Monday, July 30, 2012

New Letter

What a week! Lot's of teaching, finding, working, and being a missionary. We found a new investigator yesterday. We forgot to ask her name, so we are calling her Yasashi-san. That means nice. We are meeting with her again this coming Sunday along with the Lucero family from the Philippines.
One member we did lessons with this week is named Kato Kyodai. He has been a member for just under a year and got his mission call to Kobe, Japan. He leaves in October, so we have been talking to him about becoming a missionary. He is also going to visit New York and then Utah on Saturday. He will be in America for a month. He's super good at English and he's really funny. I think he's about 25 years old.
This week we spent a lot of time with the Fuchino family. They aren't investigators, but they are way good potential investigators. We just need to build our relationship a little more with the father, so he will let us start teaching them. On Thursday, during English class I did interviews with the mom, Wu Ying. As you might guess by that name, she's Chinese. She teaches me a lot of Chinese like how to say my name and different words and things like that. She has a great sense of humor and she is really interested in the gospel. She also calls us missionaries "onisan" or "older brother" because we have such a good relationship with her 11-year-old son, Tatsuyuki-kun.
Small tangent, but I did interviews and she said she would like to take the lessons. Her husband said that he didn't have interest in the gospel and he's not okay with us teaching only Wu Ying and Tatsuyuki-kun. Hence we must strenthen our relationship with them. But they already treat us like they're members. They took us to a festival in Ena on Saturday night. It was so much fun. We watch a bunch of fireworks and ate some takoyaki and snowcones.
The way they do fireworks are cool. They do it over a lake, so there are boats with like two people on them and a million dollars worth of fireworks and they just anchor in the lake and torch up the sky. It was so cool to watch.
Yesterday at church I met a guy we call Jun-kun. He races cars. He was telling us that the night before he outran a cop and got away. He probably wouldn't have been at church if he didn't get away...
Yesterday we also had dinner at the branch president's house. His name is Jindo Kaicho (President Jindo). He built his own house in a year and it's a really big American style house. Which means it has carpet!!! I walked into his house and almost melted. He took us down to the basement (which also never exist in Japan) where it was very cool. He let us sit down and study and I passed out. He came in later and asked "Are you ready to eat?" I was out cold. He saw me and said "hey. Hey! HEY!" I didn't wake up. He kicked me and then I woke up, but I didn't know he was there. I turned and was like "oh, hello." I sat up and he started slapping my cheeks saying "Okinasai!" (Wake up!) I was like "I'm awake now." It was really funny. He is a very cool guy and his wife and mother are very nice too.
In other news, I caught a caterpillar today! I want to know if it turns into a moth or a butterfly, so I'm going to feed it cabbage until it makes a cacoon and see what happens.
Pictures are on the way too!
Thanks for the letters and emails. Love you all.

Elder Sanderson

Monday, July 16, 2012

Movin' On Up

Movin' on up (Movin' on up)
To the east side
To that deluxe appartment in Nakatsugawa!

That's right ladies and gents! This bean is sprout legs and movin' to Nakatsugawa. I got the transfer call this morning. It was kind of surprising, but we expected changes. I am still in the same district, so the transfer won't be too hard. I also have gone there a few times on exchanges, so I know a lot of people there already. It's a bigger area than Kasugai, but it's a little cooler. I'm excited to go there and be companions with Farnsworth Choro. He is a great missionary, and a powerful teacher. I'm gonna miss Kasugai, but Nakatsugawa will be good for me. Duarte Choro is staying in Kasugai and he will be Gates Choro's companion. 

This week was good. I had two exchanges. One with Clark Choro in Seto and one with Burnett Choro in Kasugai. They were fun. While on my kokan (exchange) I read a talk in the Feb 2008 Ensign about living a balanced life. Every one who reads this email should read that talk. It's super good. We dendoed hard this week. One of our former investigators, Naomi, called us up on Friday and told us she wants to meet with us again. She had been going to another philosophical group and she said she doesn't like it as much and she came to church on Sunday. I hope she will see the truth of the gospel. 

On Friday, we tried to visit the Bolivian woman, Barbarita. I understood what she said to Duarte Choro! And she speaks Spanish! I understood "manyana" (I know that's spelled wrong), saw her shake her head, understood her say "domingo" and then "noche." I turned to Nishimura Kyodai and said "we can't visit her tomorrow, but Sunday evening is okay." It was the gift of tongues for sure! I was super excited. 

Well this week's email is kind of short. I'm sure next week's will be longer and my email will probably be earlier. God is great, gospel is true, I love you all.


Sanderson Choro

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Happy Fourth of July?

Herro and wercome!

So on Wednesday at English class, one of the students said it was Independence Day in America. I looked at the date on my watch and said, "Oh, ya. It is." It doesn't have the hype being outside of the USA. I was describing our traditions for the Fourth of July and the students thought it was all very weird. I thought it was funny. The next day, I made those crazy good burgers for lunch. When I told Brother Hall that we had burgers, he said, "If you were blind in the north pole, you would kill a polar bear and rip a hamburger out of it because it's written in your DNA to eat a hamburger today." It was pretty hilarious. 

We helped Brother Hall load some Miatas (a car made by Mazda) into a container to go to Australia. It was fun.

We found a lot of new investigators this week. A Bolivian woman named Barbarita has been listening to our message and we invited her to our volleyball activity on Friday night. Barbarita's daughter, sister, and niece came to the activity as well. Their names are Hiromi, Madelene, and Michi respectively. They are all investigators now and all four of them came to church on Sunday. When Madelene asked Michi if she wanted to go to church, Michi said, "Ikitai!" (I want to go!) It was awesome. We have an appointment with them on Friday this week. 

We also found another man named Kun from Vietnam. His Japanese isn't very good yet, so we have to speak very simply. We have an appointment with him on Sunday. We were going to meet him yesterday, but He had a friend over. 
On Friday night we had a companion split with some members. I taught a lesson to Ito Megumi-san with Ina Kyodai and had an FHE with the Murphy family. Duarte Choro went to the volleyball activity with Nishimura Kyodai. It was a good learning experience for me and learn how to really take the lead in a lesson. 
I found out that everyone is a nerd in Japan. By American standards anyway. I know a woman who plays video games a lot and an 18-year-old who plays Yu-Gi-Oh. I fit right in! They also read a lot of anime comics. No matter the age. Pretty funny.
Sorry for writing so late lately. We have been "isogashii" (busy, BTW the kanji for isogashii means "mind dies"). I will try to get to emails earlier next week. 

Today we had an epic adventure! With the Mission President's permission, we went to Toyota Factory with an Eikaiwa student. It was soooooo cool. We felt like we were in the Star Wars movie when we were watching the robots weld the bodies of the cars together. There was also a robot that played "Over the Rainbow" on the trumpet. It was sooooo weird because we took an English tour, so all of the gaijin (foreigners) were there. I felt so uncomfortable with all the white people around me. It felt almost like I was breaking the rules to talk to them. I wonder if that's how I'll feel in two years when I come home.

We also saw some sumo wrestlers practice this morning. The national tournament started yesterday, so we have been seeing the wrestlers riding their bikes around Kasugai because the training arena is about 500m from our apartment. It was cool. Sumo wrestling is intense and they slam into each other sooooo hard! We also went to a Shinto shrine this morning. The Japanese are so Christian, but they don't know it. 
Love you all. Thanks for emails and letters. 
Sanderson Choro

This chair is actually a car

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

This Town Ain't Big Enough for the Two of Us!

It seems like ten minutes ago I was writing to you about last week. Time sure flies when you're doing the Lord's work!

This week we had a baptism! Hiromi-chan got baptized on Saturday evening and confirmed on Sunday. We also had a party for her after the baptismal service. We made a video for her that I will need to send home, so you can see it. She was excited about her baptism. She has begun to be really good friends with the other kids her age and her mom now has visiting teachers. We are grateful we are able to help them. Hiromi's mom, Ella, is a convert of four years from the Philippines. She lost the church when she came to Japan. She bumped into the missionaries one day on a street corner and invited them over. We helped Ella-san get back to church and Hiromi-chan got baptized! Her baptism was done by Duarte Choro and her confirmation was done by Bishop Ishikawa and he also gave her some scriptures and a Bible picture book. The ward has seamlessly stepped in to take their family into the fellowship and support of the gospel.

While I was at Hiromi's baptism, I realized what I am a part of. I am helping people return to Heavenly Father. It's very humbling and powerful that Heavenly Father trusts us enough to help his children learn about Him and enter the path back to Him. I am so glad to be a part of it. These people's eternal reward is hanging in the balance. I am glad that I can help them find it. As of right now, my language and teaching isn't perfect and probably never will be. But that's why I'm so glad to have the Spirit to testify of the truth of the gospel and to convey the message to the hearts of the people.

We served a member named Brother Hall this week. He is from Canada and owns a Junkyard here in Kasugai. We helped him clear debris and fix up the place in order for a container to come in today. He is a very strong member in the church and I am glad to have been able to help him. Brother Hall was telling me that Obama-care passed and was saying that the world is running out of heroes. I told him that at least we can always count on God. He replied with, "The Lord never fails a test, but sometimes we fail to test Him." Duarte Choro and I were like whoa. I told Brother Hall that I had to write that down. So there ya go. The gospel truth I learned while clearing out a pit in a junkyard in Kasugai for a Canadian. Brother Hall is super cool.

We had a short companion split with the Toyota Zone Leaders on Friday while we were doing Hiromi-chan's interview. I went with Pedersen Choro to help Aoyama Kyodai home teach the Hisaka Family. Aoyama Kyodai's home teaching companion is also our dendoshunin, Nishimura Kyodai. Nishimura Kyodai had to go to the interview with Bardzinski Choro and Duarte Choro, so Pedersen Choro and I went home teaching. Aoyama Kyodai shared a message from the Liahona about sustaining our leaders. Pedersen Choro related it to helping our ward with dendo as well. Hisaka Shimai told us that she has been praying for her fish. Then she reached into the fish tank and grabbed the fish! She said, "He's sick." and then threw him back in the water. I watched a seventy-year-old woman pull a fish out of her fish tank with her hands. Pedersen Choro turned to me and said, "Having fun?" It was quite memorable.

Jill, I forgot to tell you something. I played Cat's Cradle with an eleven-year-old Japanese girl. Her name is Lilika and she speaks better English than I did when I was 11. Cat's Cradle is called "Futari Ayatori" in Japanese. Lilika is super good at it and can do it by herself! She just shuffles the strings on her fingers! It's mind-blowing. She also taught me some new ways to play it. It was fun and it reminded me of when I play with you.

It's hot! July is crankin' up the heat. It's humid too so it feels like you're riding your bike (at an average of 25 mph) through a sauna. Woo doggies! Some days it rains, so we get a little cooler, but it's still humid. I feel like I'm melting sometimes.

I've been dendo-ing so much that I get a slight sun burn like twice a week. It's good though. Everybody needs a little cancer and it's for the Lord. We finally got in contact with our newest investigator again. Furuya-san is meeting us tomorrow and we got her phone number, so we can contact her easier. We also saw her at McDonalds (Makudonarudo) today. We got in contact with Naomi-san again. She is super busy lately, so we haven't heard from her in a while. She is scheduled to be baptized tomorrow, but she hasn't come to church. We will reschedule her baptism soon.

We made pancakes for breakfast this morning. They were tasty. We also made Sister Baird's homemade syrup. It was even tastier. I had to improvise for the buttermilk (the recipe suggested putting lemon juice with milk and let it sour for a bit) but we didn't have lemon juice. I cut up an orange and used 100% OJ instead. It turned out fine. We have some syrup left over too, so we'll probably do those again soon. Last week I made burgers. They were soooooo good. I put salt and pepper and finely diced onions in the hamburger and made the patties. I then wrapped them up and stuck them in the fridge to "marinate" for a few hours. I fried them in a pan and put cheese and bacon on top. We had em with the works, lettuce, ketchup, mustard, mayo, etc. They were so good and so tender. We are gonna have those again sometime too.

Well, I hope your week was fantastic, cuz mine was biest! Love you all. Thanks for the support!


Elder Sanderson

Engrish funnuy