Thursday, January 30, 2014

19 January 2014 - Trial of Faith

Well life in Saijo was swell this week.   This week seemed to be Saijos trial of faith as far as investigators go but still cool miracles to share. 

Miracle number 1 is -  we have been praying for a member to be baptized or move in to Saijo to help us to build the branch and solidify the Lords kingdom here, and guess who moved in and came to church this Sunday?  Well you can probably guess, considering more than half of our investigators are Chinese right now, yes a Chinese college student moved in and came to church this week.   He had lost contact with the church for a time during his studies here in Japan, not knowing where to find it, but when he came to Saijo, his records randomly popped up a couple of weeks ago and we were able to contact him.   At church, he said, "he hadn't been able to feel the spirit in awhile and he was so thankful and happy to be able to have the opportunity at church."  He seems excited to help build this area into a branch.   That's not an answer to prayers, just a coincidence you may say? 

Well how about this miracle then...
Miracle number 2 has to do with the Morita family.  This week Tohma Kyodai jointed (went out looking for investigators with the missionaries) with us.  Before the lesson we thought he would have a car but then showed up without one, (he walks with a cane because one leg is longer than the other one), so we actually ended up walking a total of 60 minutes with his cane and limping for this lesson with the Morita's.   But with hard work God gives success.   Our plan was to teach the Morita's about prayer because that was something they had been lacking lately, and boy did that work out well.   Upon entering their apartment Tohma Kyodai recognized Mrs. Morita as one of his students he had taught in Osaka about 10 years ago.   He taught an art club class and at the time she was his only student so they got to know each other well, and from this Tohma Kyodai learned about her difficult family situation she was having and told us how both he and other teachers worried about her very much.  Tohma told us that at the time he prayed very hard for her, that her situation would be able to change someday and she could be happy with a happy family.   Now here 10 years later, and in a city that is over 5 hours away, we find ourselves in the same apartment as the girl he prayed for, teaching her about Christ's message and how she can have such a happy family for all time and eternity.  Tohma Kyodai said he was so happy to see she now had a kind husband and the miracles that God places in our lives.  God has a plan for all of his children and answers prayers.  It may not always be in ways that you expect or how you want it but in his time and his way, he will help you in the way that will be of most benefit to you. 

We met with Sho a couple of times this week and even went to a Japanese drum show he performed in!  It was pretty fun.  It is amazing how much he has grown and changed in just the past month. He is going to receive the Aaronic Priesthood next week and will be able to start blessing the sacrament every week!   We are excited for him. 

So things with the Tonga family got a little bit complicated.   Tonga Kyodai is at the ripe old age of 37, and therefore unfortunately wasn't offered a new contract to play this year.  So sadly the family is moving back to New Zealand by February 8th I think.   Things looked a little gloomy at first, with a lot of the time going to be taken away from moving stuff and saying goodbye to friends and such.  Trying to put all of that on top of teaching all of the lessons in just 2 weeks.   It seemed rough and Lilly (the mom) still wasn't 100% sure about it and she was kinda backing away a bit because she has had other siblings go less active and she is nervous about going less active herself, but she was challenged to continue taking all of the lessons as if she were getting baptized on the 2nd and see how she feels by then.   The Shimai (Sister missionaries) are mostly teaching her now because that is just more convenient because we can't always enter the apartment if Manako isn't home, but the lesson last night the Shimai said Lilly was like "yeah I'm just still nervous about it, I just want to be sure that I am doing this baptism for me and not for anyone else," and then at that point Manako walked in the room and said "Lilly! don't you understand that if you get baptized we can be sealed in the temple for all eternity, and our kids as well can be raised in the church?"   haha   We were like yeahhh! Manako is pulling through!   He is the man!  Pretty funny too. The very first time they came to church was because they had been invited to come to a meal thing for my birthday, which was after church,   When she had been thinking about baptism she said she asked Manako,  "what do you think about baptism?"    He was just like I have already been baptized!   I don't wanna be baptized again!" and she was like no not for you, for me! and Manako just said, "oh yeah,  yeah I guess that would be good.   Many ups and downs with the Tongas lately but Manako has been helping us out quite a bit it seems!   Keep them in the prayers. 

We met with Gary last week for the first time in 2 months. He has a lot of pressure on him, 2 jobs, school, finding a profession, and his wife being pregnant and always asking for his help, and we told him how through faith and putting Gods things first all of things can become easier, and we are meeting with him again on Wednesday.    Hopefully he continues to progress.   He told us again he wants to be baptized, but feels he should be able to come to church regularly first which is muri (difficult)  right now because of work and life. So there is something to work on.

Well those are the miracles I wish to share this week.  I hope you can all realize how strong the power of prayer really is.  You can strengthen your own relationship with God by just simply having the desire to talk to him.  You can be guided by him, feel his love, help others, and best of all know of his plan for you.  I encourage all of you to truly thank Heavenly Father for all of the many blessings you have in your life, you may find that he has been in your life more than you had expected.  I hope you are all doing well and healthy. I  pray for you everyday. 

Elder Bloomfield
Thought for the week:

Monday, January 13, 2014

13 January 2014 - The Lord's Hand is in Saijo

Hmm,  what to tell about this week.   We had lots of fun miracles. It is just amazing how much the Lords hand is in Saijo.   I am emailing today because we had mensetsus (interviews gomen) with Kaicho yesterday.  Apparently the work of Saijo has gone mission wide news and it was real awkward and kind of made us Saijo missionaries a little bit angry how much they talk about how good us missionaries are.   We had a zone meeting and the Zone Leaders and everyone kept talking about how amazing Saijo is doing and such and it was stupid because it just made everyone think  "well I just need to be more like Saijo".  If I were working harder we could be like Saijo, but we are honestly not really doing anything here it is just all God building his kingdom.   We are just lucky enough to be working in Saijo at this time when he is has decided to make this area holy to him.  So yeah that was a little bit annoying. 

But miracles that happened this week:   Well I will start with the first and most amazing one, the Tonga family is getting baptized!   How cool is that?   They will be baptized on the 1st of February.   The shimai's (sister missionaries) helped out a ton with the family because the mom said how she was always so embarrassed to talk to elders about baptism because she had never been baptized but with other sisters she just felt more comfortable.   I am so happy for the family and get this, for the last 2 weeks Manako and Lily (the mom and dad) have just been watching conference talks together. How cool is that?   This Saijo building has most definitely brought miracles of opportunities for this family. 

Another miracle that was pretty ridiculous, last week is we found 7 new investigators in just 3 hours.   Elder Walton and I were freaking out, we didn't understand what was going on.   We literally couldn't go 100 yards without seeing a miracles.   One of them was a former investigator family that we taught a couple of days later. They are way nice and love the missionaries, but it seems because of the dad they have never really been allowed to pursue more.   It's rough because he doesn't usually come home till about 9 every night because of work so we can never meet with him.   Another one of the new investigators is a Brazilian woman who was actually given a Book of Mormon about 2 years ago and when we told her we have church in Saijo she freaked out and was real excited to come. 

To the end of this week of miracles there is always a truly humbling experience.   Gods way of keeping me from becoming prideful.   This week I was asked in the middle of Sacrament Meeting to translate Brother Tanakas talk which consisted of the tsunami natural disaster and radiation and many other things that I didn't know how to translate in front of the entire Sacrament Meeting.   So that was a great experience :)

The Morita family is progressing but is still struggling a bit.   We taught them of the importance of the big 3- church, Book of Mormon, and prayer.  We will most definitely be having a lesson on prayer and prayer through the Book of Mormon next lesson, because they will never be able to progress unless they are feeling Gods love and their own spiritual experiences everyday. 

We are meeting with Gary on Thursday finally. He has been so busy with work and such and can never meet. The emails he sends us are always so sad.   They are filled with things he says he must do like projects and work and because of it he can't meet us, but Thursday is the day!  He is having his own spiritual experiences, He will email them to us sometimes, but it is hard to understand because of his English.  We will address how those spiritual experiences is God telling him he wants to help but he must show more faith.
Sho is doing great as ever. Loving church, loving life, and best of all loving using the phrase "nailed it!"   He is having a drum show thing (the Japanese drums) that we will go to on Saturday.   He said he can never remember the rhythm so he just plays his own stuff usually and does his best to keep up with everyone else. So it should be pretty interesting.

Well I hope everyone is well.   If life has been tough lately, try praying more sincerely, because if you are praying sincerely and with real intent, life is always good.   akashia shitta. 

Elder Bloomfield

"Cool family from Mongolia that we had a lesson with yesterday and Haishan (the husband) poured out all of the coffee into the trash. haha   It was way funny.   The wife freaked out at the money being lost and Haishan just laughed.   It was great.   Then they gave us all their tea to get rid of for them ;)"

"Yes,  t-daddy smoked all dem bowlers ;)"

Chef at his best!

Thought for the week:

5 January 2014 - Lesson on Faith

7 months baby!   Saijo is in for round 5, which is way cool because there are going to be many many miracles this transfer.  I think Kaicho (mission President) could feel that as well because for almost the 3rd transfer no one changed in all of Saijo again which is pretty unheard of and pretty cool.  

This week, I shall start off with New Years - first off, Japan is pretty lame when it comes to New Years.  No fireworks, no nothin!   Just eating expensive foods in which you have no clue what any of it is. I'll send a picture of what we ate.   Tohma Kyodai had the Elders over for dinner and treated us to the traditional Japanese New Years dinner.   He would pick out from all the foods what he wanted us to eat as well.  haha   So there was no scraping by on the stuff that looked somewhat edible.   It was pretty funny.   A couple of the things he gave me (it was like a rotten green plum), he started laughing and was like this one is for Elder Bloomfield and I asked him if he liked that food and he was like "oh no I think it is disgusting."   haha   Funny man... but it wasn't too bad.   I was able to handle pretty much all of it.   It wasn't delicious but I ate it all.   Poor Elder Henderson was struggling though. Tohma gave him a pretty hard time about it.  He would just push the food around on his plate and pretend to eat and stuff but couldn't do it.   To top off the expensive meal Tohma even bought us a taxi back to the eki because we were going to be late getting home if we just walked.   Oh eki means train station.   The man is too kind. not to mention, because it is custom in Japan to give money to your children and grandchildren on New Years, Tohma said we are his kids and gave all of us g-shock watches which aren't cheap.   Especially mine!!   I felt pretty bad,  I think it was pretty expensive.   It tells me the crescent of the moon and high tide low tide and other fancy things of the 21st Century. That was new years. 

Sho was confirmed on Sunday and is just loving life.   I didn't notice how much of my English he has picked up but on Sunday, he fasted for the first time, and when we were eating dinner, one of the elders was like Sho! that was your first time fasting and you lasted until 4, good job! and sho said "yep! nailed it!" haha  It was pretty funny.   It is amazing how much his happiness has risen in just the past few weeks. He is just genki (happy) all the time and loving keeping the commandments.  Seeing this change in him is truly a given joy incomparable to any other.   

Well life is good and we are excited for the many miracles to come from our faith this transfer.   I have been doing a lot of studying on faith lately and it is directly from faith that missionaries are given power.   Faith is power.   Faith is success.   Faith is our growth in life.   There are simple steps to faith and having the success of anything you put your faith in from the Lord. 

1. You first must just simply believe.   It is the start to all things.   Ether 12:18  "And neither at any time hath any wrought miracles until after their faith; wherefore they first believed in the Son of God." 

2. Next you commit yourself.   Commit yourself to giving effort in this thing you need help on or wish to accomplish. 

3. Do your part.   How can you expect to receive help from your Heavenly Father if you are not doing your part? The Wright brothers never invented the airplane by sitting on their thumbs waiting and your success will never come doing the same. You must do your part. 

4. Pray.  Pray for strength!   Tell God what you are trying to accomplish, set this goal with him, and continue to pray for his help and guidance, and in time and faith his will will be done. 

5. Expect trials of your faith!   How are we expected to grow if we never struggle a bit. In the movie 17 Miracles, yes those miracles were pretty miraculous given to those pioneers, but do ya think they didn't deserve it a little? Their faith was tried, measured, and proven to be far beyond what many of us may have been capable of.  The apostles of the Book of Mormon time didn't simply perform miracles all day and have all the success they wanted, they were stoned, thrown in prison, thrown in fire, thrown in cages with beasts; it is safe to say we can expect a little trial of our faith before we find that success and happiness.   If you are having that trial, love it! Because it means through the Lord and your faith in him you are just that much closer to his mercy and love. Ether 12:6  "And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith"
D&C 54:10 "And again, be patient in tribulation until I come; and behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, and they who have sought me early shall find rest to their souls.  Even so, Amen."
D&C 58:3-4  "Ye Cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design og your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after tribulation.  For after much tribulation come the blessings.  Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand."

6. Last and most importantly, expect the Lord to act.   He has promised over and over again he will provide.   He will give an answer.   He will help, so expect it to come. 

One of the saddest things for me to see in the mission is the many people whose lives are too busy, too hard right now, too stressful to have time to meet with the missionaries when this is their answer.   If we will put our faith in God, through his strength we will overcome what trial we may be in.   The simple answer is Trust.   Just like the last two goals Elder Walton and I have set, (finding a couple by Dec. 1st., having a progressing couple by Dec. 25th) we have prayerfully set another goal for a couple to be baptized by the end of this transfer.   Heavenly Father has helped us to reach those goals and I know if you need help, if you will prayerfully set a goal with your Heavenly Father as well, just as he has done for many others, he will help you to rise up to whatever it may be. 

I hope all festivities were safe and fun!  Also Stevo try not to scrape up that snowboard too much eh?  You have talked it up so much, I'm so excited now! :)

Elder Bloomfield

The G-Shock Watch club

"Let the Games Begin"  Layers of New Years Dinner

New Year Dinner all Spread Out

The New Year's Party Crew!!

"The Performance"

Thought for the week:

30 December 2013 - 20th Birthday and Sho's Baptism

Well good morning everyone.  Today is transfer calls and I am quite nervous.  I really don't want to leave Saijo.  I have been able to see this area literally explode and I still have work here yet to do, however word on the street is I will most likely be moving out to other responsibility elsewhere.  We shall see. 

Nonetheless,  my birthday was by far the most fantastic birthday I have ever had!!!   Sho was baptized, and the Tongas and Jay were both able to make it to church on Sunday!   We had a total of 22 people at church on Sunday.   Lily Tonga (the mom) said she asked Manako what church they were going to this Sunday, the Elders church or our church, and he said oh whatever not sure yet.  But when he left the house wearing his white shirt, she said she knew we would be coming to the elders church today!   So that was way cool of them to come.   We had a little mijikaku shokuji (meeting) after church and everyone sang Happy Birthday.   No worries no worries,  I did indeed sing the Danish part as well to myself.  

Sho's baptism was great.   I had to do it twice because I'm a first timer but all was well.  When I asked him how he felt afterwards he said I'm freezing!!  haha    Later he told me, it is hard to describe, but it just feels right.  He has made amazing changes in the last 2 weeks in his life.   It is all due to the power of the Book of Mormon.  2 weeks ago most lessons he became stressed about commandments or the principles and he just wouldn't accept any change.  So, we changed our lessons to all reading from the Book of Mormon and just 2 weeks later, his testimony took off, he had his own spiritual experiences from our Heavenly Father, and has been baptized and is the happiest I've ever seen him.   He was a bit confused about the testimony sharing part after you are baptized and I told him, "oh no worries it doesn't have to be long, you can say anything you want, even simple things like Heavenly Father loves you and things like that!"  haha   So he got up in front of everyone and said "i know Heavenly Father loves me, and loves everyone, amen"  and smiled and sat down.  That sly dog.  I'm really happy for him though. 

We had a powerful lesson with Morita otosan yesterday. so that was good!

This week we also watched 17 Miracles with members and our dendo shunin was supposed to translate it, but that didn't work out, so guess who was asked to do it? haha  Yes, my comp and I translated the entire movie 17 Miracles for everyone having dinner at their house.  It was quite the experience. 

Also thank you for the birthday gift with the notes from everyone.   As  a missionary that is probably the coolest gift you could receive.   It was cool being able to read all those from friends and see how they're doing seeing as they never write me letters ;)   

Well that's about all I have for today!   Hope all is well for everyone!   I know our Heavenly Father loves all of us and if we will just allow him to, we can receive his help no matter what we may be doing or going through. 

1 Nephi 11:17 "And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things."

Much Love,

Elder Bloomfield
Sho's Baptism

Travis's 20th Birthday (I mailed him all the party favors and stuff to celebrate)

Message posted on Facebook:
This message has been posted by Travis's mom, Kris Nielsen Bloomfield. He emailed it to me and asked if I would post it for him as he is not allowed to use facebook while on his mission. I want to thank you all for the Birthday messages as well. Traivs loved receiving them and said it was the best birthday present he could have ever received!!!!!! Here is his message:

"Thankyou for all those who sent me a birthday note or card. It was cool to get to hear from all of you on what you have been up to lately or just a kind note. I love and miss you all so it was great to hear from you. So far Japan has been nothing short of an amazing experience, I am absolutely loving it and wish to stay forever. Right now I am in Hiroshima, it is pretty chilly to be honest, especially biking everyday, but I have been able to learn more than I could have hoped for in just the 6 months I've been here so far. Most of all I've been able to learn how god loves all of us and and being able to view the many amazing miracles he puts in peoples lives to help them when they may be struggling as a blessing. The food is indeed quite interesting and the culture is even better  The old grandpas are always a classic to talk to and have many stories to tell you even if it is currently a blizzard of snow hitting us in the face. Thank you for your notes and I hope all is well. Ganbate ne! kokoro kara kansha shitte imasu. Mina san wa saiko daiyo. 
If you wish to recieve a letter or know more, feel free to write me at:
Elder Travis John Bloomfield 
Japan Fukuoka Mission
9-16 Hirao-josuimachi
Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka
810-0029 Japan

Much love,
Elder Bloomfield" 

Thought for the week:

24 December 2013 - Christmas Eve Skype and Email

This first part was written by Kris Bloomfield, Travis's Mom.

With Japan being 15 hours ahead (the Bloomfield family was in Utah for Christmas) we had our Christmas Skype Phone call on Christmas Eve (It was 10:00pm in Utah and 2:00pm Christmas Day in Japan).  We had an awesome call with Travis.  It was so much fun getting to talk to him for 45 mins. and to actually get to see his face.  He is doing so good and loves his mission and everything about it!!!  He had some funny stories to tell as well, of coarse!!!  The only problem was it did not last long enough!!!!  I can hardly wait for Mother's Day when we get to talk again!!

Okay now here is what we got for a letter from him:

Here is my letter to Kaicho (mission Pres.) this week. 
It is truly special to have this opportunity to spend this special day as a missionary. This last week was full of full full miracles in Saijo!  First off, Sho is getting baptized!  We had been praying that he could have his own spiritual experience to base his own testimony off of and the day after we told him to sincerely pray to our Heavenly Father about whether not it is the right time to be baptized, he said first, "when he woke up to pray, he just felt like praying was natural thing now, it was no longer an assignment or something he needed to do but just a natural feeling, and then later in the day he said he was walking, not thinking about anything, and the Holy Ghost prompted him and told him it wouldn't be so bad idea to be baptized soon". We are very excited for him and this step he is to make this week.  We watched the Joy to the World dvd with him last night and talked about the interview questions and he is so ready and excited for himself. 

We also had a total of 24 people come to church on Sunday! 4 of our investigators, Sho, the Morita family, and Gong Min (who has never been able to go to church because of work, but he received a call Sunday morning from his boss saying they didn't need him that day and so he felt that was God helping him to come to church) were able to come to the first church gathering in Saijo.  

On visiting the Morita family for the final day of our 12 day program the Morita family said they enjoyed church on Sunday and want to come this week as well but are not sure yet what their work schedule may be.   

We also met with our investigator Yukihiro a few times last week and he is progressing well towards his baptismal date, he has a problem however of making appointments or saying he will come to things (for example church) and then not showing up. 

Other than that, this week was spent with finding, other lessons, and sharing the Christmas Spirit with other members and investigators.  Saijo is truly a special special place.  There are so many miracles every single day. I do believe there are miracles that happen in every one's life everyday, you just need to notice them, but in Saijo the Lords hand is so evident it is impossible to not notice them.   I love the work and I know there can be a branch in Saijo within just months.  I will continue to work hard and do what I can for Heavenly Father in building his kingdom in Saijo, thank you for all that you do and a very Merry Christmas to Kaicho and Shimai (Pres. and Sister)

Much Love,

Elder Bloomfield

Skype picture from Christmas Eve.
Christmas morning opening his packages and things we sent him.

Thought for the week:

Friday, January 10, 2014

15 December 2013 - Happy Birthday My Beloved Father!

Mina san ohaiyogozaimasuuuu (Everyone Good morning)

Stevoooo!! you have finally become a man!   Happy Birthday my beloved father.  I won't say how old you are for I assume you are given much grief but.... how does gojusai (50)  feel??   You're the man!!

This was pretty neat!   Guess who is back in business?   Yes you guessed correctly,  Johnny Depp is back and sincere as ever.  He called us this week (just as we were about to call him in fact.. coincidence? I think not) and told us he wanted to meet again.   When we met we asked him why and he told us of the love he could feel when he was with us from the Holy Ghost and his desire to be baptized.   So we set a baptismal date for Jan. 5th.  His only hurdle will be the word of wisdom.   He has got a bit of a smoking problem so pray for him that he can norikoeru nice and good.  I've missed the man.   The usual  "ohhhh Rrroomfiell, you soo crazayyy... ohh kakoii... ohhh so funnayy... ohhh brroomfieelll ma friend yo friend... ohhh kakoiii... ohhh IZZ JOHNYY!"  was a nice thing to have back in the every days of missionary work. 

We met with Sho 3 times this week.   We've just been reading from the Book of Mormon with him to keep our lessons shorter because they have been going too long because of his long list of questions and concerns he always has.   The results have been quite effective as well.   Sho told us he believes in God, believes the Book of Mormon is the word of God and therefore the commandments are from God, he is sure he wants to get baptized, but yet still not until he is about 40 after he gets married.   It is slightly frustrating and we are praying for the miracle lesson where he is able to understand he has made this progress because of his commitments to try the commandments and that he will be happier having these protections rather than restrictions.   He is a mystery man ready and waiting for baptism.
So our mission has a 12 days of Christmas program as well where we are to have contact with an investigator everyday for 12 days (share a thought, scripture, song, food, etc..) then on the 12th day we will give them the Christmas dvd thing the church has.   So naturally of course, we decided to implement the Bloomfield style (ditching it on the door step and ringing the bell and running away trying to to be caught) for the first couple of days with the Morita family.   I called him last night and the first thing he says is, "oh thank you for the banana cake you made!" ... I guess we were not sneaky enough?   Anyway, we are doing the 12 day program with both the Morita family and with Sho.  It will be fun. (not the Bloomfield style but the mission challenge)

Last night we also had a Christmas fireside at our new Saijo kyokai! (church).  Aside from our 1 member and 8 missionaries, there were 14 other people there and it was tons of fun.  It is going to be pretty incredible when we have our first sacrament meeting this Sunday and there will be probably double the investigators than members. I'm pretty excited,  except I was told I am to give a talk about How to Become a Real Disciple of Christ, so I'm excited for that. 

Well this week was full of fun and Christmas Spirit in the land of missionary work.   We also did a Christmas program for an elementary school in Hiroshima as well which was good. 

During the Christmas Season please do your best to do a good deed for someone every single day.   The most fun is when they don't know it is you, however if they do catch you, humbly admit you were not sneaky enough and yes it was you doing this loving Christlike action.   Heavenly Father loves you all and I love you a little bit less. (it would be sacrilegious to say I love you more)

2 Tim. 4:7  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my coarse, I have kept the faith.

Much Love To All,

Elder Bloomfield

Oh, also... it snowed like 3 times this week, except it wasn't snow.  It was so freezing that all the humidity started to freeze around us so snow like things were falling on us while the sun was sort of shining with killer winds.   It was great I tell you ;)

 And, btw yes I indeed play the piano every Sunday for Priesthood.  It's quite the joy... 

Here is some good old translation entertainment.   Apparently we have been doing our trash wrong?   Dad if you could tell me what I am doing wrong that would be much obliged because I have no clue what garbage soup is or the rest of the instructions.
Translation from Steve:
OK. So, the English translation doesn’t really follow what is being said in Japanese. Obviously, someone is a bit frustrated with the whole garbage situation, “not me picking up trash”. Too funny.

Basically, the rules are:

1)      Recycle-able plastics, cans, bottles, etc need to go in the Green bag.
2)      Burn-able (moeru gomi) goes in the Yellow bag.
3)      Don’t throw the cardboard (danboru) away on the days newspapers (burn-ables) are thrown out. I guess there is a cardboard box that holds old newspapers till the day they get picked up by the service?
4)      Follow the schedule. In other words, don’t put the yellow bag out on green bag days and vice versa.

Oh!  And clean up your trash area from time to time. Well, I guess every time … keep it clean.

Also no I still have not gotten any mail yet this month.  I think because we have moved apartments and such I'm not really sure but yes... so still no nothing yet.   But no worries, I'll let the honbu (mission office) know my mother is flustered with their actions :) 

Japanese Style "Christmas PJ's"

A Baking Class

Learning to Bake Cakes

Thought for the Week:

8 December 2013 - Pretty Neat Week

Well sorry to interrupt your sleep.   You should probably start getting up now and preparing for your day (He is 16 hours ahead of Calif. time)

This week was pretty neat!   So first off the Morita family is a miracle of miracles.   We were able to teach both the husband and the wife this last Wednesday.   We were at first a little nervous because the grandma answered the door and they are usually not to much to the liking of us white guys speaking about anything except bhuddism, but the wife told her to let us in.   We reviewed L1 and taught about why the Atonement was so important and both accepted baptismal dates for January 19th. haha   Morita san is a pretty funny guy.   He is always trying to make jokes and when we gave him a baptismal invite he gave us a solid `YES` in some pretty solid English pronounciation.   The baby`s head was just as big as last time so yes Stevo I will most definitley have to keep that whip lash thing in mind. 

We met with Sho san 3 times this week and he is now commited and following all of the commandents except tithing (ones for after baptism), for the time being yet is still unsure of being baptized right now in his life.   He told us he "is sure he wants to be baptized someday" but right now in his life the commandments might be tough.  So that is where we are at with him and trying to work over that lil ordeal and how you can't pick and choose which commandments you want to follow, similar to Kara`s mission story I believe.

The building for church is just a room on the 3rd floor of some building.   I'm not even sure what the building is.   We are in the room right next to some nursing place that apparently you go to when you have bladder problems.   So thats pretty neat.  It didn't have any furnishings except the floor so we are bringing in our own chairs and such. 

I have been doing 50 push ups every day.  It was our commitment to help Sho follow a commitment that was hard for him.  We commited that if we do 50 push ups, and 50 sit ups every single day, something that is hard for us, and something we don't have to do, he could commit to this that are hard for him.   It seemed to work out.

Other than that, this week was just some fun filled dendo.   On Friday we biked probably about 20 km (the entire day was about 70 km, my thighs were pretty rockin, and by rockin I mean sore) to the old crazy man who tried to give us cigarettes and acupuncture who wanted to meet with us again.   All was going well, I even played the piano for him a little bit, until we told him we couldn't accept the tea he was giving us, after we had just not accepted the coffee he tried to give us.   He then proceeded to go on a half hour rant about how Japan will never accept mormonism because in bhuddism you accept whatever people give to you no matter what, to be respectful to them, and is this that Christ teaches is to not accept things and before the war and after the war and all those sorts of things.  So that was quite the lesson and the best part is he`s locked and loaded and ready to meet again this week :) 

We went to Miyajima today for p day, so that is always a good time.  Not sure what else to report on this week, other than our Sri Lankin investigator would only pray for us in Hindu so that was also interesting. 

Miracles happen everyday.  Saijo is quite the special place.   Heavenly Father truly has special plans for this land and every new missionary that has come to Saijo while I've been here have made that comment about the special feeling Saijo has.   This church is true!   God speed,  praytell!
Sakuda Choro  (Elder "Bloom"field)

The deer at Miyagima park


Ringing the Bell to call the Gods

Miyagima Gate

Thought for the week:

1 December 2013 - We Have Finally Gotten a Building in Saijo

We HAVE FINALLY OFFICIALLY GOTTEN A BUILDING!!   We have been given the keys and we are good to go after it is a bit more furnished!  No more having lessons at McDonald's, at a random park, youme town, random street corners,etc..   We can finally teach in an environment where the outside world will not be constantly driving the spirit away!   Saijo is ready to explode and we are so excited. Our first church meeting will be in maybe 1 or 2 weeks hopefully.   We are still just a group, we don't have enough members yet to be a branch, so we will still go to Hiroshima every fast Sunday, but we will soon have enough members for a branch!  Thank you all for your prayers in making this possible. 

This week something quite incredible happened. it snowed in Saijo???   That was pretty odd.   Pretty exciting too!   Us kids not from Utah were quite excited at the small amounts of snow falling from the sky (so small that none of it even stuck and was gone within an hour). 

This week we housed into a young couple named Morita San. He is about about 26 and they have a kid who is just a year old.   He has the BIGGEST cheeks I have ever seen, not to mention his head is the size of a watermelon.  When we first housed into him, he tried to give us the usual "ohhhh actually I'm Japanese so I'm Buddhist, so I don't have any interest in God (pretty odd I know)".   We told him well just like my companion didn't like curry before he tried it, is the same with this message.   Sure enough after our first lesson he told us kyomi bukai.  He has tons of interest and when was that?   Just a week before our date of December 1st goal we set to find a couple to take the lessons.   When you set goals with your Heavenly Father and pray for his help, I can promise you you will find much more success and happiness as you trust in him to provide.   

This weeks lesson with Sho, we basically just shared with him that he is ready for baptism,   All he needs to do is trust in Heavenly Father.   We read Lord, I Will Believe by Elder Holland with him and bore pretty powerful testimony to him and we are going to have a lesson with him this Tuesday with Son Kyodai, and if all goes well there he should be baptized either this Sunday or next.   So, pray for him please that this Tuesday Sho can listen to the spirit trying to guide him to this next step in his life. 

Azumi also came into Saijo for a day and she was here only for a day and emailed us and asked us if she could receive an AB lesson from us.   She loves this gospel so much!   She is so cool.   She is pretty nervous about Ecuador though.   She was also pretty surprised to hear that the church is there as well.  haha  She said she enjoys all of your emails though. 

Our new apartment is auto locked, so that's purtty dang cool!   That means we have to put in a number code that opens the front door.   It is something that we as missionaries hate on other apartments, because we will find a nice beautiful apartment to go house and then walk up to it and find out it is auto locked.  Quite the bummer ay? 

I never got to take a pic.of the old apartment so perhaps I will do that before I get transferred. Just for the memories ayy? o

 What the heck is tempura? Also do you cook the chicken egg flour thing in just normal oil or with katsudon? I actually haven't been cooking anything lately because our new apartment hasn't had gas. Which also has meant no hot water for 4 days. The showers were prettyyyy dang cold. It was just cold water but like river water. My feet would go numb by the end of the shower that's how cold it was.  That was quite the adventure. The joys of missionary work every week!

Well that's about all I can think of for this week.  We are super excited for this Christmas Season to spread the gospel!   Our mission is doing our own sort of 12 Days of Christmas, where we will have contact with someone for 12 days, sharing something everyday, and then on the last day we will give them the 40 min. church Christmas program thing.   It is similar to our 12 Days of Christmas.   I hope to be able to do our 12 days of Christmas as well.   The only problem is no one in Japan will ever give you their address so it is pretty difficult in that sense... but we will ganbaru (hang in there).   

You guys are awesome.   Thank you so much for all!   Keep up the good work and don't forget to endure to the end.   Miracles happen everyday in your life, it is only your responsibility to recognize them.   God will always provide. 

ja matta wani

Elder Bloomfield

"New Look"

Saijo, Japan

Hiroshima Zone

"New Friend on the Train"

Building in Saijo

Best place he could find to get away and have some time alone.

Shinkansan (Bullet Train) in Hiroshima

Thought for the Week:

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

24 November 2013 - 40 Day Fast Challenge

Weekly letter written to Kaicho:
First I will update on the progression of our investigator, Sho.  He is just a couple of weeks away from his baptismal date. He is worried about having to keep all of the commandments and because of that our lesson on Monday was a bit rough. We were not teaching how we should have been, we were more focused on him keeping commitments to follow all of the commandments for baptism rather than teaching to all of his needs and teaching to help him personally to grow.   As a result, the beginning of our lesson on Saturday he said he feels he wants to stop taking the lessons.  He said he wants to be baptized one day, but maybe after he is married when it will be easier to keep all of the commandments.  We listened to all of his concerns and basically taught in a completely different way and by the end of the lesson he had committed to follow the law of chastity and word of wisdom despite his concern to stop the lessons.  I have most definitely learned my lesson that it is not all about marking off the lessons to progress them towards baptism but it is truly just all about listening to their concerns and letting them know you care.  "No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care." I feel this last week was a real turning point in my mission.

I had a good friend who was in the Leyte, Philippines mission who was hit very bad by the typhoon.  Her experience she shared with me was very sad and really struck me with the thoughts of "what  if my mission had to end right now as well, would I be satisfied?"   Have I truly done everything I possibly could?   I have been working hard and I do strive to be as obedient as possible but I know there is always room to improve, and I want to make that improvement and give everything I have to my Heavenly Father.   I have set goals for myself and will do my best to give all I have to Heavenly Father every day.

This week I also started the 40 day spiritual fast that I'm sure you have heard of before.   In order to become a better person and a better missionary I fasted and decided on 12 things I want to stop doing and I will fast from those things for 40 days.  I have planned it out so that it will last me all the way until the start of next transfer.  I am excited for this experience of having to depend on my Heavenly Father to relieve me of my burdens.

The work in Saijo is moving along and I want to be the best missionary I can to give Saijo what it deserves.  Elder Wynn seems super cool and I am super excited to learn more from him. Thank you for the work you did in getting the building!    Miracles everyday!!!

Back to letter to family: 
I seem to enjoy just forwarding my emails to Kaicho (The mission President) to you guys cause that is the same stuff I will be telling you anyways.   Sho once again had a roller coaster and when he remembered about the law of tithing on Monday he became worried about having to pay for school and yet again felt like quitting, but yet again is climbing back up into the saddle.
Pretty funny experience from this week.   We contacted this old man who was smoking in front of 7/11.  Little did we know it would turn into an hour and a half street contact.   He agreed to meet with us again to learn more about God and told us he will be in San Fransisco for a week and then proceeded to give us his address in 4 different ways to visit when he gets home.    While he was doing this he kept running back to his car and trying to give us things, and then remember he was giving us his information. He tried to give us hot lemonade, weird bean cake thing, fries (don't know where he got those from), coffee, oh and he tried to give us two packs of cigarettes too but we had to work ourselves out of that one.   He then proceeded to tell us his job is secret and he can't tell us what he does but then we asked him if he was a detective and he said "oh yes, yes!"  - some secret.   After about an hour of this we told him we needed to leave so he said oh okay and set our bikes up in front of his car and proceeded to take a picture of us.   haha   So we stood next to his car and our bikes and he took a couple pictures of us then while he was doing that he noticed we were at the building of some friend of his and was like oh one second follow me, follow me!  He said,  "I want you to meet my friend!", so we figured okay 5 more minutes won't hurt,   So we followed him up to meet his friend and next thing we new we were sitting in an acupuncture office and he is taking his shirt off and telling us how good it will feel. haha   We tried to explain to him that we can't take our shirts off as missionaries and we can't get an acupuncture and he was just like ohh ohh its okay,  I will pay!  No worries!   So we had to sneak out as he was taking another smoking break. That was quite the contact.
This week we moved apartments and that was quite the joy.  Moving everything and cleaning our old apartment for endless hours is something for all men and women to look forward too.   Moving plus transfers and that was pretty much our week plus a few lessons with Sho and street contacting.

I'm pretty sure it is Sapporo here cause it is just freezing here these days. Quite fun!   It seems I get the best of both worlds from sweating the wrinkles out of my shirt everyday during the summer to struggling to get any flyer's out of my pocket because I can't move my fingers because they are frozen.  As long as I have a prayer in my heart the spirit will keep me warm though, right?
Well I hope everyone is doing well. I know that Heavenly Father loves you all very much and if you will listen to him he will help you more than you can imagine.   For 40 days I am doing a sort of fast that I encourage all of you to do as well.  We all want to come closer to our Heavenly Father and be more Christlike so I will tell you how: tomorrow, fast and pray to Heavenly Father and think of a list of 10 things that may be keeping you from feeling the spirit or Gods love more everyday in your life.   Then make that list and promise to Heavenly Father that for 40 days you promise to not do those things on your list.   Promise him you will try your hardest.  It may seem harder than you may have at first thought, but as you rely on your Heavenly Father he will relieve you of your burdens and help you to feel his strength helping you everyday in your life.   You will be able to not only learn how to rely on Heavenly Father but you will be able to feel the spirit more everyday in your life and feel Heavenly Father helping you in whatever way you may need help.

Stay safe and don't catch a cold!
Elder Bloomfield

"How we get water in Hiroshima"

Saijo Missionaries out for Okomiyaki

Having some Okonomiyaki (Japanese style pancake).  They are filled with all kinds of veg., fish, chicken etc..  Everyone cooks their own at the table.  You just order what you want in yours and they bring it out in a bowl and you mix it together and pour it on the hot grill and cook it up.  They are yummy!!!  
You can tell Travis loves his by his eyes!!!!  Silly guy!!!!!!
Little Scenery

Thought for the Day: