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 <andrew.durrant@myldsmail.net>
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