Monday, April 29, 2013

So I'm in Japan

It's been a year in Japan now. Good golly time flies. I say that a lot these days.

How is everyone? Things are going well in Fuji. We had a great Stake Conference yesterday and President and Sister Baird were the guest speakers. It was really cool. I learned a lot about conversion, which was the theme of the conference. It was really good. Ouchi-san wanted to come, but he had company coming to his house so he couldn't. Shucks.

We found a new investigator! Her name is Fukita-san. She studies with the Jehovah's Witnesses sometimes, so she said she would listen to us. We hit her with the Restoration and she seemed really interested. We had a prayer and got a return appointment and now she's an investigator. Yes!

We also visited Inaba-san. He was doing really well until recently he seems to just humor us with our visits. He doesn't keep commitments either, so we need to work with him more. Shimizu-san, an older woman who lives near the church finally met with us again. She likes the Book of Mormon and it took a little pushing, but we got her to pray. And she liked it! She said, "I want to pray when I read the Book of Mormon now." We were like, "Perfect, go for it." It was cool. I think that will help her start to progress a lot.

Mother's day is coming up, so you know that means I get to Skype! I will be on the computer at about 10:30 am here, which makes it about 7:30 pm there. Let's have a chat!

Well, things are going better and better here in Fuji. My companion and I went to a cool Matsuri (festival) the other day and I took a cool video of one of the performances. I'll attach pics of it and the Blues Brothers Diorama.

That's all for this week. Love you all.


Elder Sanderson

Monday, April 22, 2013

Revolution Number 10

It's a new transfer cycle! My 10th to be exact. I have 7 transfers left including this one. (Gulp!) Time flies.

So things are going good. Not any super huge amazing things happening this week. We did meet with a less-active member, Urushibata Kyodai, who hasn't been visited in a while. He still reads the scriptures, but due to health issues he doesn't come to church. Watanabe Shimai came to church (she is another less-active member). She lives far away, but she said she wants to meet with us to study the Gospel more. Nice! We committed Ouchi-san to pray to recognize Heavenly Father's influence in his life and Ouchi-san is going to start reading Helaman this week.

Suzuki Choro and I are in Fuji for one more transfer together. (Yay!) Perkins Choro is transferring and Roney Choro is becoming a trainer in Numazu. Watanabe Shimai and Fujisawa Shimai are still kicking it in Shizuoka, but the Zone Leaders moved to Shizuoka. Now there are eight people in my district with two Elders and two Sisters in Shizuoka. Cool! District activities are gonna be a party!

My companion and I are getting along better than ever. He is so stinking funny and he is finally used to missionary lifestyle, so we're hitting our groove. This transfer is gonna be really good, I think.

I will mail my other SD card home soon chalk full of pictures for y'all. I found a model of the scene from The Blues Brothers where Jake and Elwood are flying through the police barricade in Chicago. It was $60 or else I would have bought it.

It's a short and sweet one this week. Love you all.


Elder Sanderson

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Words o' The Prophets

We had a neat experience with OYM (Open Your Mouth, to share the Gospel) this week. Actually a lot of neat experiences. Elder Roney and I had a companion exchange on Tuesday and when we were riding the train we talked to a new college student. He wasn't giving us any ways to guide the conversation where we wanted it to go, so Elder Roney just said, "Well, we're missionaries and we talk about the church. Do you have a religion?" It was really cool because we started teaching him Gospel truths on the train, gave him a pamphlet, and said, "Let's meet again sometime." Later that afternoon we were going to an area that was a little far away so we set a goal to talk to 1-3 people along the way. Long story short, we talked to four people and found two potential investigators. And one of them had met missionaries before. We called him again and said we can meet sometime.

Then last night my companion and I were riding our bikes and we stopped at the crosswalk to wait for the signal to change. I looked at the couple next to me and made eye-contact with the woman, who said, "Hi." This wasn't a Japanese "Hai" it was a "Hello" kind of "Hi." I asked them if they spoke English and the man said yes and asked me where the Kappazushi restaurant was. I told him it was close to our church which was close by and we walked them there. They were from Singapore and Elder Suzuki and I talked to them about the Gospel and showed them our church. It was really cool.

We made contact with Wada-san again this week. It had been a while, so we reviewed lesson 1, renewed her commitment to read the Book of Mormon and pray, and set a return appointment for tonight. She is doing great. Unfortunately she has work on Sundays, so she couldn't make it to General Conference. We also dropped by Inaba-san's house on Saturday after Priesthood session for a lesson. He is always very nice and lets us in, but he doesn't exactly want to apply the Gospel to himself. He regularly sees Watanabe Kyodai, our ward mission leader, at the onsen and he has been to church. Inaba-san thinks the church and its members are great, but he doesn't want to keep commitments. We're still working on figuring out how the Gospel can change his heart.

Well, Mom asked about Fuji and President Baird. I think I'll be in Fuji one more transfer to finish Suzuki Choro's training but transfer after that. Where to I have no idea. President Baird goes home in July. Everyone misses him already. He is continuing strong and keeping us in line and helping us be better. We have interviews with him this Wednesday. Maybe our last, but maybe not.

Conference was great. I felt the Spirit so strong. Lots of talks were good. I liked President Packer's talk and President Uchtdorf's talk on Sunday morning. Like always Elder Holland didn't disappoint. It's so cool to have a living prophet and other men called of God to lead us.

Anyway, gotta wrap up. Love you all.


Elder Sanderson

Monday, April 8, 2013

Ya Big Cheaters!

You guys all watching General Conference before me... We don't get it until next Sunday.

Anyway, this week was a little slow. We worked hard, but things just weren't working out. Well, on the investigator side of things anyway. Ouchi-san and Ogasawara-san are regular appointments now, so it's nice to teach them. They seem to be learning the Gospel just for the knowledge, however, not so much for the real benefits. Our tachiai, Kawamura Shimai, gave us some good guidance on how to better help Ogasawara-san, though. Ogasawara-san is quite religiously Buddhist. She often goes to shrine and pays respect to her ancestors at the hotokesama in her house. So, Kawamura Shimai suggested we talk about temple work and how we can do ordinances for our ancestors. Elder Suzuki and I think it will be good for her. I think it could be the key to change her attitude about the Gospel.

Last night we had a dinner appointment with the bishop and his family, the Ogawas, at their home. After dinner the bishop asked about the progress of our investigators. I said that everyone is kind of mada mada and the one's who have the most potential are hard to meet with. He asked how we do finding and I said housing. His wife said "That's the least effective way." I agreed and the bishop said that referrals are the best. Then he asked how FF was doing. (FF is the method for helping members fulfill the prophecy of member missionary work in Japan that is catered specifically to the Japan Nagoya Mission.) I told him of the success that we have been having with the Wakatsuki family and how they are praying for and introducing their friends to the Gospel. I also told him that we visited them this past Friday and got some more referrals from them. I think it sparked something in the Ogawa family. They remember doing FF with a missionary a while ago and talked about how missionaries stopped meeting with them and how they got busy and how they stopped praying. Then Ogawa Shimai said, "Young people are best," then turned to her daughter and said, "Do you have friends you can introduce to the Gospel?" Saya-chan said she hadn't really thought about it, but her friends have a lot of questions like why they're here on the earth, etc. So we shared scriptures from 2 Ne 2 and D&C 31 talking about the importance of sharing the Gospel and following the Spirit. We ran out of time, so Ogawa Shimai said, "Ok, come back and we'll do FF." I can feel things are gonna pick up quickly here in Fuji.

We had a fun district activity this past week. We went to look at the Cherry Blossoms and played some games. See the cool pictures attached. I was wearing that sick shirt you sent me, too. Elder Perkins busted up when he saw it. The picture of us all from left to right is Elder Roney, Elder Suzuki, Sister Fujisawa, Elder Perkins, Me, and then Sister Watanabe.

It's a little short this week, but that's it. I'm excited for conference now.

Love you all.


Elder Sanderson