Monday, April 24, 2017

2 Nephi 2:14 Fulfilled✔️

This week was weird. We had many times that we got to act and there were a few that we were acted upon. But when that happens, as we all know they will, it's just...


Well anyway this week on Monday we were going to go to the Watanabe's house for an FHE, but then the thing happened last Friday night (last Friday we went to do service with them, but it turned out to take way longer and we had to leave before it was done. So Karina was a little salty about that still.) and then we didn't find a tachiai (someone to sit in with us), so it just didn't happen. So we just dendoed. 

Then on Tuesday, we had some good ol' service. We got to go to a facility for people with mental illnesses and teach some English to everyone. That was really fun. And for the self introductions, everyone was a different type of Samurai or Ninja. (i.e. Ramen Samurai, Smart Phone Samurai, Ukulele Samurai, Marathon Ninja, etc.). Then that night we started a koukan with the other Gokiso Elders and for some reason it was decided that we should meet at this park. Well, it is a huge park and it took a while to find each other. Also, as Elder Miranda and I found out, the park is really, really far away from the service activity that we were supposed to go to that night. So we (Elder Miranda and I) had to bike like mad (and we didn't know perfectly where we were going) and we finally made it to the place. Well the service was over because we didn't have a meeting point set at the park and the park was in the opposite direction from where we needed to be. Then we went and got some food and biked home. 

On Wednesday, we were completely clear in the morning and afternoon, so we planned out our day and we were going to have a good time. When lunch came, we were told by our beloved Elder Jones (who chose the park the night before) suggested that we (still Elder Miranda and I) go to this katsu place that isn't too far away. Well we went, and it was a lot of food, and it was really good. Well, we got a phone call from the Sisters and they asked if we were coming to the church. It turns out that we had an appointment at 2:00 at the church with a man name Hattori. So once again I was acted upon. We then acted and had to bike like mad. The restaurant we were at is nearly on the opposite side of the area as the church. And it is down a huge hill. So we got to bike up that huge hill and then bike to the church. Well we made it there in around 45 minutes. Later we looked up on the map and it says that biking that would take about and hour fifty. Apparently they don't have a setting for frantic missionary speed. Well we made the appointment and then had to change all of our plans and so we went and got bananas. Elder Miranda was so funny and he had Kobayashi san do an introduction in English for our families. So I will send that video. And then we taught eikaiwa, that was really fun. 

Then on Thursday, Elder Jones and Elder Yamazaki had to go get their bikes from really far away in the morning. So Elder Miranda and I just stayed and did the normal studies and were figuring out what to eat for lunch when they finally came back. Then we were back to our normal companionships and Elder Jones and I did some weekly planning. We have been way busy recently, so it was really good to step back and really plan what we should do. Then we had a lesson with Junpei and it was way good. We taught about prayer and when he prayed he truly prayed from his heart. He  told the Lord that he was tired, but he needs to study well, so he wants God to give him power that is more than energy drinks and that he can get power to study well. He also told him that he is hungry and wants to eat 31 ice cream. Lol. It sounds kind of funny, but he was really praying from the heart and just doing what we said to talk to your Father. He is going to pray this week and read the Book of Mormon every day. Super awesome. That night we were going somewhere and our plans changed. We met these Nepalese guys on the street and they invited us to come and talk in their house about stuff and we went and it was way fun. They wanted to talk English mostly, but they also talked to us a lot about religion. And then we went and got indo curry with them and it was way fun. We learned a lot of Nepalese words that night. We still need to check with one of our other Nepalese friends to see if what they were teaching was a bunch of swear words or not though. (^-^)

On Friday we had DTM and our lovely Elder Yamazaki shared a message about building up and strengthening the rising generation. It was way good, he is a great teacher. Then we had McDonald's for lunch. I am starting to hate that restaurant I think. Then we visited Sister Odani that night and that was really fun. She is one of the cutest obachans (grandmother) on the planet, she will be talking to you and then she will pause in the middle of her sentence and then just think and then finally say what she wanted to in English. And her English is really funny. I love her so much! Also we met this Nepalese guy that night who said one of his life goals is to be a Christian Missionary. So he is really excited when we said that we can teach him about Jesus Christ. 

Then on Saturday we were going to have a little party where one of the Sisters' investigator who is Vietnamese was going to make us some Vietnam food and we invited some people. But the Sisters had to go to a meeting that day and so it was cancelled, but then after that our person that we invited called and he said that he was coming. So we decided that we were going to do it anyway. We went to a Vietnam restaurant and got food and one of the two guys cancelled while we were there, so we only got food for 3 people. Then we went and were ready and the other guy didn't show up. We tried calling and texting, but nothing. Then we decided to eat and he texted later that night and said that he fell asleep. So that was a super fun party. We just sat and ate food by ourselves. At least you always have company when you have a companion. Then that night we went with our friends to a curry place (not indo curry) and tried their spiciest curry. It was pretty hard to eat it. Way fun though. And there will be videos of it. 

Then on Sunday, it was Elder Jones' birthday, so I was a little bummed that I couldn't do anything really fun, like going to get food. Instead we just walked around and I would stop people and tell them that it is his birthday and since he is a missionary his family is in America and so he seems sad (I say as he starts laughing because he didn't know I was going to do this) and so I got a ton of people to sing to him. It was way fun. Then we were walking and we can't talk to girls, but there was this college girl that talked to us and she started just walking with us down the street (we were going the same way) and she was a real bro. She was going around looking for a bakery and she had this book of all the bakeries that are good in pretty much half of our mission and she had tabs for ones that she had been to. And she gave us some bread that she had bought and we talked about Pokémon. Over all, that short amount of time, was super weird. It was way fun though. And we even got to share a lot about church and she is willing to meet again and she wants to learn about Christianity. We could refer her to the Sisters, or we could (and probably will) say get your own investigators shimai. (^-^) Then we got home and we made brownies for Elder Jones' birthday and we decided to put Oreos in them. Well that made the bottom not cook and we couldn't tell because we stuck in a toothpick and it must have gone through an Oreo, because it came out clean. Well the candles melted from the bottom up and we ate the brownie and we felt it this morning. And it made me sleepwalk like crazy last night...apparently. 

Anyway, this week was great and I am super glad to be a missionary. A lot of weird stuff happens, but that is just when it is easier to see the Lord's hand in our lives. I can feel his guidance every day. Especially when weird things like this week happen. I hope that you all have a great week and that you go eat some 31 Ice cream! (Thats Baskin Robbins by the way.)

Elder Richardson

Pics or it didn't happen:

Nachos and Salsa

My name in Nepalese

Our Nepalese bros

Vietnamese food

Junpei Lesson

Brownie Madness
Kobayashi san

Sunday, April 16, 2017

You gonna make biscuits?

Well this week was great! And also, Happy Easter! We did lots of fun things this week and had a good time. 

First off, we got to go the Honbu (mission home) FHE on Monday and that was way good! I had never been to a Honbu event before, so that was really fun. 

Then on Tuesday, we went to the mall for some good ol' Easter Egg Hunting. (We were trying to find stuff for decorating and also for hiding Easter Eggs on Saturday for the Easter Party.) While we were there we got to have some Burger King. That was way good. Also we didn't find the stuff for the eggs. (>_<)

On Wednesday, we got to have a lesson and then hang out with our friend Konal who is from Nepal. He is super cool and we always have a lot of fun. We went to the Tsurumai Park (which I was told has Pokemon Statues; it is a lie) and saw the Sakura there. (There will be pictures). Then we went with him to Paprika Banana and taught both of them (Konal and Kobayashi) one of the best words in English they could know.  Dope. (Video included). Then that night we had eikaiwa and it was really fun, there were a ton of people there, and we even had some newer people make it there. So we got to do our favorite, interviews. Yay. 

Then on Thursday, we had Zone Conference. And there was a miscommunication and the entire Yokkaichi Zone showed up and hour late. Yep. So that ended up being a little weird and it was a long day. Then we had a lot of appointments back to back, (luckily one of them didn't show up, because it made time easier). And we were just sitting down for a lesson when some people showed up for eikaiwa. So we did an impromptu eikaiwa and called our good friends in the Honbu to get them to change it from Thursday to Wednesday on the website. So that was super fun. Then we went out with Brother Itou (who we were supposed to have the lesson with) and we got Sushi. It was awesome. 

On Friday, we got to help Kobayashi with painting her banana mobile. It was super fun and surprisingly we didn't paint it yellow. We got the Nonami Elders to come and help us and it was a really good time. There will be pictures. 

Then on Saturday, we had our big party for Easter. It was really fun and we had a pretty good turnout. And we had way more than enough of the food. That was good. And we went with Nozomi (one of the young men) and we dendoed in the morning with him. It was great. He is a machine. It helps that he is literally one of the cutest little deacons on the planet, but a machine none the less. 

Then on Sunday, we found out that the Easter Party was a great success. There were 5 people that came out church because of the Easter party! It was great! And we got to celebrate Easter! So that was great. 

This week was pretty great. I hope that you also had a great week. And that you have a great week. And that you are great. Truly, I am great. You should be too. Great that is. Well that's great. Great. 

Elder Richardson the Great. 


 We found this at a Gazebo.
 Sakura with Konal.


 Brother Itou, me and Elder Jones

 The Bananamobile

 Easter party

 My Easter egg
Dope Video
 Playing after eikaiwa

Monday, April 10, 2017

Everyday I wake a city that never sleeps

Well, this week was pretty great. We had a lot of fun and I learned a lot.  I came to the point this week where I have stopped caring. (Let me explain before you think I am saying I turned into a heartless monster). I stopped caring what other people are doing, I don't care what is a normal thing to do as a missionary, and I don't care if I seem strange to other people. I also started caring more this week. I only care about helping people. I only care about what I can do to help them progress eternally and help them return to their Heavenly Father. I just want people to use their agency in the right way so that they will be happy. Other than that, I do not care.

I also got this week what missionaries call "trunky papers." It is where you fill out some information so the Mission Office can get you settled and get your ticket and such to go home. Weird. I feel like I
have been here forever and now it is starting to end. Oh well.

Anyway on Monday, in Gokiso we have a tradition of visiting the Watanabe family for dinner. They are super funny and way fun to be with. They are also from Peru, so it is fun to practice my super
amazing Spanish. I am learning a lot. Other than that, it was just normal P-day stuff. We sat at the church and played some games, ate some food and that's about it.

Then on Tuesday, we had a good day for service. We went over in the morning with the other Elders in our area to a man named Dave's house and helped him move stuff around so that they could redo the wallpaper and also because he is moving to Thailand. He has a lot of really interesting stuff. And his house was pretty tall and spacious for Japan. So it was cool and he was really nice. Then that day we also got to change companions for a little bit. I got to work with Elder Yamazaki and that was fun. He had a few questions about being District Leader and just about other things so I got to train him instead of him training me (which is the normal thing). Well afterward he did give me some training, but we thought that it was funny.

Before telling about Wednesday, I need to go back and tell about something that I neglected to. Last week, we were walking to someone's house that is really close to our apartment. On the way back we
noticed a little shop that said it sells fried bananas and it is called Paprika Banana. There was only one person in there, so we weren't sure if it was really a shop, but we decided to go in and there is only one worker and she is really nice and the bananas (which are not really bananas) are good and they are also cheap. Well, that was last Saturday and since then, we have gone almost every day.

Anyway, on Wednesday, we went to Paprika as per usual. (We had also gone with the other Elders on Tuesday, but that is beside the point). There was this mosaic workshop thing going on, so it was really crowded in the shop. We went in anyway and it was super good. We got to invite everyone to eikaiwa, several of the people to the Easter Party we are having, and we were able to randomly start teaching one of the people there the Plan of Salvation. That was a pretty crazy day. #BananaPower Then we had eikaiwa that night and that was super fun! They don't usually play a game here though, so that was weird.

Then on Thursday, we went back to the Watanabe house and helped them build this thing that you put a TV on. It was like a little shelf thing. That was fun. Then we were randomly called to go teach another area's eikaiwa class that night. That was Usually I like kids' eikaiwa, but when the kids don't want to be there, it just gets a little hectic.

On Friday, we had DTM and it was really good. We got to talk about aligning our desires with God's and using our desires to hasten the work of Salvation. It was a really good meeting; Elder Yamazaki is awesome. Then that night, we went to the Yuasa family and had a great FHE. They had us play this game that was hilarious (and there are videos) and it was a good time. Then we went and visited Brother Takimoto, and he had invited his friend and so we talked about the Book of Mormon and it was really good.

On Saturday, we got to watch General Conference. That was super awesome! I love being able to listen when the prophet speaks and hear direction that is specifically for this time. There were many talks this time that all worked together to give me a little reprimand, and (as you say in Japanese) they echoed in/to my heart.

On Sunday, we got to watch more conference!!! Literally this was one of the best weekends of my entire mission. Then we got to go and have a great FHE with the bishop and his family. They were so fun! Their two little girls are a little crazy though. I think that Elder Jones is still tired from playing with them. 笑

I am so grateful for the opportunity to be able to share the gospel with all the people around me. The power of this calling amazes me every day and will continue to amaze me. I know that I am not perfect, and neither is anyone else, but there is a sure difference between those of us who are trying. I loved this quote from President Monson's talk in the Sunday Morning Session:

              "We live in a time of great trouble and wickedness. What will protect us from the sin and evil so prevalent in the world today? I maintain that a strong testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and of His gospel will help see us through to safety. If you are not reading the Book of Mormon each day, please do so. If you will read it prayerfully and with a sincere desire to know the truth, the Holy
Ghost will manifest its truth to you. If it is true--and I solemnly testify that it is--then Joseph Smith was a prophet who saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Because the Book of Mormon is true, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s Church on the earth, and the holy priesthood of God has been restored for the benefit and blessing of His children. If you do not have a firm testimony of these things, do that which is necessary to obtain one. It is essential for you to have your own testimony in these difficult times, for the testimonies of others will carry you only so far.
However, once obtained, a testimony needs to be kept vital and alive through continued obedience to the commandments of God and through daily prayer and scripture study."

I am so grateful for the opportunity that we all have to have such great access to those things that we can gain a firm testimony of the truth of the Lord. I hope that we all take advantage of that great
miracle. I know that if we do, the things around us will start to matter less and less and the things that really matter will shine forth from the darkness of the world. I know that these things are true from my heart. I bear witness as a representative of Christ and as His disciple. In His name, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Richardson
Paprika Banana

More Paprika Banana

And more!

How Japanese medicine describes what it does

DTM (District Training Meeting)

Yuasa FHE game
iida FHE
Beloved Elder Miranda

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Out of the Frying Pan...and into Gokiso?

  So this week was super crazy. We did a lot of stuff. There was quite  a bit of weird stuff that happened too.

         Anyway, on Monday, we had our normal time of ping pong with Ichiro and that was fun. That night, we didn't get to do much, we had to send the records that we got from the previous Sister's area book and send those over to the current Sister Missionaries. That took about an hour and a half. And we didn't even finish it that day.

         Then on Tuesday, we had eikaiwa and that was really fun. We got to focus on reading for this lesson and so we got a lot of movie quotes that are hard to read (i.e. V for Vendetta) and helped them with the pronunciation and things like that. They seemed like they enjoyed it.

         On Wednesday, we had interviews with President Ishii. And also ZTM at the same time. It was great and I learned a lot. It was also fun to see some of the missionaries that I have known before and getting to talk to them. Also I passed the Ninja Challenge. (Where you have to memorize/be able to say phrases from this book that they give you in the MTC that everyone call the Ninja). Well we got home from that meeting and were just sitting down to plan what we should do and we got a call from the APs. And they told us exactly what we needed to do. They told us that I would be transferring the next day and so I need to pack my bags and get ready to go. So that happened.

         Then on Thursday, we spent the day getting ready to go, tried to still make as many of the appointments that we made last Sunday as we could, and then I left. I came to Gokiso, which is a very busy place in the center of Nagoya, and Elder Jones and I started off our companionship for the rest of this transfer.

         On Friday we started off a new partial transfer with some planning. It was really fun...especially since my iPad wouldn't sync and I didn't have any of the records for this area.

         On Saturday we started the day nice and early and had breakfast and a short message with Brother and Sister Kelly. It was really fun. And they got us McDonald's, so that was obviously really good. And they are such an awesome couple. They really want to help the missionaries and have a lot of good ideas. I had a good time, and had a good time speaking English. Then we went to try and visit some people that day and found this fried banana place that is really good (they aren't bananas though, just shaped like bananas; apparently it's a thing in Hokkaido #JapanSapporoMission). Then that night we had ping pong night. Some things just don't change. It was way fun and it was good to meet all of the members.

         Then on Sunday, of course, we had church. There are a lot of people in this ward. And it makes sense because recently the Gokiso Ward ate the Nonami Branch which was right next to it. We made a lot of appointments with people after church, then we went to see some of the Sakura that have started to bloom and stuff like that. Then we went and visited a member that night and talked with him, visited another member and invited him to come back to church and used an awesome lesson about circles that I learned in the MTC #ElderGraydonLivesOn and it was really good. When we were riding on the street, we met some cool people and one guy's name was Richard and he made the joke that I am his son, so that was funny. And we took a picture and were able to exchange numbers with him. He was pretty cool and he is from Nigeria. So that was fun.

         That's just about all that happened this week and hopefully nothing too crazy happens this week. I will keep you Monday of course.

Elder Richardson

1-4Flower Watching
5) Richard