Monday, August 22, 2016

2016.8.7 Dreaming in Japanese!

Hey y'all!  Wow, I never say y'all...

It's been a good week here in Nabari, Japan. It's hot and humid though which makes everything more fun :) We have really been cleaning out our apartment this past week and will try to finish it up this week. The days are fast, but long at the same time. Interesting how that works isn't it. Trying to talk to everyone we see, which is fun in itself.

Yesterday, during sacrament meeting, I was thinking about how Jesus  Christ performed the Atonement so that we can return to live with our Heavenly Father. Then it hit me. The Holy Ghost taught me. My brother loves me so much that He did for me what I could never do for myself. He felt everything I would ever feel so that I could, through Him, receive forgiveness and return to God. I knew this, it was nothing new. But it was a reminder. Isn't it interesting that we can read or hear the same words, or see the same thing, and the Holy Ghost can teach us different things. I bore my testimony that it is the Holy Ghost who teaches us these things. It was a very good experience.

There were two desks and a dresser in the room where we sleep that were not being used. We have really been wanting to get rid of them because they are just collecting dust. We were biking over to one of our potential investigators when we saw a junk yard. We walked in and asked them about our stuff. Hey then got in their truck and told us to lead the way. We showed them the way on out bikes and we got one of the desks, the dresser, and two broken bikes out of out apartment. These is still one desk that couldn't fit through the door at the time. We have since taken apart that desk and will call them to have it picked up. It is SOOOOOO nice to have that space not taken up! We have more broken/unused stuff that needs to go out. It's been a fun
project :)

Our companion exchanges were good. I was with Vui Chōrō for the day. We visited two people and tried to do finding. There was some lightning which was fun! It was good to be back with Vui Chōrō. He has hit his year mark which is strange because I met him when he was fourth transfer. Time flies!

Yeah, that's been the week. It's great, hard, and very worth it. I love you guys!

Elder Peacock

2016. 8.21 Sapporo, Japan Temple Dedication!

Hello dear family,

I can't believe that today is the beginning of my seventh transfer out here in the Japan, Kobe mission. How the time flies! I remember thinking to myself that the transfer would go by fast...and it did. This past week had its ups and downs. We have really had to help each other out this week, my companion and I. Whatever this new transfer brings will be great, and I'm excited.

To start I will tell you guys about a man that we had actually met at the beginning of the transfer. When we met him he was driving and he pulled up beside us while we were biking. He says that he wants us to teach him at his house. He also says something about a man named Kent Gilbert, didn't really know what that meant. But he called us earlier in the week and we set up an appointment with him for the next day. He picked us up and took us to his house. From pulling on the handles of his car to stepping into his house you could tell he was pretty well off. He  shows us some pictures, pours us some water, and then whips out his phone and puts the said Kent Gilbert on the phone; at this point I still don't know much about Kent Gilbert. We only got to talk to him for about ten minutes, but I learned that he is a very successful business man and that his Japanese is very, very, very good. It sounded like a native when he picked up the phone. After that we had BBQ on the back deck. It was super good and he and his wife were very nice. We scheduled to meet with him twice a month in his home to meet his friends who want to hear about the gospel so I'm excited for that!

We woke up Tuesday morning and ran to an investigator's farm. She wasn't there for it, but we did some weed whacking for her. After that we ran back and jumped into study. Later on in the week she thanked us by bringing us a watermelon and two cucumbers. How sweet!

One of our friends gave us homemade takoyaki which was super good!

After district meeting on Friday we came home and started to dendo but I was feeling frustrated. I was feeling frustrated with myself. It got to the point that I had to tell my companion I needed a breather. I told him what was going on and he helped. I was still feeling a little frustrated throughout the rest of the day, but it was better. It was just a mix of a few things that were going on at the time. And the thing is that they are all personal, nothing to do with my companion or anyone else, and I assured him that. By the next day I was much better.

There was one man we met while tracting who just had no interest in our message but we still taught him. There were a couple of times when I thought to stop the lesson, but then I remembered something. Right now, as a missionary, I am called to teach the gospel to anyone who will listen in a way that they can fully understand and then either accept or reject the message. As heartbreaking as it is to see someone blatantly reject Jesus Christ it is part of our calling. Our loving Heavenly Father gave us all the ability to choose and act for ourselves. I chose to be here. I chose to be a missionary. I want to teach in a way that the Holy Ghost can testify to those we teach. I want to teach everything fully so that those I teach can fully accept or fully reject the gospel. That is what I want to do.

We had a couple of days where our ward mission leader dendoed with us for a few hours which was great! This member helped us find out that one of our investigators in mentally ill and that we should discontinue our teaching him. We had a very good conversation with a truth-seeker who is even studying the copy of The Book of Mormon that we gave him at work. Member-present lessons are the best!

Yesterday was the Sapporo, Japan temple dedication. We both got our recommends and handkerchiefs before we left so we were prepared. One of our members gave us a ride which was nice. We watched the 12:00 session and it was very good. President Nelson gave the dedicating prayer and Elder Stevenson gave some good words on when he helped pick the property. It was a very spiritual experience and I am glad I could have attended.

Well, if I'm remembering everything then those are the main highlights from the week. Ups and downs, but nothing too detrimental. My companion and I are both pleased with the work we were able to do together this transfer and are very much looking forward to the new transfer. We will probably know by Tuesday at the latest so I will let you all know what happens in my next email home. I'm really enjoying the work out here in the Japan, Kobe mission. The beauty of the people is reflected in the beauty of the land here. I'm privileged to work shoulder-to-shoulder with great men and women out in the field. Keep
praying for me, yeah ;)

Fight the good fight and NEVER GIVE UP! あいしてるよ!

Elder Peacock

2016.8.14 All the Gifts and Pretty Lights


The subject of this email came from a dream I had this past week. Those are the only lyrics I remember. They were put to the tune of a song by Christ August so the tune wasn't original. Anyway...

This week has been pretty good. We had companion exchanges, we got old stuff thrown out of our apartment which is awesome, and had a lot of people come to church yesterday. It's been great! We had rain come down hard on us yesterday, with lots of thunder and lightning, while we were dendoing with a member so that was way awesome :) #lovelightning

I had my companion exchange with one of my MTC zone leaders, Evans Chōrō. We had a lot of fun together and we talked a lot. We were able to teach together well. I am excited to see how he progresses from here on since he will hit his year mark in just a few weeks. I showed one of his recent converts a couple of videos of Parker Kane whom I performed with at BYU-Idaho. I learned that he has since done a commercial for McDonalds which is way sick!!! I pretty much died.

I want to say that using the scriptures while teaching is very important. I have learned that sharing scriptures can open a path where the Holy Ghost can testify. It can change the course of a lesson. When we can use the Holy Bible and The Book of Mormon to support each other we are able to testify of the truthfulness of what we teach. Jesus Christ is a wonderful example of this since He taught from the scriptures constantly. Like I learned from my parents, "when you teach, all you need are your scriptures and your testimony" :)

As a side note: I have been so surprised at how many young people here do not know Sword Art Online. How!? I have had to try and explain it so many times XD

During a meal with one of our members this week we played a couple of games. We played Chinese Numbers and Black Magic (yes, I figured out how to play Black Magic). During Black Magic, the wife figured out how it works, then we let her explain to her husband. During Chinese Numbers we eventually taught the rules to the husband who then taught the wife later on in the game. We were able to successfully illustrate how it can be frustrating not to know the rules. Life is the same. Life has simple rules and you can look at everything in a simple way. However, when you do not know the rules it can be frustrating and may even look impossible. As  members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have the obligation to teach those rules to our brothers and sisters who are waiting in the dark, not knowing where, or how, to find the light. And as we learn more of the rules, or we learn more about the rules, our desire to teach the rules becomes stronger. Indeed, when someone does not know how to play Chinese Numbers, I want to explain the rules so badly. We do not have to wait to explain the rules, nor do we have to be perfect teachers. Often times the best way is the simplest way. Through simple methods we can teach great truths. And one of those ways is by our example.

I have also been learning a few magic tricks. Be prepared for when I come home :)

We had a miracle this week. Right before we went to the apartment of one of our investigators we got a call from a different investigator. This investigator did not have a desire to learn about the gospel since before I came here. But now she has a desire to hear it. I am not sure what events brought this change in her, but I know that the Holy Spirit was a big part of it. I hope she will continue in her desire.

Going into the final week of this transfer I am able to see one thing, if nothing else, that I have learned from my companion. It is this: teaching high-quality lessons are important. When you teach a principle in full you give the person you are teaching a better opportunity to accept or reject the message. You can teach, build a relationship, and learn all at the same time. I have taken notes, and I hope to emulate my companion's example.

I am very grateful for my time to work in this corner of the Lord's vineyard. I hope that I can touch the lives of those around me, even if it's just one. Fight the good fight and never give up! あいしてるよ!

けいぐ (sincerely),
Elder Peacock

Monday, August 1, 2016

2016.7.31 Sports Night

Hey guys!

It's been a good week here in Nabari, Japan. We have been enjoying some cooler weather, although this week is projected to be a hot one. We have found a few new people which has been great. Our ward mission leader is on fire which is a huge help. We are trying to get a lot of youth to come to church because this branch needs more of the young generation. We are also trying hard to find a few families because that would really strengthen this area. I tell ya, the real growth will only happen when the members join the full-time missionaries is bringing others unto Christ. And I'm excited for the future of his branch :)

One of our nights was a hard one because we had to tell one of our investigators that we can no longer meet because he isn't progressing. He has been meeting with the missionaries for years and he had a desire to progress. However, his way of thinking is keeping him from taking steps further. He doesn't think he is ready but he really is. We have been very frank with him (while still being polite) that he is ready and that he can take steps further. So, for now, we are no longer meeting with him. It was tough because I was the one who actually said the words that ended our weekly meetings. It was very emotionally draining; trying to figure out what is holding him back, trying to encourage him, then ending it.

We met a man on Sunday who is the husband of a woman we talked to earlier in the week. We had a very nice conversation about his religion (Shintoism) and our religion. We exchanged study materials and he asked if we could meet again to study and you know we took him up on that. I am always willing to learn more about other religions especially because it helps me understand people better. But, the books he gave me are in Japanese so it will be a back burner project.

I gave a talk in sacrament meeting, I spoke on repentance. A basic outline of repentance and why we need it. It felt like three minutes but apparently I went for 15, that was cool to see. I told them a little bit more about you guys, my awesome family. While the next speaker was talking a member walked it with a young man. He is not a member but he has been to church several times. However, a large reason he comes is just so he can speak English with us. Of course we will still teach him and see if we can help him develop a desire to learn about the gospel.

We had a sports night activity with the branch at a local sports center. We played soccer with them and it was very hot, lots of sweat :) We had loads of fun and we had a couple of non-members there so we were able to build our relationship with them, and their relationship with branch members. But, the best story of the week took place just before sports night started.

So, Drewes Chōrō and I got to the sports center about 20 minutes early to help get things set up. And while we were waiting we started throwing around a small soccer ball. Then, Drewes Chōrō has the wonderful idea of running and jumping off of a bench so as to catch the ball in mid-air. Sounds cool right? Well, it was pretty cool...until he landed. It's not so much that he didn't land well, it's just that his legs were not braced for all of his weight coming down, and he jumped impressively high. He rolled out of it, but he ended up getting some road rash and a scrapped knee. And the scrape was deep. We ended needing to get him to the hospital for stitches. It reminded me of he good old days ;) After he got four stitches in we headed back to sports night and played. Yes, Drewes Chōró still played XD He has been taking good care of it. We have been in to the hospital every day for his checkups.

Anyways, these are just a few highlights of the week. We are looking forward to the progress of this area and the people in it at is sure to be had. Today we went to the doctors office for my companion's checkup, now we are emailing, then we will go get lunch and shopping. Good stuff, and it is hot today! I love you all and hope that things are going well. Have some summer fun for me alright ;) あいしてるよ!


Look up Jordan Smith. His voice is gold and he has some good Christian covers.