Monday, August 25, 2014

Summer Festival

We had a summer festival at the church the other evening.  They had booths out in the parking lot with various foods (tacos, banana bread, okonomiyaki, watermelon, etc.), games for the kids, a BB-gun shooting range set up in the gym, and a family history exhibit set up on the second floor.   At the end they gave sparklers to all the kids, like we do in America for the 4th of July.

The family history exhibit was really cool.  The other office elders made some awesome display boards, and we used some other display pictures that were already in the church, and we set up an adjacent room with a projector and a playlist of family history videos on repeat.  We had some really cool conversations about family history.  As much as I love stories, I hadn't thought much about how many cool stories we find just looking up our own ancestors.  :D

Monday, August 11, 2014


We have three areas in our zone: Kichijoji, Kunitachi, and Fuchu.  My companion is one of the zone leaders, and we're in Kichijoji.  The other zone leader is the companion of the district leader in Kunitachi.  The zone leaders decided to do a companionship exchange with a companionship in Fuchu, which means that Elder Berube (my companion) brought one of the Fuchu elders to Kichijoji, the other zone leader went to Fuchu to work with the other elder, and I went to Kunitachi to work with the other zone leader's companion for a day.  It was good to get out of the office. 

We taught a lesson to a new member who hasn't been able to come to church, and it was awesome to see his hope grow as the Spirit spoke to him.  Afterwards we went around Tachikawa Station and talked to some people.  I was impressed by the city feel of that area.  In Kichijoji I was impressed with how densely packed everything was, but Tachikawa feels like it's built up a lot higher.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Transfer Week in the Mission Office

Well, transfer week is over.  That was a mixture of interesting feelings, seeing all the new missionaries come in and all the returning missionaries head home.

The new missionaries landed at Narita Airport on Tuesday last week, and arrived in Kichijoji by bus in the evening.  We helped them bring their luggage into the church, and then we went into the mission home for dinner.  They were all exhausted.  We had a bunch of rental futons delivered earlier that day for the new elders to sleep on.  The elders slept on the second floor of the church and the sisters slept on the top floor of the mission home.  
On Wednesday, there was lots of training.  We got to eat Sister Wada's delicious cooking for breakfast and lunch, and then for most of the day Elder Berube and I were in the mission office setting up the new missionaries' iPads and preparing for the iPad training.  In the afternoon, all of the missionaries in Kichijoji paired up with the new missionaries and took them out to give them their first experience with street contacting.  And then they had some more training at the mission home, and then we took them out to eat, and then they got to help teach English class.

On Thursday, the trainers came to the mission home for breakfast, and then there was more training.  After lunch, Elder Berube and I delivered the iPad training and handed out the iPads to the new missionaries, and then they all went off to their respective areas.  And then all of the departing missionaries came to the mission home and slept there that night.  The next day, we all had breakfast together (the parents of three of the missionaries came to pick them up, so we had breakfast with them, too), and then Elder Berube and I went back to work while the departing missionaries went to the airport.

And that evening, everything went ske-wompous.

A couple of website domain names were suddenly suspended, which caused our mission website to become inaccessible.  The departing missionaries' flight was canceled because the airplane's sewage system broke.  And a missionary out in the furthest area of the mission broke his arm very badly.  

The mission office became rather noisy.

For a while the people at Narita Airport weren't entirely sure if they were actually going to cancel the flight or if they'd be able to fix the sewage, but they ended up putting the departing missionaries in a hotel for the night, and they managed to get out the next day and make it home safely.

We got involved in a massive email chain between a bunch of people in the Area Office and the ICS department in Salt Lake City about getting the websites back up.  We managed to get all the important stuff fixed by about two o' clock in the afternoon, and there was much rejoicing.

Elder Pesce (the one who broke his arm out in the countryside) ended up taking an ambulance to the hospital on Friday, and they patched his arm up, put it in a sling, and told him he was going have to go back to America and get surgery because it was so bad.  He showed up at the mission home on Saturday.  I got to be his companion and spend the night up in the mission home on Saturday and Sunday nights.  On Sunday he gave his testimony in church and helped us teach a lesson afterwards, and today he got on an airplane.  He had a great attitude about it, and he's hoping to come back into the field if the surgery goes well.

Now things have calmed down quite a bit, even though Elder Berube has a bunch of zone leader responsibilities now.  It looks like I'm going to be going with him to three different district meetings every week, and going on splits with people all over the zone.