Monday, April 28, 2014

April 27, 2014

Transfer 6:  Week 5

As far as food goes, I have to cook everything.  Apparently my companions can't cook worth a darn, so I do it.  But I kind of like it so it's good.  It also keeps me from having to do the dishes very often, so I am happy about that.  We eat a lot of stir-fry, yakisoba, udon, fried rice, stew, curry and spaghetti.  It's really not all that hard, just takes some time.  We make rice for almost every meal, but we eat spaghetti a fair amount, so not only rice.  I like to make curry or stew with rice the best because I don't have to cook dinner, just make enough for both meals.  Very convenient.  But I have also made chicken or pork tonkatsu (like fried but a little different; really good).  We eat sushi sometimes, but only when we go out with members.  We try not to eat out all that much.  

The main event this week was the arrival of the bike (Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Halleeluujaaaaaah!!!)  So we got to visit lots of people who we haven't been able to lately (because they're farther).  

So the investigators son who brought us food last time (shu) was there again when we went on Friday, but she was asleep.  But that didn't stop him; he ran in and told her the gaijin came (foreigners).  She must've been completely out 'cause she didn't budge at all.  Then he decided to play baseball with us while we waited for her.  We played for 20ish minutes and then decided we had to leave.  It was way fun.  Shu is hilarious.  

Also contacted a lady who is 40 or 50ish but loves video games.  We decided to teach through video games (something that Knighton choro and I could do) and ended up teaching about Christ and His atonement.  We actually had a pretty good lesson and I think she understood it really well.  

On Sunday we went to the Relief Society to see if we could arrange a home for a lesson later in the week.  They like to pray for our investigators so we told them about video game lady and they all started laughing when we said we taught through video games.  

I don't remember getting any letters recently, but I will check again.  Sorry to hear the mail system still sucks.  In Japan it is lightning fast.  You send something and two or three days later it arrives on the other side of Japan.  

The black fence does bring back memories. (we painted a wrought iron fence during a community service project, Iain has painted ours at home in the past) I was actually thinking about that the other day.  We saw an old man painting his fence black and I thought about it.  Then I smelled the fumes and everything changed colors.  It was nasty how bad and strong that paint was.  

We don't get a lot of opportunities to serve.  Japanese don't really like accepting service and the city doesn't really organize anything for us to be apart of/help out with.  But we are working on a lot of eikaiwa dendou and trying to get lots of people out to our english class.  Pres. Gustafson wants us to grow to 50 people which is huge.  Right now we are at 22 but still have a long way to go.  But we have grown just since I've been in Iizuka, so there is hope.  We're going to visit city hall and a newspaper service today to see if we can't spread the word a little more.  Maybe go to some schools and talk to the clubs and english classes.  

I don't have anything I need particularly but I'll let you know.  Thanks so much.  I love you.  Have a great week!
Elder Lee

Sunday, April 27, 2014

April 21, 2014

Transfer 6: Week 4

We should be able to pick up the bike today so finally we won't be walking, but recently we have gotten really good and will probably be fantastic hikers when we get back.  The weather has been warming up and then getting cool, warming, cooling, but overall it is getting hot.  I suspect in the next couple of weeks we will be sweating like pigs.  

I don't have a lot of time but I wanted to share a couple of funny stories.  Japanese are very interesting and since we talk to everyone, we meet some interesting people.  

Yesterday we got to teach our investigator, ai-san.  She has four kids all of whom are quite rambuncious, but the youngest boy (shu, 5yrs) is hilarious.  Everytime we come over he runs over to us and says hi, asks what's in our bags, and yesterday he started just bringing us out a bunch of food.  It was so funny.  But he brought out this squid jerky that was made in beer or something (I don't know exactly what's up with that) but it was nasty.  Hard, chewy and some weird salty gross flavor.  

But we were able to have a great lesson with her.  We decided to actually read some scriptures with her, which I have been hesitant beforehand because I was not sure she would understand them, but when we read about the Atonement, she was really able to feel the Spirit I think.  

Afterwards we were able to meet with a potential investigator with a two year old daughter who is super cute.  She had these shoes that squeaked when she walked.  We got to use some new visual aids about prayer and teach her why prayer is important to her.  

Recently we one of the sister missionaries in our district made everyone some visual aids to use while teaching.  She is an amazing artist, so they look really good.  

The other day we ran into a British man who doesn't speak all that much Japanese.  When we started talking I didn't realize he was a foreigner, so I started speaking in Japanese.  He said something in english that I didn't catch to I started to talk again.  It was really funny because he walked inside to get his Japanese wife and then walked back out and asked if I spoke english.  I was really embarrassed.  But he said that religion was the essence of evil in this world and asked us to leave.  He was polite, but we didn't get to talk much.  He just seemed like a depressed old man, given up on the world.  

The other week we talked to a man who seemed like he would have listened to our message, but his wife came over and took over the conversation.  She gave the common excuse that she had a different religion so she couldn't listen to ours (no kidding).  We asked her what religion but she said she couldn't say.  She very abruptly turned us down at every turn and was really funny to watch (her husband was silently laughing the whole time).  He seemed cool, but she was just in a knot.  So we left.  

We taught a great lesson to a guy through his kitchen window.  He told us to come back so we're excited to talk through his window again (window to baptism).  

Our laundry is done at home and we hang our stuff out to dry.  I haven't been able to see many of my past comps but when I do it is great.  sometimes I email, but I haven't gotten the opportunity lately.  

All right, I have to go (email time is cut short today, we're going to the Fukuoka zoo as a zone p-day).  Love you, hope youe guys are well.  

Elder Lee

Monday, April 7, 2014

April 7, 2014

Transfer 6 Week 2

Sounds like you guys had a great weekend, week, whatever in Utah.  You all made sure to say hi to the cousins for me right?  So I am still on foot.  We have been walking everywhere and it takes forever so I will be so happy when we get bikes again.  Unfortunately because Knighton choro is so tall, we needed to get a big bike and ordered it.  But we won't get it for another week, so going to continue to walk for a while. 
We decided that this trasfer we are going to see a baptism, so we have been working super hard to find an investigator who will accept baptism.  Of course, right after setting this goal we lost the use of bikes (as previously stated) and haven't been able to meet with most of our normal PI's and Investigators.  I, at least, have started to become desperate (like Christensen says in his book) and I hope the "Law of Desperation" will set in.  We think that this weekend is the perfect opportunity for people to come because it is General Conference. 
This week we are working on faith and believe that if we try our hardest we will be able to see results. 
What frustrates me right now, is something that up 'till now I have thought was a good thing.  So we talk all the time to people on the street and we get to teach lots of little lessons and I feel like we are really changing some people's hearts.  But at the same time, we haven't seen any results and nothing is changing.  So although I love talking to people and sharing the gospel a little, I also feel like it is pointless because in the big scheme of things, we aren't doing anything.  I still haven't really gotten people to come to Sacrament meeting, I haven't really ever taught past an overveiw of Lesson 2 (Plan of Salvation) and I am starting to get the feeling that if we can't see a change soon, it isn't going to happen.  Maybe this area, Iizuka, will never see anything beyond investigators, no Recent Converts, no baptisms.  I feel like we can change this area with God's help, but I almost feel like He doesn't want to change here just yet, so I feel useless.  If God wants to see a change He obviously can, He doesn't need me for that, but if He doesn't want to, than what am I here for?  Am I just stalling?  I feel like we can and should see success, but we don't and then I just think, "what the heck?!?!".  But I guess I just need to be patient with God's timing. 

Love you, hope your week goes well.
Elder Lee

March 31, 2014

Transfer 6 Week 1

Well, this week was interesting.  We didn't really get to meet with many of our investigators.  But on Thursday we did get to meet our new bean chan.  His name is Knighton Choro.  He is way cool, from Gilbert AZ and speaks pretty good Japanese for a bean (he knows more words than I did).  We have done some good work in the past couple of days but it has been limited by our lack of bikes (Knighton choro still doesn't have a bike).  So we have been walking everywhere.  But yesterday we met some awesome people who invited us to come back, so we are hoping to gain some new investigators this week.  My main concern is whether we will be able to meet with our investigators at all.  But we will work that out.  Otherwise life has been pretty normal.  I am not sure what I am supposed to do as a district leader, but I am sure I will figure it out. 
By the way, it turns out my district is a lot bigger than I thought it was.  I was told originally that I would only be leader of three people, but now I am over 11.  Little bit of a difference.  I just hope I will be able to help them achieve their goals this transfer and be able to see miracles.  I really think we can see a baptism this transfer, so we are praying really hard to find someone.  But either way, I know the Lord is directing His work.  We will accomplish whatever he wants us to. 
By the way, Jameson choro recently got a book from his mom that he read and then loaned to me so I could read it.  It is called, "The Power of Everyday Missionaries" by Clayton M. Christensen.  It is about member missionary work but it is amazing.  It has completely changed to way I am going about missionary work.  It is a great book I and want you guys to get it and read it for FHE or something.  I know you would enjoy it.  The great thing is he acknowledges the difficulties of missionary work but still helps you see how it is obtainable.  At the very least, it will help you veiw the gospel differently.  I really think everyone should read this book. 
I hope you guys are having a fun time in Utah and say hi to everyone there for me. 
Love you,
Elder Lee