Sunday, March 27, 2016

Does your mothers makes you food?

Above is a quote from Elder Hansen during eikaiwa. Shows how well we can teach people English I guess.

        Ladies and gentlemen, I'll tell you a fact. I lost my nickel on a buffalo track, the track was so large and the nickel so small; that, ladies and gentlemen, that's all.

        This week was pretty great. We did a lot of biking this week, not quite as much as in Gifu, but still, my legs are a little sore. Fuji has a lot of hills. (Ok maybe not a lot, but the one hill we had to go
up was forever long! We ended up walking part of it...but the way down was great!)

        We went to see the ocean on Tuesday and it was really cool. Would've been great kite weather but we didn't think to go to the dollar store first. Then we went up to a park that has a lot of cherry trees and, unfortunately, the Sakura haven't started blooming yet. But we found a museum for Fuji and Princess Kaguya. We want to go see what was up, but it was being redone. Hopefully it will be opened when I'm still in Fuji. Then we got to so with the bishop that night and do some visits,
it was really fun. And he gives out chocolate to everyone! I thought that was pretty funny. And then one of the less active members that we visited came to church! So from now on, if we have less active members that we need to visit, maybe we'll just give them chocolate!! HAHAHA!

         On Wednesday, it was really fun! We went and biked up the same hill, we passed the park, and went to the university. It was so far! But then we met this guy who knew who we were! He said that he had done Boy Scouts in Osaka when he was young and still remembered some of the things they taught him. That was really cool, so we told him that we were both eagle scouts and whatnot, and that I had worked at a scout camp. He thought that was really cool, unfortunately we can't meet with him again probably because of his work schedule is not always the same.

     Then that night, we went to a Jehovah's Witness sacrament meeting thing. It was really interesting and all the people were way nice. We had been invited to it by missionaries that came to our door last
Tuesday and then on Wednesday, we met the missionaries (different ones) by the eki. And we even met their pastor and he invited us to go, but we were in a different city and so he said that we should go to the one in Fuji. And then he said to bring the flyer so that they would let us in and that if anyone asked we could say that "Nakase" (中瀬that's his name) invited us. And that they would know who he is. So we went and everyone was very nice and they wanted to know why we were there and how we ended up in Japan, etc. We had to leave during the mingling party thing because it was going to be 9:00 when it ended and we had to be home. So that's too bad, but oh well.

        So then the next day, Thursday, we went with one of the people that we met on Tuesday on the way up to the park and ate ramen! And we have a really good ramen shop near our house! We all got butter ramen and it was amazing! Then we taught him about the Plan of Salvation. We just barley got. To finish because the. Restaurant was getting full and so there were people waiting to get a table so we just finished and then left. And we gave him a Book of Mormon and he was really excited and wants to read it. Of course, here's the bad news... He is moving to Nagoya to go to the college there and so we can't meet with him anymore because he is busy. So, referral to Nagoya. But it is ok.

        Then we had our weekly planning session after that and those are always long and boring. DKK! Yay. Nope, I hate it and so do other missionaries. But it is definitely needed every week so that we can receive the guidance that we need. And then we can know what to do for our investigators.

        We then had some time planned to do family history. Recently I have gained a great love for doing it. It is really cool and I love being able to find records of people and especially their stories. Ishii Kaicho is really pushing for us to work on using family history in our missionary work. The spirit of Elijah is real, and it definitely helps people to know that Heavenly Father loves them.

    Then on Friday, we went to ZTM in Shizuoka and the afterwards we went to Burger King! And the sisters were there...I guess that Burger King is popular or something. Then we came home and visited our Brazilian Investigator, Philippe! He is super cool! We made a time on Wednesday that we are gong to go play basketball with him. Dang I was hoping for soccer! But oh well! Then we went housing! And we got to talk to almost no one! Yay! Housing can be fun or bad, but either way, at
least we don't have to go to the same houses for a little while! Haha!

        Then on Saturday, we did some family history and then the sisters wanted us to meet one of their investigators that they want to pass to us because he is a guy. So we went and he wasn't there...but that was ok, then we went to visit a potential investigator and she was at work. Dang that was 0 for 2! Then we saw two people we knew on the street and so it was worth it! And we saw a pony! We were going to go to a Sakura festival, but the flowers still haven't bloomed yet! So maybe next week. I hope.

        Then we had Easter on Sunday! It was great, we had two investigators, well one investigator and one kind of investigator, come to church! So we had our actual gospel principles class! Yay! And then we had Shokujikai! (食事会) it is the best, I want to do it in America! But we probably can't because we have other wards in our building. But maybe if we combined all the wards for just shokujikai... But I digress.

        Well anyway that was an interesting week and I look forward to get to see the Sakura sometime soon...maybe.

        Well my friends, be excellent to each other and...

Party on Dudes!

-Elder Richardson

Jehovah Witness group

This is Elder Tokuzawa, he gave a devotional yesterday at church!
Left to right: Me, Elder Hansen, Tokuzawa Chouro, Uchimura Shimai, Sister Wynn.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

What did George Washington say in Disneyland?

"Welcome to the Hall of Presidents."

         This week was pretty good, and I finally got a picture of Fuji. So yes now you can all believe me that I am really here. In Fuji, under the mountain, I see fire...but anyway...

         Like the good book says, "If you spit in the air, it lands in your face." It is the same thing as looking at the weather and trusting it. Never trust it. This week the weather app said that it was supposed to rain hard on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, and Saturday, and the other days would be sunny. So we planned our clothes accordingly and where we would go. Then the weather was the exact opposite. It rained Monday, Thursday, and Sunday. The rest of the days were clear. I was happy on the days that it didn't rain, but it was those other days this week...oh those other days.

         We had some great times this week, and I really have decided that I like my companion. Elder Hansen is truly awesome! His testimony is so strong and he loves what he is doing here. His Japanese is, of course, amazing; and he deals with my terrible Japanese really well. He is a great friend to me, I feel comfortable around him enough that I feel like I could talk to him if I had a problem. We talk a lot (well, I talk a lot).  He listens to my stories almost without complaint and I am working on not getting distracted from the task at hand, not telling stories with everything. We talk to a lot of people on the street and have some interesting experiences.

        One of which, I will share. We were waiting on the train from the Yunoki eki and there was a little old grandma sitting on one of the benches. Now we are not allowed in our mission to talk to women and the sisters cannot talk to the men, or at least we can't start the conversation and keep it going. But we said hello to the grandma because we say hello to everyone still. And then she asked us a little bit later where we are from. And so naturally that struck up a conversation about the fact that we are missionaries. She told us she was a Christian, and that she likes reading the Bible. And somewhere in the conversation, she reached in her bag and gave us some oranges, (because that seems to always be what happens with little old grandma in Japan), and so we were talking about the Bible and we introduced the Book of Mormon and we get her to take it, because no one ever believes us that it is really free, and it was a good time. Then the train comes and we want to go to Fujinomia at this time because we were going to meet a guy named Yuuma there at the eki and we didn't want to bike there. So the little old grandma lady get on the train with us and as the train pulls up I see that there is a guy that is giving me the come here signal. (It is almost the same as in America but your hand is facing down and you are pulling toward you like that). And so I assume that he is a member or something or wants to come to eikaiwa or something like that.

         So we got on the train and I was going to talk to him and then he turns as we get on and talks to the corner, "Gaijin-sama futari imasu." And that's just saying that there are two foreigners on the
train. So the lady that we were talking to just laughed and we were like, "yep that's us." Haha it was pretty good. Then he asked me where I was from and he was then like, "America? Is that by Russia?" And then he turned to a kid who was standing by us and said, "look, he is a gaijin. Do you know where America is? Is it by Russia?" And the kid was really uncomfortable but he was trying to tell him that they are really far apart and that they are different. And then he started talking to me and was like, "where are you going?" And so I told him that we were going to Fujinomia and I pointed on the sign that was in kanji to Fujinomia and then he started to get a little worried and asked if I needed help with the sign. I told him it was ok and so he started reading the entire sign to me and stopped on Fujinomia and told me that was where is was going. Then he would usher people on and off the train at the stops and everyone was very kind and some people even thanked him for that. That was nice to see. Then he got off on the stop before us and he said he would see us again sometime and so I waved goodbye and thanked him for his help and it was fun. During that time, Elder Hansen was still talking to the grandma lady and then another grandma looked at me and beckoned me over and told me that she likes English. So naturally, I invited her to eikaiwa and we had a conversation. It was really fun to be able to talk to people on the train rather than just sit there and do nothing.

         Well this week went by quickly, quietly, and (insert another "q" word here). But all in all, it was good. We worked hard regardless of the weather and in spite of the weather. The people we met were sometimes nice and sometimes they were those special children of God that you just love. We got a nice run in with the Jehovah's Witnesseson Wednesday and the guy we talked to was pretty nice. We had a nice conversation about our beliefs and his beliefs and about the struggles of being missionaries. He too is a missionary and it was a good time. We traded cards and promised to watch each other's video sometime and their video was interesting. It was about what they believe happens
after they die. Me and Elder Hansen talked about it afterward and have decided to remain members of our church. Our plan sounds more fun after we die anyway.

         Anyway, speaking of should all watch the new hallelujah video that the church just made and the big hallelujah chorus. They're good ones. Yep.

        I hope you all had some opportunities to learn from your mistakes and successes and to see the good in life. This week we have the opportunity to focus on the Savior's teachings and get ready for
Easter. Which is probably the best holiday. We get the opportunity next Sunday to celebrate an event that changed the entire eternal perspective of mankind. Because of the resurrection of Christ, we all
can be resurrected too. Because of this great sacrifice and atonement, we can all gain eternal life as long as we follow the teachings of the Master.

        Have a great week and remember that for you, He is Risen. He came, He died, He rose, and He will come again.

         Elder Richardson

Mt. Fuji!!

Elder Hansen

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

When you go to a place with a famous only get to see it once.

Mina san, konnichiwa!

   This week was great! But it seems way longer than a week! My new companion is super cool! His name is Elder Hansen and he is half Japanese. He loves Pokemon and singing. It is really fun to be with him!

   On Monday, I was still in Gifu with Elder Bunch and we went to all the places that I wanted to and then had dinner at the Shimizu's house. It was fun and sad to go places, but that's ok, because I was
looking forward to Fuji!

   Then on Tuesday, it was transfer day! We (all the missionaries that are transferring) went to the Nagoya main eki and meet at the "golden clock" and it was awesome to see everyone again! After hanging out there for a while (because we had to wait for people who were traveling far) we all said our goodbyes and then left with our new companions. It was really fun, our entire zone travelled with us because we all take the same train. I think that was really great! So after a while, it ended up being only us, the Fuji Shimai (Uchimura Shimai and Wynn Shimai), and the Numazu Elders (Elder Tallent and Elder Baur), on the train and we were getting sick of it. It was a long ride and we had our bikes and it was hot in there. Then we were the next stop and said goodbye to Numazu and then we were in our area! We then walked home and dropped off my stuff, like my "carry on" suitcase and some other things I had (like shoes in my backpack). Then we went shopping for food and got a call from the shipping company that my other stuff had arrived, we just told them to leave it on the doorstep because we were almost done at the store and it was not very far. Then we got all the stuff and put it away and it was time to be home anyway and so we planned and got ready for bed.

   Wednesday, we went to visit a bunch of people that Elder Hansen and Elder Delis (the guy I replaced in Fuji) had talked to and given a Book of Mormon. And we asked them if they were interested, at least that was the plan. Most of them weren't home so we did not ask the question. Then we had our weekly planning session and went to the church to sync our iPads so we had all the same stuff in our schedule. That took the whole day planning and visiting people. But it was fun, I got to see a lot of people and a lot of the Fuji area. And then that night, we went to the Kawamura house and had dinner and a Mogi lesson. It was really fun and I found out that they are the parents of one of
the people I met in the MTC. He wasn't my teacher, but he was a substitute that we had a few times. So that was fun.

   On Thursday, we went and visited more people and then at night we had eikaiwa! It was real different from Gifu, there is only one class and no kids eikaiwa and not many people come. But the people who were there were really fun! We talked about emotions and Elder Hansen became the subject in most of our sentences. (That was mostly my fault, my word was sad and I said, "Elder Hansen makes me sad." And everyone had a  great big laugh at that and then the next girl had
frustrated for her word and said, "Elder Hansen makes me frustrated." And that is how the rest of our eikaiwa sentences went. But only with the bad ones.

   Then on Friday, we went to the church and I taught Elder Hansen how to use the FamilySearch website and how to look up ancestors. He had at least the name of up to his great grandparents that he knew, so we were able to find their records and link them on his family tree. On his mom's side, it was really empty and only went to his grandparents and only had two out of the four there. So he was excited that we were able to find some things and we found that one of his great grandparents had a duplicate and then one of them had information on his parents. So eventually, we were able to find all of his great great grandparents. Then we went out and visited more of the people that he had recently talked to. Then, that night, one of the people that we were going to visit the next day texted us and asked if we wanted to play basketball with him tomorrow. So we were like, "yeah, sick bro! Let's do it!" And we went to visit a guy named Philipe and asked if he had a chance to read the Book of Mormon that we gave him. He said that he couldn't put it down, he even brought it to school and he knows that it is the word of God. Then we ran into the problem (just like always happens when things are going great) his grandma came to the door and asked who we are, and Philipe explained to her in Portuguese (because they are Brazilian) and she said that he already has a church so he is not interested. We were sad, but there wasn't anything to do about it right then.

   So then on Saturday, we wore normal clothes and went over to Mirai's house and we met his mom, and she was excited and wants us to teach her and her son about the gospel and about God. And we went and played basketball with Mirai's and one of his buddies and it was really fun, then we also had a soccer ball and we played soccer. It turns out I am kind of decent at soccer. Go figure. Then, since we had brought the soccer ball, and Philipe lived right by the park, we felt like we should go and ask if he wanted to play soccer with us at the park. So went and asked and unfortunately, he was at  school. So next time, we will get him outside so we can talk and also we will get to play soccer again. Then we went home and changed into our usual clothes and then went and visited some other people. And then that night we went out with a member and visited some people who are less active. It is awesome having someone do that with us because that is how we find out about most of the less active members in the ward.

   Then in Sunday, I got to meet all the ward members and it was fun, we had a good service for sacrament meeting and they talked about family services. We had shokujikai after and so, of course, that was great. As always it was full of the women in the ward telling the Elders to eat more and us using the excuse that we would get fat or that we already got fat.  Then we went and visited one of our investigators, Yoshimura San and gave him a scripture reading calendar that me and Elder Hansen made for him. Then we talked to people on his street until it was time to go home.

   The only bad thing this week was that it rained so much that we could only see Fuji once and only for a little bit. But that's ok, I will be here for at least six weeks! Haha!

   I hope you have a great week and have tons of fun! Look forward for next week, I might have a picture of Fuji! Haha


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

So there was this one time that...

Hello everyone!

This week was really good! We did  a lot of stuff and it was great!  On Monday, as you all know, we went fishing! And then the rest of the day was just resting and gutting fish. It was great!

On Tuesday, we went and met with a man who stopped us one time while we were parking our bikes. He was really nice and speaks really good English! He wants to make friends with gaijin and so he really wants to meet with us. We asked if he wanted to learn about the church, and he said that would be ok. He is really nice and fun! That night we went home teaching with Niwa Kyodai and it was good! We went and visited Ando Kyodai and Ayabe Kyodai. Ando said that he was feeling a lot better. And he wants to make it to church next week. Haha funny guy. Ayabe wasn't home and so we left a note and his door was open, so we closed it.

Then on Wednesday, we had our usual, went to Japanese class and it was great! Me and my teacher talked about family history and how it is important in the church and I gave her a My Family booklet. She thought that was really cool and since we had talked about doing it, she had brought things from her family history. She had a book of photos that her mom had taken from all around the world. It was really cool! And she had a lot of watercolor paintings that her grandpa did in letters and postcards. He would draw a little picture of a building where he was at the time. It was really neat and he was a great artist. Then we told stories about our family, she talked about how her grandfather was in World War II and how he lived in Korea during that time because Japan was occupying it. Because of that, her mother was born there and she has a Korean first name. Then she talked about how they had to move to Japan after the war ended and showed me her grandma's booklet of poems about that time. She was really struggling when they came to Japan and everyone was really poor. I thought that was really cool to see how much the people over here had their lives affected because of the war just like we did.

Then later we had eikaiwa (English class) and of course it was great! We had lots of fun in kids eikaiwa of course and then in normal eikaiwa, we had a great time and everyone seemed to have a lot of fun.

Then on Thursday, we ate sushi for lunch! It was great! Then we had an interview for one of the Shimai's investigators, Fang Fang. It was great! Ishii Kaicho (Mission president) came and did the interview and so we got to talk to Ishii Shimai while he did the interview. It was fun to talk to her a lot. She is really funny.

Then on Friday was DTM! We talked about personal study time and I got to talk about scripture study. It was fun and we had other people doing different topics. Then we went to McDonald's and ate and it was a good time.

On Saturday was transfer calls! I was really anxious, I can't think of another word, and so naturally we struggled a little bit with actually studying during that time like we are supposed to. And then
after that we went and had Yakiniku King! It was great! We ate a ton and it was delicious! But yeah, that was Saturday!

Sunday was fast Sunday, and the last Sunday of the transfer, and a baptism, so it was pretty busy. We didn't have to do much, it just felt a little hectic at times. Then at night we did a few totsuzen
visits and then had dinner at the Imai's house. And it was great because the Shimai were having trouble with trying to ship their luggage and so Imai Shimai was like, "what you didn't get it shipped?
Give me your phone." Then she called seino and the guy on the phone was having trouble with this and she was like, "you guys do this every six weeks for the missionaries! Why can't you figure this out?" And so now the truck is going to come and the stuff can get shipped. It was awesome.

But then this morning, we went to the Sister's apartment to get their stuff because it was too late to put in a new order and so the truck is only coming to our apartment. So we went and got all of
Sister Thompson's stuff and we will be shipping that with mine, but hers is going to Toyama and mine is not. So we went over and got it and we helped her pack up her bike to ship. Sisters are so lucky, they get to ship their bikes. Elders have to take it with them on the train. AHHH! But it's ok.

But today we have really no plans until six. And we don't have to go shopping or anything so we are just going to rest...ah yeah. But I am looking forward to next transfer, and Elder Hansen seems like he is pretty cool. So it should be good. Good transfer in Fuji. Well it sounds cool at least.

I hope you all had a great week and will have an even better on next week!

In case some of you didn't get it...I'M GOING TO FUJI! This is going to be way awesome, I'm so excited and I hear my new companion, Elder Hansen, is a total beast! Can't wait , but I still want to stay in Gifu! I'm torn but with good emotions.

My goodbye cake from the Imai family!

Our yogenkai, prophecy meeting, board for transfers.