Monday, October 28, 2013



How is everything? Things here are pretty hectic. But as is life in Japan. Last P-day I went to an all you can eat pasta and cake restaurant. It was AMAZING. I had so much cake it was hard taking the train back to Fussa. It was my trainer's trainer's birthday so all of his friends and a couple of the new missionaries went. It was a lot of fun. Missionaries sure know how to eat! Today I had nikuman, its a poop-shaped rice-dough thing filled with meat. It was super super super good I had another one afterwards, but this one was filled with pizza things. It was good too!

On Tuesday, we had zone conference the whole day. It was ultra long but it went by so quickly. We learned a lot of things about how to be better missionaries and there were a lot of presentations on health and wellness of missionaries and how to stay healthy so that we can get all of the work done without killing our bodies.

We went on Tuesday to a recent convert's home. His name is Kenji. He is a half Peruvian/ half Japanese man. It was excellent because he SPOKE SPANISH! I think that that's the first lesson that I've truly understood here in Japan. My Japanese is progressing slowly but I'm sure that in a few transfers or so that I will be able to do lessons in JAPANESE!

Wednesday was boring.

We do our weekly planning on Thursday so that took up most of our time and we had a lesson with an investigator named Yamada-san. He is a really cool guy but has problems giving up smoking. For dinner we found this restaurant that sells really really good friend chicken, ham, and burgers. For about 240 yen i was able to stuff myself with the best that Fussa has. It was delish.

Friday, We taught a recent activated family names the Perkins. They were super cool as well as they were ultra young. They're recently married as well want to come back to the gospel. They took us to the E-club on base. Brother Perkins is an E-3 and a mechanic. He is planning on commissioning very soon! We had ALL YOU CAN EAT AMERICAN PIZZA at the E-club. It was soooooo good. We also saw a poop-ton of members at the E-club too. It was a lot of fun.

Saturday was the Halloween party with both the Japanese and the English ward. They had chili for dinner. I ate a lot of it. I am beginning to see a theme within this weeks letter. American food is so good. I'll be saddened when I have to leave this area. We had several investigators come to the activity as well as members of our free English class came as well. It was a good time. I met a lot of 0-5's as well as JAGS. There are about 4 JAGS in the ward. I talked their ears off. But they respect me because I come from Annapolis. And I respect them because they are O-5's.

My companion elder Thurman got sick that night and on Sunday he had to sleep in a bit. Elder Nuttall got approval to go to church with another member as his companion and helped our investigators to learn about the sacrament. After he slept through Japanese church we both walked over to English church and watched the primary program. It was super cute.

Anywho, that's what happened this week!

Elder Farr

Monday, October 21, 2013

Another week in Japan!

Howdy from the Island in the Pacific,

This week has been lots of fun. Here’s a quick recap of all the highlights:

Last P-Day we had a gospel Concert in Kichijoji with a J-POP group called Blessed4 which preformed. It was really cool and the missionaries were allowed to go! We tried to get our investigators to go but they couldn't. At the end all the missionaries got up to the front and sang called to serve.

We taught an investigator this week named "Dee" I’m not sure what his name was. He has like 8 different names he wants us to call him. We had a lesson at an "all you can eat Pizza" place. Japanese pizza is super gross. One of my slices had octopus in it. I didn’t realize until I was at least 15% of the way done with the slice. Oh wells. Silly Japan...

It’s been raining ALL week in Japan. Last Wednesday we got hit with a typhoon and were supposed to get another one later this week. All that happened was that it was crazy windy and that it rained a poop ton. I got soaked from the walk to the Church on Sunday. It was pretty funny. But I found my rain jacket so I should be good for the next rainstorm.

We had a cool opportunity to help serve the People of Japan. In the Eki (Train Station) for Fussa, Japan we usually pass out flyers for free English class. We saw this one guy taking down these HUGE poster sticker things from the walls that advertised sports day. We offered to help and spent ~25 minutes taking down the posters. The man was so thankful that he offered to help us out by taking our pamphlets to other Ekis and passing them out. That’s the first "real" service that I’ve done here. Japanese don’t really like being helped from what I hear.

We had a zone meeting on Tuesday. It was cool. We went over a lot of things that I have already heard. Also, I got pretty motivated about talking to people about the church. OORAH! On the Way back I had my first full conversation with a Japanese man in which I understood EVERYTHING. It was soo cool. It would have been even cooler if it had been in Japanese and not in Spanish. I've spoken more Spanish here that I would have ever thought.

We went to Itsukaichi one of our days. It’s super pretty. Very mountainous and green. However everyone there is ULTRA Buddhist. It’s funny because everyone has blood donation stickers on their doors in Japan to scare away the Jehovah’s Witnesses. But the area is super inaca (county-like) and so we didn’t get to see many people. So we left after a while. But I did take some sweet photos!

On Saturday I had the chance to escort two seniors in Highschool for the day as "mini-missionaries." It was a YSA activity. They didn’t speak any English. It was rough but when we went out dendo-ing (proselyting) they were super successful and we were able to communicate fairly well by the end. They'll make superb missionaries!

Sunday was loads of fun! I went to 8 hours of church including meetings. It went by super fast! I bore my testimony in the Japanese ward. Needless to say I made a fool of myself. Luckily everyone there is super nice and no one laughed. I also bore my testimony in primary about missionary work. Apparently I said something along the lines of "If you share the gospel then you will die" or something similar. The faces of the people were priceless.

That’s the week!

Elder Farr

Monday, October 14, 2013

Hello From Japan!


It is so good to hear from all of you! Tomorrow marks one week on this island in the middle of nowhere.

I’m going to skip my last week at the MTC because its super boring plus if you watched conference then you know exactly what I did Saturday and Sunday last weekend and the weekend before that.

After an 11 hour flight from LAX to Narita airport I finally made it to Japan! And boy is everything Asian. We stayed the night and Wednesday night at the mission home. It wasn't too crazy just basic information about the mission and what not. On Thursday we got our trainers. Luckily for me I have two! Elder Nuttall and Elder Thurman. They’re both really cool. Elder Nuttall has been out for 10 transfers and Elder Thurman for only one. They’re both super cool. Since there are three of us I apologize if my emails are really short because we have so little time to spell check or even email.

I am located in Fussa, Japan. It’s a cool little country-side of a Japan. Very Suburban-ish. There’s a train nearby. We are the area assigned to the Air base close by so not only do we have English investigators but Japanese ones as well. It’s really cool. I actually have a dinner appointment with a member family tonight on the base. It should be a cool experience.

The first few days here are pretty crazy. I don’t know Japanese and people talk sooooooo fast. Plus everyone sounds super different when speaking Japanese. I had McDonalds the other day and said what I wanted but as soon as the cashier started talking to me I didn't know what was happening. Thank goodness for trainers. It’s easy saying things to the Japanese but extremely hard when they start talking back! I’m sure I’ll get it eventually.

As for the food, the food is amazing! I've had more rice than I think I've ever had in one week before in my life. My first night here I went to a sushi-go-round restaurant where you sit at a bar and sushi just flies by you and you grab it and eat it. It was AMAZING. Sushi that comes to you! Who would have thought?!? That has to be illegal in the US. I also had Udon noodles those were really good too.

We passed out flyers for English class just about every other night because that’s the biggest source of new investigators. It gives me a good chance to practice my Japanese. It’s just scary that they sometimes talk back.

Nothing much has happened because I've only had one full day as a missionary because of conference and what not. But I’m sure I’ll have some crazy cool stories in the weeks to come. I’ll send them your way.

Love you all!

Elder Farr

P.S. I had natto for breakfast on rice the other day. It’s surprisingly tasty. No joke. I loved it!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

6. More. Days!


I cant believe that the time has finally come! I only have six more days at the MTC and I leave for Japan on Monday October 7th.

On Monday we were privileged to hear from Don R. Clark of the Seventy he was a pretty good speaker. He talked about missionary work. Go figure... But it was a fairly enjoyable talk. Refreshments afterwards would have helped out a lot more for sure.

On Wednesday I had the chance to host new missionaries. I helped out  sister (sister Jones) with one of her 60 lb bags that has busted a wheel and she couldn't get it up the hill to get checked into the MTC. Turns out she lived in Maryland and went to the kentlands ward for a bit! Small world!

Thursday we had a district splits session. We each got temporary assigned new companions. I personally was with Elder Barker. He is a very quiet guy who enjoys sitting around and working which was fine by me! We got a whole lot of work done and even bore our testimonies at the end of the day with several random missionaries in Japanese! Oorah!

Friday we got our travel plans! I leave here on the 7th and arrive the next day around 5 in Narita Tokyo Airport. I think total our air time is ~18 hours. That should be fun. lots of time to convert a plane-full of investigators! Plus they cant run away!!

Saturday was a lot of fun. We worked on teaching our investigators and learned a lot about the culture of Japan. I got this huge letter from 5th company and it made my day! Shout out to all those who were involved. I'm going to try and write all the plebes back, not individually but address some of the common questions and concerns that they had. Stand by for that letter '17.

On Saturdays we also teach members. I taught a wife and Husband who were converts to the church some 60 years ago. They were super old and SUPER Japanese. The Husband looked like Mr. Miyagi. No joke. I should have taken a picture or something! Oh wells...

Sunday was mission conference and Fast and Testimony meeting. WE had a two hour conference about missionary work as an MTC led by the mission presidency. During Fast and testimony meeting I bore my testimony and was able to feel the spirit pretty strongly. All the departing missionaries sang 'God be with you till we meet again' in both English and in Japanese.

The last two weeks of the MTC we get native Japanese missionaries who come only for 2 weeks and then go back to Japan with us. They're absolutely hilarious. Our Japanese is terrible and their English not so good either but somehow we manage to communicate. Just give us a few weeks in Japan and well be on the same level of communication. I've decided to talk to anyone and everyone about anything but most importantly the Gospel. Because if not I am going to be bored and all the Japanese people will be unhappy without the knowledge of the Gospel. And that would be a shame.

This week on Wednesday my district will be skyping Investigators in Japan and teaching them the first discussion. It should be a lot of fun actually being able to speak to someone who has feet on Japanese soil. It will be hard but I think that as a district we can succeed.

There's not much else to share because each week here is pretty much the same. Lots of Japanese, lots of reading the scriptures. If you want to follow along with me back home I'm currently at Alma 13. and will be trying to get to 3 Nephi by the time I touch down in Japan, if not to finish the rest of the Book of Mormon. Ill let you know next week how it goes!

Thanks to everyone who has been writing me and keeping in contact. I love you all. You're always in my prayers. I cant wait for next week when I can write you all from a computer in Tokyo, Japan!!!


Elder Joshua A. Farr

PS. I have a poop-ton of pictures but the camera I have wont upload ill send them as soon as I figure out the problem!

[Note: don't send him anymore snail mail. He leaves next Monday and it probably won't get to him. Start sending stuff to Japan. DearElder will still work because it's next-day deliver. Send him some DearElder love. He'd appreciate it.]