Monday, March 24, 2014

This week in Kamakura


The coolest thing that happened to me this week was the chance to be able to go and climb mount Takao. It took about two hours to climb it. I went with all the other missionaries in my district including their English class students and two college aged guys that we met a few weeks back. It was a lot of fun and we were all able to have an extremely fun time. We could see Mount Fuji really really well from the top and took a lot of pictures. I got a lot of looks because I was carry a backpack full of things that I took with me for splits and was carrying my large wool coat too. It was really hot. I also met a Judo team and talked to them for a while.

My iPad is freaking out so I can't send any pictures. I'll send some next week.

I love you all!

Very Respectfully,
Elder J. Alan Farr

Monday, March 17, 2014

Hello from 鎌倉!

Dear Everyone,

Things in Kamakura have been pretty good. This week the weather was really nice so we had the chance to talk to a lot of people. I'm pretty sure that this week we set the record for meaningful contacts with 225 people talked to. It's been fun talking to just about every single person who crosses our path. Elder Christensen has definitely shown me how to have a fun time and work hard at the same time. I've also learned this past week not to judge anyone by the way they look. We've had some pretty cool conversations with some really mean-looking people. It just goes to show that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover.

Is week I was invited to attend a leadership,training for the missionaries Kichijoji. I came out of it learning a lot, but I also think that I'm going to be training next transfer too. I don't think km ready to train. Especially not an American. My Japanese isn't nearly as good as it should be right now. It certainly comes in waves. Sometimes I feel like my Japanese is absolutely amazing, and other days like it's getting worse. Basically Japanese is a huge lesson in humility and patience as well. During the leadership training I had to give a message on leadership and how the savior did. I think it went pretty we'll except I talked wayyy to fast for the interpreters.

Other than that, we just went around and talked to a lot of people. Nothing more exciting than sharing the Gospel! Hopefully something email-worthy happens next week, but for now, take care! And have a great week!

Very Respectfully,
Elder J. Alan Farr

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Another week in Kamakura!


Oh where to begin? This week has been so hectic. On Monday, we got our toes sucked by fishes. I sent those pics, on Tuesday we had interviews with President Wada. We do this just about every other transfer. He tells us what we need to become better people and better missionaries as well as answered any personal questions that we might have concerning whatever the case may be. He helped answer a lot of my questions concerning being a good Leader.

Tuesday night we witnessed a miracle. After running around for an hour or so to find a guy over 20 to come to the church and play ping pong with us so that we could be obedient to the rules and also play ping pong with our female investigators. We called out to a man on the street, and he played with us! It's was crazy to see how quickly our prYer was answered. He had never been to a church before, but he said he was down to play some more ping pong, so we got his number and plan to call him soon for another round of ping ping!

Wednesday we taught English class, nothing too exciting. I only had two students in my intermediate class. One was a member and the other a non-member. We learned a lot of English. We also did a lot of push-ups too for some odd reason our English class coordinator enjoys making the missionaries do push-ups whenever we lose in an English-based game.

Thursday it was pretty rainy, so no one was out to talk and we did a lot of housing in order to spread the message. Basically I froze to death. I got soaked within an hour and my shoes have just finally dried out.

Friday, I held my second District meeting. I ran it differently than most of the district meetings that I've been too. I ran some team-building exercises and made my district teach the plan of salvation without using words. I figured that if they could teach it without words, then the little English or Japanese that they all know would be a HUGE asset to them. It was an experimental training, however everyone seemed to be having a good time and become closer as a district. Also, I had them convinced that we were going for a group run. I REALLY want to PT my district, but they might hate me for it. I'm still debating whether or not to do it.

Saturday, I met my first Midshipman here in Japan. Her name is 1/C Jones from 27th company and she's doing some sort of leadership conference here in Japan. I was wondering how long it would take me to find one. It only took 5 months! After talking to her and her Japanese friends we went to the Shonan-Dai 湘南台 church and practiced to sing in a concert that was to be held later in the afternoon. The concert was super weird with a lot of funky, old Japanese women rapping in Japanese and what not. Afterwards, we went to a members house and had a practice lesson. We taught the plan of salvation. They made us some sack-dinners. They were delicious.

Sunday president Wada came and taught the Ward about missionary work and what's going to happen in the area. Afterwards we went out and proselyted as normal.

Today, I took my District out to lunch at a ramen shop and then we had a fun day at 江ノ島 island. We got some ice cream and even went in this huge tower that you could see all of the coastline from. There were a couple of destroyers out in the water. I bought a Daruma. And wanted to buy a flat octopus chip pancake like thing that everyone was eating but the lines were too long. Afterwards, we helped with a candle lighting ceremony for the victims of the Tsunami and earthquake several years ago at one of the Buddhist shrines. It was a packed P-Day. But everyone had fun. I nearly froze to death. This country is freezing.

Anyways, Japan is the Best! I love being a missionary here!

Elder Farr
Ps. Next month we get Facebook. Oorah.

Sets of 1000 paper cranes by our house, it's close to this shrine that's in a mountain, Enoshima island district picture, district Selfie in the Sakura, view from top of the island, candles with messages of hope and inspiration, midshipman

Monday, March 3, 2014

Another week in sunny 鎌倉!


This past week has been a good one. I have had a lot of fun working with Elder Christensen and Elder Barker. We're becoming more unified than we were at the beginning of the transfer and as a result, we're starting to see more and more success with the work. We're inviting people to meet with us and to hear the lessons. We have a lesson tonight with Riki-San, an English student who has been attending for several months now. He wanted to learn a little bit more about why three Americans would be hanging out in Japan teaching English for free and a little bit more about our beliefs. How cool is that!? Slowly but surely the work is beginning to move forward here in 鎌倉! I'm 100% positive that we will see a baptism in the following weeks.

The weather has been really crazy this week. It's been warm and raining and super duper cold this whole week. I have no idea how weather works but I guess Japan is in one of those weird places where the weather freaks out. I've been working out hard by myself and have been feeling a lot better because of it. I'm trying to convince my companions to run with me but they kind of just like to hang out in the house.

I talked with some really cool Americans this week. On our way back from splits in Hodogaya, we saw some really confused Americans so we talked to them. Turns out one was a class of 1989 graduate and that he service selected Subs coming out of the Academy. He five and dived. But he stayed with the nuclear community and is working with the navy doing so,etching. It turns out that he is really good friends with Andy Musselwhite's father! What a small world! It was a really really cool conversation and they all asked a lot of good questions about our church and our beliefs. It was in all a really good conversation and a great first contact with the church. Plus I met another Academy guy on the other side of the world. I guess it's true that there are always Academy affiliated people all over the world!

This week I conducted an exchange with Elder Otsuka and spent the day working with him in the Hodogaya area. The exchange was rather successful. We did different types of finding such as Kubaring Eikaiwa Chirashi, Housing, and Streeting. He had mentioned to me that they hadn't been as successful with the meaningful contacts as they should be so we we went out and talked to everyone! He believes that since he is Japanese and can't use the excuse that he is A foreigner to stop people, that he can't call out to people and talk to them. I think that this might be one of the reasons that they're not being. As successful. I tried my best to explain that we have different strengths and abilities and that we should use ours to our advantage to talk to people about the Gospel. I believe that as Elder Brooksby and Elder Otsuka become a more unified companionship, that they'll be able to become more effective in sharing the gospel, playing off the strengths and weaknesses of each other. In all, it was a very successful splits. I learned some Japanese and hopefully I was able to teach Elder Otsuka how to become an even better missionary. I look forward to my splits with Elder Brooksby in the coming weeks.

Today for Pday we decided to do some cultural exploration. So we decided to get our feet done. We went to this shop kind of off the beaten path where they have all these tanks filled with fishes. You put your feet in the tanks and all these tiny little fishes start munching on the dead skin on your feet. Apparently this practice is banned in the US. But it's quite the experience! After 20 or so minutes the shop keeper asked us if we enacted to try the "challenge" tanks. They were filled with even bigger fish who would latch on and lick you (kind of). It felt like a cats tongue on your feet. Afterwards, she gave us all this foot cream for our feet to soften up. It was a really cool experience and my feet feel really clean now!

The past week has been really fun. Hopefully the weather isn't as crazy as it has been lately!