Tuesday, August 27, 2013

25 August 2013 - Obedience

Well hello family,

This weeks theme is obedience.   If you don't want to read about my weeks obedience check out my analogy I learned at the bottom of the letter. 

Last week the reason I only had like 30 mins to email was because we had a zone p day and went to Miyajima. (a small island a small ways away from Hiroshima that you get to by ferry) it was pretty neat.   The deer are wild-you can straight up just ride those bad boys.  They let anyone touch them and feel their nice antlers.   One of them got a little too excited though and started eating my bag so I had to let him off easy.   We weren't there too long because it is a 2 and a half hour train ride to get back to Saijo so we had to leave early (the only companionship that did), It doesn't take everyone that long to get back but p day ends at 6 and were pretty sure most weren't out of the apartment by 6 like they were supposed to.  

Travis and his companion, Elder Dolbin at Miyagima

The deer that you can ride at Miyagima

Entrance gate to Miyagima

"Japanese Warriors"

View from the back of the boat 


Living Quarters from Ancient City

 These last few weeks have been pretty rough on new investigator stand point (Satan works hard to ruin the work we do with our investigators). We went from 6 investigators with a baptismal date to only 2 a couple of weeks ago.  They all just straight up disappeared.  They never answer when we call and aren't home when we bike out to them,   Within just the first hour of streeting on Monday we found 2 new investigators, one of which we established a baptismal date on our first lesson.   He's a way cool dude.  He is 19 and swims at the Hiroshima Daigaku (college) and we found out his teammate is actually a member as well.   You ONLY find success when you are obedient, we have companionship's in our zone that haven't found a new investigator at all this entire transfer and we know it is because of their obedience or lack of.   This morning Elder Dolbin and I (we sleep in Hikari Sunday nights) were the only ones up and exercising by 6:30am and we had a run up this massive hill to a shrine and on our run back we met a way cool man who wants to learn more English from us and we know there is something special about him and we got his number and address as well.  When we got back to the apartment some of the elders got up and exercised but some didn't and they weren't even dressed yet when we left the apartment at 8am.  There are tons of prepared people in Hiroshima that would be trusted with these elders if they would just be obedient!    Every time we have found success in our dendo (missionary) work there was obedience that can be traced as an sure cause for this.   If you are living right and doing the best you can God will provide. 

Sooo we were pretty bold with Jay and basically just straight up told him he needs to come back to church.   He is the less active Tongan that served his mission in Africa and is here playing professional rugby.  He never comes to church but will always help us joint and such like he knows he is obliged to help the church how he can and we told him straight up that we need 2 priesthood holders in Saijo to get a branch and that we needed him to start coming to church on the Sundays he doesn't have rugby.   He was a lil bit hesitant but agreed to it so we'll see how that goes. 

We taught Gary for the last time on Thursday before he left for China for 25 days.   He seems like he really wants to be baptized.  We just talked about the Book of Mormon the entire time and read it with him and taught him how to read it.   He was asking way insightful questions and stuff and really thinking about what we read.  He has progressed so much.  We felt so bad for him because his end of year test he could only take in Japanese or English, neither of which he is fluent in, and he said he was so ashamed because he failed the test because he didn't know what some of the questions were asking because it was in English.  We felt so bad for him.  He is so humble though.  He also said his goal is to read the entire Book of Mormon really fast while in China,  Then start it again and read it slower a second time.  We were just like heck yeah Gary!   We tried to set another baptismal date for him but he said he thinks he should talk to his wife first then he will send us the date if it was okay.   He sounds like he really wants baptism so pray that his wife's heart will be softened.
Gary (from China), Travis and Elder Dolbin

We taught the African man and that was insightful as always.   He still doesn't quite understand that we have God`s true church.   He still thinks it is just another religion made up by Joseph Smith.   He sure does love God though. 

Well that's pretty much all I can think of for this week, oh besides we're pretty sure a fly had babies in our apartment because there were a million flies and I would vacuum them up (it was actually pretty dang fun) and then 12 more would show up an hour later, haha. 

Oh also here`s a fun analogy for you all.   Your mom paid for your piano lessons so no matter how much you practice or don't practice, it doesn't pay the money back right?   It has already been paid for in full.   That is the same with Christ`s atonement.  Our salvation has already been paid for, we will be resurrected no mater the life we live. however, our mom paid for that piano lesson and therefore has the right to tell us to practice right?  Liken unto that, Christ paid for our salvation, so he can tell us to follow in his footsteps and obey his commandments. When we practice and mess up on a note playing piano, no one says that you are not worthy to practice any more.   In our life when we make mistakes, when we feel we are not living up to Gods standards and we get frustrated, God does not expect perfection, so we can not expect perfection of our self, it takes practice. Too many less actives fall away from the church and their testimony because they feel that they haven't been good enough and feel ashamed that members or God is too disappointed in them to continue practicing becoming closer to Christ, but this is wrong.   I encourage you to practice everyday,   Read the scriptures, think of Christ, his grace is sufficient for all!   We are not expected to be perfect so you can not expect that of yourself.   I love you all and hope all is well in the things you are doing.   I am loving Japan everyday. 

Much Love,

Elder Bloomfield
Outside the Fukuoka Temple

                                                               Thought for the week:

Monday, August 26, 2013

18 August 2013 - Another Busy One

Well hallooo, this week was another busy one.
I had two junkais (splits) this week and stake conference in Takasu on
Sunday so basically I felt like I was away from Saijo all week it was
a bummer.

So the best news first, we streeted a man named Reuben that is from
West Africa (Mo you will probably like this). He is from Seirra
Leone.  He is most likely one of the most inspirational men  I have ever met.
He said his country just got out of a civil war about 10 years ago and
he has seen some pretty crazy stuff. One example is he was telling us
about how he knows through faith in god you recieve blessings and
protection, he said there was a time when there were bombs going off
all around his home and every home was blown up except his remained
standing and none of his family died from the war. He has amazing
faith in God but not much knowledge about Jesus Christ at all. He
loves to meet with us and just talk though.  He said he thinks it is
very important for everyone to share the word of God even if it is
just for 30 seconds. One quote that he said was that in his country
they say, `the word of god never reaches the ground, it always finds a
way to be spread` so all the people that kekko us on the streets, it
is not in vain. the man is pretty amazing.   He is in Hiroshima for
college, he wants to get a phd in peace and has a scholarship to study here.
So, that is Reuben.   We are hoping that we can get Jay (a less active
who served his mission in Africa, who is here for professional rugby)
to joint with us and learn a little something of faith and effort from
our investigator Reuben.

Johhny Depp didn't meet with us this week, he is odd as ever.   He ditched coming to church and didn't show up to our last appointment so I don't know about his progressing.  He calls us sometimes and will say,  "if I read the Book of Mormon and pray I will be happy?" and we tell him yes, and he says "okay I will do that," then an hour later he won't come to our appointment. We think it's because he is too depressed to even leave his house but were not sure.  He has many private items including like 5 glasses, most of which are over like $400, he has the fancy feather hat, Johnny Depp beenie, just everything he wears is something Johnny Depp has been seen wearing it before.
"Johnny Depp"

Azumi has been out of town as well, and Gary we have only been able to email
because he is so busy with all his finals this week but we are meeting
with him on Thursday to reestablish a baptismal date for when he gets
home from China.
Alder Dolbin, Travis and Azumi

So all that combined with the junkais was pretty much our week,
combined with lots of streeting, housing, and then more streeting. Oh
we had a Zone Taikai (conference) that the ap`s came to and Gustafson kaiicho, and
they emphasized a lot the importance of working with members and such.
It gets me so fired up to work with members but then I remember, there
are only 2 in Saijo, and we meet with both of them every week. hah.
They are both amazing members, but, until we can find more members to
work with, we will continue to street our butts off until we can find
someone.   We meet with the members in our ward who live in Hikari every
Sunday but none of them have friends in Saijo, so we just do service
for them and keep a good relationship with them and let them know of
our love for them.

Oh yeah, my companion also got hit by a car last week haha. We were
just biking to the city next to Saijo (our area actually has like 3
cities in it, it is rather large) and a car didn't see him and hit him.
It wasn't bad at all though.  He didnt even fall over,  just a neat lil
Unlucky Elder Dolbin

Well I hope all is well in the days of summer ending for you all.
Sounds like a blast for all. Keep Reuben, Gary, and Johnny Depp in your
prayers.  I will continue to street like crazy and sweat a little bit
of a lot in the process. Dendo (missionary) work is amazing!   I've grown so much in
the last 2 months and I love it.   God speed my friends.

Much love,

Elder Bloomfield

Stare down

Dinner is served

Kompai (Cheers)
Hiroshima Zone

Thought for the week:

Thursday, August 22, 2013

11 August 2013 - Japanese Version of Johnny Depp

Well this week was a neat one.  After we got home from the jamboree we went and taught a lesson to our Chinese investigator named Gary. He told us that his wife is very hantai (upset) about him meeting with us and that he had actually been doing it in secret lately. He said his wife tells him he should just focus on school and work (he is at the college here and has his big tests next week, he has been studying for for awhile). He is so cute, he was like "I am so embarrassed to tell you this, and I hope you are not disappointed in me, but I have something I must tell you". And then he told us about his wife being hantai and such. We told him that the gospel is meant to strengthen relationships and we don't want to make your wife angry and such and so we talked with him about meeting with both him and his wife when he gets home from his trip to China to help her understand what we are teaching and such. He told us he has been happier since meeting with us but this `special feeling` we tell him about he doesn't feel, that he just feels normal. It may be because he isn't really keeping much of the commitments we give to him because he is so focused on his studies and it's hard to do that with his wife not liking it and such but he said he hopes to be able to read the entire Book of Mormon during his trip to China which is pretty amazing.

We also got a call from kaiicho (Mission President)Thursday morning bearing oh so great news! SAIJO IS GETTING BOTH SHIMAI SENKYOSHI (sister missionaries) AND A SENIOR COUPLE BY NEXT TRANSFER HOPEFULLY. So great! we are trying to get a small place we can hold Sacrament Meeting as well because getting investigators to make a 40 min. train ride to Hiroshima plus $12 to go to church is slightly difficult.  Saijo is growing, it's so awesome!   The area that hasn't had a baptism in 3 years is now getting both a senior couple and shimai senkyoshi. Kaiicho has faith in us and faith in Saijo and I know we are going to start seeing some amazing success here soon. Keep these Saijo Nihonjin peeps in your prayers.

Well, we also had a neat miracle with our friend Johnny Depp. Yes he does have quite the belly, yes he is actually nihonjin and the most different man I've ever met, and yes he does wear $600 dollar Johnny Depp `pribate aitem` everyday not to mention Johnny Depp rings, the feather hat, the whole get up.   We met Johnny Depp a couple weeks ago, he found us and wanted to take a picture of us for facebook but that was the last we heard of him.  We could never contact him again, then Friday night he randomly called us and said he was sad, so we met with him and taught him about the restoration and such and hahah well he is quite odd.   He believes what we say so much that he would touch us and say he could feel our power.  The power of God and when we gave him a Book of Mormon he put one hand on the Book of Mormon and the other hand pointing in the air with his eyes closed and was just like, "I feel the power". hahah   I could not help but start to giggle, but after we taught him that he went from not talking at all because he was down, to being super talkative and he new that his happiness was coming from our message and he said he wanted to be baptised as well.  We met with him the next day as well and he said thanks to us he was super genki (he also as we was saying this, undid his pants in the middle of the crosswalk to fix his `pribate aitem` shirt that was tucked in. and yes his boxers did have pink hearts on them).   When we invited him to come to church he said he was scared and so yeah you can guess, he didn't meet us on Sunday like he was supposed to, to come to church with us.

Yes,  I do indeed sleep on futon.  Umm well you asked what we eat, we do have lots of rice that's for sure. We have yakusoba a couple times,  fish, veggies, pretty much just whatever meat we have and then put it on rice. That's the usual.
That's pretty much the highlights.  Johnny Depp is the most interesting man I have ever met,  Gary is awesome, Azumi is out of town, and we are finding more everyday. This email was a rather large one, my apologies.
Eikawa (english lessons)quote of the week, we were going over weather vocab and this is what we got from one of the really old ladies. `the temperature today, is screaming hot hot hot!` haha lovely Japanese lady. 

Well that's all for now.  Keep the Nihonjins in your prayers!
Much love,

Elder Bloomfield

P.S.  Also the Johnny Depp man, hahah just remembered another thing,  At the end of our lesson, I asked him how he was feeling right now  (to try and help explain that when he comes to church he can feel this and after baptism it will be with him always) and he just grabs both of our hands and is just like, I feel the power, haha and I was just  like  ummmmm so how do you feel right now? and he is just like `I can see your aura`... and just puts his hands up toward us, So then I was just like do you feel happier?   Do you feel Gods love right now and yada yada you know the rest but yeah he is the oddest man I have ever met. So explaining the priesthood won't be a problem, but trying to help him understand we aren't super heroes could be difficult!

Thought for the week:

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

6 August 2013 - The Scout Jamboree

Well, I don't have much time as we have been away from Saijo for almost a week now so we have a lesson in a bit and lots to catch up on. The jamboree was a blast but I can't wait to get back to my area. 

An update on one of the guys we are teaching (the one we are going to meet with in like an hour), his boss won't let him get work off on Sundays but he really wants to come to church so he said he is going to talk to his boss again.  The last lesson we taught him about the word of wisdom and when we told him you can't have tea he said he doesn't understand because that is part of their culture (he is from China btw) and it is healthy for you. He said he doesn't understand but he will try his best and we called him while we were at the jamboree to check up on him and he said "no worries all is well, I only drank orange juice today so I am trying very hard." haha He is an amazing man, keep him in your prayers that his boss will let him come to church sometime soon. 

Also a girl named Azumi that we are teaching we knew that we needed to get her to regularly start reading the Book of Mormon because she is having a hard time recognizing the spirit. So we made a contract for her that says she has to read the Book of Mormon everyday for a month.   haha If she keeps her word she can make a contract for us for something we have to do as well. She signed the contract and it has been amazing so far. There was one night she didn't have her Book of Mormon so she asked us to text her a verse or two because she really wanted to read it but didn't have it. We told her to read a couple verses in Moroni and she said she ended up reading quite a bit of it which is amazing and she said she thinks she is starting to understand the Book of Mormon and its importance. We will find out what we will have to do for the next month at our next lesson tomorrow or Friday. Hopefully its something like you must eat ice cream everyday for a month!

Now to the Scout Jamboree, so the jamboree was great fun. We ended up giving out over 500 Book of Mormon's, maybe 600, I'm not sure. Our usual schedule everyday was wake up at 5:30, eat and get ready, be out the door by 6:40 and we had to take a half our train to Ube where the jamboree was. We would then set up the tent and everything for the day. The tent was way cool, it had pictures of Mormon Helping Hands (and by pictures, I mean a 3 by 4 foot poster), temples, Jesus, Temple Marriage, the First Vision, Book of Mormon, and families. On the back wall we had the famous picture of Jesus visiting the people in the Americas and it was like 10 by 5 feet long it was huge. We would then teach scouts as they came from 9 in the morning to 5 at night everyday. The groups were usually around like 6 people but they would sometimes just be a group of 2 or as big as 20. It was way cool teaching the scouts though because I knew they didn't care about how bad my Japanese was, and after you finished basically teaching the first lesson in like 8 minutes and ask them who wants a Book of Mormon almost every hand shot up in the air. The Jamboree was also probably as close to the celebrity life that I will ever come to. When it was slow in the tent, we would have a companionship go out to the like shopping/stage/where everyone would be area and the little Japanese Scouts would literally run to you. There was one kid who from prolly a good 40 feet away saw us and just started yelling and running with his hands in the air to us.   haha It was quite odd.  They would all ask us to sign their hats or shirts too and would just give us random things like badges or the handkerchief sliders. I felt real bad at first, I was like man I'm just a missionary, I shouldn't be signing these kids stuff or feel like a celebrity this isn't right. So I started signing my name and then I would write mormon.org on all their hats too. haha.   We weren't allowed to talk about the church at all in this area, the only place we were allowed to do that was at our tent.  All we could do was tell them to please come visit our tent during their free time. The other quite odd thing was in Japan its not Boy Scouts. It's just the Scouts of Japan. There were like just as many girl scouts there as there were boy scouts. I was real confused at first why there were so many girls at a scout jamboree but I soon figured that out. That also became quite a problem as well was all the little 12 year old scouts asking if they could take pictures of us. so we told them only if they visited our tent. there were people from all over there as well.I met people from Sri Lanka, Israel, Korea, China, India, Togo, Australia, ummm and other places too but I don't remember right now.   Yeah that was pretty much the usual schedule except for Sunday.  Sunday was really cool.  It was supposed to pour all day long so we prayed that it wouldn't.  We were being talked to by the Japanese Elder from the Quorum of 70's, I can't remember his name right now, it is real bad I know, but he came and talked to us on the beach there from 8:30 to 9;30 in the morning. It was real cool cause it was raining the entire time but not hard enough to have to pack up and head for cover.   He spoke to us and the scouts in the rain the entire time. We then had Sacrament Meeting near our tent with the scouts who wanted to attend at 11:30 where he spoke again for a bit also  Gustaffson Kaiicho (Mission President)spoke for a bit and after that drove back to the church where our apartment was.  There we had a fireside by Elder something somethin -can't remember his name again (the only Japanese in the 70) and he gave a really powerful talk to the members. It was so powerful that I couldn't really understand a thing he was saying but could still feel the power of the spirit in the room.  We were blessed enough to break our fast by some delicious yakusoba at one of the members homes that night and pretty much that was the jamboree.  It was beautiful there too, it was right on the beach.  The scouts loved to practice their English, give us free things, play a game with us, then hear about the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It was the first time I was really able to be myself while teaching as well cause I'm too afraid of breaking Japanese Culture or saying something wrong (well and cause my trainer does most of the talking in the Japanese lessons unless it's testifying) but with the scouts I could be as fun as I wanted and make jokes and they all thought we were just some neat lil gaijins (foreigners)
LDS booth at the Jamboree

Some great Eagle Scouts!

Missionaries that represented the Eagle Scouts at Jamboree

Friend we met
The Booth for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints that Travis was a host at

Display in the Booth

Another look at the Booth

 Eagle Scout and Missionary

Nicaragua Booth at the Jamboree (for Kyle)

Just hanging out

Girls Scouts at the Jamboree

Showing some kind of trick

"Just a minute"

"Let me get one more drink"

Visitors at the Booth
All the Booths/Tents at the Jamboree

Entertainment at the Jamboree

Taking a rest from the Jamboree

Love ya man!!!!!

Today they are celebrating Peace Day in remembrance of the Bomb that the Americans dropped on Hiroshima.  IAug. 6th is the day.  We had a moment of silence at 8:15 am as that was when the bomb hit Hiroshima and everyone prayed and such and then that was pretty much it. In the actual city of  Hiroshima they do lots of cool stuff though but we weren't here for that.

I'm bout out of time and the printer seems to be broken so I can't check out every ones emails, but I hope all is well and safe.   Try not to get sunburned in that neat lil summer sun. 

Much love,

Elder Bloomfield
Thought for the week: