Monday, November 30, 2015

みなさんこんにちは!

So this week was pretty awesome, we went on a koukan (companion exchange) with the zone leaders and I was area Senpai! Where you are the oldest in your area. I was the one who had to lead because I was the only guy who knew how to get places. It was really cool to realize that I know where stuff is. I like stuff.


Anyway, on the koukan, me and Hall Choro, one of the zone leaders, pulled a hat trick! We found three investigators in a row! Like we topped three guys one by one and they all became investigators! Pretty great. Today for p-day, we had a district activity where we hiked up to Gifu jo, castle, and it as great! But yeah it was cool.


We have been really blessed because of our efforts to talk to everyone we meet. Life is great and life is fun. I feel like I can understand pretty much everything everyone says to me. Also, when we at Gifu jo, we were interviewed for a program about Japanese tourism on tv. It should air in February. Pretty cool. But it was super awkward. Then later the tv guys approached me and asked permission to talk to the sisters that were with us. First question, why am I in charge? Second, why would I care?
Anyway it was pretty funny and u gave permission and they were all interviews too.

There have been so many Christmas things going on in Gifu. There was a performance in the eki, train station, and then when we were coming back from our activity, a Korean lady was singing Christmas songs in English then Korean them Japanese. So cool. It has gotten cold here. Not any snow, just lots of cold. No rain really either.

Well, I hope they you are all doing well and that you have a good time this week.

Peace out homies!

リチャードソン長老

P.S.  The primary program was yesterday and Mom you never have to worry about yours again, this one was a disaster. It was really good, but you could tell that the Primary President was really worried. Everyone loved it though. If you think your primary kids are rowdy, you need to come over here. Hahaha


A little bit of Japan for you.

Triple missionaries!


At the Christmas celebration.

Cup muffins for Thanksgiving

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Music from the Christmas concert


Monday, November 23, 2015

卵が必要!


So this week we did lots of stuff, the thing that stood out was definitely the cookies though. They were fantastic.  (Dante made chocolate chip cookies.) We also used them as a lesson, so for example, if you were to teach the gospel and talk about repentance, and you never mention the sacrament, then the person will never really repent. It is like cookies without eggs. They still taste like cookies, kind of look like them, but they are definitely not cookies. So yeah. 

Anyway, this week we met our progressing investigators that just moved from Ichinomia to Gifu. They are great, although they are struggling with faith. They are what you might call eternal investigators. They've been investigators for about seven years. So yeah, they are going to be some work. They really weren't progressing, but they started to really move forward a few months ago. They were dropped once before, then decided to start keeping their commitments and now they are really close to baptism. They just need to realize they have faith and then act on it, they were really nice too.

We hiked to Gifu castle on Saturday with the young men and it was great! I learned a lot and the hike was fun too. I got to practice the tiny bit of Chinese we learned for fun in the MTC on some Chinese people who also spoke Japanese. It was a great conversation. They were fun and loved hearing both languages from a gaijin. 
 
There's a Chinese restaurant here that if you order in Chinese, you get a discount.  So I've been practicing. Haha.
I tried a new sushi roll this week it was called the hello kitty roll, it was a limited time roll because hello kitty has a special thing this week or something, it was pink and so good. 
We had a big storm on last Sunday to Wednesday too. It rained so much that we had to walk places rather than bike, which is apparently a rare occurrence. 
Anyway, life is hard but life is good. We had a koukan last week on Thursday, an exchange, I went to Ogaki and it was really weird, I liked coming back to Gifu. I know where things are here. I can find my way around pretty much the whole state. Which is about the size of West Valley. 
 Everyone here is getting ready for Christmas. There are about three houses in our whole area with lights, probably two Christmas trees total, and Daiso (the dollar store) has Santa suits for sale. Yep definitely feels like normal Christmas...

I got to speak in church yesterday. It was great, me and Thompson Shimai both did. We had the same topic, introduce yourself and bear your testimony. Pretty great. 

I hope that you are all doing well and that you take time to buy, and eat, Costco muffins. 

         -リチャードソン長老 


Samurai at the Gifu Castle
 
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Monday, November 16, 2015

Obedience is the Price

On Friday the thirteenth, we had a great day.  We had ZTM, zone training meeting, and then went on splits for fun and did some streeting until the curry place opened and then got some Indo curry.  It is the best.

I am learning how to amimono which is crochet. A little girl in the ward is teaching me. She is amazing! Holy cow, she's like seven and she is working on a sweater because she doesn't want to be cold. Hahaha. Cool. I made a finger puppet and she was really funny with telling me how to do it. I'm glad that we got to do this because she doesn't have many friends in church her age. Her little sister is also teaching me kanji, the Chinese characters they the Japanese use. Their mom is the Eikaiwa coordinator (the English class they teach) and she is the bomb! I think she is the primary president too. 

It rained a lot here and got kind of cold.  I hope that it snows, I'm dreaming of a white クリスマス.
So we've had our pre storm. Yesterday at stake conference, Sister Ishii, the mission president’s wife told us it is going to snow on Wednesday, she was very certain.  All of the Japanese ladies definitely know what the weather is going to be like it is so crazy.  So every day we watch the old lady across the street leave and see what she is wearing. Or if she has an umbrella, etc.

I had to give up soda cold turkey. Ishii Kaicho (President) doesn't want us to drink it and we have to drink juice or water, or vitamin water.
So this week we worked really hard and we had so many blessings. We found like seven investigators and we met a lot of really cool people. This week was stake conference and Ishii Kaicho spoke. His talk was really good, I think. Haha.

We have eaten all sorts of things and the best is definitely the octopus. It is really chewy, but if you chew a lot it will let out the flavor, but don't chew it if it wriggles on your chopsticks, because it will grab onto your teeth and it is really hard to get off.

My Japanese is getting a lot better, I can understand when people are talking to me at normal speed, for the most part. There are still a lot of words that they all use that I don't know but I am really working on it.

Our goal for the end of the year is to get ten baptisms and so in order to do that, we have to be really obedient. Which reminds me of the time when King Limhi's people were in captivity from the Lamanites. They were all praying to the Lord to bring them out of bondage, and the lord was "slow to hear their cries because of their iniquities." (Mosiah 21:14-15) Then later, Alma and his people, were also in captivity, and they were ordered not to pray or they would be put to death, so they prayed in their hearts and the Lord responded that he knows covenant they made to him,  and he then covenants with them that he will bring them out of bondage. (Mosiah 24:11-13) the difference between these two groups was that Alma and his people were obedient to the words of the church leaders (Abinadi & Alma) and they repented unto baptism. Limhi and his people, did not. They were the ones who killed Abinadi and cast Alma and his people out. Later they were helped out of bondage but not immediately. All of this story brings me to the point made clear in D&C 130:21 "And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated." We want to
gain a major blessing, so we need to be majorly obedient. So we are really trying to be obedient.

The people in Gifu are so great! They really are so cool, we have all sorts of people in the ward, and they all are connected by one thing, the gospel. When we are walking on the street, we never know
who we are going to meet. I just realized that rhymes. (^^)anyway I love it here.

愛していますよ。

リチヤドソン長老

 


We went and got some stuff for the apartment at the dollar store and right next door there was a sale for "room shoes" which I desperately needed, I lost my flip flops in the MTC or something so I have been having to walk around the apartment in sock and feet, and in people's houses they have to lend me some shoes. So I got these.  They go in my bag and we wear our own room shoes in other people's houses.
 
Birthday party--evidently the birthday girl gets pie in the face!

Found Homer slippers!
 
 
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Monday, November 9, 2015

I'm in Japan!


This week has been amazing.  I have been assigned to work in Gifu, which is the capital of the Gifu district state. We have been really working hard and have been talking to everyone. The Gifu ward is great and the members are really helpful, they love to teach us how to speak better Japanese. We had a lesson at the Honda household and I really could understand most of what was going on. We also had dinner and they fed us Shabu-Shabu (it's like a meat that is raw and you dip it in boiling water and then it becomes cooked and you dip it in your sauce bowl) it's really good.

 When I got here we stayed at the homebu (mission home) and they fed us Costco pizza...yep we have Costco in Nagoya and the one in Gifu is going to open soon. The night in the homebu I slept on the hugest bed you have ever seen, all by myself. We are soup and fruit and portable pancakes for breakfast, they are two little pancakes with syrup in between and they are sealed with butter, the fruit is so much better here ( ok I will be honest, everything is better, even the milk, peanut butter, but especially the bread...it's always as thick as Texas toast and so soft and fluffy and it is just amazing) the fruit we ate was apples, pears, Apple-pears, persimmon, and pineapple. Ishii Kaicho said the reason why the fruit is so much sweeter here is because there is so much water over here, rain, humidity, etc. Our area is pretty busy, we have like 5 malls and a huge eki (train station), which has a huge super mall inside it. Crazy. We drink a lot of drinks, they don't have water bottles for sale usually, you drink electrolyte drinks that are kind of like water, and lots of juice. But not always fruit juice, usually vegetable juice, like tomato, or corn. Corn juice is really good.
 My first night in my area, we taught eikaiwa, or English class. It was really fun and I learn so much. We have some really cool people show up and they all have a good time. Yesterday, Sunday, after church we had shokujikai, which is pretty much where people gather together and we all eat food. It was pretty awesome. Then when we left the ward had a basket of food ready for us to take home, also tissues and sponges and other things for our apartment.
 
This week has been a blast, we had sushi my first day in the area for dinner, one of those old fashioned rotating things...so good, you would love it. 
I think that our companionship is really going to do well. Laumatia Choro is an amazing trainer. He has taught me how to do many things and always encourages me to find ways to become better and to not settle for something that is good enough. Whenever we are on the street or on a store or something, he always encourages me to start a conversation with people and to go as far as I can without his translations. If I get stuck he is always a part of the conversation and is always ready to jump in and save me.

I have much fun in Gifu and love much.

愛していますよ。
リチヤドソン 長老

平安外(heian soto) peace out

Laumatia Choro

Dante and his new bike!  (With approval from Inigo Montoya.)

Inside the apartment.
 
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Monday, November 2, 2015

We saw Dante and his flight group this morning at the airport.  I got to give several mom hugs, send pictures to parents, and loan my phone to Elders whose flight had been cancelled.  It was wonderful!  Here are some pictures. . .
































Have a great flight Dante!