Sunday, June 26, 2016

Playin' with the big boys now...

So, hello everyone. I hope you are doing well this week was really fun! Of course, it was also really, really, really hot. And so, of course, we biked everywhere.

 Anyway, this week was good and we learned a lot of cool things, but if I told you what they are, you wouldn't get to learn them by yourself. So I will give you a hypothetical question, and then you
think about it and then you will learn.


Well anyway, this week we did a lot of fun things. The beginning of the week was pretty slow, but the weekend was really busy. On Monday, we did a lot to prepare for our music night that was on Saturday. And that kind of led our dendo for the week. We made some pretty cool flyers and made a program, but by the end of the week, the program had changed so much we had to just have the announcer have a handwritten list and just tell us what was going on. That was not fun for the
performers, because we didn't know when we were going to be up and he kind of jumped around from how we write it anyway. But it kept us on edge. Hahaha. But anyway, pretty much Monday was printing out the flyers and then going and giving them to members.

Then Tuesday was pretty much going and giving flyers to members and having lessons with them. Only, not a lot of people were home so it was a little bit of a struggle. And I had music but no way to practice at this point... no instrument.

Then Wednesday was planning, because normally we would plan on Thursday, but on Thursday we were having a koukan with Numazu. So we weren't going to have time then. So we decided it would be better to plan on Wednesday. Then the sisters wanted to practice the musical number we were all doing was just the primary song "child's prayer". So we had about half an hour before that so we just stood at an intersection by the church that high school and junior high school kids pass a lot and just handed out eikaiwa flyers.

Then that night we had a lesson with the Itou family and it was fun. It was funny because Itou Shimai told us specifically that it was not dinner and so we ate before we went. But at the end of the lesson, suddenly there were six pieces of KFC right in front of us. And then there was juice. And then there was some soup. And then came the main course of pesto. It was a great meal...but it was a meal we were unprepared for. Then, as tradition  requires, Itou Kyodai brought out a bunch of cool old coins and gave one to the new missionary. I received one when I first got here. And then it was time to leave and Itou Kyodai pulled out...the instrument. Yay!

But then on Thursday, we had the koukan, so I had no time to practice. But we found a new investigator at the college in Mishima, which is in the numazu area. And I improved my ping pong skills greatly. That's about all that happened that day. And of course...we went to Indo curry.

On Friday, we came back from our koukan and visited our favorite less active member...Kinya Kyodai! We talked about stuff and he looked at me and asked, can you read? Which, considering Japanese, isn't that weird of a question. And then he wanted me to read something and so we asked what his favorite scripture was. 1 Nephi 1:1. Pretty great. Unfortunately, we were a little later than normal so he had to go and take a bath to get ready for bed. Oh well. It was still good.

Then Saturday was the day of the concert! Well, music night. And I had practiced once! Ahhhhh! That morning we had zone conference and President Ishii was there! It was a lot of fun and we learned a lot. Then after that, we went with one of our investigators to a monastery and learned about his specific sect of Buddhism. It was pretty cool.  Lots of incense. And everyone wore a mantle. It was very cool. Then right after that we went with another investigator and celebrated his birthday and went out to dinner. Then we went with him to the music night. It was a ton of fun! Everyone did really well, except me, and everyone had a great time. And we had a lot of people show up. (Videos
will be included)

Then on Sunday, it was ward conference, which is usually boring, but since I had no idea what was going on, it was great! Haha! But seriously on of the speakers uses really hard Japanese. And then we
had shokujikai, which is like a potluck kind of. It is always fun. And that night we had a lesson with Sai and he is doing great. We invited him to baptism and he said that he would but that he wants to wait until he is a little more prepared to make a promise like that with God. So that was really great. Our big worry with him would be that he would just do it because we asked him to and not really understand what a big commitment it is. So that was a great lesson!

Well I hope you all have a great week and spend lots of time doing great and fun things. But, as President Ishii always says, have fun but not just fun, also have the spirit.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Pictures are included...but batteries are not.


   Well this week, as I said above, was fun. We had a god time and talked to a lot of people. We also were able to talk a lot about Christ and His teachings this week and, because of that, and through
God's grace, we were able to see many small miracles.

   But before I get to that, let me tell you all the other stuff we did this week! Hahahaha! On Monday, we were able to have a good pday. We emailed and then went out for lunch and had shabu shabu. It was pretty good, and then we put in too much stuff and the two different boiling sauces kinda mixed into one, but that was still good. And then we ordered a type of meat that came with a bowl of leek and we didn't  realized it so we ordered six. And so we got six bowls of leek as well. And now I'm never going to eat leek again. Hahaha! And then we went shopping for food! Yay.

   That night, we went with Mochizuki Kyodai and visited Tezuka-San and had a great lesson! Then we went and visited a member and had a good little message that involved...magic! It was fun and we had a good time.

   Then on Tuesday, we had a service opportunity! We got to go trim the trees of one of the less-active members that we visit and it was a good time. And then we had a service night that night and went up to the Nakajima family and taught the son! He is going to learn about the church now, because he wants to be baptized. So cool!

   On Wednesday, we went to visit our favorite guy, Watanabe Kyodai! We shared a little message with him and then did a magic trick. Unfortunately, I asked him to not say anything if he saw his card and when I payed it face up with a bunch of other cards, he told Elder Day which one it was. I had to just pretend like I didn't hear and keep going. Later he pointed to his card and things, but then when I chose a card and asked if it was his card, he was still like, "that was really cool." And then he looked at us and said, "you two are really good at magic." I love old people.

   On Thursday, we had a great lesson with the Fukatsu family and a great lunch, except that Elder Day is allergic to cats a little bit and they have four. That was a struggle. Good thing we are in Japan
and there was a face mask handy. Then that night we got to go help with Numazu's eikaiwa class again. It was fun, I still miss ours, but I still like teaching no matter where I go.

   Then on Friday, we had to do some planning because we didn't have time on Thursday. Then we had a meeting with the High Priest Group Leader and that was good. I like working with the different
auxiliaries in the ward. 

   On Saturday, we biked up to visit a less active member that usually comes to eikaiwa, but hasn't been coming recently. Also we had found a name card from a past Elder with a message to her when we were cleaning our apartment. So we biked up to visit her and it was far! Not as far as we've biked recently, but it was uphill and really hot! She was really happy to see us, we just barely caught her in time. It was pretty good! Then we had a lesson with Ooki Kyodai that night and we were talking and he asked us to help him prepare to enter the temple! So cool! He is such a strong member and he has an amazing testimony! I can't wait to see him be able to go! So we now have a goal to work with him every week.

   Also that day, we got to have a church tour and a great lesson with Yatomi and he was really into it. And when we introduced the Book of Mormon and asked if we could give it to him. He was really excited and was like, "really? I can have this?" And he said he was excited to read it. Next week with him, we are going to go to his otera and learn about what they do there. It's awesome, because he doesn't want to tell us we are wrong and that Buddhism is correct, just he wants to share with us so we can know about it too.

   Then on Sunday, we had stake conference and it was super special because we watched a satellite broadcast of Elder Bednar and other General Authorities and also we had the Asia North Area President speak! It was a great experience. And after church we tried to visit some people with a member, but they weren't home...oh well. And we had a lesson that a guy didn't show up to, but we got to use that time to update all of our records. So that was good at least. And at night, we
had a great lesson with Sai! It was awesome, we talked about faith and feeling the spirit and he said he will pray and read the Book of Mormon every day this week! And he played guitar for us and taught me a song! So we invited him to the music night we are having on Saturday and since we are in charge, we told him if he wants to bring his guitar he can play a song there too!

  So overall, it was a pretty good week! We had lots of good experiences and learned a lot! I'm glad I got to work so hard in Fuji this week, even though it was hot ;)

 Beautiful sunset and the top of my mountain!


My favorite part of the children's bible videos

Sorry that's actually all the pictures I have this week!

Love Elder Richardson... Not as an ending, I'm telling you to. Haha

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Sometimes, you just can't give life a title...

Well this week went by really fast, last Monday we went to a place called Aokigahara with some members and to couple of little lakes up there and to a group of waterfalls. it was pretty fun, the only downer for that was that you couldn't see the mountain while we were up there, it was too cloudy. But we still got some pretty good pictures. That night we did a bunch of visits, but only one person was home. It was really good though because we finally found an opportunity for service! He wants us to come over and either trim his trees, or cut them down. Not really sure which. But something about trees and the word cut.

Then on Tuesday, we tried to visit a couple more people because it was their birthday recently and so that was fun. But it turned out that for one of the people, we were misinformed. Her birthday was not on the first of this month, it was the first of last month. So it was a little awkward and we gave her a little gift anyway. It was really good though, because I don't think that she gets visited very much.
Then, we had sports night that night. I have almost gotten spinning a basketball on my finger down! It is really hard, but after a lot of practice, I can get it for about three seconds now. Also, I am getting
better at badminton. So that's good. And we all had a really fun time, and so that's what is the important thing.

Then on Wednesday, we visited another member for his birthday! It was fun, he was a little sick, so that was too bad, but he was happy that we came. Then we were biking around and Elder Day was like, didn't Mirai (who was an old investigator) live over here? So we3 decided to go to his house and see if he was a home and...Bang! Miracle! He was home and his mom was just coming home from work but had to leave and she asked us to teach him a lesson right then because he wasn't busy.
We talked and found out that he has his basketball club everyday except Wednesdays. So that was cool and we were able to pick him up again. We were talking and found out when his birthday is and we made plans to go eat with him and it is on a Sunday, so we got to explain Keep the Sabbath Day Holy! And we were talking a little bit about Moses and prophets with that too. Seeing as he is like thirteen, after we reached a little break in the lesson he asked, "can you teach me some math?" So we were just like, "sure, why not?" Haha! Awesome. And so we helped him understand more about prophets, the Book of Mormon, church, and fractions. Then we had the Uematsu family Mogi that night and that was awesome as ever.

On Thursday, we had to go to Numazu's Eikiawa because they have three classes and Elder Bauer is training a Japanese companion, so he doesn't speak English and they don't have enough teachers. So we went over to help them out and the sisters taught Fuji's eikaiwa class. It was fun and we got to hang out with the Numazu elders...It was good!

On Friday, we had a great DTM and we also got to celebrate Elder Otsu's birthday! (He's Elder Bauer's Bean-chan). It was way fun and we had a Skype thing going on with the rest of the zone to go over goals and it was pretty cool! And President Ishii was in Fukuroi! Lucky Ducks! Then, since it was a less active member's son's birthday on Friday, we biked about 30 kilometers there and it took about four hours. Then we gave him some candy, talked for a minute and had to bike back. That was a little less distance than the way there, because we found a road that leads pretty much straight home. And it only took an hour and a half. #Hills

Then on Saturday, we were sore. Hahahaha! But seriously, we were. And we went to a matsuri that Mirai said he and his buddies were going to. Unfortunately, we didn't see him there, but we still talked to a ton of people and passed out a lot of eikaiwa chirashi. Then we had a lesson with the ward mission leader and his family and that was a lot of fun! They are super cool, and their kids are nuts! Hahaha! Then we had a lesson with a guy that we met housing last Sunday and we talked about the Plan! And we also got a lot of good information about Buddhism. He is sharing with us just to help himself try to understand and so we might be able to help him better. It is great, actually learning about Buddhism without being told that you are wrong just straight up. And he is good, because he doesn't know everything, but is willing to learn and find out for us if we have a question.

The on Sunday, we had a great sacrament meeting and the speakers were great! There was this white guy that talked and his named started with...I think it was an...Elder something. Elder...R something.
Hahaha! But then we had a great lesson from the teachings of Howard W Hunter about becoming great. "Giving consistent effort in the little things in day-to-day life leads to true greatness." It was really awesome! And then last night we had a FHE at the Mochizuki house with a lot of ward members. It was really fun and we learned a lot. We played the "Who am I?" game. And it was pretty easy for the most part, but there were some questions that were pretty hard. And under favorite word, mine was GLUM not GWAR. They cannot read my English handwriting. Hahaha! I couldn't think of what my favorite word was in Japanese.

Anyway, I hope you all had a great week and that you go the distance....hahaha!

Lots of love and other stuff!

Elder Richardson

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The life of an everyday missionary

Well, it's that time again, email time. So in other words, the time where I bore you all with my boring life and you get bored.

So let's get started...

On Monday, we did what felt like nothing. We didn't have to go shopping because Elder Hansen was transferring out and so we came home after we were done emailing and we took a nap and then we cleaned some. Then afterward we had a lesson appointment with Tezuka San and Mochizuki Kyodai was going to tachiai for that. But she wasn't there when we had made the appointment for and so we were like oh, what should we do? So Mochizuki Kyodai asked if we would come over to his house and have a short FHE. It was really good and we got to talk about the Book of Mormon and different ways to study it. It was really good.

On Tuesday, we had transfers, so I had to say goodbye to my companion, who was in missionary terminology, my mother. It was pretty sad but oh well, then I got to go stay with the Shizuoka Elders for that day until my companion came. It was really fun, Elders Burns and McClellan are a blast! Then, at about 15:00, Elder Day came and we went together to Fuji. Then of course, it being the 31st of the month we had a member appointment with "Brother Robbins". Hahaha! Then we went shopping to get food. Then after that we had to plan out our week and we had a planning meeting so that we could coordinate with the sisters more. It was pretty good. Then that night we went out with a member to do some visits. He was very excited that Elder Day is here.

The Reason: Elder Day's father served in Fuji about 31 years ago. For about 9 months. We aren't sure on the actual count of the months, but that is what the most members here believe. But another thing that is possible, and what many people have told us is that he served here for 3 months and then later came back for 9 months and ended his mission here. Either way he was here a crazy long time and ended his mission here. AND THE MEMBERS WORSHIP HIM!!! It is hilarious! We are enjoying
it very much right now.

Then on Wednesday, we wanted Elder Day to be able to go and meet the ward leadership, so we did a ton of member visits! It was really good. And then we did some housing and went to the adult institute class. It was really fun and we all had a good time. And on the way home for dinner that day, we met some really cool high school students! They were really fun and they were having fun trying to speak English. One of them wants to be a rapper and he does some freestyle competitions sometimes. I don't really like rap that much, but it does sound cool in Japanese. His rapper name is MC Nobu!! Haha! He was pretty good.

When Thursday came around,  it was the day for real weekly planning and so that took most of our day because we had to not only plan for this week but for the rest of this transfer. And then that night we got to teach eikaiwa and two new people came! It was awesome! We all had a pretty good time and everyone is getting really good at English. Of course, it could be that I'm just getting worse. Then we played the time old classic, MAGICAL BANANA! It was fun and we hadn't played it in a while.

On Friday, we decided to bike up to Fujinomia. And that wasn't as long as we thought, it only took about an hour. We spent some good time finding up there and met some cool people. Also we found a tailor! We want to see how much it is next time, because they were closed, and if it's cheap we might get tailored suits! Hahaha! That would be cool! Then we visited a few more members that night.

On Saturday, it was hot! And when we tried to visit people, no one was home! We biked far and it was just a no go. But Mersy Shimai's (one of the members we tried to visit) husband was home and it was a good relationship builder with him. He has always had a good relationship with the missionaries and so we want to teach him, because he is really cool!

On Sunday was the best! It was fast Sunday and so everyone got to go up and bare their testimony. It was also the first Sunday that Elder Day was here. Many members got up to bare their testimony, and they all talked about the same thing. Elder Day. Hahahaha! There was even a lady that hadn't been to church since Elder Day's dad left Japan or so and she came because she heard that his son was here. And she got up and bore her testimony of how she doesn't think the church is true or that God exists, but she believes in Elder Day. It was really an interesting experience. Then after church we had a couple of really good lessons, one with our investigator named Alexi and Takanori Kyodai tachiaied for us and it was really good, he asked questions that really showed interest in what we were teaching. And then we had a good lesson with another investigator named Sai at night. He was awesome, but unfortunately he hasn't been reading the Book of Mormon. He said he will make sure to read it this week though.

That's about all that happened this week. It was a good week, even though we didn't really get too much done, what matters is that we were trying to get it done and that we spent as much time as possible outside the apartment. We are looking forward to a great transfer and know that we can see many miracles if we put the trust in the Lord.

I hope you all have a great time this week!


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

My heart are thirsting for a good feeling of place...

Are your heart are thirsting for a good feeling of place???

        This week we had quite a few adventures... But I won't bore you with those. But first, something important is happening tomorrow.  Tomorrow is transfer day, and as many of you know, it is also the 31st. That means Baskin Robbins is 31% off! So everyone make sure to go with your new companions, old companions, etc.

        But anyway, lest the swarms of angry butterflies overtake our journey, let us begin.

        On Monday, the main thing that happened was that we got to meet with Tezuka, who we thought we were going to meet with last week, but then realized she said to come back in two weeks and not one. So we met with her and it was a great lesson! Well we didn't really have to teach too much, but it was still great. We had given her a Book of Mormon and a restoration pamphlet and asked her to read. Last week she went to Saitama but didn't take the Book of Mormon. But she had the pamphlet. She told us that she had read it twice and when we would explain something, she would then put it into her own words and say what she needs to do because of it. Then she said , or course if I really want to know if it's true, I have to read the Book of Mormon. So that was pretty awesome. And we are going to go meet with her again tonight. That was probably the biggest thing on Monday.

        Then on Tuesday, we had a koukan! It was great, I got to be in Fuji with Elder Bauer from Numazu. He is great! And from Australia, so he has a great accent. So we met at the Indo curry place and had lunch, went home and we had a great day. The main thing we did was at night. We went with Kikuchi Kyodai and visited a less active member named Nakajima Shimai! She is way awesome and only less active because she can't really get to church on time. She works on a farm that is sooooo
far away from where we live. But it is always fun when we get to go visit her. And we got to pet her cows... Not all of them of course, she has about a hundred! But we got to try to milk one and then she
had us squirt some of the milk into our mouth! Not something that I figured I would be doing when I was called to Japan.

        On Wednesday, we planned, because we knew that we wouldn't have time on Thursday. So that was pretty much the biggest thing that happened. Because the Uematsu family canceled their appointment on us. That happened a lot this week. Most of our appointments fell through. Oh well.

        Then on Thursday, the reason we wouldn't have time to plan was because we had interviews with President Ishii!!! It was great! We had to travel to Shizuoka for it, but it wasn't that far. It was really good to see him and the other people that we their for their interviews. It was a good time. But as always it ran a little late. We had to hurry back because we had eikaiwa. Unfortunately, that didn't
happen...we got on the wrong train because we were trying to hurry too much. It was going the wrong direction. And we hadn't realized it until is said something that sounded like Fuji, but then had a little
bit at the end...FUJIEDA. That is a whole other area and we were already late for eikaiwa at this point. So we hopped off the train and had to wait for the next one back. We called the eikaiwa coordinator and told her what was going on. Then she called us back and said that the people still wanted to do eikaiwa. We showed up an hour late and had a really short lesson. But they were pretty happy with that.
        Another thing that happened that day when we were in a hurry to get home, was we know that we wouldn't have time for dinner and had to eat on the train. Also the train left in half an hour. So we went to McDonald's. I ordered two of the dollar sandwiches (the crispy chicken) and a five piece chicken McNuggets.  The lady asked me what kind of sauce I want and then told me I get five of them, I was confused but got the mustard sauce and we were getting it to go. My total was just as expected, about 500 yen. But my food took forever to come. And we were really getting anxious because we needed to get on the next train. Then it came and we had to hurry. For some reason my
food came in a big bag. When we got on the train, we pulled out our food, because we had to eat there because we wouldn't have any time. This is when I look and realized the lady gave me 5 boxes of 5 piece chicken McNuggets. Huge mistake. I looked at my exempt and it only said one and so the whole thing was confusing, but it was way too late for that. I ended up with 25 nuggets and 2 chicken sandwiches. Needless to say, I had lunch for Friday.

        Speaking of Friday, it was our last DTM for this transfer, and it was a great one. We were all supposed to choose someone in the Book of Mormon and list their attributes and how we can apply it. Of course I chose Captain Moroni. He is super rad. But that was a good DTM and really hard to translate into Japanese. People use a lot of really weird words that are hard. Of course when it was my turn, Elder Hansen had to figure out a word for stratagem. Hahaha! Then afterward, we were getting ready for a lesson with these less active members that we meet every week. But they cancelled on us! Oh no! What do we do? So we went to the back up plan! Which happened to be dumb. We had planned to go bike by this park that is by the ocean and see if there were any
people there on a weekday. They aren't.  But there was one guy and we talked to him and he had no interest and we were on this road that there was nothing on and so we decide to see if it would lead us to the main road and we got under the freeway and there was this guy that we know that skateboards at a park that we talk to sometimes. And he was skateboarding there! It was awesome! Then pretty much nothing else cool happened that day.

        On Saturday morning was transfer calls! And...Elder Hansen is transferring, he is going to Yokkaichi and he is a new zone leader. Pretty cool. I am staying here and my new companion is Elder Day!! This is going to be his last transfer, in missionary terms I am going to get to "kill" him. It is pretty cool because his dad served in Fuji for his last area as well! So he's keepin' on the traditions of his father! Hahaha!

        Then Sunday we had church and Mizusawa came again and we had a lesson with him! And we asked why he comes to our church and talked to us about it and he replied, "because I want to find the truth." That is so awesome! And the things that he believes are what we believe too. He was just talking about some other churches and what he didn't like about them. And he really doesn't like the Protestant faith for some reason, but he wouldn't say why. Maybe he had a bad experience. But he
likes Christianity the most so far he said. And he likes that we can pray in whatever language we want. (Apparently in Islam you have to pray with the right inflections and in Arabic and stuff, he didn't like that very much).

        But that is about everything big that happened this week, I hope that you weren't too bored with it. Have a great week everyone and don't forget, tomorrow, Baskin Robbins!

-Elder Richardson