Monday, March 14, 2016

The icing on the cake for Kichijoji and Kamiooka, they weren't kidding about the hills.


Well. I moved. I am now in Kamiooka! I love it here! 

After studies we hurried to the church to meet up with the district. It is Shitami Shimais last P-Day so we went out to a "cowboy" restaurant to eat. It was okay, but Japanese definitions of a hamburger and an Americans is very very different. After that interesting experience. We went to the church and wrote emails, then we took off to koenji to shop around. There was a lot of neat stuff, but we hit the jackpot when we found super cool ties for a dollar, which is pretty rare, so we each bought a few. We then went home. Elder Choi sent some postcards home, then we did our grocery shopping. After our plan was to find a birthday present for my sister, that is a pretty difficult task because I don't buy girly things very often. So we employed the help of the sisters, the thought was that two Japanese sisters would be able to help more then Elder Choi (who only has one brother), and me. They helped out a lot. When we got back to the church we met up with Ishikawa Kyoudai and ate dinner with him. He leaves on his mission soon so we are helping him out whenever we can. Afterwards Elder Choi taught a woman violin and Kajuira Kyoudai and I looked around the world on Google maps. He was astounded at the places you can see with that all, it was pretty funny. 

After studies I began packing...when you live in a place for 9 months you begin to collect a lot of "stuff". We counted my ties, I have collected 75ish ties since I have begun my mission! Talk about an interesting feat. It took a good 3 hours to pack but I finally was able to finish. After that we went to the office to get a Elder Shimizus help in filling out my forms then I had him call the company while I helped tech staff with a few of the iPads. They replaced a bunch and were wondering what to do next. After that we messaged a few people on Facebook then met up with Shin! He hasn't met with missionaries since October! But he is on break right now so we were able to set up a lesson with him! It was so good! We set a Baptisimal date with him and were able to testify about the Saviors love too. He is way prepared. We then helped the Office set up futons and then went out to McDonalds. We wanted MegaMacs, so we went and asked, she said no so we ordered anyways. After we got our tickets I remembered she hadn't asked if it were take out, and before I could tell Elder Choi we were waiting for our food. Oh well we thought lets go upstairs and eat. We went upstairs and a woman took our normal booth so we back tracked and found a table mostly empty with a man sitting across from us. We sat down and the man saw our tags and said (this conversation seems more normal in Japanese then English), "you are Jesus people?" "Uh yeah, I'm Elder Dunn, nice to meet you." "I love Jesus! I have been wanting to study about Jesus!" "Oh wow, really?" *Elder Choi drops his burger* "well today is your lucky day we are missionaries for a nearby church." The conversation continued and we gave him a Book of Mormon and explained what makes us so different. It was really good. Near the end I had the prompting,"you need to leave right now". I thought, we are in the middle of the lesson we can't. The feeling came again. Knowing that the new missionaries were coming soon and they would need our help. I checked the phone. Sure enough Elder Richardson had messaged us an hour ago telling us that they would be be there at 7:15. It was 7:18! We jumped off our stools and booked it out of McDonald's, then called the office to meet us there. We arrived just in time, and the office came running shortly after. We helped the new missionaries with their stuff and then kubaried for the rest of the night. Nothing exciting happened, just a bunch of super flirty women and a drunk man that kept yelling at my companion as he drank more and more. 

We woke up early to go running with the new missionaries, it was a lot of fun. Since I have lost a pretty good amount of weight I can run much faster than before. We then came home studied and went to Michaels house! He got his glasses, so now he can see, you could tell a noticeable difference between then and Sunday. He was really upset I was leaving but we exchanged info and we will keep in touch for sure. He is getting exactly what he needs right now. We biked home in the freezing rain, that was cold, and set up for Eikaiwa, PEC and worked on helping out Tech Staff. After that the new missionaries came down and we took them out to dendo! I took an Elder from Arizona out. It was a lot of fun, the new missionaries always seem to have amazing faith! It was great! We talked to some really prepared people, placed a Book of Mormon, taught two lessons on the street, and got two peoples phone numbers! Talk about a neat time! After we took the new missionaries to dinner, Elder Richardson and I took two elders to a tsukemen place that we are both partial to. It was delicious! Then we had Eikaiwa. My students were so sad, I felt like I brought a few of them to tears. I will miss them, they are such wonderful people. After Eikaiwa we went to PEC, it is so different from the first time I went! The ward actually is helping now! They want people to be Baptized! So exciting! 

We went to the church to play sports with the new missionaries. That was fun. Afterwards, Sister Shitami needed help getting her bike into a box so she could ship it home...that was an interesting time. We have to take off almost everything, and we didn't have all the tools we needed so we had to wait til a bike shop opened. As we were doing that Josey showed up and said, "I have to see you before you leave." We were still in gym clothes at this point, but we set up a plan to go out to eat at 8. We borrowed some cash from the sisters and went to McDonald's. We sat down and began eating and he said, "So I got my answer." Recently we have challenged him to pray and fast about whether or not to go on a mission. He said he didn't know if it was right for him. He continued, "I was at work on Monday thinking of all the reasons why I shouldn't go on a mission, I'd have to quit my job, I'd have to cut my hair...ect. But then it hit me, "just go" so I changed my thought process what happens if I go on a mission. It was then when I realized how much better my life will be after a mission and how many blessings I will receive. Elder Dunn, I am going on a mission." I was in tears, it was such great news! For almost 6 months we have been working with him, we found him on accident and he told us that he couldn't go on a mission and didn't want to go. Now he has had a change of heart and will be serving a mission. We went back to go home and change and get ready and so I could finish packing. We then went back to the church, finished Sister Shitamis bike, then fixed mine. While we had gone home an Eikaiwa student stopped by and gave me a package it was so kind of her, most of my cool stuff from Japan has come from her. I then told everyone my goodbyes and began my journey. That was pretty smooth, I talked to some neat people. It was weird not having a companion, but work is work so I kept trying. However being unable to describe where the church is in your new area is kind of difficult. When I made it to Kamiooka I found Elder Shurilla after some trouble and we went to the apartment! The apartment is on a hill (yeah that isn't fun to walk up) but the apartment itself is really really nice. The balcony overlooks much of our area and is beautiful! It's so pretty. We began our weekly planning session. There is a lot to catch up to speed on, but I have an idea of the ward now. We stopped for dinner, and then started back again afterwards and it went til the end of the night. I really like Elder Shurilla we are going to be really good friends. 

Maybe I should call today Utah day. You'll understand in a second. We had great studies, then during lunch Elder Shurilla became obsessed with the word Utah, and he kept saying it over and over. We then went to district meeting. It was really good, it was half the size that I'm used to but it was really good! We introduced our zone theme! BAPTALO! Increase our Baptismal invitations, simplify our daily planning so we can talk with everyone, and love our investigators by being bold and kind. We like the acronym a lot. After the meeting we got a few forms ready and got on our way to Yamate for district meeting! Holy Cow are there some stairs! We walked up one flight for probably 5'minutes. District meeting was really funny, one of the new missionaries was really inquisitive about everything which made his companion, the district leader, a little annoyed but ironically enough the new missionary passed out halfway through district meeting. It is a neat perspective to be a zone leader and participate in so many different district meetings. Coming home we stopped by an American pizza place and got some pizza, it was really good. Then we came home on the subway, it was so loud we couldn't talk to each other! After we got home we grabbed our coats and began our plan to go streeting! Our lesson appointment with an African family fell through. Streeting was good we had an enjoyable time and talked to a few prepared people, the trick will be following up with them. 

After studies we went to indo curry as a district. It was Elder Halls first time there so we were all throwing our recommendations for him. Elder Shurilla and I then went to a place further down in our area and streeted. We talked to a lot of people on our way. We ended up by the ocean! It is so pretty! We met some men digging for shellfish, that was an interesting time. They thought I was 30 and from Europe, which seemed to be the theme of the day. They talked to us about digging for shellfish for a while. We then went down to Yukosuka for their district meeting. It is next to a large navel base. I'll be honest seeing that many Americans was really weird for me. We were stopped by so,e servicemen who said, "i didn't know they had Mormons here too!" What an interesting man he turned out to me, his Japanese was pretty funny too. District meeting was good, the church is the 4 and 6 floors of an office building, really really interesting. After district meeting where we unveiled the zone theme of BAPTALO, we returned home to meet with our investigator Yamada San who lived in England for a long time. It was really really interesting. He refuses to speak Japanese with us so we just spoke in English but his English is really hard to understand. We went to a tonkatsu place with him and discussed baptism, he isn't quite sure yet but we will continue to work with him more. After the lesson we went to the church to submit a report to the district leader. 

Kamiooka ward is great! I got such a warm welcome to the ward. They asked each of the new missionaries to bear their testimonies, I felt so comfortable in this ward. There were probably only 50 people there, the church is pretty small. There is a few Americans in the ward and they have kids. Our ward missions leader is half American and his name is Dan, my name in Japanese is Dan. So the ward learned my name pretty quickly, it was just a great time at church. After church we filled out our stats and then went home to make lunch. After lunch we went to the church then streeted to the Ogawas house for dinner. We saw a man who looked Amish, so I stopped him and asked him if he was, sadly he isn't and doesn't have any Amish friends. Neat guy though. We also met a Filipino man and traded numbers with him. The Ogawas are a recent convert family so the missionaries go over every week and eat dinner with them and share a message. They are so great! They have a son who is 13 and reminds me a lot of my brothers so that was a lot of fun! 

It's Elder Shurillas Birthday! We woke up and sang to him then he opened his package. We then got ready for the day and started with a big conference call with all the district leaders in our zone to gather stats and to talk about baptismal dates. After that we got onto a big conference call with all the zone leaders, sister training leaders, the assistants, and president and sister Wada. Where we discussed baptismal dates in the mission. President gave our area a lot of praise, that was kind of cool, but we need to keep it up now. After a short study we ate lunch and had companionship study. Since it was Elder Shurillas birthday he wanted to eat at Costco for his birthday dinner, we decided to street along the road all the way down there. It was raining so we grabbed an umbrella and went joyfully into service! We went to the church, then began our walk, it was pretty wet, but we got to walk right next the ocean for a while. It was so pretty even in the rain. The sad thing there wasn't a single person on the road!! Right after we stopped by a park my umbrella broke! So I had to walk in the rain until, a miracle happened and a random shop popped up that happened to sell umbrellas! It was so nice! I bought a new one and we continued on. Thankfully new umbrellas in Japan are pretty cheap. We continued on and went got to Costco soaked! Our feet hurt and were freezing but we made it! We tried contacting in the store since there wasn't anywhere else to go nearby. After a little bit everyone from the district showed up and we ate, then took a picture and got on the train home. There I met a woman from Hong Kong who wanted to talk all about the temple there! That was pretty cool! We then met a member at the train station and went to go teach Marumoto Kyoudai a less active recent convert. We had a great lesson about the atonement, and were able to strengthen his understanding of it. On our way home my umbrella broke...again. It was awful. I have never been that wet and cold in my life. But I made it home, and then put my feet in the tub for a while. A good ending to the day. 

Good luck this new week! 

Big Hearts! 

Elder Dunn

  1. Elder Choi and I's Eikaiwa Class!
  2. A view from my new apartment! 
  3. We found Zion. 
  4. A boat graveyard
  5. Me by the ocean! 
  6. Our apartment this morning! Fuji is in the right top corner, it is kind of hard to see with the camera. 

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