Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Happy Birthday to boy!

He finally got the birthday package we sent.

"I got the package on Tuesday... I think. It was great. :) Everything got here in one piece, and I made the cheesecake later that day. :D It was super good. :D *yay* I've got so much junk now though I don't know what to do with it all haha. It was a fun package. :)

My language is getting better, I just finished the second 200 entry grammer book, and now I'm starting a review/test of all of basic grammer principles from the first book. I'm also starting to study a lot of kanji, because I've found that it helps me remember words a lot better. I'm still far from perfect though, that's for sure."

Weekly update:
 This week has been another interesting week. Elder O. got sick on Tuesday, so we had very little time to go out and try and find people. Fortunately we were able to still teach all the lessons that we had planned, and even were able to set a few more lessons up. He's still a little sick, but he thinks he's good to go out and try and find again. Hopefully I don't come down with the same sickness. >.<

<Our female investigator> only had one chance to meet with us this week. We learned about Tithing in Sunday School, so we taught her that lesson after church. It went OK, but she was a little surprised at it. She also still doesn't have a super strong understanding of why Christ is important, so we talked about the atonement and it's importance, and how we go through Christ. I think she understands more, but she still has some doubts, and because of these doubts she wants to move her baptismal date again, but this time she was thinking of moving it back until January! >.< We're planning on calling her tonight and seeing if we can set up her date for the 11th or the 18th of November. I'm not really sure how to help her at this point anymore. She doesn't really know if Christ is important or not, so this week we think that watching "Finding Faith in Christ" might be a good lesson.

<The young man we're teaching> has been doing amazing! We also taught him the Law of Tithing, and at first he had some concerns, but after the lessons he was super excited to follow it once he's baptised. He mentioned how he's been following all the things we've been teaching him, and as he follows them his life has been getting better and better. Everytime we teach him something he wants to start following it right away because he knows that it will bless his life. We're thinking of moving his baptismal date from the 11th to the 4th, but only if we can meet with him enough times in the next couple weeks. I'm excited for him.

After Eikaiwa class this week (Wednesday) the ward members that come and some of the class members threw a little party for me. It was fun, and I guess all of the Single Adults in the ward got together and got me some origami books since I'm so into that now. :P I'll upload some photos of a few of the things I've been making in the spare time I had since Elder Oman was sick, including a 30 piece star... I'm going to start working on a 90 piece one next I think."

We're still waiting for pictures but thought we'd post this and add them later. Always grateful to hear good news from Elder Mosdell. Thanks for your prayers on his behalf.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Post that didn't post

So this post was created last week but didn't get published for some reason.

Jeff's birthday is this week so we sent him a package. In our email this week we listed what we had sent.

"Whoa... that's a lot of stuff in the package... you trying to make me sick?! :P haha Just kidding, thank you! I doubt there'll be problems, though I've not gotten it yet so I don't know. I actually do have a favor to ask of you, can you give me the metric conversions of the recipies you gave to me? So far all I've done is make (very) rough estimates, but it seems to have worked out OK. :) I found some cinnamon sticks and cloves at an import shop the other day, so we made wassle today. Elder O. thought it was crazy good, though it deffinatly wasn't quite as good as when we made it back at home. Sadly I think that has something to do with Japanese sugar/brown sugar not being as sweet. *shrug* oh well! Thanks for sending more cloves and cinnamon. :D"

Wassle = Wassail, a holiday drink we make with orange juice, apple cider, sugar and spices. He told us the weather was starting to cool down and he was craving some but they couldn't find cinnamon or cloves in their local market. Looks like they found a source, but he's still grateful for more from home.

"The girls are on band tour eh, first time w/o an older brother to torment them... hope they're enjoying themselves and not getting into TOO much trouble. :P" I think he misses them.

Jeff is excited to hear that some of the girls he knew in school are now planning on going on missions because of the new announcement regarding the lowering of the age. He's also excited for some of the boys who now get to leave earlier.

"Weekly Update:
This last week sadly had a few less lessons than I had been hoping for, but I'm hoping that this coming week will be a little more promising.
When we met with <our female investigator> this week we were able to address some of her concerns and help her to realize that just because she wasn't born into the church, and that just because she's not really a Christian doesn't mean she can't learn. She's been worried that she won't be able to truly have faith in Christ. Her Baptismal date is now the 4th of November, but we think that we might be able to help her feel ready for the 27th or 28th. I'm so excited for her to progress and grow. She was able to come to conference, and loved the session she came to.

<The young man we're teaching> is doing very well, and was also able to make it to General Conference. It was really fun to see him come in a nice suit. He acted and looked exactly like a member already. His baptismal date is next Sunday, and we think that he'll be able to make it if he can start meeting with us more during the coming weeks, though it's possible that he won't be ready until the beginning of November.

We weren't able to find anyone this last week, but today I had a really strong feeling to go and work in a particular area, I really felt there might be someone there for us to help today. Turns out there was a lady that knew about us, and was doing her own research about our church and others. She expressed to us that she didn't have any interest in pursuing any church right now, but that she'd wanted to continue her own research for awhile longer. We got her address though, and will try to visit her about once a month or so.

That's mostly it, I'm uploading photos from the "hidden city" that we've been working at for the last few days, including today.

As for my birthday I actually have no clue what we're going to do, we were originaly planning on going to the Tama Zoo today, but we found out that the zone leaders want to do that later in the transfer, and the district leader wants to go to the Studio Ghibly museum in a few weeks as well, so I might just go do those and call them "for my birthday". *shrug* we'll see.

And with that I'm going to go eat dinner and prepare for tomorrow. :) Love ya all!

A portion of "Hidden City"

Some of those are bamboo, not trees!

A large spider web - very Halloween!

And the spider that built it

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Transfer 7/16

Well, we're running a little behind again this week.  We did get email from the boy and he is doing wonderful as usual.  He and Elder O. will be staying in Tama for at least another 6 weeks.  From what we are hearing the boys in Tama are doing a great job and I guess you don't fix what isn't broken. :)

Weekly update:
"This last week has been interesting... We spent a lot of time prepping things in case one or the other of us transferred, but we didn't transfer. Sadly we still had a lot of cleaning and things to do today... we're not done yet. :\

One investigator is still progressing towards baptism, but kind of felt a little rushed, so we moved her date to the 3rd of November. She still hasn't received a firm testimony of the Book of Mormon, but she definitely agrees that if the book is true, than the whole church is true, and everything we've taught her. She's been able to apply a lot of the Book of Mormon to her life, but she's not yet really felt like she's gotten an answer about the book. We're going to work with her a lot in the next two weeks, and we're hoping that when she comes to General conference (next weekend in Japan) that she'll hear some good testimony's about the Book of Mormon. She's excited to go, and so are we!

Another investigator has been pretty busy lately, and so he's not been able to come to church, but he still has interest, and we've been able to meet with him about once or twice a week. This week (tonight) we're going to be going to a member's house and doing family home evening with him. We're excited, and we're really hoping that he'll be able to meet more in the coming weeks. He should be coming to General Conference.

We found a new investigator this last week while going through old records, and she's been looking at Christian churches for the last few weeks. When we called her she wanted to know right away where and when our Church meets. She came to last weeks sacrament, and said that she enjoyed it more than any of the other places she's been to in the last few weeks. We gave her a book of Mormon, and between yesterday morning to today she read the testimonies in the front, and still has a lot of interest. We're going to be meeting with her on Wednesday morning, and we're going to try and invite her to come to General conference this week.

And that's it for the last week of transfer 6... Starting today I'm now on transfer 7... the transfer where I'll hit my 1/2 way mark... @_@ Wow it's sure moving fast!"
We are, of course, keenly aware that he is nearly to his 1/2 way mark. We rejoice in all the work he is doing, but we also miss him here at home. We love him and look forward to hearing from him each week as well as seeing the photos that he sends. 
Naturally this weeks photos have no captions, so we are left guessing at what they are all about, not to mention seriously wondering at some of the items on the kitchen counter.  Boys are odd creatures I think.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Compliments for the Tama Elders

So we finally got an email! He did give a reason for being late and it wasn't the typhoon. They went to the temple and met with Jeff's trainer Elder W. He's finished his mission and is going home Monday! They got to spend some time together and were late getting home so they didn't have time to email on P-day. The typhoon wasn't very strong when it hit them. There were gusts of wind that were stronger than usual, but Jeff says it reminded him of the nightly canyon winds here at home :) There was a lot of rain in some nearby areas but not too much in Tama.

With transfers coming up next week we got this from Jeff: "We find out about transfers on Friday this week, since Monday is a national holiday in Japan, and we have to go to the city centers before we transfer. Although I don't think that we're going to be leaving Tama. It sounds like from President that since we're one of the leading areas right now, he wants to keep us here."

Since his birthday is coming up soon we asked if there was anything special he wanted. "Hm... I can't think of what I wanted in the birthday package... I don't really need much of anything that I can think of, but if there's room for a few more jello packets that might be nice. I just finished off my last one yesterday, but other than that... surprise me? :)"

Sadly they've lost contact with one investigator. Another family has said they're not interested in the church right now but they still want to make friends with some of the members and of course the missionaries. The Elders will continue to help the family build a good relationship with the ward and let the members examples help them along. There is another young man who is very interested in the Church but Jeff is worried that he's only interested intellectually. The Elders are inviting him to do things that will grow his faith. But the best is better in Jeff's own words.

"We were able to go to a baptismal service in Hachioji with (the investigator), which was great. She really liked it, and was surprised at how simple it seemed. She's super excited for her baptism. We're getting into some of the bigger commitments with her this week, but she's built up a lot of faith, so we're confident in her! Can't wait for the 20th! We also just found out the other day, that she gave all of her tickets for a classical music concert every Sunday, so she can come to all of church and learn more. We were super excited because we'd being trying to decide when we were going to teach her the ten commandment and keeping the sabbath day holy. We're SUPER excited that she's progressing so well!

Other than that, I think that's mostly it. The Stake President came to our ward today, and when he talked with us before church at the doorway he mentioned how we were leading the Stake right now, and that he appreciated it. We were very excited to get the compliment from him, and we're excited to work even harder now in Tama!"

We had to read the part about the tickets a couple times to make sense of it :) Sometimes his English comes out with a Japanese accent! We are waiting to hear about transfers next week. He and Elder O. get along so well it would be nice if they could stay together, but we know the mission president is inspired by the Lord to do what's best for everyone.

Jeff's trainer Elder W. during their last visit.

The 6'2" Elder O. in Japan :) Silly boys!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

No email or photos from the boy this week.  We'll keep you posted if we hear anything.