Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Elder Durrant has completed his mission and returning home!!

His return is May 5th. He will have his homecoming talk at the Ricks Creek Ward at the Centerville North Stake Center on May 14th from 9:00AM.

Well Done Elder!! Well Done!

Last email below.

Hey Y'all!
How's everyone doing? Well, this is my first and last group email of
my mission. I just never really got around to doing group emails for
some reason. I guess I just liked to personalize things.

Well, as the title also suggested this is my last P-day on my mission.
The two years has come to an end. It's crazy how fast two years has
gone by. I still can't process the fact that I'm going home this week.
It never really hit me until yesterday when I had to pack my suitcases
and give a short talk in sacrament meeting about my mission. All I can
say is that it has been a ride! These past two years have been the
time of my life. It's sad to say that my time here in Japan has come
to an end. I have truly been able to love my mission, the gospel, and
the people I served. I don't want this experience to end but all good
things must come to an end. I have lived in Japan now for 10 years of
my life. I've always loved Japan but these past two years have helped
me have a deeper love and a more personal connection to this country.

I just wanted to give a quick shoutout to all of you all and say
thanks. Each and every one of you have helped me and inspired me
before, and during my mission. You have all had a profound influence
on me and the decision I made to go on a mission, and the decisions
I've made on my mission. I couldn't have done it without you.

I am truly grateful for the opportunity I have had to serve the Lord
in the Japan Kobe Mission these past two years. I have loved every
area I've served in, every companion I had, and every missionary I've
had the opportunity to work with. I am grateful for all the good, bad,
hard, easy, fun, painful, joyful, and spiritual experiences I have had
on my mission. Each one of those experiences have helped me build a
firm foundation upon the rock of my redeemer. I'm thankful for trials,
not because they are fun or easy, but because of the opportunity I
have to learn and grow from them. I have truly been able to strengthen
my testimony that God loves all of us and has a plan for all of us,
that the afflictions we may face in our lives truly are for our gain,
and that our Heavenly Father will be right there cheering us on and
helping us so we can overcome our trials. God loves broken things and
through him we can be made perfect.
The gospel is true. The savior lives. Heavenly Father truly does love us.

Thank you all for all your love and support these past two years. To
those who are home, I'll see you in a few days. To those who aren't,
I'll see you whenever you get back haha. Also, to all my past
companions, starting with my trainer Jonathan (oh man that sounds so
weird), the promise is still there that we are all going to a Taylor
Swift concert once everyone is back. #TraditionsOfOurFathers

I love you all and will end with the words of Jacob in Jacob7:27
"And I, Elder Durrant, saw that I must soon go down to my grave...And
I make an end of my writing upon these plates, which writing has been
small; and to the reader I bid farewell, hoping that many of my
brethren may read my words. Brethren, adieu."

Thank you all and have a great week!

- Elder Durrant

Monday, February 27, 2017

Hey everyone! 

Sounds like everyone had a good week. Ashtons still making cray videos and Ayumi is drawing on her tablet. Nothings changed... haha Whats mom been up to lately??? 

Well another week has past. This week was a lot faster than last week. Its strange how that works but it was. Way faster, so it was somewhat of a good week. We didnt see a lot of success this week, we met a few nice people and have a few new investigators but no crazy miracles or change with the investigators we have right now. Its a little frustrating that we havent been able to find anyone with too much potential but im sure there are prepared people in the area. We have been receiving a ton of referrals lately from other missionaries. None of them are super solid but its more people to work with and meet. We got a pretty good referral from the Church headquarters last week though so we are excited to check it out this week. The district here is looking really well though. We are planning on having two baptisms here next month. One is the sisters investigators here in Nishiwaki, which im way excited for because she was my investigator for a little while but then we referred her to he sisters, and the next baptism is with the Elders in Fukuchiyama. They are in my district and are planning on having it in Nishiwaki because we have a font and they usually baptize in the river in Fukuchiyama but its February so that might not be the best time for a river baptism... haha so the district here is definelty doing well! My companion and I need to keep up with the other areas in the district now haha

Things have been going well here and its been an interesting week. Nothing super interesting has happened which makes it not interesting but for some reason its interesting. Theres a sister in the branch who had surgery recently and we went and visited her at the hospital. She is one of my favorite members I have met on my mission, shes just been like this Japanese grandma to me, mainly because i already have my mission mom. So shes my mission grandma. She always takes us out to each and buys us bread all the time haha. But shes super nice so we wanted to see how she was doing. As we left we asked her if there was anything we could help her with and she said she wanted a blessing. So my companion anointed the oil and i gave my first blessing in Japanese. When she first said she wanted the blessing i got really nervous actually. Just my first time giving it in Japanese. But when i got up to give the blessing all the fear just went away. It was actually a really cool experience. I think just when i got up i decided that i had to put my trust in the Lord that he would direct me in what to say and how i need to say it. It was cool how just putting confidence in the Lord and not in yourself gives you power. This experience really taught me that. Ever since ive been in Nishiwaki ive been asked to give sacrament meeting talks, very sudden talks also, lessons during sunday school and what not, but I have realized is that everytime i initially do have a sense of nervousness but when I am able to get the attitude of "Forget it lets do it." then it kind of just works out. I really believe in it. When the time for decision has come, the time for preparation is over. And thats when you need to get that attitude going and just put your trust and confidence in the Lord that he will work through you. It wont be perfect, there will still be mistakes made, but the people will feel what they needed to feel. And if you have tried, put in preparation, studied, and taken time, then you can feel confident that the Lord will work through you. It only works if you`re prepared. Im gonna try never to write another talk again, Probably write  an outline but i wont write another talk again. 

So that was definelty a good experience for me. Nothing too special other than that has happened this week though. Lately my companion has been trying to like natto. I told him that if he eats it every day for a transfer, by the end of the transfer he will like it. Right now hes on day 8 and hes somewhat not hating it as much as he did before haha. But he documents his journey and is planning on making a documentary about enjoying natto. 

Lately ive been a little sick. I think on saturday i woke up and was just dizzy and had a head ache and a sore throat but i went out and worked. My companion had this oil that you spray on the back of your throat called thieves so i tried that and it worked wonders. Its amazing hahaha im a huge thieves fan now! It kind of numbs the pain and burns your throat but the soreness definetly wasnt as bad and in one day my sore throat went away. Anyway, huge fan of thieves now. Im better now, just coughing a lot and runny nose so i just have a cold. 
Today we are heading over to Osaka, back to my old area, kinda. We are going back to Northern Osaka for exchanges tomorrow with the zone leaders. Its kind of a pain that we have to ride a three hour train for an exchange and bring our bikes but we`ll survive. I think we will be heading back to our area here on Wednesday morning. Kind of excited but its still a big pain.  haha. The cool thing is the place we are going to has the worlds first mr.donuts so i will definetly make it a priority to buy a donut from the worlds first mr.donuts. 
We have exchanges with the Fukuchiyama Elders this friday as well and im looking forward to it. I think ill make myself be with Elder Bailey. Hes a new Elder from Morgan Utah. Kind of cool to talk about Utah with him since literally everyone in Nishiwaki has been from Spain, Seattle, or california. Nishiwaki needs more Utah people. Actually there really isnt that many people from utah in this misison anymore. Kind of weird. But all roads lead to Provo, except my road because ill never be going down to BYU. But for every other cliche missionary, all roads lead to provo haha
Times ticking away and we are not into march this week! Crazy, just two full months left now. Miles gets back this thursday i think. Thats weird. But the rest of us are still out. Man i feel like Rocky from the movie Creed when hes telling Creed he doesnt want to undergo treatment for his Cancer. He tells him that everybody hes loved has moved on and hes still here. Well, literally everybody i came here with in Japan is gone and im still here haha

I hope you all have a good week. Love you all! Thanks for everything! 

- Elder Durrant 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Hey everyone! 

I hope everyone had a good fun week in the cold weather! It's seems to be snowing across all of Japan! Well, maybe not Okinawa. Snow in Tsukuba too? It's been snowing from Thursday on. None of it really sticks but it's snowed a lot. Most of it melts around noon though so that's kinda sad. Working In the snow was pretty fun. Nishiwaki didn't get a lot of snow but the areas around us, Fukuchiyama, Toyoka, and Tottori got a ton it sounds like! Like a meter of snow! Haha sounded like they had a lot of fun last week in the snow. 

It's Valentines Day tomorrow! I forgot about that haha! Actually tomorrow we have Zone Conference clear out in Osaka. Actually in my last area Okamachi! So it will be funny to go back to that building for Conference tomorrow. So the Fukuchiyama Zone (the one I'm in right now) and the Osaka North Zone (the one I was in three transfers ago) combined last week! So now the Zone is twice as big but Zone Conference is twice as far now. It will take a few hours to get to the Okamachi for Zone Conference tomorrow but it should be a really good conference. I'm really excited! Only got one more Zone Conference I think and after tomorrow, only one more interview! It's crazy! The next ones are in April. 

We did have transfers here this last week and Elder Sepos transferred out! It was surprising but he was only here for one transfer and left. Super fast. He left last Thursday and transferred to Shikoku, a place called Imabari in Ehime ken. Not sure if you have heard of the apparent "world famous" Imabari Towels, but he's in the area where they make them. So as of last Thursday my new companion is Elder Suzuki. He's half Japanese from California...again. Man my last three companions have been from California.. He didn't know Japanese though. Actually his dads like a third generation Japanese American. 

 The weeks been good though. We've been working hard and seeing miracles that come from it. We've met a lot of good nice people lately and have placed a few Book of Mormon and got a few phone numbers to set up an appointment. 

On Saturday we decided to go to a place in our area called Sasayama. We never really go there because it's an hour away away by train! Haha our areas pretty huge and Sasayama is kind of in the middle of our area. Nishiwaki is in the far west side of our area. But we decided to visit the Aoba's and try proselyting in Sasayama. So we hauled our bikes on the train and rode our bikes around in Sasayama. Pretty big pain in the butt but there's no other way haha. The Aoba's are a way cool young family. Aoba 兄弟's dad is an area 70. So his dads a general authority who lives on Shikoku. But Aoba 姉妹 is from Nagoya and went to the Meito Ward! Haha didn't know that until Saturday but it was way cool. She knows the Yoneda's and a few of the same people I still remember. Honestly can't remember a lot of names, just faces. But it sounds like she moved there in 2011, probably right when we moved back to America. They are a way cool family with two kids though, total life goals right there. 
Sasayama isn't the greatest to work in though. It's pretty Inaka with nothing there. But we set a return appointment with a Filipino in Sasayama so we have to come back again on Saturday and haul our bikes clear out there, such a pain in the butt. 

That's cool that Sister Tanda came back to Tsukuba for the baptism. I wonder how she is doing. I hope her health is back to normal. Do you mean Elder Suda? I know Elder Suda, didn't know his sister was in the Tsukuba Ward though! That's really cool. Elder Suda was my MTC companion! I think he's in Osaka now though. He goes home in a month now, 6 weeks before I do. 

Actually lately I've noticed how tired and broken my body is now though haha. Two years really does it to you. My back always hurts, my legs always hurt and are sore, I'm so tired...always. Just have to ganbaru for 11 more weeks. 

There's a story I heard of an apostle, a really long time ago, who spent the night at a bed in breakfast. The owner wanted to hear how an apostle prayed so when the apostle went to pray she snuck up by the door and listened in on the prayer. The apostles prayer went something like this. "Heavenly Father, your servant is tired. Amen." And he went to bed. 
I've decided my last prayer on my mission will be like that. 

Well this week should be a somewhat good week. We have been finding a few new people. Lately there have been people who have contacted us first and asked if we were the missionaries. We've been able to exchange contact information and set up a few second appointments with those people as well. The area has been picking up lately and we've been finding a lot of good people to teach. Hopefully some of these will turn into progressives and come to church! That's been the hardest thing to get people to do right now. Just come to church people! Haha. Lately we've been contacting more people and teaching more lessons though. If the mission and the church counted the lessons we taught it would probably be like twice as much now but they don't do that anymore. We're just focusing on finding new investigators! 

Well that's been bout it for this past week. It sounds like, everyone else had a pretty alright week. Hope you all have a good week this week as well! Thank you all and love ya! 

- Elder Durrant