Sunday, January 10, 2016

Learning how to work with the ward


This week has been busy, just a follow up from last week I am healthy and kicking strong! 


After studies we headed over to the church and loaded up emails and went to our favorite gioza (Chinese pot stickers) shop for lunch. After we walked around the to a couple stores, we found a 6 floor sporting goods store that is in the middle of the town I had never seen before. Also a Berkenstock outlet with some of the ugliest sandals I have ever seen and a couple of other shoe places, I'm researching into a new pair of shoes. Afterwards we went to the church and emailed home and relaxed, then bought groceries, came home, and headed to Koenji. Imagine a dark gritty teenage drug awareness video from the early 90s and you will have koenji in a nutshell. It just has this gritty vibe to it. We talked to these men at the park about coming to church but they had no interest, in fact they only wanted to reenact the crucifixion, probably because they were drunk. Either way it tops with one of the most interesting conversations I have had. After trying to visit a few other people we called it a night and headed home. 


After studies we went to the church and had 12 week training, then headed over to Michaels to help him clean up some boxes. We checked to see how he is doing with the Word of Wisdom and he is doing great! He has such a strong desire to change. As we went through some boxes we found the user manual on how to beat Pac Man! He said I could have it! So I happily am now the owner of how the to beat Pac Man user manual! After helping him clean up we had a short lesson about commandments and committed him to read and pray more about the Book of Mormon. I love seeing the change that happens within people as they begin to have the light of Christ within them. After that we went to check on a Potential Investigator by Zenpukugi park however he wasn't home, but his grumpy wife was, so we talked with her, sadly we didn't get anywhere though. We saw this humongous house! However I am sure that it really isn't that big compared to American homes. It is interesting how your perspective changes after living somewhere for so long. In fact sometimes we forget to look up! It is such a mind boggling thing to think I have to climb to a roof of a 3 or more story building to see the sunrise, but that's Tokyo for you. After dinner we planned to go to the Matsumoto Families house to share a message but we got lost on our way over so we kind of took a while to get there, but on the bright side we know more about the area! After we got to the Matsumotos we knocked on the door but only found the mother to be home so we prayed with her and knocked on doors around their house. We got some interesting reactions from people. Like, "I'm buddist, why are you knocking on my door?" Or "oh I'm busy cooking rice" (you put rice in the rice cooker and turn a button on to cook rice....). After that we went back to our bikes which were parked at the Matsumotos to find that they had put a bag on Elder Gerards bike! It was filled with GRANOLA! Japanese granola is the best...flat out. I wish they had it in America. 


After studies and new missionary training at the church we went to visit the first and second counsellors of the bishopric whose names only differ by one letter in English. Sato and Saito Kyoudai and if that wasn't hard enough they live in the same neighborhood, so that was a fun adventure trying to figure out where they lived. At Sato Kyodais house we wrote him a note and invited him to a Questions of the soul seminar we are having on Saturday. We housed around Sato Kyodais houseto find no one with any real interest, then had to jet before we could visit Saito Kyodai. We waited at the church for Michael for a good half hour but he was a no show, sometimes he is in a lot of pain and has to take medicine and sleep. We decided with our extra time to go to the park and walk around, we talked to two old men I the park about religion, however they just told us to leave the country...that was a new one. We continued walking around and saw a few street performers before going home and eating dinner. At Eikaiwa we talked about New Years with the students and learned the story of the Chinese New Year, in regards to the animals. It is a neat Fable, we also learned about the shishimai which is the mystical lion in Japan. Around New Years it is very traditional to see two men wearing and dancing with this beast like looking thing on themselves. It was neat to hear and learn about. 


After studies we went to the church to have New Missionary training like usual then headed over to a sushi place to meet up with Josey! He was a little late so we started without him but he showed up later which was great! He told us about the new Star Wars movie so that was pretty neat, but then we were able to really get down to his core. He brought up serving a mission which is fantastic! He is slowly but surely improving his life, he just need to hurry up and go, but if missionaries work hard with him this year I have a feeling he will go on his mission. After that we went to Michaels house, as soon as we knocked on the door we heard some stumbling around then he opens the door and says, "guess what!?" Uhhh..."what?" "Uchiyama Kyodai sent me a New Years Card!" He was so excited! We helped him clean some more. While we were cleaning I found an old watched and asked him about it, and he said I could have it, so that was exciting! We then taught him the law of chastity! It was a great lesson, I had never taught it before so it was kind of a new one for us. We then went back to the church and decided since it was late to go eat dinner,we went to loft on the way to see if they could fix the watch. Then ate at McDonald's, then back to loft t find out that my new watch was pretty broken and would cost a hundred dollars to fix :/. So with that I pocketed the new keepsake and went to the church to finish weekly planning. Then ran home. 


After studies we had new missionary training. Where we found out Our next mission president will be J. Paul Warnick, who is a professor of Japanese at BYU currently! Everyone is pretty excited about the news! After that we had a family blitz with our ward. Elder Gerard and I visited 5 members all around our area dropping them off notes and thanking them for their hard work! It was exciting and a lot of fun. We talked to one woman who was really prepared the plan of salvation. We were about to only visit 4 members houses but we got to know where they live a little more and invite the to a Questions of the Soul event on Saturday. During dinner we ate and helped the Tech Staff move into our house, it'll be nice to have some company. Don't get me wrong I love my companion but it can get kind of lonely sometimes. So we are going to have a ball with Tech Staff, President Wada is making me the consultant to Tech a Staff. We then went to the church and had a great district meeting! Everyone is really excited about all the baptisms we are going to see here in Kichijoji in the next few weeks! 


After studies we went to pass out flyers! We saw a few ward members and even a family from the Philippians who are members! My companion had an interesting conversation with a Buddhist man and then we went and visited one last man. We stopped at the 7-eleven to check the map and an old man came up to us and asked us where we were from, it was the perfect segway into the gospel. Come to find out he had a copy of the Book of Mormon but lost it 10 years ago! So we cheerfully gave him a copy and we headed out. He had no interest in meeting with us though. With that we visited the last member then headed to the house to eat dinner, then to the church to set up for the Questions of the Soul event. We were all a little nervous because we had only decided that we were having the event the previous Friday. However a ton of people came! Including some of the members we invited! It was fantastic! President Wada was blown away with how many people came which was great! He showed the end of the Third Indiana Jones movie with the holy grail and related it to taking a leap of faith. It was really good, I sat by a man named takikawa San who came to Eikaiwa for the first time this last week! I invited him to take a half and half English/Gospel lesson with us but he declined and asked if we could just talk about the gospel! Uhhh....yes! So we set up an appointment with him! What a great ending to a day! 


Well it turns out the ward mission leader hasn't read a single one of the emails I have sent him this past week, which is really frustrating because he had us move our baptismal service to Sunday instead of Saturday. But hey, baptism is baptism so it doesn't really matter when as long as it is done. Church was good we went in with the goal of setting up appointments with 3 members so we did our best and nailed it! We got an appointment with the Naka family (the fashion designer), Ishikawa Kyodai (who just got his mission call), and kishihara Kyodai (who is hilarious and a complete boss), and Kajira Kyodai (our punk rocking member who is stuck in the 80s). So we will work with them this next week. We are excited for that, after lunch we went over to the church and worked on gathering statistics and preparing for Michaels baptism! It is kind of stressful...mostly because I have no idea what we are doing, but hey it's inspired so we are going with it. We then met up with Uchiyama Kyodai for a lesson with Ueki Kyodai, on our ride over we got to know Uchiyama Kyodai better, he worked for IBM for his professional career helping numerous people and bringing the world into a new age of computing. It was some neat stuff. It turns out now he is a sealer in the Tokyo Temple, what a wonderful opportunity that must be for him. The lesson was good, We talked about family history work (which is low key one of my favorite parts of the church). I wonder how hard it is to be a consultant, I might want to look into that later. After the lesson we left and went on our way. When we arrived at the church/Honbu the mission office elders asked if I could help them out for a minute. They wanted to know how many kids the new mission president has, so they had me hop online and so some research. He has a nice family by the looks of things. We then streeted around the park and housed some too, sadly no one was in the religious mood even when enticed. 

Another great week of service in the Lord!

Write y'all next week! 

Big Hearts, 

Elder Dunn

It promises a more "forceful" shave.

Look at all the fish! 

I finally can get all of the badges! 

This reminded us of an 80s style music video.

This is for Elder Gerard's next album cover, "lice on my pants"

Sometimes the only way to get through to Elder Ford is through interpretive dance or sticky notes. We chose sticky notes.

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