end of the tour we were best buddies. He even turned to someone on his way out and said "I like these guys." Long story short, they aren't getting baptized or anything, but they do have a much better image of the church. It was very hard to talk in English with them, and I kept accidentally saying things in Japanese, but I pushed through it, and grew to love them. They were way cool, and I would love to get to meet them again sometime.

Well that is my time for this week.
Have a wonderful week.
I love you
Elder Eliot

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

07/11/2016 | 主の宮。聖きを主にささぐ (The House of the Lord-Dedicated to the Lord)

This has been a wonderful and very spiritual week.

Sapporo LDS Temple Open House Info

First off once again an apology for lack of an email last week. We wound up working at the Sapporo temple (preparing for the public open house) a lot this week. We were Scheduled to work Monday, and Saturday this last week, instead we wound up working Monday, and then we were woken up early Tuesday morning. My phone is ringing, at 5:30 in the morning to the zone leaders asking if we were up. My thought of course were "Am I supposed to be? I'm gonna kill you later. You messed with mah sleep boy" and then he proceeded to tell us that the Temple President, President Kikuchi, asked President Nakatsuka for missionaries to come and help clean the temple. So we got up, Showered, ate a small breakfast and ran out the door. 

We got to go in, and change into Jeans... How many people can say that they have been in the temple in Jeans. I even got to see my mission president in Jeans. It was pretty weird. Though he looks good in Jeans... Anyway, I got to go and help with cleaning one of the Sealing (marriage) rooms. I was given a wet rag, and a 60cmX40cm marble wall, and wiped it down. For an Hour and a Half. Yeah that long. They take cleanliness in the temple very seriously. Then once we finished, we were asked to come back and help with the open house that day. Again. Then, that night we got a call, once again to come in and work Wednesday

So I spent most of my B-Day in the temple. It was actually a rather nice place to be on a special day. At the end of the day, we had English class, and a family from the ward, (basically my Japanese family) brought me a small present. Well, Small というか(can't remember how to say that in English It was a ton of fruit (which is waaaaay expensive in Japan) as well as a package of Fruits Granola. Fruits Granola is the best, and healthiest cereal you can get in Japan, and they got me the big one. Needless to say, I felt celebrated. Finally on Thursday we had some time to take a P-Day, and we went shopping for my Birthday. I wanted to myself a present too. I got a new pair of shoes that look way good. Gotta look my best for the temple ;)

We once again worked the temple on Saturday. The Jobs that they had us do consisted of Ushering (when they would tell us to stand somewhere, and look pretty), Helping with putting on/ taking off shoe covers, Tour Guide, And my favorite two, Playing the Organ in the chapel, and Opening the two big doors to the Celestial room. It was really cool to see over and over again the looks on peoples faces when they would line up, and we would open up the doors. This last week was mostly VIP's, So we got to watch the Mayor of Sapporo, or the leaders of certain churches of Hokkaido go in. We even watched some Shinto Priests, dressed all up in their garb come up to the doors, kind of bored. Almost as though they didn't really want to be there, but when we opened the doors, their eyes got wide, and they started paying attention. 

We've been getting a lot of positive comments, and lot's of people that want to know more about the church. We just had someone today come up after the tour and asked what he needed to do to get back in the temple. When I told him just come back another day, he said "No I mean after it's dedicated. I need to get baptized for my ancestors." It has been amazing to partake of the spirit, and watch as others, even those that are not members of the Church partake of that same spirit. Even though it has not been dedicated, it is God's house. He is there, and he is letting everyone know.

Well that's about it for me this week. Thank you for all the Birthday wishes. Thank you for all staying with me throughout the past 2 years. It's hard to belive that it is starting to come to an end. But I've
still got a lot of work to do, so I will work hard. 

Have a wonderful week.
Elder Eliot

If I don't email next week, it is because the temple schedule made us change our P-day.