Monday, September 30, 2013

Study the Scriptures - 29 September 2013

Hellooooooo, 
Well.. what a week!   This week was filled with Azumi`s birthday, a neat Japanese style haircut, eating okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake with vegitables and fish or some kind of meat mixed in)with the big dogs of Saijo at some small okonomiyaki bar, having a couple of Azumi's friends tell her to her face she is making a mistake and that we are a heresy, participated in an African bible study and found out what its like to serve a mission in Africa, ate pig ear, Azumi telling us she wants to serve a mission, and confirming someone a member of the church in Japanese (that was a bit nerve racking), teaching a lesson in what easily could have been the local trash dump but no it was our investigators apartment, and playing a Japanese tag game with 14 little elementary school Japanese kids. Well what to explain further. 

Azumi ---Her testimony is so strong and did just what you said you would pray for! Stand up for her beliefs despite the pressure from her friends. First off, she has already given us a referral and we are now teaching one of her friends, then after that lesson when we were talking to Azumi one of her other friends came up to us and started asking us why we were Mormon?  Why did we believe in the Book of Mormon?   We told them well we have prayed to our Heavenly Father and he answered our prayers through the Holy Ghost and that is how we know it is true. He then just turned to Azumi and was like "Azumi their church is a heresy, we don't need prophets today, we don't need the Book of Mormon, it is through Christ that we can receive the Holy Ghost when we read the Bible, you are making a mistake by even listening to them."   They asked her why she wants to join our church and she just straight up told them, "well, I read the Book of Mormon, I prayed to Heavenly Father, I went to church, and I felt a special peace, and I know its true, so I wanted to be baptised."  She is amazing!!   Her friend also kept trying to tell us that is says in the Bible that we don't need anything more than the Bible, that it says that in the Book of Revelations on the last chapter. 

My friends.. those who doubt  the Book of Mormon. Doubt not!  The Book of Revelations states that those who add on to `this book` will receive the plagues from God. THIS BOOK. The Book of Revelations that John wrote. It says that those who would add to the book that John wrote and change it would be cursed!  When john wrote this he did not even know that his writings would be added together with many other historical records and become the Bible (which literally means a collection of books). It was not until later, when people started to change the writings that the Catholics put them all together to create the Bible to preserve the writings. A similar verse is also in Deuteronomy 4:2. If this statement they claim were true, then this would mean that everything after Deuteronomy is false, which would then mean that the entire New Testament is false which would mean that Christ never lives which would mean that the church that Azumi`s friend attends does not even exist! they would have no beliefs! and even if you put the bible in chronological order the book of revelations would be in the middle! the bible and Book of Mormon prophesy of each other time and time again!  Ezekiel 37 speaks about how the stick of Judah (bible) and the stick of Joseph (book of Mormon) would be put together one day. in 2 ne 3 we have the writings of Joseph of Egypt who testifies of the same thing!   That the fruit of those of Joseph would keep a record and the fruit of those of Judah would have a record. In 1 Nephi 5 in the Book of Mormon, Lehi explains his lineage and explains they are all descendants of Joseph!   The Book of Mormon is written by the descendants of Joseph and the Bible of those from Judah!   If you ever doubt the Book of Mormon it is because you are too lazy to study and figure out these things for yourself!   There are many more cross references that both books testify of each other. Study these books and build the testimony for yourself!  The Book of Mormon is true and if the Book of Mormon is true than so is Joseph Smith who translated this book by the power of God a prophet, so too we have prophets today, so too we can live with our families for all time and all eternity. 

So my friends, study hard, and you will not apostasize :)  If you begin to doubt the gospel it is simply because you are too lazy to really study these things out and know for yourself.   If you want to know if God exists. He will tell you.  Ask the missionaries!   They can help you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Much love to all, 

Elder Bloomfield

Okonomiyaki
"Yipee, I found Milky's our favorite Japanese Candy"
"The Lord's Vision for Japan"

Thought for the Week:

Azumi's Baptism - 22 September 2013

Well... Yesterday could have been one of the happiest days. I saw someone who was literally happier than any person I`d ever seen before. Azumi was baptized and literally glowing afterwards!   I don't know if I ever told you about Azumi`s story but it is quite amazing all of the things that played into her meeting with us and coming to God`s love.

So when Azumi was little she attended a English School in which the guy who owned it was an American Man and the family was all Mormon.  Her family became great friends with this family and did things with them all the time.   They even met the missionaries and had dinner with them when they were little and Azumi is fluent in English because when she was 6 years old an elder named Orsen Baker taught her English and she has remembered it all of these years.  The other amazing thing is that some sister missionaries gave her a CTR (choose the right) ring that she has also been wearing for such a long time.  Her family stayed in touch with Elder Baker over the years and Azumi`s memory of missionaries is how they had so much fun when they were little and how much love they had for everyone.  The next amazing part is that we did not find Azumi but she found us. As Elder Dolbin got off from the train at the station there was Azumi just staring at him and then she ran up to him and is like hey!  You are the missionaries. haha   Elder Dolbin was just like ummm well indeed yes, and she told us how she used to know missionaries and agreed to meet with us again. She then started taking the lessons and 3 months later has made the decision to be baptized.  She is most likely the happiest person I know, there was not a day she wasn't glowing with joy and to see that joy increase as we taught her was actually quite amazing.  After her baptism when she bore her testimony she didn't talk about how she knows Joseph Smith is a true prophet, she didn't talk about the Book of Mormon, but she spoke about how happy this gospel has made her. She spoke about the peace she feels and the love she feels when she comes to church. It really was the church that helped her know that this is the true church as well. She didn't come to church until 3 weeks ago after 2 months of teaching her, and then 3 weeks later she is baptized.  

This gospel is true and God has given it to us so that we can be happy!  We can try to fight the things God wants us to do, and live our lives in more misery, or we can follow the will of our Heavenly Father, which is in the end to make us more happy than we can imagine because he knows our lives and he knows what will happen. 

Saijo is growing it is so amazing!  Sasuga Azumi for being the first baptism in Saijo for over 2 years. So many different things played into her knowing of her loving Heavenly Father, God truly does love all of his children and in the right time you will understand the many miracles you have had in your own life. 

I'm giving my mission 110% and plan on doing that the entire 24 months. I've grown a lot in the last 4 months and want nothing more than to do my best.  Those who do what the Lord wants and then what they want serves the Lord.  Those who give their entire self to the Lord for his will is a disciple of Christ.

Also mom,  I decided I wanted to do the thing you always do at baptisms where everyone writes her a small message while she is changing  and apparently that isn't quite the common thing to do here because it took quite the multiple explaining to get everyone to understand and to do it.  Her birthday is tomorrow so we are going to give it to her then along with her new scriptures. 

Well I hope all is well!   That's the email for this week.  Godspeed pray tell.  God loves you!

Well I'm off to make a baptism book for Azumi!   Crafty Elder Bloomfield over here.

Ja mata wani

Elder Bloomfield

Azumi's baptism
                                       
Text Travis received from Azumi after her baptism
Travis, Azumi and Elder Dolbin


This is the email I received from Azumi after I sent her one to wish her a Happy Birthday and Congratulate her on her baptism
.  (From Mom - Kris Bloomfield)

Dear Kris,

Thank you so much for your lovely e-mail. I was very surprised when I got an e-mail from you.
How kind of you to celebrate my Baptism and Birthday!! You made me so happy :) Thanks a lot!!
Nice to meet you Kris.

Actually, I never expected when I first met missionaries on the road that I become to be baptized so soon, But now I'm very grateful that I was baptized and felt full of peace from the God. I didn't think that baptism is such a wonderful thing till now. I want to thank Elder Bloomfield from my heart for having teaching me many things.
He is a great missionary ever!! I really like him!! He is so nice, interesting and he always makes people happy. What's more, he already speaks very good Japanese and still working hard to learn it.
Yes, he told me that your family has lived in Sendai before. It's so marvelous that he was sent to Japan this time as a missionary and be able to live in one of your most favorite places to be. I'm also very happy too that your family had a good time living in Japan at that time.

Last week he showed me some photos of your family. You and your family look so nice!! You have such a lovely family. I wish I could meet you and your family in the near future!!
Please say hello to all your family ;)

with lots of love,
Azumi
                                                                                  

                                                        Thought for the week:





Thursday, September 19, 2013

Howdy. Howdy Ya'll - 15 September 2013

Howdy Howdy Ya'lll!!!

Well here are the updates on the miracles I experienced this week!

Well on Sunday, not only did Johnny Depp finally come to church, but when we were on the train we randomly got a call from Jay (the less active rugby player) and he was like "hey whats the address?"  I'm comin to church today Elders!  We were freakin out cause we didn't even meet with him this week and he got home pretty late Friday night from his game in Nagasaki which means he must have had quite the desire to come.  Usually Johnny Depp will ditch us and not show up to meet us at the train station and go to church, but he didn't this time and came with us!   It was kinda funny though cause he said his stomach didn't feel the greatest and asked if our church had a bathroom and we were like yeah yeah of course, no problem. Then as we were walking to church we literally had like 20 steps left and we were there and he just stops and was like konbin.. toilet.. I need! and turns and sprinted pretty dang fast for the slightly larger man that he is. It gave me quite the laugh. But all was well and we made it to church.

Azumi is getting baptized on Sunday!!  We taught her tithing yesterday and she just has one more lesson and then she will be ready.  She is a little nervous because she understands that this is a life long commitment and she is nervous what her family will say when she tells them she can't drink with them or other family traditions they used to have. She is amazing though and will be an amazing member.  Please keep her in your prayers as she prepares for her baptism this Sunday.

Nice mustaches

Lunch with investigators

Another investigator we met with this week is named Thung, from Vietnam.  He is quite the cute guy.  He just had a son about 20 days ago and just got so happy when I asked him about it, and then when I was teaching the first lesson to him he was just like wow!  I never knew any of this before! oh wow!!!    At the end of the lesson when I was telling him when our church is he just smiled and was like oh yes and this is Gods church.  haha I was just like indeed it is my friend.   The problem is that the semester starts in a week and he is moving apartments and still doesn't have a phone and so we just have to wait for him to email us to meet with him again this week.

Another college kid that we are teaching named Sho San told us he doesn't want to live with his family forever when we taught him the plan of salvation. He said that this life is long enough and is hoping to meet maybe new friends in heaven so if the celestial kingdom means families forever he doesn't want to go.   I was just like what... man trust me, you want to go! He understand why we need the atonement, to be able to be resurrected and make any of this possible, but doesn't know if he wants to be with his family forever. but he has a lot more questions we are going to answer next time we meet that I think could change some things.   He has such a desire to know if God is real, but yeah then just some odd things about him.  I love him though.

We have quite the diversity here in Saijo.  I think its because the Hiroshima daigaku (college) gives good scholarships to foreigners, there are a ton of foreigners here. Only one of our investigators is Japanese that we have right now. and most Muslims won't meet with us they just tell us about their religion for half an hour and how ours is sort of the same but were wrong and probably won't even recognize Jesus when he comes again because we have changed the Bible so many times and many other things that just aren't true.  When China opens up it is going to explode. The Chinese people are all so kind. Three of our investigators right now are Chinese (Gary, Sho San, and a new investigator named Gaun). The Chinese are all so kind and just like "yeah I'd love to learn more".

Some fun facts I've noticed in my times here in Japan. Occasionally I will catch a random smell that will remind me of Sendai. It won't be food or anything, just a random really odd smell that I will notice I've smelt before and will remind me of Sendai.  Well that's actually all I can think of for now. Hope everyone is having a rockin good time in school!

Much Love,

Elder Bloomfield

                                                               Thought for the week:

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Many Miracles - 10 September 2013

Letter to Mission President--
Well first off, at the Zone Taiki (conference) I committed to Latu Shimai I would write a paragraph about what I will do to achieve better retention in recent converts.

I will build a relationship of trust and love, enough that they can share their spiritual struggles with us. As I teach our investigators I will do so with such a love they will be able to know a surety of the Spirit of God and recognize they need this love of their Heavenly Father through their whole life. As I teach the fundamentals, I will teach these things with a testimony of how I KNOW this is true so as to allow the Spirit to touch their hearts and remember these things which they have already heard before this life. As I help them to understand fasting and prayer is a privilege, that we come closest to our Heavenly Father in times of sacrifice for him, we spend a few mere milliseconds in Gethsemane, take just a couple steps toward Calvary, we recognize how much the Lord is in our life. I will do my best to make sure they have multiple members they trust enough to go to in times of need and they understand this is an eternal commitment and baptism is only the beginning. President, it truly breaks my heart thinking of any less active and the love they are missing as they just don't understand, I can promise you that you won't have to worry about me ever attempting to rush a baptism just so we can achieve the key indicator, in my mind this is the worst thing and the reason there are so many less actives. I will do my best to help achieve better retention in recent converts.

President this week may have possibly had more miracles than any other week so far in my mission. At the beginning of the week I read a scripture in D&C 124:44 that said if you labor with all your might, I will consecrate that spot that it shall be made holy. President I can see this happening in Saijo everyday. This last week Azumi progressed amazingly. Elder Dolbin and Elder Collett most likely told you about her though as well as our lesson with Reuben and Kevin so I will leave that to them. There are many people prepared in Saijo. This last week we found a new investigator who is a college student named Sho San. He read on the internet about the Word of Wisdom and the law of chastity so that was slightly difficult to teach with the restoration. He struggles with the no tea because it is a big part of his culture from China. We set a baptismal date for October 13th but he fears that if he is a member of this church and still drinks the tea he will feel guilty and doesn't want to feel guilty. So hopefully our joint tomorrow about the atonement and some how tying in the Word of Wisdom can help clear that up. It is sometimes hard though because my Japanese still has much to improve but we will ganbarimasu. President there are so many people in Saijo that are ready and we are finding them everyday. I may be the first missionary to stay in the same place my whole mission because Saijo and I are kinda like two peas in a pod. Inseparable. I love Saijo and will continue to work hard. Thank you for all that you do and may all be well.
That was my letter to the Mission President this week. I don't have much time so I just copied and pasted it. This week we indeed had many miracles.

We found a new investigator from China and I set a baptismal goal with him. He is way cool he doesn't know if he wants to join though because he likes tea and he says if he joins the church he will feel guilty about tea and doesn't want that. So, lucky for him we are teaching him the Plan of Salvation tomorrow after Eikawa (English lessons).

Another miracle is we found a new investigator that is from Islan. He told us how in his country you are born into the Muslim Religion and if you quit it you are killed and he knows you should have your free agency. haha When we taught him about prayer he was like is it okay if we kneel right now just so I can see how you do it?   So in the middle of the building we teach in we knelt and prayed (we still don't have a building so we either teach in this small library at this foreigners building or McDonalds or something. It is quite difficult) and when we were teaching him about the Book of Mormon he was like ohhh that makes sense because Jerusalem was destroyed in 590 BC or something like that I don't remember and was like and that means Lehi must be a descendant of Jacob!  We then opened up to 1 Ne 5 and was like ummm yeah actually he is, it says so right here. The man is way smart. After our lesson he was like is it okay to hug your holy book? or even kiss it? and then he kissed it and we were like yeah go for it man. He was like oh good!   I just love to hold things close to me if it makes me so happy!
We taught the man from Africa again and learned a lesson about BOLD. He was baptized when he was about 1 and so we told him he needed the proper authority from God and how much the Holy Ghost will help and such and then invited him to prepare himself to become baptized by the priesthood.   He was just like, you did exactly what you should.   You have aroused my thoughts and made me realize I need to do more research on the things I believe and Gods path for me.   I thank you for this.  We committed him to begin taking the lessons to help him to know if this was the path for him.

For P-Day we went to a Van Gogh Art Musuem with the entire District and Azumi.  It was neat.

Sorry I don't have much time.   Hope all is well.  

Love you all bunches.

Elder Bloomfield


                                                                Thought for the Day:


Not Sure What Language I Have Been Learning - 2 September 2013

Well hola familia,

I start this in Spanish well cause idk what language I speak anymore.  I hath received a nihonjin companion that speaks absolutely 0 English and idk what other language he is speaking but it can't be Japanese cause I'm pretty sure I've been studying that for the last 3 months, but we'll get to that in a bit.

This week was a wild one indeed. First off we met with Johnny Depp after he wouldn't answer the phone for two weeks and we had two really solid lessons with him. We taught him the whole Plan of Salvation and the gospel of Jesus Christ and found out he is worried about his dad`s health and such like that but the only problem is we`re pretty sure he suffers from depression because he has told us how he's not genki (happy) before and such and he will only ever meet with us if he calls us and is genki (happy) and wants to meet. If we call him and he's not genki we will set up an appointment and everything but then he just won't come. So we're still not quite sure what to do there to help him because he won't do the things we say when he's not genki.

Also we had the most amazing week with Azumi this week. We had a dinner with members with her on Tuesday and it was truly beautiful. The 4 of them sat at one table and Elder Dolbin and I sat at the one next to them just watching the member missionary work in action. I almost started to tear up it was just such a touching sight and the best part is she was our first investigator to make the 45 min. train ride plus $12 to come to church Sunday! She is so amazing and has had a complete turn around and really wants a testimony now.  We taught a really good lesson on prayer and made her a new contract that she signed (haha) that said she promises to pray twice daily and read the Book of Mormon everyday and I really think that is the thing that will make it for her.

Well TRANSFERS were pretty dang DAISORETA (wild).  We got our calls and they told us we were staying just like we expected, and that we were getting Shimai's (sisters) and the senior couple like we already knew, then they were like and do you wanna know who your companions are?  Saijo has gone 4 man, received 2 shimai missionaries, and a senior couple as well, all in one transfer!!  My new companions name is Takahashi Choro and speaks 0 English.   It makes companion study quite the thrill and well pretty much the whole day is a thrill when you can't communicate. Haha   Our other new elder has some chub on him and Takahashi is always poking his stomach or rubbing it haha   It's kinda weird but he loves it.  Also with the new 4 man and our companionship splitting up Elder Dolbin said it just makes sense that since he`s been here with the investigators longer that it would be better for them if their companionship took them and said we are basically being white washed (starting from the beginning with no investigators). Which makes no sense to me because the majority of them I found with him last transfer. So I was quite bummed at first about that, but I know there are more in Saijo and I will find them.  But that just means instead of the 4 hours of contacting and a lesson like we had this transfer, this transfer I will be doing 8 hours of contacting everyday! Hooooheckyeahhh! Contacting is a hoot, so many silly nihonjins that just make me laugh. Plus I get to teach short lessons all the time which for me is just supaa benri. Plus I get to just be as bold as I want on the streets because I don't even know these people yet so I can just give em the gospel how they need it. Saijo is growing so much, there is so much work to do and I love it.

Other than that, this week was just housing and contacting in the rain, and spent moving things in to the new apartments, moving our apartment around, (the tiny 1 room that is split into 2 room apartment) to be able to fit 4 elders in it, when we sleep at night (only 3 of the futons fit in the room so Elder Takahashi sleeps half in the hall way, half in the room) haha. He is on his last transfer and I feel like he knows so much but I just can't understand what the heck he says.  When we role play, I tell him hey, speak slower this time so I can learn from you, and he's like yes okay okay, then just talks faster than anyone on the street. haha  Hopefully by the end of this transfer, if I can understand my companion, I will be able to understand the words that any nihonjin says, cause he is the wildest of them all.

That's all I can think of for now, this week was a wild one though. Hope all is well with you guys. Mason`s first day of school outfit was pretty neat.  He reminded me of a man I have seen many times on tv before... Ronald McDonald.   That red and yellow will sure catch all them Californian girls.
Much love,

Elder Bloomfield

Mason's First Day of School Outfit that Travis referred to.
Zone P-Day at a Japanese Baseball game and lunch 




Thought for the Day: