Monday, December 29, 2014

This is our wonderful massage chair!

This was a taco rice place. It is like tacos without the shell.

This is Elder Kennedy, the food is all fresh at the restaurant.

These prawns were huge!

This is squid, they have the grills at every table and you grill it yourself.

This is crab brain, it was delicious.

These are the streets of my area. It is very compact. But as you can see very clean.

A Christmas to remember, a massage chair, and a katana

Hello everyone!
こんにちわ 皆さん!

This week has been amazing, here is what I was up to;

月曜日 Monday
We had a normal preparation day, (bought groceries, emailed home, went
window shopping). Then that night we went Kubaring at shinyurigoka
(新百合ケ丘). It was awesome, I had quite a few teenagers come up to me and
we talked for a while. In fact on of the teenagers took a self with
his girlfriend and I. The people here are some of the nicest in the
world for sure.

火曜日 Tuesday
We went to a special needs home to sing and pass out cookies. Since I
had the whitest hair in the room I ended up dressing up as Santa. Fun
fact, Japanese Santa suits are a lot smaller than American Santa
suits. It was an experience for me that I will cherish forever. The
kids eyes were all filled with hope and excitement, truly an awesome
time. After that Elder Kennedy (no he isn't related to the president,
a lot of Japanese people ask him), he is also in my apartment, went on
splits. We talked to quite a few people. That night we met up with
Shin, one of our investigators, at the restaurant he works at. It was
super cool, see the attached pictures. I ate crab brain, squid and
prawns, all super fresh and delicious. After we went to the church and
gave him a tour,mover all an awesome experience.

水曜日 Wednesday
Christmas Eve! We went to Kichijoji for a mission conference. It was
really good, President and Sister Wada spoke. We watched Meet the
Mormons again, since a lot of the missionaries hadn't seen it yet.
Then had lunch it was pulled pork sandwiches, this was one of the few
times on my mission I have felt full. After we went back home to
machida and went to eikaiwa. I started playing piano and an older
Japanese women came up to me and asked if I could play a pile of songs
she had with her. To my surprise I could play all of them! It was
really neat. After we taught class and discussed the differences
between an American Christmas and Japanese Christmas.

木曜日 Thursday
Christmas! We woke up and had a normal study time, (we study from 8-11
everyday). For companionship study though we sang a few Christmas
songs then opened the presents our parents sent us. We then went to
the church so my companion could skype his family. Afterwards for
lunch we did what any 4 American men would do with pancake batter and
snicker bars! They were delicious! Then we had weekly planning. Then
we went to Naruse to have dinner with some investigators at an Italian
all you can eat place. On our way there were snowflakes falling, what
an awesome Christmas present. In Japan the all you can eat places, you
order your food with an iPad and they bring it out to you. Afterwards
we went to a recycle shop and looked at ties, they are all super
awesome and inexpensive here. I bought a tie but then realized one of
our investigators hadn't received a Christmas present this year. So I
gave it to him. I have truly realized the true spirit of Christmas,nit
has taken me 18 years but I finally know what it is. Christ is a free
gift to us,his life his ministry and his atonement. As missionaries
the closest this I have is service and a loving heart. I later found
out most adults don't receive presents on Christmas. How sad is that!

金曜日 Friday
I got to skype my family today! It was awesome to see them and talk to
them for what little time I could. It was good to hear they are doing
well. After we planned to go to the gym and work out but had the
impression to walk instead. So we walked and ended up talking to a
bunch of people . One man in particular was a middle school English
teacher. He was wearing a fishing hat of all hats and a sports outfit.
When we told the man he could be married to his wife forever his face
lit up with joy! What an awesome truth. On our way home I spotted a
massage chair in an alley way next to a small electronics store. I
told my companion who told me if I wanted it I had to go inside and
ask them myself he wouldn't help me at all. So we walked another ten
feet and I turned right around and walked into the store. I asked the
women if it were trash and she said yes. Then I asked if I could have
it. She then gave me a puzzled look and I asked again. To her surprise
I understood what she said, and replied yes, the massage chair
outside. She then laughed and said she would have to call her boss.
She then called the boss he said sure, and I wrote my name and number
down and we rolled the massage chair home. The chair works perfectly
fine and is a fantastic improvement to our apartment.

土曜日 Saturday
For the 5th time this transfer I went to kichijoji, which I am told is
very rare for any missionary. There we had a meeting for all the
foreigners. A Japanese man then explained to us in much detail the way
Japanese think, it was very informative and helpful for me. We then
went home and I split with Elder Bennion who is another missionary in
my apartment. He I from Oregon. We were walking our bikes home and saw
a recycle shop in an alley way. So we decided to look around, and I
found a Japanese katana replica! (You cannot buy real Katanas without
a license in japan and all the real ones are in museums) it was 24
bucks, which is literally a ridiculous price considering most are
about 1000 plus.

日曜日 Sunday
We had an awesome time at church, I found out my bishop is the voice
for Jesus in the bible videos translated into Japanese made by the
church. After church we went to a baptism in fussa, which is right
next to the American Air Force base in yokoda. So I was in Japan in an
American ward, for a Spanish baptism! I am constantly amazed that the
spirit can be felt no matter your age, race, language, or
ethnicity,not is all the same. When we arrived back to the apartment
there were pajamas waiting for us from a sister in our ward. She said
that she has adopted the four of us as her mother. That was a good
thing to hear when your mother in on the other side of the globe.

Thank you call for the Christmas wishes! I hope all of yours were
equally exciting!


Elder Nathan Dunn
ダーン 長老

Sunday, December 21, 2014

My tie bled!

Some neat cars in minami machida

Awesome view in my area

Soaked, a Bike Crash, and a Christmas Party

こんにちわ 皆さん!

This week has been crazy busy! 

Monday 月曜日
Busy day! We went to the grocery store and emailed home. We then went to Diaso, it is a dollar general, or dollar tree in America, it is seriously amazing. Everything is a dollar. After dinner we roll played lessons then I cut Elder Kennedy's hair! You'd be proud mom, it looks good. 

Tuesday 火曜日
One of the longest days of my life. We met with Oosawa, he is sort of an investigator, it was a good and simple meeting. It started to rain a little so we grabbed umbrellas and headed to the south most part of our area to dendo (the word for doing missionary work). We took a train down and looked at some exotic cars, no one was really down there so we decided to walk home which is about a 2 hour walk normally, it wasn't raining hard so we thought it'd be a good idea. Half an hour in the wind picked up hard, to the point that it broke my umbrella. And continued for another 3 hours. We left our apartment at 1 in the afternoon and got home at 7 completely soaked, to the point where my shoes were better at holding water than repelling it. We took showers are dinner and went to Diaso to get some chocolate, then we made microwave treats, which were awesome! My feet hurt for the following 4 days they were so sore.

Wednesday 水曜日
In the morning we went to the Hombu to have a training on Facebook. On our way there I was literally packed into a train, so tightly I couldn't move. If they were that packed in America there would be fights no doubt. We went to the gym in the afternoon and talked to a ton of people, (I am amazed how much it really works, it must have to do with the relaxed setting or something). I talked to a swimmer for a good little bit, we exchanged numbers. That night I taught eikaiwa (English class), we are usually supposed to teach actual lessons but the people that were there were basically fluent, so get this, one of the worst people at English (myself) is teaching people! We discussed all kinds of things and we talked a lot about American culture. One man was obsessed with acronyms, it was pretty funny we defined a ton of them. 

Thursday 木曜日
We had zone conference which was awesome, they had some really good trainings. After they did splits! I was with a transfer 2 missionary, named elder Johnson. We decided to talk to as many people as possible and we did! We had a teaching appointment with members, but I couldn't find there house. We knocked all over, in fact a man brought us into his house and wouldn't let us leave until we found it, Japanese people really are this kind to everyone. He brought us to the house and it still was the wrong one. We left but were able to talk to the man a lot about the gospel, it was a miracle in disguise. 

Friday 金曜日
Today we were joined by another missionary making a tripanionship! So elder Johnson, elder Kojima, and I walked to shinyurigoka, our intended place the day before, but we didn't make it. On our way we talked to a man who spoke old man Japanese , which is super hard to understand, the native elder with us was having a hard time understanding as well.It was good, I was swamped with people coming up to me and asking me English questions my favorite was a Nepalis man, who wanted to learn more about the church. We talked for a good little bit. Then we split back to our normal companion ships. We had sports night (this is for our investigators) which was fun! We play a lot of ping pong. They had me talk to everyone at the end and give a spiritual thought in Japanese. I talked about Christmas and missionary work. I was surprised at how much I could say! 

Saturday 土曜日
It rained again today so we went to the gym to talk to people, we talked to a few people, an old man was obsessed with the Americans, it was great. After we biked to the church in the rain and I wrecked, not bad, I'm fine you can hardly notice. I hit a curb funny and fell, you'd be amazed how close we ride to cars. We got hymn books from the church then went to shinyurigoka (新百合ケ丘, if you google this it should come up) to go caroling for a little bit. It was awesome, we talked to a lot of people about Christmas. Then we went back to the church and had young men's activities with the young men. I played tennis. The youth here are awesome! After I cut my hair. I was surprised at how much easier it is than I thought. My companion helped a little.

Sunday 日曜日
We had 8 investigators at church! It was awesome. A sister who just got back from her mission came and brought her friend. He is a golden investigator, and we are meeting with him often, he is going to progress quickly. We had our Christmas concert we sung an arrangement of pochelbelles canon and the first Noel, it was awesome! The ward members gave us a ton of food for Christmas, it was very generous and kind. A quote I really loved this week that put the mission in perspective is, "I am told that over the entrance to a great European university campus there is an inscription that says that "nothing worthwhile ever comes to a person except by the anguish of his soul and the sweat of his brow." (The Purpose of Life: To Be Proved)"

I hope everyone knows this aren't the only things I do on a mission, there is a lot of other places we go and talk to a lot more people, these are just highlights of my week. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas this week and take some time to realize the true meaning of Christmas. I know this year I have. 

Love you all! 

Elder Nathan Dunn

P.s. I upload all my pictures to my blog, my previous posts are there as well.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

This is my home away from home, my desk.

This was my language study. Trying to figure out how to work it.

This is from the steakhouse.

It is very beautiful.

Here is a temple, in the middle of the city!

Merry Christmas!

We made tortillas. They were awesome!

It is busy in Machida.

This would be Blue Thunder

Normal city scape.

Here is the ramen! It was massive.

This is our hour, my companion, Také, and the other two elders

This is how we order, it's like a vending machine.

This a ramen shop we ate at

A bike, an earthquake, and a renewed hope

こんにちわ 皆さん!

Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers this week they have been well received!

First real p-day in the field! After emailing, we went to treasure factory! It basically puts every American thrift store to shame, it was pretty cool! They had all kinds of things, ties for a dollar, electric guitars for 40 dollars, old Japanese tea sets for 15. The Japanese are obsessed with Star Wars memorabilia, which makes it super cheap here. It was all way cool. After we went to Seiyu to buy groceries, Japanese stores instead of having a big bread isle have a big rice isle. After dinner we handed out English class pamphlets and I stopped someone, he was super cool. 

I bought my bike! It is a blue Precision, road bike, it is very reliable. I have named it Blue Thunder. When I checked my email at 7/11 I had 56 new emails from my mom with recipes and pictures it was a fun surprise. We then meet up with a less active member so my companion could buy a new camera. After that we went to a sushi go round! It was great! I had a ton! After our long day I made rice pudding, it was delicious. I do miss American cheese and hamburgers though, kind of random but since we were talking about food, I thought I might as well. I am learning to enjoy new tastes. 

Ramen! We went to a huge Ramen shop in Machida. We went with Také, he is leaving to be a graduate student in California, he brought his friend who is super nice and loved talking to us. We tried to visit his dad afterwards but he was busy, so we just stopped by for a little bit. We then went to south Machida which is about an hour walk away, we went to treasure factory again and talked to some people there. For dinner I made Tortillas, they were delicious. After we went to Ekaiwa class and taught, it was enjoyable. 

Earthquake! During weekly planning there was a 4.3 magnitude earthquake! It was awesome! You could feel everything shaking. We went to the gym and worked out and talked to people. We met a guy named Steve, super cool American who we talked to for a little bit. After we went around caroling to ward members and investigators, that was enjoyable. 

We street contacted people, and I stopped a man who spoke great English. He then said he went to our church building on Sunday but no one was their because it was Saturday and had forgotten church was on Sunday. He is super interested so that was awesome to hear. We had sports night which was fun, I played basketball with some 10 year olds. i am amazed how much I speak English on a daily basis, Japanese people prefer it with us. 

We visited Také for the last time, he leaves this week. We visited a few ward members afterwards. We went out to dinner with Yasura, he brought us to an American Steakhouse. It was kind of one, with a Japanese twist to it. We then went caroling with a bunch of ward members and other missionaries, it was a lot of fun. I talked to Yasura most the time, I gave him a Book of Mormon. He has been meeting with missionaries for a while but none of them ever offered him one. I have realized a lot of 20-30 year olds are receptive to the church, they love the fact that we are American and are always taking pictures with their "American friends". I made the goal to read through all the sessions of general conference by the time I go home, I am on a pretty good track to. Something that has really stuck out to me as I have been reading was, 
"Recently a group of bishops were asked for a report on their work. They were told not to discuss their problems, but to describe what they did better than anyone else. This philosophy of excellence was demonstrated by the artist Whistler, who once painted a tiny picture of a spray of roses. The artistry involved was magnificent. Never before, it seemed, had the art of man been able to execute quite so deftly a reproduction of the art of nature. The picture was the envy of the artists who saw it, the despair of the collectors who yearned to buy it for their collections, but Whistler refused steadfastly to sell it. "For," said he, "whenever I feel that my hand has lost its cunning, whenever I doubt my ability, I look at the little picture of the spray of roses and say to myself, 'Whistler, you painted that. Your hand drew it. Your imagination conceived the colors. Your skill put the roses on the canvas.' Then," he said, "I know that what I have done I can do again." Then he gave us a great philosophy of success. He said, "Hang on the walls of your mind the memory of your successes. Take counsel of your strength, not your weakness. Think of the good jobs you have done. Think of the times when you rose above your average level of performance and carried out an idea or a dream or a desire for which you had deeply longed. Hang these pictures on the walls of your mind and look at them as you travel the roadway of life."
Great Experiences
It is so true, we need to have that great accomplishment in this life to reflect back on for those rainy days. 

Church today! I was much better, I am starting to understand a lot more. I was asked to give an introduction, so I used my best Japanese and spoke to them. As we were welcoming people, a man walked in who said he felt prompted to come, he is from China and speaks perfect English. He was way receptive and the other elders in the apartment are meeting with him later in the week. After church, the missionaries were roped into singing an arrangement of the first Noel, put to the tune of Pachabels canon, it is all in Japanese but sounds really good! I am realizing that the ward is like any other American ward, they are just speaking Japanese. We watched the Christmas devotional Japanese. I found it online and read them, they were really inspiring. We had dinner with the Uyruyu family, they were very kind to us. We had a delicious curry. They also gave us mugicha, it is a barley tea that we are allowed to drink. It. Is. Disgusting. It tastes like someone put out there cigarette out in your water and gave it to you to drink. I am pretty sure if they made people who want to quit smoking drink this we would find the rate of smokers decrease an innumerable amount. We streeted around for a bit after and talked with another Buddhist man, he was very friendly. We finished our day by having a zone conference call, where we talk about each of the districts and what we can do to improve them, during which one of the elders in our apartment made fry bread, that we dipped in hot chocolate/cinnamon sugar mix. 

This work is definitely inspired, I am amazed at the amount of maturity at which I have had to grow into to fill such a capacity. It is defiantly hard at times, but the blessings received through such work, is more than I could ever ask for. Miracles still happen.

Thank you all so much again for your thoughts and prayers, I have much needed them. 

With love, 
Elder Nathan Dunn

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Marry Christmas from KFC

This was in an import shop, do they even have this in America?

This is where we went caroling. It is super awesome!

I made this last night for dinner

This is my trainer and I (Elder Leftwhich)

My first Japanese Ramen. It put instant ramen to shame.

This is Sun road, it is like a strip mall

Picture from kichijoji church building

Seiyu dis the Japanese Walmart. It is owned by Walmart, it means "west people".

Where I Slept the First Night

Arrival to Japan

Airplane food

My MTC district

I have arrived.

> こんにちわ 皆さん!
> I have arrived safely in Nehon! Here is how my week has gone.
> Sunday
> Lasts day at the MTC! It was so nice to finally get to that point!
> Vocal Point came for the devotional, which was awesome, they are a
> singing group from BYU. We then finished packing everything and
> cleaned our room.
> Monday/ Tuesday
> We left the MTC at 3:30 in the morning! We took a bus to the train,
> then the train to the airport. I was able to talk with my family in
> Salt Lake for an hour which was amazing! I then flew to Seattle, then
> off to Nehon to arrive at 4 p.m. Tuesday. I was exhausted. Customs was
> so confusing, thank goodness some of them spoke some English. We then
> took a bus to the Hombu (mission home). I met president and sister
> Wada, they are some of the kindest people I have ever met. When I
> first arrived I probably looked crazy, my mouth was gapping wide open,
> I couldn't believe I was here. We learned a lot of customs when we
> first arrived such as how to take our shoes off properly.
> Wednesday
> Today was filled with training about the various ways we do missionary
> work here in the Tokyo south Mission. After lunch, I got to go talk to
> people on the streets! It was awesome, I was surprised by how much I
> was able to understand! I spoke to a few different people. I amazed at
> how clean everything is here! Yet there are no trash cans
> anywhere...for work out in the morning we did radio tyso which is an
> aroids program in the park that a lot of older nehongen do. For dinner
> we went to a ramen house which was awesome!! The food was so amazing!
> After we taught English class! I loved it, something I felt
> comfortable with!
> Thursday
> I got my new companion today! Elder Leftwhich, he is from Colorado! My
> area is Machida, I can't really explain very wells where it is, so it
> is better to look at the map I posted a while ago. I got my iPad
> today, we can receive and read emails anytime throughout the week
> however we have to wait to respond til Monday. We went to the
> apartment, which is super nice, my companion said it is one of the
> nicest in the mission, we have bunk beds and a dryer! (Yeah, that does
> sound pretty sad). We forgot my immigration card at the Hombu, so we
> had to go back, which is about an hour train ride. Interesting thing
> about trains it is silent, almost a weird silence. I am consistently
> the tallest on the train, and can look ever everyone when walking down
> the street. Everyone looks super young here, I am convinced they stop
> aging after age 20. Japanese girls are an interesting group as well,
> they always giggle when we walk past, which makes me thing I have
> something in my teeth.
> Friday
> We woke up and had district meeting, it was good! I got to meet
> everyone in the District. All 8 of us are serving in the same ward! It
> is pretty intense! We went to the gym after that to meet with an
> investigator Shinn (pronounced sheen). I invited someone to English
> class, he spoke good English, and invited us over for dinner. After we
> had sports night which was awesome, i played ping pong with the
> littler kids, whose Japanese is way better than mine.
> Saturday
> A day of goal setting! We set some intense goals at a companionship
> for the transfer. I made my desk a little home, it is the closest
> thing I will have to home for the next two years. We then went to
> Kichijoji for the Christmas concert! It was amazing, all there songs
> were in Japanese, and I couldn't understand a word, but I was able to
> tell what was being sung. On the say to the concert we were riding the
> train and these girls were staring at me and giggling, I am starting
> to get used to it, and then one of them approaches me and asked me how
> I was doing in Japanese, I understood and responded. We had a good
> conversation then she started asking me about my mission, to make a
> long story short, I found out she was a member! It is a rule here that
> we are not allowed to approach women.
> Sunday
> The closest I have every felt to crying on my mission was today. I was
> super homesick. Church was rough, I didn't understand anything. I just
> sat there and smiled and wondered why I wasn't serving in America.
> Then the thought came, "you were chosen to come here because you can
> handle it". After church I played with the member kids and talked with
> them. My ward is one of the biggest in Japan, they are all super nice
> and a lot of them speak flawless English. In my mission there are only
> 2 branches the rest are wards. I was presently surprised to here that.
> On the way to church one of the elders in my apartment was hit by a
> car. He is fine, but the bike tire is completely bent. It was an
> elders who just went home, and was going to be mine. But I think that
> was a sign I should get a new one. After church we went caroling, it
> was awesome! It really felt like Japan where we were.
> Thank you for all your prayers and love, they have been much needed
> and well received this week.
> Love,
> Elder Nathan Dunn
> P.s. If any of you have recipes you'd love to share, feel free! We do
> not have an oven however, so that is the only down side.