Sunday, May 28, 2017

So I guess they use ducks and we use goats.

Well, this week, we had a great time. I think the coolest thing was seeing the effects of our planning and knowing that we made good, and guided, decisions. We had a lot of lessons with members this week, and each lesson we taught was very different. But each one was exactly perfect for each family. It was a good week for teaching for us.

Unfortunately, it wasn't so great a week for finding. We got a lot of appointments, phone numbers, etc. and it was looking like it would be really good. But then no one came to the appointments they made and they don't answer their phones or call back. So that was a real bummer.

Another cool thing we got to do was go on a hike with a local Boy Scout troop. It was way fun and super 懐かしい for both me and Elder Mendoza. We both got to remember the different things that we liked about working at scout camp. And a couple of the things we didn't like as much. (^-^) But it was a really good service opportunity and they were really excited when we were able to come and show some scout skills to the boys. One of the leaders mentioned to us how good he felt it was for the troop, being a really small troop, to have some leaders that aren't way older than the boys so they can look up to and connect easier with. So they are way happy to have us there. And it was super fun.

So that's about all that happened this week.

This week I learned something that was pretty cool. Right now I am studying the Book of Mormon and focusing on what it says in the title page of why it was written. And highlighting it in three different colors.
1. to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things
the Lord hath done for their fathers
2. that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not
cast off forever
3. And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the
Christ, the Eternal God

So I realized through marking these things that the great things the Lord does for us and the Covenants and prophecies, etc. of the Lord are the same thing. The only difference is the timeline. Covenants are just future blessings and all the great things the the Lord does for us are past covenants and prophecies. I thought that was really interesting. And that goes really well with D&C 130:20-21. There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated--And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that
law upon which it is predicated.

Well that was just one small thing that I learned this week and I thought that it was cool. I hope you all have a great week and learn something new that you think is cool. And you can email me the thing
that you learned so I can learn it too. Then we will think that it is cool together.

Elder Richardson
 Dinner at the Kawabata's

 I fell asleep during Language Study at the church and this is how Elder Kojima decided was to best use his time.

Eucalyptus trees that they use to feed Koalas at the zoo. (Starring Mr. Mishima)

Monday, May 22, 2017


Well, this week went by rather quickly. I will only give the highlights. 

First, we have been going to this English Club at the Local Institute of Technology and it has been really fun. And there are actually a lot of people there that have some interest in the gospel. One in particular, his name is Tomohiro, has been able to meet with us a lot and he is pretty interested in what we believe. It is way fun. And he is a total bro. We went out to ramen with him and he asked us lots of questions about the Church and the Book of Mormon and all of that stuff. And it was really a good time. He also came to ping pong night at the church and when we were going to go he asked if he could see the chapel. It was way good. 

Also, I lost in Shogi to Elder Yamazaki. (>_<)

Another thing that happened was that we haven't been able to meet with Rei, so we called him and asked how he was doing. And he is doing great and can see that God is helping him as he prays and follows the commandments. Then he asked if we could pray over the phone and it was really great. He is working really hard to follow all the commandments and he is really looking to baptism. 

Another thing that happened was that Elder Oaks (one of the Apostles) came to Japan and he gave a really awesome devotional. He talked about how the Lord will always help us learn things that we need to know through our trial. It was really a great night. Also his wife dendoed in Sapporo, so she bore her testimony in Japanese. It was super awesome. 

That is really all of the main things that happened this week. I probably left something out, so if you know about it, you can ask me and I will tell you about it, but if not, you will have to just wonder. 

Well, I hope you have a good week. And stuff. 

Elder Richardson

A promise to my sister.
A window into Elder Kojima's mind
We were having fun with crows
We double taught Gospel Principles

We finally went to celebrate Mendoza's birthday

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

We Are All Monkey Chickens. . .

Well, first off, Happy Mother's Day! What a great holiday. Many families across the world are celebrating their mothers in different ways. And in most countries of the world, one tradition stays the same. The missionaries call or skype home, they say something along the lines of "Hey, what's up?", and then the mother starts to cry. 

Anyway, let me tell you how I prepared this week for the day that is Mother's Day. First, on Monday, we went and had Kebabs. They were rather good. Then that night we were supposed to go to the Watanabe house to do an FHE. Well we were struggling finding a tachiai (teaching helper) and were trying really hard to make it there on time as well. Well, when we were almost there and I was calling Janet Shimai to tell her that we would be late, that was when she decided to tell me that that afternoon something had come up and she had cancelled the appointment. She just forgot to tell the people that she had the appointment with. Fun. So we went and did plan B: knock on doors and go on a hunt for some members that supposedly live around here. It was good. 

Then on Tuesday, we decided that we had time to go and try to visit these people that Elder Mendoza knows from before his mission. They don't live in our area, but we got permission to go, because they don't want to talk to other people, just him. So when he tried to just send the missionaries of that area before, the people just said that Elder Mendoza should come. So anyway, we went. And they weren't there. It was a good journey though. I found at their house a four leaf clover! And then when I was just looking some more whilst Elder Mendoza wrote them a note, I found a five leaf clover! It was crazy. So I think I might be super lucky now. Haha. Then that day we found some Dr. Pepper. So the luck worked. 

So on Wednesday, we had to do some office type work. But then we got to go see our friend Rei. He is super great and he is working really hard to try and get baptized. He is working right now to obey the Word of Wisdom. He is super awesome. Then we went to the church and had a lesson with Hiro and Haruki. It was way good. We got to talk about a lot of stuff, but mostly just about what kind of person God is. Then we had eikaiwa and the other Elders had an appointment come up and the Sisters are both Japanese, so we had to teach both classes by ourselves. But then Brother Inagi came (he is one of the guys that wrote the TOEIC book that we teach from) and our friend Sarah came as well. So they helped us teach. 

Then on Thursday, we realized that we were out of laundry detergent and also were on our last set of clothes, so we got to do some non pday shopping. (^^) then we did some weekly planning and were chock full of appointments that night. We met with Konal, who we then realized he doesn't have interest at all in the gospel and just meets with us cause he is nice. So we are going to stop teaching him. Still will probably go hang out every once in a while though. Then right after (actually overlapping) we had a lesson with Junpei, we read the Star Wars script and then read 1 Nephi 2. It was way good and we got to talk a little about commandments. Then we went out to eat with Brother Choi. This was probably the last week we will get to meet with him, so we were way happy. He is going to go back to Korea. We went to Katsu Explosion and it was way good. 

Then on Friday we had an awesome DTM. I was really grateful for Elder Yamazaki. I was really feeling weird that day and was not really feeling like being a missionary, but then we got there and he asked me to play the piano for prelude and that really let me ponder while listening to music that has such a great message. And then the DTM really hyped me up for dendo. Then we had a lesson with Hattori and we asked him why we meet and it turns out to be just what we thought. He just wants to talk. So we decided that we shouldn't really meet with him that much anymore either. So that was fun. Then we got a call from our beloved Elder Ence (the AP himself) and he told us to go to this takoyaki party for some English speaking thing. Well we went and realized it was at a college, so that was the first slightly weird thing. Then we looked at the email we got from the person and realized that it was a girl. And so we looked at each other and said that if this was a girls club, we are going to have kill Ence. (^-^) Anyway, it was ok and there were a lot of guys there too. And it was so weird. We were just hanging out at a college party and it was so fun...and it was still dendo! We got to give out a lot of eikaiwa and there were some people that were interested in the gospel. Unfortunately they were girls. So since comping to Gokiso, I have gotten to give a lot of referral to the Sisters. Anyway that was a really fun night. 

Then on Saturday, we were going to have a Ward BBQ, but then it got rained out. So we had an okonomiyaki (Japanese savory pancake) party instead. And only one investigator showed up. So it was fun. But a little awkward. That party lasted forever still so we ended up staying at the church until our appointment that night. Which was way fun. And it was Elder Mendoza's birthday and we told the members that we were visiting and they happened to have number candles and they put it on the dessert that she had made. It was perfect because he randomly decided to go to the bathroom and so we were able to set up and all. 

Then on Sunday we just had normal church and Elder Mendoza got to skype home and it was fun. Also we finished weekly planning. It was really good. Thats just about it. 

Well, I hope that you had a great week and stuff. 

Elder Richardson

Look to see something wrong with this.

We found this . . . in Japan.

The birthday boy

Kawahara FHE

Monday, May 8, 2017

The Most Attractive Man in Asia

Well this week was really great! We did a lot of stuff, including transfers. Also nearly all of us in our district got haircuts. So that was a thing. We have been working really hard and Elder Mendoza is really easy to work with. It's really nice. 

Anyway, on Monday, we (Elder Jones and I) went around and said goodbye to people and things like that. It was pretty good. 

Then on Tuesday, we had the actual transfer day. Elder Yamazaki came up and stayed here when we were waiting for our companions to show up and he asked for a haircut. So that was haircut number 1. Then Elder Mendoza came and we did some planning and such. That night we were surprised by seeing the sister missionaries. (Normally this would not surprise us). Sister Harada is training this transfer, so usually the trainers are all gone for the whole day and stay somewhere else. But they came to the church when we were in the middle of planning and we were able to go to the service activity with them. That was pretty lucky because this week there were many people there and we definitely needed all of us there. 

On Wednesday, we had to go shopping (because of transfers) and decided that while we were out, and since it was so close, we should get haircuts as well. Then we had a lesson with our friend Hiro who is pretty good at English and wants to be a sports volunteer at Olympics. And we talked a little more about fasting and we talked about America. Unfortunately, it was right before eikaiwa, so we didn't have much time to really talk about anything. Then we had eikaiwa and there was almost no one there (this past week was a holiday week in Japan called Golden Week). Also, because of the new transfer and trainers and such, we had five or so sets of missionaries there. And most of them were Japanese, so they filled the class pretty well. It was a really interesting eikaiwa. 

Then on Thursday, we had a lot of things to do so we could get ready for the Undokai (sports day) the next day. So we went and found shirts for the missionaries and we practiced our skit the Elders Quorum was doing (video will be attached). Then we went and just dendoed. That night we were going to visit a member who has been struggling recently and so we decided we should go and see if the bishop could come with us. Well we ended up going to the wrong house on accident and it was the bishops dad. So we shared a little message and decided to talk to the bishop on Sunday and plan when we can visit the member together. 

On Friday was the Undokai!! It was way fun. The stake rented out a huge dome and we did all sorts of games and events and stuff. Elder Mendoza and I got to be in the relay race. And it was way hisashiburi to run in a race like that. It was really fun though. And since it was a stake event I got to see members from Gifu and Ichinomiya (where I have served before). That was way fun. But they were both on the other team than us. And our awesome Korean homie came. He is a member that is here for work and he is so cool. So we got him to come and it was way fun. It was just hard to translate things that I don't fully understand in English. (^^) Then that night we went and visited our newlyweds in Gokiso (they were married in March). And that is where the title of this email came from. They are a way funny couple and it is really interesting. He is Chinese and doesn't really speak that much Japanese. And she doesn't speak very much English at all. So watching them communicate is really fun. Especially when you speak both languages. So that was fun. And they like having the missionaries over because we can translate for them. ( ^∀^) so anyway, we were looking at family pictures and she pulled out her pictures and there was an engagement picture of them and we were like who is that guy? And he said, "the most handsome man in asia."  So we thought that was really funny. 

Then on Saturday we decided to do some finding. Or in this case, more accurately, looking. Then we realized that it was Golden Week and so we thought that people are probably by this way famous park in our area. Well, we took a wrong turn somewhere, because we were riding up this hill and then when we reached the bottom, we ended up at the exact same place as we started. So yeah. Then we went home and had some dinner and went to meet with the other missionaries at the church to plan. The Nonami Elders forgot or something, because they were way late. And we had to start ping pong night, so planning was canceled. And Brother Armstrong (our ward mission leader) was hungry, so he went and got some burgers for everyone from McDonald's.  And we had a good time at ping pong night. 

Then on Sunday, we had church. It was really good. Because it was fast Sunday, we had a Teaching in the Savior's Way meeting for all the people that teach classes. And it was really good. Then we had a lot of meetings after church. Our regular one with Brother Armstrong, one with the Bishop, one with our new eikaiwa coordinator Brother Wong, and then the one that we were going to do the day before. So that was a long day. 

Well anyway, I guess that is a roundabout way to say that I had a 普通 week. I hope that you all had a great one. 

And to end on a spiritual note, everybody play an Eb. And then read in Moroni 10:3-5 which says, "Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things."  Then in order to know how that answer will come, read Alma 32:28 which reads, "Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves--It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me." I know that if we do these things that it works. We just need to test the words of the Prophets. In the scriptures the Lord often says things along the lines as in Malachi, "prove me now herewith." We just need to test it. 

I hope that you all have a great week and that you see the wonderful things that the Lord puts in your way. 

Elder Richardson

Ping Pong Night Burgers

Creepy Thing in Our Apartment

We found a good kebab place!

Kebab Happiness
Undokai Cheer
Ping Pong Night Madness

Monday, May 1, 2017

Adventure is Out There

Well, this week was rather interesting. We did a lot of fun stuff. Also, we had a lot of stuff that was a little less than fun happen. Essentially, the thing that Elder Jones and I learned was outlined in Elder Choi's talk this past conference. Simply to look up, and not around. I really think that is as true and great principle. The most important thing is not what other people are doing, but what you are doing and why you are doing it. 
Anyway, the highlights of this week were that we found some great people to teach, started teaching other people that we have been trying to meet with and we got transfer announcements. Luckily, I get to stay in Gokiso, but Elder Jones is going to be leaving us and he will go all the way over to Hamamatsu in the Shizuoka zone. (If you don't know the geography of Japan, that is in between Nagoya and Fuji and in the same zone as Fuji).
Well with that said, I will talk about the lessons that we got to do this week. On Thursday, we got to teach our friend Konal about the Book of Mormon and we gave3 him a copy in Hindi. Well it turns out that Hindi is not his native language. They also don't have it translated into his language. Luckily, he reads Hindi and understands it just as fine as reading like normal. Well, we got to teach him about the importance of prayer and reading the Book of Mormon and he is really learning a lot. He said that he likes learning about this and he said that he will get baptized, but just wants to wait until he is ready. Then right after his appointment, we had a dinner with our Peruvian family, the Watanabes. So we were also able to bring Konal with us to that and it was really fun.
On Saturday, we were able to meet with Richard, who is a man from Nigeria that we met on the street a few weeks ago. We went and had dinner with him and he is really interested in our church. It was a lot different teaching someone that has a really strong knowledge of the Bible. It was really fun though and he really likes a lot of the things that we believe in. For example, he said that the leader of the church should be decided in case something happens. And we were able to explain the system for what happens if we were to need to get a new prophet. He really liked everything that we were able to talk about. It was pretty cool.
Well, we also had transfer calls and I already spilled the beans on what Elder Jones is doing, which may leave you to wonder what is going to happen with your beloved Elder Richardson. I mentioned that I will stay in Gokiso. I will also get a new companion who is a stud. I have gotten to know him already and we were in the same zone when he was a bean and then after that he went to Gifu when I was in Ichinomiya. Well, for those of you who don't keep track of transfers, this is our one and only Elder Mendoza. I am way excited to work with him. It will be fun.
Well that's really all that I remember super well, so this was short. Amen.
Just remember to always look up.
Elder Richardson

Funeral Pics
Transfer Calls
New Sport