Monday, February 22, 2016


Hey y'all,
    Elder Rogers comin' at ya for another week of Missionary fun.  So
this week definitely had its ups and downs.  Purba Choro, one of the
other elders in the apartment transferred.  But he became District
Leader in his new area!  So that was an up and down. The new guy is
named Elder Mützelberg and he came from Australia.  I have an Auzzie
in my apartment, how cool is that!  He does lots of accents too, just
for fun.  When he teaches English class the Japanese people can't
understand him at all.  I think that's hilarious.  He doesn't.  But
really, it's hilarious.
    We did 10 drive-bys this week.  We took a nice card we made and
dropped it off to investigators and members who have helped us out.
    We've been making friends with all the old people at the park we
go to in the mornings to exercise at.  They do the old people radio
workouts which is basically where they just move around to see if they
still can.  :)  There's a 10-yr-old kid who comes to play soccer with
us every morning and do workouts with us.  He's pretty cool.
    So, on to the downside of this week.  ALL of our investigators
decided they don't want to meet with us anymore.  ALL OF THEM!  How
does that even happen?!  Ok, not really all of them.  But our most
interested one is going to New Jersey for a month for reasons.  So
she's still interested but everyone else was like, "yeah, I don't
really want to be Mormon." Or, "I don't think I'm quite ready to
change."  :/  Well then...  We did talk one guy out of it though which
brings me to my next point....
    The UPside of this week.  We talked a guy out of giving up on the
church!  He came in and said, "I have absolutely no interest in this
religion."  And I do not remember what we said.  All I remember doing
was testifying about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.  I remember
telling him how important this gospel is to me personally.  In the end
he admitted he hadn't been reading the Book of Mormon and that was
probably why he felt that way and he agreed to start reading it again!
He also had newfound interest and wants to continue meeting with us!
Can you say, 'divine help'?  How about, 'Spirit power'?  That was
definitely not me.  There was no way I could've talked this guy out of
anything. I'm just a kid in nice clothes talking about a guy with a
gold book who saw an angel.  But I'm so glad it's not just me trying
to help these people, I've got someone much better than me on my team,
and when He wants something to happen, He can make it happen.
    We also made a package for one of our friends who just left for
the MTC a couple weeks ago and is now in the field in Nagoya.  We put
tons of junk food and letters from us in a big box (graciously donated
to him through me by my family).  I stuffed it into my backpack as
much as it would fit and then biked it up to their house.  Oh yeah, I
can ride my bike with no handlebars!  It's not that big a deal.  I
just saw all the other Elders doing it and I had never tried it so I
was like, "I wanna do that!"  And now I can do it better than them.
Sidebar over.  So we pulled up to their house and waited In the light
rain to give them the package.  Sadly no one was home.  Buuuut, a nice
(Chinese?) lady saw us and we talked to her and she pulled out a huge
thing of cookies that she gave to us!  It was awesome!  She just
literally magicked it out of nowhere.  So I gratefully accepted this
kind act of black magic and stuffed it in my coat because there was no
room in my backpack.  After that we biked back in the now much more
heavy rain while I didn't touch the handlebars because I was too busy
trying not to let the cookies slip out.
    We rode a train up to a referral who never showed up :( but on
the way back I talked to a guy wearing Grand Canyon pants and he has
interest in the church!  He also lives like 2 minutes away from it.
So we invited him to church and activities and we'll see what happens.
    Last night while we were at tutoring we had some interesting
things brought to our attention.  For example, does anyone know what a
Kappa is?  Google it: Japanese Kappa.  It's a humanoid,
froggy-skinned, turtle shelled, monk haircut...thing.  Just look it
up.  You'll see what I mean.  Apparently a city near here claims to
have lots of them.  They're like Bigfoot for Japan or something.
    Oh yeah, we started a kendo night!  That's bamboo sword fighting
by the way.  Super excited for that.  It starts up this Tuesday and
hopefully a lot of people come.  We're trying to get the youth
together more often to have fun in the church and to bring their
friends.  And what young man is not interested in sword fighting,
    We have a ton of lessons set up for this week so we're going to
be slammed for the most part.  I like that personally.  Sitting around
is boring and it's cold outside.  If we have actual lessons we get to
be inside.  Also, we got to call President Nagano a couple nights ago
which was pretty cool.
    Well I love you guys, take care and be good people.  That's all folks.

Elder Rogers

"Look Mom!  I can make a hat out of a bandana now."
"Put a Choro's last day"
"Daigo gave us some awesome bandanas"
"Big Totoro fan"

Monday, February 15, 2016

Cat hat and crutches man‏

Hello everybody,
This week has been awesome.  I'm going to keep this one short because
we're going to be going places today with the other Elders in my
apartment one last time before they transfer.  We had a
spirit-fire-filled lesson with one of our investigators again with the
Kimuras and it was awesome!  Sister Kimura speaks with the tongue of
angels I tell you.  Every time she explains something to our
investigators they understand and act on what they learn!  Anyway, our
investigator is progressing.  We did New Missionary Follow Up training
this week so I got to see President Nagano again.  That's always fun.
I also got to see all my friends from the MTC and they're all doing
really well.  We went on splits with our District leader and I got to
talk to a guy who loves reading the Book of Mormon.  He says he'll
read the whole thing!  So, Cat hat and crutches man.  On our way to an
appointment we got lost, about 30 feet away from their house.  That
actually happens a lot in Japan because Japanese people don't mark
their houses.  So we're sitting there lost and a guy cruises on by
real slow on his bike.  He's having a little trouble and we're trying
to figure out why as he gets closer.  When he passes us he's carrying
like 8 crutches and he's wearing a blue cat hat.  It's like those
binis from Korea.  It was so weird.  He looked like he had just robbed
a hospital or something.  Anyway we taught a couple more lessons, they
were awesome.  I'm a a missionary, it's awesome.  The usual.  We went
to an activity Bishop invited us to and he made us clean up...the
food.  That was really awesome.  We have a guy who comes to our
tutoring program (and has been for the past 30 years) he always likes
the missionaries but never takes lessons.  Well, UNTIL NOW!  My
companion slipped from American history to Book of Mormon history with
him last night and now the guy wants to learn more.  My companion
taught him a lot about the Lamanites and Book of Mormon things.  I was
busy teaching the kinjin kendo kid English.  But we're going to get
him reading the Book of Mormon!  (The guy who's been talking to
missionaries for 30 years). That's about it, today we're going to a
temple/shrine and getting tabehodai (all you can eat) Indo curry.  I'm
Elder Rogers

"My whole district. Also, check out my new haircut."

Monday, February 8, 2016


For all the missionaries who came here with me, this email should answer some soul questions such as: what does straight woof mean?  how well known is Opipi?  do all Nigerians really do the handshake?  Be prepared.

     So this week was pretty awesome everybody.
     We've gotten 3 awesome referrals and it is really fun trying to teach them.  I'll explain the "try" part in a second.  On Sunday we met with one of our referrals and she set up a time when we could meet her husband(nonmember).  She wants us to teach them and convert the husband so he can baptize his son who is turning 8 soon.  No pressure.  I think it's an awesome opportunity to see a really cool miracle.  The only problem is, she lives outside our area.  Like waaaay out of our area.  Outside of the area next to us almost.  So that presents a little struggle of getting special permission to go there and biking really hard and fast.  We'll sort it out soon, probably.
     We met our new investigator on Monday and he is really interested in family history.  Yay!  He drew his family tree back to samurai times from memory!  I have it at home but I didn't take a picture.  It's quite impressive actually because he knows stories about each and every one of the people on that tree.  Another thing to mention about him is that he doesn't speak English.  No surprise there, but he doesn't speak Japanese either.  That was a fun little thing we weren't told. He speaks Spanish and literally only 3 words in Japanese.  No joke, mom, dad, and friend.  So it was a struggle to say the least.  I actually understood most of what he was saying though!  Gift of tongues!  I even understood when he was talking about his pet snails!  But that's beside the point, I understood enough to talk to him in the most broken 2nd grade Spanish/Japanese/English mash-up ever heard.  And he understood me!  Craziness.  I really like going over and talking to him even though I have to really work for the Spanish.  A lot of our lessons have involved Spanish recently.  Huh, weird.  They should've put that on my call.
     We went to splits with the zone leaders in Urawa and it was awesome!  We met a lot of really prepared people and it was so much fun talking to them.  Now, on to the part everyone's been waiting for: I learned what straight woof means.  Straight woof - a phrase to be used at times of extreme displeasure.  For example, if someone farts really bad you would say it was straight woof.  This phrase comes from Home Alone when the kid sees a picture of his brother's girlfriend.  He calls her, "woof."   Now you know.  I also met a Nigerian guy while on splits.  His name is Amo.  I asked him where he was from and when he said Nigeria I did the handshake.  It worked!  He instantly friend requested me and we were best buds after that.  Note to all missionaries:  If you see a black guy try to do the handshake and see what happens.
     On Wednesday we met with our Spanish speaking friend again and committed him to read the Book of Mormon with his family and participate in Family Home Evening.  That was awesome.  Then we taught Eikaiwa that night and I taught e advanced class.  It was really fun and I talked to them about American and Japanese culture a little bit.  They are so good at English!  Excuse me, they all speak English so well.
     On Thursday I accidentally set up 2 appointments overlapping so we went on member splits, which actually turned out to be a really good thing.  We found a new investigator and he's pretty golden.  I went and visited one of our previous investigators and she has committed to reading the Book of Mormon, praying, and coming to church for the first hour!  After that we taught a mogi lesson to the Hirai Kazoku(family) and it went really well.  They are the ones who gave us the bottle that got the cap cut off 1minute away from our apartment.  Sad day.  I was covered in soda and so was my bike and so was the road, but we didn't get to drink any of it.  I told the other elders that the soda didn't make it all the way back and they thought I drank it until I showed them the nonsense of the cut cap.
     We didn't do much on Friday but I did get my package and the other elders helped me enjoy it.  (I told them I needed help eating all of it, the other elders aren't picking on me.)  At ping pong and music night I brought my ocarina and played some sweet music...for about 30 seconds.  The little kid that always comes wanted to play ping pong with me so I did that for a while instead.  It was really fun and I think he likes me a little more now.  I can understand him now!  It just happened all of the sudden.  He started talking, and I started talking back!  And we both understood!  
     On Saturday we did some mogis and a real lesson.  All were really good.  One of our less active's has been pulling away from us a little bit but we roped him back in with this last lesson.  He's starting g to keep commitments again and he may come to church soon.  We'll see.  We also met the Furugawa family and I love them!  They have an 8yr old girl, a 5yr old boy, and another 2yr old boy.  They are very energetic and love to play.  They kept playing with their Ultraman action figures and playing with us.  They were so cool!  They had Miyazaki movie posters on the wall that were so natsukashii(nostalgic).  They had Totoro, Kiki's delivery service, and Castle in the sky.  I don't remember anything about the movies but I remember I liked them.  So that was something that helped me bond with the kids.  I also showed them my picture book of me and my family.  They played 'where's Rogers Choro' the whole time I was showing them.  I'm also in a magazine apparently!  They pulled out a magazine and flipped through it and it had my face in it!  I was like, "ゆめいですか?" (Am I famous?). And they told me, sort of.  I will take it!
     All in all, this week has been really good for me, just meeting and bonding with new people is so great.  It's also cool to go visit other missionaries and do splits with them.  Other areas of Japan are pretty cool.  Alright, I've committed a few people this week to do good things and they're Japanese and have no Christian background, so you all should be able to start doing this or continue doing this pretty easily.  I want everyone who reads this email to start reading the Book of Mormon everyday.  You don't have to dedicate a full hour to it or anything or read a whole chapter everyday, but just read a little everyday.  As you read it, you'll feel better throughout the day, your problems won't seem as bad, you'll be able to see the good all around you.  I promise that taking the time to read the Book of Mormon for even just 5 minutes everyday will bring blessings.  No matter how busy you feel I promise there are at least 5 minutes everyone can spend coming closer to their Savior.  Also, if you already do this, great.  If you don't do this, Start!  Everyone should participate in some kind of Family Home Evening each week.  We should all teach our families to love each other and live the way God wants us to.  If you do, you're families will grow closer to each other and to God.  So just do it.  :)
     I love you all.  Be good people and do what's right.
Elder Rogers

We went to the zoo (pet store)
"Some members gave us a huge bottle of our favorite drink to take home.  It was in a bag on my handlebars and nicked my spokes and this happened.  It squirted soda everywhere!"

"Some more packages (Gratefully received by the whole apartment)"

Monday, February 1, 2016

I'm a scary American

皆さん(everybody) おはようございます(good morning)
    This week has been 素晴らしい(awesome).  We've had lots of good stuff
going on.  Our investigators are progressing.  We taught some good
lessons throughout the week and the message was received very well.
They want to keep learning more and everyone seems to really like us.
Like, they go over the top for us sometimes.  Everyone feeds us and
Nishiyama-San made us a ton of food at her shop.  I didn't think I
could finish all of it because she kept bringing more out!  But I did
it.  I ate all of it.  And it was delicious.
    This week we did a lot of 同席s (member present lessons) and they
were a HUGE help.  They explained things so well and became good
friends with our investigators.  It's really good when the
investigators testify about how the gospel has helped them because the
spirit is so strong, most of them are converts themselves.  The
members are really good here at just about everything.  If we need a
模擬 もぎ (role play lesson) the members will help us.  If we need them to
come teach a lesson with us they'll do it.  If we need food, the
relief society is who to ask!  They are so on top of it.  We asked
them for cereal, rice, and bread, and they did not waste any time.
Our food basket was the fullest it's ever been yesterday!  The members
are just really nice people here.
    Specifically, 大石兄弟(Brother Big Rock) is always helping us out.
高井兄弟(Brother Tall/High) meets with us every week and sometimes more
often than that.  He gives good feedback and helps us improve a lot.
The 木村s (it has a tree in it but I don't know what it means) help us
out too and want to meet and help more!  The Naganos even came up from
Tokyo to do a lesson with us on Friday!  My Mission President came and
helped me with one of my lessons!  It was probably the worst one of
the day, naturally, but he said it was good anyway.
    We've had some days this week where we just go from one
appointment to the next the whole day and during one of the
appointments we get fed so we don't have to take time off for lunch.
Our days have been becoming increasingly packed with lessons and
meeting new people who we hope to start teaching soon.  That's a good
thing.  We have a few more people we want to meet with this week and
see how interested they are and start teaching them.  We also got 3
referrals from one member after a particularly good role play lesson!
    I'm excited.  This area has improved so much since I first got
here.  Everything seems to just be going uphill.  We also are going to
try to start teaching a guy who has talked to missionaries for 30
years!  And he still hasn't been baptized!  That means he's totally
ready by now and teaching him should be a breeze.
    On Sunday we watched our area plan video and it was SO japanesey.
It was like straight anime and it was hilarious.  It was spiritual
too, don't worry, but it was so un-American.  Everybody should try to
look it up, it'll give you a good laugh.  Maybe less if you don't
understand Japanese but it was funny to me.  It's the Asia North area
plan JP final (1).  Or something like that.
    Oh yeah, I'm a scary American.  So whenever we go visit this one
less active we go by an elementary school.  And a lot of the time when
we come back from our appointments there the kids are getting out of
school.  So when they see us with our white skin and pointy noses they
scream, "Amerika!  Aaaaaa!" and run around in little circles with
their hands in the air.  Some of them actually want to talk to us but
mostly we get the Godzilla reaction.  It's pretty funny.  Sometimes I
feel like messing with them but I feel like that may be pushing it.
Also, when we just walk around places sometimes kids will say,
"Gaijin" which means foreigner, and we'll respond in Japanese that yes
we came from America and start talking to them.  This almost always
makes them laugh that they thought we couldn't speak Japanese but we
can.  They're like, 'why do these white kids sort of speak Japanese?'
It's always fun.
Love you guys,
Rogers 長老

"Nishiyama-San always gives us food!"

"Squid lemon candy"

"Self-intro in Japanese"

"Nishiyama-San always gives us food!"

"The relief society gave us this"

"A picture of me for my momma"