Monday, May 26, 2014

Week Seven!

This is the 7th week of the transfer.  Why is this weird?  Well
because there are usually only 6!  But we had a very special visit
from our wonderful friend and leader Elder Quintin L.Cook from the 12 apostles
so it changed our transfer schedule.  But I don't mind because
the conference was super amazing!  We went up to Kichijoji, which is
in the other mission but was in my first area and we met with all the
missionaries from the south mission as well.  I was privileged to sing
as part of a 17 person choir for the conference.  It sounded really
awesome and we got compliments from everyone.  Even Elder Cook's wife who
is a professional musician. The meeting was too short though.  It
seemed like right as he stood up to talk he was finishing.  It was
really sad and I wish that he could have stayed even longer.  But I
learned a lot about preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to God's children here in Japan.
Thanks for all of the pictures.  Everything looks so pretty even the
new pagoda.  What did you do with the old one?  Did you get the
Mother's Day card that I sent you yet?  I thought you would like the
post card so I had to get it.  Andrew be looking out for a card for
your graduation this year.  It should be coming soon.  Unfortunately I
have not received any of the birthday packages in the mail yet so I
will be waiting for them with lots of anticipation.
So some news...we are officially moving apartments on the 2nd week of
June.  So my birthday week.  Idk if I'll still be here for it
because we have transfer calls next week and I may be leaving!  I've
already been here for 4.5 months so its only a matter of time.  I hope
that I stay. Togane is doing amazing right now and I don't want
to miss any of it.  We had 11 people come to church again this week, which is wonderful. 
Since our district is having great success,
I told our mission president that none of us should be allowed to
leave this transfer so we can have the same district next month.
Idk if The Lord is going to do that or not.  I will leave it in His hands.
To answer your question mom, the pant hangers that you gave me are
working just fine.  I think that they are really nice because they
take up not very much space in the bags and they are just all around
As you can see from our church count this week we are doing pretty
well with our investigators.  We had 4 of them with us this week,
K..., C..., Y..., and R....  Three of them are Chinese of course.  We just
have so many Chinese friends.  T... is doing super awesome and he
keeps inviting all of his friends to come to church.  His
friends are taking the lessons really well right now, I think mostly
because we are such good friends with all of them, and T... is helping
the whole way.  He was called as a ward missionary last week and he is
taking the assignment really seriously.  He even gave a talk last
week in sacrament meeting. 
We are also meeting with a guy named W....  Elder Cannon and I
met him when we first came to Togane and he finally started
progressing.  He has started reading the Book of Mormon everyday and
he prays all the time. 
Well we just finished having our zone pday.  We went bowling with
everyone and it was really fun. I didn't do very well because I
haven't played in awhile, but I broke 100 both times we played.  I got
108 and 132 so hopefully I will be able to do better the next time I
go bowling.  While I was bowling I realized how much I really
miss it.  And now our pday is almost gone again.  They go by so fast!
We are going to meet with our friends T... and C... tonight and teach
them more about the Book of Mormon.  It's really hard for them to read
it because the Chinese is really hard.  They say that they understand
all of the Chinese but the words are all jumbled up so they can't read
it.  Good luck Andrew.  They are thinking of making a new translation
for the Chinese Book of Mormon so hopefully that will come out
Well once again it is time for me to end my email.  I wish you all a
good week and I can't wait to hear from you all again next week.  Don't
forget to update me on the world news and on the World Cup!  Love you
so much!

Eric Stevens

Bowling With My Zone Companions

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Temple Day

Hello everyone and guess what day was today, temple P-day. Yeah! I love
Temple P-days but unfortunately whenever we have them we never have
time to write very many emails or do anything else. So this is going
to be a very short email gomen. (sorry in Japanese).  So nothing
really interesting is happening this week except for the Skype call.
Which was pretty amazing. I love my family and my grandparents.
I love all you so much and an hour
seriously was not long enough to talk to everyone. I will be sending
you the picture that I took on the Skype session and some other cool
ones that I have.  Guess what I just found out.  I can type my emails to you using Siri.
That means I can write a longer email to you now because it takes less
time. I'm sure you are all very super excited to hear more of what I have
to say.
But back to the ranch and more about Japan. We have not had very many
interesting stories this week. Especially none of the type of people
stealing mail.  We received some information the other
day that we will definitely be moving to a new apartment soon. I don't
know if this is going to happen this transfer or not, but I'm a little
worried that I will not be able to see our new apartment because I've
been here for a long time and I may transfer out. Transfer calls are
coming up soon on 2 June and this transfer was even longer than
normal. Usually transfers are six weeks but this one is seven because
of our special event happening this weekend. And this transfer is gone
by really fast already.
Okay I have a question for all of you. Normally when you're talking to
people like your friends do you use the word "way" a lot? For example
that's way cool, or that's way awesome, or that's way good like that.
Because I don't remember saying it all back home. But recently I've
caught myself saying way all the time. I don't know if this is because
I'm learning some new Japanese English slang, or if it's just
missionary lingo. I've been trying to stop using the word way too much.
Because I don't want to sound weird when I get back! That was
my random English question of the day. If you have any random Japanese
questions the day please let me know because Elder Maki would be happy
to help you.
To answer grandma Stevens question about the song that we are singing
it was called "I Will Find You My Friend", by Linda k. Hartmann.  It
is a really good song and that would be amazing if Steven could
arrange another version of it.  It is about missionary work of course.
About the letters, I actually did receive one of them. The one with the
object lessons. I still have yet to receive the one that you said had
Alexa's and Ian's letters in it. I can't wait until we get to our new apartment
where hopefully we have more privacy with our mail.
Thanks for all the object lessons though. I've been able to use them a
lot with our Chinese investigators. I think they really appreciate the
effort that we put into the lesson so that they have something they
can relate to.  Also unfortunately I was unable to use the comparison
to the baptismal font this week during district meaning because we ran
out of time. But don't worry I'm going to use it next week when I
have another district meeting. I think it will really help our
district to focus on what's important about baptisms.
So about Chinese night.  The food was really amazing but I didn't
really get to eat much of it. They started cooking at around 6 o'clock
even though we had assigned them to start cooking at 4:30 and they
didn't finish cooking until 9 o'clock when we had to be home at our apartment,
so we had to rush everyone out of the kitchen clean it quickly and shoveled the
food down as fast as we could and rush back to our apartment. I think
T... was a little offended that we had to kick everyone out so
fast.  I feel terrible for everyone spending so much
time cooking and having to leave so quickly. But
we sent everyone thank you cards and they all said it's okay. They
even came to church last Sunday. So, unfortunately that is all the time that I have to write emails.
:(  the time always goes by so fast!  I just want to let you know that
I miss all of you and I can't wait to be able to email you
again next week.  Have a great week and I will see you then!

love from

Eric Stevens
Mother's Day


Monday, May 12, 2014

Interesting Week...

Wow this week was crazy! First of all it was the big week before the
big Sunday challenge, which meant that we were working as hard as we
could to get everyone of our friends to church. We had a goal to get
32 people there but we were only able to get 11. It was a big let
down and the whole district is pretty discouraged right now. So now
we need to get everyone back into the game for the next big Sunday
challenge on the 1st of June. I'm going to try to make the next
district meeting extra special. To answer moms questions we usually
have district meetings once a week but whenever there is another
meeting like zone meeting or a big mission conference I don't have to
do one.  So far I have done 2 of them and my 3rd one is this Wednesday.
Thanks for the article about what is bad about coffee and tea dad. I'm
going to show it to my friend C...the next time I see him. If you
look at the big picture of everyone he is the person standing next to
me on the right. He is also the one in the picture with me T... and
Elder Griffiths at the Sakura festival by the lake. The picture of
everyone was our first ever Chinese night in Tokyo! That's why there
are lots of pictures of Tokyo as well. We went up with a lot of our
Chinese friends and they pretty much had a church service in Chinese
which meant I had no idea what was happening the whole time. All my
friends said they had a great time and because they loved it so much
they invited me and Elder Maki to a Chinese dinner night that they are
having this Thursday with real Chinese food. Not any of that American
Chinese food. When i asked them if they were going to make us Orange
or Lemon chicken they laughed at me and asked me what I was talking
about. I told them that that was Chinese food and they laughed at me
again and told me they were going to make dumpling instead cuz in
China they don't eat orange or lemon chicken. :( The only thing that
the Chinese people didn't like last night was the root beer. They said
that it tasted like cough syrup back in China! And they didn't like
it! I was so surprised and I told them that I want to move to China if
their medicine tastes like root beer.
Speaking of tomorrow I am so excited to Skye you tomorrow! I made a
big note in my calendar with lots of colorful drawings and everything!
It has been way too long since I have seen all of your pretty faces!
I even miss Ian's face! ;) I have lots of stories to tell so i will
try not to take up too much time and make sure that you have stories
for me too!
Lastly I would like to congratulate Andrew for his successful prom
night! I was thinking about you the whole time during church and how
fun it was going to be for you! (that's probably why we could only
bring 3 people to church lol.) I loved the pictures man! Wish I could have
been there to play pool with you guys. I miss pool a lot and i bet I'm
going to be really bad when I get back. I can't believe you haven't had
any parties or anything since I left. I guess I was the party animal
one. lol Well I'm glad you had fun and I expect stories tomorrow.
Well everyone as always its been a pleasure being able to email you
this week. I love you lots and I can't wait to see everyone tomorrow.
Love you

Eric Stevens

ps mom can you send me a recipe for a peanut butter smoothie?

Chinese Friends

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo Tower, Tokyo, Japan

Monday, May 5, 2014

From Me To You!

Hello everyone and Happy Cinco De Mayo!  Or as they say in Japan
Golden week.  All of the college students at the university by us are
on break so we thought we would be able to find lots of people at the
beach by us, but it's raining super hard right now and
it's supposed to rain for the next few days or so.  What a bummer!
Well, as I'm sure you all heard we had a pretty big earthquake this
morning.  W
akened at 5:18am from an amazing dream that was about Andrew being
transferred to Japan so that we could work together, I felt the whole
apartment shaking and stuff falling off the tables and shelves.  We
are on the 12th floor of the apartment where we live so it seemed
really big from up there!  But I was so tired that the rocking of the
earth didn't scare me at all, it just made me go back to sleep.  But
afterwards we had to clean up all the mess.  Apparently the earthquake
was centered in Tokyo and since we were in Chiba we didn't get it as
bad as them.  But yeah that was the first big earthquake that I have
felt here.  They have had lots more since I've been here but I was in
Niigata so I didn't feel them at all.  It's pretty exciting.
Thanks for all of the object lesson ideas.  I do remember the nail one
and we are using it tonight with our friend C...  We are relating it
to having faith because he just has so many questions about the plan
of salvation that we can't answer because we just don't know.  Also do
you know if there is a medical reason for not using tea or coffee in the
word of wisdom?  I think I remember dad trying to tell me something
but I can't remember.  He also has lots of questions about that too.
The Togane district was able to set a record for people who
attended church this week.  We had 17 visitors come and that has never happened
before!  We had so many come that we all got an email from President
congratulating us on our faithful service in bringing others to Christ.  Our district is super amazing!
My companion is pretty amazing by the way.  He works so hard even
though most of our investigators are Chinese and they only speak
English and no Japanese.  Even with that he always tries so hard to
teach them in his English.
Just to end I think I am either getting allergies or asthma because
every time I ride through the rice fields I start coughing and
sneezing like crazy!  It's way annoying!
Well I love you all lots and lots!  Have an amazing week. Have a Happy
Mother's Day!

Eric Stevens
PS  This week we had an undo Kai where we pretty much had a mini olympics
with all the wards in our stake.  Our ward received 1st place so we got a
trophy! Elder Maki and I killed it on the 3 legged run!  Good
companionship unity right there.
Chiba Zone

Togane Ward

Springtime In Arisugawa Park Near Tokyo Temple
Home! Togane, Japan