Sunday, December 25, 2016

We all make mistakes, because we are carrots.

Well, this week was pretty great! First off, we had a few people tell us that they don't remember having ever met with the missionaries, and they don't want to now; then we had our recent convert tell us that he felt it was a waste of time to study the gospel with the missionaries because we just tell him to do things at home during the week, so he might as well just do it himself; and then we had interviews with President Ishii; and then we had planning; then we had a Christmas DTM/Party/FHM (Family Home Morning); then we had the branch Christmas party; then we had church; then we celebrated Christmas in other various ways; and well, that is our entire week. 

This week, we are looking forward to doing next to nothing with a few days of regular dendo being destroyed on account of Shogatsu and Deep Cleaning. Yay. 

Essentially, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  

(Sorry, this email is pretty lame)

Elder Richardson

 1) we made candy cane cookies, but couldn't find red food coloring, so they looked lame. 

2) pun intended-love Elder Greer





3)It was really foggy

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

"Cause all I wanted to do is be the Bruce Lee of loose leaf -Eminem" -Random guy that sent us a text"-Elder Richardson"

Hello, so this was a pretty great week! We did some pretty great stuff and we saw a lot of cool miracles. Also, we had some interesting things happen to us. Don't worry though, I got some good videos this week. So some of the things that happened, I won't write about, I talk about it in them. 

First, on Monday, we found a little import store that one of our doctor friends told us about. And we found TimTams. *Video 1* That night we went to Brother Nakamura's house and talked to him about life and asked him to come to church. 

Next, on Tuesday, we went and got to change sheets at the hospital and it was good. Then we went housing, and had a lesson with Brother Yazaki. He has been doing the Duty to God program (he's 21, but you know) and that was really great. Also he wanted to write a letter to Santa (21) and so we helped him with that. We made him write in English, so it was awesome (I spell checked most of it, but let him say whatever still)! And then we had dinner and went home. *Video 2*

On Wednesday, I got to go to Kanazawa for a companion exchange. It was super fun and we had a good time. We went out to Stamina Taro, which is an all you can eat meat place, and it has been so long since I had gone there! Then we went to a ton of Less Active Member's houses and invited them to Kanazawa Ward's Christmas Party. Also, it was the Stake President's birthday, so we went to visit him. Then we did more TimTam things there (they are from Australia like Elder Adams...so he had them too) *Mystery Video* (It wasn't on my iPad, so I will see if I can get it.) Also we learned some fun facts with Elder Adams that day. *Videos 3-4*

Then on Thursday, we went back to Nanao, and got to do some weekly planning. Yay. And we got to go to the hospital and teach some English there. It was good. Then we went to the church and taught institute. We talked about the First Vision and how to get answers from our prayers. That's one thing that I learned this week, again, prayers are hard. If you really do them right, they can take a really long time. That is probably why in the scriptures, it always talks about crying to the Lord the whole day and night. I think it is really cool that God will bless us if we talk to Him and ask, but He will bless us more if we ask right. We talked about praying and how to have actual deep prayers. It was a really good lesson. I learned a lot, even as I taught. 

Then on Friday, we had DTM in the morning in Nanao. After that time, we were all supposed to go make OYM videos as a mission, so we went to the only place with people...the eki. And we made videos, during a lightning/hail storm. *Videos 5-7*

Then we saw a little miracle. So, first it was raining, so we didn't think there were going to be any people out. We weren't going to go do a video, we were just thinking of them going back and us continuing. We then decided to do what we were told. We started walking and it stopped raining. Then we got to the eki and there were a few people there, we saw our good friend/investigator Nishikawa and had a good chat with him. Then we saw our recent convert Brother Yazaki. Then we did a few great OYMs it was time for their train to leave, and the Lord was wise enough to make it start really hailing and have lots of lightning. So we went into the conbini in the eki and got some food and met...Brother Nakamura! We were able to invite him to the Christmas Party and to come to church on Christmas and he said that he might come. It was pretty great. Then when we walked out of the eki, it had completely stopped raining. It was a miracle. 

Then Saturday was transfer calls (well texts). And...we are both going to the most remote little place ever. Nanao. Yep, we are staying. And because YOLO *Videos 8-9*

We also had a great lesson with Brother Yamamoto and shared about trials and the story of Alma and his people being persecuted by Amulon (Mosiah 24:8-21). He is working so hard to be able to quit smoking by the end of the year. Super cool! And we came up with this random idea to list all of the commandments we could think of on the whiteboard (and it was a lot) and we asked which ones he was following. Pretty deep and he really liked it. He realized that God gives us lots of rules, but that he gives them to us so that we can be blessed. Some of the things that we said are commandments, he didn't even realize was a thing (like coveting in the 10 commandments from Moses). Well, he is following that one without knowing it, so he is being blessed. He thought that was super cool! I did too. God really wants us to succeed, to quote a recent conference talk: "The God of heaven is not a heartless referee looking for any excuse to throw us out of the game. He is our perfectly loving Father, who yearns more than anything else to have all of His children come back home and live with Him as families forever." (Am I Good Enough? Will I Make It?-Elder J. Devn Cornish-October 2016) I absolutely love that doctrine. 

Then later that day, we were invited to this thing that we thought was a service activity, but it turned out to be even better! We got to meet a whole community of people that do service and things and many of the gaijin in the community of Nanao! And our good buddies Mario and Ookawa were there. It was way good. We were doing flower arrangements for New Years, and that was fun, but the best part was that we were assimilated into this group that hangs out and talks together about different things, a great way to share the gospel with people. And we already knew two of them so it wasn't awkward at all. (Well we showed up a tiny bit late so that was awkward). 

Then on Sunday, we decided to go visit a family that hasn't been getting out to church for a little while, so we biked for a long time in freezing rain, the result of which is that my throat hurts today. However, even though they weren't home, we were able to leave a note that now they know that we will come visit them and hopefully we can start meeting with them. (Hopefully at the church or something). 

Then at night we went housing and a man asked me if I would join his religion. I told him that I would love to learn and then if I received a witness of some kind that it was true and mine was not, I would be dumb not to join and I asked that he do the same with our religion. He promptly hung up on me. (^-^)

Well, I hope that you all have a fabulous week and that you always remember to leave something behind, this isn't the Boy Scouts. 

With that said, to the reader I bid farewell, hoping that many of my brethren may read my words. Brethren, adieu.

Elder Richardson

 
The Santa Letter
 
Our Flower Arrangement
 
Group 1

Group 2

Mario and his flower arrangement
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Lets sing the First Noel, because half of it is just "Noel" #ElderFrisch


Well, this week was good. I feel like we didn't get too much done, but that seems to almost always be the case. Probably because this week we can always do more. 

Anyway, as many of you have probably heard by now, it is the biggest news that I heard recently, the yahoo weather app had an update. It was labeled as "improved performance."  So yeah, pretty good week. 

Also this week we went housing a lot. A little bit ago, on a koukan with Elder Iwaasa, we found a pretty big neighborhood with some newer houses. So we started knocking on doors. Then when Elder Greer and I went back, we found out just how huge this neighborhood is. I will give one hint, it is big. Really big. 

So we did a lot of Housing. 

Another big thing of this week is that our recent convert started reading his Scriptures again and he saw blessings because of it. He mentioned that before he felt like he just came to church for the missionaries and now he realized that we talked about being happy from the gospel and he wanted to be happy. It was a really cool conversation with him. He used to have some problems with a lot of things, but now that he is reading his scriptures daily, he has noticed a change in his desires and I think that is the coolest thing. 

Well, sorry this was short, but that's all I've got right now. I am just happy to be here and to get to serve the Lord at the time of His birth. Of course, you can all do so too. Go watch the video for today and see how you can #Light the World. It is good, I watched it. And I promise that if you do too, you will like it. And if you act on it, you will feel the Christmas Spirit! (Which is the same as feeling the normal Spirit, but at Christmastime). 

Elder Richardson

 

1) Three pretty cool guys

 
 
2)Train video


3)Train video update

Monday, November 21, 2016

Colored Handkerchief has good service.


Well this was quite the week, my companion is super hilarious and always super genki! I love it! And second, we have been focusing on being more effective and just all around being better missionaries in our mission, so we looked at the things on our schedule that we do every week and looked to see what is effective and what just doesn't work. Some things were good, but just at a bad time. So we just moved them. Others were just unnecessary at all. So planning was super awesome and we found out that we had a lot of time and so now we should be able to see a lot more progress in the area. 

Also, we had an awesome experience with one of our investigators who we recently gave the Book of Mormon to. He said that he read the part we asked him to, the introduction and the testimonies at the front, and he said that he believes Joseph Smith. It was super cool to see the look on his face and feel the change in the atmosphere when he said those words. 

This week I don't have much to say, but Joseph Smith was a prophet, and he translated the Book of Mormon so that we can know what is true. We get to testify of that and it is so cool, but that isn't the most important or cool part of the message we bring. The main thing is that because of that we know that Jesus is the Christ and that we can all repent and return to God. 

 We are God's children. 

That is such a simple concept, but it is so important. We can gain everything that He has and can become like Him. 

So in other words, this week we had a ton that happened and like every week, not much at the same time. We are getting ready for Christmas and are wondering where we can get a turkey for Thursday (especially here in Nanao (Dante says Nanao is like Mayberry)). We are looking forward to a new family moving into the branch and everything in Nanao just seems to be looking up to becoming a ward. Super cool. All the members are super excited and therefore and helping more than ever with dendo. 

Miracles

Monday: Elder Holman's stuff was sent off in good time. I realized many of you will think that I just didn't have anything for Monday, but we were praying for it to happen in good timing. Also we set up a lesson with an investigator. 

Tuesday: Elder Greer came, we got Starbucks (Hot Chocolate), didn't miss the train, his stuff came the day of transfers (usually it comes around Wed/Thurs), Yazaki paid attention and read from the Duty to God book with us. 

Wednesday: We went looking for an investigator that we had an appointment last Saturday on that we don't have any contact info on and found him within 10 minutes, Eikaiwa. 

Thursday: Weekly planning wasn't super long, met with Hirose and he asked what we have to do to go to the Celestial Kingdom (and he wants to go) he wasn't against being baptized but wants to know the whole commitment and all the commandments before he commits, Yazaki and Uehira paid attention and we started an actual set lesson schedule for institute. 

Friday: We met with Miyamori and he read the Book of Mormon by himself, Hiro said that he read the Book of Mormon knows it is true and Joseph Smith is a prophet and he prayed for dinner, we met with our junior high school friends up in Anamizu again and got to set up an appointment to go eat dinner with them. 

Saturday: Yamamoto is down to 5 sticks a day, we finished all of the PI phone dendo, dropped a bunch of PI's that weren't interested or that we didn't have and contact info anymore, Kurotsuchi is feeling a lot better (even though she went to the dentist like right before we went) and is going to be coming to church a lot more, made plans for Christmas, Yazaki's birthday, and Shogatsu. 

Sunday: Miyamori came to church and shared a relevant story in Priesthood Meeting, I played the piano for Priesthood and didn't fail, we knocked on a lot of doors and met some cool people, dropped more PI's that we only had an address and they don't live there, found out some people that live far, moved (and wrote it down so now people don't have to go try to visit them anymore). 

Well it was a good week, I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving and enjoy the turkey while it lasts. Don't let the dogs in the house...you'll have to go to a Chinese restaurant. (Well that's Christmas, but still turkey.)

Elder Richardson (^-^)

#squadgoals
If I were that old and that ripped. . .

We met this guy when we were waiting for our companions.  He is from Salt Lake City!

One year ago we hiked up to Gifu Jo with the young men.
 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Rubber Glover Robber River


Hello all you peeps,

This week was transfers! And we got a call, I get to stay in Nanao! And this is the transfer that it was expected that Elder Holman gets to leave his bean area and he is being forced into the Honbu (mission office). And so I'm losing my second son and getting a third his name is Elder Greer. I've now been a dad and a mom twice pretty interesting.

Yeah anyway so this week we had quite a time on Monday we went and we talk to a man named Nishikawa. And he teaches Japanese to bunch of guys that come to Japan that teach English to students and so our friend Mario was there and he was doing a lesson to make up randomly when we went to visit.  That was way awesome, and so then we were able to talk, unfortunately was about the election but we were able to talk for a while and have really good conversation. Anyway so later my ammo contacted us and asked us if we wanted to go to a vegetable festival a school was putting on and that was way awesome.

Recently we have been working on improving the public image of the missionaries, and so we been going around to different organizations and doing a lot of  volunteer work. So hanging out with our friend from New Castle, England (shoutout to Elder Graydon!!!) was a super huge miracle for us. We went out for donuts and he actually brought up the fact that we need to meet people in an environment where we are just doing some normal things so that people don't talk about us the way they do. So he said that he will invite us to all the events that he can and that we can probably meet with some of the other language teachers. 

So my miracle of this week is named Mario. 

Anyway, we did that on Monday, or at least the lesson with him and Nishikawa on Monday, and it was super awesome! Also that day we were teaching our friend Yuguchi about baptism and his other friend had just walked in on the lesson, and he mentioned that he had already been baptized and just hasn't come to church for a long time. We looked up his records that night and he was under "Lost Less Active Members." So now we found him and found out where he lives, and he seems happy when we go to see him. 

Then on Tuesday, we had a koukan and I went to Kanazawa with Elder Adams. He is super fun and also from Australia. So we had a good time, except for the fact that whenever I go to Kanazawa for a koukan, it rains. A lot. We went to this restaurant for dinner that was super amazing, a little pricey, but soooo good! Also, we went to a care center and were going to talk with the residents and there turned out to be a little show going on and so they asked us to stay and sit with the people while they watched it. It was fun. A video will be attached. And we played basketball with some members and their friends. It was really fun, and no thanks to me at all, my team won quite a bit. Hahaha! I am so terrible at basketball.  

Then on Wednesday, we had Peer Support Eikaiwa and, as always it was a super fun time. There were only two people there and so they decided to not choose a topic and just do "free talk." The conversations are so weird when we do free talk. We ended up doing tongue twisters, hence the title. That one gets Japanese people so bad. (They cant do "R's" or "V's") 

Then on Thursday, we taught institute and the only people that come are really hard to get to pay attention, so we watched Meet the Mormons in hopes that it would help them pay attention and feel the Spirit. Didn't work. Then at the end, we watched the Mormon message where Gordon B. Hinckley tells about the boys putting coins in the poor farmer's shoes. They sure paid attention to that. It was super awesome. 

Then on Friday, we were going to go up to Anamizu, but then we ended up missing our train. We found an investigator in the process of missing the train, and so we had a few hours that we didn't know what to do with ourselves. So we called our Recent Convert and he always has time to meet, so we met and he has this crazy idea of teaching martial arts and Self Defense like how we do eikaiwa. (So crazy it just might work) and so we started making some plans and started the chirashi (flyer) and this could be fun to watch. 

Then on Saturday, we had transfer calls.  Like stated before, Elder Holman in going to Meito to work with computers in the Honbu, and I am going to be Elder Greer's Mom here. (For those of you who are not sure, Mom means I am his companion right after he is done training). I was also Elder Holman's Mom this transfer and last transfer I was Elder Mendel's Dad. My Family Tree will be attached. 

Later that morning was when we went with Mario to the Festival. It was way fun and we bought a lot of sweet potatoes. 

Yesterday (Sunday), we had testimony and fasting meeting, because of Stake Conference last week and it was really good. Not many people were there, a grand total of 14, but the spirit was really strong in the room. Then we went and gave out meishis (cards with his name on it) to people from Elder Holman. 

Well, I hope you all have a fun week and I will tell you more about transfers after they actually happen (tomorrow). 
 
 
 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Little town, it's a quiet village. Every day, like the one before.

November 6, 2016

Or you know everyday doing the same things with completely different results. 

            Well, this week was rather short. We did quite a lot, and at the same time, it feels much like we didn't do much at all. Then again, it always feels like that. So why should this week turn out any different?

            Anyway, we had quite the time on Monday, that is to say, we shopped, came and put the food away, sat and talked for a while and then just kind of stared at the wall. It was good though, I love a good wall stare. Then that night, we went to President Teraguchi's house for a FHE. It was really awesome and Yazaki Kyoudai came with us too! We got to teach his wife, who hasn't really been coming to church recently and talked about Nephi/Lehi's vision of the Iron Rod. It was really good! 

            Then on Tuesday, we got to go change sheets at the Hospital! I mean, we do this every week and all, but it is just way fun. And it is the best when there are students there because for some reason we are just way faster than them and they always say things about it because they think we don't speak any Japanese. It is way fun. Then we went with our Yazaki Kyoudai to our the Sakai house and she wasnt home, but her son was and he let us in and so we talked for a little and showed him pictures and stuff and then I helped him and Yazaki figure out how to make a Pokémon go account. So yeah, I also now have an account that is active on Yazaki's phone because his email wasn't working. Yep. I will be a powerful player before I ever get a chance to play. Hahaha! Also Sakai Shimai came home and we had an awesome discussion about life and how she feels about church and such. 

            Wednesday, we  had peer support eikaiwa and talked about Japanese culture and one of the guys sang a song for us. The video will be included (Batteries will not). It was awesome. Also at one point he came up and grabbed my thigh and then tried to have me do the same to him. I absolutely love peer support eikaiwa. That night we had our regular eikaiwa class and as always our friends Uehira and Yazaki were hilarious. The video will be included (again batteries will not). 

            On Thursday we had a little disaster. We decided to try our hand at shimai dendo (which is essentially like visiting teaching, you know just like bring them cookies to show them love). Well, we decided to make and old classic of no-bake cookies and bring them to some people. We had all the stuff except the oats. So we went to the store really fast and looked and the only thing there was rolled oats. We figured that it was ok. We make it and well, lets just say that we made some really good chocolate oat goo. It didn't work for the cookies though. There goes shimai dendo. 

            For Friday, we had DTM in Kanazawa again and it was pretty good! We talked about what we can do with faith and such. I would encourage you all to read the talk from October 2010 "The Transforming Power of Faith and Character" by Richard G. Scott. It is super good! Then we went up to Nanao with the stake president to figure out how to set up the Nanao church for stake conference. He is super smart and way cool! Then he took us up to one of our member's house and he wasn't home so we had some time and President Hirose took us to McDonalds. Or as he said, McNald's. And then we went up to Anamizu. I love that little podunk town! We had a lesson with Miyamori and we were planning on helping him weed his garden before that. So we wore normal people clothes. Super weird. While we were on our way, one of our other investigator friends up there texted us an asked when were we going to Anamizu that day and we told him and asked if he wanted to come pull weeds with us. So he showed up. It was great. 

            We pulled weeds and pretty much finished, I was attacked by a praying mantis and then we went in for a lesson. We were going to teach the whole restoration of the gospel because for some reason he wasn't taught all of it before. So it was great because it was also Hiro (the other guy that come) it was his first real lesson as well. So a good place to start. When we got to the end, Miyamori just wasn't understanding when we were inviting him to read the Book of Mormon and to pray about Jospeh Smith and so Hiro looks at us and says, "Can I help?" He then went on to explain to Miyamori that this was his first time hearing this too, but from what we were saying that Miyamori needs to read this book and then he can receive the happiness that we are sharing. It was super awesome!

            Then we left and talked with Hiro for a little while and he gave us a ride back to Nanao and we were able to give him a Book of Mormon as well and it was great. He then asked if he could share it with his friends as well and so we gave him another copy. Super super cool guy. I love him so much!

            Then on Saturday, we went with Yazaki to get him a more Missionary looking haircut so that when he speaks in Stake Conference people will think that he is serious about wanting to go. There is this whole thing where the Kanazawa ward is thinking of paying for his mission so it is important that they see him in that light. It wasnt exactly a missionary haircut, but it is a lot cleaner than it was and it looks good. Then we helped him with his talk and gave him tips on presentation. It was a good day. 

            Then on Sunday was Stake Conference. We had to go down to Kanazawa and the branch president was going to give Yazaki a ride, but when we were on the train there, we got a text that said that he wasn't going. So yep. We got to go tell the stake president that he would be able to make it. Which is too bad because it was a really big opportunity. The only other speakers were the stake president, another recent convert from the Kanazawa ward, President Ishii, Sister Ishii, and Elder Tokuzawa from the seventy. That would have been really cool. Then we got to see a lot of people from the stake and that was really fun. 

            Then that night, we got to meet with Yamamoto Kyoudai! He is so awesome! He has been working hard to overcome some struggles with tobacco, but he is doing it! We have a plan and it is working! I am so excited for him! His main goal is to get his life back in order so that he can have an eternal family. Super cool! Then we got to talk to Yazaki Kyoudai about self reliance and he is making some progress. We are going to make the first really big step today by going shopping to get her and buying a weeks worth of food as opposed to him just going to a conbini every day. So he should be able to save a lot of money and wont have any problems with that anymore. He has really been struggling with that though and we are helping him to figure it out. It is so cool how many different topics the church has resources on. I love it!

            Anyway that was this week and although it was really short, i guess quite a few things happened. It was good!



 Dinner with Hiro
 
 Learning Kanji
Uehira (left) and Yazaki (right) at eikaiwa
The Eikaiwa Japanese Song
 
Us and Sora-kun and Yazaki

Yazaki asked me to shave his eyebrows
 
 
Video of said atrocity
 
FHE at Teraguchi Kaicho's house

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Hair-power. . .oh, the Priesthood!

October 30, 2016


Dear my wonderful peoples, 

This week was pretty great. We did a lot of stuff. And we got to meet with a lot of really cool people. 

On Monday night, we had quite a few lessons. We taught Mitsuki, who is the same age as me, and he is super awesome! A little hard to get to pay attention sometimes, but still awesome. We are reviewing all the lessons so that he can strengthen his faith. He really wants to get baptized, but his parents are against it, so he has to wait until he turns 20. So thats a bummer. He is super cool though. We pretty much had him teach us and it was an awesome lesson. 

Then on Tuesday, we got to meet a member named Fujita and his family. He is a member of the branch presidency, but he can't come to church. Pretty cool guy. And his family is awesome. The kids aren't members, and the wife is half a member. (It's a long story). So they don't really know all that much about the church and you could tell when we prayed over the food. We both just started praying and Elder Holman finished before me and he said they were all frozen and didn't know just what to do. We plan to help them get comfortable with that sort of thing through activities. 

On Wednesday, we had a koukan. It was really awesome! I got to go with Elder Miyaki in Kanazawa. It was really fun and we got super soaked! We were meeting with an investigator at McDonald's and during the lesson one of us looked and saw that it was raining really hard. None of us had any rain stuff, so it was quite the time. We also got to go vote for which dog is the best? (^-^) Seriously though, we did. A member said that he had a surprise for us and so we got in his car and he drove us to a pet shop. We were all wondering what on earth we were doing and then we walked in and he explained it to us. He thought that the Americans would enjoy it because of the Election going on. (^^)

Then on Thursday, we missed our train, so we had to take a later one, which in this area of Japan, is really a big deal. In my other areas, if you missed a train you could wait fifteen minutes. Here if you are lucky (which we were) you wait 30. If you are not, you could wait for a really long time and might need to cancel something. Then we had a lot of lessons that day and we got to go teach English to doctors at the hospital. That was really fun. I always learn a lot of new words...in English. Then we also got to teach Institute. That was really fun. 

On Friday, we had a really busy day. We had DTM in Kanazawa in the morning, then we had to leave right on time from that to catch a train all the way up to Anamizu and we were going to meet some people up there. They ended up not meeting at that time, so we went housing. And while we were housing we found a matsuri. So naturally, we went there and talked to the kids there. We had a really cool conversation with kids and we set up a next appointment (its at the next matsuri but whatever). Then we got one of the kid's phone numbers and it was awesome! 

Then we were at the station and the guy that we were going to meet called and said that school had just ended so we could meet up if we were still there. So that was great! We waited there for a little bit and while we were waiting, the same kids that we had hung out with at the matsuri showed up and so we were talking while we were waiting. And I don't remember how, but I ended up doing some magic tricks. It was way fun and they were all so funny. I had thought that they were all high school seniors or so, but then they told us that they are in middle school and are all like 15. And I could remember all their names (or at least the names that they told me). 

Then we went with Hiro, the guy that we had the appointment with in the first place, to his friends' house and we sat and talked for a little while. They all speak English really well and so it was a blast. One guy brought out the guitar and we all sang some songs, I played a little bit, we rapped about Joseph Smith, sang some more songs, and then one guy said he had been practicing and so he sang "Closer" (I think its called Closer; and I don't remember who it's by). It was awesome. 

Then the guys had to go to a soccer practice and so we went with Hiro to his house and did some magic there, he is really good! I mean, I knew his tricks, but his showmanship is fantastic. Hiro is literally amazing. He is super genki all the time and can do so many things. And he works at Coldstone in Toyama. So I like him. He then took us to a restaurant and when the food came he said, "Ok, let's prayer." So we cast lots and he won so we taught him how to pray and he prayed...in English. And it was perfect. That was a really busy, super fun day. 

Then on Saturday President Ishii was coming to Nanao to come and dendo with us. So we cleaned our apartment for his inspection. And we had to do weekly planning. Then he came and everyone canceled on us but two people. It turned out to be good though because they still had to go check in their hotel. It was super awesome though. They are both so wise and super good teachers. President and Sister Ishii really know how to help people. When they were teaching, sometimes I felt as if they were teaching me rather that the people we were visiting. And it was Sister Ishii's birthday! She turned a nice 29!

Then on Sunday, we had a special devotional with...President Ishii! He taught us about member missionary work. It was something that we had been talking about recently, so it was literally perfect. And we had a great time. Then we went out and got to visit a member that has been struggling with smoking and such, and we were talking about that and he mentioned that he had stopped drinking and pachinko and it was just so funny that he didn't even think to mention that and we were just so happy that he had been able to do that! It was really cool! And we are going to help him quit smoking and he is going to be able to come to church pretty soon. Such a great achievement and he is going to progress so fast. 

Then that night we tried to visit some more people and they weren't home, were too busy, or they just didn't answer the door. So it was just one of those nights. 

Well, this is where I leave you...

And yeah, I hope you all have a happy Halloween and get lots of candy. I will share one of the biggest things that I learned this week: Japanese people love the story of the Tortoise and the Hare. I don't know why, but I must have heard a reference to it about 4 times this week. 

Well, I surely had a good week and we had some good times and some not quite perfect times. It is the 5th week of the transfer and that is super crazy. I just got to Nanao. Luckily for me, this is Elder Holman's first area and he has been here for 3 transfers. So usually that means that he is going to transfer. And when one of you transfers, usually the other doesn't. However, just like absolutely everything, its 50-50. Either I do, or I don't. 

President Ishii shared this scripture in Sacrament Meeting yesterday and I really liked it. Matthew 6:34 "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." And thats just it. Don't worry about the future. Today is today. If you live today right, tomorrow will be just fine. 

Have a great week and don't eat too much candy, you'll have nightmares. 3 bad nightmares. 

Love and such, Elder Richardson 

Dog Voting


Kids at the matsuri
 
The song "Closer"
 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Celine Dion さすが

        So this week was a little struggle at the beginning, but at the end, it was pretty dang good. Which is weird because the end of the week was when all the bad stuff started to happen. However, it was a great week just once again proving that 終わり良ければすべて良し, or in other words, all's well that ends well.

        At the start of the week, we were just not getting along. And that was just too bad because Elder Holman is an awesome guy with a lot of dendo Fire. This transfer I decided to try to do my best to be
perfectly obedient. Which is a good thing; however, I wasn't doing it in the best way. So just over time the small little tensions that I caused built up and we had to have a little talk. I'm really glad we
did, because for some of it, I didn't realize that I was even doing it and some I didn't realize it bothered him. And I was able to share some things with him that I thought were important and we were able to start to fix the problem.

        Then at the end of the week, we had some issues with members taking offense of things said and things done. So we had some long meetings with people that were thinking of quitting trying with Church. During these problems, we noticed that our companionship has become much better, with our relationship, being on the same page, teaching, etc. So we got to talk with people and remind them of the covenant that they made and of what is really important. Although the problems aren't completely solved, everyone is much happier than before.

        The story behind the title is that we were with our recent convert (or he was with us while we were filling out envelopes to send is more accurate) and he was listening to music on his headphones and was talking about the songs. He, like all Japanese people, loves listening to English music and he tries to sing along. It is really funny because we can't hear the song and we just have a good time with it. One came on and he was doing really good and so we mentioned it and he was like "I wonder who is singing?" And then he looked and said, "ahh, Celine Dion sasuga (as expected)" it was just really funny.

        So all in all, we had a great week. And we even had shokujikai after church and an awesome dendo meeting with the whole branch. Everyone is committed to try and help only one other person, a specific person, to come to church. It is super awesome!

        I'm really excited to work together with my companion this week and to learn a new way to dendo together. It'll probably be fun. Hahaha

        Elder Richardson

 

We teach doctors English once a week and this week we talked about endoscopy. 
So here is a picture explaining it.


Daily life.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

What Fruit do you like?


Well, hello again. 

            I'm glad you can join me. In case you are wondering, yes it is Tuesday for me, and no I am not being disobedient. 

            Now that is settled, let us begin. 

            On Monday, we spent my last day in Fuji biking to a ton of people's houses saying goodbye and knocking on a few people's doors we didn't know to say hello. I sent my luggage off and that was pretty much it. 

            Tuesday was transfer day. I left at 8 in the morning and arrived around 6 at night. Yay. It was really great except for carrying my bike. (In our mission Elders don't get to ship their bikes.) It was really fun though because I got to travel through essentially the entire mission. And one of my stops was in Gifu!!! I was happy about that. 

            On Wednesday, we went around and talked to people. And we got to teach two eikaiwa classes! It was awesome! That was pretty much all that happened on Wednesday. 

            On Thursday, we had planning and it was great! Then we went around with our recent convert to the Church who wants to go on mission and we talked to people! It was way fun. And that day we were talking to some kids as the were walking home from school when three elementary school girls came up and started talking to us in English. It was so funny and they were so brave! Haha! And that is where the title of this email came from. They started with "what color do you like" and then to keep the conversation going they asked the above question. It was really great and it really made our day. 

            Then that night we got to teach institute and we taught about likening the scriptures to your life.  It was a really good lesson. 

            Then on Friday we got to give a lady a blessing because her tonsils have been bothering her. It was a great experience and she and her mother were really appreciative. It was a long time since I had given one in Japanese. So it was kinda scary at first. 

            Then on Satruday we got to watch Conference and it was great! I got to see lots of people I know in the choirs! My companion thought it was really funny how many people I knew that were singing in conference. 

            On Sunday we also watched Conference and also biked pretty far to visit some people who were not able to make it. 

            Then yesterday we had Zone Conference with President Ishii, and that is why I am emailing today. It was awesome and I got to meet our new zone leaders! It is a Fuji crew in Kanazawa this transfer. I was in Fuji with Elder Hansen (our new zone leader) and the other zone leader Elder Decker was a bean chan in Fuji. And so was Sister Pasi who is the sister training leader. So it is pretty great! Fuji zone! Hahaha!

            Well I hope you all have a good time this week and that you go and reread the Conference talks and do the homework that they asked us to do in their talks. 

            Keep it going and be your best!

Elder Richardson
 
 
 
Zone Conference

Real Zone Conference

My awesome donut
 

 There was a giant buddha statue on the train ride here.

Typhoon video.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Epic Tale of Transfer Calls

My, my, what a week it has been. We did so many good things and had some great lessons, we went out to eat a ton, and we also got to go on a koukan.

So anyway, just so you don't all die of anticipation, I am being transferred out of Fuji. And I am going to a very famous place among the missionaries in the Japan Nagoya Mission. It is called Nanao. All the missionaries are really jealous I think, because everyone always talks about being transferred to Nanao. And I'm not sure I understand this missionary slang, but they call it banishment. I am losing my bean chan and getting his old MTC companion. So that sounds pretty fun. 

I have heard that they have really good fish up there, so I'm really looking forward to try it. 

Well, anyway, of all the things that happened this week, I will just share what I have pictures for. And then maybe a few more. 

We got to go out to dinner with our former investigator Sai, and he took us to a yakiniku (which is like grilled meat) place and he asked us what we want and just kept ordering food. Then at the end of that meal, he looked at us and said, "not enough, lets go Chinese food." So we did, and we went to a Chinese restaurant that tastes like Panda Express, is run by Japanese people, with a Chinese man. Truly I must be an American. 

Well, I'm sorry this one was short and not really all that detailed, but you can deal with it. I'm not writing another one for this week. Hahaha! 

Anyway, I hope you all have a great time and next time I will write from Nanao!

-Elder Richardson







And then on the way down, we found this cool mural on the side of a haircut shop



We were trying to find a cool sounding temple that was way far away and went to where the map said it was, and about 15 kilometers later, (that was uphill by the way) we got to the place and found this little guy. And apparently the temple we were looking for doesn't exist. It was a really good bike ride though. And we found some really old bamboo in the forest around us.




On Friday, we had our last DTM in our current district and so we took some pictures afterward.





And then last, but not least, on Sunday (and no, it was not General Conference in Japan) it was Fast Sunday! So I felt like I should share my testimony for sure since I was leaving and we were sitting behind the bishop's wife and realized that she was drawing everyone that went up. So we asked if we could take a picture of her drawings... so yeah, they are actually really good. They look a lot like the people.  You can go ahead and find me.


Monday, September 26, 2016

Step 1: Follow the Kokoseis Home


Hello all of my peoples. Today, marks my last time I get to spend September 26 as a missionary. Well, from now on, all of the days are like that. And all of the days after the fifth have also been like that. Weird right?!?! 

Anyway, this week was great, we spent a lot of time inside though. Shoutout to everyone in the MTC! Hahaha! Anyway, on Monday we had to go give a training with Elder Tokuzawa in Nagoya and so our Pday was gone and also Monday night. So no real dendo on that day. Then, since we got special permission, we were able to do all of the things we couldn't get done on Pday; i.e., shopping and cleaning and the like, we got to do that stuff on Tuesday. So that was pretty much all of Tuesday because then we had a typhoon that night and we were told not to go outside, so we did a lot of phone calls and more cleaning and stuff like that. Then on Wednesday, we had to do our weekly planning and we had a lesson! First lesson of the week was on Wednesday! Crazy.  It was great though! We got to teach Tezuka about the Law of Chastity. Which is still kind of a weird thing to teach about...especially to a woman. We had some great members there though, so it was great. Actually to be more accurate, we were at their house. Really good though, she agreed with everything and will have no problem following it. She still isn't sure about prayer though. This week, she will pray. 

On Thursday, we still didn't really get to dendo. We had interviews with Ishii Kaicho and then we had a lot of missionaries from the Nagoya area come to Hamamatsu (we had the interviews in Hamamatsu by the way) and they sang for us and stuff. We had to leave early to go teach eikaiwa. We had a party in eikaiwa so we only got to see a little of "The Mormon Show." We got to go to Fuji's eikaiwa and have a Hawaiian party. We sang a song from New Zealand and passed it off as Hawaiian and then we had some people that do ukulele and hula dancing come, and a girl in our ward that served her mission in Hawaii gave a presentation on the culture. It was fun. 

Then on Friday, we had DTM, so we were, once again cut out of some of our dendo time. Afterward, to make up for it we had a blitz koukan in Fuji with the zone leaders. So we had two hours of double dendo. So that was good. And we had a pretty normal day for the rest of Friday. Then on Saturday, it was our first normal day. We got to do our studies like normal and then we got to dendo right after lunch. Of course, we had a ton of lessons on Saturday, it was awesome. Also it rained pretty hard on Saturday. 

On Sunday, we had a good ol' time. We went to church and neither of us had to talk, so that was a change. And then we had shokujikai after church and it was really fun! Then we got to go housing and talked to a lot of people. It was really good to be able to go out and really work. 

Today we had District Activity and went to Atami to the beach.  It was way fun and we got some cool shells. I once again proved my worth in Frisbee and found out I am really good at finding small things and animals in the ocean. Unfortunately, we couldn't go swimming, you know, missionaries dakara. Even with a lifeguard. 

Have fun my friends.    





Tuesday, September 20, 2016

One day I will get it right,


However, today is not that day.


Hello everyone!
        I'm sure you are wondering why I'm emailing so late. Well, this morning, we got to go to Nagoya in order to give a training to all the youth in the mission about family history.  Pretty cool right, also with Elder Tokuzawa of the Seventy we got to teach.

        So this week was pretty good! We taught a few lessons that were awesome! We got to teach Mizusawa on Tuesday and for the first time in my mission, I had a Shimai as the tachiaied. We had Wakatsuki Shimai come and help us teach, it was awesome! We talked about tithing and so
in order to get the point across, we used the time old classic of dumping candy on the investigator. Or in other words, we give them ten yen and ask for one back and will will give them lots of "blessings"
if they do. So they give you one yen and then your companion dumps a whole big bag of candy righty in front of them. It's a really good way to visualize what really happens with tithing. And he was so funny with it, I said ok, now give me one back and he was like, "for you I will give two."  So that was fun, and then after we gave the candy, he said this is all for one yen right? And he was like, what if I give you another one? He is the funniest guy ever! I love him! He is literally so awesome. And he has been so prepared by the Lord. He was talking about when he was young and it reminded us and Wakatsuki Shimai of Joseph Smith. It is super cool to see the different things that the Lord puts in our path so that we can do the things that He would have us do.

        The other awesome lesson that we had a member present was with Tezuka! It was super great! We taught the Word of Wisdom and then at the end of the lesson, we ended up committing her to read and pray every day this week rather than to follow the word of wisdom. And this time she said that she really wants to know, and that she will do those things more seriously so that she can receive an answer if it is true or not. We were so excited that she would finally accept our challenge to pray.

        If the other things that happened this week were that we had a koukan and it was way fun! Elder Ootsu and I had a good ol' time in Fuji and went to a lot of people's houses to see if they still live there. It was good. And we also had sports night on Tuesday and it was way fun! One of the member's son-in-law came and it was way fun! He is from Indiana and served a mission in Sapporo. And he's really good at basketball. We had a good time. And then we had been focusing really
hard on family history in order to prepare for the training that we were giving and saw some cool miracles through that.

        Well I hope you all are having fun and remember, it's not about who is there at church each week, it's all about who should have come and who wasn't there. Let's fill all the chairs, and if we have to buy some more, that's probably a good thing.

        Have a good time and really on the One that can get you though it. (I'll give you a hint, it's not you).
 
          Elder Richardson
 
Rice Field

 
In Japan, we have earthquake proof trucks.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

When Life Gives You Lemons. . .

     Actually, I have never understood that phrase. I like lemons, and lemony things. Of course if we are talking about life lemons, they are pretty lame.

        Well, this week was really a tough one. We worked really hard and luckily for us, it is getting a lot cooler. However, this week, we didn't get to really teach anyone. We only got to have one lesson. At the beginning, we had a lot of lessons scheduled, then a lot of people were called into work, their family had a baby, you name it. It happened and made it so we couldn't meet. So we got to have a lot of time to try and find some people.  Unfortunately, this week, we didn't do much finding, we did a lot of looking. We talked to so many people, and had some great conversations about the gospel, the Book of Mormon, and they just wouldn't meet with us again.

        All that being said, this week was great and we saw many small miracles! We found that the key to these miracles is, you guessed it, obedience. Usually when we think of obedience, we think of rules and the commandments and such. However, this should not be the case!!! We have a great promise in D&C 130:21 (many people think this must be my favorite scripture, I use it a lot) that says, "And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated." So if we think of obedience, we should think of blessings! You want to gain the blessing of feeling the spirit more, you should testify and share the gospel. You want to be more healthy, you should obey the Word of Wisdom, not just the part that everyone follows, all of it! If you want to have a better relationship with your family, try family home evening, family prayer, and family scripture study!

        So we tried obedience at the beginning of the week. And we have been studying the missionary handbook more and there are so many blessings we can gain from that little guide. Then we looked at what our missionary leaders have asked us to do and thought, have we been doing everything we can for that? NO! If we had then everything would already be done. So we worked a little harder on all the commandments, rules, procedures, and all the things we are asked to do. Although, we didn't see any huge miracles, we have felt the greater outpouring of the spirit that is promised throughout the scriptures.

        I'm sorry that this email is a lot shorter and a lot more preachy than my previous emails, but you can all deal with it. So we have worked on that this week and I invite all of you, no matter where you
are, what you are doing, and what you are supposed to be doing, to come unto Christ and be perfected in him! Work a little harder to be that person that you have the eternal potential to become! In the words of President Hinckley, "Now, my brethren and sisters, the time has come for us to stand a little taller, to lift our eyes and stretch our minds to a greater comprehension and understanding of the grand millennial mission of this The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is a season to be strong. It is a time to move forward without hesitation, knowing well the meaning, the breadth, and the importance of our mission. It is a time to do what is right regardless of the consequences that might follow. It is a time to be found keeping the commandments. It is a season to reach out with kindness and love to those in distress and to those who are wandering in darkness and pain. It is a time to be considerate and good, decent and courteous toward one another in all of our relationships. In other words, to become more Christlike.

        Let us do these things that the prophets have been asking us to do for as long as they have been prophets! In order to do this, we need faith, not a "perfect knowledge of things;...[but a] hope for things which are not seen, which are true." And now I say with Alma of old, "Now, as I said concerning faith--that it was not a perfect knowledge--even so it is with my words. Ye cannot know of their surety at first, unto perfection, any more than faith is a perfect knowledge. But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words." Try it, if you don't believe it, try it out, if nothing happens, go on your merry way, however, if something does happen, then
keep going, because then you can know that it is true. If we don't try it, then our "faith [having] not works, is dead being alone." So I challenge you to try it.

        Try not only the commandments that seem hard at first to people who don't know them, like giving up coffee, alcohol, tobacco, and tea; but try the little ones too. Those little commandments are what lay that foundations of faith in Christ so that "when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you."

     And so I now leave you with the final counsel of Alma to Helaman, "O my [family and friends], do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way; for so was it with our fathers; for so was it prepared for them, that if they would look they might live; even so it is with us. The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever. And now, my [beloved family and friends], see that ye take care of these sacred things, yea, see that ye look to God and live. Go unto this people and declare the word, and be sober. [And now], farewell.