Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Hello everyone, it's not raining today! (for now)

Friends and Family,

This has been a really fun week here in Tokorozawa. Despite the turn in the weather, Elder Connell and I have really been able to make some progress in advancing the work of Salvation here in the Tokyo South region. Let me tell you a little about what we did this week!

Tuesday was Temple Pday. We took the train to Tokyo to attend a session at the temple and afterwards we went to an Indian curry restraint that was next door for lunch. That evening Elder Connell and I, as well as the other Zone leaders from the zone next door got together and prepared a presentation to give to the Stake Presidency about how the wards and the missionaries in the stake are doing. We had a discussion with about 6 or 7 members of the stake presidency and other auxiliary leadership positions. It went really well. I think. Their Japanese is really good. Luckily we had Brother Stevenson who is an interpreter for the Church to help,us out when we had no idea what they were asking or saying to us. It ended up being a great experience for everyone and the Stake presidency has our back. They want us to put together a large presentation that we will give for about an hour and a half to all the priesthood leaders in the Musashino Stake about missionary work.W That'll be in the coming weeks. I don't think I've ever given an hour and a half presentation let alone in Japanese before. This should be a very good experience for me!

This week on Wednesday we also had interviews with President Wada. I was able to sit down with him for about a half an hour and talk about the members of the zone, their concerns and how to become a better Zone leader. We talked about how to show people under your command that you care for them without having to tell them every single day that they mean a whole lot to you and that you care about them. As I try and apply this new approach to leadership, I hope that I can take the skills learned and apply them to the Military one day.

It's been raining all week like none other. As a result, I've been SOAKED all week. I finally found my rain jacket that I lent to sister Nara since she didn't have any a few weeks back and she left in the church. I'm so glad that now I can face the terrifying weather without fear.

I went to Kichijoji yet another time this week for what's called the Mission Leadership Council with President Wada. Basically all the missionary leads get together and talk a lot about the mission and do a lot of training and what not. Then we go and train all the other missionaries and fun is had by all. It was a good time. President Wada is really having us take charge of all the other missionaries here in the Japan Tokyo South mission area. My zone is in charge of training the whole mission on how to find people to teach using the tools that we have. It should be a lot of fun developing and running the mission wide training program. It'll be a whole lot of work, but it'll be fun.

Next week Monday is transfer calls, I can't believe it's been another six weeks! Time is flying by oh so quickly! Hope I get to stay in Tokorozawa for another transfer or two. Well see soon enough! I love you all! Talk to you next week!

Very Respectfully,
Elder J. Alan Farr

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Hello Again!

Family and Friends!

Another week has come and gone here in the Land of the rising run. Today was probably the first day that I've actually seen the sky go from dark to light. Normally by the time I wake up at 0530, the sun is already up and everything is light. However, today was a little bit different.  We got up at 0400 in order to be ready by 0530 to take a train into Tokyo so we could go to the Temple. We wanted to skip the packed morning trains and got to Tokyo pretty early. The differences between downtown Tokyo and Tokorozawa are crazy. Tokyo is a whole of of fun but I'm glad that I'm not a missionary there. I'm grateful to be in beautiful Tokorozawa.

This week surely was quite the adventure. Firstly, a lot of the members of my zone have been super sick. My companion, Elder Connell was super sick early on in the week and so we stayed inside for pretty much the whole day. He slept while I studied and did other productive things. He really wanted to sleep and get over his sickness mainly due to the fact that later in the week our schedule was supposed to get pretty hectic. I've been taking a lot of Vitamin C supplements and hydrating like none other so I think I'll be good. But from the reports that I've been getting from all the other members in the zone, a lot of other missionaries are becoming bed-ridden.

I had the chance to spend a day in Kichijoji receiving training from Elder Call one of the APs. We worked together really well and had a blast proselyting in the evening. AP life is extremely busy, I don't think that I would ever want to be AP mostly because it's all run here run there and they don't get as much time to proselyte as do the other missionaries. I think Zone Leader is an appropriate position for me. Not too much paperwork, some. But,mi still get a lot of time to go out and help people. Seeing a lot of the behind-the-scenes of the Tokyo South mission really helped me learn to appreciate how much work goose into making sure that things around the mission go smoothly.

A really good defining moment of the week was Saturday. For several weeks, actually for most of the transfer Elder Connell and I have been working on putting together a singing group comprised of our zone for the mission talent show that was held on Saturday in Machida. We sent a good portion of the day talking to people and traveling to the church where we the. Participated in the two hour program that consisted of missionaries, members, and non members demonstrating their talents for all to see. The acts ranged from a New Zealander Elder doing the Haka to a missionary improvising songs from the children's song book (which by the way was phenomenal). We sang a song called "I marvel at the Miracle" if sang correctly it would certainly bring the spirit into the room. However I'm a fraud that we accomplished quite the opposite at the talent show. Good thing they put us towards the middle so it turned out okay.

On Sunday and on Monday, all six of us missionaries had a meeting with brother Kurita, our Ward Mission Leader. He talked a lot about his vision for missionary work in the area as well as how we can work with the Ward to accomplish their goals. He is a very interesting man. He's a kendo instructor by profession and very disciplined. I think that he and I will get along very well. I believe that as we use him as the valuable asset that he is, we will be able to better serve the members living in Tokorozawa. We established a plan for this week and are going to work our absolute hardest to ensure that we can get done as much as we possibly can!

It's been a great week. Hectic at times. But in all,mi think that I've learned a whole lot this week that'll not only make me a better missionary but also a better leader in the future.

Very Respectfully,
Elder J. Alan Farr

The district, we helped some Australians!, same ad on the train everywhere!, us at the temple!