Monday, August 26, 2013

Japanese Rations

Hey Y'all!
I hope you all had a great week.
To say this week was stressful and exhuasting would be an understatement, but we are pressing forward, slowly.
Elder Buhler has finally given up on the notion of going home and he's ready to tough it out. He's convinced he's going to die, but I think he'll be alright. He's got good vision. If he expands his horizons regarding food then we'll be good to go!
I've got just the thing for him to eat too. :)

Check these out! Japanese military rations. Cool right? Our stake president had a ton of them in his food storage and gave half to us and half to the sisters.
They aren't as delicious or as extravagant as MREs, but they are still pretty tasty. The rice is the coolest part though. The rice actually tastes great! It's just cooked vaccum sealed rice and it lasts forever. Pretty cool right? I'm going to enjoy eating these over the next few weeks. 
We bought Elder Buhler a nice bike today. Now that he's committed himself to stay I think we're going to see twice as many miracles here in Oyama.

That's all the news I've got this week. I'm doing good. I'm super tired but that's just a result of training and being District Leader at the same time. I'm pretty sure I'll be tired right up to the point I come home. Missionaries are tired. That's life ha ha. It's sure fun though!

Thanks for your love and support everyone! Have a great week!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Rice and Miso Flavored Ice Cream

This week was really great. We've really seen the ball start rolling here in Oyama.
Two days ago after a mogi lesson with a member we were feeling that the ward members have a lot of fire but the ward has no dendo plan. We diagnosed the problem as Missionaries being the "Tanto" over missionary work. We have all been trying to bring the ward up to our level and our vision rather than try to follow the Bishop's and Ward Mission Leader's vision. Missionaries change however and the past few transfers have done a bad number on Oyama.  Yesterday President Inaba (our Stake President) came and delivered a super blunt talk about missionary work. Our Ward Mission Leader, Brother Shimizu, said it "singed his ears" but in a good way. After that everyone seems really ready for missionary work. We're going to have an area meeting with the Sisters at another Ward Missionarie's house and discuss some things we can coordinate to help members feel the joy of missionary work. We also scheduled a meeting with the Bishop and Dendo Shunin so we can discuss Oyama's Dendo Future. It's exciting to be a part of such a cool time in missionary work!
Well I'm just about out of time, but this week was a lot of fun.
Elder Buhler and I went with the Sisters and a family in the ward to another member's restaraunt, Misoya Komezou.
Rice and Miso are their specialties and it was soo good. I had a delicious Oyama Wagyu Gyudon. I'm sure you are all wondering what that is. 
You all know Kobe beef right? Well one step under that is Wagyu (I think) and it's famous in Oyama. I had a rice bowl with steak in it and it was celestial. I forgot to take a picture though. For desert we ate Rice flavored and Miso flavored Ice Cream! As strange as that sound, Miso icecream is my new favorite flavor besides strawberry of course.
It was great.
Elder Buhler has stopped losing weight, he still doesn't eat much, but he's eating more than before. He attempted eating sushi and octopus like a boss last week. I was impressed. He still wants to go home, but it looks like he's going to be stuck with me for the time being so training will continue. We found these tiles in the sidewalk yesterday and played Rock Paper Scissors. It was fun. 
Doesn't this insect just look so cute? Does anyone know what it is? 
Yes that's right, it's a cicada and they are really really loud. They're everywhere in Japan right now and you can hear their buzzing and singing for miles around. I hated them at first but they're growing on me a little. Reminds me of crickets back home.
Well that's all I have time for today. Sounds like summer has just about ended there. Good luck to everyone who's going back to school!
I love you all!

Transfers and My Greenie

Hope you're having a good week!
I sure am. I'm about ready to keel from exhaustion though. These past few days have been a blur!

I went to the Mission Home on thursday morning and spent 4 hours in training meetings, They paired us off and then we all got our stuff and went to lunch before heading back to our areas. My new companion's name is Elder Buhler. He's from West Valley City Utah. He's a pretty cool guy. Really smart. He's got a lot of vision but the mission is slowly killing him I think, especially now that he's here in Japan. What I mean by that is he is starving to death. He won't eat anything. I think the 4 things I've discovered he'll eat (Not likes mind you just will eat) are the Noodles from Ramen, Strawberry Yogurt, Toast and Bananas. That's seriously all I've seen him eat. Rach, B, Molly. I thought you 3 were the pickiest eaters I'd ever met, man was I surprised. Elder Buhler is a league or two ahead of you.

We've been following  the church's new missionary training program the last few days and he's pretty good about doing the things I "challenge" him to do. 
He did his first door approach yesterday  and he bore his testimony in sacrament like a champ. I was proud that he's my new missionary ha ha. His Japanese is pretty rocky but he's only been studying two months. We'll work him into it. I'm training him as if he's going to stay here, but he's already expressed to me and to President Budge and the area Psychiatrist that he wants to go home. We'll see what happens. I shared my story with him in hopes that he would see just how much he doesn't actually want to go home. It doesn't seem to be working.

We've been in a million pictures together already and oddly enough I don't have one, sooo when I get one I'll send it.
In addition to training Elder Buhler I'm juggling the responsibility of being district leader. In the area I'm serving there are two sisters and two elders. I have more transfers than the 3 others combined. and there also a new missionary in Utsunomiya which is also in my district. 
6people, 4 Sisters (3 of which are new), 4 New Missionaries
I'm like the dad of this part of the zone and I spend a lot of time on the phone answering various questions. It's a good thing I enjoy it ha ha.
That's pretty much everything that's been happening lately. P-day today is a little jumbled because we have an appointment this afternoon, and Elder Buhler has a bunch of stuff to do. I'll send a more articulate and fun blast next week. 
Thanks for all your love and support!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Examples and Warnings

Hello Everyone!
I hope you are all having a great week! I am for sure! Let me tell you a little about what's happening right now.
First off, I got my transfer call yesterday. Turns out I was right. I am training this next transfer. On top of that I've been called as District Leader for one more transfer. District Leader/ Trainer combination. It's a lot of responsibility but I feel that I'm capable and ready. I can do this with the Lords help. This past transfer has taught me many things about myself and about the importance of the work here in Tokyo. One thing I learned last week really stuck out to me. There are two kinds of people in this world. Examples and Warnings. I heard this from my Zone Leader, Elder Shibuta, during a companion exchange this week and it stuck. I have always tended to put people in thise two categories, even without labeling them as an Example or Warning. I believe that this transfer the Lord has prepared me for next transfer by showing me what kind of Missionary I do and don't want to be. My time with Elder Kim was really difficult, but I wouldn't trade the knowledge I've gained this transfer for anything. I'm excited for the challenges that next transfer will bring.

This week was a good week to experience some of the culture in Japan. Last P-day was temple P-day and afterwards we went to the park to eat McDonalds and hang out with some of the returning Missionaries. You can see the top of the Temple over the trees.

 Then we went to  to Asakusa.  Asakusa is really cool temple in downtown Tokyo famous for the giant Lanters that hang from the gates. 

The Skytree looms in the background and it's a really cool mix of Old and New! I got some of the typical, cheap, tourist souveniers. It was a fun little trip though. Saturday we had a natsu matsuri (Summer festival) and a special music night concert and I worked the sound table. 

It went pretty well. Elder Kim and I even performed, though I can't sing at all. We had our last district meeting of the transfer and I got a picture with the Sisters and Elder Kim. This isn't in order but, Sister Long, Sister Kubota, Sister Vail, Sister Tan, Elder Kim and of course Me. They're an awesome district and next transfer it will be much the same as Sister Long and Sister Kim are the only ones leaving. Both to be replaced by new missionaries! 

Yesterday was P-day again (But I didn't get to write so i'm doing that today) and we went with our friend Shohei to Nikko. Some of you may remember Nikko. It's famous for the Temples everywhere. We actually didn't spend as much time there as we did on the trains but it was fun. Here's a picture of the Shinkyo bridge.

That was my week! Today we have to send Elder Kim's bags to the Airport and get some other things done for him to leave and then we have a bye bye party for Sister Long and Elder Kim. I got to The Honbu with Elder Kim on Thursday Morning to pick up my new missionary. I'm both excited and nervous!
It's going to be a good week!
Have a good one!
I love you all!