Tuesday, May 5, 2015

May 4, 2015

Transfer 15 Week 4

hello family!  This week was pretty good.  It rained like the dickens yesterday though.  It was raining so hard it hurt to ride our bikes.  It was really bad.  We were so wet, it was funny.  We saw a snake trying to swim upstream in one parking lot.  I felt kind of bad for it.  The rain was so hard and so fast that streets were becoming rivers less than five minutes after it started.  I have never had it rain that hard.
We had a great junkai and learned some good stuff, and we also saw some really cool miracles.   The Elder I worked with, E. De La Paz, and I prayed and picked a few areas for the day.  We then went to those areas the next day and at first it didn`t seem like anyone was home.  We prayed again and felt like we should go to a certain apartment where we ended up handing out a BofM.  Then the next area we went to we made an appointment with a lady who knew someone who comes to our eikaiwa.  Then in a later area  we didn`t have a lot of time, but the first door we knocked on we handed out a BofM and made a return appointment.  We were running around all day trying to keep our time frame.  But because we did, every area we went to, we were able to find to person we were supposed to.  It was really cool to see the hand of the Lord as we found some really cool people and were able to share the gospel quite a bit. 
Then, one of the Investigators that the Elders here had been teaching for like a year, finally started to make some progress. For some reason for the entire year the Elders kept teaching her even though she wouldn`t come to church or even take a BofM.  Elder West and I were talking about how either she needs to progress or drop, and then she took the BofM and said she would read it.  She seemed really likely to do it too.  Then we called her to see if she would come to church and she told us that she was stuck in the hospital due to a child patient who has the flu.  Apparently none of the employees are allowed to leave for like a week, and then she will go to Naha (Okinawa`s biggest city) for a conference or something.  At this critical time she`s gone.  Way dumb.

Then on Saturday, after a long day of dendo and not much happening, we were to meet a pi that Elder West was working with a few months ago and who we both had felt impressed to go visit the night before. She took a BofM and made an appointment for tomorrow. She seems really promising and her family is really cool too. 

Then we had an investigator come to church who had always been too shy or had had some other reason for not coming. But we committed her to use her faith and courage and come to church. It was super good and we think that she should be able to progress more now. 

Way excited to Skype next week. 

Love you, have a great week!
Elder Lee


Monday, May 4, 2015

April 27, 2015

Transfer 13 Week 3
So this week we didn`t really have a lot of time to dendo.  We went to Naha on the main island of Okinawa Thursday night.  We then stayed the night there in the Elders apartment and then the next day went to the Okinawa Stake Center a little bit north of there.  That building is gorgeous.  It is just about the biggest church in all of Japan, if not the actual biggest.  It has two Wards, the Japanese Ward and the American (military) Ward.  It was super weird because there were Americans speaking English there, multiple.  And it looked like an American building, so I was super weirded out.  Then we had lunch with rice, which made it a little more normal.  But it was still weird.

The Training on Friday was really good and I learned a lot from the things kaicho was saying.  The iPads are actually going to be a really good opportunity to become more diligent and more focused.  I think because it will be so easy to get distracted it will require more discipline and stronger will power than required before.  I think it will really improve the missionaries (although I can see this easily leading to problems).  

Then we had a special training on Saturday from a guy named Elder McClane.  He was in my apartment in Kumamoto for my last transfer there and is a good guy.  Kaicho asked him to go around the mission and give a special training on how to find and make new investigators.  It was super good and he was very blunt and blatant about how to do it most effectively and what missionaries need to do and not do.  It was so true and I think it will help a lot of the missionaries.  Although I am older, I was still able to learn a lot from it and I really wish I had learned some of that stuff earlier.  

So far we haven`t done much with the iPads.  But overall it doesn`t change much of how we do missionary work.  It`s still a tool and we need to be lead by the Spirit to teach, regardless of the machinery we have.  

Eikaiwa (English class) is super fun.  Elder West and I teach Kodomo (Kids) Eikaiwa.  It`s fun, but those kids are crazy.  There is one that acts super shy at first, but soon she is running around drawing on everything with a whiteboard marker.  She is uncontrollable.  But it`s fun.  

The main difference between here and Hiroshima is that people are a lot less busy and do things at a slower pace.  Which was fun at first because I used it as an excuse to go at their pace.  But over the training and after thinking about it, I really need to work hard and use my time effectively.  I don`t have any time to spare.  

After that, we started watching the clock more, making our appointments shorter and we dropped some not progressing Investigators.  If they don`t want to progress, we can`t help them, so meeting with them serves no purpose for us or them.  We have been way more effective and met some awesome people, saw some cool miracles.  

Amami is also a little different.  But the relaxed feeling is the same and the people are super nice in both places.  I don`t know how touristy it is, although they have plenty of shops and advertisements.  

We taught a lesson to a lady who didn`t really understand much and her thought process was a little weird, but Elder West and I were really able to teach a good lesson because we were being effectively and working hard together.  We are becoming better at being one.
Elder West is really fun and I think we will be able to do some cool stuff before transfers.  

Love you guys, have an awesome week,  
Elder Lee

Monday, April 20, 2015

April 20, 2015

Transfer 15  Week 2

My first view of Miyako

(Iain transferred last week to the island Miyako, between Okinawa and Taiwan.  Iain met his current companion at a ward event while he was serving in Kumamoto, before his companion was a missionary.  One of his flat mates was his companion when he was serving in Yanai)  

It`s pretty warm here now.  The humidity is terrible and we are sweating a ton.  It`s super fun.  I love it here.  We ran this morning for exercise and met the water`s edge after just 15 min.  It`s way fun.  Little sad we can`t swim, but oh well.  

Over the weekend there was a Triathlon which was like a huge event for Miyako.  All of the young people, teenagers and whatnot were acting like it was the only interesting thing that had ever happened on the island.  We got to volunteer on Friday to help out with the sign-in stuff for foreigners, so we got a shirt and a hat that say we are officials for the Triathlon.  Kind of interesting, but we were there for 6 hours and there were so many volunteers and so few athletes coming to our table we were completely unnecessary.  But we got lunch and clothing, so whateves.  

We found a couple of investigators who have met with missionaries before.  They were cool and we are going to go back and teach some time.  The people are all super nice and many of them have free time, so they`ll just talk to us.  Way fun.  

Yep, same Anderson choro with the flat (this happened in Yanai).  Elder West (his current companion) was going around with a few friends and just happened to show up the same night as the sports activity.  He`s actually from Tokyo and his mom`s Japanese, Dad`s from Utah.  Way funny guy.  We`re having lots of fun together as he really wants to work hard and be a good missionary too.  

I don`t know how the humidity will change how I feel.  Although I think I will enjoy the heat without the humidity when I get home.  I think it`ll just be nice to be hot without swimming in sweat all the time.  

There aren`t the same eating places in this area as my last ones (like Amami), but what they have is good.  The members here have actually fed us quite a bit.  Thanks for the package, I love it.  Tell Parker I say hi.  Also, we happened to have a lot of peanut butter from the Okinawa base (they mailed it to us apparently).  But Trader Joes is so much better (the other stuff is like Jiff and Skippy, etc.).  I miss Trader Joes and Natural foods stuff.  Love you guys.  

No crazy bugs or anything, although my companion freaked out about a few of them the other day.  I`ll send you some pictures after.  

The island is awesome.  Also, we go to Naha this week for special training.  Apparently the next time I email you will be on an iPad.  Don`t know but we`ll see.  

Love you guys, hope you have an awesome week.  
Elder Lee

Iain on the beach in Miyako

Flat mates Elders Anderson & De La Paz and his companion Elder West

Sunday, March 22, 2015

March 23, 2015

Transfer 14 Week 4

Hey!  This week was awesome.  On Thursday we had a Zone Conference in Hiroshima and we learned more about how to teach and stuffs.  And then on Saturday we had another conference with Elder Nelson of the Quorum of the 12.  Way cool.  Learned a lot.  We actually went down to Fukuoka on Friday and spent the night there.  We had a little extra time so we did a little finding.  Then we got up early because the conference started at like 8 something.  And then we learned about the iPads that our mission will be getting soon.  I don't think they will come for another month or 2, but we'll see.  A lot of the missionaries are super excited.  I would be except that I won't have them for that long and I don't think it'll really affect my mission all that much.  But whateves.

It's warmer in Hiroshima, except today is a little chilly.  The last few days, though, have been super warm.  The missionaries from Idaho and Utah (ie the new missionaries) are already complaining about the heat.  I'm still cold.  Weird.  

Today we will have a big Zone p-day with all the people in Hiroshima.  It will be way fun and I will try and take lots of pictures.  Unfortunately today and the conference on Saturday were some of my last times to see people before they or I die (missionary speaking).  Kind of sad.  But it'll be way fun.  

Thanks for the package!  I love the chocolate and peanut butter.  Nothing better.  It's funny because I didn't realize there was anything else in the chocolates' package.  Then I opened it last night and I found the peanut butter and letter.  Way funny.  Thanks, love you.  

Have an amazing, fantastical week!
Elder Lee

Sunday, March 15, 2015

March 16, 2015

Transfer 14:  Week 3

This past week we got to do some service and talk to some really cool people.  We had a lesson with someone who spoke some really good English.  It was really cool because he went to Southeast Asia for a while and learned English and stuff.  We talked a lot about the Holy Ghost and personal conversion. 

We also met a lady last night who had met the missionaries in college like 20 years ago.  She spoke awesome English and after we talked a little about families, she said we could come back and talk more next week.  We are super excited to have lessons.  It's even better because they all speak English.  I'm sure Elder Welch is super happy.  He is still doing really good.  

The weather in the past couple of days has gotten really good.  It has been so warm I don't even have to wear thermal underwear anymore.  Which is great because they were becoming kind of a pain in the butt (or at least in the hair legs).  

I was thinking about people at home recently and was thinking how fun it will be to see all the cousins and family back in Utah and Colin, Grandma & Grandpa and Heather and so on.  I'm kind of sad I can't visit Grandma in Sebastapol anymore though.  I also randomly thought about Carol Jewel.  I think it would be kind of cool to meet and talk to her again when I get back.  

But I don't really have time to think too much about that.  We are working hard and talking to lots of good people.  We have a couple of people to teach now and hopefully, Heavenly Father will continue to give us more. 
I really love this area and the Ward.  On Saturday we had a Ward activity in which they had us missionaries be in a skit.  I don't know if I told you last week, but one of the members wrote a skit and was directing us as we acted.  She totally reminded me of Caryn.  Super funny.  The other missionaries were not happy at all to be "wasting time" on the play like that, but I thought it was pretty fun and in the end I think they might have come to enjoy it too.  The members in this ward really love us.  It's super fun here.  

I got a couple recipes from the party on Saturday (they had a ton of food there).  Making lots of salads to go with chicken and stuff we make on the stove.  Remember how I used to hate salad?  Nothing special.  

This Thursday we have a Zone Conference in Hiroshima which will be super fun.  But then on Saturday we will have another Conference in Fukuoka in which Elder Nelson from the quorum of the 12 will be coming and speaking to us.  Apparently this starts our training of the iPads.  We will be getting "extensive" training on how to use the iPads and stuff I guess.  At the end of Aprilish, we will get them.   

I am super excited to hear Elder Nelson speak.  This will be the first time in Japan, 2nd time in my mission, hearing from an apostle.  Super exciting.  And then we get to have General Conference.  Lots of great things going on in the nearby future.  

Love you, have a good week!
Elder Lee

Sunday, March 8, 2015

March 8, 2015

Transfer 14 Week 2

This week went pretty well.  Bit tired, but making dendo fun.  I am trying really hard to make dendo fun for E. Welch because I don't want him to start thinking that his whole mission will be hard like this.  

Last week we talked to a ton of people.  Almost none of them would talk for more than a few seconds.  I don't know what changed, but I feel like the whole feeling of the area has changed now.  I feel like E. Kemp and I were at least teaching more and talking to more slightly interested people.  We just get a lot of straight up no's.
But it's good, we met some cool people too.  E. Welch is coming along and seems to be a little more open and less stressed.  Yesterday we were able to laugh and have fun while we were dendoing and even met a Catholic lady who talked for a little while.  

No, E. Welch has not had any extensive language training.  But from talking to him it sounds like he had good MTC teachers and learned a lot there.  He is also very determined to be a good missionary.  I think he is going go far.  I have a feeling I am companions with someone who has amazing potential to be one of the best missionaries.  

Thanks for the Grace quote.  I actually read that talk last week.  One of the guys in our apartment lent it to me.  It is super good.  Brad Wilcox is an amazing speaker.  Did you know he was the Director of my first EFY?  I still remember the couple times I got to talk to him.  His talks are super funny too.  

Yes, Hiroshima is rainy.  None of us like rain, so I am trying to lift the mood and act like I love the rain.  We'll see how it works.  It's funny, because I feel like we could give CA a bunch of our rain and it wouldn't do anything to Japan, but save CA.  Oh well.  It's getting a little warmer though.  Hopefully by next week it will become a little more like Spring.  

Unfortunately I have become the best cook in the apartment.  That means nothing; I am still not good.  But no-one else wants or feels like they can, so the responsibility is left to me.  It's not so bad.  I made a list of the simple things I can make and just go through the list.  It actually doesn't taste half-bad sometimes.  

Thanks for you letters!  Love you!

Elder Lee

PS Colin once asked me if there was anything I wanted.  I can't really think of much, but yesterday we made some ground pork and I was reminded of peach salsa.  That, and peanut butter and crackers are pretty good.  Not that it's a big deal, I'll be home soon enough, but if you were thinking about sending anything, or if someone else asked, those things are awesome.  

March 1, 2015

Transfer 14 Week 1

Been with my new companion for 5 days now.  He is such a good bean, I don't know how I ended up with him.  He is super spiritually prepared and ready to go out and share the gospel.  Obviously there is still stuff that I am needing to show him how to do but we are working super well together.  

His name is Elder Welch; from Syracuse Utah (Ogden area) and he is super chill.  He played some football and other sports, but is more of the quiet, thinker type.  He has an awesome testimony of the gospel and knows what he's talking about.  It's funny because I was told I need to help my bean get good at Personal Study; but he is already great at it.  His Japanese is also really good for a bean; I was surprised.  When we are talking to people on the street, I'll turn to him and ask him to testify/teach a certain principle and he will give a great explanation of it with an awesome testimony.  

My companion went to Ube (Yamaguchi zone; same zone as Yanai was).  Super sad; I loved working with him.  I feel as soon as I really come to love someone, or an area, I get transferred.  But such is life.  The apartment is mostly the same, but with 2 new people, the feeling of the place changed quite a bit.  We got a Brazilian in our apartment again; Cascardi choro.  He is super funny and a way hard worker.  I think this transfer is going to be super fun with all the awesome people here.  

So yesterday we were going out to dendo and we talked to this guy on the street.  I decided to test him/God/new technique out.  I don't really know, but I asked him if he know anything about Jesus.
He said yes, he was hung on a crass; 
I said, do you know why?
He said, no
I said, He died but was resurrected so that we can be resurrected to
He said, oh, cool.  (no interest in his expressions)
I asked, what if that is true?  You think it's important?  
I turned to Elder Welch.  Why is it important?
Elder Welch bore his testimony of eternal families and how Jesus Christ brings happiness.  I followed up and said we were talking about this and because it's important we wanted to meet again and talk.  
He said, sure.  (no emotion in his face whatsoever)
I told him, at the church 7:00pm okay?
We exchanged phone numbers too.  I have no idea what was going on, but although he didn't seem like he had any interest at all, he agreed to meet with us at the church and exchange phone numbers.  We call to confirm tomorrow night.  I don't get it; why are all the people who actually have interest so uninterest-ly looking.  He had no emotion or expressions whatsoever, but he was super chill.  

Other experience of the night.  A few people after that we met a Canadian who was hoofing it from the bottom of Kagoshima (literally the bottom of Japan) to Hokkaido.  He was super chill.  We talked for like twenty minutes.  It was awesome because the conversation was super natural.  We talked about what he was doing, why he was here, then he asked us, we told him.  Then I said we were sharing a message about Jesus Christ, do you believe anything.  
No, not really.  I was baptized catholic, but you know...
Well, we are talking about Jesus Christ.  Would you interesting in listening for a few minutes? 
We talked about Jesus and why He's important to us.  Then we continued a conversation about how nice Japanese people are and then I said something that brought up the Book of Mormon.  He said he had lots of time to read.  He only brought 2 books; "The Paths in Between" or something like that and "Into the Wild", which he said he had read like 3-5 times now.  So we suggested him a new read.  He took the Book of Mormon and said he would read it.  When he meets his Mormon friends in Canada again, they will be so surprised; it'll be awesome.  

Anyway, other than that we went to Costco today with a member.  It was fun, but we spent a ton of money.  At least we wont have to buy laundry detergent for months now.  
Love you, hope you have a great week,
Elder Lee