Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Transfers! Fooled You... Not Yet. One More Week!

Hey Everyone,

Welcome to the 6th week of the transfer!  Guess what that means?
I still have one more left!  Whaooooo!  Sorry my email is two days late.
We spent all day Monday at the temple in Tokyo, and yesterday we were super
busy on splits with the other missionaries in our Zone. 

I just love these long transfers because it makes me feel
so much more attached to my companion!  I hope we get to
stay together for another one but I've already been
here for 4 transfers so maybe not.  My companion is super cool though and we are
the best friends ever!  Except for some reason, he seems to think that
France is better than the U.S.  I keep showing him how America is the
promise land in the Book of Mormon, but he doesn't seem to believe me.
I'm still working to convert him to America, but he is my hardest
investigator yet!  Just kidding!  We have so much fun together!!

Anyways, this week was great!  Like every spare moment that we had was
filled with teaching people!  Seriously, we didn't have any free time
this week to do any finding or contacting of any kind.  It was just
lesson, travel, lesson, travel, 10 minute dinner, lesson, and then crash
for the next day.  I was about to die on Sunday because of all the
rushing around.  It was really fun though and we made lots of really
cool new referral friends that we are excited to meet with in the
future.  I'm starting to realize the importance of getting referrals
from investigators when you don't have time to find at all.  It was
sad though because we had to say good bye to one of our friends,
A... on Saturday.  He lives outside our area so we finally
referred him to the Elders in his area.  We had a big lesson with us
five missionaries and him and he was so happy!  Then when one of the
other Elders asked him if he would come to their church this week, he
said yes.  But then he turned to me and asked if I was going too.  I
had to tell him that I was going to Tsukuba still and he then told
everyone that he was going to go to the Tsukuba church with me.
Telling him that it was best for him to go to the other church was so
hard to do!  He took it well though and we are still keeping in touch
over the phone every night to check up on his smoking.  He has cut it
in half from 40 to 20 cigarettes a day now.  He is progressing a lot
and it looks like he is going to be baptized soon!

In good news, B... our friend from Nepal was able to come to church
for the first time ever on Sunday.  He loved it and felt the spirit so
strong!  It was such a miracle that he could come!  We told him that
if he wanted to get baptized that he needed to come to church.  So,
he cut some time out of his schedule in the morning so that he could come
for 30 minutes of sacrament meeting.  It was sooo good to see him there.  He
is a pretty good singer!  I showed him the photos that you sent me of
Nepal the other day and he looked at them for a good 45 minutes.  He loved
looking at them and he told me lots of stories about life in Nepal and
a lot of the legends and stuff they have there.  It was really
interesting to listen to him.  I'm so excited for him to get baptized on
Valentine's Day this year!  I just hope that I don't transfer out
before it happens!

This week I also got to go on splits with a brand new missionary right
out of the MTC.  He is named Elder Mützelburg and he is from
Australia.  It was really fun to work with him because of his raw
missionary drive.  He didn't know the language, he didn't know what he
was doing, but he still wanted to get out there and do what he could to serve God.
It reminded me of me when I was a new missionary.  Just going and hitting the
streets, not knowing what was going to happen but just trusting that
it was going to be okay.  I learned a lot from him, mostly that I need
to put more trust in the Lord instead of just relying on all of the
skill and knowledge that I think I have.  I hope that I get a chance
to be a trainer sometime before I leave.  You can really learn and
grow so much from new missionaries.  I hope that I get to work with Elder
Mützelburg again sometime!

Well anyways, that's all folks!  I've got to get running and take a nap!
I haven't done that in so long!  Have a great week everyone and I love
you lots and lots!

Love,

スティーブンズ長老
Eric Stevens

Ps I have another story that I wanted to share with you.
I learned this week when I was on splits about the importance of the
individual in missionary work.  It goes along with what Bishnu said
in his testimony to you when you were in Nepal, that each person can make a difference.
So last week I went on splits with Elder Mützelburg like I said.  He
had just arrived from the Missionary Training Center five weeks ago and he was
still trying to learn what to do as a missionary and how to speak Japanese.  We
had a lesson that day on the law of chastity prepared for one of our friends. So
we prepared a lesson for that, but not as well as we should have,
especially on the Japanese front.  I thought it was going to be an
easy lesson.  I didn't think there would be any problems with it.
I was ready and prepared to teach the lesson, check it
off of the to-do-list for baptismal requirements,
and call it good.  But when we got into the lesson things didn't go
according to plan.  First of all, he didn't understand the Japanese
that was written in the Japanese pamphlet for the lesson.  That's how
I learned all of the Japanese for the lesson plan.  So we had to wing
the Japanese and hope that he understood.  Then I found out that our
friend had many more questions and concerns than what we were prepared for.
I didn't know where to go from there.  I didn't prepare for that at
all.  I turned to my first transfer companion, translated for him, and
asked him what he thought we should do next.  Just then, he began to
bear a super strong testimony about the power of the atonement of Jesus,
and how the atonement can help us be better and improve our lives.
It wasn't in the best Japanese ever, in fact I couldn't really
understand too much of it, but the spirit of that testimony struck our
friend, and the lesson went smoothly from there.  I learned from that experience
that everyone can play a part.  Everyone can make a difference.  Even
a first transfer missionary fresh out of the MTC can teach with the
spirit.  Everyone is a son or daughter of God and should be treated as
such.  We are all equal and because of this, we need to respect and
love everyone.

I thought I would write this story down and share with you
that small things can make big things come to
pass with the help of the Lord.  Love you lots!

スティーブンズ長老

 
All Mission Conference.  Look Lower Right

 
Elders Barray and Stevens Downtown Tsukuba. 

 
Zone Conference.  The Two Elders On The iPad Were Too Sick To Attend

 
Visit To Meiji Shrine.  Tokyo, Japan
 

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