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!!

Hey guys!
So, I am still alive... It has been weird to be in Tottori but im slowly getting used to it. My new companion is Elder Novak and hes on his last transfer. I get to kill two missionaries in a row now! haha 

This past week was really hard. It was just kind of stressful and emotional. Elder Pace went home and I had to leave Shimogamo. Im still not used to everything here yet. I really miss Kyoto. I had tons of fun in Kyoto. So my first week in Tottori, we did service everyday. 

On friday, we picked plums for an old lady in the mountains for three hours. We probably picked like 10kgs of plums. The lady was so nice and she made us wear bonnets and those weird arm sleeves that old people wear when riding bikes to protect our arm. I got eaten alive though. The mosquitos had some fun on me... Saturday we went up to a members house which was about 20 minutes away by train and helped clean his fields. He has 30 acres of land that he inherited and we help him clean it every Saturday. The family is the Ogawa's and they are such a cool family! after we do service, they let us take a shower and feed us! We also ran into this old man who was raking the shrine nearby and decided to help him too. We raked leaves for 3 hours and there was probably about 400 pounds of leaves. 

Yesterday was fast sunday and we i had to give my introduction and a small testimony. The branch has like 25 people in it! Its kind of small...Apparently its not a very strong branch either. After sacrament meeting the Branch President came up to me and asked me to give a talk on what we can learn from the pioneers for the 19th. 

We havent really had the chance to contact people since we have been doing service everyday, plus nobody is on the streets so we have to go housing all the time. The teaching pool is that good. We have one investigator... We started to meet with this one lady though so hopefully we will have two. The Inaka life... 

I havent bought a bike yet, Im thinking about doing it towards the end of this transfer because they had a mountain bike that i could use for a little bit. I think the same size as the north face bag should work. 

My address is:
Tottori-ken, Tottori-shi, Midorigaoka 3-18-3 Confort Midorigaoka B101 

Im not sure when you can send it but on thursday we have to go down to Okayama and spend the night there because we have zone meeting on friday and its too far from where we live. I guess we have to spend like $200 this month on travel because we have to go to Okayama 4 times this transfer.  This week was kind of hard. I felt so lonely my first couple days in Tottori. 

Anyways, i hope this week is good. I love you guys lots and miss you guys tons!

- Elder Durrant