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