Sunday, December 27, 2015

マリークリスマス!いいお正月!

こんにちわ皆さん!マリークリスマス!


I hope you had a Merry Christmas! My week has been busy and blessed! 


Monday

We began our preparation day with some great window shopping, walking around to the various stores in Kichijoji and enjoying the various shops around. Then we went and emailed but about halfway through I felt awful, to the point where I couldn't email coherently anymore. It was pretty meager. So we bought groceries and went home so I could rest before we went to FHE, it was probably a miracle that Michael overslept and wasn't able to come so we set off to visit a potential investigator who had no desire to meet with us until halfway through next month, as he told us that he had to get back to work and went to the next room where he had the window open as he watched professional soccer. Guess I need to get into his line of work someday. We housed around and tried talking to people but no one would listen to us, we got Kiire, which basically is the equivalent of telling your dog to leave. So we left a little dishearten but we know our purpose and we're still happy deep down. 


Tuesday

I woke up and felt awful! My head cold had gotten much worse overnight and I was now shivering and just a hot sweaty mess, not a good example of someone who is supposed be a representative of the Lord. However we had presidents interviews so we got ready and went to the Honbu, there Sister Wada commented on my health, she said, "your eyes aren't as blue today, you need sleep." So I was told to get some sleep. While my companion was interview she sat me down and said it was good to see my companion smiling, she said she had never seen him smile before. It really is all about love, it's the motive. I then had my interview with President Wada, it was good to have an interview with him but it has kind of lost its excitement since I have lived in the area for so long. Either way I learned a lot during it. After we came home and I crashed for about 5 hours, but afterwards I felt a lot better! During my sleep my companion made bread so we went by the bishops house to drop it off! We "ping-pong-dashu" ed his house. Then housed the surrounding area, one lady listened to us but her husband came out shortly after and yelled at us. Since becoming the senior companion I have had to help translate for my companion, but I don't want to offend him so I usually simplify what is said or give it a little easier. It is interesting how much words can offend you no matter what language you speak. 


Wednesday

After studies we went over to the church to help set up for a training meeting for all the district leaders. The meeting was great I learned a lot about how I can become a more effective leader in my district, I was asked to give a training on working with ward leaders and I compared it to pulling figurative weeds, so we can have uninterrupted communication with our ward leaders. It was a fun analogy, and made me thankful for all those farm experiences I have had growing up. (Not saying I missed performing them, I'm just saying I learned a lot from them.) After that we grabbed some dinner and had a lesson with Kajira Kyodai (who literally is a Japanese hippie) and Michael. It was a great lesson we taught about the Holy Ghost and the influence that we can feel before baptism. Eikaiwa was wonderful! We had a few students show up because it was a national holiday (the emperors birthday! That's right Henry you have the same birthday as the emperor of Japan!). We discussed or Christmas Traditions as families in America. Then we talked about the symbols of Christmas, we ended up teaching the class all about Jesus Christ's birth and the Wise Men! It was such a wonderful lesson, and way quickly relatable to the gospel. 


Thursday (Christmas Eve)

After studies we had District Meeting! It was fun except the zone leaders and the sisters didn't come so half the district was practically gone. Either way it was a great meeting and we got a lot figured out for the district and ward. After I was called into the office to help with a project for our families then got stuck running a few errands. After we journeyed to the Akumatsu's house. We found it a little early so we housed around the area and found an old man who had some interest but we were able to teach him either way. The dinner was great! It was the Akumatsu's, Elder Ford and Elder Mukai, the Sisters, and us. All in their apartment with their 3 kids! It was a lot of fun! I hadn't realized it but it has been over a year since I have had a dinner appointment with kids! It was a blast, they were all really excited for Santa to come, so they began the NORAD tracker. I love how big Christmas is starting to become in Japan. It was a great night.


Friday (Christmas)

After we got ready we ran to the church so Elder Gerard could Skype his Family! I grabbed a computer and worked on updating a few things on the website and apps. After his Skype call we had some studies and went out to lunch as a District to Yakuniku (Korean BBQ) it was pretty good but nothing like ham haha. Then we went back and Elder Yamada asked me to help him out with some of the apps, so I spent some time helping with that. After we left and went housing, in this practically abandoned neighborhood. It was pretty sketchy, sadly no one would listen to our message, in fact one woman said, "oh thanks for the reminder" and came and took her wreath down. After being a little heart broken we went over to the Bishops house for dinner. The Bishops son in law was there who just came home from his mission in Irvine! I had no idea so I spoke Japanese to him until he straight up said to my companion with an American accent, "so how long have you been out?" That kind of shocked us. However he is awesome and it was another great dinner, their kids were great! I loved spending time with them. 


Saturday

After getting ready we ran to the church so I could Skype home! The last time I saw everyone was in May! It was great being able to talk to them, and very rejuvenating in a sense. It was kind of weird though because I feel like it is getting harder to relate to things back home. It was also weird hearing that I need to think of college, to be honest that has been the last thing on my mind recently, but it might have to be something slowly. It was the hardest to hang up this time, maybe because it was Christmas, maybe because it had been so long, who knows. I have just learned on my mission that families are the one of the most important things in this life, that's why we teach it second to people. After we went to Ippudo ramen, then back to the church to have new missionary training and wait for Raju! Raju is from Nepal! He is awesome! We spent some time getting to know him and his culture and it was amazing! Just mind boggling cool! He is probably the only man I know who was born and raised in the Himalayan mountain range and is scared of heights! Imagine that! His sister is getting married soon so he explained how Nepalese people have weddings, it is a three day ceremony! After the lesson we tried contacting Michael again, sadly he wasn't able to contact us. So we hiked to our dinner appointment which took an hour to get there! We got super lost, but when we got there they were in open arms waiting to greet us! It was a great dinner appointment! I love the Uchiyamas they are the parents of one of the families in the first area I served in! It was so wonderful to be there! We had our lesson before we ate, in Uchiyama Kyodais words it was so we, "didn't have to stress over it". He had a really interesting career with IMB that he shared with us, we had indo curry for dinner and sister Uchiyama gave me the recipe! Yoshu! After dinner we went to Michaels apartment but sadly he wasn't home so we left a note. As we housed around the area we got yelled at by a drunk man who didn't want to talk to us, which was really funny because we could hear his wife in the background saying, "stop it, you are embarrassing."


Sunday

We changed around where we meet for DCS, it helped a lot! Everyone was more open with their comments, we were just to far apart. We finally were able to contact Michael, his phone had died. Sadly he was unable to come to church so we sat with members, during Sunday school, the topic was about strengthening your marriage, it was interesting to hear from the position of a missionary, but i learned a lot nonetheless. After we talked with Naka Kyodai, who is a fashion designer/president of his own fashion line. He was way open to talk to us, and invited us over for dinner after the new year! We were invited to attend high priest group the third hour which was special, they asked us to bear our testimonies, so I bore mine on families. It was a great meeting overall. During choir Michael came! So we grabbed a member and taught about the importance of baptism out of 2 Nephi. After we went home ate supper then went to the church to help fix one of the apps that broke, then off to Ueki Kyodais lesson. It was a great lesson, We had Elder Gerard take the lead, and he did a great job. After we went to the church to start weekly planning, but we met a member visiting from America who lays fiber optic cables across the ocean floor. It was an interesting discussion. There are some people in this life who you meet only once but have a large impact on the rest of your life, he was one of those people. 


I hope y'all had a Merry Christmas! 


Big Hearts! 


Elder Dunn



Some Super Fancy Mochi from an Eikaiwa student! 




Monday, December 21, 2015

The beginning of the adventures of Elder Dunn and Elder Gerard


Dear Friends and Family, 


This week I have been thinking a lot about what the Angel said to the shepherds at the time of Christ's birth. In Luke 2 verse 10 we read, "And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." As a child growing up we have a tradition in my family to act out the Nativity. Growing up I was the lucky one in my family to play the Angel and stand on the piano bench as my dad read from the scriptures, this verse. It really hit me this past year what "good tidings" really means. In Japanese the word for the gospel is fukuin or 福音. The meaning of the first character is good , and the second character means sound, or report . So I'm Japanese good tidings means the gospel. So the Angel was saying in effect. I bring you the gospel of great joy, which shall be to all people. I love being able to help spread "good tidings" this Christmas season! 


Monday

After our studies and lunch we headed over to the church to grab those good ole emails and then went Christmas Shopping for our families! It was a blast, who knew there was so much neat stuff crammed in this city. After finished, we went back to the church to write emails, then went to Seiyu for groceries. I was having a real sweet tooth, which is pretty rare for me so I grabbed a bag or macadamia nut Oreos. I will tell you they are grand. Then we went to Mitaka for a 4 man kubari with the other elders. I stopped one woman and talked to her about why I am here in Japan and she said that she'd met Mormons when she was living in New York City and has been wanting to meet us again! We exchanged contact info, and will hopefully get in touch again. We all stopped various people, I have found most people are more willing to take a flyer of you say "merry Christmas" instead of "free English class"! After kubaring we went to McDonald's to warm our hands and toes and grab a drink then headed home before curfew. 


Tuesday 

Since Elder Ishikawa is leaving he needs to pack,which also is the same day as the big transfer cleaning so the elders who aren't leaving clean the apartment for as long as it takes. Well when your house is this big it takes forever. Elder Gerard and I worked hard to get this place spick and span. Elder Mukai dropped off our bunk beds too. So we had to hoist them from the window in order to get them to the second story, the stairs are too narrow. After they finished Elder Ishikawa and and I went to the Matsumoto families house to charge a Christmas message with them! It was a fun time, their daughter reminds me of the boys back at home. When we asked for a referral they pointed us in the direction of some less active who lived in some nearby apartments. So we headed over there and found a woman who had a lot of interest and was probably really lonely, but she wouldn't accept any of our commitments. It was kind of sad. We continued housing but sadly no one wanted to hear of our Saviors Birth. 


Wednesday

After our studies we headed over to the church to meet with Adachi-San! He is so great, we taught about the Word of Wisdom and he took it all in! He said he has been following the commandment for over 20 something odd years! That is usually the hardest commandment to teach investigators because they see it for all the bad, not all the blessings that are available from following the council. After that great lesson we prepared for Eikaiwa for a little bit then went to go streeting in the park, only we ran into all the new missionaries there talking to people, so that was a little embarrassing, so we went up a side path and invited people over there, sadly no one was super jacked to listen to the missionaries so we weren't able to teach anyone, it was a bummer. After we met up with the other Elders and went out for dinner at a tsukemen (ramen with the soup separate) shop. I ordered 500g of noodles, and it was so delicious. It has become one of my favorites. After we went back to the church to split for two separate lessons. Sadly Ishikawa-San didn't come so we weren't able to teach him, but Michael came about 30 minutes late, so we hurried and had a simple lesson about prophets before Eikaiwa.  It was a good lesson, simple but effective. We planned on skyping a former missionary for the lesson but come to find out he overslept his alarm. Maybe next time. Eikaiwa was great, it was Elder Leachs last time, which was really sad, because we have been teaching together for over 6 months! One of the students was so sad after class she ran out the door and ran to a waffle stand nearby and bought him some waffles. The new missionaries there seemed excited, I hardly saw them because they all went to different classes but they seemed happy. Right after Eikaiwa ended I ran into Ward Council to report about the work in the ward. We got some good feedback, but they are a little lukewarm about missionary work right now. 


Thursday

Elder Jennings and Elder Ishikawa were grumpy during studies and kept arguing, I think they were a little stressed about leaving. After an interesting companionship study we took them to the train where we dropped them off, and at that point, Elder Gerard became my new companion! We are both pretty excited! It is hard to believe that I am in the same shoes by follow up trainer was in a year ago! Crazy! We went out for lunch at Shakeys, then went to the church to get our weekly planning done. I have noticed it is important in the first weekly planning session to set up expectations for each other so you know what you can expect fro, each other as well as understanding how you will accomplish this great and marvelous work. After we came home and ate dinner then housed around the church before sports night. There we taught an old drunk man in English about the plan of salvation and Christmas...it was an interesting lesson, especially since his wife had hung up the intercom on us after saying, "where are you..." Then he walked out and said, "Americans?". "Yes sir" we responded. "I like you people, why are you here?" I love lead ins like that. It was fun teaching and testifying in our native tongue. After that we went to sports night and balled it up with the people there, sadly there weren't a whole lot of people there so we will have to work on fixing that. 


Friday

After studies we went to the church and had 12 Week, it was weird having that again. It was fun to teach and train though. We made a goal that day to pass out 6 copies of the Book of Mormon to people. So we headed over to Kogane and began housing. We talked to a man a little bit about the Book or Mormon and offered him a copy and he accepted it! Sadly he told us he didn't want to talk to us anymore though. The next lady we found was so sweet but said she wouldn't read the book because she was worried we would be like Muslims. Which turned into a giant hole of, "you don't watch the news? Really?"...it was exhausting. The next person we found is a Jehovah's Witness, they have a pretty strong religion here, sadly the woman only wanted to argue our beliefs, she seemed kind of disturbed that we are paying our way to come out here and are completely volunteer based, but we shared what we believed and bid her goodbye. Then we went home ate dinner and got ready for district meeting. I a, slowly getting the hang of district meeting, it is just a lot to be in charge of. My district is the biggest in the mission since it includes the mission office as well. Busy busy busy. 


Saturday

After 12 week, we rode to kogane to meet with Michael, but he was asleep so we had to call to wake him up. While we were waiting for him we street end a few people, and talked to some nice people sadly none had interest. Then Michael showed up and he took us to his apartment where we had a lesson! It was a great lesson! The Spirit was so strong, he really wants to improve his life and he knows the gospel will do it for him! After the lesson we ran home, changed, then went to the ward Christmas party. Japanese Ward Parties are insane in the membrane! The Elders Quorum did the Scrooge play, the High Priests made these intense flower arrangements (made by Brother Naka the fashion designer in our ward), which told a story about Christmas, the primary sang, the missionaries told the nativity, and the ward choir sang, all while we ate dinner! It was awesome! Eikaiwa students came, and we had a potential investigator come with his family. His name is also Michael, he is American/Japanese and loves talking to missionaries. I think he tries to corner missionaries with his words, but Elder Gerard and I had no part in that, and we just testified over and over. At one point we testified about the importance of learning how to fall, I have never felt more like a parent in my life. It was kind of scary. After that we helped clean up then housed around our apartment before going home, but we only got yelled at by old men. 


Sunday

DCS was great! We really are getting this ward moving, the ward mission leader wants to change things which is great! Michael our investigator with a baptisimal date came to church, and made a bunch of friends too! It was grand! He loved it so much he asked if we could come next week! Uhhhhh...of Course! After church we went home, sang Christmas carols in the park, and then we ran to Ueki Kyodais house for a quick visit before going to the Stevensons house for dinner. Brother Stevenson is American but sister Stevenson is Japanese, and their kids are all grown up, they are a fun family. The whole district came which was a lot of fun. One of the daughters, who served a mission in Hawaii really got after Elder Gerard for not speaking enough, it was pretty funny. After we played some games and had a short message, we sprinted home to make our curfew. 


Big Hearts! 


Elder Dunn


Half a kilogram of ramen



A bedazzled hummer near an apartment we housed. 






Sunday, December 13, 2015

Another week has flown by laboring in the Lord

私の愛する家族と友達へ



Tuesday

We all woke up early and headed off toward the temple. We planned to stop at the McDonald's by Kichijoji eki, but it doesn't open until 8. So we went to the one in Hiro-o instead. The trains were stuffed as always. Elder Gerard lost his name tag. The temple was great, I enjoyed the time spent inside. After we wrote emails, went grocery shopping. Then ran back and forth to the house and the church to meet with a man we set an appointment up with, Ishikawa-San. He is a great old man, we went out to dinner with him at the big gioza shop and had a little lesson about what to expect from us, to set some expectations with him. However we must have been in the gioza shop to long because they got upset with us for being there too long. Aver the lesson we went to visit some less actives but couldn't find any of them, instead we got barked at by a viscous dog, and yelled at by old men. Kind a different end to the day. 


Wednesday

After a good study we headed over to the church to find some less actives. We found an area that was really sketchy...this apartment was completely run down, paint chipping, rotting wood, no lighting, and had a Buddhist man chanting very loudly. We got out of there quickly I'll tell you what. Then we found a bunch of other crazy places. It was just a crazy day of finding. After dinner we set up for Eikaiwa and taught our students about American idioms which was great. As we went down for the game, we saw a man who was outside the room and looked lonely so we talked to him and set up an appointment to meet him later on in the week. He has a lot of potential, and needs to feel love a lot.after we rushed to PEC where I reported on our efforts for the week. 


Thursday

We began our morning after personal study at the old apartment where we helped close the apartment. It is a pretty dang sad apartment. The office hired a trash company to take all the large (unburnable) items out of the apartment. It is surprising how quickly they are able to pick that much stuff and make the place all slick and span! After we went out to lunch with the Sato family! He is in the bishopric and is hilarious! He told us about an experience he had on his mission where he drove a milk truck! Missions sure we're different back then. What I loved most was his appearance. Japanese fuka which is traditional Japanese garb, with tabi boots, and a Rolex. You kit have to look it up to actually get an idea of what it looks like. After our lunch at a super fancy French restaurant we went to the church to weekly plan. It was normal, after we saw the Adamsons! They came back from America! It was great seeing them again! When we got home for the night Elder Jennings and I began splits! We planned to go visit some less actives, but got lost after we hopped a barrier to find an apartment complex. Japanese addresses are so screwy. When we came home we had some great catching up since the MTC. Crazy thing is in the MTC we hated each other, but now we are practically brothers. It is neat to see how i've grown up a little bit. 


Friday

For language study Elder Jennings and I made cinnamon rolls for district meeting. Then headed over to the church to drop them off. Then off to Ogikubo! It is the craziest place I have been in Japan, just a bunch of strange people. We went housing and got lost so a man helped us find the address, he was saying all kinds of funny things in Japanese as he did it. Then he brought us to the sketchiest place in Japan I have been. It was an abandoned apartment complex. The first three floors had no one except one person, so we went to knock it and we hear the Piano man by Bill Joel playing in the black ground so we look in the open window and say hello! An old woman creeps from behind he corner and begins blabbering....literally....blabbering...we had no idea what to do! We just stood there, and then Sophie pulled up a chair and continued. Somehow I understood what she was saying and she told us that they evacuated the apartment complex for mold or something...either way we booked it outta there. Then if that wasn't enough we went to get some kabobs for lunch and met this lady who was a former investigator! She lived in Turkey and told us this crazy story about her brother who was gone because of his sons death fighting the terrorists! Just nuts! Great kabob though. Delicious. We then ran to district meeting, it was pretty normal, nothing special. Then questions of the soul, we went with two of our investigators, Micheal, and horie. President Wada related it's a wonderful life to our normal lives. I had never seen the movie before so that was interesting. After I got called into the Honbu to help with transfer calls..


Saturday

We went early to go help with transfer calls. The other Tech Elders tried over complicating it so we had to redo it but it all worked out. I am staying in Kichijoji and will have a transfer 2 missionary as a companion, almost the same position my second companion was in! It'll be a blast. He has been living in the same apartment as me so it'll be pretty cool to be companions. He is from the D.C. Area and a way smart elder. We will get a lot done together. Then we went to indo curry, and elder Jennings explained all about buddism since he has recently been learning a little bit to help investigators. Neat stuff! Then Elder Ishikawa and I went to teach Micheal! It was a great lesson! We committed him to baptism on the 9th of next month! He is way down to meet too! After we went to the church and elder Jennings and I went on splits again to go an teach the craziest lesson of my mission. I wish I could explain more about it but I can't. I'll just tel you that things were very thin, and I never before have seen someone totter back and forth so much in my life then say no to baptism. Just an out of this world experience. 


Sunday

DCS was great! The ward mission leader is starting to realize the importance of members in he work! Yay! Then we had a great 3 hour block of church. I love the members of this ward! They are starting to seem normal to me! Crazy! After church we went home ate lunch the. Came back for the Christmas devotional! It was so great! Even in Japanese the spirit of Christmas is so strong! I loved it. Afterwards we were talking to some members and they were asking me what I used to shoot on the farm. Guns are illegal here in Japan so they think guns are amazing. I told them about a potato gun I made in high school! They got a big kick out of shooting potatoes haha. Then we ate dinner and ran back to the church to sum it baptisimal dates and run back home for conference call. 



My week has been a doozy! But I have felt a lot of peace and comfort in reading from the Book of Mormon in Alma. In it I have been focusing a lot on the bravery of the Anti-Nephi-Lehis, they were so righteous that they would rather die than break a commandment they made with God. It really has put diligence into a new perspective for me. 


Have a great week! 


Big hearts,


Elder Dunn


Sketchy apartment building



Another sketchy apartment


Teen drivers beware, this could be your next car!











Monday, December 7, 2015

The Return, Elder Dunn in the Field part II

Dear Family and Friends, 


This week has been BUSY! I am learning how to juggle, that is probably the best way to express how I feel now. 


Monday

We woke up and had a full studies! It has been so long since I've had a full studies! Afterwards Elder Ishikawa and I wrote some letters, then headed over to the church to email. After emailing we went to yodabashi camera for some light bulbs. Japanese electronic stores are insane, it has about the same building footprint as a Best Buy, only it is 9 stories tall! It has everything inside. Since the light bulbs and the massage chairs are on the same floor we took a little break. Thinking back on it, it's probably better if they were on the same floor as the sowing machines. After we went to the post office to buy a box, then to lunch and an insanely cheap ramen place, back to the church to fill out a package slip and borrow some tape from the Honbu. Back to the post office to send the package then to some Christmas shopping. I'll tell you what I found some neat stuff. The sad thing is last Christmas Japan was so new to me that I was able to find good presents however, now I've been acclimated to Japan. After some shopping we bought groceries and went home. Then spent our last hour of preparation day decorating the house for Christmas, since it used to be a sisters apartment not to long ago they have a ton of decorations. Then as we were going to the church to look up some addresses, I got a call from the assistants asking about a tech problem so I had to spend an hour in the office fixing it, then teaching Elder Leach and Elder Yamada how to fix it if it comes up again. Then elder Ishikawa and I went to go visit Less actives! Sadly we weren't able to meet with all three we tried visiting. One we spent a little over an hour looking for! Japan's address system is so confusing! As we were riding home that night i was reminded, "no effort is ever wasted". 


Tuesday

One. Year. In. Japan. Wow. I can't believe I've been here a whole year that is crazy to me. We had normal studies, ate lunch, then went to the church so I could send my presidents letter, but when we got there Elder Mukai needed Elder Ishikawa and I to go with him to the old elders apartment to see what kind of trash was left in it...there is a lot. So we spent two hours with him while he fiddled with the idea of having a company come pick it all up, thankfully he did because we would've been in quite the pickle if he hadn't. We then helped him load a washing machine into the van and take it to another apartment. When we arrived at the mission office, which shares the parking lot with the church. Elder Ishikawa and I were on our way over to the church when Elder Leach came out and asked if I could help with something, so I spent another hour in the Honbu. Then we finally got out and I could send my letter, it is dangerous going back to the office. We went to the park afterwards to dendo but no one would talk to us, literally no one. We tried and tried but we must have had our invisibility suits on or something. We then came back home and I made us some omelets while my companion watched a Play that the machida stake had a while back it was pretty interesting. Feeling more hopeful we found some less actives and went to go bless their lives. The first member we visited wasn't home but his 90 year old mother was and claimed she was a devoted Buddhist as she batted her eyes at me. Talk about giddin' on up outta there! The next person we couldn't find, but as we were housing the nearby area we found another woman who had no interest in church whatsoever, as she claimed 5 times, but she proceeded to tell us about why she believes family history is important. Perfect! Another great opportunity to testify of the gospel. The next person we met was yet again another woman. At first we asked her for directions then introduced ourselves as missionaries, she then told me in English, "I have no interest in religion, but I want to learn more English"! Well perfect! We have got something for you too! The next person we visited was home! He answered his intercom, and told me, I was the one making the call on this house, "I have never heard of your church before, and I don't have a religion" I responded, "great, we are missionaries for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and we love people that don't have religions, in fact, we love everyone because that is what the savior would do." After going back and forth, he told me, "leave me alone I'm watching tv, and I don't hold a religion, close the gate on the way out." I was lost at the last bit because it was a very command form of the word so I asked him to repeat it like 4 times. Then he just hung up, confused because of radio static and commanding words I turned to my companion who smiled, then said in English, "he wants us to close the gate." Oh. Oops. On our last door of the night we rang and a woman answered, we introduced ourselves and our message and she responded, "sorry I'm on the phone right now, but I'd love to hear your message, can you come by later?" Uh...yes! Well send our sisters over have a great night! Talk about one of those last miracles for the day. Elder Jennings and I Tim tam slammed to celebrate our year mark in Nehon, and I wrote the ward mission leader. Having a Japanese companion is great for practice because we spent 45 minutes talking about the difference between McDonalds in America and Japan right before bed. 


Wednesday

After studies we headed over to the church for a lesson with Adachi-San! That man is so great, we taught him the Plan of Salvation and he soaked it in like a sponge then asked all kinds of inspired questions. Kajura Kyoudai had some great questions as well, it was a good lesson overall. Afterwards I got called into the office to help with the photocopier, all the other office Elders had left for various driving related things so since I was close by they asked me to help. We came back near the house to knock on some doors. We got yelled at and had the door slammed in our faces over and over again, but finally the last woman we talked to we were able to give her a plan of salvation pamphlet and committed her to read it. Then came home, ate, and went to eikaiwa. Part of being district leader means I am in charge of eikaiwa for the area. Gulp.   I think it went well, we are figuring out some new ways to improve and grow our classes. Afterwards a man by the name of Michael with his other drunk friend and I had an interesting talk, they are kind but we will see what comes of it, they are deadest about coming next week which is great!


Thursday

After studies we headed on over to the church for Weekly Planning. It took us a while because we had a lot of contacting to do as well as get to understand the area better. There was also MLC going on so that was an interesting time being inadvertently involved with that. After our planning we headed over to an inport store to find hot cocoa however there was nothing great. So we headed back home but just as we were about to leave Elder Yamada came running after me for some more help. Don't get me wrong I love helping it is just hard when you plan for things to do that day. When we got home we went to unlock the door, and well it was locked. Then we tried the windows. All locked. Then Elder Ishikawa and I began trying to figure out how were were going to get inside. Our second floor has a walk out balcony so we decided I would hoist him up and he would climb onto the concrete wall, into the window sill and then up into the balcony. It seemed pretty easy so we went at it and wouldn't you know it, he made it on the first try! And without falling too! Sadly all the doors were locked up there too! So he was stuck up there yelling for me to call the other elders because they had the key. We waited about 15 minutes until they came. Poor Elder Ishikawa, he was pretty cold up there without his coat. After dinner Elder Gerard and I began splits. We decided to visit some members, we found one active members house but remembering they had small children we left a note and continued our journey. We found one other house and a woman helped us find another as well. It is funny how friendly Japanese people are if you ask for directions, but as soon as you bring up the gospel it is game over...sometimes. 


Friday

Elder Gerard and I headed over to the Church early and grabbed Elder Leach and Elder Yamada for a meeting with all the new missionaries. On our way to Hakuraku, I found out that I'd be giving a bulk of the training, so much for not being Tech Staff anymore. Afterwards we went out to eat at a Shabu Shabu place, it was delicious! It's probably one of my favorite Japanese foods. On the train ride home we ran into Bubba Kyodai, a recent convert in Hakuraku, I had never met him but it was great to see him. When we got home Elder Gerard and I looked up some less actives to go visit, and went to go house around them. We chose Maedaimia which is at the very edge of our mission. I thought it'd only take 20 minutes by bike however it took about an hour to get there 😩and we left the mission as we were getting there. We found on of the less actives wives, but it turns out her husband is dead and she had no interest so we moved on inviting a few people here and there. Afterwards we biked back to the church and ran to Seiyu (Walmart) and bought some supplies for hot chocolate for district meeting. Then we had a District meeting, it was great! You could really feel like things will start picking up here in Kichijoji. After we came home I wrote the award mission leader who hasn't responded to any of the messages I've sent him this week. I think it's the right email address...guess I'll just have to be persistent. Then Elder Ishikawa and I talked about Star Wars in Japanese, I actually found out that Japan doesn't have a rating system for movies, they just kind of advertise movies to certain ages. Also if a movie is doing really well and makes over a certain amount of money the movie is cheaper to go and see! 


Saturday

Elder Mukai called us earlier in the week and told us that we needed to clean the old apartment which is a piece of junk...seriously though it is awful, the elders had to emergency transfer out of there because of all the mold. So we had to bag up all the trash and take it out to the churn, but in the mean time we had fun getting stuff small enough to fit inside of the trash bags. In Japan you have to separate all of your trash which is really frustrating, because you have to continually ask yourself the question, "Could I burn this?". And the answer is, well if Boy Scouts taught me anything it's thatI can set fire to anything. Sadly that doesn't work here in Japan. After we finished, we hurry and changed and ate dinner at this oil noodle place, it was alright, I think broth just makes a good dish though. Then off to the Christmas Concert! It was so crazy going again this year, last year I went and understood nothing. But this time I understood the whole thing! It was so cool! Plus I knew more than half the cast this year! It was neat to see the youth I worked with in various wards sing. Afterwards we talked to them and I was amazed at how many recognized me with how many missionaries change! Get this though! I saw my MTC companion, Elder Tolen! But if that wasn't enough we both recognized a man we taught in the MTC, Yuhei! We went up to him and began talking to him and catching up, he just got his mission call to Kobe, and got into BYUi! It was cool being able to talk to him in his native tongue and feel comfortable. I remember thinking how embarrassing it was to speak Japanese, not to say that has changed a whole lot. It is just different. 


Sunday

We went DCS, and had a great meeting, we announced our plan of caroling to the ward, it got some people excited which was great. A man sat in front of my companion and I at church, then afterwards he turned to talk to me and said in English, "Hi, I am brother so-and-so." We got to talking and when I inquired as to where he learned English he said the Yokota Air Base, i related where I was from and he grabbed his phone and showed me a picture of an address in Ohio and asked if it was close to me. Turns out the address is inside my stake boundaries! The man who taught him English retired close by to where I live! Pretty nuts! We were on our way to Gospel Principles with him but the Assistants grabbed him and took him somewhere else. After church we split up the fruit basket and then Visited Kosaka Kyoudai who is a computer animator for Japanese cartoons! It's pretty cool, we shared the Liahona message and set up a dimmer appointment for later in the week. After we went to Ueki Kyoudais house and taught him "Who is God" one of the new pamphlets we are using. Then we ate dinner and went to Mitaka Eki to Carol! There was a great turn out from the ward! They were all pretty excited to sing! By the time we left there was a giant group around us listening. Elder Jennings found a Chinese man, and the sisters found a woman! It was a great district activity to help the ward members and people of Kichijoji. 


Monday 

After studies and lunch we went to the church to send our presidents letters and find some less actives to visit. However the Wi-fi was off. So I called my friend at the area office Elder Jones who is over all Technology in the Asia North area, and he was able to turn it back on remotely. We got that figured out then left for kogane which was forever away! We housed a whole apartment complex and no one answered the door. We prayed and felt like we needed to go somewhere else so we turned down another street and found 3 kids playing basketball. We talked to them about Christmas, actually it was more like taught they had no idea why people celebrate Christmas. Then we visited the Takahashis but they weren't home, so we left them a message. Then took the long bike ride home to eat dinner. After some spaghetti, gravy, and chicken bullion noodles we went with the intention to go to south Mitaka to find more less active and house in the nearby area. However, when we got to the church we took the snap shots, then just as we were about to leave the church a woman came up to us   Holding a Mary medallion and asked if it was ours. Sadly it wasn't but she expressed interest in who Mary was so we showed her the nativity Bible Video and were able to testify about it and set an appointment for her to meet with the sisters. We then stopped by the Honbu to grab some fliers to go and street in the park but the tech elders needed me to write a quick excel file for them so that blew through more time :/. Finally we were able to get out but sadly we only had a half hour. 


A lot of people really are unaware of what Christmas is all about aside all the Shopping, American songs, and KFC dinners. Some people think it is just an American holiday or the "cool- in thing to do". But in actuality it's not. It's to celebrate the birth of our Savior. I really love sharing our Christmas message with those we meet on the street. The simplicity of the video and children's testimonies of Christ really put the holiday into a clearer perspective. It really is able to impact those whom I have the opportunity to serve here in Japan.


Hope y'all have a great week! 


Big Hearts! 


Elder Dunn


Me and some of our Eikaiwa friends!



We went to this ramen shop that puts charcoal in their water to purify it.


Elder Tolen, the man we taught in the MTC (Yuki), and me after the Christmas Concert.








Sunday, November 29, 2015

Leaving the Office!!!

Hello family and friends, 


I hope this week has been wonderful for you with various thanksgiving parties! My week has been nuts! 


Monday

After studies we went out for big gioza, it was delicious, as always. After we had our normal shopping and relaxed. We decided to change into normal clothes and email in the gym. Elder Yamada played the guitar and Elder Leach threw a football around. I dragged the couch from the mothers lounge and lounged on that and emailed. About mid way through Elder Leach decided to make some faux commercials. Which was a blast filming back and forth! It was a blast! Then we finished emailing and helped president with his iPad issues. After we changed and helped set up for FHE, then during FHE we had to set up the office again. They finally finished all the construction! 


Tuesday

We woke up early for the temple! They needed some other Elders to go since it would be packed soon. I was debating to go in Japanese or English but grabbed a tag anyways, in the hallway I saw a sister who looked panicked because she couldn't find one, neat how the Lord helps you out sometimes. The temple was great, I love going to the temple. Then we came home and had more office work. To be honest I don't entirely remember what was do editing the day. It is all blurring together. 


Wednesday 

During staff meeting President told me it was very possible that it would be my last time for a while in staff meeting. It was bittersweet. He also said that my new assignment will cause me to stretch and grow a lot. That kind of freaked me out a little ill have to be honest. After staff meeting we went to our after staff meeting ritual, Shakeys! It was good, I mean as good as Japanese pizza can really get. I'll never really understand why they put mayo on pizza as a replacement for tomato sauce. After pizza we went back to the office and worked on creating a sheet to travel to any eki in the mission with price included. It is pretty extensive. About halfway through the assistants called me back to the apartment. They had my transfer call...they told me that I'd be replacing my current district leader in Kichijoji, and be senior companion to Elder Ishikawa, as well as district leader. Also that the switch would be happening Saturday. O.O what? I don't know anything about leading a district? Talk about feelings of inadequacy. At dinner, I felt so sick I didn't eat. Eikaiwa was great one of our students gave me an ear pick, and a thing you can wrap your headphones around in the form of a ninja! It was pretty neat! I love my Eikaiwa Class! Afterwards Elder Richardson and I went to PEC, that was kind of nerve wracking for both of us, he is becoming the new assistant. 


Thursday

Happy Thanksgiving to all you Americans! I woke up feeling awful, and it lasted most the day. However my day was spent mostly on the 3 floor of the church for zone conference. I'll tell you what, it was a great meeting! President announced that I'd be the new district leader, and elder Richardson would be coming into the office. He then added, I'm keeping Elder Dunn close so he can continue to help the office Elders. President really helped us understand more of the scriptures in our daily lives. Sister Wada had a great demonstration about asking for blessings through prayer. After lunch the assistants brought out the new standards for the mission that we have been working on for a while. It will be exciting to implement them, they are extremely bold, but have the potential to have a lot of miracles seen. At night we went out with Josey to indo curry, it was his first time going, which is amazing since he has lived in Japan for most his life. He told us about the new Star Wars game that came out, it sounds pretty neat. We talked about life goals with him and how he can better his life through them. After dinner we went back and a friend of ours, Tadokuni had an issue about the Book of Mormon, specifically where Nephi is commanded to kill Laban. It can be a deep topic of you try to make it one, but if you rely on the simplicity of the restored gospel, it makes complete sense. 


Friday

Waking up feeling bad still is never a fun day. I worked on packing, and fixing an video for president, I'll tell you what subtitles can be pretty pesky if you let them be. At night we had district meeting, it was good. Elder Richardson is a great district leader. The meeting was just weird to me thinking I am supposed to run it next week. 


Saturday

We woke up early for some missionaries going home, needing to collect various items from them. It has to be hard for missionaries to go home for various health reasons. We then went to a stake blitz in Fuchu, Elder Moua and I were companions, talk about a small miracle! If anyone could help me at that moment it was him. He helped me put a lot, especially being a district leader in a neighboring area! We talked to two men, one is a professional dancer! Talk about a good looking guy! He was way nice and offered to accept our half English half gospel lessons. The other man we talked to knew of the Mormons because he stayed with a Mormon family in California! Whoa! He also accepted our offer for lessons! After the blitz we came home, I threw my stuff into the car and Elder Mukai dropped me off. Easiest transfer ever. When we arrived at the house, yeah, house! It was pretty messy, which was kind of upsetting. Elder Ishikawa and I started weekly planning, talk about getting thrown into straight Japanese practice! It felt good though, I am more comfortable than I was with my last Japanese companion, and he is so easy to love it is great. We then went to the church for Thanks giving dinner with some families from the ward, all of which had lived in America for some time, so it was mostly in English! It was so weird hearing members who normally refuse to speak English speak. Elder Leach and Brother Talmage talked about guns forever haha. He is the great grandson of James Talmage. In the background they played one of my favorite Christmas albums by Micheal Buble, which threw me back to the last thanksgiving at home 2 years ago now! Whoa! Dinner was so delicious but I felt so sick, mostly from the stress, but I am sure some was from being homesick too. After the dinner Elder Ishikawa and I hit the park for some dendo! We talked to a nice couple, of which the woman spoke English and had met missionaries we invited them and kept working. By this time I felt awful, my head was pounding, I felt like I was going to puke, however I had the toughness to make it. We arrived home 15 minutes early and I'll tell you what, I wanted to go inside so bad. However it's during those last 15 minutes that some of the coolest miracles are seen so we kept at it, we knocked around the block with nothing, each person rejected us kindly but with no interest. Then came the last house, we pushed the intercom, nothing....again....nothing. So we knocked! A man answered and said he had no interest but asked us to wait a second. About a minute later a woman came to the door told us she is Catholic but had interest in our message, we asked if she wanted to hear a message from our sisters and she accepted! We thanked her and sprinted home making it just in time. We planned and I hit the hay right away. 


Sunday

I woke up feeling a little better. I was really stressed out over DCS, but thanks to the enabling power of Christ I was able to make it. Sacrament meeting was great, I don't remember what was being said, but I just remember feeling happy. After church we had a big member shokugi (meal). It was wonderful, we sat next to the Akamatsu family! I was really interested in their daughter who is 5. She skyped everyday to the Philippians for kindergarten! It is completely in English! Talk about an interesting way to have school! Brother Akumatsu was baffled by how young my parents were, his oldest child is 8 I think, so an 11 year age difference is a big deal haha. After we helped take down the meal we went back to the house for planning. I was looking at my schedule and I am packed the next two weeks, so much for having a lighter load outside the office. After planning we had "clean up" time with the other Elders. I'll tell you what the house looks a lot better now! After that we went to the church to collect statistics from the missionaries and found a nearby address of a less active. We then went to visit ueki Kyoudai! He is so kind and humble, we shared a simple message about Christmas and the savior a love and invited him to the Christmas Concert on Saturday! We then biked to another less active, he likes computers so we had something to talk about, we shared Luke 2 with him and committed him to read it and come to the Christmas concert as well! As we left we got a call from the Sisters, they just set a Baptisimal date with their Chinese investigator! Yay! Since they were at the church we had them submit ours too, that we forgot. Then we biked home and housed around the house again, but we got yelled at. After planning we had a conference call where I had to report on the district, it was good. Halfway through we got a call from the assistants asking about a tech question. Guess I'll never be finished with the office. 


Okay to recap. I am in the same area that I used to be in only now I am a normal missionary. I live in a very nice house in Tokyo, for the first time in my mission I am senior companion and district leader, Elder Ishikawa is my companion who is actually younger than me too, and I'm having a blast blessing the lives of the people living in Japan! 


Big hearts!


Elder Dunn


P.s. Our P-Day will be on Tuesday next week! Going to the temple again! 


Thanksgiving Dinner


I love the English used here.


Christmas lights! 







Monday, November 23, 2015

Sore throats and stake conference

My beloved Family and Friends, 


This week was a long one but it was good. 


Saturday


Elder Bates and I have worked hard on our morning runs by telling everyone we meet hello or good morning. This morning we told one man who was what you might call a "usual". Only this morning he told us that there had been an earthquake and they were expecting a tsunami...well that made us giddy on up home. Thankfully we weren't affected at all, not to mention it was pretty small comparatively. For lunch we went to a tsukemen shop it was pretty good, it is one of our favorites. Then we did some shopping we went to Loft to look at pens, and the Star Wars exhibit. Then to this hidden mall above the train station that sister Wada helped us find, it is a pretty classy store. You can buy a suit made to you (I actually forgot what the word is in English). It was pretty cool. When we got back to the apartment the assistants were in a buzz which is weird for a p-day. Then I was called over, it turns out at the mission presidents seminar, president learned a lot and now wants to make so,e big changes to our mission standards, which means changing a lot of information, such as; an app, the portal, how we gather statistics, and where we report....it is a lot of work. Not to mention he also has asked that either I or Elder Yamada go to each zone conference and give two presentations! Oh, and this all needs to be finished by Thursday because that is the first one. Talk about stressful. Thankfully after all that news I distressed by writing home, so sorry last week was so short. Then we began getting all the work done for the change. I finished a new baptismal date reporting system which I had been working on all week. Around 10 president and sister Wada came back from one of the stake conferences they were asked to go to. Last week we all gave them money and they purchased ties for us in Korea because you can get them really cheap there. Like handmade silk ties for 10 dollars! So we all got to pick one out of their selection! 




Sunday


The night before I got a message from an investigator in one of the other companion ships in the area telling me that he was coming to church! So my companionship sat with him and Josey at church! It was a great time. Sadly Josey had to leave halfway through for another yotte. After church we sang in choir "Angels we have heard on high" it is way weird singing it because last time I was singing the hymn I was in Japan and had no earthly idea what I was saying, now most of it makes sense. Interesting how that works out. After church we are lunch and weekly planned which took forever but we were able to set up appointments for most the rest of the week. Boo yah! After dinner we worked on another musical number for zone meeting on Tuesday. I don't know what it is and having missionaries sing. Then we went out to dendo. With this new swagy dendo style being released we decided to give it a shot, and boy oh boy does it work miracles...literally. We stopped two men and talk to each for 45 minutes it was just perfect. We showed one man the Easter video from two years ago, we are so fortunate to be able to use iPads to hasten the work, sometimes a simple 3 minute video can touch people in ways we simply cannot. After we got back president told me I could be leaving the Honbu as soon as the 3 of December! Hallelujah! With some extra time at night I decided to relax by doing some of that good'ole family history work. Or basically detective work. 




Monday


We woke up to a big problem with our statistical report for the mission. The date for tracking ended...today. So elder Leach and Yamada worked on that all morning and since I am not a ton of help when it comes to excel I studied. Then worked on a statistical app for the mission. It was a slow day. We also worked on getting the new way of counting contacts working for president. It is a lot of work, but it is pretty neat. 






Tuesday


In the morning we had a zone meeting which was in the church it was way boss. Lots of mogis. We got into a good motion where it felt good. We had a normal office day, it was pretty chill for the most part. We just worked on various projects. They are still doing construction so that is kind of annoying. Then we had dinner with Tarokuni! He is awesome. He was a pianist in New York City but came back because of an expired visa. He has a real tender heart. After dinner we played the piano and sang because that is basically the only way to teach him.  




Wednesday


Staff meeting was held in the Wada's living room because of the construction, comfy chairs yoshu! We found out afterwards that You can't take your bike through the trains anymore and there was an elder emergency transferring because another elder who was sick was coming back! So I went with the assistants to go and pick up them which took about an hour via car. So we put the bike in the car and then I went on the trains with them to make sure things were sorted out. It took us about an hour to get there by car but only 12 minutes to get home by train... Now we see why missionaries don't have cars in Japan. I took the companion of the elder who was emergency transferring to Gioza, then we dendoed in the park where we met a man who is from South Carolina. He was pretty nice and had never met us too! Then we went back to the office to drop him off so he could go to the airport to pick up his new companion. Then we had some work to do through the the mission. Then eikaiwa! It was fun, we just talked about color idioms which was confusing and fun for everyone.  




Thursday


I have a really sore through the so sister Wada dropped off ginger, lemons and honey and told me to use it to make tea for my throat. It worked so well, cleared me right up! So president decided instead of having us go to all of the conferences we should just skype in so we waited and waited but it turned out that we weren't needed. After the work we went to sports night but I had the feeling we should go dendo in the park. So I grabbed elder Mukai and we changed and went. There we found a man who was playing the harp! In the park, I had talked to him before but he had showed little interest, but this time he was all ears. It was great we handed him a Book of Mormon and set up a follow up appointment. Then at night it was just Elder Yamada, and Elder Leach in the apartment which was pretty strange because I haven't been in an apartment with less then 5 people in it for a while. 


Friday


Walking up with a sore throat always kinds of sets the tone for the day, but you know what. A study of Christ-like attributes is really helping out with that. Positive thinking...buzzz.. Then worked on creating a mircle collection page for the website. It is a lot more complex then I was anticipating which basically means it took forever. We had dinner early, McDonalds, home of the mega mac. Then District meeting, this weeks was especially funny because Elder Mukai basically gave interpretive dance to the whole thing. It was hilarious!!! I really like this district we all seem to work well together. 


Saturday 


Well it would normally have been out p-day except we had stake conference and we might have had to help out with a blood drive so it made things a bit complicated. So we just moved it to Monday. We worked on the excel file for the key indicators. Turns out excel really isn't that bad. It is just a lot of formulas but coding is more difficult. Stake conference was really good president wada really pushed for more missionary work in the stake. The evening session he talked about the miracles seen throughout the mission using Facebook. He used a powerpoint I helped him make it was kind of neat to see what happens to all the crazy project we have around the office. 


Sunday


We had stake conference in the morning, it was great. I stayed awake! That was a miracle in and of itself. When Japanese people speak in church they use a lot more kaigo (formal language). Which isn't normally used a whole lot. Afterwards we had weekly planning, it was kind of long but we got it finished. Then we had to "emergency clean" the office. Turns out someone really big was coming and we needed to clean up....no idea who though. We then made bread for the bishop and headed over, sadly he wasn't home but we were able to leave a note. We then housed around and met a really sweet 92 year old woman! She was so kind! However she was a little crazy and asked if I wanted to eat some of a plant with her, i did but i think it was mint but it dried my throat out pretty bad. We came home early and then housed around the church. We found an awesome lady who came outside and wanted to learn more! It was such a neat miracle #thankful. 


Well that was my busy week. Sorry it is kind of long, but there is a lot of neat things going on in the mission! 


愛しています!


ダン長老









Saturday, November 14, 2015

Preparing shots, fixing sister Wada's blender, and skyping the MTC!


Dear family and friends,


Well a lot happened this week, but if you can read past Saturday you'll be fine their isn't a whole lot. 


Saturday

How do you add to an already eventful week? If you were thinking go to an American Air Force base then you are thinking right! We made our way there no problems with our suitcases. For our lunch Elder Leach and I got philicheese steaks with cheese bacon fries! America ja nai desu ka? I payed with the American money I had and no joke I felt like I was using play money, it was so weird to me. It was oishi desu. When we bought our groceries we ran out of money, I have never seen Elder Ford scared before but uhhh...when you are twenty bucks short it gets a little scary. Thankfully I had extra cash so we were safe. On our way home we were on the train emailing and a visibly shaken and upset man got on the train. He was just talking to himself and kept saying he got beat up and was going to call the police. At the next stop he got off and and got on a different car, and began stopping on the floor. Confused because we couldn't see him we all looked at each other bewildered. Then at the next station he got closer to us, and picked up his phone. Which is super bad in Japan... Like way way bad. So he gets on his phone and begins screaming into the phone, the translation would basically be, "I can't believe you did this to me, I'm going to hurt you, I'm calling the police..." You get the feeling. Then he hangs up, and throws his bag on the ground over and over. Scaring the woman and children next to him. Thankfully when I took a step to ward him to protect the woman he moved further down the car and stomped on his umbrella, and punched himself in the face. It was quite the scene. The people on the train just looked boggled at the man. Trains are basically silent in Japan. When we got home we finished those emails. Then began set up for flu shots for the mission! I found out that you don't have to have a degree to prepare the shots, so I volunteered to prepare the shots! That was a blast getting all of the shots ready for missionaries! The doctor administering the shot is a surgeon, and the wife is too. So I enjoyed talking to them as well. Afterwards we worked on moving the stuff in the sisters apartment to the new office couple apartment. Only the sisters were in a lesson and had the only key so we basically just sat their and waited. 


Sunday

Rainy day. At church Josey came! It was exciting! Then afterwards he went home teaching! Progression is being made! We scheduled a lesson for later that nit then Elder Yamada and I headed over to Kunitachi for a appointment with a man I met via a zone blitz and have been communicating with him via Facebook for the last little bit. On our way there I took the opportunity to get to know him a little better. He is from Manhattan and his father is a well known Oncologist working in the New York area. His Grandparents were some of the first converts in Japan! He is Canadian by birth but grew up mostly in America. So that is the gist about him. When we arrived in Kunitachi , I split with Elder Moua (my old companion!!!) and we went to a nearby eki to met with him, however he stood us up, more like forgot, and we ended up waiting in the eki for him for an hour. Then back home and to the bikes we went to go to Joseys. We helped him cleaned and ate curry, then had a super awesome lesson really focusing on change. There was a great spirit there. 


Monday

Well they are doing construction in the office this week so we had to hold staff meeting in the Wada's living room on the third floor! It was a good meeting, we enjoyed spending time with the Wada's and discussing Christmas as a mission. We got assigned to do a little digging for the new Christmas video this year. After the meeting we worked and worked and worked in the office. Trying to catch up on all the work that we needed finished from the previous week. Elder Leach had a big report due so we worked on more projects and helped the Wada's out for their trip. 


Tuesday

The Wada's left for South Korea for a mission presidents seminar. They continued working which was really loud so work was really slow. So we took a break and went to the back and had weekly planning. Since our area is brand new we took the other elders area book and referred people over to us. Let's hope we see some miracles from it. Remember last week when we had the issue with the toilet? Well they decided to look at the plumbing which entailed taking out the entire wall, and drilling and drilling. It was way nostalgic to smell wood, and plumbing primer and glue! At night we needed to get out so we went to dendo for a half hour, sadly we stopped all of one person, but the good thing is we tried. I can't wait to leave the bu.


Wednesday

They had a district leader meeting so one of the elders from a base area brought the grease we ordered from online. So Elder Leach and I went upstairs and played with the mixer until we got it fixed. When we thought we finished we turned it on it made a really bad cranking noise so we took it apart and put more and more in then finally we were a little fed up so we turned it on really high which made the cranking really bad, then it all stopped! It worked! No more issues! So to test it out we mixed some bread, yum. Then came back and backed it and worked more on creating a new statistics app. (Which I just found out today, Saturday, is going to be completely different...). Then to Eikaiwa, which was great we taught about some American slang which was enjoyable. 


Thursday 

In the morning we had a way cool opportunity, we skyped the MTC to work on debugging an app with them! That was a lot of fun to throw ideas around and help them out a little bit. So I have been drinking a lot of water recently, which is helping with headaches and forcing me to get up a little more often. Work in he office was slow, but we are getting things finished, I found that since thanksgiving doesn't really exist here in Japan everyone listens to Christmas music super early. After the long day, we met up with Josey for sushi! That was a lot of fun, we discussed neckties around the world, and used it as a great opportunity to get to know him a little better. 


Friday

Work in the office was good, I am getting the hang of coding pretty well which is great, because now it is a lot more doing and a lot less studying. We worked on projection numbers of missionaries, along with eikaiwa stats, with some baptismal dates as well. It was a lot of nerd work, but it is cool to see how numbers work. We then found out that there is a big issue with area book happening around the mission, actually the apple servers are down in Tokyo so we are having a little issue. After a long day of that I engaged in my new mealtime pass time 10 minutes of eating and 50 minutes of sleeping, it is helping...somewhat. We then had district meeting which was good, we are really focusing a lot on BTR as a mission which is basically how to teach like Ammon which is great being here in Japan. 


Sorry this week is so short. President just got back from Korea and gave us a big project, in fact I just found out I'll be going to a few zone conferences giving presentations. There are some big changes coming. 


Big Hearts, 


Elder Dunn


Elder Yamada took my iPad and thought I'd delete the pictures hahaha...



They decided to build a little room so they wouldn't bother us...it was kind of ridiculous to be honest. 





Friday, November 6, 2015

Elder Dunn and the horrible, no good, very bad week

Dear family and friends, 


You know how some weeks refuse to end? Well yeah, that was basically one of those weeks here. Here let me explain; 


Monday

Our companionship and language studies were wrecked by going to the bank with Elder Leach and a Elder Mukai. It gave me an opportunity to read a little bit with was nice. Then we wrote our families, de-stress begin.  Then we went to Kumars as a district which was great! Elder Jennings and I reminisced about the MTC. Then we went to koenji. Have you ever heard of the term, "hipster"? If so I can almost guarantee that that is where the root of it all is. All of their shops have just outrageous clothing. I think the most interesting part is that they all think it is the American thing, so they wear it. I'll tell you what my sense of fashion has changed on my mission being emerged in a culture where everyone is aware of what they wear. But, I refuse to wear a 1950 motor cycle helmet for fun because it is fashionable. It was a culturally intriguing experience for sure. Then we came home, and I slept during dinner. After we began the cleaning party! Yay! It took a while, and to be honest I turned into the apartment barber and cut everyone's hair. I'd rather do that then find out what kind of monsters are growing in our vegetable drawer. 


Tuesday

As we were getting ready Elder Ford came in and announced that one of the missionaries that was supposed to be on their way didn't get on the plane because he forgot his passport on the train in Utah. Talk about a great start to the day. Then during companionship study sister Wada asked us to mogi with her, only I forgot about it, and a Elder Leach was at the bank! So I grabbed Elder Ford and we went upstairs. It worked. It was just kind of weird being he only one that wasn't ped. I got a lot of helpful feedback though. I just need to relax more when I speak. After that we planned to begin setting up futons in the church however the youth reserved the room we normally use for a choir practice so we had to wait on that. Around 4:30 Elder Yamada arrived and we all made bread however we were having issues with the computer downloading the videos needed. If that wasn't enough sister Wada called us telling us that the plane was over an hour late and two Japanese sister arrived on a different plane! So they were stuck at the airport. We were told to go get a light meal so Big Macs it was. We were also waiting on a sister via Shinkansen from her hometown so we sent the sisters to the eki, well she made her way from the eki to the Honbu no problem, so We called the sisters. Then sister Wada called saying she would be at the Honbu in 30 minutes and asked for Elder Leach and I to meet her at the eki to grab their bags. Well on the way over we met an American man who tried to argue with us about grace. We told him flat out we didn't have time to argue, and asked him instead if he thought it was Christlike to argue with his fellow man. With that we ran to the eki to find sister Wada. Helped her to the Honbu then went to the bus depot to meet new missionaries. I talked to a man about his skateboard for a little bit that was relaxing. Then when the bus arrived president wasn't on it because he had to wait at the airport with a sister who left her wallet on the plane! So we helped he new missionaries take things to the Honbu and went upstairs to the Wada's. Well just when we thought nothing else could go bad one of the sisters that just arrived exclaimed, "I'm so sorry, I have no idea what I did but, the toilet is overflowing." Oh no...sister Wada looked like she was going to cry so we burst into action. We told her not to leave the kitchen and went to  face the mess. And sure enough there was water just gushing out of the toilet. So we ran downstairs and grabbed all of our towels and the plunger. Then back upstairs where I rolled up my sleeves and pant legs and got to work. Who knew I'd use those skills here. Then we cleaned up all the water, and since my pants were pretty weak just left them rolled up. Funny thing was that president was on his way and elder leach wanted his jelly downstairs for bread so we ran down, and noticed president and the new sisters on their way, so we ran after them. Only my clothes were on a mangled mess, my tie pulled down button unbuttoned, pants and sleeves rolled up, and not wearing any socks. President and the new sisters gave me an interesting look so I explained what had happened. To which president judged, "today has been horrendous!". Indeed it had been. We then ate dinner, cleaned the kitchen which took us past 11, and then went to bed. Now you are getting the idea of how this week was going...


Wednesday

We woke up pretty worn out and went for a run. I ran with elder Siqueira he is from San Paulo, Brazil, and a recent convert of 2 years. If that is t awesome enough he learned English and Japanese at the MTC! He is amazing! We ran together and talked to a man. Had our normal trainings and Elder Yamada and I worked on putting screen covers on all the new iPads. Around 11 a man came in and asked if we knew about a doll in the church. Confused we went with him and looked around, sadly we didn't find anything but would look for it. It was really creepy. After lunch we planned to dendo with the new missionaries however I lost my wallet, so we ran around everywhere looking for it, it was in my bag...that was embarrassing, and the other Elders went so we didn't need to go. For dinner I lead the group to ippudo a Japanese ramen shop! I think the new elders and sisters liked it. In my group we had an elder from England, and a sister from Finland with us! That was pretty cool. Then we went to eikaiwa and on our way back we ran into the other group that went to udon. Elder Leach ordered a ginger ale and they brought it out in a giant mug, confused but impressed by their generosity he drank it, then turning to the other elders asked, this tastes like vinegar. So he asked the one of the workers what was in it, to which he responded, "sake". Which is Japanese for alcohol. And uhh news flash for anyone reading this who isn't a member, Mormons don't drink alcohol. So that wasn't too good. When we arrived at eikaiwa though we had a surprise from one of our students! Markers! The past few weeks we didn't have a good marker so she bought us one! It was an enjoyable class and thank goodness nothing flared up during that but when we got out president texted to tell us that the elder who missed his flight had come except his luggage was destroyed in turbulence so they would be at the airport working on figuring things out. We think they got home around 11. After we tried to start setting up the iPads however the new missionaries used iPads in the MTC so they had already created Apple ids so we had to plan to get them all and change all the missionaries passwords. 


Thursday

During breakfast we got a call from sister Eyring telling us that her and her companion were separated on their way to the Honbu and her companion didn't know how to get to the Honbu. So Elder Yamada and I went out to go and try and find her because we had an idea of when she would be arriving. At the train station, eki, we waited and prayed we would find her. Elder Yamada had the impression to go upstairs and after we got their I had the impression we needed to go up the escalator. At the top we waited and sure enough 10 minutes later a blonde sister came running toward the gate win fear and panic, she didn't see us. So when she clicked through we walked up next to her and I said, "hey, we will help you from here." To which she screamed and began to cry. It was cool being able to help someone. She then told us the story of how a member found her and asked her for help and also someone in Shibuya took her to the exact train to get on! It was pretty amazing! Then we began changing passwords and setting up iPads. Around 11:30 I received a package from China! I was confused out of my mind! It was the new screen covers sent directly to us from the factory! That was pretty legit. Then we began to finish only some of their passwords wearing right so we had to go without lunch to fix it all. Our training afterwards was alright, we finished strong which was good. After we began figuring out all of of the returning missionaries out as far as futons go. That was a fun run around. During dinner I slept, and about half way through we got a call from the Nagoya mission asking if I would build their portal. I told them to call me next week. This week was a little too busy. After we finished we began getting all kinds of office work done involving a new transfer. Getting rosters and pictures up. 


Friday

I'll tell you what, being exhausted from the night before did not help in the morning. I felt to dead to play dodgeball with the missionaries so I slept in until 6:30. Breakfast was so delicious! It was one of the best breakfasts I have eaten in a while. It was a pretty sad morning though Elder Kennedy and Elder Bennion went home! They were in my first apartment in Japan! That is crazy to me it has already been that long! They seemed so old to me when I came into the mission. After the goodbyes. We worked on taking down all the futons and iPads. Except when we had to pay for the futons we had no money in the cash box which basically turned into the box because it was drained...it has been a long week. We got a lot of office work done which was great. Around 3 a crazy man came in for president so that was a little exciting. But then we kept working and had dinner then district meeting. It was great we talked about farmers so naturally I was all ears. Then we went out to find people, everyone was turning us down except the last man we talked to named Caesar who is from Brazil! He was way nice and we were able to exchange some contact information! 


Well as you can tell it wasn't awful, no one died, but it was a pretty dang tough week.


The title of my email is from one of my favorite children's books! 


Either way, 


Big Hearts! 


Elder Dunn


Sorry there weren't a whole lot of good pictures taken this week in the office!