Monday, May 25, 2015

What, Week 5?

Hey Everyone!

As you can see from the title, the transfers are already coming to a
close!  Only 2 weeks left till we get the call to see if my companion
and I stay together.  I hope so because we have had lots of fun
together.  It's been a great transfer so far and I'm excited to see
what happens for the next 2 weeks!

Last week we went back to Odaiba and got to see some cool
things that we missed last time.  They have a big transformer statue
outside of a huge transformer mall and I just had to get a picture of
me giving it a Book of Mormon.  It goes really well with the picture
that Andrew took with the Book of Mormon overlooking Taichung city.  I'll
send it to you today.  This may be a little boring for some of you,
but it was amazing for me.  They had a Krispy Kreme on Odaiba too.  As
soon as I saw the advertisements for it, I just had to go and I bought
a dozen doughnuts, for over $16.  They are so expensive here but so
worth it.  I hope that we can go again sometime soon.

Also, the Wind Symphony from Brigham Young University  came and performed close to
where we live, so we got some tickets and went with an investigator to
see it.  The investigator loved it and we had tons of fun as well.
They had some saxophones play in a quartet during the performance and
it made me remember of when Brent, Tim, Andrew, and I used to play in
a quartet together.  I want to play the saxophone again so bad.  But
it's so hard to find a sax in Japan that isn't crazy expensive.

Then to end off the week, my companion and I participated in a
kenketsu (blood drive) at the church.  Unfortunately we couldn't
actually donate blood, but we were able to
hand out some flyers to promote it and we talked to lots of great non
members who wanted to participate.  Halfway through though, my
companion got really sick so we had to head back to the apartment and
he slept for the rest of the day while I tried to make myself useful
for the whole 8 hours of just sitting around the apartment.  After
about 2 hours you have called everyone in the phone and the area book
and then you have nothing to do but to study.  I got to practice a lot
of the Japanese characters which was fun.  I'm starting to learn a lot
now so hopefully I can write a lot by the time I get back home.

Thanks again for all
of the emails of love and support.  I love you all and I wish you all
an amazing week!  Love yah!

Elder Stevens


A Wonderful Tokyo Zone




Monday, May 18, 2015

Our Hero!

Hello Everyone,
In case you were wondering, we have meet a hero as the title suggests.  I'll talk more about it later, but I just wanted to get that out there so you weren't too confused.
What happened this week?  It was mostly just a normal week.  We had our stake conference this week for the English ward.  Next, I guess something that was fun that happened this week is we had a typhoon.  We had 2 appointments set up in the evening but almost simultaneously both of the people called us and promptly canceled their appointments because of the typhoon that was going to be coming in the next few hours.  We looked up the weather on our iPads and it said that it should be fine so we thought that the people just didn't want to meet with us.  So we decided to go venture out in the farthest part of our area, about a 45 min bike ride that we have never been to before.  When we got there, we started contacting until we started to feel some rain drops.  We were stunned.  And five minutes later, it was just pouring rain and the wind started picking up.  My companion and I looked at each other and just had enough time to say, "Oh no!", before we both started running to safety.  My companion was a little prepared with a rain jacket.  But I had nothing,  no coat, umbrella, or pants.  We talked together and decided to go back to the apartment as fast as we could so I would hopefully not get too wet.  Well, I'm here to tell you that it didn't help much at all. 45 min later we were at the apartment and everything was soaked through.  My companion wouldn't let me back in the apartment because I was so wet.  Yeah, that was a fun adventure and I learned not to trust the weather app that we have.  
So besides that we met with our friend H... yesterday.  We made some hamburgers together and then had a lesson with him.  He has been an investigator for awhile now, and before he said that he wanted to get baptized.  But then he went to Utah for a home stay and we lost contact with him.  But he has been back for a few weeks and every time we tried to start a lesson about the Church, he would always change the subject or say that he didn't want to talk about it. 
But we decided we were just going to be super bold and what do you know, it worked out!  We were able to learn lots of things about his concerns and even set up a time to meet with him again.  We learned that the thing holding him back from baptism is he doesn't know if Jesus is our Savior or not, so we now know his concern and can help with that.  We are really excited to meet with him again soon and prepare him more for baptism!  He is so cool and such a bro!

Well, I think that's everything for this week.  Tonight we are going to go and hear the BYU Wind Symphony play in Tokyo with one our recent converts and it should be really fun.  Can't wait!  Well, have a great week everyone! Love you lots!

Elder Stevens

Ps here is H... and us eating hamburgers together!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

Hello Everyone!

To start off the email, I would just like to make a shout out to the
Mothers that have really effected me in my life.  Mom, of course,
Grandma Stevens, and Grandma Kaldahl.  Thanks for always being there
for me and spoiling me as a mother or grandmother.  It's been a great
life so far, and I am excited to see you all again soon.  I hope that
you had a great, wonderful, amazing Mother's Day.

For my Mother's Day it was amazing to be able to skype with my family.
It's been five months since I have been able to do that and the time
has flown by.  The time just seemed to go too fast.  I can't believe
that we were talking for an hour.  But I guess all good things have to
come to an end.  Besides seeing everyone, I especially liked singing
the song "Secret Prayer" together in Spanish.  Music always really gets
me.  I guess I'm just a musical person, but whenever I hear a song like
that, the memories just come flooding in as clear as if I am actually
sitting there and reliving them.  Music is such a wonderful gift that
God has given to us.  Thanks for singing with me everyone.

Besides the Skype call we had some other cool things happen to us.
Not as cool as the call though.  We have been working hard to set up
more appointments to teach the past week because right now, we don't
have too many people who we are teaching.  Actually today, I was able to meet a
really cool person named A....  Cool thing about him, when I lived in
Senzokuike almost 2 years ago, he was the first Japanese person that I
stopped on the street to talk to and he was the first new Japanese
investigator that I ever taught.  And so when I got back here, I
called him up and we were finally able to meet with him today.  We
went to eat some tonkatsu, a cut of pork with bread crumbs deep fried.
It's my favorite food in Japan, and I will be sure to have mom and dad
try it when they come to Japan to visit.  My companion is starting to
get sick of it because we have it so much.  Maybe I should slow down a
little bit with that.  I just want to get as much of it as I can
before I leave. 

Anyways, back to A..., we ate together and then
asked him about what he remembered when he met with missionaries over
a year and a half before.  He didn't remember that much but he said
that he wants to learn about it again, so we will be calling and
teaching him over the phone because he is so busy with work.  But we
got a photo- your welcome dad.  I'm pretty sure that I have sent lots of
pics.  Lol.

After the lesson we had a zone pday at Yoyogi Park and
ate tons of Costco pizza and played ultimate frisbee.  We were outside
for almost 3 straight hours and my face and neck hurt a lot, so I'm
pretty sure I got really sunburned.  Yeah, I forgot my sunscreen.  But
it was so much fun to play ultimate frisbee again.  Zone pdays are so
much fun!

Well, I think that's everything for now.  I hope that you all have a
great week!  Love you lots and lots!

Loves,

Eric Stevens

A..., my companion and me with Shibuya, the biggest most busy city
in the world, right behind us!



 
"Kids Day" Fish Flags


Monday, May 4, 2015

Tokyo Revisited!

Hey Everyone!

I'm back!  Yeah that's right, I'm back in the largest
city in the world and having a blast.  My companion is awesome!  We
get along so well!  We have the same sense of humor and he is almost
as sarcastic as me. The past few days have been so fun just going on
adventure after adventure in this huge city, talking to people,
meeting with less actives and recent converts, and just laughing with
each other.  I can definitely tell that this is going to be a sweet
transfer.  His name is Faganello Choro and he is from
Victoria, Canada.  I just keep working with people from everywhere but
America.

Our apartment is really cool as well.  We have Elder Nukaya
from Idaho, who was in my zone when I was a zone leader in Tsukuba.  He
is super hilarious as well, and at night we just joke around and tell
old dendo stories.  It's really cool because we have a lot of old
missionaries in our apartment right now.  I am transfer 15, Elder
Johnson, who is Elder Nukaya's companion, is transfer 14, and Elder Nukaya is
transfer 13, and my companion is transfer 3.  So I'm the oldest
missionary here transfer wise, and also age wise.  I feel so old!
It's also really nice because I don't have to make calls at night so I
get to have chill time to write in my journal.  I really miss
my district a lot and I pray for them all the time.  That's one of the
down sides of being a district leader.  You just get so close to your
district so that it's really sad to say goodbye.  I'm going to have to
have a district reunion at our house sometime.  But Ohio may be too
far away.

An interesting thing about this area is I'm actually in 2 areas right
now.  Just starting this transfer they combined the Tokyo 2nd ward and
the Senzokuike ward missionaries.  So we dendo foreign and Japanese
investigators.  And we go to both sessions of church.  So yesterday we
were at the church 10 hours.  We had a sweet miracle
at church yesterday where a member brought a
friend with him to church and we taught him afterwards.  He loved the
feeling that he felt at church and he even stayed afterwards for a
baptismal service that was being held and he said that it looked fun
to be baptized.  "Kinjin" (golden prepared person!). We are going to
meet him again to teach him.  We are also working with
lots of cool less actives and recent converts to invite them back to
church.  We need to start finding more prepared investigators but as
you can see from our new investigator, the Lord is definitely helping us out!

Just to answer some questions really fast, I didn't have to say a good
bye talk at Togane, but I meet everyone at the Olympic events and they
were so sad that I was leaving.  They all told me that I had to come
back when my parents came by to visit Japan.  We'll see what happens.
I did have to bare my testimony in both sessions of church
which was fun as always.  Luckily for me, I am not sleeping under the
table anymore in this area.  I upgraded to sleeping next to the table.
Lol. The only downside about our apartment right now is that it is
really dirty.  I got here and I was really surprised.  I've never seen
an apartment so bad, so the first thing I did when I got here was do
the mountain of dishes that we had in the sink.  It's going to be a
slow process, but I'm starting the big job of cleaning.  My roommates
are starting to help out a lot because we just discovered that our
apartment has lots of cockroaches, so the battle is on!  But besides
that I love the area, I love the people, and I love the missionaries
here.  I'm looking forward to an amazing transfer!

Well, I hope that you all have a great time this week!  I'm looking
forward to seeing you all this week on skype.  I love you lots and
lots!

Love,

Elder Stevens

 
Awesome Togane District

 
Togane Olympics
Elders Stevens, Free, Keith, and Nelson