Monday, June 25, 2012

No Sympathy for the Devil

G'day mates.

I made it through the typhoon fine. I got wet, but it was fun. Apparently it came up from Okinawa, but it wasn't terrible in Kasugai. Anyway this week was good. We found a new investigator named Furuya-san. She has the cutest two-year-old daughter named Itsuki-chan. She wasn't home when we tried to visit her again, but we are gonna keep visiting this week. We met with our two yakusoku-shas (people to be baptized) this week. We meet with Hiromi-chan every week at least twice. We have her baptism scheduled for this week, but we need to bump it back a week because we have to much to teach her still. It goes a little slower with her because she is only nine years old. She is super smart and way spiritual though.

We also met with Naomi-san this week. We need to schedule her baptism. She reads the Book of Mormon and prays daily though. She has also begun to recognize answers to her prayers. Good stuff. Every Friday, we have an FHE at Matt Kyodai's house. He always makes amazing food and desserts and then we share a message. Last week we had twelve people there. Awesome. Two were investigators, Ito Megumi-san and Maejima-san. They have been investigators for a while, but getting involved with other members and building those relationships will help them make that step to baptism.

This week I learned that I like to cook. It fun because you get to control how good your food tastes. It gets me really excited to eat the meal too. I always help Matt cook at the FHE and tonight I'm cooking up some burgers. Exciting! I like changing up things too. Like making a bowl of ramen freakin' fantastic with an egg and some veggies in it. MMMMM!!! We made cookies this week too. They were good. We gave some to a recent convert when we visited him. His name is Tan, and he is from China. He ate the cookies with some chopsticks. It was interesting.

So last week Mom told me about Brother Empey's talk at Seth's farewell. He told a story about going to get ribs and meeting someone who needed the missionaries. He related it to how the Lord knows us and puts things in our way to make his purposes come to pass. That exact thing happened to me on Saturday. I received revelation from my stomach, I guess. We went to a place called Chateraise to get an eclair. While we were in the parking lot eating eclairs an investigator and her daughter parked by us! She has been a little distanced lately, but it was funny to see the Lord make our paths cross. She said that she will come to Eikaiwa (English Class) next week. Cool stuff.

Yesterday (Sunday), we had Stake Conference. It was a broadcast to all of Japan. Sister Wixom, the Primary General President, Elder Yun Huan Che, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf spoke. They spoke about the church in Japan and encouraged the members to "relight the fire of personal conversion." They spoke about strengthening the church around them and helping reactivate members and fulfilling responsibilities. It was cool to listen to from a missionary's perspective.

On Saturday, we dendo'd almost non-stop. It was awesome. I fell asleep that night in about two seconds.

That's pretty much it for this week. Love you guys. Thanks for the emails and support.


Elder Sanderson

Happy Fazzah’s Day!

Hey Howdy Hey!

Thanks for all the emails! And the package. It got here in ten days. The CDs are awesome and the sour gummy worms were AMAZING! Feel free to send more of those whenever you want to. My comp said he hasn't seen sour gummy worms in Japan, so I might miss those. Guess what? This week was good! After our Pday on Monday, we dendo'd with a recent convert for a couple of hours. He wants to be a missionary so it was cool for him to contact people with us. On Tuesday, we went to visit Hiromi-chan and her mom and found two new investigators in their apartment building. One, Ayoko, is from Brazil. We got the cops called on us for being to loud while talking to her on Thursday.

Our Ward Mission Leader is such a beast! His name is Brother Nishimura. He is a convert of two years and is so willing to help the missionaries. He goes to lessons with us about four times per week and drives us everywhere. He is such a good example to us and makes us want to treat missionaries well back at home.

On Wednesday, we had an FHE with a member and her non-member husband. It was a good lesson and gave us a good chance to build our relationship with them. They gave me a new Kanji name though. It's epic! 雷尊 It means Thunder and Noble or Royal. Sanda (Thunder) son. Killer. On Thursday, we had lessons with four investigators! Three were with Nishimura Kyodai, too!

Meg, here is where I'll answer your question. My favorite scripture (this week) is Mosiah 2:41. It talks about the blessed and happy state of the people who keep the commandments. It talks about how we will gain eternal life for living righteously. I advise you to study it for yourself. That was one of the scriptures we read with an investigator on Thursday.

Friday, we had more training in Meito! We were taught how to interact with investigators, ward members, and ward leaders in order to maximize effectiveness of our dendo. It was really good. We had an FHE demo from President Baird and he busted out the Spirit like a G. After the training, Duarte Choro turned to me and said something in Portuguese. I just looked at him and said, "I don't speak Portuguese." All of the Elders around us started laughing as Duarte Choro realized he was speaking the wrong language. He has been mixed up this week because he has talked to Brazilian Elders and investigators, Me, and Japanese people. His language center in his brain must be going insane.

Saturday was rainy, but we had a basketball activity at a gym. There weren't a ton of people there, but it was good because we built our relationship with the less-active member who came. He is way good at basketball. Yesterday was nice and sunny. We had Hiromi-chan at church which means if she comes one more time she can be baptized! We have her scheduled for the 1st of  July. Woohoo! The rest of the day was planning and visiting an investigator, but he was busy. We will try him again tonite. I also go on another exchange tonite. Dunn Choro (who is from Heber) is gonna kick it in Kasugai with me until tomorrow.

In the field, the missionaries use funny vocabulary for different things. Since I am only in my second transfer I am still "young." A missionary's trainer is his "dad" and his second companion is his "mom." When you are near the end of your mission, you are "old." When you go home, you "die." I was a little scared the first time I heard Elder Clark tell me that a missionary "died" in Seto.

I'm learning more and more everyday. Japan and the people are amazing. The Lord blesses his missionaries. With Christ, we can do all things. I love you all and thank you for your support while I am out here.


Elder Sanderson

“Here I go again on my own”… With a companion


I can't believe how fast this week went. I have a lot to write about though. Here goes.

We made good progress with some potential investigators and investigators this week. We have been trying to contact a potential investigator named Kobuki-san. He lives near our church building and found him one day while we were 10x-ing. He is interested in our message and we have set an appointment with him.

Our investigator named Naomi-san met with us three times this week! It was so great because on Saturday night we invited her to be baptized and she said yes!We have her baptism lined up for July 3rd, which is a Tuesday. We also plan to invite a long-time investigator, Maejima-san, to be baptized on that date too. He has been coming to church for three years, but hasn't been baptized because he has trouble with sake and coffee. He reads the Book of Mormon and prays, so we plan to help him with the Word of Wisdom and invite him to baptism. We are meeting with him this Thursday night.

Our other yakusokusha (person to be baptized) is Hiromi-chan. She is set to be baptized this Sunday, but she didn't come to church this week. We will push her baptizm back to July 3rd as well so we can make sure she understands everything well.

We also had an appointment with a man named Raul. He wasn't home, so we talked to his wife and she said we can come back. We have appointments set for Friday night and Saturday afternoon with their family.

We taught Kan-kun English this week and also had a short lesson. He is a recent convert that loves the missionaries and wants to go on a mission. We also met with the Murphy family in our ward on Thursday night. We had an FHE with a less-active member and his non-member girlfriend. We plan to meet them again on Friday night.

This week we have another FHE lined up for Tuesday with a member's friend. We hope to help her see the blessings of the gospel and help her come closer to Christ.

On Tuesday, we had another training for trainers and their beans in Meito. It was like a Spirit bomb. President Baird also told us about the new missionaries in Nagoya. One got a double major in music and Japanese in three years!!!!! Crazy!! President Baird taught us with his powerful spirit and brilliant inspiration. We all learned a lot that day.

Wednesday afternoon we were passing out English class fliers and I went to hand one to a man and he threw his hands up in the air and said, "I believe in Lucifer, the Morning Star!!" Duarte Choro and I were almost rolling from laughing so hard. It wasn't a very well constructed sentence, though because if he believes in Lucifer, then he believes in God. What he meant to say is that he worships Lucifer. We were thinking we should have said, "We believe in Lucifer too. We just worship God." It was funny. Later that night we had English class. We had nine people there and five of them were investigators. It was really good to talk about the Book of Mormon with everyone. I also talked to Naomi-san about the plan God has for us and our purpose in life. She is what we call a "kinjin." It literally means "gold person" but it's how we refer to golden investigators. She has such a big appetite for the gospel.

Thursday I made up a super hero named the Human Locker because I carry my big backpack and Duarte Choro only has his small bag, so I carry all the papers and folders and stuff. I was trying to think what the Human Lockers powers would be. Probably a bunch of compartments in his body and like a seventh grader side kick that sits in his chest cavity.

Thursday night we had an appointment at Matt's house with a less active member. We had the best waffles I have ever eaten in my life. They started out plain and Matt kept adding stuff like bananas, blueberries, and chocolate. It was amazing. We had a good spiritual thought too.

On Friday and Saturday, I had another exchange. This time I stayed in Kasugai and Farnsworth Choro came here. We had some good adventures tracking down less actives and contacting PIs. The next morning we went out early to check a PI, but he wasn't home. On the way back to the apartment, we went to a Buddhist shrine. There were also some Shinto things there too. It was cool. There was a statue that was like 30 feet tall..

Saturday night we had children's English class. We played tag and did the Hokey Pokey. There is one student that is ten years old. Her name is Lilika. She speaks better English than I do. She is super smart. We also talked to her mom, one of our investigators, and she promised to go to church before Duarte choro leaves. We don't know when that will be, but she will come to church at least in the next six weeks.

I also had the opportunity to give some healing blessings this week. It's pretty much the same in Nihongo, just a little more difficult to remember what to say.

Cori asked me what new foods I have tried. Since my last food report, it has been tako-yakisoba. It's grilled noodles with cabbage and other veggies, but also octopus. I had it at shokujikai (the potluck after church that is held once a month). It was pretty tasty.

Megan asked me what the biggest difference of living in America as opposed to Japan is. It's the beds. Futons are a lot different than normal beds. They are even a lot different than American futons. They're super hot because of the huge comforter they have. They are surprisingly comfortable for just being a thin pad on the floor.

That's pretty much the whole deal this week. I haven't gotten the CDs yet, but they will probably be here soon. I hope everything is going well for you guys back on the home front. Love you all.


Elder Sanderson

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

"Red-5 reporting in."

First off, I forgot to tell you all that I went to Higashiyama Zoo last Saturday. It was an activity with the ward and investigators. We had 27 people come and 11 of them were investigators! It was such a great success! It was a blast too. I'll attach a picture of me and Duarte Choro as turtles.

Dad, ever since you have told me to take pictures of cool cars, I have seen awesome cars everywhere. Including tricked out Skylines. I'll get some pics out too. Cherries are in season here. They are pricey! Less than 400 grams is about $4! we were lucky enough to get some from a member in our food basket though. I've seen a lot of people while I've been in Japan that look like Japanese versions of celebrities. I have seen Clint Eastwood, Kevin Bacon, and the other day I saw a guy wearing a helmet like the Stig on Top Gear.

This week I went to a real 100 yen shop. It's like a dollar store, but they have everything from blank cds to neckties to cleaning supplies. It is awesome. We live pretty close to an airbase, so we see big cargo planes flying overhead and occasionally and F14 Tomahawks or Blackhawks. They usually flying pretty low too. 

Fashion in Japan is funny. Girls wear platform shoes with about 4 inches of platform on em. Pretty much anything that makes you look American is very "steki". That means fashionable or good-looking. Blonde hair is very unpopular in Japan, so girls with blonde hair is considered very beautiful. I have been complemented on my blue eyes a couple of times.

President Baird has been out for a little over a year and a half now, so they will leave about six months before I do. Don't worry about gettin Ryan Shupe music because I bought some CDs so I can burn some music.

I'm sort of rambling. This week was a little tougher than those past, but we worked hard. Things kept falling through until I went on an exchange in Nakatsugawa with Burnett Choro. Burnett Choro just finished his first transfer too, so we had an adventure. We did really well at understanding and speaking Japanese for to li'l bean-chans, if I say so myself. I think the Spirit was a big help in that. We talked to about 25 people in the 24 hours we were together. We gave out English class fliers or Lesson Pamphlets to almost everyone we talked to. Burnett Choro even placed a Book of Mormon. We stretched a lot and learned a ton. It was good.

This weekend, we worked and worked and then Sunday night it all paid off. Everything worked out and now our week is full! Yay! Duarte Choro was telling me how cool it is that even though we had a tough week here, our families were blessed so much. I noticed that too as I read your emails. Pretty cool stuff. 

This week we met with Naomi-san, Ito Megumi-san and found some PIs. Woohoo!

Anyway, that's it for this week. Love you all.


Sanderson Choro