Tuesday, October 28, 2014

An Old Missionary...

Hello everybody!

Guess what, this is the last week of another transfer!  So next week,
I will officially be labeled, an old missionary. Lol They say after
you finish your 10th transfer, that you know what your doing but I'm
not sure about that.  It's been a fast fun transfer and I'm looking
forward to one more week with Elder Scoville.  But I think this ones
going to go by really fast as well...

We just got back from the temple today and it was really fun.  They
accidentally started the session in the Japanese version, so the first little
bit was in Japanese!  I felt really cool because I understood the
whole thing!  I think for my last transfer, I'm going to try to do the
session all in Japanese instead of English.  That's my language goal that
I'm working on right now.  After the temple, we went to Wendy's like we
used to do back home, well except everything was a lot more expensive.
It was really good and brought back lots of memories of home, but also
of when I was in the Frist Ward teaching lots of lessons at Wendy's
every night to our friends in Roppongi.  Good times.

Remember how my companion was sick last week, well just like all good
companions, he decided to share with me and I was sick this week for a
few days.  The thing is, we were so busy with splits, lessons, and
even a baptismal interview, that I didn't have any time to take off.  I
just had to man up, wear a fancy Japanese sickness mask, and get to
work.  We had tons of stuff so I just couldn't stop.  It was lots of
fun though.

Last week, we had splits everyday.  From Monday to Tuesday we were on
splits with the district leaders in the Tsukuba area.  From Wednesday to
Thursday, I was on splits with the district leaders companion in Mito.
And then from Thursday evening to Friday evening, we went on splits
with the assistant to the president and he helped us get our zone more
aligned with the Christmas goal from President Budge.  So Elder
Scoville and I barely saw each other this week. Let's just say that I
was glad to finally see him on Friday night when we went to meet with
the Stake President in Matsudo.  The stake president was really
excited to hear about our Christmas goals and he is going
to talk about it during the stake conference coming up next month.
It'll be awesome to get the ward members involved because then we will
be able to see tons more success!  There are just so many great
things going on right now in our zone!

Speaking of great things, Elder Scoville and I were able to finally
get our friend Y... to come to church last week.  We have been meeting him for
a few weeks now and he loves to visit with us a lot, but he has just been really busy
these past few weeks.  But he came and he loved it!  He stayed the whole
time, and then we taught him a wonderful lesson on the Restoration and gave
him a Book of Mormon.  He committed himself to read it everyday to see
if it is true.  Next time we meet with him we are going to try to set a
baptismal date with him.  We are meeting him on Friday right before
our ward Halloween party.  It's going to be so exciting!  Sharing the gospel
with Y... has been a wonderful blessing. 

Also I forgot to tell you, a few weeks ago I did the sacrament prayer
at church in Shuwa, Japanese sign language.  I was so scared at first
but it went ok!  I'm starting to be able to have really simple
conversations in sign language and we have some Shuwa investigators
now.  But I still have a long way to go.
I hear that you just went to the pumpkin farm last night on
Fairgrounds Road.  I remember that place.  It was always fun to go there
with everyone.  I hope you enjoyed it a lot.  Thanks for identifying that song
for me.  Seriously, it was driving me crazy not knowing where it
was from.  I thought maybe I was turning into Bach or something, coming
up with my own music.  Lol. Did you say that you were going to send me
the sheet music for that?  Thanks so much.
Well I love you all lots.  Have a great week and I can't wait to hear
from you on Monday next week!

愛,

Eric Stevens

Ps.  Here are some pictures.  The top one is a pic of our district in
Tsukuba.  Left to right bottom to top...Sisters Crapo, Combs, Orton,
Reyes, Elders Scoville, Stevens, Baker, and Meza.
The second pic is of me and T... at a park by our apartment.  We
went on top of a tall tower there and had a picnic.  Behind us is
Tsukuba mountain.
The last pic is of the tower sky tree in Tokyo.  Its a view from the
inside of the Kits Senju train station.  This is where I am right now
writing this email.
Hope you enjoyed the pics!  Love yah!




 
Elder Stevens and Elder Scoville


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Long Week!

Hey Everyone!

Where to begin?  This was a very interesting week.  It started off
with tons of miracles and ended with a lot more, but the middle was
really long and hard.  Well Dad, I'm sad to hear that you are feeling
sick.  Luckily I am not sick yet, but my companion was sick for the
past few days. Actually he is still pretty sick.  Because he was sick,
we had to stay at the apartment for 3 straight days and do nothing but
call people and study.  It got really boring after awhile.  Just
watching your companion sleep and wishing that you could sleep too, but
knowing that you had to stay as productive as you could so you stay
awake and keep pushing on is the hardest thing I have ever done.  I
got to study a lot of The Book Of Revelations from the Bible though. It was very
interesting.  Also since my companion was down, I had to take care of
the zone and that was very tiring.  I know why they have
two zone leaders to take care of it.  Let's just say, I'm really glad
that it is pday today and that I get to take a nap!

But the week wasn't just full of waiting around the apartment, we saw
lots of miracles too!  We had a big college visit where
everyone in the mission went to their nearest college and found people
there to share the gospel.  Since we were really busy with zone planning, we only had
about an hour to be able to find people, and we said that we were not
going to eat dinner until we found a new investigator.  It was getting
dark and we were really hungry when we saw a guy coming towards us on
his bike.  We stopped him and said hello and then because I was really
hungry, I asked him if he knew the way to the nearest Burger King.  He
said yeah and he surprised us by saying that he was really hungry too
and he wanted to go with us. So we biked for about an hour to the
Burger King, ate with him, and then taught him about prayer and the
blessings we get from it.  The guy was so excited to have met us and we are
going to meet with him again this Thursday and show him around the
church.  So God works in mysterious ways and we got to eat dinner and
find a new investigator at the same time!

It was also really cool because yesterday I got to go to a YSA activity.
I was nervous being around so many member girls because we can't
really talk to girls, but I struck up a conversation with one and she
was excited to hear that I was from Ohio, because she is going to be
going to Ohio State next year in August to study for an exchange
program.  It's really weird that she would be going to Ohio
State because most people in Japan haven't even heard that much about Ohio
and to find someone who is going to go to Ohio for schooling was
really cool!  Just lots of cool stuff happening this week!

I would just like to end by thanking mom and dad for all of the
emails!  I loved the pictures and the email about the world events.
My time on a mission is going by fast.  Thanks again for
the updates on everything!
Well, I'm going to go now and take a much needed nap. Hopefully it will
help alleviate some of the stress from last week.  Love you all lots and
lots!

Eric Stevens

 

 
Matsudo Stake Center




Monday, October 13, 2014

General Conference, Zone Meetings, and Volleyball...

Hey everyone,

Sorry you didn't get my last email last week.  Idk what happened.  I
sent it and it said that I sent it, but it didn't go through.  Maybe
it's because I tried to send home a video and that messed it up.

We had a great week this week with conference.  To watch it we had to
take the train for an hour to get to the stake center.  The building
was massive!  It was five stories tall and was bigger than our stake
center in America!  It even had a bball court which I have only seen
in 2 churches since I have been here.  I think my favorite talk was the one about looking in
the right direction, because I see it a lot in myself and in others.

After conference, we went to a park close to our apartment with a
football field and volleyball net and met with one of our friends named M...
He is from China but he was born in Japan and speaks fluent Japanese.
And what's even better is that he loves volleyball.  Luckily I do to!
We had one of our member friends brother H... with us and we played
some two on two volleyball.  It was really fun!  He also said that he
would come to church in a couple weeks so we are really excited for
him! 

Also this week we were able to have another zone meeting!  Yay!  I'm
telling yah, my companion is doing a really good job as a zone leader.
The meeting went amazing and my favorite part of the whole thing was
at the end, my companion and I gave a training on being courageous.
Like how we can become fearless and what blessings we get when we are
fearless.  I really felt the spirit during the training and everyone
afterwards said that it really inspired them a lot.  I hope so because
it really helped me to plan for the training and I learned a lot.
Sometimes it really amazes me how God has so much trust in us.  I have
only been a zone leader for one transfer and my companion for only one
week, but despite that, I have only lead one zone meeting before and it
was my companions first one, the meeting was great and we were all
spiritually fed.

In other news, it's really cool cuz we recently found a
weightlifting gym that has free weights next to our apartment.  We have
been going there every other day and I feel amazingly sore right now.
They actually have legit bench press stuff, dumbbells, and good
machines!  Hopefully I don't transfer for awhile so I can get super
buff here.

Thanks from for helping me apply to college.  I'm glad that you liked
the essays.  It was surprisingly hard to write them because my grammar is
getting pretty bad and you don't really notice it that much until you
try to write stuff down on paper. 
Well everyone, it's that time again to head off to Costco.  As always
it was a pleasure to write to you all again this week.  Have a great
week and I love you lots!

Loves,

Eric Stevens

Ps here is the pics of the gym and a fireworks party that we went to
last week.  We went with our recent convert T... and two Chinese
investigators that we have.  Enjoy!





 
Matsudo Stake Center
Sister Orten and Sister Reyes
(Courtesy of Sister Orten)


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Typhoon, Meetings, And More Miracles...

 
Hey Everyone,

How's it going back in the good ol state of Ohio?  Things are pretty
amazing over here and very wet. We just had a big typhoon, or well, it
was supposed to be big, but my companion and I went out and braved the
storm just to say that we did and we didn't get blown away, so we were a
little disappointed.  We did get a lot of rain and wind but that was
about it for the typhoon.

It was really fun to go to the temple last week.  It is just so relaxing
to be able to go there and feel the spirit all of the time.  We
usually watch the session in English because the Japanese is crazy
hard in the temple but I think I'm going to try it in Japanese next
time.  Wish me luck!  It was also really cool this transfer to go to
the temple after transfer calls because we got to meet our new
companions right there at the temple.  I wonder if they'll do that
again next time...

Last week was pretty busy with planning as usual. It was a little
harder because instead of just sitting down and planning together like
we would usually do, my companion was a few hours away so we had to do
it over the phone.  It's really hard to plan something this big over
the phone I can tell you.  Luckily it went really well.  On Friday, first we
had a 2 hour long training meeting to give to the district leaders to
help on all of the new policies that they are going to be having soon in the mission.
Then after a quick lunch break we had a 5 hour long training with
everyone in the zone.  That was an amazing meeting that went
really well and made everyone super excited for the big Christmas
miracle coming up really soon.  But thank you so much for all of your
prayers for that meeting.

My companion did a really good job during his first week as a zone
leader.  He has really helped a lot with planning everything because
he has a lot of really good ideas.  Even during his first meeting that
he had to conduct, he did a great job.  I was worried that since it
was his first day as a zone leader that he wouldn't want to take the
lead a lot during the trainings, but he probably talked about as much
as me.  He is going to do great for the zone.

So mom was asking about some of the miracles that we saw during the
blitz.  The sisters who were also part of the blitz were able to find
someone who wanted to be taken to the church right then
and there even though she lived an hour away from the church.  They
did a church tour while the relief society were having an activity so
they were able to become friends with this person.  Now because of
that, she is taking the lessons from the sisters there and has a date
for baptism next month!  Another one was that my companion and I were
at the station in Mito when a random guy just walked up to us and
asked us if there was a church nearby that he could visit.  He couldn't
do it right then and there but his mother is  Christian so he wants to
go to church with her.  Actually they went a couple weeks ago and are
now meeting with the Elders.  Because we had all of these blitz
miracles, we are hoping to be able to do it again this transfer.
Everyone is super excited for it but since this transfer is only 5
weeks long instead of 6 weeks, I dont think that we are going to have
enough time.

Everyone here is really looking forward to go to general conference
this week.  We have to drive down to the stake center with a member
really early in the morning because we can't just sit at home and watch
it over here.  It should be really fun because we are going up with
our friend T... and the coolest member in the ward ever H...  Its
going to be a total blast!  I'm sorta jealous that you all got to see
it live over there last week.  It's no fair!

Well, now I'm going to eat some muffins at Costco.  I seriously
love how I can just go over there every week and just get tons of
American stuff.  You seriously don't know how lucky you are to have all
of that stuff back home.  I hope that you all have a great week!  I
will be sure to write back next week!  I just barely sent out some
letters to the family so keep a look out for them.  I love you lots and
lots!

Love
Eric Stevens

 
Matsudo Zone