Monday, March 31, 2014

Funny Story

Dear Family,
So guess what I just did, I spent over $80 on buying emergency water
for the future earthquake that may strike us.  The worst
part is, that it was only 20 L of water.  You can buy 20 L of milk for
$20 so you know it's sad when water costs more money than milk.  Sorry
about my rant right there but I hate to spend too much money,
especially in Japan when you can't really haggle the price.  And I just
spent the last of my missionary funds so I have no money for the rest
of the month.  Which is really bad cuz we have to take a train to
Narita tomorrow for a big meeting and it costs like $10 to get there.
I may have to take money out of personal funds to make it through the
month...
Now to the funny part.  Remember how I was just complaining about how much money it was to buy
20 L of water, well it turns out that that wasn't really water.  It was
vodka.  So now the alcohol is sitting on the kitchen table of our
apartment and since the zone leaders aren't here we are wondering if we
should start the party without them or if we should return the alcohol
to the store.  I didn't even get IDed or anything.  Just imagine what
would have happened to the Elders in this apartment when an earthquake
struck and they went into the closet to get some water and they
couldn't read kanji just like we couldn't...  the thought makes me
really laugh. lol  And the worst part is I just sent in a
reimbursement to the president with a picture of the receipt so I
could get all my money back.  I wonder what he is going to do when he
sees what I bought.  Well everyone that's it for my interesting thing
of the day. 
Oh before I forget, Andrew congrats on the mission call to Taiwan!  That sounds like so
much fun.  I told all of my Chinese friends and they are so happy that
an American is going to learn Chinese.  They say Chinese is way harder
than Japanese so good luck!  I told them that when you got back that
you could translate for all of us because they always talk in Chinese
to each other and we have no idea what they are saying until they
switch to English or Japanese.  So no more secrets will be kept from
us now. lol
Hopefully this week will shape up a
little bit so we can meet with a lot of new people.
On a good note, T... brought one of his friends with him to church
yesterday and he's really cool.  Well I think he is...I can't really
talk to him because he doesn't speak English of Japanese, only Chinese.
I told President that we need some Chinese missionaries here because
college starts here in a few weeks and tons of Chinese people will be
coming for school.  T... and K... are really excited to bring all of
their friends to church and all the sports activities that we have
every week.  But the thing is we can't really talk to them because we
can't speak Chinese.  In our last lesson with T... friend we had to
teach in English and have T... translate for us.  I think that we need
to have Andrew come up here and help us out with all of the Chinese
people here.
Hm so also this week we are going to an retirement home to play the
violin and the flute for everyone there.  It sounds like lots of fun
and I'm pretty excited to be able to play the violin again.  Its been
awhile.  We are going to play that Star of the County Down for
everyone.  I loved that song so much that I taught it to elder cannon
and we are going to do a duet version of it.  Should be pretty good.
Have a wonderful week.
Love, Eric Stevens

 
This Is Not Water!



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Konnichiwa


Ok so you know our friend A..., he bought me a $100 kendo
sword the other day and gave it to me as a present.  Isn't that crazy!
And then I felt really bad because the next day he came up to me and
said that he was super poor.  But don't worry I
bought him $100 worth of groceries and left them on his door so
hopefully he will have food.  The kendo
sword is super sweet and now nobody can mess with me because I am protected. lol
So I don't know if all of you have heard the update on K..., but his parents
said that he couldn't be baptized.  It's super sad and now he is really
discouraged and sad.  He has really changed the past few days after
the phone call and I hope that he's doing ok.  We are meeting with him
later this week so hopefully we can help him out.
In other news, T... is doing super well.  He helps us teach so many
Chinese people that we are finding everyday and he does awesome.  He
considers them all his marshmallows, (long story) and he is determined
to baptize all of them.  Actually right now we were supposed to meet
with him to play capture the flag with some friends and he ditched us
to hang out with one of the girl investigators.  Whatever happened
to brothers before female investigators? lol
Love yah! Until next week.

Eric Stevens

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Spring Is Coming To Togane!


 
This week was pretty fancy.  We had transfers and I am now working
with a guy named elder Griffiths.  He's quiet but
whenever he says something it's pretty deep.  Good for lessons.  K... doing
very well. He has his baptismal interview on Wednesday and  he
should do just fine.  It's pretty awesome and he is even teaching
me how to free style dance.  I'm improving but I'm still not very good
yet.  He's just such a great guy and we hang out with him every day for
like 8 hrs.  He even does dendo stuff with us.  He considers himself
the key to the progression of the Chinese branch that we are trying to
make here.  He's just a fun guy to be with.  Well yesterday I asked him
why he wanted to be baptized and this is what he said, tell me if you
think this is a good reason to be baptized, "I'm curious.  In China we
never had anything like this and I'm like a kid who wants to learn more
about things I don't know.  I want to learn and to continue to progress
now and through eternity and I think that baptism will help me to
learn more about why you want to be out here helping tons of people
all the time. Because I could never do that."  Interesting right?  I like
the part about progressing eternally but I'm not sure that the
curiosity is the best reason.  I'm trying to  think if we should push
the baptism off a little more to cover more stuff about baptism being
a life long commitment.  We'll see what happens.
T... got the Holy Ghost yesterday during sacrament meeting.
Afterwards he asked me if he could borrow my white handbook so that he
could learn all of the missionary rules and prepare to serve his own
mission.  I think he's going to be the first missionary to go to china
when it opens up.  You know something crazy, there are only like 10
church meeting places in China and one of them is in Toby's home town.
What are the chances of that?   I'm glad that I got to
help someone like T...  Loves and misses.
Eric
 
 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Another Amazing Week!


 
Well Hey everybody!  We just got our transfer calls for the start of
my fifth transfer and guess what, I'm staying in Togane.  Elder Fukino
one of the zone leaders living in our
apartment is moving out to Niigata and elder Cannon is taking his
place.  It's going to be him and elder young and I'm going to be working
with someone named Elder Griffen or Griffith I can't reallly remember.
Apparently he's really cool and everyone says he's just like me a lot.
He is a transfer 6 one above me so hopefully his Japanese is really good.
I'm sad that Elder Fukino is leaving though.  He was my favorite
missionary that I have met so far.  He's from Hawaii and he's the
chillest guy I have ever met.  We went on splits this week and it was
the best day that I have ever had on my mission.  I'm sad to see him
go.
Well as you may have seen from the pictures that I just sent, we had a
baptism yesterday.  Remember T..., the Chinese person I was talking
about earlier?  Well he asked me to baptize him so we did it yesterday
after church.  He's super awesome and he wrote us a really cool email
that I want to share with you...

Elders Stevens and Cannon I'm really thankful for all your did these
days.  Baptism is very very cool.When the moment my whole body was in
the water, time seemed to have stopped and I can tell that I felt the
holy ghost deeply.  I am also grateful for the the people who came to my
baptism today.  I am now knowing it better that the deeper I believe in
Christ, the happier I will be. And by the way, I am free on Tuesday,
Friday or other days in day time.  I will continue with the Book of Mormon
and please get ready for answering my questions.

Isn't his English really good?  We are meeting with him tomorrow to
have lunch at his restaurant and I'm pretty excited.  Since Elder
Cannon and I split up we are going to have to fight over our golden
investigator Kyle.  He is also Chinese and he is going to get baptized
on March 23.  I think I'm going to teach him more because I taught him a
lot even when Elder Cannon was gone, so we will see what happens.
Elder Cannon says we should arm wrestle over him but I think we should
just talk it out because he's a little buffer than me. lol

Well I hope you liked the update.  Love you all and miss you lots.

Eric Stevens
 
6 Inches Of Snow.  Most In 45 Years.  Togane, Japan




 
Former Companions In Niiagata, Japan