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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Hey guys!

So two days ago marked one month on my mission! It's been probably the
craziest month of my life! Leaving everybody, going in the MTC for a
week and a half, and then being out in the field for the past 3 weeks.
I've also only got about 2 weeks left in this transfer and I'll be on
my 2nd transfer out of 17 haha. I'm not sure if it's gone by fast, it
seemed kind of slow... The ZL's and my companion keep saying that the
time goes by faster transfer after transfer. Elder Pace told me that the days are long, but
the weeks go by fast, and I'm starting to believe him.  I did a こうかん with somebody in
my doki (somebody that I was in the MTC with) named Tanaka. He's way
cool because he Japanese but has an American personality . We were
roommates in the MTC. 


I actually miss Beebee a lot. Like there's all these billboards
and posters with Dalmatians and I'm constantly thinking of her haha.
Missouri is lucky to get Chase! He's going to do really good. Plus,
there's a couple people from school who are down there too. That's
awesome!

I've met most of the ward now and all I can say is that they are
awesome! Elder Stanger was trying to find someone and described them
as "Funny, Crazy, and Always late." That describes the whole ward! It
reminds me a lot of Meito, kind of nostalgic. There's only about 80
members though. Here's a scary fact. Right now in Japan there are over
120,000 members, out of 180 million people. However, only 10,000 of
them are active! There are about 267 congregations in Japan, with that
there should be close to around 400 members in each congregation.
Less-active work is huge in Japan right now and there's a huge push to
re-activate them. With that's, we have found 3 types of less actives.
The ones that don't come because they are too lazy, the ones that
don't come because they don't like the church anymore, and ones that
didn't even know they were baptized...

The bishop of our ward is so cool. He loves rock music! We had dinner
at his house last night and he had close to 20 guitars and a room
dedicated to Rock and Roll. We talked about how
missionaries went on donut runs to Mr.Donuts in the middle of the
night.  You know, waking up around midnight and taking all the
leftover donuts that they throw out for free. Haha apparently thanks
to you, dad, your generation of missionaries made all the Mr. donuts
put up a signs that says "Mormon Missionaries, STOP TAKING OUR
DONUTS." I'll try and find a picture of it. Now we can't go out in the
middle of the night and get free donuts.

There's also a couple places where they had the challenges of "if you
can eat this in under 20 minutes, you'll get it for free. We got those
banned and now those restaurants also put up a sign that says "No
Mormon Missionaries." I think we're leaving a legacy. A legacy of
missionaries who can eat a ton of food. Later we're going to do the
すきや challenge where you eat a mega. It's two king sizes which is
already huge!

This past week was pretty slow. Mostly because we got our
new iPads and they want us to upload all the information from our area
books into the area book app we have. That's all information on past
and previous investigators. There are thousands of teaching records we
have to upload because it dates back 20 years ago! So this week that's
mostly what we've been doing. The good news is that we have had
sunshine and clear skies all week. Great weather! It's just the calm
before the storm though haha rain seasons about to come...

Today we're going up to Arashiyama and seeing the bamboo forest and
wild monkeys! I'm pretty excited since I haven't been there forever.
I'm going to try and get a selfie with a monkey on my back because
somebody in the ward here had a monkey jump on his back and just stay
there. Next Monday were headed to kiyomizu-dera or however you spell
that. The big temple that hangs over the cliff in the mountains. Plus
I'm getting a free haircut from this person that loves the
missionaries.

So far, Kyoto has been good. It's been really fun. I should be here until at least the 21st of
May. That's when the second transfer is. I'm most likely going to be
staying here but I could gypsy(when you only stay for 1 transfer.).
Haha my missionary たんご is improving. I'm learning all these missionary
slang, well for Japan, like to kill and elder (when your companion
goes home), or to die(go home). Haha
all these random terms.

I'll send you some pictures of what we did this week. I saw this ultra smart car on Tuesday night! I think I scared the girl inside when I ran behind it to get the picture.



I had a zone conference today and saw some of my close friends. love these guys!
Elder Whartons on my right. Elder Barney is the tall one, and Jackson
is the one with glasses.




Me and Tanaka's adventure. We're both 1st transfer missionaries but we
did pretty good on our own for one day. I didn't realize that when you
do a companion swap you spend the night with them too so it was pretty
fun just the two of us. We tried to have a Yakiniku part that night
and found some cheap Dr.Peppers. I think we drank 3 cans each.





The new way I tie my ties haha




I miss you guys a ton! Love you all!

-Elder Durrant

Monday, April 20, 2015

Hey Guys!
So today for our P-Day we went down to Osaka and hung out with some
other Elders. They are both football players for BYU. One of them was
with me in the MTC. His name is Elder Griffitts and he's a backup QB
for BYU. Gotta love Griffitts. We used to hang out a lot in the MTC together.

Anyways, so we went down to Osaka to see them and had lunch with a
former investigator of theirs. The missionaries originally dropped
him, but the former investigator loves the missionaries so still likes
to do stuff with them, just not hear the gospel. He took us 4 to lunch
and we ate トンカツ. It was really good and they had a curry bar. All you
can eat curry.  





After we ate we walked around downtown Osaka for a bit and went to some stores. One of
the elders, Elder Baldwin, was looking for a samurai sword and we
couldn't find one. We told them to come down to Kyoto in a couple
weeks and we can easily find one there... Haha I think we're planning
on meeting up again in Kyoto in 3 weeks.

This Saturday marks me gone for officially one month! I'm not sure if
it went slow or fast but I guess I enjoyed it so far. There
have definitely been hard times but there have been more times where I know I want to
be here. The fields a lot different from the MTC. It's a lot of hard
work but it's good work and it's a lot of fun. That's the key I think.
 I'm really thankful I got a trainer like Elder Pace.
Kyoto has been good. It rains almost everyday which kind of sucks.
Plus it's getting more and more humid everyday. Today was horrible
because we rode the train a lot and it was so humid outside so I feel
pretty gross. The でんどう has been ok. Right now we have 1 recent
convert, 2 baptisms coming up, 9 investigators, and 3 potential
investigators. Hopefully by this week we will have 12 investigators.
We're shooting for 3 new P.I's every week, which is kind of a stretch
because one is ready hard enough.

This past week, we saw a bunch of guys protesting against the military base in Okinawa which
was pretty lame. They were all in their 50's, 60's, and 70's and all
had these stuffed animal hats on. I'm pro military so it was kind of
funny. They will be sorry when North Korea attacks. Haha.

 I had to give a talk in sacrament meeting yesterday. I was so surprised to see how

small the ward was. Ward membership is only around 80 but only like 50
people showed up yesterday. I gave a little introduction about myself
and ended with a short testimony on the Book of Mormon. 

So I saw the pictures, lots of snow! I would take snow over rain any
day. How did Ayumi do on her recital? I heard she did awesome! Wish I
could of seen it. I saw a picture of all the frogs and of dad mowing
the lawn. Is that really a lawn mower? The lawn looks good though. A
lot bigger then Nagoya's!

I can check emails anytime I have wifi but I can only send emails out
on P-Day.  Let's see how this next week is! Oh, and could you send me
the ring please? I'm so excited to see how it turned out!
Love you guys and miss you lots!

Elder Durrant

P.S: Here is a pic of a member who was in the Yakuza. He left that life and now is a strong member of the church and a good friend of ours.




Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Elder Pace, my companion is on my right and the 2 zone leaders, Elder Crapo and Stanger are on my left. 





Heres some of Me and my first companion Elder Suda, plus the all the missionaries going to Kobe. 



The one of Elder Pace holding the Ipad was a failed idea haha nobody was interested. I think they though we were Jehovahs witnesses that have tainted our name. Were building it back up though. The question is supposed to read "If God spoke to you, would you listen?" we were advertising general conference... 





Hey guys! 
So I have been in Japan for one week now! So far its been pretty good. I am in downtown Kyoto! all the tourist attractions are around me. We might go to one today. Next week were going to Kiyomizu Dera for fun. I remember going there a couple times but it will be nice to see it again. It has rained everyday for the past week so it was a good thing i have my North Face rain coat and pants! They work pretty well, Im usually pretty dry in the rain because of the coat and pants. 

I met most of my ward yesterday. Theres about 60 people that go here too. I didnt have to give a talk yet because we watched general conference this weekend since they haven`t shown it in Japan yet. The ward seems nice though and I am scheduled to speak this Sunday.. Its only supposed to be around 5 minutes long too. Im just going to right down a few bullet points on my Ipad and expound on it. 

My new companion is a district leader. His name is Elder Pace and hes from Salt Lake and went to Olympus, he even knows Vicki and Miles`s mom. We get along really good too. He only has about 2 transfers left and always complains when somebody brings up the transfer mail. 

So in my Kyoto area, its me, Elder Pace and 2 Zone leaders, plus we all share an apartment so im in an apartment with a district leader, and 2 zone leaders. I feel way under powered haha. The 2 zone leaders are a lot of fun though. They are always up till 10:30 doing follow ups so i have alot of free time when we get done proselyting. In my area the 2 zone leaders lead the zone in stats, we come in second though so were doing pretty good. Proselyting is actually really fun i think. I like going door to door because its easier then street contact but both are fun. I don't really speak much when we go street contacting though because i can fully explain the gospel and such in Japanese which means i need to study harder.

I miss you guys alot though. I watched a video on what mothers do for us and it killed haha it hits us hard, we all miss our moms now. 
Anyway, my next email should come next Monday! 

Love you guys lots!

Elder Durrant

Friday, April 10, 2015



Message from the Mission President on Andrew's first area!!



Dear Brother and Sister Durrant ,
          We are happy to have your wonderful missionary with us in the Japan Kobe Mission.
                                         Love, President and Sister Welch

Elder ’s trainer/companion is Elder Pace and they are serving in the Shimogamo Area.






Andrew's first area in Shimogamo is actually in Kyoto. A beautiful area considered the heart of Japan.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

4/8/2015

I've reached Japan!

I've reached Japan! We were so late to arrive because at Seattle they
had us sitting on the plane for 2 extra hours before we could leave so
when we reached Narita, we only had 20 minutes to get everyone through
immigration, customs, baggage claims, and to check bags in and get on
the plane. All you need is faith and you can do it because we did all
that in 20 minutes and made our flight! I met President and Sister
Welch today. They are great people. So caring and nice.
They feed us so well the past 2 days, it's not helping with the
weight gain lol!!

I'm pretty excited to see what's next. Tomorrow we get our new
companions and move to our new zones. I'm sad to leave all my friends
and I'm kind of scared to meet and begin my mission tomorrow. My pdays
moved to Monday now so my next email should be next Monday. Since last
Monday I switched companions since Elder Suda was on a different
flight then me so I'm with my brother from another mother until
tomorrow's transfer. The picture below is of Elder Wharton, he's my
closest Elder/friend from the MTC. It's gonna stink to see him go
tomorrow when we all get transferred... We plan on meeting up after
our missions though.



One last thing, we got out iPads today! They are still in beta testing
but all Japan missions get one. Only 41 out of over 400 missions get
one. We're lucky.

Love you guys and miss you lots! Monday should be longer, today was
just to say we got here safely...

Elder Durrant