Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Hey everyone! 

I heard you guys took a surprise trip to Disneyland and sea last Tuesday? Whatt! That sounds way fun. I think Ashton wrote me and email just to tell me about Disneyland. 

So this past week was pretty good. We taught 20 lessons and did half of them dressed up as Santa. Yes, we looked like the picture I sent you except only Hancock and I dressed up, Yamachan played the violin and didn't dress up.

Yamachan is also the district leader. And because we there is a district leader conference tomorrow, he has to go up to Kobe with all the other district leaders in the zone. So today we are going to the area next to us called semboku to have companion exchanges because the district leader in senboku and Yamachan are gonna go together. It should be pretty fun since I'm going to be with Elder Westbrook. YES! Durrant and Westbrook. REUNITED! He's in my doki to so I've known him since the MTC. I swear one day Kaicho is just going to make us companions just to recreate the dynamic duo of Oklahoma City Thunder. Anyways, so tonight we are heading to senboku and will get back to Hashimoto tomorrow. 

I got a package from the Tsukuba Ward today! It was really cool to get it! You have to tell the Ward thanks for me or I'll write a letter to them or something! It's way awesome! Like I don't even know any of these people and I got a care package from them full of food and tons of European chocolate. It kind of showed me how much people, members, appreciate missionaries. Which also made me want to work harder for the members. I can't wait to be able to meet them in person now though, seems like a really good ward. In the package was also a not from the Tanaka's that said よろしく for Elder Tanaka. I'll have to tell him about it. It see him every once in a while. 

You guys did mogi lessons with the missionaries? Haha how did it go? Mogi lessons always kind of get me nervous but I guess it's not even really a mogi lesson since you still mogi on what you think the member needs right now even though they may already know the doctrine you are going to try and teach. Since we have that goal to teach 20 lessons a week, the area presidency wants the missionaries to do tons of mogi lessons I guess because teaching 20 lessons without teaching members is way freaking hard. Like border line impossible but nothin is impossible hard. Haha what did you feed them? Last night we had a ton of oden at the Ward mission coordinators house. The families name is Kobayashi and apparently he's like this ex yakuza member or something but he's really cool. He speaks English fluently and works in English I guess. I don't know how but before my mission I did t really like oden but now I really like it. Except for the konyaku. That stuff still nasty haha

On Friday we had ZTM and it was probably the most spiritual ZTM I've had so far. We talked about the new goal Kaicho set on the mission. He wants everyone to have a baptism each week starting at the beginning of May. Then they talked about how it's not kaichos vision, or the area presidencies vision. It's gods vision and we need to do our best to carry out his work. We talked about how Heavenly Father knows each and everyone of us. Then to top it off, a dying missionary gave his last testimony and it was way powerful. Dying missionaries have some crazy strong testimonies. 

Well I think that was my week in a nutshell. This week was a little warmer then before. I bought a new sweater this past week. It's a nice grey one. It seems like everyone had a good week, except Beebee... Poor Beebee... She has to wear the cone of shame. Just one more week with Though right? Hope she starts feeling better.
I hope you guys and Beebee have a better week though. Love you all and miss you tons!

- Elder Durrant

Sunday, November 29, 2015

When it rains, it pours. 

How's everybody doing? 

Well this week was a little crazy... I think Hancocks bike is officially a little せいしんびょう...  Well it began on Tuesday, Hancock bike had magically gotten both its tired flat so we decided to fix next day. That day came and it was pouring. We spent a couple hours in the rain trying to get all his holes patched. I don't know how or when or Satan but he had over 7 holes in one tube! SEVEN!? Like how does that happen? Anyways, we had to make like three trips to a store, walking, and bought like 3 patch kits, used them all, and his tire still was flat so we decided to end the day and take a trip to the area next of us to buy a new tube and fix his bike. It took all day. In rained like 4 days in a row and every day we were presented with an additional bike problem, complemented with a lovely flat tire. His bike had a flat tire everyday, sometimes two a day. It was probably one of the most annoying weeks of my mission so far. But we got through it. Everybody's been slightly flustered this week. Plus his bike had a lovely flat tire this morning too. 
Anyways, we are going to go to a batting cage today and hit our stresses away. 

Well for some good news,
On Saturday, we had an 音楽さい so we all went to Sakai. The branch has been practicing a song to sing, and we were part of the chorus, so we performed at the music festival along with a. Few other wards in this stake. Then they brought out the professionals that they payed to come. One was this super cool cello player. Like after that day, the cello rise a few bars and became slightly cool to me. 

We taught two really good lessons this past week. So we have these two investigators, Akiyoshisan and Ishisan. In Akiyoshisan's lesson, we began to talk about baptism and she told us how badly she wanted to be baptized but she can't because her husband is against the church. I don't know what we can't do to fix that except pray. We are going to try and meet with her husband this week and try to leave a good impression on him. Ishisan on the other hand is a 47 year old single male with food intentions. He really wants to return to live with Heavenly Father again so we are planning on inviting him to baptism this week! He's an awesome man and is probably a little lonely so we are also trying to get more members to meet him and doseki for our lessons. He's felt the spirit before but we just have to get him to be able to recognize the spirit. 

I did some inventory this past week and I'm down a couple shirts and pants so I'm planning on buying some this week or next week. I'll go get some Uniqlo pants and some "Cool Buiss" shirts from Aoyama or Aoki.. I think I'm ok for now though. Money's all good and I don't need anything to badly. Transfers are in three week, December 17th is transfer day and it is two days before the branch Christmas party. 

Speaking of which, to advertise the Christmas party we have been doing caroling dendo. Like Yamachan plays the violin so we go housing with his violin and when they open the door we just start singing a Christmas song while he plays. We Alpha tested this a couple days ago and visited less actives but we are planning in beta testing it and actually stopping people on the street, play a Christmas song on the violin, and explain what it means. 

Lately Yamachan has further gotten me into the 文化 of Hokkaido. We were practicing the ソーランムシ dance at district meeting and we are going to make a video of us dancing. An actual video after we all get good. Hopefully it makes it onto the Kobe, Japan mission DVD! 

So that was a summary of my week, we hope to have a much better one this week! Baha'i hope you guys have an awesome week and I'll try to get a picture of me for the postcard thing. It's been raining everyday so it's been hard. 
Love you guys tons! 

- Elder Durrant

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Andrew Durrant <>
To Todd Durrant Mom Oct 12 at 12:18 PM
Hey Everybody! How's it going? 

Well this past week was alright. It kind of just felt like a normal week. Nothing super incredibly amazing happened but it wasn't a bad week either. We were able to find two new investigators this past week. They are both fairly strong and like the missionaries. I think one just listens to us because she likes the missionaries but the other investigator really wants to learn. She's this sweet old obachan and really enjoys learning and reading so the Book of Mormon was perfect for her haha she said she will read it and we will follow up on it this week so we'll see how it goes! Other then those two we really have nobody in our teaching pool... Opening this area has been fairly difficulty but we are slowly starting to see the results of our work come forth.

Quick question. Do you guys know a Nakamura family in Obibiro that are members and went to the ward in Obibiro? Just wondering because one of the sisters that is in my area is from Obibiro and lives by the Obibiro airport. She also got 40 pounds of potatoes from her family since they are farmers. I got a package from grandma...I think it was grandma Sachie. But it had a bunch of treats in it for Halloween! Tell her thanks while she's there and Happy Birthday from me! 80 years old! Japanese people are blessed with eternal life already. she's in such good shape for being 80 though. I hope she had a good birthday. What did you guys to there then? There's not that much to do right? The inaka life. 
I guess sticking noddles through my nose and into my mouth was pretty fun hahah Elder McCarthy taught me how to do it and so I was finally able to figure it out. It felt so weird though! It felt like i was chocking but breathing at the same time haha 

Ponderize! Haha I think that became my new favorite word. The way you use ponderized. He ponderized this morning, are you ponderizing? Devin G Durrant, everybody told me that somebody in my family spoke in conference and I was so confused but then I saw it and reaIized he was probably your cousin or something. That's really cool though! He gave a pretty good talk too. General conference was pretty good! It was cool to see the new apostle and hear their testimonies! We are going to have zone conference this Wednesday too so we will be able to recieve some powerful training from Welch Kaicho! We also had ZTM last week so this transfer has been a transfer of learning. Especially with being senior companion and trainer for the first time. It has been a big learning experience for me and I think I've learned the most from elder Hancock this transfer. 

How long are grandma and grandpa going to be staying there for? I bet it was really good to see them. You got the funcargo? The golden grandma pimp wagon? Hahaha I guess you could drive that to work. How far is Ayumi and Ashton's school from the house though? Is it like NIS, an hour drive! 

I hope everybody's doing good and having a good week! 
Love you all and miss you tons! 

- Elder Durrant

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Hey Everybody! 

So on Thursday I packed up, left Hirakata, left my crazy companion, and met the new beanちゃん at Kobe! Man I was so nervous too haha me and Elder Griffitts met up and I saw Elder Wharton and Barney for the first time in months. Can't believe how long it's been since I've seen them. A good 4 months since I've seen Elder Griffitts. I saw Griffitts and the first thing I told him was "Go Utes!" Since he's a BYU quarterback. Sometimes I bring up the game from 4 years ago when Utah killed BYU but his brotherly love just doesn't let anything phase him haha. Man I love that guy. 

So we got the the Honbu and Kaicho trained us for a little bit then let the new missionaries come in. There were so many of them! It's weird because you see them and you somehow know which one your going to be companions with. My new companions name is Elder Hancock and he's a Texan. He's got that Texas pride too. It's funny because the other two missionaries in the apartment bought him these really nice chopsticks and called it "Hancocks Prideful Chopsticks". So we kinda tease him about it but he takes it well. He loves Japan too! He's pretty excited to go out and work too. Even on the train after I picked him up he was trying to talk to people. His Japanese is pretty good for somebody who's fresh off the boat. He studied it for two years during high school too. He's not fluent, but he's not afraid to look like a fool either when speaking which is awesome! I think that's a problem for new missionaries, they just gotta open their mouths haha! 

Hashimoto is a crazy place. It's a really nice place to, I love it here already! It's super inaka and country and we're surrounded by rice fields but it's so beautiful. The mountains are a pain though because we always have to climb mountains to shop or go to the next town and dendo since we live in this tiny village. I never realised how muscular my legs have gotten in 6 months until now when I see my companion struggling to climb a baby hill and I can fly up it. It might be also because he has the craziest bike ever and we still need to buy him a new bike haha the branch here is awesome too. The Hashimoto branch is pretty famous for having some crazy dendo Fire! We have a goal as missionaries to teach 20 lessons a week and the members totally support us and help us out. They are so good at staying after church for 5 extra minutes so that we can share a short message and teach a lesson. It's hard though because me and my companion are starting with no investigators and don't know the area at all so the members help us out with getting lessons. 

The other two in the apartment are the district leader, Elder McCarthy, and a missionary I served with in Tottori called Elder Yamamoto. His dad is actually the stake president of the Sapporo Stake! He's such a saint too, I love him. We are pretty close because we were in the same district and served a couple exchanges together. 
All in all this is going to be a fun transfer but a huge learning experience for me too! I can't wait to go out and find some people haha we might have to grind through this week though because we need to find people and all there is to do here is housing. I feel kind bad at being a trainer though since I'm not perfect and I feel kind of inadequate but I'm gonna try my best. 

I was just like Ayumi and Ashton at NIS. I remember my first day there and people were cussing and talking about inappropriate stuff and I was a little shocked but I guess I got used to it and realized that it was the real world. I think it really helped for high school though. It will help for when Ayumi goes back to middle school I guess...

The Utes killed Oregon! Dang right when I'm gone and the Utes are playing out of their minds! I guess I have some highlights to watch when I get home. Elder McCarthy in the apartment is also a pretty big tennis player so we talk about tennis a lot too. 

Well I hope you guys have a good week! Sounds like it's been pretty busy and stressful... That's nice the neighbors threw a party for you guys now that everybody is home. Haha I hope they throw me one too! Well love you guys lots and miss you tons! 

- Elder Durrant

Andrew Durrant <>
To Dad Mom Sep 21 at 1:00 PM
Well, its the end of another transfer. Next Transfer is going to be
pretty interesting!

This week came and flew by again. Lately they have been getting faster
and faster. There was some weird things thats took place too.

Well lately my companion believes that there is a ghost in the
apartment... We would return back to the apartment at night and see a
light on inside that he swore we turned off and concluded that our
apartment is haunted. In reality, we probably just forgot to turn the
light off. Well we told ghost stories for a little bit and finally
began to go to bed(This was on a tuesday). Elder Yanada went to close
the door to the room and got way scared. At first he took it as a
joke. He claimed that when he would try and close the door, and
invisible force would push back against the door. I didn't believe him
so i laughed and proceeded to write in my journal but then he called
out again and said a little inside joke but kept saying the door
wouldnt close. Eventually he started to scream and yell for me to come
to him. I couldnt believe it!  Anyway i got up and was pretty ticked
at him but i went over and just took the door and slammed it shut, and
went to bed. And that was the end of the haunted apartment.

So we have had a few people call us from the dead. As in, a few random
people that got Eikaiwa flyers years ago called us and said they
wanted to hear the missionaries lessons. It was pretty exciting to
recieve these phone calls. Then a dropped investigator re appeared and
wanted to get baptized but she only spoke spanish so teaching her
required a spanish speaker which was sometimes hard to get but there
are a few people in the ward from Peru that were happy to help us. We
committed her to a baptismal date for October 25th as well!
On Sunday we had ward conference and performed a few songs during
sacrament meeting. Its been heating up here in Hirakata lately!

Well transfers. I am transferring again... I hate being in one area
and transferring. This is two in a row now... Im pretty excited though
because i am training! I get to be a missionary trainer this next
transfer and even open a new area! I will be in Hashimoto! There are
already two missionaries there so it will become a yonin apartment!
Plus, a missionary from my old Tottori district will be there too. Im
way excited but im pretty sure it will be kind of stressful... Whats
cool though is that one of the new sisters coming to Kobe is actually
from our home stake. Her name is Sister Luczack and i knew her at
Viewmont. It will be cool to see her again!
Transferring though is going to be kind of tough. I have to carry my
bike as well... Im not sure if i have to take it all the way to the
honbu with me either. I may have an issue with money however... I dont
know if it will but if you could sen a few sen here it would help a
lot. I guess you could add Miles's crazy socks with it too. just as
long as it get here before Thursday then it should be good. I will
send my new address in a seperate email though. It sounds like my new
area is pretty hilly and inaka though, should be fun... haha the
members seem really good though and there will be 6 missionaries in
this small branch because there are sisters in my area as well. I wish
i could havae been a tokai missionary but im getting a little bit of
both i guess.

Im glad you guys were able to make it here safely though! With Beebee
too! Is momo going to stay at Teresa's the entire time or will she
come to Japan eventually? It sounds like Ayumi and Ashton start school
next week right? haha grandma said the house is pretty nice though!
pictures please! haha Well its an exciting time in all of our lives
right now i guess.

Well today i have nothing but packing to do. A return missionary
stopped by our apartment though. He served in the Osaka mission and in
this ward 25 years ago so he came by to see how it was going. We let
him in the old kaichos house and in the church. I guess there used to
be 8 missionaries here when he served here! It was pretty cool to see
him though. Hes from Pleasant Grove and is the bishop back in his home
ward. Speaking of which, how the church for everybody yesterday? First
time as a family to attend haha Must of been a little crazy and weird.

Well things are going ok here. This should be an interesting transfer
coming up! Love you all and miss you guys tons!

- Elder Durrant

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Hey Guys!
So this week was pretty normal. We were able to teach about 20 lessons
and hand out 14 Book of Mormons. It's hard to hand those out since
everybody just Kekko's us! You guys already saw but we had a baptism
on Sunday! His name is Nosaka and he has been an investigator since
November. I've only known him for about two weeks so I was kind of
just there for the baptism. Elder Yanada baptized him and I think it
was really good for him and the ward. The ward hadn't seen a baptism
for two years so we were able to break the dry spell.
The ward here is alright. It's bigger and for a small ward they have a
huge building. The ward doesn't have that much dendo fire and they
don't exactly help the missionaries that much. We're trying to
strengthen the ward and befriend them more so they can fellowship our
investigators more.. We kind of realized why the ward hadn't see a baptism in
so long... They just aren't proactive.

 A couple nights ago we found monopoly in the apartment and I showed my
companion how to play so we have been playing every night and this morning. 
He destroyed me yesterday... But I'm beating him now in our current game. 

Haha I guess you saw the watermelon video. I made that three months
ago. That was back in Shimogamo during interviews with president
welch. Good times haha Today I was able to return to Kyoto though! We
went to Joyo in Kyoto zone and went to the temple that's in the back
of the 10 yen coin. It was way cool! We got to go inside it and see
this huge Buddha statue. The outside of the temple has been restored,
but everything inside is 900 years old! We went with two of our
investigators who are also Eikaiwa students. They are also are next
strongest investigators now that Nosaka got baptized. On our way home
we also saw the Nintendo headquarters and this pretty cool dam. Oh our
two investigators also told me that in some parts of China they eat
babies and humans... Yup.. Just like your one Chinese coworker said.

Oh! Do you think you guys can send me some pictures of our life like
10 years ago haha or just pictures from when I was little and stuff? I
saw Elder Yanada's and I kind wished I had some too. Digital should be
ok. People always love those kind of pictures.

I guess everybody has a busy last week before school starts. Ashton as
telling me he fell off a tube and hurt himself. Seems to get hurt
everyday doing something haha Middle school starts for Ayumi. That's
weird to think she's in middle school now. Goes by fast, seems slow
now though but goes by fast. 

Anyways, I'll send some pictures of this past week over the iCloud.
Over the cloud! Love you guys lots and miss you tons!

- Elder Durrant

Monday, July 20, 2015

Hey guys!

So the typhoon. Man that was some typhoon... Just kidding! The typhoon
actually missed Tottori at the last second and went to Matsue I think.
So we didn't get hit too hard. Just a ton of rain and some wind. The
one we had in Nagoya was a lot worse! We were still able to go housing
during the typhoon. Thanks to my rain gear though, I was able to stay
dry. It rained nonstop for two days and the rivers filled up but no
floods. A lot of people answered the door and let us in just to show
sympathy for us and get us out of the rain, but we couldn't find
anybody with real potential. Just a couple people who said we can come
by again some other time, and if they are home, share a message with
them.  One day Elder Novak walked up to a house and he walks up to the
doorway and the guy freaks out on the other side of the screen. But he
got so scared that he scared the crap out of Elder Novak.

We didn't have that many service opportunities this week so we had a
ton of time to go housing. We were able to pick berries for one member
at his farm. I got sunburned during it so my arms hurt this week haha
we picked berries for about three hours in the hot sun. Then went back
to teach Eikaiwa to the one student who came. I was kind of surprised
because in Shimogamo the advanced class had 10 or so people, and the
beginners class had at least 20. But in Tottori, only one person
showed up! I'm starting to like Tottori now though. It's nice and
quiet and relaxing, but, I prefer the loud, crazy city life!

I got a couple emails from Pace 長老 and he seems to
be doing good. Said it was emotionally and physically lonely being
home and it's weird living the normal life but he likes it.

On Saturday the branch had a BBQ. It's a yearly BBQ where the farmers
in the Branch go out and hunt deer and wild boar, so we ate a ton of
deer and boar. I've met pretty much all the branch now. The branch is
really cool and it's nice to know people better because there aren't
that many people in the branch. At the end of the BBQ, the branch gave
us a box of boar and deer meat to take back. They said it was close to
$300 of meat! So we'll be eating that this week! We tried cooking it
yesterday and the boar was super tough, except for the fatty parts,
and the deer was super soft. The boar tasted better but deer was
easier to eat haha

I gave my talk on Sunday.  I think it worked pretty well. It was a
little short. They wanted 10 minutes and I only spoke for 8... I kind
of just talked about the hardships pioneers had and how faith helped
them overcome it and how we can apply faith into our own lives and
overcome our own trials. I won't have to talk again until maybe
September! We did have to teach the lesson in elders quorum yesterday.
Just two elders talking about MARRIAGE. Haha it was us two and three
other members. Basically all we did was ask them about their own
experiences of marriage.

On Wednesday and Thursday we have to travel down to Okayama which
takes all day! Haha so we spend the night in Okayama on Wednesday,
then on Thursday we have Zone Conference... I was asked to translate
too... Translate for the AP's and President Welch... That's kind of
stressing me out because I know I won't be able to do a very good job
at it, especially English to Japanese.

Anyways, I love you guys tons and miss you all! Mom, you still need to
send me the picture of the bear! Hope you have a good week!

- Elder Durrant

I didnt have a lot of time to take pictures but here is a couple.


Monday, July 13, 2015

Hey guys!

So im slowly getting used to Tottori. I better because everybody is
thinking im going to be here until November or December... They said 4
transfers. I was able to meet most of the people in the Branch these
past two Sundays. Its a small branch of around 25 people. Its gotten a
lot smaller because a lot of families are moving out of Tottori and
gong to places like Osaka and Kyoto. Ive passed the sacrament past two
weeks so i get to do a lot more in the branch. Its like im a member,
but with missionary responsibilities. The branch is ok. There is one
family i really like though. They are called the Ogawa's and are
probably the best family in the branch. He inherited close to 40 acres
of land from his father in law when he got married so we do service
for him every Saturday. After service, he lets us take a shower and
then we have dinner together. I look forward to Saturdays now!

We had a pretty good week. We found three new investigators and one
committed to a baptismal date for August 9th! Im not saying for
certain hes getting baptized because i have read too many teaching
records on kinjins that dropped. Hes a really cool guy though. His
name is Nagai and he is from Osaka so every time we meet with him he
teaches me some really good ben. I think my goal throughout my mission
is to pick up as much Kansaiben as possible, so that when i get home
and speak Japanese, Mom cant understand me as much haha Nagai is a
really cool guy though and he does seem really interested in what we
have to say. He has a JW bible so i guess they got to him first but he
isnt converted to them yet! 

Im slowly liking Tottori more. Especially now since i found a
super good Udon place that ill have to take you guys too! 

I havent been able to go to the sand dunes though! We're dead tired on
P-days so we just email and go back to the apartment and lay down
until 6 haha Maybe next week we'll go! I had ZTM this past week and i
realized that half of Kyoto came down to my zone! haha well not half
but around 5 missionaries that i served with in Kyoto came down too so
it was cool seeing them again. lately its been so hot! Why? Why is it
so hot! The heat and humidity kill! There is a typhoon coming so its
at least windy...kind of. I didnt feel the earthquakes though. Im dead
asleep but for some reason i always wake up in the middle of the night
around 4. Every night since the MTC. No idea why.

This week wasnt too bad. Thanks for the backpack though! I thought it
was just going to be the old one we had... Not a brand new one! It
helped alot though when we bought groceries today. Thanks so much!

Im slowly getting used to Tottori but im sure ill like it. Thanks for
everything! I love you guys tons and miss ya!
- Elder Durrant

This is our investigator who is getting baptised!!