Monday, February 29, 2016

I AM SPIDER-MAN - according to drunk Japanese guy‏ 私はスパイダーマンで す。(酔っ払いのおっちゃん説)

Date: 2/29/2016
Place: Kariya
Companion: Elder Legault


Saw my grandparents again! おじいちゃんおばあちゃんと!
Feb 17
 Yesterday I got to meet a Nagoya Mission legend. Sefa Vaka and his
wife Simi! They just had a baby (she's adorable!). They took all four
of us out to lunch at this burger shop. Man I didn't even know they
had burger shops in Japan! It was good. There a many reasons for these
wonderful folks to be considered legends throughout the mission but
the primary reason is that Sefa is a pro rugby player from Tonga. He's
so cool! We had a wonderful time with him and his wife. Sefa loves to
tell us crazy stories of his adventures. He's had an exciting life.
Haha Sefa and Simi made my day! 
  Then we went all the way out to Tokoname, looking for some less
actives that were in our records but know one had ever heard of. It
took us forever to get out there and we talked to some people on the
trains as we rode. The stop we wanted to go to was one stop away from
the Nagoya Airport! So we almost got to get on the airports nonstop
shuttle but it turns out that was all reserved seating. So we hopped
on an express train of sorts and headed out towards the airport. 
they built the airport here, I guess there wasn't enough room to put
it anywhere or something, so they BUILT AN ISLAND and that became the
airport. Pretty cool! So the only way out there is by taking a train
or driving a car out over the ocean on this long bridge. We were close
enough to the airport that we could see the airplanes taking off close
by but the city was too crowded for us to get a glimpse of the ocean.
I really wanted to see the ocean! 
 Anyway we tracked down this guy's
address and discovered that he had moved a long time ago. But the lady
next door noticed that we were freezing so she gave us a bunch of hand
warmer packets and some hot tea! (I felt so bad when we had to refuse
the tea she made us). We definitely want to go back and return the
favor somehow. 
 Then we rode trains allllll the way but up to 太田川 (Otagawa) eki and
there a member (Miwa 兄弟) picked us up in his car and we continued our
hunt for these phantom less active members. We found another address,
but sadly the apartment was vacant. Then we spent the rest of the
night circling all over Japan, looking for this Chinese Guy's
apartment building. Sadly we never found it. 
  Ok white kid rant moment: JAPANESE TOOTHPASTE!? I ran out of American
toothpaste at the end of last transfer and then when I came to Kariya,
I forgot my American toothbrush up in Matsumoto. So the first thing I
buy when I get here is 100% Japanese dental care. No offense to
Japanese people but I like my American toothbrush and toothpaste!
Sister Romney had an extra tube of toothpaste and was kind enough to
give it to me and Sefa bought me a pack of actual American
toothbrushes at Costco (that's 12 toothbrushes!) so I'm all set now :) 



Feb 19
 We had a miracle today! So first of all, we went to DTM. The zone
leaders were there so shared a short message. I love our district! I
especially love Elder Jenks!! Haha he's super fun! After DTM we went
to an appointment at a members house, the Tsukiyama family. On our way
there, we were at Chiryu station waiting for our train and we started
talking to this high school kid. He started out being kinda awkward
and a little shy but after a minute he warmed up to us and we became
friends! Haha he didn't have any plans for the night so he came to the
Tsukiyamas with us, just to say hi to them! They, of course, wouldn't
let him just say hi but invited him in for dinner with us! So we
talked over the wonderful meal that Tsukiyama Shimai prepared for us
and discovered that our new friend was a very interesting fellow
indeed. He LOVES trains. More than I've ever seen anyone love a hobby.
Trains are his life. He will set at train stations and just watch them
go by for hours. He's very funny and we had a great time with him! The
Tsukiyama family are now great friends with him. We spent most of the
time becoming his friends and by the end, didn't have a lot of time
for a lesson but we did talk about the purpose of life. He was very
very interested and intrigued. He wants to meet us again to talk about
the purpose of life! He had to go so we set another appointment for
two days later and left. So in short: we found a guy on our way to a
member appointment, he ended up joining our member lesson and then set
a next appointment. Miracles! 

 We also had a funny experience with a drunk guy! It was Saturday night
and we had a few minutes so we started talking to random folks. We
ended up running into this guy who was drunk off his face and told us
that we were Spider-Man and superman and that we needed to work
together to protect the earth! So we promised him that we would help
him protect the earth and gave him a Book of Mormon. He tried to give
us a hundred dollars worth of Japanese money for it! Haha when we told
him that we wouldn't accept money he got down on the ground and
started bowing to us on his hands and knees. He talked about Marvel
and the Avengers for a while and we tried to show him the Because of
Him video, hoping that maybe that could leave at least a small
impression on his intoxicated mind. Haha we weren't able to finish the
video though because he wouldn't stop talking. Anyway we made a
promise together to combat the forces of evil and protect the earth
from danger, and then we parted ways. Super fun guy! I hope he read
that Book of Mormon. In a way, we were actually guided to him. I know
we were supposed to give him that Book. Haha even if he doesn't read
it, maybe somewhere down the road someone will. 

 今日は奇跡がありました!まず最初にディストリクト・トレーニング・ミーティングに行きました。ゾーンリーダーたちも来ていて、それぞれ短いメッセージをしてくださいました。このディストリクトが大好きです!特にジェンクス長老と気が合って、彼が大好きです!彼は面白い人ですよ〜!ははは ミーティング後、教会員の築山家族とのアポを取っていたので、訪問しました。その道中、知立駅で電車を待っていた時に、ある高校生の子とおしゃべりしました。おとなしそうな子で、最初はなんとなくギクシャクしていたんですが、だんだんと打ち解けてきて仲良くなることができました。ははは その晩の予定は特にないということだったので、私たちと一緒に来て築山家に挨拶することになりました。築山家の人々はもちろん彼を挨拶だけで帰すわけがなく、夕ご飯に招いてくださいました!築山姉妹が作ってくださった美味しいご飯をいただきながら、おしゃべりを楽しみ、この新しい友達がどんなに面白い人かという発見をしました。彼は電車の熱狂的なファンなんだそうで、今まで見た、どこの誰よりも、彼は電車をこよなく愛しているんです。電車を見る事が大好きで、彼は駅のベンチに座って、電車が行き来するのを何時間も見ていても飽きないんだそうです。彼は面白い子で、すごく楽しかったです。築山家族の皆さんも彼と仲良くなったんですよ。おしゃべりばかりしていて、あまりレッスンする時間がなかったんですが人生の目的についてレッスンしました。とても興味を持ってくれたようで、もう一度会ってまたもっとゆっくり話を聞きたいと言ってくれました。もう彼も帰らなければいけない時間だったので、二日後にまた会う約束をして別れました。簡潔に言うと、教会員の家のアポに行く途中に出会い、結果的に教会員のレッスンに参加し、次のアポをゲットすることができました。奇跡です!
 そういえば酔っ払いのおじさんに関する面白い出来事もあったんですよ!土曜日の夜、少し時間があったので道端で伝道していました。そんな時、ベロベロに酔ったおじさんに出くわし、私達はスパイダーマンとスーパーマンで、一緒に地球の平和を守らなければいけない、と言ってきたのです。一緒に地球の平和を守る約束をし、モルモン書をあげました。お返しに一万円をくれようとしたんですよ!ははは お金は受け取らない由を伝えると、いきなり地に伏して私達を拝み始めたのです。なんとか泥酔状態の彼の心に何かが残るようにと「彼のおかげで」という教会のビデオを見せようとしたのですが、彼のマーベルやアベンジャーの話が止まらないので諦め、お互い悪者に立ち向かい、地球を守ろうという誓いを立てて別れました。面白い人でしたよ!モルモン書読んでくれるといいなぁ。きっとこれも何かの縁でモルモン書を渡すことができたんだと思います。彼が読んでくれなくても、他の誰かが読んでくれるかもしれません。

February 26

 We had a companion exchange with the Toyota elders today!! It was so
fun! I went with Elder Jenks to Toyota and we taught a bunch of
lessons. I got to meet Alia and Lenor, who are way cool! Also Eiji was
there! I love Eiji so much! We had a really good time. Dendoing with
Elder Jenks was really fun! His Japanese is super good and he's a
great missionary. We got to be close friends while we were together. 


 Then in the morning we had District training meeting, then the four
elders went to Sukiya! For those of you who don't know what Sukiya is,
just think of it like this: a bowl of rice covered in thin strips of
cheap, sweet, marinated beef. Today I attempted the King Challenge for
the second time in my mission. The King Challenge is just a
ridiculously large bowl of rice with a ridiculously large mountain of
greasy meat strips on top. I DID IT. I DEFEATED THE KING CHALLENGE.
Haha actually it's not the most impressive of challenges but I did it!
It made me feel like I was going to die though. It was so unhealthy. I
think my body hates me. 

 翌朝、ディストリクト・トレーニング・ミーティングをやって、みんなで一緒にすき家へ行きました。すき家を知らない人のためにちょっと説明を加えますね。すき家というのはご飯の上に薄〜い肉が甘く味付けされている丼が食べられるところです。今日は、日本に伝道に来てから2回目の「キングチャレンジ」をしました。キングチャレンジをクリアするには、莫大な量のご飯の上にめっちゃくちゃ沢山の脂っこい肉が乗っている丼を食べなければいけません。やってのけてしまいました!キングチャレンジを克服!とそこまで言うほどすごい事じゃないんですけどね。笑 こんなにも健康によくない事をして、結構死にそうな思いをしました。身体がかなり拒否反応を示していました・・・

 After that, Elder Legault and set out for a member's house, whom we
had an appointment with. We found the set of danchis that our records
led us to and when we called her to find out which apartment building
she lived in, we discovered to our dismay that she actually lived in
the opposite direction and was nowhere near where we were! Long story
short; there were 711 wifi conbini trips involved, trains, bikes,
walking and a lot of looking stuff up in the phones map. We finally
found her house! Her name is Da Silva Shimai and she is one of my
favorite people! She is a Brazilian lady and her little granddaughter
loves us! Haha she's always very eager to have us look at her little
drawings and her toys and just chatters in Portuguese the whole time.
I love her! We had a good lesson and got to know Da Silva Shimai well.
She is a very strong person and has incredible faith. She has been
sick lately and asked if we could give her a blessing. We of course,
couldn't do it in Portuguese so Elder Legault and I both have our
first Japanese blessing. Elder Legault did an awesome job! He handled
it incredibly well and correctly used the very difficult phrases that
were required in the blessing. We felt the Spirit burning in that
little room as we taught and blessed this wonderful Brazilian lady. 
 その後、レゴ長老と一緒に教会員の方のアポに行きました。彼女が住んでいる団地に着いたので、どっちのアパートかを聞くために電話をかけたところ、まさかの真逆方向が発覚。話すと長くなるので、簡潔にお伝えしますと、セブンイレブンでのwifi、電車、自転車、徒歩と何回もの電話の地図確認を経てやっと家を見つけました!彼女の名前はダ シルバ姉妹と言って、私も凄く大好きな人です!彼女はブラジル人で、私達宣教師は孫娘さんにかなり気に入られたようで、お絵描きやおもちゃをいろいろ見せてくれたり、とにかくポルトガル語でずっと話しかけてくるんですよ。可愛いですよ〜!霊的なレッスンをし、ダ シルバ姉妹の事をもっとよく知る事ができました。彼女は本当にとても信仰の強い方で、最近体の調子が良くないので、私達に癒しの祝福をしてくれないかとの事でした。もちろんポルトガル語では出来ないので、レゴ長老と私は初めて日本語で儀式をしました。レゴ長老、難しい言葉使いやら何やらとっても上手に出来ましたよ!この素晴らしいブラジル人の姉妹に儀式を施し、とても御霊を強く感じた晩でした。

  My iPad has informed me that I just reached my 200 day mark here in
Japan, yesterday. One thought that went through my head was, "Hey
that's a long time. I'm a little over a quarter of the way done." Then
I was like, "SHOOT ME IN THE FACE. I just got here!! I can't be a
quarter of the way done already!!!" Where did all that time go?! Man
mission time is super weird. It just keeps speeding up! I only get 730
days to be a missionary and 200 of them are already gone?! 


  Anyway. I can't believe all that has happened in the last 200 days.
I've met with Japanese, Brazilians, Indonesians, Filipinos, Korean,
Tongan and Nepalese people. I've eaten some weird stuff. I've seen a
lot of miracles. I've seen a baptism. But the biggest change I've seen
has been in myself. I know that God would never ask anyone to do
something that was a waste of time. So in all my efforts here in
Kariya, even though I haven't seen a ton of success as far as numbers
go, I've seen a great change in myself. And that's the most important
thing of all.
Life is good.
Transfer calls are this Saturday. 

 このiPadによると、私が日本に来てから200日が経ちました。最初、(結構長くいるじゃん。もう1/4は過ぎたね)と思ったんですが、ふと我に帰り、(うへぇ〜〜!まだ来たばっかじゃん!もう1/4以上過ぎちゃったの?!) 伝道って恐ろしいほど時間が過ぎていくのが早いですね!730日間しか宣教師ではいられないのに、そのうちの200日がもう過ぎて行ってしまったなんて、、、。
  Love you all and hope life is treating you well.
Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, make sure you are talking to
God and "counseling with the Lord" in all your doings. He will lead
you in the best possible path . I promise. 

Have an awesome week! 

Elder Johnson

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