Monday, January 30, 2017

My legs and fingers don't work!!! I'm just a twenty year old baby!! (>_<)

First off, thanks to all for the birthday wishes. And to the rest of you, thank you for the guilt you now feel...Elder Iwaasa(^^). And for those of you who didn't know, I forgive you for being heathens.

Now this week, we had some great news that I am sure many of you know about (especially since many of you are missionaries).  We will be having changes to our schedule and to our key indicators. I am really excited for the change! I think that a new flexibility will help a lot. At the very least we will now be outside talking to people when we would normally be inside. So that means new people! Also the new Key Indicators will help us focus on what the past has shown us will help us the most. I love what Elder Bednar said in the broadcast to missionaries, "this is a worldwide Church and one size doesn't fit all." I thought that was a really cool way to put it!

Anyway, this week we had a lot of things happen and we got a lot of "behind the scene" dendo done. We spent a little time and fixed the map, and updated the phone. Map cred: Elder Greer. Phone cred: Yours truly. They were both, and the phone still halfway is, an absolute disaster! I love deciding and having some time to fix things for areas right before I might transfer! *in the most sarcastic way*

Now that we have started really organizing our records, we realized that there are some members of this branch that we have never heard about. So we are going to start going a little nuts with a member
record. (Which is also a disaster). In other words, we are going to focus really hard on member work.

Also I got to play the piano for sacrament meeting again and it was super awesome because normally they have us bless the sacrament and so another guy got to bless it for the first time! He was great! It was such a great experience and what a good time it was for his mom!

Also we had a koukan with the Zone Leaders and it was super fun! I got to go with Elder Iwaasa and we saw a miracle! We were biking to the apartment from the eki and almost immediately after we walked inside it started pouring like The Dickens! Not that The Dickens necessarily pours... but it was pouring! That's the weather in the Ishikawa prefecture for you. Anyway the other Elders in Kanazawa were out and when we saw them at the church later they were completely soaked! It
was a miracle because since we were on a koukan, I didn't have any extra clothes that I could've changed into. (I don't think the other Elders changed their clothes, but that is their fault.)

Well, that's just about all that happened this week. And I learned a lot of "useful" words on our koukan with Elder Iwaasa. #StrangeShiritori
I hope you have a great time and remember to keep on eating Ice Cream even though its cold!

-Elder Richardson

1) Raphael

2) Someone showed me this in the Newspaper

 3) It was delicious
4) The most important day of the year
 5) What we get to spend our time with
6) Our Snowman
  Video) Hospital Eikaiwa

Monday, January 23, 2017

Monday, January 23, year 29. Yep, 29. And 餅搗き (Rice Pounding)

This week we did a lot of crazy stuff. It was pretty fun and we got some good work done.
First off, on Monday, we visited our good friends Nishikawa and Mario (they seem to be the only ones home on Monday nights). We talked with them about Family History and Mario seemed pretty interested and said that he might check out the website. Also we will probably meet at the church and give him some tips. That will be way fun!

Then on Tuesday, we met with Itagaki: the blind masseur. He was a former investigator that we found in our phone and Teraguchi Kaicho is actually good friends with him, so he came and was the tachiai for us. He is a pretty funny little guy. He really, really likes samurai history too. Also that day, we went to the Hospital to change sheets and they were having a "flu epidemic" so we got to do...everything just like normal. We wore masks and aprons and gloves.

Then on Wednesday, we had a koukan with the Kanazawa Elders and I got to go to there and work with Elder Frisch. He is super fun and really energetic. We biked around in the snow for a while and visited some people. It was really fun. That night we got to go with the bishop of Kanazawa ward and visit a Less Active Member that he sometimes plays tennis with. The member's kids were sick, so we didn't get to go in and meet him, but now the missionaries know where he lives and can visit him and set something up.

On Thursday, we were going to have our weekly planning session, but due to the koukan and train times, we were cut way short. And we had a lesson with Hirose! He wants to be baptized, but before he commits, he wants to know what he has to do after he does (obviously). So we started teaching him about the commandments and taught him the 10 Commandments of Moses. He really liked it and he said that he will try to follow them...only number six might be kind of hard (Thou Shalt Not Kill) lol. That was pretty funny. He also likes to do a little English, but we just kind of sit and talk in English for 30 minutes rather than have a lesson and the gospel lesson is partially in English anyway. And so he brought his guitar again and we just played around.

Then on Friday, we had DTM and DKK. So our day was pretty packed. Then Elder Greer had been having a headache that didn't go away for over a week, so we called Sister Ishii and she told us that we should go to the hospital to get it checked. That took a little while and we weren't able to get as much planning done as we had hoped. We were also going to have a lesson with one of our  investigators, but he texted and said he would be 30 min late and then again and said maybe 45 min and he kept postponing it and so we sat and updated records and expecting him to show up. He didn't. So we went back for dinner and finished DKK.

On Saturday, we got to go with the group "Salad Bowl" and do some rice pounding. It was super fun  and there were a lot of gaijin there. So we got to meet a lot more of the ALT's in Nanao and some other cool people. They were way fun and some of them want to meet again. Maybe we can introduce the gospel as well, that would be way good. We went housing that night and it was really, really cold and there were no people home. So we decided to visit Yazaki, because he had called and said that he was sick. That was pretty good and he said that he would try to come to church even though he wasn't feeling too well.

On Sunday, it was raining slush. It was super weird. Also lots of people came to church and I had to play the piano. It was scary. I got to choose the hymns, but it was still pretty scary. Then we went out
to work. And after a short prayer, decided that since there were no people on the street and no one was home, to go to the apartment and call people and update the map and records. The records up here are a mess.

Well, that was my week. I hope that you all enjoyed your week and that you had some good weather.

Elder Richardson
In Kanazawa we saw an anomaly.
Yazaki is a weirdo even when he is sick
 Doing Family History is a mess
 Me Pounding Rice

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Field is White, Already to Harvest

Hello all!

This week we had quite a lot of experiences. It all started with Monday, as most weeks as a missionary do. We decided to try and find a woman that used to meet with the missionaries in Wakura and we started that way. That day, I was a little more fired up than usual and so, although it was when we were going downhill, I started talking to a man. I thought that he was Japanese, so I started talking in Japanese. When I asked if we could talk for a little bit, he looked at me and replied, "sure". Turns out he was from South Africa and his name was Hannes. That is all that we know about him. He was really funny with any questions that could give us any information on him. Then we biked to the lady's house and she wasn't home. Then that night we went to visit our friends Mario and Nishikawa intending to teach about family history, but the conversation was led into more about the Lord helping us to learn Japanese and what we do all day. Still a really good thing for them to learn. We also learned more about Hannes because everyone knows everyone up here. 

The next thing that happened was Tuesday. The usual order this week. On Tuesday, we had a koukan and I got to work in Nanao with Elder Arscott. He is in the same douki as me. It was super fun and I learned a lot. Also we had some awesome lightning and storms that day. We found a youngster whilst housing that was super cool! His name was Tanaka, we housed into him and had a super good discussion about prophets. When we pulled out the Book of Mormon, he looked at us and said, "I want to read this book!" So, of course, we gave it to him and shared how to know if it is true. Then we prayed with him on the doorstep and it was such a great little discussion. 

Then following the same order as has been set throughout many, many years, it was Wednesday. We got to teach peer support eikaiwa and talked about prettty much nothing. Everyone just said that they were sleepy the whole time. Then we went outside and Hirose (one of our favorite people ever) brought me his guitar to play right there. It was fun and has been quite a little while since I had played. Turns out I still remember a few songs even. Pretty cool. Then we had normal eikaiwa and once again only Brother Yazaki and Brother Uehira came. We taught them one of my personal favorites for the game: Egyptian Rat Killer. Good times, good times. 

Thence Thursday didst commence. We stayed inside for weekly planning for much of the day. I was a really good time though. I feel that we got a lot done. Then we taught Institute and a miracle happened. We actually got to teach a lesson for more than half the time. Only short kablamo talks this week. And it was just about doing the reading assignment so that we can all learn together. And all were edifices once we were all understood. It was great. 

Following was Friday which was freakishly white. Seriously though. We had ZTM for the whole morning and afternoon. Then we got to Nanao. Then it started snowing. We continued and did everything like normal, but it was snowing. I am so happy!!! I love snow. All the people here think I am nuts (missionaries included), but it is just great! Our appointment didn't go through on Friday, so we got to bike around in the snow for a little bit and decided to do some Language study like we had in the backup plan. 

Simply put, it snowed all Saturday, unceasingly. We were having incredible difficulty with bikes on Friday night (I couldn't turn or brake) so we got permission to leave our area and go to the bike shop in Kanazawa. It took a little while. Also we got to walk there in the snow. And the wind. It was cold. And it was super great!!! We also got to shovel the church parking lot before we went because an appointment we had fell through. It was so fun! I just love snow. Anyway, we spent a lot of time on trains, walking to a bike shop, and sitting in said bike shop on Saturday. It was so snowy that the trains were all late and we got home just after 10:30...past missionary bedtime. 

Then on Sunday, we went to church and were running. A little late for our normal hour early time and no one was there. Also the parking lot had regained quite a lot of its snow. So we went in and turned on the heaters to warm it up and wondered who to call if no one came. Then we heard the door open downstairs and it was not who we expected at all. It was one of our YSA and his friend who is also a former investigator. I say former because he has been a little busy and we haven't been able to meet with him. Anyway, they got there first and we were amazed. Then all the other peeps showed up and we had a good little sacrament meeting (because little sacrament meetings are all we ever have). Then we walked around and did our usual, just not quite as far because we didn't feel like it was a good idea to bike. Turns out they don't plow roads in Nanao. And we ended up over by the fisherman's wharf and built a snowman. We kept trying to get other people to help us, but they were content just watching. We got to talk to a few of them though. 

Well that was pretty much it. It was a good week. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much (and hopefully more than) as I enjoyed living it. 



This week we realized that we need to step up our game in all aspects of the work. And here is an analogy: The gospel will roll forth as a stone cut without hands and grow until it fills the Earth. In other words it will do a snowball effect. Well, as we learned whilst building a snowman, when you are rolling a snowball, it is really slow at first. And if you don't try and pack a little of the snow onto the ball (in other words, help the snow that stuck to the ball stick more) then it will fall off or just be too weak to be placed on the snowman. Also, you can only do it for so long by yourself. If you want a truly amazing snowman that is huge, you need to have someone help you push. And you need to be equally yoked in your pushing or it will get shaped weird. Therefore: When preaching the gospel, you will have slow times. And sometimes when a member first changes their life to the way of following Christ (snow sticking to the ball), they might need a little help to stay on. Otherwise they will either fall off or when the real trials come the whole area in the church will just fall apart. So we need to strengthen it as we go. And especially right after it sticks to the snowball. And the work is not meant to be done alone. All members of the church are missionaries. And that is for a reason. Missionaries are pretty strong just because we are around 20 years old. But even a 70 year old man could help us push a snowball if he had wanted. And all members can use their own talents to do missionary work. Truly we can, this is the Lord's work, and He wont let us fail. He will help you. "When you are on the Lord's errand, you are entitled to His help." Even the prophet says so, and I know that he is a prophet and so what he says is true. I bear my witness from my heart that no matter where we are, from Salt Lake City, Utah to little old Nanao in Japan, WE CAN DO THE LORD'S WORK! This is true and I know that, and nothing and no one can ever take that away. I know that Christ lives and through Him, we can be made clean. I have felt it. I know it from my heart. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

(Real Amen)

Awesome Moon and Cloud shot from this morning

The field is white

The field is very white

The field is still white

Our snowman

Quite the accomplishment

Return with honor!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Thoughts on the New Year, Life, and More


Well, this week the main thing that happened was that we dropped more of our investigator and we found some new people. We are working hard to try and reach the mission goal to have one person in each area receive baptism and so we are focusing really hard on people that have a possibility to be baptized. Because of this, we found out that a lot of the people that we have been visiting recently don't have any real commitment and so we get to look elsewhere.

Also we found out that our recent convert is not very committed to living up to the covenants that he has made. It is really sad and he has had some bad influences recently, so hopefully he will change, but at the moment, he doesn't want to meet with us. Kind of interesting situation.

Also today's number is 32 and 33. And 33 and 34 for those in America. If you can guess what those mean, then you are either involved, a stalker, or pretty observant.

Also this week we have been really focusing on how to become the missionaries that we want to be and that the Lord wants us to be. We made goals to be better at even the little things and we are working hard to fully repent of how much of the Lord's time we have wasted. This week I read a conference talk from 1971 about anger. It was really good and pretty interesting. The main thing that I got out of it is in a small quote, "The size of a man may be measured by the size of the things that make him angry." With this important lesson in mind, may we all work to become kinder, more pleasant, and more willing to accept the mistakes of others that we might more be able to help them overcome them. May we also work to overcome our own trials in a like manner.

Elder Richardson

1) we made gingerbread cookies (if you can name the top left cookie you get a cool point) if you can read the bottom right cookie, you can probably read Japanese.

2) institute

3) bonus video--fun with the piano

Mochi san wa watashi wo korosu. -Mario Coxon

January 1, 2017

Or being interpreted: Mr. pounded rice will kill me. 

Yep, this week was 7 days long. The end. 

Elder Richardson

Seriously though, we didn't do much this week. We went and got to teach that family we found a few weeks ago though. That was pretty awesome. They were really nice and they invited us in and offered us beer, then sake, then coffee, then tea. We settled on vegetable juice. #ClassicMissionary.

Another thing that happened this week was that I got to call our recent convert to repentance and warn him of spiritual death. #AlmaStyle He was really shocked that sinning is really all that bad. He then promised to come to church more and to stop other things, then he didn't show up on Sunday. I may have to remind him of our "kablamo talk."

Then for New Years yesterday, we were going to go to a less active member's house for dinner, but then ended up not being able to go. That night after we had just finished figuring out what to do for dinner, a former investigator called and commanded us to come to his house for dinner. So we went over and they asked if it was ok that they drink sake. We decided that it was just whatever and it was a fun night. Actually they were pretty normal. One of the guys there was our friend Mario from England and he took a little sip of the sake and was like, "wow that is super strong!" So he didn't drink too much, and then Nishikawa (the man whose house we were at) drank some, but just got a little more random than normal (which isn't much mind you). He just kept forgetting English words and it was a good time. Also they had gone to the effort to get us some Coke. Pretty cool. 

Well, that's about it, or at least that and the near death experience. We went up to the ruins of Nanao Castle and on the way down, there was a really sharp curve and I was hugging the wall as close as I could and pulling on my brakes a little, but then there was a car that was a little close to my side and I had to slam on my brakes. I wiped out and slid on my left side and he slammed on his brakes and my right shoulder was within a foot of his tire. I promptly stood, picked up my bike, the man looked at me, I said, "its all good, my bad" and he said, "ore wa abunakatta" which being translated is, "I was too close" (literally I was dangerous). We both then went on our merry way. When we got to the sushi place at the bottom of the hill, we discovered that I didn't have a scratch. None of my clothes were even damaged. My hip got a little sore for a day or so, but that was literally it. The only proof of the accident that I have is my companion's witness and the fact that my pedal is a little more scratched up from sliding on the road. 

Another near death experience!!! On Friday we were walking to the train station from DTM, and there were eagles and crows in the area. I had packed a sandwich because we wouldn't have much time to eat, and I had only eaten half of my breakfast due to time. So I was hungry. So I took out my sandwich and ate while we walked to the eki. We were just talking when all of a sudden I felt something rush really hard on the side of my face. Then I saw an eagle fly right in front of me from behind. It had tried to get my sandwich. It was really scary. Maybe even a little scarier than the car and bike incident. 

Well that is really it. 

Elder Richardson


 This is a picture of a jinja (shrine) lit up for New Years.