Monday, July 25, 2016

I Kiss a Giant Flying Insect セミとキス

Date: 7/25/2016
Place: Inuyama, Aichi
Companion; Elder Gubbay


I apologize for being so terrible at writing! Last week was
incredible! We had such great success!


On Monday, we went with Fabio to teach Sally.
Her lesson went pretty well and we'll keep working with her.
Then went over to Manuel and Carmen's house to
teach them and they were able to convince Victor (Manuel's Dad) to
come out and have Family Home Evening with us! It was a great lesson
taught by my amazing companion in his beautiful Spanish. Then we got
to go to trainers training and I got to meet a bunch of old friends!
It was great to get to see everyone again. Then we went home and biked
up the side of the mountain to see our peeps in Kakamigahara. Haha I
love just saying the name of that place! We went and saw Lin and
Sheryn, our Filipina moms who live up there, I was so touched by how
sincerely she wanted to have God back in her life again. We offered to
teach her the lessons and she agreed. They both committed to read the
Book of Mormon and to come to church. Sadly, they didn't show up on
Sunday though :(. It's ok we'll keep working with them.
Then on Thursday we met with Fujisaki Shimai's referral, a friend from
her hula class! She's WAAAY cool! It's super refreshing to finally
have a legit Japanese investigator!

みんなに会えて、本当に良かったです。それからうちに帰って、自転車で山を登り、各務原へ向かいました。ハハハ この地名、言いにくくて笑っちゃいます!フィリピン人のママ友のりんさんとシェリンさんに会いに行ったんですが、どれだけ神様の教えに沿った生活をしたい、と思っているかが手に取るように感じられて、とても心を打たれました。レッスンをやることに承諾してくれ、モルモン書を読んで、教会にも来ると約束してくれました。残念ながら、日曜日に教会には来ませんでしたが、、、。まあ、ぼちぼちですね。

Today was a good day. We finally got to teach Xiou Nishida Shimai and
get her started on the A/B lessons, which was good. We've been trying
to do that for a really long time! Things are going much better in her
life right now. Then we went finding and found a new potential
investigator! She was raised Born Again Christian but since there are
no Born Again churches in the vicinity she might start meeting with
us! Then we went to dinner at the Guinoza family's house. It was
awesome! It was Carmen's first time eating sushi (haha and likely her
last - she didn't like it). We had a great time and my companion used
his amazing Spanish speaking powers to get to know them better. Haha I
had little to offer in the Spanish department but at least I
understood most of what was being said! What a beautiful language.

それからグイノザ家族のお宅へ夕飯を呼ばれに行きました。美味しかったですよー!カーメンさんの初の寿司体験でした。(あまり好きではなかったようなので、多分これが最初で最後。笑)私の同僚が、彼の持っているスペイン語パワーを使ってくれて、楽しい時間を過ごせました。ははは スペイン語部門では、何も貢献できずの私でしたが、まあ言われていることはだいたい理解できたので良しとします。それにしても、スペイン語ってとても綺麗な言語ですね。

Elder Gubbay making Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki with the Tsuchiya family! 

We had a really good lesson with Kawaguchi San (Fujisaki Shimai's
referral) today! The Spirit was there as we testified of Eternal
Families. She told us about how her grandkids came over and how they
all had so much fun together and how much she loves her family. Then
we taught her about how they can all be together forever and she
really wanted to believe it. I feel that she is still very
prepared to accept the Gospel! She knows it will make her happier. It
was a great lesson today and Brother Tsuda and Sister Fujisaki were
an incredible support. The Spirit was definitely in the room with us
today! It felt good to finally teach a proper lesson in Japanese, at
the church.
Other than that, not a lot happened today. We spent the rest of the
day hunting down addresses for Less Active members who live close.
Turns out that most of the addresses were wrong or the person we were
looking for had moved away a long time ago.


Found a good spot for sun flair shots :) 逆光を使って写真撮影

But I will tell a story of the weirdest kekko (decline to hear the
Gospel) I have ever received. It was on Sunday and we were at the Kubo
family's house devouring their delicious tacos when I received a phone
call from an unknown number. So I picked up:
Me: "Hello?"
Stranger: "Hello this is Mr Ito"
Me: "This is Elder Johnson. Can I help you?"
Me: "Elder Johnson. I'm a volunteer missionary for the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints."
Stranger: "Oh. Kekko desu. (I'm not interested)
*hangs up*
Haha I guess someone must have dialed a wrong number and decided to
kekko me for no reason while he was at it! Kubo Kyodai and I had a
good laugh about it afterwards.

ははは 誰かが宣教師の携帯に間違い電話をしてしまって、びっくりして勢いでいきなり「結構」!もうあとで、久保兄弟と大爆笑でした。

We had Weekly Companionship planning. Both Elder Gubbay and I have a
lot of ideas and both of us like to talk soooo.... Our planning
session took about 4 and a half hours! But we got an awesome week
planned so all is well. I have a hard time sitting still for a long
time so towards the end I was going a little crazy but we made it out
the door with no injuries. 


We visited Shima, a new PI, but she wasn't
home so we left a plate of cookies on her doorstep (yeah we made
cookies without
burning the apartment!)
Then we went and visited Daisuke, whom we have been trying to meet for
a very long time and HE WAS HOME! We shared a quick testimony with him
and felt the Spirit together there on the doorstep. He said he would
come with his cousins to the French activity on Saturday!
It would make me so happy to see Daisuke sitting with the Ang family in church.
Oh! Also we OYMed this lady and her nephew at a stop light. She's
Peruvian so Elder Gubbay spoke to her in Spanish and she
became a really strong potential investigator!
What a great day! I love my companion :)

なんていい1日! 同僚が大好きです。

Today was ZTM! I LOVE OUR ZONE! Elder Decker transferred in and
Brother Nathan Sherman got to attend zone training meeting with him so
that was pretty cool (they were MTC companions). Brother Sherman went
to the Fukuoka mission and was doing awesome work there until he got
hit by a car. So he came here to stay with his grandparents while he
is in recovery. He's completely healed now and so they are just
waiting for paperwork and approvals and stuff but while he's waiting,
he serves in the honbu (mission office) and does stuff with the Fukutoku missionaries
and is an ABSOLUTE BOSS! I love that kid :). His Japanese is incredibly good.


Anyway we had a super good ZTM by our awesome zone leaders Elder
DeSpain and Elder Mclellin. Our zone leaders are awesome guys and
incredible missionaries. It was fun getting to see a bunch of friends.


Today we had French class again! It was AWESOME! So many people came!


We had a couple of first timers. Laura came today, which I think was a
huge step for her! We have been meeting with her and her mom every now
and then for a really long time and she hasn't been able to come to
anything until today! Sister Tsutsumi is an angel and gave her a ride.
She also said that she would come to church tomorrow!
Also DAISUKE CAME TODAY!! Yes!!! We took him a plate of cookies the
other day and they LOVED it. We were able to get him to come
today with the Ang sisters.
Miracles man.


French cooking class! That's me, Laura, Daisuke, Brother Ang, Sister Tsutsumi, Elder Gubbay, Kylene, Sister Watanabe, Joy and Bruna


Then we went hiking with Fabio and Yasui! It was my first time going
on an actual, intense hike in a whole year! The Gifu mountains are
incredible and the weather was perfect! We summited a small, densely
forested mountain overlooking all of our area. We could see all of the
mountains and little Japanese towns up north, all the way down to the
ultra-modern metropolis of downtown Nagoya. 


Pano from the mountain top 頂上からパノラマ

The mountains of Gifu 岐阜の山脈

Mountain selfie. It's been a while since I've taken one of these haha
Man I miss hiking and
being in nature and taking pictures while getting bit by mosquitoes!
Yasui San had so much fun! He kept telling us over and over on the
ride down how much he enjoyed the trip :).


Yasui san and me - this trail got a lot steeper than I expected! Beautiful hike though


The crew 山登りの仲間たち

Model shot :) モデルの真似

Afterwards we went on a finding adventure! It was way fun!
This is seriously the life. I get home everyday feeling AWESOME! Being
a missionary is seriously the biggest adventure you could ever go on
and I'm having a blast! I used to hate finding people because I just
saw it as, "let's go out and see how many people are mean to us and
tell us to go away." But now I have found that there is joy not just
in the finding but also in the searching for those who are prepared to
hear the Word of God. Some days I find myself running from house to
house because walking just won't do. I know it sounds weird and I
probably look like a freak but it's so FUN! And one thing that I've
found is that when we truly start to enjoy searching, is when God is
more likely to let us find someone we can teach. I'm beginning to
learn to feel the Spirit more. I don't think I'm incredibly sensitive
to it yet but I have definitely been noticing it more and just all
around feeling awesome-er as of late. Life is good :)


Today was so fun! Lots of random, awesome, fun stuff happened! So a
month or two ago, this random guy showed up during church and sat
himself down and listened attentively to everything. He was decently
open to what we had to say to him and we taught him a basic lesson
during Gospel principles class. He is a very pensive guy and he
thought hard about it but he wasn't super open to meet with us again
or exchange phone numbers. He disappeared and we never saw him again
UNTIL TODAY. Apparently he saw us at a crosswalk and also at the store
recently and took it as a sign that he should come back to church so
today he just randomly showed up again! I stayed with him for all
three hours of church and tried to answer his questions. This time he
had a lot and they were really hard to understand in Japanese. Mostly
he is interested in the organization of the church. We taught him as
best as we could, this time he gave us his phone number and said he
would be willing to meet during the week, and then he left. Way cool!
Then we went to Koyama shimais house with Fabio and gave her the
sacrament. Then we all went together to the Guerrero's house warming
party! Their new house is not as far as I thought and it's BEAUTIFUL.
They fed us and we had a grand time hanging out with the members
there. I love the Guerrero family so much! They are a huge part of
this Ward. Also today was Joanna's last day in church here!:( She is
returning to the Philipines and we will miss her a lot.


Photo bomb shot :) 写真撮影の邪魔者が後ろに :)

Then we went to the Saito family's place (again with Fabio, that man
is incredible) and had a churrasco party with the Saito family and
Cynthia and her family! They are all Portuguese speaking (Bro and Sis
Saito are Nikkeijin – 2nd generation Japanese, but are pretty much Brazilian). It was my first
legit churrasco and also was a huge overload of Portuguese! Man I'm
not able to understand as much as I thought I could haha! It was super
fun! I love both of those families so much! They haven't been to
church in a very long time but they said they would come next week!
There's been all sorts of problems that make it hard for them to come
so please pray for the Saito family and for Cynthia's family!

And now, finally an explanation for the title of this email! Here in
Japan, it's Semi Season. Semi are the giant cicadas that live here and
make obnoxiously loud, siren-like mating calls all day long. Imagine
the ugliest looking insect in the world, a little bigger than a
fun-size snickers bar, with wings, no brain and no sense of direction.
Well I was biking home one night and one of them critters comes flying
out of nowhere at the speed of sound and hits me right in the mouth!
That was super gross.

Also there are a lot of really great t shirts that people wear here
with random phrases in English and the they have no idea what it says.
I saw a lady at a train station wearing a shirt that said "Be Flap
Like a Little Bird." And another that said "Draw a Picture of a

So that's my challenge to you all this week.

LIVE in the moment,

LOVE now


Aight love y'all!
Have a great week!

Elder Johnson

それから斎藤家にファビオさんと行きました。(このファビオさん、本当に最高です)そして、斎藤家の皆さんと、シンシアさんのご家族と一緒にチュラスコパーティー!みなさんブラジル人なので、この日は、ポルトガル語がメインでした。(斎藤夫婦はお二人とも日系2世なんですが、ほとんどブラジル人です)これが私の初めてのチュラスコで、大量のポルトガル語に埋もれて、圧倒してしまいました。残念ながら、自分で思っていたより、私はポルトガル語がわかっていなかったようです。ハハハ でも、めっちゃ楽しかったですよ。この2家族が、大好きです。ここのところずっと教会に来れなかったんですが、来週は来てくれるそうです!なかなかいろいろあって、教会に行くのが大変のようなので、皆さんも斎藤家とシンシアさんの家族のために、お祈りしてあげてくださいね。