Sunday, January 31, 2016

New Transfer. Same Area. New Companion! Same Companion.

1/31/2016

こんいさわかぞく!

Since I missed last week's email I will try to catch you up on what happened. Sorry to all those I left hanging last week.

Last week was a lot of traveling. Starting Monday morning and going to Friday morning we were all over the place. Yep, we weren't in our area for four days XD We left Monday morning to go to Kobe for our Trainer Trainee Training meeting, which was held on Tuesday. After the meeting on Tuesday we went to Okayama to attend the mission tour with Elder Choi on Wednesday. After the mission tour meeting we traveled to Yonago to have companion exchanges with the Zone Leaders. Then, on Friday morning, we traveled back to Matsue to have District Meeting...*sigh* It was snowing when we woke up so that was awesome. Tsuchia Chōrō ended up getting frostbite on his toes so that was fun. When we got to Matsue it was a snow/slush kind of precipitation, but nothing sticking or anything XD

On Wednesday, Elder Choi talked to us about knowing who we are, who we were, and who we need to become. It was really good! Since TTT I had been feeling like I need to bring up my game a level. I was doing fine, but it was time to level up. As we are making this culture change in our mission we also need to have a culture change in ourselves. And this goes for anything in life. We sometimes need to change something within ourselves to improve and become better than we are. And it's not easy to change. But I am going to do my best.

The rest of Friday was pretty normal dendo stuff [missionary work]. Gotta love knocking on a hundred doors XD

Saturday was awesome because it was snowing on and off most of the day! It was windy though the snow was having a hard time sticking to the ground. We found a couple of nice people while tracting so that's good.

Sunday was flippn' cold! I don't know what the temperatures were but WHOOO! It started snowing during church and didn't stop all day. It  increased throughout the day so by the time we returned home they were big flakes! And it started sticking more. By the time we woke up the next day there were a couple of inches covering the streets and walks of Matsue.

Monday was Preparation Day so we were out running errands, eating sushi, getting groceries, forgetting things, running back out to the stores, working on school stuff for my companion, etc. At 6:00 PM we started dendo. We met an Oba-chan the day before while housing and she told us to meet her tomorrow at 6:00, so there we were. We talked with her, got to know her, and talked about God to see what she knew. She believes in Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father so that's awesome! She loved meeting with us too! We invited her to church and she said she will try to come...I think XD Hopefully we will see here there! We then tried to meet with 山本 (Yamamoto) Shimai but she wasn't home. However, once we started housing right behind her house we ran into her daughter. Yep, we had no idea she lived right behind her mother. She knew who we were and was very kind. She said that she doesn't have the feeling of belief in this gospel. I respect that, it's important to have that feeling. I hope she continues to do well. By this time it was snowing large flakes again. It was very pretty. It was also super slippery. Imagine me on a bike, going 2 miles/hr, slipping to kingdom come XD That's what was going on XD

Tuesday was a day of logistics. My companion has been working on Visa stuff in order to go back to school at the end of this transfer. We were making calls to people to make sure everything was set up and that we would have the means to get there and back. We have purchased our round-trip bus tickets so no worries, we had the money for it. We will travel to Osaka today, which is where my companion needs to go for the US Commissary (I'm not sure what the building is called, but it's an official US building). We estimate that it will be about three hours of us waiting for him. Which brings me to tell you about the transfer….

So, I am staying in Matsue and so is Tsuchia Chōrō. But now we have anew companion. That's  right...SAN-NIN (triple companionship)!!! The new elder's name is Vui Chōrō. We met up in Yonago on Thursday when Tsuchia Chōrō had to go to Kobe suddenly. So I was on splits with Takaku Chōrō for a day. At around 6:00 he came in to the station. We  left for Matsue shortly after. By the time we got home we had half an hour left to dendo. So we tried to street contact with little success. Tsuchia Chōrō wasn't able to make it home that night so I had Vui Chōrō to myself. He is from Samoa so he is big. He is bigger than me if that helps you picture his size. I'll send pictures with him in them. But yeah, he is cool.

We picked up Tsuchia Chōrō on Saturday just after lunch at the eki (station). We then met with members and investigators. It was raining the whole day which was great XD I like it. I wonder why XD

Sunday was a good day, as usual. It was also my birthday so that was fun! Both of my companions gave gifts which was sweet of them. We baked a cake that was included in a package Bubba sent me and it actually turned out really well considering we baked it in the microwave. It has an 'oven' feature that lets you use metal. I don't know if the microwave at home (in Oregon) has that feature, but it was pretty cool. We taught the priesthood class a lesson on, guess what...dendo! Go figure! XD After church and lunch we headed out to  meet with members and less actives. We also tried to meet an investigator but they weren't home. We ended up being able to meet a couple of people on the streets that we got contact info from so hopefully we can meet up soon! While we were out I got a call from the mission home wishing me happy birthday. To be honest by that time I had forgotten it was my birthday XD It was a pleasant surprise. I read, all of your emails and letters which was awesome! I also read a few of Sierra's Hug and Kiss book. Thank you.

Today we are traveling to Osaka for Visa stuff. We are leaving Matsue at 2:30 to take a 4+ hour bus ride there. We will then do the stuff we need to and hopefully be able to return to Matsue around 8:30-9:00. But before we travel we cleaned, shopped, got haircuts, and enjoyed the semi-sunny weather we have been having. Thank you for the birthday money from you all by the way! It will definitely come in handy.

To answer your question about the mission card Mom, here you go. On the first of every month the card is reloaded with about 120 dollars. The residual money at the end of each month is carried over to the next month. When I pull money out of a non-Bank of America ATM I am charged an extra 2.50 dollars along with the usual %1 international transaction fee. So like if I pull money from a Seven Eleven or the post office ATMs. What I try to do is pull all of the money out at the beginning of the month so I can minimize my transaction fees. This is something that Brother Evelin the financial person) recommended we do to minimize fees. All transportation is reimbursed and I am very good at sending in the reimbursement forms XD

So, just a few questions for you all. How is Dad's book coming along? How is dance for each of the kids? What sport is Jake doing right now, basketball? How is preping for BYU-Idaho going for Sierra? How did Lizzy's Girl Scout fundraiser go? How is Jean Luc doing? How is Smooches and the rest of the cats? How did the three-day workshop go for Mom? Have any of you (besides Sierra) watched anime since I've left? Make sure you grab that double bacon cheeseburger for me from FIVE GUYS XD

Like I have said before, I am trying to make an internal culture change. This has proved to be very difficult (nothing short of what I expected it to be). I am trying to start at a slow pace so I can know how much to accelerate as I go forward. There are parts of me God needs here in Japan. But there are also parts of me He wants me to change so I can be a better tool in His hands. Right now I am figuring out what to change and how to change those things. I want to do this the right way so I am definitely taking time and care. Again, I just want to be the person God needs me to be. As I do this I need all of your prayers. Please pray for me. Ganbarimasu yo(I will do my best)!

Thank you for being the people you are, my dear family. Dad, Mom, Makena, Brooklynn, Sierra, Jake, and Lizzy. You have all influenced me greatly. There has not been a single day where I have not thought about every one of you. Never let go of the iron rod!

Read the talk: Know Thyself, Control Thyself, Give Thyself

あいしています!
Pikoku Chōrō

P.S.
I love you

Ward Mission Plan made into Anime film.

David's 20th B-day cake.

Elder Vui's 1st night in Matsue.

Elder Vui dancing in the import store. 

Pancakes?

Jake's origami swan for brother David's birthday.

Elder Vui's The Force (sideways view)

Elder Peacock's 1st Tim Tam Slam!

Elder Peacock with The Face

View on trip to Kobe?

Japanese countryside

Snow in Japan!

Making okonamiyakis

Party blowers for David's 20th Birthday!

Returned Missionary (RM) Ultimate Guide to Asking a Girl Out

Tracting selfies

More tracting selfies

Even more tracting selfies

Elder Vui singing "Happy Birthday" to Elder Peacock

Snow falling in Matsue

Time-lapse of drive in member's car.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

2016.1.24 This Week's Email

Hello,

I’m on the church computer right now because I do not have my iPad. I left it in Okayama on accident. I am not able to write my usual weekly email this week because I do not have enough time. Sorry XD

I am typing on a Japanese keyboard and the keys are weird sizes and it keeps switching to Hiragana. So I might be a little slow today XD They aren’t all that cool. Just Hirigana next to English.  Sorry that you won’t get any pictures this week. They are all on my iPad XD

Right now we are having a small snow storm. Since yesterday we have gotten about four inches of snow. And it is still going!  It is pretty fun! It makes riding a bike difficult though XD  All of the travelling last week was good. No difficulties there. It was good to get back home though. I am trying to think if there has been anything I wanted to talk about...

By the way, I got both the Amazon and family package on Friday. Thank you so much! Well, I actually got the Amazon package at Kobe in the mission home. I got the family package on Friday. I see the postage amount on each package and I'm like HOLY COW!

Things are going smoothly. Not perfect, but definitely better than they were. We are trying to get 25 lessons taught this week. The last few weeks we have been able to get at least 20. I am trying to serve him [my companion] more. I am paying attention to things that might make him happy. The email you sent me was awesome Dad, thank you.

We desperately need new investigators. Last night I had my first experience with someone slamming the door in my face. Literally, slammed. It was ok though. I am doing fine [with learning Japanese]. Steadily improving. I am trying to read out loud from my Japanese PMG [Preach My Gospel] each day which will help. I really need to start expanding what I can say in my prayers though.

Sierra, how is mission prep going? Keep me posted and good luck on finals!  And how is brother Thomas doing?

Your favorite missionary is doing well! I love the book you wrote me. It was a great present. Thank you! I have a question, have you watched the live-action Kimi Ni Todoke yet? I am actually planning on getting a haircut today so I will send pictures next week.

I am able to write a little throughout the week in the Notes app on my iPad. Then I put it all together on Preparation Day when I send it to you. Yeah, I would not be able to write that much otherwise XD Yeah. It helps so I don’t spend so much time trying to remember what I did each day or what happened through the week.

I am almost out of time. I know that God is our Heavenly Father. I know Jesus Christ is His son. They love us and are our family. Joseph Smith restored the Gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness. It is contained in the Book of Mormon. Read from it daily and it will give light to your soul. I love you guys very dearly and I miss you greatly. I will never give up on this great work.

たくさんあい,
Peacock Chōrō
dpeacock@myldsmail.net

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Good Wishes from Yours Truly in Motsue, Japan!

こんばんわかぞく (Konbanwa Kazoku)! [Good Evening, Family!]

By the time you read this email I will be on the way to the bus station. We are traveling to Trainer Trainee Training in Kobe which is a 4+ hour bus ride so we have to leave on the morning bus. The next bus would get us to Kobe at 9:25 and that is too late. It's not the end of the world but it still makes me sad that we won't be able to chat.

This past week has been a good week. It also went by really fast! We are coming up on transfer time. I'm pretty sure they will keep us both in Motsue but there is always that small chance XD [Big Smiley Face] We'll see.

But yeah, things have been good here. The weather has turned bitterly cold here with lots of rain. Not snow. Rain....Why. I've started using the thermals you gave me and they have definitely been helping. The gloves are great too! We have a box of heat patches that we have been sticking to our feet because yeah, just, yeah. Apparently there are a few cases of frostbite in the mission. I refuse to get frostbite! And we aren't even the coldest mission. That title belongs to the Sapporo mission. Every member we have visited this week has given us hot chocolate. I love it! There have been times where it is sunnier, but those times haven't lasted long.

We had District Meeting this past Friday. We talked about making Vision+Action Plans for each of our areas. This is something Tsuchia Chōrō [Elder Tsuchia] and I did on Thursday. We will present our plan to the bishopric and ward mission leader on Sunday. Hopefully this will help get the ward missionary ball rolling.

Then we had companion exchanges. So after District Meeting and lunch we separated into exchanged companion ships. Tsuchia Chōrō wanted me to lead the exchange so I did my best to think about what to do. When we planned we decided to visit a member, a less-active member, and an investigator. We ended up not being able to meet with the investigator, Yamasaki-San (bicycle shop man), because he was out of town on business. But on our way to visit him we ran into a young man on the street. Now, this was an interesting visit!

So, he has met with the missionaries before. Last year he said. Here is the weird part: he had just Skyped with a former missionary THE DAY BEFORE. The former missionary invited the young man to begin reading the Book of Mormon and he accepted. He started reading the Book of Mormon THAT DAY. He said it was a bit difficult though. The former missionary said he would help him though. We got his number, told him to keep reading, and to come to game night on Saturday. So we contacted him on Saturday telling him when and where.

We had another cool experience later on. We had just finished tracting a large apartment building and started walking out to the Main Street. A boy was walking our way so of course we stopped to talk with him. We told him who we were and what we were doing. We gave him an English class flyer (chidashi) and invited him to come to class. As we were saying thank you and goodbye he said something I didn't quite catch. But he and Mashado Chōrō talked. I kept listening. Then, I thought I heard him say, "I think I want to learn more about Jesus Christ." I was like, what!? So I clarified, "You think you want to learn more about Jesus Christ?" He said yes. I was freaking out in my mind. The heck is happening. He actually wants to learn about Christ?! No way!! So we gave him our number and told us to please call him. As we walked away we turned to look where he was going, and, lo and behold, he was walking of the building we were just at! Sugoy! [Awesome!] We will definitely visit him again!

So yeah, exchanges were good! They left Saturday morning to return to their area. After study on Saturday we visited the Motsumoto family. The father is the famous computer programmer. He showed us a book he wrote, he's written a few. I thought of you Dad, so I told them about how you are writing a finance textbook. They thought that was cool. After some dendo [missionary work] consisting of tracting and street contacting we went to the church for game night. We usually play ping pong or card games. We only had one brother come play with us. But it was great because he's a 'ninja'! XD

Sunday was good albeit rainy. And I mean rainy. After church we met with やまもと Kōdai for some mission prep. Then we did some 12 Weeks training after lunch. We then planned for our lesson with the Imaoka family. We had our lesson, and dinner as it turned out, and headed home. They sent us a ton of food so that was a little difficult to bike with in the rain, but we arrived home safely. We didn't really have anything to plan since today is really just travel. We will call some people after dinner in Kobe so that will be our dendo for the day.

Today, since we are traveling to Trainer Trainee Training in Kobe we don't really have time to shop or clean, let alone email. We just had time for a little personal study before leaving. This week is actually really busy! After Trainer Trainee Training on Tuesday we travel to Okayama for Elder Cho's mission tour which is held on Wednesday. Then, after the mission tour, we are going to Yonago to have companion exchanges with the Zone Leaders on Friday. Then we go back to Motsue on Saturday...I think XD

So that is what's up here. We are busy each day, some busier than others. We have fun, try hard, rely on the Lord, and keep on swimming XD Never give up, never surrender! We will see what happens with transfers if I go or stay. I'm betting I'll stay but here is always that chance. But I'm excited either way! Great things are afoot here in the Kobe Japan mission. I can feel it. I believe it. I think big things are soon to happen. And I know that your thoughts become your reality so keep them positive!

Tsuchia Chōrō and I have been doing fine. We are trying to love and support each other. We have shared goals and made plans together to achieve them. I don't expect us to become best buds by any means. But I know we are closer now than we were to start. And if we are united in the Gospel of Jesus Christ then we are good. He is gearing up for BYU-Idaho that starts on March 1st. There have been a couple of moments where he has had realizations of, "wow, I'm going back to school in a few weeks", or, "what, my mission is almost over? No!" XD

I've been feeling better. The homesickness has died down and I feel more comfortable with the people, food, and places. The language is still a struggle, but it's going to be that way for a while XD I really look forward to personal study every day. I always learn a lot and find strength from the sacred words. I finished the Book of Mormon last week so now I am in Doctrine&Covenants. I'm in Luke in the Bible. And I try to study from Preach My Gospel every morning.

Like I said before the weather is cold now, but I'm really looking forward to spring and summer in Japan. The warmer weather and longer days are going to be great! But I'm enjoying the weather now because it oftentimes reminds me of Oregon XD I'm happy when it rains.

The two of us usually switch off cooking and washing dishes. I have yet to try my hand at a recipe from the manga cookbook you sent me, but I will soon and I'll let you know how it turns out. We have made curry, pasta, noodles, other rice dishes, stews, and soups. I try to eat a lot of vegetables every day along with some fruits. Peppers, snap peas, cherry tomatoes, ooh yeah! Usually I will get mikans (cuties) or bananas for fruit. I still have peanut butter toast for breakfast most days #elderpeacockbreakfast XD The only candy I eat is the stuff you guys, and other family members, send me. By the way, I still haven't touched the Christmas candy you sent me because that is going to be needed for special days (or dire circumstances).

I think about you all every day. The examples you have all been for me and the strength you have all given me. I have great hope for the future because of the people you will become and the things you will do. And oh the places you will go. I have seen the hand of the Lord taking care of me and you. And I know you have too. Please don't stop growing in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You are all beautiful people and you are all great friends. But most importantly, you are my eternal family. And I am so glad you are.

Last week I asked you to bring the dendo Fire to Turner Ward by working with the missionaries and you guys accepted. This week I would like to give a similar commitment only more specific. I want you all to read the "Importance of Members" section in chapter nine of Preach My Gospel. I want you to look at the red box at the end of the section. Invite the missionaries over for dinner. Then after they give their lesson ask them for their Vision+Action Plan, and I mean one they have written up on paper. If they don't have one encourage them to make one to give to the bishopric, ward mission leader, and you. Then ask them what you can do to help them achieve their vision while referencing this section in PMG. Will you do this this week?

God bless you, my dear family!

たくさんあい,
Peacock Chōrō

P.S.
I love you

P.P.S.
For all of you people reading this who aren't Latter-day Saints there is an app called Gospel Library. That is the Church's official application for devices that contains all of the literature we study in the Church. In case you were curious check it out. It's free so you don't need to worry about in-app purchases because there are none.

P.P.P.S.
The Lord has been so good to us and he will never stop being good to us.

Below are some pictures of a recent visit to the Motsue Castle:

A tree!
Some woodwork in the Motsue Castle


McDonalds!


Paper Scrolls!!!





Some Pots n stuff



Pretty Dendo!


Some creepy masks.



The Aeon Mall in Motsue. Floor one of three.


Panoramic View from taken from the top of Motsue Castle!


Wet Bike Dendo!





Assorted Stuff





This is what "XD" means in Elder Peacock's emails. 

Big Arrows



Freaking all the helmets!



Can you find the Toothless?

video