Saturday, November 23, 2013

17 November 2013 - More Miracles Every Week

Letter to Mission President from Travis for the week:

It seems every week when I begin my letters I just assume, this week I had more miracles than I will have in any other week in my entire mission, yet time and time again we are proven wrong here in Saijo.  The Lord`s hand is truly in the work we are doing here and I am ever grateful for it.  One miracle, our investigator Sho is getting close to baptism but feels that commandments take away his agency, specifically tea.  He refuses to accept this commandment because to him it has no purpose because he believes tea is healthy.  He says he will get baptized once he finds that `reason` which he doesn't have in his life right now, but that when he does get baptized, even though he will have to give up tea and his other things in life, he will have that new thing instead. Gods help and other things such as eternal salvation were discussed but not precisely his exact need at this point in his life, he is truly an interesting man.  So we decided to fast on Sunday for him to find his own reason and I am not sure if he found his reason or not but told us after a very difficult lesson that he doesn't need tea anymore and wants to be baptized.  We had a lesson for about an hour and a half (way lame my apologies, too long of a lesson) about the blessings we receive when we are obedient to all commandments but at that time he wouldn't accept any of it, so we committed him to pray about it.  Then after the lesson Son kyodai, another Chinese member spoke to him for about half an hour about the worries he expressed in our lesson, and despite his complaints about how Son kyodai talked to him too long, he randomly told us while walking back to the eki that he doesn't think tea would be a problem anymore and that he wants to get baptized and once again fully committed to his baptism in the first week of December!   I was completely shocked and didn't understand his sudden change of heart but I'm thankful for the power of church attendance and the love of members in the ward. 

That same member, has a close enough relationship with our other investigator Gary, that when Gary unfortunately got in a car accident this week, Son kyodai was the first person he called, despite only meeting him once which was actually about 2 months ago.  Gary wants to get baptized as well, but his wife still will not allow him to come to church, so we are hoping to plan an activity soon with Gary and his wife and the Son kazoku.  

Other miracles that happened this week was the news of our building here in Saijo.   Thank you for your work you put forth to make this happen.  I know this will help Saijo to literally explode when we are able to start meeting here.  While praying this week on the vision of Saijo the thought came to me to do much of the same thing George McGlaughlin did in the power of everyday missionaries with watching the intro dvd every week except in Saijo we will have 1 member and 1 companionship to have the responsibility of bringing someone each week to this event and from this we will be able to help Saijo to explode.   I have faith this will work and can't wait to implement it once we are able to start using the building.   Thank you for your leadership.   I love Saijo and know exciting things are to come.   Thank you for the opportunity to work here.

Much of what I was gonna write today I also wrote to President so I just decided to copy that letter for you.   Ha ha   Sho`s experience was truly a miracle and slightly funny as well.  During Gospel Doctrine class he was like `I think I'm getting closer to baptism, the only thing is church just seems to be a lil boring` so we talked to him about that for a bit, then after church we showed him the baptismal font and Son kyodai talked to him for a few minutes and before we taught him our lesson he told us `I think I want to get baptized.   I've made my decision` so we were pretty excited about that.   But then things got wild.   We were teaching him about how when we are baptized we show commitment to God by obeying allllll of his commandments and he did not like that one bit. Ha ha   He was like WHAT!?   You mean I have to stop drinking tea now??   I can't wait till after I'm baptized and see how I feel then?   This lesson makes me so sad he said,  I feel like my happiness in life is getting taken away from me.  It was a pretty rough lesson, I'm not gonna lie.   So we promised him blessings, told experiences and committed him to pray about it that night.   We went downstairs and then Son kyodai talked to him for like half an hour about the same things we sorta told him but basically just talked to him for half an hour straight without letting Sho get a word in.   So after that when we were walking to the eki (train station) I asked Sho what Son kyodai said and if he talked about our commitments to do our best with commandments?   Ha ha Sho was like `well I think that would have been a good idea but instead he told me about his entire life! ... but the funny thing is I don't think I need tea anymore.  He said, "yeah it's not a problem, from today on I won't drink it anymore.   I wanna get baptized!`   Ha ha I was pretty dang shocked at this considering his previous 2 hours of disgust towards this idea.   So all in all, another miracle viewed because of fasting.  

This week we went apartment shopping and we will be moving into an apartment this next week.  So that will be fun.  I love that whole packing and cleaning thing.  One of my main hobbies!!   I guess our cute lil TINY apartment just ain't making the cut anymore so we must move.   Zannen ne (too bad!!

Umm what things do I want for Christmas... pretty much just my pull up bar and possibly a 2014 calender that has multiple random pictures of the family on each month . One of those neat lil things would be cool.  

Also what do we cook with katsudon?  I don't remember. 

The weather is pretty dang cold, I'm not gonna lie.   The leaves are changed and it is real pretty. but it got cold real fast.   Saijo is pretty dang green like the rest of Japan.

We have no Thanksgiving plans yet.  I don't know if any of the American families are doing anything for us. Prolly not to be honest but that would be a fun time if they did. 

Yes, callings are very fun.  That life of service lets you learn a lot.  Guess God just knows how to teach us well.. through service.

Well I love you all and hope all is well! 

Elder Bloomfield

Thought in Transfer News Letter

Coi Fish Pond

Japanese Bride

Thought for the Week:

10 November 2013 - Fun Week!!

Oh heeroooo!   This week was a fun week.  Lets start with the good news first.   Sho came to church yesterday! He ganbarued too.   His first experience of church and it was about an 11 hour day by the time we got back to Saijo with the trains and such and we had a meal at a members house after church but they conveniently planned it for 2 and a half hours after church so those of us who don't actually live in Hiroshima (Sho and the missionaries) had to just wait at the church the entire time until the Shokuji (dinner).   He enjoyed it though. We had a lesson with him about tithing, watched a couple bible videos and Mormon Messages, then went to the Shokuji.  He is progressing well and if we can resolve his concern that God is our ONLY God, then I am confident he can be baptized by his date.  Because he struggles with God being the only God, he will sometimes judge the character of God, (like when people in the scriptures are punished or tested by God), he thinks that if our God is like that, he wants a different God that is only nice all of the time and such.   Ha ha it's pretty difficult to help him to understand everything God does is for our benefit because he loves us, but that is something to work on.  He talked about next time he comes to church he wants to see the font so it is good to know he is taking this step in his life seriously. 

We met with Gary this week and were able to create a baptismal goal for him (conveniently be set for December 29th - some birthday present that could be ehh?).  He told us he is afraid of not reaching the goal again and disappointing us and himself, so we helped explain that when we set goals God can help us work toward it. Please pray that his wife will have a change of heart soon and allow him to come to church.  We are planning activities to help her have fun with members but we will need the prayers.   

We also met with  the Tongas a couple of times this week and are helping the kids to know how to receive answers from Heavenly Father. so that is fun.  I love that family they are always so great. 

Umm what else happened this week?  Oh yes, Azumi sadly has returned to Saga with her family :/    We met with her quite a bit this week for many of the AB lessons but she is nervous about the change with her family and her family not allowing her to go to church because they want her to be in an orchestra so please keep her in your prayers as well.  She did go to church yesterday though so that was a relief to hear.  So far so good! 

We also met a couple from Mongolia this week that we began teaching, they are way cool. our first lesson with them they brought us a huge bag of mekans and bananas.  Ha ha   The wife is a riot, she will be fun to teach. 

Saijo is way cool, I have met so many people from so many places.  I have met people from China, Japan, Korea, Sri Lanka, Iran, Mongolia, Australia, Holland, Taiwan, Thailand, Philippines, America, other Middle Eastern Countries, Seira Leum, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, and other places that I can't even remember right now.   Because of the Daigaku (University) this place is foreign heaven!   It's way cool.   I hope to be in Saijo as long as possible. 

Well that's about all I can think of this week.  Oh one more thing-

I have been studying how to better help investigators find answers and be guided by the spirit on their own. I learned that the majority of investigators who are dropped because they stop progressing, it is not because they lose interest, but rather because they don't fully understand the hows of prayer and reading the Book of Mormon and the essentials like that.  They aren't able to fully receive answers from God.   Along with that, the most effective way to teach is to use experiences, or stories, like Jesus did.   So I am wondering if you guys can email me cool stories you've had in your life regarding any of the principles in the gospel?  I have thought of many but a larger arsenal is always more favored in the battles of life.   Experiences regarding perhaps the Word of Wisdom, how you didn't want to do something but used faith and did it anyway and found blessings from it, or obedience from following all of Gods Council, things of those principles and then any others you can think of would be much appreciated.   Life is God!   God is great!   God speed!    Pray tell.   That's your chicken ;)

Elder Bloomfield

Dad's Kind of Paddle  (Giant Rice Spoon)
Before Azumi left for Home (Saga)

Thought for the Week:

29 October 2013 - Two Typhoons Hit At the Same Time

Olivia Happy Birthday!!!   The present that you got that was in the small bag was from both me and mom :)   No problem!    That's what I'm here for!  Ha Ha   Try the veal!   I'll be here till Thursday!  (The last part is a family joke from the movie Shrek)
Well well, what happened this week?
Yes mother, indeed it was quite the downpour this week.   We actually had two typhoons hit Hiroshima at the same time so it was kinda like a ultra typhoon.   We were told to be safe on Wednesday and most people didn't even leave the apartment but shoot,  I had 3 appointments scheduled so I went out and did the Lords work.  It was pretty dang fun except for my companion was biking at 2 miles per hour because he thought it was the most safe thing to do.  I suppose he had a point but rain is rain, he just hasn't seen it like we did in Korea.  

One of our lessons that day was with Sho san and it was pretty sweet.   Azumi has found a love for jointing with the lessons with us.   She sent me an email after our lesson a couple weeks ago that thanked us for inviting her to the lesson and said how happy she felt now because of the lesson and she didn't even know why.   I testify to you all that if you want to have more happiness in your life, go share your testimony with just one person.   I can gurantee to you that with each person you share your testimony with your happiness will increase with each person. Azumi has found this and even though she still does not fully understand the spirit and the Holy Ghost she knows that just through sharing your thoughts (your testimony) you feel more Happiness that you don't even understand!    Ha ha with Sho san he was struggling to understand how the Holy Ghost works in our life and then
suddenly it clicked and he was like ohhhh so the Holy Ghost is like a girlfriend before you are baptized, you see her occasionally when you want to and when you make the effort, and then after you are baptized the Holy Ghost is like your wife, she is with you almost all of the time as long as you are doing the good things?   Ha ha it was pretty funny.   We were just like um yeah - actually, you nailed that one my friend.   It's amazing the questions and worries some people have sometimes though about things they just don't know before they ask.   One of his worries is that apparently he had the idea when you are baptized you get baptized naked... so that was kinda odd.   Good thing we cleared that up.   That lesson was way solid though and the spirit was way strong and then the next day his lesson was interesting yet again.  His lessons are always up and down.   His next lesson the first thing he asks me was... Sooo how good are you at reading dreams?    I had a dream my aunt and uncle had a baby that was a bug and had 4 legs so I shot it and killed it, and then they were so mad at me and I had to leave my mom and the country and woke up in the middle of the night and cried out.   I never cry out in the middle of the night!   So,  this must mean something.   What does it mean? So that was a fun explanation.   Had to help him out with the whole dream revelation thing.   

We met with Gary again as well.   It was way cool, he was just like I know God is helping me, and I know your prayers are helping me everyday,  I believe that soon my wife will want to come to church.  I believe.  Coming from someone who didn't even have a faith that God existed 3 months ago... that was pretty cool.  I love the man so much.   

Umm other than that our week was just filled with some rain and contacting in the rain and the cold, which is not as effective as the not rain and not cold, as we have come to find out.  

Oh yesterday we got our feet cleaned by a bunch of little fish that bit all the dead skin and dirtiness off your feet. It was pretty cool and pretty difficult for my ticklish feet but no worries,  I ganbarued (was tough and stayed with it).

Getting feet cleaned and massaged by "Doctor Fish"

Well for my spiritual thought for my folks this week - fun fact: How can you build your testimony about a principle in the gospel??   Bear testimony about it!   Heavenly Father has promised us countless times in the D&C that if we will open our mouths this knowledge can be given to us.   D&C 21:9 -  He will bless all those who labor in his vineyard with a mighty blessing, a blessing that they can believe on his words.  Well missionary work is hard, you may say?    Don't know everything about the gospel?   Well you don't need to.   Heavenly Father also promises countless times in the D&C that he does not require us to learn the power of convincing of men before we do missionary work, but rather we are GIVEN this gift when we do his work.   We have over 80,000 missionaries in the world right now, are we all scholars?   Most definitely not.  We don't know everything about the gospel, but when we do his work he gives us the power to know enough.  I love you all and promise you more happiness and peace when you will help labor in his vineyard and fulfill your covenant you made when you were baptized! and that is to be a witness of Christ. 

Love you all and hope you are all doing well!    Ganbate kudasai!

Elder Bloomy

Sakuda Choro #2 

Hiroshima from far off

Balancing on the guard rail

The Elders on their way to dinner at some members home

Nearly fell to his death after loosing balance

The missionaries from Saijo at the Tanaka Family's Home for dinner
Guess Who?
Another trip to Miyagima to se the deer

Looking over board

Saijo Missionaries and Azumi at Miyagima

Travis, Azumi and Elder ?

Hanging low with the deer

Shop entrance at Miyagima

"The Dragons"

Ferry that takes you to Miyagima

Getting off the Ferry

Tree Climber

Cute little Japanese girl in her Kimono

Jumping for Joy

Miyagima through the hole in Statue

Waiting for the Gods to translate him at an old Japanese Temple/Shrine

Thought for the Week: