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!

Peacock Chōrō

I love you

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.

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


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?

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