Monday, January 27, 2014


So after a 5 hour bus trip and a 2 hr train ride I have finally reached Togane, the land of endless rice fields. lol  We have a pretty sweet apartment in a building right next to the station.  My companion is named Elder C... and he is pretty nice.  We have seen some pretty crazy miracles this week.  We started off with zero investigators on Thursday and we have found a new investigator everyday this week!  That's 4 new investigators!  I have no idea how it happened, it just did.  Actually today my companion was playing the flute outside of the station and a guy came up to us and asked us if we could go to his recording studio so he could record him.  We were like yeah but let's meet at the church and teach you a lesson about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ first and he was like no problem.  Who would have known the power of music.  lol Unfortunately I left the violin back in Niigata because I was too lazy to carry it around during transfers so I don't have an instrument to play anymore.  We have also met a lot of people who love to play baseball.  So we have set up a baseball night every Saturday at 2 so that we can play with all of them, and try to teach them afterwards of course.  Actually we have made a really good friend with this guy named K... that we hope to teach soon.  He loves us so much that he texts us non stop!  We try to reply back when we can but since it's all in kanji it's really hard to read it and it takes forever to try to reply to his messages.  Elder C... has made me the official phone holder so I reply to all of the messages and answer the calls and everything so hopefully I'll get good at Japanese soon. 
So fun fact, we have the biggest hill in the mission in our area, and guess what, we get to ride up it every day to get to the biggest town in our area, Toke.  It's really annoying to ride up it but riding down is super sweet!  We probably get up to like 45 mph.  It's so much fun!
Well I hope that you all have a fun time back in the U.S.  Love you lots!
Togane, Japan

Hello Ohio, From Niigata, Japan

Monday, January 20, 2014

Next Transfer To Togane-shi!

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 investigators or anything when we first get there.  I guess we`ll have tons of time for finding now and we get to start from scratch.  The good news is that Togane is way down south so it's going to be way warmer and there isn't going to be any snow!  And fun fact, Togane is the most eastern part of Japan.  And I guess it isn't so bad because Elder Pronk knew a lot of people down there so he's going to give tons of referrals to work with and apparently we get to go and do fishing dendo a lot. lol  And since we are moving down south that means that we get our iPads sooner because  Niigata is so far away that they were going to wait awhile before making the trek to Niigata.  So yay!  Well besides that there's not really anything else to report on, but it is going to be a busy week.  Sorry I haven't written to everyone in awhile, it's just so crazy busy here especially now with me having to pack and everything.  I'll try to write back soon!  Love you all lots!

Togane, Chiba Prefecture, Japan

City of Togane

Monday, January 13, 2014

Still Snowing In Niigata!

How has your week been?  From what I have heard it has been super cold, even colder than it has been here in Niigata!  I feel super bad for all of you because I can barely survive here in 30 degrees!  I'm sure that at least all of you that had exams this week are excited for them to finally be over.
Hm so what's new with me...I got to play a guitar with an amp as I was buying a string for the violin.  And while I was playing the guitar I was able to dendo, do missionary work, with the guitar center rep that was helping me out.  Unfortunately we didn't get another appointment with him so he's technically not a new investigator but we got his # and we are going to visit him today when we go suit shopping.   
Oh also this week I was able to work with a brand new 1st transfer missionary named Elder Smith.  He is super nice and he really has tons of faith and desire.  Even though it was just us in a world full of Japanese people he was determined to find an investigator.  We were at the eki, train station, doing a mitsuketaikai, English class finding, and I stopped a guy who could speak a little bit of English.  Not very much but it was enough for me to stop him by saying hi.  After I stopped him Elder Smith came over and in our broken Japanese and his broken English we started talking to him.  He was pretty cool and he loves snowboarding.  And guess what, his life's dream is to go snowboarding at Salt Lake City, Utah.  How crazy is that? lol  Of course we took that and started explaining about Temple Square and the Mormons and he was pretty interested.  We set up another appointment with him on Wednesday all by ourselves!  It was a super big miracle!  I'm pretty excited to meet up with him again.
It's crazy to believe that I am almost done with my 3rd transfer!  The time has just gone super fast. All of my trainers are going to be leaving for home after the end of next transfer and then I will be all by myself again helping new missionaries.  How fast time flies. Hope you have a great week.
Love, Eric 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  I hope that everyone had an amazing winter break and that everyone is super excited to start heading back to school and work this next week.  lol  Because of the raucous New Year celebrating in Japan, we did a lot of house cleaning and scripture reading.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to finish the whole Book of Mormon in a day but I did get to Alma so I'm pretty proud of myself!  Elder Shibuta and I went on splits with one of the transfer 1 missionaries last week and it was super interesting.  He kept asking me for help with Japanese and to my surprise I actually knew the answers to most of his questions!  I can't believe that I have learned so much in such a short amount of time.  But I still feel like I don't know very much so I need to keep working hard to learn more.    
We have our big mission conference at Niigata tomorrow and since we have the apartment closest to the church everyone gets to stay at our apartment tonight.  That's like 15 people in one apartment with only 9 futons, 10 blankets, and no heaters.  This will be super fun!  Luckily I have a sleeping bag so hopefully I will be able to survive the night.  Oh and guess what, we are officially getting our iPads on February 6th.  We are super excited to start using them with our teaching.
Well I wish you all a great week! We have lots to do on our p-day today.  Have fun during this winter season.  Love Eric