Monday, September 19, 2016

2016.9.18 Zone Conference

こんにちわあいするかぞく (hello dear family)!

It's been a good (albeit was a little strange) week this week. There was a lot of change that has been going on so some things have decreased, and some things have improved. Both me and my companion are optimistic that we will see our area, and ourselves, grow. たのしみしています (I'm excited)!

We had a couple of days where we had very little time to go out and find people so that affected our げんき (morale) a little. Right now we are trying to replenish our new investigator pool thus verily we want all the finding time we can get. With Zone Conference, Stake Conference, and District Meeting we were hard put to keep our lesson count up. I really tried to get out of my comfort zone by talking to people on the train but that didn't work out so well, although I will still try to talk to those people. がんばろ (I'll do my best).

There were a couple of things I took away from Zone Conference. To be honest I was expecting another study challenge from Welch Kaichō but that didn't happen. He focused on making sure we do not neglect teaching the foundation of the gospel to our investigators. This was him focusing on the help part of our purpose as missionaries. I was taught that I need to master the basics/foundation of everything that we teach. Then came point number two: he eternal reality of missionary work. I knew that missionary work is currently going on on the other side of the veil and will continue throughout the millennium. What was new for me was that the skills we are trying to develop right now will be used in the next life. だから (therefore), I might as well do my best to hone them now. Then came the kicker: we will probably be united as a group to でんどう (missionary work) in he next life. I don't know the doctrine to explain that, but it felt true since we were probably organized like this before this life (again, don't know the doctrine). It really forced the eternal perspective of things into my mind. Which means that even if I don't become proficient in a skill on my mission it doesn't matter because we have this whole life to do so. So, yeah, it was good revelation time

Oh, I forgot to tell you guys that an American family moved into our ward last week. They are from Idaho and are here for the father's work. He works for a company called Micron and his contract is for two years in Japan. Unfortunately none of them can speak any Japanese  Way nice family!

Side note: there are so many old people puttering around on underpowered mopeds that really shouldn't be. It's scary sometimes.

Also, my companion and I have times where we just cannot stop laughing. We will be either so tired or just on something and we won't be able to stop. It has been quite fun! For example, I was cold during personal study so I wrapped myself in my dyne (spelling?) but he didn't notice until companion study. Then we did Rock Paper Scissors and I had my hand wrapped in the dyne and it just killed him   Stuff like that, good times. Also, my companion has discovered the manga cookbook that you guys sent me for Christmas so we will be making a lot of food now

While we were at the mission home one of the office elders taught me how to throw cards. I have been practicing and it's way fun. Prepare yourself for the magic ninja! We also got a new blender and rice cooker from the mission office so that is way awesome. Gotta love the new appliances

We had stake conference Saturday night and Sunday. It was a little difficult for me to understand the subject of each talk because I was having trouble focusing the entire time. I was able to understand most sentences it's just, I dunno, just could stay tuned in. But it was good. We had to spend the night on Saturday because we couldn't make it back to our apartment in time so that was fun

We had a returned missionary come with us for a bit on Wednesday to visit the referrals he has given us. Unfortunately, no one was home, but it was still fun. He wants to try and have his boss meet with us to take the lessons because apparently he has shown interest in the church. We will see what happens there.

The weather has been steadily cooling down. We have had clouds and rain the past couple of days which has been nice. I'm looking forward to fall being in full swing. Fall is my favorite time of year in Oregon so I'm excited to see what it it like here in Japan. The ward is planning a Halloween   which is another thing I'm very excited for.

Well, those are some things that have been happening on this side of the globe. Having fun, working hard, trying to improve, and relying on our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I can't believe that We are coming up on the last leg of the year. Where did the time go? I hope that all is well with you guys. I'm always praying for you! ファイトがんばろ (fight the good fight and never give up)!

Elder Peacock

2016.9.11 Beatboxing Exchange

Yoohoo, family!

So not a lot happened this week. To be honest I'm having a super hard time thinking of what to write. Here are really only a few things that I will write about. It was super hard to contact our investigators but we were still able to find people to teach.

We got a new air conditioner this week which saved us!

We had Zone Training Meeting which was good and talked about not spreading rumors because things have been getting around the mission that are not ok.

We had an exchange with the Sumoto elders. I was with Falute Chōrō and we had a night with wacky teenagers (with whom we beat boxed), barging in on the Shimai's lesson, etc. good time.

We had a full-American family move in from Boise, Idaho who he as extremely unexpected. I was told to give a talk, but then one of the Shimai gave a talk. I was confused but whatever.

Cleaning out the apartment (aka the never-ending war). 
To be honest I can't think of anything else that happened...yeah.

Also, I slipped down the stairs. Don't remember if I told you that but it happened. My tailbone doesn't like me at all XD

Fun fact about the Japanese people: so many of them will let their cars idle when they go into the convenience store or a restaurant even though no one is in the car. Yeah, very surprising.

Anyway, love you, sorry it's short this week. I'll do better next week. Fight the good fight and never give up! あいしてるよ!

Elder Peacock

2016.9.4 ⛈+ =

Hello Family!

It's been another week here in Japan. We have been enjoying this opportunity to do the Lord's work here. Being able to serve everyone, even in small and simple ways, is a privilege for sure. I hope that I can be who God wants me to be, and do what He needs me to do.

We had our first district meeting of the transfer and it was good. We focused on using The Book of Mormon as our primary source of conversion for others and ourselves. In Preach My Gospel we read, "...The Book of Mormon, combined with the Spirit, is your most powerful resource in conversion...", therefore, we should use it in every phase of our work. We also talked about being unified as a district. We have to support each other in our areas, as companionships, and on an individual level. Spartans, when they would fight, would never fight for themselves, they always fought for the man next to them which I didn't know and it provided a powerful visual.

We also had an exchange with two elders. I was with Olsen Chōrō and we focused on less-active members. A lot of them weren't home but we were able to meet three of them. All of them said that while they still like the church they have no more desire to return to church. It's sad when, for whatever reason, someone has lost the desire to attend church. Church attendance is such a basic thing that we all need because it's a commandment. At church we are strengthened by the testimony of others and are edifices by the good word of God found in the Holy Bible and The Book of  Mormon. And, most importantly, we partake of the sacrament which is a vital ordinance that helps us repent, focus, and reflect on ourselves.

We had one night this past week where we went to downtown Kobe. There we met a man who had been investigating the church before. He is a teacher at a school in the Kobe area. We met him with the sisters from our area and had dinner. By the time the night ended he told us that he has no need for God nor does he think he will ever have a need for God. He thinks there is nothing after this life so we need to do what we want and have fun. We offered him a copy of The Book of Mormon and a Plan of Salvation pamphlet but he declined. It was sad and it left me feeling down. But he was using his agency, we did what we could.

I have felt strong impressions from the Holy Ghost this past week that I need make a big push to improve my Japanese. I know that my Japanese is ok but it is time for a level up. My biggest problem with what I study is that I forget to try to use it throughout the day. I understand the principles just fine, that isn't a problem. I hear, understand, and analyze just fine. I just need to do my best.

Yesterday we had dinner with the stake president. During our time with him he shared with us something that he has been studying lately. It's in Ether chapter two. Here, Ether is commanded to build barges to cross the great waters. When instructed to do so he asks two questions: 1) how do we get air and 2) how do we have light. Here is what our stake president posed to us: how did he know to ask those two questions? The answer is simple, it is not deep doctrine, it is just something that, if read normally, is easily missed. I had missed it until now. And the point he wanted to make was to think deeply about everything. Do not take anything only for face value, look at it in different lights and     think. It was pretty cool.

Side note: I want to be the missionaries' best friend when I get home. Just something I have been thinking about since, like, first transfer XD

Well, there are the highlights from this past week in the Akashi area of the Kobe mission here in Japan. Today we cleaned our apartment a little which is way nice because this place needs it. After emailing we are going to go shopping. Then we will take some naps because we need them. Love you all and hope you are doing well! Fight the good fight and never give up!

Elder Peacock

2016.8.28 Goodbye Nabari. Hello Akashi!


So yeah, I got transferred to Akashi! Only one in Nabari, but that's OK because those hills though ;) My new companion is Jones Chōrō.  Interesting thing about this change is that I am back in the same district I was in when I was in Sumoto. I have actually been to Akashi several times and have done an exchange with Jones Chōrō before.  Hancock Chōrō is still in Sumoto so I saw him at the train station when I came in on Thursday, it was way good to see him. From Akashi I see the Kobe bridge and the island of Sumoto most days. Jones Chōrō and I have been having tons of fun over the past few days and I am very excited to continue working with him for however long I will be with him. Right now he is district leader which used to be the Kakogawa elders so he is having fun with that.

The past couple of days we have had much cooler weather, although still warm. The typhoon up in the northern part of Japan is throwing clouds and the cool temperatures down here. Today we have rain and some thunder and lightning, I'm just glad I put mud guards on my bike when I did. I'm all down for it to start cooling down, I'm so excited for fall!!! The cooler weather will be much appreciated. My guess is that I will be staying here for a few transfers. That's just a guess. Because I just jumped out of Nabari I think I will be here a while.

The first few days in Akashi have been good. Even with having been in Akashi in the past for district meeting and such I only know a small part of the main city, which has helped, but I am still getting used to the area. I also have a lot of names spinning around my head trying to memorize them :) We have been visiting members and finding in parks the past few days. Jones Chōrō told me that a lot of our investigators are on vacation for the next week or two so we can't visit them for a while. We really want to find new people to teach. And although we teach lessons to people when we meet them they often don't turn into investigators. And that isn't just Akashi, that has been every area I've been in. I really want to see people meet with us again, but all we can do is offer our message.

The church is on the block next to our apartment which is way nice. We have a popular, cheap grocery store called "Giyom Super" (spelling??) which is about five minutes down the street. We have restaurants close by which is nice too. However, we are completely broke right now so I don't think there will be any eating out for a while, even though I'm trying to avoid that XD Right now we are subsisting on pasta and pancakes. We have run out of rice, and you know you are destitute when you are out of rice.

Today we are planning on attacking the fridge for our cleaning project today. It definitely needs it :) I have tackled the spare room, my desk, the living room, and some of the kitchen already. Cleaning projects are way fun and they help me relieve stress. This apartment is a little old, but not terrible. After de-cluttering, wiping down, scrubbing, and dusting, this place will look way good! Too bad I can't pressure wash anything ;)

As I write this email my companion is trying to sew up a ripped seam on his trousers. I totally forgot how to sew but he was able to manage. We have all of our sliding doors and windows open to try and freshen up the air in our apartment. The rain isn't the same as Oregon's, but it reminds me of fall in Oregon.

Well, I think those are the highlights of the week. Transfers was the big thing. It's just beginning to cool down here in the Kansai area of Japan. We still have some time of warm weather, but by the time October rolls around I'm sure we will be in much cooler weather. I'm excited to work with Jones Chōrō in Akashi. The city will be fun and I'm sure we will find those who are prepared to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. I hope you all enjoy the beginning of the new school year! Fight the good fight and never give up! あいしてるよ!

Elder Peacock

I haven't seen a single lawn mower here in Japan. I don't think it's a thing over here *shrug*