Monday, August 7, 2017

Bad boys😎

Next, on COPS
*intro theme music*
   Bad boys bad boys
   Whatcha gonna do?
   Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?
   Bad boys bad boys
   Whatcha gonna do?
   Whatcha gonna do when you've got curfew?

     You might've guessed but I had a run-in with the cops. But I'll talk about that later. First off we had Zone P-day on Monday. I probably wrote about it but just a recap because if I forgot it someone else might have. We went with all the Elders in the Zone and played Jackpot with a football and frisbee. It was way fun. I wore my Dragonball Z shirt but managed to suppress the urge to go Super Saiyan. It was way fun to spend a few hours with friends.
      The rest of the week was scheduled to be festivals every day, but instead it decided to rain all week. And Japanese people are allergic to rain. Not only we're all the festivals cancelled, no one was on the street and they wouldn't even come to the door. The Sisters saw a lady on the street and tried to talk to her while it was sprinkling a little bit. She had an umbrella and everything but she said, "I can't talk! It's RAINING!" Water was falling from the sky! I don't get why us Americans don't freak out enough about that, lol. But anyway, that meant that we got soaked a few times and spent a lot of time looking at empty roads. We tried to go to a few colleges but they kicked us out within seconds of entering the front gate.
      We did have some really good things come out of this week too. We visited Wakutsu-san who has met with missionaries for like 15 years but never got baptized. He didn't even know he was a child of God! The missionaries never actually taught him the lessons! They just stopped by and said hi and read scriptures to him or something! So we taught him a lesson and it turns out he wants to be baptized! We set a date for November 5th, which is actually my very last transfer call. The one where they tell me I'm going home and my next companion is Sister Rogers and then laugh like they're hilarious. Anyway, since it rained all week I read the reports of everyone in our Areabook since the beginning of time and made sure to call lots of them. One less active family we were unable to contact but we kept thinking about them for the week. Then one day when we went to visit a member family, the Nemotos (they're my favorite), they asked us to go visit the same family! So we took off and visited the family and they want to come back to church! When we told the Nemotos they were so happy and made us a feast! They even gave us corn from Hokkaido which had to be flown in. It was the best corn ever! We got invited over to a lot more members' houses for meals than at the beginning of the transfer which must mean we either look too skinny or they just like us now. I liked looking skinny but I also really like the food. Decisions decisions.
      And lastly, we were coming home one night when we noticed 2 cops waiting for us on the side of the road that leads to our apartment. They pulled us over and asked if we were Christian volunteers. They also asked for our Green cards. So.....discrimination but ok, the whole country's like that so I can't complain. They start writing us a ticket for our eyes and noses being too big or something while someone in front of and behind us is breaking the law for bicycles but they get off free. However, I remained pleasant in this situation because I get blessings every time I get picked on for being a missionary. I've got curfew so I've got to end this quick. I started talking to the guy and explaining what we do and start proselyting him while he writes me this ticket. He starts laughing and pretty soon we're buds. He gives me the ticket, tells me I can throw it away and there's no record, and let's us off with a warning. Yeah. I think I'll hold on to the ticket though just because it's a cool reminder of a funny story.
      I know as we're kind to those around us even if we don't feel like they deserve it or aren't worthy of our love that it can change hearts. As we love those who are hard to love our capacity to love increases. Jesus said that we should love our enemies. For if we love only those who love us, how much better than sinners are we? But if we can love everyone regardless of how they treat us, then we are really like Jesus indeed. Be like your Father in Heaven. Don't let the actions of hose around you decide how you are going to react. We can always choose to break the chain of negativity and be positive. One kind act can lead to another and everyone's happy. So choose ye this day to be happy, no matter the circumstance. We have the power to do that so use it.

Elder Rogers

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Surprises

So this week I don't remember more than a few events but here's the quick run down.

      First, we went to a big hill with an investigator family for fun sliding down it. We raced and had a great time and taught the mom on the car ride back while grandpa drove so she could listen. That was really scary by the way and we almost died several times so the mom decided it was better that she drive from now on. We unanimously agreed. Anyway, the first surprise was that a girl there fell in love with me in like 30 seconds and really wanted to hang out so she invited me over to her house. She's 3 years old by the way, I just think it's funny to make you all freak out for a couple seconds before you read the next sentence. Hahaha!
      Surprise #2! We were invited to an activity with a member that we didn't have much information about but basically what we thought was happening was we were going to go with this grandma member to a neighboring city and teach her friends. We have to skip District Meeting to do this so we feel a little bad but since we'd be teaching someone we knew it would be worth it. Well, it wasn't like that. Surprise! We got there and the member was like, "were actually volunteering to give some people I don't know a tour of this city that I don't know. And they're Filipino so it's in a language I don't know either." So basically she brought us along to give a tour of a city we didn't know to some strangers because we speak English and Japanese. Surprise! We didn't know anything about the area so we found a map and basically just walked around looking for cool stuff. We took them to a JAXA museum, which is Japan's NASA, and it turned out ok. We spent most of the day out walking in the sun which really didn't help with Surprise #3.
      I got food poisoning! First time in my life too. I'll spare the details because it was nasty but I ate something bad, ruminated it in my belly by walking in the sun, got sick, and lost a few pounds. I'm fine now. I slept on the church's couch while my companion and a recent convert taught some awesome lessons that resulted in a family coming to church!
      At church one of the speakers talked about bravery and helping others. It made me painfully realize how selfish and prideful I actually am. Which is fine to know because now I can work on it. I just need to not compare myself to others and instead focus on doing everything I can to help them. It really does help to look out from yourself and your own inadequacies and just focus on what you CAN do to help someone else in need. I've been looking at things wrong recently; focusing on improving myself so that I can help others but putting the focus on myself first. There are things we all can do without having to wait until we reach a certain point. Everyone can start from where they are right now and lift someone in need. There's no rule that says you have to be perfect to do good things. Anyone can do good things that can help someone else. So I just want to make sure that I, and anyone around me, know that we can start making a difference now. Elder Rogers

Monday, July 24, 2017

Insert title here (I don't know what to call this)

Alright, highlight reel of this week.
     We went finding. A lot. I'm pretty tan. I'm Tanner. Ha.
Alright enough of that.
      We met some firefighters for a check up of the church and they were cool. We rode our bikes out of the city and into the rice fields and I calmed down so much, and realized how much the city stresses me out and tenses me up like a spring. Anyway, if I need to go calm down we can always go proselyte to the farmers. It worked before!
     We had a Zone Blitz and I went back to my bean area, Sakado. Things were mostly the same. Except that it was summer instead of winter and the giant Pachinko(slot machine building) was gone. It's been like over a year and a half since I've been there so something was bound to change. I thought I'd get PTSD going back there but it was actually fine. It wasn't awesome but it was ok.
     We had a District Meeting and the Zone Leaders came down to participate this time. I'm their favorite District Leader. Probably because I'm so fit, and strangely charismatic😆. Anyway we all learned a lot and we're ready to go out and work hard! So we did and we sweat a lot and got good farmer's tans and learned not to put flyers in our shirt pockets because you just end up getting them a little moist... Point is, we work hard here in Okegawa!
     On Saturday we went to our little piece of Tokyo called Omiya. It was packed with people and I didn't know what to do because usually finding meant looking for where the people are, not just having three thousand people right there. So I struggled but were figuring it out. We just talk to a lot of people and do our best. It's faster paced than I'm used to but it's good.
     On Sunday I got to Skype in to Kisarazu to congratulate a recent convert on their baptism and gift of the Holy Ghost. His name is Aoi-kun and I used to be his primary teacher. That was a log while ago for a kid so when I called it looked a little like he didn't recognize me. I'm still not sure he knows who I am but oh well. The rest of the people knew who I was and it was good to see them. There was Takashi, then Tanda Kyoudai, then I wanted to see the Higashis' baby but they were in a meeting, then Elder Atkinson went and got Yi Shimai and it was just cool to see everybody. Jonivar was not there unfortunately. He was at work? I think. Japan will do that to you sometimes. But seeing at least a few of my best friends was really good after so long. I think it's been like 8 months since I've seen them. There was a bunch of people, bad connection, and screaming happy kids so not much conversation got through but it was still good. Tomorrow is interviews with the Naganos and I'm excited to talk to them. I love my special 10 minutes with them because I always walk away feeling so special. They believe in me and it feels really nice to have someone counting on me. It gives me motivation to not mess it up and let them down so I'm grateful for their high expectations.
     Well th-th-th-th-th-that's all folks!
Elder Rogers


Monday, July 17, 2017

I'm melting!

     So this week was pretty awesome. The Mission fire was turned up hot and we got tanned and found a lot of success. We found a TON of people to teach, and a lot of festivals. Things are looking good. So first off we had Zone Conference and it was great, I think. I was translating so it just went in one ear English and came out my mouth Japanese without too much thought. President Nagano apparently talked about me a little bit but I wasn't paying super close attention because I was just repeating it differently. I don't really know what he said so I can't tell you. I'd like to know too!
     We helped a member move and foolishly went in our regular Sunday clothes. We soaked through those pretty quick because they didn't have AC. So gross. They bought us four pizzas afterwards. We went to a ton of festivals this weekend and it was cool. Today we went to a shrine and then heard people screaming so we thought it was another festival. We went over and it was the High School National Baseball Tournament. So we bought some tickets and went in because who wouldn't right? Elder Rogers

Monday, July 10, 2017

My last area......?

Previously on Missionary 101: Tokyo
   "Elder Rogers, you're going to be transferring to Okegawa."
   "Ooooooohhhhhh!!! *surprised gasps*"
What will this mean for our poor confused hero? Will he sink or swim in the not too big city? Will his companion understand him if he only speaks Japanese? Will this be the final stage in our hero's journey, or is there more yet to come? Find out now!

      So anyway, enough drama. I moved to my new area safely and I'm follow up training Elder Christensen! He's transfer 2 but I didn't get him at transfer 1 so I'm not his real dad. I'm his mission stepdad. I don't speak English to him by the way. Only Japanese. He likes it though. I think. He hasn't said otherwise, in Japanese because that's the only language I speak. Hahahahahah! We had a lot of miracles so far. We housed into a lady that knew the Sister missionaries so she gave us some vegetables. They were delicious. We also ran into a Chinese guy on the street and this time I DID speak Chinese! I didn't even know I could do that! Plus a bunch of other cool stuff that was equally cool but I won't write. Don't want to spoil everything and have nothing left to talk about when I get home. Lol.
      Anyway, I'm super happy to be here, working hard in the oppressive Japanese summer. In pants and a tie. All day. Getting an awesome farmer's tan that I'm actually quite proud of. But seriously, I'm so happy to be out here and happy to be working hard. The harder I work and he more beat I am by the time I get home and pass out on my futon, the bigger my smile is. It sounds weird to a lot of people but it's true. I feel great wearing myself out in the service of others and the service of my God. Nothing has brought me more joy in my life thus far and I love every minute.

Elder Rogers



Monday, July 3, 2017

The cool stepdad

    Transfer Calls came thins morning. We BOTH are transferring. I've only been here for 1 Transfer so I was not expecting that at all. I'm going to go to Okegawa as the District Leader and my new companion is a transfer 2 trainee. That makes me his second trainer so I'm like his stepdad. It's ok, he'll love me. 😅
      So the coolest thing that happened this week was a couple called us up saying they had met the missionaries before and wanted to take the lessons. So we went over there and the husband had taken the lessons up to the point where he would've gotten baptized but he couldn't quit smoking so the missionaries dropped him. He had just gotten married a month earlier so no missionaries had ever met his wife. Well she was a good influence on him and together they decided to quit smoking so they could have missionaries over and learn about God to help their life. So they already conquered smoking! Hen we taught the 1st lesson and taught her how to pray and they loved it. The wife read some of the Book of Mormon we gave her and felt the Spirit tell her it was true. She called us the next morning to tell us she knew it was true and wanted to join the church! Isn't that such a miracle?! God really does speak to the hearts of those looking for truth. I know He prepared this couple to hear the gospel and that it will bless their lives so much. They're amazing and I'm excited for the next missionaries to continue working with them.
      I know this gospel is true and that it truly does help all those who accept and act upon its teachings. It has blessed me so much and continues to especially bless me here on a mission. I'm so glad I have this opportunity and look forward to the remaining 4.5 months! Onward in so great a cause!

 Elder Rogers

Monday, June 19, 2017

We moved

     So first off the Sisters got emergency transferred because 2 other Sisters were sick and went home. So we asked if we could have their apartment and President Nagano said yes! It's way closer to the church and it's in the middle of the city so it's super convenient. It's way nice too.
      Anyways, not much happened this week. We taught a guy who was standing outside in his underwear the Plan of Salvation. That's all I'll say about that for now. We're meeting again later. We also got fed a ton of sushi and other stuff by a nice guy named Josh. He's way cool and always helps us teach our English classes. Unfortunately he will probably be returning to the states soon. But it'll be good for him. We went to a Flower garden for hydrangea flowers and it was way pretty.
      It's short but tats about it for this week.
         Love you all!
         Elder Rogers