Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Our daughter, Megan and her husband Tanner and our grandson Eli are visiting from Santa Monica
We have been performing missionary music firesides at the Stakes in Sapporo. This was last Saturday at Moiwa
Early morning exercise with the Moiwa Elders and some of our Sisters
Hakodate Zone

Our future missionary: Eli Elton
Zone Conference in Hakodate
P_day outing to the Professional Baseball Team in Sapporo - The Nippon Ham Fighters
Members of the Odori and Atsubetsu Zones at the baseball game

Here are some excerpts from some of the President's letters that the missionaries have allowed us to share

Myself and the district had a good time with the rest of our zone and with you, Sister Daniels and AP’s.  It was funny because when everyone left, the district all became sad.  The shimai’s said, ”It’s like a part of our family left”.  President, please thank Sister Daniels for the delicious food.  To sum it up, yesterday and Sunday were an awesome learning experience.

I just wanted to thank you for teaching us about commandments at zone conference.  Today we naturally introduced commandments into lesson 1.  When our investigator was asking if we liked coffee or tea, we politely declined telling her we don’t drink either of them.  She then asked why not so we told her that we would like to talk about that in our message.  We taught about prophets and how God gives us commandments because He loves us and sometimes we fully don’t understand the reason behind every single commandment but we know we will be blessed for obedience.  The best part is that she understood.  She no longer saw them as rules but a way to show our desire to follow God.  I know you guided by the Lord in teaching us president.  Thank you.

We have been teaching our investigator for a while now and in our teaching and in his progression, we hit a plateau.  So about two weeks ago, we decided to push him and try him.  We started reviewing all the past commandments required for baptism.  I used the view that you taught in zone conference and this was the cool part.  As I was teaching, I was learning.  I was reviewing the blessings, and in doing so I began to understand the meaning behind those commandments.   Really looking at the commandments as God’s love really opened my understanding, and by teaching it this way, I think it helped my investigator as well.  After we taught this, we talked about baptism.  And we set a baptismal date!  The cool thing was he chose the day to be baptized. I wanted to tell him this quote but I didn’t know how to say it in Japanese, so I’ll tell you.  From Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The gospel of Jesus Christ is not a gospel of chains but a gospel of wings.”  I know as we follow your direction and teach the gospel as a gospel of love and salvation, we will see success.

I am very excited to be working here in my area with my new companion.  He is really amazing, bold, eager and faithful.  As soon as I saw him I knew he was my companion, in fact I had a dream the night before you called me and said that I would be training.  Not that I am a prophecier but the spirit communicates to all of us. 

Girl investigators are difficult.  I never know what they are really thinking!  At one appointment she told me she cried after reading the Book of Mormon and thinks Joseph Smith is really a prophet of God.  Then the very next appointment she gave us back the Book of Moron and said she can’t join our church because she’s buddist.  I hope dating isn’t this confusing or else I’ll never get married.

We are so hardcore.  We walked 6 miles home…..walked. On foot! But we found 4 people on the way, just goes to show you the more your feet hurt, the more the Spirit leads you.  I don't know if blisters and new investigators have a relationship, but if they do we should get 3 next week.

 When I was in the MTC, Elder Neuenschwander of the Seventy came and spoke and he said, “The quality of our memories, depend on the quality of our service.”

One thing that my companion and I have really realized this transfer is how short 2 years is.  On the street we often tell people how long we serve as missionaries and they are often surprised in that they think 2 years is so long.  But we always tell them how short it is and stress the fact that we only have so much time to share a message that is so important.  I feel the urgency and if they don’t have interest or don’t want to hear more, we smile, show our love, ask for a referral and move on our way.  Grateful that person let us know up front so we could use the time to find those who are really waiting.

I also know God wouldn’t have a area open that doesn’t have many people ready to accept the gospel.  I have a very strong determination to turn this area around and find many new investigators.  My skills are weak and we are almost starting from scratch, but I know God will guide us as we work diligently and are obedient.

Then I felt that I should pray.  So I said a short prayer in my heart.  Then I saw this young girl who crossed the street and walked to us.  I felt that she wanted to listen to the gospel.  So I talked to her and she said she wants to meet us again!  She wants to know the purpose of our lives.  I am so grateful for Gods help.

I have seen a miracle this week.  It maybe small one but it was a wonderful experience.  As you know I was at the hombu to help with translation.  Personally I did not think I was able to do it at all.  I cried unto the Lord for help.  I did not want to miss other’s spiritual experiences. I was sitting in the chair using the computer and my fingers kept moving, I haven’t used a computer for a while except doing emails, so usually my fingers don’t move very well.  But that day was different.  Every time I read a sentence, the translation came to my mind and I was able to type faster that I am used to.  I know Heavenly Father answered my prayer.  And I also know if the reason is good, He will bless us more than we think.  Jacob 2: 18-19

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Elder Robinson showing his stuff at P-day
Elder Jones in the middle of a back flip
P-Day activity with the Obihiro Zone at the fua fua dome
Zone P day photo

Zone Conference Photo
We have an investigator fireside at the mission home every other Sunday. Elder Dadivas and Elder Nagata with some investigators and members
Sisters Sato, Kawachi and Kamiya with investigators and members in our kitchen after the fireside
Today was our 29th Wedding Anniversary. The mission home Elders made us a wonderful dinner. Our daughter Megan and her husband, Tanner, arrived yesterday to visit us.
The missionaries in Iwamizawa (Elder Thurber and Shingaki) fed me  lunch before our investigator lesson.

P-Day park golf outing with our Eniwa missionaries: Elders Nakama and Fry, Sisters Ikari and Arae and our APs, Elders Nelson and Lottermoser. Our senior missionary couple, the McReedys also joined us

Missionary Fireside

We have an amazing group of missionaries with musical talent. We have been showcasing their talent and sharing testimonies through music at a number of firesides we have held through out Hokkaido. This fireside was held at the Shinkotoni church on Saturday, September 19th

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Asahikawa Zone, after lunch we sing to the women who fix our lunches to say thank you.
One morning for early morning exercise they where playing frisbee football and the frisbee got thrown up in the very top of that tree.
Elder Hattori's birthday outing.
We invited ourselves to Sister McIntyre and Sister Kaneko's apt for dinner after Stake Conference in Asahikawa.

Asahikawa Zone after Zone Conference and frisbee football.  We forgot to get a picture before they changed out of their missionary clothes.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Otaru Canal
The Asahikawa District. Back row: Elders Chang, Thurber, Lazenby, Yamashita, Shoji, Dadivas, Sanborn, Jensen. Middle row: Sisters McIntyre, Tsuji, Elders Urata, Shinji. Bottom row: Elders Cambell, Mauai, Maeda, Burton and Weloth
Sunday evening butter chicken Indian curry dinner with the Asahikawa district
Lunch with the Hakodate Zone. Elders Tateishi, Kokusho, Sisters Ikari, Hosan

Hakodate Elders Christian, Higashi, Ellege, Yoza, Fetters, Dennis
Ice cream cones with the Otaru Elders and mission home staff. The missionaries were disappointed that they couldn't get the NY Jumbo size since the ice cream was too soft. They had to settle for the regular jumbo size. Elders Willis, Hilton, Lottermoser, Nakashima, Nelson, Dickson, and the McReadys.
Morning ultimate frisbee with the Ebetsu sisters: Sisters Kaneko, Miyawaki, Furukawa. Elders Watanabe, Nakashima, Nelson, Lottermoser, Dickson.
The top of Maruyama mountain overlooking the city of Sapporo. The sisters are wearing two of our mission shirts: Japan Sapporo Mission and A more excellent way.
Our final counseling session with the departing missionaries takes place during a hike to the top of Maruyama.

Sisters Lunch
P-Day activity with the Odori Sisters Sato, Kamiya, Kawachi, Hansen. The photo booths called purikura are very popular in Japan - even amongst our missionaries
The Kotoni district p-day activity and birthday party for Sister Mayama. Elders Geslison, Lemme, Hilton, Willis and Sisters Mayama and Tsuji. The hats are not mission approved.
A sad sayonara to Elder Mauai and Sisters Furukawa and Nishimuro.
Our sisters came into the mission home for a quick meeting and lunch on transfer day. This is all 19 of our sister missionaries.

We received two new missionaries this transfer. Elder Taniuchi from Kobe with his trainer, Elder Jones and Elder Shurtliff from Idaho Falls with his trainer, Elder Williams
Atsubetsu District interviews and meeting. Elders Suzuki, Naganuma, Fry, Williams, Miller, Nakama and Sisters Nishimuro and Arae.
Morning football with the Odori Missionaries and mission home staff: Elders Crompton, Dickson, Nelson, Allen, Watanabe, Nakashima. Sisters Kamiya, Kawachi, Hansen, Sato.
Lunch with the Obihiro District. Sisters Mimaki and Nishime. Elders Senba, Jones, Saito, and Watanabe.
Obihiro Zone lunch: Elder Nelson, Lottermoser, Lawler, and Robinson

Elder Raymond's last evening in the mission home