Sunday, March 27, 2011
Its sooo goooodddd to hear from you guys! How are you guys doing? I can`t believe another week has passed by already. I`m pretty sure I say that everyweek, but hey, thats just the way things are.
Sounds like there`s some mission news going on over there in Provo. I can`t believe Matt and Calvin are already coming back from their missions! I swear it feels like they just barely left...oh well, I guess I`ll see them in another year and a half then. So do you have any more news on Ryan? I bet he`s going to stay in the MTC forever! I can`t believe he`s already lost 20 pounds! Wow, thats exact opposite of what I`m doing in Japan. I`ve finally accepted the fact that I am indeed getting...larger.bahah I`ve jumped up to 85 kg now! Thats like...187 lbs! If only I could`ve done this when I was playing football. haha I guess my face has gotten pretty round too since I came to Japan. Looks like you can`t call me acorn head anymore now Mom! My goal before the end of my mission is to hit 90 kg!
Well anyways, lets forget about the fact that I`m getting bigger for a second.
On a more serious note...sounds like Ojichan is having some problems with the radiation. Thats pretty much been the case for everyone this whole week. Cursed radiation. A lot of people we contact on the street are people who are hinan-ing (run away panic) ((I`m forgetting English words)) from Tokyoish areas. Japan is in a pretty panic state right now isn`t it? Well, I don`t really blame them either. Atleast the dust is starting to settle and I`m sure Japan will start rebuilding quickly! Thats so awesome that UVU had a fundraiser for Japan! UVU gets a golden star this week.
Oh yeah, and tell Obachan sorry I haven`t written her in a while. Things have been pretty busy so I haven`t really written anyone for about three weeks. I`ll try to write her today in sloppy kanji! Oh and Selena too...I shall trieth to writeth her this day!
Sorry this email is a bit barabara...I can`t really concentrate because I`m half helping Elder Spohr write the zone vision. Well, this week has been way good. I learned a lot in a short amount of time! I`ve noticed places that I need to improve on to become a better missionary. One of them being... *drum roll* the Japanese language! I felt pretty comfortable with my speaking ablilties but lately man, I`ve realized that my vocab is pretty limited and I tend to repeat things when I contact or teach lessons. How do I fix this problem? English fast! And I finally can do it because my companion is...well I guess native Japanese. Dang half-ers, being fluent in both English and Japanese. I`m pretty excited, hopefully this will last my whole mission. But knowing me, I`ll probably burn out and have an anyurism in a week. Oh well, nothing happens until you try!
Well, I`m getting too lazy to write more...but yeah, this week was dope. Life is good! Had some awesome lessons with some awesome investigators, had a good bonding experience fishing with our branch president, our blind investigator on a island is still...well...blind, and one of our investigators looks pretty solid for baptism! The work is defintely moving along over here in Takamatsu! I`ll ganbaru this week so no worries about me! Okay I`m going to go now. Hope you guys are doing awesome! Tell everyone that I love them! LOVE YA! Peace.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
How are you guys? Its so good to hear from you guys again! I`m glad to hear that you guys are doing well over in Provo. Are you guys in spring break already? Thats insane, wasn`t winter break just a few weeks ago? Oh well, times just been flyin by. Selena`s lookin for a job up in SLC eh? What kind of company is she aiming for? Well, I`m sure if she`s not lazy she`ll be able to get it! I`ll pray for her fosho. Hook me up with the 411 mkay.
Ah, EMMA! How is she doing? I was so sad to hear that she had to be muriyari sent home. Tell her I say herro though. I can`t imagine how that must have felt! I mean, this week was pretty hectic for the whole mission. The Kobe mission has gone through so many changes in the past few days. 42 new Tokyo missionaries just barely came in last thrusday. 42! That means the mission has...180ish missionaries? Crazy! I guess all the Tokyo missionaries are now scattered throughout the mission...and now have transformed to Kobe missionaries. But, I heard from the grapevine that most of them are in the Kobe/Osaka side of the mission...but I`m not sure. I think the Takamatsu zone is the only one that didn`t have any changes from the emergency transfer. So, that means Elder Spohr and I will probably be workin together in Takamatsu until May. I`m kind of bummed though because I was supposed to train this next transfer but I guess Japan won`t be taking in any new missionaries this up coming transfer...so yeah. But its all good because I`ll be able to work longer with a Zone Leader so I can learn mucho mucho! I wonder whats going to happen to Ryan though...I think he may be stuck in the MTC for an eternity! bahaha
This week we had Special Leadership Training...oh my goodness, that training was amazing! President McIntyre is an absolute beast when it comes to leadership and training. We had the training up in Okayama and guess who was up there with me? My boy, Elder Burns! It was waaayyyy good. He`s an amazing missionary! I can`t wait for the day we can be companions on our last transfer in some super inaka place or something. Anyways, training usually goes on for three days but because the Tokyo missionaries were coming in, we had to do emergency procedures and cut it to one day...I want my full training! But its okay.
It was crazy though, on the second day of training, President didn`t show up to the morning session of training...we knew something was going down so Elder Spohr and I talked to the Assistants. They were telling us a bit of the situation right when President came in and told us everything that was happening. Ah, it was insane! He even showed us a bit of the news reports of the tsunami and showed us footage of boats, houses and cars being thrown around like toys in the waves. It was intense! So anyways, because all the new missionaries were coming in, we had to cut SLC short...
But, I think change is good. I think that the Kobe mission can only get better from here with all of the influences of the Tokyo missionaries. Its going to be crazy from here on out, but hey, we live and we learn. The earthquake/tsunami has changed a lot in Japan. Theres a whole different atomosphere here. I think this experience really humbled everyone...and now its time to watch Japan begin rebuilding with the help of the others. Its so great to watch people help one another! Ever since the disaster, there have been countless people helping both locally and internationally. Sometimes, I get a chance to glimpse at the news or watch people doing fundraisers and I find it interesting to watch how people, even nations have strengthened and developed the most basic Christlike Atrribute, love. Just like Senba Choro told me my first transfer "Love is Motion." It really is, love leads to selfless service and its awesome wathcing all of it unfold over here in Japan! I`m so blessed to be in here at this time. I can`t go over to Sendai/Tokyo and help, but I can do my part by telling everyone about Christ`s Atonement and how through the grace and mercy of our Lord, those thousands of people who unfortunately passed away will have a chance through the plan that God has prepared for us aka the plan of happiness. Ah so good!
Well, I gotta go. I hope you guys are doing awesome! Things are going great over here. There`s so much thats going on right now but there`s no possible way I could type all of it...because I`m too lazy. haha but we do have two investigators set for baptism in April! Pray for them won`t ya? OKBYE!
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Oh my goodness, this week was a disaster! I can`t believe all of this happened in such a short amount of time. Its so unreal...how can all of this happen? I don`t really know what to say...but I guess I`ll share my experience.
It started Friday afternoon during one of our lessons. Our investigator had his radio on when we entered his apartment and we heard a bit about some earthquake up in Sendai. I didn`t really take it too seriously because I thought it was just another small earthquake in Japan but our dendo shunin and the AP`s started callin us a bunch during the lesson. After the lesson, our dendo shunin hooked us up with all of the information about the earthquake and the tsunami. I heard that the magnitude of the earthquake was about 8.8! I know nothing about earthquakes but I know that thats a pretty insane number! Turns out there`s already thousands of people who`ve already died because of the tsunami and the earthquakes. Half of Toohoku was ripped into the ocean because of the 10 meter waves and boats where thrown 5 kilometers into the mainland. Tokyo is on flames and I heard from one of the memebers that Tokyo tower is bent because of the earthquakes. Its killing me not knowing whats really going on because we can`t watch the news but we`ve learned a lot through our memebers and talking to people on the streets. Elder Spohr and I were a bit disobedient cause we went to the shiyakusho to take a peak at the news because we were dying to know...but its okay, we`ve already repented. haha I think I`ll learn more through out this week because it`ll be the talk of the town for at least a month.
Anyways, Elder Spohr and I were pretty worried. Elder Spohr`s grandparents are up in Aomori and his mom and brother`s in Tokyo right now. I was super fuantei because I know a bunch of missionaries up in Sendai and I was more worried about Obachan when I heard a magnintude 4.4 earthquake hit Ibaraki-ken too. Thats right next to Gunma-ken right? Friday was pretty hectic for us on Shikoku. President called us and told us to warn the whole zone to stay away from the ocean and rivers. We were on the verge of evacuating because there was news that a 3 meter tsunami was heading towards us. A lot of the people near the ocean started to evacuate towards the mountains and higher levels...but we just kept on dendoing towards shinai. It was pretty scary because around 6:40 pm a loud siren went off throught the city and there was a tsunami warning. Elder Spohr and I paniked! but forutnately the tsunami was only 30 cm and we were pretty far from the ocean so it was all good.
I can`t believe all of this is happening right now. I can`t believe Japan is in such calamity and disaster...ah, I want to help my brothers and sisters out so bad but all I can do is pray. We fasted this Sunday for the people in Toohoku and all of the missionaries too. I don`t know though, just after praying...I had a feeling that our friends and family are going to be okay in Tokyo and Sendai. I just...knew that they were going to be okay. But I was so happy when I heard from President McIntyre that all of our missionaries in Japan are safe. Most of their missionary work from here on out will probably be rebuilding Japan through service. All I can do is pray for their safety and do my part over here in the Kansai region. Now I need to work extra hard to spread the good news, give comfort to those in need and help people realize that there is a loving God even at this time. (And don`t worry Mom, we won`t use the Plan of Salvation just as a cheap scheme to get more investigators) I`m so relieved that Obachan and rest of the family is okay too. Oh and Spohr Choro`s family is safe too but there`s still earthquakes going on...
Well, anyways this week has been insane. I don`t really have time to write much more but I want you guys to keep on praying for the people over in Toohoku. They`ve lost everything and they need the support to rebuild their lives. I realized how fragile human life is and how weak we really are. But, I think once the dust settles and Japan gets back on it`s feet, more people will understand the concept of a loving God and accept this Gospel.
Oh yeah, Kondo Kyodai`s baptism went through this Sunday! It was a great service and Kondo Kyodai seemed so happy. His testimony at the end was priceless! Him getting baptized...is seriously a miracle and his conversion story is insane. I`ll have to update you more on that next week. bahaha. Sunday was full of miracles. After the service, one of our kind of progressing investigators came up to us and asked us "So am I still getting baptized?" Haha! I swear, miracles happen in Takamatsu! I love this place. And next week is going to be amazing too. We have leadership training in Okayama for three days so we won`t really have much time to dendo but I`m so excited. I`m going to learn and try to grow as much as I can because President has high expectations for young missionaries to become leaders. Whoot!
Anyways, I need to go go. Hope you guys are doing well! I love you guys!
Friday, March 11, 2011
Hey guys, just thought you'd like an update on Rex's safety admist the awful earthquake/tsunami that has just hit Japan. Luckily, Rex's area had not been hit. However, his area is near the harbor and is now in the tsunami warning zone if there is to be another wave. According to the mission blog, they have evacuated all missionaries in the warning zone.
We don't know for sure about Rex individually but we assume that he is one of those that were evacuated and will be safe.
Please include the people of Japan in your prayers. Thanks.
We don't know for sure about Rex individually but we assume that he is one of those that were evacuated and will be safe.
Please include the people of Japan in your prayers. Thanks.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Hey hey hey! I have some BIG news for you guys!
Oh my goodness, you guys won`t believe how much the mission has changed for me now. This last transfer call has completely blown my mind! Completely! So many things have turned around and changed. I never in a million years would`ve guessed something like this would happen.
Okay, is everyone ready? So my new area is now...TAKAMATSU! AAAHHHH Shikoku baby! I`ve been sent out to the island! I seriously can`t believe it and I know Richard is probably happy now! Can you believe that I`m serving in the same area he did two years ago AND its Momma Christensen`s hometown too?! Can you say miracle? I have no doubt that President McIntrye is an inspired man for sending me here. BIKURI! Well...there`s so many things that I need to explain...but I`m far too lazy to type everything that happened so I`ll give you the daitai 411.
So, I shall begin.
The first part of the week: Iwade
So, I was almost 99.888754% sure that I was going to stay in Iwade so I made myself nice and comfortable, until Tuesday that is. We got our transfer call in the morning from President and the first missionary he talked to was Elder Niven. Elder Niven was a stay in Iwade so I thought I had another transfer in Iwade with him...but then President punched me through the phone by telling me that I was going to be transferred to Takamatsu and be trained by a zone leader! I couldn`t believe it. But shoot, I`m not going to lie, I was bummed/excited by the transfer call. It was kind of a bittersweet feeling because I was so excited for Takamatsu but at the same time...yeah. I mean, I had to leave an awesome branch, amazing investigators and the fact we had a baptism planned for the next week just got to me. So I sat wondering why I would be transferred after working so hard and being so close to a baptism. It really bothered me. But, after a lot of thinking and a some solid prayers, I started realizing that I must have done what the Lord needed me to do in Iwade and now He needs me in Takamatsu. I know that the Lord understands my circumstances and that He has a responsiblilty for me in each area. Understanding that made me feel better and I started getting pumped up for dendo in Takamatsu.
It was sad saying bye to my investigators in Iwade though. I thought I was going to stay so I had no kokoronojunbi to say bye to them. Really, it was heartbreaking. One of my investigators, who`s an ojichan, was pretty sad that I was leaving. He such an awesome guy! His names Iwabuchi and he`s a 70 year old Japanese guy who pretty much lived his whole life in Brazil. He has a desire to find the true church and he feels that he can trust us when we say that this is the true restored chruch of Jesus Christ. Man, he`s such a amazing investigator! It was so sad though, at the end of the lesson I prayed for him because it was my last time, and he started to cry during the prayer. Ah, it was so sad! But no worries, I have no doubt that he`ll be baptized and become a general authority or something. Then after saying bye to all of our investigators, I had my last lesson with our yakusokusha, Fukunaga, before transfers. He`s looking pretty good I would have to say! We went out to eat ramen with him after our lesson...twas a good experience.
The second part of the week: Transfers/Takamatsu
So, after saying goodbye to everyone in Iwade, I set off to transfer. By this time I was super excited to go to Takamatsu and meet my new companion. By the way, my new companion`s name is Elder Sphor. He is a stud! He`s a half Japanese/American from Tokyo who`s ped at both English and Japanese. He`s really a great missionary and zone leader! I love that guy! We get along really well because he`s just like me and loves guitar too. A good amount of down time consists of us talking about guitars. bahaha we should probably dendo harder though. Nah, nevermind we do work hard!
Anyways, Takamatsu area is amazing! I love it so much! Its right by the ocean and its pretty darn city so dendo is good. There`s a huge shotengai that we dendo almost every night. I swear that thing is probably a mile long and its golden for finding! The branch is awesome too! Our brach president, Akamatsu Kaicho is a stud! We already have two fishing trips set up with him this transfer! Don`t worry, these fishing trips are for dendo purposes. (One of our investigators is a blind lady who lives on a island miles away so we`re planning to do some ocean fishing whlie we wait for the ferry) Its so dope that I have connections to Takamatsu! I mean, Richard`s mom`s from Takamatsu and Richard served here two years ago! How awesome is that?! One of the memebers here, Tabakodani Kyodai, was so surprised to hear that I was related to the Christensens. He busted out an old record of missionaries who used to serve in the branch and lo and behold, Richard`s profile was in it! hahah and so was his wedding pictures! Who would`ve known that my picture would be in the church even before I came?
As you can tell, I love Takamatsu. The Lord has blessed me so much by sending me here! There are so many miracles that are unfolding right before my eyes! Whats amazing is that we have a baptism going through this next Sunday! His name is Kondo Kyodai, he`s an amazing investigator with a really, REALLY interesting story! Which unfortunately, I don`t have time sharing. But I will...someday...someday.... Anyways, I love this guy from the bottom of my heart. He passed the baptismal interview with flying colors this Sunday too! Now its time to just help him prepare for baptism. Please pray for him!
Ah, there`s so much I want to tell you guys...but there`s just too much! I`m sorry I took up this whole email just talking about myself! How are you guys? I`m so happy to hear from you guys every week! Its such a booster! Well, I hope you guys are doing amazing as usual. Mom and Dad, I love you guys! Selena and Richard....well I guess I love you guys too. (I kid, I kid) Have an amazing week! BYE!