Monday, March 16, 2015

31 January 2015 - God Will Always Use Us As His Tool

Well hello family,

I just got home from church on this beautiful Fast Sunday.   We didn't have p day yesterday so I'm just sending a quick email out now so mom doesn't worry herself. 
 
Last week we went to Fukuoka, Kumamoto, then the Okinawa Zones for trainings. 
Last time we went to Okinawa we came in at night time, then had trainings in the morning until night time, so I had never really seen it in the light, but it is so different from mainland Japan!   We were able to go on splits with all 4 of the Zone Leaders there since we were there from Wednesday to Saturday.   In one of the areas (not where the American Military bases are) when we went housing, it wasn't in the city but a little poorer area, but all the building there are just made out of concrete and there are palm trees and such, I looked around and literally felt like I was dendoing in Mexico or something.   It was pretty sweet.   It was way different from mainland though.   There were lots of cool people and lots of cool miracles.  
 
We have been doing trainings on working with the spirit, and we didn't have a ton of time but we knew that in all honesty missionaries will prolly remember our training for maybe about 3 weeks, then forget (we're all human), so we needed the Zone Leaders to be able to work with them on splits and help them apply it, so in order for the Zone Leaders to help them we would have to experience cool miracles in our splits.   But even though we didn't have a ton of time we prayed God would guide us as we applied Kaicho's direction of working with the spirit, so the Zone Leaders could help their zones, and we were able to see so many cool miracles!   Planning on being in a specific area at a specific time, and praying to find this specific person and then lo and behold this person starts walking towards you as you're out dendoing and they are the exact person you prayed about.   The biggest thing I've learned is when we just pray for guidance, as long as we are doing what we are supposed to be doing, always praying to be in his will, God will ALWAYS use us as his tool because of that trust.   He knows we will be there, and will do as he has commanded and when he knows he can trust us, we are always led to his elect and we don't even realize it until it happens.   This church is true. 
 
Another thing I noticed is there are many more hoodlums down in Okinawa.   All the kids have like bleached hair or mullets and such, surfer bums.   We had a lesson with this one surfer bum named Tatsunori.   It was way cool to see him change in just like 30 mins. from the beginning of the lesson to the end.   At the beginning we tried asking him about his life desires,  what he wants to do and such or what he believes and he just had no clue.  He didn't really care about God, no interest to believe in God, and didn't really care about much too be honest.   Our lesson was after 2pm and when we knocked on the door it took him like 5 mins to come to the door, and when he finally did he was just like ohh ohayogozaimasu and was still half asleep. haha we were like hmm it is no longer morning my friend, in fact I'm getting hungry for dinner.  It was way cool to see the spirit work in his heart.   After talking about his relationship with God and testifying about baptism and showing him an analogy he was completely different, had more excitement, was sharing more things with us, and when we committed him to a baptismal date he was just like "ohh yes yes yes I'll be baptized!"   He was a way funny guy.   Mason and Kyle would have loved his hair.   The sides were shaved and then the top went into a ponytail that was just like an afro at the end because his hair was way curly. Chinpira da.
 
We took a plane home last night and that leads us till now. 
 
Well I hope everyone is genki and doing well.
 
Have a great week!
 
Love ya!
 
Elder Bloomfield
 
My surfer friend

On the plane headed back to Fukuoka
 
Thought for the week:
 

26 January 2015 - Interview Training All Week

Well this week was basically just interview trainings all week.  We drove to Nagasaki and Yamaguchi because there are no Shinkansens that goes there.  So we wake up early, leave about 7:30 in the morning, then train and do interviews from like 10:00am til around 6:00pm and then drive home and arrive about 9:00pm. and then prepare for the next day and do the same thing.   So that has been this week.

We also went to Hiroshima and did both of the zones there.

Cool miracle, there was a member that helped Elder Dolbin and I a lot when we were beans, because being in Saijo, 45 mins away from everyone we didn't get much help but she was always supportive, so I hoped to visit and share a quick scripture, but we were going to teach some lessons and work with the ZL's after interviews ended, so there wasn't much time.  But luckily Kaicho's interviews went a bit long, so we finished our training and still had about 30 mins to spare.  So we ran over to the member's family's apartment in the time we had and just as we got there the member was pulling up in her car.   She told us that she had worked today but because it looked like it was going to rain, her boss told her she could go home early, so we were able to share a scripture with her and thank her for her help!   Perfect timing! 
 
We have been training on working with the spirit more. One thing we have been training on was helping everyone to plan specific (3 ne 12:37 But let your communication be Yea, yea; Nay, nay; for whatsoever cometh of more than these is evil.     D&C 9:7 Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.). For example when you are planning, pray for guidance and choose an exact street or place at an exact time you will be there.   Basically the appointments with God thing.   We have been amazed as we hear of all the crazy miracles that have happened, that as missionaries have done this, God is able to trust them, he will know exactly where they will be and at what time, and can prepare and put those they are praying for in their path.   Through faith miracles are brought to pass right!   Like random people just showing up at church more, promising God you will be at a certain time, certain place, and prepared to teach a lesson about certain topic.  Then the person at the door you knock on at that prayed about time lets you in and you find out her father died just last week, or praying to find a High School student prepared for the Book of Mormon and the door you open at that time happens to be a high schooler who wants to learn about Christianity...  so many cool stories!   My testimony has definitely been strengthened this week at the power God has to work through us when he can trust us. This work is true! 
 
I hope everyone is doing well and genki!

Elder Bloomfield

16 January 2015 - Stinky Feet

Hello family,

This week was good.   We just had transfers and all the fun that comes with it.  The group that came in this transfer was 11 Elders, and boy did their feet smell bad.   I have never been in the mission home with such a bad smell before, it was a little bit impressive.   But they are fired up from the MTC and ready to go, it is always fun to see the new missionaries faith and the excitement they have to just be out and work.   They never grow up ne. 
Well other than that we have just been ganbaruing to finish all the trainings for interviews and then also Kaicho's meeting he has with all the District and Stake Presidents.  Never a dull moment here. 
 
Anyways I hope everyone is doing well and genki.  I have to run to set up Kaicho's presentation for the meeting with the Stake Presidents, so today is a bit short but life is good. Pray for me that I don't get sick again!   Starting from Monday we will pretty much just be traveling almost every day to each of the zones to do interview trainings for a couple of weeks, then after that we will prepare for the General Authority (from the Area Presidency, not  an Apostle) tour and do that, so if I get sick again I will feel real guilty and kinda baka.  I probably got the most sick I've been on my mission so far, but I've been blessed and been pretty healthy.   I haven't had really any sick days till last week.   It started out in my throat.   My voice was changed and it hurt to breath, after that it turned to a headache and shivers, which then turned into sweating and being super hot, and all the while my throat still hurt and my voice was different.   It sure made talking on the phone fun though.   No one could tell who I was!
 
Thanks for all you guys do, you are a great example to me!

Elder Bloomfield

Here is a picture of the last Shimai's from our doki (group of missionaries that came in at the same time) that went home this week.


                                             Thought for the Week:
 

9 January 2015 - As Missionaries We Are GPS Installer Technicians

This week.

Well I think since I last wrote you we have pretty much just been doing transfer prep, and prep for the trainings we will do at interviews while Kaicho is interviewing everyone.  Interviews will start the Monday after transfer week, so there isn't really anytime to prepare for it, so we are ganbaruing to finish all transfer prep earlier that usual so we can prep for mensetsu training as well.
 
Unfortunately Satan has been stronger that usual this week and has caused me to get sick, but I think I will be healthy soon. 
 
Things I learned this week, I've been studying quite a bit about how people's hearts change and how we receive personal revelation.  Because that is what we want to train about is how we teach to help people's hearts change.  And the main thing I learned is that as missionaries we are basically GPS installer technicians.   I'll explain. 
 
So let's say you are lost in the city of Fukuoka.  It is a pretty big city, and you want to understand where you want to go.  You have your tour guide, he starts explaining to you the layout of Fukuoka. what buildings are on what street, what restaurants are on what corner, if you are on this street and take 2 lefts you will find yourself in this area. He's a real smart tour guide knows the city well, so he can basically explain the entire city from a bird's eye view. So there's that help. Or, you could have a personal gps installed into your heart, so you can understand and feel where you want to go, what turns to take, and what buildings will be in what area. You don't have to remember every little detail, because you have this GPS to guide and show evidence what is true. Which help would you prefer? As missionaries we can lay down the blueprint of the entire gospel, explain which principles go where and why it all makes sense, and hope that they understand everything without getting confused. Or we simply teach them how they recognize the Lord's guidance in their life, and how to get their own answers to what is true and where they want to go. And the best part is, because these feelings will be coming from their own heart, it will be their own desires and help from God, they will not feel like they are having to change their life, like they are having to change themselves, because deep down these are their own desires and they are being guided in their own personal GPS where they want to go.
 
So that is the path we are wanting to take in our training. So we will talk about using tools we have to teach simply and use the spirit, focus on their heart, and certain commitments which cause investigators to have their own spiritual experiences and build their own relationship with Christ.
 
Anyways here is the message Elder Sasaki and I wrote for the FM news this transfer.  

We would like to share a recently found experience Brother Stephen R. Covey had about changing hearts.

 

“I was invited to speak to a sorority-fraternity exchange at the Chi Omega house [in Arizona] on the subject of morality. I basically gave our Church's approach to it…  I felt very alone because there seemed to be considerable difference in thinking. Two individuals were very articulate in expressing their opposition to my position. One, sitting in front, said basically, ‘Well, I don't know. It seems to me that true, mature love gives more freedom than you're giving it.’

I tried to reason and indicate what would happen if one were to take poison, even if he were unaware of it, and how also if one violated the law of chastity he would suffer great consequences. He argued, indicating that this didn't give the kind of freedom that a careful, mature, responsible love would give people. I prayed and remembered the scripture in Revelations, ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man will hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him and will sup with him, and he with me’ (Revelations 3:20). So I asked them, ‘Would you listen for just a minute? Inwardly sense what might happen, what the real answer is to this question that we have tonight. I'll ask a question, and you be still and listen. I'll promise you, you will sense inwardly—you won't hear it in your ear—that what I've been speaking about is true on this principle of chastity.’ They became still. Some of them were looking around to see who was going to take it seriously. And I really pressed the point: ‘Just listen for one minute.’ During that quiet minute I asked the question ‘Now, is chastity, as I have explained it tonight, a true principle or not?’ Then I paused. At the end of a full minute, I turned to the fellow who had been the spokesman in front and I asked him, ‘My friend, in all honesty, what did you feel? What did you hear?’

He said, ‘What I heard is not what I've been saying.’

I asked the other, ‘What did you hear?’

He said, ‘I don't know. I just don't know any more.’ One stood up in the back independently, spontaneously, on his own, and said, ‘I want to say something to my fraternity brothers that I've never said before. I believe in God.’ And he sat down. A completely different spirit was present. It softened everybody. They were very interested in the restored gospel and in the Book of Mormon. We invited many to the institute of religion and gave some books out.”

 

We testify that Christ is much closer to us than we sometimes expect. He is anxious to help us in this work, always knocking, waiting for us and our investigators to hear His voice. As Brother Covey remembered Christ’s promise, he showed faith and was able to open the hearts of the fraternity brothers to hear Christ’s voice. As a mission we are focusing on the hearts of our investigators, but we must never forget that in the end we cannot change their hearts, we can only help their hearts to be changed by Christ. When we learn to teach in a way that allows their heart’s to be changed by Christ, and give commitments that not only test our investigator’s faith, but our faith as well, we allow investigators to build a personal relationship with our Savior Jesus Christ. We would like to challenge everyone to the following 2 things…

1.         Be obedient and worthy at all times. In order for their heart’s to be changed, our heart first must change. We must learn to recognize His voice. However, when we are disobedient we shut the door on Christ and His help we receive when he comes knocking.

2.        Similar to Brother Covey’s experiences, in your lessons, use “faith challenging” commitments and inspired questions with at least 3 people you meet. Help them recognize the Lord’s answers they feel in their heart. We challenge you to do this within 1 week from today. Date: ____________

 

We promise you as you do this, your investigators will be blessed with a changed heart and even better, a closer relationship with Christ. You will be blessed to see a bigger change in them as they keep their commitments. We are so thankful for the example you are to us and the sacrifices you make. We are blessed to get to serve with you at this time! We love you so much and can’t wait to see you at mensetsus!



Hope everyone is doing well and genki.

Love ya!

Elder Bloomfield
 
 
 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

2 January 2015 - Coincidence? Probably Not!!!

Good morning, 
 
First off thanks for all the birthday and Christmas wishes. I did not expect to get so much love, you guys are awesome.  I was actually wondering what Eri was up to these days, the other elders and I enjoyed the videos thanks so much!   Also the one of Mason and Olivia with the ham incident was quite interesting, but you should probably apologize. 

This week was filled with lots of good stuff.   On Christmas we had dinner with Kaicho and his family and the office missionaries, then hung out with them till about 7 (and he may or may not have asked us if we wanted to watch Frozen with him.  Ha ha   We were so surprised, so we said, "sure lets see it!") then just relaxed at the office  after that. 
 
The next day we went on splits again with some other Elders and we were blessed with so many miracles again.  Too be honest sometimes going on splits as an AP, has a lot of pressure on you. Because we are assistants we are expected to find a good amount of success in each area that we go to that we usually don't really know anything about, but hey I'm just a normal guy, nothing really too special about me, so I sometimes get a tiny bit nervous but always results in asking God a lot to help us in our efforts in the area to help the elders ha.  But again God blessed us so much. They didn't really have any investigators so it was just another day of all finding, so during nightly planning we prayed where to go and set appointments (specific places at specific times) with God where we felt we should go.  Then the next day we were led to 3 different people who told us they had at one point died, and were brought back in the hospital, or were near death in the hospital and it was a simple prayer that changed their recovery.   Coincidence that we just happened to start finding all the people in the area who were having near death experiences?   Probably not!   At every appointment or place we prayed and felt we should go, we were able to find someone there who had some story and wanted to meet again and hear about our message.   I think in total we were able to find about 8 or 9 people who wanted to meet again and hear about the message.   Ha ha, it was such a crazy day.   With every splits we go on my testimony is strengthened more as we rely on the Lord and work upon our faith, anything is possible!   The area doesn't matter at all, God is gathering his children everywhere, no matter where we are the work is the same, and we find success in the same way.   1 Nephi 22:12  (Wherefore, he will bring them again out of captivity, and they shall be gathered together to the lands of their inheritance; and they shall be brought out of obscurity and out of darkness; and they shall know that the Lord is their Savior and their Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel).  So that was way fun.
 
On Monday, President and his wife bought a cake for me and they sang Happy Birthday to me which was super nice.   The office elders bought me a huge banna..   I am not really sure what to do with it, but I'm thankful.   Another great birthday in the mission field!   Then other than that we prepared for and had a training for all the Zone Leaders last week, and have been preparing for our trainings next transfer since they will start as soon as transfers are over. 

Also one of our investigator wants to come to church tomorrow so please pray for him!   His name is Danuka. 

Well I hope all is well!     Love you all!

Elder Bloomfield
 

                       Birthday dinner that the Chinese man worked into the lunch price ;)

 

 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

24 December 2014 - Christmas Eve Skype

So we got to talk to Travis for 45 mins. on Christmas Eve as it was his Christmas morning.  It was so awesome talking and actually seeing him.  He is doing very well and enjoying his time as the AP and learning a lot.  He shared some of his stories and experiences with us.  He also played us a few songs on his ukulele and sang along.  It was so much fun having us all together talking and laughing.  It was one of the high lights of my Christmas!!!!
 


He still has his great sense of humor and made everyone laugh and smile!!!

 
Thought for the week:
 
 
 
 

19 December 2014 - Christmas Brings Miracles

Hello,
 
Well this week was great!   We got to go on some splits with other elders and it was super good.   One of the areas we went to was supperrr windy the entire day, and then it started to snow as soon as we left and got pretty strong during our train ride home.
 
Here are some cool miracles we saw on splits:
 
Well mainly we just go on splits to help younger or perhaps struggling missionaries find new investigators or a vision for their area.   So it was way cool as we did our best to find by the spirit, we were always blessed with cool miracles.   I'm not really sure why but some missionaries just don't use the spirit as much when they go finding, like they don't pray at decision points, or use the spirit in planning the day before.  It doesn't really make much sense to me, because it is so much easier when you dendo with the spirit, but we are always happy to help them out.   One of the areas that we went to, during planning we prayed to find young prepared people and felt we should go to some danchi apartments (I don't know what that is English but just an apartment complex with a bunch of apartments) after dinner.   So we got there but because there were so many buildings we prayed to know which ones to dendo, and it was way cool, each time we prayed and then decided on an apartment building, in each building we were able to find at least one or two young people who were willing to listen to our message.   It was cool to see God answer our prayers so quickly in guiding us  and helping build our testimonies at the same time.   Again, Prayers work!!!!!
 
Also a couple of days ago we did another event thing at the mission home for all the Fukuoka Zone missionaries' investigators.  We had dinner and shared a message and sang the same songs we sang at the Tenjin eki last Saturday. Which that was also way cool!   It was just near a train station and people would just stop and came to listen to us sing and missionaries bear testimony about Christmas and Christ for like 30 or 40 mins..  There was one lady we contacted and asked her if she wanted to come listen to our Tenjin performance thing and she did and you could tell she was feeling the spirit way strong, then after the Tenjin thing we found out she was actually a former investigator that was working towards baptism but then moved from the area she was in and so the missionaries lost contact with her, and she told us she wanted to take the lessons again! 
 
Christmas brings miracles.   It is just a fun time!  Hope everyone is well and genki. 
 
Merry Christmas to all!

Elder Bloomfield
 
                                                   Thought for the week:

12 December 2014 - "Prayers Work"

Hey all,

So last Sunday we had a mission goal to help 250 people come to church, and we were not able to reach our goal of 250, there were about 200 people who came but it was so crazy all of the miracles that happened because of every ones efforts and prayers working up to the goal!  Too be honest, last week leading up to the goal, because we had transfers we were worried that perhaps because of all the switch ups and changes and stuff it may effect the goal, so Friday everyone in the mission said a special prayer and showed their faith then Sunday all around the mission there were just random people that decided to come to church again, or for the first time (coincidence that they all happened to come last Sunday??) and a lot of Branches and Wards had a lot of less actives as well that just decided to come back to church last Sunday.     Prayers work!!

Also on Monday, Brother Heaton from the MTC came to pick up his daughter who's mission was ending and spoke to us.  It was way good.   He spoke all about our motives as missionaries and just the relationships in missionary work, like with us and God, and the investigator and God, and then the investigator and us'  He broke down each relationship and which feelings should be felt and stuff like that.  It was way good and way powerful.   I love the gospel. 
 
Thanks for the 12 Days of Christmas package, mom!   In our mission as well we are doing the 12 Days of Christmas.  Each companionship has an investigator they do some sort of service or special thought for every day then on the 24th they can watch the 'Joy to the World' dvd we gave to all of them with their investigator.   Last year we did it with Sho and I just remember it was way fun and it was during the 12 Days of Christmas last year that he decided to be baptized.  I miss him so much. But we are excited for the many miracles the service of 12 Days of Christmas will bring again this year. 
 
We have time next week so we are going to get to go on splits and try to help out as many areas as we can.  I know I've been called to serve as assistant now, this is where I am supposed to be and I've learned a lot being here, so I'll never complain about it, but I am super super excited to go out and work again next week. :) 
 
Well the Christmas Season is beautiful.  I am grateful to get to spread the true meaning of Christmas to those in Japan who really have no clue.   Tonight there are about 30 missionaries who will perform Christmas songs and hymns at one of the large like train station/shopping areas and hand out  "He is the Gift" pass along cards.  I hope you are all sharing the gift! 

Love ya,
 
Elder Bloomfield
 
P.S.   Because we are going on splits and trying to help out as many areas as we can next week, most likely again we will not have a p day, so I may not email next week but don't freak out.   I will see you on Christmas.    Love ya!
 
 
                                                   Thought for the week:
 
 

5 December 2014 - Transfer Letter to All the Fukuoka Missionaries from the AP's.

Hey family,

Well this week was transfers so that's what we did.  Elder Chung and Elder Dolbin went home on Friday. It was kinda sad. They were good buds to me. Well to be honest I don't really know what else to say about this week.  Oh also in our mission we send out a newsletter sort of thing each transfer that has stuff about the missionaries and baptisms and such but there is a short letter the AP's write each transfer.  I shall forward you the letter I wrote since this letter is shoboi.  

During this Christmas Season we have the special opportunity to dedicate our work and service for Christ as a special gift for His birthday. There are 2 main ways we can better prepare ourselves to make this gift special for Christ this season.
 
1.  The warm spring night when angel Gabriel visited the shepherds, their first reaction was not of excitement, but they were “sore afraid.” He promised them there “shall be a sign unto you” and as the story goes it was the star (a second witness) in the sky that led them to the Savior.  Our work is very much the same.  Often times when we first meet those prepared, their first reaction may be of denial, or fear, but not always immediate acceptance.  Even the angel Gabriel, a pure angel the shepherds could see right in front of them, could not bring them unto Christ without a sign or a second witness.  We cannot bring others unto Christ without the use of the Spirit, it is impossible.  They need that sign or star to help light the darkness as they walk their own path to come unto Christ.  It is for this reason that we must do everything we can to involve the Spirit in every part of our work.
 
2.  After Christ completed the atonement he did not rest and ponder in satisfaction of everything he had just accomplished.  Despite the difficulty of the atonement, after he announced “It is finished,” his love for those who had not yet been taught led him to go straight to the Spirit World to preach and teach this message to them.  In this special Christmas Season we are blessed to have the spirit of Christ all around us.  As we give up our will for his will and serve without conditions, we are blessed with this same compassion which will lead and motivate us to serve with the same selfless capacity that Christ showed for us during his life.  He promises us as we give up our will for His, “we may be purified even as he is pure” and we will not only be able to serve as he did, but we will be lead to those souls seeking the truth.
 
Lastly, Christ said to those “which believed on him, if ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.” Simply wearing a name tag and being a missionary does not make us His disciple. This calling comes depending on our heart and desires to follow His word.  As we are obedient, abide by the Spirit, and despite any successes or failures continue to serve selflessly for those seeking the truth, Christ told us “I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.” We challenge each of you every day in December, as you pray to Heavenly Father before you go to bed, ask yourself, “was I a disciple worthy of wearing Christ’s name today?”
 
We know many are currently prepared and waiting for us in this Christmas Season.  As we work with the Spirit and serve without conditions, we will present Christ with the best gifts we can offer as his true disciples! We have been blessed with so many miracles already in this season, there is no denying Christ is leading this work.  It is an honor to serve Him this season with all of you.  You are all such amazing disciples and examples for those around you and your families back home!  We love you so much!
 
Elder Sasaki, Chung, and Bloomfield
 
Elder Chung going home.

Fukuoka Temple

Not sure what the face is for?????

Love that Smile!!!!

Elder Bloomfield (Travis) and Elder Saski

Elder Saski, Funakura Kyodai, and Travis

Little bit of Japanese scenery

 
Day to pay the bills
 
 
Thought for the week:
 
 
 
 

28 November 2014 - "It Is All About Where Your Heart Is"

Hey fam.,

I have some cool miracles to share but first off guess who Kaicho called to be his next Assistant to replace Elder Chung who is going home.   My good pal, Elder Sasaki!   Sooo it looks like we will be going on transfer 6 together now.  Ha ha.   The fun never ends.   This week we have mainly just been doing transfers and all the prep for it and stuff, but some cool miracles. 
 
1.  In the mission lately we have really been focusing on everyone using the spirit more in their finding and so we started doing this thing called getting referrals from God and sort of just setting appointments with God.   About a week before I ttransferred from Kagoshima, Elder Sasaki and I were doing our daily planning, we had decided we needed to find a Priesthood holder for the Branch, so we prayed that God would guide us specifically to that person who is prepared.   Then study the map and usually one of us will feel good about a street corner and maybe the other about a street or area or something but we felt good about this small area at the border of our area, so we prayed to God, asked what time we should go, decided thats what we'll do and set our aappointment with God! The next day we went to the area, said a prayer and felt good about a couple of apartments.   The first apartment no one really answered the door, then when we went to the next apartment, the first door we knocked on the first thing the man told us was "ya! shukyo kyomi nai kara." "I don't have any interest in religion..."   But we kept talking to him and were able to give him a Book of Mormon and by the end of the contact he was like "ya know I do have a little interest in religion..   Ya you guys can come back anytime I have time!" Ha ha   We were like what??   That's completely contradictory to what you said when we first met you.   When we went back for the appointment he told us he didn't know why but as he read the Book of Mormon he just started to cry because he felt so good.   We were like well jeez! but just after that I was transferred up here to Fukuoka, but I found out he has progressed like crazy, gave up smoking and alcohol on the spot, passed his interview and he is getting baptized this Sunday!  Mecha hayai ne! 
 
2.  We went to Brazilian Grill at the beginning of the transfer when Elder Coelho was still here, and we met the chef there who was Brazilian and couldn't speak any English or much Japanese so luckily Elder Coelho was able to talk to him and exchanged contact info..  We eventually were able to pass him off to another Brazilian Elder in the Zone and found out he was super prepared!   He just seemed like a normal slightly chubby Brazilian chef man, but we found out apparently he has never had interest in religion, never wanted to be a part of it, but about two months ago his dad died and he said he has been praying to know what happened like where his dad went and stuff, and then he said when he met and talked with Elder Coelho at the restaurant he just felt the spirit, knew there was something different about us and that's why he just gave his contact info up so easily.    He is so prepared its crazy!   In the very first lesson he was telling Elder Cascardi the Brazilian Elder, "I don't care if your church is in all Japanese, I know if it is Christ's Church I will feel the spirit and that is all I need."  He was telling him how he knows he must get baptized, and he called his wife in Brazil as well and now his wife and kids in Brazil are taking the lessons and went to church last week!   He also requested to his boss that he will be transferred up to Tokyo and move up there all so he can work at the restaurant up there and attend the Portuguese speaking branch in Tokyo.  I don't understand how but God is so smart!   Like, what if we didn't go to Brazilian Grill that day?   Or what if we didn't have a Brazilian Elder with us?   This church is true, if you allow yourself to be led by the spirit truly amazing things happen.  There have been so many crazy miracles throughout the mission lately, there is no denying this work is led by Christ at this time.  Make yourself available through the spirit, God will guide those seeking the truth to you.   It's all about where your heart is.
 
Oh and also, yes I did get to eat turkey on Thanksgiving.   Gustafson shimai made us and the Fukuoka missionaries a Thanksgiving lunch.   We had to leave about 20 mins into it to go pick up a Senior Couple and other such errands, so we were cut pretty short but we did get to eat some turkey so our Thanksgiving was satisfied.   To answer another question: There are 4 office elders -two APs, a recorder, and an MSM (financial guy). 
 
Love you all!

Elder Bloomfield
Thanksgiving Lunch

P-Day Activity

Travis is just reading up on the information in the white missionary handbook.
 
 
Thought for the week:
 
 

21 November 2014 - First Round of Zone Conferences

Shohayouuu!

How are ya?  This week was good.   We finished our rounds of Zone Conferences.  This week I was able to go to Okinawa for the first time.  It sure is warmer than Kyushu, but military people were everywhere!  There are a lot of American Wards and Branches down there because of all the Americans.  I kind of  decided I don't like American Wards so much anymore.   It was weird.  So much loud talking, sweaty men playing basketball and such.  Just made me remember how much fun coming home won't be.   But anyways besides that point, the Zone Conferences went really good.  It's amazing how you can tell how a zone is doing just by the spirit that is at the conference that day, and it is pretty easy to pin point what their problem may be by the feeling that is there. 
 
After one of our Zone Taikais on Tuesday we had the opportunity to teach a Turkish man, and a 18 year old teenager.  The Turkish man seemed only worried about understanding every little detail we said to him, and when we invited him to pray, he responded he is learning much from us so there is no need to pray to God right now, he can know if it's true by understanding and studying the doctrine we give him.   Unfortunately after a little too long and a really jumpy lesson, he was still left with many questions and wasn't understanding as much as he wanted.  The 18 year old on the other hand simply had the desire to know if this is true, to find more peace and happiness in his life, and the spirit in his lesson was so different.   The funny thing is, I think by the end of his lesson, ironically he came out understanding more of the points we explained to him that day, with an excitement to pray to God to find this truth, all because he humbly allowed the spirit to reach him and guide him instead of trying to conquer each doctrinal point with the intent of reaching more knowledge.  It was way interesting to see once again that no matter how much background knowledge we have, or how old or young we may be, as we simply have righteous desires to follow God's teaching for more happiness in life, we open our heart to be taught by the spirit aka the master teacher, which is at least 100x more effective and easier to understand than us trying to teach these things.
 
Also you already saw from Uchida shimai but I got to go back to Kagoshima yesterday!!  It was so nice. Irisa shimai and Uchida shimai took time off work to help out with the Relief Society to make the lunches for the missionaries so they could see me.   Yasashisugiru!   Also I didn't even mess up on any of my magic tricks this week!!   Phew!   In all honesty, I sure am glad its over now.  My hands were always shaking and my heart beating way hard every Zone Conference right before we did our part of the training because I was so nervous for the magic trick part.  Gee Whiz, I'm just a normal guy give me a break. 
 
Oh Mom you asked about Sho and Azumi: Sho is busy and doesn't respond to my emails, He only responds to letters.   Ha ha   Figure that one out.   Azumi is doing good!   She went to church last week and has been reading the Book of Mormon.  I don't know if I ever told you the deal I made with her, but she was kinda struggling in Ecuador, being pressured into drinking and wasn't reading the Book of Mormon and such but she told me she wanted to change and knew she needed to repent.   So we made a deal that I asked her to read the Book of Mormon everyday and she promised me if I would write in my journal in Japanese everyday in the month of October she would read everyday in October, and a couple weeks ago she ended up at church!!   So I think it is going well and she is reading and praying regularly again. 
 
Elder Chung and I were talking yesterday about how thankful we are for the foundation we have that has been set by our parents.   There is no way we would be here today with these blessing from God if it were not for the example of our parents.   So thanks for all you two do.  I'm so thankful for you!
 
Well Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.  Yes Mom,  Kaicho and Gustafson Shimai invited us to have lunch with them on Thanksgiving so I think I will still have some turkey this year.
 
Well thanks for all you guys do.
 
Love ya!

Elder Bloomfieldo
 
 
Elder Chung and Travis
                                     
Elder "support system",  Who needs chairs??
Picture taken by Uchida Shimai when Travis went to Kagoshima for his first visit as an AP.
 
Thought for the week:
 
 

Monday, March 2, 2015

14 November 2014 - Wow, Same Magic Trick 30 Years Later!!!!!!

Konbanchiwa,

Well this week was good.   We thought the mission prep thing last week was just a small stake YM/YW activity but little did we know it was for all of Kyushu and a 70 was also there to speak. Ha ha   But it was cool.   I did my Magic Trick for them as well and related it to how we must prepare with the spirit to find those prepared but anyways after we did our training, The Tashiro Choro from one of the 70s came up to me and was like "hey let me see your cards!"   Then he did the same magic trick.   He showed me he had the same cards in his wallet that he has kept there for over 30 years.  He was like, "I never knew why I always kept these in here, but now I know why, God knew I would meet you someday!"   He was a funny man. 
 
This week we went on some splits with some of the Zone Leaders while Kaicho was in Osaka for a mission president seminar.   I got to work with Elder Walton again!   He is a Zone Leader in Nagasaki right now.   It was way fun, we got to teach a fufu (investigator) they have right now and we asked them how they were feeling about baptism - like if they had any worries or anything, and the boyfriend just paused for a bit and was like "I just feel so happy, you are both so wonderful, you bring me so much happiness, I just want to thank you guys so much.   I'm just really thankful.   Thank you guys so much..." and went on to just thank us over and over.   It made me realize again really how lucky we are and how much we sometimes take this gospel for granted.  We sometimes don't think about what life would feel like if we didn't have the feelings and happiness of the gospel everyday, perhaps sometimes we should.  We all need an Attitude of Gratitude right!
 
We also went on splits with both Hiroshima Zones and I got to eat okonomiyaki again!!   It was indeed heaven. 
 
In our mission right now we have all made a special goal to show our thanks and appreciation to our Savior Jesus Christ by every companionship in the mission dedicating our efforts and bring one of our brethren or sisters to baptism for him during the Christmas Season.   We are working with everyone to try and help them so we can all achieve this goal!   We are way excited. 
 
My driving is coming along good!   It didn't seem weird to me to drive on the left side, but I think that's just because I probably forgot how to drive normally in America since its been a lil bit. 
 
To answer your question Mom, no I do not eat nato (Japanese bean paste that ferments in a can).   Did Dad like it?   I do eat kimpchi often though.   It makes for real fast meals, just buy kimpche at the store, cook some meat, then throw it on rice.   I have also gone for sushi rolls many times, it's all good to me now!   I'm not sure what my favorite meal is though.   I will have to get back to you on that one.
 
Well I can't really think of what else went on, last weekend we went with Kaicho to the Yamaguchi District Conference, and on the drive home we had a way good talk just about fulfilling callings in the church and a just how the Lord works and stuff.   It was really cool to be able to talk and learn from his experiences.  The only problem was we got a little bit too into the conversation and he missed the exit we needed to take so we went the wrong direction for a good bit.   Ha ha woops! 
 
Well I hope everyone is genki.   As Mom always says, "remember who you are and whose you are!"
 
Love you all!
 
Elder Bloomfield
 
Just taking care of business while in the car.
 
 
Thought for the week:
 
 

7 November 2014 - The Magic Tricks

Hey,

Here are some pictures for you.

The captions and messages under the photos were from Ito Shimai.  She sent them to Travis, so I thought I would include them in the blog.


mada arimasu....


I have so many photos:)
I don't know what you want any photos...So I send you all photos!!

Gomen....
This is Sister Ito:)I'm sorry to send a lot of mail.Thank you for always worked hard in Fukuoka Mission!!!!You are the best!!!!!And Fukuoka Mission is the best!!



Elder Bloomfield!!!You are the great example for me:)Your smile is the best dayo!!!!Please enjoy DENDO every day!!
I love you so much!!!!!!Thank you for everything:)

Hiroshima Zone ha tanosikattane!!!!!minna daisuki da!!!!!

Love, Sister E2:)


So anyways those were a bunch of pictures sent from Ito Shimai.   One of the members in my first area got sealed in the temple and so we got to attend and Ito Shimai and Watanabe Shimai that worked in Saijo the same time came also.  Ito Shimai's mom used to always send us rice and nashis and just whole bunches of food.    So nice family.

Anyway this week was basically just Zone Conferences.   On Sunday we were doing some pretty last minute prep and we finished the training but felt like we were still missing something in our training. A way to make sure everyone remembers our training or something.   Then as I prayed Sunday night it came to me!   I realized we can use our magic tricks!   So one of the magic tricks I have is 6 cards with a bunch of numbers 1-60 on them.   Someone chooses a number, shows it to the audience, then through my magic powers and using the magic cards I can guess what number from 1 to 60 they chose!   The analogy is I ask them to try and figure the trick out but they usually give up pretty quick because they can't figure it out.   The training we are doing is on using a baptismal calendar to break down step by step the process and establishing all expectations for our investigator. The analogy is  when we are talking about magical things like sins being washed away and feeling peace in your heart, and when they don't figure it out all at once, they dont just give up and drop off the face of the earth like many investigators do.   There has already been way cool miracles in the zones so far and a bunch of missionaries were able to set more baptismal dates this week it was amazing.
 
So yeah I've been doing magic tricks all week but I've quickly realized I am not quite as talented as Kyle was at the age of 8 when he did the "Family Magic Show."  I am good at the build up but I've already messed up twice and we've only been to 4 Zone Conferences.  Ha ha   I'm still able to pull it off in the end and share the analogy so its been good.  This week we had Zone Conferences in Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Kumamoto.   The drive to Nagasaki was way pretty.
 
On our day off, I was able to pass my drivers test and get my license!  I thought for sure I failed again because he was just telling me all the ways I need to improve, so I said a prayer and then he told me  and my partner that we passed!   Oh yea!   I passed it with this man from Bangladesh that had a HUGE beard.   He was so nice. 
 
Well I hope all is well!   Kaicho has asked us to accompany him to the District Conference in Yamaguchi today and tomorrow, so it seems we're off with no p day again this week.   Gomen ne!
 
Hope the weather is nice
Just remember the bright side mom, at least you have a water tank!!

Elder Bloomfield
 
Cards used in the Magic Trick
 
Thought for the Week: