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Monday, November 28, 2016

Hey everyone!

Well this week is the end of November and the beginning of December! Its crazy, time has gone by so fast! 4 months left... Its starting to get cold here too but not cold enough to the point where it snows. Ive heard from people that it snows here in the winter but ive also heard that it doesnt snow here. Maybe is snows rarely. Im not sure but it has been getting pretty cold recently. We went housing up to this really ghetto neighborhood on the edge of a mountain yesterday and they told us it would snow a little bit during the winter. They also told us not to house this area because there are bears and wild boars that come down pretty often so its kind of dangerous at night.... but i guess it might snow this year.

It sounds like it snowed a lot in Tsukuba. There was a member that came up to me last week and told me it was snowing a lot up by Tokyo. So i guess it was pretty big national news. Along with that Fukushima had another earthquake and tsunami! Here the earthquake wasnt that big. I guess. We had a really small earthquake here last week too so it might of been that earthquake that we felt. Like you could only feel it if you were sitting on the floor like I was. Its a crazy world out there now.

Well this week was pretty alright. Man missionary work in the rice fields is some hard stuff. Eveyday we jus bike around ricefields. Nothing super special happened this week. We werent able to meet with a lot of our investigators. 1 out fo 5 investigators we met with... Everybody else was too busy this week to meet. Man we really need new investigators out here. I just went from my last area where i had 20 investigators to here where i have 5. So its been an interesting adjustment going from city to country, but its nice being back out in the rice fields all day. The members here are amazing too!  A member drove me all the way into the Kobe zone on Saturday so that i could pick up my bike that i left there last week and then we went to a Korean restaurant the same day with another member. We had dinner at a members house last night. It was sashimi and it was way good! Also on Wednesday we went and visited members. One of them is a guy named Inoi kyoudai and shimai. They are both like in their late seventies - eighties but they are super strong members. We went and visited them and they made us dinner! haha they are so nice to the missionaries and really take care of them. The branch here is about 60 people and its a pretty big branch just because we are in a district here not a stake. Its the biggest branch in the district/zone and definitely one of the strongest in the mission. This ward is on fire and always willing to help the missionaries. The struggle here really is just finding investigators. The branch is totally ready and willing to help investigators and missionaries, we just need to do our part now and find people.

Because nothing too special happend this week, i guess i can tell you guys some random facts about my area and mission haha

1. Nishiwaki is the exact center of Japan. Thats the only thing it is famous for haha. There is a park here called Nihon Heso Koen. The belly button of Japan Park. The park is where the exact center point is. Kinda cool.
2. Nishiwaki does have a Uniqlo. Not so inaka afterall.
3. The mountains around us are all turning orange now. None of the mountains are green anymore. Just this bright orange color. Way nice to look at when all thats around you is rice fields.
4. The farmers are all burning their fields right now so thers always smoke in the air and the smell of a campfire.
5. The greatest rugby player of japan is a member in the Kobe ward (The mission home ward).
6. I guess half of the city of Osaka is man made. As, half the land is man made. They dumped a ton of dirt in the ocean and used a ton of cement to create more land to build Osaka on. So if a huge  earthquake hits, its gonna be bad.
7. According to scientific studies, Japanese is the hardest language to learn for Native English Speakers.
8. I really dont know anything that you guys dont know since we have lived in Japan for 10+ years haha

The area here is great and the members hare are amazing! This are is really blessed to have these super cool members. I just hope we can find a new investigator soon and see a baptism. I`m excited to spend December here and Christmas here too! Also, i guess i am the first almost Japanese person to come to Nishiwaki for a while haha. They have only had American, Spanish, and Korean missionaries come to Nishiwaki so i guess i am the first "Second Generation" or half or somewhat Japanese to serve here in like 3-4 years. Maybe they will remember me for that when i transfer out. I think this trait has really helped build a good relationship with the members here though.

This week we have Zone conference on Friday and i have been asked to translate for that as well. My third one! I`im nervous for President Welch`s bit but the second half should be alot easier when the AP`s give their training. They dont use as much hard language or go into as deep of things. The members here are making lunch for Zone Conference but im sure they wont even tough what mom and the relief society in Tsukuba were able to do for lunch in their Zone Conference.
We have Christmas conferences coming up this month as well so that is exciting! Man I love December!! Our ward Christmas party is on the 23rd of December too.

our goal right now as a companionship is to find a Christmas tree to decorate our apartment with! Maybe daiso sells them.

Well i hope you guys have a great week! I love you all tons and hope you are doing well.
Christmas skype is less then a month away! See you guys soon haha

- Elder Durrant

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Hey everyone!

This week was totally jam-packed with awesomeness! There were so many
cool things that happened this last week. To start it off we had that
sports festival on Monday. Our ward took second place there and we
beat our rival which is another Ward that we share the building with
so it was a successful day. They took last place so it was good to see
them loose since they are always the ones winning haha

But on Thursday we went to this Halloween party that an Eikaiwa
student held. The student is a cram school teacher and held a
Halloween party to her class that she wanted us to attend. So we went
over there and it was filled with middle schoolers and elementary
school kids who were kind of dresses up. We taught English for a
little bit and then she brought out a piñata for the kids the hit but
the thing was it wasn't a piñata. It was a brown paper bag filled with
candy haha but it was the hardest paper bag ever! These kids smacked
that bag so hard with these plastic bats but the bag wouldn't break!
It was pretty funny haha it turns out that she asked her neighbors to
be houses that kids can trick or treat at too so these kids were able
to go trick or treating in Japan. It was really funny. The lady also
took us to this super nice sushi restaurant afterwards and and we ate
some good sushi, her family is pretty cool. It's a small family
though, just her, her husband and her son. Her daughter moved out and
her son who is 34 still loves with them but he is still cool.

On Saturday we had this really cool activity called Dendo Do! The
stake kinda copied the idea of Pokemon Go and started this activity
called Dendo Go. Basically it was an activity to get the youth across
three stakes involved in Dendo. We had 60 YSA and youth show up and
about 40 missionaries come from two zones. We met up at this area
called ibaraki (It's in our Zone) and did split swift the youth for
most of the day. It was so fun! We took them out streeting and housing
to experience what we do. My companion for the day was called Elder
Kaminaru who is 18 yrs old and from the Abeno Ward. He was preparing
to serve a mission in February next year so he was awesome! Super
prepared and such a good kid. He was a little nervous at first but
after a few contacts he slowly build his confidence and was fine with
talking to people. He told me he wanted to go to Africa on his mission
because the people of Africa have been humbled by their circumstances
and he wants to be humbles like them. He's a way cool kid. With the 60
YSA and 40 missionaries, we proselyted together for 2 hours and we
taught 530 lessons and blitzed that area.

Today we went to Umeda again with a few friends. Went to a few stores
and bought some clothes. I  did get the package! It was funny, they
just left it on our doorstep like in America! Haha we were all
surprised because Japan doesn't do that.  Thank you for the cookies!
Everyone in the apartment loves them. They just taste of Murica. Oh!
Actually grandma and grandpa also sent a Halloween package that I got
on Sunday. It was just filled with Hokkaido candy and some money. I've
tried to email them before but it seems like it doesn't go through for
some reason, I'm gonna send another one but let them know I said
thanks too in case it doesn't go through.

This coming week is gonna be pretty normal. Lots of finding in store
for us. 

I think that might be all for this week. It's been a great week and I
hope to keep the miracles and blessings going. We did see the Bednard
devotional but only the Sunday one. It was way good and really geared
towards investigators too!

Well I hope you have a good week! Love you guys tons! That's funny
that Ashton became an Instagram King. How many followers does he have?
Love ya! And thank you all!

- Elder Durrant