I am Elder Brett Moore, an LDS Missionary serving in the Japan Tokyo Mission from September 2015 - September 2017. I can be emailed while on the mission at: brett.moore@myldsmail.net

Elder Brett Moore

Elder Brett Moore

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Week 13- 12/28/2015- Getting Busy

Helloooooo 皆さん

I don't have any crazy guy stories this week but I figured I'd email anyways.

I'll start from the top. After p day ended last week, we went to Kato's house. He doesn't want to convert but he likes us and the church so he feeds the missionaries every Monday. We usually make traditional Japanese food and this week was Takoyaki. Takoyaki is octopus inside little balls of batter with other additives and it was really good. 

We also had a few lessons this week. We met with Tonagi, our focus investigator. He wants to be baptized but he's busy because he owns a ton of land in Chiba and Gunma so he can't meet with U.S. Often but his faith is strong and he has a desire. We also met with Nao. We were a little surprised because he just texted us one morning and said he'd treat us to ramen. While there, he said he wanted to pray, and that he's started praying on his own. His faith has increased so much. We never committed him to pray. He just studies and does things. He's great. 

I also went on splits in the Kawagoe area with one of the Zone Leaders. It's good to get out and see Japan. I'll attach a picture I took of the view.

This last week being Christmas we were really blessed. As missionaries, Christmas is no different from any of proselyting day. However, we've had members feed us every night this week. The sakamoto's, nakanishi's, Sato's, Kato-San, and tonight Brother Kuzuya is feeding us. We're so thankful. The members here are truly amazing and Okegawa ward has the best of the best. We also got a ton of food in our present box.

Our days are getting busier and busier. We have a full schedule this week with lessons, appointments, or missionary stuff. Glad we don't do anything on New Years. In Japan, since New Years is more religious and it's not very effective for missionary work, we stay inside on the 31st and 1st to clean and study all day. I'm hoping to get all the cleaning done early. 

Anyways, this is the last week of my first transfer. It all went by so fast. I can't wait to be a transfer 2 green bean. I'll still be new, but not as new as I am now. I'll make sure to update everybody next week. I'll probably have a lot of pictures then because we're going to Ueno zoo tomorrow before the temple. Thanks for tuning in everybody!


モア長老


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Merry Christmas from the Saitama West Zone

video

Week 12- 12/20/15 Things Get Crazy after 7 pm

Alright 皆さん I've got some stuff to tell you. Saitama is weird.

So let's start small, Monday was pretty chill. Did some touring, got my hair cut, and we walked around a mall. Did some Okegawa Elders Bonding. However the next day is when it got weird.

So Tuesday. All day is pretty normal. We met Nao at a multi storied McDonald's and ate some free food. One benefit of having a Japanese companion who's father is a share holder for McDonald's, is you get free meal coupons. McDonald's is our back up plan always. So we bought Nao some food because he just lost his job and we gave him a pretty dang good lesson. He wants to meet every week now so we're like heck yeah man. But, after dinner it got weird. So, we decided to go do streating for the last three hours of our day. We walked to 宮原 or miyahara for you gaijin, and just did our thing. We met nobody. Nobody was outside, and those we did meet totally ignored us. However we kept going. After a bit, we got to the grocery store near our apartment. We were waiting at a crosswalk when this old man walks up. Now usually old men are nice so I said hi. He immediately knew who we were and asked if we were モルモン教 which pretty much means Mormons. Now, I bet you think this is a miracle story. NOPE. This man must have been drunk or mentally ill because he certainly wasn't all there and that was evident. Apon hearing our answer he starts talking about the sacrament and how we use bread and water. His voice slowly starts raising, and he's pretty much shouting at us asking 日本のパンは何ですか。or WHAT IS JAPANESE BREAD!? Now, my Japanese isn't amazing, but I know that question. He then goes on to explain (or shout) that we are disgracing Japan by using bread for the sacrament when Japanese bread is rice. That's when our light turns green, and we try to escape crazy by crossing the street. That's when he shot out his arm and grabbed my companion with a death grip. At this point, a million things are running through my head. My companion is in danger, and we're not allowed to be violent. Now, Elder Yoshino shouts こわいそ!(scary) and we pretty much pry the guy away. We're speed walking at this point while this guy is STILL following us, shouting at us and we're just telling him to leave us alone. Luckily, we were near the grocery store, and ran inside. He wouldn't follow thankfully, but he was waiting. After a bit he walked off and we snuck out of the grocery store and pretty much sprinted home, after I saw him enter the store after we left. Saitama is so weird, but it's my area so I'll work with it. We must have been blessed though because we were able to set up an appointment with an old investigator over the phone, because we were too scared to go outside. So yeah that was Tuesday.

The rest of the week was pretty cool. Had my birthday on Friday, we went to a steakhouse. It was pretty good and way better than anything we could make so I was thankful. The day after was the ward Christ,as party. I took that as an opportunity to bond with the youth. We played basketball in the freezing cold and after a bit they all warmed up to me. The members are getting used to me as well. They really love the missionaries and that's evident by the size of the Christmas box we received. I also got to practice a bit more sign language. We learned the baptismal commitment in the MTC and I met one of the members deaf friends and the ward party. I now know how to introduce myself in Japanese SAL. 

Yesterday we also went to another party. After a brief lesson, we ate some very delicious food. I've learned the Japanese really love fried chicken, and I'm okay with that. We had it at a members house. Lots of people came and we had a lot of fun. Our investigators are doing well. A lot of them are out of town for Christmas so it's been pretty slow. We've been doing finding to pass the time so that explains meeting mr crazy. Well that's all that happened. I'll attach pictures of the week. Thanks for tuning in everybody!

Picture 1: I'm giving a cat a free English tutoring handout
Picture 2: the Okegawa skyline
Picture 3: birthday steak
Picture 4: zone conference
Picture 5: Christmas gifts from the members
モア長老




Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Week 11- 12/13/15 Lots of Biking, Lots of Walking

What's up 皆さん!!!

Yes it's me, and it's my email time again.  Mom, thank you for my Christmas package! It's good to have good American candy. We don't have an oven though so we just ate the cookie dough. Nobody listens to raw egg warnings here. Raw egg is just a part of the culture. It's really good on meat and rice.

It's so nice be able to get good curry whenever. There's a little shop that reminds me of Cheese roll but it's even smaller, about a 3 minute bike ride from the church. It's run by two old lady's. On Saturdays they sell they're curry at a 50% discount which is really good because we teach English on Saturday at the church, so we just bike on over after class and eat. 

My P-days are interesting. So we get everything done within the first 3 hours after study, but Saitama is kind of lame when it comes to tourism so we usually nap. We still have to wear proselyting get clothes all day though.

This week was a little slow, but some cool things happened as well. Let's touch on that.

Let's start with a tender mercy. Last Wednesday was pretty cold (for Tokyo). We got to English class early, but we didn't have the key to the church. Instead of sitting around in the cold we decided to go to the station nearby and do some streeting. Now, it's cold and we're freaking, but we knew something good would happen. The last person we contacted was awesome. We gave him a BoM. We also exchanged numbers. He was a really fun person to taught to and we had a lot in common. To make it better, a member saw us working and talking with him, but I didn't know he was a member. He went inside the closest 7-11 and bought us some hot lemonade (it's a Japanese thing). He then cam over and tapped me on the shoulder and said thank you for all you do, I'm in the ward. It's really cold today, so I bought you some lemonade. I was pretty surprised. That lemonade was really warm. The lord cares about his missionaries. As long as we just go out and work, something will happen.

Now let's talk about teaching. We don't teach much here. A lot of our time is finding new investigators. I've actually given more lessons in English than in Japanese. On the same night as our tender mercy, we met a man named Kip at Eikaiwa (English class). He teaches English in Japan and has lived here for 5 years. We actually live near the same station. Now we invited kip to help teach at our English class and he accepted. Last class, we invited him to church but he said he might not come because he's not religious. He's met plenty of missionaries before and by his words "I'm like a magnet for missionaries." We told him that's fine, if you want to come, church starts at 10. 

While waiting for our investigator Tonagi (he's being baptized soon) we saw Kip roll up to the church. He said how he liked that we just extended the offer, and didn't rub it in his face. He told us too many churches here try to trick or coerce him to come to church. But it didn't stop at Kip. None of our investigators showed up. But, two young men during second hour just walked in from the street. They said they received pass along cards at miyahara ( the station near or apartment) and wanted to learn more. By the end of second hour, they had Book of Mormons and Christmas party invitations. We were stretched pretty thin, trying to teach three investigators about what we do here, when a fourth walks in. What an amazing miracle. Never before has it been seen. That's when our amazing members came in clutch. They have such 伝道火 (dendo Fire or enthusiasm for missionary work). 

We also set up a few teaching appointments with Nao, and taught a less active member name Satou. We also had a Zone Blitz in Yanasegawa, where we met a bunch of people. A Zone Blitz is when the entire zone gathers in one area and we just go out and do missionary work. After a filling lunch of Chashudon, which is smoked pork slices over rice (probably one of my favorite meals now) we went to work. I went on Splits with Elder Law, the district leader in the kawagoe area and we went to a place called Shiki. It was pretty packed and we did a lot of Christmas stuff.

We have another zone blitz this Friday in Okegawa, so I won't have to go to far. It's also on MY BIRTHDAY. How nice, everybody gathering to do missionary work in my area for my birthday. I told them I want new investigators for a gift.

Well that's really it people. This area is about to explode soon I just know it. We keep getting new contacts and people who've met us or previous missionaries before. I'll make sure to update you on that progress, but until then I'll email you next week!

Photos:
1- the Zone conference we had on Tuesday 
2-Christmas decor
3- some Yummy curry
4- Elder Yoshino and I got some traditional food




Sunday, December 6, 2015

Week 10- 12/6/15 My Nose is a Shinkansen

HOWS IT GOING EVERYONE??

In case you're wondering about the weird title, I'll explain it in a bit.

My companion's family lives in the Tokyo south mission. He's on his 15th transfer and leaves after the next one. I'm his last companion. This week we worked HARD. But as you'll read just look where it got us. We went from one progressing investigator, to 2 progressing, one possible, and several referrals, also some goodies from the ward (who are awesome by the way. They love us.) 


So some pretty cool things happened this week. Literally right after
emailing all of you, miracles starting happening. I'll start with the
focus of this week.

So, we were calling through our area book trying to set up
appointments because we only have like one progressing investigator,
and he had to cancel our lesson because he got sick (which actually a
blessing). So we called a prior investigator named Nao. He's a cool
guy and speaks decent English so I can actually understand when we
talk. We called him up, and he pretty much immediately hung up saying
"no no I'm busy." We figured oh well time for bed and moved on.

Literally the next day, during companionship study when we were
planning lessons, our phone rang. It was Nao. He apologized for last
night and wanted to meet us for dinner. He knew a good spaghetti place
that was pretty cheap. So of course, we met with him. Over the course
of dinner, we're just talking to get to know each other (since I'm
new) and we get to the topic of religion. That's when the miracle
really made itself clear to us. He said lately he suddenly started
having interest in Jesus Christ and Christianity, and what happens
after we die. Well buddy we got the book that explains it all. With
speed faster than a gazelle I whip out my モルモン書 (Japanese BoM) and
start sharing scriptures. We ended talking about e entire timeline of
the BoM, Joseph Smith, the Restoration, translation, resurrection, and
the after life. He accepted the book and we set up normal teaching
times to teach English and doctrine. But it doesn't stop here. He
calls us the next day, saying "I want to watch Meet the Mormons, 3
times, and maybe invite friends. Dude we can hook you up. After
watching it he first time, he said he really liked it, especially the
missionary story. GOD WILL MULTIPLY OUR WORK, IF WE WORK HARD.
This week has been great. During 英会話 (English class) one of my
students asked me for a scripture he can share with his friends to
wish them Merry Christmas. He's not a member so I whipped out John
3:16 (look it up) and read it to him. He thanked me, opened his bag,
and pulled out a piece of paper. He gives it to me and says, "I like
to draw things. You are a good English teacher so I drew this for
you." I was so touched. I wanted to hug him.

The miracles don't stop everybody! Last night, we visited a member
named Brother Kamacho. After introducing myself (I do that a lot) we
were talking about the Nao miracle. He then gave us a referral for
someone who goes to the religion college across the street from our
apartment (we go there a lot). We contacted that referral and set up
an appointment on Wednesday AND Sunday.

Oh and by the way, I was so focused on the miracles I forgot to tell
you why my nose is a Shinkansen. During English class, we usually play
a game after. One of the lady's brought her three year old son, who
was hilarious. He looks at me, everybody goes quiet, and says "ojiisan
no hana wa Shinkansen mitai na." Which is "that old guys nose looks
like a Shinkansen." Probably the highlight of the week.

Things are hot in Okegawa. Loving the work and I hope you all found
joy in this email. Thank you for tuning in, this is Elder Moore
signing off.
Picture 1: the drawing
Picture 2: the YSA and Okegawa Elders and Brother Kakiki's house
Picture 3: McDonald's
Picture 4: just a look at us streeting




モア長老