Monday, January 23, 2017

Drunk guys, tech support and Brazilian companion exchanges!

Date: 1/9/2017
Place: Shizuoka City
Companion: Elder Nakatsuka

This week has been awesome! President Ishii has been asking us to use
Family History in dendo for a long time but none of know the first
thing about using family history to find investigators so this week we
went on a little quest to find out how to make it work. We had briefly
tried it as a mission about a year ago but it didn't really work so
everyone stopped. The APs had a phone conference with the other
missions in Japan and asked if anyone was doing anything with family
history. We weren't able to get a lot a useful information out of that
either it seems so we were pretty much left on our own to figure this
hint out. So we borrowed elder Hovorka's mad computer skills and
printed off a bunch of family history fliers that he helped make while
he was in the mission home. By recommendation from Elder Coleman in
Toyota, I printed off a ton of family pictures and remade my 'My
Family' booklet (my last one got ruined by the rain in Inuyama) so
that I would have something to show people when I OYMed them.

ADD moment: We're sitting at the church right now emailing and Brother
Sasaki comes in and asks Elder Hovorka to help him fix his laptop.
After he finishes fixing the laptop, Brother Sasaki reaches into his
bag and pulls out a tablet for him to fix. Then he pulls out ANOTHER
tablet! Then he pulls out ANOTHER tablet! So currently Elder Hovorka
is fixing a lot of devices. Haha anyways. Sasaki is current favorite

So back to family history dendo. We had two exchanges this week. I
went with Elder Hovorka, armed with a bunch of family history dendo
materials that I had no idea how to use, and we headed out for Shimizu
in search of a less active kid. We talking to people on the street
along the way and the family history dendo actually worked really
really well! We got one! We oymed this guy that is actually interested
in making a family tree with us at the church! We'll see what comes of
that later. We never quite made it out to see Jun kun (the kid we were
hunting down). It was a cold day but we saw a lot of success! Then the
next day I had an exchange with Elder Ribeiro from Fukuroi. We saw
crazy miracles! I picked him up from the train station and we went
straight to the Old Folk's home and talked with Jichans and Bachans
for a couple hours. Then we went home and did some training and talked
about his area's dendo. 

Then we booked it out to Shimizu and found Jun kuns house, 
only to discover that the apartment was vacant! He must
have moved. After calling a bunch of ward members we confirmed that no
one has any idea where he disappeared to. Darn. Then we went home and
changed and got ready for basketball dendo. All four of us went to the
city's gym all ready to play some ball and meet some folks and then
discovered that we had misread the schedule and also open basketball
is not really a thing at that gym. That was way sad and we bought some
17 ice cream at a vending machine to console ourselves and then we
went home and changed back into missionary clothes. 

Elder Ribeiro and I went through the city center to go hunt down another young less
active but the OYMs were so good that we never quite made it! We saw
way funny miracles! We found a cool guy by our apartment, then this
guy that we talked to in the center of town ended up being way drunk
and invited us into the tavern he had just come from to meet all of
his friends. So we went into the tavern and talked to everyone there
and even got to hand out a family history flier! It was way fun and
really weird! 

Then on the way back Elder Ribeiro and I were talking
about American and Brazilian pop culture and of course, pineapple pen
came up. We were stopped at a light and started talking to this high
school kid behind us about pineapple pen. We ended becoming friends
and got his number. We laughed about that one for quite a long time
afterwards. It was such a weird, funny day of dendo! I love Elder
Ribeiro and Elder Hovorka. Way good guys :).
The fun part is that this time I got to stay in Shizuoka and just go
finding. We found around 4 guys I think. Not bad. It's been a good

Sunday we saw insane miracles! We had a bunch of people we were really
hoping to see in church and four of them made it so that was cool!
Tatsu kun came, Kato san (Matsunaga 姉妹's friend), Hitoshi san and
Nakamura (Shizuoka 2's Toothless Wonder miracle investigator!). I got
to sit next to one of our elderly members during sacrament to help
prop him up. He has a bad track record of falling asleep and falling
out of his chair during meetings. 

In Sunday school Kato san and I talked a little bit and she expressed that 
she wants to study Christianity as a faith! So as soon as class ended she and 
Matsunaga shimai and the sisters set up a day to meet. She's going to start
taking the lessons! I think she could get baptized very soon. Elder
Nakatsuka had a long talk with Hitoshi san while all of this was
happening and when I came back, they were setting a baptismal date for
him! My companion is a beast. I'm way excited for Hitoshi.
One thing I love about my responsibilities here in the zone is that I
get to hear about all of the success happening in Shizuoka prefecture.

Elder Yamazaki and Elder Cox in Numazu had a baptism this Sunday!
Brother Sudath is the first baptism in Numazu in three years. The
Elders and the Sisters in Fuji both saw a lot of miracles this week
and I think we might be hearing about some baptismal candidates really
soon. Fukuroi is also seeing some incredible miracles happening with
their less active guy they have been working with. Some very
unexpected blessings came from his return to the church that may also
lead to some baptisms. The Hamamatsu 2 elders baptized Ishigure san
about a month ago and now his mother is asking to be baptized as well.
More cool miracles happening throughout the zone. Elder Taylor and
Hovorka were able to meet up with Nakamura san last week and he's back
on track for baptism at the end of the month! It's been a really good
week for the zone and this week should be even better! Keep praying
our missionaries! They're working hard.

I learned a lot this week about praying always. Elder Bednar gave a
really good talk about praying always in October 2003 that I like.
There is a power that comes from actually praying always. And the cool
part is that you can even pray for help to remember to pray always! We
are being blessed incredibly as the mission continues the Baton
Fasting Marathon. Please keep praying for us!

Love y'all!

Elder Johnson

Ps: if anyone has ANY ideas on how to use family history in missionary
work please let me know!

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