If you are going to send me a package though the Barton's APO mailbox please please please PLEASE PLEASE PLELASE! do not address it to me. Address it to the Baton Family, Mr. Barton, Bryce Barton, ect... They got a package addressed to me and told me Sunday that they could lose their mailbox if it happens again. Please do not do this. I beg of you!
Things over here have been pretty relaxed. I am sitting here at the computer absolutely freezing because in Japan they don't believe in central heating. As a result I spend a lot of my time wrapped up in a blanket trying not to freeze to death. So if my emails don't make sense its the cold getting to me.
The last time I emailed was on Thanksgiving and not much has happened in the past couple of days so I will give you a day-by-day breakdown.
Thanksgiving was AWESOME. I am so glad that the Brooks family was able to have me and Elder Merrill over for Dinner. They're a really nice family. They had over several recently-moved-in members as well as a family who weren't members. One of the members gave Elder Merrill and I each a sweet picture of the Bountiful temple printed on a stainless steel sheet of metal that stands up on this clear acrylic thing. Its kind of cool looking. It currently sits on my desk. After dinner, we were able to share a spiritual thought with the family and the non-members could totally feel the spirit. It was pretty cool.
On Friday Elder Hill, one of the zone leaders in another part of the mission, came over for the day to dendo (proselyte) with us. We decided to go to a park on the area map that we thought would be cool. Turns out that that was in fact a great idea! We met with over 15 people in that park. Some of whom were Highschoolers who were riding ripsticks (total Asian move I know) in the park. Elder Hill rode one and they were all REALLY impressed by him. Knowing me, I would probably fall off. We talked to them about the church but ultimately they weren't all that interested. The park was huge however, and we talked to person after person after person. In the middle of the park was a HUGE hill-thing with a gazebo on it. We went there and you could see Mt. Fuji clearly as day. It was pretty cool because normally you can't see him due to clouds or smog or whatnot. Mt. Fuji looks cold. It absolutely towers over the other mountains that surround the city of Fussa. The smaller mountains are in our area so we are planning on going there sometime soon to hike up them. In all, I learned that missionary work doesn't have to be work at all. Its lots of fun and if you're having fun then people will notice that and be more willing to hear you out and listen to your message.
Saturday was super hectic. We had 3 appointments with investigators and a less-active member but only one didn't fall through. It was with the less-active. We met in Akigawa station in the middle of nowhere and walked to a McDonalds to have a lesson because he was cold and didn't want to stand outside talking. We sat down and said that he would get us something to warm us up. Usually he buys us fries. Saturday he bought us Tea. You see, the problem is he was telling us that it was ok and that it was lemon tea but it didn't smell anything like lemons nor did it have pictures of lemons on the package. Plus the whole thing was written in Japanese and as Americans Kanji is rather hard to decipher especially with knowing the language for only a few months. Luckily, since he is a kind of an all-over-the-place kind of guy he didn't notice that after we had made our tea that we didn't drink it. Maybe our next lesson with him will be about the word of wisdom. Later that day we took a bunch of Anpan (these fish-looking) waffles things with a bean paste in the middle to Sato Kyodai (another less-active). His face lit up. He loves anpan apparently. He also came to church the following day and set up an appointment with us to teach him.
Sunday was fast Sunday. We had Yamada-san show up and Kim-san both of our investigators show up as well as another man who normally comes to English class. Nobody was going up to bare their testimonies so I got up in both the English and Japanese Wards and bore my testimony. The Japanese testimony wasn't as long as the English one but the spirit was just as strong! After Fast Sunday, we walked to the train station with Yamada-san and came back to all the tons of food that the members brought us. We took it home and made pancakes and eggs for dinner. My companion and I have this sweet deal. He does dishes and I cook. It works out really well because he can't cook and I rather not do dishes! Our companionship is pretty much perfect.
So that was how the last few days went by. Life as a Missionary isn't so routine as I thought. Its hard work but its also a great feeling passing out in my bed after a long days work. Very fulfilling indeed.
Elder J. Alan Farr
Attached: Elder Merrill in a park in Hamura