Monday, October 28, 2013

Japan week #12

Konnichiwa minasan!! 
     I trust everyone is well and supa genki? :) I certainly hope so, and pray so. This week has been a blast, and it's like, almost guaranteed my last transfer with Elder Harper. :( Transfers are tomorrow, and boy is that a crazy feeling. This is like my first 'real' transfer. For training you almost always stay with you trainer and same area for two, so I wasn't so anxious about it then. But now that I'm 'done' training, ;) ANYTHING can happen. I could move, stay, get a new comp, stay with Elder Harper, who knows, I DON'T! So that's way exciting. And you won't know what happens till next week! Haha!! ;) It's gonna be great, whatever happens. I'm excited. I am WAY sad that this is likely my last couple days with Elder Harper. We've grown so close together, and I can't believe how much we've BOTH grown these last two transfers together. Our last weekly planning session got way real. He was giving me some last second advice, things he wanted me to remember, and it turned into quite the bromance session. It was great, we really do love each other. I'm gonna be WAY sad when he goes home and I'm still here! It's crazy how close you get to other missionaries out here. Even some of the guys in my zone that I've only seen twice I'm way attached to, we're all brothers in the faith and that really binds us together, it's really special. 
 So you may have heard, but there was a typhoon coming about the northern asian areas, and we got hit with some crazy weather this week. It's been mad, rain, and slight flooding, and other crazies, and we've been having to adapt to it. We had a whole day of work go because of the intense weather, it's nuts!! It should be past us now though, so hopefully we get back to normal weather. It's been getting much colder now too. It's way surprising to me because it's only Ooctober!! Got me some epic blue/black riding gloves for the bike to keep my hands warm and dry. My big winter gloves are too big really to ride, so I scored big finding those gloves for like 2 bucks. :D 
  So this week we couldn't meet with our investigators, everything was coming up so they couldn't see us, we were way bummed, but after this week, with hindsight, I think that was planned from up high. We've had some way cool non attending miracles this week that I don't think would've happened if we were riding way out every day to reach our investigators. So the first one was meeting a Brother Ogasawara. That's a CRAZY Japanese name by the way. Most names are way short. His is like, 4 kanji long. O.O Most are 2. It's crazy! He's an 80 year old man who was baptized in his teens, moved away from home, and hasn't seen anyone from, or had any contact with the church until we met him this week. For 60 years he lost contact with the church, and he long since went inactive because of that, and just us finding him was a miracle. We were looking for a different na (non-attending) in that area, and we just couldn't for the life of us find them. So we decided to just start housing, and we found him. :O CRAZY right? And his English is way good, and he loves missionaries, especially gaijins, (me) ;), so we had a great visit with him. Turns out his health has been declining a lot recently, and he's been very lonely, and our visiting him was way timely. He has been thinking about the church again and wants to come back, and then we show up on his door step to fellowship him!! :D Was way cool, and he LOVES ME. Contrast that to my gaijin powers scaring poor innocent women. ;) Haha!!
   Our other big na miracle this week was visiting a Sister Shagotsu. We were having a rough day, we were late getting out the door, Harper crashed, broke his light, had to run to a nearby store to buy a new bike light, we were WAY behind schedule, and feeling way bad about it. But it turns out, that as we were going to this sister's house, that she got home at the EXACT time we showed up. So if we hadn't have had a crazy day, we would've missed her, and she had been praying for the missionaries to come visit her. She has had a crazy few years, her husband fell asleep while driving, while she was in the car, and ended up crashing and killing the mother of a young family, leaving the father and child alone, and she has been feeling a lot of guilt about it. Her husband had to do a year in prison because of it. And so she's been having some bouts of depression, and recently she was feeling very bad about it, and our showing up was way timely, because the spirit we felt together was way powerful, and she was a different person when we left. :) She has an AMAZING testimony still, we have no idea why she isn't active. She's in a part member family, that might be why.
    Our halloween party was awesome as well. :) We had a great turn out, great food, and a great time. Had quite a few non members come, and the ward invited lots of their friends, and we had a blast. :) I dressed up as Santa Claus, and one of my favorite members, Isago Kyodai, dressed up as a member of kiss. Hence the epic Kiss picture together. ;) It was a way fun time. I think it was way successful. Mie san, one of the shimai's investigators came, and I think it was way good for her to associate with the members. It's weird having shimai, but they're way good, and Muroran is so ready for shimai again. 
  But yeah, thsoe are the more notable parts of this week. It's been a great one. :) 
    Today for p day, the bishop invited us to go to the onsen (hot springs) with him, his treat! So we called President Evans, and he said normally since we went last transfer, he'd say no, wait a bit longer, but because the bishop invited us, he said yes! So I get to go to the onsen again!! :D:D:D STOKED!! So yeah, great way to end this transfer. ;) You can't fully understand just the magicalness of the onsen until you experience. It's wonderful, I highly recommend it. ;) 
   OK! Some business, I need socks. :P My old socks that I took, I've destroyed. My toenails, EVEN SHORT, have cut through them all. I only have like 6 pairs of black socks. :P So maybe could you get me some black calf length athletic socks or something? Not dress socks? I just need something more durable. I could go for another pair or two of those thorlo socks as well momma! I have a list of things I've been thinking about asking for, but I don't have it on me so I can give you those next week. Some of those aren't super pressing too, so it's no big deal. OH! The music is EPIC!!"! I LOVE IT! Elder Harper does too, it's way epic. Thank you so much! OH! I could go for another pair of nylon garments, that'd be nice. And I'm WAY good on hygiene stuff, I don't think I'll ever run out. ;) I'll let you know when I need stuff! Thanks guys! I love you all so much, have a great week!1

      Love, Mike

week #11 videos

P-day hiking

P-day hiking

P-day hiking 

Pepsi flavored cheetos for Dad


Monday, October 21, 2013

week #11 pictures

Pepsi flavored Cheetos which Dave asked Mike to find for him


Japan week #11

Hey everyone!
   I hope everyone is genki and loving life! I know I sure am! We had a crazy cool week this week, and we're WAY beat. We feel like SO MUCH happened this week. I can't believe it all fit into one week. :P Haha! So Monday we were FINALLY able to get to the light house!! And man was it EPIC! You can indeed see the curvature of the Earth: WAY cool. It isn't like outer space round, but you can see it, and it's way cool. :) That was our greatest p day yet. We did a ton of hiking and exploring all along the road to the lighthouse, and we found a secret beach with an old abandoned mini fishing village, tons of hiking trails, and tons to entertain two missionaries. :) 
  The next day we decided to ride all the way to the depths of Muroran, PAST the light house. We ended up biking over 40 miles if you count Monday and Tuesday. And it's all insane up and down mountains. O.O We were SO DEAD by the end of Tuesday. But we wanted to visit a referral, so we went. Unfortunately we couldn't meet with her, so we just ended up doing a ton of housing down there, and we had a rough contact. This one lady opened the door, and after I had introduced Elder Harper and I she just started yelling at us, saying Christians all start wars, and that we just want to kill and exploit people, and just on and on. Elder Harper and I weren't sure what to do, and so we tried to assure her that people do things like that, not Christ, and then we asked her about the kanji in her name, which usually makes Nihonjin happy, because that's a big deal and they love teaching gaijin kanji. But that almost made her more mad. O.O Elder Harper and I decided to just get out of there, and so we did. We were a bit riled up after that though, and so we decided to say a prayer in the nearby park for forgiveness for our feeling the way we did, and to help us have more charity. And after that prayer we just felt a wonderful peace and calmness come over us, and we felt such good feelings towards her, and that was just such an amazing experience for me. I'm so glad that through this gospel we have access to prayer and the spirit to help us change and feel God's love for us, and for this woman. 
    After that, we started making our way home and stopped at a convenience store to get some strawberry milk. ;) So good. And Elder Harper went to the bathroom, and I got contacted by a Jehovah's Witness!! :P She spoke flawless English and was doing much what we do. It was WAY weird, and I had no idea what to do, so I just talked to her, and we talked about Christ and it turned out good. We said good bye and she left, and then Elder Harper walked up to me and asked what just happened. And I told him, I have no idea. :P Wasn't expecting that to happen!! 
   So we had Zone Conference on Friday, and we traveled there Thursday, and we also had our apartment inspected that Friday also. We had a COMBINED Zone Conference though, and so we had two zones there, which enabled me to see two more of my mtc district!! :D Elder Shoell, whom I LOVE, and Sister Wagner. So that was amazing. We left late Thursday night to catch a train to Sapporo, and we stayed in the Moiwa apartment, which is Elder Shoell's place! So we got to hang out all night, with Elder Brandolino as well. :D And all my other buddies from the Hakodate Zone, (my zone!). The next day we had a great conference, and President Evans taught us. We talked about comp relations, the spirit, and a ton of other great stuff, and I feel like I learned a ton. It was a blast. And the relief society of the Moiwa ward made 43 missionaries lunch, and it was DANG good, so that was epic of them. :) After conference we went to have dinner with Elder Hee and Elder Brandolino before catching our train home. We went to a buffet in the train station called Dragonbowl, and it was amazing. But we lost track of time, and missed our train. :P The next train wasn't for an HOUR, so that would've gotten us home at 11 at night. We called Elder Galeria,  one of our ap's, and he told us to stay the night in the Atsubetsu apartment with the elders there and catch the morning train. And guess what'ts awesome about that, Elder Goddard, one of my mtc buddies, is in Astubetsu!! :D So I got to hang out with him all night and morning, SUPER fun. All my buds are doing great, and I wish I could see them more! But such is life. :) We got home that Saturday morning and had an EPIC day of work. We met with our potential investigators, the Ito Kazoku, and we finally made them new investigators!! :D We had met them a long time ago, and were in the 'friendzone' so to speak. We had no idea how to introduce our purpose and desire to share the gospel with them in a way that would keep that relationship alive. We didn't want to be too blunt about it, and we went in with no real idea of what to do. We knocked on the door, and they answered, and told us that Ito Dad's parents were over spending time with them. We were bummed, and assumed they'd send us away. But they asked us in! :D :D That's a HUGE DEAL. In Japanese culture, if you have guests you don't even talk to people at the door, you send them away immediately, let alone inviting them in!! So that was SUCH a miracle. So we got to see Ito Grandpa and Ito Grandma and Ito Grandma gave us the PERFECT way to introduce exactly what we wanted to introduce! :D She asked us why we're in Japan, and then about some of our beliefs! :D Was PERFECT! And so we talked about the gospel for a bit with them all, and then the grandparents had to leave, which left us to talk to our friends the Ito's for awhile longer. We talked about eternal families, and eternal happiness, missionary work, and learned a ton about them. They loved our talk and want to hear more! :D So we're WAY excited to start teaching them more formally! And what's way cool, was that Ito Dad was planning on going to work that day, but for some random reason out of nowhere he felt that he shouldn't go to work today, and should stay home. And so that enabled him to meet with us and have a sweet conversation!! :D MIRACLES UP THE WAZOO!! Love it! :D They have an 18 year old son and a two year old daughter that they want the best for, and they're way impressed with how young and yet mature we are, and want their children to have what we have. So we're way flipping excited. :) 
    After the Ito's visit, we decided to go knock on some doors before heading home, and I really scared an old woman in her 60's when she answered the door. :P She opened the door, saw a big scary white man standing there, shrieked, hid behind the door, and then was laughing and WAY embarrassed when she came back out. LOL!! Sometimes being a big white man is just so much fun here. :P She was way cool about it, and we had a fun time talking to her. She has no interest in hearing our message, but it was still way fun :) So yeah, that was my week! We had a great week, and I can't wait for all the good to come. :) 
    I can't believe I've already been here for basically two transfers. This transfer ends on the 29th, and then I more then likely will bid Elder Harper farewell. :( I'm REALLY not looking forward to that. He's become one of my best friends! And I want to keep working with him!! But oh well, such is life, right? And who knows? Maybe we'll stay. ;) 
  I love you all everyone!! Thanks for all you do!
      By the way! Got the package with tons of music, LOVE IT ALL!! Thank you! :D
     Love, Elder Dialogue

 P.S DAD!!! I FOUND THE SHUWA SHUWA COLA cheeto-esqu chip things!! I bought you a bag, I'll send them to you this week. :) I like em!! They're way weird! Enjoy!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Pictures and video week #10

Fun P-Day at the beach

Mike's new favorite treat:  RiceCream

The opposite of fatso

Japan week #10

    I love you all. :) This week has been a bit different. We left Muroran. O.O BUM BUM BUM!! It was nutz, but I'll get to that. So we were going to go to the light house last week, the famous one where you're supposed to be able to see the curvature of the Earth, well we didn't, because of the stupid rainstorm. It rains quite a bit here in Muroran, and ALWAYS on pday it feels like haha!! :) So we decided to give the storm the one two, and went to the beach instead, to build a SANDCASTLE!! :D Glorious, right? We had a ton of fun getting muddy in the rain in the ocean in the sand on the beach. We built like two cities that got destroyed, and a third that will stand through the millennium!! Can anyone guess that quote? ;) Buahaha! We were planning on going to a different beach today if weather wasn't good, but as of now the light house trip is still in action! We're WAY stoked! 
  So since Elder Harper is our District Leader, over the Muroran missionaries and the Tomakomai missionaries, he has to do splits every transfer. The last time the Tomakomai boys came here to do splits, but I couldn't do any work because I was busy being the sickest I've ever been. But this time we went to Tomakomai to dendo for splits. And that was crazy. I've never dendoed outside of Muroran before, and it was way weird for me at first. Only ever been in one area! The train ride is about 30 minutes east, and then a 30 minute walk to the apartment. Not having bikes out here in the country sucks! We ate at a place called babyface for lunch that first day. And I've never gotten so much food for so cheap before. I spent like 9 bucks, for a MASSIVE plate of Ohm Rice the size of my head. My literal head. It was flipping intense. And that's the SMALL size. O.O I don't dare try anything bigger. I did eat all of it though. ;) Haha!! So that first day I dendoed with Elder Mecham, from Utah. He's a RIOT! He's got so much energy, and his Japanese is amazing. And this is only his 4th transfer. Hopefully I can get as good as fast!! We were laughing the entire day, and we got along VERY well. If we had known each other before the mission we would have been really good friends I think. We also taught english class that night. So I taught TWICE this week!! Crazy desho!! The next day I dendoed with Elder Tokuzawa, my buddy from last transfer. He's so much fun to work with, and he's Japanese so I got to speak it all day long, which is ALWAYS great. We met with a man named Brother Tada when I was in Tomakomai. He lived in Idaho, Utah, Montana, and Wyoming for like twenty years, and he's a HUGE hunter. He was way excited when he found out I'm from Idaho and am very good at English. He LOVES ME now, which is crazy. He really wants me to come to Tomakomai now so we can hang out. :P lol! He was a ton of fun, and it's crazy how well I could relate to him. Makes me think we were supposed to visit him. :) 
   But after all was said and done, being back in Muroran was WAY nice. Splits are always nice, but being with your comp in your area always feels so right. 
    So general conference for us was this weekend, and my mind was blown. I've never been so excited for conference before, and I've never gotten so much OUT of conference before. I wrote like 14 pages of notes, and I'm still writing more pages as I study the notes and realize more things and learn more from them. It's really quite incredible. I can't believe I ever didn't like conference before, or didn't try to get more out of it. Boy was I missing out!!
    So that was my week, this week we have a TWO ZONE conference in Sapporo, that's going to be crazy. I get to see some of my buddies from the MTC though since they're in that zone!! So I'M STOKED! And I realized about the packages, they might just be holding them at honbu to give to me at the conference, so we'll see.

Tell Dana I'm way excited for her, and can't wait to hear all the good she does. And if all of Megan's pics are like that one, then they're ALL going to be epic! And I want SO BADLY to scare boys away! Curse my being THOUSANDS of miles away!! Gah! ;) They just haven't met Jake yet I guess, he can handle a bunch of chumps. ;) Have a great week everyone! Know that I love you all and think about you all the time!! LOVE!

      Dialogue 長老