Monday, January 30, 2017

QUARANTINE

So you may be able to guess from the title but not much happened this week. Monday night Elder Watabe and I found a young Chinese guy and he invited us back for lessons later. Yesterday we found a Filipino lady who also invited us back for lessons later and she'll be coming to church soon. My call should've said: "Elder Rogers, you are called to serve in the Japan, Tokyo Mission, Chinese and Tagalog. speaking." Anyway, Monday night I got sick and went to the doctor's on Tuesday morning. They told me I had "Infruenza" and then freaked out way hard and told me to go straight home and not leave the apartment until Sunday. So I was quarantined to a little room in the back of the apartment for five days and forced to sleep as much as possible. Hibernating is cool for like the first day and a half but then you get over it. I slept for like 2 days and woke up just to eat and then I got bored and studied scriptures all day for 3 more days. That was actually fun though. I really like the full set of scriptures. They're way cool. I did sneak out of the sick bay one time for a Worldwide Missionary Broadcast and it was way cool. They changed our schedule so that we have a lot more freedom to work at more effective times. They've started to trust us a lot more and it's great. I don't feel like a little kid getting directions for every little thing. They basically just say "these are thing you need to do every day at some point. Other than that just go be effective and work hard." It's really nice because we've seen a lot of improvements already from it. Missionaries are doing a lot better work now! Yeah, that's about all the important events from this week. We went back to the big Buddha and found out that you can go inside it. So we climbed up to the top and it was cool. One of the members is going to take us to Costco tonight and I'm way excited because I've never been to Costco on my mission. It's going to be awesome because we're having a pizza party with all 6 missionaries. It's good to be in Takasaki. Oh yeah! While I was sick the members kept waking me up to tell me "get well soon!" and give us a whole ton of food. It was so awesome. I just build relationships with members by crashing bikes and getting horrible diseases. The other elders were happy about it and I'm now the favorite in the apartment. We'll see how long that lasts. They'll turn when I'm not the bread winner anymore, lol. Elder Rogers Chinese New Year?

Monday, January 23, 2017

Something about Missionaries and False Idols...

Hey everyone! You may have guessed it but this week was busy again! I'll just hit the highlights this time. One, we met with a college student who runs an English Speaking Society for the nearby business college and he wants us to help teach his class. There are over 100 students so there's a lot of potential there! I'm way excited for that. That'll probably happen sometime in early February. I think I'll still be here for that but President Nagano has surprised me before. We met with a less active member and he said he'd come back to church next month so that was good. He also invited us to go be samurai with him at his dojo in the mountains. Not forever, just on a weekend sometime. He said he'd let us borrow some swords. Apparently the previous elders always asked him to let them go. I'm just fine without all that but if it makes him feel better I'll go cut some bamboo with the old guy. He's an interesting guy but I kind of like him. Since Elder Ito transferred into our apartment it feels like Kisarazu/Chosei District again. We're getting the band back together! All that's left now is Elder Purba! We're all old missionaries and Elder Ito is Japanese so we just speak Japanese all the time and my English is terrible. I'm going to get made fun of for speaking English like a Japanese person when I get home! Maybe I'll just have to stay in Japan. Okinawa's pretty nice....hmmm. Well, that's post-mission thinking so I'll leave it alone for now. We had a sports activity with the Ward and when Elder Watabe and I tried to leave after an hour to go do missionary work they said, "this is missionary work! You can't go!" So we weren't allowed to go. It was fun. We played volleyball and leg dodgeball. (Roll the ball across the floor while one team is in a small box and the other team surrounds them). It's for kids but it was way fun. Something else that was fun is Elder Watabe and I hiked a mountain to see a giant Buddha statue. Something about missionaries and false idols... We just can't stay away. We HAVE to go get a selfie with it! It was way fun but way cold. In fact, it was so cold that I was ready to go home and just call people for the night. But I remembered that before I left Kisarazu I made a promise that I would go to Takasaki and serve as hard as I could as a better missionary than before so.... we didn't go home. Instead we started knocking on apartments where a lot of Chinese people live. I like Chinese people, they want to hear about Jesus when they get out of the China bubble. (: So anyway, this young guy named Ben (Chinese people also have American names) answers the door and when we asked if he wanted to learn more he said yes! He said we could come visit him again after he finishes his big test because there's a nationwide giant test going on next week. So after that we'll go over and start teaching him. I'm so excited and so happy that we were immediately blessed for our effort. God doesn't always give us blessings right away, trust me I know, but He does always bless us. Sometimes it takes time and we wonder if it will even be worth it but I can promise you it will be and it is. I've been given too much to ever doubt that God loves me and will continue to help me. I know I'm not anything special either, God loves each and every one of us because we all are His children. I love being on a mission right now and being able to show people, maybe for the first time, that God is there and that He knows and loves them. There's no better feeling. I'm so grateful that I could come out on a mission and come to more fully realize just how good I've had it being raised in the church. For those of you who are church members already, "Don't ever take it for granted! Every minute is a blessing because you know your purpose and you know the truth." There are a lot of people who don't. You also have an obligation to at least share what you know to be true. Please be an example by living your beliefs. I love you all! Elder Rogers It snowed

Monday, January 16, 2017

It's cold!

So I got emergency transferred into Kiryu West Zone a week ago and today was regular Transfer Calls. I wasn't that worried. Elder Watabe and I are staying as the Zone Leaders and almost everyone else in the Zone changed. So we get to spend tomorrow looking up trains for them so they can go to their new areas on Wednesday. Yay! Being a Zone Leader is way busy. I'm really tired. I'm used to being more laid back and taking missionary work a little bit slower in Kisarazu (which I liked) but I think the change should be good for me. It's an uncomfortable transition but it should help me grow as a missionary and become better. We spent most of our time on splits with other missionaries training them. I had my first Zone Meeting as Zone Leader on a Friday the 13th but it actually wasn't a disaster. On Thursday there's going to be a Worldwide Missionary Broadcast. There's going to be some changes to how missionaries' daily lives go. My companion, Elder Watabe, is freaking out about it but I'm just like, "whatever, change what you want." I'm excited but I don't know how big of a change it should be. It snowed. That was fun. And cold. Sorry, not much happened this week and I recently got really busy so my emails will probably be pretty short and boring for the next while. Love you! Elder Rogers

Monday, January 9, 2017

Emergency Transferred into the leading zone

Hey. So I got transferred into he number 1 zone in the mission and they want me to lead it. Yay, I'm excited. We had a baptismal interview with one man and he passed so he will get baptized next week along with another woman. We also have several more on the way if they all turn out. It's really cool to see all the awesome miracles happening here already. When I first got here they introduced me in church and it was cool. It was fast Sunday and I did not get to near my testimony but I got to hear several others that were really good. One crazy guy bore testimony of how he wanted to play cards with everyone the next day and even showed them to everyone and said it would be fun. Yeah. Japan has some loose laws about who has to go to the nuthouse and who doesn't. No one has to go and the people that should just don't. Japan, gotta love it. Anyway, we got to break the fast with some American members at their house with all 6 missionaries and it was great. I was told to be good and build a good relationship with the members here so I played with their 4 and 2 year old sons and they loved me by the end of the night. It was way cool. I love kids. I'm glad I've already thought about being a teacher because if I can do it well it's definitely the right job for me. Anyway, enough about post-mission stuff, I've still got 10 months left. We had a New Years party today and it was fun. We hit rice with a big hammer until it was stretchy enough to choke a giraffe and then ate it. Way good. I made friends with a Chinese kid but he corrected my Chinese and said I messed up. Certain I was right I told him that I had NOT messed up, check again. I messed up. Japanese kanji and Chinese kanji are different and I got one wrong. It was close but I accidentally wrote e Japanese one instead of the Chinese one. Whoops. We were bros after that. That was about it. I unpacked today and need to send some stuff home to make room in my suitcases for my next transfer (which could be on one week). I don't have any pictures, he other elders have them so I'll try sending them next week. Love you! Elder Rogers

Monday, January 2, 2017

When you get a late call from your Mission President...

Hey. I probably won't write much this week. Not really in the mood. This week was actually really good. We had splits with the Zone Leaders in Chiba and it was way awesome. Elder Hirao and I talked to a ton of people and of course it rained all day. Literally every time I go on splits. Whatever. It's always fun. Elder Hirao gave me good advice on how to improve, for which I was very grateful. A lot of the time no one will tell me what I can do better, like they're afraid to hurt my feelings. We got invited over to a member's house and that has only ever happened with one family ever so we were really surprised and happy. It was the Takis and they fed us 4 pizzas! We had actually had pizza at the Zone Leaders' two days before, then the Dominos by our apartment had a deal so we got some the next day, then we happened to have pizza at the member's house. It looked and tasted way too so we didn't say anything about it to them but we got pizza for 3 straight days. For those of you who live in luxurious America and don't know the struggles of living in Japan, a pizza is $30 over here. We never get pizza. It was the most blessed cheesy feast I've ever had. Then they invited us to go to this really famous Chrostmas lights place. Sorry for my poor English. They invited us to go somewhere that is famous for its decorations. We'll go tonight. We had District Meeting with the Zone Leaders and it was good. The elders I assigned trainings to called me the night before asking me what they were supposed to talk about. Yeah. Missionaries may be endowed with power from on high but when it gets down to it, we're really just a bunch of 18, 19, 20 year old kids. Lol. They did a great job and it was really fun. On Sunday for New Years we got invited to another member's house and had lunch together. It was way good and we played a card game afterwards about Japanese poems and it was just way hard. I did ok, but they had memorized it and I'm white so despite doing well, I got creamed. I did better than expected though. After that we rode a train home and had dinner with another family. That's unheard of here but it was way awesome. Now for the big news. Sunday night President Nagano called me. I had no idea why so I just asked, "Can I help you?" "Actually you can. We're going to need you to emergency transfer to Takasaki and be the new Zone Leader." What?! Transfer calls weren't supposed to be for 2 more weeks! I was completely caught off guard and wanted to say "No way! I'm not done with Kisarazu yet!" But of course I didn't. I probably sounded really dumb while I was just like, "Oh-Kay. Where is Takasaki?" I have to be there on Friday, which is really unfortunate because I was going to take Yi and Takashi to the temple on Saturday! I tried every means available to make it there but there's just no luck this time. Elder Wilcox will take her. I'll go with her in a year and we'll take Jonivar with us. So that's the big news. Elder Rogers has been promoted to Zone Leader for who knows why. My new Zone baptized monthly and is doing great so I was cautioned to not mess it up. I don't know the slightest thing about being a Zone Leader but I didn't know anything about Training or being District Leader either so we'll see what happens. Elder Rogers