Friday, August 25, 2017

Transfers!! and a wedding (8/21/17)

Ok I need to be quick on this one.  Spent a bit too much time on other emails. Haha

Tuesday: We did Eikaiwa and had dinner at an investigators house. We did this super Japanese thing where ramen noodles go down this thing of bamboo while water is running down. I have to say, I thought I was good at using chopsticks until I had this challenge. I also got to feed my companion a bunch of Japanese delicacies while he was blindfolded for his good-bye Eikaiwa. It was a ton of fun though I felt bad about the fish guts marinated in salt.

Wed: Kind of a normal day. We met with a less-active member which was really nice and set up an appointment to have him meet with the bishop this last Sunday! Also he went to church for the third time in a row so he is officially an active member!! WHOOO!

Thursday: I said goodbye to my companion Elder Bachman and said hello to my new senior companion Elder Schulze. He was also my district leader back in Iwamizawa when I was with Elder Seki. Elder Schulze is an amazing missionary. He is transfer 16 (though he has 17 transfers because he was fast tracked in the MTC) and is from South Jordan Utah.  It really is a small world after all. Well, for Mormons that is.

Friday: We tried to meet a bunch of people this day and had our Eiken class. It went really well and we have three gaijin (foreigners) in our area now.  Sister Nakazawa transferred out and a sister named Sister Reynolds came in.

Saturday: We were at a wedding reception pretty much all day. Two people from our ward got married which was amazing! It's weird how the second wedding reception I've been to was in Japan. It went really well and we sang "when there is love at home" The bride's name is Ai which means love so there were obviously a lot of puns floating around. I also got to see Elder Seki and one of the Koyama's from Moiwa. I pretty much spent the whole night just walking around and talking to almost every member in our ward.

Sunday: Had a lunch party for the wedding peoples because there were a ton of visitors. We also went to a super rural part of our area to find and talked to a super cool family that might have interact.

Oh, and I'm still in Shinoro,

Love you all,

Elder Harvey

BBQ in the rain! (8/14/17)

Hey everybody this week flashed by so fast! It's hard to believe that it's already been a week since last week's email but a ton happened this week! In short we ate a lot of food this week haha. 

Monday: We finally got asked to do service by a member; it was great! We pulled weeds in their backyard. Well more like this tiny garden like thing. People don't have back or front yards in Japan. Though we pulled a ton of weeds it seems like just because of how big the weeds were. Literally some of them were half my height. Then we got fed dinner by them which was super nice of them! 

Tuesday: We did a lot of stuff on Tuesday I feel but really not a whole lot to write. We had Eikaiwa (English class) which was a blast. We also had the Free Family English thing a little before that and we made this dish called Monja.  It's really hard to explain, like really hard to explain. Though it was super good! And instead of your normal utensils you eat it with this super mini spatulas.

Wednesday: We had our first Zone Conference with President McClure! It was super bomb. We talked a lot about finding but it just flowed super well this time. Everyone could really tell the difference in this zone conference. To say the least we are super lucky to have gotten President McClure as a Mission President. We also had a lesson with a less-active member which went super well. We had a member there and everything just flowed super naturally. 

Thursday: We had the usual DCS, DKK (planning meeting) and the Kudou family's lesson. Though this week the lesson went super well. The sisters talked about the atonement of Jesus Christ. They did the example where they make a drink (they had mayo, ketchup, bulldog sauce, goma dressing, and other salad dressing) by having everyone choose whatever they want to put in as their "sins".  Then the sister junior companion drank it like it was nothing. Absolutely downed it without stopping or gagging and just continued to teach. But not only that but we had 2 members and the spirit was super strong throughout the whole lesson. 

Friday: We did service for a different member. This time we pretty much helped move stuff. They had this shed like thing in which they had a TON of junk. We ended up moving all of it out and sweeping out the place (though we just happened to find a broom on our own and I was like IMMA SWEEP) Though the real hard part was the massive numbers of spiders. I kid you not hundreds of spiders. We also did Eiken which went pretty well this time. 

SATURDAY! We had a BBQ. So we had planned this thing for weeks. Little did we know though that not only did it rain but it was near the O-bon holiday. O-bon is like respect for the dead day. It is a HUGE HUGE holiday here. Basically a ton of places are closing down for the week because everyone goes to the grandparents house. Though despite rain and O-bon we went through undaunted and a bunch of members and some non-members came. It was absolutely great! Needless to say I ate my stomach's full.

So he is using an air compressor to heat up the coals. On the grill closer to the camera it got so hot that the black coating on the bottom of the grill melted off. Oh, also this is by far my favorite member in this branch. He is SO nice and is kind of like our grandpa. 

Sunday: We had church which was really sad. Elder Bachman's last of everything it seemed like. He also gave a farewell talk which was really sad. Though overall it was an amazing day. We talked with a bunch of members.  Practiced with the Primary to Sing Love at home for the wedding reception this saturday and made a bunch of plans with members. We also had dinner at the Miharas (the 2 that are getting married) It was a blast. The sisters gave a lesson on faith. Before the video started the mans mother and wife-to-be kept flinching and saying don't do it. It was super funny. 

More Matsuris!! (8/7/17)

This week has been a blast!!! SO MUCH happened this week so I will try to write what I can.

Monday: It was raining so we walked around for 3 hours for dendo. It also turned out that one of our best investigators just up and moved away on us .   :(

Tue: We made crepes at an investigators house. It was a ton of fun and we totally messed up at the start. I have vids! We also had Eikaiwa (English class) which went really well. Though we had to do it upstairs because they were preparing for a funeral where we usually do Eikaiwa.

Wed: I was on splits in the Higashi area! It was super rad. We went to a bunch of members houses and gave short lessons on our area plan. We also tried to visit some other people but no one else was home. Me and Elder Yamazaki also had ramen for dinner and I had some weird spicy Chinese ramen. Completely forgot the name of the ramen but it was delicious.

Thursday: We had our normal weekly planning and such but a miracle happened after! The family that we usually do English and missionary lessons fed us. And not just any normal food, they fed us COSTCO PIZZA!!!!!! It was the first real pizza I have had since being in Japan. They were shocked by how large it was but it was a normal American L size. With the 10 of us we only ate a little under a pizza and a half. I have come to realize just how unhealthy American diets are.

Friday:I cant really remember what happened this day other than Eiken class. Oh, also we made paper hearts to do heart attacks for some members.

Saturday: Went to a matsuri (Japanese festival) this day. It was an absolute blast! We had an investigator introducing us to a ton of people which went super well! We also talked to a bunch of people on our own. Heart attacked an Eikaiwa student for his birthday and danced with all the people at the matsuri. The last one was especially great because it was a dance that really only older people do. Though as we went around in this circle so many teenage girls were going absolutely crazy that we were gaijin doing that dance. I saw at least a hundred different phones taking videos. After that we also got so many thanks from the older people (and a couple of awkward hugs) for dancing with them. I have a ton of videos so here you go!!!

Sunday: We had church, interviews with the mission president and dinner with some members.

Love you all!

Elder Harvey

Matsuri!!! (7/31/17)

Hey everyone this week has been a blast! So much happened this week that It might take a while for y'all to read, maybe......maybe. 

Anyway this week there was a bunch of summer stuff going on because school is just starting to get out for summer vacay! Crazy right!?! I hope all y'all Americans appreciate not having to be in school during the hottest time of the year. 

Monday: We had district lunch at an all you can eat shabu shabu place. Basically really thin meat that you swish in this boiling soup and it cooks really fast. It was super good and I ended up eating my money's worth. Then we were fed by some YSA members with Genghis Kahn. Or in other words sheep meat which we cooked with vegetables as Yakiniku. Then they did a roleplay for us on a missionary lesson. It was super interesting!

Tue: Had the usual DTM (District Training Meeting) and Eikaiwa (English class), but we also started teaching a new family from Eikaiwa. It was super awesome, they made us takoyaki (basically these little fried balls of dough with octopus and other stuff in it. SUPER good) and then we taught them a lesson. It was kind of funny though cuz when we first arrived everything was pretty tense until all of a sudden I see the 2 kids playing in this fake store like thing and just start messing around. After that everyone kind of relaxed and it went super well! 

Wed: This day I was on splits with an older missionary which was a lot of fun. We also visited the bishops house and almost got fed dinner until we played our, "we are going to an investigators house" card. Lol, though that doesn't always work. Somehow I also had the entire plot of Starcraft explained to me. 

Thursday: Taught people things. Haha not too much happened this day

Friday: Was on splits with a younger missionary which was super fun! We were going to play something called kin-ball but unfortunately that fell through. Though we had an awesome day just talking with people and to each other. 

Saturday: MATSURI DAY! We went to support an investigator with the rest of his family as he had to preform this Kung Fu thing because he joined a Kung Fu club. It was super rad!!! We also found a HUGE festival in another town but it was far too big for any effective dendo to be that whole town. 

Sunday: Also an awesome day! Talked with memebrs for a long time which was awesome. We also found a new family with a lot of potential if they decide to take the lessons. The Dad has even been to Utah before. 

Anyway Before realizing it I am out of time. Vids of the matsuri are at the bottom.

Elder Harvey

Shabu shabu

(Zach references his cooking class or lesson part 2.  For those that want to see part 1, trust me, you don't.  Zach's comments about part 1 and part 2 are below.)

Was kind of gross wasn't it, but the next one is gross just because of how much we ATE! This last Monday my district and I went to an all you can eat shabu shabu restaurant. Unfortunately my table tapped out at 38 plates of meat, not to mention the vegetables, curry rice........and the 3 bowls of ice cream I ate at the end. Anyway shabu shabu is an onomatopoeia for swishing the meat in the bowling soup. IT WAS DELICIOUS! 

Matsuri - Our investigator is the one in the blue-green almost jade color costume. He walks in front of the camera during the taiko video. 

11 minutes - let's do this (7/24/17)

Alright as the title says, I have no time so I will try to be informative.

Wednesday this day was awesome. We had the temple which always is amazing. Afterwards though came the miracle. I felt am impression to go to this super far in the corner place in our area. Along the way I hear some one call Missionaries! My companion didn't hear though so I had to pretty much fun him over. It turns out the person was a less active sister in our area. It went super well and we set up an appointment with her for the sisters. We also went to a members house and got a surprise dinner.

Thursday as usual we did flyer bombing, weekly planning and ward mission council. Then we decided to go to a shaved Ice place nearby because we had about 20 minutes before a lesson so we thought it would be a good idea to get a snack and try talking to the people there.
Then we had our English thing

Friday important thing of this day was we had our first eiken class (English class for the official Japanese program).
It was way fun and we got a non member to come to a youth activity the next day.

Saturday we had a young men's activity which was hiking to a buffet and then going back. It was a great time and we were able to talk a lot with the youth.

Sunday found some random people at their house doing bbq. We called out to them, were offered some food and invited them to eikaiwa.

Love you all. Miracles really can happen as we listen to the spirit especially when it goes against our logical thinking.

Elder Harvey

NO TIME! (7/19/17)

Alright I am running low on time so I will try to be informative yet brief. Sorry for having no time again. XS  Anyway let's get down to business to defeat this email.

Monday: We celebrated a YSA (young single adult's) birthday this day. It was us, the sisters and the YSA brother and 1 more brother. AKA our whole YSA. It was super rad and we ate Pizza Hut. We even had a only cheese pizza with maple syrup sauce. Japan Pizza Huts are really weird to say the least. Then we had a surprise Mogi (roleplay) but it went really well.

Tuesday and Wednesday: Nothing really interesting happened this two days but they were pretty good days. We had DTM (District Training Meeting) and just had time to find and whatnot.

Thursday: We talked a lot about the new Eikawa (English class) stuff and preparation stuff with the ward mission leader. It went really well and we had a lot of stuff prepared and were super excited for the next Eikawa after that meeting. Then we had FFEP with the Kudo family which was as fun as ever. We even had a youth there who tried to invite one of the sons to a young men's activity. Unfortunately soccer got in the way.

Friday: We had service at a members house which was awesome. We had a lot of time to talk with this youth who started to start being late to church. His mom was really worried about him so we snuck our way in there with this service and got to really know him and become his friend.

Saturday: This day we had an awesome lesson with a member about member missionary work. It went super well and we got to know this member a lot better because of it. I may of mentioned this before but this is the member who went on his Mission to Chicago. This was also the time where all the lessons were memorized word for word. You know like all the way back in my dad's era. Then we also went to an investigator's house to find that he really hasn't been home in a while. Probably down in Tokyo but we don't have his phone number :(

Sunday: Really awesome day. An investigator came to church, we talked a ton with members, and I also helped plan out a little portion of a wedding. Then I also helped make a video for the Youth conference of the temple district. Ourward mission leader was in charge of making it and he just could not figure out why it wasn't showing up on DVD and why it was so ugly when he did. Turns out he didn't even know he needed to render the clips. Anyway basically we were at the church until 5:00 ish

Monday: We went cherry picking with the whole ward. IT WAS DELICIOUS!!!!! Basically it's like normal cherry picking but it's all-you-can-eat as you pick off the fruit. And the ones you don't eat you can buy for really cheap. Anyway I have pictures at the bottom

Tuesday: It was DTM and a sister's birthday. It was super fun. We did something similar to a bean shower and sang happy b-day. We also learned about the power of the Book of Mormon and how to use it to answer people's problems. We also had an amazing Eikawa! The lesson went smoothly, people were having fun and overall it was a great atmosphere. The real kicker is we got a new FFEP (basically English and lessons program thingy) going with a really awesome family, and a member gave someone else a copy of the "to the temple" video. The members were so helpful and wherever I looked I saw members talking and making relationships with the Eikaiwa students. The members are so nice to us.

Wednesday: I went to the temple! Sorry forgot to tell you guys, and forgot that we needed to buy groceries for these extra few days........needless to say it was rough not being able to buy groceries.

Anyway This week I really learned the importance of talking about the atonement of Jesus Christ. A lot of people don't know that there is someone who loves them and can forgive them and take away all the sadness, guilt, and heavy things from them. I know that Jesus is such a person and that he has taken upon himself our hardships and pains.  I know he loves us all and is waiting for us to come into his loving embrace!

I love you all and hope you all have had a great week.


Elder Harvey

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Clever name insert here (7/10/17)

Hey everyone how was y'all guys' weeks? Mine was a super busy one. We went crazy visiting members and finding like crazy. Our member work is going really well too. We were able to talk with a bunch of members this week at there homes and were even fed a few times. We also made a ton of notes for people because this last Sunday was fast Sunday. So, we made notes for everyone who gave their testimonies thanking them for their support and love for the gospel. It was super awesome to see all the reactions we got yesterday at church! Everyone was super thankful for our work and showered us with love. It was really cool. I also gave a talk in sacrament meeting on how Jesus Christ is the light of this world. I connected that to the atonement and member missionary work and it all went well I think. I may have made some mistakes in Japanese but I think the spirit conveyed my message pretty well as I got a lot of comments and thanks for my talk afterwards.

This week we also got to meet our new mission president and his family which was super awesome. We got to hear all about their life, including their children, church service, how they met, their married life, you name it. President McClure is a very transparent person who loves telling the truth even if it's hard to say or hear. I think that is an amazing attribute and great character trait. President McClure's Japanese is also starting to come back thanks to his hard work, but it was funny having all the translation be for the Japanese missionaries this time instead of the young English missionaries. We also heard a bit about his vision and method of doing things. We could tell right off the bat his love for us, the Lord, the strength of his faith, and determination to do what's right. It was an amazing meeting filled with the spirit. Certainly everyone's spirits were raised after meeting with President McClure.

We also got fed twice this week which was a huge blessing! The first one was at a Viking restaurant. In case you don't know what that means yet, basically a buffet but the main attraction is the large variety of meats that they have. Which you also cook yourself at your table.

It's really fun and delicious. Then we had a meal yesterday at an amazing family's house. They made a ton of food but the main dish was lasagna. Interestingly enough despite not having an oven it was probably some of the best lasagna I have ever eaten in my life. Maybe I have just missed that food long enough but needless to say this sister was a great cook.

Anyways I hope you all have amazing weeks filled with joy.


Elder Harvey

Everyone in a food coma afterwards. :) 

Member Work! (7/3/17)

Hello Everyone!

This week has been a lot of talking with members here in Shinoro which has been amazing! We have been fed a bunch of food for dinners and we have been thankfully allowed into the houses of many of the members!

All the members here are amazing and are so nice to us all. We had a bunch of lessons and gospel talks that the members were so thankful for. They are so nice to us and take super good care of us. We also have been working really hard to help our investigators and find new ones! Though there is no spotlight points on that line of news. :(  I also got to go on splits with Elder Thurston this week in Toyohira as well! It was super fun and I had my first real service project, other than talking to old people. :) We were just pulling weeds for an hour and a half but we got to talk to this old guy forever, though he wasn't interested in the gospel. Then we biked up and down hills for forever and visited a bunch of LA (less active) members who actually didn't live there anymore which was really interesting. Though all in all this week has been a pretty good one. Sorry about the lack of details but I love you all and am so thankful for all of your support and love!

Love, Elder Harvey