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. 


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'll have to go to a Chinese restaurant. (Well that's Christmas, but still turkey.)

Elder Richardson (^-^)

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 Pok√©mon 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 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 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"