Monday, February 2, 2015

Yokohama, Split Pants, and a Snow Storm



月曜日 Monday
We ran the giant hill in the morning that we both hate, but it was a
great workout. P-day! After studying today, we went and bought
groceries at the American equivalent of Aldi, only called Giomes. We
bought a ton of food, we will be eating well the rest of this week.
After my companion and I walked to the church and on the way talked to
a few people. It was great to email back home. After we headed to the
train station and went to Yokohama! Yokohama is A giant city. We went
to am all you can eat salsa place that was delicious. It truly is a
beautiful city, I loved walking around and exploring. It is a
fantastic fusion of Americana and Japanese culture. The roads are
wider and there are more Americans, it was a great trip. We walked
around the malls and enjoyed all the sights. I'll add all the pictures
to the blog. We ended up covering 18 miles today. Our phone tracks via
gps how far we go. Kanji is starting to make sense, I love it, it is a
whole new world that is starting to open up to me.

火曜日 Tuesday
After our normal morning routine, we decided to give housing a shot.
Housing is the thing you imagine most missionaries do, go and knock on
your door. Trust me, it isn't as fun for us as it is for you. However,
my companion and I looked to it with faith. We started by just walking
around and knocking doors then we felt prompted to go to a certain
apartment complex in our area, after walking there we found the
apartment complex to be a gated community, so we housed around the
area. We found a man in his 20s on his porch, we started talking to
him and we taught him the whole restoration! It was amazing! We then
went to the 7-11 to go to the bathroom and grab some Japanese ice
cream. After we decided to walk back to the apartment because it
looked like it might rain. On the way we saw a church and both had the
prompting to go inside, it is at the bottom of the giant hill we run.
We walked inside and the pastor took us in and we began to teach him
too, he had questions here and there, but truly was interested in what
we had to share, another awesome miracle. After we had a dinner
appointment in Naruse a neighboring town, we walked there and dropped
off a card to a less active member of the ward. She was surprised to
see us, the bishop told us where she worked so we went there. She
hadn't been to work all day but had to come into work for only a few
minutes and we caught her during that time. We then went to the dinner
appointment, it was delicious. The member smoked bacon for us, it was
delicious. Then we had to run home in the rain so we weren't late.
After planning for the next day I made some breakfast cake for the
next day and played Shogi with one of the other elders in the

水曜日 Wednesday
Since housing worked so well the day before we decided to do it again.
We decided to knock on the houses that were in our area. The houses in
japan have intercoms with cameras on them so we talk to little boxes
most the time. We knocked on one house and an 80 year old Japanese
women came outside and talked to us, she loved us so that she invited
us over for lunch the next day! After that we went to an apartment
complex. No one answered their boxes so my companion went to go lean
on a rail on the third story. Before he put all of his weight on it he
just pushed it a little and it was so rusted out that it began to
give! Thankfully he tried it first! We then left the apartment complex
and found a college student that we taught the restoration to, it was
awesome. We then went home ate dinner, I made more breakfast cake and
packed for splits with the zone leaders the next day. We left early so
we could help set up eaikaiwa that night. As we came down the big hill
on the way to church we were talking then about 50 feet in front of us
we saw a person collapse! We rushed to the person and found that she
were okay but very old. We picked her up and my companion and I
grabbed her things. My companion held on to the lady, and I carried
her bags, the bags all together weighed more than the little old lady.
It was really sad, she had worn out clothes and was using a shoe
string as a belt. We walked her 30 minutes back home and helped her
into the house. Once we got inside she began to cry and say thank you
over and over, you really could tell the gratitude she had. She asked
us why we would even do something like that. We then told her we are
ambassadors of Christ and we do what Christ would do. She cried more
and hugged us, then we told her didn't have any money for her but we
did have a book. So we gave her a Book of Mormon and told her we would
send some of our friends (the sister missionaries) to her. It made my
night. Eaikaiwa was fun, I spent most of the time sending a text
message in Japanese for lessons on Saturday. After class we went on
splits with the zone leaders. I went with Elder Burube at their

After our normal studies we went to the church and mapped out a course
to deliver a new thing our mission is piloting called share the
gospel. It is a way for members to do missionary work easily by simply
liking Facebook pages and writing Google reviews about the church,
along as making Im a mormon profiles. We delivered one to the first
house and the sister was so excited that she gave us Japanese candies!
It was delicious! We then went to the next house, no one was home so
we continued to a grocery store to park our bikes (the other zone
leader let me borrow his). We found that the only way to get to the
members house that we were to visit next was through a Japanese grave
yard. They are a lot different than American ones, they are more like
shrines to their ancestors. However this graveyard did not have an
exit, is just up against a bamboo forest. So we climbed through the
forest until we found a giant fence that was to an elementary school.
We then followed the fence to the neighborhood then found a little
opening that we could squeeze through. After we had to jump down a 10
foot wall to get to the road. Talk about a bit of an adventure! When
we found the members house they welcomed us in and fed us Japanese tea
and cookies! It was delicious. After we left we had to find another
way back into the graveyard so we found a smaller fence to hop, only
this time when I lifted my leg to get up the fence the seam of my
pants split! I couldn't believe it! Since we were so far from home and
I was on splits (how ironic right?) I just walked with my legs a
little closer than normal. We then continues to drop off cards until
about 6 o clock then went to the big city of Machida to meet back up
with our normal companions and eat some shabu shabu (I'll explain what
it is in a second). It turns out the elder I was with Elder Burube
forgot his wallet so the other zone leader and himself left. After
realizing that the place we were going to eat at had a 40 minute wait
we went on a search for somewhere else, and we found one. So shabu
shabu is where you have a giant boiling bot of oil or water in front
of you on your table. Then they have a bar with vegetables on it, so
you go load up your plate with vegetables then but them in the water
to make your broth, then they bring our raw meat that you cook
yourself in the broth, as well as raw eggs that you then take the
cooked meat and dip it in the raw egg then the rice, it is absolutely
delicious! It is an all you can eat for 90 minutes and trust me as two
starving missionaries we did!

金曜日 Friday
When we woke up in the morning to go on our run we looked outside and
to our surprise it was snowing hard! It was awesome! It was great to
watch the snow as we studied. After lunch my companion and I did some
service for people. We walked around with our shovels and helped
people shovel their driveways, one old man told us, "I love your
hearts!". We walked all over and got completely soaked. We wore the
mormon helping hands vests because it looked less threatening than our
all black jackets. I feel as if we changed many people's hearts today
concerning who Christians are. It was great, I love serving the people
of Japan. It was exhausting though because the snow turned to rain so
the snow weighed an absolute ton. After coming in absolutely exhausted
we did weekly planning, which was hard being so tired, so we made some
food to help keep us awake. We then went to the Church for sports
night. When we got there there were some high schoolers that were
their way excited for basketball! They were way good! After more
people arrived we went to the kitchen to eat the bentos that the
sisters picked up for us at the ladies house who we were going to go
to the day before. We gave them the lunch appointment but the lady
handed the sisters the bags and told them to never come back, so they
gave us the food. After eating we went upstairs to the family history
room and my companion filled out his endorsement form for BYU in the
fall. It was weird seeing him fill out the form and realizing in a
year I'll be doing the same thing. After sports night we walked home
and relaxed from the exhausting day.

土曜日 Saturday
After studies we went to the church to have district meeting. It was
great the Japanese elders in the district gave a great training on why
Christ is the reason. After the meeting my companion and I went to go
teach the preacher we taught on Tuesday. The lesson was rough to say
the least. He tried to give us reason after reason of why he wouldn't
pray about the Book of Mormon to know whether or not it is true. So we
left him with our testimonies, prayed, and left. Arguing gets you
nowhere in life, and it is definitely not a Christlike-Attribute.
After the lesson my companion and I were pretty drained so we walked
back to the apartment to relax a little bit and confirm our
appointment with Diasuke later that night. It turns out that he was
sick so he had to cancel on us. Instead of eating dinner right then we
decided to go and get our bicycles from the shop. It was nice to be on
a bike again. After we got home we did some serious baking to get our
minds off of things, I made a cinnamon breakfast cake and okonomiyaki
(it is pancake batter, cabbage, and pork, that you top with the
special sauce and mayonnaise (it sounds gross but actually tastes
really good)).

日曜日 Sunday
Church was great, I am amazed how on fast Sunday's the bishop has to
stand up cut people off, the testimonies of the members are so strong
here. During priesthood our friend Nagamori-San (San is like mr. or
mrs. or basically any other title). We took him to the high priests
because it was more in his age group. The Japanese that they use in
that class is rough, I had no idea of what was going on. After church
we set up some appointments with members for the upcoming week, then
took the food everyone gave us home. After that we went housing around
until we could show the sisters where the
lady-who-fell-over-on-Wednesdays house. It turned out she wasn't home
so my companion and I tried knocking on more doors or rather talking
to intercoms, everyone in Japan has them, it is kind of weird asking
the voice inside the box if they want to learn about Jesus Christ,
granted I know there is someone on the other side, you just lose that
human emotion part that happens face to face. After that we went back
to the apartment and had a bowl of granola then went to the church for
a dinner party with all the missionaries in the district and a Chinese
member who is less active. It was a great dinner, we had
okonomiyaki/omelets she wanted to make both but I guess for whatever
reason decided to make them both together, it was delicious.

Well that was my week! I can't explain to you all how much I truly
learning to love these people. They are some of the kindest people on
earth, they always ask to help.

I read this quote this week. It has helped me stay positive about things,

"[the] ability to turn everything into something good appears to be a
godly characteristic. Our Heavenly Father always seems able to do
this. Everything, no matter how dire, becomes a victory to the Lord.
Joseph, although a slave and wholly undeserving of this fate,
nevertheless remained faithful to the Lord and continued to live the
commandments and made something very good of his degrading
circumstances. People like this cannot be defeated, because they will
not give up. They have the correct, positive attitude, and Dale
Carnegie's expression seems to apply: If you feel you have a lemon,
you can either complain about how sour it is, or you can make a
lemonade. It is all up to you. (Live above the Law to Be Free)"

Have a great week everyone!


Elder Nathan Dunn

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