Eric Stevens, Japan Tokyo Mission, July 2013-July 2015, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
"Remember that it is on the rock of your Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God , that ye must build your foundation." Helaman 5:12
It's nice to finally be able to email you
from Japan! First off I'd just like to answer some questions. I got mom's letter
on friday and it was so cool to get a letter! Thanks a lot! I am sending a
letter out today so hopefully you will receive it in 10ish days. We can't wait
to get your care package because they don't have american candy here at all! Its
terrible. my companions nearly mobbed me when they found out I had some jolly
ranchers left over from the flight. lol Thank you so much for all of your
emails. Its soo good to hear from all of you and I hope that you enjoy reading
my emails as much as I enjoy reading yours. Well now to the good stuff.
Well first off, I was assigned to one of
the 2 english speaking areas in all of Japan. I guess the Lord was reading the
last email I sent that said I would miss singing hymns in English. lol At first I
was sorta dissappointed that I wouldn't be able to teach lessons to people in
Japanese because I wanted to learn as much Japanese as quickly as I could. But
now I am so happy to be here. It still is sorta weird to pass by so many
Japanese people and not be allowed to talk to them because we only are supposed
to teach foreigners who speak english. But all of our investigators are
super amazing and I love them so much and it still is fun to just walk around
and listen to everybody talk to each other in Japanese, even if I can't really
On a spiritual note, we have 2 baptisms
coming up on the 13 of October! Its so amazing because I was able to commit one
of them to baptism on my first lesson and on my first day in Japan! It really
is a miracle! I am so excited for him, his name is Bill and he is super
amazing! I guess the Lord really is moving his work forward in Japan. We have
over 20 investigators and we are finding lots more of them everyday. I'm so glad
to be here serving the Lord.
I actually went to my first baptism the
other day. An eight year old boy named Ian got baptized by his dad yesterday
and it was pretty cool. We invited Bill to come and see the baptism and i think
that really helped him to realize how important baptism was.
You know how everyone thinks that Japan
is full of rice? Well I am here to dispell that rumor. I have not seen a grain
of rice since I have gotten here! lol We have mostly been surviving off of
bread with peanut butter on it. But we are almost out of peanut butter so I
have no idea what we are going to do in a few days. I did get to try some
interesting foods while I was here. Andrew will be happy to know that I tried
some seafood and it ws actually pretty good! It didn't taste like american seafood at all! You all should come visit sometime and try it! lol
Ok so now for some cultural stuff. It is
sooo different here from in America. The first thing that I noticed was all of
the bright colorful city lights that we drove through to get to the mission
home. It took like 2 hrs to drive there because the trafic was sooo bad. I'll
never complain about slow drivers ever again! lol We sleep on the floor on
futons and they are actually very comfertable. It also helps conserve space in
the appartment because we have 5 missionaries all crammed into one appartment.
Oh speaking of which I have 2 companions. Elder Kerr and Elder Norman. They
are super awesome and they are both zone leaders. The mission president said
that they were going to train me to become a zone leader in the near future. I
don't know if he was joking or not but I hope so because that'd be so much
pressure! lol The zone leaders have to watch out for so many missionaries and
they get zero free time at all! They are always so busy! But I guess the Lord
knows what's best. Now back to the cool stuff. The toilets here are very
interesting. They don't use toilet paper here at all but they have the fancy
water cleaners in the toilets. It feels so weird! lol I think that you should
import one from japan to use! lol They actually work very well. Hmmm, another
cool thing here is that everyone here travels by train. It costs like 3000
bucks to buy a license here so everyone takes the train, which is always
packed! I actually almost got trapped in the door of a train because there were
just so many people and I couldn't get on! They also don't have garbage disposals
here. They put a bag under the sink to collect all of the food that you wash
down. Its soo disgusting to have to clean that out every night! Luckily I only
have to do it every five days because we have so many people here. And you don't
tip waiters here at all! it's super crazy! I actually almost got in trouble the
first time because I tried to tip a waiter and there was a cop outside! Luckily
my companions were able to get me out of jail! lol
Well I have to go now. We have to go buy
some food because we are almost out! I love all of you guys! I'll make sure to
write another email next week. I can't wait to see you again in 22 more months!
Ai Shite Imasu!
September 23, 2013
Dear Brother and Sister Stevens:
Your son arrived in the Japan Tokyo Mission on
Sept.17 in good spirits and ready to commence his proselyting assignment. We
had a wonderful time with him.
Elder Stevens has been assigned to work with
Elder Norman and Elder Kerr, and they will serve in the Tokyo 2nd area. Your
son can receive his mail at the following address:
Japan Tokyo Mission
4-25-12 Nishi Ochiai
Please send letters and packages by regular
mail, so that we can forward them to his area.
Enclosed is a picture of your son with Sister
Budge and me, along with a picture of him with his companions. We have also
included a map showing the locations of the various areas in the mission. You
can use it as a personal record of his assignments.
By the time you receive this letter, Elder
Stevens should be adjusted to his new proselyting area. The positive sustaining
support he gets from you at home will be a great blessing to him. May the Lord
bless you and your family as you share in your son's mission
Well the final die has been cast. I just got my very last transfer call in Japan. Elder Faganello will be
transferring to Tsukuba and I will be staying in Senzokuike for my last transfer and my new companion will be Elder Hardy. It's really funny because I was his district leader 3 transfers ago when I was in Togane with Elder Lee. He is a really hard worker, so we will be
flying like rockets this transfer!
Oh, and one more thing, do you remember Elder Free my MTC companion? Well, he will be staying in the same apartment as me for our last transfer together!! I was so excited to find out about that! We are starting our mission together and ending it together! I guess we'll get to see how much we have changed these past 2 years.
Well enough about transfers, let's talk about last week. It started out amazing! We were able to find 2 new investigators right off the bat. It will be interesting to see how they will progress. I will keep you posted.
How is Everyone?
So the big news for the day is that we got transfer calls today and guess what, I am officially leaving my home in Niigata and moving way down south to the rice paddies and strawberry fields of Togane. Apparently Togane is the 2nd most rural area in the mission so I'm going to have tons of fun conversing with Japanese farmers. I was talking with my companion Elder Pronk who used to work there and he says that it's a 30 min bike ride to the nearest town and to the church so I'll get in really good shape! Which is good because I'm gaining more weight. It's all because of the rice we always eat. And guess what, they called me as the Senior companion! How crazy is that?! I feel like I definitely don't know enough Japanese to be the best one at Japanese in my companionship. And on top of that I am opening up a new area which is crazy! There is already a Togane A team and we are going to be Togane B team. We are going to have no investigator…
Hello everyone, and welcome to my last email from my mission in Japan. The time
has gone by fast and my 2 year mission has finally come to a close.
Crazy stuff right? I can't believe that in just 4 short days, I will
be able to see mom and dad and the rest of you will have to wait for a
few more weeks. But it's coming fast! By the way, I'm sorry that my
last email is late this week. I will explain later in the email.
So my last week was pretty intense. Like I said, I was
able to go on splits with my district leader and we got to
eat Taco Bell. So good! I'll have to go again soon!
Next was temple day. We were able to meet with a lot of our old missionary
friends and to say good bye to all of them before I leave. We went to
eat at a place called burger mania where they are famous for their
cherry burgers, maybe we will have to go after the temple session mom
and dad! They are pretty good! The following day not much happened except plenty of lessons.